Friday, May 24, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend opening of summer? right

Cold, wet, rainy, not beachworthy.   So the iris came into bloom yesterday, were knocked all over the place by rainstorms today, and I decided this was a good day to declare a stitching retreat.  See other blog for current progress on The Cellist.  And the framed completed goldwork Galaxy, or maybe Constellation, jury still out on the title.

Listening to John Grisham on CD,  then watching The Goodwife on DVD.   And catching up with all the proposed music for a recital one of my consort groups is doing in the fall, plenty of time to panic. And catching up with the paperwork  and copying and printing (some of our members don't do computers) for the board meeting of the embroiderers' group.

And that.  The iris don't care!  perfect rainy weather for their complexions.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Opening Day

No, not baseball.  Noooooo, not trout fishing.  It's Opening Day of the Farmshare for 2013!!

The Dollivers insisted on having special farm style outfits, and declined to wear little carrots as earrings, on their dignity about their calling as farmers, and posed with today's first of the year share. I was a bit too busy to make outfits for everyone, so I had them appoint a delegation, as you see.

Asparagus, growing in the field this morning, lettuce plants ditto, ready to transplant into my container on the patio, marigolds now transplanted into a container out front.  Asparagus now snapped so the bottom woodiest bits are off and reposing in the freezer ready to go into stock, but the choice bits are ready to cook fast and eat with lemon butter sauce.

The homegrown oregano and sage are busting out all over and I will be making pesto very soon, since last year's supply is finally all gone.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Irises on the brink. The same ones further down the block are in full fig, the ones next door just a few days ahead of mine, and here are mine, brimming with anticipation!  lovely purple and white bearded iris.  The difference in maturity is all about how the sun hits which gardens first, very interesting to watch. See how just the beginning of the color is starting to show through. I love this stage.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Off to Camp!

The kids are off to camp, at last.  That is, the houseplants are now in their summer residence, finally, several weeks later than usual.  This has been the longest coldest spring in ages, so they couldn't go out when temps were going down to freezing or close at night.  So now I feel as if I have the house back to myself.  And the patio is now a nice sort of bower the stitching of embroidery for, and reading for, and afternoon tea for.  And when the pool opens and all the local kids take their games there, it will even be quiet.

The house looks a bit empty,, must resist the temptation to bring in more stuff.

And I have a sad demise to report on the tech front: my blog uploading wasn't working the other day.  Just stuck halfway through.  So I changed the camera cable, no result, changed the chip, no result, changed the battery, no result.  Finally a rush of brains to the head,and I realize, ah, it's the camera!! after several years of constant use and banging about in my purse, thousands of pics, it finally got a bit tired and worn out, aren't we all, and has been honorably retired.

Fortunately I took a tip from Handsome Son, who's the ultimate believer in backups, well, he's a computer geek,  so of course, and I had a second exactly similar camera, which I've been switching off batteries and chips with, so now my backup is my frontup.  But it's a boring old black. But it uses the same cable, software, chip, battery, everything, yay.

Perhaps I can paint it. Yes, that would work.   I'm in one of those if it doesn't move paint it modes.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Eat Dessert First, you know why..

Years ago I saw a friend, a great cook, arranging food, I think she was putting a slice of fruit beside a piece of cake or something, very simple, and the touch of arranging it made it very appealing.  I remember her when I see videos of fancy chefs drizzing stuff over ingredients and building up food in the middle of the plate, and think, well, there has to be a middle way for me.

So yesterday's dessert: anjou pear sliced, chopped walnuts sprinkled, molasses drizzled.  Very pictorial, and actually a really good dessert.

This was an interlude in a day full of rushing  about, delivering carloads to the thrift store on behalf of HS who can't get there because of his working hours, finding there a one dollar heavily beaded blouse, awful blouse, but a nice collection of beads and sequins to snip off and now they're in my collection waiting to take their turn in my goldwork, knitting more squares in my current Mindless Throw, visiting with friends,listening to the current John Grisham on CD,reorganizing my dried flower arrangements, cracking up that I have time to pay attention to dried flowers,playing music with me mates last evening, and generally having a full day.  Which is why I'm getting a later start this morning.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Decisions, decisions

There comes a time when the blogmeister of more than one blog, that would be me, has to decide which blog is graced with the next amazingly insightful writing.

Like here, I have a great Freecycle magnifier, the kind that hangs on your chest and you look through it to embroider, great once you get the hang of it and don't try stabbing your needle through the glass. I love it, was about to buy one,when this one sort of fell on me.

And that has facilitated the two embroideries I'm doing right now.

And the first goldwork is now framed, shot from the side to avoid glare on the glass, sorry.
So those would be for the Art the Beautiful blog, where my art goes.

But then there's the great collection of Martha mags, also a Freecycle,

I had a little tour yesterday, picking one thing up then another, different houses.  The mags are perfect for loafing on the patio on the warm days that finally got here, and that's Field and Fen stuff.

And there's the fact that one of the embroideries is a collaborative piece, well, that's Art the Beaut stuff.

