Become the Butterfly

Today is a hot, humid Summer's day...96 with a heat index of 99...and what better way to enjoy it than as a butterfly, sipping nectar from a lovely zinnia (left). I wish. BTW, I took this photo standing about 4 feet away from the garden fence, where this beautiful butterfly ignored me and concentrated on the juicy flower.

Looks like we are headed for the high-90's today, with thunderstorms a'brewing for tonight and tomorrow. Same old, same old.

Of course, I have to give credit where it is due. This long, hot, wet Summer we are experiencing has been perfect for sustaining all of our beautiful blossoms. Without a doubt, the flowers of all varieties have been the biggest, prettiest, showiest (add superlative here) we've seen in...well, in forever! Hooray!

Not so for the veggie garden, I'm afraid. The weeds are about the only things that are growing great there. Upon reflection, I acknowledge two major mistakes:

  1. I rushed to plant, especially my tomatoes and my onion sets. True confession: I wanted that first tomato to come in by July 4th. Well, I reached that goal on July 1st, but it happened on one of the Patio Tomatoes in containers on the deck. Waiting for the ground to dry a bit to allow at least one more pass with the tiller...and adding some more compost and garden soil on that last pass...might have made a huge difference. Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

  2. I didn't get a chance to add my usual 4 bales of straw (over newspaper) as mulch after planting to keep the weeds in check. Now, instead of a lovely, productive kitchen garden, I have a weed patch with a few leggy tomato plants...and some rather hardy cucumber vines.

Yep, the cukes are out-producing the tomatoes by about 4-to-1 (as you can see in the photo, right, above). Soooo, looks like I'm making pickles soon, doesn't it? (BTW, I ate that tomato in the picture for lunch that very day...:)

At least the dogs know how to behave during these Dog Days of Summer. They stay indoors where there's air conditioning...and sleep through the hottest part of the day. Smart.

I'm taking a page out of their books and trying spend a few of those mid-day hours inside with the cool AC, the ceiling fan on high, a glass of iced tea with lemon by my side, and needles in hand. I've recently finished my Bliss-ful Striped Cardigan (left), made from Debbie Bliss's Cotton Cashmere yarn in yellow, blue, and white (no link available as this yarn has been discontinued, I know not why as it is soooooo soft). I modified a Classic Elite pattern for a Striped Cardigan and added the blue and white star-shaped buttons. Yippee! Now, if only the temps would dip a bit for me to be able to wear it...:)

And, on the stix at the moment is a modified Metro Pullover (pattern from Oat Couture) for Nana/Momma/Edith in Queensland's Bebe Cotsoy (50% cotton, 50% soy) yarn in a cornflower blue color #1. I finished the back and front while I was dog-sitting Ella Rae last week in L'ville, and I am now ready to three-needle bind-off the shoulder seams. Next up...after N/M/E tries on the unfinished shell...are the sleeves, which are knitted onto the sweater instead of separately. Then, last but not least, the collar (also knitted on by picking up stitches). A couple of side seams...a little steam from the iron...and it will be done.

It had better be done before August 8th, or it will get sidelined. I've signed up for the Ravelympics 2008 Sweater Sprint, meaning I've committed to casting on a sweater during the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics on 8/8/08 and completing said sweater by the Closing Ceremony on August 24th. No pressure! I've decided on my yarn (more on that later) and the pattern (a 3/4 sleeve, boxy, garter-stitch cardigan...I think). Counting down the clock!

Speaking of dogs...and I was, several paragraphs ago...check out this Puppy Cam link. If you are lucky, you will get to see a litter of Basset Hound puppies in Wisconsin in all their glory: Enjoy!


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