Tuesday

[gardening] More Daylilies

More daylilies are opening up around the flowerbeds...

'Girlish Laughter':

‘Girlish Laughter’ #daylily #hemerocallis

'Wind in the Rigging':

‘Wind in the Rigging’ #daylily #hemerocallis

'Beware the Wizard':

‘Beware the Wizard’ ‍♂️ #daylily #hemerocallis

These names, I know. Beware the Wizard (Imma just call it 'bee tee dubs' in my head from now on) is one of the first I've ever bought from Hold'n Heaven three years ago and this is the first time it has bloomed for me. It has interesting extra li'l petals on the inside (I think this is just called a 'double' form), it's quite tall and the flowers are large. I really like this one.

'Moment in the Sun':

‘Moment in the Sun’ ☀️ #daylily #hemerocallis

This yellow one had a pretty hard time this summer- the petal edges are very bubbly and this is known as "chicken fat" edges because of how it looks. Several flowers had a hard time opening because the petals edges would get caught up. So seeing this one completely open was nice and this one is very fragrant. 

'Shores of Time'

‘Shores of Time’ #daylily #hemerocallis

'Wind in the Rigging'

‘Wind in the Rigging’ #daylily #hemerocallis

Some mystery red ones:

Hm. Mystery red daylilies. Maybe these were a gift from someone. 🎁 I love it! ❤️

And the very last of the year for the common orange ones:

Last of the common orange #daylilies. See you all again next year.

I think it might be time for a change. These common orange ones are right in front of the house, in kind of a primo spot because the deer don't come this close. Planted ages ago when I didn't have a lot of variety, I think I should move these all somewhere else (I won't be upset of the deer end up nibbling these) and have a really nice daylily garden in front of the house. I'll just go ahead and add that to the TO DO list...


Monday

[vermont] Flying Lobster

I was in the back yard, hanging around the hostas which are flowering now. Bumblebees were busy going from flower to flower. Then I see a big bumblebee shaped like a lobster flying around. Whaaaat?

Bumblebee Clearwing Moth. #hemarisdiffinis #flyinglobster #bumblebeemoth

I Googled "bumblebee that looks like lobster" and found it: Bumblebee Clearwing Moth. It's a moth! I have never seen one of these before nor even heard of them. It had the black and yellow color of a bee, the wings beat like a bee and not really in a "fluttery" fashion, it was out during the day and was flying in/out/through the other bumblebees. But it's shaped like a little lobster and is also known as a "flying lobster".

I have a video of it on my Instagram here. Crazy. It was so cute, though.

Lots of other critters out and about. Saw three adult deer with two fawns in the back yard with three turkeys nearby. The turkeys got a little close, one of the fawns got a little interested- which led to some stomping by one of the moms.

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Pretty boring, chore-laden weekend. It was Murderface's turn at the vet (annual exam, shots) on Saturday. He has lost a little weight so he's on strict orders to eat whatever he wants, whenever he wants. 

The annual winners from the American Cheese Society conference were announced and a Vermont cheesemaker won Best in Show 1st and 2nd place. I've printed off a list of all the Vermont winners and will go on a cheese scavenger hunt after work. This is my favorite kind of scavenger hunt.

I finished the doily I was working on. Well, I ran out of yarn two rounds short so... it's "finished" but doesn't look exactly like it's supposed to. It's blocking at the moment.

Still spinning the same. four. ounces. I really don't have much left to do but the thought of plying it is making me a little anxious. I'll have to put on the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Friday

[gardening] Late July Flowers

It's been raining off-and-on for a while and I won't complain because we needed it... But it was nice to see a little blue sky yesterday:

#vermont

This is a hollyhock from seeds I threw around years ago. The woodchucks have always seemed to prevented any kind of leafy growth, let alone blooms, but this year I actually got to see it flower!

Daylilies are going crazy:

‘Sculpted Sunset’ #daylily #hemerocallis

‘Secret of Contentment’ #daylily #hemerocallis

‘Guided by Voices’ #daylily #hemerocallis

And gayfeather has started:

#liatris 🐝 #gayfeather

The apple trees are loaded this year!

Good year for apples! 🍏🍏🍏🍏🍏🍏🍏🍏🍏🍏🍏🍏🍏

I even see some nice small pears up in a pear tree but they're so high, I kind of have no idea how I would pick any.

