A New Decade Begins

What a strange Winter this has been, so mild that I have worked in the garden almost everyday, which has put me one month ahead of schedule. Much of this has been done out of necessity, as the bulbs and perennials are all pushing up through the soil, mislead into thinking it is already mid-February. I have spent the last two weeks doing the remainder of the dead-heading before the new shoots interfere with the clipping and get their wee green heads snipped off.

This progress has only been possible with the strong help of a 19 year old who is occupying my guest room. The bad economy has been rough on him and his friends so he ended up with no place to land. His mother is my friend and is currently out of state looking for work, so he is here, writing a new role playing game and pushing wheel barrows for me. I point and he works hard, shoveling the precious compost and distributing it around the new garden beds I started last year in some of the under utilized sunny spots on the property. I cannot wait to see these new beds brimming with flowers and vegetables!

Today I sliced into the last of the large red French Winter Squash, painstakingly removed and sorted the seeds, then popped the fleshy halves into the oven. When cooled, the pulp was scooped out and run through the blender with salt, sugar and spices. The majority of the golden liquid filled 10 freeze containers and the remainder is in the dehydrator now. I did noticed that the flesh seemed less sweet and had a slight bitter flavor, which may be the result of long term cold storage, however those particular pumpkins are not as sweet as my favorites such as the Red Kuri,

I still have a crisper full of apples that need to be dehydrated, which I should do this next week. The majority of the crop went into apple butter which is in the freezer now.

I received a call from Moka’s doctor confirming my suspicions that she has diabetes. Based on my son’s experience, the insulin and special diet are very expensive, but I will do my best to keep her healthy as she is the best cat I’ve ever known! Such a sweetheart with a tiny voice and exceptionally good manners. She will not jump up on my lap, bed, or couch without asking first, and she has NEVER gotten up on a table or counter! I love this gentle, intelligent kitty girl.

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