In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


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Walnuts And Wind In My Hair

walnutvilleSo far this fall the weather has been really crappy for picking up walnuts.  But at the same time too much rain followed by a cold snap and a couple of warm days, allowed for me to gather a decent crop.  The bad news is that by the time I got our walnuts picked up and sold on Wednesday the price had dropped to a whopping $6.  That’s the lowest I’ve ever seen it.  They usually start off the month of October with a price of $13 or $11 for 100 lbs., then it usually moves to $8 later in the month.

The weather was amazing.  Nice and warm and dry with an awesome breeze.  I was able to soak up some much needed vitamin D since we hadn’t seen the sun for like 10 days!  After these walnuts were hulled, they weighed in at 954 lbs. and I received a check for a whopping $57.24.  Not so great.  Someone asked me the other day how many walnuts they’d have to pick up to make $20.  I told them an awful lot.  I picked all of these up (pictured) from our yard and from one tree next door on Sunday and again on Tuesday.  The bad news is our largest tree still hasn’t let go of her walnuts and the last day to sell is the 31st.

If you don’t really like to do manual labor outside and if you don’t like to get dirty, I highly recommend that you don’t pick up walnuts.  It can be a pretty nasty job.  But I don’t mind.  In our case it’s not just the selling them, it’s a matter of safety.  We have several trees and cannot mow or walk the dog unless they’re cleaned up.  I actually find the whole process to be very meditative. 

On another outdoor note, we did dig our sweet potatoes and the shallots before the big rain.  For having too much rain, a garden without enough sun and planting them a bit late, we didn’t fair too bad.  They’re really good too.   Mama Jean’s, eat your heart out.

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Our green beans also went totally crazy and so did our peppers of all varieties.  I’ve never had so many peppers in my life.  I’ve given away quart bags full and there are still a ton of green ones out there.  I have a nice bunch hanging to dry.  Chili peppers anyone?

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Our broccoli didn’t do anything at all.  It got tall, it got flowers and nice thick stalks but never produced anything worth clipping off.  Not enough sun, too many walnut trees.  Our asparagus produced one stalk and by next year, we should have a bunch.  The squirrels and raccoons pretty much destroyed most of our tomatoes, but all of my herbs faired very well.  Hopefully the mint will come back next year.  My sage is also loving this cooler, wet weather as it’s grown really tall the last few weeks.  I’ve clipped a bunch of herbs and given them away as well.  I had no idea that two Basil plants in the garden would get so big.  I usually grow the herbs on our deck.  I brought in some oregano and rosemary and potted them in a big pot.  Then I placed it in our bathroom.  It smells really nice when you get out of the shower now.  How did your garden grow?


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The Velocity of a Walnut

* Good news.  Sold the walnuts, we had 455 pounds for a whopping $54.  Bad news.  After the storm, there are twice as many on the ground and I’m tied up the entire weekend with yoga!

*If a walnut falls from 200 feet and hits you in the head, at what rate is it traveling?  This happened to me the other day.  I’ve done walnuts for a few years now, never been hit.  First time for everything.  Smacked hard, top, left, front side of my head.  I had blurry vision for a short time, sat down, got some ice.  I consider myself lucky!

*Stayin’ busy with the hobbies.  Frank and Lauren are into making candles.  I burn large pillar candles on a tray and Lauren saves the wax.  They melted it down and filled several jars, some with layered scents and colors.  They also filled votive holders and we now have some really cool votive candles!

*My child wants to quit orchestra?  Why?  Because it’s hard, the teacher is mean, she doesn’t want to practice and the kids who aren’t in orchestra get to do art.  She refused to take the viola out of the car on Tuesday for class.  I think she’s rested her case.  I’ll let her quit.

*I let my child forget to bring her “about me” bag to school today.  It’s like show and tell about yourself.  Never mind that this was hanging on the fridge and written on two calendars in our house!  Sometimes, when I do stuff like this, I feel like the worst parent ever. 

*Do not watch shows like “John and Kate Plus 8” or “The Duggers” or you will feel like the worst parent ever.  How they do it, is beyond me!

*Busy preparing for this yoga workshop.   There’s been some added stress (studio drama), some family drama (not here in this house but in Florida) cross country practice not at a close vicinity, a talent show/chili supper and then tonight, a WOLF school meeting.  So as the final workshop details are coming together, I’m falling apart.

*My throat is terribly scratchy and I sniffled my way through my class today. 

Mantra for the day – Must not get sick, must not get sick, must get sick

 


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Walnuts Keep Falling On My Head

I love Fall.  I love the leaves.  I love the smell of the wood the guy burns next door.  I love the cool air and the walnuts falling from the trees.  Ever since I moved here, like 5 years ago, I’ve been picking them up.  I used to do it all on hands…and knees.  We have a few walnut trees in our yard.  Our home is 50 years old and the trees are much older.  Our largest walnut tree, shades our deck and is home to an awesome rope swing and a ton of squirrels.  We call it the beast.  Every other year, it over produces walnuts.  You can’t walk outside without twisting your ankle.  Plus, I have this thing for straightening things up.  So I guess that’s why I like collecting them.  My way of cleaning up nature.  

