Sunday, August 10, 2014

It's Been Awhile


It has indeed been quite some time since I have visited with you all. So much that in fact I have worried a great many of you for which I apologize. I so appreciate all the emails I have received and the prayers extended to my family and I. 



Spring came to Hickery Holler with lots of rain and cool weather. The gardens grew fast and the weeds grew tall and often. O Wise one and I have struggled to keep up with the mowing, weeding, gardening and canning. We also took some personal time away and took Baby O to the State University hospital for some testing concerning her heart problems. The downfall of living in such a rural area is that we are limited to small clinics and local small hospitals for medical care. Doctors are not lining up to practice medicine in these small farming communities and so for us to get specialized medical care many times we must travel 2 hours one way to a large hospital. We wanted a second opinion on Baby O's heart rate problems and that meant traveling to the city to find a pediatric heart specialist. It also meant updating the original tests at the large hospital. In addition Baby O had one side of her wisdom teeth removed about 4 weeks ago and the second side removed last week. She returns next week for the last of her heart test updates and we are hoping to be caught up on medical trips for the near future.  We are exhausted though all has come out well.   


The spring crops were lush and plentiful and the black snakes were thick in the gardens. There have been few insect problems other that the occasional cabbage worm. The grapes are ripe right now and I will put up grape juice this next week. The apples and plums hang thick on the trees. The peach harvest was lost to a late frost. We harvested huge amounts of rhubarb and ended up selling it to the local fruit stand because we had so much already from the year before in the freezer and in jars.  


I will be honest in that O Wise One and I have struggled this year with the workload more than ever before. Six years after cancer treatment I have struggled more than ever with neuropathy.  A long term side effect of chemotherapy effecting my mobility and balance. I have been able to tend the garden less than usual and fall more than ever. We continue to persevere though and have begun to consider retiring from the farm. Baby O will soon move on to the next phase of her life. But for now we continue our normal routine and start to plan for the next phase of our own life together. 


Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter

31 comments:

  1. Glad to hear you are still plugging along. Do hope the next phase is easier for you both.

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    1. Glad for life to slow down a little and to be back with you all! I do however see some type of retirement in my future.

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  2. Good to hear from you again.
    I understand about the workload thing. I've cut back on my gardening and canning this year. I can't do it all any more and still have any type of a normal life. We sure don't stay 40 years old forever do we.Take care of yourself.
    ps
    please tell O Wise One to knock it off with that snake stuff. he's freaking me out.............

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    1. Hello Katherine and so nice to see your smiling face. We have decided that this is the last year of a big garden for us as well. We will probably always have some type of small garden but we will no longer can the way we have for the last two decades. The kids have their own gardens now and we just are not eating it all. Time to cut back and smell the roses I guess. O Wise One and I are talking about maybe starting to travel some.

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  3. CQ, it is good to hear from you again. I pray you will find good, helpful information from the doctors for Baby O.
    Maybe you can cut back on the gardening, but still enjoy your time in the holler. Time does have a way of marching on, whether we are ready or not.

    Blessings,

    Fern

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    1. Cutting back is a definite in our future. We just can no longer keep up with the work load. This farm could feed a small army if my knees and back would just hold out that long. Maybe I will just teach these younger wives and mothers how and leave the heavy duty stuff to them.

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  4. Good to see a post In my "honor roll"..your photos are just perfection as always.

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  5. So glad you are back! I sympathize with your neuropathy... I am undergoing chemo right now and the loss of feeling and use of feet and legs is daunting. God be with you.

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    1. I know chemotherapy probably saved my life but the long term effects are a challenge! May God be with you during your journey and give you the strength to endure. Blessings CQ

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  6. I can't tell you how excited I am to see a new post from you. We all feel like we know you through your blog and I for one was feeling like I was missing a friend. A friend I visit with daily through your posts. Welcome back and I am so glad you are all well.

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    1. I am excited to be again with my friends Dawn. We are fine just a bit bruised and overwhelmed. Now to catch up on the work and maybe a few days off : )

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  7. CQ,

    Welcome back! Keeping Baby O in my prayers, and hope the doctors are able to determine what's going on to make her life a healthy one.

    Your garden is beautiful, and I know it doesn't get that way on it's own. You and Old Wise One have worked hard and it surely show. I know personally chemotherapy's effects are a major challenge daily through working with my dad, and his cancer. Take care of yourself, Old Wise One, and Baby O...........
    Sending you and yours a big hug,
    Sandy

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  8. So glad to see you!! I understand wanting to cut back on the farm workload but I do hope you will still hang around to teach us newbies. . . And tell us of your new adventures in life. Like someone mentioned above, even though we don't 'know' you personally you do feel like a friend that we get to stop by and visit with each day...or so ... And say what cha been up too? :) rest up. I'm glad to see you are all ok. Tired but ok ;) I hope you find good information and news from baby o's tests. Hope to see you soon!

