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About kappydell

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    Family Member
  • Birthday 01/31/1954

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    just moved to georgia from wisconsin
  • Interests
    self reliance; lo-tech living; cooking, crafts, anything to do with food!!, camping, livestock, garden & orchard, hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, etc.

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  1. We are taking down the winter garden to set up the early summer one. So my final "winter garden" report is a positive one. With the warming of the days the brassica are starting to bolt - so we picked a final huge batch (took me a couple weeks to eat thru it). The only survivors (not bolted or picked yet) are the lettuces I planted in January to see how they would grow in the cold. They came up slowly, but with the warmer days they have grown full size and are nice and full and large. I have found that seeds planted in cooler temps produce stockier plants, and that has proven true with the lettuce. The brussels sprouts, planted late from seed, did not get real big-they did produce a cute little tennis ball "topper" and some dime size sprouts. Next year I want to have them started earlier, so they are full sized by the cold days. They will keep nicely but won't get bigger. The carrots grew differently in the cold, too - the leaf stems were very short, the leaves forming a kind of flat rosette over somewhat pale roots. They were full sized, though. I wonder if less sunshine made the roots pale? Less beta-carotene? Interesting. The thing we have to carry us thru the "hungry gap" is cabbages. Jersey Wakefield heads did not get very compact/firm/hard headed, but the Danish Ballheads were nice and hard, albeit smaller than usual. About 3 lbs or so apiece, which just happens to be the perfect size for us two to use 1 head per meal. Also perfectly sized to fit in the fridge. The collards and kale were especially good producers, and enthusiastically accepted. Culy/savoyed types 'handled the cold better than the flat types. I also found the mixed greens, often containing leaves of brassica not usually used (broccoli leaves, brussels sprout leaves) really tasty. I assume they are not normally eaten because they are a little tougher than many greens, but I found if I de-stemmed, rolled & shredded them like collards they cooked up tender. (Bright green leafy shreds in the stir fries are sooooo pretty!) I also enjoyed the buds from the bolting brassica that had not yet turned yellow. Similar to broccoli. Things I wish I had put in more of? Green onions. Radishes. Lettuce. Spinach. Things to try? Doc loves turnip greens...I'd like to put some in for wintering over. They supposedly can take some cold. I have to research if they will grow in the heat too. So goodbye winter garden, hello summer garden. Eating seasonally, we will switch from collards to mustard greens. Our friends are starting to hint that I need to put in more okra, too (lol) one of those things you either love, or hate. One experiment for summer will be to plant "stickless wonder" a bush type yard-long bean to bear when the heat makes the regular green beans go dormant. Hopefully Mary will like them - I like 'most anything, so I know I will. There is something cool about a green bean that grows 18 inches long, and thrives in the heat and humidity. Tomatoes developed for Florida & Texas should tolerate the heat, too. If they do, I will be saving seeds to tweak them for our local needs. Winter garden, see you in November! All in all, you were a resounding success!
  2. Yep, us too.....many years (decades) ago when I lost some serious weight one of my "big" secrets was to freeze everything I could in single size portions - 1 chicken leg, 4 oz of hamburger, etc. I couldn't nosh on it if it was frozen!! That is when I got my first serious (15 cu ft) freezer (used) so I just kept doing it in 2-person sizes over the years. That and shop the meat sales as they rotated thru beef-pork-chicken so I never had to pay full price again.....ever! I can now easily cut up a meat quarter with aplomb and speed. Mary & I make quick work of butchering deer (2 hours from hanging to salting the hide), and I fillet fish right off the bone leaving the inside parts inside (much neater that way). Food processing skills sure are handy.; Today Mary worked on washing & waxing the boat prior to putting it in for the season, and I stayed home (sure cant clamber about a trailered boat right now) did laundry and baby sat the dogs (one is in heat now, so they take close watching to keep everyone separated). I can hardly wait to get the boys fixed!
