Staying Busy…

Ed and I have been staying busy since I last blogged, on Wednesday.  On Thursday, we accompanied our daughter and granddaughter to the city for our daughter’s six month checkup with her dermatologist. Our daughter’s appointment was an early morning one, which meant we all had to be dressed and ready to leave by 7 a.m.  Oh, how quickly we how we’ve forgotten how life used to be, before retirement!  Let me tell you,  Ed and I are certainly grateful to be free of the early morning “rat race”.

Unfortunately, our daughter ended up having to get another biopsy done, of a ‘suspicious’ growth on her upper chest area.  It’ll be a week or so before she gets the results of that biopsy.

Of course, since the doctor’s appointment was an early one, we had lots of time to shop, afterward, so the day wasn’t all bad.  We had a delicious lunch, and browsed through several stores.  In fact, everything was good–except for the traffic!  Just shoot me if I have to go through that traffic again in the near future!  At one point, there’s a building project taking place, which narrows three lanes of traffic down to one.  It was a thirty minute wait to travel only one mile!

On Friday, the weather was still cold and rainy, so Ed and I decided it would be a good day to take our van in to the dealership to be serviced.  Two and a half hours later, we were wondering if we’d picked a bad day…  Ed’s always serviced all of our vehicles, so sitting around a service department of an automobile dealership is a new experience for us. Ed was watching, as our car was being serviced, and said our mechanic seemed to be the hold up–an older man, well past retirement age, who was moving at a snail’s pace.  I think, at one point, Ed was actually wanting to go out there and help the poor man!  By the time we got out of there, our heads were beginning to throb!

I cleaned house, on Saturday morning, but after nearly a week, of cloudy, cool weather, the sun finally decided to shine, again, on Saturday afternoon.  I slathered on the sunscreen, put on my sun bonnet and sun glasses, and enjoyed being outside for a little while.  (Our DIL brought our oldest grandsons down to play on the trampoline.)  Let me tell you, being outdoors is a whole new experience, post skin cancer, but I’ll do whatever it takes to avoid having more plastic surgery!

By late on Saturday afternoon, more family had gathered at our house, and Ed and I enjoyed a nice visit with two-thirds of our bunch.  Our older grandchildren recently discovered those old Ray Stevens videos, from years ago, so we watched some of those.  Remember “The Streak”?  Ha!  “Don’t look, Ethel!” immediately comes to mind, when I think of that crazy song.

The garden is coming along, fairly well, considering the unstable, cooler weather we’ve been having.  It’s taking a little longer to sprout than normal, but it is sprouting and growing.  I haven’t noticed any new deer prints in the garden [since adding “Shorty”], but Ed did notice some chicken foot prints!  Apparently, those pesky hens found their way to the garden, and ate a few pea sprouts!  As a result, their ‘free-ranging’ days have been cut shorter, until all of the seeds finish sprouting.

Sunday was a good day.  Although I didn’t sleep well, on Saturday night, and didn’t feel particularly spunky, on Sunday, Ed and I attended the new church, once again.  We enjoyed the morning message, came home and took a nap, then returned again on Sunday night.  We’re beginning to feel “at home” there.  The people are so warm and friendly, and welcoming.  While we were standing around in front of the church, on Sunday evening, two lively beagle pups came running out from behind the church.  They certainly livened up the crowd with their antics! (think: lots of elderly folks with two half-grown puppies jumping all over them) Both pups had on collars, and someone quickly called their owners.

Now it’s Monday, and, once again, many chores are awaiting our attention.  New plants need to be potted, and more grass needs to be mowed.  Laundry needs to be done, and clutter needs to be taken care of.  I guess I need to get off this computer, huh?

Happy Monday, y’all!

 

 

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Published in: on April 18, 2016 at 8:39 am  Comments (4)  
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Joyful Days…

Last week was a busy one.  Ed and I spent much of the week getting our garden planted.  It’s tedious work, especially at our age.  The older we get, the slower we move!  Well, at least I do.  Ed still gets around quicker than me, and can hold out to do a lot more than I can, even though he’s had a heart attack.  Praise the Lord for good recoveries!  We’re coming up on the sixth month anniversary of his attack.

