Friday, April 2, 2021

Slow down and notice


Moving to this island with it's totally different climate and flora has really taught me to notice the little details of the plants and trees better. Everything is unfamiliar. I do have a lot to learn...

Thursday, April 1, 2021


We have another stray! Poes (our other cat) brought her in. She's slowly learning that she doesn't have to run away each time we come closer, though she still doesn't want us to touch here. She is confident enough to come inside and ask for food though...

Right now I am...

... happy that my ear infections seems to be over (well, almost)

... annoyed to have to admit that I now have a headache though. A real three-day one, I think. I woke up with it yesterday and it's still there. 

... kind of pleased with myself that I haven't taken any painkillers yet. Even though I always stick to paracetamol and ibuprofen (we don't even have anything stronger), I feel I sometimes take too much. I would love to be able to do without (even paracetamol can cause rebound headaches - my mom suffered from this). So I'm trying to sit this headache out. So far, so good.

... looking forward to doing a bit of weeding in the overgrown part of the garden. I try to fill up the wheelbarrow at least once a day. That takes me about half an hour. Totally doable and it does make a difference. 

... trying to remind myself to make that phone call to my father (we have set times for our talks) an hour earlier. Summertime started in The Netherlands last weekend and on Monday I totally forgot about that.

... still trying to find my blogging routine. I've had my moments, but that's a long time ago. Thinking about picking up the daily picture thing this month.

... thinking about a lot of things that I don't want to post here. Maybe I need to start journaling to get some things off my chest.

... not too happy with where this blog post is going (too much complaining) and not sure what else to say. I'll end it here and give you some beautiful skies instead.


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

A cast on!


I finally cast on for that sweater Julia directed me to a few weeks ago. Why did that take me so long? I was sort of dreading following a pattern. My brain is overloaded these days, so I thought it would be too much. Guess what? It was really easy and actually quite calming to just follow directions. 

I'm already through the (not so) tricky part, working on the body now. It may even be ready before the weather here gets so hot that I can't even think about wearing a sweater...

That other project? Yeah... well... it's coming along slowly. But please remind me never, ever to buy pink yarn again. I'm so not into that color...

So, my knitting To Do is simple for the next week:

- work on sweater (finish it?)

- work on bag (or toss it aside?)

I also have some sewing projects on my mind:

- make some skirts or dresses (I need more cloths and shops are closed right now - we're in a lockdown again. I do have enough fabric to make some simple skirts, I just need to get myself to do it)

- make some aprons to wear in the garden, with pockets that are sturdy enough for pruning shears and other smaller tools, but I also need a pocket to safely put my phone in (that's the only disadvantage of wearing sun dresses and simple skirts year round - no pockets).

linking up with Chris' Tuesday To Do

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

In my garden

Oops, fell off the blogging bandwagon already... It's been a weird week. Haven't been feeling so well, T. was sick too and we're in full lockdown again on the island (only allowed on the street to for necessary errands twice a week). 

Also, I was (am) a bit stressed about work. I have a really big novel to proofread and some tax forms to fill in. But I'm getting there, slowly.

Anyway, I thought I'd pop in with some garden pictures.

I have this table on the porch with some random seedlings and cuttings. Most of them are doing pretty well and it makes me very happy. I took some workshops with our local herbalist and she gave us pieces of the plants she talked about. I put some of them in water and they are growing now. I really love to watch that happen.

This is berbena (not related to verbena). It has a lot of medicinal qualities and I'm so happy it decided to grow new leaves. It's in a small container now, but they are supposed to grow like weeds, so I'm going to find a bigger space for it.

A cucumber! At least I think it will be. So much fun to see them grow!

Tomatoes are blooming too, but I don't know if I will ever get tomatoes. It gets too hot for them here. We did have a voluntary plant somewhere that grew a few tomatoes in the colder months we just had, but the birds found them first...

Thursday, March 18, 2021

In my garden

I almost didn't post this picture. I found it a bit disappointing and not just because the resized picture is kind of blurry (the original isn't). I have this vision in my head of how it will look someday, but you have to have a strong imagination to actually see it, I guess. But it will be nice to see the progress, so here we go. There will be paths around this part of the garden with that white gravel you can see by the house. I'm planting trees (mostly fruit trees) and I will add bushes and herbs when those are settled.

I planted this guave yesterday. I got it from the supermarket.

