Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Tenth Blogiversary & A Tragedy

Number10 Source

Yes, I have truly been blogging at you for a whole decade now! Who’d a-thunk it, eh? This is Post Number 1532. I think I’ve learned a few things about this medium of expression since I began way back then. At least I hope I have! This here blog is my personal forum for documenting my projects, discussing crafty techniques, sharing my holidays, pondering and musing about things in general, and occasionally whining and whingeing. Thanks so much for sharing all these things with me. And for being unfailingly polite and positive in your comments. I appreciate it. So I don’t have a huge following like some bloggers do but that’s not why I’m here. And of course those of you lovely people who do read my scribblings are the best ever. Even if you never comment, I feel you out there in cyberspace. Big virtual hugs!

Well here it is May 6th already and I haven’t posted since April. Bad 10-year-old blogger! I’ve been quite busy up in the study. I got a bee in my bonnet about cleaning up my library table that serves as a work station in front of the west window. It was piled with junk and hadn’t been sorted for literally years. My actual workspace was shrinking down smaller and smaller and I had to unearth archaeological layers to find anything. The side shelves are also filled with paperback fantasy novels that I was going to get around to reading, ummm… 10 years ago! I’ve obviously been distracted…

So I cleaned it all off, polished the dry wood (solid oak) and only put the good stuff back. I even joined Goodreads so I could keep better track of the books! I still haven’t tackled the little drawer though. I think I’m avoiding it. While I was at it, I also cleaned out the cupboard above my big computer desk. I recycled about 25 years worth of weavers’ guild newsletters (I was the editor for 13 of them) and a whole bunch of conference memorabilia. I saved the binder from HGA Convergence 2002, the one we hosted here in Vancouver, because I was in charge of the publications for it. I figure it’s a part of my history. I never look at the other stuff though so I’m not sad I tossed it all.

Just those two areas took DAYS to sort out. Now the cupboard has room for my projects binders because yes, I save paper printouts of all my project notes. Guess I’m old-fashioned enough not to trust electronic files forever! I have more work to do in this room still: re-sorting books, dusting shelves and generally tidying in, under and around. There are 6 full bookcases in this room as well as the aforementioned library table and cupboard, plus spinning wheels, spinning baskets and a Morris chair that is in desperate need of reupholstering. (I’ve been putting that task off for decades now.) And we aren’t even talking about the other room up here. The studio has been calling me to get back to sewing too. And finishing up the warp still on the loom. Soon. But sometimes you just have to give in to the Cleaning Bug, don’t you? Otherwise we’d be buried in an avalanche of our own possessions.

Meanwhile, I’ve been prepping for indigo vats in the dye studio. My Spectrum Study Group is coming over tomorrow to dip the shibori projects we’ve been stitching on for many a monthly meeting. It’s up to me to make sure the vat goes well, so today I’m going to do a preliminary test run and dye all my own stuff first. Then I’ll make more indigo stock and revive the vat tomorrow. We use the lye/thiox vat because it’s quick and reliable. The drawbacks are that it’s pretty much a one-use vat and it’s hard to get the really deep blues. I have no desire to be responsible for a fermentation vat though. It’s like having a pet that you have to feed and walk! I don’t dye enough to be bothered. However I envy those dyers with the skills and time to maintain what I consider a proper indigo vat. A blue high five to you!

OK. So what’s the tragedy that I referenced in the title? My garden, nearly ALL of my garden has been destroyed! I’m absolutely devastated whilst trying to maintain a zen-like calm. (Not working.) Yesterday we had a huge rain and hail storm that went on for hours! It hailed so hard that bits of gravel from the duroid asphalt roof tiles were washed down and tiny pieces of lichen were torn from the walnut tree branches. It hailed so long that there were drifts of hailstones on my porch at least 4” deep. This was only in the middle of the deluge:


And the veggie garden:


It went on from there twice as deep as this and completely covering the garden beds! It looks like snow but snow would have been kinder. My plants look like someone shot them up with an AK47! A sad muddy crushed salad. I can’t even photograph it close-up for you. Too depressing. A few things are recoverable: the peas, kale, cabbage, asparagus and garlic are scarred but not too broken. Luckily the tomatoes, squashes and cucumbers were in pots in the greenhouse and the basil and coleus were in the house under the lights. There’s a few flower seedlings safely in the greenhouse that I didn’t get a chance to transplant yet. I haven’t planted the beans either. Who knew I’d be glad I procrastinated? But the beautiful rhododendrons and azaleas are shredded, the coreopsis is flattened and my precious Japanese indigo are nothing but leafless sticks. I could cry.

If the roots aren’t damaged some plants may recuperate. I’m hoping so because there’s no point trying to replant most of them. It’s too late in the season for us. I may try again with the Japanese indigo but it needs long enough to make it all the way to seed before frost. The plants are tough and might continue to grow though they are awfully shredded. I’m not terribly enthusiastic about gardening now. Awwwww!!! And it was so beautiful! We were getting daily compliments from passersby. Sigh. Remind me why I bother please.

Oh yeah. Mother Nature tried to make me feel better with this evening sky:


Pretty pink clouds are SO not going to make me any happier!

OK. Enough wallowing in self-pity. I have an indigo vat to make. Onward to blue…


pegsewer said...

So sorry about your veggies! I too am trying to tidy up piles of stuff that have been years in the making. Really enjoy your blog though I don't comment much. Keep on writing!

Heather said...

Congratulations on your tenth blogiversary!! You are a constant source of inspiration.
And that hail! Yikes! We got it on Gabriola too, but not that bad. But every time it hails I am reminded of the Saskatchewan farmers who could have their livelihood destroyed in a single storm. So tragic to lose your precious garden plants.

Sharon in Surrey said...

HAPPY 10TH ANNIVERSARY!!! Hasn't it been fun??? Sorry to be a day late & a dollar short but I've been rather busy too lately. I suppose I'll be cleaning for the month of May too. Got a little of that hail out here in Surrey but nothing like what you got. I was amazed by your pictures!! So sorry about the devastation but replant the salad greens, spread a little compost & dry your eyes. It's going to be a long hot one this year & I'll bet you'll still be eating out of that garden in October.

Anonymous said...

yikes! we didn't get the hail here in Lotus land. Definitely feel your pain at losing those baby plants. Congrats on your 10th - that is a lot of writing, keep up the great work. Hope the dye day went well.

Louisa said...

Thanks, my dears, for your kind thoughts. My garden wasn't QUITE as destroyed as I first thought though it's still not good. More in the next post.