Monday, August 14, 2017

Brick Dust: Changes Inside and Out, Garden Update...Stuff


Things are busy right now at Sage Alley!  While most of our produce is starting to come in and be ready for harvest, my partner and I also have our own pursuits in progress.  Except for a recent illness for both of us (mine slightly more protracted,) we've both been running, running, running!

We were hoping to take a trip to the beach for our 10 year anniversary in September, but unfortunately, our finances aren't going to allow for that.  We'll probably take a shorter trip (long weekend or something) closer to home.  We also may go visit his family in Vermont. We have not decided yet.  It's a bummer, that we can't do our Big Trip this year, but it's not the end of the world.  It will be just as special next year!

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This is our current bedroom.

Part of the fallout from our recent illnesses is that we have decided to set up a second bedroom for ourselves on the second floor of the house.  Our current bedroom is in the basement of our house.  We both love this room; however, basements tend to be cooler than the rest of the house.  While this is great in Spring and Summer, it's not so much in the colder months.  At the same time, our wood stove really heats up the house!

To this end, my partner has decided to condense his two studios on the second floor into one, and we're taking over one of the rooms as our "winter bedroom."  When we are not using it, it will serve as a guest room.

The master will remain my art studio, but I think we're going to replace the bed that's currently in there with a twin, set up as a daybed.  That way, the studio can still double as guest space, but I will have a little more work space.

I actually don't mind having a second bedroom.  My whole thing about sleeping in the basement has been about not leaving my cats down there all on their own, but the truth of the matter is that we are down there all the time, for various reasons.  When we are not sleeping down there, we'll be able to open the bedroom up and cover the bed, so they can hang out there.  We aren't able to bring them up into the house, because of my mom's pets, who are all still with us.  (I think I have posted in the past about trying to introduce one of our cats to the household.) The basement is a finished space.  It's an apartment, so it's not like we're just leaving them in some damp, cold place.  It's a home.  :)

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I have made a major decision regarding the direction of my future, and I have not made this decision lightly.  I have fibromyalgia, and in the past year or so, it has gotten worse.  Thought I still do a lot of running around, and I get out a couple of times a week, it is getting harder and harder for me to function. Those outings and activities are costing me more dearly than they used to.  I may have a good day or a string of good days, and I take advantage of them when I do!  That said, I'm paying for them more steeply.  My flares are getting worse, and I'm staying more tired for longer periods of time after. I'm also not able to stand or exert myself for as long as I used to be able.  I now have to rest after every task or after every 15-20 minutes of activity. Sometimes, I'm done for the day after hanging the laundry for instance.  I can't concentrate on anything for more than an hour or two.

These factors are making it harder for me to find work that will accommodate my needs for rest and time to refocus my mind.  I have been looking for a part time job for over two years, and I have not had any luck. After much discussion with both my partner and my client (who has been more than understanding with me,) and with much hesitation and emotional struggle, I made the decision in July to apply for disability. I know what I am getting into, and I know that getting it is a long process and that most people do not get it the first time they apply, so I am taking it all one step at a time.  In the meantime, I am continuing to look for work and for clients.  I can't just sit around and wait for it. It could be years, and I might not get it at all, even on appeal.

I don't like it. It doesn't feel good.  When I have a string of good days and am kicking butt, I feel like maybe I don't need it (I DO need it.  Fibro does not get better. There is no cure right now. It's just symptom and lifestyle management.) I try to remind myself that I paid into the system for many years, and I still do and will continue to. I try to look at the bright sides:  When and if I get it, the stress of trying to find work and/or clients will be alleviated.  I will be able to focus better on meaningful things.  I will have time to help out others and work on stalled projects around the home and in my studio. I will have peace of mind in knowing that I will have an income and won't have to panic, as I would if I lost a job.  (Though there ARE sometimes hiccups with disability.)  I just try not to beat myself up. It's not my fault that I've gotten ill.

This is a very personal thing to share, but I want the people who follow this blog to understand a little more about who I am.  Unfortunately, my illness is part of who I am now.

On that happy note...

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We harvested a ton of corn today! (Well, OK--so it was about eight ears, but still!) I have quite a learning curve with the timing. As you can see, most of the ears were not quite mature enough yet. My bad!  It tastes very good, though, and now I know better what to look for next time.  I did the research to find out when it should be harvested, and I guess I took it too literally.  I should have waited a few more days.  This isn't going to stop us from enjoying it, though!  The white ear is the same variety as the rest, just younger, but it tasted fantastic.  There is plenty more coming in, and I told a friend I may be able to give her some next week!

The good news is that, although I did see (and pick off) some critters while harvesting the corn, they don't seem to be eating the corn itself, so far.  If I can stay on top of the timing for harvest, we may avoid that problem altogether, which would be wonderful!  Overall, this variety appears to be pretty hardy, and it's also possible that the plants we have nearby are helping to keep some pests away.  We don't have a companion planting for the corn this time, but the beds are fairly close together.

I'm just over the moon, because the corn was all me.  I've never cultivated anything on my own before, so the fact that the corn is doing well is just a thrill!  Next year, I will take a more active role in the garden!  I became pretty invested in the peas, so I may oversee those next year, as well as the corn, and who knows what else?

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Finally, I want to express how heartbroken and angry I am over the events that took place in Charlottesville, VA.  Something is very wrong with our society when someone is able to murder people in cold blood in the light of day.  No remorse.  No hesitation. Possibly pre-meditated. It's horrible, and it is surreal.

Tonight, I will be attending a candlelight vigil in a nearby town to honor all of the victims of what took place.  America has a lot of healing to do.  We have really lost our way.

*Peace*


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