Sunday, July 29, 2012

Two more weeks staycation

I hope to catch up on quite a bit during the last two weeks of my stay-cation: working on clearing out the junk room, preparations for a major Fall yard sale, serious house-cleaning, reorganizing some banking, seeing the remaining doctor's on my annual check-up schedule, getting back into an exercise routine and, of course, some stitching.  I am, as always, doomed to failure since I have a tendency to overestimate what I can accomplish in any given time frame.  But if I accomplish even half of what I have planned that will be a good thing.  Since the days are still quite warm, I will work on the junk room/yard sale prep project for just one hour early each morning ... timed with my handy dandy digital kitchen timer.  That will give me a good 14 hours of productive time and should make a serious dent in both projects.  After that, I shall retire to the air-conditioned spaces of the ground floor and work on reorganizing my kitchen, cleaning out a few closets, shampooing the rugs and working on some stitching and sewing.

As to the stitching:  After Mass, I went out to lunch with a friend I haven't seen in a month.  But once home I settled down to an afternoon of watching Lord of the Rings DVDs and stitching.  I have one more finish to show you.  The Japanese Kogin Tea Cozy is fully stitched and only needs to be assembled.  The class book has a few other projects in it, including several trivets in a variety of shapes and there was also an insert with a Kogin Christmas Tree ornament.  So while I'll be filing the class book for now, I'll keep the ornament chart in my current stitching bag.  I'd like to stitch it as one of my small "keep-the-momentum-going" projects in August.  And I even had time this evening to get back to work on The English Band Sampler.  I tried charting out the text of the Grace Before Meals that I wanted to stitch in the top panel but even stitched over one, it was an uncomfortably tight fit.  As an alternative, I charted and stitched my name and the year instead.  I should be able to get to the Queen stitched strawberries tomorrow and move on to Part II.  This will mean that I'll have met all my July goals and even exceeded some of them.  I'll take a photo once I have gotten a bit further along.

I have mentioned in the past that I am an enthusiastic attendee of Sue Donnelly's Stitcher's Hideaways.  Well, Sue has just announced that the Mystic 2013 will be taught by one of my very favorite instructors, Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler.  This is an absolute must on my "things-to-do-in-2013" list.  Now, I am already planning to work on finishing up all the projects from Thea's 2007 Mystic class as an August goal and I will move the 2010 Sturbridge projects to the next spot in the queue for my 2012 Class Project Challenge .  It will be my aim to have these stitching accessories complete and ready to go for the Show and Tell evening in 2013 Hideaway.

Some may wonder how my garden is going.  The answer: not as well as I'd like.  I never did have the time to fill the second large planter box for my other crops.  It is already a third-filled with dead leaves, nicely rotting away to a rich organic leaf mold.  I'll add more fallen leaves come the Fall and mix in a half dozen bags of organic soil to speed up the composting process so that next Spring I shall have two planters ready for my square foot gardening.  As to the crops in my one functioning planter:  The excessive rains have done a number on my zucchini plants, lots of blossoms but the fruit only half forms and then breaks off.  The tomatoes on the other hand will provide a bumper crop.  Lots of green tomatoes just waiting to ripen.  I have already harvested some of the grape tomatoes for salads and garnish.  The Beefsteak and Roma tomatoes ought to be ripening very shortly.  I also think I will have to have the landscaper come in the Fall and trim back some of the trees above the retaining wall.  It's been two years since that was last done and I want a bit more sun in the back yard.  And next Spring, I really need to replace the fencing ... my neighbors' plantings grow right through the chain link causing me no end of problems with trimming.  The growth makes my own yard feel smaller, as if their plants are encroaching on my space.

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