The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My Booty, and Other News

Noooo...not that booty. You couldn't take up a collection big enough to get me to put a picture of THAT up here. 42 years of life doesn't do great things to a booty. But no, (but, get it? hahahaha--hey, I can be a 9-year-old if I want to) I'm referring instead to birthday booty. Check out how insanely spoiled I am:

See? Spoiled rotten. From right to left, there's a pile of yummy Peace Fleece in the most sumptuous deep reds ever, from the best chosen sister ever. It doesn't know it yet, but this yarn has a future as a warm cardigan so I can wear it and feel like she's hugging me each and every time (I know, awwwwww.....hey, I have my sentimental moments.) You'll notice the color card for future temptations. (Lead me not into temptation, I can find it for myself....but hey, if you're going that way anyway.) Next is a stack of stunning Debbie Bliss Rialto in teal which was given to me by the best husband in the whole world. It's butter soft (the yarn, not the husband) and has a future as a pullover with some cables because the yarn is so smooth that I think the stitch definition will be awesome. And because Mr. K loves things with cables, so I'll think of him whenever I wear it (yes, I offered again to make something for him...he's still resistant. Go figure.). Someone at work said "that's it? All you got for your birthday was yarn?" Muggles. It's quite sad, really. Frankly, while they're talking down my unbelievably wonderful gifts, I'm tempted to spread it all out on the bed and roll in it. Oh, don't look at me like that--don't tell me you've never been tempted.
Another birthday thing that happened was the culmination of a rather startling series of events in my life. I think I've told you (probably ad nauseum) that I am possessed of a black thumb, and this is no lie. My mother, an avid indoor gardner (it fell to my dad to try to convince ther that the phrase "garden tub" didn't actually mean "fill it full of houseplants"...but I digress), used to give me all kinds of plants that she swore I couldn't kill. Eventually she accused me of taking that as a challenge...which I swear I didn't, but she can be forgiven for thinking that. After all, it was clear after five minutes in the house what the prayer plant was praying for. It didn't get it, either--that thing was a dead plant walking from the minute it crossed my doorstep. Seriously, they should just call hospice from the plant place the minute money changes hands, you know? But.
But I lost a battle of wills with Mr. K--specifically, I got tired of looking at the crappy, overgrown outdoor gardens first and decided to clean them up (credit where it's due--I held out for almost three years. He just managed to hold out for almost three years...and a day). Understand, I decided this rather in the way of someone who has finally opted to have a leg lopped off. This was not a moment of enthusiasm and creativity. This was not to be "fun". In truth, all I was going to do was get rid of the weeds, tidy up the edges, get rid of dead stuff, and call it good. That was it. Honestly. You all know, of course, that a few new plants found their way in...but that wasn't totally my fault. I had to replace some of the dead stuff so I wouldn't have holes and really, it's inhuman to think I could resist lavender. In general, though, I was doing well. Then came Saturday, and a man I like to call "the plant pusher".
He's cleverly disguised, this man, as a sweet older gentleman in overalls with an equally sweet looking wife. He lives a couple of miles away and there is an innocent looking sign in front of his house that reads "plants for sale". Just that. Nothing truly honest like "prepare to give up life as you know it" or "hold tight to your bankbook". Just "plants for sale". People have been lured to their doom by far less.
The man's backyard....well. It's not a few plants. It's TONS of plants, all of them bright and healthy and unusual (he prides himself on having hard to find plants), and all of them waving gently and innocently in the breeze. I swear I couldn't see the end of them. Then again, I was already under the influence. It turned out that he also had a whole bed of plants under a cedar tree, growing in soil that was so acidic and inhospitable that the weeds barely make an appearance. Since I have a bed just like that with nothing willing to live in it but a few rhodies (which, around these parts, are really just like big dandelions--they don't care WHERE you put them), I looked. Just looked, mind you. I wasn't really interested, being as how I'm not a gardener and I'm just tidying up the beds and I really don't care. You know. But then these happened:

They're heuchara, better known as Coral Bells. Three different varieties. And these photos were taken in my garden where, due to a cholorphyll-influenced transaction on Saturday, they are now digging in and reaching up and, hopefully, not dying. The middle one is called a Peach Flambe Heuchera, and it really is as completely peach as it looks. Not a trace of green on that dude--how do they DO that?

Yes, I'm embarrassed that I know the latin name of a plant. And the names of some of the varieties (the bottom one is Raspberry Ice). And the names of some that I still want to get (there's one called a Midnight Rose that I'm seriously jonesing for). But I think it's too late for me. I love these plants ridiculously. One trip to this guy's house, and now I'm a pathetic chlorophyll junkie with a three plant a week habit, already searching for my next fix. It's terribly sad and, likely, incurable. I mean, it's not like this is a new feeling. It brings to mind a day some 20 years ago when a friend said, all innocence, that she was knitting and I "might like to try it", as if she didn't know that she was holding out the wooly equivalent of a nickle bag. And we all know how that turned out, don't we?

In my defense (and I worked long and hard to come up with something remotely believable, so pretend you're not giggling out loud), I think it's clear that I am drawn to hobbies that allow me to add beautiful things to the world. How bad can that be?

Okay, quit giggling. So I'm a wool-obsessed wannabe gardener who is doing everything but lighting candles in the hope of keeping my new outdoor stash alive. And knowing that it is likely hopeless. Hope springs eternal.

