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What, you may ask, could I possibly have done to get a bruise like this on my knee?
Oh, it was awful-terrible-bad, I tell ya, and it hurts like heck. Please send boatloads of sympathy and get-well wishes. Flowers would be nice, too.
Tee-hee, ha-ha-ha, hohohoho! I'm just foolin' with ya. This is what my knees have looked like for the past couple of weeks every time I use my blue foam kneeling pad that is in the final stages of self-destruction.
I must admit I've gotten several double takes and jaws dropping open when people get a look at my knees after I've been using the pad. I have to quickly tell them, "No, no! I didn't fall off an eight-food ladder and land on my knees!" They aren't bruised at all, I've had to explain . . . just colored up from a combination of disintegrating blue foam and dirt.
Did I fool any of you? (My slightly whacky daughter with the warped sense of humor made me do this post.)
Turned out to be a really good catch-up day for me. Didn't do a thing with my remodeling hat on and that was fine. (Ooops, I lied a little there. When Chicken Mama stopped by tonight we did some searching online for small bar sinks. I want to put one in the end of the kitchen island [the end farthest away from my main work area] for Papa Pea to use for his coffee fixings. I don't know if it's just the two of us in particular or if other couples in the kitchen have the same problem. We inevitably want to be at the sink at the same time.)
This is the largest picking of raspberries so far. And I only picked down one side of one of the three rows at that. We had a brief thunderstorm which left the bushes quite wet before I got my rusty-duster out to pick. The blueberries seem to be getting ripe early this year so I had a few of them to put in my harvest bucket also.
The strawberries are done. All done. Got right around one hundred pounds total from them this year which is only a little over half as many as last year. I'm pretty sure the hot weather did 'em in as it hit just as the berries were starting to mature. Still and all, I got plenty for our needs, but I feel bad that our daughter would have liked another large batch to make into jam. They were producing one day and the next, it seems they just stopped.
It's nigh onto 8 o'clock and I'm thinking of getting ready for bed so I can be rarin' to go in the morning when I will get back on the move-ahead construction bandwagon.
A schedule? Ha! What am I saying? As long as this remodeling/construction is going on there will be no schedule. And for a person who thrives on routine and having everything in place . . . well, you won't be surprised when you hear I've checked myself into the Funny Farm some time soon.
We spent last Thursday in the big city (left at 6:15 a.m. and arrived home at 9:30 p.m.) going from store to store trying to make intelligent, sane decisions on countertops and floor tile. Well, okay, we looked at and got info on a lot of other stuff, too, but needed to get the countertops and kitchen tile nailed down.
Papa Pea holds out extremely well on a day like that if he gets frequent infusions of industrial-strength coffee and has an occasional brief puff on his pipe. Me? I seem to hit one brick wall after another (caused by sensory overload and way too much thinking) and barely made it home alive. Unfortunately, circumstances necessitated me being gone from home nearly all day yesterday, too, so there was no time for catching up or recovery. I did manage to get into bed early last night and tried to relax by watching a bit of the British TV series "Upstairs, Downstairs" before hubby made it to bed. I kept dozing off so finally gave it up and turned off the light, but then couldn't fall asleep because of being physically uncomfortable . . . just plain over-tired.
This morning I woke at 5:15 . . . and was done sleeping. So far today I feel pretty good so am concentrating on making it a good catch-up day while still managing to possibly do a little in the move ahead department.
Living in this (small) torn apart warehouse is starting to get through to me. The last several days have produced no visible progress which is what keeps me going during all of this. (Remember, I'm concrete.) I know there have to be such times, but it still bothers me. Nothing seems to go quickly or smoothly. In my makeshift kitchen, I'm constantly reaching in the wrong place for something needed, only finding it after turning around in place three times and opening and shutting four drawers and/or cabinets. It's a strange feeling when I automatically reach overhead to the hanging pot rack (which is no longer there or ever was above my present work area) for a pan only to find my hand groping in thin air. Also makes me feel (and look) a little whacked out and stoopid.
But, hey, it's all part of the game and this, too, will pass. Either that or I will go completely crackers. Indication that I may be well on my way? I am buying paint today to repaint the pantry. It's one thing when I keep trying to talk myself into living with and/or forgetting about that atrocious color on the walls, but when Papa Pea who usually doesn't even notice something like that says, "We have GOT to repaint these walls," I just knew it had to be done.
But don't worry about me. Give me today to pull together as much organization as I can muckle right now and by tomorrow I'll be tack on bop of things. I mean back on top of things. Possibly. With luck. And lots of cool, liquid libations throughout the day today. As Erin recently said when they started imbibing at 11:30 a.m., "It's five o'clock somewhere!"
