Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Urban Farmer

Dear Reader,

  There has not been much progress in the way of knitting in the past week. Oh there are projects on the needles but they seem to be in that black hole of knitting where you knit and knit and it seems like you haven't made any progress at all. But, progress is being made in the garden!

The garden is taking off nicely, the tomatoes are doing the best so far, but the zucchini, squash, beans and peas all have blooms! In an effect to get everything pollinated I have several pots of flowers and bee balm in and around the garden; I am hoping to make it "the" place for bees this summer.

Pots with bee balm and pineapple sage

tomatoes and beans

More tomatoes

marigolds to keep away the bunnies

English Lavender

With all the flowers in the veggie patch, the jasmine up against the house and the English lavender, the yard smells so good. I just love sitting out there and breathing it all in.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Just So Much Fun Stuff Happening

It is hard to know where to begin. Well, first let me begin with the one thing I didn't think was fun......was anyone else disappointed with the update from Angry Birds Rio? I mean it was a little weak right?

Okay now to the fun stuff, so I'm totally hooked, sucked in, and can't live without J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I am  very fortunate that my local library carries them all as epubs, but even epubs have a waiting list and I really really need to read book 9, Lover Unleashed but there is a short wait list of 8 people so I am totally stuck with trying to find something else in the mean time, but not really wanting too, because I need book 9! Okay I will try to stay calm. But, the books are so good you get drawn into the lives of the characters quite easily. So I will have to go to my FictFact list and see whats next with some of my other favorite authors and find something good to read. (sigh)

My knitting has been all over the place lately, I've go two different pairs of socks on the needles that I feel like I have been knitting forever, I'm a miserable failure at KALs, because I set my sweater vest aside to do some knitting for a friend and so I still need to finish that, my KAL pals have theirs finished and have worn them at least twice already, so sad really. But, I did get a baby jacket done for a friend's soon to be born granddaughter and made a baby snuggle sack to go with it as a surprise. And then felt like a needed just a bit of mindless knitting so I whipped up a washcloth in unbleached cotton last night. Then worked on one of the socks. I'm just about ready to turn the heel and head up the leg!

We worked in the garden a bit yesterday too, that is looking wonderful, I just need more bees to come and visit my squash plants! They are starting to bloom and in years past with a lack of bees, I have gotten no actual squash. I bought all kinds of flowers to put around the garden and a humming bird feeder hoping the bees would be attracted to the sweetness. I have flowering jasmine everywhere, but I haven't seen very many bees. We do not use pesticides and like in our yard, so come one over bees, there a flower party happening here!

Yesterday we went out lunch after working in the garden to a new restaurant called the Quarterdeck, we had the crab cake and I also had the she-crab soup, it was wonderful! And the service was excellent! I mean really excellent!

Today, I will be working in the garden a little more and hopefully doing a little more knitting. It is such a beautiful day, the only thing is that we can still smell the smoke from the wild fires down in NC. I'm surprised because it there is very little breeze and no clouds to hold the smoke down close to the ground. I hope they are able to get that contained soon.

Happy knitting!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Suburban Gardening May Edition

Dear Readers and fellow gardeners,
  We finally had some rain last night, not that it rained for very long but, it was  a good old fashion give the garden a drink soaker. So this morning I went out to make sure all we well and none of the plants had suffered a beat down.
A few of the 26 tomato plants thriving

A small rose

The jasmine smells so good! 

A few roses from the garden out front

The compost we made all winter and added to the garden before planting is really helping the plants to grow and be happy. The natural manure makes them happy too.

We have tomatoes, peppers, squash, zucchini, eggplant, cucumbers, peas and pole beans. I'm hoping for a great crop this year, especially since we trade veggies with friends for things like fresh farm eggs. Yummo!

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Birds are Coming and the Androids are invading!

Okay so not a great Orson Wells title...but unlike Mr. Wells story this one is actually true! No need to run screaming into the streets though, these little birdies will be landing on your iPad, iPhone and Android devices. Yes, the May update for Angry Birds Rio is coming out next week. So for all of us who have been waiting weeks and weeks will finally get a chance to get to the next level. Word has it that the Amazon App store will be the first place to down load the app. No word on the Android market place or iTunes. So keep an eye for brightly colored birds heading your way!

In other techie news, I finally got a smart phone. I resisted for a while because I have my iPad and I can do all things with that, except talk of course. And I had an inexpensive Straight Talk phone to solve that problem. But, things change and I needed to be able to access my google calendar and other accounts more easily. I got an Android phone. Now, I still haven't put a ton of apps on it, although I do have my Android version of Angry Birds Rio, but so far I like the phone. It is much easier to use than the last one if you want to hit the social networks, the phone capability is okay and I've not had any problems with coverage, but to me it is a mobile social device first and a phone second as far as it's layout and functionality. Now personally I totally despise on screen keypads. I don't use it much on the iPad unless I absolutely have to, I have a blue tooth keyboard. So the phone I bought is a Samsung Intercept, for the sole reason that it has a slide out keypad. Although I still have to use the on screen one to dial the phone, which is okay but not a huge fan of that, I get that it has to be on screen but it is a bit cumbersome in my opinion. I'm used to one hand dialing and that doesn't work so well with this phone. I have to hold it in one hand and dial with the other. But there are bigger problems in life, I suppose. I also went with the Virgin Mobile plan, because I get the same functionality and again so far no problems with coverage area, than I would with one of the "big boys" like Verizon or Sprint, but I'm not getting nickel and dimed to death over data services  or paying extra for 4G which isn't even in my area yet, so the heck with that. My advise don't shun the perceived "smaller companies" for your cell service, they usually piggy back on the coverage area of the larger companies and you pay less for the plans. Even when I had Straight Talk I never had a problem with the coverage area. The phone choices were limited as far as a smart phone option and the customer service while always nice was somewhat incompetent, I had things like my auto bill pay "accidentally" removed from my account and my service got shut off, when I called they were so nice and apologized for the error and got me back up and running in a matter of minutes, but  I don't need that sort of headache. I need to know that what I am paying for is going to work when I need it. Especially since I do not have a land line and this phone is my main source of contact for many people trying to reach me.  So far I'm totally pleased with Virgin Mobile I haven't had to call customer service for any reason since setting up the account and that is the way it should be. So overall, the Android phone is not bad. I like that I can sync my multiple Google accounts. The marketplace purchases aren't as smooth as iTunes and what is up with having to have a "top up" account for ringtones when you have a credit card associated with the account? Seems like they could stream line things a bit. But, this is the price you pay when you choose not to go with the iPhone.

You can read more in Android News and find out about a new 8.99 millimeter thin phone and the latest on the Android Tablet.

Now back to your regularly scheduled knitting.