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Accessible Gardening: Buying a home - what size yard?

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Tigerlily09
West Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

August 27, 2010
9:47 PM

Post #8066438

Hello,

I think I'm a newbie on this forum so let me introduce myself. My name is Deirdre and I live in Des Moines, Iowa. I've had fibromyalgia for 18 years. The fatigue and pain have taught me to pace myself. My symptoms wax and wane and I usually feel much better in the summer.

Recently my husband and I decided to buy our first home. At first I was ecstatic that I finally get a yard instead of just my apartment balcony and container gardening! Then reality set in and I started to wonder if I shouldn't overdo it. I had told the realtor that I want at least 1/4 acre but then I'll go see the house and realize how big that actually is. I haven't mowed a yard since before I got sick so I don't really know in my bones how much work that is. My husband says he will buy me a riding lawn mower. And he promises to help me - I make it sound like he's leaving it all up to me and I don't mean to. He just knows how much I like working in the garden. He has a few health issues of his own, as well. In any case, I'm wondering if I shouldn't go with a smaller yard and keep the chores to a minimum. What do you all think? How much land do you have? How much do you wish you had?

Then I got an awesome book from the library about low-maintainence gardening and it has lots of good tips like using groundcover to reduce the amount of lawn you have to mow. What I'd like to hear from my fellow gardeners is your own experience and advice. Do you use tips like that so you're able to do more of the garden tasks you love?

We're mostly looking at houses that are at least 30 years old, and in Des Moines, that means big trees and raking leaves. Do leafblowers help you all keep up with the yard work? Or do you use a lawn tractor?

I'm also considering the future. I don't want to alter the landscaping too radically, like if I get rid of most of the lawn, what happens when I want to sell? I can't imagine families with kids will appreciate not having a yard to play catch in.

We won't have a lot of cash at first since all of the money is going towards the house. But eventually I'd like to plant some shrubs, trees, and perennials. At first I planned on putting in a vegetable garden but my HEB's are wonderful and less work. It will be so nice to have a hose so I won't have to lug around watering cans. What plants have worked well for you?

Thanks for the help!

Deirdre


missingrosie
Hillsborough, NC

August 28, 2010
6:46 AM

Post #8066782

I wouldn't worry about selling and having lawn for kids. You have to do for yourself now ---new owners will establish a lawn and if they love the house, needing to establish a lawn won't deter them.

We live out in the country and don't have much lawn - mostly natural areas and you could consider that --but there is some stick picking up and general maintenance involved even in the natural areas. It is harder to get leaves up out of natural areas also.

You could consider raised beds to grow what you love because then the soil will be easy for you to dig into, amend, and access.

I always read that the best thing to do with those leaves is to get a mulching mower... and leave right on the ground. My husband chooses to blow them and it is a lot of work and the blower is heavy and I think it might wear you out. The blowers you wear on your back may work better since the weight is distributed evenly but I am not sure about that since I don't know what your challenges are.

Congratulations on your first home and I hope you the best time planning and watching your garden grow.
katiebear
mulege
Mexico

August 28, 2010
7:51 AM

Post #8066856

Hi Diedre and welcome,

I'm in the sub-tropics but I grew up in Upper Michigan so I kow you will have snow for much of the year.

The thought that occurred to me as I read your post was "yard art." There are a lot of threads on this in Trash to Treasure and Garden Art Foirums and scattered elsewhere. Done with some planning various pieces of yard art can add interest while requiring little maintaince.

A lot will depend on what you really enjoy doing, I think. You might want to go low maintaince and have two big hammocks for you and DH.

Keep checking back and asking questions.

Good luck on your house hunt.

katie
missingrosie
Hillsborough, NC

August 28, 2010
2:05 PM

Post #8067340

That's a good point Katie.
Tigerlily09
West Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

August 29, 2010
12:48 PM

Post #8068886

Great feedback. I didn't think about the weight of the leafblowers. I only weigh about 120 lbs so I can't handle much more than the weight of a grocery bag. Recently I read that leafblowers are pretty useless for raking leaves out of grass (but the mulching mower would be ideal for that anyway). I can handle sweeping leaves off sidewalks and porches. I've been talking to DH and he feels pretty strongly about not having a dinky (less than 1/4 acre) yard. I'm sure he will take care of it if I can't. I still like the idea of reducing the size of the lawn and planting groundcover, shrubs, etc. I prefer evergreens anyway and those are pretty easy to care for, right?

