Well, we had a good snow yesterday and have about 4". It is deeper in the woods, I think. I love the way the balsams look when their boughs are heavy with snow. The roads were slick, however: I had to take Lara down to Marshfield again early to see the doctor. We left about 7 a.m. and got there just in time for our 10:15 a.m. appointment. I was glad I took the truck because it has better traction. Even so, there were a couple of times I felt us lose traction. We saw a wolf cross the road in front of us near Ogema, and the deer were moving. We have to go down to Marshfield again this Friday so I hope the roads are ok again.
Lara's surgery went ok. There was no cancer, thank goodness. and so far the healing is proceeding as expected. I keep thinking about when we first brought Lara home from the hospital after she was born: I was terrified to touch her. I was so afraid; her scar from the surgery to close her spine looked so big. I was scared I would hurt her. She was 1 month old before they let us bring her home, and she was two weeks old before I got to hold her. I was not feeling well either as I had had the C-section after almost 24 hours of hard labor, and I had gained 100 pounds with the pregnancy and had horrible swelling where my feet and ankles would turn blue-black in the evenings and I had trouble breathing. But we had an HMO at the time for insurance and I had crappy prenatal care. My doctor would just pat me on the shoulder and tell me, "You're just pregnant," whenever I asked questions or told him how awful I felt. I cannot understand how he could ignore my swelling. Well, that was a long time ago already. Anyway, taking care of Lara after this bladder augmentation surgery brought back all of these painful memories. Learning the new medical care procedures and changing the dressing around the abdominal tube was unsettling, but now that I am older I knew that I could handle it. Nevertheless, all the caregiving is very trying, and I am tired. Today the doctor removed the 2nd abdominal tube and reinserted the Foley catheter. Friday we will see if the hole in the bladder has healed. I don't know if La will need to keep the Foley permanently or not. It is my understanding that her bladder will need to be irrigated regularly for the rest of her life, but I may be wrong and will find out more on Friday. Que sera, sera.
When we got home I fixed some leftover Turkey A La King for us which filled us up so for supper I pulled a pound cake and strawberries out of the freezer and fixed us Strawberry Shortcake. It was good! Tom was out hunting so I fixed him some of the Senate Bean soup we had last night. He can't have the strawberry syrup, but there is some plain pound cake left for him for dessert. And now the frig is empty of leftovers. Yeah!
I got my first organic seeds for next year's garden already from Seeds of Change. They have different packages. I got some regular heirloom Delicata squash (I didn't care for the Sugar Loaf Delicata I grew last year), more St. Valery carrots, Indian Woman Yellow bush beans, Pawnee shell bush beans, Southport Red Globe onion seed, Queensland Blue winter squash, Lisbon White Bunching Onion seed, Newburg yellow onion seed, America spinach, and Forellenschluss lettuce (I just love this romaine type lettuce!). I have sent an order off to Seed Savers Exchange for more Copenhagen Market Cabbage, Mixed Colors Broom Corn, Early Fortune Cucumber, Chervena Chushka Pepper, Buran Pepper, Jimmy Nardello's Sweet Italian Frying Pepper, King of the North Pepper, Dragon's Tongue bush bean, True Red Cranberry Bean, Scarlet Runner Bean, Genovese Basil, Mrs. Burn's Lemon Basil, Lemon Balm, Spearmint, Rosemary, Wormwood, and something called Bee's Friend that I will plant in the rows here and there. I have sent off an order to Baker Creek for Perkins Long Pod Okra, Scarlet Nantes carrots, big Blue Hubbard squash, sorghum, and I forget what else, and ordered more Stuttgart onion sets as they turned out so well last year, Red Cloud red potatoes and Kennebec white potatoes from Fedco's Moose Tubers section. I am waiting for Fedco's seed catalog to come. My favorite!
This year I will grow all the tomatoes in the high tunnel. I am going to get a couple of 2"x4"s and hooks to make a scaffold and plant most of the tomatoes in hanging grow bags. That way I will use most of my high tunnel space. Pole beans will be in the high tunnel, too. Everything in the field I will try to cover or put a secondary fence around. Tom is going to rent a well digging machine and we are going to get a hand pump and try putting in the field well ourselves. I hope this won't be like hanging wallpaper together! Also have been working on a simple design for a larger coop for the new chickens -- something that is movable but secure from predators. Using 2"x4"s would be desirable, but I think I may go with 2"x2"s to be easier for me to move without help. I haven't decided if I want to keep the chickens by the house under the trees or put them out in the field by the high tunnel in that last undeveloped section, but I am leaning on keeping them under the trees as I believe they will be cooler.
Day before yesterday I cooked up about a bushel and a half of pumpkins for the freezer and put the seeds to soak in salt water overnight. I did burn my face pretty good though by not paying attention to how I took the cover off the steamer to check the pumpkin meat. It was a good thing I was wearing glasses. As it was, I actually burned off the skin on the tip of my nose and sideswiped my left eye. The eye seems to be all right but my nose looks funny. I think it will be ok. Then, yesterday I baked the seeds. They turned out terrific! What a great snack for wintry nights. And they are something low carb that Tom can eat.
When things settle down a bit I will get back to my research on my two-part plan for building the kitchen incubator with the aquaponics set-up. I was not able to get Cameron Wold's book on how to build a kitchen incubator through the library, but I did order the book direct from NxLevel. It was so weird because when I first found the book, the lowest price I could get it for was $199. Then, when I didn't hear from Mark that he had ordered it for me (I thought he might be able to get it for me cheaper with a professional discount) I went back to the web site and lo and behold they had it marked for $75! So, of course, I ordered it. It should be coming any day now, and if I find that Mark has ordered it for me, I'll just pay him for it and we'll keep the book in the incubator's reference library. With all of the aquaponics information I have gleaned and then the kitchen incubator material, I will have plenty of reading material to keep me busy this winter. I have bought a large D-ring notebook and will start working up a marketing plan for the aquaponics set-up with the help of my SBA marketing workbook. This is just like putting together a trial book in a law office or a research report on a legal topic an attorney might use in a case: start at point A and work your way through the topic putting your supporting material where it can easily be looked at. I figure it will take me a good year to put all the information together before I can start looking for funding. I think I could get a lot at least started with $100,000. Maybe there's an Angel out there who would like to help me take our Price Direct group to the next level by funding my project. This area is so economically depressed that any project to improve the economy I think would be welcomed. I know that if I can get an attractive project that has potential to expand and eventually be self-supporting off the ground under the Price Direct banner, people will want to join the effort.
Well, here I am rambling again so I think I will leave off for a while. Talk to you soon.