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Saturday, September 28, 2013

AutumnTide

Autumn here often shows her colors right around the actual equinox. This year she was a little late to start the party, at least from my frame of reference. My first visit to Maine -- a week long recon mission a few years ago -- coincided with the equinox so that makes a definite point of reference for me. The dramatic colors (especially in contrast to coastal NC) and the discovery of the annual Common Ground Fair both mark a point of change.

Our maple tree by the front gate is showing color now, but it wasn't when we headed out last Saturday to the fair. Neither were many of the trees along the way, which are becoming more dramatic as the days go by. Maples in boggy areas seem to be quite colorful now, while their higher land counterparts are lagging. The night temperatures are in the low 50s and 40s; the quilt has stayed on the bed and we have brought the propane space heater in, but only turned it on for a few minutes early this morning to warm a room for me to dress for work. We have not yet had a frost, though I noticed that the pumpkins and winter squash plants on the fairgrounds were all showing that the first frost has visited there.

Autumn -- prep for winter -- is always a most busy time. There are root crops to dig (onions and potatoes are now all in, but not yet weighed. Good crop of 'taters, onions no so much so. Carrots will be scarce, as they got lost in the weeds.

After a hiatus due to my not getting the seedlings started indoors on a regular schedule nor getting them planted out regularly, our summer lettuce crop was a bust. It all bolted quickly, but the fall crop of summer lettuce (different varieties than the fall crop of winter lettuce, which is supposed to hold longer, and which I hope to put under some sort of protection before the snow flies) is coming on big time. I once again was able to offer it to the buyer's club and had no trouble filling their orders for 3 pounds, plus I ended up with a pound or so to put in our fridge. When I have a large quantity of leafy greens, they get their first baths in the (scoured, bleached and rinsed to within an inch of it's life) bathtub.
Four pounds of lettuce, as the tub fills with rinse water.


Surprise to me, though, my first attempt at celery (despite it getting lost in the weeds) was NOT a failure. the conventional plants could have easily stood more manure side dressing and to be weeded, of course, but they are still there and look like celery! The cutting celery (like a somewhat large, celery-flavored parsley plant) will have plenty for me to dry, too. They are next to be harvested, as well as what tomatoes I can salvage.

I am sick about the waste of tomatoes. This year I planted 300' of row, because I have yet to get a decent crop and wanted to have plenty to can, and a good excuse for having bought the Squeezo strainer last year. I did manage to get several batches of sauce tomatoes processed (batches being my 20 quart stainless steel kettle full to cook down). And we have canned a few whole and eaten some BLTs, but the majority of the crop is laying on the ground with slug damage or has been pecked by the fowl. And of all years, this one brought a bumper crop.

I'll go out tomorrow and early in the week to see how many more I can find to salvage and process. And I have plans in my mind to solve this problem next year. More about that in a future blog, but it involves both penning fowl and supporting the plants with a sturdier support. This year I tried the "florida weave" and it failed.

I have pulled the pickling cucumber plants and most of the table cukes, but there are a couple plants with fruit that might finish off, as the days are expected to be sunny and in the low 70s for the next week.

I am still waiting for the frost to knock down the squash leaves, but have seen lots of fruit out there. Pumpkins didn't get in early enough to turn orange, so I'll use them as decor and poultry feed. There are a few cabbages left, I'll try to store them for fresh use for a bit, leaving them in the garden as long as I can.

And hex signs... wow!  I just shipped a LOT of Abundance and Prosperity, three signs, headed in three different directions. And there are more orders yet to fill, in process.
2' diameter Abundance & Prosperity
2' diameter Abundance & Prosperity
4' diameter Abundance & Prosperity



And none of this addresses getting the propane tanks moved to an easier winter access point in front of the house, nor the wood stove installation. I, for one, am hoping that Autumn hangs around for a bit.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Oh, the Times, They are A-changin'

...with apologies to Bob Dylan...