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tomatoes, green beans, squash,cucumbers, lettuce, cabbage, garden peas, carrots, radishes, potatoes, onions

We only have three more rows to plant [in the garden], then we’ll be finished–for a total of sixteen rows…and we said we were cutting back, this year. Ha!  Actually, we did make the rows shorter, so technically, we did cut back a little.

Speaking of “short”, last week, we put the scarecrow back in the garden because of numerous deer tracks we kept seeing near the end of our garden.  We gave our old scarecrow a little makeover, and Ed nicknamed him “Shorty”.  I hope we can fool the deer again this year.  We seem to have accumulated quite a herd of deer, and they seem to be getting braver. I’m afraid “Shorty” will have his work cut out for him!  Have I mentioned how much deer love to eat peas???

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“Shorty”

I’m happy to report that our sick hen has recovered, and has rejoined the flock.  Yay!  I’m unhappy to report we now have a “setting hen” on our hands!  This is only the second time, in four years, we’ve had to deal with this.  We’ll try the “cold bath” treatment, today, and hopefully, that will snap her out of her broodiness. We don’t have a rooster, so there’s no way she could hatch baby chicks while sitting on unfertilized eggs.  If I wanted more chickens, I’d search for some fertilized eggs, but eight hens are enough to deal with!  Have I mentioned that I caught a hen sitting in our cat’s bed on our front porch, the other day? Our two oldest “red sisters” think they should be part of the family–and that includes roosting on our front porch!

Ed and I really enjoyed the services at our oldest son’s church, last Sunday, so we went back to church there, yesterday.  Would you believe the pastor of the church was away due to of the death of a loved one, so our son was asked to bring the message again?  We couldn’t believe it!  We went to both services, and really enjoyed his messages, again.  We really like this little church, and watching our son grow in service, there, is just an added bonus.

A couple of other nice things happened, yesterday, in addition to going to church and hearing our son deliver the sermons.  On the way home, I told Ed, “I wish we’d get home, and find a plate of fried chicken with all the trimmings sitting on our kitchen table.”  We’d been home only a few minutes, when the front door [of our home] opened, and in stepped our daughter, carrying two plates of food!  It wasn’t fried chicken, but it was the next best thing, beef stew, with all the trimmings!  God bless her, it was so delicious! Then, later, our granddaughter, Madison, asked to accompany us to church on Sunday night, and she did.  What a joy filled day it was!  I hated to see it end.

Another weekend has passed, and it’s Monday, again.  It’s shaping up to be another busy week.  I often find myself wondering, how in the world Ed found the time to do all of this stuff at home, and hold down a full time job…  Fortunately, he doesn’t have to worry about that anymore!

Have a great Monday!

 

 

 

 

Published in: on April 11, 2016 at 9:25 am  Comments (4)  
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My Week In 500 Words…

Once again, I hesitate to write a post, since life is slow and normal, at the moment.  However, these are the kinds of days that keep me sane, even if they don’t yield much blogging material.

I’m up early, this morning, in fact, I beat Ed out of bed.  That rarely happens!  He’s been battling a cold for almost two weeks, so he needs the rest.  I finally ‘suggested’ he go to the doctor, yesterday.  He reluctantly complied, and came home with some antibiotics and some “nasty cough medicine” (his words, not mine).  I do hope the medication helps him get well.  Two weeks is a l-o-n-g time to put up with a nasty cold.

The weather was really nice for two days, this week.  Our temperatures reached near 70 degrees. Even though he was sick, Ed took full advantage of those days by doing some outside chores, like pruning the grapevines, fruit trees, and pecan trees.  He also began preparing the ground in our garden for spring planting.  No, it’s not time to plant, but we still had “greens” growing from the fall, and they needed to be ‘turned under’  (mowing down what’s growing and ‘harrowing’ it under the ground).

Seeing the ground freshly tilled gave me a bit of ‘spring fever’!  Ed and I will make our garden smaller, this year, because of our health issues, but we both still enjoy growing our own food, and want to have a garden.  We may find we enjoy it even more if we don’t have to work ourselves to death while doing it!

