A Day In The Life of a Stubbly Troll

Posts tagged ‘gardening’

I Have to Have an MRI of My Brain, and Other Musings

I found out quite by accident that there is something in/on my brain that needed to be followed, and no one bothered to tell me about it!  Big wow.  When I found out, I went straight to my neurologist, and thus, the MRI was born.  So, now I am worried.  The least it can be is damage from a stroke that I didn’t know I had, but I believe it is bilateral, and I was told that strokes are not bilateral.  Most emphatically, no way, shape, form, or fashion.  I don’t believe in absolutes in the medical field.  Of course, if that’s what it is, that means I could have another one.   All the other things are scary, too, except for a benign tumor, which can also be scary.  My hope is that the two CT scans that found the same thing, found nothing.  My daughter says I am a hypochondriac.     She probably thought that when I had renal carcinoma, too.

My Aunt, who was very ill to begin with, is having a bone marrow aspiration today.  The hemoncologist thinks her bone marrow is not producing any blood.  Right now she is living on blood transfusions.  She is like a mother to me.  I am so worried.  DD told me, you can’t worry unless you find out she is going to die, then worrying doesn’t help anything.  Well, of course, that is true.  But she KNOWS I have anxiety disorder.  She has it herself.  Just because she claims to have hers all under control, and *I* need behavioral therapy, doesn’t mean I can simply turn off my mind whenever I want too.  I don’t consciously dwell on these things, but I’m pretty sure these things are jostling around in my sub-conscious, increasing my anxiety level to a pretty steady level that my medication won’t treat right now.  My pulse, which is normally 60, is now a bounding 90ish.  Ninety is considered normal, but not for me.  To me, it feels like 110 for someone else.  That is very uncomfortable, as normal is 80-100 bpm.

OK, then, using my deep, diaphragmatic breathing, and, um, what passes for meditation for me (I’m getting better), my pulse is not a bit over 60, and I can just barely feel it radially.  I’m sure with a stethoscope, which I don’t have anymore, or just can’t find from all the moving, I could hear it quite fine.  I know I should practice this daily–but I don’t.

I want to find my good yoga book, and start trying my yoga again.  I know I won’t ever be as good as I once was, but it would be good for my fibromyalgia, and would also be good for my anxiety.  I would also like to try Tai Chi, if that’s the martial art that uses very slow, deliberate movements.  I haven’t done that, though, because, believe it or not, it looks like it would *hurt*.  But I could always begin with a couple of poses done a couple of times, and work my way up.  Maybe I’ll see if I can find it on YouTube.  The kittens will probably *help* me.  LOLOL

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned the kittens and the fish tank that is available on YouTube.  I put it on, then put my drawing board over the keys, so they won’t stop the video when they step on they keys.  They walk on the board and bat at the fish.  Then they lay down, and bob their heads back and forth watching the fish.  Sometimes this puts them to sleep, like I want.  But if not, we are in another round of fish catching.  And they insist on going around to the back of the monitor, to see if more fish back there.  Poor little creatures come out disappointed.  They are funny to watch.  My little girl seems to have temporarily stopped growing longer and broader and is putting her growing energy into her legs.  I think she will be petite, like her mother.  My little boy, on the other hand, keeps growing broader, and seems to be putting a lot of growth into growing a long tail!  LOL  I think he will be a bruiser like his daddy.  They are so mischievous and funny.  They cause me to ROTFL, many times a day.

They want to go out every door that everyone else goes through.  They are afraid of the dog, and he is still afraid of them.  This morning, when I was letting Mom and Dad out, Mr. Trouble decided to sneak past the dog.  Since I was not going out yet, he could not go out.  I caught him, which is a feat all it’s own, and was bringing him in the house.  He saw the dog, and was hysterical.  It was all I could do to get him back in the house without getting eat up by a kitten.  I tried to show him to the dog, and he wouldn’t have *anything* to do with him.  He just sat there and turned his head so he couldn’t see the kitten!  Out of sight, out of mind, I reckon.  They’re sleeping in one of their two favorite spots now, and I can’t let the foot of the recliner down.