The main issue I'm thinking of is pacing myself. If I have to spend all my energy doing stuff I don't like, I won't be able to do the stuff I do like and that makes me grumpy! :) For instance, if I have to spend 1-2 hours mowing that will wipe me out pretty much for the rest of the day and possibly the weekend. Yuck!

I'm honestly not sure what exactly I'll enjoy doing in a real garden. Right now I just love fussing over my plants and watching them grow. I kind of enjoy pruning, clearing off dead leaves, watering, that kind of thing, but deadheading gets boring fast. I always forget to fertilize too so Osmacote is my friend! If I can sit or kneel when I work that's a LOT easier. Standing or walking for longer than 10-20 minutes causes me a lot of knee and hip pain. Would one of those garden carts that looks like a little red wagon help? The kind you sit on and roll? Have you guys used those?

I'm not able to work right now due to fatigue and I get depressed easily. It really cheers me up every day when I care for my garden. I love that the plants depend on me and flourish (usually) under my care. Winter is hard but I have lots of houseplants. I have a lemon and a lime tree that are still small and live inside in the winter. When they bloom it makes me so happy!

Thanks again. I feel better just talking about it with people who understand.
missingrosie
Hillsborough, NC

August 29, 2010
4:12 PM

Post #8069243

I have the pull 'wagon' type cart - Costco had dirt cheap and I couldn't resist. To be honest - I don't use. It seems like by the time I get it out (and unload it because somebody is always storing something in it) I can haul whatever I want to move around a lot quicker. But if I had a medical reason / inability I think it would come in handy. My daughter bought me one of those low rolling 'seats' - and this one rocks in all directions so that when I lean it leans with me. It is not too low to the ground and it really helps the knees and back and keeps the bugs off. Lots of folks like the kneeler types. The kind with the two arm bars on each side so that you can lean on the bars to help you up.- padded bottom for your knees.

You might want to incorporate some large pots into your garden to raise things up for you (like what you might grow a japanese maple in) and also use some trellis supports so that your vines will come to a good height for you to groom. An arbor or trellis is very architectural for your garden too. A garden bench with a big pot of blooming something is every bit as nice as a ornamental shrub and maybe easier for you to care for - no crawing underneath to get out leaves or weed.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

August 30, 2010
10:56 AM

Post #8070686

Oh jeez, only just saw this thread. I don't know as much about Fibro as I could, but I have MS and the darn disease is always CHANGING! DH said he would do this that and the other thing, and then he got a promotion and a raise, which was great, but I never see him anymore. The tomatoes went unstaked, the bushes went unpruned, the yard went unmowed, etc.

It sounds like you're planning well for the way things are if they always stay exactly the same, but what about when things change? (They will.) We had things under control six years ago, but then

DH fell off an airplane he was helping clean and broke his back ...
Retaining wall (of wood) starts to disintegrate and needs to be rebuilt out of stone but DH won't let me hire someone (and the raise wasn't that good)
Weeds grow through stones in patio and nobody here knows how to work the weed-whacker (except DH)
Lawn inn back needs mowed, underbrush replaces lawn
we never cook outside (he was charcoal king) so patio falls into disuse

My MS got a LOT worse making it harder for me to do all the things I would have done including ...
realize all of these problems were happening and do something about them
clear off patio table so at least we could eat outside

All I'm saying is the best laid plans go oft agligh (?) Rob't Burns. What you need NOW may not be what you need five, ten. fifteen years from now ... how long do you plan to keep the property? I dunno, help me out folks!
katiebear
mulege
Mexico

August 30, 2010
2:07 PM

Post #8071023

Yes the plans gang aft aglay and lay(leave) us naught but grief and pain for promis'd joy.

