It begins…..

Harvest is starting to occur…. Fresh kale, Thai chilies and one habanero, oregano, and rosemary.

We want to get a smoker to do the peppers, but in the meantime we will go ahead and dehydrate the ones that are starting to ripen. We are going to have TONS!!! Still have jalapeños that are starting to really produce!!! Something ate most of the dill (Grrrr….) and we still have thyme, cilantro, and chives coming as well. I should/could have taken some of them off too, but it started to rain.

The tomatoes are ripening like crazy and have produced abundantly!!! The only plants I really struggle with are my lettuces and basil. I’m thinking they might not like full sun. My basil was doing so well too, and then pretty much overnight they looked terrible and haven’t really come back since!!! I’ve pruned, made sure they don’t dry out…. I’ve never had a lot of luck, especially with basil!! :(. Any tips would be GREATLY appreciated!!!

One of my favourite new-to-me finds is cress. So peppery and flavourful!!! Grows really well too, and I am sure it will be one of the ones I will grow inside over the winter.

Lunch today: chicken salad on kale leaves, it’s a ‘wrap’ folks… :).

Ready for first dehydration from our garden…. Kale chips will be tried next!

Summer is finally here!!!!!

Anyone else find this winter seemed like it would NEVER end???????

Maybe the whole Covid19 thing made it seem even longer. Life definitely took an unexpected turn and thrust us all into something we didn’t understand, or want – on many levels and for many reasons.

Certainly, having to work in healthcare throughout this crisis has taken a toll, on every one of us. I was so thankful to still have a job, yet it was the last place I wanted to be. There were many fearful, tearful moments and the pressure, risk, demands of the job, absolutely drained me…..and I’m not even a nurse! I can’t imagine doing what they do any day, let alone under these incredibly difficult and emotional circumstances. Nevertheless, it still left me numb and what feelings I did have, I still have been unable to define.

So these hot, sunny, longer days, have been just what the doctor should have ordered……about 3 months earlier!

You’ll notice I didn’t blog much…..in fact, hardly at all. What do you say? It’s hard to write about something you still haven’t truly processed…….especially because it’s not over. So many conflicting feelings, mixed emotions, and no time, or real knowledge, on how to even begin to unpack it all. It’s messed.

But if it’s taught me anything, it’s taught me to LIVE, and to value and invest in the things and people that make my life rich.

The circle is small……but that’s okay, it’s a great circle. It’s shown who is in my life and my acquaintance circle who can respect opposing opinions and gave me the opportunity to practice respect for the concerns of others, even if I don’t share them. Not gonna lie, my circle may have shrunk. And also not gonna lie, it’s frigging hard to be at opposite poles on issues when it’s someone you truly love and care about.

That may have been the hardest thing of all.

Politics, this virus and the measures implemented, BLM and riots in the streets, issues of faith and how they apply….

Even lifelong friendships have been challenged and tested. But they remain intact because we CHOSE to listen, to respect the fact that we are not the same and we see things differently, and while not ignoring those differences, we CHOSE to focus on the things we have in common, the values we share, and the love that runs deep.

At our staff meeting yesterday, you could see that people are running on empty. There are no reserves right now and my heart goes out to the amazing nurses that serve from depleted emotional and physical resources to keep everything as safe and ‘normal’ as possible for those they care for.

During the staff meeting yesterday, our manager told us that we have all suffered trauma and that it is real. I am so thankful for a manager that actually cares and truly ‘gets it’!!! It is amazing how uplifting it is, and how much renewed “give a *(#%” you feel when you know someone has your back and truly supports and cares about you.

Anyway, back to summer….

Pelican made a few bucks off me this summer. I bought a kayak for my husband and my granddaughter. We got the “sit on” kind…partly because I am terrified of getting in and out of a real one, or getting stuck in it. But most of all, for the stability. My balance sucks because of weakness in my core and my ongoing battle with vertigo. And, as most of you know, Glenn has a trach, so it would be disastrous for him to end up in the water. We wear life jackets…..every single time, but still, the extra stability is a comfort and safety measure.

Anyway, may we all find healing and renewed hope in the sunny days ahead. Just sitting out on the deck is renewing for me, but I plan on spending many hours paddling through the waters, by myself and with others.

Stay well friends….and I don’t just mean Covid. In many ways, the virus itself, was not my biggest threat. Depression, withdrawal, despair, hopelessness, fatigue (both physical and emotional…..mostly emotional), threatened my well-being more than the dreaded virus ever could.

Drink deep from all this season has to offer.

Garden is in and doing well….

Let the paddling begin….

Just hanging out at home…with the people I love!! <3

Meet my pet worms…..

No, that’s not a typo…..but it might be a slight exaggeration; they aren’t r-e-a-l-l-y my pets, at least not yet, but they are definitely WORMS!!

