Since just after Christmas last year I’ve been sick – fever, aches, coughing, days off, the works! And unlike any cold/flu/cough I’ve ever had, it will go away for a week or two and then come back. There are four of us that share an office at my company and three of us are sick this weekend – I think I might be the one who’s been hit the least this time around, but I’ve been hit three times to their two outbreaks. It’s just cycling around. Worse, almost all of my friends and family here in Vienna have also contracted this crazy virus that is resistant to EVERYTHING! It’s all anyone talks about.
My husband is taking care of me and his Oma (granny – grandmother) here in Vienna, while my wonderful Schwäger (brother-in-law) tends to his wife a bit further out. Hub’s is pumping us full of Thyme-based products from the Apotheke which has really helped in the last two days. Believe it or not, despite how simple it is to get medical care here and how understanding the professionals are in taking rest, I simply don’t want to take off anymore time. I want my life back – to accomplish things, meet up with friends (without infecting them), and just feel good in my own body (sneezing/coughing is torture because I’ve bruised the muscles in my ribs from all the coughing).
I don’t know how it happened (but I’m glad it did), but all of a sudden, I was inspired. I’d always (even as a child) consumed Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis*) for it’s immune system strengtheing properties; when did I stop?! No idea. I think over the summer as I wanted the plants to gain their own strength from over-harvesting the winter before.
Well, those plants have done so well with being outside in the sun, fresh air, receiving a bit of fertilizer (my friends back home think I’ve lost my mind for that), and so on; that they’ve put out ‘pups’ or baby plants in late summer. I let them be simply because I didn’t know what to do. Honestly, I was dismayed. “Now what, how do I deal with this mess?!” I handled it by not harvesting from the mother plant so she could feed her clones.
It’s now late winter; spring is showing signs of coming back and everyone’s talking about their gardening plans (in between complaining about our sicknesses, lol). I received a multitude of seeds and gift certificates to an heirloom gardening store for my birthday and have also begun planning. It’s also time to resolve the aloe issue that’s been looming.
So, I harvested leaves for the plants’ health (sometimes, the older leaves just need to be removed – to prevent disease, encourage new growth, etc), to resolve deformation/over-crowding of the pups as they continue to grow, and to get the plants ready for the spring.
The plan is to remove them from their pots, remove, pot, and gift the pups to others, repot the mother plants in fresh soil and most importantly, to use this wonderful gift that’s been silently waiting for me to take notice of it.
I’ll keep you posted as the season develops. Hope you’re all healthy and happy; and thanks for checking in on me from time to time.
*There are many different types of aloe plants but to my knowledge, only Aloe Barbadensis is safe to consume. I am not a medical doctor; please consult a doctor for safety and further information.
Here’s a pictorial of where we are so far: