huckleberry pie: the very last food c ate the night before the morning we rushed back down to the hospital. he didn't eat again for 8 days. 3 days after that (sunday), he came home.
granola with huckleberries: granola made at the hospital cafe, much sweeter than my own. berries i had picked the week prior. a friend brought down our blender and the remaining berries i'd left in the fridge at home so that, when C started eating again, I could make smoothies for him right there in the room. another friend dropped a little bag of hucks by the hospital for us, too. actually, i think the ones pictured here were some of those.
they had fridges, microwaves (eew), and an oven in the waiting rooms out in the hall where families could keep and prepare their own food.
and, every few days there was a woman who would bake cookies (above) in the oven and serve them with lemonade to patients, their families, and hospital employees.
although i didn't actually eat much from the cafe, it was such a surprise how truly good the food was there. it sounds weird, i know, but i'd actually seriously consider eating there sometime, just because. not your average "hospital food". better than most restaurants around town. and pretty cheap, too.
it's an off-year here (no kidding!) as far as huckleberry picking goes, probably due to a frost while the bushes were blossoming. between hospital stints, i snuck away for a day, bringing home a nearly 7-hour-gallon only, but that included quite a bit of driving around scoping for a decent place to pick. my usual early season picking spot was pretty sparse. it wasn't really about quantity anyways, more about getting out alone and getting some headspace.
hoping to find more berries in the later ripening, higher elevations. hoping they weren't yet blooming when those late frosts hit, and thus didn't get a chance to be damaged.
After 9 days with him there, I finally had to return home Friday night to work over the weekend and so the boys could stop being shuffled from one house to the next. Friends drove them down to us on Thursday evening so they had a slumber party with us at the hospital before coming home with me.
C's mom's company transferred her to an office 4 hours away for a couple of months so that she could drive in and spend the weekends with us, so she's been staying with him at the hospital over the weekend and hopefully will be bringing him home today while I'm at work. It'll be good to come home to our family intact and home together again.
A pair of socks for my dad. The brown is dyed with walnut hulls. The heel, toe, and cuff yarn is Elann Sock It To Me 4 ply in Slate.
My dad recently had his big toe amputated and is supposed to wear only wool socks from here on out. Well now, if ever there was a better excuse to handknit socks for anyone! He got out of the hospital in Seattle from his surgery on the very same day that C went in for his first surgery last month. For some reason, I was unable to do much knitting during his/our first hospital stay. This second time around I could and did, finally finishing this pair. Fortunately I had a darning needle tucked away in my wallet, and the nurses left a suture removal kit in the room so the scissors in there worked well enough for cutting the loose yarn ends after weaving them in. of course irons aren't common in hospitals thus the sloppy, unblocked appearance.
And, no, I didn't modify the shaping of the socks to fit the new shape of his foot. Actually I didn't even think about it until they were completed, and then realized that there will be extra room in his shoes to fit an ill-fitting sock!
While in the hospital, I found myself thinking, "Who cares about having a garden when your husband is so very sick?" That it just didn't seem to matter anymore. Feeling bad that he had been working so hard at building all this, at making all this happen, in hindsight, when he was already starting to feel ill.
I thought, "What the hell? Let it all go to seed..."
But during the week we were away it rained for two solid days followed by five days of temps in the 90's, a perfect recipe for the garden to GROW and GROW and GROW.
All the while, good friends and family stepped in and cared for the boys, the house, the garden, the greenhouse, the hoophouse, the chickens, the geese, the dogs, the cat.
They picked up the pieces around us and took care of unfinished business.
They spent that week preparing our world for an easy and comfortable homecoming.
Which was JUST SO KIND,
And which was so much appreciated when, upon our return home, we found our house and shop cleaned, and the garden GREEN and LUSH and ALIVE.
And it was then that I finally realized that this fresh, living, homegrown, local-as-it-ever-gets food, right here in the backyard, was going to be the best possible thing to nourish a healing body, to keep a worn out and rattled self and family healthy.
So, when people started arriving nightly with prepared dinners for our table, and so, so, SO much more, we were at least able to send some of them home with a little of the bounty growing here, a pittance really, for what they have been bringing our way and doing in our name and for our benefit.
"Way back when", when this was all brown earth and only a few seedlings just beginning to pop up through here and there, a good friend and experienced gardener looked at all of this and she told me, she warned me, that this was going to be a LOT of food.
Somehow I didn't really think it could be so, couldn't believe it was really possible.