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Everything posted by kappydell

  1. Not getting much done today....started out swell, slept well after taking the melatonin & lemon balm my doc recommended. Went out and thinned the early veggies, saving the thinnings for a spicy fresh mini-greens salad (mustard, radish, collards, turnips) after washing well. Went in to make pancakes and noticed my migraine aura was starting up. WHO GAVE ME PERMISSION TO HAVE MIGRAINES????? Fortunately did not amount to much - just a foggy feeling & auras for a couple hours, a barely noticeable headache, then poof, gone. The pancakes were good. Started to keep a diary to try to figure out what is triggering this weirdness. The food garden is in, planting flowers now. Peonies are going to bloom in the shallow pot we had them in while trying to figure out where to transplant them. Pretty - the rose is blooming in its' pot, too. We got some trumpet lily seeds last spring, planting them this year. Should b e a show stopper - they grow 6 feet tall! Now THATS a lily! This was a trumpet lily at our Wis place.... Happy today because one of our outside kitties returned after being missing about a week. He is limping, but otherwise seems OK and much more content to stick around. I was worried about him, he was AWOL thru some pretty nasty thunderstorms. I suspect he will stick closer now so he can shelter in the carport with the other kitties and eat regularly. Welcome back, Puppers!
  2. My first spring "picking".....mini-greens for a salad (also known as thinnings by us old timers). Mustard, collards, radish and turnip thinnings. Nice and spicy!
  3. My dollar tree pots from last year wintered over nicely, too. I want to get some rosemary in its own pot though - the lemon balm is crowding it out! Pushy! Today M said she had to get more dirt. Oh? I thought we were nearly done with planting. Nope. She want to recycle our pups' wading pool into a large flower bed and get the dogs a new pool. It should hold quite a lot! Planted our shed pots, so our vertical garden is up. It only took 4 minutes for a passing driver to stop and compliment us on it. A new record! Tomorrow we will plant the 3-tier pots for either side of our front door. And M thinks she has an idea where to plant our camellias.
  4. half gallon size..they fill them full of decorative things and sit them on the mantle...
  5. Got my surgery - the hospital was pretty third world as far as nursing care. Didn't know the place was BYOA (bring your own aide). Never go back there again. They actually called me to take a survey about their nursing care....they got all "very dissatisfied" ratings. Never going back there again. But on the plus side, when I had my follow up MRI (yep, under that semi again, lol) they made me a personal disc of my own on for a fee ($10 was not too bad in my opinion to have my own copy). I'm starting my own personal medical record with copies of all my lab tests and imaging films as well as their interpretation. Should make getting a 2nd opinion SOOOOO much easier, should I want one.
  6. We are only putting things in pots we have already planted in other pots and that have shown a liking for them - mostly flowers and such, though my rhubarb will be in the shade because rhuby-babies do NOT like it hot...at all....in fact some sources I have checked have mentioned growing rhubarb as an annual (?!?) in very warm areas. Intriguing.... The other large self waterer I managed to claim (M grabbed of them for flowers) for my Asian yard long beans.....I've located a supposed "dwarf" variety I want to try. Picking off 4 foot tall plants beats trying to pick off an 8 foot vine. The one I have is called "stickless wonder"...we will see about that....I hope M likes them, because she loves snap beans and they all give up when our summer temps of 90+ become a daily event. It would be nice to just switch gears and eat the yard long beans instead - they supposedly thrive in the heat. So we just gotta try them. If they work well, we will plant lots more, break out the tallest poles we have, and I will can them up. Looking for old totes around the house to re-purpose for self watering planters for herbs, too. We need more rosemary (makes a wash both healing and flea repelling for our felines).
  7. They are, but I love them too. Most people I have asked in the local Wal-Mart are using them for decorative crafts. Not my cuppa tea, but anything that gets Walmnart to carry them might not be a bad thing....
