My friend, Laufrain, shared this on Facebook. I wanted to share it with you.
My friend, Laufrain, shared this on Facebook. I wanted to share it with you.
I’ve gotten really lazy on food prep lately. My excuse is that I’ve been working in the yard each day, trying to get our flower planters ready for winter. When I come in, my energy is gone. All I want is for my hubby to put more ‘stuff’ in my dry, tired, gritty eyes and take a nap. By the time I’m functional again, it’s ‘too late’ according to my inner time clock to fix what we should be eating. This excuse and rationalization is stupid, but I decided today to change my ways a bit.
I just started some chicken breasts in the crock pot, following a new rosemary lemon chicken recipe. She wanted me to put a whole chicken in there, but I had chicken breasts. I’m not sure if the recipe will stand the change, but I thought it was worth a try. We’ll have those with some steamed broccoli tonight.
If it turns out well, I’ll share the recipe with you.
I’m not fond of the title of this portrait. I think the man looks distinguished, interesting, and wonderful. I think the portrait is wonderful, though.
I would love to MEET this man. He looks like he has a great sense of humor and loves to laugh. Doesn’t he have a wonderfully kind face?
I have one more hydrangea plant to prune before filling the planter with mulch, but I’m pretty sure this is the last of the blooms for the year. I gathered the twice-blooming iris so that we could enjoy them inside. (These usually bloom in April and October – I’m not sure what’s happening this year, but I’ll sure take it.
Today I’m going to see if I can finish cleaning out the planters and getting them ready to mulch. I have 5 left to clean out – three 8-foot planters and two small, tall planters on each side of the front porch. I’m hoping I have enough mulch to finish filling things up.
I’ll prepare pots for the elephant ear and Purple Passion plants, digging them up carefully and putting them in the greenhouse. If it gets too cold in there over the winter, I won’t have lost anything, since I would have dug up the bulbs after the freezes got them and stored them in peat moss in the garage. I’m hoping it won’t get too cold in there. I’m filling lots of small jugs with water and hoping the sun will warm them each day and they will keep the plants warm at night. We’ll see. Fingers crossed!
Have a wonderful day!
This is typical of what is called a “raised bed planter.” It’s wonderful because you don’t have to worry about building up your soil or heavy duty weeding as you do in typical gardens. You can grow a good amount in a much smaller space, and it’s up from the ground. This is a nicely made one offered by Williams Sonoma.
When we first started square foot garden, this is what we did. We had two rows of raised bed planting areas – The thing is, I still had to either bend over double to plant, weed, and harvest things from this. It was good, but it didn’t go far enough. I’m old and I can’t do a lot of kneeling or bending over double anymore.
We decided, when the wood was beginning to deteriorate, that we could do better.
When we decided to break down what we had and redo it, we made metal table-like supports for boxes to ‘sit’ in. They are at about chest level on me, comfortable to stand up and be able to reach any side of the boxes with an easy reach. I have six 4’x4’x8″ wooden boxes on my supports, with hoses stretched down each row of three boxes for automatic timed irrigation. I can spray weed killer under the boxes or around the perimeter of the whole garden without bothering my veggies.
I stretch string across the wooden boxes to create 1 foot planting areas. Then I can plant according to the advice of Mel (the square foot gardening expert), either one plant in a square (cauliflower, broccoli, etc.), 4 plants in a square (lettuce, spinach, etc.), 9 plants in a square (carrots), or 16 plants in a square (radishes.)
I can plant standing up or sitting on a tall stool. I can pull weeds or harvest without kneeling or bending over double. The Mel’s Mix (peat moss, vermiculite, and as many different kinds of compost as you can find) has all the nutrients needed for the plants, replenished when you harvest all of a plant when you add a bit more. The soil’s consistency is such that pulling weeds is easy. The planting plan makes it easy for a beginning gardener like me to see what is a ‘good plant ‘vs a ‘weed.’
