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Tiny Sequoias, Pond Cleaning, and a New Afghan Project

Posted by mrssmythe on April 25, 2017 in Chickens, Crafting, Critters, Garden, Seasons, Week in Review |

CPT A brought his sequoias home from the office this past week.

He has two now (from an original batch of eight) that he’s nurtured from seed.

They’re two years old, and it was time for them to be repotted…a nerve-wracking procedure as CPT A has grown rather fond to them.

But, here we are, two days later, and they’re doing just fine – sitting out on the front porch, enjoying a gentle spring rain, in fact. So – huge sigh of relief and high hopes for another year of continued sequoia growth.

Outdoors, the garden is progressing at a fast clip. This is the season where there always seems to be more to do than time available. Over the weekend, CPT A cleared a winter’s worth of leaves out the back pond.

Things are looking much better now, and we’ve even spotted a pair of frogs.

They’re so large, we think they must have holed up for the winter somewhere nearby. The pond fish survived the winter, so now we have a busy little pond community to watch.

The lawn is going to need attention soon, too, but for now, I’m leaving it alone because the violets are out.

And the morning dog walks are getting prettier and prettier with all of the neighborhood shrubs and trees coming to life – among them, spirea…

and magnolias.

In critter news, CPT A clipped Kipper, who was getting decidedly matted. CPT A took about a plastic grocery bag’s worth of fur off of of him, and I’m using it to stuff a suet feeder, thinking maybe the birds will like to line their nests with something warm and soft. (I’ve seen this done before with alpaca wool).

If the birds don’t seem interested, though, I’ll swap the fur out for yarn clippings. This neighborhood is going to have some posh nests this year!

And, in chicken news, the girls got their first taste of watermelon when a kind neighbor dropped some leftover rinds by for them.

The chickens love watermelon – they even drink the juice! – so this was a real treat, and much appreciated.

As for crafting, I finally finished the baby blanket I started in February.

This project seemed to take a long time. I worked on it consistently over two months – for at least an hour a day – knitting while Pepper watched her course lectures. Don’t get me wrong, it was very pleasant knitting – soothing, even – it just took a long time. The yarn was very thin and the needles were thin too.

That said, if you don’t mind a longer project and want something simple and elegant for a baby, you might really like this pattern. (You can find it HERE.) I’m sure I’ll make another at some point – I was really pleased with the result.

Now, I’m switching back to crochet, digging (once again) into my leftover stash to put together a giant granny square afghan.

I’m following instructions I found on Katie’s Kitchen Blog, but, really, it’s very simple – just a granny square that gets bigger and bigger until you finally decide that it’s done. My goal is to produce something bed-sized, and I’m betting I can manage it in less time than it took to knit that baby blanket. We’ll see. I’ll keep you posted.

So, that brings you up-to-date. We’re in for a wet week here in Western Massachusetts, but you know what they say about April showers. It’s all good. From the front porch, where I’m gathering in a dose of nice, fresh air (honk if you drive by and see me),

Mrs. Smythe

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10 Comments

  • Auntie G/GAG says:

    Love the violets. I need some white violets. Any ideas on sources?? Happy spring

    • mrssmythe says:

      The violets just pop up in lawns and flower beds here – as my neighbor put it, “they’re common.” I’ve never seen them in a nursery, but I’m sure someone must sell them. Someone people think of them as weeds, but they’re so pretty I can’t. We do end up with a lot of them everywhere, though.

  • Jenn M says:

    I was wondering how the trees have fared; glad to know a few of them made it. Maybe one day one of them can replace the one you just had to cut down.
    I love the idea of placing materials outside for the birds. I have tried it with yarn bits but never seem to have any takers.
    You should use a lot of yarn for your new blanket: great idea!

    • mrssmythe says:

      We’re thinking along those lines for a spot left empty after the recent tree-felling. A sequoia would be a pretty good fit. CPT A is so proud of them, though, he’d like one smack dab in the middle of the front yard. Probably not a good idea with the power lines, but, ideally, that’s where he would put one.

  • Sarah Bro says:

    No pic of Kipper and his new do? 😬

    • mrssmythe says:

      I realized as I was writing that I hadn’t taken one. I’ll try to include one soon. It’s kind of a utilitarian cut – the goal was just to get his top coat off. The remaining fur is pretty uneven – he looks like a peeled potato. But – Ursa thinks he looks amazing. She follows him around now and is always sniffing him and wanting to play. Dogs are weird. Any insights?

  • mooshie says:

    Love this blog! Happy Spring to you all!!

  • TeaLady says:

    The baby blanket is lovely. I can see why it took such a long time!

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