Sunday, June 24, 2012

Strawberry Margarita Merino/Silk Sock Yarn becomes a Shawl

This is one of my hand painted yarns, Strawberry Margarita.  It is a merino/silk sock yarn that I painted last week.  I decided it needed to become something special and since I am so hooked on lace knitting, I decided it was going to become a shawl.  It is too pretty to be on feet but, as we all know...feet need something to pretty them up.  Generally, I would be knitting socks about now but, I don't want to. 

So, I decided to take a skein of my favorite sock yarn and make a shawl out of it.  I know some knitters would think...this won't work...oh yes it will.  If you find that lace weight yarn is too damn thin for you and you want to knit lace, try fingering weight, it will make a lovely shawl.  It won't be a huge shawl but, it will be perfect to wrap around your neck and keep your neck warm.  Not only will your neck be warm, no huge scarf to pack around, and it will be a gorgeous accessory that other ladies will want to know where you bought it.

I have knit myself and one of my sisters a mini shawl for the neck.  I have had more women stop me and ask where did I get it and where can they get one like it?  I explain patiently that I am a knitter and I made it myself.  Oh, is knitting hard, is usually the question I get.  No, it isn't hard, it just takes practice and it will change your life.  I would be lost without my knitting needles.  It keeps me sane and I am proud to show off my work to whomever wants to see it. 

The skein has 440 yards on it and my shawl pattern calls for 440 yards.  If I need more yarn, I will be getting out my dyes and painting another skein of this particular yarn.  Let's hope this one skein will do the trick.  The shawl is Romanesque by Emily Ross.  I found it on Ravelry, it was a purchase, this one isn't free like her Haruni shawl.  Haruni is a fun one to knit.  I did mine on a KAL.  One of the groups I belong to on there did it and well, I had the time.  Since I am no longer on there as much...just to peruse patterns or another place to peruse free patterns is Elann.  They have some killer patterns for shawls on there.  I love their program for yarn, spend a certain amount and you get a $50 credit.  That credit has come along when I needed something nice but, couldn't justify spending the cash right then.  I love their voucher program too.  If you buy a book, then you get vouchers and vouchers will take cash off of your grand total.  It is worth the avid knitter's time to sign up to be a customer with them.  Signing up is free. 

I am using a size 5 US Addi turbo click long shank lace needle.  I love the clicks, they beat those things that come undone in the middle of a row...hate those things.  I know, they aren't cheap needles but, if you knit as much as I do and you also knit professionally as I do...then spend the money, they are so worth it.  Ask for them for a special present, you won't be disappointed.  The best part about the Addi turbos...they last.  The cheapies wear out fairly quickly. 

Right now, we are dealing with extreme temps, the high today is 100F.  Miserable and then add in the Texas humidity and you have a new brand of hell.  Yep.  I get asked why would you be knitting with wool in the middle of summer?  Well, wool breathes and it is the best time to knit my Christmas presents.  This means I am done by the time it rolls around and I can have the time to decorate my home and take it easy. 

Next on my agenda is to pick up my home and get it ready for company hitting on Saturday.  We are having our annual swim party and this means I have friends and relatives invading.  My house is not ready.  I have to pick it up and organize it.  Organization is my big problem, I am not organized at all and I know this drives the hubby crazy.  I am going to try and get it all under control this week.  That is the number one goal.  I won't be posting, I will be cleaning. 

I hope everyone has a safe and very happy 4th of July.  God Bless America! 

The Silk Shawl

Here is the silk shawl on the blocking board.  I decided since the board was out, I might as well block this shawl.  Since the shawl is wet, the color is much more noticeable.  It is a lilac.  I have had so many people tell me that it looks like it is gray.  No, it is lilac, specifically the color is lilac steel.  I love the silk yarn.  One thing about it though, you have to be really good to work with it because it will fall off the needle as you are working with it.  It is extremely slippery but, it is worth working with since it creates utterly scrumptious lace.  I love the texture of it as well. 

This one was fun to knit.  I would highly recommend it.  It is an Evelyn Clark design and it was free.  It was one of the buffalo inspired knits.  She knit is with buffalo gold yarn and gold being the key word since that stuff is out of this world expensive.  I refuse to drop $60 on one skein of yarn.  I would be a dead woman if I even attempted it, my hubby wouldn't be happy.  I know better than to even do it. 

Finished! Yippee!

