Sunday, April 09, 2006

Time for a Good Soak

After 4 intense hours of knitting this morning, I have this to show to you:

My finished but unblocked version of the Flower Basket Shawl. Whew! I just wanted to get the thing finished. I came within a few yards of running out of yarn, and if I had, this thing would have been thrown in the trash, along with the yarn. It's in my bathroom sink right now, taking a much deserved long soak. I'll block it tonight and let it dry overnight.
I'm not sure what I'll be working on next - Jaywalkers? (one almost finished), Flirty Ruffles Shawl (barely started), what, what?? Oh, and then there's always St. Brigid, languishing in my bedroom closet.
In outdoor news, seems like most of my fellow SC bloggers have been doing some yard work, so I threw my hat into the ring. Let's start with the best gardening shoes ever invented:
When you're through laughing at the white socks, I'll explain. Done? Okay. We have a little problem in the south called FIRE ANTS. I hate them, and they hate me. Hell, they hate everyone. If you accidentally step on a mound, and they swarm, your best bet is to be wearing some type of foot covering. I just don't trust all those holes in these Croc knock-offs. I tried to do the no sock thing, but I kept seeing the dirty little buggers (ants, that is) everywhere. By the way, I got these rubberized, all-weather, not ant-proof knock-offs at T*rg*t, for under $10. They are as wide as the Mississippi, which is heavenly, and very comfortable. I completed this outfit with jean shorts that have wiiidddee leg openings (circus shorts), a Clemson tee-shirt, and a Palmetto State hat. Yes, very attractive. I can't believe no one stopped by to take my picture for Vogue, or at least, Southern Living. I was wearing this lovely outfit to spread mulch, run from ants, and tear up ivy. Oh, ivy. Let me show you some more pictures, then I'll tell you about the ivy.

The last picture is where ivy used to live. And is still trying to. Story: Our house was built in 1984, by a retired couple. We live in a retirement community of sorts. It's where all the northerners retired to in the late 70's and early 80's. Since then bigger and better communities have sprung up around the lake, but people continue to retire here. Go figure. Back to the ivy. At some point, our home's original owners decided that it was too much work to rake pine needles or whatever, so they planted some ivy. And vinca, out back. 21 years later some ivy turned into a freaking ivy jungle. We bought the house over 3 years ago and have spent those years trying to kill the ivy. The first year John decided to use a powerful brush killer. That was the "Silent Spring" year. Nothing grew - except the ivy. Without any other plants to vie for space and nutrients, it went wild. The next year he decided to smother it - with mulch. Talk about happy ivy. It was protected from the elements all winter and came back even happier to take over the planet. We have found that the only way to get rid of it is to pull it out. Again and again. The picture of the side of the house with the terraces used to be one big ivy yard. We rolled up piles of ivy, like rolling carpeting. We terraced, put down landscape fabric and held our collective ivy-hating breath. It worked! The picture with all the trees is in front of the house. It too was covered with ivy. Weren't we surprised to find small azalea's, big rocks and other treasures under it! There may have been more, but it probably succumbed to the Silent Spring. We're at the point now where we are down on our hands and knees pulling out "mother" roots and watching out for ants. It's a work in progress. We want to put in mulch, a meandering path, a bench, a birdfeeder, etc. I figure in about 15 years we'll get tired of raking pine needles, re-mulching and pulling stray ivy, and we'll just put in a few more ivy plugs and let 'er rip. Maybe we should just sell it before we get to old to keep up the yard!


Vera said...

The shawl is great, and will make a wonderful gift.

My husband deals with all the plants, and you can't go wrong wearing a Clmaon shirt.

Donna said...

I love your yard! It looks peaceful. We're battling a yard that has been let go for quite a while. We bought from an elderly couple who couldn't keep up with it. Our battles are primarily against jasmine, honeysuckle, and border grass. I hate border grass! It loves our yard. We have some ivy, and reading your post makes me think I'd better kill it now while it is very contained!