Thursday, October 29, 2009

popcorn, apples and pumpkins

Two weekends ago we were at the farm in Kent City and harvested our pumpkins and popcorn. It was a beautiful day and I didn't mind harvesting the popcorn by hand, picking each ear then stripping the husks back and throwing the kernels in the basket. I harvested 5 half-bushel baskets full of popcorn. The ears were very wet but I was hoping to dry them.

We brought them down in the back of my husbands truck with the tonneau cover over it. It was a couple of days before he opened the back of the truck.

Our popcorn was moldy. There was a white web on almost all of the ears. We have decided it is best to just throw it all in the compost pile.

The pumpkins were a different story. They are beautiful. A few are spoiled but there are many that are very nice. I hope to make a few pumpkin pies, but they may be decorations until Thanksgiving.

We also had planted some Indian corn. I picked a few ears and brought them back. They seem to be a success. Hopefully the raccoons will leave us some the next time we visit the farm I will harvest the rest.

I picked 6 half-bushels of apples, Northern Spy. I've made one apple pie but have a lot of canning to do to process the rest. When will I do it?

We're planning to make an offer on the house in Michigan this weekend, then come back and pack for a week. I'll need to do laundry on Saturday night and Sunday morning in order to be ready to go to work on Monday morning.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'm Baaaaack!!!

So much has happened in the last few months with so little time to pause and reflect that it is all a blur.

I had knee surgery during August and had to use a walker, then a cane, to get around for a few months.

In mid-August, my father suffered side effects of a drug he was taking for his heart, a recurrence of the problem he had in February. This caused a major lung condition and he was in intensive care for six weeks. The drugs he took for the lung condition, plus the enforced stillness in intensive care, have caused his muscles to atrophy to the point where he couldn't stand, walk or otherwise move around freely.

Of course I spent as much time as possible at the hospital, while still doing the minimum high-priority tasks at work.

He is currently in rehab, and yesterday he stood five times for over a minute each time. It will be a long road to recovery, but he is definitely travelling down it.

While all this was going on, I was also searching for a new job since the manufacturing plant I work in is closing. I have found a new job that will entail moving to Michigan (my husband also will be relocating) and so we have also been house-hunting.

We found a couple or three houses that we both liked with a little bit of acreage (all under 5 acres) and we will be making an offer very soon. Imagine, taking on a new 30-year mortgage at our age! The home prices in this down market are very crazy. We haven't decided whether to sell our house here or not.

My new job starts November 2. We'll be staying with a friend next week. We'll see how much the "houseguest" stress and strain adds to the load.

All this life change has added a lot of "stress points" to my chart. I haven't been able to keep up with the Master Gardeners at all this year, and this distresses me.

One bright spot is that my daughter saw a post on Craigslist for "something that might be wool-pick it up and its yours" I picked it up, it was wool, I took it to Zeilingers in Frankenmuth, Michigan for processing one weekend when we were househunting and found out it was 10 fleeces, not two as I had supposed, and was "fine wool". It's since been cleaned and weighed out at 56 pounds of cleaned wool. I'm going to have 46 pounds spun into yarn and 10 pounds left as top for spinning.

My own garden hasn't been cleaned up yet and there are a LOT of weeds in it. I harvested broccoli side shoots for a casserole on Monday, though, and last night we had beets from the garden for dinner. Earlier this week I found a cucumber that hadn't been frost-damaged and we had it for our salad tonight. Planning when we are going to clean up the garden plot is beyond my capabilities right now, I have to take each day as it comes. I am only doing high-priority tasks, and sorry, the garden just doesn't qualify!

Thanks to everyone for bearing with me through this stressful period in my life. I hope to resume my blogging activities once we get settled in to our new home.

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