I have received as much as $300 for walnuts before.  I do our yard, the guy’s yard next door and my in-laws on the other side of us.  I also take our riding mower and the little trailer and head down to the walnut fairy forest around the corner from our house.  I picked up forty-two, 5 gallon buckets of walnuts.  I gathered most of them today!  What a great day to be outdoors. 

Whenever I’m out picking up the walnuts, I think of all the people, that are stuck inside, in a cubicle someplace, wearing nice clothes while I’m out in my sweats and old tennis shoes enjoying the day.  It’s hard work.  You have to have a lot of walnuts in order to get much cash.  It’s also a dirty job.  After you store them, they get all nasty, and this icky sludge accumulates in the buckets.  Milk crates work the best, so do burlap sacks, they let the air circulate.  Last year, my husband bought me one of those walnut picking tools.  It’s like a big basket, on a stick.  Reminds me of a pregnant paint roller.  No more bending over! 

 

Sometimes, I don’t like this tree.  It drops big limbs.  And walnut trees are really messy.  Leaves.  Stems.  Sticks and walnuts!  But, I hate to think of it not being there.  We’d miss the shade it provides for our western facing backyard.  I’d miss gathering her nuts.  I’d like to know how old our beast is.  This tree reminds me of the Ents in Lord of the Rings.  I purchased this cool tree face from my friend at the Urngarden.  Now our tree, really is Ent-like!  She creaks and groans and gives me extra cash this time of year!


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Into the Night

I’m a light sleeper.  Always have been and it’s looking like, I always will be.  I hear e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.  If my son gets up to get a drink of water, I always ask him about it the next day.  He laughs and thinks I definitely have some sort of medical problem that makes me sleep so light.  Maybe I do, who knows.  I can’t remember the last night, I slept uninterrupted, and it’s wearing on me.

I was really beat yesterday.  Mala sunk in.  I rode my bike to instruct two yoga classes and was finished by 1:00 p.m.  After that, it was straighten up around here time, hit the grocery store, pick one kid up, then wait for the other kid to call and pick him up.  Make dinner, laundry, etc.  Last night at 10:15 p.m. – I fell asleep watching the news.  Unheard of.  I don’t just fall asleep, maybe because I don’t let myself.  I have things to do.  And, sleeping in the front room?  No way.  I’ve never slept on a sofa and I don’t believe I’ve ever even reclined on ours!  So, I got up and went to bed.  My husband has to watch TV in the bedroom, which I despise.  But I guess he can’t sleep without it.  He’s constantly bombarded with external stimulation at his job, and honestly, I don’t think he can function without a bunch of noise.  I’m the other way.  I need total darkness and quiet to sleep.  Which might explain my insomnia problem.  I rarely have total darkness and quiet to sleep!

Around 12:30 a.m. I heard people talking, as I often do.  Our street is a thoroughfare and it’s in business all hours of the night.  More so now, since the college kids are back.  But sometimes, you score stuff; a couple full cans of beer on your driveway, an inner tube to use at the lake, etc.!  My husband was already in the kitchen, having a snack (something he does late night, I don’t do that, I’ve brushed my teeth for heaven’s sake!) and he was watching the “talkers”.  There were three.  One guy in a small, white pick up truck and two guys on the sidewalk on either side of the street.  Looks fishy to me.  The walking guys, ran, jumped into the back of the truck, laid down and sped off.  OK.  What in the world did they just steal was the question.  I go back to bed.  I mean, what can we do?  Nothing’s missing.  My husband stays up and watches……and watches.  Then, he can’t stand it.  He takes off in his truck looking for them, into the night.

About three years ago, on a Saturday in October at about 11:00 a.m., I was in the backyard picking up walnuts.  It was a gorgeous day.  I left for five minutes to pick up my daughter.  When I got in my van, I noticed someone had been in it.  Uh oh.  Had to run, get my kid.  I’ll deal with this when I get back home, right?  We dealt with it all right.  Back at home in the backyard, we found my sunglasses, my phone charger, a bunch of CDs, stuff strewn everyplace.  The shed was left open (as it often was back then) so they hit that too.  Our mini motorcycle was gone (we’d just painted it bright yellow, it was like a 1978, not a mini bike, but a little motorcycle, it was cool) the metal detector, a TON of tools.  I was HOME geez and we have a yapping dog!  How could this have happened in five minutes while I ran up the street?  Did they do it while I was way down back gathering walnuts?  We’ll never know.  All that stuff’s still missing, so if you see any of it, call me.

Above explains his paranoia.  It’s the same time of year and though most everything is locked down, locked up or chained to trees, you can’t help but think if someone really wants something, they’ll find a way to get it!  He didn’t find them.  He thinks they’ll be back.  That they were just checking stuff out, stalking, seeing how easy or hard it would be.  Maybe our house, the one next door, the ones across the street?  He’s probably right.  It’s his intuition and this is what he does at his job after all.

That’s it.  We’re putting up a big sign that says, Beware! This place is protected by giant Orb Weavers, their shadows and their webs!