Hot Weather and Harvest time

Much to our delight, the hayfields mowed and baled just before ours were done late this week and there is no rain in the forecast next week, so we might actually have our fields cleared this week. It is going to be brutally hot though, highs in the 90’s every day. That will make garden time happen only in the early morning and I will have to be sure the chicken’s water stays filled. They already are digging dust bath holes in the shade of the asparagus that are now more than 5 feet tall and full fern mode.

Every day, a cup of blueberries, a basket of peas, a few new potatoes, and a handful of delicious plums come in. The tomatoes and cucumbers have flowers. The green beans are full height and blooming, and there are small hot peppers on several of the plants. A few Jalapenos were brought in this week. The peas are reaching the end of their season and most of the potatoes had already died back and been dug. There are peas in the freezer and we have been enjoying fresh ones a few times a week. There may only be 1 more basket full to harvest, then the vines will be pulled and chopped for compost, the bed covered with straw until it cools enough to plant some fall crops later in the season.

Trying to stay out of the boot in the house as much as possible means that when I go downstairs in the morning to fix my coffee and breakfast, I often sit on the couch looking out the front windows, up the driveway. The doe with a singleton fawn was out there a couple days ago, standing patiently on the edge of the driveway, while her little one nursed. I have never seen that happen out in the open, so with no dogs here, she must feel safe.

Not the best photo as it was taken from inside the house, through the screen, and zoomed so as not to chase her off. She would periodically turn and clean the little one while it ate.

This morning was Farmer’s Market Day and every week, we purchase some flowers from our friends that grow flowers for market and weddings. Once a month, I get the larger bouquet and today’s one is so colorful and gorgeous.

We are halfway through the month and I am almost finished with the June Jenkins spindle challenge to spin a rainbow. We were challenged to spin at least 10 grams of each of the 7 colors, but I have chosen to spin the entire pigtail of each one, about 16 to 18 grams per color. The photo shows the 5 finished ones and the indigo ready to spin, but it is now more than half spun. Once it is done, only the violet will remain.

Next month we do a daily scavenger hunt and post our spindle with the found object. It usually only requires a single gram per day but I’m sure more will actually be spun. I need to get back to work on the pound of gray Shetland wool that is on my spinning wheel, but I think I need to give my foot another week to heal first.

I did resume my sessions with my physical trainer this week after 3 weeks off with us having had visitors, her going on vacation, and me wearing a new boot. We did only upper body on the various machines. The area where we usually train with hand weights is getting new flooring, so all the machines and equipment are moved out of that area. About 2/3 of the gym has thick padded glued down rubber mat type flooring. The other 1/3 had carpet with rolled out mat pads that had shifted due to the movement of the equipment and there were wrinkles that were hazardous if you weren’t paying attention. All the carpet and old rolled out mat pads are being removed and that area is getting the same type of flooring as the rest of the gym. It makes using areas awkward but the end result will be great. At home, I continue to use resistance bands and hand weights.

Stay safe, and if travelling, be careful until we meet here again.

Getting Old Ain’t for Sissies

The PC visit went about how I figured. She is reasonably sure I have a stress fracture in a metatarsal but sent me for Xrays to make sure there wasn’t a more significant break or dislocation. When I get up in the morning, I think all is well, but 10-15 minutes walking around or standing to prepare a meal without the boot sends the throbbing ache back with a vengeance. The Xray did not show dislocation and most stress fractures don’t show in them, so my PC feels the best way to treat the issue is an Orthopedic Walking boot for at least 4 weeks and to stay off of it as much as possible. She said I can walk around as needed in the boot. What she didn’t say and I didn’t know from experience is that the boot throws your posture off and more than a little while walking in it causes back pain. So, I guess, other than meal prep, necessary errands and grocery shopping, I will spend a lot of time for the next 4 weeks in my recliner with my feet up. I can still go to my trainer, but we have to work only on upper body and core. Maybe I will join the Rec Center pool so I can at least get some cardio without impact to further aggravate my foot. Definitely not how I planned to spend my summer. I guess that is what I get for pushing myself to over 4 mph on the treadmill as a septuagenarian.

The time down has allowed me to spin more on the rainbow challenge.

The red and orange are done, a total of 155 yards of spun and plyed yarn and the yellow has been started.