Change is afoot. Yes, deliberate change (as in the Year (More or Less) Of Transition. But methinks something else may be afoot as well.

Yesterday evening, my partner suggested that I might want to "sense" my wardings, as he felt "a wind" that he had not felt before. My first thought was that I should strengthen them at dark of the moon, and his response to that was that no, that was not necessarily what needed doing, for what he felt did not mean me ill and that it might be beneficial for me.

As I prepared to go to bed, the thought came to me "the winds of change." I decided to let it steep for a bit.

Today, I think that is an accurate assessment. Possibly it was stirred up by my Year of Transition, possibly the coming full moon and autumnal equinox factor in... maybe something is up in my chart, though I will admit to not being terribly focused on astrology.

What I do know is that this week -- once on Monday and again today -- I did something so atypical for me that I cannot actually remember ever having done it before. I turned down work, paying work, at that.

Up until now, my focus was on building business both as a designer and artist. If a possible client or a commission presented itself, and my being able to complete the job was anywhere within the realm of possible -- even if it meant a big stretch in my capabilities, or even learning a new skill on the fly, I went for it with all I had. Now, I didn't get all the opportunities that presented themselves, but I did get a good lot of them, and often spent time paddling like mad below the surface while presenting a cool and competent exterior. "Never let them see you sweat."

I enjoyed the excitement and the challenge of each and every opportunity.

Monday, however, when returning a call about a web consult I left the caller a voice mail saying that I was "not accepting new clients at this time." Admittedly it was bad timing; I have just renewed a contract with an old client for an annual big project that will have me burning the midnight electrons much of next month, but in the past that would not have given me pause. I really didn't want to do it. I am not sure why. I do enjoy working with the clients for whom I currently webmaster, but a new one just didn't feel right. My voicemail message, however, felt very right.

Today I got an email inquiry about a hex sign. Something in the tone and the way the email was phrased put me off a bit, as did the fact that the person required a phone call. She said in the email
" We are in the process of having our barn painted and want to have one done @ this time-could you please call me for I have many questions about what type might work for us and if you do just the drawings or the completed work only."
The way that question was phrased made me think she had not ever been on DutchHexSign.com, for even a basic look at the site shows the store front with many signs for sale and describes the process.

I started the conversation asking how she found me and the long explanation -- involving a KindleFire and "not being a computer person" and looking at pictures of barn stars and quilts and hex signs -- never really gave me an answer. She also was not really able to elucidate what she DID want, other than a strange insistence that her sign be painted on a square "with a border around it, because it is going on a white barn." She was also not sure what size she wanted, but seemed insistent that it would need to be painted in sections and pieced together upon installation. 

I tried to explain exactly what it was that I did, and why I did it that way, but she was not hearing me so as quickly and politely as I could I explained that I did not work in the square, only in the round but that I did know other hexeri who did paint their circular designs on rectilinear pieces of wood. She jumped on that like a flea on a dog and asked for a referral.

I hope my colleague to whom I referred her won't sling any lightning bolts my way... I have the feeling that she will be a very difficult person to work with.  But, in the past, that would not have mattered to me and I would have done my best to "sell her."

I am pretty sure that I would not, however, have compromised and painted a barn quilt square for her, or painted a hex like a painting, which is what she seemed to want. That is not how I was taught to work and that is not how hexen do their thing.

So... change... to a focus more on doing the things that I enjoy in a way that I can still enjoy them and have income. Less stress? We'll have to see what comes of this.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Year of Transition, Month 2

Ok so what have I been up to on the road of transition thus far? Well, lots of thinkin' and a bit of doin'.

Been talking to the other half about "for better or worse, but not for lunch" type issues. For most of our time together as a couple, I have been very busy with work, much of it away from home, and he has been some semblance of a house husband, as much as his body would allow. I concentrate very intently when I am working and it can make those around me feel excluded (well, 'cause they are) and really much like an extra wheel if they try to interrupt. So we have things to work on.