You might think I spent the day in the garden by the following pictures but I did not. I spent the bulk of the day polying and am hoping to get one more coat on three pieces yet tonight.
B was here today doing a little fancy work. I had something specific in mind for end finishing pieces for the shelves in the pantry so last week I told B what I was thinking about. She said if I would make the pattern for the scalloped edge, she'd construct them. I've seen one piece in place in the pantry when she was checking it for fit and I couldn't be more pleased. I'll have pictures of the installation tomorrow, I hope. If I can get the rest of the finish on the boards yet tonight.
While I was waiting for applications of poly to dry today, I kept running out into the garden getting bits and pieces of this and that done. I did manage to get the whole blueberry patch weeded. Yahoo and hooray! The raspberry patch? Not yet, but I think I've got the weeds in that area shakin' in their boots.
This is my totally volunteer cherry tomato bed. I've thinned it twice already but as you can see, it needs to be done again, then the plants staked up and pruned. But . . . it may not happen this year. I might have to let them go au naturel and be grateful for any tomatoes I happen to get.
I had promised Chicken Mama a couple of the tomatoes potted up to take to her house and I finally got that done today. No tomatoes on them yet but there are little yellow blossoms. She'll take them home with her tonight. If she can fit them in her little teeny-tiny red car. She usually has quite a load.
I had Morning Glories planted around this trellis in the field garden last year. I was surprised to see lots of volunteers coming up this spring, so I dragged the trellis back out there and said, "Go for it, guys!" No flowers showing 'cause I snapped this picture in late afternoon after they had closed up for the day. It's amazing the way all the vines have gravitated toward the trellis with no help from me. How do they know it's there for them to climb on?
Last but not least, I had to take a picture of my Sweet Peas. I always plant them on the trellis in a raised bed closest to the house that has a clump of chives on either end. They've reached the top of the trellis and are currently blooming their little hearts out. Do they smell good? Oh my, yes!!
No matter how many times I repeat this to myself, I can't seem to keep the frustration from setting in. Not to have the time to spend on the gardens this year is making me crazy. I have this awful feeling that weeds are going to take over everything and I'll never be able to get control back again.
I hadn't been down to the blueberry and raspberry patches for probably over two weeks. The remodeling has been more than a full-time job seven days a week and trying to keep up with every day must-dos plus the strawberry harvest has nearly been too much.
Lately, as I've given the raspberries a fleeting glance from the distance, I wondered if I was imagining a red tinge to the berries. Last night after dinner I went to investigate.
Not only had I seen color in the raspberries but I found a good bunch of ripe, ripe berries. I had already stuffed some into my mouth (Papa Pea always gets the first strawberries, I get the first raspberries) before I thought to take a picture.
It's usual that our strawberry season is winding down just as the raspberries start to come in. So now I'll need to add harvesting and preserving raspberries along with the strawberries. (I know we're blessed with this bountiful harvest of our own berries and am very grateful for the "hassle" of dealing with them.)
What else I discovered in the berry patches last night were many large, healthy weeds that seem to have popped up from nowhere. (Nowhere, ha! A couple of weeks of ample rain and hot, hot weather . . . of course they were going to pop up.)
These are some of the weeds between the two rows of the blueberries which are going to nag at me until I find time to pull them out by their well-established roots. The perimeters of the blueberries and raspberries are also acting as week nurseries. I put extra heavy mulch in those areas this spring because I knew they would be neglected. I guess the weather has been so favorable for weeds this year that they think they've found a hospitable environment to procreate. They just better be on guard though. Even if I have to go after them by flashlight in the middle of the night, their days are numbered. I will prevail.
Our daughter's birthday was way back in the first part of this month on July 5th. Last night we finally managed to coordinate a get-together where the three of us could sit down for a meal and birthday cake.
Sorry the cake doesn't show up better . . . not that it was anything to brag about anyway. (You know me and my cake baking [non] abilities.) But it was the cake she requested: Coconut Creme and it was yummy. We all dove into it with more gusto than usual putting a hefty dent in it.
Last night was also Family Reading Night. This is turning into a tradition we started sometime last winter. (Last fall? Can't remember for sure.) It was at Chicken Mama's suggestion that we get together on the 15th of each month at which time each of us would read aloud anything of our choice. We try to set a time limit of 20 minutes reading for each person but frequently the subject matter is so interesting that the two of us listening clamor for "just a little more, please."
