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Friday, August 2, 2019

Rumors of my abduction by aliens is greatly exaggerated.

But not totally out of the question.  I have been a captive of an alien lifestyle. 

There's so much to catch up on that I will just do it in snippets.
The Pack
Going from alone-ness 24/7 (not including the dogs, who are an appendage of my being) to almost never being alone takes some adjustment.  Instead of coming home, doing chores and squeezing in some to-dos while there is daylight, I come home to chores done and am expected to sit and talk about our respective days, then make dinner, sit at the table and eat it, more talking, washing up, closing the chickens in, more talking, then early to bed.  Mostly early to bed because I am exhausted from talking.
The garden is finally becoming fruitful!  After struggling with my zucchini (why am I the only one on the planet that cannot grow zucchini in abundance?), I tucked in a couple of tropical fruit flavored Tums around the roots for calcium, and it seems to have worked!  I also garnered two pickling cucumbers and three yard-long green beans -- and a tomato!  I will have to check with Marianne to see what type this is, but it is a pink and green beauty.  There were more blueberry cherry tomatoes, but I ate them before they made it into the house.  We have been having zoodles in abundance - along with kale and chard with scrambled eggs for dinner.  My neighbor gifted us with green beans, bless his heart, but I'm glad to see that one of the varieties that I planted is finally coming to bear.  I decided to go exotic this year - red noodle and yardlong beans on a trellis.  I also picked Black Hungarian peppers, not pictured, which are the size and shape of jalapenos, but - not surprisingly - black.  They are milder than a jalapeno, and I love them.  The poblanos are coming along, but the eggplant are dragging their roots.  I hope this is not another eggplant-less season.  My garlic crop was the worst in my gardening history, thanks to endless rain and cold temperatures throughout the spring.  Ah, well, next year.

OMG
This little beauty arrived in yesterday's post (thank you again, J) and considerably brightened my day, week and life!  It is now my centerpiece because I need to see it every day.  You will probably not be able to notice, but I now have a new-to-me dining room table.  I will take a full photo of it for a later post.  Rosie came bearing (many) gifts, including this table - made from two repurposed Mexican pine doors.  I love it, but it caused me to scramble to find a home for my existing table.  It is now housed with a couple who were thrilled to get it.  I get a lot of satisfaction from the process.  My little maple table was given to me by a local woman who came to get a lockset I put on Freecycle when I first moved in.  When she came to pick it up, she noticed that I was a little light in the furniture department.  I had moved in with a rocking chair, a bed, a small bedside table, a lamp and a patio table and chairs that I was using in the dining room.  She invited me to 'go shopping' in her barn, where they had stored furniture from her late mother's and MIL's estates.  Bless her heart.  I have enjoyed that table for 13 years.

I am so glad I had that highly successful yard sale (can you hear the drip, drip, drip of sarcasm?) since I now have had an influx of objects from Rosie and from a neighbor/friend who sold her (chock-a-block full) house and 'gifted' me with numerous treasures.  I am going to have to start all over again.

We had an unfortunate chicken incident late last week.  Rosie had spotted what we believe to be a small mink, racing from the corner of the house to the chicken coop.  It was small enough not to bother the chickens, but was probably poaching eggs (pun intended).  She came home from getting her windshield replaced and, as she let the dogs into the fenced off area next to the chicken yard, the mink shot across the Pat's view and he was off like a torpedo, hitting the gate low (admittedly, the gate closure was shaky), and pushing through.  He missed the mink, but discovered the chickens, as well as the other two dogs, who were close behind.  Rosie was right behind them, but all three had chickens in their jaws by the time she bellowed for them to DROP IT!!!  Fae and Lovey obeyed instantly.  Guess who did not.  Maybe I should rename him Beethoven.  There were a lot of feathers, a few limping hens and one who did not make it.  Needless to say, the gate is now bungeed to within an inch of its life.  Rosie yelled so loudly that her voice was an octave lower for days.

Rosie and Fae are up North for a few days - giving us all a break.  Slimmie has been glued to my side, while Lovey spends most of her time standing outside of Rosie's door, waiting for her to appear.  

Things on the family front are sticky.  My dad, who suffers from dementia, continues to worsen.  My mother is dealing with depression.  My middle sister is dealing with them both, as we try to find a solution that will help everyone.  I know a lot of you are dealing with, or have dealt with the same.  We are living too long.

A snapshot of a happier family gathering:
I am on the left.  I think I look like a young
Temple Grandin.  
This was taken at our family camp in northern Ontario.  I'm not sure what we're looking at, but it might have been the Little Redstone Lake Monster.



21 comments:

  1. Oh, how clearly I can imagine the well-meaning strain of constant companionship! Have you tried gently explaining that talking is actually exhausting for you and begging off for an hour of silence every night? I know, not easy to do. Sounds like the Pat's back is fully recovered . . . I'm so sorry about the hen. Dogs are pack attackers by nature, that's for sure. Glad the other two, at least, have solid "Drop It" training! Tums in the garden, huh? I'm getting a few zukes but they aren't pretty like yours. Might need to try the Tums on them, and the tomatoes.

