Sunday, July 31, 2016

These Past Few Weeks....

August 1 - raining outside - I got to play with Evan this AM.  He's been ill although he is a lot better. and Lynne and Nathan are doing great too!  I've been babysitting off and on this summer - and probably will continue which is great!  Equally fun is seeing how much Evan is learning (he knows "Twinkle, twinkle little star" - sang it in his sleep for his mom at 4 AM this morning!"  He also knows how to count to 10 - IN ORDER! and can say MOST of his ABCs - and is hilarious when it comes to sounding the letters!)  He is also a little chatterbox and definitely knows his own mind!  Not bad for an almost 2 year old!!!

I also talk to Wendy almost every day - and she and I still quilt together on Skype!  She is still having problems with her Chronic Fatigue syndrome - but I think she is a LOT better than she was!  At least she is able to move around more and do more before the waves of fatigue swamp her and she almost keels over!  This is something I definitely understand - and just wish there was something I could do. Vince is doing great - and working at Wal-Mart this year in the automotive department - which is NOT easy, trust me on that!  I still want to find a way to go up there for a visit!

I had PLANNED to work in the garden for about an  hour and harvest lots of veggies!  Yup - that's what I planned to do!  Can't do it now!  Not only because I might dissolve (yeah - right!), but because wet and super humid weather can cause transmission of plant diseases from one plant to another when a person (or animal - but then I can't stop animals!), but I CAN stop me from making matters worse - a LOT worse!  And trust me, nothing like seeing a beautiful squash plant go bad overnight!  Or watch the beans which have barely come in, develop bean rust, or peppers turn to mush!  Ugh!  So I stay OUT of the garden when it is raining or wet!

Garden - this year instead of doing this at MY house (TOO much shade, lousy soil, too much shade, not enough stretching out room, lousy soil - and, oh yes - too much shade!) where my harvest dwindled to "oh really, did I indeed plant ANYTHING" to my son Nathan's yard where, with the STRONG  HELP of alpaca poop (takes care of the lousy soil problem hereabouts!), it is now - OMG the beans, peppers, eggplant, lettuce are throwing a party and we're all invited!  I have a  8 - 10' bed for green beans.  This past weekend I froze, dehydrated well over 1.5 bushel of green beans.  Lettuce - good thing I found a recipe for braised lettuce (Romaine is best for this!) - and dehydrated (after eating salad until it was coming out of my ears, trying out the braised lettuce which isn't my favorite - BUT it is still all good) almost a halfbushel of this.  This from 3 4 foot rows of seed (planted too thickly, I admit) of lettuce.  Turnips have been great!  As have cucumbers (half bushel so far - 1 plant!!!)  And the 1 Zucchini plant and 1 yellow straightneck plant - have outdone themselves.  I'm STILL dehydrating zucchini - this week - I think I will grate for future cakes.  I already have LOTS of dehydrated slabs for rollups, zucchini lasagne, etc. and will want more of the "Zoodles- (Zucchini sliced lengthwise and then like french fries - for noodles, although I KNOW they also make great zucchini french fries like that as well!  I haven't even gotten to the zucc. pickles yet - which I will probably make from some more of the slabs - sort of like I did with the cucumbers!

This coming week hopefully will also see my early potatoes come out (vines are dead/dying - it's time!), more eggplant (yum! already looking up recipes and think I will dehydrate for trying with Indian foods as well!), harvesting 1 or more of the pepper plants instead of waiting until they are all red - or gold - whichever!

LOL - on the other side of the coin - my peas finally came in - so far I've harvested ONE pea pod!  lol And I'm not sure whether they will do anything this late in the year.  Whatever critter (deer?) munched on them - I hope they gave him/her a bellyache!  Melons are still hanging in there - and just not doing a lot of much - YET!  tomatoes - ummm - a whole other story!  NEXT year - garden will be extended 1 - 2 beds more - and 1 will be ONLY tomatoes.  This year - I believed the advice that I could plant 2 plants 18" apart.  Well - that could have been true - BUT I definitely need better support than those blasted cages (which make great support for green peas, btw!)  I had 2 plants 18-24 inches apart all the way through.  Foliage was unbelievable.  Tomatoes WOULD have been unbelievable!  and then all the wire supports collapsed on each other - and I had to bite the bullet and go in and Prune the tomatoes so that I would get ANYTHING!  As it is - except for probably fresh eating, I'm going to buy in what I need - and hope I learned my lesson.  WOOD supports - 3 FEET apart with one plant per support.  No more of this 18 inch jazz!

So - this has been the major focus for a while - and will probably continue to be so for a bit!  Meanwhile - during the heat of the day and after my shower, I have been piecing and quilting up a storm.  STILL haven't gotten pix taken although I did find my camera!  Need to work on that!

Also have been trying to study in whatever non-spare moments I have - this is a great way for those of us who like to procrastinate from cleaning house! Although I AM trying to keep the apartment at least almost reasonably decent.  Almost.