Just as lighting candles on a birthday cake gets postponed from the actual date of the birthday, some months find us scrambling to congregate for Family Reading Night long past the 15th of the month. But it's an extremely enjoyable evening that none of us wants to give up so even if we miss the "proper" date, we squeeze it in somewhere in the month.
Papa Pea was the last to read last night and he had some lofty and esoteric quotes to share which were totally lost on me because by that time the hour was late and I was nearly comatose in my recliner. But apparently my participation in the discussion was not missed as daughter (Ms. Philosophy Major) and her pops went at it with relish with me weakly interspersing the occasional comment of, "I don't understand that at all," or "Huh?" or "My mind is totally unable to grasp that concept," or near the end, "I don't even care; I have more basic things to think about." To which my dear husband said, "That's okay, you're just too concrete." (Did he imply I'm thick-headed?")
Ah yes . . . good cake, good communication, good company. Except for me at the end there . . . Z-Z-Z-z-z-z-z.
My delphiniums were reaching record-breaking heights this year. And then one day I noticed them bowed, broken and hanging their heads in woebegone sadness.
What the heck happened? I figured it must have occurred during the night this past week we had the torrential rain, thunder and lightning storm. Remember the 3-1/2" of rain in our gauge?
But there was no wind with the storm. The rain was coming down harder than I can ever remember seeing, but it was coming straight down. Plus the delphiniums are close to the house in a protected spot that doesn't get much wind anyway.
Well, duh. It finally dawned on me today what must have happened. A couple of weeks ago we spotted this chunk out of one of our plastic rain gutters on the roof. How in the world that came about we don't know. But with everything else going on around here, we haven't taken the time to repair the broken section of gutter.
Where is that "hole in the dike" located? Why, directly above my delphiniums! I can just imagine the rain coming off the roof during that bad storm. The torrents would hit that hole in the gutter, shoot directly out about 18" and hit the delphiniums dead on like a mighty waterfall. It's a wonder it only broke them in half!
A couple of days ago, friend Jenyfer Matthews and her two kiddlies stopped over to say hello. Until last February, Jen and her family were living in Cairo, Egypt. Her hubby stayed behind to continue his work and maintain their home there, but because of the extreme political unrest they decided Jen and the kids should leave. It's been a difficult journey for them all which she's chronicled on her blog.
Jen's father and step-mother live in our county so she and her son and daughter are here visiting right now.
One of the first things her son asked when they got here was, "Where did you plant the carrots this year?" When they visited last summer, both he and his sister had a lot of fun pulling carrots right from the dirt and enthusiastically eating them while pronouncing them the best they'd ever tasted!
I think he was more than a little disappointed to hear this is my non-gardening year and, alas and alack, there were no carrots to be sampled.
They had to content themselves with a little berry picking. Above is Jen's daughter in the strawberry patch. (And yes, folks, the huge, lush, green weeds you see in the background are what is growing in my field garden. I hang my head in shame.)
The kids ate some berries while picking (that's the fun of it!) but did save a couple of containers full to take home with them.
This is what happens when I'm too busy to even keep an eye on my beds of salad fixings. Carrot Boy was eager to pull the radishes that got away from me. That's a French Breakfast Radish he's holding.
The round radishes were the size of tennis balls. Surprisingly enough, they were still tender . . . not woody or pithy as I had expected them to be. However, they were so hot and spicy we couldn't eat them without our eyes watering and our throats starting to close up! (If only I had some spare time, I would have liked to try fermenting them for a winter time tonic!)
As it is I need to hire a gardener for the rest of the season. And a cook. And a maid who does windows. And will clean a bathroom.
I meant to get this post up first thing this morning, but then things started happening on our destruction working toward construction (!) in the new kitchen area and I haven't had a second to get back here until now. And the only reason I'm at the computer is that I knew I needed to sit down before I fell down.
No sleep does not bode well for anyone in the midst of remodeling. We were up and awake most of the night last night hoping we weren't going to wash away in one heck of a storm.
The good thing is that we didn't have high winds but did have thunder, lightning and the heaviest rain I've seen in a long time. At one point I turned on the back outside light and the rain was coming down so hard I could not see through it.
This morning we had 3-1/2" in our rain gauge but we've heard reports of more than that in the county. Many gravel roads are flooded, culverts are out, streams are way over their banks and some roads have been closed because of wash-outs. The main highway had water running over it in spots and is littered with debris this morning.