  3. BBQ riblets, cornbread stuffing & last of the garden greens. Pretty as well as yummy.
  4. You are absolutely right, it makes no sense at all, but then again, nothing made sense by that time. I don't think they even knew how a CPAP works ( its respiratory therapy turf, not nursing). These are the folks that never brought me water or ice, came in to ask if I had peed yet (I had a catheter), and called resp therapy when I asked for someone to come in to plug in the cpap (I was strapped to the bed as a fall risk. That was when I started losing it....I asked why they needed resp therapy to plug an electric device into the wall? "oh...you have your own CPAP?" obviously never read the patient charts, either. They would answer the call button "someone will be in"...and nobody would come. So as it turned out the oxygen cannula connected to the morphine pump is bigger than usual & has a sensor to see if I stop breathing. If I do the pump sounds an alarm and shuts off the morphine. (that alarm went off several times...nobody came....). There is no adaptor to fit to the CPAP and the face mask was too small to get a good seal with the cannula inside. So we got a crappy seal and strapped the mask so tight it pressed on my incisions (OW). Since the seal was bad I quit breathing, since the cannula was crushed in there it shut off the morphine. And the alarm went off several times - I looked up to read "No exhalations detected" on the machine. Unfortunately NOBODY CAME until the thing sounded for over an hour. I stayed awake, afraid to try sleeping and in too much pain to sleep anyway. All the head nurse at night said is "sorry, best we can do" (I was livid by that time, and I am not known for having a temper.) Apparently nobody has any backup plans there. Most alarming of all, when I filed my complaints in the morning with the administrative nurse supervisor, she apologized for taking so long to see me because they had an "unanticipated death" on my floor during the night and the family was furious (Ya think???) Cant prove it but I think they ignored that guy to death, judging from the ridiculously slow response to an alarm showing I was not breathing (!!!) Could not get out of there fast enough - glad they discharged me 'cause I was going AMA otherwise. Crazytown in there. So ladies, don't be scared to go to the hospital, but have a backup plan, preferably someone to stay with you and raise cain if needed. Keep your cell phone handy, put administrator numbers on speed dial for fun...remember to squeak that wheel! And take notes - so if you complain to the boss they cant claim you were too drugged to know what wonderful care you really had (ha).
  5. Got home from neck surgery on Tues AM and have been recovering at home. Lots of pain meds. Mary is being over-worked but has been patient. It certainly beats that hospital I was at - the nursing care was astonishingly bad. I would have felt safer at the vet - I stayed awake all night when I was told that I could either have my CPAP and sleep, or have post op pain meds, but not both. And that was AFTER I called the head nurse to complain. Needless to say they won't be sending me a survey asking if I enjoyed my stay, LOL.
  6. Oh my, ladies, you don't know the half of my "surgical adventure"!! (I do have several bottles of surgical scrub soap now for preps though.) At 0545 I arrived for surgery prep, I was due to go in at 7:00 the first one of the day for my doctor. Our friend Brenda drove so Mary could feed the dogs etc then come in later. Did my last "just before leaving" surgical lather-up, chin to toes, let sit 2 minutes, rinse off, then into the specified freshly washed clothing. We drove into the hospital. Got FIVE armbands...one with name & dob, one with name and bar codes, one that said "allergic to solarcaine" one that said :fall risk" (because I use a cane), and a red one for the lab to scan, showing I had some test already completed. On with the funky surgical outfit - backless gown, white pressure knee-highs, little yellow nonslip booties, and a cute little 4x4 pad for me because I have urge incontinence (I laughed when the aide told me I could hold it between my legs to stop "drips", and when I caught my breath explained that I wear diapers, dear, because I don't dribble, I deluge. Besides, my friend would hardly want it to take home with my other clothes. After a little confusion on the aide's part the nurse said I could keep my "pull-ups" on and they would cut them off in surgery if needed. In with the IV...it hurt a bit...and hooked up to saline. Got some Tylenol and some steroid meds, and my prophylactic antibiotics. Oh yes, a "special" bright yellow lap blanket to alert the staff I was a fall risk and they had better not let me try to get up alone