Monday, October 3, 2011

Left climbing

My garden is pretty much uprooted. It's time. It was a modest gardening year - nothing spectacular but enough fresh food for the table. I had a good harvest of...whatever these are. They are some sort of large decorative gourd - they range in size from 8 -14 inches.

The only plants left climbing are Christmas pole beans, cherry tomatoes and licorice basil.

I am always ready for the seasons to turn.
Posted by Picasa


  1. Very interesting. I am curious to find out what you will do with them.

  2. Those are "birdhouse" gourds. Once they dry, you can paint them and/or drill a whole in them for decoration or probably for birds to nest in. I have grown them before, as I did this year too, and it takes about a year for them to dry. My uncle painted one for me that looks like a house for birds to live in. I have a friend who used leather dye on them and sold them at an art crawl. They get pretty ugly looking when they are drying, but scrub them with a little bleach water and paint away or even leave natural and spray varnish on them for a sheen. You have some nice ones there!!! Mine didn't do as well this year.

  3. What are Christmas pole beans. Our family has always gardened, but I've never heard of these. BTW, I live in West Virginia.

    I, too, have elderly parents. They are 90 and 87. My mother had double knee replacement in May and has done beautifully. I have four siblings, three of whom live locally. We are so blessed and also find that we have been able solve our problems peacefully. Everyone pitches in and does his/her part. We all have medical power of attorney which simplifies doctor and hospital visits.

    I have read your story with much interest as your story parallels mine except that my child-bearing years are far gone and I'm not the only one who is available to care for our parents.

    May God bless you and your family and keep every one in His care.


  4. Wilma, thanks for commenting! :) Christmas pole beans are a larger, late season producing bean. They are red and white or pink and white. Usually, you wait until they dry to pick them. They are about an inch long. They vine profusely.

    I'm so glad your parents have you and your siblings to help with their care. What a tremendous blessing. Also, I'm so amazed when I hear of joint replacements that go well. (Smile.) I'm thankful that your mom's double knee surgery went well. I can't imagine that! How did she learn to walk again? My mom just can't handle pain, nor can she handle pain meds. They make her so sick and they make her lose a bit of her mind. I was so frightened that she would not regain her mental capabilities. I wasn't sure how I would handle that with a new baby and so many little ones! Thankfully - once the medication was completely out of her system, she improved. God bless you, sweet sister!

  5. Rachel - read Debbie's comment. :) She gave great advice that I think I shall follow!

    Debbie - I wasn't sure if these were Birdhouse or not. Some of them (not these in the photo) have a larger top and a very narrow neck - looked almost more like a baby's rattle than anything else - but large. But upon further reflection, I think you are right, and the larger tops were just anomalies. Thanks for reminding me of how bad they begin to look. I remember (in the shady recesses of my mind) that. I HAVE seen them before...but did not think of the bleach wash nor the stain. Will do some that way. I thought about having my girls paint some - that would be fun. :)

  6. Will these beans withsatnd a frost? Is the bean itself an inch or the pod? They sound a lot like October beans that I have grown. One of my favorite memories is my grandfather shelling these and selecting the best for his seed for the next year. Beans are a staple of our diet even though we are not vegetarian.

    Yes, medications are difficult for the elderly. We have experienced this several times with both my mom and dad. If you ever need a shoulder, I'm here. I am on FB and you're free to message. My mom started with a walker, had 2-3 weeks at a rehab center, then graduated to a cane. At home, she walks with no support and has no knee pain. We also have a light wheelchair that we use when there is distance walking involved. Since my dad is in a wheelchair all the time, it usually takes two of us to take them both. Their demands are few and are happy with just about anything. They love to go out and eat when they can and go to church.

    I am looking forward to your next "installments." BTW, I am Jennifer Hatcher's MIL. She has commented on your posts and I found your blog through her. They are coming to West Virginia this weekend and I can hardly wait to see those six grandbabies.

    Take care.

    Wilma HAtcher


    Wilma, that link above will show you what they look like. The bean itself is about the size of a quarter. I don't know if they survive a frost - it seems to me that in years past pod got soggy if it was still green by frost. If it is dry, I think it might. My dad leaves all of his dried beans on the vine until the pods are dried. Our favorite to grow is a Cherokee pole (black) bean. We eat a lot of beans, too - but we're not vegetarian either.

    Thanks for the understanding and compassion. I...well, would make it easier if people are contented and easy to please and generally happy. :) That' really the case. That makes it really difficult.

    One thing that I find difficult to balance is having many small children with elder-care. We work hard to teach our children to be respectful and careful, but kids are kids and have energy. The good outweighs the difficulty, that is for sure. There are so many good life lessons learned - it's just not an easy stage of life. Now that I think about it, I have had people in "walkers" at both ends of the spectrum of life. :) There are a lot of similarities, for sure.

    God is so good, and it all works out in the end. I know that with everything within me. This time frame was just so hard because we'd already been through several traumas (relocated to a new area, 5 months of unemployment, a son attacked and mugged, randomly, the jury trial for that, his struggles after that, health concerns with our baby, our five year old's fall and life-flight, medical bills like crazy, then my husband's illness and the need to care for my parents through surgeries. And we were listening to the Lord and walking with him and trying to honor him and serve him by caring for others...none of that is to rehash anything or to complain, it just was what it was - but it was so hard! We were so worn down and discouraged by the time we hit the last surgery.

    The good side is coming, of course, as soon as I find time to sit down and write it out. :) The Lord is our strength through all things, and we know Him better because of it. None of this is anything compared to what so many people go through, so I always want to be sure to say that. Not fussing - it's just our story. I hope that by the time all is written, God will be glorified and those who read it will find hope and be strengthened for their own journeys.

    Greet Jennifer for me. What a precious family you have. :) I know those grandbabies are excited to see you too! :)

  8. Holly,

    I will keep you and your family in my prayers. I don't think I have ever experienced the amount of stress that you have, but I do know that we have experienced times when I thought that I just couldn't take one more thing. I have a sign above my sink that says, "God doesn't give you more than you can handle; He helps you handle what you are given."

    Philippians 4 is probably my favorite chapter in the Bible because there are so many verses which apply to our everyday lives. My favorite is verse 11 which is pharaphrased: I am content no matter what my situation. This has been a wonderful verse to help me when times are tough.

    I will tell Jennifer "Hi" for you. Take care.