Coldy Rainy

comments: 52


All last week, coldy rainy. Forecast this week, coldy rainy. Hail, thunder, pelting rain, pouring rain, drizzling rain, sun for a moment, wind, an occasionally glorious sky, then more rain. Mud on my floors from cat paws constantly going in and out. It's warm enough for them to want to go out, not warm enough to leave the door open. I let them in my casement window since I am frequently sitting right next to it and I'm lazy. They stand on the outdoor chair right outside the window — at eye level with me on the sofa — and pummel the window pane with their paws (which, try as I might, I find too maddening to ignore) until I let them in again. If I hesitate in opening it (because, let's just say, I might be in the middle of doing Something Else), the puppers runs over and stares at me in a panic on the kitters's behalf: "She wants to come in! She wants to come in!!!" until I sigh and let whichever one it is in again (oh they've trained us well!). Then a kitters comes bouncing in through the window, leaving tiny sopping wet footprints on the sofa. This replays itself probably fifteen times a day, for each cat. The minute one comes in and I get myself resituated, the other one wants out (indicated by plaintive bleating by the front door). So I let her out. For about seven minutes. And then it starts all over again. All rain-day long. I feel like Beatrix Potter caught in a revolving door. It would be funny in fast motion. At least the sofa is ultrasuede, and the color of mud. The only piece of furniture I've ever picked out that actually turned out to be exactly what we needed here — totally unstainable, and the color of mud. But I think the poor pets really hate this weather more than any of us.

More days, coldy rainy. Last weekend I felt like we barely sat down, this weekend it seemed that we hardly got up (except to admit or discharge a pet, as noted). We wound up plowing our way through the first one and a half seasons of Chuck, which several of you recommended, and it was absolutely perfect. Just exactly what I wanted to watch — thank you thank you. Kind of 40-Year-Old Virgin meets Alias (but very sweet). Thank you also for the other similar recommendations, too. We will probably watch La Femme Nikita next, and then hopefully the nice weather will be here and we can go outside again.

Mornings coldy rainy, I'm getting a slow start. My grandma's crocheted blanket up there? Must be forty years old. Something to be said for acrylic yarns, I guess — they'll last forever. I pulled some beautiful pale pink Cashmerino Chunky out of my stash the other day and the skein just totally shredded into dandelion fluff in my hands. Moths. And I have lavender and cedar and what-all in there with it, too. Not that we need another crocheted blanket around here, but Grandma's is so dang cool. I've been looking at it to try to figure out how she did it. Hers is quite small — more lappy than beddy. I'd go bigger, but keep the colors. The navy/cream combo looks so pretty with all of my pinky flowery stuff, I think. Maybe a hammock blankie? With optimism for warmer days ahead? I don't have much on my needles/hook right now, after last week's blowout. Thank you so much for ALL of the such nice comments on the clothes last week! So nice of you. That made me feel really good. Thank you for that.

Some weirdness: We got several (like, ten) new terra cotta planters last weekend. We planted them and set them out all together in their own little corner. This past week they, and pretty much only they, have been absolutely covered with aphids. Is that bizarre? We know I'm no gardener, but I've never seen that happen before. The aphids now seem to be moving over to the older plantings, but this is definitely a spreading thing — they are mostly and heavily concentrated on the new planters (though not the plants themselves). This morning there were about two dozen lady bugs out there, doing their best. Any advice?

*Update: Thanks! I just blew them all off with the hose, and will spray with soap solution, and maybe get more ladybugs. Boy do I feel dumb! I have been looking at them for about six days and not doing anything. Except focusing on the Mystery Part: "Huh — they're only on the new pots — weird!" (Repeated four times a day.) Doi. I've got my hands full with the Animal Kingdom today I guess :-) !


re: the aphids. Sounds like a job for safer insecticidal soap to me. Gets the aphids, safe for the lady bugs.

I agree with the above comment, but it really seems like everything you have right now is being infested by tiny bugs! Best of luck, and grandma's afghan is beautiful. Natural fiber eating bugs make me happy that our grandmothers stuck to Red Heart acrylics. Makes me wonder if I should make an acrylic relic every once in a while.

Once an aphid hits the ground, it's dead. Knock them off with a sharp spray of water. You'll want to control them: they like new growth and will literally suck the life out of new buds and greenery. They produce a sweet liquid that then attracts ants. Thus, I predict you may soon have an ant problem. :(

Whole Foods sells ladybug- We had those bugs too- The ladybugs took care of them quickly.
Have a great day.

Hi, Alicia,
My scabiosa (pincushion flowers) were covered with aphids this year (first time ever) and I bought the little pill-shaped all-in-one fertilizer with bug control, and that did the trick. I'm not sure who makes them, but I got them at my local nursery. There is a chart that tells you how many to use according to pot diameter. (It took a few days for it to kick in, but it did work.)

ps I should elaborate . . . each bag has several small "pills" in it, and a stick you use to push them into the soil. Very easy.

emily c says: May 24, 2010 at 09:40 AM

i agree with the suggestions for soap and water and then ladybugs. sorry about the coldy rainy in your neck of the woods. but it could be snowing. which is what it is doing here at this moment in my colorado ski town. have fun watching la femme nikita, but please don't go into it expecting sweet. it's more prickly/edgy. if you want sweet, go out to see letters to juliet. emily c xo

I have found that putting vinegar and liquid dish detergent in a spray bottle will get rid of the aphids. But only if you use spray on the plants! It works like a dream and doesn't hurt the plants.
I enjoy your blog and I know that cats can drive you crazy...I have two.

