Recovery, Rest, and Resurrection

Life is resuming. Daughter is doing better. Son 1 has returned to his home, his family, and his job. Each day, a bit more is being done here at home. After 5 days in the hospital and now 5 days home, we are working on my stamina. We have taken a few walks, the first a slow slightly less than a mile, the second a mile and a half, but still slow and with a halfway point rest. Today, I challenged myself with a 30 minute interval walk; 5 minutes warm-up, 20 minutes at a much livlier pace, and 5 minute cool down and did it without a rest. It was just barely over a mile and a half.

The month’s spinning challenge is a relatively easy one, just spin 15 minutes each day. The month challenge begun with the wool for my breed blanket. It is Shropshire, not my favorite of the breeds spun. I am spinning it plying on the fly so making a three ply yarn. It will make a fairly dense square when finished and knit.

The wool spun last month was plied on my wheel, making about 500 yards of very soft fingering weight yarn. It is currently drying.

In the past couple of days, I have knit more of the Helsinge wool that I also spun last month into two more squares for my blanket. Those two squares are blocked and drying.

I am indebted to Lisa who sent me the wool in two separate packages, the first with a spindle purchased from her, the second as a gift. This provided me enough wool to knit three squares to be added to the project.

The young hens are laying well. Most days there are at least 11 eggs. One day, hubby gathered 13, one per hen. Though each egg is usually about 1.7 ounces, yesterday I got one that was 3.1 ounce and a double yolked egg. Today there was another about 2.5 ounces and I’m betting it too will have 2 yolks.

Life moves on at a slower pace, but moving on. Daughter and her kids came over this morning to pick apples and we brought another bucket in the house for me to make another batch of applesauce. I am going to attempt the reuseable lids again, but be prepared to freeze the jars if they don’t seal properly. The freezer has many tomatoes, but I think they will just be used as needed. Other than planting garlic in early November, the planned fall garden won’t happen this year. The second crop of bush beans have been totally eaten to stems, so there won’t be any crop there. There will be peppers, but not enough to pickle jars and jars for the winter. It will soon be time to clean up the beds and let it rest until spring.

When life throws you a curved ball!

Without a lot of details, this family has had it’s share in the past month. A grandson diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, one of our children involved in a very serious auto accident. Our daughter is okay, sore and without her own wheels.

A much anticipated retreat with friends I hadn’t seen in 2 years to sit and spin, knit, weave, and share social time was cut very short because my first day there, I ended up with an emergency medical situation. Without letting my family know and only limited revelation to the event coordinator, I foolishly slipped away after packing my spinning, clothes, and vending set up and drove 4 hours home, only to be hospitalized that afternoon. Five days in the hospital, 2 surgical procedures, and I’m home, hopefully without a recurrence.

This has caused stress to the family, caused Son 1 to temporarily leave his job, his family, and drive from his home to ours to be the unpaid Uber driver for hubby and daughter, to be emotional support for all of us, and to be cook when allowed. He has harvested my garden and frozen my tomatoes, taken care of my chooks and been as he always is, a generally good man.

It has been a tough few weeks. Not much to report on spinning and knitting. No canning for a while, but tomatoes in the freezer for when it can again be done. It is likely the end of the garden for this year, but there is always another year and we will rely more heavily on the Farmer’s Market until their season also ends. The hydroponic units will be started with herbs and salad greens to supplement what we can purchase and as a last resort, imported organic produce purchased from our local Natural Foods store.

Sometimes life gives you lemons and you have to make lemonade. My lemonade is knowing how much my family is a loving unit and how caring and concerned my friends are. I want those of you who knew and offered healing messages to me and my family, thank you, I love you all.

It isn’t fair. . .

I know, life isn’t fair, but having the hottest part of the summer just when everything is ready to harvest and be canned isn’t fair.

Since I am heading out for a few days later this week, and leaving hubby home to hold down the fort, I decided that the apples, pears, and gooseberries, should be processed before I leave, so in spite of today’s brutal heat, I heated up the huge canner. Since the ground cherries (gooseberries) would only make a small batch, I was able to cook them in a small flat pan. The large pot filled with pears as I peeled, cored, and sliced them and a thinly sliced orange to make Asian Pear Marmalade. Once they were both in the canner, I began to core and chop the apples and put them in the large pot to cook down. The apples after cooking down and pressing through the food mill, provided 5 1/2 pints of applesauce for the shelves.

There is now more jam than I will consume in a year, and since each pint of applesauce is two meals and there is still at least one jar left from last year, this will be enough for us. I still have 3 more pounds of of pears on the counter. I’m not sure how I will use them, maybe some pear sauce or pear jelly. Or maybe they will be peeled and frozen to use in a holiday dessert. The rest of the tomatoes can wait as they are frozen, but pizza sauce and crushed tomatoes still need to be done. Maybe it will cool down next week when I am back home and I can heat things up again.

While the applesauce was in the canner, I finished the test knit for my friend. After this photo was taken, it was soaked in vinegar water to set the dye and is now blocked on the bed downstairs. If it dries before I leave, I will take it to show the designer. I haven’t decided whether to add a pompom or tassle or leave it as it is.

It is time to get back to spinning, very little was done this past week.