Today nothing went as planned, well most things anyway. I had planned to sharpen my chain saw and start cutting firewood after finishing my run and then when I got tired, puttering around the garage with a couple of small projects that I wanted to get crossed off the honey-doo list.
While I was on the way back from my morning run (I run and time the first 2.0 miles of my 3.0 mile course and walk/run the last mile untimed), I decided to stop and see my neighbor, he had offered to let me pick raspberries from his bed and this week raspberries are at their prime around here. He said no problem.
While I was talking with him, his boy came over and asked if I still wanted the manure, that we had talked about bringing over to my place, last weekend. I said sure and he brought three – 6 foot bucket fulls over to our place and said whenever we wanted or need more to just let him know.
These are the reasons for all that wonderful manure. Never thought that I would say those words, I haven’t liked manure of any kind, since I cleaned cow and chicken barns as a teenager. Cleaning 3-4 feet of chicken shit out of a barn in July, then swamping out the cow barn with 60 head of milkers, just was not a pleasant memory, so I have avoided using manure at the house until this year. This year, things are changing (less income) and the manure is needed for the growing things around the yard. So there it sits in the front yard to look at as a reminder to use it.
Yes I will be getting more.
For the next four hours I was picking raspberries and filled up 2 ½ big gulp cups. I am not a fan of picking raspberries (they start with rasp for a reason), but I do love how they taste and things that Mary does with them – muffins, pies, cordials, jams, or jelly. So I endured the thorns, multiple species of spiders and the occasional snake slithering across my foot, to pick the “rasp” berries. Spiders don’t bother me, but I am not fond of snakes, but up here they are harmless, nothing poisonous – they seem to just appear suddenly and make me jump. My arms are a little battle-worn, but not as bad as they will be during blackberry season – those suckers are nasty.
It was well worth the effort, Mary has already made 4 jars of raspberry freezer jam – my favorite with eggs, (I know I am weird, but at least I know it). Tomorrow she has plans for the rest and then Friday or Saturday, I get to do it all over again.
I took over some of our rhubarb cordial over and Mary has plans to make up some raspberry jelly and cordial for the patch owners and some muffins for the son (I have a feeling that one of the muffins might not make it past the door – especially if I can get it fresh out of the oven).
My knee didn’t really like the bending, twisting, up, down and all the contortions that I went through to get at some of those raspberries, so I sat down in my recliner for a about an hour, with about half of that icing my knee. No I didn’t fall asleep and take a nap (yes I came close, but Mary started talking to me and I stopped nodding off), so my opportunity for a nap didn’t bear fruit. 😉
After resting for a bit, I went ahead and mowed the lawn with my push mower (see the knee is getting better, just need to rest it more often than I would like), it is the off-week. Then it started sprinkling which makes using a push mower a real pain in the butt, but it wasn’t raining hard enough to have an excuse to stop. I finished up the lawn and while it doesn’t look as good as the power mower with a bag doing it, I think that it looks just fine.
Memo to self get bagger for push mower – this goes to Evernote.
I had planned for a totally different kind of day one that involved cutting down trees and splitting wood, but when things are ready to be harvested and opportunities are available for free shit, you just have to be flexible and go with the flow. This is what I like best about this semi-retirement gig of mine so far – I am not bound by a schedule and if I want to change what I had planned, I just do it to meet the needs of the moment. Next year I know that I am going to start cutting firewood as soon as the ground firms up in the spring – maybe a little before, so I am not cutting and splitting it in July/August.
By the way, I am officially part of the red neck crowd now, four hours of standing in the sun turned my neck a nice shade of red. It sometimes feels that to move forward you have to go backwards – it seems as though I am doing many things now that I thought I would never be doing again.
Progress is funny isn’t it.