I’m really lucky that my husband spoils me rotten, figuring out how to tackle things like building the square foot garden in the first place, then improving it when we needed to pull up what we had done after several years. We also built the new greenhouse recently so that I can hopefully grow my own transplants, rather than having to depend on what is sold in stores locally. I’m hoping I can get a jump on the spring season, plus have more transplants growing in the greenhouse, ready to plant in the garden at the proper time.
Trying to grow some of our own veggies, plus flowers around the yard, is one of my favorite things. There is never enough time or energy – or cooperating weather – to do all I’d like to do. :0)
This picture shows you the break in the pvc pipe rib for the greenhouse.
My husband drilled into the wood uprights on either side of the louvered fan and attached guy wires to the wood.
He used a cement drill to drill a hole in the ground at the proper angle for the guy wires, ran the wire around the stake (held in place by a hose clamp.
This picture shows you the completed guy wire fix for the end of the greenhouse. It’s nice and sturdy now, thank goodness.
Here’s the fix from the side.
So, thanks to my wonderful husband, things are once again in good shape. He’s definitely a keeper.
When he came in, and could man the phone, I went out and got an 8 foot brick planter cleaned out where we have two really large hydrangea plants. I cut off all the branches and disposed of them. I have 4 more planters to clean out and then I’ll put mulch in them. :0)
I was PLANNING to clean out another flower planter yesterday. My husband came in and told me we had a problem with the greenhouse. The end ‘wall’ you’re looking at in this photo had broken loose because the last pvc pipe ‘rib’ closest to the lumber had broken. The rib isn’t repairable. We would have to take the whole end of the greenhouse apart and replace the whole rib, probably resulting in more damage.
My husband, who is really good at figuring out how to fix things, figured out that we could attach heavy wire (like that used in the guy wires for the ham radio tower) to the upright pieces of wood on either side of the louvered exhaust fan. He is outside as I type (waiting for an important phone call we’re expecting) drilling a hole some distance away from the end of the greenhouse. He’ll then pound in a metal stake with the sledge hammer. Then we’ll attach the wires with what I think are called turnbolts – metal things with rings on each end and a threaded length in between that you can turn to tighten the wire until it’s taught.
The stake and ‘guy wire’ type attachment should keep the end of the greenhouse secure. I’m not sure what he’s planning about the broken pvc pipe. Maybe we can just ignore it and rewrap the transparent liner stuff on the end carefully.
Anyhow, my best laid plans had to be set aside, once again, in order to try to fix the greenhouse – again before it is forecast to rain today… I’m lucky to have a guy who can look at something and figure out how it works and what needs to be done to fix it. I don’t have a clue – although I’m a pretty good helper and ‘gofer.’
If I can get the yard under control for the winter, I’m planning to start moving things around in the greenhouse, getting ready for planting seeds later. I’ll post pics as I get things organized in there.
Since we have no soil, other than what was trucked up here 30 years ago, my husband, son and I built 14 brick planters of varying sizes and shapes around the yard and filled them with potting soil.
Recently, we’ve converted two of them to raised bed square foot planters so that we have a better place to grown tomatoes each year. (My husband says I can try to grow anything I’d like, as long as we have plenty of home-grown ripe tomatoes. :0) )
We cleaned out two more, having decided to start over with our favorite Rio Samba Roses in the spring. These are empty now, except for soil. (Our lab puppy, Amber, is determined to dig in the planters, spreading soil each time she goes out. We’re in the process of trying to deter her. )
That leaves 10 brick planters that I need to prune and otherwise clean out, and then mulch with the leaf mulch I’ve been making so that all is protected for the winter.
So far three of the 10 are finished.
Three planters are end to end between the civilized part of the front yard and our driveway. Please ignore the leaves you see on the ground. My eye injury has put me way behind on raking leaves and making mulch. It’s on my list….
This is the planter in the middle of the three.
This is the planter on the other end.
