this blog is moving.

older entries here will be archived, until it all quietly fades from view.  (boring, and yet still more fun than indexing this knitting book.)


i will be drowning in work until the end of the month.

in the meantime, buy a catalog and help save landreth seed–they are at risk of going out of business.  they need 250,000 ASAP.  the oldest seed company in the u.s.? if not, they’re darn close.  at a time when so much of our food is coming from GM seed, we need our landreths more than ever.

novel plotting.  i am doing a mega-index now, which requires many hours of sitting in front of the computer; as a result my back is not keen to sit for even longer trying to write.  so a little floor plotting, to keep my hand in.

bits and pieces from the garden.  we are going to be eating a lot of zucchini-onion-tomato pizza.  and anything else i can think of with zucchini, onions, and tomatoes.  the carrot was a lone straggler.  the bit of a pot you can see in the upper right corner are ms. e’s lovely gift, alpine strawberry seeds–a second batch.  we have a raised box in the front now, temptingly empty–i foresee a mixture of these pretty strawberries and flowers cascading over the sides.

and in other blog news–wordpress’ security features leave something to be desired, so we may be moving this space.  a plan is forming.  more to come.

i have been struggling to juggle writing and work and that is always an ugly business.  mix that with some workplace insanity, a garden that is in desperate need of several days of sustained work, and the fact that every single freakin’ thing i’ve sewn has come out messed up for weeks now, and it is all making for a less than spectacular summer.  the novel is trudging along but there is a zing missing in a lot of it now because i’m just too tired most days to do more than write and then this happened and then this happened.

so for the record: it takes three and a half months for a half-telecommuting worker in my company to get completely sucked into the insanity. that’s how long you can hold out for.  they should explain that in the interviews.  full-time in-house i’m sure is a couple of weeks, no more.

my descent back into the insanity did have one upside: it landed me in quebec city for 24 hours.  6 or so of which i actually got to spend exploring qc, which is an utterly lovely place and it’s ridiculous that there are not better flight options to get there because i would totally go back.

for once i did the properly tourist-y thing and hotfooted it straight to old quebec, landing in the middle of a summer festival and a sea of canadians and new yorkers all looking around.  a nice couple from nova scotia explained that since it is warm only three months out of the year, canadians do nothing but travel and host festivals from june-august.  sounds perfectly sensible to me.

some good things in quebec: the architecture.  the cleanliness.  the weather–warm but not humid.  the french english thing.  lots of bookstores, and i mean lots of them, even though they were mostly french i still browsed a couple.  good soft serve ice cream.  funiculaires.  funny moose-related tourist gear.  outdoor eating.  generally relaxed atmosphere.  lots of pedestrians.  it just felt so freakin’ pleasant, and cosmopolitan, and sophisticated.

i saw three ferraris on my straight-shot cab ride from the hotel to the old city.  there were a lot of mercedes and audis.  there were no hybrids at all, even with gas being 1.4o a liter.  what recession?

“cons” about quebec: expensive.  some of the service was a little, ahem, french, to the point where you felt like you might have to have a seizure before you got more than a glass of water and a place setting dropped before you.  a definite pro-gamey meat, anti-vegetable cuisine.  the harleys–which i guess is one way of enjoying your three months, but i felt like i was back in california for all the revving engines.  annoying tourists from edmonton complaining about the crowds and the prices with “eh?” as their only form of punctuation–as in “i can’t believe we paid three dollars to ride the bus and we don’t even get a seat, eh? maybe i’m just a neanderthal, eh?”

okay, well, that isn’t quebec’s problem, that just tells me i’m in no rush to go to edmonton.

oh, and the molson thing.  molson is a terrible beer, quebec.  stop serving it so much.  it just tastes awful, you know this.  let’s all admit it and move on.

you can be over the border in maine in two, maybe three hours driving.  half the cars on the road were from the states.

though i did wonder, and wish i had more time to divine, just where nice, pleasant quebec ended and tourist-trap quebec began.  the funiculaire (two pictures up) was in fact kind of a necessary vehicle for getting up and down the cliff to the bus stops below, yet it cost $2 for a thirty second ride.  and rue du cul-de-sac? really? you start to get the feeling that you’re being played, just a little . . . though in such lovely surroundings, did it really matter?

it’s really too hot out.  the temperature will touch 90 today, which means i get to run around outside coaxing killie in before i leave . . . far too hot for any creature in furry footed jammies to be sitting around, especially one who hates to drink water.

but the poppies are happy:

they are growing past all my expectations; past the packets’ expectations even, they are taller than the seed instructions implied.  this is not 12-18 inches, this is time to break out the yardstick to measure them.

but i’m not complaining.

they just make coming into the driveway more cheerful.  worth the shedding petals.  totally.

the kitties are not so impressed; they are far more interested in who gets to be in what parts of the outside world right now.  despite my careful (and remarkably ugly) fence extension, killie has figured out how to get out of the backyard again: she actually climbs six feet of trellis, hooking her plump little feet into each hole, then balances on the top and pushed and nudges the mesh until she’s coaxed open a gap just large enough to slide through.  i’m still waiting for her to start acting like the old lady that she is.

which means henry is left to seethe with jealousy:

dear henry, the reason you cannot go out all day and night, the reason you cannot leave the backyard, is because you’re a completely aggressive little punk who would pick a fight with a great dane.  love, your owners.

killie’s not complaining:

peace and quiet at last.

so there has been a little tentative sewing going on around here.

this is my first mostly-successful knipmode blouse.  it is successful in that it accomplishes what i wanted with this fabric, a semi-sheer shirting (from denver fabrics, i think) . . . a loose summer top that covers my shoulders without having sleeves as such.

close up of the print . . . it does not quite look like the version in the magazine, but i’ve realized that’s because all four versions were made with slinkier fabrics, so they had more drape.  this cotton has been washed once but it’s still a little stiff; it should soften with a couple more washings.

the magazine showed a dress with a drop waist and a tie around the neck plus the sleeves, or a sleeveless top with a drawstring bottom and a ruffled placket.  i do not like doing long skinny ties for any reason, either to bind a top or as a drawstring.  plus this was about getting some sewing mojo back, and a long irritating detail like that could put me right off it again, with yet another garment on the UnFinished Object pile.

so instead we went with: no placket at all (i had thought about doing a plain one with no ruffles but i think it would just get lost in the print), the sleeves to cover my shoulders, and a piece of elastic to mimic the drawstring look at the waist.  i’m still fifty-fifty on the sleeves, i’m going to wash it with some fabric softener and see if that makes them less epaulet and more soft fluttery shoulder cover.  but otherwise i’m kinda digging it–not my usual style but man, is it breezy and light.  and if the weather about-face persists we are in for some warm days indeed.

need some? come on over.


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