For my part, I have learned (via past relationships) how to do "my thing" when others around me are not busy at something, or even are asleep. My ex- worked nights much of our time together, which accounts for a lot of it.  I still have to remind myself, after a fashion, to do what needs doing these days, especially as K is ailing more than usual and tending to sleep a lot. And since he is not even as well as he was, he is often not up to doing things that he used to in the past, which makes HIM feel even worse when I do them because they need doing. Something else we have to work on. I think this will need to be an issue with his counselor, as this is not something that will change for the better.

After being a mom of 5, though, I am not one who is going to jump in and do one of "his" chores if it doesn't get done as quickly or efficiently as it might have in the past. I hope that helps. Not sure it will though.

For myself, I am working a bit more on doing things that I used to do, which are important to me but have been let go due to lack of time and energy. Now, mind you, I don't really have a lot of extra time OR energy at this point... but picking up the threads, little by little, I hope, will make it easier to hold the reins firmly as the year turns.  One of my threads is self-reliance and a move more towards food independence. I have pretty much decided not to grow for market in the future and instead to focus on supplying us with food in season and sufficient to put up for the off season while minimizing waste. Another on the food thread is making more of what we may currently buy: tortillas (both corn and wheat), noodles, soda crackers and bread are all in my bag of tricks and I would like to get back to making all of them, once I have the time. Today I put up eggs in the freezer, in bags of three yolks and one whole egg, to store for making noodles come winter, when egg production wanes. That way, we can have eggs without the hassle or expense of lighting the chicken coop to give them longer days. I think the fowl need the seasonal changes; I know I do!

Another thing that I used to do, from a very young age, was decorate for the seasons and holidays. Up until very recently, I at least had a wreath or some other appropriate decoration on the door, but that also went by the wayside. I have been trying, with a solar cross of wheat and a wheat wreath with a pentagram inside made of wheat stalks, but they went by rather quickly, having gotten beat by the winds, soaked by the rains, etc. on the south facing door. Last week I saw a wreath of fake berries with a five pointed star inside for a very fair price and bought it. It was my intention to further seasonalize it with a garland of fake leaves, which I bought and applied today and it now hangs on the door. Hopefully it will last a bit longer.

I also want to get into the habit of recognizing my grand kids (all of whom live across the country from me) at least once a year. With 5 daughters, all but one of whom have multiple children, this could be a major and unaffordable expense not to mention an exercise in frustration trying to remember and coordinate all those birthdays. My idea, which I have just floated to my kids, is to pick a month that I can easily associate with each of my daughters, and use that as the month in which I surprise their kinder with gifts from Grandma. I figure to send out an email to each daughter a month in advance, for updates on what each of the young'us is into, and then I'll have a month to come up with something cool... found or likely made... age and season appropriate and relevant to both the child's interests and granny's crazy way of looking at life.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

"Thus speaks a woman who takes her gardening seriously!"

A bit ago, I posted on Facebook:
"Picked another 10 gallons of sauce tomatoes, didn't even come close to getting to the end of the row. Also some eaters, hoping they ripen before they rot as most out there have damage from fowl or -- now -- slugs. I planted way too many 'maters. Next year, two rows, with attention to keeping them all off the ground. the Florida weave wimped out. Plants were just too heavy with fruit. Yeah, what a think to grouch about, eh? Next year am planning to use 2x4 wire mesh with a bit of a lean, supported by tripods for the eaters and the same mesh, horizontal, about 10" off the ground supported by wood for the canners. With paper mulch in the rows."
 And a friend's comment on that post titles this blog entry.

I went on to explain, in a later comment "Yes, I DO take may garden... and my fowl, etc. seriously. It's part of my spiritual path. The northern Gods seriously want their folk to be self-reliant, strong, survivors (as opposed to "survivalists", thank you)... or at least that is what they tell ME."

I have offered to do a workshop at an upcoming Pagan Pride event about my path, so have been thinking about it in different terms of late and so I am going to take a few minutes this morning -- before tend the fowl and pick more tomatoes (as well as cukes and herbs for the Buyers Club delivery today) to talk about it.