We finished preserving class.  It was $15/couple.  Everything was provided.  We canned a pint jar of pickles each, there were two left over, so I got a third one.  I didn’t want to be greedy.  We made mixed berry jam, which I can’t eat, because I’m allergic to TWO of the berries we used, and canned that.  We canned and froze green beans, and canned tomatoes, and made salsa and canned that.  I also learned that meat and poultry (Isn’t poultry meat?), and be canned, so I got the booklet for that, too.  And learned how to get the soil in my garden analyzed.  We got a nice colander apiece, a terrible sharp, tiny knife, a lovely, quite thin chopping mat, and a chip clip with the extension office info on it.  I gave pickles to my aunt, and my neighbor, and I need to make some more…….

DD is doing well, having not smoked since July 19.  She continues not to wear the patch, and we are still out of Duck & Cover, praise God.  She is ill at the moment, she thinks it is from not smoking, I think she may be right, withdrawal, or possibly a virus, I have been sick as well.  Or, maybe we are both ill from withdrawal.  Even though she does not smoke inside the house, I am still subjected to her second hand smoke.  So, who knows?  But, as her body adjusts to not having all those chemicals Big Tobacco puts in cigarettes, and to not having the nicotine in her body, she will feel better and better, and stop having ear infections all the time.

I read an article, 10 myths etc., etc.  People’s lungs heal after they stop smoking.  It said they don’t, that the delicate tissues killed in the lungs by cigarettes won’t  come back to life.  That’s true.  But this is my THEORY.  Just as the brain re-routes itself in certain (or all, I’m not clear on that part) people after brain injury, the lungs can certainly build new tissue if it wants.  Maybe it doesn’t.  It’s just a theory.  The body is miraculous.  But, when one stops smoking, there are certainly alveoli that are not dead, but damaged, and I know those can heal.  So, my daughter’s lungs are now in the process of healing, regardless of how much or how little.

Our garden is coming along.  And so is the deer.  I don’t know if I told you about the deer.  We have our own personal garden deer.  He blatantly comes in our garden, in the middle of the day, and up until now, has been eating our bean plants, and gnawing on the occasional green tomato.  This time he’s gone WAAAY to far.  DD had to dig a row, by hand, with a pick axe, to begin planting the sweet potatoes.  She got about seven or eight planted, and the deer ate about 3-4 of them!  Every-leaf-on-them.  The normal methods for keeping animals out of the garden haven’t worked this year, because it has rained and rained and, well, you get the picture.

We are getting a nice amount of tomatoes, but the rain is killing plants.  Our squash is coming in, and the zucchini is beginning to come in, too.  The cucumber plants are beginning to grow, but I don’t know how late you can plant them and have cucumbers grow.  We even have some hot peppers and one egg plant, although the bugs are eating the egg plant plants to death, and it is too late to get the bug killer I need.  It is organic, but it is quite poisonous.

Next year, our gardening strategy is going to be different.  First of all, we will be saving for as large a tiller as we can afford.  Secondly, we are getting heirloom beans from a site DD found on the internet.  We are going to be researching everything we need to do organic gardening as well as we can.  And, as I figure next summer will be dry, we are going to try to get rain barrels going next month, if we can afford it.  And begin buying supplies a bit at a time, so we can have what we need and get out of the gate early.

So, anyone who knows where I can get heirloom squash, cucumber, pepper, etc. seeds, seed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and non-GMO seeds and the like, feel free to let me know.  Organic gardening tips will be appreciated.

I’ve talked about my cats, anyone who would like to tell me about their pet, please do.  I’d love to hear the particulars about your pet, and any funny stories.  My adopted sister on FB was telling me the other day about her humongous dog spent the majority of the day chasing a FLY around the house.  I still get a giggle over that!  : )

I am going week after next to have an injection in my hip.  Fun, fun.   I had one in my shoulder in the orthopedist’s office.  Much to my surprise, I barely felt it.  I hope the hip is much the same way, but I doubt it.  They have to do it under fluoroscopy, so they can see the hip joint, and get the needle in the correct place, and I suspect it will be like getting the injections in my spine.  Lidocane, which, honestly, I’m not certain how it helps, then ow, ow, ow, as the doctor puts the needle in the joint, and sometimes has to dig around a bit to get it where he needs it!  I’m not sure if he injects the facet joint, or where it goes exactly, but it hurts.  So, the injection is for the “mild” arthritis in my hip, but I’m pretty sure it will help some of my fibromyalgia pain as well.