Once again, Ed and I had to wash the butts of our two oldest red hens, this week.  For reasons unknown to us, those two tend to accumulate fecal matter under their tail feathers.  After about two months, it gets rather disgusting.  I’ll  hold one of the hens in my lap, while Ed uses the water hose to slowly get her bottom clean.  The ‘girls’ are used to it, by now, and really don’t put up much of a fuss.  Of course, we always wait until the temperatures are on the warm side before we do this!

Speaking of ‘the girls’, egg production is picking up, with an increase in daylight hours.  Did you realize the amount of light in a day affects how many eggs hens lay?  I didn’t until we got chickens!  The hens laid a total of three eggs, yesterday, but only one of them made it to my kitchen.  One got eaten, another lay broken in the nest.  Did you know some hens will eat their eggs after laying them?  I didn’t, until we got chickens.  In fact, I didn’t know a lot of things, concerning chickens, but I’ve learned!

We’ve been going through the process of having our mailing address changed over, for the past two weeks.  What a headache it’s been!  Some places we’ve called, still haven’t changed the address, while others changed it immediately.  I had to re-order checks, with our new address on them, even though I’d just bought 8 new boxes, last year.  What a headache!  In the end, it’s all worth it, though, not to have to go 1/4 mile down the road, to check our mail, while four lanes of traffic whiz by!

I’ve exceeded 500 words, so I guess that means it’s time to stop writing. Until the next time…

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on January 29, 2016 at 8:54 am  Comments (4)  
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This Week…

Lately, life has been sort of mundane around here, but I’m not complaining!  Give me mundane any day, compared to what we were going through this time, last year!  Last Saturday made one year since Ed got laid off from his job, and the year went downhill from there…

Ed’s been dealing with a cold all week, while I’ve been dealing with stomach issues for the past three weeks.  At first, I thought I’d eaten something that didn’t agree with me, but the problem has been persistent, even though it comes and goes .  When one takes prescription medications, a certain amount of stomach upset is to be expected, but I’m beginning to get a little concerned about this one.

The first part of this week, our weather was brutal.  Brutal for us, here in southeastern GA is 24 degrees!  Since my greenhouse is falling apart, most of my exposed summer plants didn’t survive.  A few tough ones, on the front porch, are still hanging in there, but looking rough.   I have one spider plant[hanging on the west side of our house] that I’ve had for over two years, so I brought it inside during the two coldest days.  Now it looks so bad,  I think it would’ve done just as well outside!  I’m not sure what happened to the poor plant, but we put it back outside as soon as we could.

Now that Christmas is over, and the weather is less than perfect, Ed and I have found a new hobby–jigsaw puzzles!  It’s been years since I’ve attempted a puzzle of more than a few pieces, so the first 300 piece puzzle presented quite a challenge!  Ed, who’s always been the better of the two of us, when it comes to putting puzzles together, even struggled with it.  Finally, after several days, we conquered the beast.

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We’re now on our second puzzle, which is only 250 pieces, but seems even harder than the first one!

I did manage to get in two walks, this week, for a total of about two miles.  I was happy about that!  Ed joined me on both walks, but opted out mid-way through the first one, because he wasn’t feeling good.  Yesterday, he accompanied me for the entire walk, though.

One day, this week, our two oldest grandsons came and stayed with us for a few hours.  They were sad because their cousin, Madison, was sick and couldn’t come over and play, too.  They said they were bored, but, the oldest of the two, Caden, who’s seven, helped us work on our puzzle a bit. (He’s good with puzzles.) They watched some television, I baked some cookies, and they finally played with a few toys before going home.

Our hens are finally beginning to lay eggs again.  We went for several days without getting any eggs at all, then, finally, one hen began to lay an egg, every other day.  Eventually, we began to find an egg every day, and, yesterday, we found two!  I don’t suppose it matters anymore, since Ed and I both eat “egg beaters” for breakfast, now, but I still enjoy finding eggs in the nests.  We will give most of our eggs to family and friends, now that we’re not supposed to eat many of them.