Good feedback, Carrie.

In one of Ruth Stout's last books she wrote about simplifying her life when she turned ninety (I think). She did it due to age and the ensuing lack of physial strength and energy. I'm doing a lot of the same thinking as I work here. When we plant a tree or put in a "non-wall" we always think about what will require the least maintaince over the years. I want to die in my hammock, not in a rock slide.

It can be very frustrating as some work needs to be undone/redone/whatever when we reconsider it. There are times when I just want to scream. Like today, when I'm trying to stay off my sore ankle and everywhere I look there is work to be done that requires me to be on my feet. I've thought it would be nice to get drunk but I'd hate to blow my sobriety when I''m approachingt twenty-five years. That I even have the thought cross my mind shows how frustrated I am.

Anyway, Deidre, back to the idea of the hammocks. Can you find or plan a place where if you have the kind of years that Carrie and her DH have had, you and your DH will be able to lie back in the hammocks and give thanks for all the planning that you did before you dove in, so you can now relax and enjoy your property? A property that is OK for now would allow you to make changes are you have the money, energy, etc to do them but you don't have to do anything.

As a note aobut my house. When I moved in about six years ago, I had concrete block walls, one floor opening for windows. No roofs, no windows and walls and floors were missing. However, three days after I moved here, the house I moved from was COMPLETELY under water due to a hurricane. I give thanks every day for what I have and what I missed. Tony (my friend who works for me) and I know what we have accomplished aaand take the criticism of helpful neighbors with a large grain of salt.

Remember all the Peter's Principles. Work expands to fill the time allotted for it; everything that can go wrong will, etc.

The more thinking and planning you do, the better you will be equiped to handle whatever happens. Let your surprises be small and inexpensive.

katie
seacanepain
Midland City, AL

August 31, 2010
8:12 PM

Post #8073788

Hi Deirdre. My name is Jim. Welcome to the forum. I just found this thread.
I have DDD (degenerative disk disease) and my wife is functionally blind. We manage a little over 2 acres. Amargia Gardens is over 6 acres, but the other acreage actually belongs to our neighbor. They just let us use it. We usually have a young person living with us though to help out and my wife is a 6-foot happy workaholic. lol.
If you go for that ¼ acre plot, you might want to consider a lawn sweeper to go behind that riding mower. It is the easiest solution I know to autumn leaves. Most will sweep up small sticks, as well. The only thing I’ve ever used my blower for is to blow pine straw off roofs. Lol.
I think a big factor for choosing the size of property you want has a lot to do with your style of gardening. If you are only comfortable with a very controlled, manicured look, I would go small. If you can appreciate a more natural look, you can go a bit larger.
(Jim)

Tigerlily09
West Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

August 31, 2010
10:12 PM

Post #8073921

If nothing else you all are helping me realize how lucky I am. A few years ago I was working full time and when my disease got worse all I could think about is what I lost. Now DH is doing so well in his career we can afford for me to stay home and keep house. (I call myself a housewife but then everyone assumes we have kids. There's plenty of housework for me to do even with just the two of us.) I was also able to work part-time for a while and finish my bachelor's too (after 15 years - hurray!). Now we are doing so well we can afford a home. I like problems like this one!

I do plan on going back to work within the next few years, health permitting. Remembering what it's like to work full time reminds me that I won't want to spend a lot of time on yard work when I'm home. Gardening, yes! I've already decided to keep my vegetables in my HEB's. DH's coworkers are jealous of my harvest but love the salsa! Is it hard to maneuver a lawn tractor around a small yard? Great idea about the lawn sweeper. And all the other ideas, too. I like the Robbie Burns quote too :) he's one of my favorites.

