I have a few mostly unrelated items to share tonight, and a few minutes to spew them out, so here we go….
Dutch Elm Disease : Bad
Ever since we moved into this house, I have been in love with the two giant elm trees in our back yard. They shade not only the yard, but also the back of our house from the hot afternoon sun. We have spent our summers under them, laying on blankets, digging in the sand box, splashing in the pool. They shelter us from rain drops as we run from the garage into the house.
They are beautiful, they are lovely.
About a month ago, the one closer to the street dropped a ton of leaves off of the branches on one side of it. I was worried at the time – very worried. But it took me a while to get around to calling an arborist to come check it out. And the news is bad. The worst. It has Dutch Elm Disease, and will have to be cut down. Even worse than that, the tree next to the garage is also an elm and because they are so close they probably share roots. Which means that it is likely infected already and may eventually sicken as well. So sad. Not to mention the couple grand it’s going to cost us to have the sick one taken out – but as much money as that is to us, it seems like nothing compared to the loss of the tree.
Chocolate : Good
At least I happen to have some fine chocolate in the cupboard with which to self-medicate. Our Canadian friends brought it back from Ottowa a few weeks ago. It’s from Stubbe chocolates, and they have brought it to me before. One bar has dried chiles embedded in it, the other red pepper corns. Yum!
Knitting : Momentum!
The start of the school year has vastly increased my opportunities for on-the-go knitting. I now have a parenting group for Sophie that meets once a week, and a parenting group for Julie that meets every other week. Keeping my hands busy with knitting makes it so much easier for me to sit otherwise still and concentrate on what people are saying. Which means that I’m cranking out the socks like nobody’s business.
I love this yarn. The colors are so much nicer in person than the photos show. The blues and browns are much richer. I can’t wait to wear these!
The sweater is also gathering momentum. As often happens when I knit sweaters, once the sleeves are joined in with the body, the thing feels almost done and each row just seems to fly faster and faster as I decrease away stitches on every row. I still have a good bit left on this, but the nice thing is that when I’m done with the knitting, there will be almost no finishing left to do.
I’ve already seamed the sleeves and grafted the underarms, most of the ends are woven in, and I’m taking care of the remaining ends in stages as I go. All that will be left is to find a clasp or two and sew them on.
Here’s an inside shot of the messy working yarns. This picture in no way does justice to the nightmare of working a row without becoming hopelessly entangled. That big ball is attached for the back section, and it is always tangled up in all the yarns on either side. Somebody shoot me if I ever decide to do another intarsia project of this scale again!
Oh, and one other note. I’ve figured out how I’m handling the shoulder shaping – it’s going to be saddle-shoulders a la EZ. (Sorry, muggles, you don’t want to know what that technical jargon means so just pretend you didn’t see it there.)
Silly : Mutant Animal Crackers
I bought a box of animal crackers the other day – treats for Julie’s lunch box and general snacking. Last night I helped myself to a handful and noticed just how little most of the cookies resembeled actual animals.
Poor things. They are quite homely, but they do taste good. These are even the unbroken ones. And these are the little things I resort to for entertainment around here. Now you know.