Summer Has Sprung

For the third year in a row, Wisconsin has not had a proper springtime. We have, essentially, jumped from winter (and 30 degree weather) to summer (and 70 degree weather). Frankly, I would really like a transition... but that just me, I guess.

This past weekend we were graced with temperatures in the high 60's and low 70's so, when you have so few months of decent weather, you don't let days like these go to waste. After a rollicking night out on Friday (my bookclub's second anniversary party which resulted in excessive imbibing and bowling until 12:30a.m.), I got my hungover butt out of bed, drank a bunch of water, and started doing yardwork at 9a.m.

The interesting thing about working off a hangover is that there's this moment when you're absolutely positive you're not going to make it and then, suspiciously, you get over it and, between the sun and the fresh air, you suddenly feel great! Or, at least, that was my experience on Saturday.

Because I'm a lazy gardener, I didn't clean out my planting beds at the end of last summer. Saturday's efforts were spent on yard clean-up - raking leaves, digging up volunteer trees, and pulling some of the early, aggressive weeds. At the end of two and a half hours of hard labor, my son, his girlfriend, and I had filled 8 giant leaf bags with yard waste to go to the landfill and (becuase we ran out of bags) left a huge pile of leaves at the curb. My yard is far from finished but I felt an amazing sense of accomplishment getting the beds clean and ready for mulch and new plants.

Inside the house got a smidgen of attention on Sunday with a bit of cleaning and some general moving around of stuff. House plants got moved to the porch and the grill got cleaned and used for dinner. But, the best part of our sunny, 70 degree day was taking my dogs to my friend's farm for a run-about. They spent three hours smelling smells, running in the sun, and chasing the teenaged pigs around the barn. There's nothing funnier than watching a 10 lbs miniature pinscher herd pigs that are four times its size. I wish I'd remembered to bring a camera...

Actually, the best part might have been the fact that the dogs slept the sleep of the dead last night. I can't remember the last time they were so exhausted.

I rounded out my first weekend of summer with a visit from a friends who's learning to knit. We had dinner and then set out to review her work to date and get her going again. She had been to two previous knitting "events" with friends and had a basic understanding of knit stitch. But, she also knew that her fabric (which was about four inches long) was kind of a mess. She had a number of dropped stitches and her tension was pretty uneven so her work looked like that of a beginner (surprise!). So, we ripped out her work and started her on a new piece. I think that, having someone right next to you to talk through problems row by row, really makes a huge difference. She knit about 20 rows and managed to keep her tension pretty consistent and only made a few mistakes (so she also got to see how to fix them). One thing I'm learning about beginning knitters is that it's not unusual for them to "twist" their stitches - usually by throwing their yarn the wrong way around the needle. She did this very consistently but I was able to show her what she was doing and why doing it the "right" way was better. It's going to take some practice for her to change the bad habit but now that she knows how to identify what she's doing wrong, I think she'll get there sooner rather than later.  Oh! I also got her off the insanely long metal needles she was using and onto some nice, easy-to-handle bamboos.

I find that I rather like teaching people how to knit. :)

Finally, in this personal ramble of mine, I'd like to update you all on my allergic reaction that I wrote about last week. Turns out that it wasn't the soap! *yea! I can still use my awesome new felted soap!*  Sadly, it turns out that I had a reaction to an antibiotic I was taking... This is bad for many reason, the worst of which is that I LOVE the Z-Pack and may never be allowed to take it again. Grrrrr.  Also, pretty bad is the fact that, because the meds stay in your system for 10 days, I'M STILL ITCHY!  Although it's much better since I'm taking a cocktail of allergy meds and lathering myself with anti-itch lotion every day.

I hope that, like us, you all  are enjoying glorious weather - wherever you are. All hail summer! Let the gardening begin.

- Alex


  1. Rambling is a good thing. Or so I think. It shows that your mind is active and traveling where the impulse leads you. No map.

    I'm not at all a bowling fan, but know folks who are. I do know the value of having a good gulp of water to start each day, no matter what was imbibed the night before.

    Mornings are too good to sleep through.

    Showing someone how to knit is a wonderful gift.

    Best wishes to you on recovering from the itch reaction. It's good that the felted soap container was not the culprit. I guess that it won't be too long before your system gets the irritation removed.

    Knit on! xo

    1. Thanks Frances! To be honest... I'm not a fan of bowling either. However, I discovered on Friday that the key to making bowling fun is to be with like-minded folk who are about the same skill level, then add liquor. :)

      As for the itchiness, I'm well on the mend. Now I just have a few spots that are still bothering me and far below the level of last week. :)