As you can see by my pictures, Summer Flies shawl is completed.  I pulled it off of the blocking board this morning.  Last night, my hubby, dear wonderful hubby, blocked the points on the shawl for me.  He is such a sweetheart to do this for me. 

Would I knit this shawl again? Yes, in a heartbeat since it is so simple and it turns out looking so fantastic.  I used 3 balls of dk weight yarn.  Each ball had 110 yards on the skein.  I didn't use all of the last ball.  I have half a ball left.  It depends on your gauge and how tight you knit as to the amount you will use.  Just to be on the safe side, get 4 balls of dk weight yarn with 110 yards and if you have one left over, sell it on ebay or trade it on elann.  They have that program on there. 

I love the openwork section of the shawl, it really shows off the stitches.  The butterfly section turned out really well.  My sister said she loved this shawl when I sent her a picture of it.  I have plans to knit it in the worsted weight yarn that it calls for. 

If you are new to lace knitting and you want to get your feet wet with something simple, I would say try this one out.  It is simple enough.  The hardest thing on it would be the picot bind off and you need to know how to do a cable cast on.  So simple, basically, a cable cast on is where you take your needle stick it between two stitches and cast on like you were doing a knitted cast on.  Place the stitch on the non working needle and do another one.  Easy as pie.  If you can do a PSSO, passed slip stitch over, you will be doing aces with this shawl.  There is also the YO, yarn over which is wrapping the yarn around your needle.  Simple and it all turns out really well. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Flies an Update

Last night, I was knitting along feverishly, and I had to add on a third ball to the shawl.  So with me knitting it in dk, yes, 330 yards is the least amount of dk weight yarn I would purchase, if I were to knit it again in dk weight.  I am on the last chart and since cotton yarn doesn't stretch or forgive the way wool does, my fingers are completely sore since I have many tiny holes in my fingertips.  I will be knitting the rest of it with bandages on my fingers. 

I was getting very tired of the openwork section but, it looks fabulous.  More pics will follow as I get it finished and then blocked.  My goal for the day, get it finished and off of the needles so, I can start my next project. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Two Posts, One Day...It's Gonna Pour!

Summer Flies by Donna Griffin shawl that I am working on.  I used a dk weight yarn made out of cotton and milk protein fiber.  I found it on Elann.  The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn.  I decided to make it in dk weight and I am using US 5 needles for this particular project.  It looks lacy right now but, it will have to be blocked to stretch out the yarn overs to make it pop. 
The original pattern calls for 380 yards of worsted weight yarn.  So far, I am on a second skein of 110 yard yarn.  I started the new skein on the beginning of section 6, the knotted openwork section.  I am thinking that I will need less yarn with the dk weight but, I am not sure, I will post it when I find out. 

I do have plans to knit this again in a heavier weight cotton/wool blend.  I have a yarn that I purchased a couple of years ago on Knit Picks on sale, it is called Main Line and the color is Red Velvet Cake, it is coming out of my stash of yarns. 

I also decided to reknit Haruni by Emily Ross in a sock yarn.  I have several of those and it will be my next project to knit.  I will figure out which one I will be using after I finish this project. 

For those of you interested in the silk shawl, I am being lazy, I still haven't blocked it.  If I feel up to it today, I might get out the blocking board and have at it.  I just hope I have enough space on the board to get it stretched out and blocked to the proper length and width.  I have the biggest board they make and it needs extra space sometimes.  I love that item.  It is a must for any knitter. 

Summer Yarn Painting

I know today isn't the first day of summer but, who cares..not me.  I know it is tomorrow.  Oh fun, just think of the in Texas it means hotter than well, you know where.  Lately, we have been suffering with serious heat.  It is too damn early to be this hot.  Just saying. 

I have been dabbling in the yarn dyes and coming up with some interesting shades.  Yep, new stuff is in the shop.  I have been looking at my yarn stash for new things to knit.  I am constantly knitting something these days.  It keeps me sane. 

News for the year...I will not be at Rice Harvest Festival this year.  I am saving my cash and since my health isn't beer and skittles these days, I decided to skip it. I am staying home in October. 

On the garden front...the tomatoes are ripening on the cherry and we have one more on the mystery tomato.  I always seem to have a mystery tomato each year.  I do not label the things.  It is kind of exciting to guess what it is.  I can't decide if it is the big rainbow or the Cherokee purple.  Either way, when it is something to crow about. 

