Today is my birthday! Woo hoo!
We’ve had so many sad things befall us in the past few months that I am glad to have a reason to celebrate. Not only did my Mom pass away suddenly, my Father-in-law passed suddenly as well approximately 2 1/2 months later. Other things have been happening (one of which I describe in the next paragraph) and believe me, we have had difficulty coming up for air. This is why I really want to celebrate LIVING today. I know that is what my Mom and Father-in-law would want.
What to do? Put up the rhubarb! But first, I must tell you what happened last week. I was bitten by what we believe was a deer fly. Ew. It bit me on the face above my right eye. The swelling was atrocious, and it got infected. After a little research, it turns out the bacteria for Lyme disease is carried by the deer fly as well as the deer tick. Not only that, there is another bacteria carried by the deer fly which can be pretty horrible. I went to the doctor and I am now on antibiotics, as if I had Lyme disease, which I might, but we won’t know for sure for another week when I have blood drawn. Either way, I feel it is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
I have had to come up with a new get-up for outdoor work. Child #2 said I resemble Jessica Lange in “American Horror Story.” I’ll take the Jessica Lange part, but, well, I guess the look is kind of horrifying:
Joel, in his charmingly sarcastic way, says that I look “fetching.” (He’s the best husband ever) A breakdown of my trend-setting fashion statement is as follows:
Dust mask – keeps the allergens away from my nose and mouth, plus holds back the bug-attracting carbon dioxide a little bit
Sunglasses – these have my reading lenses in the bottom half, which come in handy when I am dealing with little seeds and such
Hat – gotta have a hat for gardening……keeps sun and glare away plus helps protect against sunburn
Mosquito Net – I got this here. It can be tucked into the collar of your shirt if you have a collar. When finished with gardening, you can re-use this on Safari….
Not pictured – Long-sleeved shirt(light-colored), long pants, socks and sturdy shoes, garden gloves, sunblock, and spray-on insect repellent(I spray it on my skin and on the outside of my clothes). I also have a little battery-powered thing that clips onto my pocket which is supposed to keep the bugs away.
What things do you do to keep the buggies at bay?
Now, onward to the task at hand….
That is what my rhubarb looks like ripe. It’s not that ruby-red color, but it is organically grown, heirloom rhubarb. That patch has been growing at Country Mouse House for longer than the oldest neighbors can remember. I’ve given whole plants away and it seems to renew it’s own vigor. I gave a couple of plants to Lisa and she now has a constant yield second only to my own.
Here is the rhubarb with leaves in tact. Remember, don’t eat the leaves! They are poison! (Apparently some snails don’t know this, or are immune, so they eat the leaves anyway) Below is what the flower looks like on a rhubarb plant. I pull these off so the plant can put the energy back into the rhubarb stalks.
Below is the rhubarb patch from another angle. In the foreground is a horseradish plant. I put that in last year as a tiny baby and it is really taking off. If you look closely you can see spindly baby asparagus, too. Only 3 of my 6 asparagus starts made it through the winter, so I added a few more this year, marked by those broken sea shell pieces. (Sea shells can add nutrients to the garden. The only other thing I add to this patch is composted manure 1-2 times per year.) I also have Columbine growing here. Columbine and rhubarb get along very well in the garden and help each other grow and stay healthy.
I picked up these beautiful blue canning jars last year at the local crafts’ store and never used them. Now I’m breaking them out! (or in?)
Check out Finn copping a snooze in the background.
Who’s doing a little bit of Spring-harvest canning? Recipes, anyone?
I will let you know how it goes!
Have a deliciously wonderful day!