  8. Today we took advantage of no rain and worked on improving our red-clay front "lawn'. Mary tilled in some scratches, then we broadcast grass seed, then I raked to even things out a little, and straw over everything. Don't know if it will work, but it will not hurt to try. Two of our dogs got 'fixed' yesterday so we are TRYING to keep them from jumping, but its hard. They are used to jumping up & down off laps, etc. The garden is up. We've added quite a few new planting places, besides putting the planters up the side of the garden shed again (remember last years' "vertical garden"?). ;One of the seed sources I found for southern-acclimated cultivars is closing. The bad news? They carry lots of open pollinated, regional but relatively rare seeds. The good news? Send in an order, get an equal value in free seeds of your choosing. So I am trying to stock up on the many kinds of southern peas he sells, as well as the tomatoes & green peppers acclimated to extremely hot and humid conditions. Other regional specialties I am stocking up on are various kinds of mustard, collards, and turnips - more 'southern' staples. I will join the seed savers exchange this fall and try to get seeds out to as many other people as I can, trying to keep them from disappearing altogether. I will also be saving seeds....especially those I have not found other sources of (Floradade & Floradel tomatoes, for example; Edisto cantaloupe is another. ) It seems every time I find something I really like and can use, it gets discontinued. Grrrr. Tomorrow more doctors. At least it will be MY doctor, and close to home. I'm getting sick of "medical commuting", no matter how much of a tax deduction it gets me (and believe me, I deduct every mile, every expense.....)
  9. Mary & I put together our six self watering planters. Not terribly hard work but time consuming since I am only half a helper (grimace). We spaced them along the front of the house BEFORE putting in our soil. Put one on the east side of the carport where it will get shade in the late afternoon, since rhubarb does not handle our heat very well. Hopefully it will like it there, since I really don't want to have to grow it as an annual. We still have LOTS of 6 inch corrugated perforated drainage pipe but as we find cheap totes we can also convert those to self watering pots. I found the seeds Mary was looking for so now it is just a matter of deciding what goes where. I have lots of lilies to transplant, so I may dig in a row of "food" dirt and dput them into the ground. Oh yes...we planted out two peach trees last evening, too. Hopefully these will make it where the original one did not.
  10. Love those pics! Tired tonight - went to see a cardiologist to see if anything needed to be done regarding an aneurism found via a CT. He said no, surgery not required. Will monitor it, come back in a year and we will see if it is growing or not. Since Im already on BP meds & cholesterol meds, nothing further needed. Cool. After we got home & ate our pizza, we went & got supplies to make those wicking pots - plus bought MORE pots, Mary liked them and wanted more. Since our soil is crappy as a growing medium pots will be our way of working around it. The only thing that was expensive was that perforated drainage pipe (6 inch) since I could only get it in a 100 foot length! I can make a heck of a lot of pots with that much! We will be looking for totes on sale in the future, as they will also make nice big wicking pots. So we bought the components today (pvc pipe, landscape cloth, drain pipe) and a jigsaw to cut same. Then we went back to tractor supply and got some more of the pots Mary liked, and some straw to mulch our attempts at a lawn. When we got home, we got to talking about flowers we wanted. She was delighted when I showed her the seeds I had saved from last year that were exactly what we had discussed putting in - 5 foot tall trumpet lily bulbs; Perennial wild flower mixture; Nicotania (she was unable to find it in the store) and Four O Clocks (can you tell we like nice aromatic flowers??), more peonies, and the like. The garden centers are getting very picked over and those things were certainly not around this year. I sure was glad I had saved them. Our garden is sprouting up all over except for some of the warm weather lovers (string beans). I was surprised to see the melons and squash coming up with gusto; and the radishes are actually going to be thinning size in a week! (My mouth is already watering, LOL) I am waiting for a seed shipment from a place called the seed kingdom. It is a place in TX and the owner is retiring (that figures, I just found him). He was the only place carrying the Floridale and Floridade tomatoes that are high heat and humidity tolerant, as well as an amazing collection of various southern peas and other hot weather vegetable cultivars. He is offering his customers a 2 for one deal - send in an order of at least $45 and then they will match it with $45 (or however much was spent) with other seeds you choose. Needless to say I ordered more seeds of things I did not want to lose - $98 worth - and ordered the free ones as well. I hope to share them with the Seed Savers Exchange so his open pollinated cultivars do not disappear altogether. If anybody wants to try out some hot weather adapted seeds let me know and I will let you know what I have. Tomatoes, southern peas, mustard greens and the like. Very old fashioned stuff.
  11. but I bet it smell wonderful when you mow!
  12. glad to hear you are on the mend. stomach flu is rotten.
