January 5, 2011

Brightening Up Winter

Here in Buffalo, winter lasts FOREVER. As I mentioned before, we had a Lake Effect snowstorm during the first day of December. BUT, winter doesn't start until Dec 21. So we had a lovely three weeks of heavy winter before we should have.

Anyhoo, I always get sick of it as soon as Christmas is over. Sometimes I get that Vitamin D deficiency thing where you are lethargic and sort of depressed without the sun,but it has not started yet. I'm hoping that finding other ways to cure the doldrums will keep me from getting it.

A huge bud grows into...

...a lovely winter flower.

This is my first ever amaryllis. I am so proud of this plant. It's definately brightening up my kitchen. I saved an article from The Buffalo News written by Sally Cunningham, our area gardening expert, telling what to do with these bulbs for the rest of the year. Here is what to do, for those of you who would otherwise throw the bulb away:
1. When the flower dies off, cut the stem off close to the bulb, but not the leaves. Leave it in a window and continue to water it and fertilize according to houseplant fertilizer instructions.
2. When the weather warms up, put the amaryllis oustide and continue to water and fertilize all summer.
3. When the weather begins to cool, slow the watering down. Before a frost, bring it in the house and cut off the leaves to the base. Let it go dormant for 8 weeks, in a cool location, watering with a few drops only when the plant threatens to shrink away from the sides of the pot.
4. In eight weeks or so, put it in a bright location and begin to water and fertilize again.

I would like to see if I can keep it all year long and bring it back next Christmas.

Winter also puts me in a knitting mood. It must be the coziness of yarn that makes me want to curl up with a blanket and knit something.

Last week I went to my sweet friend Valerie's house to knit. First she played the piano for us.

 Valerie is an expert knitter. She puts me to shame. I wish I was good at it, there are so many things I would like to make. My mother tried to teach me, but I was too distracted or something. I kept making mistakes all the time and ended up ripping it all out and starting over. I am still doing that.

Val said she would show me how to knit cables. It is much easier than I would have imagined. So I started a scarf. I bought this yarn last year so I could knit a scarf to go with my long grey coat, but never made anything.

It's a lovely rich color and a soft merino blend. I can't wait til I'm done with it. My neck is cold!

Another bright spot in my winter is a book I got for Christmas that I am reading.

When we were in the Cape last summer, this book was in the cottage when we got there. I read about a third of it, but had to leave it behind when we came home.

Henry Beston stayed in his cottage on the beach for a whole year on his own from 1926-1927. The book is wonderfully written and the author uses the most lovely words to describe what he encounters in nature that year. It really makes you appreciate all of God's creatures. If you have the time, you really should read this book. I doubt you would be disappointed. Espcially if you have been to the Cape, or any ocean beach, for vacation.

So, this post I am thankful for Valerie, for teaching me cables. And for her patience with a sometimes hopeless student!

Hope your winter is cozy and warm and that you find some wonderful ways to beat the doldrums.
See you soon!

1 comment:

  1. your flower and your scarf are lovely! can't wait to see it on you! val is pretty amazing isn't she? suz