Sunday, April 1, 2012

Toddling Along

The foot is progressing. I have abandoned the rolling office chair, except for sitting on while blogging. The crutches now mostly sit in the corner, as I am able to put weight on the foot and walk with a lurching limp that causes my husband to call me "Festus." (OK, some of you may be too young to get that reference.) The main problem now is that the little block on my boot makes my foot sit higher and twists my hips and spine at an off angle. So I am wearing a hiking boot with a thick sole on my left foot to even things up a bit.

Pulmonaria (lungwort).
One of my concerns had been that I would gain weight because I cannot do much of my workout routine and I wasn't getting around very well. But it takes a lot more time and effort just to walk across the room now, even though I am now walking on my boot. And I am still able to do some of my upper body workouts. So I doubt that weight gain will be an issue.

I've also been able to get out and do some weeding and planting (initially I crawled around in the garden). It took a couple of days to get the seedlings of cabbage, brussels sprouts, other brassicas, lettuce, onions and celery planted, but they are in the ground. Yesterday I even planted two new apple trees and a paw paw tree, as well as two honey berry bushes, which the Fed Ex guy dropped off in the morning. A bag over my boot keeps it from getting dirty while I do all this.

When my husband watered the newly planted things yesterday morning, he discovered that a cutworm had taken out several of the cauliflower plants. Grr. The tomatoes have been potted up and all of my babies are on the porch to get used to the outdoors. I may just take a chance and plant the peppers, eggplants and tomatoes in April, instead of waiting until May. The lettuce and spinach that lived through the winter are growing like mad and we have plenty of salad greens.

All of the spring flowers are in bloom or in decline. The tulips keep surprising me with new colors. I picked a small bouquet of pinky-orange ones and added foliage from a nearby agrimony plant. Agrimony leaves have a pungent sort of lemony-pine fragrance. It is frequently used as a medicinal for coughs.

The pulmonaria are blooming. Many of the apple trees are in bloom. All of the rosemary shrubs survived the winter, and one has even decided to bloom. This generally occurs in the "winter" in places where rosemary usually survives (USDA zones 7 or 8). I have on rare occasions had indoor potted specimens put on winter blooms, but have not had any outdoor ones bloom, although a few have survived past winters.

Rosemary blossoms.
I have seen our guardian black rat snakes on several recent occasions. This morning I saw the smaller one and wanted to get a photo, but my husband came too close for its comfort with the noisy string trimmer and it slid back into the tall grass before I could get back out with the camera. I am happy to see our guardians doing well and patrolling for small rodents.

My husband cleared nearly two dozen small trees from an area just south of the house so we can spend the next two years or more improving it for more fruit trees and berries. nearly 40 fruit and nut trees may seem like a lot... but we eat lots of fruit and may do some selling at the farmers market. Besides, they are all dwarf or semi-dwarf, so the harvests won't be giant. And eventually, trees will need to be replaced, might as well have some new ones coming up.

Agrimonia eupatoria.
So, things are rolling along. The early-summer-like weather through March has made me feel as if I were behind schedule on the planting, but in truth, I am not. This week's weather forecast is much cooler, with highs in the mid- to upper 60s instead of 80 to 90. That will be good for all of these newly planted spring veggies, and will keep the more mature lettuce and spinach from bolting so soon. The best news is that the temperatures won't even get close to freezing -- through this week, anyway. So I'm just going to kick back, have another salad and smell the agrimony.


Meggie said...

Hi Sandra...I wrote you a long comment and then when I hit publish, it said not connected. I hope the comment went through

Sandra M. Siebert said...

Meggie, this is the only comment that came through. I hope you are all right down their in Texas.