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TGIF. Murderface has a vet appt tomorrow (annual shots, etc). Maybe I'll actually do the blueberry picking that I wanted to do last weekend. Gotta finish spinning. The annual American Cheese Society conference was in Pittsburgh this week and the winners will be announced tonight. I love making a list of all the Vermont winners and trying to track them down, so I might go on a cheese scavenger hunt...

Thursday

[spinning] Tour de Fleece

Tour de Fleece ends in two days and woe, I am still working on the same. four. ounces.

Spinning progress. I’m switching to another project because it feels like I’m getting nowhere with this. #tourdefleece #teamcatitude #spinning

I'm down to three little nests of wool. I probably won't finish in time (I shudder to think how long it's going to take to ply the bobbin) but I'll continue on at my turtle pace...

Wednesday

[cooking] Beet Avocado Grapefruit Tartare

Fancy-pants dinner the other night:

Beet avocado grapefruit tartare with nasturtium flowers. Side salad and toast.

I've been getting beets in the CSA and I'm not quite sure what to do with them. I simply roasted them all in tin foil for an hour at 400F. Then let them cool and rubbed the skins off under running water. Then diced and dressed in a little balsamic vinegar.

I don't segment grapefruit ever. It seems silly but I watched a YouTube video and it helped so much. The tip about running the knife down one side of a wedge and then over and rolling/popping the segment off the other side worked like a dream. I literally only had the segment skins and the core in my hand when I was done. Which I just squeezed over the diced (and lightly salted) avocado as a dressing.

Stacked everything up on top of cucumber slices using a tall biscuit cutter as a form. Garnished with nasturtium flowers from my garden. Side of mesculin dressed with maple-dijon vinaigrette. And some bread that I sliced thin and toasted.

Literally so much work. It's pretty but the dice was a little chunky so it wasn't like I could daintily dollop some onto the toast like real tartare. I just used a fork to eat and it all ended up kind of mixed up on the plate. I liked all the flavors together, I'll just make it a big salad in a bowl next time. And maybe add a hard-boiled egg for protein.

Or toast slices of bread and assemble everything on the bread smorrebrod style. I haven't had any Danish open-faced sandwiches since last summer and now that I've just mentioned it... I want it. Looks like I know what I'll be making this weekend!

Tuesday

[knitting] Foxy Cat Hat

Still working on spinning for Tour de Fleece but I feel like I'm getting nowhere. I had to make something for instant gratification. Inspired by a fox cat hat online, I made my own:

Penny in the fox hat

The basis of this is tried-and-true hats from Cats in Hats by Sara Thomas. The fox hat in the book is crocheted but since I was using a bulky orange yarn, I decided to knit rather than crochet. The hat still ended up fairly dense but so adorable.

Penny in the fox hat

I started with one stitch on US 9 needles, increased every other row until I had 14 stitches. Cast off/cast on for the cat ear holes. Decreased back down to one stitch. Then made triangles for the fox ears. Used scraps of white/black for the interior of the ears and sewed the triangles together. Sewed the ears onto the headband in a slight curve:

Fox Hat

The ears ended up very large so to prevent them from falling forward, I tacked one stitch at the back of each ear to the base. They stay nice and perky.

Murderface loves the new #cathat, too. 🎩 Or maybe he simply tolerated it for the treats. #knitting

This is the 8th hat I've made for the cats. I'll wait until I get to a dozen and then make a slideshow. 

Back to spinning...

Monday

[gardening] Daylily Sale

Made it to the daylily sale this past weekend. 

Daylily Sale

Daylily Sale

I went down the line of her sale bed and googled all the names (not everything was blooming so it's not apparent how they will look)- making a list of the ones I liked.

A nearby (not for sale) daylily that I asked her about:

Daylily- toothy edge

I love these extra jagged edges and asked her what they're called. She said that the petal edges are referred to a 'teeth', so an edge that's all extra like that would be called 'toothy'.

Daylily- toothy edge

I love it! I hope she puts something toothy for sale in the future.

