Category Archives: Garden

Finding my inner computer geek

I apologize in advance, I’m tweaking my blog and changing a bunch of things around, trying to figure out whether I’m satisfied with what I can do with my wordpress.com blog or whether to take the big switch to my own domain name and a “real” website. 

A lot of it is coming down to deciding what I want from my blog.  Do I want a website too?  How much bandwidth do I think I’ll need?    Do I want to seriously get into designing knitting patterns, and if so do I want to sell them or offer them for free?  Am I going to keep my blog directed mainly towards family and friends, or do I want to try to get more blog traffic?  I like the way I have things now.  I use my blog largely for general updates about my life and what I’m up to down here in Florida, as a way for family and friends back home to know what I’m up to.  Sometimes, I just post to vent or just to write, and I don’t expect anyone to read it or have any interest.

I also like the knit-blog thing too.  I enjoy posting updates to my projects and (occasionally) hearing from other people who have either made the same thing or saw it on Ravelry.  Ravelry has been great, and I really enjoy the community there.  I would like to get more into the knitting aspect of the blog and post more regularly.  As I said before, I also want to start designing and offering patterns on my blog, and I would like my blog to be more “knit-friendly” for people who aren’t intersted in reading about the minutiae of my personal life.  (I would also like to still be able to post things about my life without worrying about stalkers.)

I’m trying .mac, but I’m not sure it’s what I’m looking for.  I’m pretty HTML/CSS-illiterate, but I would like to learn more and design a blog/webpage that is unique to me, rather than a template.  The price for domain hosting would be about the same as .mac, so it’ll probably come down to which will allow me to do what I want to do, without being too complicated.

I’ve got lots to ponder.  For now, I’ve started putting my posts into categories, so people who only want to read about knitting, or gardening, or life in general can skim by category.  Any ideas/imput/suggestions?

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Things that make me happy

It was cool enough (only 85 degrees!) this afternoon to go out and do a little bit of yardwork. I weed-whacked the grass and finished planting (most of) the plants I got last week.

Half of yard

Other half of yard

Pineapple

There just aren’t words…it is so calm and relaxing to just sit down out there and take it all in. It’ll be even better once the hibiscus and allamanda fill in and the fence is covered. The grass is starting to fill in:

Grass Filling in

But some places are still not filling in. Note the rocks in the way:

Grass not filling in

I’ll give it through the winter. If they don’t fill in by then, I’ll move them to the rest of the yard and put mulch or stone over in that area. I’m LOVING having grass though, even if it’s still scraggly. Now that it’s September, it’s starting to feel like the end of summer is finally in sight. In the next few weeks I’ll start veggie seedlings for the fall/winter so that they’ll be ready to plant in October.

Vacation, but not really

Adam’s dad and his fiancee came to town this week, so I rearranged my schedule and had four whole days off in a row!  We were so busy though, that it flew by and I feel like I just left work and now I’m back again.  (Actually, I was back last night but too busy to blog.)  It was a great visit though, and aside from a huge thunderstorm while we were trying to grill out on the boat, it was a good week.  Some highlights:

Huge live oak tree at the sunken gardens

Ros and I went to the Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, and it was beautiful!  It’s still too hot this time of year to really sit and enjoy, but I’ll definitely be going back once the weather cools off a bit.  They have an amazing assortment of native plants, and it feels like you’re in the middle of the jungle!  This live oak was at the edge of a large stone patio area that they use for weddings and such.  They had a butterfly garden (I was drooling over the plants) and lots of birds.

Flamingos

Grandma, these are for you 🙂  I’ve never seen them up so close before, and they are very cool.  I don’t imagine I’ll be getting these at my backyard feeder any time soon.  There were some huge macaws too, but the pictures didn’t come out.

Cinder block garden

My new cinder block garden/wall!  The dirt area on the left of the patio floods every time it rains, so we’re going to use the cinder blocks as a retaining wall and add some dirt and mulch to that area to stop the flooding.  The holes in the cinder blocks make great flowerpots!  These salvias should get nice and bushy and make a good border, and I got some pentas to put on the ends.  I also (finally!) got an allemanda vine/bush for the back garden, it has amazing huge yellow flowers (no pictures, it started raining again as soon as I went out to take them) and I got some small coleus plants as well.  The garden is starting to come together nicely, and as you can see in the picture the grass is out of control again!  I need to take the weed whacker or the mower to it on my next day off.  It’s filling in nicely though. 

