Wasps, Apples,and Other Stuff

Will somebody please tell me where the days and weeks go? Wasn’t it just Monday yesterday?!

I’m a bit whacked today after overdoing it a tad on the weekend, but that’s the way it goes. I can’t give in to this thing totally, you know. Stubborn? Yes! šŸ™‚ The temptation is there to crawl back into bed, but I’ll resist. Or try to. I’ll start with some blogging and see how it goes from there. I really must get a few things done today, so hopefully sitting here for a few minutes with a mega cup of coffee will restore some energy. Apart from running up and down the stairs a few times with laundy, the waiting jobs are mostly of the sit down variety. So, yes, a session in my comfy new desk chair and some caffeine should get me going. Maybe.

Let’s see, what did I do over the weekend to bring on today’s droop? After I left you on Saturday I did a mountain of ironing and then went out to do a bit of pottering about in the garden. More tomatoes to pick, as well as some beets and carrots for supper, then a bit of flower dead heading. Things were looking pretty dry again, so I thought I’d get the hose out and give the shady spots a drink. Which would make for less watering later, when the sun started to go down. Nice idea, but I forgot about the bad-tempered yellow jacket wasps, which are a major pain this summer.

It’s nice to have had a fairly mosquito-free summer, thanks to the hot, dry conditions. But the much higher than normal wasp population more than makes up for the lack of mosquitoes. As the summer goes on they’re getting more and more agressive, and really make being outside less than pleasant a lot of the time. I sort of got used to them, though, and wasn’t being as cautious as I should have been the other day. Usually I’m out in the evening, when they’re less active, and didn’t realize just how cantankerous they are during the heat of the day. Nor did I realize that they had a nest somewhere in the side flower bed. Well, I soon found out. Fortunately I’m not allergic to wasp stings, but sting is certainly the right word, especially in the multiple sense. Yowza. I’ve been stung by bees before, and also by a different kind of wasp. But yellow jackets pack a much more powerful weapon. They also take chunks of skin, and cause bruising. Geez. Hope the queen enjoyed her meal. šŸ˜¦ The standard vinegar daubing helped some, but it was the resident herbalist who really saved the day. Out came her mortar and pestle and she started grinding up bits of this and that to make a poultice. The former nurse in me still casts a somwhat leery eye at such things, having been thoroughly brainwashed about the benefits of modern medicines. But over time I’m losing that, ever so slowly. Sort of. But Daughter assured me that she knows her stuff, and her concoction would be the best anti-pain, anti-swelling, anti-infection thing going. One doesn’t argue with her, as I’ve pointed out many times, so on the concoction went and, blow me down, she was right! Instant pain relief, and when I removed the dressings a few hours later the swelling was gone and the wound sites were clean. Well.

Yesterday was very hot and muggy, so not the best day for outside work for yours truly. But the wind increased over the day, bringing in a storm, and blowing the apples off the tree. Previous windfall apples had fallen prey to critters before I got to them, so I grabbed these ones as soon as they fell. On the third trip out to do so I decided that it was all a bit silly. If apples were falling off, they were all obviously ready for picking. But I don’t do ladders, and Richard wouldn’t be home from work before the storm hit, probably, so what to do? Well, the obvious, of course. Give the tree a few mighty shakes, and dodge falling apples as best I could. A few came down on my head, but no big deal. I have a hard skull. Doing up the apples is the main job that I have to tackle today. I’ll freeze the lot of them, for pies, crumbles and such over the course of the winter. I like tart fruit so I consider these an eating from the hand apple, too, but nobody else does. Just one note to self here – planting the gooseberry bush in such close proximity to the apple tree was a really bad idea. Of course lots of apples fell into the bush and evidence of their retrieval is etched all over my left arm.

The apples would have been done up yesterday, probably, but Daughter decided to tackle the spare bedroom and needed help carting out the heavy stuff and numerous bags/boxes of garbage. She promised to redecorate it for us two years ago, but fell ill in the middle of the job and never got back to it. I didn’t have the energy to do it, either, having contracted the same ailment very soon after her, and Richard hasn’t had time. So, the contents of the floor to ceiling built in shelves have been sitting in boxes all this time, and junk continued to accumulate in the room itself. It’s a very small bedroom, so has never been used as such. When Stephanie was little it was her playroom, and then it sort of became a place to put stuff that didn’t have a proper home, but that we didn’t want to store in the basement. Our basement is good, considering the age of the house, but things can still get a bit fusty down there. Anyway, the room is now needed for a new purpose, and that got Stephanie going at the long put off job. It’s for her benefit this time, and we all know that that’s a great incentive, right? Unfortunately I’m not at liberty to divulge the details of what the room is being converted to, but you’ll know as soon as I get permission to spill the beans to the entire world. It’s all very exciting, really, so I’m having a hard time keeping my mouth shut. But a promise is a promise, so I’ll keep biting my tongue. Once the clean up is finished she’ll tackle painting, and has a really lovely colour scheme in mind. So lovely that I might have to banish her to a work space in the basement and take over that room myself, as a den/sitting room. Wouldn’t that go over well?!

Anyway, tons of stuff went out to the garbage yesterday, so the official house declutter has begun. We’re all major pack rats and a declutter is long overdue. I felt a bit guilty unloading some of it as it could be recycled, but sometimes it’s best to just get rid of it. If I set it aside for recycling, odds are that it won’t leave the house, period. But things that go into the large communal garbage dumpster usually end up being recycled anyway, by the scavengers who make their rounds. And good for them. I noticed a man rifling through our stuff in there after dark last night, and he left loaded down with goodies. Excellent. I had a quick peep after he was finished and all that was left was true garbage. Hey, we’ve grabbed stuff ourselves, and I’m not too proud to admit it. Nothing for inside the house, but lots of scrap wood, discarded shelves, etc. that came in very handy for outside jobs and in the garage.

Alrighty, enough of the rambling and on with the business of the day here. I still don’t feel much like doing it, but tough. One more load of laundry to go out on the line, assuming that the wasps leave me alone long enough to get it hung out, and then on with the apples. Feel free to drop by for dessert around 6:00, as I predict that not all will be hitting the freezer. šŸ™‚


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