Saturday, September 29, 2012

From The Garden - September 29, 2012

The garden harvests have slowed down greatly in the last few weeks and it's just about time to put the summer garden to bed. My thoughts are on winter gardening and planning for the spring garden - which I'll share my ideas in an upcoming post.
Here are some highlights of the summer and fall garden.....
The cuke crop was the best I've ever grown! Not sure why, but I mulched the seedlings with grass clippings right from the get-go and I watered them faithfully, never letting them wilt. Mexican Bean Beetles did move in, but not until the very end.

Samson, one of my garden helpers.

The garlic crop was a disappointment. Not because of anything I did, but partly because of my 'garden helpers'. The cats layed on the nice comfy bed of straw that covered the garlic, matting down the greens. That and the fact that I had it in my head that I was to harvest them the second week of July even though all the crops were early this year, ignoring the sparse yellowing stalks. I have a feeling that there are a bunch of cloves still in the ground out there and I just couldn't find them because the bulbs broke apart.

I love gooseberries! I remember being a little girl and sitting under my grandmothers gooseberry bush (it was huge!) and eating the berries. We picked enough gooseberries to can up 6 pints of jam. Gooseberries are little labor intensive due to the fact that you have to cut off the green stem and the bloom end of EVERY gooseberry. Totally worth it though.

Radishes were great early on in the season, but latter plantings in the hot summer did not do as well. Luckily my farmer does a great job and kept us eating radishes all summer and even now.

Heritage Raspberries were gifted to me two years ago. A small crop from both early summer and fall were delicious and worth waiting for. I'm hoping that next year they'll do better.

Green Beans were prolific. I grown Contenders and Slenderettes. Contenders are an early, meaty bean. Slenderettes are tender and great raw or cooked. There were so many beans even though the Mexican Bean Beetles were on the plants from day one with a vengeance. I strongly dislike those beetles and spent quite a bit of time this summer with yellow stained fingers due to bug squishing. It's a hobby. Everybody needs one :)
Green beans were pressure canned, pickled and eaten straight from the garden. Plus, plenty of bean seeds were saved for the future. There is enough canned that I'm thinking of not planting them in 2013 and instead planting an heirloom shell bean.
This pink heirloom tomato is the first tomato that has 'made it', soooo good. Good enough for seed saving with a promise to plant again. Not one tomato made it into a jar. All were eaten straight from the garden. There's still more ripening on the vines that have just begun to show late blight.
Many more goodies came out the garden and some continue to come on. All in all, it has been a very good year.
Enjoy the day-
This post shared at Daphne's Dandelions and Barn Hop 81.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Bonnie & Clyde

Who wouldn't want to see this cute little face first thing in the morning? This is Clyde. Bubba Clyde. Clyde Hopper. Or whatever cutsie little name I call him. No matter. He's excited to see me each and every morning regardless of what I call him.

It is VERY hard to keep Clyde clean. Especially his face. He 'wears' his food. I know it's my fault because I feed my buns treats of greens, but the why of that is a post for another time. Dirty face or clean, I love him still the same.

This is Bonnie. Bonnie May. Bonnie Bon-Schnauzer. She loves, loves, loves to be held and cuddled like a baby. She also likes to wear her hair in a mohawk as you can see below. She's a rebel.

When Bonnie first came home with us this past spring she had blue eyes. Now, she has one brown eye and one eye that's part blue and part brown.
My two little fluff balls had to be separated in July because Clyde found his 'special purpose'. Oh boy, DID he. I caught them before anything happened. He was doing it all wrong anyway. He knew what to do, just not where (smirk).  Good thing too. Taking care of these two is enough for now. Angora bunnies are not for everyone.
The biggest perk of having Bonnie and Clyde, other than the lovable cuteness, is the pile of gold they leave me under their hutch. Plants that I put these little time-released-fertilizer-pellets around out performed others. The blueberries especially loved it!

Each bunny gets 1-2 exercise period each day. We have an outdoor playpen, but if the grass is wet outside, they get to play in the kitchen. It's funny how easily bunnies can be litter pan trained. All it's taken is carboard trays in the corners and they took it from there. I just have to get to the litter pans before the dogs do. Otherwise, those wonderful fertilizer pellets become a tempting treat for my Bostons - ewww!

Enjoy the day-

This post shared at Clever Chicks Blog Hop and Backyard Farming Connection Hop #2.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Detox/Raynaud's Update - September 25

It's been a bit of time (July to be exact) reporting in since I've gotten my blood test results back...and for good reason too. I needed time to process the info and relay it without crying or screaming. Or both.

Anyway, the results for the heavy metal tests came back HIGHER than originally. When I started to tear up at the doctor's office, my doctor insisted that it was good news. I was pretty sure I knew good news and this was not that. His thinking is that it means we've stirred the metals up from their hiding places and now we need to continue the work of getting them out. I don't remember that being in the plan. So I left the office and cried in my car.

The long ride home alone was not one of my finer moments. "Suck it up and come up with a plan", I told myself, being my own cheerleader and drill sergeant. I decided to proceed with the detox program but instead of wasting the rest of my summer in bed, I'd schedule the treatment from September to January 2013. This would allow me to use the time until then living like a normal person and preparing my home, family, and garden for what was to come.

July to September I was as busy as a one armed woman in a slapping contest...well, one busy like that but only breaking for a 2-4 hour nap most days. Very strangely, I had a three week period in July that I felt positively awesome. I was able to exercise and participate in normal life activities like an actual normal person. I have no idea what was different about those weeks and have not been able to duplicate it since.

The good news is that my red blood cell count is higher than it was and aluminum is no longer a problem metal for me. However, Lead and Thallium are the dangerously crazy high heavy metals. Three times the 'legal limit'.

The question that everyone asks me is: where did these metals come from? Good question. Lead could have come from the pipes in a house I lived in in my twenties or from pesticides when I worked in a greenhouse. I also look very squinty eyed at beauty product and cosmetics that I immersed myself in for years.

Thallium is harder to understand where it's come from. Toxicity is almost as dangerous as lead. My levels prior to taking the provoking agent (a high dose of DMSA the 'provokes' the metals out) were alarmingly high. This new report from the blood lab reports that Thallium is the 'secret ingredient' in diet products. Hmmm...that actually makes sense, although it's been many years since I've used any diet products, I WAS a HEAVY diet soda drinker from my teens through my twenties. Searching on-line, I've found some interesting information regarding thallium toxicity in everyday products that most of us use. Alarming and DISTURBING that it's possible that thallium poisoning could come from
dental floss, cotton balls, pads and tampons. Yikes!

This site has a very good list of heavy metals with their sources and descriptions if you're interesting in reading more about heavy metal poisoning. The more I read about heavy metal poisoning, the more I realize it's responsible for a lot of health problems for everybody. I'm just one of the lucky ones who knows I'm toxic!

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the REALLY good news! My Raynaud's/Erythromelalgia are hardly bothering me at all. I had very little trouble this summer with burning feet and even wore regular shoes from time to time. And usually the cold weather we've had the last few morning would leave me with dark purple, numb toes limping around - so far - so good. We'll see what happens as the cold weather progresses.

I'll be sharing some of my summer adventures over the next few weeks.

Squeeze every bit out of everyday - life is short!
Enjoy the day-