Today I am taking myself off to the doctor to find out what is happening in my lungs.  Something is going on since I am constantly short of breath.  Nebulizing didn't help, it just made me crazy all night long, I was awake and wired.  That could also have been the high blood sugar courtesy of my stupidity.  I had frozen yogurt yesterday and copious amounts of it.  I must realize I am not of normal blood sugar and I have to realize my limitations.  Old habits are a bitch to break.  Seriously. 

The newest shawl is coming along nicely, if anyone would like to know about it, it is called Summer Flies by Holly and Ella knits.  I found it on Ravelry but, I believe if you google it, you can find it.  It is very simple and easy to knit.  If you can do a yarn over or a passed slip stitch over, those are the two hardest items in the shawl.  See...easy peasy.  It calls for worsted weight yarn, I am using dk weight.  It is turning out nicely.  I will take some pics and post them for everyone to see.  I was concerned about one section but, my fears were unfounded.  I am so in love with the openwork section that I am thinking of knitting a sweater with that pattern.  It is cool.  It would make a gorgeous shrug or a summer shell.  Hmm, might have to get out the sweater software and get crazy with it.  I have the yarn for it.

My hubby would agree about the yarn...I have yarn everywhere and my goal for the year...I have one this to use as much of it up as possible.  Yep, I am going to try and see what I can come up with.  I have to also knit a hat, I am not in the mood to do it, yet.  I have to be in the mood for hats.  I think maybe next month I might be ready to knit that hat.  It is going to a friend's son.  He is a very good kid.  I am still thinking of the pattern for it.  I want to do it in Fair Isle and I am slowly looking around for my options for the design. 

I also need to clean my home for our annual pool party.  I am lazy, I admit it and I positively hate house cleaning.  It means I have to get organized and get my yarn out of the family room, out of the formal living room, and other areas of the house.  See, yarn everywhere.  I don't even know what kind of yarn I have since I have copious amounts of it.  I am not like my MIL who has a yarn room which she has somewhat organized, she has shelves that fit her plastic bins of yarn. 

I will drag my camera downstairs today and start snapping photos of my work and my garden.  Lately, we have been battling fire ants...I have nothing good to say about that creature.  I have painful bites and blisters all over my feet, my hands, my arms, my back, my tummy, everywhere.  The damn things got into my pool and decided to just lay into us.  They must pay.  Gary used ant bait.  I am opting for something a bit more stronger to just kill them outright.  Since gasoline would burn down my home, I can't use that.  My niece used to run a long wick and use an M90 fire cracker with gasoline poured around the mound to kill her ants.  I don't think that would go over too well here in suburbia.  If we were out in the country on our own land, that wouldn't be a problem.  My luck I would start a grass fire. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Here are pictures of my cucumber crop.  I have three plants in a pot and I used a tomato cage as my trellis which seems to be working quite nicely.  I did manage to pick two of them today and put them in the fridge.  I have plans to make pickles as soon as I get enough cucumbers to do the job. 

I had coffee last night at 7 pm, two cups and it kept me flying high on caffeine.  I managed to do some painting and two of the skeins turned out fabulously, the one, ugly.  I will use it for one of my projects.  It might actually knit up into something nice, one can only hope. 

I have only a couple more rows to go on the silk shawl.  I so can't wait for that thing to be off of my needles.  I need to finish the playtime neck scarf and then I can start my next project.  Not a bit of lace this time, I have a hat to knit for a sweet heart of a teenager.  I told his Mom that I hadn't forgotten about him, I just haven't had the time to work on a hat for him.  I hand painted some yarn for his hat and I have plans to do a Fair Isle pattern with the hand painted yarn and a solid Peruvian Highland wool.  I am also thinking a pair of Selbu mittens wouldn't go amiss.  I have enough yarn around the place to knit him a scarf to match.  I have yarn galore around here. 

Then it will be back to lace knitting.  I am hooked.  Yep, pretty much.  I was thinking after the lace pattern, I will be knitting myself a new pair of socks.  Actually, I think Maribeth will be next, it is almost time for a new pair of wool socks for her.  I know, I said I wasn't knitting socks for anyone but, Maribeth is not just anyone, she is my niece.  My nephews are too picky.  I had tried to knit one of them a pair of socks but, miserable failure since he loves his white tube socks.  The other one loves to go barefoot so, socks won't work for him. 
I am trying to use up my yarn stash.  I have so much sock yarn, it is out of control.  I know, it is something else.  I have to work through my obsession with sock yarn.  I can't help myself.  I fell in love with the yarn before I fell in love with the sock knitting itself.  Then I realized what beautiful socks I could make for me and everyone around me.  They are a well loved birthday present around these parts.  Best part, they are relatively inexpensive and if people follow the washing instructions, then they last a good long while.  If you have people like my sister who can't seem to read the instructions I provide with the socks and she washes the damn things in the washer and felts them..then I feel your pain.  SIGH!!!

