I am slowly getting a few things done around here now. All of the beans have been picked/pulled, and are spending at least their nights in the greenhouse. The larger piles of greener pods get dragged out on tarps for the day, if it’s sunny, trying to get them dried down so they can be shelled and frost treated before storage. All of the vines have been cleaned up, and the poles are stacked, waiting for me to decide next spring if they are still strong enough to use again. I will likely grow more bean varieties next year, as they are a nice trouble free crop that needs no babying through the summer. Takes me a bit longer to set up in the spring, and a year like this stretches the growing season a bit later than I like, but they are good calorie return for effort = the local church can use the extra calorie/protein input for their lunch program, and I like beans a lot myself. The only real crop producer in the squash was the Musquee/Muscade de Provence, but I have a feeling they got a few extras during the growing season.
I have dill scattered through all of the main garden beds, and it will be even more so next year = I think about 80% of the umbels shattered on me while I was in Kelowna, which means not only the beds they grew in, but the pathways have an abundance of seed in them. If I get the time to till at least the beds before freeze up, I may be able to reduce at least some of the volunteering by burying the seed. The pathways are going to be dill central, if I give them a half chance to get started. There are onions all over the place that are no where near mature enough to try and harvest, most don’t even have identifiable bulbs on them, they’re just over sized green onions. If I can get one bed tilled before freeze up, I think I’ll try direct seeding a bunch of Australian Browns this fall = if they come up YAHOO!! = if they don’t, I still have lots of seed. I think I’ll try the Amish Bottle in one end of the same bed too = if I get to do it at all. I know I am letting myself in for a lot of weeding in the spring, until I find out if the onions will do anything.
Carrots and spuds are going to have to be pulled/dug very soon, and stuck into the spud pit. I’m going to try putting some leeks in a bucket or two as well, just to see if it will work. Next summer I may dig another pit, and use it for fruit storage = apples and pears. I know the regular pears won’t hold long, but some of the Asian pears will hold several months.
There are going to be a lot of tomatoes going into the compost bins this year = likely over a ton. Nobody came around to pick any = I guess they thought it wasn’t worth the labor, and I’m just too lazy to feel like picking them so they’ll come take them away. Frost has put an end to pickability now, so it’s just a matter of taking the wheelbarrow around and filing it up for the compost bins. Ah well.
I did find out this year that I have not been watering enough in the past = Shaoling misunderstood my watering directions while I was in Kelowna, and was watering every other day while I was gone = the plants showed the effects very quickly, and I ended up with an almost normal production from most of the plants, despite the extremely off year, weather wise.
So next year, everything gets much more water than last year, unless it turns out to be an extremely wet year. This year was a bit wetter than usual, and for the most part, much cooler.
Still not much stamina yet = I sleep well and long, and have to kick start myself to get out the door and get going, and don’t last very long yet, but keep plugging at it. The radiation oncologist warned me it would be like this for several weeks, and would then get gradually better = the chemo doctor gets to hit me for one more series of three treatments, which will likely make me stumble a bit again = that will happen the first week of November. After that, things should start getting steadily better. They will do another CT scan in early January, and let me know how successful they have been = they can’t do it sooner, because the radiation has everything inside inflamed, so nothing will show clearly. I am expecting to hear that all is as they wanted it to be, and the cancer is completely gone.
This week has had frost every night, starting with just enough to bother the tomato plants, but not the fruit, getting slightly colder every night, until it has reached the point that there are no longer salvageable tomatoes left, or anything else aside from spuds, carrots and leeks. The leeks don’t even realise it’s getting cold, and the carrot tops are only just starting to show the effects. Spud tops were still growing until the first frost hit them.
We have been watching skeins of geese build up in a couple of fields alongside the road we do our morning walks on = probably close to 1000 birds gathering in one field over the past few days. Wednesday morning was one of those fog bowl events, where the fog gradually tips its way off the fields, and exposes the mountainsides across them. The geese started lifting off when we were still about a half mile from our closest to them, wheeling under the fog, and clamouring as only they can when they are about to leave. I wanted to sprout feathers and follow them, a feeling that I have had every time I hear that sound, spring and fall, since I was twelve years old.
I can remember the first time I ever heard geese heading south. I was sitting outside on the back porch,with my grandfather, watching the skeins of geese stream across the face of the moon, singing, = both of us shivering and shaking, and unwilling to leave long enough to get a coat or blanket to keep warm with. It was probably about 1948, in the south Okanogan, just north of Oliver. A magical time in a magical place that is no longer there.
The radiation oncologist has had his final statement verified = I am having more trouble swallowing, I am very aware of my chest, and have less energy and endurance = even a mild Tai Chi session is more than I can comfortably handle. I’m managing to keep my weight up, which is difficult when every swallow causes a twinge, even with just liquids. The saving grace to all of this, is that it should start to get better in about another ten days. I believe I have hit what he would describe as the lowest or worst point now, where I will sit for a few more days, then progress upwards.
I’m not feeling sorry for myself here = I bought this ride with 56 years of smoking, and knew it was possible for most of those years. I am talking to myself here, as much as to the followers of the blog.
I will give a plug here for a stop smoking drug, because for me it worked extremely well, when nothing else has. If you really want to quit smoking, give Champix (Chantix in the USA) a try. I understand that it can have some bad side effects, but had none myself. If you get through the trial dosage with no problems, but have side effects with the full dosage, try doing the trial dosage for the whole treatment. For me the whole experience was stress free = no physical withdrawal symptoms at any point, no feeling like I was going to crawl out of my skin, no loss of sleep, or lethargy. I did fall off the wagon four times while using the drug, but after that, no problem. I eventually started forgetting to take the medication for a day or two at a time, then just quit taking it altogether.
Got out in the garden for the final go around of picking tomatoes = got about 70 lbs of greens and maybe 5 lbs of ripe, or close to ripe tomatoes, that were protected to some degree by foliage. Now I can go around, and pull all of the sidelines and Florida weave from what is left. That will make it much easier to pull what I can and put it in the compost bins. I think I’m going to be seeing a lot of volunteers for the next few years.
I am finding a bit more energy, and eating just a bit easier the last two days. I have about four pounds to regain by November 1, and I feel like it will be possible to do it. If I don’t, they may hold off on the chemo then, and I’d just sooner get it over and done with. I do believe I have passed the low point now, and should be starting up the other side. What the last chemo does to me, I don’t yet know, but don’t think it’s going to be that large a problem. So far, except for the 70+% hair loss, there is nothing that I can attribute directly to the chemo. I would imagine that part of the debilitation i feel is due to the chemo, but I can’t tell how much.
My last chemo is next week.
And the adventure continues.