T-Man and I spent last weekend’s mornings working in the garden. We’re almost ready to leave it to the tender ministrations of our daughter while we’re away for two weeks. The tomatoes are in the greenhouse, the broccoli is in the garden and I planted the beans. It was very hot so we could only work until just after noon when the sun finally gets around our trees and garage to beam on the garden. We also had the pleasure of dinner with said daughter and her new hubby while they showed us their photos from their honeymoon cruise through the Panama Canal. I sure love viewing them on the computer while they narrated rather than flipping through a pile of photos or peering over someone’s shoulder at an album. They're going to give us a disk with the compiled photos from their wedding and some of the honeymoon when they manage to sort through the 2000+ shots.
The weather turned rainy yesterday and a still a wee bit today but since everything was bone dry it needed the deep watering. I had a lovely lunch with Nana (T’s mom if you didn’t know) and darling daughter at the Mongolie Grill. I also got to eavesdrop on the city inspector questioning William the Conqueror...er, Contractor about the house building next door and reaming him out on various infractions of code. The best line was “How come the house doesn’t look like the plans?” – it was a total hoot! As expected, William did quite a tap dance trying to explain everything away. Don’t think he succeeded particularly well. Even better was the tree cutter guy who showed up at 5pm with the huge cherry-picker truck to cut down the giant pear tree that has been the bane of our existence for decades. He unfortunately had trouble turning the truck into next door’s back yard and ran over the corner of our fence, squashing some of our mostly-tame blackberries and tipping over a small forsythia which landed on my asparagus. See?
The green fence part is theirs and will be replaced but the second corner post is ours and was supporting the wires that hold up the blackberry bushes. I heatedly ran out and got an apology and an “I’ll prop it back up when I’m done” promise. (Which to his credit, he tried to do.) We got the better of him though by getting a glass of wine each and sitting on our deck watching him through the whole process of chopping down the tree piece by piece. It took him a couple of hours so we went through several glasses of wine. And while we were laughing and carrying on, I took pictures:
Going…going…going…gone. It was exciting but kind of bitter-sweet. In a way it’s sad to see a very old tree bite the dust but on the other hand all it did was drop killer pears from 50 feet onto our heads and leave the smelly litter all over the yard for the wasps to find. Drunken wasps are not fun. Especially when you’re deathly allergic to wasp stings like I am. That tree also had a habit of drooping branches over our power and phone lines, wearing off the insulation and threatening to break them. We had to get them replaced. That pear tree was about 3 times the size any pear tree has a right to be! It was almost on the property line only about 3 metres from each of our houses and our original neighbour (who passed away almost 2 years ago) was never able to keep the darn thing in check. It was just too high without a truck like the one they ended up using. He would have had to take down the back fence and his dish antenna and drive over his veggie garden. Since the back yard is just a sea of mud and debris now, there’s no problem (well almost no problem!) driving in to do the job.
When the tree was just a pile of branches and chunks of trunk, the fellow called it quits. T-Man asked if he could have a lovely big burl for woodturning and the guy found it and carried it over for him. He must be really strong because the two of us together can barely shift it! After he left we went over and brought over a couple more pieces but they were really too heavy. The rest is still waiting for him to come back with the chipper. T hopes to get a few more chunks of trunk before it’s all taken away. He promised me a spindle and a nostie if nothing else. The rest may become bowls since that’s his favourite thing to make. After all, he has a new expensive lathe that he’s hardly used yet!
In other news, I’ve kind of run out of sewing steam after realizing that I’m not going to get much done with all the cleaning, laundry and packing and stuff still to be done by Friday. I got the cropped pants cut out and a blouse but I’ll be lucky if I get a white cotton petticoat sewn to wear under the old hand-painted dress I plan to wear to the banquet and fashion show at the conference. Hopefully I’ll get that done today in a short session. BTW, I found this item cut out in my sewing drawer and completely forgot that I even had it. I planned to edge the bottom with some linen bobbin lace that I made years ago. Who knows how long it was sitting in that drawer waiting patiently? The dress in question is quite sheer (crinkled something or other) so I need to wear something under it, usually white leggings. But I wanted something different this time. Nice to show off some of the bobbin lace I made, simple Torchon though it is. I haven’t made lace in a very long time, actually since I lost most of the feeling in my finger in the beginning of 2002. I think I could do it again now that I don’t even notice the weird finger anymore. Some day.
Of course I’m packing for the holiday crafts before anything else! I’ve got the Son-In-Law’s Boring Black Socks. I’ve got the trickier-than-it-should-be Fern Lace Skinny Scarf. I’ve even got the yarn for some slippers, in case I need something else mindless to do while traveling. I’ve got my Tori spinning wheel and some moorit merino to spin laceweight. To justify dragging along the wheel, I need it anyway for one of my seminars. Usually I would just bring a couple of spindles because they take up less room in the van. But Tori is pretty compact in her backpack and I can get all the rest of the equipment in there too in her generously sized zipper compartment. The merino can be…packing, yeah…so she won’t get dinged again. Right. Although I did add more padding where she bumped her upright before which should prevent any further mishaps. I’m also packing a nostie and a mini-niddy in case I need them. Though the workshop list didn’t call for them — just a wheel, 3 bobbins, kate (she’s not “lazy”!) and scotch tape. My other half-day seminar only calls for pen and note paper so we won’t be doing any hands-on for that one.
Although I could conceivably spin while we’re driving, it would have to be in the back seat and it’s miles away from the front of the van. I’d probably make myself carsick too. However I can knit on things that don’t take too much concentration or much looking at what I’m doing. Socks are ideal because I can do plain ones on autopilot. I’ll save the spinning for quiet times in the campsite. We’ve been trying to plan our itinerary and have quite a few potential parks to visit in BC and Alberta on the way to and from Red Deer. There should be some great hiking too if it’s not too hot. There are advantages to getting up as early as we do and hopefully we can keep it up instead of sleeping in. Except of course for the conference itself when we’ll be totally underslept for 3 or 4 days as we try to keep our eyes open for the keynote speech, the juried show opening and the barbeque/fashion show! They don’t even start until it’s almost our bedtime. What old fogies we are, eh?