Our best winter layer has turned out to be “Dixie Chick”, our only white hen. You may recall, “Dixie” originally had a sister named “Della”, who was sick as a young chick, and eventually died.  (What an ordeal that was!) “Dixie” has become our flock favorite because she has more personality than the others.  She’ll come up to us for treats, and always wants us to scratch her back!  “Dixie Chick” lives up to her name, too, because she has a beautiful singing voice.  Ha!  She’s the only soprano of the flock, and her voice can always be heard high above the others.

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Dixie Chick, who’s apparently camera-shy

It’s supposed to rain all day, today, so I guess it’ll be another good day to stay inside and try to find something interesting to do.  Who knows, we might even get lucky and finish that second puzzle! It’s almost lunchtime, so I suppose I’d better get myself up out of this chair, and get busy.

Have a great weekend!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on January 22, 2016 at 11:33 am  Comments (5)  
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Catching Up On Monday…

I’ve just spent the last seven days immersed in Christmas decorations!  It took me exactly one week to put them all up, and exactly one week to pack them away.  What a relief it is to be finished!

Of course, it still looks a bit like Christmas in our house because the ‘year round’ tree is now decorated with snowmen and icicles.  That ‘year round’ tree is about the only thing around here that resembles winter, though!

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the ‘year round’ tree (and some of my snowman collection)

Whenever I look outside, it’s hard to believe it’s actually mid-January.    Our lawn is green, and needs mowing. New leaves are on the Sycamore tree, while one Japanese Magnolia tree is covered in blooms, and two of our Azaleas are covered with blossoms!   What’s up with that?  Our temperatures have been up and down, but not cold enough to kill the grass, yet.

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January blooms

I haven’t mentioned my face in a while, but it’s continuing to heal.  The surgical sites [from skin cancer] don’t look as good as I’d like, but they are getting better, as time passes.  I’m faithfully  applying Mederma twice daily, as directed by the surgeon, in hopes this will help reduce the scaring.  Time will tell.

Ed and I are trying to get back to our low fat, low sugar, low cholesterol diets, now that Christmas is over.  It’s so hard!  I have to confess, we gave in, last night, and finally tried the new pizza place in town (Marcos Pizza), which has already been open for over two months.  I felt a tad guilty for eating the pizza, but it was sinfully delicious.  Today, it’s back to salads and baked chicken!

I’ve been trying to get back into my walking routine, and that’s hard, too.  Ed and I only managed to walk twice last week.  It had been well over a month since we’ve walked for exercise. Since then, Ed’s apparently gotten in better shape, while I’ve gotten worse!  I could hardly keep up with him, yesterday. Only a month ago, it was just the opposite.  Clearly, I have my work cut out for me!

My back has continued to improve since my surgery, in September.  Some days are better than others, but, on really good days, I hardly have any pain at all.  I still can’t sit on our couch (or any couch, for that matter) for very long, without discomfort, and I always use a lumbar support pillow in my favorite chair, but I can live with that.  The best thing of all is being able to walk again, without pain!  The surgery was worth every penny it cost.

Ed and are trying to plan a trip to Florida to visit with my brother and his wife.  We haven’t been to their house in about three years.  In fact, we haven’t been anywhere, overnight, in about three years!  We have so many animals to see about, it’s easier to just stay home.  However, soon, we are planning to leave our animals in the care of our daughter, so we can take an over night road trip. We learned, when Ed had his heart attack, our pets can survive in the care of others.

That’s about all of the news I have today.  So far, 2016 has been delightfully quiet, and uneventful for us.  I hope the trend continues…at least for a while longer.

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frozen blossoms

Update:  I wrote this post last night.  This morning, we woke up to 31 degree temperatures and heavy frost!  Could this be the beginning of winter for us?  My frozen azalea blossoms think it is!

Happy Monday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on January 11, 2016 at 9:42 am  Comments (6)  
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A New Year, And A New Hodgepodge…

I’m in the midst of taking down Christmas decorations, a job I don’t enjoy, so I’m more than happy to take a break and indulge in The Hodgepodge!  Thanks to our hostess, Joyce, for giving me a great excuse to stop :).  Here are today’s questions along with my answers:

1. Are you ready for new? Is 2016 likely to be very different than 2015? Do you want it to be?

Yes!  I am very ready for the new, and I hope it’s going to be very different from 2015!  We’re off to a pretty good start, so far.  I’m trying to remain positive.