She also had a very interesting (non-daylily) specimen:

Bear’s breeches. 🐻👖 Seen today at the daylily garden. Huge, pretty but thorny. #acanthusmollis #bearsbreeches

Bear's breeches. Acanthis mollis. I've never seen anything like it (and I don't think it's meant for our USDA zone but this woman has the magic touch)- very tall, pretty flowers. The foliage is a very dark green and the leaves have an interesting shape. But it's overall very thorny with fine spikes everywhere- on the leaves and flower stalks. It sounds like you want to wear a bomb squad suit when you're cleaning up the flower bed and trying to remove this plant once it's dried up.

Anyway, I bought five different flowers:

River Ripples
Touch of Faust
Voice of Reason
Karma Suture
Pick of the Litter

I planted them all as soon as I got home on Saturday (we have lots of rain forecast this week). On Sunday, as I was going down the driveway to run errands, I saw 'Pick of the Litter' blooming:

One of the new daylilies: ‘Pick of the Litter’ #daylily #hemerocallis

Yay! Can't wait to see the rest!

Friday

[crochet] Agnes Doily

My travel knitting last week was a new doily:

Last week’s airplane crochet project... a few more rounds to go. #doily #agnesdoily #crochet

This is the Agnes Doily- you can find it on Ravelry. You need to be a member of the designer's Facebook group to get the pattern for free. The pattern is well written but there isn't a lot of hand-holding (I think it could use some detailed pictures for the more complicated rounds) and I did all of the above work during just the flights. I have a few more long rounds to do at home, then I'll wash/block. It's a very textured pattern.

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TGIF. Apart from some rain on Tuesday, the weather this week has been wonderful. Last night we went to Feast and Field in Barnard, VT for the first time to check out my coworker's band who was playing. It was so much fun. Enjoyed some local beer and wine and food. I had a birch sap mead that was wonderfully dry. We brought a blanket to lounge on and I even worked on the doily a bit.

Lots of plans for the weekend. Santana's going to the vet tomorrow morning, then I've got to head up to Thetford, VT for a daylily sale at Hold'n Heaven. I go every year and her daylilies are the best. The. Best. She only sells on site a couple weekends a year and this is the last weekend. 

Blueberry season is starting and I might check out a pick-your-own farm in Hartland, VT.

It seems I'll have to do everything on Saturday because rain starts on Sunday and doesn't appear to stop until next Friday. I'm not complaining- we definitely need it. I plan on spending all my indoor time spinning wool.

I've been craving homemade bread and pizza- so I'll start a bucket of no-knead dough. I don't think I've had any dough going since before Memorial Day. Mmmmm, pizzaaaaaahhh.

Thursday

[cooking] Raspberry Clafoutis

Went raspberry picking last weekend at a local farm:

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It wasn't particularly easy breezy- I went first thing in the morning before the temp really got crazy but it was still a lot of crawling around and trying to look at the bushes from an upside down angle (to get the berries that most people miss). I was sweating buckets after a couple hours. 

Look at this cutie-patootie calve in a pen near the farm stand:

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Back at home, all the berries I picked rinsed and spread on cookie sheets:

A gallon of raspberries. Clafoutis coming up...

75% went into the freezer (freeze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag once they're frozen- they stay nice and whole), some were set a side for my sister, some I set aside to add to yogurt for breakfast throughout the week, some were used for clafoutis:

Clah-foo-tee! #clafoutis #raspberries #raspberryclafoutis

Oh la la. A custard-y French dessert (normally made with cherries) that is mostly eggs with very little flour and sugar. Tasted very bright and "berry" delicious.

I picked these at Lincoln Farm in Bethel, VT. They have different varieties and will have pick-your-own through September (!!). It's best to check their Facebook page for address and hours; they stop doing pick-your-own periodically when the bushes have been picked over and need to wait a few days for the unripe berries to ripen.

Blueberry season has started and I might try a new pick-you-own farm in Hartland this weekend.

Wednesday

[spinning] Tour de Fleece 2018

Tour de Fleece has becoming pretty much the only time of year that I spin yarn any more. I missed out on a week because of travel but managed to quickly spin 4 oz of wool into a low-twist single-ply before I left:

Spinning for Tour de Fleece. #tourdefleece #teamcatitude

Once I returned home, I started into some very pretty white/purple/blue/green:

Getting back on to east coast time. 🕖😵☕️ And spinning. 🐑🌀#tourdefleece #teamcatitude #teamcoffee

I'm spinning it so ridiculously thin:

I am #spinning this so thin. The plan is to chain ply but it’s going to take 10,000 hours to spin all four ounces. #tourdefleece #teamcatitude

Because I want to chain-ply it to finish. It will be fingering-weight when it's done. But now it's taking forrrreeevvveeerrr to spin the 4 oz. I'm not even halfway through and TdF is over next weekend. I'll have to keep on spinning past the end date to spin up all the fiber I pulled from the stash. 

