Posts Tagged ‘sheep’

Seems I only post about my mental health when it’s acting up.

Well, I suppose it’s not really on my mind when it is behaving.

Yesterday, I went out and drove to the town where we get feed for the fowl and sheep. I was fine going and while there but by the time I was returning, my brain made it quite clear I had done more than enough for one day.

It’s reaction to my outing – the loss of focus and the flaring of frustration – was enough to cause me to not be able to write. This was significant because I had really been looking forward to writing, as I had just introduced a character to the fourth novel that I have been waiting to add to the world since the first novel.

I did, however, manged to get edits done, so I didn’t feel that bad about the day but I was all too aware that my brain had affected the outcome of how I spent my day.

Today, I woke and immediately knew it was going to be a bad one. Waking essentially angry at nothing, and everything,  is usually a good indicator of a malfunction in the hardware.

I did get writing done this morning, but the focus needed to do so was tiring. Then, frustrating me immensely, I couldn’t get on-line and do all the social network stuff I usually do after my morning writing session.

I pushed myself to edit instead. I did manage to work through a few pages and then stopped. My head would take no more – I had pushed it as far as it would go for the morning.

Luckily, by that time, the internet was feeling co-operative again.

Hate days like this, especially when they come this close to the holiday season – I count on my cycle to be, if not done, at least very low so that I can participate in the expected festivities.

I won’t panic but I do hope this fades back by the 24th.

First off, I don’t know if I shared this or not, but I started using Twitter. Not much mind you – a post a day, or so – but thought some of you might care so here is the link -

bit.ly/RRIDLEY

So I started this season, way back in March, planting my seeds indoors to get an early start on my food growing. Last year was the first for getting serious about growing food. We started a bit late but got an amazing amount of food from the small garden. We ate well and had many frozen and canned goods to enjoy during the winter. So I planned to do it right this year and start early – get more food – save more money – have more produce.

Yeah – then life intervened.

We had a cold snap, but the heat was turned off (wood burning furnace – pain to get going again – thought the cold wouldn’t last as long as it did – only so much wood left – yadda yadda) So the early planted seedling didn’t sprout because it was too cold. And I got a ‘late start on planting’

This late start was still at least a month before i had planted the year before so I assumed I’d still get a better crop.

Then we had a very wet and (though the humidity didnt make it feel like it) rather a cold summer. Things were not sprouting, and those that did were not growing as they should. My plants are stunted, and fruit is taking forever to mature, and that’s if the blooms dodn’t just fall off, unpollenated because – right, too cold for pollinaters to be out and about.

Then as the garden finally did start to produce, I had my crop be, eaten/destroyed. Rabbits, eating through cuke vines (lost five), some sort of other burrowing thing eating all my swiss chard (and one holy mole pepper plant – hope it burns you bastard), and a sheep (who’s going to the butcher real soon, ate a third of the green bean vine and nearly all of two other cuke plants.

I have gone from – we are going to have a GREAT haul this year – to not having as much food all season as we did in one month last year.

It is discouraging, but I guess that’s the way it goes when you are trying to live off the land. I have learned somethings and next year will approach some things differently. The weather I can’t control so that I will just have to hope is in my favour.

Sometimes even a green thumb isn’t enough.

Well, my week has had its ups and downs all in all I can’t complain.

I got the tremendously good news of being excepted into Xchyler Publishing’s anthology and am now participating with a whole new group of writers and editors on Facebook as well as still enjoying the folks over at Evolved Press. Makes for many comments and posts to read but not only is the networking good, it is, I admit, fun.

I am going to my folks place today to celebrate my sister getting her second Masters degree, which will I’m sure be fun despite the amazing amount of humidity in the air, unfortunately as I was bathing to clean myself up for the shindig, I discovered that the water pump was, once again, not working.

I took this in stride, assuming I will not have the problems I did last time, and fell confident I can have it running again tomorrow after my morning coffee ( which I know I will have because I took the last of the water in the system to fill two pitchers and set them aside for just that purpose).

I lost some portions of both of my grapevines, one to an industrious sheep, and one to a clever duck. but having discovered that two of the ‘sticks’ I ‘planted’ have rooted and are on their way to growing into healthy shade trees, it is a win some lose some scenario

My veggie garden is coming along nicely, a few tomatoes ripening already, and a couple eggplants about to bloom. and although I am not getting down almost any of the things I want to this summer out in the yard, I am enjoying being able to be out in it.