2. January 6th is National Technology Day. Currently, what is your single biggest struggle or frustration when it comes to technology?

Everything about technology frustrates me.  It always has, and probably always will. It’s the reason I still haven’t learned everything about Windows 8.1 or all of those gadgets on our new car.

3. It’s that time again…time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words (or phrases) they’d like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, and general uselessness) in 2016. You can read more about the decision making process here, but this year’s top vote getters are-

So (at the start of every single sentence), conversation (as in hotly debated topics where we’re invited to ‘join the conversation’), problematic, stakeholder, price point, secret sauce, break the Internet, walk it back, presser, manspreading (common in larger cities where some men take up the entire bus or train seat by sitting wide), vape, giving me life (refers to anything that may excite a person or make them laugh), and physicality

Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you’d like to add?

I’ve never heard it used before, but I’d banish “manspreading” because I don’t even like the way that word sounds!  I don’t like the word “vape” either, since I learned it refers to the act of smoking e cigarettes, which is ridiculous, in my humble opinion.

4. Share one of your current health related goals.

I plan to get back on my regular, daily, walking schedule, soon.  I didn’t walk the entire month of December, other than walking to and from the car in the back of the parking lot.

5. Let’s talk fifty shades of gray. As in the color. Gray is currently a popular color in home decor, paint, wardrobes, hair, wedding party attire, and more. Are you a fan? Do you have the color in some variation in your home or wardrobe? Gray hair, the old gray mare, gray matter, gray area…which gray idiom can you most relate to right now?

I’m not really a fan of gray, but I do have some gray in my wardrobe.  I can most relate to “gray hair” since I spent all of 2015 letting my old hair color grow out.  I’m a “salt and pepper” kind of girl, now.

6. Certain foods are considered ‘lucky’ if eaten on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Cooked greens to bring economic fortune, black-eyed peas or lentils also symbolize money, pork which symbolizes progress, fish for good luck, and if you’re in Spain 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. Did you eat any lucky foods on the first day of the year? Is that a tradition in your home? Of the foods listed, which most appeals to you?

We ate some cooked greens and black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day, and yes, it is a tradition for us to do so.  However, we had smoked chicken, instead of pork, to go with it.  I don’t know if chicken symbolizes anything, but it sure was delicious.  I like black-eyed peas, and we eat them often.

7. What’s the single biggest time waster in your life and what, if anything, will you do about it this year?

Surfing Facebook is probably my biggest time waster, right now.  My Facebook feed is now filled with all sorts of ads, videos, and crazy stuff I don’t care anything about.  I’ll probably spend a lot less time on Facebook, this year.  Ed, on the other hand, has just gotten his Facebook account, and seems to be enjoying it immensely.

Random:

The anniversary date of Ed’s ‘mandatory’ retirement is rapidly approaching.  On January 16, he will have been retired a full year!  At first, we were devastated at the news he was being ‘laid off’, but, in hindsight, it was such a blessing!

The management company which took over running the hospital where Ed worked [and subsequently laid him and many other employees off] has now been terminated.  The company’s contract was up on January 4, and they were given the boot!

If possible, I think this past year has been even worse for the hospital than the last year Ed worked there.  I feel SO bad for the employees who continue working there! Their jobs have been in peril for many months, and still are. There are no answers, yet, as to the future of the hospital.

Although Ed and I certainly faced more than a few challenges in 2015, but I can only imagine how much more difficult things would have been if he’d still been trying to do his [very stressful] job at the hospital, too.  We were given a blessing, indeed.  Thank you, Lord!

Published in: on January 6, 2016 at 8:54 am  Comments (8)  
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Family, Heat waves, Canning, And Other Things…

So, I’ve been absent from blog land–again.  I guess it’s okay, because I notice a few of my blog friends have been absent, too…  Sometimes life is busy, but, sometimes, that’s a good thing.  Life goes on.

Last Thursday, my daughter invited me to ride along on a shopping trip with her and our granddaughter.  It was the first time we’ve been off together in ages, and we had a nice time together.  I felt a little twinge of guilt, as we drove away, because I left Ed in the garden picking butter beans.  I didn’t feel quite as bad when I got home because Ed saved the beans for me to shell! (but he did help!)

