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Friday, October 24, 2014

Harvest and Seed and Changes, Oh My!

This has been a very busy, productive and satisfying week.

In the hex world, I completed and posted this lovely sign, a 2' Welcome sign that headed off to Ohio. Now on the painting table is an Abundance and Prosperity that should be completed soon.

Putting the garden to bed and completing the harvest have been high on the priority list, and continue to be though the protracted rain of the last few days -- which finally did turn into a reasonable nor'easter storm with heavy rain and wind, as we had been promised in the forecast -- put a literal damper on outside activities.

Not cranberries, asparagus seeds!
 After getting the ornamental shrubs and the cherry tree in the hedge row mulched, I picked up the weed whacker and attacked the weeds on one side of the strawberry bed and started on the asparagus. That was when I spotted the abundance of asparagus seed! The odd spring had me out of sync with the growth pattern of he spears, and I ended up letting several of them get way too big to harvest much earlier in the picking season than I usually do, since I love "speargrass" and do not think one can ever have too much of the stuff. But it appears the plants rewarded me with many many seeds to plant and plenty to share as well. This little plastic cauldron contains what I picked from only the first of several rows of plants. We will see what the nor'easter has left me this coming week!

I also picked the first half of the last of the parsley. Yes, still more of the stuff to come. This batch is getting dried. I eventually put the trays into a very slow oven as they were NOT drying well otherwise and fear I will have to do the same with the hanging bunches. The last picking, this coming week, will get frozen. I also got Tractor Guy down off his machine for a little "down in the dirt" harvesting fun/help with with celery and leeks. Unfortunately the
celery had gotten too hot and dry, apparently, during our week of summer and will have to be used in soups, stews and cooked dishes, as it is too tough and woody for eating raw. Celery is one of my challenges, and I shall try again this coming year. We have a plan in mind for a new duck pond, and my thought is to drain and refill it at least every other day (ducks are really foul fowl) and pipe the dirty duck water directly to the celery patch.

During the rainy days, I have been focusing on a continued mission to "de-junk," clean and organize the house, which has been neglected for... just about forever! Working in town, even part time, as well as running my business and farming left little energy during the summer and last winter... well things just got lost in the fog, I guess. I am thinning out stuff that I no longer use or need, and will be boxing up heirlooms, such as some of my old film cameras, to send off to the kids. Every month, in the days leading up to dark moon, I carry yet another box or bag off to the charity store in addition to offering things on the online free lists all month long. This week's focus was the kitchen/dining room and I am just about done. There is one cupboard that needs attention and the cutting board's accumulation of stuff... but the table has been clear for several days (in between being used for a baking marathon and processing food to store, that is), and the floor has been scrubbed. This process will continue until done, though when the weather cooperates I still have a massive amount to do outside. 

Along with the de-junking, hauling off trash, recycles and redeemables this week was of course time for the dark moon ritual. I held my ritual a couple of days early, as I wanted a fire and knew with a nor'easter in the offing, that it would be impossible at the proper time. Did some working for a friend, and successfully pulled the strings the way they were needed, so it was a good thing!

I did take one of the non-rainy days for an away mission... off to a friend's house to rake and collect leaves for mulch. I still have more I can do there, if I get the chance. The winds decided they wanted to play with me and I was not able to make the kind of progress I had hoped in raking and collecting, as I had to pretty much gather up and bag each rake full as I got it... and even then, many of the leaves made a break for the neighbors' yards.

We did, finally, declare the heating season to be open and connected up the propane wall heater and serviced and filled the portable kero, which has been used a few mornings. The wall heater is set to come on only when it gets really cold, as thus far I do not believe it has lit.

After my delightful "week at home" last week, this one has been characterized by running here and there, mostly for medical stuff. Now that I have changed medical offices, my new primary care provider is wanting to get a base line on just about everything and I have agreed to some of it. Had a bone density test and blood work this week, and have an appointment today as well. Also planned to go all the way to Bangor on Tues to pick up an Rx for Tractor Guy and carry it to be filled, along with picking up other meds and a few staples for the pantry, so I could take in a session of the spin and knit group that I have been hanging out with, but my town visit was cut short by a call to the knit shop from TG. There was an urgent situation with our dog and he wanted me home. He had tended to it by the time I got here and all is well, but I still missed out on the "carrot" I had been using to get me through the shopping trip. On a positive note, though, I can report that slowly... very slowly.. I am getting the hang of this knitting thing once again. The tiny yarn and associated tiny needles still feel strange to me, but I no longer struggle to get through a round of knit knit purl purl and completed my last round yesterday in what seemed to me to be amazing time. I still have a few rounds to go on the ribbing, then I will have to pull out the pattern and watch the video to see what comes next!

Still more changes -- simplifications not of my doing... My second computer monitor died this past week. I have been using two monitors for years to give me the screen real estate that makes it easy to work on big projects with multiple content streams, but no more. Since I have closed the design business, I have only one big project, other then for my own work, and I'll do that by swapping windows like I used to. Not having the extra monitor allows me a window to the yard, garden and fowl-o-vision! It is great to look away from the screen and see the chickens, turkeys and guinea flocks ranging back and forth.

As the days shorten and the cooler weather comes in, I am drawn back to the hearth... to spinning and knitting and soon sewing... but the cleaning and outdoor work also must be done. Each year I hope to be ready for the winter by the end of October and thus far, each year, the work continues well into November . But one has to try!