Getting A Jump On Things

I already sort of work on off-season items like Christmas ornaments all year long but this year – what with the #covid19 pandemic and the resulting everything by mail – I figured I would try harder to do fall and Christmas stuff well in advance.

Tentatively, fall and Halloween to go live in June and then Christmas to roll out in July. This helps with selling the stuff, of course, but also with the insanely slow mail. With all the safety precautions and all of the extra order by mail volume… mail service hasn’t been so speedy. And I worry a little that the US will just dissolve their federal postal service, stranding a lot of us who sell and buy from there.

Anyways, I’m experimenting with more vibrant pumpkins! This one rocked as a pumpkin and then I sort of wrecked it as a crooked little jack o’ lantern. Luckily, I loaded up on fresh orange clay! More pumpkin canes coming right up!

The Days Are Getting Longer

There was a quote from Gretchen Rubin that I first read when my daughter was small: The days are long but the years are short. It was meant to describe, at least in part, how time drags on when you’re the caregiver for little kids but afterwards the time seems to have flown by. It perfectly encapsulated the first few, physically demanding, years of being a single mom. And now, with a 21 year old, it REALLY describes how the years were so short.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic I’ve had that feeling again. The days, when you’re not sure what’s going to happen one to the next, when sometimes the news changes every single hour and always every single day, seem long again. And yet the time keeps slipping by. So the years will be short again.

And of course we’re heading into summer so the days really are getting longer. Stuff is growing. The weather is warmer. And here, at least, the numbers are coming down for the pandemic. The cases are beginning to plateau and leadership at all levels is carefully working on how to get us back to the regular world. Except I think the regular world is going to be the Old Regular World and what comes next will be the New Regular World.

I can’t quite see what that’ll be yet. I hope we take some of the lessons from the pandemic with us. I hope we carry some of the good things over. I worry about how many people are getting hurt, never mind sick or dying, along the way. I’ve been productive with my art, in fits and spurts, making good stuff some days before spending a week doing only the minimal stuff to get by. I haven’t found my footing yet.

How are you guys doing out there?

Victory Gardening

Way back before I moved to Small Town Saskatchewan I lived in an apartment in the city. I container gardened, a little, and that was that. Then I moved to a spot where I had a yard, resources, time, and started in on the real garden. That’s part of my fairy tale. Victory gardens, of course, were what regular citizens (well, mostly women) were encouraged to plant during the world wars because there just wasn’t enough food to go around. With the pandemic happening there’s that same sort of flavour, even here where we aren’t doing too badly. People are much more interested in growing food.

I live in a Zone 3B which means… it’s cold in the winter. Tomatoes and peppers grow, if the frost doesn’t hit early. Melons and squash do okay if the droughts aren’t too bad or they’re babied. Root veggies are the biggies. So of course I started a pile of tomatoes and peppers from seeds.

Ro is a big fan of the plants. She’s examined each and sat on the seedling tray more than once while my back was turned. The remaining seedlings are pretty hardy.

I potted the tomato seedlings to harden them off a bit and started a few rows of faster stuff – zucchini and other squash, some romaine lettuce. The rest is waiting on the normal last frost date (mid May here) and for us to clean up the plot we share on a friend’s property.

While I’ve gardened in the past I’ve never really put up a lot of food. My potatoes get eyes early and my onions get a little squishy. I can some pickles and freeze some tomato sauce but I admit that this year I’m gonna be a little more diligent.

Anyone else concentrating on their gardening a bit extra this year?