To complicate the situation my mom had to have surgery, and since I am a nurse, I always take care of my mom whenever she has had to have surgery, which has been many times over the years. She has survived 3 primary cancers which is unbelievable. We joke that she has more lives than a cat. Her surgery went without complication and her recovery was quick. She turned 85 years old on December 23rd. Happy Birthday Mom!
Between those two situations and three of my four children home for the holidays I have had very little time to garden. The holidays for me are filled with tradition. My ancestry is both Italian, and Irish. Most of my traditions are based on my mom’s Italian heritage. That means lots of cooking during the holidays. I usually make a big pot of spaghetti sauce on Christmas Eve. The tradition is for “Seven Fishes” which is spaghetti sauce made with 7 different types of fish, but I have changed it to a nice delicious pot of spaghetti sauce. The children have grown to love and expect many of my traditions. Here are several pictures of my family and some of the food associated with our holiday.
I also decided to knit many of my Christmas presents this year. I made several hats, Afghans, baby blankets etc., which really took most of my time. With all four of my children living in the Northeast I thought it was time to put my knitting skills to the test and knit them some things to keep them warm in the very cold weather.
Thank goodness that the garden and bees are doing well. A couple of weeks ago I went into the bee hives and again consolidated the combs for winter which gave me about 8 jars of honey to harvest. The hives were pretty free of pests which was one of my main concern the last few times I went into the hives. Most of the hives looked stronger; there were no ants and a few small hive beetles present. I took away any extra comb so the bees did not need to protect unnecessary space. My fifth hive which is my brood box and my best laying queen I found with several uncapped queen cells. The old queen was still present which had me confused but I left the queen cells and hopefully the next time I enter the hive there will be a new queen. As a new beekeeper I have not experienced this situation yet. There is always something to learn as a beekeeper.
My square foot garden is growing but not as quickly as I would like. I staked some of the tomato plants for support. I have several flowers and small tomatoes on a few of the plants. The heirloom Cherry tomatoes have been slow to grow but are finally starting to make some progress. It was really nice during the holidays to be able to use several of my herbs and arugula in many of the meals that I made for my family
The next project for the garden will be building the trellis for the garden to grow vertically. The cucumbers, zucchini and cantaloupe will need support to grow. Since there is no room for the garden to grow horizontally a vertical trellis will be necessary.