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I am happy to share my thoughts, interests with you.
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Squirrel Artichokes

Continuing with the cleanup of my garden after winter, it was time to collect all the pine cones and put them as mulch underneath the blue spruce. Blue spruce cones are different than pine cones.

This is what wikipedia says about blue spruce cones:
The cones are pendulous, slender cylindrical, 6-11 cm long and 2 cm broad when closed, opening to 4 cm broad. They have thin, flexible scales 20-24 mm long, with a wavy margin. They are reddish to violet, maturing pale brown 5–7 months after pollination. The seeds are black, 3-4 mm long, with a slender, 10-13 mm long pale brown wing.
The pine cones are much thicker and hardier and when open look like little hedgehogs. Imagine my surprise, when I discovered something that looked like a little pineapple, but it was a pine cone. This is the first time since I moved to this house that I have seen this (10 years). To me they look like artichokes, after you have pulled the leaves off. So I guess the resident squirrel population thinks that these pine cones are a delicacy.

I am curious if others have noticed this also and would love to hear from you.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Quick Online Photo Editing

When I am too lazy to open Photoshop, I found this online photo editor is perfect for the job: Pixlr. Cropping an image to send by email or even making some minor adjustments online works great. I like to work with Photoshop, but sometimes it is not worth opening the program for working on one picture.

It took me a long time to get the hang of Photoshop. I guess when you are not ready for something trying to force it just does not work. When the timing is right things will happen as if by magic, when the timing isn't right it is like banging your head against a brickwall. I have learned the hard way and it applies to everything in life.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

But What Is The Alternative?

I am always on the lookout for different and alternative views to what is the common perception of how things are. Yesterday I came across a link to this BBC 5 video. I had heard similar views before and found it very well presented.

My question after watching the video is: but what is the alternative? It is easy to tear apart one theory or view, but presenting a better more equalitarian way is not as easy to come by. I personally don't have knowledge of an alternative as much as I dislike the current system. Hopefully, by becoming fully aware of the current system and the unfairness of it, we can come up with a better system. I am not a person, I am a woman.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Gardening Season Has Started

Today was the first morning that I was out in the garden for this year. I really missed my daily hour of gardening early in the morning.

Until now it was just too cold and the ground was also still to wet. I don't mind going outside in a longsleeved tshirt and long pants, but don't like to wear a jacket. The hillside is still a little wet and some of the rocks move when standing on them. I say that the hillside is still at places like molasses. So I was mainly cleaning up fallen branches and checking out how the garden survived the winter. Everything seems fine and new growth is showing.

I also I tried out my new gardening shoes that I received for my birthday from my son and his wife. They are bright red and very comfortable. I gave them a trial run yesterday on my walk around the lake and got a lot of compliments, how can you miss them, they almost glow. I find they are especially comfortable on uneven terrain.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Don't Give Up On Your Dreams

In this morning's newspaper was an article about a contestant in Britain's Got Talent 2009 contest. I remember a year ago when Paul Potts was the surprise contestant and eventual winner. So I just had to go an check out the YouTube video of Susan Boyle singing. We all have dreams and most of them never come true, but every so often there is one we just can't give up.

dreamHow many time have we given up, because apparently nothing is happening only to discover later to our horror that we had just about reached our goal. I remember as a kid on holidays with my parents looking for our hotel in Amsterdam. We had been driving around for half an hour and could not find it, so eventually we asked for directions only to find out that it was just around the corner.

It is the same with our dreams. If we feel so strongly about something, there is a message that we not really understand, but should follow. Dreams do come true, don't give up.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cozy for Metal Water Bottle

cotton sewing thread conesNow that I have switched to metal water bottle from plastic, I decided that I needed a cover for the water bottle as holding metal in my bare hand could at time be quite cold, but probably quite nice in really hot weather. As I haven't had it long enough yet to see what happens in summer, I imagine that it will also absorb condensation, keeping the outside of the bottle dry.

