The week on Zen has been a wee bit on the dark side this week.
Ma; my better half , has been having stomach troubles which hit hard this last weekend , though better than it was still not great.
Monday morning I woke up sick , went to work and it got a lot worse. Twelve hours later, it took a half hour scalding shower to stop the shakes. Back to work Tuesday , by 6pm that night , shortly after getting home , I started shaking bad enough , my muscles were locking up. I ended up curled around a space heater for , I don’t even know before I could crawl into bed still freezing , heating blanket and bed warmers maxed through the night. It stayed like that through Thursday , but , of course , it gets better.. I couldn’t keep anything in… still as of Sunday I can’t , so pretty much seven days but , at least I finally stopped freezing.
Although Ma is feeling better , she is still having a rough time of it , not able to eat much better than I can .
Needless to say , we aren’t wiping out the cupboards or larder this week.
Our doe Finally brought back in the fawn that she had just outside our window earlier this year. She was happy to visit Saturday early and again later though I managed to miss the good part .
The first trip in , the fawn stayed next to her mama while she got to see us and the mineral block and watering hole , shortly before they finally headed out , the fawn had made her way , on her own to the pond while our doe was still at the block.
Now comfortable , while on their return trip , The fawn played around the yard while her mama visited with a decent buck as they spent time at the block.
The fawn raced off , trying out muscles , to cover the acres of field and meadow before she turned at the grove only to race back. She quietly and slowly made her way up to the buck before they touched noses and off again to mama. A final burst sent the springs and tail hopping as hard as she could towards the woods. Her mama seeing that, rolled her eye, sighed and raced off to catch up to her daughter.
The buck stood watching the two for a moment before he shrugged his shoulders at Ma and bent to cropping grasses as he made his way slowly over the berm to the east.
Taters ; Po-Ta-Toes
Saturday , I finally felt like I wasn’t going to simply waste away in the bathroom, made my way around Lil Eden after a chance remark from Ma having to do with Zuke pickles.
Having been sick all week , I hadn’t been much out of the bedroom/bathroom , let alone outside .
” Crap , I wonder what the zukes look like after a week. ”
Turns out , much as they did at the beginning . Without me babying them , they pouted in their beds as well. I was able to get a couple for making , yes, more pickles .
While I hobbled about , I looked at the raised potato bed thinking that the soil looked disturbed . I put my hand into the soil to see if I had something trying to get into things… Nope.. I had potatoes trying to get out of things. We don’t get a ton of fruit or veggies for our efforts though we get JUST enough to get us to the next season with care.
One of the potatoes however, was very nearly the size of both my fists closed together. the others I pulled were nice too but nothing like that . Mostly we got russets but also a couple yukons.
After a week of eating maybe one meal a day or none at all for a couple , Ma thought it’d be great to make smashed taters from this first crop . I thought that was an awesome idea , that sounded excellent and sure stay with me..it didn’t but oh well .
Ma made up taters and gravy , Ma makes the best gravy , and chicken strips; breast strips I cut up when I butcher down the chickens. Ma actually did up two chickens worth so that is a ton of strips.. Ma’s chicken strips are also very tasty …. yeah..no.. no recipes sorry…
So far , the gardens still are not primed to start putting out too many veggies. Generally we start getting a harvest , well.. about mid August and it only normally runs to the beginning of October unless we are really lucky. and we get a couple weeks in November on a couple things before a crushing frost hits us.
It isn’t a long time to gather up enough tomatoes for a year’s worth of pasta sauce or zuke pickles for the year… or peppers to dry for the Zen Pepper Mix .
The Poblano Peppers taking the hit they did , it will be very tight getting anything enough for the base. The Banana Peppers have already started to give us a few so at least we’ll have that. The Habaneros were wiped so we are down on them . There are a few scattered hot peppers working in the upper Eden garden so we will see what comes out of that.
The cooler weather we have had this year was nice in that we aren’t burning up , but it closes things down garden wise.
Ma started opening pods from last year’s Brussel Sprouts , which decided to be perennials, to get a lot of seeds for the next time we plant them …..assuming the last year’s and this year’s crop of Brussels don’t just keep on a growin …
We have more herbs to do and some again but , as I say , we are a full week off now.
Our corn , though still way too short , are getting ready to start to put on ears… Hopefully we can get a few this year. I need to get the big tiller ( and tractor ) running again so that the new garden can get their feet a little deeper than what Ma’s Baby tiller can do . Maybe next year… Assuming we finally get a non maiming Spring for a change… the last several have been extremely tough on both of us . I honestly hope this isn’t a ” getting old” thang because I am not a fan.
The turkeys have been coming through most days ; hens and dino kids. They made their way through Saturday , the lead hen seeing us decided to change directions a bit.
By her turning to the North just a wee bit meant that the dino kids started changing directions in the wind garden and dino kids not asking questions just do as they are told , found themselves instead of walking through the path , now had to climb over the wood pile . Soon we were watching the kids crawl up one side and glide down the other to keep up.
They are now around a medium small chicken size , slow getting bigger week by week.
The only one keeping the line running during the summer is Dennis. He makes his way up from the den area to check the wood piles for greydiggers , first digging around the south wood pile ; closest to his home , then on up to the northern ones . He sniffs and peeks around looking to see if Ma has any squirrels down for a quick meal , then on up to the pit to see what I have spread out for him.
