Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Done, Done and Half way Done...

The really big done was that our Caty received her BS in Architecture from Carnegie-Mellon University last weekend. She did this grueling 5 year program in 4 1/2 years and earned University Honors while she was doing it. At CMU University Honors means she made Deans List every semester. Because she graduated in December there was a little question whether she would even come back for the ceremony. We are all so glad she did and we all got to be the proud parents and grandparents of this amazing young woman. Way to go Cate!!!!

Drew ran track the whole 5 years while also studying architecture.
And Cate's best friend Jen double majored in Architecture and Business. My money is on this generation. Not a slacker in the bunch.

Don't you love girls with attitude?

A little done that I am personally dancing a happy jig about is this...

This is the pattern a friend asked me to help her with after a knitting class I taught in February.
She bought this pattern and the necessary yarn in Nova Scotia a few years back. She loves this design and wanted to make it to commemorate her trip. This is, I am not kidding, the directions for four rows of knitting.

She asked if there was any way to make this easier to understand. Short of a nuclear holocaust I don't know if there was anyway to make this easier. I finally gave up trying to decipher the written pattern and just looked at the picture.

Obviously so much easier. Anyway, I studied the picture, threw it down in frustration, came back with renewed vigor, only to scream again, until... I finally buckled down this weekend and did this.

So I am feeling quiet smug right now. I kicked some knitting a** this weekend. I think I might deserve University Honors too.

So I went on and did the math and got her pattern all straightened out, even knit the first four rows to make sure all the math worked and everything was set up correctly. So this baby is absolutely done. (Well, at least my little part of it).

Now the half way done...Macy is on her way across the country and is about half way. Last we heard she was headed to Yellowstone, but that was two days ago. This is a trip she has been talking about for while. When she calls to tell us about her big adventures I can't tell you how jealous I am. It didn't help that right before she left she handed me Frances Mayes travel book. Now I am jealous of her and Frances Mayes. Have a blast baby.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I need your help!!!

We are very happy here at Casa Touchstone. Our little bird has returned to the nest, temporarily. Macy just jetted back from 4 months in the Cloud Forest region of Costa Rica. She had a marvelous time and was sad to leave her Costa Rican family who made her feel so welcome and a part of their family. It is wonderful to have her back. Next week she leaves for a cross country camping and hiking trip with a college friend. Lots of wanderlust in this little girl. Hard to believe she was the child I always knew was holding tightly to my hem. Her older sister was the curious one who never would sit still long enough to let me catch up to her. The tables have certainly turned. Mace has big plans to travel the world and absolutely no fear. Exciting times in this young woman's life.

Thought you might enjoy some garden shots. The Pagoda Dogwood is looking especially bridal cake-like, I think. I love this tree and have a wonderful husband who is very conscientious about circling it with fencing every Fall to protect it from our marauding deer. Thanks honey.

The epimediums against the stones is very effective don't you think?

And the poppies are starting their show.
This tree peony is spectacular. Unfortunately, they only look good for a few days, but what beauty. Even after the flowers have faded the structure and leaves are really beautiful so it offers a lot to the garden.

Now to the reason for the title.

I consider myself a pretty decent gardener, not great at remembering all the Latin but comfortable enough I know what the pros are discussing most of the time. I have had my fair share of successes along with vast numbers of failures. But this new one has me stumped in a profound way. See this gorgeous wisteria. I am unduly proud of this shrub. It is ten years old and just started to bloom three years ago. It is one of a pair that have pride of place in our front yard, dead center on either side of the front walk. And they are stunning when in bloom.
As I said they are a pair and while the first is blousy and fragrant as a wisteria should be the second looks like this...

And I don't know what I have done. I don't fertilize either of them. I do of course prune them regularly to keep a vining plant as a standard. I edge their beds and occasionally mulch, which I don't think I even did last year and have not this year. The buds on this one looked like they were swelling up and ready to pop but then nothing. absolutely nothing has happened. I don't think the plant is dead as there is still green in the stems when I cut them. So I am at a loss as to what I have done to this poor shrub. Anyone have any ideas or experience anything similar?

In other sightings we did have an Indigo Bunting visit the farm last week. He was very busy stuffing as many dandelion seeds as he cold squash into his beak. He spent about 25 minutes inhaling the seeds on the worst patch of lawn we own. Now I don't feel so bad about that ugly weedy patch. The Indigos love it.

I have also finished the Lacy little Cardi for Knit One North in Pittsburgh.

I am happy with how it turned out. Now I just need to write up the pattern, my least favorite part of designing, and get it to the store. I am sure it will look much better when Dawne models it and we have a shot with a real person wearing it.

Now, back to the garden.