I had no idea that there was such a thing as a worm ‘farm’ (it’s actually a Rubbermaid bin 🙂 ) until our daughter, Stephanie, told me she wanted to start one. Not gonna lie, I thought she was joking UNTIL she started talking and sharing the wealth of information that she had been researching.

Around the same time, I had been listening to podcasts discussing microbiome importance, healthy gut and the role bacteria play, and I also was listening to the book by Dr. Josh Axe, Eat Dirt.

I’ve long felt that we have gone way overboard in our quest to eliminate germs. We have antibacterial laundry soap, hand wash, dish soap, cleaning liquids, hand sanitizer…..you can barely buy anything that doesn’t claim to have some protection against germs!!

But I began to wonder:

  • “What if we put as much effort into strengthening our immune system as we do trying to avoid germs?”
  • What affect does all this antibacterial stuff have on our systems?
  • Are we now becoming more susceptible to the very things we are trying to avoid?
  • Are we destroying the natural protection and immunity we were designed with by ingesting and absorbing all these antibacterial products?

I also want to increase the amount of food we produce ourselves. I’ve always been a skeptic when it comes to the modern food industry, but now I’m just plain paranoid!!! It used to be you m-a-y need to be concerned about meat and how it was handled or the animal having a disease, but now I’m afraid to even eat a salad!!!!!

So I bought worms!!!

I had NO clue what I was doing and relied heavily on Stephanie’s knowledge and assistance. Every time she visits, she teaches me something new about how to take care of them properly, and thanks to her, they are really starting to thrive!!! In fact, when she was here over the holidays, she sifted through my bin and I now have my first container of worm castings!!! In the world of gardening and growing, this is like powdered gold, nutrient-wise!!!

It doesn’t cost me anything to feed them, they simply consume much of the organic waste from my kitchen. They love fruit, with the exception of citrus like lemon, limes, oranges, grapefruit etc. The other exceptions from the scrap bucket are: potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and garlic. They love coffee grounds (we have lots of those!!), tea leaves, and crushed up eggshells that have been boiled or cooked. Since I make over a dozen hard-boiled eggs at a time in my Instant Pot, it’s a win-win for us both!!!

Next time I will grind the eggshells first….

The only other thing I add is bedding. I shred junk mail in the paper shredder, tear up newspaper, old egg cartons, and paper bags, and in it goes to my bin!!! Again, more waste that would have just been disposed of.

Gut health and………………..worms?????

So what do worms have to do with gut health and microbiome? Well, an important component to gut health is probiotics. When we talk about probiotics, there are numerous and varied sources from which they are derived. One that we haven’t heard much about, until recently, are SBO’s – soil-based organisms.

Dr. Axe states….

Soil‐based organisms (SBOs) support gut health and immune response. Why, exactly? In the plant world, SBOs help plants grow. Without their protection, otherwise healthy plants become malnourished and are susceptible to disease or contamination by fungi, yeasts, molds and candida. Just as plants grow best in healthy soil teeming with highly active microorganisms, you, too, need these organisms to live a long, healthy life.

We now know that SBOs nourish cells in the colon and liver and actually create new compounds, such as B vitamins, vitamin K2, antioxidants and enzymes. SBOs can destroy or crowd out harmful pathogens, such as candida, fungi and parasites. They also kill off bad bacteria that can bind to or puncture the gut wall. They’ve been shown to bind to toxins and extract them from the body.

SBOs also help regulate the immune system and naturally reduce inflammation in the gut and throughout the entire body.

https://draxe.com/nutrition/eating-dirt/

In generations past, you would not have had to put any intentional effort into ‘eating dirt’. Most families lived on a farm, or at least grew a garden. The gardens and farmland were fertilized organically using animal waste and composted kitchen scraps vs chemical fertilizers and pesticides that would destroy the naturally occurring microbes in the soil. Once harvested, vegetables were stored in earth cellars and only water rinsed before consumption…..not with all the chemical-based, germ-killing vegetable washes we use now.

Kids played outside from dawn til dark running through forests, rolling down hills, digging in the sandbox. We were barefoot more often than not!! Summer days were spent on beaches playing in the sand and swimming in the river!!! There was no chlorinated pool!!

Dirt was a natural part of every day life, in some form or another……and no one was horrified by it!!! Now we have sanitized everything to death!

Digging in the worm bin, using the castings in my garden, eating food I’ve grown myself (not nearly to the scale I want……..yet), these are all part of my quest to live and eat more whole and chemical free.

It’s not easy! You don’t realize how many foods, cleaners, ‘health’ care and beauty products contain ingredients I now want to avoid. You have to work HARD to replace these products that have become entrenched in our homes and our daily lives!!!

So….

  • #thebattlerages
  • #Iamdetermined
  • #Itwillbeaprocess.

This little guy just might change my world….