Monday, August 18, 2014

Playing Farmgirl

As everyone knows, one of the things I love to do is garden.  This year, the only way we've been able to have as large of a garden as we have is due to my push to adopt no-till gardening several years ago, and my husband's willingness to adopt the "mulch it all!" method this year.  Other than a couple of hours doing a big weeding at the beginning of the summer, it's only taken about 10 - 15 minutes to weed the garden each weekend.

This past weekend, we finally started getting  something back for all this watering/weeding/mulching.  We picked a large bowl of cucumbers, pulled some onions, and about half a large bowl of green pintos.  Woohoo!

Before my diagnosis, I could pick all of that by myself, take in the house and have a batch of pickles and a batch of green pintos canned by bedtime.  I've had to learn to make adjustments since my diagnosis - and since the chemo started hammering on my bone marrow so hard.  So now it takes both myself and my husband to pick that bowl of cucumbers, pull a few onions and that half bowl of green beans.  Then I spend the rest of the afternoon cleaning and snapping green beans, and slicing cucumbers.  Instead of adding onions and salt and draining and canning 3 hours later, those cucumbers had to sit overnight.  Instead of me washing 12 pint jars and 5 quart jars, my husband had to do it so I could rest.

And the pickles got finished Sunday, and I've finally got the green beans in the canner now.

It's frustrating - remembering how doing both pickles and green beans all in one day used to be so easy.  Now if I didn't have my husband to help with washing jars and lids, filling canners with water, and making sure all I have to do is fill the jars (and make a little brine) and put the lids on, there is no way I could do this.  I can no longer gleefully proclaim that I canned it all by myself.  Tonight when I got home, the quart jars were in hot water, the lids were simmering, and after I rested for half an hour or so, I was able to go fill 'em up and start 'em canning.

I'm so very tired of not being able to do the things I took for granted two years ago.

But despite the whining, we did manage to get the pickles done (12 pints of bread and butter!).  I'm learning to utilize teamwork a bit more often, and I'm trying to not be bitter about what I can no longer do on my own.  I will make more pickles - kosher and regular dill, more bread and butter - and I will can more green pinto beans.  We pulled most of our onions, and we won't have to buy those for a couple of months.  This coming weekend, if I feel up to it, we'll dig up our taters and start curing them.  This winter we will enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Even if I contribute less and less labor to it.

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