Monday, June 30, 2014

Snake Skins

 Larry thinks the two parts to together to make one snake skin.
This one stretches out so it's long, too. I guess it could be one snake, but my question is, where is it?
I'd rather not think it is in my strawberries!

Little Gnome Picnic

Picnic table, fire pit, and lazy gnome hanging out in Larry's Grill Hut.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Larry planted two different types of cabbages this year. This pear-shaped one is the first he's picked. Mostly we've always had round ones. The basket to the left has a zucchini in it. We didn't grow the watermelon.

Blue Heron

The picture is kind of fuzzy, but I can still tell we have a blue heron in the field. It has been standing perfectly motionless for a while. They are mostly wading birds, but we haven't had that much rain.
I'm usually looking for deer when I'm walking on the porch. I guess now I'll look for a blue heron, too.

Saturday, June 28, 2014


This is part of our row of asparagus. I think it may be old enough to eat some next year.
I've never grown asparagus before but it looks wonderful.
Usually when people have a garden and say they have to replant, it means they plant more seeds because the first ones didn't come up. We replanted these asparagus plants three times...same plants...because heavy rain washed them from the dirt. They have to be planted really deep but the heavy rain just washed the dirt and plants away. So we found them and replanted twice before they managed to stay put long enough for the roots to establish.

Fig Tree

 It seems a little optimistic to call this a fig tree, but I'm happy to see it didn't die over the winter. Last year it had several branches but this spring it appeared to be dead. We left it alone and it put up a new branch which has figs along every leaf node:) I guess it blooms on new growth.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Red Daylilies


Mostly the tires look healthy and nice whether I've put peppers, tomatoes, herbs, or strawberries in them.

Japanese beetles are starting to infest some of our plants. We've put out a trap and Larry said he will spray soon. We had 3.2 inches of rain today so it wasn't a good day to spray.
These plants had a caterpillar in them. It kind of blended in with the dirt so it took a while to discover what the problem was.

Maybe Cleone

When I pulled up dead plants last fall, I tossed the stuff into this tire. So I have these flowers and a couple of tomato plants coming up happily.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Epsom Salts

Today I bought a big bag (8 lbs) of Epsom Salts. I decided to try that on my hybrid tea roses. I've read that it's good for them. So I put that out and watered it in. It might rain, but I can't count on it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I Found a Worm

I found a worm in a blueberry today. I didn't know that was even a possibility. Have I eaten some in the past? If I did, it must have been all right because I didn't notice. Crap. What a picture that makes. I was washing the blueberries and draining them before freezing them. I saw a little something and went to pick it off. It stretched and stretched, finally coming out. I've always washed and cleaned them, but really never looked for wildlife. Glad I had my glasses on.

Active Minutes

I've been getting my 10,000 steps in on fitbit pretty regularly lately. Now I'm trying to get the 30 minutes active minutes. I think it is good for me, but it is so hard to do something other than drag. Before my knee surgery I was doing fine at the active minutes. The knee surgery was about a year ago. So the knee surgery isn't the reason I'm dragging. I'm just out of the habit and it took a while to even get back to 10,000...much less active minutes. But I'll keep trying. I'm up to 24 minutes today and feel pretty confident I'll get it today:)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Exercise Session

I've tried to do the yoga exercises for two nights now. I have the dvd. When I pause it to see what it is showing, the picture goes away. I can't really do the exercises without seeing what he is talking about. I can watch it while sitting in a chair. Anyway, I tried following the directions and taking a quick peek at the screen. I think it may be better than nothing but really, breathe into various parts of my body? No. I can breathe into my lungs. I could sort of do most of what he said to do except grab my elbows behind my back. I can almost touch them behind me, especially if I get next to a wall to force it over. Maybe I'll get better. So far just getting back on my feet from lying on the floor is really awful.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Today we got our first blueberries from our bushes. We only got about a cup. Some were small, dried, and already blue.  Some were nice and plump. Larry watered them so maybe we won't have any more drying up when small.
I don't think we're going to get as many as last year.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

