Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle
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Friday, July 11, 2014

My Little Gourd Garden

Last season was my last year for growing gourds. With us being gone for six weeks in the summer & the 2014 growing season it will be more like 9 months that we will be traveling there is just no way to grow gourds. Not to mention that we will be selling our home in New Mexico & won't have any place to plant gourds.
Gourd plant in April

My small garden did really well in spite of the small area I use for gourds. My seeds are usually started indoors & by the middle of April I plant them in the ground. It didn't take long for them to start flowering.

My friend was watching the house while we were on the Oregon Coast for the summer & she kept telling me WOW you should see those crazy gourds. Well, I figured she was just amazed at how many gourds there were. When I got home I was shocked to find 30 ft vines crawling all over the yard which is rather small to begin with. 

Gourd plant in August
Since the dogs are constantly running around back there I had to move all the vines before I let them out of the motorhome when we returned from Oregon. I had to admit that considering they were VERY small when I left I was shocked to see how they had grown in the 2 1/2 months we were gone. And my egg gourds look more like grapefruits. I think I should have cut back on the fertilizer ;)

You can't see it but this is actually a raised bed planter that Al built & it is the smaller of the two raised bed planters that I have used for the gourds. The gourd vines are wrapped all around the outside of the planter just to keep them under control so the dogs don't run all over them.

Even though I was gone all summer it was a great year for gourds in spite of us being gone during the prime growing season.

I have been growing gourds & some veggies for the last 5 years mostly for personal use & this had been the best crop ever. It's kind of sad that I can't grow gourds & veggies any more but traveling & having some fun are more important than gardening at this point in my life. Most of my adult life has been going to school & working so now it's time to relax, or at least try!

Semi Retirement and It's Side Effects

It's been a few months since our last show & I am already amazed that my blood pressure has been lower & more stable than it has been in the last 2 years. It hadn't occurred to me that the shows were contributing to my blood pressure being so unstable. 

While contemplating retirement (from shows) I was reminded about a friend of ours many years ago who was also a vendor doing the woodcarving circuit. He unstable blood pressure & I remembered that once he gave up the shows his blood pressure stabilized so that his meds were able to keep it well controlled.

I knew we were both getting too old to deal with all the hard work & heavy lifting involved in doing shows but it is hard letting go of something that you enjoy. We started doing shows in 1995 & after 19 years I knew we needed to think about retiring but it was a tough decision.

What my life has been like the last few months. The beginning of June we left for the Pacific Northwest. We had some work done on our coach, went to an RV rally, spent a week in Portland & a week in Salem then off to Newport (on the coast) for a month (instead of our usual 2 months). When we leave Newport we will head back to Salem for about a week to attend the Elks Lodge annual picnic & see the things we missed & return to the places we loved.

Now we are contemplating where to go for August. One stop we want to make is Glacier National Park. After that we will fill in other stops to new places we haven't visited on the way back to New Mexico.

So, do I miss the shows...yes, because I loved having the opportunity to socialize (face to face) with fellow gourders & pyrographers. But now I am enjoying my life being more relaxed & having more fun.

I am still running the business but now it's at my own pace & it doesn't involve heavy lifting & long hard hours of setting up, working at a show & then breaking down.

One of the best things I've done during this trip was buying a recumbent trike. It is so much fun & I'm getting some exercise.

If you want to check out our escapades on our trips, please check out my personal blog.

8/8/14 update: we are currently in Salem, OR & having fun with friends. Monday we all leave heading in slightly different directions. We have set up our itinerary & will be heading to Glacier National Park....if the Rowena Fire in Oregon is under control & has not impacted on Interstate 84 traffic. We will also be stopping in Cheyenne, WY to stay at a working ranch...this should be interesting!