A seed for every season

I’ll be going through seeds today and planning for next season. A lot of things are older and 2015 was a disastrous season for many reasons, one of which was poor germination rates. I’ll be tossing a bunch of things to go into the compost pile (where, no doubt, the things that fared poorly in the nicely tended beds I slaved over will germinate and grow into healthy, thriving plants) and ordering fresh seed for the coming year. If you have any special requests – Gabby​, I already have ghost and datil peppers on my list  let me know in some manner and I’ll add them to my list. I’m paring down the varieties this time, or at least intending to. There’s no telling what new shiny thing will catch my interest as I start going through the seed catalogs.

Medical alert

I was having Issues, as they say – physical Issues – including tremendous fatigue and incredible muscle weakness and shortness of breath from the slightest of physical exertions. As we all know, life on the ranch demands a great deal of manual labor, whether it’s weeding, hauling dirt, or dealing with the heaviness of the hives in the beeyard. In addition, I’ve been having difficulty concentrating and focusing, and some random memory issues (it took me a good five minutes one day to come up with the word tambourine to identify its use in a song I was listening to while driving somewhere – not good, and a little scary for me given that my memory has always been exceptional).

I requested a full blood workup from my doctor, and the results came back as: anemia, low thyroid, elevated liver enzymes, low hemoglobin, and low mean corpuscular volume – the latter two can help explain a lot, since the red blood cells are what carry the oxygen everywhere. All of these things would be contributors to the problems I was having getting anything done. Now, armed with a higher dose thyroid med and with what will be iron supplementation, things should be getting back on track over the next six to eight weeks. I took myself off the crestor (and informed my doctor of this), to get it out of the way to better determine if the low everything is creating the problems I’ve been having. If things get better over the next month and a half, then we’ll talk about readding the crestor to the mix. Statins are incredibly effective drugs, but they can also have side effects on various parts of the body.

Because I want to be back in form for the spring planting season – to hopefully have a much better year than this one, which was pretty much a lost season – I decided that with the new meds, I’d also begin a routine for exercise/workout separate from the ranch workout. This entails, to start, two 10 minute sessions on the treadmill each day: one right after I get up, hit the bathroom, down my thyroid meds (which need to be taken on an empty stomach and at least half an hour before eating anyhow), and let the dogs out, and one later in the day around the midafternoon slump with which I think everyone gets hit, to avoid having the couch call out to me like a siren, luring me into a nap late in the day. It will also entail resistance training, which I will have to ease into given the muscle spasms that can grip me and making every breath a rather painful affair. I decided to start yesterday on the treadmill, and am pleased with myself for two 10 minute sessions yesterday, and two sessions of 12 and 13.5 minutes today. A slow start is necessary as too much, too soon will send me into a spiral of fatigue it would be difficult to navigate through.

And that is where things stand right now. I’ll have more bloodwork done in mid to late January and we will see how those results turn out.

Fickle fall

Fall at the ranch is much like spring: the temperatures are moderating, the humidity is not as stifling, and it is, overall, not a terrible time to work outside. What is not like spring is that there are not a huge number of things in bloom, and although the bees search far and wide, there generally is not enough nectar for them to collect as they would as the growing season ramps up. It can also be a time of ambivalence as far as Mother Nature is concerned. One day the thermometer may soar to near 90F and the next, a true fall-like day reveals itself, with a high of only 70F. Even some of the trees seem to be confused about what to do during the unsettled period which acts as the change of seasons for us.

Japanese Maple

Eventually, everything will settle into its proper place for our very short winter, and before too long we will once again be roaring into our short spring before heading right back into summer. For now, we work on the cleanup tasks like weeding and pruning in order to put the gardens into a brief slumber before gently shaking them awake to get their bearings to start all over again.