I don’t remember what we did all day, on Friday, but I do know I was tired from the shopping trip, on the day before.  I did the most walking I’ve been able to do in two months!  It was good to be able to walk without having to sit down and wait for a spasm to pass.

On Friday night we kept one of our grandsons for a while, so his parents could go out and eat.  Our granddaughter came over to help “babysit”, then Brad, Jennifer and Evan came over for supper, too.  By the end of the evening our living room was filled with family, as everybody trickled in.

Friday was the end of Brad and Jennifer’s first week of their new jobs, and the first time they’ve been able to be here on Friday night, in quite some time. (Their home base is at Jennifer’s dad’s, for the moment.)  I cooked baked spaghetti and they ate supper with us.  Jennifer’s face told me she’d had a difficult first week at work.  She’s now working as the nurse for an orthopedist, and says he sees about 50 patients per day!  I hope the second week of work goes smoother for her.

On Friday, I finally heard from the neurologist’s office that I’ve been referred to, concerning the bad discs in my back.  Would you believe the first available appointment isn’t until July 21?  That’s five whole weeks away!  All I could say was “Wow”, but I took the appointment.

I finished taking my round of Prednisone, on Saturday.  The sciatica is better, but not gone.  I just hope it doesn’t flare back up before my appointment.  I have daily pain, but nothing I can’t handle, so far.  The numbness/tingling, in my left leg, is better, but not gone.  While walking has become easier, sitting has become increasingly difficult.  I’m constantly rotating among three different chairs, in our living room, in an effort to get comfortable.

On Saturday, a heat wave came to town, and it’s still here!  Our air conditioners are working overtime just to make life bearable here in the deep south.  The thermometer underneath the cover over my swing read 105, on Sunday!  It was HOT outside!  This heat wave is supposed to last this entire week.  Fortunately, we got some rain, last week, otherwise our grass and garden plants would be history.

In addition to picking, shelling, and ‘canning’ butter beans, Ed and I shelled a few peas, too. Jennifer’s dad had some peas to give away, so Brad brought us some. (Thanks, Brad!) Ed and I spent almost 5 hours shelling peas, on Sunday afternoon.  We watched an episode of CSI, Los Angeles, an episode of The Alaskan Bush People, the entire movie Rocky, and the first half of Rocky II while shelling.  It was a good day to be stuck inside since it was 105 on the swing!

The sun is barely up, and Ed’s already in the garden, this morning.  I SO wish I could be out there with him!  Instead, I’ll do the feeding chores, clean out the chicken coops, cook breakfast, and blanch yesterday’s peas.  I suppose I’d better get my thumbs ready to go, too, because Ed’s picking butter beans again…  Life goes on in Gooseneck.

Here is my view for today:

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Have a great Monday,

 

 

 

 

Published in: on June 15, 2015 at 7:34 am  Comments (4)  
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Friday Fragments…

Half-Past Kissin' Time

It’s been another eventful week, but, lately, they always are.  I’m so ready to have some ‘normal’, uneventful weeks again. Our garden continues to grow, in spite of the fact that we’ve only received 1/8 of an inch of rainfall in over a month.  Ed gets lots of exercise moving the water sprinkler around in the garden.  Since our garden is so big, we can’t water everything, so we have to settle for watering the plants that are suffering the most.  It’s gut-wrenching watering some and not all.  We’re concentrating on our tomatoes, beans, and peas, at the moment.

I finally gave in and went to see the doctor about my back, on Monday.  He gave me a prescription for prednisone, which seems to be helping with the left leg numbness some.  I had an MRI done, on Tuesday, and the ‘official’ report says I have one herniated disc, and one bulging disc.  I’ll be seeing a specialist as soon as I get a referral.

Speaking of the MRI and a referral… I got a call, yesterday morning, from my gynecologist’s office.  Somehow, the report from my MRI had gotten sent to their office!  What’s up with that?  The PA told me what the report said, then told me I’d need to see a neurologist or an orthopedic surgeon.  (She offered to do a referral.)  I figured I’d wait and let my primary care physician do the referring, but I haven’t heard from him yet.

