October 9 – Sure has been chilly outside today, but with the thermostat set at 70 inside, it’s nice and comfortable. However, just the act of upping the thermostat numbers made me remember what is soon to come: WINTER! And that thought doesn’t make me one bit happy. As a kid, sure, I was out in that white stuff for as many hours as it took to freeze my fingers and toes, but these days I am satisfied to sit in front of the big window to watch those flakes come down. Just don’t like it that I have to see more of the inside of the house instead of enjoying the sunshine and breezes outside.

We are gradually putting the garden to bed and cleaning up what’s left before the cold weather arrives. Would have been lost without my jacket this morning, and the wearing of those comfortable summer shorts will have to be put off till next year.

Shed prior our attention

Shed prior our attention

Both of us took on a big job this week of cleaning the shed. Yes, it was one that really didn’t have to be done, I suppose, but when a place is messy, I just have to clean it up. Good thing Dale was there to take care of stacking and lifting and pushing around the heavy stuff like tall metal stakes, big blue barrels of heavy tomato cage stakes, and coils of no-longer usable green garden hose, (Dale remarked that he had to get rid of it because it had worn out its welcome!)

I sorted out about one hundred bamboo stakes, mostly for use in the garden, and picked up straw that had fallen from the bales onto the cement floor. After moving the old blue wading pool outside and hanging the yellow one up near the shed roof, I swept and swept and SWEPT the corner where some kind of animals had made a nice comfy home behind the bales. Lots of wasp nests all over the walls. I took the chance to smack a couple of them down, hoping as I swatted with the broom that they were empty! Fortunately, they were!

I carted about 20 five-gallon buckets out to the growing piles of stuff that Dale had to sort because I never could decide on such things. Some had trash, others had tools, some rope or twine, little strawberry containers, soybean meal for tomato plants, a number of pairs of garden gloves of all kinds, weed diggers, kneeling pads, and big U-shaped staples to keep vines in place. By the time we had sorted through all of that stuff and sent some to the box of “get-rid-of-this,” we had ten buckets full of nothing, so just packed them in a corner.

After lots of cleaning

After lots of cleaning

Our four watering cans now have their own place hanging on big spikes. I was quite proud of myself for being able to pound in those spikes, especially since I had to stand on tip-toe to do the hammering. Didn’t hammer my finger even once! While Dale was dragging the hoses over to the burning pile, I carried the plastic wading pool and contents over to the compost heap. That pool was full of old straw, ancient newspapers saved to start fires, and lawn grass that had blown into the shed through the summer.

Not only is the shed clean, but we found a few things along the way that we couldn’t find when we needed them this summer. More room for the tillers, big and small, and the wheelbarrow no longer blocks the way into the shed because it has no other place to call home.

While we were still in the area, I told Dale I was going to pick the tomatoes, not too many, but enough to make it worthwhile. Fortunately, I was wearing a heavy old jacket, so the green rub-off from the plants didn’t get on my clothes or arms the way it has during the picking season all summer. Lots of those pink pearls along with some bright yellow ones.

Back in the kitchen later on, I sorted through a big batch of green peppers. Some were for our-son-in-law Harvey, as he enjoys them so much. With about 50 begging to be frozen, I cut them all open, took out the seeds, and then used my chopper to get them ready in just a few minutes. They sure don’t take up as much space as ones right off the plants. All of those peppers, when cut, filled only two regular size plastic freezer bags. In the winter I like to mix them with tofu, chopped onions, kidney beans, and mushrooms, and serve it to Dale on toast. Yumm.

Peppers beginning to end

Peppers beginning to end

Not a really busy day, but a lot better than sitting inside feeling sorry for myself because I had to stay in. It’s always neat to share a job with Dale, too. Gives us a chance to talk, yes, but even more enjoyable, we know that the other half of the Fairchild duo is not very far away, and can be reached if needed! – CHRIS

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