Now my next question was what material to use and what technique? I decided on knitting as I like knitting while watching the TV shows I recorded the day before on my DVR. Ok, knitting it is, now I have to decide on cotton or wool. I want something that is not very bulky and choose cotton. I discovered a few years ago that I can knit a lovely material with the cotton threads from the sewing thread cones I inherited from my husbands grandfather. I have about 8 cones in various colors of brown. They date back to the 1950's or earlier.

water bottle with cozyI used 6 threads and 3mm knitting needles. As I had already knitted like this before I did not need to knit a swatch and knew how many stitches per inch. I measured my water bottle' circumference (9.5 inches) and height (6 inches) and started the project.
  • Cast on 9 stitches and knitted 1 row
  • the next row increase between each stitch and knit 1 row
  • now knit two stitches and increase a stitch, knit 1 row
  • repeat the increases at the same rate, knitting 1 more stitch between the increases until 6 knitted stitches and a total of 66 stitches
  • the pattern used is 5 knit stitches 1 purl stitch for 5 rows and then 1 row purl.
  • knit the pattern 5 units high
  • for the 6th pattern knit a row of holes (yarn over knit two together and repeat for the whole row), knit 3 rows in knit stitch
  • repeat hole row 2 more times
  • the cover will be double thickness so the inside is knitted in plain knit stitch
  • when the inside part is the same length as the outside start reducing the stitches in the opposite order of the increases at the beginning.
  • leave about 2 feet of thread and cut, thread through a big eyed darning needle and pass the thread through all the stitches on the needle and pull tight. Anchor and darn in extra thread.
  • repeat on other end but this time sew the 2 bottom ends together so that they won't separate.
  • make a cord and thread through the holes at the top. Use a toggle to hold the cord tight. (I had some old one from when the kids jackets still had those).
water bottle cozy close up
My Other Thread Knitted Items

Friday, April 10, 2009

Who Is Colored?

I came across this poem today and as much as I tried to find the original, I did not succeed. It is attributed to Malcolm X or the UN as a poem of the year, but I am really not sure. Well, I like the poem and hope somebody can shed some light on its origin for me.
“When I’m born I’m black,
when I grow up I’m black,
when I’m in the sun I’m black,
when I’m sick I’m black,
when I die I’m black,

and you…
when you’re born you’re pink,
when you grow up you’re white,
when you go in the sun you're red,
when you’re cold you’re blue,
when you are scared you are yellow,
when you’re sick you’re green,
when you die you’re gray
and you are calling me colored.”

Thursday, April 9, 2009

EFT - The Miracle Reframe

I love working with EFT and reframing is such a simple way of working with problems. I found out about it in this YouTube video by Dr. Philip Mountrose.

Here is the cue card it made for it

EFT - The Miracle Reframe

Monday, April 6, 2009

What Vegetable Would you Be If You Were One?

My favorite show on my favorite Internet radio station KKCR - Kauai Community Radio is the 'homegrown garden island bluegrass show on Tuesday afternoons Hawaiian time. They start each show with a couple of questions that are always very interesting.

Last week's question was: what kind of vegetable would you be if you were a vegetable? There were quite a few asparagus' answers. I didn't even have to think too hard to come up with my vegetable. The answer just kind of popped into my mind and from the picture I placed with this post you already guessed my choice of vegetable: ARTICHOKE

The reason I picked artichoke: prickly on the outside and all heart on the inside.

I would love to hear what kind of vegetable you would be.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Daily March Pictures

I am really trying to take at least one picture a day. Most days I am successful, but there are still some days when I plain forget. Some days it is harder to come up with a picture than on others, but I am trying to be persistent and to come up with different ideas.

Enjoy my slide show of March 2009 pictures

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April 2009 Wallpaper

Spring is slow in arriving in the Canadian Maritimes and there are only a few early spring flowers poking out of the ground where the snow has melted. A neighbour showed me with glee the tiny snowdrops that had already appeared. It took some maneuvering to get a closeup of those tiny flowers so low to the ground.

Wallpaper with CalendarSnowdrops - April Wallpaper

Wallpaper without Calendar