Saturday, September 30, 2006

Saturday Sky and Message to Readers
Rainy Saturday Sky on September 30, 2006Another rainy weekend, the perfect excuse to sit and knit instead of working outdoors.

I do feel sorry for all the employed people who looked forward to a beautiful fall weekend and got this instead.

Did you know that this blog is a subset of my knitting blog Stitches of Violet?

Since I have a few family members who don't want to read through the knitting stuff, I copy and paste most of the non-knitting content of Stitches of Violet here just for them.

At this time in my blogging history, there is nothing being written for this blog. That could change, but I have no plans at this time to expand Seasons of Violet with original content.

Stitches of Violet has many more readers than Seasons of Violet. If I ever do begin to write posts for Seasons that are not on Stitches, I'll be sure to mention it on Stitches.

I usually blog on Stitches of Violet four or five times a week. When there is heavy knitting content, there may be nothing to post here for many days at a time. If you have any interest in knitting at all, I recommend you read Stitches of Violet and not this blog.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Saturday Sky and Super Surgilator
Saturday sky is gray rain cloudsAn old wife's tale claims lots of rain this time of year results in beautiful autumn colors when the trees turn.

I'm looking forward to that.

Washing machine from the topI've owned this Whirlpool washer since we moved here in 1991 and I'm sure I've washed thousands of loads of laundry in it.**

Last week for the very first time I noticed that there are raised letters (they don't show in this picture) on top of the agitator spelling out


Imagine a conference room full of marketing types brainstorming names for their agitator and coming up with that. Hear the laughter?

As evidenced by the fact that Whirlpool washers are still being sold with Super Surgilators today, 15 years later (Yes really. I Googled it.), the name must be a marketing success story.

I give the Super Surgilator an A+. It gets the clothes clean in hard water, has an impressive repair record, and now that I've finally seen the writing on the agitator it's good for a chuckle every time I do a load of wash.

**Doubt the thousands? I thought it sounded a bit much, so I did the math.

15 years X 52 weeks = 780 weeks
780 weeks X 5 loads a week (average) = 3,900 loads of laundry

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Fall in the Field
First frost on the ground in SeptemberWe beat the average by a week!

Average first frost date for the Kalamazoo area is September 29. We had our first frost this morning, September 21.

On the first dog walk of this chilly morning, I was blundering around the field just long enough for everyone to pee. As I thought about going inside and drinking my coffee, my bleary eyes spotted the white stuff on the ground.

We turned the heat on for the first time today. It's that time of year.

Goldenrod pathsThis is usually the last loop of one of our dog walks.

At the end of the path are two nest boxes, but not for much longer. They're too close to the trees in the background making them unattractive to the bluebirds I'm trying to attract.

For the last several years the tree swallows have used one of the boxes, so I've been slow to move them. This year they both housed wrens.

Nest box filled with a wren nestThis is a wren nest.

The wrens fill the house so full with sticks that I don't dare raise the door and monitor the nest during nesting season.

Even when I think the wrenlings have fledged, I can never be sure there aren't eggs or new little wrens in the box. After the wrens build their pile of sticks, the box is out of service for the rest of the year.

The wrens won't like the boxes once they're move to a more open location. The bluebirds and swallows can have the boxes back in the spring.

Monday, September 18, 2006

S is for Solidago
ABC Along Button

Field full of goldenrodSolidago: genus for the many species of goldenrod. In Latin, Solidago means "to make whole" because it was/is believed that goldenrod has healing properties.

In September the goldenrod grows above all the other numerous wildflowers and weeds in our back three acres and boldly pronounces itself ruler of the field with waves of bright yellow.

Goldenrod close upThe tallest is about five feet high. I aimed the camera straight forward at my eye level for this picture.

Because Solidago is so showy, it is often blamed for autumn allergies actually caused by the green, unobvious ragweed.

According to botanists, Solidago pollen is too heavy to go airborne and be an allergen. They claim the only way to get goldenrod pollen on the nasal passages is to stick the flower up one's nose.

Bee on goldenrod with heavy pollen sacsThe late summer Solidago pollen is important winter food for many species of bees, hornets, and wasps. It is high quality, protein rich, sticky, and easy to collect.

The field is one big buzzing. There are so many bees, I had no problem getting this nice picture of one with bulging pollen sacs. (The pollen sacs are the orange things just behind and under the wings.)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

R is for Red Juice
ABC Along ButtonOops, I'm late with the Letter R.

Red Juice concentrate and squirt bottleThis is going to sound like an ad, but I have no affiliation other than being a very satisfied Red Juice user for the last five years.

I found the Clean Team while doing an internet search for something to help my pathetic housekeeping skills.

Red Juice is a powerful all purpose cleaner made from all natural ingredients such as soybean extract, palm kernels, seaweed, and palm oil. It is pH neutral, non-toxic, odor-free, and completely biodegradable. Safe for use around food.

Spray it on, wipe it off, no rinsing.

We use it for almost everything including muddy pawprints, floors, walls, woodwork, laundry pre-treating, greasy stove tops, and killing ants.

Red Juice comes in a 32 ounce bottle of concentrate which makes 20 bottles of heavy duty spray cleaner. The spray bottle has lines on it for measuring the ten to one dilution of the concentrate.

When I have a big job like wiping down cupboard doors or washing a wall, I mix up a batch of Red Juice in a bucket and throw in a wad of cheap, thin, white terry washcloths to moisten them with the Red Juice. After using each washcloth until it is too dirty to use anymore, I toss it in a pile and take the next washcloth from the bucket. I use a separate, dry rag to dry where I've washed. When done, I admire the cleanliness and throw the rags in the washer.

If you go to the Clean Team web site and are tempted to order more than the Red Juice, you won't be sorry. I especially love:

  • Blue Juice, the concentrate to replace your window cleaner.

  • Sh-Mop, rather like a Swiffer only the handle is longer, the pad is much larger, and you wash and reuse the pads over and over again. Before putting a pad on, I soak it in Red Juice for a greasy, very dirty job or Blue juice for a quick wet mop.

  • Toothbrush, so extra heavy bristled that you would never use it in your mouth but perfect for around faucets and any other place you have little groves to clean.

  • Heavy Duty Scraper, looks like a putty knife but is made of plastic so it doesn't scratch. I keep one in each room. Especially handy in the kitchen for removing baked on food. I keep the kitchen scraper handy in the dish drainer.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Stay Away Kitty Kitty
Generic cougar pictureIn recent years there have been cougar sightings in Michigan, some with DNA species verification of hair or scat.

Since a few of these sightings have been in my county/township, I'm very interested in following the ongoing battle between honest, credible citizens who are reporting the sightings and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) who are reluctant to admit such thing is possible.

When the MDNR says "Though the information indicates the presence of a cougar it still does not confirm the presence of a breeding population in Michigan.", do they think the public is so stupid they think the cougars just roam here and don't mate here?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Mom's Cast Is Off

We celebrated with lunch out.

Mom celebrated with a nice wet shower.

Cast being removed

This morning we arrived at the orthopedic surgeon's office very anxious to get the blue cast removed and move on to the next step in returning to normal.

First the Fiberglas was cut top and bottom with a sound wave saw. Then pried open with a special pliers and gently removed. Once again she could see her arm.

The doctor was happy with the x-rays. The arm is mending and no surgery is required. The break that he suspected might be a problem is looking better than he expected. All good news.

New splint and view of swollen fingers

For the next month, she has a removable splint.

Check out the finger swelling. They hurt, but not as much now that the cast is off. I'm hoping the swelling goes down this weekend and the pain decreases enough so she can get a good night's sleep.

The hand is not functional, but she'll be working on that problem.

Monday is her first appointment with Holly at "Hand Therapy". This should be interesting. Or, as Mom says on her blog,

"I look upon life as an ongoing adventure."
I think this is one adventure she doesn't want to repeat.