    Thanks for checking in. I've missed you! This, too, all of it, shall pass. We gotta keep telling ourselves that. (That photo of the three of you is ADORABLE.)

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    1. I know this visit will be the last of its kind, so I am (even while whining) enjoying every moment. Rosie will be off on another adventure and who knows when I will be able to spend such quality time with her. Who knew that Tums were so handy! My plants were suffering from what appeared to be blossom end rot and Dr. Google said they needed calcium. I have tons of green tomatoes and I fear that ALL my tomatoes will ripen on the same week. I've miss you, too. xo

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  2. I bet mink are featuring in the dogs's dreams. My zucchini have produced the grand total of one fruit. Very sorry to hear of intensified family difficulties. These things are miserable to sort out. The picture is adorable. What lovely times those must have been.

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    1. The Pat is a hound, through and through. Unfortunately, he is also selectively deaf. Yes, there is no easy way to deal with conflicting family wishes. It's a mess. Those were the best of times, Susan. They truly were. I am so glad I have those memories.

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  3. That chicken is the greatest! Love it! Our garlic harvest was the worst here ever too. Hoping next year will be better.

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    1. Isn't it? I think I squealed when I unwrapped it! Let's hope it is. Each year seems to have its unique challenges.

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  4. omg...you do look like temple grandin! hahaha! glad you like the chicken. now he has a wonderful home! it was awful going through life without parents but at this age, it finally has it's pluses. i've never had success with zucchini.

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    1. I can't even imagine how tough it was. I was a lucky kid. I have no interest, however, to achieving my parents' longevity. The only accessory I am missing in that photo is the string tie, but I actually did have one!

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  5. I thought I was the only one who couldn't grow zukes. Never, ever...until this year. I saw a 3 inch zuke and I did a happy dance to beat the band. When I was done dancing I turn to see my chickens lined in a straight row just staring at me as if I lost my mind. One gave a small chirp and they all filed back to the coop convinced their keeper had truly lost her mind. Hope things smooth out on the family front. Been there, done that. It's never easy.

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    1. Chickens take so much for granted, don't they? I was the same, when I spotted one that made it to six inches!

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  6. more often than not I only get two or three zucchinis before all the plants succumb to the vine borers but it you really want to be overwhelmed with squash, grow the little white patty pans. I know what you mean about the constant socializing. as much as I enjoyed my three weeks in Portugal last summer I was glad to get back to my solitary existence. well, there is the husband but since we have lived and worked together from basically the get go, a 24/7 relationship as nobody ever went off to work during the day, we hardly ever talk and are only in the same room for meals and in the evenings for an hour or two before bed.

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  7. A great post, Sweezie. I mean good to get caught up although not all the news is good news. So goes life, eh? Love, love, love that ceramic chicken! Your pups are going to suffer separation anxiety when their all-day, every-day, housemate does leave. That picture of you and your two sisters is a gem. I'll bet the three of you gave your folks a real run for their money!

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  8. Liked the pictures.Sad about the hens, but so goes life. Enjoy your sister while she's there with you. Life so short and before you know it we're towards the end of it. Happy your garden is finally producing , you've worked so hard to get it where it is now! Take care!

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  9. Look at all the sweet hand holding.
    As an ex gardener, I have little to add, save disbelief at the zucchini yield. Be careful, or they will come anonymously via post.

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  10. Those are not the kind of chicken adventures anyone wants to have! And I can empathize with having a new living situation. I find social interaction exhausting as well. Still, it sounds like Rosie is a good housemate.

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  11. I can imagine it is difficult going from living alone, to now having a housemate. Dementia - yes, on both sides of the family (don't think I don't fear for my future!), and it is exhausting for the caregivers. I have been having difficulty with zucchinis for the last few years, as well as tomatoes. Obviously my soil is now depleted of decent nutrients despite compost. I am going to see if we have any calcium- added antacids in the house!! Does it work for tomatoes, too? Why do I think I've read something about Epsom salts? That would be magnesium, wouldn't it? Sorry about your chickens :( -Jenn

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  12. I don't believe you when you say you can't grow zucchini. Every time we've planted it, they have out produced our appetites and preservation time available.

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  13. Great idea about the Tums, I think the tropical fruit flavour helped ;) Your centerpiece is so gorgeous! :) The photo of you and your sisters is really cute Susan! I'm sorry about the chickens...I think if we let ours loose anywhere near a coop, they'd have them in their mouths too, especially Jack...you have to watch the little ones!

    I don't think I could handle living with anyone other than Alex. I'm such a hermit...I get exhausted emotionally at the thought of having to say "Mastercard" or "Debit Card" at the grocery line...

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  14. Oh dear, I wish Pat had caught the mink. They can squeeze through the smallest cracks or chew their own way in and wipe out an entire flock in one night of blood frenzy. That said, I've got bungee cords holding my gate together/in place.

    I see and hear too many of those family decisions being made at the hospital. Very difficult for all.

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  15. We're harvesting too,waiting for peaches in the next week or so. Dementia is a terrible thing. My beloved Grandfather had it, nearly killed me when he didn't remember who I was. That's a very tough road. Hang in there... love the chicken!

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