Monday, June 16, 2008

Ah, summer...

My printer is smoking, getting all of those brand-spanking-new patterns ready to mail off to the shops. My printer truly is my BFF - I love this thing. Seriously. Here she is, hard at work printing off a gazillion patterns that will soon be winging their way to The Loopy Ewe.



Patterns generally go out in dribs and drabs except after TNNA, when I get to send them out in a gigantic batch that keeps me occupied for days. Yesterday, however, I took a day off in honor of Father's Day. I did check my e-mail a couple of times, but I did NOT do any pattern work. Instead, I started a pair of guy socks that will eventually belong to Bill. Isn't this the perfect guy colorway?



That's Classic Elite Alpaca Sox there, one of my very favorite sock yarns. These might be done by Christmas (did I mention that Bill's feet are 12" long?).

Fortunately, nice weather has finally come to Portland. This means that the kiddos are busy outside in their awesome new sandbox.



Yesterday we picked up just over 700 lbs of beach sand from Oregon Decorative Rock. This stuff is seriously awesome - soft and light and straight from the beach. I try not to think of the impact that the mining of beach sand for sandboxes might have on the actual beach...in the meantime, the kids are happy and thus so am I.

Our garden is doing very well all of a sudden, too. We spent some time out there this weekend, and I got the beets and carrots weeded (mostly) and thinned. Thinning seedlings always pains me - I know that it's necessary so that the remaining plans will have room to thrive, but it still seems counterintuitive to plant a bunch of seeds and then rip half of them up again. Here are my healthy beets after being given plenty of elbow room:



Yes, I still have a gazillion weeds in there, I know. We've got this insiduous grass that grows everywhere and is impossible to get rid of. I haven't had time to properly fight it off, so I try to keep it from growing right on top of any of the plants we're actually trying to grow. It likes to grow on top of our weed barrier, too, which REALLY ticks me off. What good is weed barrier when the weeds grow right on top of it?



That's our nice gravel and flagstone path, being eaten alive by weeds. I really wish I could let the chickens (aka destroyers of all things green) out there to take care of it, but unfortunately our garden would suffer some serious collateral damage. Just so you know the scale of their destructiveness, here's a picture of them by their fence.



See the nice green grass on one side, taunting them, and the bare dirt on the other? They've managed to take care of every single weed, blade of grass, what have you in their little run. We're definitely going to set up a temporary fence and let them go to town on the garden once it has run its course. I also encourage our neighbors to throw their weeds over the fence rather than putting it out with yard waste. The only problem with this is that the chickens now beg and plead with them every time they're out weeding. I hope they find this charming and not annoying!

We've also got nice green blueberries...



And lots of pea plant action...



And potatoes!



This last one has got me really excited - I haven't grown potatoes since I was a kid! It's amazing how much stuff we can fit in our extremely small yard. I've taken to calling it my "global food crisis garden". We've also got carrots, watermelons, lettuce, strawberries, raspberries, Walla-Walla onions, a pepper plant, an artichoke, a tomato, beans, a zucchini (or rather space for it, since we haven't managed to locate a start yet) and possibly some pumpkins (if they survive the rigors of our backyard) along with a bunch of herbs. We've also got about a dozen volunteer sunflower plants which I may or may not allow to survive. We'll see how well they behave themselves!

5 Comments:

Blogger greetingarts said...

I am *so* jealous! I've been missing my yard so much lately. When we bought our first home here almost four years ago, we sacrificed a yard for a better school district, intending to upgrade in a few years. But moving and house hunting is such a pain in the rear! Still haven't started looking for a place with a proper yard, and now I'm getting the itch. I. must. grow. things. I'm quickly losing my green thumbs!

Hope you share some of your harvest pictures with us when the time comes... beets. Ah, did you say BEETS? I just had the best golden beets ever, I could have eaten them all day, every day. Yum. Have fun outdoors, and take good care of your workhorse printer!

6:20 PM  
Blogger Cher said...

Holy smoke! 700 lbs??

We (I) have not started our garden yet -- the darn dogs ate our plants last year, so we have to create a raised bed that they can't reach.
Which has to happen somewhere between wrangling the kids and the baby and the pattern writing and the submissions and and and ...you know how it is. Hopefully this weekend...

6:43 PM  
Blogger Wendee said...

Yay - I love my printer too. Thanks for the tip about it a few months ago...

My high hopes for a 2008 garden are out the window. I haven't given up on a lettuce bed though!

7:41 AM  
Anonymous sprite said...

Chrissy, do you handwash the Alpaca Sox per the instructions or do you throw them in the washer? Inquiring minds want to know...

9:26 AM  
Anonymous brogansmomma said...

Wow!! Awesome! Love the sandbox (my son loves his and could spend all day out there) and love the garden. I've put in four raised beds and am loving watching things grow. Very envious of the chickens though - I'd love to have a couple.

Will be back to see how things are coming along...

11:56 AM  

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