Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mountain Colors and Christmas Cactus

This week my mind has been in a few different modes. I'm in search of white Christmas Cactus . . . so far an unsuccessful one. Our local stores have, for the most part, not received their shipments of Christmas Cactus yet. One of the local Save Marts did and I was fortunate enough to find three varieties. Christmas Fantasy, a light salmon color, Purple #4 an as yet unregistered variety and Elise (possibly Thor-Elise). Last week my friend brought me Harmony also. These two are Elise on the left, and Christmas Charm on the right.

I also have an old plant which I'm trying to determine if it is the species Russelliana. Up til recently I didn't know there were so many, and it didn't really matter. But now that my interest has been peaked, I'm curious to know. This old plant fell from a height of about 5-1/2 feet earlier in the fall, when the wind was blowing and a whole shelf took a tumble. It landed bottom side up out of it's pot. It's since been repotted and seems happy enough. It even has some small buds on it. This picture to the right is a single bloom photo that was taken when it was in bloom at Easter of '08. If you are familiar with Schlumbergera species and can tell if it's Russelliana, let me know.

Also on my mind this week was some yarn I bought last summer . . . Mountain Colors Twizzle . . . The story starts out with this woman who lives in my body, and is often drawn to the most expensive things in about any store she enters. In this case, an upscale yarn store in the destination city of a day trip . . . and two colors of Twizzle that followed the woman home. Mind you, they weren't the same color . . . that would make too much sense. So, the lady ended up ordering more yarn on line, and ordering the wrong colors, so she still didn't end up with enough to make anything. So, as it happens these expensive, beautiful yarns have been on this woman's mind . . . what ever would she do with them? Maybe a scarf ala the Noro Stripe scarf on Brooklyn Tweed's blog. Nah, the colors just don't play off one another well enough. Ok, maybe the solution is buy more . . . yep, she did, but it's ok . . . she bought 2 skeins of Twizzle in Raven (black - she hopes). And her husband sat in the same room and didn't have a heart attack when she told him she'd just spent nearly $50 US dollars for them. Of course it helps that he's just had a 16' x 20' shop built in the back yard that is costing an arm and a leg to finish off, with no end in sight any time soon.

Plus the Christmas Cactus are cheap! Colors don't appear to be true on my monitor in this pic, but it's the best I could get. Purple #4 on the left, and another pot of Elise (for my friend) on the right. Sorry, pics of Harmony will have to wait. It's similar in color to Elise, but a bit more red.
My hubby is grumbling and my tummy is rumbling so it must be time to fix dinner.
Happy knitting! Bring home a Christmas Cactus today . . . it will bring a smile to your face.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Halloween, birthdays and voting!

Did you know I was almost a little witch? Both my parents and my birthday fall within 8 days of one another. They're both gone and have been for many years, but this time of year brings back memories. Dad's birthday was Oct. 27th, mine the 29th and Mom's November 4th. Then of course there was my uncle whose birthday was on Halloween. Birthdays weren't big celebrations in our family, there just wasn't ever enough money to spare to do much. But Mom usually managed to make me a new 'flour sack' dress, or bake a cake. No, I'm not kidding about the flour sack dress. I not only wore and loved them, I got them as hand-me-downs too because I have 3 older sisters. We were also raised with an outhouse, and the only indoor plumbing was cold water in the kitchen. Mind you, I'm not complaining, I believe that the lack of financial excess made us stronger. You'd sooner find me on a soap box complaining about the excesses our young people today have than complaining about my lot in life.

Now, to get back on subject . . . Birthdays . . . hubby and I went out with my friend P who shares the same birthday as me, and her friend P, for a late lunch at a place called Sweet River Grill in the mall in Modesto. The food is really excellent and because we were there mid-day we had fantastic service. Our waiter treated us gals to hot fudge sundaes which the fellows promptly helped us finish off. She gave me the epie Roman Holiday. It gets a lovely large rose red bloom about 8 to 12 inches across. I gave her hand knit fingerless gloves, neck warmer and hat in a faux cable stitch.

My youngest daughter also bought me epies, 4 of them. Unforgettable, which is nearly white in the center, changing to pink with deep magenta outer petals. Just Beautiful which is a light orange with cerise. Vista Sun, a solid yellow with outer petals that can range to amber, and Strawberry Splash, a powder puff pink with a red throat. They arrived today from a nursery in CT, with only minor problems, a stem broke off the Unforgettable. With epies this isn't a big deal, I'll just let it sit for a few days and put it in the pot and it will root just fine. They are really very healthy plants. She said she also ordered me some Ty-Dy sock yarn by Knit 1 Crochet 2, so I still have that to look forward to.

Oldest son and his family recently moved to Brussels, Belgium for his work. He'll be working with a research group there for one to three years. They sent a gift certificate to Amazon dot com and I ordered 3 knitting books. They are the Debbie Macomber knit-a-long "Back on Blossom Street", "Ocean Breezes: Scarves Inspired by the Sea" by Sheryl Thies, and "Shawls and Scarves: The Best of Knitters Magazine" by Nancy Thomas.
Halloween was a non-event at our house. Being diabetic, and having little to no self-control when it comes to sweets, I decided I didn't want any candy in the house so we went out to dinner then did our monthly shopping at Costco.

Hope you are all planning to get out and Vote and let your voices be heard!