Once Dennis has check Zen’s good boxes , he heads up to the berm to look out over the fields, if all is quiet , he heads back down to where the rest of the pack is .
Limpy can’t afford to let another pack move in on Zen as we are a good source of food for them when the days are lean , whether dead of winter or the heat of summer.
Dennis of course comes sniffing in in the middle of the night stopping to yell
” HI! Good Morning ! Are you two still sleeping ?!?! Its 3am time to rise and shine!!”
At which point , I throw a pillow at him , grumble , look at the clock and groan over the half hour’s sleep I wont be getting.. the little crap head.
It would be nice to go back to where eating doesn’t end in hours of painful reflections… There must still be a bug in my intestines that hasn’t pulled up stakes yet , hopefully by the end of the week…
We are so glad that our doe finally decided the fawn was big enough to come visit . The little kid had fun running around the place where she can tear up some ground with her mama able to see her while she relaxes for a bit after the age old;
“Are we there yet ? “
” Mama! Mama! Watch THIS! “
is entertaining as the fawn races then hops around the meadows and fields of the Eastern Zen range.
I’ve got to get back out into the herb gardens and get the next batch of culinaries snipped for Ma to go through them for drying whether it be in a dehydrator or hanging from rafters .
Summer work is piling up with me doing my hobble hobble swear hobble swear swear hobble swear routine So long as some how the knee , and hip heal completely it’ll do .
The rest we will get through. No choice right ?
Zen they found us..again
The morning was still ..for Zen. The light breezes made it so that we could hang out on the West side ; in Lil Eden without getting blown away or freezing before the sun warms the gardens.
Ma was walking through Hummie Garden pulling all of the Feverfew volunteers while I stared into Eden working up to hobbling down the path. Trying to decide if I had to race to the bathroom yet again or if it would be safe to head out further.
I grab up the hose , laying down some water into one of the gardens while I cleaned out the fountain . With the Yellow Jackets everywhere now , I can only clean it up before it gets light out.
Sticking my hand into a dark area that I have been watching the yellow jackets coming out of was a wee bit unnerving . Fortunately , it must be a day time thang. Everything cleared , I filled the tiers once again so that the birds coming through would have a place to get a drink , take a shower and move on .
I walk the path looking at the gardens. Peppers coming up , zukes, acorn squash on the vines. Even a cantaloupe which is great.
We had stuck in the left over seed potatoes throughout the gardens as they wouldn’t make another season what’s the worst that can happen.. all came up , happy to make plants and hopefully potatoes. With our soil and odd seasons we aren’t worried about getting buried in spuds.
The current bushes are full . The Red currents cover the bush ready to explode…Unfortunately, the way they grow so close to the stem , they pretty much to explode when you try to pick them. The black currants are already frozen.
The Elderberry bush is turning into a giant, I am going to have to think about trimming her finally. The berries are getting close to ready and I know the wee leetle birdies are thinking the same thing. We can only hope that they are actually turning on a weekend morning.. Right ?
Ma is walking through the gardens talking to the early birds and to the bumble bees still trying to wake up off their flowers. Their bodies slow ,they give a half hearted good morning back to Ma.
From around the corner of the house a squadron comes flying in, in formation , baring their guns…errr oh wait its the hummies.. Beaks then .
” There you guys are ! I was waiting and waiting by Da’s window and by the porch and no one was coming out. I just got the troop together to come look in the bedroom windows. “
” Mornin Hum….. Um.. You know that’s a wee bit creepy if you think about it..”
” Then don’t think about it…Weirdo ….. I’m a hummingbird not a peeping Tomcat .”
” Riiiiiiiiggghhttt . Soooo yup we’re over here.”
“Riiiiiiiiiiggggghhhhtttttttt….. Well Duh !”
” Love you too Hum.”
” Whatever… I just don’t have thumbs to make more juice. “
” I can feel the love there Humster. “
” Humster? What the hell ? You can bite me.. Stir that why don’t cha. “
” There our leetle ray of sunshine we all know and love. “
With that Hummie glared at me, he and his team gave Ma a fly by circling around her and headed into Hummie Garden to see what new plants popped flowers during the night.
Ma standing at the entry to Hummie Garden was giggling at the crazy kids as they chased each other around the garden and around Ma herself.
I looked out into the field and farther out to the lower oak grove , watching as a group of deer come out of one of the saddles , heading up towards the house for a quick breakfast. One by one they leap the fence and head up the pasture. They see me watching and nod in greeting.
” Mornin Da. I see Ma .. Going to hit the watering hole and grab some mineral block and maybe some grass…. Hey.. You guys are on the wrong side. “
The deer continue their trek up to the pond. A little buck watching me lifts his chin in greeting.
” Hey Da. Eden look awesome ! Can we come look ? “
” No… Duh.. “
” Hey , can’t blame a buck for trying. “
” You can try out the freezer if you find a way in to the gardens. “
” Ah. Gotcha. Well… Looks cool through the fence. Cya. “
Ma up in another garden with weeds flying over her shoulder in a constant spray, I just grin , laughing to myself.
Looks like it’s going to be just another day on Zen Mountain.