Friday, June 24, 2011

surprise in Indiana

I just got back from a week in Indiana for work. On the way home I stopped at Unwind Yarn Shop in Richmond, which a friend of mine told me about - it was pretty much right on the way home, and it's only about 25 minutes from where she lives so it's her LYS even though it's pretty far away for me normally. It was a really cute shop with lots of yarn brands that I typically don't see at my LYS's. Then, in an even bigger surprise, here comes Helen - the friend who told me about the shop!! I hadn't seen her in months because we used to work together until she retired a little while back. I can't believe we were there at the same time! it was so nice to see her! I splurged a bit:

But I've been soooo good lately about buying yarn, the I let myself do it - plus they were things I haven't seen in person. For example, I've been wanting some of the Misti Alpaca handpaint sock yarn since I saw a pair of socks on flickr made from them - and it was there! I also couldn't leave without some Berroco so I got two skeins of Vintage. Then I saw some Cascade Eco in one of my favorite cascade colorways - lake chelan, and decided that i would be good for a cozy winter cardigan. I also picked up some square needles - she had a pair there that you could knit a few rows with, so I got to try them first. I also found, in the clearance closet(!), a Berroco booklet that I'd been wanting to get but felt guilty buying it essentially for one pattern (it's the scarf on the front that I love!) - since it was on clearance, I grabbed it! i also had to get Norah Gaughn vol 7. Yeah!! After that, I said "I have to get out of here!!!" and gave Helen one more hug!

Monday, June 13, 2011

I'm a modern Miss Marple!

It seems like everyone around me is always getting called for jury duty and moaning about it. My response is always "why don't they call MEEEE???!!!" because I'd die to have jury duty! I don't know why, I just find it all terribly exciting. Well, I finally got the call, and went today - and guess what? i'm ON the jury!!! i couldn't believe it! of course, i can't talk about it because that'd be a breach of my civic duty, but let me tell you some of the awesome things so far:

1. I don't' have to be there until 8:30! i'm used to getting to work at 7:00 and not usually walking out until 5:00 or 5:30 lately. Today they let us out at 4:00 - whaaat? that's amazing!
2. The courthouse is super close to my house.
3. Hour long lunch break! another thing i never have the luxury of at work - i normally nuke whatever I brought and sit at my desk working while i eat.
4. I get to knit during the day! during breaks, lunch, and whenever we get sent to sit in our jury "holding tank". I've been a little disappointed that none of my fellow jurors have mentioned that I'm like a modern day Miss Marple as I'm knitting and untangling this mystery of a case, but I'm probably expecting too much.
5. I get to wear cute clothes for 3 days!! no hard hats and jeans! today i wore my new red wedges and a pair of vintage rhinestone earrings that I recently picked up - sweet!
6. Work has sucked real bad lately - just super busy, so it was nice to just assign everything to other people and walk away from it!

Aside from all that, it really interesting to see how the court proceedings work and I've learned a ton today already! They explain so much about how you need to come to your conclusions and what to consider and not consider when making decisions. I love it!! i came home today and announced that I'd like to become a professional juror! i imagine earning $20/day wouldn't work out for long though!

In other exciting news, my prickly pear cactus is blooming for the first time! I think this is the 3rd summer I've had it - a coworker brought me a piece of his, and it's been doing well, but he always shows me pictures of his blooming and I just sigh and tell him that mine isn't flowering at all. But this year it is!!! there are probably like 8 buds there now.

Here's a closeup because it's so beautiful!!

And, some evidence that i finally killed my nemesis, the honeysuckle vine (which I suspect is coming through the fence from my neighbor's yard - which might just be karma for MY weeds that are spreading into my other neighbor's yard!) Anyway, I found some spray that's designed just for tough vines like these, and it worked!! there are a few other things there that I didn't quite spray enough, so i'll shoot 'em again, but the honeysuckle is d-e-a-d!! yippee!

And my hollyhocks are blooming - they're pale yellow, but the sun was so bright it's hard to tell in this picture! I love them even though my neighbor calls them "alley weeds". She's got a very neat and orderly kind of gardening style, while mine is much more of a semi overgrown (and weedy) cottage garden style - and unfortunately our yards are divided by a chain link fence! So I'm sure she gets irritates when my stuff creeps into her meticulously mulched side! oh well.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

flower pot success

The flower pots on my porch sometimes just don't work out - it's not their fault - it's because they have to count on me to water them. I start out with enthusiasm but then it gets tough to think about it when I get home from work and already feel spent. However, this year they're looking great, so I figured I'd better document it! I got all of the plants in the upper pots from The Metroparks Mayfair sale - tall white marigolds in the back, then some shorter yellow flowers (I forget what they are - maybe a single marigold, or something?), some dahlias, and some purple sweet potato vines - and a couple coleus that I grew from seed. The lower pots are filled with zinnias that I started from see too. pretty pretty!