me, Mavis

I knit. I garden. I co-manage an eclectic shop. I sometimes work in real estate. I sometimes swing a hammer. I always volunteer in my community. I live in an old house with my nice family of one husband and three beastly cats. I have great friends. These are the things that matter to me, Mavis.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


The Mimosa trees are blooming here in my little part of MerryLand.

Last week I noticed the very first blooms of what has become a most controversial tree -- the Mimosa. One of my favorite web sites, Dave's Garden will tell you all about the plant itself if you're interested in it from a gardening perspective.

For my purposes, however, the brilliant pink blooms bought back a huge flood of childhood memories ... making me all misty and stuff.

When I was only maybe 5 or 6, my next older brother (who would have been 7 or 8), took possession and sole residence of a beautiful wide-spreading Mimosa in our backyard. It seemed huge to me at the time, but in retrospect I'm thinking it must have been no more than 15 feet tall with a similar spread.

My brother Bob was a tough, rugged, stereotypical 1960's All Boy. Those Mimosa blooms brought his image right back so clearly. I can see him perched up in that tree, all sun-browned and sturdy, one leg dangling lazily; probably wearing army combat gear. He hung out in that tree like he was made to fit it.

Once he tied up a big bundle of old rags and hung it from his Mimosa to make a "Buckin' Bronco." I vaguely remember agreeing to get on the thing, but I was pretty much a Girl and I'm sure I didn't last long. I do remember him getting on it, kicking out his legs and pulling hard with his arms to make the Bronco jump and buck while he hollered and yelped like a true cowboy.

Later, my Mom the Gardener had a big problem with the Mimosa. Apparently bag worms of some sort took up residence and she would have no mercy. Yes, she was brutal and cut that tree down completely.

Which brings us to the "misty" part of the story ... where my memory is equally clear to the vision of my poor brother sobbing over the loss of His Mimosa.

I know that he found other natural, creative outlets -- probably by the end of that day -- but for that brief moment when the tree was murdered, I'm sure he felt a total unrecoverable loss. I know that my memory brings up a huge rock of anguish in the pit of my stomach for the little boy and his private world of imagination.

Ah, it's a sap that I am as I must stop here now to dry my eyes.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Aran Rose is Done!

The long-awaited day is here. (Actually it was here Friday night but I didn't want to get out of bed a/k/a "my knitting lounge" to take a photo).

My "Aran Rose" pullover is officially DONE DONE DONE!! (you can click photos for BIG!)

Truly, this photo wasn't even really worth the wait but it's all I have right now. It's raining big ole buckets full here in MerryLand and the lighting is awful bad. Soon I will put Aran Rose on the mannequin for a real shot. (Apologies to GG, my photographer, for she did jump right in with no advance warning ... and she was under the influence of Sangria after all -- but GG, don't quit your day job!).

It was appropriate that GG should take the photo and here's why. As I was seaming along, I was getting a bit nervous. "Crapola," I was thinking, "this baby looks teensy tiny ... and DAMNATION this one will probably not fit either!" (refer back to the drat Becky project). Since I wanted to be prepared for the horrible eventuality of another loss, I began thinking of a potential fit. "AHA!" I said, "our GG is a perfectly tiny waif of a thing!" Alas, Fortuna was on my side and I didn't need to go looking for a recipient again so soon. Despite my fear, the Calmer yarn streteches beautifully - particularly in this seed stitch -- and I love the fit. It's way too hot now to wear it for any longer than enough for one photo, but I'll be ready for cool fall evenings.

Before the big rain started, the DH and I hit a few yard sales yesterday morning. My highlight was a vintage sewing/knitting basket, filled with a nice haul:

Wally poses while admiring the vintage 60s(?) fabric.

Beau checks out the bonus haul: 5 pair straight needles, 1 set DPNs, 1 circ, 3 stitch holders, 1 tiny box of stitch markers, 1 cool row counter with built-in measuring tape, and 1 pattern book by Reynolds "International Cables". me, Mavis LOVES cables ... and my favorites in this book are Rotterdam and Utrecht.

What a great deal for two dollars!

Last, for our dear pal at Vegan Knitting, who left a very nice comment about The Felines, one more cat picture. My Isa is such a lady, no?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A Whole Lot of Nothing to Say

It's me, Mavis ... and it has been 7 days since my last post.

I have cleaned and refilled the birdbaths at least 5 times.

I have cleaned and refilled various hummingbird feeders at least 6 times.

I have worked on Aran Rose, finally finishing the second sleeve, sewing the shoulder seams and setting in both sleeves.

I have visited my not-so-local yarn shop and purchased a very cute baby vest pattern and appropriate neat-colored yarn.

I have moved out most of my houseplants for the summer ... and picked them back up after squirrel knock-overs.

I dog-sat for Arbor and Mandi while their peeps went away to a funeral.

I visited all my favorite blogs regularly, though I seldom commented and ignored my own blog.

I visited Muggie the Periodontist and resident hygenist, Gwen, for my regular 3-month cleaning and received the awesome news that he is nearly 100% sure that the grafting was successful on my front tooth and it will have a full recovery.

I took a nice day-trip to the beach with DH and we shared a huge bucket of Thrasher's fries with extra vinegar and salt like we always do.

I worried constantly about my future -- financial and otherwise -- as I concurrently jumped headfirst into a(nother) new venture.