because I might try to sneak out of bed or something. OK, off to surgery suite staging area on that little, hard, narrow gurney, elbows inside the rails just incase I got a kamikaze driver. No biggie. Its now 0600 and I got my "party hat". The anesthetist came in and asked me questions and talked to me. The "neurological monitor" came in with the tiny electrodes and told me he would put them in after I was asleep and he would be monitoring my neuro system because of them messing with my spine. OK, cool. Laid there a bit. At 0730 my surgeon came by and told me the hospital had not got authorization for the surgery from the insurance company yet, so we would have to wait for their office to open. He said the insurance people had assured him the authorization would be available when they opened. (I overheard him say that he had requested the authorization 21 days earlier, so he did not understand why it was taking so long to the nurse.) Now the twilight zone theme song was beginning to softly play in the back of my head. OK, twiddled my thumbs. Had the nurse walk me to the rest room & back. Twiddled some more. Tried to doze- had better luck after the nurse raised my head a bit and bent the knee support on the gurney (almost as good as a recliner, if a bit narrow). No TV, no glasses anyway, so twiddled my thumbs AND toes. At 0930 the doctor came by again, very apologetic, but also very furious (the cold, icy fury). He apologized all over the place to me and said the insurance authorization STILL had not come in, and he was not going to have me worrying about a whopping hospital bill on the rare chance authorization was not given, or having me sit all day without eating or drinking, waiting for an authorization that might come around 4 pm if at all. Bummer, but I could not help chuckling over the weirdness. Back to the original dressing area to take out all the needles and such. I did wear the white stockings & footies home, rather than have them throw them away. Mary arrived, with my robe, watch and ring. She was also furious, but the red-headed, fiery german kind. We got her and me out of there and went and had breakfast, then went home for a nap. Ironically, around 5:00 Mary called the doctors office and the nurse told her the authorization for surgery had arrived....at 4:40 PM. I just sat and laughed at the amazing, comical, farce I had just witnessed. Everybody was apologizing all over the place and finger pointing all over the place - it was kind of funny, in an ironic way. We did get another 3 bottles of surgical scrub so I could do it all over again next week, and yes, we cut off those darn wristbands, all 5 of them, but are saving the "red one" because the lab people said it was proof I had my blood testing done already and if I forgot it surgery could be delayed up to 4 hours. (God forbid! LOL)
  7. ty ladies....you wont believe the weird turn - my surgery is reset for next week. Got to hospital at 0545, got "prepped" with IV's in, weird wardrobe, talked to anesthetist, more electrodes in me for neural monitoring during surgery and then....and then....I then laid in staging area while all around me went to surgery (I was there at 0545 as I was supposed to be first up on schedule). I was wondering what was going on, but not too worried. Around 0730 the surgeon came in and said the insurance had not yet authorized the surgery but that he was assured that authorization would be done as soon as the insurance office opened. Around 1100 he came by (furious I might add) and told me I might as well go home as he was not going to keep me there all day without eating or drinking, waiting for an authorization that might never show up. OOOO he was furious (cold, controlled fury....)but very apologetic to me. Said he was not going to go ahead and then have me stuck with a surgical bill in the unlikely possibility authorization never came, and he did not want me worrying about maybe getting an impossible-to-pay bill. So everybody went out to breakfast, and now we wait until next week. I got more surgical soap to scrub up 5 day prior to the surgery (I must have the cleanest hide in the county). I called the insurance customer service to complain, and they said "its pending....should take around a week". ???? Authorization had originally been put in 21 days ago! I bet the doc had some words on the physicians' line for them. And, to top it off, the nurse called tonight at 5:00 PM and said authorization had just come in 30 minutes ago. About the time you think "what ELSE can happen"......something does! So we all laughed hysterically over the weirdness of it all, had breakfast, went home, and took a nap! Im thinkin of having a T shirt printed up that reads....".I don't need TV reality shows....I'm LIVING in one!'
