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I've returned

July 5th, 2019 at 07:19 pm

Yes, it's me....Patient Saver, also known in a past life as Wild Blue Yonder.

I deleted my blog somewhat impulsively, annoyed by a few nasty commenters and with the realization that my penchant for sharing all could make me a target.

But aw, heck, I miss this place. So here I am, ready to update you on my goings on, and thanks for all the kind words following my absence. I was going to just begin fresh, but my email is linked to this older blog, so the path of least resistance is just to continue on with this account.

Anyhoo......

I am into Week 2 of the farm CSA program I joined. I've picked up a big bushel each week of (so far) garlic scapes, lettuce, kale, swiss chard, basil, zucchini and arugula, and since the farmer's wife has been emailing us with the coming week's goodies, I've been trying to get out in front of all this perishable produce by getting my recipes lined up...especially since we can help ourselves to whatever fresh herbs we want. If I don't know what recipes I'll be using, I can't really avail myself of the herbs. So I need to be uber-organized.

I went so far as to ask my manager if, on Wednesdays only and just until end of October, I could arrive and leave the office an hour early. That's because the bushels of food are placed outside at the farm; there is no refrigeration! So you can imagine in this heat how quickly things begin to wilt. It's in the shade, but on hot days, that doesn't make much difference. I've paid too much to get wilted food. We can pick up any time after 2 pm, but normally i would not get out of work til 2:30 pm, and by the time I drive home, it's about 3:15 pm.

So I got the okay to leave work at 1:30 pm on a "let's see how it goes" basis. The whole reason I was coming in to work later is because they don't always have work for me to do earlier in the morning, based on the work flow and what others have to do before I get the work passed on to me. So I'll be gently prodding the woman who gives me most of my work to have something for me to do first thing when I arrive.

I am blessed with an abundance of garter snakes this year. On just one day, I saw 3 snakes in totally different locations (one a baby) so I don't think it's the same snake unless it's incredibly mobile.

In other wildlife news, one of the does who visits daily to eat the fallen apples from my sole remaining apple tree (there were 6 when I moved here), brought 2 small fawns with her. They're cute, to be sure.

I've been busy working on a small (roughly 10 x 4') wildflower garden abutting my new back patio. I returned this morning with another 5 small butterfly weed plants, purchased from a woman in town who sells plants from her home at greatly discounted prices. I paid $15 for 5 plants.

Actually, it started out as wildflower "meadow," but after observing how aggressively the grass takes over, I'm wanting to weed out the undesirables and mulch like any other perennial bed. It will still attract the pollinators, which is my goal.

Saw my dad yesterday, and my brother and I took him out to lunch. Since his surgery in February, he is getting around, but still uses a walker; he used to use a cane. He has also given up driving, which is a big relief to me. There was no grand announcement or conversation about it, but he's not going anywhere unless one of his kids drives. This does present greater challenges for us since we need to bring him to various doctors' visits, do the grocery shopping and so on, but at least there are two of us sharing some of these necessary trips.

The weather this past week has been mostly awful...very hot and very humid. I'm so grateful for my air conditioning on days like this, and now a storm is rolling in.

In the past month, I've had 4 trees taken down. The two small ones (a Japanese black pine I planted the year I moved in 24 years ago and a cedar tree with a rust gall disease) were taken down by a local landscaper who I knew would do it fairly cheaply: $300 for the two, which included disposal on my property).

The third tree was a dead ash, another victim of the ash borer insect, which was on the property line but could conceivably hit the sun room. I got my elderly neighbor's okay to have them drive their bucket truck on her side, which is just lawn and more accessible than mine. The 4th tree, a dead black locust, was quite large, maybe 90 feet tall, and was close to my neighbors' on the other side. If that one came down, it would take down the neighbors' power lines and generally not cause any good will, so that one was done too. Overall, they did a very neat job except for 7 or 8 holes in the ground caused by the impact of falling limbs, and they did sacrifice a very nice Japanese maple growing under the locust, but oh well. I get a lot of Japanese maple volunteers here. The 2 large trees cost me I think $2600, so it wasn't cheap, but that's the going rate around here and actually I was fairly happy with the price.

My local public library graciously accepted a gift of two of my mother's paintings. I'm just waiting to sign some paperwork and then I'll deliver it to them. I purposefully chose 2 fairly large pieces as I desperately need the space here.

I rejoined Ancestry.com as they were offering memberships at half-price, but I'm wondering if I'll really have the time to spend on it.

I went to the Bronx Zoo a few weeks ago with my NJ cousin and her two grand-kids. It was a lot of fun, but everything was so expensive, from the parking to lunch on premises, to the camel rides for the boys.

I am making more serious attempts to get plastic out of my life, and I found that using dampened tea towels which I already had on hand work very well to keep all kinds of fresh produce fresh in the refrigerator. Plastic bags don't always do the job and actually, the tea towels seem to work better with lettuce and other soft greens! I just wet the towels, then ring them out, then gently roll up the produce and store in the drawer.

I also have a large collection of those plastic produce bags you get in the produce department, plus I've purchased some reusable mesh bags too. I plan to keep using the plastic ones until they develop a hole or something, then will transition to the mesh bags.

This is all a result, I think, of my continued work with the environmental group in town I belong to. I can't often make their meetings due to work, but since they put me in charge of monthly litter pickups, I still have a chance to get to know certain other members who come out for that.

I'm also still volunteering at Kiva.org, which reminds me, I've got to do some editing for them this weekend.

I'm still working at decluttering as much as possible, and have had great luck selling all sorts of things on Facebook, from a portable AC to a vintage photo to a single pair of wood shutters.

In short, semi-retirement is full of all sorts of interesting activities; my part-time work is really like a little something that gets in the way of my activities, instead of the other way around.