July 05, 2009

A bit of an administrative announcement: after almost five years of using Blogger, I’m switching to Wordpress. Update your bookmarks! My new blog is http://slw71881.wordpress.com.

I’ve been delaying this decision for months, hoping that blogger would come out with specific new features, but now it’s only weeks until the baby arrives and it’s time to make the change. I started this blog a month after I moved to Seattle (mostly due to inspiration from other knitters), and it’s turned out to be a great way of keeping in touch with family and friends. I’m always surprised and pleased when I see someone in person and they reference pictures or posts, and I love when people leave comments. For a while at the beginning I’d been trying to increase the number of readers and commenters, but I’ve come to appreciate the fact that I know most of my regular readers in real life. There are a handful of people I don’t know who visit regularly, which I think is neat. It’s a public space, and so I’m still wary of the boundaries – I don’t post about work and rarely post about friends, politics, religion, or any of the deep and emotional subjects. But I love my blog as a record of the day-to-day, all of our projects and trips, and seasonal milestones.

That said, our day-to-day is going to be changing, and while I’m fine with posting the occasional baby or family photo (especially to show off hand knits!), it just doesn’t seem like a great idea to broadcast all of the little details to the whole world. That left me with three choices: keep things the way they are and just don’t post about the baby (sad – we want our family and friends across the country to be able to check in), switch to a private blog where you have to log in to see anything (sad because I love getting the occasional dropins from knitters and quilters), or leave blogger for one of the platforms that allows you to have a public blog with occasional private posts. The third option was the clear winner.

So, I’ve been moving the blog over to the new spot (including all 805 posts of the archives and everyone’s comments). The private posts probably won’t start in earnest until the baby is born – to see them, I’ll have to give you a password which I’ll email out with the birth announcement. After you’ve typed the password in once, you should be able to see all of the private posts – careful though, because if you enter it on a public machine (at the library, say), everyone else will be able to see the private posts, too, which will rather defeat the point.

Let me know if you have questions and see you on the new site!


July 02, 2009

I’d been working fairly steadily on my blue and yellow short rows baby sweater, but my attention keeps drifting elsewhere – to quilting, sewing, and little knit vests. Then a vest pattern caught my eye with little owls cleverly constructed out of cables, and I had the perfect amount of Cotton Ease in my stash. So now I’m officially taking a break and knitting owls instead.

The work has been flying. Many of the finished versions on Ravelry have beads or buttons as eyes – I’ll have to start looking. I’ve been so pleased to have a use for this yarn, and it’s an added bonus that I’m finding the knit result to be so cute. The yarn has been sitting there irking me for over a year (I’d bought a single skein, thinking I needed it for a project and then I didn’t after all), and this is such a great pattern for it.



July 01, 2009

I haven’t posted about the fishtank in ages. All the dudes seem to be hanging out and doing well. Over the winter the tang had been acting increasingly neurotic, and was having scale issues, but we moved his food clip a few months ago and it seems to have helped a lot – he’s much more social and is looking and acting like a completely different fish. Kevin’s also been quite disciplined about filtering the water that goes in the tank and about nightly kalkwasser supplementation, and that seems to be having a noticeable impact as well. We’re still talking about a bigger, quieter, automated tank but we’re still probably a ways away from installing it.

I wanted to post, though, about the leather. Since I last posted in February, it’s grown another few inches up and out – truly a monster. I’ve been very worried about the Ricordia below it (the pretty green and blue corals), since it’s increasingly blocking their light. However, apparently the ricordia decided to take matters into their own hands, and have started climbing to a better location. Unfortunately, they chose to move up (instead of over), which means they are now slowly marching up the trunk of the leather!

Here’s a close-up:

This is less than ideal. First, they won’t get any more light because they’ll still be under the lip of the leather. But more importantly, soft corals have limited defences – they move very slowly and don’t have rigid structures to retreat into. Their only real defence mechanism is chemical warfare – trying to sting or annoy away anything that encroaches on their turf. You can see that both the leather and the ricordias look a bit the worse for wear – the ricordias aren’t fully out (they pull their little nubs in at night or when they’re feeling attacked), and the leather is pulling away from the rock and is susceptible to a reddish algae around its base. We’re probably going to have to intervene by both paring back the leather and removing some of the now-embedded ricordias, but I need to gear up a bit more before undertaking that high a level of coral surgery.


Summer colors

June 30, 2009

In the “it’s the small things” category, we have a new mat for the back door and it’s beautiful:

It looks nice with our interior green walls in the living room, and each time I go out to water the plants I admire it. Our old one gave five years of steady service, but it was so worn that you couldn't see the pattern anymore. It’s so nice to have the bright, pretty colors on the step. :-)

Fun family visit

June 29, 2009

My sister is in California for the summer on an internship between her two years of business school. We were so excited when she suggested flying up for a weekend. Great to see her, and fun to show off our house. This is her fourth Seattle trip so we skipped the touristy things for normal weekend activities (the farmers market, the bread store, a walk around the neighbourhood and Grasslawn park, grilling). It was a treat to see her.

The weather finally cooperated, and she saw both Rainier and the Cascades. (The Olympics were hazed over, but we went down to Lake Washington and the sun on the water was at least pretty.) We have a handful of photos. At the farmers market:

And some of the pretty flowers:

Sharon with the bounty (including the mysterious kohlrabi):

And all of us at dinner, thanks to the tripod and camera timer:

It’s so nice to think that the next time we see her, the baby will be here, instead of just a kicking, hiccuping presence, and Sharon will be an aunt!


June 28, 2009

The plants on the patio are actually producing! The first bit of a crop, picked while Sharon was here:

The strawberries are doing great in their pot. Last year they didn’t really produce, but there are a lot more berries and flowers in the wings, and I’m feeling very pleased with them.

The beans are a bit confusing to me. I feel like the plants should be spending their energy growing and they can produce later, but I don’t know how to convey this to them. Each plant (I have two) put out a few beans when it was so hot a few weeks ago. The plants are still mid-to-small in size, and now they each have several more baby beans. Any ideas on whether to cut off the baby beans now, or just let them grow?

The pea vines are the most pathetic. They’re each about a foot tall, and they also produced 1-2 peas each during our hot streak. So you have these sad little vines (with half dead leaves from our hot week) with a big plump peapod on the upper end.

They seem happy (green, firm) in a stunted kind of way, but if anyone has thoughts on magical pea growing tricks, I’m all ears.


We'll need some practice

June 26, 2009

We are slowly starting to accrue more baby things. I’d made a series of spreadsheets, with links, a few months ago, but aside from placing an order for the crib and myriad knitting and sewing supplies, we’ve just been waiting. My parents offered to buy us a baby carrier though, and our moby wraps have now arrived! We’d gotten to try them out in our baby class, but we’d both managed to forget just how long they are – high amusement value.

They come with a thick booklet of possible wrapping strategies, and we both managed the basic without too much trouble. Can’t wait until there’s a baby to put in them!