Garden Harvest Part 1

I needed today. I didn’t really need the way today started (a certain young toddler who will remain unnamed decided to wake up at 5:30 unhappy and I, being the mommy, got up with him), but there have been many redeeming things since my unplanned alarm clock. And the day is only half done!

Things like honey cheesecake, which I made last night, which meant it was perfect for breakfast. (As a note, whenever I have cream cheese, sour cream, AND Oreos in the house at the same time, I automatically assume a cheesecake will happen.)

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Getting onto the main topic of this post, last night the Dearliest came home to 6 deer in the garden. They’d taken out two more sides of the fence and completely consumed the last of the potato greens, the sunflower leaves as high as they could reach, and a good chunk of the corn. They ate the leaves, ears, stalks, everything. Right down the to ground. The Dearliest was mad and after picking a couple dozen ears he came inside and announced we were harvesting everything this weekend, ready or not. Then he’s going to till everything left into the ground, because he’s done feeding deer.

I can’t really say I blame him. The garden, which was lovely and full and green a few weeks ago, is kind of sad now.

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But there are still a few happy beetles, like this aforementioned unnamed Toddler Beetle.

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After an hour of working on the corn, we hauled the wagon to the house.

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Strangely enough, the deer left my basil plant alone, and since cold weather isn’t too far off I went ahead and pulled it.

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I don’t know about you, but when I have fresh basil on hand, there’s only one thing for it.

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Pesto has been my favorite pasta sauce since I was little. Before I knew what garlic was. Or Parmesan cheese, or basil for that matter. I just knew it was green and the yummiest thing EVER.

So, there’s my morning. They’re not usually quite this productive, but today’s a good day. Time now for naps and quiet time and TEA.

Posturing.

Over the last couple years I have noticed a drastic decline in my posture. I already have some self-consciousness issues when it comes to my person (being tall and skinny really isn’t as glamorous as the magazines make it out to be), but between having babies and being sick for prolonged periods of time, I got exhausted justĀ thinking about getting back into exercises.

A couple months ago I was able to start walking again, which helped with a lot of things but not my posture. I needed to strengthen core muscles for that, and I’ve been putting it off because I dislike stationery routines. I want to be running, not sitting or balancing on one leg.

Which is why when I ran across a Pin for “5 Beginner Yoga Moves to Fix Bad Posture” I wanted to immediately dismiss it. I’m not a Yoga person. But I felt I should look at it, so I did. And the second sentence in the post was “I dislike [Yoga]. A lot.”

*zing!* Connection!

Bottom line is that I’ve been doing the stretches for 2 days now and have discovered muscle sets I didn’t even know I had. I can’t do more than 1 or 2 repetitions for half the exercises, but it’s working. I’m barely doing it and I can already tell a difference!

This is exciting to me in a big way. (Obviously. I’m blogging about it.)

Smokey Mountain Moves

Hello, I am yet living.

We are moving. The fire started it, but other circumstances encouraged it further. For the last month we have looked and looked for a suitable place. Rentals, houses to buy, land to build on…it’s kind of crazy, but every place we went to pursue more seriously fell through for one reason or another. But we need to move, and so the Dearliest’s parents have very generously said we can stay with them while we continue to look and (hopefully) build a place of our own.

*insert long peals of ironic laughter*

(For those who haven’t been with me super long, 4 years ago our house was very full. Uncle and Aunt Fine lived in the cabin, and 8 of the Dearliest’s family lived with us in the house. At the time they owned the property next door and were converting a large barn into a home. Shortly after they moved in [a couple months, maybe? I don't remember] they had to move back out again, because a mudslide started to take it out. They lived with us a total of about 7 months. It was a time of Great Adventure.)

I’m grateful, I truly am. Especially with winter coming, I would MUCH rather be in their spacious basement in town than still on the mountain.

Things have thusly been nutso the last couple weeks (and, I imagine, will continue to be nutso for a couple more as we finish the move), but we’re maintaining good attitudes.

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In this time of change and uncertainty, some uncertain things have become certain.

Like harvest from the garden.

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I refrigerator-pickled a gallon of beets (SO. GOOD.) and gave a bunch away. We got several pounds of carrots. The sunflowers are 15+ feet tall. The potatoes are GORGEOUS and we have been eating them regularly for over 2 weeks. We’ll need to dig them all up soon. We have around 200 pounds, if I’m not mistaken. And the corn is looking to be really, really tasty. If the deer don’t finish it off first. They broke in (literally–they snapped fence posts 6″ in diameter) and have been helping themselves for a couple weeks now.

