Friday February 03rd 2017, 11:44 pm
Filed under: Amaryllis,Knitting a Gift

A new amaryllis, opening up all at once.

Just finished my third repeat on the afghan over the course of the day, again. For me, even though I know I do this and it bugs me and I always try to push myself past it, still, it’s easier to really dive into a big project when there’s so much of it already present, rewarding the eyes and hands; the whole thing speeds up the more I do.

Well, that plus I’ve got a deadline that’s sooner than the baby. It’s way too big to reasonably haul around Stitches all day in two weeks, but I’d really love to show it off to the Malabrigo folks to show them what can happen to their yarn after it leaves their mill–I’ve seen how much they enjoy that. Probably won’t happen this time, but hey, whatever gets my seat on that couch and those needles in hand.

Forty-five repeats so far.

Playing de-fence
Friday January 06th 2017, 11:13 pm
Filed under: Amaryllis,Wildlife

Yesterday I saw a squirrel racing down the fence line suddenly skid with a flip that threw it off into space upside down, nose and all four paws straight up and tail flailing hard to no avail as it dropped straight down like a roadrunner cartoon. It seemed as surprised as I was. And that was when it was just wet out.

I resisted the temptation to climb up to look down into the neighbor’s side: it was either fine, hawk-food take-out or crow sourcing.

This morning not a single squirrel was touching this. Not till it melted.

Meantime, inside, the latest amaryllis stem is no worse off for having toppled itself over.

And the baby afghan continues.

Mel and Kris and Phyllis
Sunday November 27th 2016, 12:14 am
Filed under: Amaryllis,Friends,Life

Delete a bajillion junk gmail messages from my Mac and the phone takes pictures again. May all our problems be so easily solved.

My friend Phyllis introduced me to the annual Harvest Festival in San Jose years ago and today was the day. Mel and Kris  are always there and that’s reason enough for me to go, and time with Phyl, too? Hey. Count me in.

So we made a beeline for them and the four of us chatted for a little while. Would they be willing to hold my purchases so we didn’t have to carry the heavy bag everywhere? Of course.

Phyl wanted to make sure I got to see everything and so we did, circling back at last to our friends. A pitcher, a large serving bowl, a soup bowl with a handle (so now I have two, which makes more sense than just one) and a small kid-size mug. Really pretty stuff, all of it.

I was at home pulling each item at a time carefully out of its newspaper wrappings when one of their business cards fell out onto the floor. My hands were full so I didn’t get to it immediately.

A minute or two later, a second one fluttered down. I grinned and picked them both up–and somehow happened to turn one of them over.

I’d been so worried over trying to write my name legibly on the credit card slip with that broken hand that I never even saw what the amount had come to.

They totally got me.



Happy Thanksgiving!
Wednesday November 23rd 2016, 11:35 pm
Filed under: Amaryllis

My phone is on strike: no matter how many photos I delete it says it’s too full to take any more–otherwise I’d be showing you my amaryllis. Here, this one. (Aaaaand… It’s sold out. That link may go poof.)

Silly iPhone. Thursday’s supposed to be the day when we all get too full.

Winter blooms
Sunday October 23rd 2016, 10:24 pm
Filed under: Amaryllis,Garden

There’s a Dutch company that in the summer lets you pre-order monster amaryllis bulbs at far, far less than retail and the bargain is especially so if you check the box that allows them to choose when they want to ship them to you. Sometime in October. Or maybe November. I picture it as, Oh no, quick, they’re sprouting, get them out of the warehouse, stat!

Surprise me.

And so July browsing brought me a box Saturday and now I suddenly have to actually deal with it.

A pound and a half on the biggest–it’s as big as one of Andy’s peaches! Its first two flower stalks have already begun and another bulb is coming up right behind. They are begging to be planted.

I have a bag of good soil. I just need the flower pots: preferably good, sturdy, heavy stoneware ones to counteract the weights of all that they’re about to be up against. I had several that would have been perfect and I allowed them to be where the squirrels managed to pitch them off the outside table and shatter them. So there must be new ones.

One more reason to kick this cold to the curb fast.