Lavender harvest seems to coincide with TdF, so I'll be cutting back all the lavender after work and bundling/drying. This makes the house smell so nice!

Tuesday

[gardening] Daylilies galore

Get ready for pictures of daylilies. I came home from San Diego after only a week away and nearly all the daylilies have started to bloom!

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We got some good rain yesterday and the next few days should be so nice. Things are blooming like crazy and I've got to enjoy it- things are looking like rain/storms all next week.

Monday

[travel] San Diego

Had a work trip to San Diego last week. Got to see lots of co-workers from across the country and attended some good talks. It was sunny and hot but there's always a nice breeze from the ocean.

Attended a Padres game, my first ever pro sporting event:


I'm an electric scooter convert now. When I first arrived to the city and saw everyone going here and there on Lime-S scooters, I was like, "Lol stupid." I tried it. It's cheap, easy, fast and FUN. It was faster and cheaper to get from my hotel to the convention center on a scooter than taking the trolley. These scooters were everywhere- easy to find, FUN, easy to lock/unlock from your phone, and FUN. Scooting along the boardwalk in the sun at 10-15 mph with the press of a button? FUUUUUUN. I would never say no to an electric scooter when visiting a city now.

Mostly ate at social events and sponsored parties- which saves money- but the food is always somewhere between meh to terrible. I did have a dinner out at a Turkish restaurant that I wanted to make sure to visit while I was out there. Got the falafel (I always order it when I see it- and I've never been thrilled. Maybe I'll stop ordering it.) and a proper adana kebab (so much yum with this) so I can try to recreate it at home.

I even managed to get onto the water for a bit:

So long, San Diego. ☀️🚤💦

Went to the big party at Balboa Park Thursday evening- the highlight here is always the bands and museums. Saw some nice Korean artifacts, paintings (van Gogh and Matisse and Dali, oh my), and photographs.

Friday was a full travel day- I didn't get home until midnight. But it was so good to be home. And I got a lot of travel crochet done.

Tuesday

[vermont] Pearl Crescent Butterfly

Speaking of butterflies:

Pearl crescent butterfly. ⚪️🌙 #pearlcrescentbutterfly

Pearl Crescent Butterfly on a daisy. I've seen many yellow and black Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies around but they are a bit more apprehensive of looming phones taking pictures.

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No craft stuff done yesterday. Got home from work and it was 150F in the house and 115% humidity (roughly) and had a PILE of CSA veggies to take care of. You know what I don't love doing when it's 150 degrees out? Cooking a ton of vegetables. But I really don't have room for it all in the fridge so I cooked down a bunch of chard and kale together. Sauteed up zucchini, onion, tofu and garlic for a vegan stir-fry. Local beer bratwursts cooked with peppers and onions. Did rice in the rice cooker. 

Siiiigh. I complained to Penny the entire time I did all the cooking, "Penny, it's so hot. Why am I cooking all this, Penny? Penny, come here. Penny, get up off the tile floor, you're making me jealous. Penny." At least she kept me company. Or the floor was cool and it was too hot to move. Either way.

I need romaine recipes. Like, seriously. I have two heads of romaine lettuce the size of... heads. Large human heads. 

Monday

[cooking] Butterfly Cake

I had a hankering for something lemon-poppy, so I whipped up this cake:

Butterfly Cake

I love these Nordic Ware cast aluminium pans. I've never had a problem with any batter sticking- the cakes always come out cleanly. I've made a castle, a house, misc designed round bundts- all it takes is a dusting of powdered sugar to finish but it looks so impressive (and the pan does all the work).

And... it's so tasty!

Lemon poopy seed

So that was my baking project Saturday morning before the weather got horrific. Temps in the high 90s (heat index peaking at 106) and suuuuuper high humidity. The house stayed fairly cool on Saturday and I did a lot of fabric cutting for quilting. Sunday was just a complete waste. Couch surfing and staying in front of a fan.

But I found some new shows that I love. Plebs on Hulu (hilarious) and Hollywood Weapons on Netflix.