Monday, March 08, 2010

This’s & That’s

Don’t know why but I’ve been feeling kind of ‘meh’ for the last couple of days. Part of it is that I’m kind of tired and cranky because my hands and feet, which were doing so well a few weeks ago, are getting worse again. After all my careful slathering on of various potions too. This probably means another series of appointments with Dr. Serious-Dermatologist. Bleh. He said the next thing was UV therapy. It just goes on and on…

I also haven’t been feeling the love for my current unfinished projects either. And I’ve realised that it’s rather hard to knit when your hands are covered several times a day with various ointments. The Hedgerow Socks for T-Man are very slow going and I’m not sure I’m liking the continuation of the rib pattern into the heel flap. I don’t plan to frog it though and he seems ok with it so I just need to keep slogging. Plus the Green Star Cardi is still in time-out. I haven’t gotten up the requisite steam to frog the inch or so to fix my armhole decrease error. I can feel it coming soon though. This project has been going on long enough! Need. To. Finish.

I did finally get around to planting my seeds under the lights in the basement. It took a goodly chunk of sunny Saturday to do it too. First I needed to wash out the pony flats and the trays and clear lids which keep the moisture in during the first critical growing period. Then I had to stir water into the dried-out starter mix. I use hot because it both mixes in faster and feels nicer to work with. Plus I think the seeds like a warm bed. I would! I really should have started a couple of these things (like slow-poke peppers and parsley) a week or two ago so that things could be staggered more. It’s kind of crowded down there so not everything will get adequate light when they come up. This means some stuff will have to go out to the greenhouse during the day as soon as they can stand it. And I have more seeds to plant still! I haven’t even put the tomatoes in yet.

I usually prefer to plant seeds rather than buy sets. You get a lot more variety and it’s really not hard. Plus it’s much cheaper even if you factor in the cost of starter mix, potting soil, pots and flats, seeds and grow lights. My florescent light fixtures are very old (over 30!) and the pony flats, pots and trays are recycled and reusable until they disintegrate. I really enjoy the slow and gentle planting of tiny seeds, watching them grow, watering when necessary, rotating them around, pricking them out when they’re big enough into larger digs and finally hardening them off and planting them in the garden. It’s creative and nurturing and quite satisfying when you get to eat, dye with or just admire the results later. Yes, I have the spare time to do this. But it really doesn’t take all that much attention once you set up and develop a rhythm. It’s like looking after a pet! Or in this case, many pets.

T-Man was having a good time playing in his studio with his lathe and other woodworking tools yesterday while I was catching up on some housework. He made a large wooden ball out of an interesting piece of our long-defunct sumac tree. It’s the first complete sphere he’s ever made. The inspiration came from a demo he watched recently courtesy of his woodturners’ guild. Plus he made a canon! No it doesn’t fire but it does shoot water. It’s going to be the spout for the water garden as soon as we get it set up again. It’s made from a bunch of different garden woods: barrel is black-stained holly, wheels are cedar, wagon is maple, stand to support it over the pot is lilac. Photos to come.

I was going to do a book review today but since this is getting somewhat long, I’ll hold off until next time.

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