What I’ve been up to

tomatoes planted

I spent much of today on that little project. Went to the nursery as planned, and spent quite a bit of time looking for and then choosing the plants I wanted, thanks to the helpful greenhouse manager at Grossman’s Garden Center. I bought more tomato plants than I’d intended. Oh well. So I dug out a space to plant them all…18 feet long and 18 inches wide. Then I worked in five 5-gallon buckets of leaf mulch. Next I planted the tomatoes and mulched them in. They’re being watered with my drip hose as I type.

I don’t know my grandfather’s method of planting by moon phase. I don’t even know my husband’s tomato planting rules, although I seem to think that the roots had to face north…or maybe south…or west. Obviously I don’t really know so paid no attention. I do, however know a little bit about companion planting, so put a marigold between every tomato.

Let’s stay outside for a bit and check out some other blooms. I’ve been surprised by these parrot tulips. They started almost all white, moved through half white and half red, and are ending by being almost all red. Never had a tulip do that before. Also a nice long bloom time for a tulip.

parrot tulips gone red

The flowers on my tiarella (foam flower) are just sweet.

tiarella flowers

I’ve got some nice irises. The golden yellow was here when I arrived, the other three came from my country home. My daughter wanted them but never got around to planting them last summer, so in the fall I stuck them in the ground at my house. I’m glad I did.

golden yellow iris

peach sorbet iris

lovely lavender iris

bronzy burgundy iris

I spent a little time at my loom. I’d planned out a rayon chenille warp for 3 shawls. As always, it’s a challenge to get it on the loom, and then to tension it completely evenly. It’s now on the loom, threaded, and sitting for the night. Tomorrow I’ll work on tensioning. Again.

blue rayon chenille shawls

Last week I wove a few new baby blankets to replenish my stock. The warp is mostly cotton with a bit of bamboo; the weft is cotton flannel.

cotton & flannel blankets

I got my sewing machine back (cost me $100) so did the hemming on these and finished sewing my packing bags. The motor was seized, apparently caused by a poor design that has so little tolerance in the ?bushing/gear/bearing? (can’t remember what the man said) that lint – a constant reality when sewing – gums it up completely and freezes it. I’m going to talk to them, and I’m currently assuming that if it happened once it’s likely to happen again, in which case I’ll probably choose to buy an old, reconditioned Singer or similar.

Unrelated, I have a Jack question and am hoping that maybe one of my readers can help. I believe that he can’t regulate his body temperature well. He gets both cold and hot really quickly. Our current heat wave is hard on him. I’m not turning on my air conditioning for the dog. I can give him another haircut, but I don’t know if this will really help. I put an ice cube in his water bowl, but it doesn’t last long, and he doesn’t like to chew or lick them if they’re not in the water. Any ideas what might help Jack be more comfortable during the summer?

7 comments to What I’ve been up to

  • Judy T

    Peg – I always love your photo journalling and love seeing your garden in bloom as well as your lovely weaving photos. Boo hoo on your sewing machine woes… that just stinks for a new machine! I do have an idea for Jack if he’ll tolerate wearing something around his neck. try picking up one of the neck scarves sold at garden shops for gardeners and others who have to be out in the heat… they have some little water retention beads in them and you wet it and then wear it around your neck and it helps regulate your body temp as it dries at which point you just rewet it all over again. Worth a try.

  • Peg Cherre

    Thanks, Judy. After I posted the blog I did a google search, and they recommended these and ‘cool beds’ for dogs. I actually made myself 2 of those water retention neck scarves for shows last year, and have activated one and tied it on to Jack. I don’t know if he likes it, but he surely doesn’t mind it, even though it could be a few inches longer to tie comfortably…the ends are really short. I’m also going to get one of those beds. For today, given the heat and humidity and the fact that I’ll be away from home for much of the day so he’ll be stuck in his crate, I’ve closed up the house and turned on the air conditioning. Poor little guy definitely has problems with the heat. 🙁

  • On the same vein, they also make cooling beds and having one available for Jack might help. Other than that I would give a call to the vet because this could be a bigger issue if you haven’t already done so.
    Lovely warp, those colors are so saturated! They are going to be beautiful. The garden looks great.

  • Your darker warp sings to me in dulcet tones.

    I feel for the pupper-dog. I lived for thirty years in the Tropics and didn’t mind the sun, heat or humidity; I’ve been in Nor California for sixteen years and 75F is too hot for me to do anything at all. Interesting how my tolerances have changed by necessity.

    Your irises are divine. The colors are saturated and lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  • Peg Cherre

    Thanks, Theresa & Lynda. As it turns out, my daughter has a ‘cooling pillow’ that she doesn’t use and it’s just Jack size, so I’ll pick it up this afternoon and try it tonight. I’ll also get a ‘real’ cooling collar – my experience & Jack’s are the same….it holds moisture a long time, perhaps too long, MUCH longer than it holds any coolness. In fact it gets warm.

    I’m looking forward to getting that warp tensioned correctly so I can weave on it. I’m positive I’m going to love it.

  • Peg, I had another thought. A fan. You might have a place to set it up so that he can have some evaporative cooling. I know the horses kept in barns like them and Smoochie our Cairn (that only will sleep in his crate downstairs) loves a fan moving the air in the laundry room on those hot summer night. The only opening in that room is the doggy door and it is closed at night. It is cooler on the first floor here and the floor itself is cool, but he does sprawl out in front of the breeze, belly up to cool those long gone jewels. 😉

  • Alma

    I’m sorry for Jack’s troubles. Being one who withers in heat much sooner than others, I can sympathize.

    I love your new weaving – it reminds me of my world’s favorite towels!

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