This week has blown dead rats, as we used to say in my misspent youth, and faced with the assignment to come up with something non-Viagra-based which would be uplifting, all I’ve got is me at the moment. It’s 91 degrees in Upstate New York, which qualifies under my climate analysis for June as “too damn hot”.

In any case, here’s my news:

Shoulder report: In many ways, the shoulder itself hurts more now than it did the first two weeks after I’d broken it, and the arm muscles go into these very odd spasms, which indicate to me that the poor mistreated nerves are coming back (which is vastly good news, believe me). Another indicator is that I can get more flexion out of my fingers – three days ago, I had to actually curl them around a pen to do my daily “try to teach myself how to write with my non-dominant hand to keep the muscles doing something.” Now, all the fingers can grab onto the pen by themselves and guide it along a line (no, the letters still look just as shitty as ever and the spelling is just as bad). The bad news is that I still can’t do stuff like lifting my arm over my head (mostly because I don’t see the orthopedist until June 1, when he’s going to take another x-ray, evaluate and, it is hoped, assign me to physical therapy). If I were going to schedule doing something like this, I’d make it in a much colder month because, to be blunt, I can’t shave; I can’t get deodorant in there and by about 3 p.m., between the heat wave and hot flashes, my arm pits are turning into WMD. My coworkers are very much looking forward to a major improvement in that area. Everything takes at least twice as long as usual, whether it is getting dressed (Lycra and wide necks are my friends; button waist slacks are not), washing/taking a shower, putting on makeup and everything else. Velcro is truly one of the great inventions of the last century.

The garden: See photo above. At this point, my role hovers between “benevolent despot” and “construction foreman”, as I really can’t do much more than point. However, “we” have completely rebuilt the beds, emptying out the chicken litter from their winter in the barn and combining things with compost courtesy of the county landfill. All the seedlings I transplanted into their own bed — which I protected with row cover material — are harvestable right now, including members of the cabbage, lettuce and beet families. These were all started on April first in a bed that I’d warmed up by putting some old glass over it. More info here on starting your garden.

So, here we are eight weeks later with veggies for the table and I could probably have started harvesting 10 days ago. Definitely worth thinking about for your own spring next year – contact your online or mail order seed people this fall (their seeds will have been stored under optimal conditions, unlike the seeds in the racks at your local garden center or grocery store) – order the same sorts of things from these families – they are cool weather crops. When you get them, put the whole thing into a jar or plastic bag in a dry place in the fridge and wait for when your garden soil reaches 50 degrees to sow them.

Chickens, et al.: We’re raising chicks and turkey poults this year as well as lambs, which are so far doing a good job keeping the pasture nibbled down until it is time to out the chickens and turkeys out. Turkeys are a new venture for us – we’ll see how they do. We have not seen any evidence of the bear that was so destructive last year, so we have hopes that we can bring back the bees this year as well.

What’s your good news?