I think I’m all talked out.  I’m going to go on A&E and see if I can watch a back episode of Project Runway.  First, though, I have to take a tylenol.  Oops, my dictionary didn’t like that with a small t, I should say apap.  I can’t take NSAIDS, things like Motrin, naprosyn, Celebrex (I’m allergic to sulfa, too, so that one has a double whammy on it!), Mobix, those kinds of things.  I am allergic to them.  They make my chest tight, and cause it to be harder for me to breathe.  Not too bad yet, but I’m afraid if I take another, I might just have anaphylactic shock, and not make it.

So, God Bless, and gentle hugs.  {{{{{H}}}}}

Yesterday We Went To Canning Class

Yesterday was Monday, 22 July, 2013.  DD and I had signed up with the Extension Office for a four day canning/freezing class.  I don’t know about her, but I’ve been looking forward to it.  Yesterday, we canned our own pint of beans, and put beans in our own quart freezer bag to put in our freezer.  I’ve canned literally thousands of cans of beans, and frozen I don’t know how many bags of beans, but freezing had escaped my memory–don’t know why, it’s so simple–so freezing was a refresher.  And I’m pretty sure Mother didn’t do it the way we did it yesterday, anyway.

We strung the beans.  ‘Bout half a bushel.  We weren’t ‘sposed to break the beans.  WHAT?  Canning beans without breaking them?  Is she crazy?  Everybody in our neck of the woods, at least, knows that beans are ‘sposed to be broken before they’re canned.  THAT’S the way they’re cooked.  Don’t want to have to take them out of the Ball jar and break them.  But she insisted that if we broke them, we’d be there til Kingdom Come.  (Nothing to do with this subject AT all, but did you’all know there is a Kingdom Come State Park in Kentucky?)  Now I know better.  There were about three of us there that were old hands at breaking beans, one with passable experience, a 14 yo, and our pastor’s wife.  With that team, a half bushel of beans could be broken in a skinny minute.  But, all things being equal, which they weren’t, we didn’t break the beans until later.  So, I found my self with the unusual job of stuffing my pint jar with unbroken beans, several of which I had to break the tops off of to make them fit in the jar.  It did make the jar look “purty”.

Our teacher explained all the ins and outs of using a pressure canner.  In went our beans, and when they came out, one of our jars was broken.  Oops, happens sometimes.  Monday we will pick up our jars, and we took our bags home.  Turns out, unlike what we did when Mother and I canned beans, you do not have to put salt in them.  Who knew?  Certainly not me.  All those beans my friend and I canned last year, had salt in them, and DD can’t eat them just like they are, as she is on a low sodium diet for her blood pressure.  And she is so young, too.  Barely in her thirties.  : (

While we were there, the soil man, as I call him (I do not know his real title) came in, and one of the other girls and I picked his brain.  She has no grass in her yard apparently, and was they were also talking about container gardening and, oh, shoot, what is it called?  It is where one takes railroad ties, or landscape timbers, or whatnot and builds a box or boxes of whatever size your property will support, fill it with good soil and compost, and garden in it.  I’ve read it is much more efficient than trying to garden in a regular garden space like I’m doing.  But on a limited income, like I am, where am I supposed to get the garden soil?  Well, anyway, the term will come to me eventually, probably at midnight!  LOLOL

I talked to him about how to get a soil sample taken of my garden, composting, organic gardening and how to make a good, easy compost bin.  He gave me literature, explained the procedure for soil sampling (only $6!), told me about a gentleman close to my house who has an organic farm and gave everyone a booklet about gardening.  He is a very nice man.

I found that my pain level ratcheted up about 5 points toward the end of our day, to the point I was having trouble walking.  My muscles around my hips, especially my left hip would suddenly  scream out and I would almost double over in pain.  Praise God, we were almost done.  I managed to get in the car, get home, and promptly fall asleep in the recliner.  DD fell asleep on the sofa.

Before we got in to settle, we went out to look at tomatoes.  We got new colanders in class.  We took one of those to put our tomatoes in.  Once they begin ripening, they pretty much go wild, and gathering them is a full-time job.  The ones that are ripe right now are small ones, but we must have between 20 and 30.  And, oh, they are soooo good.  And what few beans we have left (the deer is eating them) are beginning to come in, and one of the pepper plants has baby peppers.  So, even if we get nothing else from our garden, (it has been a hard, hard year for us), we will at least have that.