I am to the point where I send laminated washing instructions with the socks.  I am getting wiser in my knitting. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lace and General Observations

Pea Hen Merino/Silk Sock yarn.

Make Me Blush Sparkly Lace

Playtime Sparkly Lace

The top two photos show off the lace I finished knitting and blocked.  The top one is blurry, sorry.  The second one is finished and pristine.  I love this lace.  That is why I chose to pull Playtime.  The last picture is playtime and it is a work in progress.  I managed to get to the 3rd chart tonight while I listened to it rain.  Ahh, heavenly rain. 

I did even start the work process again.  Several colors came to me and I had to write them down.  Now to find the energy to actually paint that yarn. 
Tomorrow will find me sewing, I have fabric I need to cut out and sew.  I had hit a huge pattern sale and fabric sale last week.  Now, I need to make myself skirts, and pants.  I also want to make some shorts. 
I went grocery shopping with my sister today and we managed to get some good deals.  I am trying to eat more at home than visit restaurants.  That is the goal.  The good news, the price of cherries has gone down...they are no longer $7.98 per pound.  I kid you not.  They are now $3.98 per pound.  I can afford that.  I bought myself a bag.  I had some tonight in front of the tv.  They were tasty.  I had to eat something before I took my fish oil pill.  Yep, I am on those things.  My sister had found some that are lemon based so, no belching that rotten fish taste.  I bought some and I am on my second bottle. 
Tonight Ody drug something in from outside and I dreaded that it was a gecko.  Nope, he had a cricket and he killed it.  I had thought he had eaten it but, no.  So, I had to deal with it.  He gets all proud when he kills something and brings it in.  He really struts his stuff on those stumpy legs.  It is cute but, I really don't want to deal with lizards and the like.  Gary had to grab a lizard out of his mouth one night.  I nearly had a freaking heart attack. 
One of my sister's friends had a freak thing happen to her the other day, she was standing in her front yard out in the country when a buzzard swooped down and grabbed a 4 ft water moccasin and flew off with it, this was right in front of her and now she doesn't want to spend any time in her front yard.  Not that I blame her.  Can you imagine? 
Then I found out that one of my great nieces was in her front yard, again in the country and she spotted a coral snake.  She had enough sense to stop and start screaming bloody murder so, her Dad came over and killed it for her.  Now the really scary bit, they are no longer making coral snake anti-venom.  Apparently, it is too expensive to make.  So, if you get bit, you are going to be in ICU fighting for your life.  Sad. 
Lately, I have been loading my Kindle up with free books.  I get an email each day and it tells me which books are free.  I have over 100 books that I have downloaded and it didn't cost me a cent.  I read through the e-mail and go from there.  Some of them are really good and others...not so much but, I think of it this way, they are free so, I can't bitch.  Click on the free and the link will take you where you will need to go to get your email address signed up to get your free books.  My hubby told me about this site and I am happy he did. 
I am currently reading the new Julia Quinn and yes, I had pre-ordered it.  I love her books, they are really good and most of the time, I find myself chuckling. 
It is thundering and that means we are about to get another round of serious rain.  I am happy about the rain, I just don't want the hail that is accompanying the storm.  My garden won't handle that kind of thing. 
The picture is of my little garden and the huge tomato plants.  Notice the red cages.  I found those at  My oldest sister wanted to know where I found them.  I love the fact that they sell them as a three pack.  It saves the gardener money.  In the foreground, the short little plant is my squash.  I planted patty pan. 
My garden isn't big but, it is sufficient for just the two of us.  If we happen to have extra, we share with family and friends. 

This is the dwarf meyer lemon tree.  The top photo shows how big it has gotten.  The bottom picture shows the fruit on this tree.  We are going to have a huge crop of lemons this year, I think more than this past year.  Gary has already told me to give family members as much frozen lemon juice as I can.  One of my sisters is throwing a big to do and will need copious amounts of lemon juice come November so, we will be getting rid of it that way.  We have two freezers full of frozen lemon juice.  It makes fabulous lemonade.  I have noticed that if you have meyer lemon tastes so good, the regular lemons that can be found in the grocery store, make sorry lemonade.  Completely awful. 
The tree is also blooming for a third time.  It is loaded with fruit and now, it is trying to add more. It is a beautiful tree and Gary had trimmed it back some.  I am to the point where I give people lemons as Christmas gifts. 
It is bed time, Marmies is meowing that she wants to go to bed.  If we don't follow her, she gets down right whiney.  If you can imagine a cat that whines, then you have my calico.  She gets louder, too. 