Honestly I don't really know what to expect or how to plan since I've never taken care of a yard of my own before. I grew up on a couple of acres so suburban plots look so tiny to me and it feels like the neighbors are in the side yard. DH appreciates his privacy too. Apartment living is making us insane. I think I'll plan on a 1/4 acre or so because I think I can handle the work and I know how much I can do with containers. I think if I planted trees in the yard and watched them grow I would cry at the thought of moving. I still tear up when I think of the time my dad cut down the tree outside my bedroom window. I'm so excited to have the extra space I'll get in a house for my Meyer lemon and Bearss lime! I'm hoping I can find a place with a 3-season room!

I'm off to the Japanese maple forum now...wheeee!

Deirdre

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

September 1, 2010
9:27 AM

Post #8074564

We have (I think) a 1/4 acre and it's a lot! We have a patio which last summer we ate out on a lot and I used to spend my days out there. It got weeded and so on in the course of that. This year = much hotter, husband much busier, MS much worse. Not on patio hardly at all!

What I was going to say is, a quarter acre can be extremely private and secluded with the right planting for privacy and/or fencing! Way too busy today - DD back-to-school and 3 MD appts in 3 days (for her) and the other one is melting down as usual. Gotta go.
seacanepain
Midland City, AL

September 2, 2010
2:35 PM

Post #8076900

Deirdre, a little zone envy here. I miss Japanese maples. We are located just this side of the Florida state line and I haven't found one that does well this far south. I do miss all the autumn color. You can keep the snow though!!!
I'm still drooling over ZTR's (zero turn radius mowers) at HomeDepot so I can't tell you much about those first-hand. They are incredibly maneuverable, but still rather expensive. Whether or not you can use any kind of lawn or garden attachments with ZTRs is something I need to check into myself.
I don't fully understand Fibro and its particular limitations. But, I do know, with DDD, I could not mow a 1/4 acre plot, even with a self-propelled push mower. I mean, I could do it if someone put a gun to my head and told me I had to. It would take me weeks, however, to get the pain back under control.
The “right” tool or piece of gardening equipment is the one that can do what needs doing and doesn't cause you pain and discomfort at the time OR LATER.
If we could get a list of favorite garden tools and equipment from everyone who visits this forum, I have a suspicion the lists would be dramatically different. Even if we limited it to those who only have mobility issues. If you could limit it further, to people with specific conditions, the list MIGHT be similar. Anyone else think it would be an interesting experiment for this forum? Think a “Favorite Tools and Equipment” thread is worth starting?
I get a laugh every time I look into the 5-gallon bucket my wife carries her gardening hand tools around in. It contains an odd assortment of high-quality “official” gardening tools, things that look like they originally came from a kitchen drawer, old carpentry and mechanical tools I suspect were liberated from one of MY tool boxes and a few things whose origins baffle me completely. All, of course, now painted in wild, carnival colors so that low vision gardeners can spot them easier. (You know, I think manufacturers should start making garden tools splashed with bright colors for EVERYONE'S benefit. I can’t count the times I left an expensive hand tool behind in the garden because I felt very tired or was distracted by aches and pains. I’ve never misplaced any of DWs tools when I used them though. Lol. . Jim
.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

September 2, 2010
6:53 PM

Post #8077373

MS Muddle or I would answer. Hot again today. So strange - took a bottle of iced tea out of the cooler at a restaurant we were at and it did not feel cold to me!!!!! DD "mom, drink your iced tea before it warms up!" Me: it already is warm. Not until i held it against my cheek could I feel that it was in fact cold.
Tigerlily09
West Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

September 2, 2010
7:57 PM

Post #8077469

Thanks for your help Jim. Up unti about a year ago I had some pretty heavy back pain. I finally was able to get off the Percocet and it was like waking up from a foggy dream. Or a dreamy fog. One of those. ;) Doctors couldn't really tell exactly what was causing the symptoms but I got a new physical therapist and it made a world of difference. I'm only 36 so I'm a little young to have arthritis or anything like that but I sure have compassion for those who do. The thought of bouncing around on a riding mower with a bad back made me cringe! For now I think I would be ok, thank God. OTOH pushing a mower for a couple hours would make my knees scream for a week. In another year my pain might move again so I'll have to keep that in mind.

