So sorry this post is a day late coming to you. The life of a substitute gardener is a busy one, I’m telling you. I don’t know how you gardening people find time to do anything else.
As you may know, Hubby is away canoeing. I’m pleased for him. It’s his second trip this year, and I’m thankful he’s not going alone this time. And this week, while he’s away, I’ve been doing garden duty.
We have a big vegetable garden. And harvest time is upon us. So, I’ve been picking tomatoes, and processing tomatoes, and freezing tomatoes. And picking peppers, slicing them up, and arranging them on cookie sheets to freeze. We then store them in bags in the freezer to use on pizzas, and in soups and stews in the winter. We are inundated with cherry and grape tomatoes. Way too many to eat. We gave a lot away. And this year I tried something I saw on-line. Freezing them individually, on cookie sheets, like the pepper slices, and then placing in bags. I’m hoping they will be good in pasta sauces in the winter.
Oh, and let’s not forget the dreaded beans. I don’t dread eating them… just the picking. You’ve probably heard the story of how I was scarred emotionally as a teenager by my bean-picking experiences. Oh, my god. I used to dread so much my mum saying, “The beans are ready.” Then being handed a five gallon pail and sent out to the garden. Where, when one crouched to pick, the rows and rows of bean plants stretched up the hill to the horizon. I’m serious. Well, partly. But gad, I used to find bean-picking boring. When I’d much rather have been ensconced on the porch with my book.
Hubby and I had an agreement when we first got together. I don’t do gardening. Especially beans. But, over the years, my guilt won out. At least we only have a couple of rows. And I only pick when Hubby is away. Like now.
Two nights this week the weather network threatened frost. So I hightailed it out to the shed and, using the stash of old sheets Hubby has collected, I draped all the tomato and pepper plants, running back and forth to spread the sheets, clip them together with clothespins, and weigh the edges down with bricks. Then there was no frost. The next morning I pulled all the sheets off, and put the bricks back, hung the sheets on the clothesline because they were wet with dew. Dried them and put them away. Then had to do the exact same thing all over again the next night.
As it turned out the forecaster was wrong… again. I guess I could have chanced not covering the second night. But as the substitute gardener, and not the real gardener, I was too nervous to take the risk. I tell you, it’s stressful looking after Hubby’s garden.
Still, it hasn’t been all garden time since Hubby has been gone. I did find time to make and edit that closet-turning video, and post on my blog. And on Sunday I visited my sister who is selling her house. I brought lunch with me and, after we ate, we went through her closet, and she assembled a huge bag of stuff to donate. Yesterday I had my hair cut. Carmen put a few low-lights in the front. To break up the solid white and add a bit of interest. The cut is amazing, but the low-lights didn’t quite turn out like I thought they would. Carmen loves them, and they do look good, but I’m still getting used to the new-ish look.
And of course, I’ve been walking. I saw that giant puffball below on my walk on Monday. Honest, it’s the size of a human skull. And actually looked like one before I moved in for a closer look. I think maybe I’m reading too many Elly Griffiths novels.
You know, I had all good intentions to shop and do lunch with friends and generally get out there into society this week. But funnily enough, I’ve not felt the urge. I shopped a bit at the mall after my hair appointment yesterday. Looking for pants to go with my new sweater. But two stores in I gave up and came home. “I don’t actually, really, totally need a new pair of pants,” I thought. And I didn’t even look for boots. The thing is, I’ve just really enjoyed my own company while Hubby has been away.
I seriously think I am becoming more introverted since I retired. Too much socializing just wears me out now. And I begin to long for quality alone time. I know, from reading, that introverts find socializing draining, and need alone time to recharge. While extroverts gain energy from being around people. I always used to think I was an extrovert. But now I’m not so sure. I loved being in the classroom. Loved the energy of kids. But maybe all those years when I was so exhausted come June, I was just in need of alone time to recharge.
I read this really interesting article today that has me thinking that I’m not one thing nor the other. I need both alone time and people time. So maybe I’m an ambivert.
Now, I must wrap this up because there are a dozen big tomatoes that need to be blanched. And I have to figure out what to cook for my supper. Something with leftovers for Hubby in case he’s hungry when he arrives home this evening, whenever that might be. Later this afternoon, I’ll do my work-out and have one final turn round the garden. Making sure everything is tickedy-boo. My last duty as substitute gardener. Can’t risk the wrath of the real gardener in the house.
Actually, I am happy that the gardener is coming home tonight. I’ve had enough alone time for a while. Later this evening, Hubby will pour himself a pint, and then soak in a long hot bath. Trust me he will need a bath. I will perch on the toilet lid with my wine. And we’ll tell each other the stories of our week apart. I confess that I might exaggerate the bean picking thing. Ha.
Your turn now, my friends. What have you been up to this week? Fall chores keeping you busy?