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  9. Words right out of my mouth. My hubby just told me this week that he thinks he garden in too big....even though it is feeding 4 families! But it seems like it has taken up so much of our time the last couple of years and the work is hard, no doubt. We will never give it up completely but maybe make it smaller. the kids sure have loved all the veggies we have given them so far. I do understand where you are coming from. Travel a little. That sounds like fun to me!

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  10. So glad to see you back, I also have missed my friend CQ. I told my family yesterday that it was my LAST day of canning from the garden. I was done. I understand the need to cut back and hope that you can. Prayers continue for Baby O & O Wise one & yourself.

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  11. Welcome back! I was so glad when your site showed a new picture heading, peas have never looked more beautiful! I have wondered for a long time how you and O Wise One did all that you do. I sometimes get exhausted just reading your articles! Prayers for good news on all of Baby O's tests. Relax and cut back, nothing wrong with scaling back as we get older. :)

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  12. When I saw the picture above had changed I knew you were back. Glad that you and yours are ok. There is nothing wrong with scaling back on your gardening. You need to enjoy life and sometimes that means giving up a few things.

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  13. I'm glad you are still a warrior! I was just starting to get worried. Good luck with the neuropathy. It is insidious.

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  14. Happy that you and O Wise One are pressing forward and Baby O as well. I will keep you all in my prayers.

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  15. So glad to hear from you, I think of you and your family often and didn't want to bother you with an email with your already busy schedule.

    Be well my friend, sending good thoughts to your family for a prosperous harvest season and some well deserved rest for you all.

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  16. Very relieved everyone is well, I hope Baby O can get sorted out. That young and having medical problems is no fun. I wish her the best. Im sorry to hear youre becoming overwhelmed with the farm. My husband has neuropathy in his leg and foot and he falls alot. I sympathize. Just so good to hear from you and may God watch over you all.

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  17. Like so many have said already...I'm so glad to see your newest post and know that you are doing well. My prayers will continue to go up for your sustained health and that of O Wise One. I'll be saying a special prayer for Baby O and her heart. Thanks again for all the wisdom you have shared on these pages. The simple goodness you live and post here has touched many a heart…especially this one!

    Just know that with each bunch of grapes I cut and each seed I plant in my “healthy” soil a whispered thank-you goes up on your behalf! Looking forward to the body that never aches and the crops that are forever plentiful!! :-) ~Leslie

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  18. I'm so glad to see your back. Prayers for you and your family. May the O Wise One kill the snakes. Don't like them.

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  19. Thanks for the update! I sure hope that the doctors find something to help your daughter! I am in a rural area, too and for me it's a hour and a half drive one way. It is exhausting when you have to drive it often.

    I think Life has many "seasons" and you are going into a new one. May you find happiness and lovely new memories in this next phase! Darlene

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  20. We're slowing as well. The garden always poses challenges. Hope Baby O's tests turn out alright. Had "A" up at Children's Mercy today for tests as well. They've asked us to return tomorrow.

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    1. Will keep you in our prayers. I think for us the wisdom teeth surgery was the worst. They did one side and let it heal a week or so and then did the other so it really kind of drew it out.

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  21. So happy you are back. Praying Baby O's tests come back with good results. Thank you so much for posting about your garden through the years. As a "newbie" canner, your blog is an inspiration. Here's to happiness and contentment wherever life takes you next!

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  22. I was so worried about you! I am so incredibly relieved and thankful that all is well, although you are a bit weather beaten this year. You could always, you know, scale it back to say...NORMAL levels! ;-) Seriously though- I have been simply amazed at all you do every year and I scratch my head and wonder at the super powers you all must possess because I have a large garden myself by most standards- but it pales in comparison to yours...I am 32 years old, put up a fraction of what you do and often feel overwhelmed and exhausted. So for you to be doing what you have been doing for as long as you have been doing it- well, it is just amazing.

    If your body needs rest- give it! And plant enough food for just your family~ not the seller down the road. Limit yourself to ONE medium sized garden plot instead of fields worth of gardens. (I have a sneaking suspicion that growing things is in your blood and to go cold-turkey would be a tragic thing for you all.) But if not- than go cold turkey! Even still, keep checking in here as you are able because you are such a pleasure to come visit and such a wealth of knowledge.

    Do what you must to slow down and savor life- but remember too that you are cared about even by people who you have never met and that we appreciate all you have done for US in sharing your adventures and wisdom. I appreciate you so much and am so glad you are back!

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    1. Hugs! You make this old woman weep with gratitude.

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  23. Have you ever considered getting an intern or two to help in your garden? There is an uptick in urban farming and small farms in general with men and women in their 20's and 30's. And a lot of them intern a various farms to learn the ropes first before starting their own farms. I'm not sure the detils but it perhaps might be something that would benefit both you and young, aspiring farmers. Just thought I'd plant the seed (pun totally intended) in case that's something that might be of interest to your family.

    KK @ www.preppypinkcrocodile.com

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