Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Too Much!

Not that my situation is a lot different than the rest of you gardeners/homesteaders/trying-to-be-self-sufficienters, but throw in a few other difficulties and stresses that one encounters in everyday life . . . and I've just been too busy lately.  Too busy to keep up with correspondence, harvesting, processing, homemaking and doing all the rest I want to do.  Night before last I had terrible, awful nightmares all night long and woke up feeling dreadful physically and sporting an ugly attitude.  How much more of a wake-up call do I need to realize some changes need to be made?

I talked to myself all day yesterday and think I have things going in a better direction.  My self-analysis and pep talk must have accomplished something, because I had a pretty good night's sleep last night and don't feel like biting anybody's (man or beast) head off this morning.  So far.

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Gosh, I didn't mean to give the impression with my last post that our garden was a complete bust this year.  I've been continually amazed at what we have gotten out of it considering the not-at-all conducive growing conditions we had from start to finish.  Plus, I still have bountiful amounts in the garden waiting to be harvested.  We've been luck and although we've had a couple of nights down in the high 30s, no frost for us yet.

My green pepper plants have done wonderfully, although they were "babied" under a cold frame for most of the growing season.  I've harvested some with holes and a few misshapen ones, chopped them and put them in the freezer for use in soups, casseroles, etc. this winter.  I still have to do the main harvest and make them into Stuffed Green Peppers for the freezer.

We've been blessed with oodles and oodles of luscious salad greens most of the summer.  Swiss chard, arugula, mizuna mustard, kale and lettuce is still coming along. 

The yellow and red onions look to be large in size this year.  I haven't harvested them yet.  The tops have toppled over but are still mostly green, so I'm squeezing all the growing time out for them that I can.

I have more slicing and lemon cucumbers than we can eat, I can ferment or give away.  I've never had lemon cukes grow so prolifically.

Our garlic harvest was fantastic.  I think I will be giving small bags of garlic as Christmas presents.  (Kidding.)  We will never consume all of it fresh so I may be dehydrating some of it.

Potatoes, carrots and some beets are still in the dirt.  The beets I've already processed have been beautiful.  Very scab-free and perfectly formed.  I'm expecting the potatoes and carrots to be a heavy harvest.  We'll hold them in the garden as long as we can.  Then they'll be stored in our root cellar which isn't cold enough yet even though we've been using the air exchange fan to bring in the cool night time air.

I harvested and we ate the last of the radishes just last week.  I did succession plantings of them all summer long and because of the lack of any sustained hot weather, they grew like gangbusters.

I haven't put by as many shell peas as last year, but I did plant and freeze sugar snap peas which puts us way over our "pea quota" for the ensuing months.  No problem there.

My green beans never got a chance to do all they could because of the mold that decided to attack them.  However, the yellow wax beans produced so well we won't be suffering any bean shortage.

Cabbage, both red and green, grew exceptionally well, and I've fermented a lot of it over the summer and will store the remaining heads in the root cellar where they kept very well last winter.

The bulk of the Brussels sprouts are still in the garden.  Supposedly, they become sweeter with a light frost, but I'll be harvesting all of them soon, I'm guessing.  It was a good year for them, and they were prolific.


Last but not least, our blueberry bushes continue to bear so heavily I'm afraid the frost will zap the remaining berries before they have a chance to ripen.  This year they have been outstanding.

So you can see our good, ol' garden has come through for us and there would be no way we would starve this winter even if we never left home to buy food!

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As far as the stresses I need to learn to deal with in a better manner so I don't have those nights filled with ugly-bugly dreams, keeping everything in perspective is the key.  My stresses are piddling-little compared to those with which other good folks are dealing.  I'm thankful and appreciative of my life and that I have the good health and ability to be too busy living the life I've chosen.

25 comments:

  1. Mama Pea,

    Have you tried a hot cup of Chamomile tea wit a little Valerian Root before bed? This will help you sleep better at night along with helping the stress.

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    1. Sandy - Thanks for the suggestion . . . I've tried most everything including some homeopathic sleep aids. I know, deep down, that if I just quit working on "The List" earlier in the evening (heck, earlier in the day!) and gave myself some wind-down time that always gives me a better night's sleep. Some of us are slow learners, I guess! But winter is coming and without all the outside stuff to do, the list will be shorter. Quilting room, here I come!

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  2. Taking care of all that produce and your garden wouldn't be half as stressful if the rest of your life would just simmer down and cooperate. But that is never the case with busy people, I've found. We must be sharing nightmares - I've had two nights full of whoppers! I'll have to try self-analysis - other than the usual, non-productive type...

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    1. Susan - Yep, the "other" stresses occurring right now continue to be heartbreaking, but as we all know just being emotionally sad or upset about any situation doesn't make it better. Positiveness and helpfulness (with a smile) is the best way to go.

