Breathe deeply

I am certain that my half dozen faithful readers are wondering what cliff I fell off, given my complete lack of maintenance here on ye olde blog front. What, they ask, is she doing? Lolling around, eating bonbons, instead of planting things, cooking goodies, and the like?

I’m not much on bonbons. At least for myself, not these days.

No, dear readers, yours truly has actually been doing things like whipping up batches of pizza dough for the freezer, babying plants along and harvesting goodies (six pounds of cukes the other day!), making bread and butter pickles and foisting them off on anyone within arm’s reach, cooking up some homemade french onion soup (delicious!), and pulling weeds (a losing battle).

But I’ve also been undergoing yet another round of tests, from an x-ray to a CAT scan to a PET scan to a biopsy, and on the 6th your intermittent blogger will be back in the hospital, this time to remove a wedge of lung that has a suspicious lesion on it, along with a lymph node hanging out near the trachea that also looks suspicious. None of this is good news other than the fact that a) it’s very small, and b) it’s very early, so given my overall good health, my total lack of smoking, ever (which makes it all the more ironic this second time around, having some crap I absolutely should not have),  and my relatively young age, should be not as big a deal as it would be were I a two pack a day puffer with cardiac issues and high blood pressure.

Still, it’s no fun, and I’ve had enough of medical stuff these past five years to last me a lifetime – in fact, it seems like I’m making up for a lifetime of not a whole lot of medical anything, doesn’t it? And still, the same people ask the same question over and over again: smoker? The only thing I smoke is bbq on my Bradley, thanks. They’re always surprised, and I suppose given their professions, they should be, since it still surprises the hell out of us here that me, of all the people in this family, should be receiving these diagnoses. On the plus side, I’m probably the healthiest person in the family, so my odds are a lot better for recovery than most everyone else’s.

The doctor says a 4-7 day stay in the hospital (let’s aim for four here), and then six weeks for recovery (too long for me), which will put us at the beginning of planning stages for the fall garden. Once again, it seems another prime season has been lost in some fashion, this year from a late start due to an extended illness and death in the family a few months ago, and now an interruption in the height of the season due to surgery and recovery. One of these days, we will have all the pieces together for an actual, planned, well-begun, well-managed season.

The tomatoes are soldiering along as well as they can, although the heirloom Cherokee Purples went down to blight due to an extraordinary run of rain we had. The paprikas, the stars of last year’s garden, and the bell peppers are both a major source of disappointment this year, as neither are producing. The latter is especially discouraging, as I wanted to stash plenty of roasted red peppers in the freezer for those times when I want to make soup. On the plus side, as we’ve been going through all this testing/scanning nonsense, I did get some more flats started, and put in (I think) about 36 starts of a bell pepper called Fat N Sassy. If there is a more appropriate name for a pepper that should be perfect for roasting, I don’t know what it is. On the downside, these will be ready to go out into the garden proper in the next couple of weeks, and I’ll be directing traffic instead of participating fully, what with all the mother hens hovering.

The peanuts are going gangbusters, and we’ve already enjoyed zucchini, green beans, filet beans, and okra from the garden, along with the aforementioned cukes. I have kidney beans, another round of green beans, and limas popping up out of the soil – once again, score one for getting these things in before surgery time!

This coming week I”ll be working like an over-caffeinated squirrel trying to get things in order before I go down for the count. The upside is that I’ll have time, sitting around on my ass, to post some of the pictures that I’ve been taking here and there. One thing I will say is that french onion soup, delicious though it is when homemade, is not very photogenic. It surely was tasty, though.

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