Knitting for a Fantastic Cause

Calling all knitters...Ravelry group Mitts of Steel is looking for knitters to help them out, they are holding a Ravelympics mitt knitting.  If you wish to join and belong to Ravelry, go see them.  They are giving away prizes if you happen to win.  This is for a great cause, dialysis patients who need mitts to keep their hands warm while going through dialysis.  Just tell them Drooling Over Yarn sent you. 

I am working on my Christmas gift list.  Mostly lace knitting for this special time of year.  No socks this year.  I am not really interested in knitting them right now.  When it gets colder, I will probably make myself a pair or two. 

I managed to get past the first chart of the neck warmer.  I am going slowly on this one.  I have been dealing with other things.  Yesterday I was slightly under the weather.  Today I woke up with a hideous sore throat.  It was incredibly awful.  I am working my way through it.  I might go make a cup of oolong tea and sit back with that for a while. 

I just know I am going out to lunch today.  I have been so good all week.  I am going to raise a little hell today.  I think we are supposed to get some rain.  I hope so.  I have tomatoes that need to set fruit and we need the rain to cool it down around here so, they will.  The cherry tomato likes it hot and has been setting fruit for a while.  The Big Rainbow and the Cherokee purple have not.  I wanted both of those tomatoes to do their business because I really love the flavor of them.  I was so looking forward to them fruiting. 

Good news on the green bean front...I have itty bitty green beans.  yay!  I am so excited because I am a fan of the green bean.  We also have itty bitty cucumbers on the plants.  They are so cute. 

Now swimming today...I am burnt and my body just can't handle more sun right now.  I need a day away from the pool.

If you have nothing to do and are looking for a great project, please go join the Mitts of Steel Ravelympics to help out for a great cause.  Thank you in advance! 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Laura Bobs Her Hair and Other Goodies

Today I took the plunge and bobbed my hair.  I am donating the length I cut off for a special cause, it is going to one of the charities that takes in hair for cancer patients who have lost their hair due to chemo.  I hope it goes to good use.  It was too hot and too long.  I was having trouble taking care of it.  It is in fantastic shape, hardly any gray in it.  It feels like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. 

Yesterday was go to the niece's house to help her out with her sewing.  At first she was so afraid to sew what she is working on and wanted Melinda, my sister to do it for her.  Melinda told her to get to it.  I was there to show her how to do zippers since I have mastered that art.  I do enough of them around here with my zippy pouches.  I can whip them out like crazy over here.  So easy, if you take the time to really learn the method.  I hope Kate will be able to master it like I did.  It was common sense after I read about how to do it. 

I found a new pattern to try out and what gets me, they want the knitter to use a plant based worsted or dk weight yarn.  Excuse me, I think I will use a wool based since I have loads of that.  I have yarn sitting on my desk for this project.  I found it on Ravelry, in the free patterns section, it is called Summer Flies by Holly and Ella.  I guess when I finish the silk and the other one that I have waiting for me, I will do this one.  :) 

I announced yesterday to Kate that I will no longer be knitting socks for anyone this winter.  I am done with that for a while.  I will make myself and Gary socks but, no one else.  I have had it with not being thanked for all of my hard work.  No one appreciates those socks.  They love to wear them but, do not tell me thank you.  Pfft on that! 

I was able to actually crawl into the pool this morning and do 30 minutes of swimming.  I worked on my legs and my back muscles.  I love swimming on my back, I can cruise.  I had to go inside and get my sunglasses so, I could see, the sun was peeking across the coolaroo that covers my pool.  I like to swim in shade. 

I had to go pull my swimsuit out of the washing machine.  It needs time in the dryer.  I need to do house work but, I find myself wanting to finish the silk shawl.  I want it off of the needles.  I am to the point where I need to get it done.  I am losing interest in it quickly.  It is getting boring for me.  I will be ready to block it as soon as it is off of the needles. 

