Olio-May 18,2024

Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things (thoughts)

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day and my love gave me a fitness tracker watch to add to the motivation of the daily walks and workouts from my Physical Trainer. She is an great young woman and Mom who was a perfect match to work with this senior citizen with a bad shoulder and bicep. My strength and flexibility have greatly improved. On gym days, which is my training day and any day too rainy for outdoor walks, I prefer the treadmill. I can do 4 miles in an hour and push myself much faster than outdoor walks with hubby. I have more than met my goal of 8000 steps a day every day, usually more like 11500-12000.

For Mother’s Day evening, daughter and her two kiddos came and we went to the restaurant at Mountain Lake Lodge for a meal treat together. After dinner, we walked the old lake bed and up through the grounds of the Lodge. The creeks in the lake bed were full of tadpoles. Maybe someday the lake will return. It has emptied and refilled in the past but I doubt we will ever see it full again. It was a real lake when we purchased our land.

During the week, which has been a very wet one, too wet for gardening, I finished the Kantha quilt that I have been working on for the past 6 or 8 weeks. I wish I had made it somewhat larger, but it is large enough to cover my legs and lap when stretched out in my recliner on cool nights.

Work on it has taken priority over spinning or knitting, though there are projects of both being done; a scarf from my Christmas gift fiber spun in January and early February, and about 20 grams of singles spun on spindles from a sample batt that came with some other fiber I had purchased.

It still needs to be plyed, skeined, measured, and washed to see if there is enough to even make fingerless mitts, or if I will have to use it as trim on something else.

Now that there are no barn cats and no dogs meandering the farm, and with the chickens penned up to protect them from the hawk, we have been invaded by several of these adorable, destructive little ground squirrels/chipmunks. They dig up my flower pots and I keep having to sprinkle hot pepper powder on the pots to deter them. At least two chipmunks have taken up residence in the stone wall behind the deck and scurry around the deck and stone patio behind the house. They don’t like hot pepper or vinegar, so all extra vinegar from pickles or canned jalapenos is used as weed killer on the patio. Perhaps a new barn cat would discourage their residence, but we really don’t want to take on any more pets.

Last weekend, my frustration with the line trimmer we own resulted in me being near tears as it “ate” the line every couple of feet of attempted edging of the stone walled garden and stoops around the house. We ended up going out and discussing the problem with the guy at the hardware store that sells that brand and another and the consensus was that it just wasn’t designed for that level of use, but rather for very light trimming on a small townhouse or home with a very small yard. We purchased a beefier one of the other brand and in two sessions (the battery lasts about 30 minutes of use) I got nearly everything that needed done trimmed finally. It really didn’t get done last year at all because of the inefficient trimmer. I still have a small section of fence at the vegetable garden and around the Chicken Palace to finish if it ever stops raining. Though heavier than the older one, it is so much easier to use and it is a self winding model, so no trying to wind the wire on and hold it in place while reassembling the head.

The Calico popcorn that was planted in the garden did not come up and the bed, though it has peas and sugar snap peas as well as a volunteer potato or two growing well at the other end of the 15′ bed, has quarter sized holes throughout. That end of the bed has a piece of welded wire fence over the wooden frame to deter crows and other seed eating intruders, but the holes seem to come from below, so I suspect voles have gotten into the bed. This is the third year in a row of having corn fail. A little research indicated that if you aren’t planting an entire field of it, that it can be started indoors and transplanted later that will discourage the seed eaters. A few days ago, 36 seeds were planted in Jiffy plugs and set on the heat mat. There are now 36 one to two inch seedlings under a grow light. When they get some size and roots begin to appear in the sides of the plugs, a transplant session will be held. Maybe the torrential rain will end before then so they don’t float away.

Some of the sunflowers and Tithonia have come up in that bed but I think more will be started in more of the plugs and transplanted at the same time. I love having sunflowers in the garden to attract the native bees, which are so docile, they buzz around while I am gardening and show me no aggression.

In rereading above, I have complained about the rain, but in truth, it is much needed. Parts of Virginia are in drought lasting a few years and here in SW Virginia, we were on the verge of drought. This isn’t Camelot, so we can’t rule that it only rain after sundown and end by morning.

Until I visit here again, have a safe spring and good health.

I would love to hear your comments on this post.