Friday, September 30, 2011

Oh, my...

I have really fallen down on my blog... and I promise to do better.

This has been more of a challenging summer and early autumn than I've had in a while.

So much heat, so many changes...

First and foremost, let me whine...  (yes,,, I am going to whine).

I'm a bit more than 5 months into the Tamoxifen regimen, which is a preventative for breast cancer in my case, and I'm still struggling with the side effects of the drugs.
The struggle has been far greater than I had imagined.

With that being said, I have seen the doctor several times and I'm not willing to go off of the drug, which greatly reduces future chances of cancer.  In the weighing and balancing of things, dealing with the side effects of tamoxifen is preferred to dealing with the side effects of surgery, chemo and radiation that I've watched a number of friends and family endure.  Its' not a promise or a certainty... this tamoxifen regiment, but it's a pretty good shot ... and so I continue on the drug.  Pretty much the only issue is some serious hot flashes... hot flashes on drugs if you will, which are far more manageable during the day, than at night.  I've always been a person who needs their sleep, I LIKE to turn in early and I love to rise early for the day.  Lack of undisturbed sleep has been a serious issue this summer.

I struggle onward with this issue.

Ok... that's enough whining.

Uhm... maybe not....

I've been temporarily back at work... such is the life of the part time folks of  state parks.  State parks in every state, and national parks as well have suffered tremendously in the economic melee that has been our lot these last years.  Having found something that I absolutely adore doing, and knowing what it takes to run a park while short staffed, and having much respect and admiration for the dedicated few who persevere when it would be so much easier to look elsewhere, I am again facing the time of 'job not funded.'...

It's not that I can't find things to do... I can... It's that's where I want to be... where my heart is...
and it's tough, tough, tough to not just get up and go.

Somedays,,, a lot of days,,, you simply don't get what you want.

Ok, so NOW, maybe I'm done whining...

Okay... so maybe not...

The heat this summer really laid waste to the garden.  We had some vegetables, but everything burned up supper early, even given the best efforts that we could manage.  As folks on a country well, we are not able to run water day and night to the garden, and so the garden is effected by serious drought and weeks of 90 to 100 degree temperatures do not make it easier.  I miss the gardens of better days... miss the leisurely stroll to pick 'supper' from the rows, in the late summer sun, miss being able to can and preserve for the winter and miss being able to share the bounty.

We are rethinking the garden... considering raised beds, which will be easier, I think, as we age.
Rethinking what to grow.
I've evolved to a more 'year round' garden perspective, rather than canning and preserving so much as I used to do, but instead, eating more in season,with what will grow at the time.  I'm liking that approach... it's working with the fewer mouths that I have to feed.

This summer we ran an experiment.  We did not purchase any plants, but started everything from seed.
I started at least a dozen types of heirloom tomatoes and also that many types of peppers from seed.
Some of the tomatoes were amazing... with the heirlooms faring much better with the heat and drought than the 'standards' that are sold in town.  The heirloom seeds were pricey, but I have saved enough for next year, making it a more cost effective process... certainly more effective than purchasing the plants at $3/plant.

The pepper experiment was a resounding failure... planted too late, they didn't survive transplant, leaving us with a deficit of peppers, which add much to our diet.  Will try that one again next year, but also be prepared to purchase some, if again faced with failure in the pepper department.

The other experiment was to purchase cheap seeds... at discount places, for things like squash and beans.
I'd really not consider it a success either... Perhaps, I'm snooty where seeds are concerned.

The cheap seeds did come up, but did not produce true to what they were supposed to be, in some cases.  The beans did not produce nearly as well as our previous 'high end' seed, nor did they hold up to the difficult weather circumstances.

The only area that did produce beautifully from cheap seeds were the lettuces... Amazing turnout from packages of seeds that costs ten cents.  Variety was nice, though not as much as from a pack of seed that costs $5, but for the price difference, fresh, beautiful lettuces were an acceptable 'cost cutting' measure.

Ok, so that's about all the whining I can take for today...

I promise to return with a better attitude, promptly!