Kind of on the spur-of-the-moment, I decided to take a week of vacation this week. We're still in the thick of the warehouse move (my part is pretty much finished) and my shop is choked with a great deal of the contents of the old props warehouse. Moving all this antique knick-knackery is kind of killing me, because I'm so ridiculously allergic to dust. I've been taking allergy shots for about six months, so I can only imagine how bad things would been without the shots. As it is, my throat keeps closing up on itself, which isn't exactly fun.
So, I had the idea to stay home, and do all sorts of projects. I'd get a lot of work done on the house, maybe carve some rubber stamps, maybe go to the beach with Robb. I'd even -- finally -- do a little bit of taking care of myself. I would get my first haircut since Robb broke his back. (I know it's crazy, but when he got hurt, I put my entire life on hold, and now, much later, I'm still unable to give myself permission to do "frivolous" things for myself.)
Only, somehow none of these things actually got done.
Instead, I got sick with a strange ambulatory cold. Most of the time, when I get a cold, I just go to bed and sleep for a couple of days. Not with this cold. I've been roaming, zombie-like, around the house and yard, unable to focus on anything, and feeling like crap. This has been going on for almost a week.
And just when I finally start feeling better, Robb gets sick. What a drag.
At least we have a lovely place in which to be sick.
The weather has been beautiful, and I did manage to get a tiny bit of work done in the garden. But mostly, the garden is taking care of itself. Two of the hop plants (Sterling on the left, and Nugget on the right) have crested the roof-line of the garage. The roses are blooming. The persimmon tree is in crazy bloom, and if looks are to believed, we're going to have an insanely gigantic persimmon harvest. Even more of my plum grafts have "taken." I think I have about half-a-dozen different varieties of plum grafts on one tree. The bees are doing well. The yard is fluttering with butterflies and native bees.
Right before Robb got sick, he baked a couple of beautiful loaves of bread. This photo is a bit of a cheat. It's a picture of some bread Robb baked last fall, that I thought was exceptionally pretty. I don't actually photograph every single thing that is produced by our kitchen. That would involve either admitting to how messy I am, or doing a better job of cleaning up, neither of which I'm willing to do.
I made a big batch of marmalade in the midst of having the cold. And just like the last batch, it didn't "set up" properly. I even cooked up a second batch of pectin, but it didn't seem to do the trick. I think I'm screwing up because I'm biting off more than I SHOULD chew, making batches that are just too big. Larger batches of fruit take longer to boil (makes sense) and apparently with pectin one has to move QUICKLY or else the pectin over cooks and loses its gelling properties. The problem is that we have so many lemons that it's hard to make small batches.
I guess I should admit that I really don't know much at all about making jams. The downfall to being self-taught, is that there's nobody to say "if you only learn one thing today, THIS is the one thing you should learn." I'd love to have someone show my what to watch out for, so that I don't keep making the same mistakes over and over again. I could say the same thing about knitting, or spinning, or, or, or.
Now I know that part of what I'm feeling is the residue of being sick, and also sadness for losing a week of vacation time, but I'm going to admit that for the past year or more, I feel like I've been standing right on the edge of a chasm of depression. I've been stuck, with my toes right up against the abyss, unable to move.
I've really been stuck, and I've been having a singularly lousy time. I feel like I'm watching my own life from somewhere on the outside, and that life is going nowhere, fast.
It has been a challenging year. Not challenging in a good way. Not challenging in the way that results in growth. But challenging in a way that could be only described as suck-tastic.
I tend to be pretty good at just "pushing through" the bad spots. But I've somehow lost something, and am feeling very worn-out and sad and lost these days. I know that part of this is the cold speaking, but a lot of it isn't. I think that it's being sick that allows me to admit how I've been feeling, instead of just ignoring it.
And admitting that something is amiss is the first step in figuring out how to fix a problem, right?