So far, today, I’ve cleaned out one more planter –
As soon as I get a few more planters cleaned out, I’ll distribute mulch.
Here is a close up of the mulch I’m making and distributing –
We’re going to do errands in a bit, and after we’ve had lunch, I’ll try to get at least one more planter cleaned out today.
I hope you’re enjoying your day, too!
To me, this is NOT a Pollyanna-ish saying. It’s not that you simply paste a happy smile on your face and just decide to be happy (though sometimes this is a good technique). It’s an ongoing exercise in trying to control how you react to what happens around you. It’s taking bad things, doing what is in your control to do about them, and then stubbornly trying to see the bright side. You can choose to get mired in the fear, grief, and anger, or you can deliberately choose to get beyond those feelings, channeling them into something more positive, more life-giving.
I wasted a lot of time worrying. Usually I worried about things over which I had absolutely no control. I’m gradually making progress in recognizing old ruts and choosing NOT to fall into them again. If it’s at night, I get up, go downstairs and read to distract my worrisome thoughts that seem to spool in my head, playing over and over again with no solutions possible. The distracting myself allows me to let go – even just for a while – and focus on other things. During the day I get up and get involved in an activity that will take all of my attention.
When we lost our two-month old daughter to SIDS many years ago, my husband and I both seriously considered suicide. Our hearts and guts had been ripped out, and we couldn’t see any way we could go on. We looked at our two-year-old son, though, and realized how selfish we were being. He needed us. My husband needed me. Minute by minute we consciously decided that we would give everything we had left to the ones we loved. We decided to try to help each other work through the pain and find reasons to reach out to each other and our son and become stronger together. We chose not to allow this horrible thing to ruin the rest of our lives.
I consciously look for reasons to be happy. To be honest, I’m truly surrounded by wonderful things. I’m continually finding sights, sounds, and activities that make me happy. I’m working every day to live in the NOW – to appreciate all I have. I rejoice that I have the freedom to decide how I’m going to spend my day. I’m getting better at controlling what and who I allow to come into my life. I’m getting better at deciding how I will react to things I can’t control, but must deal with. Every morning I choose to MAKE it a good day.
I told you earlier that I was prescribed 4 prescriptions. For the rest of the afternoon I’ve been trying to actually GET them.
First, the doctor called the prescriptions to the wrong pharmacy. I finally figured that out and called the doctor’s office again.
THEN, I got two emails from my pharmacy saying they didn’t have ANY of the medicines I need, but would order them and let me know when they were ready to pick up.
One of the emails listed ONE of the medication’s cost as 60 pills for $706.99. Once I could breathe again, I came into our office, went to the website of my healthcare provider and messed around for about 45 minutes trying to find out if that medicine was covered and what the cost would be if it was. I was delighted to find that I could get 90 pills for $73.99!
I called my doctor’s office back and explained the problem. The wonderful nurse offered to send the prescription to my provider electronically. I haven’t heard anything more, so I’m HOPING that means that all has gone through okay and that my pills will be on the way soon.
I don’t really like to wait, particularly when one of the meds is an anti-inflammatory for my eye, but I don’t need to send us to the poorhouse, either. Hopefully, in another week or so, I’ll have the new meds and refills for the ones I’m using now, and can concentrate on healing, rather than fighting my way through the system.
Tonight, as part of a victory lap, my husband and I are taking three good friends for bowling and ice cream !!!!
The good news is that my eye scratches are improving – but may take several weeks to months to fully heal. According to my eye doctor, I’m enjoying one of the many perks of getting older – excessively dry eyes. The oil ducts at the bottom of my eyes have either quit producing oil or are solidifying and clogging up the ducts. I have extremely dry eyes now, and may have allergies, on top of the scratches.
SO – I have another appointment in two weeks, 4 prescriptions and a bunch of eye ‘stuff’ I need to start using on a regular basis, at least until we get me over my current problem.
