Sunday, August 11, 2019

A Good Birthday

I  actually had a good birthday this year.  Not taking the day off from work was a good thing to do.  My cubicle was decorated with balloons and crepe paper streamers, and I got a card signed from almost everyone on my team.  Two different people sang the birthday song for me, a supervisor when she saw me on the floor and a co-worker as I was leaving for the day.

That evening, since I had hurt my hip a few days before, I decided not to do much of anything, except treat my hip, with inactivity and ice.  One of my favorite bands is Nightnoise, an Irish band inspired by folk music but sometimes their songs were touched with a different genre.  Below is their song "A Different Shore."

I was still missing four of their albums.  I decided to look on ebay for them.  There were a lot.  Generally in the past the prices ranged from 7 to 12 dollars and more.  Not this time. The highest I paid was 6 dollars and the other were between 3 and 4 dollars, and shipping and handling were all free.  I could not pass up these prices.

Saturday night two friends and I went to a favorite local diner for supper.  We had a great time together and the food was delicious.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Why Birthdays?

I can't remember the last time I enjoyed my birthday.  It seems like there's always a cloud hanging over it.

My birthday is August 8. When I was growing up, there were always media stories about the bombing of Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9). What a cloud to hang over an intelligent child's birthday: World War II and the world's biggest bombs so far.

I think my family, essentially my parents, stopped fussing over me when I started school, and I was an only child.  Unfortunately I was an only child who was very intelligent and wore glasses starting in second grade. The bullying was firmly entrenched by junior high. I think what got me through those years was thinking that puberty would strike those kids in high school and they'd forget about me.  Fortunately I was mostly right about that. I didn't really have close friends in school.

Adulthood has been a disappointment. Although I'm a very intelligent and talented person, I was never able to translate that into a well-paying job. America is still class conscious.  Working in offices as an administrative assistant, I discovered that I didn't count socially.  I didn't believe in church enough to go to one. I couldn't afford to go out to many venues at all, but I did things when I could.  Cupid was always looking the other way.

I have some friends, but I don't know how many really know me. None know me like my mother did.  As for social events, single women without significant others rank way down on everyone's priorities.

This is my second birthday without my mother.  Now I don't get any birthday cards at all in the mail. I feel like people should be able to enjoy their birthdays and celebrate their lives.  I guess I just don't feel like I have anything to celebrate. 

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Chroma Vest

I really like this Colour Block Tunic  from Fibre Co.

Somehow I got it into my head that I'd like to alternate the blocks using KnitPick's Chroma in Pegasus and a coordinating solid color.

So what do you think?

I finally figured out how much yarn I needed of the Chroma and the solid color. First I had to look up the yarn colors to figure out what the colors were!  I'm afraid Helvellyn didn't mean split pea soup green to me. I should probably order the yarn before Knit Picks says good-bye to Pegasus.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Latest Bargain

When I first went out on my own, I bought clothes and other things secondhand because that's what I could afford. I still do. I realized that more often than not I could obtain what I needed or wanted just as easily secondhand and save a lot of money. Jeans are a very good example.

I often have luck finding something I like much easier buying secondhand than retail. This silk skirt is a good example. I wanted a skirt like this to wear with my new tops. I had no idea how to find one. One day on a whim I went to the Salvation Army and there it was.

Eventually buying secondhand became something I did to keep items out of landfills and decrease retail demand and the use of non-renewal natural resources.  I really wonder if it ever occurred to anyone that demand for oil also comes from all the synthetic fiber clothing that people wear.

I also try to shop locally. However, my allergy to artificial scent and the use of gas for the car limits my activity. If I need to buy new clothing, I'll look on-line first to limit my trips. This year was a good example. I wanted a white tank top for under a lacy summer shirt.  This year is the year of spandex (also made out of oil) and I'm allergic to it. I could only find a natural fiber tank top without spandex on Macy's web site.  I ordered it and will be picking it up tonight at its store.

