A little processing

Yesterday afternoon before dinner prep, we set out to do a walk. My energy and blood pressure had been in the dump all day and I was hoping it would help. We generally walk two figure 8 loops around the double pond, so about 2-2.25 miles, and I only managed one. As a result, I never went back out to the garden in the evening.

This morning, while it was still cool and the sun low, the fall bed was planted with spinach, spinach mustard, kohlrabi, and radishes. Last night I planted the two hydroponic gardens on the kitchen counter with spinach, spinach mustard, mesclun mix in the 12 cell one, and an herb garden in the 6 cell one and set my alarm clock for 6 a.m. to go down and plug them in. At 6 a.m., I was sound asleep deaf ear up and didn’t hear the vibrating alarm go off. I turned them on when I did get up, but will have to try again tomorrow to get them on a reasonable schedule so the lights don’t keep us awake at night staying on too late.

We decided that we needed a day off from our walks, hubby had a bad calf cramp that has him sore. And I called the primary care Doctor to get my access to the portal reset to see my results. My RBC, hemoglobin, and hematocrit are unchanged from the morning I left the hospital inspite of eating dark leafy greens, meat, eggs, or seafood at least one a day, and taking the probiotic and multivitaminn with iron suggested by the hospital releasing physician. I expected a call from the P.C. Dr. as he said he would call when the results were in but I haven’t heard from him.

Because we weren’t breaking up the afternoon with a walk, I decided after lunch to process the bucket of apples as many were going bad, and the basket of Asian pears that were very ripe by making apple/pear sauce. We found a 4 pack of pint jars with lids last week and I had 1 remaining lid, so jars were put in the canner, the fruit cut from the cores and chopped to cook down until it could be run through the food mill to remove the skins. I ended up with 4 1/2 pints of fruit sauce to add to the shelf and with the metal lids, heard the satisfying pop of each lid as they cooled.

Don’t you love the unpaper towel they are sitting on. They are made by a friend with an Etsy shop. I love her stuff and no, I don’t get a cut for advertising for her.

The hot peppers from yesterday were brined and stored in the refrigerator for use later in the year.

That was about all I can manage in one day, so I will sit and spin for a while.

It’s been a week and a half

After lunch and a grocery run, while hubby turned on football, I wandered out to my very overgrown garden with intent to start cleaning it up. The lighter weight weed eater allowed me to fairly easily beat down the grass that has come up in the paths. Sitting on the edges of the various beds, some weeding and harvesting was done, but there are still tomatillos and tomatoes that I didn’t bring in, I just couldn’t do any more. I did gather a lot of tomatillos, 3 small cabbages, some tender new kale, 2 winter squash, and some peppers. There are still so many weeds, the dry corn stalks to pull and I think the tomato plants after I gather the ripe tomatoes, though the freezer is full of ones I haven’t had the energy to process. The second crop of bush beans were eaten to stalks by bean beetles and there are hundred of bettle larva and young beetles in that bed. I killed as many as I could by squishing them. I will have to see if there is an insecticidal soap that will kill them off, the stalks were pulled and put in the compost. I need a really hot pile to kill off any remaining insects.

When it cools this evening, I am going to try to smooth the bed that had the potatoes in it and see if it is too late to plant some spinach, spinach mustard, and kale and cover them with a mini hoop house of row cover and later plastic. One of the 4 X 4 beds will be planted with garlic in late October or early November. The rest of the garden just put to bed, a little bit each day.

I had to quit while out there, because every walk and every other activity that requires exertion, drops my blood pressure, which makes me feel washed out. I didn’t get results on my most recent hemoglobin check yet and for whatever reason, I can’t log in to the Doctor’s office portal to see if they were posted. Maybe they will let me know tomorrow. I am hoping to see some improvement so I know there is an end in sight.

The upcoming week is a return to summer at least during the daylight hours. The cooler fall like days of last week were so welcome. Next weekend the University plays an away game, so maybe we can eat on one of the patios in town one night and actually go to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday.

Dealership Hell

I am in my 7o’s and have been driving since I was 15, so approaching 50 years. In that time, I have purchased a number of vehicles, one with my Dad, several on my own, a few with hubby. Most of those vehicles have been in my or our lives for only a few years before they had to be replaced or were replaced because they shouldn’t have been purchased in the first place. That changed 16 years ago. We purchased me a brand new Honda CRV not financed and it is still on the road with 252K miles on her. Three years later, we purchased a new Nissan Xterra which finally quit during the first wave of the pandemic with 250K miles on it. We have been using the 16 year old car solely since then and hoping that: 1) the pandemic would end; 2) the lack of computer chips for the vehicles would resolve, and we could seek a car and keep the old CRV as a sporadically used backup vehicle.

Two weeks ago when things took a tumble in our lives with daughter’s serious car totaling accident, me landing in the hospital for 5 days, Son 1 coming to the rescue, but having to put his car in the shop for a few days while here and being forced to rely on my old car to drive daughter around, drive hubby to the hospital, pick up groceries, pick me up from the hospital, etc., we realized that we shouldn’t count on the one aged vehicle as our sole transportation source. I have never liked the car buying experience. The least irritating was when we purchased hubby a new Saturn and they had a fixed sticker price and no negotiating games. Usually, the process is so very irksome. You test drive a car or two, perhaps decide you have found the one you are going to purchase, and then they sit you in a tiny office cubicle with a glass wall so they can make sure you don’t slip out and disappear to “work on the numbers.”

The process was no different yesterday. Hubby had done online research, had the cost of several vehicles noted, reached out to several dealers regarding availability, and off we went, an hour plus west into the adjacent state (where they actually had a few cars on the lot). We wanted a hybrid, all wheel drive, not white exterior or interior. They had 1. We test drove a non hybrid a bit smaller than the one they had, but it lacked most of the new safety features. We test drove a non hybrid the size of the hybrid, but the hybrid was only slightly more expensive and had a nicer add on package. BUT, the car had an additional sticker in the window that indicated a market upcharge of almost $3000 that wasn’t on the website. The manager, of course, apologized all over the place, said prices weren’t supposed to be on the website at all, and more bull shit. Then we were put in the cubicle to wear down our resistance. When the manager finally came in, he had “worked the numbers” and could take $100 off. Really! Oh horse patties. Then the upsale begins. We can knock off x if you buy the extended warranty (that by the way is owned by the dealership owner and cost $3000). No thank you.

Four and a half hours later, we drove off the lot with the hybrid, having been given a $500 reduction for hubby’s military service, but otherwise, the sticker price we saw going in. Such a frustrating business. I guess, this might be the last new car we buy since we are both aging like my old CRV. My CRV will be cleaned up, kept maintained, and driven a bit, but it will be our back up car, one to use when the new one is in the shop for maintenance or when we both have to be out in different directions.