Sounds like Bozeman, the rain and snow, and hail...yep. Spring is here.

Bleck. I hate aphids. They're all over my sage right now, but I've been killing them off with an all-natural spray from the nursery. I have to re-spray about every 4 days, and really wash my herbs before I use them, but at least they're dead quickly!

I think better weather is on its way! (I'm in Portland too.) That navy and cream blanket is beautiful. I love working on craft projects when the weather is yucky-- I took a sewing class at Modern Domestic this weekend, while it was pouring outside, and it was so much fun!

Regarding your cats: I was watching a show on PBS about cats and dogs. The relationship between people and their pets was explained this way... Cats have staff, dogs have family...
Sounds like your bosses really kept you working this weekend!

The best control for aphids that I have found is time consuming but works...wipe them off of the leaves with a wet paper towel. The best part is that it's instantaneous. The ladybugs can get any stragglers you miss. I've always had only marginal success with insecticidal sprays, and they make everything sticky.

I love your blog, by the way - I check in every day to see all of the beautiful things you are making and doing. Thanks for the daily work pick-me-up!

Also commenting from coldy rainy (love this description) Portland; enjoying the opportunity to work on quilting, knitting and reading projects; however, witnessing the amazing growing ability of grass, plants and weeds despite the coldy rainy weather, I'm heading out today to tackle as much as I can before the rains return tomorrow. We also have dogs who enjoy the going in and out regardless of the weather. They seem to know it's spring and they should be able to spend more time out of doors.

Ohhh...Cashmarino. You must kill the moths. I love cashmarino. No acrylic! (even though the navy blue afghan is very pretty), just think how fabulous it would be in cashmarino.... Sorry Grandma!

The Beatrix Potter/revolving door bit made me chuckle. Why must cats and dogs be so indecisive, even when the weather is trying to decide for them!

puglette says: May 24, 2010 at 12:06 PM

grandma's blanket is beautiful. i have been staring at it, how did she get the little white dots?!? and aphids, ugh. i planted a bunch of nasturtium seeds one year and they were black with aphids as soon as the plants came up. i have heard that buying ladybugs is kind of a waste, they fly away and benefit your neighbors more than you.

let know if you figure out grandma's blanket, please!

I would love some coldy rainy. Right now it's hotty sweaty in Minnesota - 92 degrees. Ugh.

My cats are taking turns in front of the fan. My huge, white, turkish angora arranges himself so that the breeze blows his hair around a la Fabio.

If it's any consolation, our 4 cats demand the same sort of valet door and window service. I will never buy a house with a master bedroom on the ground floor again - as the cats perform this in out ritual all night too! Impossible to ignore squeaky paws on the window pane even if you try!

Your comments on your cats totally cracks me up. I have 2 cats and a dog and go through the same thing. in-out-in-out. Felix, my oldest cat, also meows really loud(almost yelling) ever since my hard-of-hearing mother-in-law stayed with him a couple of years ago. Yours was the first blog I ever read!
You inspired me to start my own blog. thanks

That is one beautiful blanket, as soon as I saw it I also started trying to figure out how she did it (like I would ever be able to do that)... I'm sure you'll make a gorgeous version.

Vicki K says: May 24, 2010 at 12:44 PM

Does a mud-colored towel on the floor at the door not absorb much as they streak back indoors?

Having not watched Alias, I didn't know what to recommend, but if you like Chuck you may also like Psych and Burn Notice.

All the rain is helping me sew. But My Two Doggies do not like to go out in the rain even when they Need To. Argh.

Your cats and corgi sound EXACTLY like our cats and corgi! Piper gets extremely emotional when the cats want to go in/out, when they fight with each other, when they paw at the windows. When we raise our voices at one of the cats, Piper The Corgi Cop rushes in to see who needs disciplining! And yes, the cats go in and out endlessly no matter what the weather is like -- sometimes within two minutes of being let in/out, they want to go out/in AGAIN. I am trained to respond to the annoying meow. At least we all (and you all) understand each other!

We've had the most beautiful, nearly perfect weather in Vermont. I say nearly perfect because today it is almost too hot and tomorrow it is expect to be in the 90's! Having said that, I can MUCH appreciate reading about the antics of your kitties. I have four of them (and several children to boot!). And man alive, it rained last week. Someone had let my big long haired calico in. She is the dog we don't have. Seriously. She acts like one. And I love her. But she hopped up onto our king sized bed and dragged her wet belly across my covers.. wiping her paws on my pillows and SMELLED OF A WET DOG! I wanted to die. Oh no you don't! Off you go! LOL! And yes, in and out. ALL.DAY.LONG.

May the sun shine on you soon.

Delilah says: May 24, 2010 at 01:50 PM

Red Heart has a newish yarn that is named Red Heart Soft, and while it is acrylic it has a beautiful sheen that makes it appear and feel like a more expensive yarn. All of my family has an allergy to wool except me and I can't count all of the sweaters I've had to repurpose because of a hole left by a moth.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.