In knitting…I got my knitpicks order (less than a week from order to my door – love it!) and started in on the tank top I’m test knitting.  I’m liking the CotLin so far, but I’m only 12 rows in so I’ll wait to give my opinion until I get to try it a little more.  The stockinette swatch was very nice fabric though.

School is going well so far, not much going on there.  Is it bad that I’m already counting down the days until the semester is over? 

Beautiful weekend…that I’m spending at work

Even though tonight will be day (night) five out of six in a row, i’ve managed to catch some glimpses of summer:

heliconia-bloom-2.jpg

The “golden torch” (false bird of paradise) in the backyard is going crazy – it loves the heat and doesn’t seem to need water.

hibiscus.jpg

This is the hibiscus bush that I hacked back to the fence line a few months ago…it’s going crazy!  It’s full of blooms.

The grass is growing like a weed – no new pictures because it desperately needs a haircut (and pictures of watching grass grow are probably only interesting to me).

I finished Wicked – it came out really well!  I just have to sew in the ends and take some pictures – I’ll post them on Tuesday probably.  I started a cabled scarf to go with the Odessa hat I made a couple weeks ago, but for once I’m finishing more projects than I’m starting.

Now off to work…

Beautiful sunshiny day

The grass plugs in the backyard had their first haircut today!  They haven’t filled in much but they are bushy and happy, and they’ll fill in with time.

lawns-first-haircut.jpg

There’s blooms on the flowers:

heliconia-bloom.jpg

And the lace is blocking.

alpine-lace-blocking.jpg

I finished clue 2 of the mystery stole yesterday, and so far it’s been pretty easy to keep up.  Clues are released on Fridays and Friday is my day off, so I’m trying to do as much as I can on the day the clues come out so I don’t get behind.  I’ll show a picture after next week’s clue once I can see a little more about what is happening with the pattern.  It looks really nice, and i love the feel of the zephyr wool-silk.

It was a rough week here…work was busy and it is HOT and HUMID outside, which puts me on edge to begin with.  Then, Thursday the air conditioning in the house went out.  The repair man came yesterday morning and luckily it was just a burned out wire, but he warned us that the unit is getting old (9 years) and soon we’ll have to think about replacing it.  The air is on for now though, at least.

Check it out

We have grass!
pseudo-grass.jpg

Actually, it looks like this:
grass-plugs-and-garden-wall.jpg

I got 15 trays of grass plugs and put them in yesterday (and this morning), and they only covered half of the area I thought they would cover. They’re spaced out about a foot apart which was the recommendation they gave me, and each tray of 18 plugs was supposed to cover 32 square feet – but clearly it didn’t. Thats ok though, I’ll go next weekend and get another 15 trays to finish the back half of the yard. i’m not going to tackle the mulched area yet, because I would need to rent a tiller and tear it up and it is way way too hot for that. If the back half grows well, I’ll do the other half next spring.

I got my Jagger wool-silk in the mail today (that I ordered last Saturday – what service!), and knit up my official mystery stole swatch. I LOVE this yarn. It is silky and drapey and yummy. The beads I picked go very well with it too. Once all this crazy lace knitting is done (or at least when the mystery stole-along is done) I have an idea for a shawl pattern to work out, and I’ll definitely use this yarn for it. It comes either in a 1 lb cone (no weaving in ends in lace!) or various vendors sell it in 2 ox (650 yds) or 4 oz increments. The one I got is 4 oz (about 1300 yds) because the shawl calls for about 1200 yds.

mystery-stole-swatch-jagger-wool-silk.jpg

I’ve done 4 1/2 repeats of the 8-row center pattern on the alpine lace, and hope to get 2 more done tonight. That will leave 13 8 row repeats, 8 rows of garter stitch, three 16-row repeats of the border, then 8 rows of garter stitch. I can totally do all that in nine days, right? Even though i only have two days off between now and then? I think I can, I think I can….

Saturday

I’m out of creative blog posts, so what you see is what you get. Molly and Jake seem to be getting along pretty well:

The hibiscus bush in the backyard that I hacked back while Mom and Paul were here? Has a bloom!

I finished the stone wall around the heliconia garden, but the rest will have to wait until I’m off next weekend. Home Depot has grass plugs and the rainy season is finally starting, so I’ll get cracking on that next week (I’m off from work Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).