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Accessible Gardening: #13 Practical Matters for Physically Challenged Gardeners

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Amargia

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

November 18, 2011
9:10 PM

Post #8896416

Welcome to the 13th installment of Practical Matters for Physically Challenged Gardeners. Anybody superstitious? On this thread we discuss the day-to-day challenges of gardening and otherwise enjoying the outdoors when there is also some sort of physical limitation to contend with. Contributors here may be anything from mildly mobility challenged due to aging to those gardening from wheelchairs. The visually impaired can range from ďcanít see those little seeds like I once couldĒ to blind. Also, there are those coping with the energy deficits that are a part of Depression, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and heart/lung ailments. we are a diverse group. Feel free to join in. We came from here:
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1220095/
We decided to compile a list of books and websites that we found useful and keep it in the introduction post of Practical Matters until or unless we decide it warrants its own Sticky. Feel free to add or give your opinion of the sites/books listed.
_____________________________________________________________________________________
Websites:
Thrive: http://www.carryongardening.org.uk/ this is a site in the UK and, other than a few gardening terms being unfamiliar to American readers, excellent.

Modifying Garden Tools
http://agr ability.missouri.edu/gardenweb/modifytools.html

Gardening for VIPs--Visually Impaired Person(s)
http://vipuc.fortunecity.com/bg_news.html

Gardening from a w/c
http://www.mda.org/publications/quest/q31garden.html

BooksóAs far as I know, all of these books are available in audio format from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS program). Since this list was compiled by a visually impaired person, there may be print books available that are not on the list. -Garden Unseen by L. Stevens
-Accessible Gardening for People with Physical Disabilities by Janeen R. Adil (I liked the list of recommended plants in this book.)
-The Enabling Garden: A Guide to Lifelong Gardening by Gene Rothert--Written by a horticultural therapist employed at the Chicago Botanic Garden. It should be kept in mind that this book was written 17 years ago. Some of the information on raised bed building materials is outdated, but it is still worth reading since the author gardens from a wheelchair. He possesses both academic and first-hand knowledge.
-Gardening Through Your Golden Years by James W. Wilson
-Accessible Gardening: Tips & Techniques for Seniors by Joann Woy
-The Able Gardener: Overcoming Barriers of Age and Physical Limitations by Kathleen Yeoman
_____________________________________________________________________________________
Things are quiet on the Amargia front. Nadine (Sansai87) continues to seek a perfect Thanksgiving dinner menu that will keep with our Native American theme and satisfy all. Jim (Seacanepain) is working on little home improvement and repair projects and I am continuing with the boring, but necessary, hard-scaping projects like leveling the newly designed Fragrance Garden.
One brave sunflower and the dependable (immortal?) snapdragons are keeping things colorful despite cold snaps. The snapdragons have been in bloom almost year `round. They melted some in high summer, but revived as soon as it cooled down. The ďFlying DragonĒ orange is dropping its fruit and that fruit is twice as large as normal. (We seem to have a dragon theme going.) ĎFlying Dragoní is unique in that it comes true from seed, but the seeds donít remain viable for very long. We are busy trading those. Jim is still limiting me to two trees even though I will be pruning the beasts. Iím slower at it, but donít get clawed as much as the sighted who have attempted the job. Go figure. k*
lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

November 19, 2011
6:48 AM

Post #8896698

Thank you, Kay. :-)

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

November 19, 2011
2:03 PM

Post #8897317

My chrysanthemums were gorgeous this year! But the same thing happened that ALWAYS happens--they wouldn't sit still for a picture! I guess this time of year is just windy and rainy, and I went out there several different times to get a picture but they wouldn't sit still. Sigh. Well, you'll have to take my word for it.
cando1
Ozone, AR
(Zone 6a)

November 21, 2011
12:43 AM

Post #8899508

I continue to cook every moment or crochet. Sometimes i get fustrated at having to stop and rest so often but the frustration don't last long.
Not being able to do anything at all would be worse.
lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

November 21, 2011
6:22 AM

Post #8899669

On the boat with you on that topic, Vickie. :-)
seacanepain
Midland City, AL

November 21, 2011
2:25 PM

Post #8900283

What color of mums were they, Carrie? BTW: Have you ever hear of a scented aster? (Kay has me on the hunt.) We still have quite a bit blooming despite cold snaps, but you have to like yellow. I think I will see what the nursery has in the way of ornamental cabbage to tone it down. It is a balmy 82 at the moment. From now until March, we ride a roller-coaster of temps. From a little below freezing to temps in the 70's. 82 is a bit unusual.
Preparing everything we can in advance for T-Day. Nadine received a beautiful fruit basket today and learned about California avocados. She kept saying she didn't see any avocado at the store, but her experience was limited to the pear-shaped ones. Our grocer carries some unusual tropical fruit and N. dismissed the round avocados as some rare tropical. Kay makes a salad of avocados, wild sunchokes and pecans for her vegetarian daughter that everyone has come to like and I guess that fits in with our indigenous food theme. Now that she realizes no one is going to bite her if the food doesn't HAVE to fit the indigenous theme, she is enjoying the cooking.