  8. My soil is clay, so the pot thing sounds like I good idea. I'm also starting to plan for an herb garden, at least with the ones we use a lot of. Some medicinals too, I think.
  9. Prayers for your friend, Annarchy. Altzheimers is a cruel disease. Ugh. Found out that my check in time is 0545 for surgery. With the drive we will have to leave at 0500. I think I'll just stay up, since I usually don't go to bed until around 3 AM anyway. I'm getting impatient to just get it done. Meanwhile we will clean & neaten house & try to get all the lifting stuff done that M can't do alone. ' On different note, I am doing germination tests on seeds that I run across that I have saved. I'm happy to report that the ones I sealed up back in 2010 (dry beans) are a vigorous 100% viable. I am gratified, as I put them up according to the seed savers' exchange directions for long term storage. The cantaloupe seeds I just plopped in a jar in 2015 are also 100% and the cucumbers I also plopped in a jar after drying them down are around 95%. Not bad....I think we will plant out some of the seeds this year and see how they react to our new climate. We are pulling the last of the garden - the collards and kale are starting to bolt, and while the blossom buds are as delicious as broccoli, the leaves are getting bitter. We had GREAT results with our winter garden "experiment" and can't wait to try out the new cultivars I found that are bred specifically for winter. Meanwhile, the spring crops (cabbage, lettuce, radishes, snap beans, and the like) will go in so they can bear before the real hot summer starts, when the okra, sweet potatoes, melons and tomatoes will take over as our 'garden' fresh crops. I read that this area has six different garden seasons, and it sure seems to be true, LOL. It does make it more fun to east seasonally, and it does explain why the ladies down here are always canning something. I found a "lettuce mustard" to take over when hot weather kills lettuce, and plan to try "stickless wonder" yard-long beans as a snap bean replacement. Went to the local Ingle's grocery to check it out. It carries many "southern" foods I've not seen anywhere else...dried field peas, dried speckled butter beans, hog jowls (frozen) and ham flavored soup/bouillon powder. I have some of that, it is wonderful to flavor up foods whenever you would normally use bacon (a southern food group!) but don't have any on hand (or want to save those calories). I found mine in Wis and for the life of me could not figure out why it was not a Walmart....or Krogers'…..or Publix…..so finding it in Ingles' was a happy surprise! I like to have at least six pounds in storage at all times. Score - a minor one, but I'll take it!
  10. we are getting ready for my neck surgery next Monday. Saw the neurosurgeon and he showed us the MRI of my neck where he is going to fix it - he will remove vertebrae 5 & 6 in the neck, put in a spacer, then a cage to hold everything in place. Screwing it on using vertebrae 4 & 7. Yep, the MRI showed it was pretty doggone bad. When I asked what the expected result of the surgery would be, the reply was (deadpanned) well, you wont be paralyzed in the future (!) I wise cracked back, "Well, that is a GOOD thing." As always the prep is more trouble (for me) than the actual surgery - I have to scrub down with surgical soap daily for 5 days prior to surgery,, putting on freshly washed clothing when done, sleep on freshly washed sheets nightly, and cant allow the pets to sleep with me as they are accustomed to do (and I am accustomed to as well). Oh well. Today we bought some soft foods as I may have trouble swallowing for a while after the neck surgery. They get to the neck vertebrae from the front, through my throat, moving my trachea & esophagus over, then replacing them when done. Sounds tedious, I'm glad I'll be asleep instead of on the waiting room end of it.
  11. Everybody has those things they save for when it gets cold. For me it is baking - when it gets cold I start baking bread, then often go on to pies, cookies, and what have you, as well as making something in the crock pot for "instant" hot chow. And hot chocolate, naturely!! Those habits die hard. I guess its my way of eating with the seasons.