I had my Muse come and whisper a wonderful little short story in my ear which I quickly wrote over the last two days, and it turned out better than I could have hoped.

The truck is still running (knock on wood) but it does sound a bit load as it has no exhaust system right now.

I am not cycling, my mood is as stable as it ever gets, and though I don’t know what will happen in regards to my July cycle (as they have been so weird, and off kilter this year) that is (or should be) still a number of weeks away.

There is you summary of my life at the moment. I could wish some things were different but on the other hand I am glad many things are as they are.

 

I am a gardener as much as I am a writer. I love watching my plants come up, sprout. bud, bloom, fruit. The whole process is a joy for me. This year I have the new addition to my yard my kiwi-berry vine and it is going to bloom. plus for the first time I believe I’m going to be able to harvest my red currant this year and all of my gooseberry are large and producing. My raspberry is healthy and I have 5 little beans poking their heads out of the soil.

I’m not saying gardening gets rid of my insanity, but working the garden – even just walking around and checking on it’s progress – I can feel the stress melt off my body. Now the opposite is true if I am battling with the chickens digging everything up or the sheep busting in and eating everything up ….  but as I have, for the most part, found solutions to those problems my plants are a means to grounding myself ( couldn’t help the pun) and finding the seed (help I can’t stop) of my peace. Once that peace has germinated, I can use it to push away the darkness and bloom into sun…. Alright I’ll stop but you get the point.

I think this is true of many hobbies. Something that is zen like, that is many faceted in it’s interactions and is both cerebral and physical. Alright I can’t think of many hobbies that fit that bill but I am sure there are.

Anyway, find your thing and remember it when you are struggling.

Yesterday, the sun was shining, the temperature was in the low twenties (mid sixties), and since I could do much for the truck, as it was charging, I decided to put a plant in the ground.

Last year, a friend of mine layered some shoot from her Kiwi-berry vine into a milk-crate and covered them over. The rooted and this spring I went and got the milk-crate and put it on my front porch. Just the other day I noticed that it was budding all over, and was overjoyed and realized I should get the thing in the ground.

A couple years ago now, we built a barn by using two shipping containers as side walls and putting a roof over them. It works great and we use one of the shipping containers as the chicken coop. The draw back is that the wall facing into the yard is a big, grey, corrugated metal slab. I decided that I should hide it the easiest and most natural way – with a vine.

So yesterday I combined the two – a vine that needed planting and a wall which needed covering. But there were some things that needed to happen – I couldn’t just stick the plant in the ground and walk away. We have sheep and chickens which means the vine had to be kept safe from both (sheep eat everything except adult thistles and chickens dig up every patch of exposed soil)

I had already built a ‘wall’ out of pallets the year before, and brought in some soil in hopes to raise some vegetables there. That experiment failed miserably (see -chickens). So Before I could plant the vine I had to re-secure the pallet wall, which I did by pounding metal T bars into the ground bracing the pallets. Then I dug up the hard compacted ‘floor’ of the old barn because it is about a foot thick in well aged sheep, and chicken, manure (plant growth gold!). Then I wheelbarrowed that across the soft muddy ground to the planting site, where I shovel the manure into place. Following which, I went and dug out the side of a clay pile, (created when the pond was re-dug) and wheelbarrowed that to the plant site and shovelled it then tamped it down over the manure to keep the chickens out (fingers crossed).

Now I had my soil but nothing for the vine to climb. So i pounded more T bars into the ground and dragged a length of chain-link fence to the site. I unravelled the fence (in itself an exercise worthy of a blog post) and stretched it between the posts and wired it on.

I was finally ready to plant…. after carrying the heavy milk crate from the front porch to the back of the property(1/3 acre). The only thing left was very carefully cutting away the milk crate from the plant with a grinder.

So I used many different muscle groups through out the day – and when I finally stopped (and when I woke up this morning) MAN, DID I HURT! So I have to wonder; is it my age finally telling me I can’t do all that I used to, or is it simply that over the winter I turned into a weak, lazy writer? I guess the answer to that will become clear as the season continues and I tackle more and more ‘projects’

At any rate, it’s in the ground and all the branches entwined with the fence. It will look lovely in a year or two and best of all it will bear clusters of delicious kiwi-berries … as long as the wild birds leave me any