Yep, I'm back to being backlogged. Life happened, and a day--even just a few hours--to just sit and blog has been nonexistent. As a background comment, we've experienced:
- Jacob got ready to go back to WIU--preparations for dorm life and moving back in.
- Thomas' first football season gave us a daily schedule and lots of time in the car.
- Fernando got laid off (the company is closing its doors).
- Fernando had back surgery.
- I experienced my own back issues (MRI revealed bulging disk).
- Danny started the daily train trek to UIC (I'm his drive-to-the-train-station driver).
That's it in a nutshell. Life swirled around us, and many things stood still for us. Doctor visits, hospital stays, recovery. Yet at the same time, life twisted and turned me every which way--I played taxi driver for Thomas and the carpool teammates, then Danny to the train station, Fernando to the ER and eventually the hospital for surgery... Suffice it to say, I have longed (and still am longing!) for just a few days where I don't have to leave the confines of my home. I've had just one or two in the last three months, but that's it. So that's where I--the blogger "I"--have been.
Now, I'm going back through photos, sorting out and trying to remember what I did way back then in October where I left off in my journal of life. So here I am, back in my garden, which was neglected much of the time in late September and early October. At least we got the bulk of the harvest in, and did the "cleaning up" before the really cold weather set in.
My guys helped me out tremendously, and here's what we got done:
Sweet Joseph picked every green pepper on every plant! He is so careful when he handles the vegetables! Many of them had turned red, and although this variety is longer than the traditional bell pepper, and thinner skinned, they were still delicious and lasted in my fridge a number of weeks for us to eat through.
Below is one basil plant after pruning off all its branches. We brought the harvest indoors and put them in vases so I could process the leaves at my leisure. I washed them and let them dry, then chopped and froze them. We harvested a ton, and we'll enjoy fresh frozen basil in many Italian dishes throughout the winter and probably into the spring.
My butternut squash plant died, so the guys pulled that up and removed the protective tomato cages we had placed around them (with cheesecloth over to ward off moths).
Here's Joseph's pepper harvest, with a bunch of jalapeños thrown in!
And below is my parsley, which grew prolifically. I'm talking massive bush-like plants here. They were amazing. The image below shows the base of the plant, and Thomas dug the whole thing out, roots and all.
After getting much of the dirt out of the three plants, Thomas brought them in and put them in bowls of water on my kitchen counter until I could process them. I also chopped/froze the parsley, and still have two large Tupperware boxes full. Fresh parsley is so very flavorful. Yum!
Below, I harvested as many green tomatoes as I could find. They eventually ripen, and this is what I let them do since I didn't have time to make green tomato salsa or try a new recipe of dilled pickled green tomatoes. We ate them as they ripened, mostly in salads and such.
And here is my countertop after our late October harvest! There were a few butternut squash there, too!
Our garden was fruitful this year, and we are still being blessed by it--butternut squash put up in the basement, canned tomatoes, chopped jalapeños (and all those herbs) in the freezer. We're thankful to the Lord for all that He has blessed us with during this current time of leanness!
Back to life,
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