Goodbye dog days of summer and hello September. Am I ever happy to see you! It’s a sin and a shame to wish summer away in this part of the world, but the fact is that summer and I have never been the best of friends. We’re even less so since the advent of CFS. Daughter and I have both had a tough time with the spells of heat and humidity, which is expected, but we compounded our usual summer malaise by both deciding to try to get off some pharmaceuticals at the same time. In my case, it’s right off of everything, as first documented months ago – a very, very slow, back and forth, up and down, process. I’m finally almost there, and am starting to feel much more like my pre-illness self. I’ll probably never be free of the grip of CFS, so feeling better is a very relative term. But no longer being a drugged, apathetic, zombie is pretty cool, to say the least. I am absolutely not knocking the meds as they were a god-send for a while, and provide a massive, long-term improvement in quality of life for the majority of users. I just have a better quality of life without them now, having taken care of some of the vitamin and mineral deficiencies that commonly accompany CFS. Magnesium, especially, has made a world of difference, so if you know anyone with CFS and/or fibromyalgia, make sure that you mention it to them.
There have been some decently productive times, in between heat waves, during which I used all of my available energy on looking after the garden and preserving the produce in various ways. Why do I bother when energy is in such short supply? Because it’s as necessary to me as breathing. Well, maybe slightly less necessary than breathing, but it’s part of my genetic makeup and necessary for my well-being. All of my ancestors, going back as many hundreds of years as each line can be traced, were farmers of some kind. In fact, the earliest recorded occurrence of my maiden name, as it is spelled now, is a farming family in Yorkshire in the 1300s. Its actual origin is Norman, though, and the original spelling literally means calf herder. So yes, while I left the calf herding behind for good when I went out into the world to seek my own fortune, the tilling of soil and preserving of food will continue for as long as I have any strength at all left in this body.
Speaking of which, I have one last thing that I want to make before I put the canning equipment away until next season, and I’m going to tackle it this evening. I think you all know that I keep vampire hours, so starting a major project at 11:00 p.m. is totally the norm. Making apple chutney late at night is also a kindness to those with whom I live. The fumes from simmering mustard seed, onions, cider vinegar, ginger, etc. etc. are a tad pungent, so the dear ones are best barricaded behind tightly closed bedroom doors during the process. My eyes will be streaming before I’m done, but the finished product is totally worth it. It’s an absolutely delicious accompaniment to any kind of cheese or roast meat, hot or cold, be it on a plate or on a sandwich. Think Branston Pickle, but tangier and way, way scrummier. Says she, modestly. I make a mean apricot chutney, too, but apple is the most popular around here.
So, off to the kitchen I go. I’ll leave you with a fabulous tune that nicely fits the theme of the day. Oh, and last but not least, thank you, yet again, for your infinite patience! I was seriously beginning to wonder if maybe eight and half years of blogging were going to have to be enough, but no, I’m back, and I mean it this time! No, really, I do. Really! The weather is cooler, the busy times of summer are gone, and my brain feels like it belongs to me again. Rock on!