Graduation Day arrived yesterday. I teared up a little as I watched my stepson walk the line after having his name called, but I quickly choked those emotions back. It’s just what I do, and what I’ve learned to do after years and years of heartbreak and frustration with this whole dysfunctional family dynamic we’ve had. You can see it in the pictures – my husband and his son with their arms around each other, smiling in the photo. It’s natural for them. Father and son. No strangeness or awkwardness to it. The photos of the stepson and I show a different story – his hands to himself, and I nudged up right next to him so, at least for appearances sake, it looked like we were happy to have our picture taken together. I don’t give him a hug, or tell him how proud of him I am – even though I want to – because it feels like I’m crossing some invisible line. I’m just there. That other woman. Dad’s wife. That’s all I think I’ll ever be, even after all these years. The life of a stepparent, I suppose.
Bitter and sweet seems to be how my life generally tends to play out, and I guess yesterday wasn’t much of an exception.
One would think that dragging your husband with you to a fiber show would result in a lot of complaining about the shopping, how much you spent, etc. My husband? He’s a total enabler.
Today we ventured to the Great Lakes Fiber Show. It’s Memorial Day weekend here, which means a 3 day weekend, and we had no plans so it was kind of a last minute decision. He’s never attended a show before, but I think I persuaded him to come simply on the idea that since we want a farm it’d be good for him to understand the different breeds that are for sale, how much the wool costs for me to buy, etc.
That stash-only knitting I was going to do? Yeah, that totally went out the window today. I came home with:
- 5-ish ounces of Polwarth from Briar Rose’s booth.
- Two 1,000 yard skeins of lace from Creatively Dyed – it was 50% off! Also, this purchase is most definitely from the nudging of the husband. And it is meant for some sort of cardigan, which means the color is totally out of my comfort zone.
- 4 ounces of gradient Merino/Silk from Fiber Optic
- 1 ounce of silk hankies from Sheepish Creations. I might have to muster up some courage to give spinning them a shot, though. Silk intimidates me!
I really wanted a new wheel to come home with me, but it was not meant to be. Maybe next year?
Things are taking off around the garden. Last Tuesday we officially planted the veggies – transplanted the tomatoes and peppers, and sowed the seeds for radishes, beets, watermelon, zucchini, cucumbers, squash, and beans. We watered them once and have since let Mother Nature handle the rest. They will need watered again tomorrow morning since we haven’t had enough rain for them, but later this week the forecast calls for rain so that will take care of the watering duties for us.
Radishes are sprouted, though they’re always the fastest to sprout for us, and I think that top picture is my beet sprouts. I’m leaving them alone for now until I know for sure – we have weeds that like to take over that look deceptively like our veggie seedlings. I’m pretty sure they are the beets, because they’re growing in the rows that I made. Or at least what I think are the rows. I don’t have anything in the way of garden markers, so it’s hard to be sure. I dug around the beds to find a few rocks that I could use to mark where some things were planted, and when those were used I broke down an old corn stalk and used the stem to mark the seed spots. But those just aren’t pretty, and I think I might try to find those larger smooth river rocks to paint as my markers. (Oh, my beans have sprouted, too! Last year they never did anything and I’m quite excited to have beans this year!)
My mom’s peony is about to bloom, too. I say “my mom’s” because they’ve been in our family since I was a kid. We had them at the first house I remember, and when we moved my mom dug them up and brought them with us. She decided a few years ago that she didn’t want them anymore and dug them up and gave them to me, and I proceeded to plant them in the totally wrong place and very nearly killed them off. I moved them and managed to salvage them, and each year they get a little bigger and a little stronger and produce another bloom.
The raspberries have filled in nicely, but I’m still not sure I want to keep them. We’ll see how they produce this year and how many berries I get off of them. My poor blueberry next to them is hanging on but not well and I think I might just rip it out this year and replace it with something else. I don’t have the time to baby it and if it can’t grow where I put it then something else needs to go there that will be productive for us.
