Seasonal change

Halloween is done, jack-0-lanterns and ghosts packed away til next year. The wreath on the door was a grapevine wreath with fall ribbon and ceramic turkey and pumpkins shapes so it stayed up until yesterday. Our friends, the wonderful flower growers that come to the Farmer’s Market, Stonecrop Farms moves on from fresh flowers to dried flowers and wreaths this time of year. Hubby suggested that since I had expressed an interest in purchasing one, that I pick out one for my birthday still more than a week away. When we got to the market, there were still several to choose from and though I was attracted to two, decided this one called me the loudest.

It is beautifully full with fresh greens and bright dried flowers. As soon as it arrived home, the skimpy grapevine one was packed away and this beauty hung to grace the door until it fades and the Christmas one is pulled out for a few weeks.

Yesterday was above normal fall weather, following the extreme rain from the late hurricane remnants on Friday, and this morning we awoke to below freezing temperatures, light snow falling, but only accumulating in crevices on the coop, deck, and corners.

It continued with light snow showers throughout most of the day. We managed our walk in spite of the freezing temperatures, wind, and snow showers.

While we were out, a birthday card was needed as one had been missed earlier in the week. It’s purchase, caused me a head shaking pause. The clerk rang it up, told me the total. I handed her cash, she messed with the register, paused and said, “I owe you (long pause)…” I responded, 95 cents, having quickly done the subtraction in my head. She counted out the change and as I was walking out, she called out to me and said, I owe you more money. No, I responded, the purchase was x, I gave you y, the change was 95 cents which you gave me. “But the receipt says z” she says. No, you gave me the correct change, you rang it in wrong, your register is right, my change is correct. She looks confused and heads toward the manage stocking shelves in the back. Poor girl can’t even make change. I fear for her future in that job.

After arriving home, some dried Amaranth and Eucalyptus that I had purchased fresh many weeks ago from Stonecrop and hung to dry with the idea of making a couple of decorations to sell at the last Christmas Bazaar, the last hurrah for the cottage business, was pulled out. The two tobacco baskets that had been display pieces for yarn and hats at events were decorated with the dried plants and dried Baptisia seed pods from my shrub were bunched and tied with Christmas plaid ribbons and floral wire hangers on the back. Hopefully they will sell and grace someone’s home for the holidays.

At the conclusion of that event, all of my display pieces that can’t be repurposed here will be gone. Hopefully, the stock of hats, mitts, mittens, scarves, soap, salves, and lip balm will be reduced to only what can be used as gifts or for personal use. It will be bittersweet to end CabinCraftedshop, but also a relief to not have to deal with the website, taxes, and deadlines.

Everyone is an Expert

And all of their expertise is conflicted by another “expert.” In doing some research recently on several topics, one article or website or person will tell you it should be done this way, but the next gives just the opposite advice/instruction. It is no wonder that people are conflicted on important topics.

As a retired school counselor with a science background, I try to seek out the science on topics, but even that can product conflict. Should you take your probiotic first thing in the morning or last thing at night? Should you allow 3 square feet in your coop for your hens or 4? Is this method better than that? Should you wear a mask and get vaccinated or let natural immunity win (if you survive)? And everyone who weighs in thinks their way is the only way and they are the only one right.

Sometimes even those with science backgrounds give opposing advice. As we were discussing with the pharmacist yesterday about needed vaccines, one in question was Shingrex vaccine for shingles. We both had the single vaccine many years ago, but hubby still developed a mild case limited to his side and part of his back. The dermatologist immediately prescribed an antiviral medication and told hubby that having shingles was like a super vaccine. The pharmacist on the other hand indicated that having had it increased the viral load and the likelihood of a recurrence was greater. I got the first dose of the vaccine yesterday, but hubby has to wait because of the other vaccine he got, but to use a COVID coined over used phrase, “out of an abundance of caution,” he will follow up and get it also. BTW, it is an expensive vaccine, hope you have good insurance.

Years ago, we were told not to eat real butter, use margarine instead. Don’t eat eggs or at least not the yolks. Both of those dietary advices have been disputed. Use this diet to lose weight, no, use this program or this diet. Or better yet, eat whole food and exercise.

Every day I see an “expert” weigh in on a topic on social media and start an all out argument with the OP, if the OP choses to engage. I have removed a number of social media contacts and left a number of groups as I choose not to engage in such behaviors and don’t need the stress of reading them.

Who is a person to believe? Back to my research on a couple of topics.

The Hermit on the Mountain

As Covid continues into it’s third year, my hermit tendencies have grown stronger. When hubby had to travel to a funeral a few weeks ago, I basically stayed home, ate soup, read, knitted, and spun. I had to leave the house once but not for long. Already an introvert, being isolated has just encouraged more isolation. Glad to have hubby here, daughter and her kids nearby, and Sons that pass through, to keep me connected to humanity. I started back to the local spinning group before Christmas, then the Rec Center where we meet was closed for two Thursdays and I haven’t managed to get myself out and back to the group since. Now there is another new variant loose and this being a University region with a new Governor who feels masks and mandatory vaccines shouldn’t be required, I am again fearful of joining in person groups. This in part has influenced a decision to not attend a fiber retreat that I have attended for years prior to covid. The people with whom I visit at that event are comfortable to be with and in the past, those that I did not know well were in a different area. Due to renovations at the venue, we would all be in the same room, which along with covid concerns add to my discomfort.

Though hubby also has introvert tendencies, he often puts things I say in context of my being an introvert. The cheese lady at the local natural foods store is an extrovert and once, I asked for a particular cheese without first greeting her by name, which I know. She gently chastised me for not greeting first. He reminded me that extroverts talk for social reasons, introverts for purpose. I now remember to greet her when I see her whether I am buying cheese or not.

When daughter and Son 1 were both here, they taught me to use Zoom. My Jenkins Spindle group online has a Zoom session every Saturday afternoon and for the past two weeks, I have joined them. It is fun to join them, “meet” people that I have interacted with by written posts for the past couple of years. I am glad I don’t have to work every day using online meetings, but it is great for an hour or two of socially distanced time with real people. I don’t interact a lot, but it is so much more comfortable than being in a group where I am uncomfortable and my hearing loss makes following group conversations difficult.

I am struggling at being social and not truely becoming a hermit.