…about leaf scoops. But, I just ordered some and am here telling you about them, so apparently I’m more than just a little bit giddy about the possibility of not only scooping leaves with ease, but then turning said scooped leaves into leaf mold! (If you are in Britain or any place which spells things with that charmingly extra little “u”, leaf mould.)
Speaking of extra letters, leaves, and sweaters…we are now officially past sweater weather and into scarf and coat weather. I still only wear my scarf out when I’m gadding about trying to figure out how to tackle ten acres of weeds, but I’m kind of nutty that way. I’ve never been a huge fan of coats. They get in the way. When I lived in NYC, I had to wear a coat in winter. With a scarf. And a hat. And earmuffs. In Seattle on occasion I had a week or so when all of the proper winter gear was needed. Both of those cities are walking cities though. In Oregon, there are too many miles between things unless you live in a few busy locations, so the whole barrage of winter gear is rarely called for as I run from one warm place to a car then to another warm place.
Living on the farm means a whole lot less driving around for quick fun trips, and a whole lot more mucking about outside in chilly weather. I have to figure out my winter farming routine at some point. I have to figure out all of my routines around the farm really. Which is hard to do when we are not sure we will end up staying here after mom gives up her fight against cancer.
You see, despite my apparent green thumb, I’m mostly a city human. At least I have been mostly a city human. I only moved out to the farm to help mom and dad with the payments after my grandparents passed away. There’s a whole lot more to that story, but to get the folks out of owning the farm with my cousins, my ex and I ended up buying the place about five years ago. Six years ago? Sometime ago. Then I worked in China for two years, so we never really made a plan for what we wanted to do with this place. Well, I tried to make a plan. The parents tried to make a plan. The ex spent all twelve years we were married ignoring all attempts at planning or budgeting…which is why he is the ex…so we pretty much were in a holding pattern. (Do not get me wrong, the ex had many qualities which I miss like the dickens, but planning was honestly not his strong suit. Don’t worry, we’re still buddies. He has stuff stored here. I get to use his welder until he picks it up. It’s all good. For both of us.)
So, now that I have no reason not to move forward, there are so many things to do, and take care of, and manage that I’m only slightly in over my head. And by slightly in over my head, I mean that if I were in the middle of the ocean, I would be drowning. One of my biggest problems is that I am so used to waiting around to make plans with a partner who hated plans more than the plague, that getting started after twelve years is only slightly more overwhelming than the thought of NOT getting started.
So, I’ve spent the summer running around a bit crazy daisy building raised garden beds, trying to manage the type of weeds that sprout up in the country when one does not resort to chemicals which cause cancer and one had not yet learned the value of mulching, attempting chicken medicine with mixed results, tackling a house painting project which turned into a need to reside and fix up structures before painting could even start, and basically attempting to transform years of semi-neglect on a farm into something worth looking at in only a few months, all the while trying to figure out how to turn this fairly money sucking place into a place which could possibly provide enough income to support a city human and her parents.
Of course, an sane person would have taken the time to really plan when the opportunity to plan was presented. However, when one’s dying mother says she wants flowers everywhere, one…in this case, I…just starts planting. This may be why, when it was seventy or so a few days ago, I didn’t bother checking the weather. I knew I should have. But somehow, I really thought that winter wasn’t planning on coming this year. Sure, there was that one weird tomato and bean killing frost earlier, but since then? I haven’t even had the heater on!
I now have the heater on. My bedroom window is still open for sleeping, but I no longer have to stick both legs outside of the covers in order to sleep without melting from the too hot comforter that I put on the bed last week instead of my summer blanket. (Granted, I had added a second blanket a few weeks ago when the summer blanket, which happens to be fairly old and holey, did not quite keep the shivers away in the night, so I was working up to winter covers.) I have a sweater on inside, and this evening, I kept my scarf on inside just for good measure. I don’t like to turn the heater up too much. Bills and all.
So, all of this to say that I think the leaf scoop represents getting organized to move on. Or move out. Or mess up. Maybe all three. Plus, I’m really looking forward to making some leaf mould. Which is a sentence I never thought I would say, or type, or think. I didn’t even know what leaf mould was a few weeks ago. But, given that the ground is simple covered in leaves…I’m glad I have something to do with them aside from simply letting them crunch delightfully underfoot.
The only trouble is, good leaf mould can take up to two years to make. I don’t even know if we’ll still be here next spring. Maybe that’s why the planning I have been longing to do for so long is hard to wrap my head around. The plans change depending on whether mom is around still or not. Since I’m hoping she’s still around, I order the leaf scoop. I make a plan for leaf mould. I get ready for a spring on the farm. I smother weeds with three different mulching methods to see which works best. I don’t unpack all of the art I brought home from China still. The thought of having to pack it again isn’t something I want to plan for.
P.S. The Purple Heart plant (*featured image) does not like the frost. Which I discovered after the frost hit. It should come back next year…I’ll keep you posted.
I'm just someone trying to figure out how to juggle ten acres, work, a mama with stage four cancer, and a whole lot of grumpy. This blog started out as "Grumpy Gal's Guide to Gratitude," but since all I really keep typing about is the garden, I figured I might as well own it! So, thanks for joining me as I try and figure out how the heck to kick myself in the booty and get on with life.