I think you're right about different tools. I can bend and twist much better than before so I think kneeling in the dirt (with kneepads) is the way for me to go. The fibromyalgia causes fatigue and joint pain that gets worse with overexertion but all the doctors tell us to exercise and get into shape. So I just tell them I garden! And bring them salsa. They love the homegrown tomatoes and I've got TONS right now!
missingrosie
Hillsborough, NC

September 3, 2010
4:47 AM

Post #8077775

If you can find them still (I got mine on Ebay for less than 10 dollars) Crocs makes a very (very) lightweight and comfy knee pad.
Amargia
SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL
(Zone 8b)

September 3, 2010
2:33 PM

Post #8078712

That must have been a spooky, unsettling experience, Carrie. I wonder if it was caused by the MS itself or was a medication side effect.
Deirdre, I can’t see to read print any longer and have been trying to find new homes for all my gardening books. (I use a ZoomText program on my computer.) There is one called ‘Creating Privacy in the Garden’ you might find interesting. In my experience, husbands are much more likely to help you in the garden if you cater to their taste and give them some personal say in the design. You might consider letting your DH create the privacy space he craves. Assuming his tastes aren’t too different from you own, of course. Lol.
Just leave your address in a Dmail, if you think it is something you might find helpful. Welcome to the forum. Kay*
missingrosie
Hillsborough, NC

September 3, 2010
4:03 PM

Post #8078882

From Grass to Gardens: How to Reap Bounty from a Small Yard

Tiger you can go on Amazon and get this for 94 cents (and up to maybe 16 dollars)

It is a combination of everything - and on 1/8 acre. Not boring but a mix of tales, recipes and of course the gardening. Transforming from grass to the authors paradise!
Sansai87
Midland City, AL

September 3, 2010
5:38 PM

Post #8079029

Thanks, missingrosie. That sounds like my kind of gardening book. ~Nadine~

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

September 3, 2010
6:27 PM

Post #8079113

Kay, I'm almost 100% sure (can you be "almost" 100%? Isn't that called 99%?) it was just a weird MS thing, because today cold feels cold again to my hands. Someday I'll describe some of the bizarre MS sensation things I've experienced!

Deirdre, my MS is so much worse this summer than it's ever been. I'm glad my kids are grown enough that they are feeding and dressing themselves - heh, heh, at 16 and 20, they'd better be. I'm also kind of glad they don't seem to have realized how much my life has changed on the inside, in turns of pain and aches and disability. (Who knew there was an up-side to self-centered teenagers?) But if fibro can change like MS, I don't want you to get into a situation where you'll be stuck with something you can't manage. Our back yard is HIDEOUS this summer. I had a weed euonymous cut down, and I decided not to have the tree company spend the extra money to paint it with round up or whatever, because I thought I could do it. WRONG! Now there are a million baby euonymous trees coming up from the roots. I thought DH would mow them down. He mows the front when he's embarrassed by it, but he's too short-sighted to see that he missed his chance with this tree. Now it's out of control.
Tigerlily09
West Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

September 3, 2010
11:47 PM

Post #8079506

Thanks for the info! I'm going to check those books out. Our realtor sent me a link today for a new house on .18 acre. DH was surprised when I said OK! But I reminded him that I can do a lot in a small space - I've been managing with the living room and apartment balcony for years now! The house backs to open space so it won't feel so tiny, either. (DH likes that no one is directly behind us.) I'm excited because it's a brand new house and I get to design my own garden! I'm having such a great time browsing through books and pictures!! I have to remember that cash will be tight the first few years so I'll have to take it in stages but the lawn is going to get minimized for sure. Ground covers to the rescue!

I really want a peach tree too but I'm at the northern edge of where they will safely grow. I have friends who have them but after the past couple winters they haven't had much fruit. Maybe cherries! Ooooh this is so fun!!!

