Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Where's Summer?

Okay, I'm starting to get annoyed. Here it is, well into July, and I'm wearing fuzzy felted slippers and a sweater. Where did summer go? It was here back in May when it was warm and sunny and I got my garden off to a good start — I thought. Now the cucumbers and squash are stunted (wire worms are the biggest culprit), peppers are stunted and their leaves tiny and wrinkled, and all my salad vegetables are bolting. Only the tomatoes, safe in their house, and the beans look healthy. The tomatoes are actually too healthy. They're starting to escape from under the plastic. I keep tucking them back in but I might have to prune if they get too cocky. Don't want the late blight to get them! There's enough rain to be worrisome since that's the method that blight gets on the lower leaves, only to travel through the whole plant and boom — it all turns black and dies. Anyway, I'm totally tired of rain and dark skies. Remind me about this when it gets hot and sunny again and I start melting and complaining about the heat, OK?

The "big blog gap" you might have noticed last week happened because Thom was off work. He keeps me busier than usual — lazing around in bed reading, making fancy breakfasts, going on long walks. Then we were invited to go camping with his brother and family in Manning Park, in the mountains east of Vancouver between Hope and Princeton. Luckily I packed for every kind of weather because it ended up being rainy, sunny, windy, and cold, sometimes together and sometimes separately. I think I got down to my t-shirt sleeves twice for a few minutes during the four days. The rest of the time I was under several layers of fleece and wishing for mittens, which I didn't bring. Goretex raingear was also an important part of the wardrobe along with an umbrella (not exactly proper camping gear but sensible). If you got wet you stayed wet and cold. All that aside we did have fun. Our 12-year-old nephew caught most of the trout which we had for Saturday dinner. Yum. Walked around Lightning Lake a few times, including once in the rain. Read a few books. Saw momma osprey feeding her baby way up in a treetop nest, baby loons too big to ride on their mom's back learning how to dive, and baby diving ducks doing the same thing. You know, you can't easily tell what kind of duck they are when only fuzzy brown babies and nondescript brown mommy are all you have to go on. You need daddy duck with some distinct plumage for identification purposes.

There aren't any pictures unfortunately. I brought the digicamera but didn't use it once. I think I was just too depressed about the pine beetle devastation that was so obvious from the campsite and the lake. All the rusty dead lodgepole pines killed by those evil bugs — you could see how much it had spread over just the last year. It's going to get dangerous as those dead trees dry out and become a fire hazard. We've seen forest fires in Manning Park before but that was pre-beetles. The damage is much too extensive to log selectively. I guess we'll see what happens as time goes on. It ain't going to be pretty.

Craft Report

I got tired of knitting baby things so I went back to my last pair of socks for a change. I know, how can socks be a change when I make so many pairs? Well, it's been months since I've worked on these. Originally I was planning to do a short-row heel but I've decided that I'm just not a short-row heel girl, even the deeper version that I like better than the one worked on half the leg stitches. I prefer the old-fashioned flap heel; it fits properly and wears well. So what if it doesn't work out quite as neatly with the printed sock yarns. My socks spend most of their public time in my Blundstone boots anyway where all you can see is a bit of the top and cuff.

As you can see, I work on both socks alternately so as to avoid SSS — the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome — to which I'm particularly susceptible. These ones aren't quite matching exactly on the heel turn, but I don't really care anymore. I'd just like to cross them off my list of UFOs.

Later today I plan to dig out some sewing and see if I can get back into making myself some much-needed clothes. I've actually got a bunch of stuff cut out but whether I want to make them up or not at this point (they've been waiting for years now!) is to be decided. I'm beginning to be pretty sure this old body isn't going to lose any more weight any time soon. It's been holding where it is since the beginning of last December and shows no signs of shrinking any further. I don't need any summer things. (Summer? What's that?) I already have lots that I saved from before my weight gain that now fit again. But I do need some "intermediate season" clothes for when it's too cool for sleeveless and too warm for fleece and wool.

Off to work!

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