I continued slugging on in "normal" fashion, each day unpatterned and mostly unscheduled, always wondering if this is okay.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A Spanglish Lesson

Next door to Chez Schavis lives a cute little 7-year-old guy called "Junior". His parents are native to the Dominican Republic and their first language is Spanish. Mom speaks only a teensy bit of English, but Dad and two older girls are beautifully bi-lingual. Dad INSISTS that Junior speak only Spanish at home, and he fusses at the girls if they chatter to him in English. I think Dad is a very smart guy to make sure that little Junior doesn't lose his hold on having ease with both languages.

me, Mavis studied Spanish in college -- and did quite well, thank you -- but testing well on that particular grammar usage does not mean one will hold up conversationally. So, I sometimes try to resurrect my very limited knowledge when Junior wanders over to help me in the garden.

During our last chat, we somehow got on the subject of dogs. Junior told me that he and his father are both allergic to dogs. This was a surprise as I remember him playing with my Ma's "Ami" for hours during a visit several years ago, and I remembered that his uncle has also visited here with his Golden Retriever. So, I questioned ....

me: Really? Gosh, what about your Uncle Juan? (spoken in my lame accent as "Wan")

Junior: Who?

me: You know, your Dad's sister's husband ... they watched your house when you went to the DR a few years ago ... they have a big golden dog?

Junior: Who?

me: "Wan", Junior ... your Uncle!? Remember, he comes to visit with the big golden dog!?!

Junior: OH! You mean Juan (spoken in lovely Spanish accent "Hu-an")

me: YES! "Wan" -- what about his dog? I didn't think you were allergic to that dog?

Junior: No. I'm only allergic to dogs that haven't had their shots.

Maybe Dad is smart in another way too.

Beau thinks dogs are too loud for good sleeping.

Wally would rather play with his scratching pad than even think about dogs.

DH and 'Bella only have eyes for each other.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Kittenbirds and my Favorite Townfolk

Two days ago, we noticed the resident Catbirds doing alot of fussing. Upon investigation, I found the reason for the squawking ....


So for the past two days, these babes have flopped around -- hopping across the lawn, back up into the shrub -- hither and yon -- as the parents squawk and I rush outside to chase off cats and sometimes lift the youngster back into the shrub, even though I get divebombed and fussed at for my kindness.

They are plump-bodied, skinny-legged, beady-eyed little marvels! I enjoy them so, but it is with a huge dose of fear that they won't get those wings working quick enough.

They are stationed mostly in a big Pussy Willow, just outside our (screened) cat porch -- appropriate! Not only am I closely watching, but Beau, Bella and Wally keep their eyes peeled too -- albeit for a different desire.

There's also a nectar feeder on the porch column nearby and the Hummingbirds have suddenly become very active. They zoom around after each other, dashing through the shrub at top speed, but seemingly oblivious to the "Kittenbirds."

I will miss them, but will be relieved when they finally fly off.

Earlier this week, I spent a day with Schavis on a project for my favorite neighbors across the bridge. FFF is a delightful fellow, full of historic stories about our town and always with a quick smile. The DH considers him a model and hopes to follow his path of working and investing right here in our community.

I think he's a good act to follow.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

My Texas Visit

I've been back from my little jaunt to Texas for almost a week, but I'm still disorganized and confused. Yes, I know I'm like this most of the time anyway ... Why blame it on the trip? Nevertheless, here I find myself in the middle of several projects and stuff scattered everywhere.

This morning I coped by working in the garden.

This afternoon I shall cope by .... BLOGGING!

My visit with the Texans was terrific. I had lots of time to talk with Bro Joe; we played several unruly Spades games; I visited Patti's groovy pad with the Party Patio; I stayed up until the wee hours of morning acting as a helper at the After Graduation party (UGH! it was tough!); and of course, I watched with great pride (and shed a little tear or two) as The JayBird graduated from high school.

Look at that beautiful family, will you? The only thing needed to make it perfect is #1 son, Brian, who is off on his Big Adventure known as Navy Basic Training. He was surely missed.

It's not just my biased opinion, is it? Aren't these guys modeling material! Here's what The Hens had to say about JayBird and Markasaurus:

You've got some FINE looking nephews. Any of them want to move to Maryland?


They are way fine.

Opinion confirmed.

Another highlight was the chance to meet Jay's Gal Pal, the very lovely Casey.

I have been a fan of this bold gal even before I met her. Last fall, she decided her date for the dance MUST be JayBird -- but they hardly knew each other at all. Sooooo, she made up a gigantic sign --- at least 12 feet long -- asking him to the dance and attached it to the fence outside of the gym just before a basketball game that The Bird was sure to attend.

Then she posted herself way up in the stands, amongst all her girlfriends and waited. Jay was oblivious of the sign until a friend pointed it out, but it certainly then got his attention and he made his way up to the Waiting Spider and her cohorts to graciously accept.

Don't they make a gorgeous couple?

She was equally gutsy during her first Lithuanian Spades Game. We tried to go a little gently at first, but she hopped right in there and took us all down. Thanks for playing along, Casey! I dig your style.
  • Yankee Knitter Designs "Aran Sweater" in Sirdar Supersoft Toddler Aran "Hyacinth"
  • Mark's "UT Afghan" in Red Heart Super Saver Carrot and White
  • COMPLETED! "Aran Rose" in Rowan Calmer "Powder Puff" (details in the Gallery soon!)

  • The Things I Get Into
  • Vegan Lunchbox

  • VEG WEB - YUM!
  • Customized T-Shirts at!

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