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Archive for September, 2023

The harvest

September 26th, 2023 at 04:58 pm

I like to track my harvested produce from my 3 small raised beds each year. I can't find last year's tally so as to compare this year to then, but oh well: I know in general my harvest was down this year, for whatever reason(s).

Cucumber: I started out with 2 cucumber plants. One died due to lack of water 1 day too long: mia culpa. Still, I got 7 cucumbers from the remaining plant for a total of 78 ounces.

Tomatoes: I had mostly cherry tomatoes as the chipmunks are less inclined to go after them. I think I had 4 plants. I had a total of 360 cherry tomatoes and 7 larger tomatoes totalling 43.6 oz.

Zucchini: I had one plant bearing just 5 zucchini, or 47 oz.

Asparagus bean: i grew them, but didn't always eat them. Guess I don't really like them.

Delicata squash: First year growing these, and I prefer them to other squash since you don't have to peel them and they're easier to cut up. I had I think 2 plants and got 16 squashes out of them, or 11.6 lbs' worth.

Eggplant: Just 1 plant overtaken by morning glories: 2 eggplants totally 1.5 lbs.

Stringbeans. 27.6 ounces

Snow peas: I have a fall crop going but from spring I harvested nearly 3 lbs.

That's all she wrote.

I've been super busy managing my father's many doc and dentist appointments. Tomorrow he has part 2 of a root canal started a month ago; then the day after that, we're headed to the VA for his first visit. Next week, we head for a different VA location for their 3-hour low vision clinic. Oh happy joy. They offered me this spot after I initially booked a visit a few days before Christmas. I figured this was better.

Next up, will try to schedule flu and covid shots for both of us. So far, CVS does not seem to have much supply available. I did at least  order my new supply of free covid test kits.

I wrapped up my latest story this morning, which means the paycheck will follow in about a week. Only about 23 more stories to do over the coming year and then I retire for good. In the meantime, I enjoy the paycheck, but doing the writing just feels like a chore, with deadlines.


September 16th, 2023 at 11:33 pm

Last week my father and I met a cousin and her husband who were out this way visiting from Ohio. It's the first time we've ever met! We had a  nice dinner, my treat. My father said he would pay me back, that I shouldn't pay, but they are not really his relatives; she is the grand-daughter of my maternal grandfather's brother. I figured they had enough expenses to deal with related to the trip out here.

Today I was SUPPOSED to do a litter pickup as part of the Ocean Conservancy's annual effort each fall to clean up beaches. There are actually other groups getting involved, too.

But there was a small accident. Meaning, on Friday afternoon, I was taking advantage of the cooler weather to do some much needed yardwork. I decided to cut down a small tree. (I planted a ton of things when I first moved here, and now they all matured and are pretty large, crowding my yard. It was a scraggly looking nannyberry.)

There were about 5 fairly thin trunks about 3/4" in diameter, but they were tall, maybe 10 feet high. I was almost done with the job with just 2 trunks left to cut when a branch I was cutting with my very sharp pruning saw fell straight down, which I wasn't anticipating, and it fell on top of the saw, pushing it right into the wrist of my free hand.

I had to stop what I was doing as it was bleeding a fair amount and initially wouldn't stop bleeding. I rinsed the 4 puncture wounds out, doused with peroxoide and bandaged up. At first I figured i could still do the litter pickup today, but soon my hand began swelling and became exceedingly tender. The slightest movement became very painful.

I was just a tad worried about the deepest of the 4 punctures. Who knows, maybe it could take a few stitches. I made an appointment at the local urgent care place and was there at noon today, where a nice PA took care of me. He was confident it would heal up within a week, which is a good thing as I started thinking of all the things coming up on my schedule where a second hand would be useful.

Today, I think there has already been some improvement, just based on the painfullness of certain motions yesterday compared to today. I will have to thank my new PCP, who brought up getting a tetanus booster at my physical 2 weeks ago, and promptly had a nurse administer that. I hadn't had that shot since I was a child.

So while I chose not to join the litter pickup, I did wind up doing a few things here at home, like vacuuming out my car, some watering of my gardens and also some laundry.

I've discovered a new food product at BJs that I absolutely love. OK, it's a processed snack food. I'm an ultra-healthy eater but do indulge every now and then becus I figure with the piles of fruits/veggies/nuts/legumes/whole grains/seeds etc I consume, an occasional treat is ok.

Do you remember eating cheesedoodles as a child? I do. They were not one of my favorites, compared to chocolate candy bars, but just ok. Well, there's a reincarnation of cheesedoodles called Annie's Organic Cheddar Smiles, and they are soooooo delicious. I still eat them in moderation lest I exceed my daily sodium intake, but the 1.3 oz I enjoyed tonight fills up a small bowl. Smile

I have a story to write for my job but I've been procrastinating about it. In fact, this post is part of that procrastination. I really have to attend to this tomorrow.

I am traveling to NJ on Monday for a simple medical procedure; wish it were closer but oh well. I hope to visit the NY state organc farm stand this week, an hour's drive north, becus they have had the most delicious apples in past years.

There's quite a bit of things still flowering in my yard.

Asters in front of giant hemlock:


The blue mistflower is quite lovely, the jack in the pulpit is sporting bright red berries and the autumn joy sedum is on full display. Also plenty of bright orange cosmos, which will last til frost.



Small victories

September 4th, 2023 at 07:23 pm

Hope everyone had a nice Labor Day weekend.

I started off the long weekend by unexpectedly deciding to tackle a long-neglected home project: finishing the paint job on my tool shed. I painted 3 sides about 3 years ago now, but the fourth side is very difficult to do because there's a slope and a large shrub I don't want to cut.

I decided that with summer coming to a close soon and the beautiful low-humidity day we were having that I should try to do this now. I wasn't even sure if I had any paint left, but I checked in the basement, and I had plenty.

It was a ton of work just wrestling with ladders where the multi-stemmed clethra grows, but I threaded long sections of rope along the top and bottom of a large tarp, which I then threw behind the shrub, then tied in front to pull it away from the shed enough where I could get in there to paint. It was a real pain in the bazooka.

Thank god I don't have to gaze upon the unpainted last section of the shed anymore. It was a real eyesore! After doing the unpainted section, I slapped on a 2nd coat on just that one side, since I knew it needed it.

That's about the most remarkable event of my holiday weekend.

The heat and humidity have returned for the next 4 days or so. I had my annual physical last week with a new doctor who seemed ok. All my blood work was good except my cholesterol was a bit high at 206; I knew what caused that and am pretty sure I can correct it. I mistakenly bought some full fat plain yogurt and didn't have time to return it so I consumed it, gradually.

I'm doing a beach litter cleanup with a friend next weekend. Can't think of a better reason to go to the beach, especially since summer crowds will have thinned out.