Olio 7/22/2022

Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things

There hasn’t been an olio post in a while, but events and photos have been gathering so let’s throw them together here.

I don’t use family names in my blog, but those of you who actually know me will identify this one. Son 1 has been working very hard to complete his PhD, and yesterday he successfully defended his dissertation. His defense was able to be watched via Zoom and hubby did watch it and shouted out when the congratulatory announcement was made. We are so very proud of his achievement that he has worked so hard to earn while also teaching and being the Director of Communications of the Honors’ College at the University where he works.

The very hot weather and intermittent evening thunderstorms have produced some delightful sunsets lately. Because the hens need to be secured each night, many of these sunsets have been appreciated and a few photographed by me. Here are two of the better ones.

The peach tree and berry canes have been providing delicious fresh fruit this week. Most of the berries go into the freezer for breakfast smoothies, but always some enjoyed as they are being picked. The peaches are just coming into their period of ripeness and several have been enjoyed fresh. A batch of some sort of peach jam will soon be made, though most jam making is going to be skipped this year. Last year’s jams were not a consistency that I liked and most of them ended up in the compost this spring so the jars could be washed for reuse as they sat unopened all winter. Very little jam gets eaten here and with not doing many craft shows, it isn’t getting sold either. I do make a couple of jams that are used as meat sauces, so they will be made in smaller quantities. Perhaps, canned peach halves or slices will join the shelves this year. They aren’t freestone peaches, so getting clean halves or slices is more difficult, but doable. Next up will be the apples and Asian pears. The deer have eaten all the lower apples and leaves and there seem to be fewer Asian pears this year, but enough for some fresh eating and some Pear Marmalade. And the deer have denuded the grape vine leaves that aren’t netted, the chickens having eaten all the grapes except one cluster they can’t reach. Before next year, a means to keep them out from under the vines needs to be formed. If it was downhill from the garden, the fencing could be expanded to protect it, but it is uphill and the chicken coop is in the way. Perhaps training the vines up a taller trellis so the hens can’t reach the hanging fruit. The deer are so bold they come right up to the house, into the walled garden and graze the flowering plants in pots and half barrels down. Just as I thought there would be flowers on some seed sown late spring, the plants are nipped off. Netted tomato cages can prevent that but it is so unsightly.

The bees need tending. They have been neglected for the past couple of weeks while I healed from the Bald Faced Hornet attack that hubby and I suffered on the back deck. That giant nest is now dead and removed and the deck is again useable, the swelling in my hand and arm and the itching have subsided from the 5 stings I received, so the bees need tending. It is just too hot to go out midday when they are foraging, wearing the bee protective clothing and they are all in the hives late in the day and early in the morning, but with two weeks of extreme temperatures ahead, it will have to be done anyway, one hive at a time so outside exposure is limited.

Some of the fall planted seed is up in the garden, though I still don’t see pumpkin seedling. More careful tending of the weeds is in order so it doesn’t require so much effort later.

The mower still sits without diagnosing whether the belt broke or jumped the pulley’s. With it so hot, the grass won’t sprout up as fast, so there may be a couple weeks before it becomes an issue, but it should be addressed and remedied before it is needed.

The spindle group scavenger hunt this month has been a fun diversion and has kept my spindles busy and the knitted tribute hat is coming along nicely too, a few rows at a time, which is all the arthritis in my hands allows. Spinning doesn’t bother them, but knitting does. Maybe I should return to crochet and see if that is painful. My fiber arts began with crochet, about 60 years ago. Crochet was lost to smocking, to counted cross stitch and crewel, to knitting, then spinning and a little weaving. Weaving doesn’t bother the arthritis, but warping the loom is stressful, so not as much weaving is done as it should be.

The randomness of the Olio posts is fun at times. I hope you enjoy them as well.

5 thoughts on “Olio 7/22/2022”

  1. Congrats to Son 1. Blacksburg is a good place for a PhD person to live 😊. I know you would like to have him close by.

    I did occupational therapy with a gal at Mont Regnl and now I can knit again. Text me if you ever want her name.

  2. Do you by chance keep an Epi Pen handy? We have hornets and wasps here as well, I used to get stung at least once every couple of years. Lots of swelling, itching, but that was all. Summer before last I got stung by a single wasp. Within ten minutes I knew I was in big trouble – my son managed to get me to the hospital in about another seven, with anaphylactic shock. It never occurred to me that I might suddenly become allergic in that random of a fashion. I now have an Epi Pen, should I ever get stung again I am better prepared.

    1. Val, because of my age, they don’t want to give me an EpiPen. I was told to keep a bottle of liquid Benadryl on hand and take a huge swig and get to the Doctor asap if I have more than swelling of the extremity. Kind of scary. I may get another consult on it, because at best, I am 20 minutes from the nearest hospital and our Volunteer Rescue Squad would likely take that long too.

      1. Interesting, I did not know age was a factor. I am about that distance from the hospital as well – with my son driving we made it in far less than that. Out volunteer rescue here does not carry drugs of any sort, they’re well prepared to do practical first aid and the ambulance still gets called. I’m very leery of getting stung again, especially by wasps/hornets. I spend a lot of time looking both up for nests, and keep all the paths cut well for the ground nesters. No wish to go through that again.

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