OLIO – Oct. 8, 2022

Olio: a miscellaneous collection

We made it another week. Yesterday was the cardiology team member meeting, who has referred us to an at risk cardiology specialist and we await that appointment. This upcoming week is a return to the Urology team for update and discussion on how to move forward. Appetite is improving and daily walks, albeit much more slowly than a month ago and not nearly as long, but up to a couple of miles per day are happening. The walks wear him out, but stamina and muscle mass take time to rebuild. We strive to enjoy every minute we have together, never knowing if it will be 15 minutes more or 10 years more. Hug those you love, express to them your love for them. Don’t take life for granted.

The berry box was mulched with another 4 bags of Cypress mulch over the cardboard. Hopefully that will keep the weeds at bay while the ones outside the box are continuously hacked back, hand pulled, and removed from the garden. Tonight there is a freeze warning in place, probably signalling the end of the season for the vegetable garden and most of the flowers. Some poppy seeds and milkweed seeds will be sown for spring germination in the flower garden. The bed that hours and hours were spent pulling grass and weeds is sprouted back up. Since more soil is needed in that bed, seeds won’t be sown there this fall for the spring, but rather in flower barrels. Perhaps that bed will eventually just be very heavily mulched and the perennials and spring sown seed just placed around the bed on the mulch in barrels and large pots. It would certainly be easier to care for it, but the grass in there needs to be gone first.

Because one of the vending events that I thought I would participate in this fall didn’t happen and a second one is occurring as I write this, that I wasn’t comfortable attending yet, there is only one more event to try to sell off the remaining Cabin Crafted goods. Forty bars of soap went home with Son 1 last weekend for him to use as gifts, some soap is saved for a local friend that always gets her soap from me. Because the CabinCraftedShop.com is gone, remaining goods are being relabelled without the shop name. I wonder if I should maintain the domain name so that the blog doesn’t have to have a name change. As long as I own the domain name, it should be good. There are a couple of braids of wool that should be spun before the Christmas event to place in the sale basket of yarn.

The end of the month is scheduled to be busy as a living history spinner and as a “Spirit” at Wilderness Road Regional Museum and at a heritage event at Claytor Lake State Park. Each of these events are just a few hours each. My wheel will be dusted off and brought out to play as only spindles have been used for the past couple of years. At the Museum, I can generally borrow one of the spindle wheels and not have to carry my wheel with me.

The past month has really made me re-evaluate what is important to me and has resulted in some major destashing 0f goods for sale and donation. It has made me realize that we don’t need “stuff,” we need people. I am ever so grateful to my children for their support, for my friends who have reached out offering emotional and physical support.

To end on a more positive note, we noticed a few days ago, that the bronze frog that is one of the 16 Frogs of Blacksburg has been replaced with a new one. We were angry and upset when the one on the Huckleberry Trail was stolen after a Virginia Tech Football game a couple of years ago and never found. It was amazing that it could be taken as it was on a concrete pier about 8-10″ in diameter and a couple of feet long. The new one is on a slab. Hopefully it will remain there for walkers to enjoy.

Trying to Get it Together

A month ago, we were walking a very brisk 3 miles per day for health and fitness, then his health failed us. A surgery, a heart attack, 10 days in the hospital and home with medical equipment that made walking difficult, along with lack of energy and lack of appetite. Beginning last week, we began walking laps in the house. This week we headed back out to the Huckleberry Trail, paved and flat on the section we are doing and marked with mileage on the dedication plaques on the benches along the way. We have done a mile and a half for three days in a row, not brisk, but at least out and moving. He is still weak and wobbly, the meds cause dizziness and lower blood pressure, though his blood pressure is already low. Friday we see the cardiology team member and hopefully some adjustment will be made to make him less dizzy. Our walks totally wear him out. While he rests, I tackle household and garden chores.

Today was a garden day plus laundry. When I built the boxes winter before last, I put two long ones too close together. The shorter of them was supposed to have corn and pumpkins in it, both of which were mostly to total failures. Today, that box was cleared and with a pry bar to lift the end, flipping it on it’s side, and moving one end then the other, it was placed around the 8 blueberry bushes. The area around the bushes was weeded, yet again, and the cardboard from the water heater we had to purchase during the summer was cut to fit around the bushes and 4 bags of Cypress mulch dumped on top. Another 4 bags are needed to get the depth I need, but it is a start. The area between the two boxes will be mulched down and the 6 half barrels of raspberries and blackberries will be place there freeing up space for another 4 X 4′ bed if I decide it is needed.

The Creeping charlie and the insidious bane of a weed outside the box need to be attacked more vigorously than I managed today. They are taking over the garden.

When we went out for the walk, 3 bags of raised bed soil was purchased and one of the 4 X 4 boxes was amended and filled in preparation to plant the garlic that arrived earlier this week.

We have our first frost predicted for Saturday night, right at the time it usually comes, so all of the mature peas were picked, the sweet potatoes dug. The experiment planting the sweet potatoes in a half barrel didn’t produce many with any size of them. There are plenty to slice and roast though. The peas were shelled and enjoyed with dinner.

Tomorrow or Saturday, all of the peppers with any size on them will be harvested as the peas and pepper plants won’t survive a frost. Peppers will be dried, chopped and frozen, pickled, or made into infused Olive Oil or fermented hot sauce. That will be the end of the garden unless the little green house protects the greens within, and the garlic will be planted out in a couple more weeks and covered with straw. As soon as the rest of the asparagus die back, they will be burned off to kill any Asparagus beetle eggs and the weeds I couldn’t reach. Then that bed will also be mulched down with straw or the wood chips in the coop that need to be cleaned out before the hens have to spend more time inside. The hens have been getting more free range time and I think they are hiding eggs again. It is molt season, so they will reduce laying while their energy goes into making clean new feathers.

There are more cardboard boxes in the garage that contain vents and parts for the roof repair on Son 2’s RV. Those boxes will be used in the garden and mulched heavily when they are emptied.

The garden season is ending. This year it is time. My plan will have to be redrawn with the moving of the box and the half barrels, decisions made on what will and will not be planted next year. The end of the season is always bittersweet.