Where do I begin with the updates, garden, house, Dave, or???
Hmm. I’ll start with the most important. The house – oh, whoops. Just kidding.
Dave is improving. Slowly and painfully. I wish that I could say that he’s bounced back quickly; but that isn’t the case. Last week was very difficult. He had felt that he needed to get off the painkiller, so he reduced the dose then stopped taking it all-together. Within a couple of days he was really hurting, but he decided that he just needed to push through it. After a couple of days he developed a fever and felt absolutely miserable. The fever would go down in the night, but would return every afternoon. By the weekend he could only lie on the couch and quietly moan. I was increasingly concerned that he had pneumonia. We kept a close watch on his head wounds and could not see any sign of infection. He didn’t seem to have a cold or the flu; I couldn’t think of any other likely reason for him to have a fever. Though he wasn’t coughing his breathing did sound a little “juicy”. On Monday he called the doctor and got an appointment for the next day. They assured him that he did not have pneumonia and that the symptoms were due to his shallow breathing (brought on by increased pain). So he started taking the painkiller again and with the decrease in pain he was able to breathe more normally. The only good thing about his weekend on the couch was that it gave his neck a rest. Now at the end of another week he’s still struggling with the pain. When he’s up and working his neck becomes nearly unbearable, when he lays down his chest begins hurting. Catch 22.
But Dave doesn’t let any of this keep him from working. The ONLY day he hasn’t worked was the one full day he was in ICU. Even when he was so miserable last Saturday, he got up off the couch to stagger around outside for a while, then we went to town to get supplies. This week he’s worked every night on the house project. The boys and friends have been helping him.
So, even though the house project has slowed down a bit, it hasn’t come to a standstill. As you can see from the pictures the sheeting is mostly on, the roof is up with plywood and tar paper. They are laying the groundwork for the siding by snapping all of the lines and setting on the trim. Once this is done, it should be relatively quick work to apply the siding. Dave will install the windows before they put the siding on the upper section. It’s going to look beautiful.
The gardens are growing. I’m wishing for more warm days to encourage the flowers to grow, grow, grow and bloom, bloom, bloom. My hopes for flowers by the fourth of July are fading a little more each day. Oh well, it will still be beautiful and I know that it’ll look REALLY great by the end of July. Guess we’ll have to have a party or something then to admire them. Anybody want to come?
I’m still so pleased with the greenhouse. It gives me a great amount of joy to go in and pick handfuls of basil, parsley, thyme, oregano or leeks. I love giving someone an herb bouquet. If you visit me I’ll give you one. The tomatoes are ripening; we can barely keep ourselves from picking them all. But, we want it to look very lush for the wedding, so are going to leave them on the vines as long as possible. Bright yellow blossoms adorn the cucumbers and the little fruits are lengthening. They, too, will be hard to resist over the next couple of weeks.
The deck boxes are growing slowly – we still need warmer temperatures. The herbs are doing better than any of the other crops. The tarragon and pineapple sage look the best, but the chives, dill, thyme, and mints are coming right along. I even have lemongrass that I’m hoping will flourish this summer.
I’ve given myself a challenge to use the herbs in most meals (can’t quite bring myself to toss them into the morning cold cereal). I made rhubarb meringue bars the other night and added basil to them – success! Tonight’s melon salad included tarragon and pineapple sage. Of course, every green salad gets basil, parsley and a bit of lemon balm added.
With Dave on the mend, the house project moving forward and the gardens doing their thing, I decided it was time for me to get on with sewing. Now seemed a good time to improve my skills – there’s nothing stressful going on in life, so why not? I had purchased some pieces of good knit fabric (read expensive) and decided I’d better practice the pattern on something a little less precious. It took me a week to figure out how to successfully sew the knit – good thing I practiced. But now I’ve got the hang and I’ve made a dress, two blouses and three skirts. I’m proud of myself because I’ve managed to get an extra garment out of each piece of fabric I bought. Right now I’m working on fitting a jacket pattern (for woven fabric). Having a dressmaker’s dummy (I call her “Ditto” ‘cause she looks just like me, poor thing) is making the process easier, but I’m really wishing you were here with me, Mom; I need your expertise on this. I think I’m going to have to make a practice garment for this pattern too. I really don’t want to cut into the intended fabric before I have all the bugs worked out. Like I said, this is a great time to be doing this. Maybe after I finish the jacket I’ll whip up a quilt or two (ideas abound); maybe even another couple of wool coats for Ben and Wyatt (projects I promised them last year!).
Or maybe not.