Deirdre/TL
missingrosie
Hillsborough, NC

September 4, 2010
7:21 AM

Post #8079810

I feel excited for you. I think we are in our last house (so sad) (so glad!) and I will miss the fun of finding, building, buying, fixing up something new.
Amargia
SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL
(Zone 8b)

September 5, 2010
5:11 PM

Post #8082143

Peaches are a high maintanance fruit tree even where cold isn't a problem. Consider peaches only if pruning is one of those garden task you don't mind doing a lot of.
Cherries sound like an excellent idea. Aside from fruit, they are such lovely trees. I am experimenting with Rainer cherries this year, but I am really pushing their southern limit.
I like everbearing strawberries as a groundcover in sunny flower beds. They look good and you get unexpected little bonuses for your work. :-)
Crocs makes kneepads? The same company that makes the shoes? I love my Crocs gardening shoes!!! Kay*
missingrosie
Hillsborough, NC

September 5, 2010
5:57 PM

Post #8082256

Yes, but I don't know if they still do. I got mine on ebay and a pair for my bro who has a tile business (always on his knees with the tile work.) And my husband loves his for the garden and all the brickwork he does outdoors.
Tigerlily09
West Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

September 6, 2010
11:10 PM

Post #8084805

Update - we saw the house I mentioned and we LOVE it. I just hope we can afford it! I'll be doing some homework on that this week! The yard doesn't look small at all because it backs to a strip of open space planted with native grasses. Lots of cricket and frog sounds and DH even saw a rabbit. *makes a note to research rabbit-proof plants.*

I'm actually thinking native plants in the backyard to blend in with the open space and low-maintenance. It's a new development so I have a clean canvas. *happy* Although the builder put in a couple trees and some scrubby looking bushes. I wonder if I can stipulate in the offer that I can pick my own trees and shrubs. Think they would dig 'em up for me and replant 'em in another lot? They probably haven't been there long! I checked the CC&R's and I have to (or the builder has to, I assume) plant a "Front Yard Tree" and 10 shrubs. The list of acceptable Front Yard Trees (gawd I hate these CC&R things) is as follows: red maple, Norway maple, Marshall's seedless ash, Northern red oak, burr oak, or little leaf linden, or any other species they approve of (in writing, of course). I don't know them all but the maples and red oak get HUGE which is STUPID considering the size of the lots! In a few decades the driveways will be feeling the hurt, not to mention the sewer lines! I've driven through older neighborhoods in this area and the trees are all over (and under) the utility lines, sidewalks, you name it. Hrm I wonder if I can talk them into a dwarf variety or two...

They don't specify what kind of shrubs other than deciduous and evergreen are both ok. They also require 2 more trees at least 2" in caliper for deciduous or at least 6' high evergreen. I have no idea what trees cost. Are those pricey?
missingrosie
Hillsborough, NC

September 7, 2010
11:12 AM

Post #8085499

linden trees are beautiful - I will have to google little leaf and check it out.
missingrosie
Hillsborough, NC

September 7, 2010
11:30 AM

Post #8085549

And fragrant too.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

September 7, 2010
6:05 PM

Post #8086183

I was just going to say that.

They call Norway maples "no way maples" around here.

My 1st home was itty bitty but it backed on to a crematorium (don't laugh). We had about 10 feet of back yard and then a green chain link fence and THEN several acres of landscaped grounds with flowering trees, other people to take care of it etc. It was very nice. We used to squint to blur the fence and pretend it was all ours.
Tigerlily09
West Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

September 7, 2010
6:48 PM

Post #8086252

I keep thinking about the approved trees list. I'm considering contacting my local extension office for help appealing to this silly builder. I'm all for shade trees but of a reasonable size! Hrm.
seacanepain
Midland City, AL

September 7, 2010
7:42 PM

Post #8086340

Good idea. If the tree you decide you want isn't on the list, an "okay" from your county extension service would probably go a long way toward swaying whoever makes the decision. Jim

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

September 8, 2010
7:46 AM

Post #8086977

read today's article on the Bradford pear. this is what they are planting now in Boston now instead of Norway maples!
Tigerlily09
West Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

September 9, 2010
9:21 PM

Post #8090249

Update - I met the listing agent for the new house and, oh how did I put it? I asked if I had to go with what they already planted, I think. They must be dying for a sale because they volunteered to remove whatever I wanted removed! Lol. I'm sure if I said, "I'd really rather have a linden than a Norway," they'd comply. Just have to make sure it gets done before closing!

