Friday, September 2, 2011

What I did this summer 2011

For a summer that whizzed by, I don't seem to have anything to show for it. Last summer I was messing about with wool fleeces, dying with plants found in the back yard and neighbourhood or working on the veggie patch. Not this year. Instead I was messing about killing moths for days, dying with exhaustion from the killing of moths, and staring at a very dead veggie patch.

Has it been production in a negative count, rather than a positive count? I'm not sure I like that idea. In fact, I'm sure I don't and so today, I'm trying to figure out what happened and if there is a lesson.

Traveling to Spain was a splendid thing to do, but as any farmer will tell you, you can't leave your farm when there's farming to do. In future, we have decided to do our long travels in the Spring and Fall. Given the state of the veggie garden, I'm not sure being away for two weeks when plants are just getting started was the real cause of this disaster. The soil from the last two years was filled with weed seeds. I had my own soil from the compost and some additional soil from President's Choice and thought to myself that it was silly for there to be weeds in there. So I tossed all that soil into the new potato bed and bought new soil from Kent. I think the soil is toxic.

Look at this mess. These are radishes that I planted months ago. Same with carrots. Great carrot tops, no carrots. Onions? Where are you. Tomatoes? What's a happening?
Nasturtiums usually look great. Not mine. The pumpkins should be embarrased with themselves. Remember the pumpkin that grew where no one had planted it? Where's your gumption, pumpkins?

Along with probably toxic soil, was the rain of June and July. I was afraid to sow any seeds for fear they would wash away. I finally sowed those seeds and nothing happened. Did they drown before germination? There weren't even any seedlings that keeled over from a fungus. Just a lot of nothing.

A veggie patch that ain't veggy-ing should be a time release and it was. Since there was nothing to be done in the patch, I chose to do nothing everywhere. I'm not sure how that piece of logic grew one from the other but it did.

And then along came the moths.
I won't bore you with the details, I am still in recovery. After a week of no moths flying by in the evening, and stupidly saying I think we have this licked, a moth flew by in the 6th inning of watching the Blue Jays trounce the Baltimore Oriels. Was it a “confused sighting” as they say in the birding books? A bird flies off course from Bermuda during a Hurricane and lands in Newfoundland. A book is written and a career launched. In my house, a moth flies by and Steve holds me back from downing a bottle of scotch in despair. Despair is a wicked thing especially if an expensive bottle is involved. So I've been told.

I did do a bit of dying this summer but it was a slackers attempt. I had some lovely Coopeworth fleece from a gift from my sister for my 50th. I don't like spinning white fleece. I don't know why, I've never done it before but I knew before I even began that the white would bore me to tears. I scraped around in my basement and found an old package of Tartan Green dye, back from living in Toronto.

I added a splotch of black to darken it up, tossed in half the fleece and dyed her up.

The green was disappointing. Sort of army moss nothing. But I have a few people saving onion skins for me and I will over dye it with that once it is spun. I took the wheel up to the camp and spun a quarter of the fleece up there. Now that was a positive discovery. I really like spinning while at the camp. It is quiet, the scenery is beautiful and it is great exercise when walking is out of the question due to hoards of marauding mosquitoes.
To be fair to myself and others around me, I went sailing twice with Steve. I refuse to speak about those. Some people might consider a motor as a lure to get other people back on the boat, in case the wind dies.... for hours.....and it is hot and sunny.....and there isn't any toilet paper. Just saying.
We had guests for a week in August and that was great fun. We had two wonderful meals at restaurants, two pretty good barbeques in the back yard, two slide shows – one of our trip to Spain and one of their trip to Ireland and Ramsgate. Ramsgate is sort of the shrine of Saint Mary of Guadalope to those who study Gothic Architecture, so be respectful when you read the word Ramsgate and all it connotes. We had good fun and it's our turn to go to Ottawa and use their guest room. Plans are under way.

We managed to get to the camp a few times, Steve has the bunkhouse pretty rain proof. He's working on the dew and mosquito proofing this fall.

And I did get a ton of knitting done.
Donation Shawl for Spinning Retreat in October,
It is really a lovely fresh light green, but the camera loses it and it now looks mottely yellow,
Donation Shawl for the Quilters Retreat in Pictou. I'm not going this year but I like to support this community event.

There should be two photos here of knitting but they are Christmas gifts and the recipients sometimes read this blog. Imagine lots of bits of colour and lots of littly itty bitty needles.
A lovely garter stitch shawl for myself that is about half way done.

Don't forget the dots. I've been working on my dots all summer and will talk about them next time.

Is being in stasis an action? I always measure my life by my outward productivity and as the years pile up I am learning that this might be a wrong measuring tool. It is the one I am used to and it makes me comfortable. But if I measure the summer in laughter, friends, good food, bird watching, cat enjoying the garden because there is time to let her in it,
and doing two of my favourite things, reading and knitting.

Snuggly socks for Steve.
(google image)
It was a pretty darn good summer. Positive not negative. Come on Laureen.... stop looking for dark clouds. There's plenty of blue sky surrounding those dark clouds. Look at those.

No comments:

Post a Comment