Monday, December 31, 2012
So long, 2012
It's not been the best of years here at the manse, both personally and the Sanctuary. But it's not been the worse year either.
Mother's vision degraded to the point where it was not safe for her to drive, so there have been adjustments there, both emotionally and logistically.
Spring promised so much, then summer brought extreme heat, drought. And there were the d^mned deer who devastated plants and shrubs. Between the 3, very little came out of the veg beds and many blooming plants never got a chance to do there thing this season, what with a lot of them being eaten down - repeatedly.
The ones that did bloom (zins, agastaches, butterfly bushes, asters (when protected), salvias (up by the house) and larspurs attracted lots of bees. In fact with the odd warm spring, even honeybees appeared as early as April! After that I noticed fewer as the drought wore on.
The drought did prompt me, though, to finally clean out and install my 6 55-gallon drums. They made a huge difference in what I could water this past year, saving me having to use my well water. But though I did water, it couldn't compensate for the extreme heat. For instance, the tomatoes went 2 months without setting fruit because they wouldn't flower at those temps. Or when they did flower, those buds just dropped off. 13 plants didn't give me even 2 bushels of toms this season.
Mother's cash flow problems (her own doing) kept (and keep) me running on cortisol and adrenalin for most of the year and there's no end in sight. She refuses to change her ways so I'm resigned to letting her crash and burn and then pick up the pieces. So frustrating.
Little progress was made in the gardens, although I did get 3 raised beds installed back by the golf course (soil & trek boards removed from Mother's house - those beds had become too much for her to deal with) and have also staked out/mulched an inner arc to the North end of the ring bed. I'm hoping to be able to fence in both crescent beds to keep out the deer next year.
I tried new things this year, too. I found out I really LIKE dry cider and learned how to ferment my own. I'm exploring cooking/baking with grain flours other than wheat. I found a new favorite veg - Tuscan kale and am enjoying it frequently in many dishes. What next? I'm going to make up a batch of laundry soap. (Yep, I'm on a roll.)
And, alas, I'm getting older. I hurt my back this fall harvesting/mulching/moving leaves. I never let it get better and continued to abuse it. While I've been diligent this past month exercising and stretching and thinking twice before doing any heavy duty work, it's no longer the back of a 40-year-old. *sigh* I'm not sure how this is going to shake out.
Then there's this current health issue and a Christmas in the ER. No diagnosis, unfortunately.
Still, I'm so much better off right now than a lot of other unfortunate folks this end-of-year. I have a warm house, a full 'fridge, working car, no debt, all my faculties (I guess) and - believe it or not - what I consider general good health (current mystery notwithstanding). Most of all, let's not overlook my supportive friends (real and virtual (you lovely blog buddies - you know who you are!)).
So, like the Mayans and their ancient calendar, we tuck away another year (or b'ak'tun). Now we look forward to the next -- probably with apprehension on so many issues (personally, politically, economically, socially, environmentally, globally, etc.). We live in fearful times, my dears. All I can suggest is live responsibly, laugh loud and love often.
Happy New Year.