Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter, Day One

It officially started now, although it has been pretty cold for last couple of weeks, cold enough to freeze the river,

what i like about winters here is the clear sky on the frosty days, and all that sunshine ...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

First Snow of The Season !

It was very quiet lunch hour today....despite the usual protesters on Pennsylvania ....and it seems they always bring horses to the city around this time of year......I hope the creatures enjoyed the walk as much as i did (my friend horse breeder back in Illinois once told me that this weather is actually their favorite, go figure) ...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

No Comment ...

(taken today in front of the National Tree with suggestion of walk into Christmas wonderland quietly humming in the background)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

In the Making ...

Summer is never knitting time for me, I have not really touched needles since June... I started couple of projects this (almost last) year and it all ended in the basket for the summer, waiting for the right time, i.e. (outside temperature) fall:)
I finished (and never wore yet) this lacy pullover, made of very soft sugar cane fibers yarn; I got it last year in little knitting store in Hanalei(in our beloved Kauai). I made up my own design, simple raglan with v-neck and lacy wide borders. The yarn got very soft after washing...and also very stretchy, we shall see how it will behave being worn.

I also made another version of EZ swing jacket (second one in row in adult size, and I made a bunch of tiny ones for babies) in warm reddish tones from hand dyed alpaca and silk, it went to my mom as x-mass present.

This kimono one is mine (will never again make two same-pattern projects in row, it gets very boring second time around).

To make my fitting life easier, I got the giant doll (dressmaker's one) of my size to play with and I have soooo much fun with it... it is amazing how different (mostly better) everything looks when I can see it from "outside", but it is still couple inches bigger size than I would wish for, oh well :)

And, here is piece I will probably never wear, it is way too girly for me, it was just fun to make, I love lace patterns.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


We finally got ourselves on bikes (we got it last fall but never used it in build-y spring and super hot summer) and we are now discovering charms of C&O towpath...

we managed to make 10-15 miles (one way) chunks during last two weekends - around Harpers Ferry and Hancock Railway trail.

The weather was true Indian summer, so now we can make up for what we missed earlier this year. What I like about these trips most is the light refreshment waiting at the end :)

Last Sunday we as well went for a bit of culture to the Eastern Shore, W. college friend had concert in Easton and we met with w's friend T. there to remember old times (and some song lyrics, fortunately we live in the time of internet and i-phones).

On course we went for a little discovering of nearby area, we wondered to the Oxford and took a ferry,

my first such experience, over the bay to Belleview to finish the circle back in Easton. Oxford is the most picture perfect little town I have ever seen, it is like it jumped from some of those S. King horror stories, we were watching our backs closely to make sure no crazy person was waiting for us with garden shears ...

and we made sure we got out of there before the sun wend down..:)

And than I realized somebody actually was keeping eye on us all the time (W. told me it is old Mason's sign) ...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


We went to Mt Gretna lake in Pennsylvania one lazy July Saturday ... and to the Readings outlets and to the Hershey Park, since they were close by ...

to bring back W's memories of summers years ago and celebrate J's birthday which would have been on that Sunday. We did the same thing last year, so may be we are starting new tradition here. It was one of those 100 degrees days just perfect for a splash .... and for the crazy roller coaster rides through the night (the place was closing at 11). I did not really go for any but very easy kiddie one, but W. ... oh boy :), he was complaining about whiplashes for couple of next days ...

It was a very very hot day-and-night ....

This pile of claws was served at different night in the crab shack on the river in Annapolis,

we took my mom there, but I do not think we had any crabs this time, we decided they are too much trouble to eat and opted for some other fishy dish.

Hm...looking back, we ate at some nice places this summer.... We as well discovered a dumpling place in Georgetown and made my mom to use a sticks...:D

and it was another beautiful evening on the river ...

oh how we are going to miss them soon enough, I just realized today is the first day of fall....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Long Time No See ...

Somehow, it is almost end of July ... Oh well, I skipped two months of life reports not because of lack of happenings but because of too much of it.

R. finished the basement reconstruction, just in time for my rounded birthday party :). We are still getting used to so many of the new spaces, sometimes one can get lost there :). Mom came to visit for a month and my friend M. came for the long weekend. With my mom, we quarreled a bit, than we made peace. We managed to go to see ocean in the beautiful Lewes park (but water was just toooo cold for me to swim, only M. the seal went in), we went to Sky Meadows in Virginia and to the Fredrick in Maryland for the 4th July fireworks, we visited inner harbor in Baltimore, Mike's crab place on the river in Annapolis, we ate raw oysters in old Ebitt grill and Thai dumplings in Georgetown... Mom went back home on the 7th, i already miss her ...

This summer is very hot and humid, we have long periods with temperatures around 100 F, and some heavy stormy rains too, (too much water, we are actually loosing the gutters one after another). Garden is very jungly by now, we ate the pees in early June and some leftover sour cherries (we discovered our cherry tree is of that variety), now i am collecting first tomatoes and string beans.