We have 4 cats, two yellow parent cats, and two yellow baby kittens.  The kittens were born on May 31.  Mr. Wiggles looks like his father, Stinker, and Luna looks like her mother, Little Girl.  The kittens are hysterical.  Right now, I have a kitten clinging onto the chair, peering at me.  They are into EVERYthing.  Luna races around the house like she has a jet in her rear end, and the two of them kitten fight constantly.  We have our own WWC Smackdown in our house and it is hilarious to watch.  Awhile ago, Luna was in a soda box (all the soda cans were out), and Mr. Wiggles was at the closed end trying to get her.  They are nothing if not goofy!  Never a dull moment around here.

DD is quitting smoking.   She is normally a wicked witch in the morning anyway.  However, do any of you remember Duck and Cover training when you were young?  I know most of you might not even know what Duck and Cover is.  That’s OK, history is not taught in school these days, nor is reading, writing, arithmetic, or any other useful subject such as art, music, physical education ( football and basketball don’t count), oh, and let’s not forget science and geography.  It’s not your fault, so don’t feel badly.  But let me say one thing about history–those who don’t study history are destined to repeat it.   Anyway, back to DD and her smoking.  Her first day was Saturday.  Today is her 4th day.  The mornings are Duck and Cover, until nicotine patch kicks in, then things calm down some.  But she’s still struggling quite a bit with the withdrawal of the 800 other things that are put in cigarettes to keep people addicted and make them die.  She’s doing well, all things considered.

Turns out DD isn’t wearing a patch today–that’s why D&C has been an all day thing since she got up.  She is trying to go w/o the patch.  I admire her will power, but would like to keep my head.  I must admit, she does seem to have calmed down some, but I am hedging my bets, so to speak……

I have grief counseling today.  The counselor is coming to the house.  My father died the beginning of March.  He was in a great nursing home, and the last thing I expected was that he die of nursing home negligence, but there you go.  I hate those commercials on TV, where the lawyers beg people to sue nursing homes for negligence.  (Apparently the patch hasn’t kicked in yet!)  They give the impression that every single person in every single nursing home is being abused.  It ain’t so.  Daddy was in an excellent home.  There were minor little things that weren’t abuse, just my preferences of things that they did or didn’t do.  But, I put him there because I couldn’t take care of him anymore.  Some things, like putting sweats on him during the day that had pajama written on them in big letters, instead of his uniforms that he wore everyday, I said don’t do anymore, and they didn’t.  They shouldn’t have done that anyway, but that WASN’T abuse.  Just annoying.  THEY could get him to take a bath twice a week.  WE couldn’t get him to take a bath for a month or more.  Pajamas in the daytime is a small thing for a clean father.  See what I mean?

My first nursing job was probably one of the best Long Term Care Facilities in the world.  They are not supposed to be called nursing homes.  We even had excellent staffing.  But “loved ones” would come in, (and I use that term loosely) once every six months or so and start ragging on us about the bed not being made up properly, or a spot of dirt on mom’s face, or dad not being in bed already, or whatever.  Excuse me, but if you can take care of them better, then YOU take them home, and do it YOURSELF.  You don’t come to visit, so obviously you don’t give a rat’s rear end about them (no offense to the rat, mind you), and when you do, all you do is piss and moan.  If we’re doing such a horrible job, DO IT YOURSELF!

I applied for a nursing job at one nursing home, and I read the state inspection sheet as I was waiting.  I won’t mention the horrible stuff I read.  I waited for the interview, because I was thinking I could make a difference.  When I went in for the interview, I saw one pitiful looking resident slumped in a wheel chair, all by herself.  I was interviewed by two nurses, and I was not impressed by them, either.  I got the job, alright.  But I got up, walked out the door, and never looked back.  One person was not going to be able to make a difference.  It would have been like trying to empty the ocean one eye dropper at a time.  It just wasn’t going to happen.  THAT was a LTC Facility a lawyer needed to tear into.

Well, I think that is all my musings, or rantings, or whatever you want to call it, for today.  I have a friend to talk to on FB before my counselor gets here.