Saturday, September 29, 2012

OFFF side-trip to Swan Island Dahlias

As a 'non-gardener', my claim to fame in that world is picking the pods off the hanging fuchsia baskets and watering the hydrangeas. Evanne took us to Swan Island Dahlia's and we took many photos, enjoyed the walk through the fields and can't decide which tubers to buy for next spring.

 Friday, September 21, 2012 
Cloudy, damp and cold.

Here are some of our favorites.

 Blackberry Ice
Emory Paul
Fire Magic
 Fuzzy Wuzzy
Lauren Michele
Mango Madness
Myrtle's Folly
Park Princess
Peaches and Dreams
Ruby Slippers
San Luis Rey
Sheer Heaven
We certainly don't have room for all of these so we'll have to choose between them, maybe only 5.  Or 6...  Deciding on where to put them will be problematic as well.  It's a garden with 'themes': fuchsias, hydrangeas, grotesques, blueberries, and hostas.  We have a few one-of-a-kinds besides the lemon cypress hedge and Harry Lauder's Walking Stick ~ and we want to put in more food next year, not just rhubarb and blueberries.

Thanks, Evanne!  What a dilemma!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Edina Sushi w/ photos

On Monday, Labor Day, the Peggy's and I treated ourselves to another round at Edina Sushi, mostly because we were hungry but also because they were open, unlike the nail place around the corner, where we were going to go to get our nails done prior to dinner but had to put it off until Tuesday.

We took the camera and managed 'before' photos rather than 'after' this time.

We ordered the Sushi Tower; it's been outstanding each and every time.
Here's a close-up:
 The roll on the left is the Tropical Roll.  Mango and Crab.  SO GOOD!
 On the right we have the Vegas Roll, also very good.
These two were new to us and we were not disappointed.
 The ever popular (with us) Rainbow Roll, better and more interesting than the California.
 The ginger is fresh and yummy.  They'll bring you a big dish of it if you want more.
The staff is efficient and friendly, the very good Genmaicha tea is free.  yea.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Labor Day carding projects

We spent the Labor Day weekend on regular weekend chores with a little 'special' in there once in awhile.  I did some carding while working with the laundry and Peggy went to work to get ready for a big event in her department.

The carding involved the second time through the carder with my pale gray shetland, Strudel, and the third time through on the Corriedale "Birch", which I bought at Whidbey Spin-in in 2011.  Both of them evened out, became consistent in coloration, especially the blue Corriedale.

 All of Strudel laid out.
 Once through the carder.
 Finished carding ~ all evened out, color-wise
Bag full of Corriedale named "Birch".

Dyeing the washed fleece with 3 different blues.
Three times through the carder.
Early Monday I went back to carding, working on a 50/50 blend of brown CVM named Humphrey and apricot Alpaca name Alessandro, hoping that the alpaca would brighten up the CVM.  Sadly, the opposite happened ~ the brown overwhelmed the apricot and, once spun and 2-plyed, gave me a drab, lifeless color that I do not want at all.  I also don't want to dye either one, so on to:

Plan B: card the CVM by itself; it's a nice color and there is enough for a sweater if I do it well.  Then find a nice white fleece and try the apricot alpaca with it, hoping for a glint of color from the alpaca.  I have less than 2 lbs of the alpaca so I can't afford to experiment very much.  I think I can get a hat out of the CVM/Alpaca blend I've already spun and plied.

We have plans for Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival later this month, so perhaps I'll find an appropriate fleece there. A few months ago Peggy and I put ourselves on "NO NEW FLEECES" status (the fiber room is full of plenty of fleeces ready to be spun), but there is no need to be unreasonable if the right fleece presents itself.  I'm pretty sure that's one of the "Spinners Rules of Acquisition".

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Ivy on the side.

Is ivy like moles?  Is there anything good about it?  Is it more like kudzu than vinca?  Does it ever truly go away upon removal or does it just lurk underground, waiting its chance to sprout anew when the focus is off it and onto something new and shiny?  Finally, is it wrong to just kill it?

We'll find out.  Our current goal is to remove the ivy from the front yard on both sides of the driveway.  This requires upper-body strength and tools, neither of which we have.  It turns out the neighbors have both of those things AND a couple of cats which they would like us to feed for the coming week when they are out of town.  Such a deal!  The upper-level-ivy part of the removal took them an hour X 2 people, which may be about the amount of time we spend next week with their cats.  Good trade.  Dear Dave took out the vinca and started the ivy-roll back in June, before his bum-knee started giving him grief.  Again.

This is the ickiness that is 'ivy everywhere.' There's some vinca in there, too, which doesn't make it better.
The photo above is from 2010, before the side-yard renovation was complete, before the Dogwood was removed.
 June, 2012, vinca & half the ivy is out, thanks to Dave.
Dave rolled up the ivy while digging out the roots.
 Roll of ivy on the driveway after removal.
August 2012, the retaining wall of boulders is revealed, making the ferns look huge. 
Thanks to Jim and Kaye for their heroic efforts on behalf of their cats!

The current plan is to dig out the dirt down a foot or more to get out as much of the ivy root-system as possible and refill with good top-soil and steer manure.  A small back-hoe may be involved.  Then we'll be able to plant above the boulders and below them as well, effectively having another whole garden.  The ferns will probably be transplanted to the back yard, as they are too big for this location.
 The other side of the drive has its own challenges.
Along the walkway to the porch.
This is the driveway side, with its own boulder retaining wall.
  Under the front porch.

This side of the ivy problem will be much more tedious.  It's at an awkward angle and we may have to bring in the pros.  When the ivy is gone, the tree frogs will have to move along.  Listening to their croaking has been a constant source of amusement over the years and in all those years we've never seen one, hence no link to what they may look like.  It's a mystery.

To be continued.