For your consideration (and to draw attention away from my newest affliction), I also have this picture of Ed just because his eyes look so huge and expressive. Monica, I agree that he looks a tad thin. It's common for him this time of year, possibly because the mice get faster. Either that or someone switches them out for low-fat ones. He typically puts some weight back on in the fall. I tempt him with all manner of things, but he seems to just burn it right off. I'll say one thing--he sure as hell doesn't slow down any.

And Miss, just in case any of you were thinking my description of her as being so fat that we've started calling her "The Land Whale" was mere cruelty:

You see my point. Miss, on the other hand, is round as a beach ball and doesn't really have much in the way of points. Notice how the back legs don't come together. Thunder thighs...on a cat. I'm shaking my head. Commiserating, but shaking my head. Again, though, she's healthy. The vet always brings it up but her tests are always normal and no matter how we feed her...she's still round. I think she gets the high calorie mice that Ed shuns. It's also possible that she's eating meter readers and I just don't know it yet. I'll have to look into it.

For now, knit on. I'll be dreaming of crimson cardis and teal pullovers and heucheras.

God, I never thought I'd be saying that.


  • At 8:58 PM, Blogger Faren said…

    Love the booty! :) Hopefully someday I'll receive stash for a gift.
    As someone else with a black thumb, it might be safer if I don't wish you good luck. Bad vibes you know. They sure are pretty though!
    Love the Ed and Miss pictures.

  • At 10:37 PM, Anonymous marti said…

    if she is eating meter readers, then i am quite relieved that dennis doesn't do that much. besides he is much too bone-y. but if he ever does go a missing, we all know who we will torture first!

  • At 11:29 PM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    Of course you want to roll in that stuff ..what knitter wouldn't ! I have the D.B in just that colour and it is gorgeous ! I hope that gardening bug carries in the air to here . I want to do it , I do garden but I never get it looking good. Enjoy your gifts , happy knitting and "hello fur-peeps"

  • At 5:42 AM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    Yum on the new stash - hurray for cyber-sibs and hubbies! And LOL on the plantage. You go! Get that vegetation growing! The heuchera (never heard of 'em) look gorgeous. I hope they fall in love with their new home and grow like kudzu. Had to howl at the rhodie/dandelion bit. Every time I've heard visitors gasping in envy over rhodies and azaleas everywhere, I've had to bite my tongue not to say, "Yeah, they're great, but y'know - it'd be kinda nice to have some variety occasionally." I love them both, I do, but one does get a wee bit tired of seeing them as the centerpieces of 9 out of 10 yards up here! Let's not even speak of the massed columns taking over our parks. (I know; spoiled rotten. There are gardeners in Africa who would be thrilled, thrilled to have one spindly, fragile rhododendron with leaves dropping all over...)

    So, Ed just becomes a lean, fighting machine during summer, eh? Cool! "Low-fat mice"; ROFLMAO! You're right on his eyes, they look gorgeous in that pic. And Miss-- Ahh, Miss. Miss, honey, I think we're related. But I must say, you're a helluva lot more flexible than I am. I could never assume a position like that even when I was a kitten.

  • At 6:59 AM, Blogger Kitty Mommy said…

    "That's all you got?"?? I would say, "You got all that?" while I turn green with envy and ask for a turn to roll in it. (Yeah, okay, I'll wait while you go bleach your brain to get rid of that image)

    Good luck with the whole green thing. I know people who grow beautiful things outside all summer and knit beautiful things all winter (well actually do a little of both year 'round, but the balance shifts), so I really hope those heucharas flourish!

  • At 12:06 PM, Blogger Charity said…

    You are spoiled! Love your goodies, and love the plants, too! I have two of those Raspberry Ice in my own garden. :0)

  • At 3:40 PM, Blogger Lynn said…

    Does this mean that you are now a "heucheras hoochie"? [I had to ask.] Lovely new yarns to play with; just ignore the muggles. And as another carrier of black-thumb disease, I'm rooting [har har] for you.

  • At 3:55 PM, Blogger Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns said…

    Look, Fur Whale, and Thunder Thighs are simply not acceptable! She's big-furred, that's all. And she's beautiful. Her male alter ego, in contrast, is all suspicious skinny sidewalk type. Go with the plump girl!

    And good luck to your plants. I don't think you had a black thumb, I think you were in the wrong pond, that's all. (Ok, ok, the wrong garden, stop being pernickety).

  • At 4:58 PM, Blogger Kim said…

    Love those beautiful kitties! Not to mention the beautiful yarn.

  • At 5:26 PM, Blogger Marianne said…

    Those sound to be divine dreams.
    Hi little and not so little Kittingales!

  • At 7:43 PM, Anonymous Gwen said…

    Indoor plants and outdoor plants are not the same, and hopefully require different thumbs.

    They sound like the best kind of pushers!

  • At 3:24 AM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    Ok, Jo? Big-furred? I love you. As a hoomin who is fluffy (ample, big and beautiful, or just plain infinitely expandable), I read that and cracked up. God, I almost wish - almost, I'm not nuts - someone would make a snide comment to me some day, so I could use big-furred as a comeback! Can you imagine the wopjaw as they do a double-take, while I, for once, have the last word? ROFL!


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