DVD Problem

I didn't realize I didn't have a way to watch a DVD until I ordered one from the Mayo Clinic. It is about exercise for seniors with arthritis. I have used some of the exercises on the Mayo Clinic website for my feet and hands and found them helpful. So I thought maybe I'd get more help.
It turns out that my computer wouldn't play the dvd. Our television isn't set up to play dvds. My old laptop played it like really slow streaming.
So today I got a 9" dvd player from Best Buy. It plays the dvd nicely. It is easy to operate and when I pause it and turn it off, it saves my place so I don't have to hunt for where I left off.
I got the cheapest one they had and asked the salesman if there is any significant difference in that one and other brands of the same size. He said that one is their store brand and on sale, but they've had more positive feedback on it than they have on the more expensive brands. Well, that was music to my ears.
I haven't gotten to the exercise portions of the dvd yet. I started with listening to the doctors tell about osteoarthritis.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Hair Trim

I'm trying to let the perm grown out of my hair. It has a funny yellow look on the edges where there is still some curl. The stylist asked how long I wanted it. I told her to line it up with the first chin. She also recommended a shampoo toner. I don't know what that is, but I'll look for it tomorrow.

Dust Allergy

Dusting furniture and dusting and vacuuming under things is a lot of what I do to try to keep dust down inside the house. I don't have carpets and limited curtains.
But overhead has things that collect dust, too. The tops of cabinets, fans, exhaust fans, and various other things up high can collect dust and not even be noticed.
Just because I can't see the dust, doesn't mean it isn't there. I'm allergic to it whether it is easily visible or not.
So today I went around with the vacuum and a ladder to take care of everything up high except the fans. I've already done them recently.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Other people's kids are interesting. I hear how they are doing even though I sometimes have never met them. Sometimes I knew them years ago and had kept up through their parents but haven't seen them. To see one and hear him say I'd introduced him to fantasy and it was about the first book he'd liked...and he went on to become a reader is really nice. He's grown into a nice young man with his own family, career, life.

DIY Laundry Detergent - Third

The first time I made the diy laundry detergent, it lasted eleven months. But I had Tide which Larry used until it was gone. The second time I made it was September 1, 2013. It isn't quite gone, but I made the third batch today. I had plenty of time and not much to do. I had five gallon containers empty. So using the diy laundry detergent exclusively, it lasted a bit over nine months. I've been very pleased with it and I like knowing that it is both inexpensive and good. I haven't spent money on detergent in almost two years. I was using vinegar instead of Downy until I saw a diy suggestion to use Downy with water and sponge halves as dryer sheets. Since I still had Downy and Larry wasn't using it, I decided to use that until I ran out. It is lasting a long time. It stops static cling.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

B & B

A friend's son is stopping overnight on his way from Texas to New York. I haven't seen him in about 20 years. He's going to a pottery seminar in the Catskills. I'm pretty surprised he found us as it was dark when he arrived...couldn't see the blue roof.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I Want You to Quit

I saw a woman in the hospital gift shop today with a vapor cigarette hanging around her neck. I asked how it was working for her. She said she hadn't smoked in seven months. She was in the hospital as a patient. Her boyfriend came in and handed her one saying, "You're going to have to quit."
I said I have one but the coil burned out and I hadn't been to Jackson in a while. She went out to her car and brought one in and gave it to me. She said, "I want you to quit. I want everybody to quit."
What a nice person!

Lunch Modification

Today at the hospital one main dish offering was beef tips and rice. I looked over the salad bar for sliced mushrooms but didn't find any. I did find raw cauliflower and diced bell pepper to put my beef tips on. I also selected steamed cabbage. My lunch was good and healthy for me.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fertilizing Steps

I decided it would get me some steps in if I watered my tire garden and raised bed with a one liter bottle. I could walk to the faucet, put a little miracle gro in it, fill it with water from the hose, and then take it down to the strawberries, etc., in my circle garden.
It wasn't as many steps as it felt like. I ended up walking on the porch in the dark trying to finish my day's goal.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Today's Daylilies

I didn't like day lilies for a number of years because I'd only seen orange ones. The last years I've found beautiful ones. 