Birthdays. Birthdays are certain.

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LK’s birthday will be the last party on the mountain. We had 35 people over for it. Wa-hoo!

Also certain: I can officially make strawberry rhubarb pie.

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The Dearliest got a rhubarb plant last year and I forgot about it. It survived the winter in a pot on the deck and put out lots of new greenery this year. We got it in the ground, and it grew. And the deer ate it. And it grew again. I grabbed the stalks while I could and yesterday got the strawberries. I’ve never had this sort of pie before (with the exception of apple, fruit pies are not my thing), but I like it. A lot. I’m SO bringing my rhubarb plant with me when we move!

Lastly, PenWending has a new story going! I’d almost decided to not share After the Storm because it ended up being more personal than I originally meant it to be, but it is a sequel, and since the first story left the main characters saying goodbye I felt I owed it to them to finish their tale. I put the first 2 chapters up yesterday, and the rest will follow over the next couple Sundays.

The Love for Three Oranges

We recently rotated out the CDs (my stereo holds 3 at a time), and I decided to introduce the wee ones to Prokofiev. He’s not usually my cup of tea, but there are some of his works I like very much. “Peter and the Wolf” is one of them, and I thought ‘This is something the kids will understand and appreciate.’

Well, “Peter and the Wolf” is later on the disc, and LK has a Thing about starting a new cd at the first track. (Shades of his mother there, I’m afraid.) The disc has been in for half a day and we haven’t made it past Track 6. What are the first 6 tracks? “The Love for Three Oranges”. A symphonic suite about oranges, they asked me? This must be good.

I wasn’t familiar with the story, so I looked it up. HOLY COW. Try explaining that to a 6 year old (not to mention 4 and 2). I simplified it and left a lot of stuff out to make it more or less a kid-friendly fairy tale, but still.

All I wanted was “Peter and the Wolf”. But now they’re obsessed with Three Oranges and how does one eat magic oranges anyway? And the giant. They want to know what happened to the giant, because it’s Important, you know!

Ah, well. At least they’re listening and making up stories and having fun with music. That was the point to begin with, so I guess it’s not much to worry about.

Except the next time we go to the grocery store I might skip the orange aisle.

Authoring Anecdotes

My writing has taken a higher shelf these last few weeks. Instead of 2-3 pages a day I write 2-3 sentences, but progress is progress. It’s been good, in a way, to take more time, because the section I’ve been working on is a secret mission sort of thing, of which I have absolutely zilch personal experience.

Less writing time = more time for research on the subject (what do you mean watching Bourne doesn’t count?), and also more time to ask the Dearliest things like “I need a non-sniper rifle but one that would work over distances for an assassination. (Answer: AR-15, which I should’ve known. I’ve shot one of those.)” and “What’s the average range for reliable accuracy when shooting an AR-15? (Answer: Up to about 300 yds, though they can be shot with less accuracy up to 500 yds)” and other related questions about firearms, adrenaline in a Situation, and stuff.

It took me a month to write 12 minutes of action, but I got the protagonist through it in one piece SO THERE’S THAT.

Here is a picture of some of the first draft. These, to date, are the most confused pages I’ve ever written. If you try to decipher it, well…I wish you luck. I wrote it and I’m STILL not sure where everything will go in the end.

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As it stands now, the draft is littered with notes like:

Inc[orporate] Panasonic Toughbook.
Change all men present for all planning.
REWORK SO CONV[ERSATION] HAPPENS ON HILL WHILE WAITING. (apparently that one is particularly important?)
No barrel. Also, incorporate C-4 at fuel. Also, HOTSAW.
Make sure rifle matches distance capability.
Check Tennessee weather in July.

I hope to have a decent head start on the story soon, and shortly after that you can start reading After the Storm on PenWending!

More Recording

For the last month I’ve been polishing up two of my piano compositions, and I finally got them back up enough to feel comfortable with them in front of a camera.

This is the first of my story pieces, and I wrote it when I was around 16.

The heroine grew up in Kenyesha, which a dragon later destroyed. She survived, however, and years after the event she shares memories of a happy childhood in her hometown.

This is one of the people pieces. I’ve written quite a few songs for various people who touched and influenced my life (and I have a long list of songs I still need to write!).

 

I wrote this for a dear friend’s 21st birthday. We met when we were very young and took piano lessons from the same teacher. We played duets together for years, and once we even created our own Victor Borge-inspired duet routine!