I had a really cool experience while I was cleaning out the wall skimmer basket this morning before my swim.  I always check it with a stick because I have a fear of water moccasins in my pool, it has happened before so, I have a long stick that I use to open the skimmer cover and I check before I put my hand down there.  I saw something moving and I thought it was the usual little bitty toad, he isn't even an inch so, I let it get onto my was a wolf spider that had gotten in the basket so, I let it hop on the stick and what do I see as soon as I get it onto the coping...little spiderlets just totally swarming off of her back.  They were everywhere and moving as fast as their little legs could carry them.  She took off in another direction and they did their own thing.  I had to run inside to share that with Gary.  He wasn't too thrilled from what I could see.  I don't mind spiders, they don't bother me.  I know several people have problems with them but, they eat insects so, they are quite welcome in my yard. 

The pest control people have tried to convince me spiders are bad...uh, what planet are you from?  I love them because of their pest control capabilities.  Some guy came to the door and told me I had a bunch of spider webs around my home...yes, and your point would be what?  He tried to tell me he could get rid of them for me.  No, I let him know, they are happy where they are, I am happy with them, so, what is your point?  Just because I wasn't freaking out..he was looking at me like I was really weird. 
We have cooler weather today after yesterday's showers.  I am hoping this is what my tomatoes need to set their fruit.  Please let the fruit set, I would love some huge tomatoes this year.  We have had heat early this year and so far the only tomatoes setting fruit are the super 100 cherry tomatoes.  I guess if I only get cherry tomatoes this year, I will be thankful for that and I will pull out the others and put something else in the garden in their place.  I can deal with another veggie in there.  Good news on the green bean front, they are blooming.  I can't wait for fresh green beans.  Yummy.  I even bought a pressure canner on sale, it is a small one since our garden isn't all that big.  I am going to take up canning.  Mom and Dad used to can veggies all of the time so, I decided this would be a great thing because I do not have to deal with BPA and the horrible issues it causes diabetics.  I can also control the amount of salt put into the canned veggies. 

If the tomatoes would produce, we could also make our own sauce and peeled tomatoes in water, that is a life saver when you need something wonderful for  meatloaf or chili, go into your pantry and get out the  home grown canned tomatoes.  I know what it took to grow the items and what is put into that jar. 

My major goal is to get enough cucumbers from my three plants to make my own dill pickles.  Oh, I miss the days of pickle making and having a jar around that is perfect on garlic and heat.  We love hot dill pickles in my family.  Gary doesn't like pickles. 

I guess all of those things that Mom and Daddy taught us as kids has stuck.  I can snap green beans quickly.  I used to have to snap those huge brown paper shopping bags full of green beans.  If I remember correctly, we each had to do two bags a piece.  The one thing I don't miss, is the the shallots...ooh, those things are painful to the eyes.  Also, peeling pears...I don't miss that one at all.  I hated pears afer peeling the things and my fingers were cramped because someone beat you to the good peeler and I would always get stuck with the craptastic one.  Never failed.   I also hated being in the huge garden where only one person had the hoe to make sure no snakes were around  and it would be so damn hot out there and my back would hurt from bending over.  The mosquitos would be out  as well and I would come out of that bean patch all stung up.  It truly sucked! 

The things I remember from being a kid.  The best and most disgusting thing my Daddy thought he would get me to do was to pluck a chicken, I puked on him and he told me to get away from him.  He used a few choice words but, we won't go into those right now.  That was nasty.  I appreciate the lesson on growing our own food and killing it for the table but, trust me when I say...plucking a cold, wet, stinking, dead chicken isn't my cup of tea. 

Ah the fond memories of childhood. 

I looked at the blackberries and it seems we have little berries out there.  I am so happy.  I need to go blackberry picking.  They are too small right now to use as jelly but, we can snack on them.  I have to get Gary to help me put up the stakes and the bird netting across the fig tree, it is loaded with fruit.  I don't want to lose any of it since I want to make sugar free preserves.  :)  The birds seem to think that fruit is theirs to work on...I don't think so. 

With the price of our produce going up at the store, I am looking into what I can grow at home.  Carrots did really well here.  I am hoping my patty pan squash will do well.  I noticed the plants are getting bigger.  Fried patty pan squash is tasty, that brings back memories of childhood as well.  Mom and Daddy had a little garden at home and then my oldest sister had a huge garden on their acre of land and that is where the bean patch from hell was located.  Ugh! 

I am also big into companion plants for my tomatoes.  I have planted two kinds of basil, cilantro, sage, dill, mint, and oregano.  The mint plants have been in the garden since day one.  They are perfect for keeping the ants out.  We have fire ants and we hate the damn things.