We had no real damage, but have lots of standing water around. Our driveway through the protecting woods held up well. The sun came out and the humidity has become like a steam bath. Temp is 79 in the shade, but 90+ on the south side in the sun. Why didn't I plant a half acre of corn this year?
First thing Papa Pea and I said to each other this morning was, "Thank the powers that be our remodeling doesn't include tearing off any part of our roof!" THAT would have been disastrous last night!
We woke to another foggy, ishy, gray, humid day today but lucky for me and my polyurethaning, around 11 o'clock a lovely breeze came by and blew the humidity away. It still wasn't sunny but I went for it and set up in the back yard to do my polying.
Pretty soon the sun did come out . . . and it got HOT. Whew-ee, did it get hot! As long as I kept my insulated mug of cold liquids handy for frequent swigs, I was okay though. I got the two coats on the inside of the pantry cabinet doors which is all I planned for them and the first coat on both sides of the big pine pantry door.
The way the day started out I felt very fortunate to be able to get that much done. Now I can stop worrying that the cabinet doors won't be ready for B to install on Monday.
Papa Pea and I even managed to get up one set of tracks and brackets for some of the wall shelves in the pantry.
I also got just a little shy of half of the strawberry patch picked. We both had a BIG bowl of sliced berries and vanilla ice cream for dessert after a veggie sandwich for dinner. Oh my, did the berries and ice cream ever taste wonderful! After that, I sat and cleaned and processed (smooshed and put in containers for the freezer for use in smoothies later) the rest of the berries. My total strawberry harvest to date so far this year is 48 pounds and 4 ounces. Looks like it's gonna be another good strawberry year!
On a sad note, the hawk that has been harassing our poultry succeeded in getting one of our Light Sussex chicks earlier this week. The hawk had killed and was starting to eat the bird by the time Papa Pea got out there after hearing the alarm set up by the rest of the birds. Does this lend strength to the theory that light colored chickens are easier prey for hawks to spot and kill? The only good thing was that the bird was a rooster and would have gone into the freezer this fall rather than being one of our new laying hens.
Boy, this day zoomed by in a flash. Papa Pea did a lot of outside puttering including getting all the lawn around the gardens mowed which is a big, big job. Before I picked berries, I did some weeding at the ends of the rows where I was short on sawdust for mulch. B had given me a big garbage can full of wonderful sawdust from her shop so I spread that where the berries were getting splashed with mud when it rained. I was just about upside down on my head in the garbage can trying to get all the sawdust out and since I was really hot and sweaty at the time, I'm sure I now have a light coating of sawdust all over my body.
It seems like it should be about six o'clock but it's nearly half past 9. Time for me to think about getting a shower and cashing in to be ready for another fun-filled day tomorrow. Oh, but wait! I have a new bottle of sangria in the refrigerator that I want to open and try . . . anybody ever drink in the shower?
I wasn't brave enough to set up outside for more brush work with the big can of polyurethane first thing this morning because of the dark and foreboding sky. And a good decision it turned out to be because it started raining a little before 11 o'clock. Instead, here's how I spent the morning:
- Early trip to town in order to beat the hordes of tourists taking over my town. (If it's tourist season, why can't we shoot them?)
- On my tuchus catching up on much neglected desk work including making phone calls and (ugh) paying bills. A lot of bills.
- Thought about going out into the garden to attack (or be attacked by) weeds but was pretty sure the bugs would be hatefully horrid because of the heavy, overcast weather. (Wasn't hard to talk myself out of that one.)
- I could have cleaned house but why bother when we're living with sawdust and insulation, tromping in and out with one thing or another and not maintaining much semblance of order as to the normal arrangement of things. (I did have to clean the bathroom though.)
- I have scads of books, decorations on the walls, and most of the contents of my kitchen cabinets which need to be boxed up and stored away in preparation for tearing into the existing kitchen/living room next week. (Yup, I'm gonna get right on that real soon here.)
- This weekend I MUST finalize to the last 1/16th of an inch, the plans for revamping the old cabinets and construction of new ones in my expanded kitchen area.
- I made a second trip into town specificially to mail paid bills and stop at the library (which never opens until TEN A.M. . . . arrgh!).
- Now we have had a late lunch and I've done a mountain of dishes. (I swear we have people come into the house in the middle of the night and make all these dirty dishes I always have to deal with.)
The rain continues to pitter-pat down on the roof (and all other exposed surfaces) so I think it would be a wonderful idea to crawl into bed for a little afternoon nap. Or maybe just stretch out and read for the rest of the day.
HAHAHAHAhah . . . ah . . . hah . . . um . . . hum . . . ooooh. Right.