We went to the hospital where Ed used to work to have my MRI done.  It was good to see everybody again, and everyone seemed happy to see Ed again.  It’s already been almost 5 months since he last worked there!  The hospital seemed quiet and empty compared to the days when Ed first went to work there, eight years ago.  They’re operating with a lot less staff, these days. Only time will tell if the hospital can remain open.

In other news, our oldest son and his wife bought a new car last weekend, and they drove almost 800 miles (round trip) to buy it!  Of course, that trip was nothing compared to the trip they made when purchasing the car our son once found on eBay.  They rode a bus all the way from Georgia to Louisiana to buy that one!  Our son kept his “eBay car” for many years, but decided to trade it in for the new car they just bought.  He’d had it for so long, seeing it go was like losing a member of the family.

Our youngest son, and his wife will both be starting new jobs on Monday.  They’ll also be trying to pack up and get ready to move out of their house by July 1.  I’ll bet they’ll be glad to have some normal, uneventful weeks again, too. That’s about it for this week’s fragments.  I’ll be linking mine up at Half-past Kissin’ Time.  Have a nice weekend, everyone.  

Published in: on June 5, 2015 at 9:58 am  Comments (3)  
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Turmoil…

It’s been a while since I’ve been here in blog land.  I’m sure this blog space is feeling quite lonely and neglected, as well as my blog friends.  Once again, I’m going to try to give both the attention they deserve. Unfortunately, my blog and blog friends will have to share my attention with about a million other things, at the moment. If you are a blog friend who’s stopped by, forgive me for not visiting you on a more regular basis.

Since January 16, my life has basically been in turmoil.  Ed got laid off from his job, which brought about many changes.  We’ve tried to meet each challenge with grace and determination, and adjust to the changes brought about by Ed’s unscheduled retirement, but the challenges have been almost non-stop!

The month of April was filled with all sorts of challenges for Ed and me.  At the beginning of the month, we discovered termites and mold under our house, and my back “went out” after several days of helping Ed plant our garden.  I was in a lot of pain, with sciatica, and unable to do much of anything for the entire month of April.  By the end of the month, our garden nearly drowned and we had spent several thousand dollars getting our house treated for termites and moisture, but the moisture problem still persisted.

We’ve experienced all sorts of glitches with getting our insurance changed over and getting Ed’s social security started.  Thankfully, the hospital offered Ed an eight week severance package, and he had almost eight weeks of vacation built up.  Those funds held us over for nearly four months, and helped pay for some of the home repairs we’ve experienced.  Now the checks from the hospital have stopped coming, and we’re waiting for Ed’s first social security check to arrive.  We didn’t take into account the fact that social security lags a month behind.  Ed’s benefits began in May, but he won’t receive a check until the third week of June.  Sigh.  Thank goodness for the small unemployment benefits he’s been able to get.

By the beginning of May, my sciatica was better, but my left leg has remained numb.  Our garden finally rebounded from too much rain, after Ed made a huge ditch at the end of it and drained the water away from it.  Then the drought set in!  We haven’t had any substantial rainfall in over a month!  The crawl space of our house remains moist, in spite of having a moisture barrier, having two fans installed, and experiencing a month-long drought!  Ed is currently working on replacing the underpinning of the house, and adding more ventilation.

In spite of nearly drowning, followed by a severe lack of water, our garden has produced many vegetables.  Thank goodness for water sprinklers!  Harvesting most of those vegetables has fallen squarely on Ed’s shoulders, due to my back problems.  I have been able to help freeze and ‘can’ some of the things Ed  has picked though.  I’m very tired of seeing cucumbers, squash, peppers, and green beans, but I’m thankful for all we’ve been blessed with.

Ed and I didn’t realize it, at the time, but our daughter and her husband, who live next-door to us, were experiencing marital difficulties during the month of April.  During the first week of May, the two of them separated.  They were apart for a few days, then came back together, shortly after Mother’s Day, to try to work things out.  On Memorial Day, our son-in-law packed up and left again.  At the moment, things are up in the air with them.