Thumbnail by seacanepain
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Amargia

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

November 21, 2011
10:53 PM

Post #8901030

Aster oblongifolium is called the aromatic aster, but I think only the crushed foliage is actually aromatic. I'll put an aster with fragrant blooms in my "want" list alongside chocolate basil. ;-)
I've been to sick to do much for the last few days, but I can "organize things" on the computer and call that work. k*
cando1
Ozone, AR
(Zone 6a)

November 25, 2011
7:23 AM

Post #8904910

Hope you're doing better Kay.(((HUGS)))

Amargia

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

November 25, 2011
1:34 PM

Post #8905385

Yes, I am. Thanks to beets and, perhaps, garlic. I'm losing weight. but you know how toxins are released back into the system when the fat that imprisoned it melts away. Many people get mild flu-like symptoms when they lose weight. I've had to take some mildly toxic meds in the past so it has been a little worse than that. . Beets and beet juice help de-toxify the body quickly and luckily I like beets. Jim's Dad also recommended taking garlic oil capsules every day. Not sure exactly what that does, but it seems to help. The elder Jim Smith is 80+. Sometimes it is good just to trust to experience. How did your Group gathering go? I wished I had your talent with table decor and such. At our dinner, the presentation was a little lacking, but the food itself was excellent. I think this year's was the best tasting T'day dinner we've had so far.
Did you get your Cornish hen, Debra? Or,a no-stress gardening day?
Did anyone brave the stores today? k*
.
.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

November 25, 2011
2:26 PM

Post #8905428

I think people can be divided in three groups. First are the wisest, like most of us, who think that an extra two bucks off some gizmo is not worth getting up at 3 am or waiting in line or being trampled, Second are the crazed who spend all night/day shopping for suspicious bargains risking life and limb. And third are the poor sales people who have to work OT serving those crazed .If I'm in charge of Macy's, or Target, Kohl's, Kmart Walmart wherever, I'm hiring extra sales people, extra phone answer people, extra parking attendants, extra everybody to handle the crowd, and the new hires don't have seniority so they're ALL working today a 3am-2pm shift or something else lovely like that. Does that leave anybody left to shop?
lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

November 25, 2011
2:53 PM

Post #8905467

jess was too tired and full of ham to tackle another new thing, so they went home. i baked them later. :-D

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

November 26, 2011
7:15 AM

Post #8906279

If I can get someone to cut them up, I love Cornish watchmacallems. Actually, I would eat more meat if it came pre-cubed. :-D

Amargia

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

November 26, 2011
5:10 PM

Post #8906922

The Black Friday horror stories get worse every year. The one where bargain shopper #2 attacked bargain shopper #1 with pepper spray in the electronics department so she could take the last of some item out of BS#1's basket was a doozey. But, I think the worst had to be the 80-something year old man who had his face crushed when two young, temp security guards thought he was shoplifting and TACKLED him. Worse yet, it turned out he hadn't stolen anything. That takes it to a new level. It isn't just the other shoppers you have to worry about. Those who do Black Friday must secretly like the frenzied, competitive shopping atmosphere because you can get better deals online.
I'm starting to wish I had stuffed a chicken for Thanksgiving. T. Turkey is still haunting my fridge. I thought a little 8-lb. turkey would do the job without too many leftovers. Nadi did a great job on it, but everyone went for the novelty of venison. I've done Thanksgiving sandwiches and turkey soup. I'm going to have to get more inventive now. :-) One more meal and T. Turkey can rest in peace. I like the idea of cornish hens for Christmas dinner. k*
cando1
Ozone, AR
(Zone 6a)

November 27, 2011
10:57 PM

Post #8908531

Kay, Chop whats left up add it to hamburger and make meatloaf with lots of tomato sause. But don't tell anyone.
I used to like the crowds but no one got violent about the whole thing. Texans can be very well behaved in a crowd. LOL It's when you get them outside you have to keep an eye on them.
Well nothing beats venison!

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 3, 2011
2:00 PM

Post #8915115

Yuck I'm not a venison fan myself, but I was a perfectly happy vegetarian for years.

