Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Mother duck went out one day...

A year ago my mother unexpectedly left us. We wanted to honor her today. My sister, her family, Panda, and I decided to launch 66 rubber ducks into the mighty Mississippi River in honor of each year of her life (you can find her more eloquently written post about today HERE).  My other sister sadly lives out of state and could not join us.  
Mum loved the story about a cargo ship of rubber ducks that had tipped in the ocean several years ago. A huge flock of rubber ducks escaped and scientists have been using them track ocean currents ever since. Mum would gleefully report every sighting of them. We brought every sort of duck imaginable to the river today, and ended up having a few extra. There were big ones, small ones, pirate ones, angel ones, leprechauns.. You name it.. Mum always loved extras, so we threw them in as well. We didn't do a final count, but it was over 70 ducks. She would have loved this.
At first we gently placed them in the water, but they didn't want to leave the shore, so then we started lobbing them out into the middle where two great rivers meet. A spot sacred to the Dakota and Ojibwa tribes who once lived here. A sacred place of Peace. Mum loved this park. There was joy and sorrow, tears and laughter. Half the ducks decided to go up stream and the other half headed south towards the ocean.. Yes, she would have even loved that.
As they floated away, to join the sea or to be found and brighten the day of some stranger further down the river, we silently sipped her favorite beverage....
  and toasted our mother duck who has gone over the hills and faraway.
I love you Mum.
Faraway, but never forgotten.
Shine on...
Always shine.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Garden update

I thought a garden update was long over due. Remember this lovely picture of our raised beds??.....
 Well, lets just say months of bed-rest have done their damage and the toll is high.. Sigh.. Since this was taken I've snuck out and managed to tame it somewhat despite doctors orders, but my late master gardener mother would not approve. Of course she would also be out there weeding and threatening me within an inch of my life to get back into bed if  I knew what was good for me.. ;)
On a plus side we have SEVEN cantaloupes ripening in our tiny patch. Any day now we will be able to harvest these yummy garden gems.
Four of our five acorn squashes made it. I was going to rip out the vines, but I saw that one still had blossoms on it so I left it with fingers crossed we might get a few more squashes before the frost comes.
I had to ask for help, but Panda, Bear and I harvested a little over 3 lbs of sweet snap peas that I froze for this winter. 
And then there are the tomatoes.... Such a sad tale of woe and misery.  
My seedlings all rotted so my sister gave me some of the seedlings she was experimenting with this year (check her small pace container garden out. Its amazing!!). The seeds were not strong and both her and my tomatoes blighted this year. Oh well. Next year is a new year. I will return to my faithful Roma tomatoes and my sister will return to her prolific bumblebee tomatoes. We had several salads from our lettuce bed, but I think next year I will plant a smaller batch of lettuce. We harvested countless strawberries this year, and three of our 17 apples are making it to maturity.  Not a lot, but there are only three of us right now, so it might be just right. As the tree matures it will be able to handle more apples. 
Oh! Basil, how could I forget my basil bed?! I'm having Bear harvest my basil in small batches right now for processing. I plan on turning it all into pesto. Next year I will attempt to can our pesto, but this year I'm sticking with my tried and true freezer method. We will have at least 10 cups of pesto by my guesstimation when I am done to enjoy through the long dark winter months ahead.
As for me.... Still on bed-rest but finally have some answers and might be getting better soon. I might have to stay on bed-rest because my hips keep sublexing (popping in and out of their sockets due to my Ehlers Danlos Syndrome). The replacement castor came for my wheelchair finally so I might have a chance to get out and enjoy the end of the season a tiny bit if my health improves. Fingers crossed. There are still a lot of unknowns, but we are nearing the end and I can finally see the light at the end of this journey. Till next week. Shine on.