The week after Memorial Day, I made the mistake of going out into the garden.  I only sat on the garden stool for about ten minutes, but, apparently, that was  long enough to aggravate my sciatic  nerve, and I began having spasms again.  Tomorrow will make eight long weeks that I’ve been dealing with this problem.

Out of desperation, I called the doctor’s office, yesterday.  He was booked solid, but agreed to see me at the end of the day.  After hearing my symptoms and examining me, he agreed that it sounds like I probably have a pinched nerve.  He prescribed a round of Prednisone, and ordered x-rays to see what’s going on–x-rays that my insurance isn’t going to pay for.  Expensive x-rays.  Sigh.  I’ll be having my MRI today.  I guess we can just add the bill for the x-rays to the $900 worth of lab work we still owe for–the lab work the doctor’s office sent to the wrong lab…  And so our saga continues.

There is some good news on the horizon though.  It looks like our youngest son and his family will be moving back ‘home’ in about a month, or sooner.  They’re currently in the process of selling their house, and the closing is scheduled for July 1.  Brad and Jennifer have both gotten new jobs, as well, and they will both be starting those on June 8.  While Brad and family won’t be moving back to the family farm, they will only be living ten minutes away from us.  For now, they’ll be staying with Jennifer’s dad and her step-mother.  We’re ‘tickled pink’ about the prospect of having them so close.  It’s sort of like seeing a rainbow after a storm.

 

Published in: on June 2, 2015 at 9:50 am  Comments (3)  
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The Wednesday Hodgepodge…

Thank goodness, today’s Hodgepodge questions are short, and don’t require a lot of thought on my part.  Otherwise, I’m just not sure I could deal with it today.

Life continues to throw unexpected curve balls our way, and it’s just about to get the best of me.  The latest one?  Our previous insurance refuses to pay for mine and Ed’s March lab work because of the lab the doctor’s office sent it to. We’ve used the same doctor, for years, along with the same insurance, and, as far as I know, I’ve used this lab before and have never had an issue–until now. Total cost for both of our bills?  Over $900.  Ouch.

Anyway, thanks to Joyce for continuing to host The Hodgepodge, even in the midst of all that she has going on!  God bless you, Joyce 🙂

Here are today’s questions:

1. When is your next big deadline? What’s it for?

We don’t have a deadline for anything, but we’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of Ed’s first Social Security check on the third week of next month.  It’s been a long time coming (and we’ll need it to help pay thosee ridiculous lab bills!)

2. May is National Barbecue Month. Do you prefer cooking indoors or out? What’s the best thing about a barbecue? What’s the last thing you cooked on an outdoor grill?

I prefer cooking outdoors, because Ed does all of the cooking on the grill!  (However, I can make some pretty good Crock Pot Barbecue indoors.)  The best thing about a barbecue is eating it with family or friends (besides the taste of the food, of course!)  The last food we cooked on our outdoor grill was hot dogs.

3. What is one thing on your “never again” list?

I can absolutely say, without a doubt, that I will never again ride a motorcycle. Besides, I couldn’t hike my leg over the seat, even if I wanted to!

4. What’s something that annoys you about people your own age? Something you love about your generation?

I can’t think of anything about people my age that annoys me, unless it’s the fact that we’re getting old!

I think the thing I love about my generation is the era we grew up in.  Times were much simpler back then!  People still treated each other with respect, the music and cars were great, and it was a lot easier to be prosperous than it is these days.

5. Lilac, iris, hyacinth, pansy…your favorite purple flower?

Iris 12f

Iris.  I can’t grow them, but I love them.

6. What’s a song that always calms you down?

I can’t think of one particular song that calms me, but this CD always does the trick!  I bought it for our first grandchild, then quickly discovered how soothing the music was.

17038418177617p7. What’s the last thing you donated?

I donated some clothing and a few odds-n-ends to Goodwill, a couple of months ago.

Random:

Apparently, the love of gardening runs in the family.

Here are some pictures of our two oldest grandsons, along with their little vegetable garden!  (I borrowed them from their mom’s Facebook page)

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 Absolutely adorable–our little boys and their garden!

Published in: on May 13, 2015 at 6:43 am  Comments (9)  
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