I just submitted Ladybird Johnson, scheduled for (her birthday) Dec. 22. That's the second one in a row where there was just TOO MUCH information. Mow I'd like to write about the invention of mittens, or fertilizer, or topsy-turvy tomato planters, or some really tiny topic. The development of the nail clipper. Why gardeners use nylons to tie up tomato vines. Surely I could cover that in 500 words. I get to these INTERESTING topics and just have to report EVERY detail. Annd--there's so much I didn't say. I read pages and pages of her notes from this tour she took with the Cabinet Members wives. (In those days the Cabinet was all men!)
seacanepain
Midland City, AL

December 4, 2011
7:24 PM

Post #8916593

The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center website is a great resource for native, naturalized gardens and I believe that is a good style of gardening for challenged gardeners. It requires more knowledge, but less physical labor. Pity some communities still have a problem with things like naturalized front yards. I guess that is because so many people can't see the difference between a neglected yard and a naturalized one. Tall grass is tall grass to them whether that grass is bahiagrass or the native wiregrass this area was named after. SW Georgia, NW Florida and SE Alabama is still known as The Wiregrass Area though the wiregrass prairies are long gone.
If there is that much interesting stuff, maybe it wants to be more than one article that could be published on other significant days. Like the anniversary of the day she became First Lady. Or, the founding of the Ladybird Wildflower Center. (Jim)
cando1
Ozone, AR
(Zone 6a)

December 5, 2011
4:14 PM

Post #8917715

I love LadyBird. She did so much to keep the beautiful roadsides of Texas. I'm for the more than one article also.
Jim you are right about naturalized yards. Thats one thing I love about living in the country. I'm free to fix my yard like I want,be it trashy wild stuff or formal, or like I have it,A hodgepodge mixture.
Carrie,I love food!!! Am usually happy with whatever comes my way.
It is good to be back on line. I really missed you guys. It snowed today(about 2 inches)
Sansai87
Midland City, AL

December 5, 2011
10:03 PM

Post #8918180

Iíve been busy hammering away on Christmas projects like an over-grown elf. Today I spent a lot of time on a diabetic recipe site trying to come up with a Christmas dinner menu. We try to make it more elegant than our rustic Thanksgiving feast. That is doable at Christmas since there is rarely more than 6 people at the table.
MK had a doctorís appointment this morning. Sheís lost 16 lbs. in the last two weeks. PJ and I havenít weighed in, but I know neither of us has lost that much. Since MK is a borderline Type 2 diabetic, and since the doctors have warned PJ that he will develop diabetes in the future if he doesnít get his eating under control, and, I have a family history of Type 1 diabetes. I think adopting a Type 2 diabetic diet is the way for the whole household to go. It isnít going to be anywhere near as bad as I imagined. Some of those recipes look scrumptious and there are thousands of them. Iím not going to bake bíday cakes and the like to supplement my income anymore. I will miss the extra money, but good health is priceless. I know I canít resist sampling what I make and that is keeping me from losing weight.
Will power can be a shared resource. MK is determined to regain her health and is dragging PJ and me along. Lol. We are finally getting some use out of the recumbent bike. It is one of those with all the computerized bells and whistles. It even tells you how many calories youíve burned in a session.
Since I had the paints out for Christmas projects, I decided to start on the signs for the different garden areas. We had some old ceiling fan blades around. There is a streetlight in the Bee Corner. I thought I would hang the sign on the light post. The shape of the fan blades works out perfectly. ~N~

Thumbnail by Sansai87
Click the image for an enlarged view.

lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

December 6, 2011
6:28 AM

Post #8918437

Nadine, what about making sugar free specialty and birthday cakes? There is a bigger market than you might think at first glance.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 6, 2011
1:31 PM

Post #8918929

Nadine I DARE you to make gluten-free birthday cakes or gravy or banana bread etc.!
Sansai87
Midland City, AL

December 6, 2011
6:00 PM

Post #8919267

Have you eaten those things, Carrie? Do they tend to taste bad? I have almond and soy flour in the fridge I need to do something with. It shouldn't be necessary to have a deadened palate to be healthy. A gluten-free CAKE does sound like a challenge though.
That's an idea I will give some serious consideration, Debra. ~N~

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 6, 2011
7:38 PM

Post #8919378

Almond is yummy, soy can be nasty if you don't cook it enough. Even a GF loaf of yeast bread is a big challenge--that I've tried and failed. Gluten is the stretchy elastic stuff in bread that 'Better for Bread' flour has more of!