Oh, and roses! My roses! My absolute favorite beauty of the garden! ♥ All 3 plants are absolutely covered in buds for blooms, with just a few of them starting to give me a peek of their colors and even fewer close to blooming. Like every year, there will be a few early bloomers but the majority of the blooms will burst all at once. They’re really a gorgeous, beautiful variety of rose though I know around here they’re well over-used in landscaping for businesses (they also tend to prune them back pretty far, and I like mine nice and big and bushy).
I have a folder full of photos I’ve taken over the last few weeks but it has taken me impossible amounts of energy to get around to editing and posting them. I’ve been going to my chiropractor twice a week for the last 5 weeks attempting to regain some sort of normalcy in my life as far as my pain level goes, and today I feel like I finally had a bit of a breakthrough when I was informed that I can step my appointments down to once a week.
Chocolate berry bake thing. I just kind of winged it, mixing milk and egg and flour and sugar and cocoa powder and whatnot and baking until it wasn’t runny anymore. Next time I bake it I want to play with the recipe a bit more and see if I can improve upon it.
Baby knitting for a coworker. I refuse to knit sweaters and other wearables until I know the gender, so for now I’ve been knitting this sweet vintage bunny as a gift. I have it mostly sewn up at this point, but I’m undecided on whether to put a plain fabric in the ears or if I want to pick out some pretty quilting cotton fabric for them.
My veggies should be outside, but we had to bring them in thanks to a few frost warnings the last few days. The weather is supposed to warm up tomorrow and stay there, so I’ll probably plant them in the evening after work.
Saturday I scored a fantastic deal on new dishes. I’ve been wanting new ones for a while now – I think a lot of the experience of cooking and eating dinner at home can be improved simply by having nice dishes and silverware that you love (and I no longer love the set my grandmother found at a garage sale for me), but dishes are always so expensive. I found, by sheer luck, a display of these gorgeous plates and bowls and a few additional pieces (such as the larger serving/salad bowl and such) on clearance for 80% off the full price. I couldn’t believe it! As soon as I came home I made up a batch of brownies to bake while I took the stickers off and washed them, and then promptly enjoyed a straight-from-the-oven-and-still-gooey brownie on my brand new dishes (I also may have just wanted an excuse to eat a brownie… Mother’s Day is pretty torturous and emotional around here so eating my feelings was definitely the theme for the weekend.)
Has anyone ever played Fluxx? I’ve been desperately trying to find games the Mr and I can play with just the two of us – most games I’ve found say 3+ players – and last weekend while out for a “date day” we stopped by a game store at the mall and I found a display of several versions of Fluxx. Of course I had to grab the Monty Python version. We haven’t yet taken the time to sit down and figure it out and play it, but we will soon.
I cast on for another pair of socks. True Love this time, which is a pattern I picked up back in February when the designer was giving it away as a freebie for Valentine’s Day. This is only my 2nd pair of toe-up socks, and it took me 3 tries to get the cast-on right. Things have gone smoothly since then, and I’ve noticed that my intuitiveness with cables is much improved. It still takes me a bit to accustom myself to each individual pattern’s marking/style, but I’ve started to be able to just look at the pattern and know which cable and which direction I’m going rather than having to constantly refer to the pattern notes.
My Burst of Colors shawl, a little rumpled from leaving it on the spare bedroom desk after blocking. Excellent for some mindless knitting, and it’s made in the yarn I picked up in Michigan on our anniversary trip. I LOVE this yarn. It’s so soft, and the colors are gorgeous. And, even though I intentionally purchased it for a Color Affection, I have to say that I’m happy I chose to knit this instead.
I had quite a bit leftover, so I made myself a little coffee cup sleeve for my Starbucks days for knitting. It’s a bit tight, and the X pattern in the middle got a little lost, but it serves its purpose and I’ll probably use it more than I’ll wear my shawl!
And my geek girl mitts, finished and blocked and ready to be shipped out for my yarn swap at the end of this month. The yarn was a little too thin and more like lace weight than a fingering weight. But they still turned out nicely and the stitch definition is quite nice on those cables. (On a totally unrelated note, the fabric behind the mitts? It’s the seat of an old chair I picked up at the Goodwill a while back. I thought I’d recover it with something that matched the room better but the current one has grown on me in the only way an old, beat up chair can.)