I started out... many MANY moons ago, as a rather generic pagan. And yes, that lower case "p" is deliberate. I was raised, as I say, a "Christmas and Easter Christian." My folks compromised on a church when they married and attended sporadically through my life. It was, I think, kind of expected for professionals in the 50s, yanno? Religion was never a big thing in my family and I never got much out of the services or occasional Sunday school classes, except questions, as the Bible my mom provided me, when required, was not the same version as that my classmates referenced.

I always, however, felt very "right" when out in nature.  

Fast forward to my late 20s, married, starting my family... seeking... something. A friend shared her belief in the Mormon faith (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to give it the full name) and I became intrigued. Here was a church that talked about a heavenly father AND a heavenly mother! That classic light bulb lit, and I bit. I had found, I thought, the balance that I sought.  A few years later we moved from town to country... and from the 20th century, in a way. Our new location was an intentional community in WA state, where they eschewed connections to "the grid"... no phones (the cell was yet in the future and likely would have had connectivity issues in the canyon anyway), power lines, etc. Even run by batteries or solar power, which was just beginning to come into its own, radio and TV were iffy, thanks to the community's above mentioned canyon location. 

Without the "man light" to keep us and wake us, we used kerosene lamps and heated and cooked with wood, had a huge garden and the natural cycles were omnipresent and impossible to ignore. On moonless nights, it was DARK, if overcast. When the stars shown, though, one could use their dim light to make ones way carefully down paths in less light than one ever sees in the city. When the moon approached full, I could literally read a newspaper by its light.. and I don't just mean the headlines!  With the focus on the garden, producing as much of our food as we could, the roll of the season because part of the rhythm of life, much more than the calendar and commercial holidays. As the days began to lengthen at the end of January, one needed to begin starting the seeds for early season transplants. When the frosts ended, garden work expanded; the early crops needed weeding, the summer crops needed planting and then came harvest and harvest and harvest! You begin to look forward to the first frost sometime in September, I think.. if for no other reason than because it means that soon the garden, with its insane work load, will be DONE for the year. For better or worse, one can turn to the slower cycle of the dark season; when the sun rises later and sets earlier, those living this sort of life tend to sleep longer and the indoor pursuits -- planning for the next season, ordering supplies, tool maintenance -- are a lot less physical. 

With the natural world peering over my shoulder at every turn, and indeed not only tapping me on it from time to time, but sticking out a foot and tripping me, to fall figuratively face-first into it, the feelings from my youth pushed to the forefront. I thought of a high school science club camping trip, when I noted (while gathering pine cones to start a fire with the wet wood my class mates had gathered the previous evening) the additional warmth as the sun rose over the hills and commented that I could easily understand how "primitive people" became sun worshipers. 

On the other side, the church we had joined proved to be more than a bit disappointing. By this time I had discovered that the balance I expected from the missionaries stories and explanations was woefully missing. The goddess figure was seldom mentioned from the pulpit and the church proved to be as male dominant as all the other Christian sects that I had known.

Meanwhile, nature... I was beginning to think of it as Nature now... continued to call. It was almost impossible for me not to climb the canyon walls twice a month -- for new moon and full -- and to sit under what the locals called "The Zen Pine" for meditation. From somewhere, the concept of the moon as representative of Goddess and sun as God rose to the forefront of my mind and I greeted them as such, in my mind, each time I saw them.  Then, out of the blue, came the notion that I needed to honor the earth -- Earth -- for all that it provided me and that I needed to make "an altar" and that it should be facing north. I hadn't a clue and honestly it never occurred to me to visit the local library. The word "pagan" as something relevant to the modern world, was not in my vocabulary. My mental question "how?" was followed by promptings to gather things of the earth, to place them on a table and to add a lit candle, which I did. Over the next few months, promptings to do the same for Fire, Air and Water were likewise followed. 