Butterfly with Bee Balm

I told the woman at the nursery I wanted perennial plants that bees and butterflies would like. She obliged me and I came home and planted them. I didn't pay much attention to what the stuff was, but this is very enthusiastic and makes distinctive blooms so I looked it up in my herb book. Bee balm. Hummingbirds like it, too.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

He Loved You Best

My aunt said this to me referring to her brother, my uncle, after I was an adult. She said my grandmother had loved her son (my cousin) the best, my grandfather had loved her daughter the best, and my uncle had loved me best. I had children of my own by the time she told me this.
I was shocked. I tried not to show it because she thought it was a good thing that all of us had somebody who loved us best.
Loving a little, a lot, best, whatever, was not a concept I had considered, ever. I just thought people loved me or didn't...I loved people or didn't. But "best?" I've been thinking about that today for some reason. They are all dead now.
I think being loved is important. I think trying to figure out where we are on the ladder of love is a waste of time. Being loved is the thing. Loving is important. It keeps us from being rocks or clods of dirt.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Back and Forth

Most of the time when I'm reading a book that hops from character to character, I only care about what is happening to one character and the rest is just anxiously awaiting getting back to that character. The Outlander series has so many good characters that I'm interested in each hop. I'm already unhappy because it will be a long time before the next book is out...and I only got this one yesterday morning. Written in my Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon, eighth in the Outlander series, is excellent so far. Sometimes a series just gets tiresome...and it doesn't always wait very long, unfortunately. This one isn't a disappointment.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Listening and Weeding

I had my new book to listen to but people talked to me while I was volunteering. When I got home, I decided if I weeded grass from a flower bed, absolutely nobody would talk to me.
Larry asked if I'd noticed the huge trees down on my way to the hospital. I said I hadn't (which should surprise nobody), but I had noticed the deer beside the road and slowed to a crawl until it decided which way it would bound. I guess the trees posed no possible threat to me so didn't count in my world.

Monday, June 9, 2014


Diana Gabaldon's eighth book in the Outlander series is scheduled to come out tomorrow. She left her characters in such a mess last time, no wonder it has taken forever to release this one. It is time-travel, historical novel with a love story thrown in. It has an intricate plot with excellent characters. I recently went back through the whole series so it would be fresh in my mind.

Routine Lunch

This is a grilled deli ham and pepperjack cheese on low-carb bread with a side of slaw. I got this recipe for slaw from a Cuban lady who volunteered for me a long time ago. It is regular cole slaw with the addition of a can of red beans. 
I consider this to be all right for a routine meal on my low-carb diet because I use low carb bread and the slaw is loaded with fiber.
It is really good if I can find a deli meat I like. The Kroger store in Murray, KY, has Starns smoked ham. That is my favorite. But WalMart has a smoked ham I just found that was good. I didn't get the name, just smoked ham. But I will be able to get it again. It isn't slick looking.

Tall Flowers

Daisies, bee balm, and day lilies reproduce, provide color with a minimum of effort once the initial planting is accomplished. The hummingbirds are very pleased with the bee balm.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Perfect Weather--Finally

Well, today it wasn't windy, cold, or rainy. The temperature was pleasant and the sky was clear. I set out some seedlings I've been looking at thinking, "Not today." I'm not finished, but I weeded a section of my rose strip and put out annuals in the places I got weeds out of.  I have lots more annuals and weeds. Maybe it won't be awful tomorrow.

DIY Exploration

My trial of diy laundry detergent and fabric softener was so successful that I've been using it for over a year. I didn't care for the febreze substitute I tried.
I've been reading about other products that are less poisonous and cheaper. Today I mixed up a diy herbicide with 1/4 c vinegar, 1/4 c table salt, and 1/4 c dish soap. I would just dig weeds out, but I am very allergic to poison ivy so I need something to spray on it so it won't release any oils to break me out.
I also am going to try a diy fertilizer that is made from 1 tablespoon Epsom salt and a gallon of water. I'm using a plastic bottle I found that is two liters so I made half the recipe. It will be easier to carry and hold than a gallon container.
Not only do I like the idea of an environment-friendly cheaper solution to a problem, I enjoy the game of trying to win a few more cents for my budget.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Cleaning Girl