  13. I did leave a message for a cattle farmer selling hay on our local "yard sale" site, asking if he had any tubs he would sell me...We will see if I get a reply. We did buy some more large pots (18 inches tall, 24 inches diameter) because Mary wants to plant our perennials in them. We will put along the front of the house to replace our mismatched pots of flowers. Now I'm talking her into making wicking pots, so they will stay watered. She says watering is relaxing to her and she enjoys it....I tell her she can still water the raised bed gardens and ground-planted items, just touching up the pots once a week or so.....plus they will stay watered if we take a trip. She is 99% convinced.
  14. How timely! I just bought a tub for my rhubarb ! and I have lots of coffee cans saved! All I need is landscape fabric for wicking and some Styrofoam to loosen up the garden soil we have, and I can try a self-wicking system! Thank you-thank you-thank you for the video! Will have to keep my eyes open for more tubs to use for a few other herbs and such.
  15. Annarchy, mulch is something we are planning to do with our paths, too. We got a wood chipper, so when we take down a tree we can chip the branches, then mulch our paths. Since we have red clay everywhere, we figure it should help with the mud issue when it gets wet as well as a way to cut down on how much we have to burn (it seems like such a waste). I imagine our dogs will be rolling in it and scattering it around, it seems to be ingrained in dogs, LOL. We have to figure out how and where to plant our shrubs now, it is all gravel where we had planned to put them. Ugh. Clay on top of gravel. Perfect if I was a rustic potter....or brick maker....not so hot for growing things, LOL.
  16. Yes. On the water we just feel the tension evaporate. Sitting and fishing keeps our blood pressure down, even when it is a simple catch & release day. On our lake fishing is a passion for many....the locals brag that they are the fishing competition capitol....to my mind, that just makes fishing unnecessarily stressful. We aren't competitive;. I guess you kind of outgrow that stuff over the years.
  17. The spring veggies are IN and we are seeing our first radish sprouts! It is thrilling after all those years in zone 4 to be able to grow year-round! Our third raised bed is near enough to the other that a simple re-arrangement of the posts allowed all to be fenced in the same enclosure with room to walk. Then off to Tractor Supply for deer corn...and (uh-oh) two metal raised beds (on sale, cheaper than the lumber would have been) one for our raspberry patch (the first one died, or got eaten, or just plain disappeared). The other will be a bulb bed in the front yard to supplement our vertical "shed garden". Yes we are putting it back up again, the neighbors were very complementary about it last year and are already asking if we will do it again. Then bought two peach trees (darn those sales! they get me every time!) to replace the one that died. I had to order another 3 tier round bed for more strawberries. Then to see what transplants our local nursery of choice had - bought 4 camillias. Sheesh. We might have the veggies in, but are still digging in fruits. The "old home" place is shaping up nicely! Today we took a day off from digging in the clay and put the boat in. Had a nice ride out on the lake to break it in. Very relaxing!
  18. Today was exciting...and tiring at the same time! Chainsaw Mary was in her other element....boat captain!
  19. Our spring garden is moving right along. Our friend Deb came & stayed a couple days to help "chainsaw Mary" take down a hollow tree too close to the house for comfort Im no help in my neck brace and under strict orders not to bend over (to avoid hyperextention of the neck) or lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. So I stayed inside & cooked, while they took down the tree which our artist friend has all kinds of plans for. Then they went to work in the garden - put up a third raised bed and filled it with trucked-in dirt (our "natural" soil is red clay, not terribly useful unless you're a potter). Moved the fence a bit and put everything in a single enclosure - 3 raised veggie beds and a strawberry pyramid bed. We bought some transplants from our local garden center (much better than wal mart) along with 4 camellia bushes. Mary & I have wanted camellias ever since we saw them blooming in December on one of our pre-move visits. I made out the diagram of vegetable garden layouts (she likes a diagram) and have also decided on the herb garden location (yet to be created). We also have most of our seeds on hand for planting, each in its own season....yes, even those turnip greens which ironically were the hardest to find seeds for. We will be planting our early spring garden the next few weeks, and rotating in the late-spring-summer garden as the weather evolves. Deb took home a grocery bag of lettuce greens (romaine and a curly-leafed ruffly variety) and a couple of our winter cabbages to her husband - he revamped his diet radically and is a real veggie-lover. We have a running joke now about how we pay our helpers in firewood and garden produce. Country barter at its best. The redbuds are in bloom, along with the potentilla and blue-eyed grass that grows in our (so called) lawn.
  20. 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!
  21. 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!
  22. BBQ riblets, cornbread stuffing & last of the garden greens. Pretty as well as yummy.
  23. 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).
  24. 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.
  25. 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)
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