Growing up in OH, I'm fond of oaks, too. The leaves of the white oak are on the crest on my high school ring. I can't believe I still remember that.
missingrosie
Hillsborough, NC

September 10, 2010
5:57 AM

Post #8090530

Tiger, I remember lots of things from high school years (we were the Flying L's) (Fort Lauderdale) a whole lot better than I remember what I did yesterday!
Tigerlily09
West Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

September 10, 2010
2:24 PM

Post #8091433

Ugh, me too Rosie, and I'm only 36! Of course, I've been dealing with fibro fog since I was 18. DH has been with me through 15 years of it and he's the most patient, understanding person I've ever met! I know it bothers him when he mentions a conversation we had a couple days ago and I have absolutely no memory of it. Maybe that's why I feel for my furry kids so much when they are sick. That and I spend so much time home with them. We are so attached to each other.

Here's a picture of The Puss from not too long ago. He looks so cute when he's annoyed!

Thumbnail by Tigerlily09
Click the image for an enlarged view.

missingrosie
Hillsborough, NC

September 10, 2010
5:42 PM

Post #8091741

Handsome fellow. What a gorgeous coat.
katiebear
mulege
Mexico

September 13, 2010
10:30 AM

Post #8096721

Diedre - Check out the Reliance Peach. I had one in southern Michigan and it produced well with very little care (AKA neglect).

Tony and I are plugging along at my house. He's painting the kitchen cub\pboards. I clear one out and he removes it and paints it on the patio. I've got a sewing machine up and running in my bedroom and am gradually getting my craft stuff organized and some sewing done, or at least planned. Am sending lotf of magazines and fabric to Tony's family as I have enough to last me several lifetimes.

My first dragonfruit blossom is developing. Very exciting. I gave one big plant and several cuttings to a family who have a taco stand in town. They have a lot of space to plant so I'lol probably give them more later. It's still hot now so it's not the best time tobe planting.

My ankle is still real sore. I rehurt it on Friday. Slept a lot this weekend and am trying to stay off it.

katie

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

September 15, 2010
7:57 AM

Post #8100442

Katie,
Did you say (gasp) o-r-g-a-n-i-z-e-d?

An unfamiliar concept to me.

Carrie
Amargia
SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL
(Zone 8b)

September 16, 2010
9:26 PM

Post #8103485

Organization….that is an elusive dream here. I use odd things for concrete molds. Deli containers and other odd pieces of plastic and metal. Twice a year the others demand that I do whatever I had planned to do with my junk collection or throw it away. I am coming up on one of those deadlines.
I have one Bradford pear. That is one too many, as far as I’m concerned. I’m considering replacing it with a Carolina basswood. It doesn’t have the showy flowers or the fall color, but it does have fragrance and is not the maintenance headache a Bradford is. It would be nice to have more of a choice in the variety of Linden trees I can grow. Are the leaves of a small-leaf linden still heart-shaped?
Tilias (linden trees, bsswoods, English limes or whatever you want to call them.) are one of those plants that have a lot of history and legend associated with them. I have a special fondness for any plant like that.
Carrie, here’s another tidbit of info to throw into your writer’s pot of ideas to simmer. Linden has an association with music. Good quality electric guitars are almost always made from basswood. It doesn’t have the acoustic dead spots that other wood can have. I think they use it for drum walls, as well. Kay*
seacanepain
Midland City, AL

