Friday, July 6, 2012

Sometimes Ya Gotta Be Tough

And sometimes ya gotta be tougher than you really wanna be. I hadn't done a thorough picking in the strawberry patch for a couple/few days because it's been so darn hot out there . . . and I'm a hot weather wimp.

So last night I decided I would be up and out there at the crack of dawn (okay, maybe a little after the crack of dawn) and get the picking done before it got too hot today.

A little after the crack of dawn (okay, quite a bit after the crack of dawn) I was out with my bowls, audio book on tape and determined to get every last ripe strawberry picked and into the kitchen for processing before the sun had a chance to fry me.

Once out there I noticed . . . hmmm, no sun to be seen rising in the sky. Hmmm. Hazy, actually. And humid? Wowee, I'll say. Buggy? Eeeee-ow! The black flies were . . . what's a step up from vicious?

Back into the house to put on my bug shirt. Those strawberries were going to get picked.

I gotta admit, the bug shirt does its job. Nary a black fly feasted on my flesh after I donned my armor. Only trouble is even though the shirt is supposedly well-ventilated, it is HOT. At least under the totally still, windless, HUMID conditions in the strawberry patch this morning it was. Also, I don't feel I can see worth a diddle through the netting over the face part of the hood. (The netting is tightly woven stuff designed to keep out our dreaded no-see'ums, for which I am truly grateful. Really.) Plus (should I be whining so much about something that keeps me from losing a quart and a half of blood first thing in the morning?), I always feel a teensy bit claustrophobic being too "bound up" in the shirt and hood.

Well, as I say, sometimes ya gotta be a bit tougher than ya wanna be. I did it. Despite looking and feeling as if I was outfitted in a hazmat suit, I got all the ripe berries harvested. Three huge bowls full (each weighing in at about six pounds) sitting on the kitchen counter saying, "Clean me, clean me!" Gotta go get on that. But that's the easy part. No blood-thirsty bugs in here and the bug shirt has been put away.

18 comments:

Tombstone Livestock said...

Love the outfit ... would look outstanding with your sequin overalls, LOL. Thought about suggesting you wear a long sleeve shirt in the garden if you are out there between 10 - 5 during the heat of the day to avoid the farmer tan. Field workers here wear long sleeves dark clothing when working in the fields, hats, bandanas, so bundled up you would think they couldn't get up if they fall over. Have to give field workers a lot of credit to be out there during the heat of the day providing food for the rest of the world.

Susan said...

I think I NEED a bug shirt! All I got is a little bug hat net. And GeezLoueez, that doesn't do much for those bloodthirsty bugs. You are one determined woman, there, Mama Pea. So, what audio book are you listening to? And when will those strawberries be ready to eat? I'm on my way!

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

I think that 18 POUNDS of strawberries is worth it! Strawberry wine, strawberry shortcake.....yup I would wear two of those suits for 18 pounds.

judy said...

Tougher than I,and I hear you have cooler temps as we speak.I should left the city as so as the heat wave hit.It is only 68 in Brainerd ,but I missed my sister 50th wedding anniversary. oh darn! good thing my sister knows me well and understands my situation.

Sparkless said...

You are one tough woman. That bug shirt is genius! The heat would have stopped me from picking 18lbs of strawberries. I'm a wimp in the heat. What are you going to make with all those yummy strawberries?

Wendy said...

Wow! I have never heard of a bug shirt before! I need one of those. Just thinking about all those yummy strawberries makes one hungry for strawberry pie. That was a great harvest even though you had to be out amongst the vermin!

tami said...

Funny...I've been thinking about moving up to the tundra with you and Sue but one thing I hate worse than the heat is all them bugs. So I'll stay down here and sweat and I'll let you stay up there cool and comfortable but swatting bugs.

I did have a close encounter last week when I was picking beans. We assume it was a cranky assed spider. No kidding..16 bites across my back. I had nice big welts. After a few days I figured it wasn't a black widow (Thank God).

Never piss off them bugs!

Mama Pea said...

Tombstone Livestock - But I DID have my sequined overalls on! (Just kidding.) And you are so right regarding the field workers. They are smart enough to know how to dress and bless them for all their hard work!

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Gosh, I thought I was NEVER going to get done cleaning all those berries today. But they are all in the freezer and I have my quota of berries for our winter smoothies. Next up: Jam.

I'm listening to "Up Island" by Anne Rivers Siddons. I'm a fan of her writing.

Mama Pea said...

Jane - We keep talking about learning how to make wine since we have ample strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. But have we done it yet? Nope. Lazy louts.

Mama Pea said...

judy - Yep, our temps were way down today, too. It feels wonderful!

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - I did the easy preserving today. Just smooshed and froze them for smoothies. I'll start working on jam with the next batch. ('Course, I kept some out for fresh eating, too!)

Mama Pea said...

Wendy - There are times up here when you REALLY need the protection of a bug shirt. The company that makes them has bug pants, too, if it's so hot you want protection when wearing shorts.

I haven't made any strawberry shortcake or strawberry pie yet, but I can feel a luscious dessert coming on soon!

Mama Pea said...

tami - Aw, come on, wimpy girl! Move up where you can breath the fresh air and avoid the 100 degree temps! Our bad bug season (as opposed to our GOOD bug season?) fortunately doesn't last too long. It's been very late in appearing this year. We've only had one bad night of mosquitoes and the black flies go into attack mode mostly when it's humid. And we have had humid!

Good grief, that spider did a number on you! 16 bites!? Was it a mama that brought her kids to snack across your back? That many spider bites . . . you are lucky you didn't have some kind of a reaction. We don't have black widows up here but they say we do have the brown recluse which is poisonous. Yuck.

Erin said...

Blech, I'm a hot weather wimp too! Hubby and they boys have been in and out all day headed to swim lessons, then the outdoor pool... Me? I've been sitting inside with all the shades drawn in the dark LOL. Hate it!

Mama Pea said...

Erin - You are a hot weather SURVIVOR! To have lived (let alone gardened) in the temperatures you've had this spring and summer makes you eligible for a medal!

fullfreezer said...

Ooo, love the bug shirt! And what determination for strawberries! Impressive!
Today, you can rest and relax.... right!?
Judy

Mama Pea said...

Judy - I am kinda taking it easy today. Haven't gone out to the garden once. We're both putzing along on jobs inside or in the garage. This weather makes me so unenergetic!