So anyway, here are the pix, and I'll bang on in Art the Beaut about the collaborative embroidery.  

There, that'll do it.     

Friday, May 10, 2013


The title reminds me of many times on a platform opening a meeting and setting out the ground rules and info, aka housekeeping, mainly about the location of the bathrooms (waving arms in directions, like a flight attendant) and more important the location of the coffee and pastries..

Anyway, today's housekeeping address is about this blog.  There are changes under way at home base, so, since the current follower function may not continue for long, I've put in a couple of options, in case you can't live without reading this blog, for which I thank you a lot.

First, I've put in a following device, bloglovin, and you can click on that if you want to follow posts or comments, or both, via various pathways.  If you don't have them or don't like the option, I also put in a direct email option.  See that line right under our main heading? tells you to enter your email address there.  Do that and you'll receive posts into your own email box every time there is oneI've tested these with my other email address and they seem to work okay.  But let me know if you encounter any surprises.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

New Arrivals in Dolliver Country

So (!) a great surprise arrived at my door the other day:  two ladies of Minnesota come to stay, and meet their colleagues in the World of Dolliver and Friends.  

They couldn't wait to fight their way out of the package and get into the party.

And here they are, a gangshot of handmade dolls.  I realize I now have a collection, don't know how this happened.  Everything exept Elton and the bigger porcelain doll,  is handmade -- the Ds are home products, the button dolls, new ones and Annies, the porcelain doll, the peasant wooden doll with her basket, the Canadian penny doll, a motley crew if ever there was one.

The Ds made them welcome, and noted that as long as they're the biggest dolls in the house, they're fine with new arrivals.  And Elton serenaded them with Hey, Hey, the Gang's All Here, and a few Bon Jovi and Springsteen hits, to give them the flavor of their new home..ending with that NJ son, Sinatra's I Did It My Way, which the Ds have taken on as their personal motto.

And I can't think of a better way to cheer up a day than to get a box of dolls in the mail!

Monday, May 6, 2013

All go chez moi

It's been one thing after another -- after the girl scout team left, another neighbor presented me with a couple of lettuce plants and arugula, from the farm, with a request to accept them, and while I was at it, plant some more of them for my neighbor who's away and might miss them!  I sampled them as I went, not bad lovely fresh lettuce.

Then I had to get dressed for our monthly embroiderer's guild meeting, for more on which see here

I had to leave a bit early and fly across town to meet a friend at a concert of the local symphony, with Jimmy Lin playing as guest artist, and after I'd struggled through incredible traffic, driven around for nearly forty minutes in search of parking --this used to be a quiet place! -- I made it, to listen to the first part of the event from outside the door, had got there just too late to be seated. But I made it in, and we had a wonderful afternoon of Bartok, Prokofiev, Ravel and Stravinsky.  Russian and Hungarian composers, conducted by a visiting Bulgarian conductor, played by American musicians and with a Chinese soloist.

If you read the embroidery bit over in Art the Beautiful, the link for which I gave up there a bit back, you'll see what an international day I had yesterday!  it's all good.

Today: playing music with the group, then an artists' meeting where we will be making collaborative work.  

After that I plan to sit down. But first I have a great recommendation of a documentary movie, a Sundance one, that is just great: First Position.  It's about a group of very young dancers trying to break into the big time of ballet via an American based competition that takes place all over the world.  You'll have favorites in no time!


Friday, May 3, 2013

Greencycling with the girl scouts

Today I had a delegation from a local girl scout troop, connection via Freecycle, to collect pachysandra from me to plant at their school to beautify the entrance.  It was much colder than expected, hence the quick wrap up for the kids, as they collected the plants.  

Anna, the girl scout, her brother and mom and grandmother, all came to take bags of plants from me.  And Anna watched as I demo'd using a bulb planter --much easier for kids than a spade -- to plant a sample, then she tried her hand at it,successfully, as you see!  so now she's the expert and can show the troop members and the adult volunteer helpers, how it's done.

In the fall I invited them back to get divisions of bearded iris, too, and I hope they will.   The nice thing about pachy is that you don't need to be tending it, and it will still flourish, green all year round.  And the iris will flower while the kids are still in school, a big point for school gardens,

and is also very easy care.  Just plant and walk away.  It will multiply and spread like the pachysandra.

Nice family, nice encounter.  I threw in a few sprigs of rosemary and sage and oregano for immediate cooking, and a little root of spearmint for planting in a pot.  So we were all happy.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Signs of Spring

Wonderful walk today, by the pond, and spring really has arrived.  Smell of the water on the wind, the honey scent of the blossoming trees, the shout of the first redwing blackbird across the water and a sole goldfinch, our state bird, in fact, in full brilliant yellow mating plumage, flitting around my head.  

All kinds of birdsong, some of which I could recognize -- phoebe, robin, Carolina wren, blackbird, and various twitterings that served as a ground bass for the singers. Kayakers having fun on the water, their shouts and arguments blending right in.


So, for your viewing joy, I took a few pix.  Click to see better.