My cleaning girl's family is moving (girl, by the way, isn't a racial slur...she's nineteen and has been working for me since she was sixteen). Today I asked her mother if she knows of another trustworthy girl who wants to work. I have an appointment on Monday with the girl. Catherine has agreed to go with me to talk to her. We're going to miss Catherine and her family. Her grandfather has repaired leather items I have had a long time and wanted to keep, not replace. He also built the hangers for my flower boxes that hang on the porches. Her brothers help Larry (and sometimes me) in building projects, plants, tree trimming (a limb was hanging onto a metal storage building today), and whatever. Her dad saves nice pieces of lumber that comes into his sawmill. Larry pays for them, but he wants cherry, especially. Also, when they bake bread, they call and Larry goes over to get a loaf.

Time in the Basement

I heard the warning siren in town for the first time today while at home (about twelve minutes driving time). I went inside and asked Larry to check the local television channel to see if we were having a tornado watch. He did and we were. It was supposed to be severe thunderstorms, hail, and tornadoes. So we went to the basement with our weather radio. We waited the 40 minutes. We had some impressive lightning and thunder, another windy deluge, but no hail. I heard a train's whistle, but there's a train track within hearing distance, so I don't think we had a tornado. We didn't lose power today. We did for a while yesterday. We've had several days of bad weather.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Pebble Isle Marina

We had intended to go to Pebble Isle Marina yesterday, but the rain made us decide to wait.  So we went today. It was still cloudy but quite pleasant. Today Larry made the good choices and I had a hot fudge cake:) I wasn't able to finish it so it wasn't a good choice to leave some...I was just out of the habit of eating a lot of sweets.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


We had ten inches of rain last night and today according to television this evening. Our rain gauge showed over nine inches but a little less than ten. Apparently lower places flooded, including roads. The television showed a washout on a local road and water midway up car doors. According to NOA we aren't finished with the rain.

Flash Flood Warning

 Five inches of rain last night flooded Larry's garden plots.

 It's still coming down hard with wind, lightning, and a constant roll of thunder.
With so much rain coming out over the gutters, it's pretty surprising how much is making it down the gutters.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Moved Today

We went to volunteer at the hospital today and found they had already started moving the contents. We worked really hard (there were four of us there today) and got a lot of the stuff put away. The room they moved us to is smaller than the one we were in. The room isn't completely arranged, but we got our new keys, the phone moved into the new room, and many of the items put away. We were all really tired.

Asiatic Lilies

These were free bulbs sent to me with an order I placed. I didn't have a clue what they would be, but I planted them anyway. They are gorgeous.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Today I raked through my compost pile, sifting to use the decomposed smaller particles in my raised bed. I wanted the compost added so, hopefully, moisture would last longer in the raised bed. My compost had worms in it...nice earthworms, not maggots.

Moving Day Tomorrow

I found out today that the gift shop is moving to a new location in the hospital tomorrow.  Hospital employees will move us, but we'll need to arrange things. I've tried to unpack rooms others packed and moved before. Sometimes they are good at it. I think those people are actual movers. I'm not sure who is moving us, but I'm pretty sure the hospital doesn't employ movers. So it should be interesting. We'll have three volunteers, though, so that's good.

New Series

I found a new series that I'm enjoying tremendously. The one I'm listening to is The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan. I love books but sometimes I feel that I've already read all the good ones. So I'm really excited to find a new author, new series.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Daisies, Daylilies, Bee Balm

Daisies, are pretty much in full bloom. The yellow daylilies have started to bloom. On the upper left bee balm is just beginning to open.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Compost Pile

I took my compost bin apart a while back and have been trying to turn it and add green stuff and kitchen biodegradable material to get it to decompose faster. Today when I went to add the contents of my kitchen compost pail and turn it in, there was a really long snake that slithered away. Fortunately, it didn't slither toward me. It went under the greenhouse. I think it was a king snake.