As years passed, I discovered the term Pagan (thanks to a conversation on beliefs with a young friend) and came to apply it to myself. The generic Goddess and God figures resolved themselves into specific Beings, who introduced themselves to me. Eventually I did get to that library, and to book stores, and added a few volumes to my library. I kept to those with content the reflected and resonated with what I was learning directly.

I never did connect with a group, but then I am not a group person. And as more years passed, the Gods and Goddesses handed me off to others... first in the Greek pantheon ... which ended with Hecate as I felt the age of my croning approaching... and then things took a strange turn. 

Much of my practice to this point -- spiritually, that is -- was feeling like it was lacking something. And when I got handed off to a different pantheon entirely, I found what that was. Hecate handed me to Frigga and with her, I found the "hearth Goddess" of my dreams!  LOL This Goddess sits on the throne of Asgard when her husband, Odin, is off doing his thing and a leader at home is needed. She rides on the Great Hunt and in general can be as "kick ass" a Goddess as one might want, while also tending to the affairs at Fensalair, her home, and to her group of 12 handmaidens, all Goddesses in their own rights. 

As I began to look farther into the ways of the Northlands, I found myself being called to the North again. Now, mind you I was born in Michigan... a northlander. I have always felt called to North as an energy and a direction, though I had been wandering, following work, which landed me mostly in the south, and in climates that I did not enjoy.  

And I also discovered Runes (the gift of them was given to/won by Odin long ago) and the Havermal, the Eddas, poetic and prose and the Nine Noble Virtues. And I learned that the Gods of my northern ancestors did want us (ALL of us) to be strong, and self-reliant and all the things that resonate with my soul and always have.  

So, yes, I am serious about my gardening, and now you know why.

Monday, September 9, 2013

On Being Thankful for Little

What do YOU do when one of your crops gets planted late, in a rainy season that does not lend itself to tractor work (for weed control between rows) and life overcomes commitment to hand weed IN the rows, which are unfortunately tucked into the far side of the garden behind the garage... out of site and shortly out of mind? When, despite all your good intention and the efforts of the plants and the Gods, your beans get overwhelmed with weeds, what is your course of action? Do you write off the crop, plow it under and get on with life? I think that is likely the most common course of action. However it is not mine.

Here on our homestead, daily life reflects a connection with the spiritual realms that is both rewarding and necessary to for one following my path. And thankfulness for the efforts of the Gods and the Earth is as necessary for meager crops as for abundant ones. The way I think of it, if I am not thankful for the small blessings, why in anyone's name would I be considered a candidate for larger ones?? I cannot fathom that the Gods would make a habit of "throwing pearls before swine" as it were.

So, with much of the abundance of the tomato harvest processed and the cooler weather allowing the ripening to slow, I took my garden focus today to the much-neglected bean rows. Now, you are not getting a pic of them because, well, it would just look like a field of weeds and I am sure, gardener or not, that you all know what one of them looks like!  My intentions, after getting the electric fence up around this garden, was to hand pull the weeds IN the rows, at least, to give the beans a fighting chance. Never happened. So with weeds up to 18" tall hiding most of the plants, I was not expecting much.

Parting the weeds enabled me to see the scrawny bean plants, bearing what appeared to be mostly old, drying and poorly pollinated pods.  As I continued down the first row, I began to discover a few small pods that felt like they might come close to "snapping" like a proper green bean should, so I picked them, with thanks for each and every one. After all, they had done THEIR part, against immense odds.

Have you ever been handed a job to do, had things unexpectedly go south on you and yet still you continued on? You did not achieve your goal, I am sure, but you made some progress and I hope your "boss" gave you the recognition you deserved rather than a hard time for your less than optimal results.

That's exactly what I was doing to the beans. I figured at the least we'd have a small serving each, to eat with thanks (for the meal, as well as for the larger abundance from the garden this year, and the fact that we CAN, if necessary, go "hunting and gathering" in the isles of the local grocer's shop.). By the time I was done, I had gathered enough beans for a generous side dish plus a meal's worth for the freezer. Not much for a full year's harvest, but much more than I expected.

