Monday, March 30, 2009

Eek! A Mouse (I think)

Phew! our basement smells. Bad. In one corner, under the stairs. We (mostly my husband, really) spent a lot of yesterday hunting through the basement and Steve also crawled around outside on the wet and snowy ground around our back porch to see if that was the place (the smelly area in the basement is next to the back porch).

We checked inside everything in that corner, mostly old flower pots and painting supplies. My husband moved everything to double check. We couldn't find the source of the reek. Most likely a dead mouse in the wall somewhere (eeewwwww!) It doesn't small as bad as when the 'possum bit the dust under the back porch, but it's bad enough. Thankfully, it's only in the one corner of the basement--very localized. But, still, EEEWWWWW!

I worked hard this weekend, avoiding the basement, and finished the crewel project that was a class my friend Rita took many years ago. I didn't think much of it until I washed and pressed it. Now I think it's a pretty nice piece. I have no idea what I'll do with it--I just really enjoy stitching crewel. Thanks to Terry, the flower on the top right has the half-feather stitch around it. (not very visible, it's in the palest color)

On Saturday (pre-dead mouse) we ventured out and about a bit. We really like green houses, botanic gardens, conservatories, so when we inadvertently learned there was one only a few miles from our house, we were kind of shocked. They certainly have kept it to themselves! We learned about it because they have a century plant that is about to bloom. It is growing at the rate of about 7" per day and has topped the roof of the greenhouse (they broke out a panel to accommodate it.

Here's Steve looking at it from the outside--you can just see the tip where it pokes out of the roof. Sad to say, they're not open on weekends (most likely the main reason we were unaware of them). The greenhouse is in Washington Park in East Chicago, Indiana at 142d and Parish. From what I can tell, however, any and all events there (like the spring flower show) are for residents with proper IDs only. Well, heck!

Here's another view of the century plant from the side, through the greenhouse glass. It looks exactly like a stalk of asparagus on steroids! You can see the scales on the side, just like an asparagus. Except it's maybe 8" across. We've read about the century plant that burst through the roof at the Oak Park conservatory (and revitalized the conservatory and saved it from oblivion) but we've never seen one.

It was interesting to see it. The tip also looks just like asparagus and, from what we've read, so does the flower. Once it flowers, the plant dies. We hope Sunday's snow didn't damage it.

We didn't get much--a dusting on the grass. Enough that some enterprising children made a nicely sized snowman. I saw it on my way in to work this morning. Most of the snow is gone now. I heard some areas got 7" so we were lucky.


Lelia said...

Your crewel piece is beautiful. I clicked on the image & it was even better larger than life on my computer monitor. Wow. You sure know what you are doing with crewel yarn! Whatever you do with it -- it turned out well. I'm stitching primitive bird & the state day project (which is just so difficult white fiber on white evenweave ... what was I thinking?)

Karol said...

Beautiful finish!

terryb said...

The crewel is very nicely done. It looks like the trick of the half feather is getting the spacing even, especially on the circle. I'm not sure how big it is, but I think with a good choice of coordinating fabric to frame it, it would make up into a very pretty cushion.

Anonymous said...

i like your 'we (mostly HE) - im the same. my theory is being a cop he is used to dead bodies and a mouse/possum is *nothing*. HE doesnt agree. (I also tried this with nappy changing - didnt work either).
the crewel is lovely, btw.
So do you think you will be able to see the flowering? it sounds a bit elitist - only for the residents....

Flying Fingers Plus said...

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Pls pass along the link to anybody you think would be interested.

I will send an intro e-mail when I get the NANI membership list in hand & tidy up the side bar a little more