The birds and the bulbs
Sunday April 24th 2016, 9:38 pm
Filed under: Amaryllis,Wildlife

And then there were three.

But only two of the baby peregrine falcons. One egg never hatched, one only survived long enough to hatch, but the other two? Doing fine.

Here are the little fluffballs now.

Surrounding sound
Saturday April 23rd 2016, 10:47 pm
Filed under: Amaryllis,Family,Garden

A Dancing Queen and a Red Lion amaryllis that my dad gave me for my birthday several years ago.

And if you look way in the background, that’s my Baby Crawford peach that I planted in January in front of the fence and the third-year Stella cherry at the far left.

It’s the most amazing thing. You gouge a little hole out of the dirt, plunk in a stick, cover it up and it turns into fruit all on its own, for years and years and years to come. Well, not the amaryllises but they earn their keep, too.

And on a side note, just because it tickles me. The Grammy Salute to Music Legends that just happened: my cousin David, a musician and actor in NYC, just flew to LA along with his almost-95-year-old dad to accept a Grammy award on behalf of David’s late grandfather, Harvey Fletcher. The inventor of stereophonic sound, not to mention the first audiometer (I’ve seen it, it’s at Johns Hopkins, built into a gorgeous wood case) and hearing aids. For what he did for the world of music.

I love that my uncle got to be there and accept that. Rock on!

Three–and two!
Wednesday April 08th 2015, 10:36 pm
Filed under: Amaryllis,Family

Red Lion in the back, Picotee in the front, and I’m trying to remember the name of the variety on the right. A happy trio.

Happy Birthday, Hudson!

To weave a strong, soft nest
Sunday March 01st 2015, 10:53 pm
Filed under: Amaryllis,Wildlife

An elderly friend moving into assisted living last year gave me her old amaryllis bulb that had come covered in decorative dried moss, telling me I’d be able to get it to bloom again. I can only imagine how it was for her to give up her garden and I hope to bring her flowers from it to brighten up her new place.

I left the moss in the pot with an eye towards spring.

It has been discovered, as I knew it would be. And so the Chestnut-Backed chickadee announces it
 is nesting season as she builds a new home of her own. 

Ramble on home
Thursday May 15th 2014, 11:15 pm
Filed under: Amaryllis,Family,LYS,Wildlife

Hey, tell Parker: there’s a new kind of digger!

There were a few tomato pots where the seedlings simply vanished.

And then… I found a tomato seedling, couldn’t be anything but, planted quite nicely in an amaryllis pot  a few feet away.

Can squirrels really carry such a tender thing gently enough? Their digging ability can never be doubted, I mean, there’s a lizard species that depends on them to get past the hardpack. Look Ma, no teeth! Who knew. The thing looked quite happy there.

I scooped it out anyway and put it back where it wouldn’t compete with my bulb.

And there was a safflower sprout via my birdfeeder a dozen feet away growing in another tomato pot, the little farmer. Okay, out you go.

On the peregrine falcon front: it’s supposed to be a few more days before fledging, but one of the females turned and bumped her brother off the low ledge today when he hadn’t even made the hop-and-flight yet to the upper one to see the world in that direction for the first time. (Here’s his more antsy brother in a video from sunrise this morning.) He didn’t fly really but gently coasted, landing straight below the 18th floor nestbox. Safe!

And so Glenn Stewart, the biologist in charge, drove an hour from UC Santa Cruz, got the baby-in-the-box from wildlife services, went up on the roof and put the little guy up there where his parents would keep feeding him as he got the hang of this flying thing. Glenn wasn’t about to rappell a floor down City Hall to the box with the parents going for his head like he does during banding, the eyas just needed a little more time where humans couldn’t reach it.

Clara and Fernando didn’t even react with more than a glance to the familiar face that stayed further away this time. Oh, it’s you. Carry on.

(p.s. And on a happy for her, sad for us note, Nathania is devoting herself fulltime to her yoga business and letting the others carry on at Purlescence.  She will be much missed.)

Sweet sixteen
Monday May 05th 2014, 11:04 pm
Filed under: Amaryllis,Lupus,My Garden

No stem cells were harmed (nor found) in the making of this picture.

