Silly Me…

I took this picture on a walk in the woods last week

Silly me. So much for surrendering.

I had lots of plans for the things I would do today, but it took me all day just to pack up five orders of dryer balls and roving.

I’m not sure what I was thinking, maybe I’m just hopeful or delusional.

Feeling as if I got so little done, I’m questioning why I’m so tired.  But I know if I were talking to a friend, I’d be able to explain their fatigue.  It’s so much easier to see what’s happening from the outside looking in.  Still, all I really need to do is think about it a little and I understand how draining, physically and emotionally the past two days have been.

Today Jon got his Sleep Apnea mask and afterward, we were both feeling it was all a lot to deal with in such a short amount of time.

I keep thinking of my friends, one whose husband has dementia another whose husband just died.  It keeps things in perspective for me, and I am grateful.

But I also have to remind myself that those truths don’t diminish what I’m feeling at the moment.

My head spins with all I need to do.  But need is relative.  What was important yesterday is not so much today.

Tonight after dinner we called our friend Sue Silverstein.  She knows hardship and so the importance of laughter. “I’m not complaining,” Jon said, “I’m just venting to a friend.” It’s only been two days, but I feel like I’ve been putting ice on and off of Jon’s foot for weeks.  “Wine helps,” Sue told me, as I looked into my empty wine glass.

These past couple of days have been just like the rest of life, with its ups and downs, only intensified. Sue helped us up lighten up and when we got off the phone we both felt better.

I was grateful for Sue’s friendship before today, but it’s times like this that strengthen those bonds.  Another thing to be grateful for.

Recovery Journal. Jon Back Home

I somehow forgot to post this photo of Jon from yesterday. Maybe it was because I was busy putting ice on Jon’s foot every 20 minutes. Or because I was rearranging the furniture around Jon and his foot.   (I have a hard time sitting still for too long).

We had a good first surgery day together. Jon was a little out of it, mostly wobbly on his feet and forgetful.

I can always tell when Jon isn’t really feeling well because he tries to do everything himself, even when he shouldn’t.  When he’s feeling better, that’s when he gets a little more helpless.


Water Bucket

reflections in the water bucket

Bits of green from the mouths of donkeys and sheep
leaves from the apple tree

All summer I rescued drowning insects from the water bucket
lifting them with my fingertip or a leaf

Now the water is cool
there are no bugs floating on its surface
or drowning in its depths

At dawn, when I turned over in bed and looked out the closed kneeling window, the light on the pasture tricked me

My mind said snow

That’s me
adjusting to the longer nights, overcast days, layers of clothes

Soon I’ll plug the water bucket in to keep it from freezing
and the bare branches of the apple tree will be reflected in it.

Up In The Crab Apple Tree

So many apples.  Once again the weight of the apples was too much for the crabapple tree in the barnyard and a branch broke under the weight of them.

Today I climbed back into the tree, like a did a year ago to prune it, and sawed off the broken branch.   It was already hanging low enough for the donkeys and sheep to strip the lower half of the apples, leaves and bark.

When the branch fell, I dropped the bow saw to the ground and sat in the tree.  I wasn’t that far from the ground, only about 15 feet or so. But still, I was in the tree, not under it like usual.

Earlier in the day I watched two bluejays hop and fly from one branch to the another and I envied them.  This was as close as I could get to being one of those birds in the tree.

The donkeys and sheep ate the rest of the apples from the branch once it was on the ground.  By now all the leaves and much of the bark are gone.  Sometime this week, I’ll cut the branch up and save some of the bigger parts to give to the animals to chew on this winter, when everything is covered in snow.

Sitting Under The Apple Tree

me and Jon under the apple tree

The apples are still falling from our old McIntosh tree.  The ones that aren’t pecked by chickens or food for bees and ants I share with the donkeys and sheep.

The same way a fresh egg has an orange yoke, the apples look whiter on the inside than the ones we buy.  They’re sweet for McIntosh too.

Jon and I sat under the apple tree tonight as it was getting dark.  It was warm and windy, but we got lucky, none of the apples fell on us.   Jon took pictures while I ate an apple.

Morning Glories In My Vegetable Garden

Last night for dinner Jon and I each had a delicata squash from my garden.  It was the sweetest squash I’ve ever eaten.  I don’t know if it was the seeds Marsha sent me, the donkey manure, or the weather.  Probably a combination of all three. I picked the one in the photo above this morning along with two others.

That’s a tomato next to the squash.  My friend and bookkeeper gave me that plant.  It had reseeded in her garden from last year. It’s a  plum tomato, but bigger than any plum tomato I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure it will turn red.  It hasn’t been the best year for tomatoes here.

I did get a lot of chili peppers.  There’s a bright red one behind the morning glory.   I don’t eat chili peppers, but I love the way they look and I have a friend who does eat them.  As you can see from these photo’s the Morning Glories took over this year.  The ones I planted by the handrail on the back steps have almost but not quite, covered the rail.