This is soursop. I grew a few of these from seed. These one looked the strongest, so I hope it will catch on. 
I also planted a Flor de Jamaica yesterday (from the supermarket), but the picture was blurry.
I hope to get back into the garden today to plant some more. I still have pomegranate and avocado that need to go into the ground. Oh, and "bonchi kabai" too.

Another coconut palm that we grew from scratch. I'll have to show you how big the first one got. It still feels unreal to have these growing in our garden.

This papaya is a bit older. I grew it from seed last year and planted it in November. It is already bearing fruit. I can't wait till they're ready to eat!

Meanwhile, at the other side of the house, Poes is sleeping on top of my mint. Oh well, it wasn't really catching on anyway. It is strange though, at the other side of this raised bed I'm growing catnip, but he never even looks at it...

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

A tiny bit of knitting


(linking up with Chris' Tuesday To Do)

I guess it's quite fitting for my crafting these days that I thought I had taken a picture of my knitting and then it seems I didn't. It wasn't on my camera and I hadn't deleted old pictures yet. Weird. So, this is what you get. A not so great picture, since the sun is not completely up yet and it's raining too...

Anyway, it is fitting, since this is what I've been doing this week. Knitting round and round, hoping for the blue to change into a happier color (and dreading the pink, since that's not really my favorite color). Not knitting as much as I hoped either. But it is always within reach. That's a start.

I'm experimenting with knitting a bag without a pattern, but I'm not sure where I'm going with this prototype. It is wonderful comfort knitting though and I guess I will find some use for it eventually, so I'll just keep going.

Last weeks list:

- Julia directed me to this cardigan and I think I'd like to make it. Perfect for the colder evenings (I know you're laughing, but goodness, I've been so cold this "winter". Only 75 Fahrenheit/24 Celsius most nights) - still need to print that pattern and cast on for it

- I also have an idea for a simpler project that I can just wing without too much thinking (because a. I knit mostly at night, when I can't read a pattern and b. I'm just so tired most of the time). Going to try that and I'll show you next week (or not if it fails) - as seen above. Knitting on, but not really sure where I'm going

- stop myself from getting overly enthusiastic. Startitis has not helped my knitting mojo these past two years. Too overwhelming, I guess. One big project and one easy project should be enough for now. But that doesn't mean I can't make plans... ;-) - Um, yeah. Knitting mojo is disappearing again, even without startitis. But I'll try to hang on. I missed it too much.

This weeks list:

- print that pattern and cast on for that cardigan

- keep knitting that bag

- find time to sew (I need dresses and/or skirts badly)

Monday, March 15, 2021

Right now


Right now I am...

:: feeling a bit restless. So much to do today, so little time.

:: nursing an ear infection. Hoping this one won't rip my eardrum like the last time it got this bad. It's my other ear now and I fear my hearing will suffer.

:: looking back at a wonderful weekend anyway. We rested, T. had some computer work to do (big new client), I worked in the garden (I'll show you later in the week) and it was all good.

:: wondering why I didn't take any pictures except for the sunsets. Oh well. 

:: looking forward to this morning. My daughter and her twin sister will be at the brides shop to pick out her wedding dress. My other daughter and I will be watching through a video call. Covid restrictions don't allow more than two clients in a shop. But this will have to do.

:: hoping to get some work done after that.

:: telling myself that the garden can wait another day. Or two (need to go grocery shopping tomorrow).

:: trying to be gentle to myself. Why is that so hard?

:: wishing you all a great week. Bon siman!

Thursday, March 11, 2021

In my garden

 I was planning to do a garden tour, with lots of explanations and things like that, but... well... my garden is still a big mess. And I don't really have time right now to write blog posts like that. But I do want to get into a blogging routine again, so I decided to just post some random garden pictures this week.

My moringa tree. One of three actually. I grew them from seeds. This one is the highest. Almost four metres already (they tend to go up first and spread out after that). It's hard to see in the picture, but it's blooming. I plan to plant more of these trees (already have some seedlings going), since we drink moringa tea daily (for it's healing properties) and it would be nice to harvest that from my own garden.

I sowed some cucumber seeds and those came up pretty quick. Some local gardeners on facebook make a big deal about the whole process of pollination, but I just hope the bees will do their jobs. Meanwhile, I love those bright yellow flowers.

