Friday, March 27, 2009

Springtime: Dama Bianca and the fireants

I usually buy the Wednesday paper-that's when they publish the food section. This week was no exception, and a recipe for a salad called Dama Bianca caught my eye. I don't think I could have missed it-it took up half a page. I love Insalata Caprese (tomato and mozzerella), so Dama Bianca sounded just dandy. It was time to try fennel, too. I've never tried it; it's not like it grows all over the place in East Cupcake.

I drove and drove and drove to buy fennel and salmon (smoked, the Alaska way!) for dinner. The salmon was good. The salad was a LOT of fennel. DH made an awful lot of "Well, now we know what that tastes like" noises. Which is husband for "please don't make this again."

We finally got rain this week, and spring is in the air. The fire ants are shaking off their boots and getting ready to celebrate Fiesta with the rest of south Texas. I heard one of my favorite ads today:

There's nothing good about Fire Ants. They don't pollinate your roses They don't make cute little sounds when they rub their legs together. All they do is build a big mound in your yard and bite the hell out of anyone who gets near it. That's it. That's their sole contribution to mankind.

And that's why they have to die. It's that simple. You cannot rehabilitate a fire ant. You have to kill him, his little red friends, and that big fat queen down there making more fire ants. Oh, you could lug a big sack of chemicals and a garden hose around the yard, but that's about as fun as getting bit in the first place. No, what you need is Antstop Orthene Fire Ant Killer from Ortho. You put two teaspoons of Antstop around the mound and you're done. You don't even water it in.

The scout ants track it back into the mound -- and here's the really good part -- everybody dies, even the queen. And while there's joy in all creatures living in harmony, it's nothing compared to wasting fire ants. Now that's a rush. Antstop Orthene Fire Ant Killer from Ortho. Kick Fire Ant butt.

These ads have been playing for about 10 years, oddly enough, I could only find one audio clip, so I'll link it. In case you haven't had the pleasure.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lateral thinking-

I ordered roses this morning.  Yesterday, I took a tour of the East Cupcake Botanical Gardens, and found them lacking.  We put some things in last fall, and some of them are doing wonderfully ... and some are only sputtering, like our firebush.  I posted an eviction notice for the firebush (it will move to the back yard) and some new roses will move in.

I became rose fluent about 10 years ago, right after a miscarriage.  At first, I planted a rose to remember the baby.  Then I got good at roses.  Hybrid teas, climbers, polyanthas, floribundas.  
I learned my lesson.  Some roses are REALLY finicky.  Some are easy as pie.  

Knock Out is one of those easy as pie roses.  I put some in last year.  One plant grew an enormous cane that towers two feet over everything else.  I arched it and weighted it down with a Coke bottle,  in hopes that it will sprout some lateral growth and quit looking like a bayonet.   These days, EVERYONE carries Knock Out, so much so that it is hard to find other roses.  I surfed over to Chamblee's Roses, which I shop because they are reasonable, they are one of the bigger growers in Texas, and they are by my DMIL's.  The Antique Rose Emporium almost got my business today, but I wanted some quirky things that they just didn't carry.

I ordered another Knock Out, a Mutabilis, a few Belinda's Dream-the basis of this my new rose garden.    Mutabilis is such a big girl, I bought her to anchor one very bare corner of the house.  Belinda's Dream is a beautiful fragrant girly rose-you would never know that she is Earthkind AND a Texas Superstar plant-meaning I don't have to mess with her.   Yay.  I bought three for a little hedge.  

For me, choosing roses is kind of like buying yarn.  You can have all the gorgeous all natural organic spun by fairies and dyed with moonbeams yarn in the universe, and some little slip of polyester novelty will catch your eye.  Because it's pretty.  (Raise your hand, c'mon now, I know you've been there.)  So I bought a Wild Blue Yonder (above) which will pop against my house.   And it's the Air Force Song ... they were pretty much guaranteed a sale.  I also bought Hot Cocoa, because it will SING when I put it next to my plumbago.

After I placed my rose order, I went and did some running around.  I've got furniture coming today, so I took DH's clothes to the cleaners, picked up some Bisquick ... now I can settle in for some knitting.  I stopped by my mailbox and guess what?!?

A present from my cousin!  Red, and flowered (but with cherry blossoms instead of roses, to celebrate Girl's Day).  

My rockin' out lounge jammies.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nihonjin knitting

Michael Kors says "That crotch is insane!"

I know.  You are so jealous you can hardly contain yourself.  
I can see it in your eyes.  You are dying to ask me for copies.
Knitting patterns, Japan, circa 1968.  
In the dark ages of the 60s, it was important to keep the ladybits warm.  
This started at a very young age, but the scratchy woolens  annoyed Japanese women.

 Note the maternity panties, lower left

There were no corresponding garments for the guys, sorry.  They just froze, I guess.  No wonder they stayed out late drinking.  They were afraid to go home to those cra-jee women.

Everything old is new again

I screwed up my courage and opened some boxes today.  My Dad died two years ago, and the boxes I opened were boxes from his house.  I couldn't open those boxes until I was ready to acknowledge that I have no parents.  I didn't really know what I would find.  

I found my dad's bad assed grey oxfords with leather soles-I kept them because HE kept them. ( You gotta be some kind of BillyBadAss to wear dove grey jazz oxfords that match your suit!  And he kept that for 50 years!)   I found a little wool dress that I must have worn-it's navy blue, and moth eaten.  I think my aunt made it for my cousin-the bodice is lined in liver colored silk, and it has bound buttonholes.  My mom made a lot of clothes for me, but I never EVER saw a bound buttonhole.  That's why I think Aunt Fumiko made it.  I found a lightweight blue silk kimono that must be my brother's.  I'll mail it out because it just became my nephew's.

And I found knitting books.  My mom used to sit on the recliner counting "one, two, three ko ko nuts!"  (I wrote that phonetically).  These aren't THE knitting book, but they are still nice to see.  There are some from the mid 80s....and one treasure from 1968 (foldout open).

This green cabled number is REALLY cute.  Worth making, maybe for DGD?  I swear I have seen that hot pink cardi redone recently.   I know that stitch pattern.

There are more gems in this pattern journal that I will show you later in the week.  You will DIE for the patterns!  Stay tuned!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cute (1,000,000)-the rest of the story

I am absolutely smitten.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Sky blue.  I noticed that when I cast on my current project.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Her whole life has been an experiment in terror

Remember 'ousia Boudreaux from 'Steel Magnolia's'?  I always LOVED that "experiment in terror" quote-I pictured a proper old woman that would plaster your eyebrows clean up to your hairline.

In the spirit of 'Ouisa, I bought a bunch of Pom Pom Parade.  Why yes, I know exactly what I want to do with it!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Cute (1,000,000)