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  3. I agree with Sandy, I sleep pretty well with a tea made with Valerian Root. Wow, those blueberries look good too. I wish we could grow them, but like you and tomatoes, we can't grow them here.

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    1. Kristina - We all need a garden exchange . . . with a private plane to deliver the exchanges!

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  4. Once that garden is completely done, I'm sure the stresses will just melt away.
    Criminey-that sounds like a commercial. Sorry.

    We got frost 2 nights ago. I've been ripping up stuff like crazy and am pleased that my daily trips out to the garden are a thing of the past---except for the blueberries. They were fine since I had them covered. What a bountiful year. And now--good riddance-LOL!

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    1. Sue - I just announced to my dear husband this morning that I am tearing out everything in the garden whether it's still producing or not . . . just so, like you, I can be done with it! (Ask me in a week or so if I've actually stuck to my word on that!)

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    2. I will not tell you how I went for a 12 mile bike ride AND went hiking at a nearby park today. Oh, the time I have now. And at the BEST time of year. Tear those suckers out, Mama Pea---it's LIBERATING!!!!!!
      :)

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  5. Good to see I won't need to send you bags of dry beans to get you through the winter.

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    1. Tombstone Livestock - You've been spared that duty yet again for another season! ;o]

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  6. We all go thru stress this time of year. Hope it gets better for you. Our garden got to be to much this year. I have spent the last two months in the kitchen canning or out side working in the garden. I finally told my husband that we are going to give a way anything that is still producing in the garden. I am so done canning. There is just the two of us, so there is no reason for me to kill myself canning stuff we won't eat. WOW just read what I wrote. I might be one of those under stress. :)

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    1. Michelle - The thing is it always is good to be prepared . . . and you can't purchase food that is as good for you as that which you raise yourself! What we need is a hand-selected whiz-bang of a canning/preserving expert to come in and do most of the work for us during harvest season. (Maybe she could bring her sister who would do fall housecleaning . . . including windows, no?)

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  7. Like Sue, I have starting tearing out some of the garden - pitiful thing that it was this year. It is really tough to garden in this dry old desert we call home. Think about it - every plant we try to grow has a myriad of bugs and critters just waiting to demolish it. And this year it was hotter in temp and hotter longer - almost 90 today. Bring on winter - we are ready to rest!

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    1. 2 Tramps - You do have your own set of gardening challenges. (Don't we all!) But it's worth it in the end. Can't believe you've still got 90° temps to deal with. How do you ever manage to water your crops enough?

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  8. Everyone has stress in their lives no matter how blessed they are. And no one is so perfect that they don't ever have a few bad days every so often. Glad to hear you got your cranky under control. I've been dealing with a computer crash so I'm about as cranky as one can get and not have killed anyone yet. LOL!

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    1. Sparkless - Shhhh, don't even mention computer problems. I've had a few blips happening lately and I'm hoping they will magically go away!

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  9. My go-to solution for sleep is calcium / magnesium supplements. They seem to work for me. Also, do you do anything special to grow those amazing blueberries??

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    1. J Yale - I regularly take calcium and magnesium supplements so that's covered.

      We are in blueberry country (think areas where blueberries grow wild) but we've amended our soil (mostly with peat moss) to the point that I think it's very much to the blueberry bushes' liking. Also I'm pretty good about keeping the patch weeded so they don't have to compete with weeds for nutrients.

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  10. Glad to see you getting things sorted out and happy to see at least portions of your garden are producing. I definitely know about about getting over committed. We have a few things to bring in yet, and a lot of garden to 'put to bed' for the winter. Hope things settle down for you a bit and you can get back to really enjoying life soon.

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    1. Mark - Yep, just a busy time for gardeners with crops to get in. (I can't imagine how farmers do it year after year!) Hubby and I have a day "off" planned for tomorrow . . . going to go hiking. Now it looks like something could put the kabosh on that. It's just life and we have to learn to roll with the punches!

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  11. I'm riding out the garden- tsunami season here too, even with a veg bed only HALF the size of last year. I want to be done with the harvest, but I guilt myself into not wanting to waste any of the fresh organic stuff. *wah* But I want to play too. And help my Mom. And visit. Oh this time of year is so bi-polar emotionally. I feel for you, Mama Pea. I'm hoping Ma Nature will step in and shut things down, but the next week's weather will be just delightful. Grrrr. *heh*

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    1. Kris - Why is there never enough time to do everything we need and want to do? I guess that means we live happy, busy, fulfilling lives, eh? At least we're never bored finding ourselves with long, empty days on our hands!

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  12. I have had more than a few days like that myself, as you well know. Hugs and prayers to you my faithful cheerleader!!!

    http://caffeinatedhomestead.weebly.com/blog

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    1. Stephanie - Most days are better than those that we let get us down. I'm honored you consider me your "faithful cheerleader!" Not sure how I rate that, but it makes me feel good. :o]

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