September 29, 2006

Knitting is Cool

Did you know knitting is cool? Yeah, you probably did, because it seems like every other month or so some news outlet is doing some story about it. When I knit in public, much to Alex's embarassment, people always come up to talk to me about it. More often than not, it's a guy who wants to tell me about the awesome scarf his girlfriend knit for him. (Do these girls totally discount the Sweater Curse or what? I suppose that's why its always a scarf, not a sweater.)

Anyway, today the fact that knitting is cool made it on to NPR. No less than Tracey Ullman herself has discovered the addiction that is working with two sticks and a ball of yarn. She's even co-written a book about knitting, Knit 2 Together. The patterns don't sound like things I would actually bothering making (mohair apron anyone?), but I bet its a fun read. How can it be anything but with Tracey Ullman writing the stories?

Tracey Ullman says knitting is cool... Does this mean I'm finally one of the cool kids?

September 24, 2006

Work In Progress

With the wedding invitations packaged up and ready to go, I regained use of my cutting and pinning table tonight. I celebrated with a couple of hours of work on my quilt. It's coming out great, and I couldn't be more excited. I was ready to work with some bright, cheerful colors. It doesn't get any more cheerful than that! (Alex has deemed it "cute," but Gwen is not impressed. She prefers it when I work in flannel, and she really doesn't care what color it is as long as its soft.)

Orchid Addiction

I can see where the warnings about orchid addictions come from. A few months ago I was so excited when this little guy bloomed for the first time. (The colors are better than they show here. I found it really hard to get a good picture of this pale violet and even paler green in the bloom.) When a really hard rain washed away the bloom after only a week, I was pretty bummed about it.

This is one that I have had for literally years as just a little baby orchid that doesn't bloom. It was pretty exciting when I finally saw a bud on it. Come to think of it, the bud was there longer than the bloom. No wonder I was so disappointed the monsoon washed it away!

But this week, my dendrobium has been capturing my attention by slowly opening one bud at a time. Today it is in glorious bloom with a full spray of flowers. I know this to be the most common color of a very common orchid, but I still love it.

This one Mom brought me for my birthday last year. It was already a mature plant with tons and tons of flowers. But, it's still exciting to have it bloom in my care. Trust me - that is by no means a foregone conclusion!

My poor Vanda still refuses to bloom...though it is having babies. Twins in fact. I guess it just doesn't have enough energy left for flowering. I think most new mother's feel that way, especially if they are having twins.

All the excitement aside, though, I have resisted buying any new orchids for a long time now. I may wander through the orchid section each and every time I visit Home Depot, but only one has come home with me in a year and a half. And that was a really cool terrestial orchid that sits on the patio and blooms non-stop. That's better than any of the annuals I've bought to brighten up the backyard. Maybe it's time to treat myself to a new orchid? Maybe another dendrobium, since I seem to do well with them?

September 19, 2006

We Came, We Saw, We Slept

That's the St. Louis Arch - the Gateway to the West and all that.

I had a conference in St. Louis, Missouri this past week. I've never been to St. Louis before - unless you count a layover in the airport - so I was looking forward to seeing the city. I planned to go to the botanical gardens, see the City Museum, and maybe even check out a brewery.

It didn't work out that way. The conference kept me pretty busy until Friday afternoon, but I had planned to see the botanical gardens in the afternoon and then be back in time to meet Alex who was coming to join me Friday night. But, after my afternoon session, I was just so darn sleepy. I decided I should take a nap and be ready to see Alex that evening instead. "We'll see the city tomorrow," I thought.

Alex made it in late, and unfortunately he brought a 'bug' with him. He wasn't feeling great, but we did check out the Landing district. By walking through the Arch park and down another block or so, we could get to the historic Landing district. It's mostly restaraunts and bars, but it has a definite night life. Like this:Hee, hee. I still like that one.

Saturday morning I had seminars, but we were all ready to go in the afternoon. We decided to try seeing the botanical garden, even though Alex is supposed to stay out of the sun. One stop up the metrolink (what passes for public transit in St. Louis), and we are trying to figure out how to take the bus to where we need to go. A little bit of wandering around and we decided this wasn't such a good idea. He was getting sunburned already, and we needed to come up with an alternate plan. We sat in a hotel lobby - not our hotel, of course - and tried to figure out what to do. The City Museum looks like fun, but again with the bus... Carriage ride? Finally, we both admit that we're tired and not feeling so good, and the best thing would be a nap... Yeah, great travelers us.

We did make it back out for dinner, again at the Landing. And Sunday morning we took a close up look at the arch before heading for the airport. But mostly, we laid in bed and watched TV. In our hotel room. I threatened to take a picture of Alex watching TV in bed, since that was our REAL St. Louis trip. But, I didn't. I took this instead.And a stranger we grabbed on the sidewalk took this.

Well, we did see the Arch.

We also saw some really cool historic buildings. This is the old courthouse, where the Dred Scott trial was started. (It was apparently moved somewhere else later.) I was inordinately fascinated by this fact, even though it wasn't open for me to go inside. But, even just seeing the outside... it was middle school American History come to life.I also did a little walking tour of the area on Thursday, before I decided to give it up and just sleep. And I found this neat mall.

It was a huge train station back in the heyday of train travel. It was definitely an imposing building. Now its a mall, but with little boutique stores rather than department stores or the cookie cutter branch stores. There's still alot of marble and statuary. And outside there's a mini-lake with paddle boats and everything. Not a bad way to kill a few hours at all.

September 17, 2006


I didn't have my bed ready and missed the summer tomato season, but I got three plants in for the fall season. And the first little tomato made its appearance while we were in St. Louis. Okay, so it's very, very little and I better go get some netting before the squirrels find it. But, it's there darn it! My first baby tomato. Sniff. Posted by Picasa