  12. MARY GOT HER DISABILTY!!! 70% (around 1400/mo tax free) More importantly she got her back pay for 19 months. I am so proud of her - and very flattered that she asked if it was alright, before she spent a chunk of it. The story: When we moved we gave our boat to a friend who had always yearned for one. No biggie. But Mary has always loved boats, so we resolved to buy one when we got to our new home. But with the disastrous move, all our allocated funds got eaten away. So when her back pay arrived, Mary wanted to get a used boat. OK, no biggie. She wanted to pay for it outright, so as to avoid more monthly bills. OK with me, wise move. Then we discussed the kind of boat. Agreed on that too. Now the teary-eyed part - our dear friends down here (always ready to help us, always have our backs without question - don't find friends like that anymore) had to sell their ski boat because they needed funds for emergency medical bills. They were hearbroken, and so were we - we could not help with the money. Well, Mary asked them to come along while we looked at boats, due to their expertise (well, more experience than us, anyway) and they were delighted to do so. We looked at pontoon boats - easier to handle, get on and off, and nicer to fish from. They love pontoon boats. So we picked one big enough to hold all of us. It was nice to see how excited they were for us, and they also offered their now-empty boat house to keep it in, saving us putting it in and out every time we wanted to use it. Then Mary sprung it on them (and me)...the boat was to be all of ours, to use as desired. You should have seen their faces when she handed them a set of keys! (I thought we were all going to cry.) So today, Bass-Ackwards goes to her new home. We are SOOOO excited!! A cardinal came by and sang to us, and D said (kinda emotionally for a guy) "That's Mom, coming to see the boat...she always wanted a pontoon but never got one"
  13. Today turned out to be a reorganizing day. Mary went out to burn some pine needles she raked up (fleas & ticks winter over in them so we are eradicating the accumulation of years of neglect this spring). I decided I was sick and tired of not being able to find anything in our pantry anymore, plus going thru totes of canned goods we removed from the motor home to find vegetables that I could not get to (or find) in the pantry anymore. It took 8 hours, but I emptied 4 totes, reorganized the pantry, moving things around for efficient recovery of things we use more often, and incorporating the scattered items from the motor home. It looks nice now, and I was able to free up some extra space by consolidating the Christmas baking supplies & equipment - I even washed the cookie cutters again before packing them up! Before surgery we will have to reorganize & arrange the spare room (bedroom #4) so we can find things in there without prolonged searching. (Remember Hee Haw?...well instead of pickin' & grinning' we say to each other..."Im searchin .,....I'm cursin") The carport is on the agenda as it has a closed storage area in the back that needs to be made workable. When we moved everything got higgledy-piggledy, so now we are fixing that. When I got done with the pantry, I made dinner (hamburger gravy over baked potatoes) and we discovered that our oldest dog is having dental issues because he had trouble eating it. So I made it more soupy and he fell to with a will. Then it was meat processing time. I skinned & defatted 20 lb of chicken thighs, packed them in meal size packages, and with Marys help took a load of the resulting 6 pkgs of chicken, 3 pkgs of pork steaks, 2 pkgs beef steaks, 4 pkgs (1 lb each) ground chuck, and 2 pkgs of turkey thighs out to the backup freezer in the carport. We took out one of the hams to thaw and cut up on Wednesday, deboning and packaging in smaller packages (mostly for scalloped potatoes & ham, and omelets) to save space. I picked up some split peas last week. I see split pea soup in our future. We want to have supplies in place before my surgery so Mary does not have to struggle carrying groceries alone. We also want to get all the spring jobs that require lifting & toting done ahead of time as well. Don't want to wreck Marys back doing it alone! I think I earned my recliner time tonight.
  14. I hope they will be able to rise up and take back their country, and their lives. I am watching them closely, as they could be forshadowing our future if the wrong politicians get their way. The harder they press to disarm the poplace the more I wonder what they have up their sleeves.
  15. Good news - Im cleared for neck surgery. The cardiology test showed NO issues...in fact, doc calculated the percentage of likelihood of a "cardiac issue" at...0.17%. That is pretty low, so she said "go ahead"! Plus she loved the veggies and is making them last....she said she will get at least a weeks worth of meals from them.
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