My desert rose is still going strong. I bought it two years ago when we still lived in our rental studio and it hasn't stopped blooming since.

This is a new one. Lantana. The flowers change color from bright red to light orange. It also has some healing properties, but I haven't had time to study those.

Besora kora. This one is considered a weed, It does grow everywhere, but I really like it. I'm told they use the above ground parts in water for cleaning in India. Here they use it for smudging. The stems make excellent brooms (that's what I'm told, still need to try to make one) and the roots are used to make a gargle for sore throats.

I am studying local herbs and trees. Most of it on my own, by trying to find out about the plants I have in my garden, but I'm also following work shops with our most well known local herbalist. I have a lot to learn (so many plants I've never seen before), but I love it so much. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Unfinished business, no more

 Joining in with Chris' Tuesday To Do today!

Not that I really had a crafty to do list. Truth to be told, my knitting has been very scarce this past few months. Or maybe even this past year, I don't know. But I felt like knitting again and I had two unfinished projects. So maybe that was my list this week. Finish those.

First up: potholders. I know, not very exciting. But when I started them (I don't even remember how long ago) I thought some easy knitting would help me to get back into it. It didn't at the time and I had a bit of a hard time getting through four basic squares, but I did it. And well, there is something really satisfying about knitting stuff I actually use on a daily basis.

The second project I didn't even remember. I did have a vague memory of a hat that I abandoned when I needed to change to dpn's for top shaping, but I thought it was grey. Ha! Should have known better.

Anyway, I did the top and actually had fun. And now I have (another) green hat that I don't wear. But I do love it.

And that concludes my unfinished business. I love a clean slate.

Next weeks list:

- Julia directed me to this cardigan and I think I'd like to make it. Perfect for the colder evenings (I know you're laughing, but goodness, I've been so cold this "winter". Only 75 Fahrenheit/24 Celsius most nights)

- I also have an idea for a simpler project that I can just wing without too much thinking (because a. I knit mostly at night, when I can't read a pattern and b. I'm just so tired most of the time). Going to try that and I'll show you next week (or not if it fails)

- stop myself from getting overly enthusiastic. Startitis has not helped my knitting mojo these past two years. Too overwhelming, I guess. One big project and one easy project should be enough for now. But that doesn't mean I can't make plans... ;-)

What's on your list?

Monday, March 8, 2021

Weekend doings

We had an uneventful, but wonderful weekend.

Friday's sunset. I'm still not tired of these.

On Saturday we spent the morning working in the garden. T. mowed the grass. Well, actually he mowed the weeds and the (wild) grass is slowly starting to fill in, but it looks good and it's a lot easier to do than my constant weeding. I planted some seedlings and pulled some weeds where I don't want him to mow. 
Oh, and I had to cut off that agave flower stem. So sad. But more flowers opened Friday night and the bats were getting out of hand. Also, we realised that T.'s excessive coughing could be related to all the pollen coming from it. (It was, he's doing much better now.)
And then we decided to drive to the other side of the island to have lunch at our friends' lunchroom.
I had the pulled chicken sandwich. So good! One of those friend joined us at our table and we had a nice chat.

After lunch, we drove to Goisco to get coals for the bbq. They finally stocked up on flowerpots, so I got a few of those too, and I picked up some crates to organize things around the house (still so messy!). Oh, and then we decided to buy an exercise bike. We know by now that "we'll think about it and come back for it some other time" means that we'll have to wait for months, so we just jumped in. We both could use the exercise. I keep thinking that I just need to go swimming each day, but that kind of takes the fun out of swimming. So maybe it will work to force myself on a bike each day.  I think I'll make it a rule that watching YouTube is only allowed while cycling. Haven't tried it yet though, T. still has to put it together.
Anyway, we had a nice bbq, just the two of us, and of course there was another great sunset.

On Sunday we finally got a picture one of our daily little visitors.

Then we got some wood for a big house project (we live so far from the city that things like that take a whole morning). In the afternoon T. worked on a big house project. I assisted a bit (holding stuff, finding tools) and had some fun with my herbs. I made "stropi di kalbas" (kalbas syrup) for the first time. I actually make coughing syrups often, and it was interesting to work with something that is very common locally. I'm going to test this first and then maybe mix it with my own recipes.

Of course the day ended with another beautiful sky.

 How was your weekend?

Wishing you all a wonderful week. Bon Siman!