Over The Age Limit

Yesterday morning I was dragged unwilling out of sleep. It is a mystery as to why entering the day was so resisted. This morning, the sutation was exactly the opposite. Instantly awake, I was eager to join the day. Another mystery.

Just after 6:00 a.m. the back door was opened to greet the day. Stepping out onto the porch, my nostrils were greeted with thick heavy air, laden with smokey fog, and the aroma of uncured manure. The same aromatic experience has been occurring for the last week or so, rendering time spent out of doors rather unpleasant. The liquid manure being spread on the fields makes for an eye watering breathing experience. Best to stay indoors until the wind changes direction!

After reading some of the literature about Attila’s family health benefit package for work, for which he pays dearly, it was disappointing to read that I have reached an age where the coverage for some health care services is no longer available. I am too old for some of the services, which I will just have to go without. This is very sad, as old age can be when one needs health care the most. Of course this little detail escaped notice until now. Youth has a way of blinding us to the consequences of time.

When I was young I heard, “you are not old enough.” But back then it was a given that eventually one would be “old enough”, it was just a matter of waiting it out. But when you are old and told, “you are too old”, it is a life sentence; because none of us are getting any younger. Sometimes this is a result of natural processes, and sometimes it is the result of ageism.

This past week sufficient Scarlet Runner Beans and Cucumbers were brought in from the garden to make three jars of Dilly Beans and two jars of Dill Pickles. Attila harvested some very large heads of mature Dill seed. Every day ripe and juicy Cherry Tomatoes are brought in from the garden. Also from the garden this week came six small heads of Cabbage, from one of the log raised beds. The heads were small, as that bed turned out to be an unhappy location for Cabbages. Only two packages of chopped Cabbage were put into the freezer, which is not a good yield for six Cabbages. They will not be planted in that raised bed again. Also this past week Parsley and Oregano were harvested and dried in the Dehydrator, then sealed in canning jars (not canned, just sealed with lid and ring).

Every day Attila brings in three or four large Swiss Chard leaves, a few small Carrots, and some Peas. These vegetables are stir fried for lunch every day, although today they will be served at supper, with homemade hamburgers, mashed Potatoes and Kohlrabi. The hamburger patties were made last week, frozen raw, and will be cooked in the Instant Pot for 15 minutes.

Almost two weeks ago a batch of Sauerkraut was started using a garden Cabbage. It seems to be doing well, and should be ready next week. It is kept in a tall cardboard box, covered with a towel to keep it safe from light and drafts. One “floater” was found on it after five days, but none since, and so far there are lots of bubbles, and no kahm yeast. If this Sauerkraut is successful, more will be made in the autumn when the second crop of Cabbages will be ready to harvest. It is very high in sodium, so I can only have a spoonful now and then. Attila has no such restrictions, so it won’t last long.

Efforts to reorganize the kitchen and pantry continue. Lately labeling cans and jars of food has been undertaken, after which they are arranged to so that the oldest items are the first to be grabbed off the shelf. One of the issues in the kitchen organization is that I must squeeze around Attila, when he is working at his work station, to access the cabinet spice rack. There is no other space at present to install the cabinet spice rack. What to do! A second spice rack was built under the dining area windows, when they were installed by Attila. The issue was tackled by emptying the wall mounted rack, then filling it with the least used spices, so that the need to disturb Attila as he works will be rare. All of the most often used herbs and spices are now in the rack under the window. I doubt Attila will notice the change for quite a while, if at all. But I will notice immediately, because I do dislike interrupting him when he is working in the kitchen.

Black out curtains are needed for the basement window where the food storage shelf resides. To date no solution has been found. Foil would work, but would detract from the external appearance of the house, reduce the “curb appeal” substantially. At the moment a quadruple folded plastic tablecloth covers the window, but it does a very poor job of keeping out the light. This has been a dilemma since we moved into the house, and it remains unresolved. Every few months I come back to it, trying to figure something out, but nothing so far has worked to completely block the light and remain visually appealing from the exterior of the house.

Yesterday I had an issue with a piece of software on the computer. What a joy that was! I contacted the developer directly, he responded from Germany almost immediately. We corresponded back and forth most of the day, trying this and that, seeking to discover what had caused the problem, and how to fix it. Eventually I got it working, based on some of my ideas, and some of his ideas. I helped him, he helped me. It has been at least a few years since I have had the opportunity to sink my teeth into a technical problem such as this, and a few years since I’ve had the opportunity to work collaboratively with someone who knows their stuff, and is not hampered by ego issues. Ego issues make working on technical things very unpleasant for everyone involved, they are a serious barrier to successful exploration and discovery. That applies to almost any endeavor humans tackle, the ego hobbles the mind.

Garden Cherry Tomatoes on Toasted 100% Whole Wheat



Updated on Fri, Aug 6, 11:15 AM
28 °C
Partly cloudy
Wind 10 S km/h
Humidity 57 %
Visibility 30 km
Sunrise 6:00 AM
Wind gust 15 km/h
Pressure 101.8 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 8:26 PM


“It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.”
James Thurber
1894 – 1961

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Maggie, since I don’t know the size of your basement windows, I don’t know if this suggestion will help, but thought I’d mention it. You might put fabric in the windows that meets the curb appeal requirement, then cover the the whole window opening with the foil, so the foil is only visible from the basement side. If I were doing that as a permanent installation, I’d just tape the foil to the wall with duct tape. Then again, I live in a world where the saying goes, “If it’s loose and you want it stuck, use duct tape; if it’s stuck and you want it loose, use W-D 40.” As a transplant to the southern part of the US, I used to laugh at that one, but find there’s a surprising amount of truth in it.


Seeing the bounty from your garden always makes me feel good, Maggie. Yes, with us older folks the healthcare strategy seems to be to reduce benefits and not increase them. It’s very frustrating. I like the term “Urbansteading!”


That stinks, that you’re over the age limit for some of Attila’s health plan. Since he won’t be using some of the options for you, they should let him pay a smaller premium.

I read about the health system report last week. It featured the top 11 wealthiest countries. Funny, if you search on the top wealthiest countries you end up with lists that disagree but many of the countries are also quite small, so I guess it’s easier for them to put more money toward the health of their tiny populations.