Meantime, Janice  (Rav link) posted on FB that she had started her tomatoes a tad late,  but hey–and now she had way more seedlings than she could use. It seemed a shame to dump all that potential into the compost heap, did anyone want them?

A day later, nobody had taken her up on it so I said sure.

She dropped them by on Saturday, whereupon I learned a new use for the produce clamshells that are too shallow for my fruit trees–what a great idea!

Saturday and Sunday evenings were busy for us but tonight I finally had some no-UV time at home.

Last year I started my own tomatoes from seed, too, and dutifully thinned them down to one per pot but totally picked the wrong individuals: the sorriest one never got above 10″ high no matter how I tried to coax the darn thing. Big Boy my foot.

And that is why I bought Costco tomato plants a month ago and got them in the ground with bird netting rather than planning on hauling pots inside away from the squirrels once they set fruit. You need the outside heat for sweetness anyway. I wanted real homegrown tomatoes at last!

Tonight with easily 50 seedlings wanting to grow up, as the sun rapidly faded while I was trying to decide mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the biggest plant of all, I hedged my bets and put two per pot in some of the pots. We’ll see how that goes as they grow and show themselves and I get more ruthless, but still: I filled sixteen pots. With two more seedlings plunked in the ground behind the Costco ones that have already set fruit (good luck, guys) because, well, the more the merrier.

Let me grow these up just a bit and then, or now if you want, if you’re local and you’d like an heirloom tomato plant let me know. Seems I have a few extra.

Pop-up add
Wednesday April 30th 2014, 10:02 pm
Filed under: Amaryllis,Friends,My Garden

The tomatoes were untouched and the cinnamon seems to be, too.

And the 52″ bird netting pop-up tent arrived at the store and we picked it up this evening. We’re a bit too tired and it’s too dark to set it up tonight, but we have it, along with a monster bag of potting soil for the seedlings that are coming.

And best of all I heard back from Janet’s (the UCSF researcher’s) mom about her cap. She loves it. I had said that if it turned out to be too big, wet it down and put it in the dryer for two minutes. It was, she did, and she says now it’s perfect.

And who knew–she’s a knitter! I wish her all the best on her journey forward however it may go.

Sunday April 27th 2014, 10:58 pm
Filed under: Amaryllis

I now know what an amaryllis stalk looks like after being mowed down by a hawk in pursuit of a finch: bent hard but still holding on tight. Stretched to its limit but not broken. There was no way to straighten it up and have it remain connected so I just let it be.

Within two hours after I first saw it this morning the two buds at the top of the stalk had moved and were no longer prostrate, and by the time the sun set they were pointed straight up. The light came from thataway now and they could not be stopped from reaching for it.

Saturday April 19th 2014, 6:00 pm
Filed under: Amaryllis,Family

Tap. Tap. This thing on? The resident geek spent quite a bit of time stamping out the bug in the program and I’m trying again. Apparently there was an automatic platform update that got snatched back to a new-improved version almost immediately but we were stuck with the bad one and it did not want to let go peacefully.

HEY! Dad! (Photo taken Monday before I flew home.) There you are!

Okay, let’s try to link. How about to the pomegranate farmer I met at a festival whose products taste like the best fresh pomegranate you ever tasted, not that horrifically bitter stuff like most of the commercial juices.

Well now. So we do have our linking back. (Testing some more: unlink from the fruit spread page. Yup. Now go to Skylake’s home page that says free shipping through Monday, link up again–and it works. There you go.)

Okay, let’s try uploading the amaryllis picture.


Okay, folks, we are back in business here.

Dancing before you know it
Sunday April 21st 2013, 11:30 pm
Filed under: Amaryllis,Family

The Dancing Queen amaryllis, it blooms yet again. I think I’ve had this bulb about ten years now.

My mom reports that her recovery from her knee replacement surgery is going quite well. But then she is one patient for whom they never had to worry whether she would let pain get in the way of doing her range-of-motion exercises so scar tissue won’t set in and limit her later: if it needs to be done, my mom gets it done. There are walks waiting to be taken and flowers to see!