Now, the other thing my Gods expect of me is not apology or mea culpa but an actual plan of action to improve the situation for the following year. I have not yet formulated it completely, but thoughts in my mind at present are running along the lines of putting some of the less demanding crops in that garden... things the deer are less likely to eat, more things that can be planted with cardboard or paper mulch (the squash vines are doing a great job of production there, despite the weeds between the rows. Each of their rows has cardboard or cardboard and spent hay mulch along the row, 18" wide.) and I will space them with sufficient width between the rows that the tractor can make two offset passes in different directions, with either the tiller or the cultivator, for more aggressive weed control between rows. It should be noted that this garden is planned eventually to contain only perennials -- berries and asparagus -- with mulched rows and tractor space between.

Bean harvest will be washed shortly and stashed in the fridge for processing tomorrow. I need to have a quick supper tonight and get on to the preparation of hex blanks, so I can begin the next round of orders. I can do that while the tomato puree that I produced today, using up the last of the currently picked fruit, begins cooking down. I also have two formerly-frozen chicken halves in the slow cooker, from the old bird stash. Each half makes two small freezer bags of cooked meat, each enough for a meal, and takes up a LOT less space. Hopefully, by Thursday, my next day off from the town job, there will be sufficient space liberated for me to process two more of the current crop of meat birds.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

September Songs

I always recall the title of a poem by one of my favorite poets this time of year: September is Summer Too -- or -- It's Never Too Late To Be Uncomfortable ... except that this year, August and the first few days thus far of September, have proven to be, to me at least, most hospitable, if not downright cool. Long sleeves are no longer just something I long for and dream of, but are required for morning and evening chores and the before-dawn commute to work. Afternoons in the garden, though, mean a change back to the old t-shirt.

The cool weather meant that my chicken butchery yesterday did not have to be a panic-filled rush against the heat. Two "freedom ranger" roosters were dispatched and now are "enjoying freezer camp." The hardest part of the process was making room for them in the nearly full deep freeze. Yes, we need a second one but likely that will be a next year deal. For now, I am still trying to use up the more than year-old fowl that had gotten buried in the bottom of the box. It is good to be mainly eating local and naturally raised meat, even though "how do you want your chicken tonight, dear?"  is getting a bit old. And yes, maybe their best months in the cold have passed, but I am pretty much of the "eat it anyway" school, as long as it's not going to make anyone ill. Waste, to me, is one of the worst sins against the planet and the Gods.


Tomatoes, waiting to be processed.
The tomato crop is thankfully slowing down the ripening with the cooler temps, as I cannot really keep up with the processing, despite the Squeezo strainer. I remembered why it seemed "so much easier" back when I was first homesteading, when the kids were young. The bottom line, despite needing to put by a lot more, was that I was canning on a wonderful wood stove, where the entire surface was cook top and on which I could efficiently work two large canning kettles to cook down the sauce and two more for processing jars, or one for cooking up a batch of something else with a faster turn-around and the water bath or pressure canner to process it.

Now, I am constrained to a single stainless steel pot to cook down the sauce and one canning kettle to process.

Squeezo, bought second hand last year.
I an hoping to have the majority of the sauce tomatoes through the process by the end of the week; There are still lots more things in the garden to deal with: onions. potatoes, leeks, carrots, beets, and there are broccoli coming on for fall, cabbages still standing (hopefully not all of them split during the last rain!) and, of course, the squash coming for after frost and the cukes that just won't quit. I may have lost all the beans to weeds and to having planted them in the west garden, where "out of sight, out of mind" is far too true. I've promised them I'll visit tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I had not even actually put the last of the last round of orders for hex signs in the post when the order list started filling up again. I dunno why the flow is so uneven, but I these days seem to get 3-4 orders all within a couple of days and then (thankfully) nothing for several weeks. If I were running ads or something, the ebb and flow would make sense, but I am not. Also for the first time, starting last month, I am typically getting orders for multiple signs. Now, in the past I have occasionally gotten an order for two (usually identical, to balance the barn) or similar (for barn and gate post) but now the norm seems to be 2-4 different designs in different sizes. For example, the queue currently includes orders for 1 24" sign,  1 24" and 1 48",  2 12" and 2 14" (on fabric, for indoor display... the rest are on plywood), a custom 12" and another 24" sign. Not that I am complaining! This is a testament to the fact that homestead businesses over the Internet CAN be an "overnight success" if you have the patience to work on building your business for 5 years or so!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Don't Borrow from Tomorrow

