Thursday, April 27, 2017

I Won't Back Down

 So, things are chugging along here.  We have almost all the garden in, except for just a few things, and it's all going gangbusters.  Should have taters coming in soon to join the radishes and lettuce.

 The broccoli plants are growing well but not showing any signs of heading up so far.  This has been such a weird year, weather-wise though, I'm not sure what they are going to do.  If nothing else they will become chicken feed and that's okay.  I'm always looking for fresh stuff to feed those bottomless pits.  We are also getting lots of lots of eggs!  The girls are in overdrive! lol!

 We should have a very good crop of blueberries this year and hopefully, cherries also.  Even my rhubarb came back this year and is really putting out the stems.  Remarkably, it has lasted several years here, so I might be able to actually cut some this year.

 Love me some Easter Egg radishes.  They are so pretty.  I also planted some of the "watermelon" variety of radishes but they have not finished yet.  They are about double the time as these Easter Eggs; which  are a very early type.
I'm not sure if we are going to try to sell at the farmer's market this year.  I did better just selling from home last year and advertising on Facebook when I had stuff available.

 In some other good news, the university I attended recently purchased one of my sculptures for it's permanent collection.  It replaced another one of my sculptures that was supposed to go in the collection but the university wanted to give that one to a very generous patron.  This patron had bough the original sculpture at one of the alumni auctions on the premise she got to keep if for a year to enjoy herself before handing it over to the school.  Now, she gets to keep the one she loved so much, the school still gets one for it's collection, and I made a little money and have 2 more items to add to  my CV.

 I also ran my first official 5K and came in 2nd in my age group (45-49)!!!  Woooo!! I was so excited.  I was 4th overall amongst the women and if I remember correctly there was about 126 women in the run.  The week before my back had decided it hated me and became so stiff I could barely get around.  I was sure I would just have to forfeit the race and this thought was very, very upsetting to me.  I was very discouraged and heartbroken at that possibility.  I mean, the race was nothing; I knew I would not win anything but I wanted to be able to just do it.  I kept working, stretching, soaking and being very, very careful with taking my meds until I got to the point I thought, well, I can give it a try. Honestly, I wasn't even sure the morning of the run.  Thank goodness it was a late afternoon/ evening event because I do better at that time of day.  Anyway.  We went and I was just going to be happy to not finish last. LOL!  And amazingly, did way better than that!

Now, I'll tell you, in the same month, I've also been rejected from 2 art exhibits (one of which I really had my heart set on), passed over one run because of feeling bad and have hurt excruciatingly bad since running this one.  I guess the success/ failure rate is about 1:2 right now.  A number of things in my life have not turned out like I thought or had hoped.  Not even close on a couple.  But you just have to keep trying, keep going, and like I kept telling myself during that 5K....just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  And if I get to where I can't move my feet...I'll crawl if I have to.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Warm Enough

 It appears that Winter just sorta gave up shortly after the first of the year and Spring came rushing on in.  Not that I'm complaining about no cold weather, mind you.  But it has been pretty weird.  We did not get the flooding rains we always do around the end of December/ mid-January.  We got some heavy rains but none even close to what I have recorded every year since living here.  Despite all that, we have made up a good deal of the terrible drought this area was in.  I think we are listed as still in a 'slight' drought, but not anything near what it was.
Most things have bloomed out already but a few things, like my forsythia bushes, did not bloom at all.  They just went straight to leaf. Very odd.  The dogwoods started blooming in March. I think that is a first.  It's so nice now that I'm tempted to go ahead and set out some warm weather crops but I'll control myself.  We may be in for a frost next week.  I have got all the spring crops in though!  Very excited about that and even have a good crop of broccoli that I managed to start from seed!! That's also a first. lol!

I have felt well enough since being on the new meds to do some hardscaping too!  I have put this off way, waaaaaayyy too long but have it finished now.  Just need more fill dirt.  It's the main entrance to the garden in case you can't figure it out.  I always assume people know what these photos are of and you can't do that! Anyway, I poured a concrete curb to finish the boundary of the brick paver pad, dug out a bunch of dirt and replaced with gravel and crushed limestone fill.  Packed that and then laid the remainder of the pavers.  The block coming off at right angles is the beginning of gravel paths that will go around the entire garden perimeter to form a flower/ herb bed on the outside edge.  Make sense?

Nothing is flat around here so I have to step or terrace everything.  The pavers are sand-set by the way.

 Little bit different angle.  I was very pleased with how it came out. When the garden soil and gravel paths are filled in there will not be quite that big off a drop from the paver elevation. Maybe only an inch or two.

 A real nice, older gentleman down the road has let us have use of his backhoe.  I did some welding for him on a couple of occasions and I guess he was pleased so he told me if I wanted any of his old equipment that he didn't use anymore to just ask.  I wasn't really sure he was serious but I said, Sure, I'll take that old backhoe if you ever want to get rid of it!  He said, Okay! Haha! I was kinda flabbergasted.  At first he said he's sell it and then he just said, if you can get it running (it's pretty old) that we could just use it however much we wanted.  Just keep it running and not tear it up.  Good deal! Allen got it going and drove it over to my place, where it promptly died.  But Allen can get most any machine going again and he got it running enough to get up to his place next and then fixed it up a lot.  It runs pretty good now and we are taking turns doing a good bit of landscaping.  Will sure save me a chunk of money when I go to dig the footings for the next half of the house.  No, I don't have the means for building that yet but it must happen at some point.

 I repaired a larger bucket that came with it and we put that on.  This was a complete break and separation here but me and Allen worked with it and got it closed up enough I could get a good weld going.  For the most part, if I can step across it I can weld it.  lol!  And you believe that, right?  That's a very, very old brag for a welder.  And no, I will not give up welding.  I do weld now with a respirator and/ or a stiff wind blowing across me and will do so as long as I can hold my hands still enough to run a bead.

The violets are especially pretty this year and very, very prolific.  My herbalist friend came to visit the other day and told me how to make a syrup from them to sooth my lungs and throat.  I have a lot of issue now with coughing and hoarseness.  This is common with PD and it's very frustrating.  Hopefully this syrup will help a little.
Well, like I said, I am feeling better but still not quite up to my old days.  I hurt a lot and have a lot of stiffness all along my right side.  I joked that my left side is too loose and shakes and my right side is too tight and hurts! I'm slower than I used to be due to this but I'm still chugging along.  Mainly I want to do stuff and am excited about things again.  I can take some pain in exchange for that.  I'll try to get back soon with maybe some progress in the garden and maybe even the kitchen!!