The rain we have been getting had the grass getting entirely too tall and thick, and since mowing means riding around on the riding mower, I did get it done today while we have a milder, dryer day. The trimming with the line trimmer will have to wait a few weeks. While mowing, I notice the Dogwood, I think a Japanese Dogwood, that blooms well after all of the natives, has red speckled petals.

I have never noticed that before and don’t know if it is a natural occurrence or a disease. The tan spots are a sign of disease. I hate that we might lose this little tree.

Also while mowing, I survey the development of the various fruits. Most of the apple trees have lots of young fruit. One of the Asian pears is bearing, though for the second year, the other one is sparse. There are peaches coming, grapes on the vines, though the deer are eating the grape leaves. The plums are ripening and I ate the first two of the season while riding around. Maybe after dinner, I will hobble over to gather whatever berries have ripened in the past couple days if the birds haven’t beat me to them. This week there should be shelling peas and plenty more Sugar snap peas to enjoy. The tomatoes need to be tied up higher on the trellis, the cucumbers urged to grow up their trellis and not sprawl on the ground. Soon there will be onions and probably some new potatoes can be teased out from the plants. Green beans are growing, but not blooming yet but there are blooms on some of the peppers. I’m so glad, the young couple helped me get the cardboard and old hay down in the paths, so the garden maintenance is minimal.

No one is mowing hay on our mountain yet. I guess it will be July before they get to us again this year. The tall hay hides the fawns and Turkey poults as they trail along behind their Mom’s. We have seen a doe with a single fawn and another with twins. This morning, a hen Turkey with poults, but all you could see was the grass moving, so I don’t know how many she has. In a few weeks, they will be tall enough to see and count. Spring on the farm.

Stay well, stay safe, until next time.

Another Week Goes By

It has been a cool week with two record breaking lows at night, but not low enough to damage the garden. Things are warming back up this week to come.

Going out to gather eggs this evening, I spied a few ripe raspberries in the garden and once in there, realized there were a few ripe blueberries also. The cultivated berry season is short and over before the wild wineberries and blackberries are ripe, though I can’t get to any of them until the hay is mowed and the hay men haven’t even begun the near fields. We are among the last on the list, so maybe as late as early July. By then, the wineberries are gone, but blackberries will still be available. I will start watching the schedule for the local berry farms and go pick there.

And while in the garden, the Sugar Snap peas are ready to begin harvest, so nice fresh veggies this week and some for the freezer too. The shelling peas aren’t ready quite yet.

The Iris, both bearded and Dutch have finished, just in time for the Daylilies to begin to come into bloom.

The spindle challenge this month is to spin a rainbow. An indie dyer prepped and dyed pigtails of the 7 colors, for anyone in the challenge group that wanted to purchase them. The red is a bit too pink, but the rest of the colors are great.

I divided each color half to make two ply mini skeins. The blue and purple fiber on the left was some I bought last month to spin for a shawlette or scarf. Part of it has already been spun, but I couldn’t start on the rainbow until yesterday. Our local spinning group had an annual porch spin in and potluck lunch at one of the member’s homes yesterday. It was a beautiful day and a chance to see some friends that either come into town for this event or due to other commitments can’t make it to the Thursday afternoon sessions. It was a great afternoon. Some of the gray Shetland I am spinning was worked on the wheel while the red for the rainbow was started on a spindle.

My walks are on hiatus as I have either developed tendonitis or a stress fracture in my left foot. Tomorrow, I will explore with my PC whether I need to have it checked or just continue with elevation, ice, and Tylenol (can’t take NSAIDs). It is frustrating because we enjoy our 4 miles walks together and it is going to impact what I can do with my trainer.

When I got home from the spin in yesterday, we had another small swarm of bees enter the house. As much as I hate killing pollinators, there is no choice but to use the shop vac and a very long tube to extract them from the windows of the dormer in the living room, about 12 feet up. We noted where they entered from outside, so this week, the local grandson is going to come climb the ladder to fill the gap with “Great Stuff.” We had a swarm last year about this time and again this year. They need to find a better place to settle than inside the house.

It will be another 6 weeks before I can expect eggs from the young birds. It won’t be too soon as the two old ladies (about 3 1/2 years old) are really slowing down on production. The two 1 year olds are providing most of the current egg production and barely meeting daughter’s and my needs.

Until we meet again here, have a good, safe time.