Another Delicate Squash and more morning glories.

The Blessing Of Beans and Apple Sauce

Some of the beans from my garden

We cared so little about how crops were grown, as long as our bread was cheap, that we ignored them being doused in poisons… We didn’t think it was our job to know or care. We were too busy doing other things…Only now are we slowly awaking from this comfortable coma to realize that we are a long way from the fields that feed us and from knowing enough to make good choices.”  Pastoral Song by James Rebanks

This year the flowers in my vegetable garden did better than my vegetable. The Morning Glories, which in past years hardly grew at all have overcome the sunflowers, and earlier in the summer the hollyhocks filled the garden with white, pink, and deep red flowers.

On Saturday I harvested the soup beans that I grew from seeds that Marsha sent me. I brought in the delicata squash that fell from the vines as I weeded around them. I pulled up one dying tomato plant and left two more with green fruit to ripen.  I trimmed back the snail eaten kale and made room for the lush Parsley to take up as much space as it wants.

I don’t need to grow vegetables.

We are surrounded by farmers, selling anything I can grow even better and inexpensively.  But I was reminded of one of the reasons I do have a vegetable garden when I broke open the shells of the red and white beans that grew in my garden.

I filled a small bowl with the beans that took over three months and my time and energy to grow.  One small bowl, the equivalent of a can and a half of beans that I’d otherwise buy in the grocery store.

Looking at my beans, reminded me of how I take food for granted.  Of how even though I live in farm country when I open a can of beans, I never think of how much work went into it.  Of how long it took for them to get from the soil they were planted in, to my plate.

But I do always have the expectation that those cans of beans will be on the shelf in the store when I want them.

peeling apples on the back porch

So when I sat down to cut away the bruises and insect holes and to peel the apples that I’ve been collecting from our MacIntosh tree this afternoon, it wasn’t just about making applesauce because I like to eat it.   I was making a moral decision not to waste the food that was literally in my backyard.

And it turned out, it was also a practice of gratitude. Not just for those apples but in a broader sense.  A recognition of the blessing of all the good food that is available to me year-round and that I can easily afford to buy.

Constance, Asher, Merricat, and Issachar eating the apple scraps



Jon’s Zinnia Bouquet


Jon trimming his flowers for a bouquet

Every few days Jon gets the scissors from the kitchen draw and cuts flowers from his Zinnia garden.  Then he sits at the table on the back porch and makes them into a bouquet.

The first time he asked me to get him something to put them in, but now he likes to find his own vase.  Sometimes it’s an old jar, sometimes a glass or cup from the cabinet.  And he’s perfecting his bouquets too. He’s come to appreciate the big marigolds that I grew from seeds in my garden and usually adds a few dahlias and Blackeye Susan’s too.

Jon trims the stems to the “right” size for the vase and pulls off the leaves so the stems are bare.

Jon likes to give his bouquets away so this works out well for me.  Whenever I need a bouquet of flowers for the altar in my studio, I have one.

Jon’s bouquet on the altar in my studio

A Bag Of Sheets And Stuffed Animals

The sheets and a couple of the stuffed animals from Carolyn

Carolyn sent me the text at noon. She had a bag full of sheets that she wanted to drop off for me to use as backings for the Bishop Maginn Quilts.  If you’re not home, I’ll just leave them on the porch she wrote.

She came with three bags, one with sheets, one with clothes, and one with stuffed animals that she bought at Tractor Supply.  It’s not the first time Carolyn has come over with brand new stuffed animals.  She loves to buy them and I can see why, they’re kind of irresistible.

It works out well really because the people who live at The Mansion love to get them. Especially now, when the pandemic is beginning to place certain restrictions on Assisted Living Facilities again.

Jon and I brought the stuffed animals to The Mansion after lunch.  And as often happens one thing led to another and it took longer than we thought it would.

I haven’t had a good look at the sheets Carolyn gave me yet, but I have a feeling between them and what I have I’ll have enough fabric to back the quilts. I did get to measure the quilts tops I’ll be using.  I have seven total and  I hope to order the batting before I go to Bellydancing tonight.

A Very Big Delicata Squash?

I thought it was supposed to be a Delicata squash, but it grew much bigger than the ones I’ve bought in the market. So now I’m not sure what kind of squash this is.  I picked it thinking it was too big, but it’s obviously not ripe yet. I have another one growing that’s even bigger.   I’ll leave that one to see what happens.  I also have one that looks like the right size of a Delicata but isn’t ripe yet.

And the pepper, it’s so pretty, but I don’t remember what kind it is either.  It looks like the chili peppers you see drying in bunches in the southwest.  Maybe that’s what it is.

I think my garden got away from me this year.

Full Moon Fiber Art