September 18, 2010
5:48 PM

Post #8106543

Lol. Kay’s sisters call her “a walking encyclopedia of virtually useless knowledge.” Kay, herself, believes that there is no such thing as “useless knowledge” and gobbles up every bit she comes across.
Katie, if the dragonfruit you grow is the same thing I remember by that name in Okinawa, you might have fruit by Thanksgiving. Nadine would like to be able to grow it for her moonlight garden, but we are one zone too far north.
Deirdre, I’m sorry. I goofed and didn’t immediately put your book in the mail. Kay put it in the back seat of the truck to make sure I didn’t forget it when I went to the post office. I still managed it somehow. Just noticed it in the back seat this morning so it’s finally on its way. I walk around in a Tramadol Trance much of the time. A condition similar to fibro-fog. Someone once asked me how old I was and I honestly couldn’t remember for a few moments. (Age isn’t an excuse for me since I’m only 48. I think. lolI put in another book on creating naturalized landscapes, in case you do decide on the property you are looking at now. It sounds good. I wish sometimes we had a smaller property. I do like pecan trees though and they take a lot of space. (Jim)

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

September 19, 2010
2:36 PM

Post #8108042

Kay, that's a GOOD IDEA and I'm very low on those at the moment, thanks! There's also, special wood for oboe and clarinet reeds, marimba and vibraphone keys, piano keys and the other parts of a piano or harpsichord. I'm also supposed to write about Allergenic trees (some are, apparently, more troublesome than others), Omega-III oils, and Sugar cane or sugar.
Amargia
SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL
(Zone 8b)

September 20, 2010
4:37 PM

Post #8110405

An article about the plant sources of Omega 3 would be cool. Here is a fun fact I came across that you might be able to include in an Omega 3 article. (At least, we “info addicts” consider it interesting. lol) Have you seen the Omega 3 eggs? Farmers feed hens large amounts of flax seeds and other plant sources of the oil to produce them. I thought, “Why don’t people just eat the flaxseeds themselves. It would be a simpler way to get Omega 3.” Then, someone explained to me the logic behind Omega 3 eggs. I was told it is a way around short-chain to long chain conversion.
Virtually all plant sources of Omega 3 come in the short chain version (ALA) that the body converts to the long chain forms of Omega 3 amino acids (DHA and EPA). There are a lot of people, such as those with allergies and those with auto-immune diseases, whose bodies have trouble making that needed conversion. That is why doctors just recommend an animal source of Omega 3 (like cold-water fish) twice a week. The eggs are a way for people with a short chain to long chain conversion problem that can’t (or won’t) eat fish to get the needed Omega 3s. The laying hens make the longer chains for people. I thought that was clever. (If it is indeed true.) That was info obtained mouth to-ear and I’ve never taken the time to look for written verification. It certainly sounds logical and jives with the facts I do know. My job was just to type and file lab and medical reports though. I bet someone on the Poultry forum would know for sure since it is a new niche market for eggs.
Anyway, it is good info for the folks with fibro who read this forum to have. Fibro- is still thought to be a problem with the auto-immune system, isn’t it? My knowledge on that subject is dated. Kay*

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

September 24, 2010
9:54 AM

Post #8118364

VERY interesting, Kay, since my (limited and one-sided) info said don't bother eating fish, eat plants!!!

Do you happen to have a link? Or do I have to actually DO THE RESEARCH myself?????
Amargia
SE/Gulf Coast Plains, AL
(Zone 8b)

September 25, 2010
10:04 PM

Post #8121326

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/11/omega-3-eggs.html
..Carrie, this is a BlogSpot site where Omega 3 eggs have been discussed. You’ll find other links in the reader comments. The research part of writing an article would be fun to me. Putting the info in an accessible-to-all, interesting format is what I would find challenging. I found I’m prone to overloading the average reader with data.
.DD's #1 and #2 became vegetarians when they were teenagers so I had to learn this sort of stuff to keep them well nourished. It was a phase with DD#1. But, DD#2 is still an octo-/lacto- vegetarian. (Will eat eggs and milk products) She was a complete vegan for years though so sea vegetables are still how she prefers to get her O3. No coversion required with those. They have significant amounts of DHA and EPA.
I'll see if fresh cane juice is available yet. Have you ever tasted that straight? Chewing cane usually shows up in local grocery stores around the holidays. I've bought the stalks in the grocery store, cut it into sections and rooted it in pots during the winter to have my sugar cane starts in Spring.
Whoah, didn't reealize it was so late. Night all. Kay* .

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