I also buy secondhand on-line, too.  That way I can indulge my preferences for vintage items not easily found. My last buy is a good example:

As a cat lover, I like wearing cat earrings and I could not resist these.  The cats are beautifully modeled. I bid more than I usually would on the auction because the rings are gold and the cats silver and was surprised when I won them. At least this time I can also claim they're an investment. Cat earrings are a harmless fetish and more stylish than cat t-shirts.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Now the Planting is Done

After contemplating my window box for a few days, I decided that it needed a little help. Eventually I decided to buy more of the same Sorbet Beaconsfield violas to add to the ends of the box. I'm glad I did. I realized later that there was no room for trailing plants. The ends of the box are jammed against the railing.

I bought the second box of violas from a local food co-op. They weren't in as good shape as the others. Some grew taller trying to reach light. I put them in back. Two Sorbet Beaconsfield violas went in back and I put three in front with a fourth slightly farther back on the inside. I pinched all the flowers off because somewhere I read that British gardening expert Monty Don recommended it for getting the roots to develop further. A couple violas are kind of stringy. I learned that I could pinch them back like the cat mint and did so. I think the planter looks better.

The cat mint is still small, but looks like it's happy. I pinched both plants back to make them branch more. It's in the back to the right of the purple verbena. There are a lot of little shoots and some flower buds. I love the colors in this photo.

I bought two verbena I didn't need. One was an upright one so I paired that with the other in this pot. I added mostly blue lobelia with a little white. The medium blue lobelia was hard to find. Someone at a local garden center said it was more popular. 

My flower pots make me inordinately happy so far.  I don't know why. I hope I'm consistent in watering them and that they do better this year.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Best Accomplishment This Weekend

My plants were put in the planter in record time this year. Only the verbena sat by itself during the week. Every spring I'm reminded I like to design and plant flowers.

What I do differs every year. It depends not only on changing my mind, but also on what's available. I love annual phlox. It smells very nice.  It's prone to mildew and our recent wet summers wouldn't be good for it, so I haven't grown it. The flowers I've planted have always been favorites, as well as the colors.  I wonder if I could find a more color-coordinated watering container. 

I hope my potted garden grows well this year. Last year I used different potting soil and it was not very good. The only plant that did well was alyssum.  Even the fertilizer didn't seem that great. This year I went back to what I used before, except for a couple spots near the end to fill in because I ran out. It might affect the catmint. I'll have to buy a small bag of the good soil. What my family used when I was growing up was Swiss Farms, a local company in Philmont.

I had wanted to clean up my bedroom and hall this weekend.  They have been sorely neglected while Mom was sick. It wasn't easy afterward, either. Easier said than done. It turned out to be a good example of how my allergies rule my life.  I have too many and if they're combined, I run at half speed.  I take many supplements that help, but the fatigue remains.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Over Planted Again

I decided I should plant some flowers this year in case the bumblebees make another nest nearby. One evening after work I found the verbena plant below.

I wanted to plant some violas with it.  However, when I finally went to the garden center that's not open in the evenings, during the week, first I found the lovely Calibrachoa MiniFamous Neo Double Pink.

I also bought my violas, Sorbet Beaconsfield Viola.

After I tried potting them at home, I realized I couldn't use the pot I had in mind and I had to go  bigger. I went back to the garden center to buy another calibrachoa to flank the verbena set in the center.  While pondering what to use to add a little height,  I thought catnip!  I had tried salvia last year and failed miserably.  Partly it was because the plant was small and I wasn't going to pay the prices for large plants.  It was also because the potting soil was poor.  I had mixed success growing traditional catnip because the aphids liked it. A different garden shop had a hybrid I thought I'd try, Kitten Around Catmint (Nepeta faassenii). Maybe the aphids won't like it.  I planted it behind the calibrachoa flaking the verbena. I nipped the tops off to make it branch. My cat Emily gave them her approval.

I just had to buy two pots of the lovely Viola Rebecca. I planted the violas on either end of the window box, the Viola Rebecca behind the Sorbet Beaconsfield.

Then there are the two purple verbena I didn't need for filling the box. Plant or gift? I hope my window box amounts to something this year.