I need a calendar and a checklist to be sure I’ve done everything!
The doc said he would call the prescriptions in to my pharmacy so I could pick them up when I got the other eye stuff. Sadly, the pharmacy hadn’t received a call yet. I’ll need to call them back later this afternoon to see if they have received and filled the prescriptions, or if I need to call the eye doc’s office back and find out what the problem is.
Enough gritching, though. My pain is gone. A LOT of the irritation is gone. I can see. Keeping things in perspective is something I work on all the time. Things could be so much worse. I’m lucky to have access to good health care and to be able to see someone who made the pain go away.
Will start making my checklist now.
I’ll leave shortly to drive to Fort Smith for my follow-up eye exam. It’s been a week since my husband took me to the E.R. because of pain and irritation in my right eye. The diagnosis was, “Wow. You’ve really scratched up your eye.” The only thing I can think of for a cause was the last session of leaf mulching. The mulcher whirls leaves around, chewing them up and dropping them into the 39 gallon trash bag underneath. In the process, some leaf pieces, twigs, branches, etc., come flying out of the top. I wore my wrap-around sun glasses for protection from that. When I finish working, though, I’m covered with a fine ‘dust’ from the mulching, from head to toe. I can imagine that some of that managed to get into my eye, moving around and causing the scratching. Because of that, I now wear some pretty serious goggles type eye protection whenever I’m even distributing the mulch.
My husband has been putting an eyedrop and a ribbon of goo into my eye 4 times a day since last Monday. Both eyes still feel gritty when it’s time for another treatment, and I’m having to blink a lot because of blurriness. Since both eyes are irritated, I’m suspecting I might be having an allergic reaction to something, as well as dry eye from the bad drought we’ve been having for the past 3 months.
The good doctor will tell me how I’m doing this morning. I’m hoping he can recommend something that will soothe my eyes a bit.
Meanwhile, I hope you’re having a happy day. I’ll talk to you again later. :0)
I just finished spreading two of the four large leaf bags of mulch I made recently. I wore Targa 2 “Racing” Goggles we had on hand while I did it, not wanting a repeat of the eye scratches I got when I made the mulch a little over a week ago.
The next step is cleaning out more brick flower planters. THEN I can probably distribute the rest of the mulch.
Actually, I DO find it exciting that I can make my own mulch, cleaning up many of the leaves in the yard as I do, and not have to pay for bag after small bag of mulch I used to buy at the local hardware store each fall. As I remember, it was about $3.00 or so per bag, and I used about 20 of them one year. So I’m saving money, cleaning up, recycling, and mulching my plants for the winter!
And, between the weeding and cleaning out of my square foot garden, plus distributing the two 39 gallon trash bags of mulch, I’ve gotten a good amount of exercise and fresh air today.
If the weather is cooperative tomorrow, I’ll try to get more planters cleaned out, working my way around the yard.
Amber went out with me to finish cleaning up the garden today. She tried to eat some big faux terra-cotta pots, but that was the only behavior I had to warn her about. Otherwise, when I took a break, I called her. She came every time, knowing she would get a small treat. :0)
5 of the 6 raised bed square foot garden boxes are now cleaned out, ready for the winter. I still have two kinds of lettuce and one spinach plant in the 6th box. When freezes threaten, I now have only ONE box I need to cover with a sheet.
In the spring, I’ll mix a bunch of Mel’s Mix (peat moss, vermiculite, and as many different types of compost as I can get or make (I’m using some I made, cotton boll compost, mushroom compost, and barnyard compost). I’ll fill the boxes up to the rim and then use string (that hopefully won’t deteriorate in the sun as the stuff I used this year did), and I’ll be ready to plant.
I took this to give you a close up of the Mel’s Mix, and part of the irrigation system for the garden.
I’m going to rest a bit and then see if I can get the trio of brick planters between the civilized part of our front yard and the driveway filled with mulch.
I hope you’re enjoying your Sunday.