Normally I am not a worrier. Mind you, I used to be... back in the distant past, back when I was a new mom. I think that is normal. My mom was also a worrier. She worried about me (some very valid worries, actually, as it was her worry and her follow through that kept me alive and allowed me to grow and thrive, despite having the quarter-size hole in my heart with which I was born.) And she continued to worry (much more than I felt was reasonable when I became first a young woman and then a mother. And she worried about the kids, her grandbabies, too.

One of the things I was working on, as part of my maturing and spiritual growth, was letting go of worry. Most times it is not productive at the least and counter productive at the worse and it was a habit I needed to be free from. I had the bright idea, since Mom was going to worry anyway (after 60+ years, I didn't see any threads that it was a habit on the wane in her life) that I would make her my "designated worrier." We talked about it, she laughed and we had an agreement. Whenever there was something I was inclined to worry about, I'd visit mom -- or if I had to, call her -- and give her the jist of the matter and hand it off to her. When the situation had resolved to the point that worry was not longer appropriate, I'd contact her and "turn her off" the task. Strange as it sounds, this wack-a-doodle plan worked, for the most part. After a few years, in a moment of introspection, I realized that not only was I not worrying, I was not "handing off" may situations to the designated worrier.

Mom died some years later, as we all must. I will admit to a bit of panic at the time, though I had not used her "services" for a year or more. WHO would be my worrier, I wondered. By the time I needed one, I just passed it off to the Universe at large with the thought "can't do anything about it, so...." and didn't look back.

Today, though, I realized that while I have not been really worrying, of late, I have been projecting shades of what plague me one day onto the coming day. This is mostly concerning my sometimes very painful knees and my town job that requires me to be mostly on my feet for from 4 to 8 hours. Unlike here at the farm, I cannot always work my flow to alternate tasks that stress my knees with those that allow them to rest. And since my schedule both at the farm and at the store constantly change, some times there are protracted periods when the knees hurt and yet just must be made to perform, regardless.

Some times, though, the just don't hurt -- or don't hurt enough to count... with no cartilage in either knee, I am loath to say they don't hurt, period. I suspect my high pain tolerance and ability to just keep going masks some of it. And some times, for no appreciable reason it seems, they take a spell of just giving me fits regardless. I wonder if changes in the weather are at the root of pains that do not seem to be associated with over use, but have not yet made a determination on this.

Be that as it will, their capriciousness does tend to set me on edge and is a major factor in my projection onto the morrow of today's pain. I notice it especially when tomorrow brings harder chores or, like today, longer hours than I have worked in more than a month.

I went to bed last night, grateful to be off my feet and pain free (often the knees stop hurting when the no longer have to bear weight, but not always). And I woke up this morning, facing an 8 hour day of constant standing and walking, very apprehensive.

And nothing happened. The knees did not give me fits. Honestly, I was not even aware of them most of the time. I did my job, stopped by a friend's house, hit the grocery store and came home. It was on the drive home that the thought struck me "Don't borrow from tomorrow."

So with that thought in my mind, I am re-committing to let each day dawn anew; I will not "borrow" the good hours with my mind and replace them with painful ones. If I hurt, I hurt and I will keep going, but the pain will stay in the hour and day of its own. And if I do not hurt, I will not "borrow" the painful hours that may lurk in day ahead.

"Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof"