Every year around Halloween I mean to pot a bunch of Paper-whites and Amaryllis bulbs to give as gifts and to have something wonderful blooming at Christmas time.
(The colors here are a bit funky. Right now I am extra busy at work. It is dark when I leave in the morning and dark when I return home. Thus, I could not take this picture with natural light. Also, Moxy decided to check out things with me and his tail kept covering the sensor on the camera, which means that the colors are really funky. They don't actually look like that in real life.)
Sometime I managed it. For the last few years I have missed the mark. Sometimes my father-in-law would give me a kit in early December. Sometimes I would walk by the clearance display at Target and see the green shoots poking forlornly and hopefully out of the boxed Amaryllis kits. And of course I have to peek in the box to confirm that the plants have such a desire to live that they try to make a go of it even in the absence of everything they need: sunshine, water and soil. And of course I have the urge to scoop them up, take them home and care for them as if they were little children. I a bad like that. Then I have to get real and figure out how many I can actually give homes to. I have not gone by that display yet this year. I am sure they will be there, waiting.
However, I do have two lovely plants growing and blooming right now. (One of them is technically my mother's, it just never made it to her house.) I decided last year that is was okay to be late in getting them going, or is helping those late bloomers fulfill their desire to bloom. Their cheery blooms are more cherished than if they were just one more thing in my lovely display of Christmas decorations. They get to be on center stage, if you will, instead of the support crew.
My mother requested a pair of mittens. I originally thought that I would make gnome mittens, as she loves gnomes, the repeated rows of them did not suit her fancy. As we looked at the patterns available, it became clear that she really preferred the Scandinavian look much better. In the end she opted for the Rainbow Mittens from DROPS Design. The pattern is from Ravelry.com She would be happy with just about any color combination that I would pick. I, however, am fussy and stubborn when it comes to color. I wanted to have a varigated yarn. I had a hard time picking one that had the green my mother requested. I almost purchased yarn with a longer flow in the colorways, but opted out with the worry that the mitten would not have enough variegation. I picked this other yarn that my mother really likes. I wish that the colorway were longer. It is actually designed for self-stripping socks and so the colors change quickly. She is delighted with how it is coming out. So is my sweet daughter. I had hoped that the flowers in the pattern would be more pronounced, but I do think they are pretty.
On another front, my son will begin a new job next week. He will be out doing field work. He is very excited. He loves to be outside. I am proud of him and thankful that he has been given this opportunity to prove himself.
Last night my 88 year old father-in-law was not feeling well and began to try to make himself puke. He dry heaved instead, which resulted in his tearing his esophagus. He has been puking up blood and is in the hospital. He is a fighter, so I am hoping and expecting that he will get well. Any illness is a worry when the person is 88. Doug, the middle brother, is in town. We are going to take turns taking shifts at the hospital.