I successfully fighted back the black spot mold on my rose bushes, so we are getting continuous rounds of new blossoms, only they are a bit smaller than those first spring ones. All the last year morning glories, marigolds and zinnias came back, i did not have to use any new seeds this year ...

As well, now is the peak time for gladiolas, we have so many blooms from the last year bulbs which were supposed to be just annuals, i guess all that snow was good winter protection against frost.

Monday, May 24, 2010

M(a)y Garden

It was raining most of the last week and The garden liked it :) The terraces are soaked with water and since it is very warm as well, all is ready to "jungle up". Even the new rose on the bottom corner is shooting fresh leaves, poor one. I have not given her too high survival chances after she was completely destroyed by "salami" (our unruly Zoe dog, who was told she will become a sausage if she does not stop doing such a baaaaad things, but somehow she does not take me seriously, she tried to dig it out and crushed the the rose so badly that only the bare sticks were left).

Of course I bought more tomato and pepper plants (even though we will have some from the seeds I started directly to ground) and one squash and one zucchini since they were such success last year. To accommodate all of them, I expanded a bit both of ours "uphill" and "downhill" vegetable patches. The borders will be done more properly next year (as we have seen it at our neighbor's and as I am promised)

While weeding the the rows, I found this

It is remnant of the wild "walnut" tree we cut down last spring - we are not really sure which nut it actually was, just looked little bit like wallnuts but had no edible core. This seedling looked like from some botanists collection :)

Our cherry tree is getting ready for my mom to have some fresh cherries

so far unnoticed by birds:). May be they get enough of mulberries from the old tree growing on our front edge

I had big plans to try jam or even wine, but we are so very busy this year that I will just make some pie for time being, they are about ready for that.
I got some moderately bad news about the little feet project, but may be there is still hope, we shall see ... Fortunately we did not have time to worry about it too much, we are getting closer to the end of all the building downstairs, now there is lot of painting ahead of us (saying us even though so far it was mostly W. who did all the work) and we had to go get some closet furniture ...
Somewhere between the shelwes in Ikea I got inspired and made this very Czech piece for dinner. We call it "smazak", it is breaded and pan fired piece of cheese (with optional slice of ham between), served with fries - we had a good chippotle red potato ones from WHF freezer section, baked in oven.

I know, not exactly healthy choice, but it was good (and we have it just once in a blue moon) :)... Oh, and we won the world championships in ice hockey, we beat the RUSSIANS!!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bloom Time

This time of year is my almost favorite, not too hot and so many colors everywhere (unfortunately they come with pollen in one package, so that is the catch). I cannot get enough the roses we have in garden, we may end up with no grass and forest of roses one day, I drag home new bush almost every week now :)

I always thought that roses are too fussy to be beautiful in regular gardens, that one has to pamper them to see some blooms, but it is pleasant surprise that the ones we have are doing fine with no extra attention requirements at all (I did prune them little in the early spring to remove dead branches and I am using granulated Miracle Grow plant food for roses sporadically).
And these girls are making me happy too, although the red ones are not going to bloom this year, I have to replant them in the fall and make sure they are not sitting too deep.

. . .
We were on the way to Lowes on Sunday, to get some garden stuff and look for more door slabs e.t.c., but fate had for us something else ...

we found there our new seating! As W. have put it - "we will know when we see it" - and indeed we did. The only problem was we had to take it home the same day, so that was pretty much our afternoon/evening entertainment (we had to make 2 trips there). Cannot wait to see it in the new space !

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sheep and Wool

we have seen in overwhelming quantities of both when we visited The Maryland S&W Festival on Sunday.

We found out about it quite accidentally when I saw a message on the closed doors of the Alexandria yarn store saying everybody went there. We got curious and went too:)

it was fun, even though it was one of those 90-in-shade-jungle-wet days.

I was very reasonable though, I dragged home with me only one skein of juicy red incredibly soft hand dyed alpaca yarn,

I think I just have seen too many nice things to be really sure what I absolutely have to have ;). My catch of the day is destined to be a cardigan I am planning to make for my mom (again).
. . .
On the way home we stopped in the antique stuffed Ellicot city,

to choose nicely restored potential candidate for W's old books library for upstairs living room and to buy heavily discounted leather sitting cube for the downstairs new space

it was so cheap that it must have been an early gift from one of these gentleman (who probably had a secret convention there).
. . .
It was otherwise very work-busy week, but I somehow managed to finish my Stained Glass cardigan,

which was originally intended for mom, but it ended up being too big for her (she apparently does not like wide sleeves). I am happy to keep it for myself, as souvenir from the day we spent in Laramie last June just day before we got married (I got the blue-green merino silk yarn there).
My fingers were itching to start something from the beautiful yarn I got in Kauai, so the Hanalei Dream pullover just mysteriously appeared on my needles on Tuesday and it keeps growing fast since.

It is my own design, but I am planning to use EZ calculations for raglan construction and it will definitely be the v-neck.
. . .
Oh and our climbing rose is blooming now !

And so is the maroon clematis in the front yard,

peonies are just about to open, azaleas are behind the peek I think, but since we have them in relative shade, they will last for couple more days.