I've eaten GF cake from an expensive specialty bakery--tasted like eating a Frisbee, but I know a professional baker who made one as a challenge and it was luscious. We usually use GF cake mix when that DD is home. Gravy is actually easy, you just use cornstarch instead of flour. Banana bread I haven't tried (except with store-bought GF flour, which to me is cheating). But it's a dense enough loaf that I bet it would be ok with almond and corn or rice and potato or ... in my experience (very limited) you can't just use potato flour instead of wheat flour but you can use a blend, rice and cassava, somehow having two different non-wheats cancels out the flavors? Pancakes are really easy cause they're just baking powder and eggs, rice and buckwheat flour equal parts made fabulous pancakes and everyone was astounded.

http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/659/
Sansai87
Midland City, AL

December 7, 2011
9:32 AM

Post #8920025

Awesome article, Carrie!

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 9, 2011
1:42 PM

Post #8922959

Thanks--that's one of those that should have been split into a few shorter easier-to-digest (heh heh) segments, I think. And then I get paid twice for doing the research once!
Sansai87
Midland City, AL

December 9, 2011
9:53 PM

Post #8923453

I am still struggling with sugar-free baking. My last two attempts at chocolate cake have cracked. Today's just had a shallow crater on the surface so, maybe, I'm getting better. I'll still be able to make it look good just by shaving a little extra off the top. I think chocolate covered nuts and pretzels are still going to be my favorite ways of getting a sugar-free chocolate fix.
MK managed to stay awake a whole six hours straight today. That's good for her lately. The doctor has her on Prednasone and a high dose of hydroxine until a skin rash heals. She was a gardening zombie though. She started some St. Thomas tree seeds soaking and planted some giant red mustard as an experiment. The mustard should have been started in Oct. We will try starting the seeds indoors and put the small transplants out when a warm spell is expected. A mustard plant isn't bothered much by our excuse for winter. I like the color more than the ornamental cabbages. And, unlike the cabbages, they stay pretty. the hungry bunnies don't share my love for mustard greens. ~N~
cando1
Ozone, AR
(Zone 6a)

December 10, 2011
4:45 AM

Post #8923578

My sympathys to you guys. At my age I refuse to diet in any way shape or form. But my heart is with you.
I've been on a crochet binge.Want to get this stuff done and out to where it goes. So I also get to watch all the Christmas specials.Have decided there can be t-o-o-o much of a good thing.The only two shows left I want to see is Snow Dogs and It's a Good Life.
We got some snow.Was able to get out after a couple of days tho.None of my cats like the snow.
Have been going thru some serious depression. Am staying busy anyway.Just can't sleep. Kay and I need to trade some sleep times.
Have you tried a few mustard leaves in a salad?
seacanepain
Midland City, AL

December 11, 2011
2:12 PM

Post #8925372

Young mustard greens sound like they would be good in a salad. I'll try that. Iím with you, Vickie. I feel so much better today after a good nightís sleep, but I cheated. I got that slumber out of a glass. A Mudslide to be precise. Well, I went to the trouble of finding a sugar-free drink mix anyway. I think I should get points for that. I know that is not a good method to use very often since alcohol is itself a depressant. But it is nice to feel well rested for a change. Sometimes, one good nightís sleep can break the vicious cycle for a time. I have more mental clarity than Iíve had in a while.
Kay is obviously drugged, but she is healing well. Something about out-of-control diabetes causes the normal yeast in the skin to multiply like mad. This was one time the heightened sensitivity experienced by long-time blind people worked against Kay. The sensation on her skin was driving her up the wall. She looked like someone going through DTís before they put her on the med. They are easing her off the Hydroxine as the yeast is killed off and her skin heals. I think Hydroxine literally short-circuits the brain to accomplish its goal, but she was a peace, love and sisterhood hippie so she doesnít require much monitoring when the normal mental restraints are removed. She can get lost a long time watching the fire in the fireplace or twinkling Christmas lights, but I guess there is nothing really wrong with that. .
Nadine is at a food drive. They decorated a local park in Victorian Christmas splendor and are charging cans of food as admission for a tour. Hope it goes well. She will probably post pictures later today.
Old Tater-dog rescued a raccoon plushy toy from the garbage and it is her new best buddy and pillow. I thought she was far beyond puppy toys. It seems dogís do the full circle thing too.
Not much going on in the garden. Iím looking at next seasonís new introductions and deciding what Amargia will try. Dan Hinckley selected a new-to-American gardenerís hydrangea. It is being marketed by Monrovia as ĎGolden Craneí. (Hydrangea angustipetala 'MonLongShouí) I donít even have to ask Kay. That is a must-have for Amargia. It is highly fragrant and, in general, this is hydrangea country.
How are you doing, Debra? "All clear" on the neurological test? (Jim)
lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

December 11, 2011
2:32 PM

Post #8925391

Vickie, always been knee-jerk averse to trying mustard greens. Dunno why. Too citified, maybe, or maybe I'm just a Yankee at heart and they don't eat Suthrun foods. LOL

I am glad you got some rest. Broken sleep all by itself is as bad as being really ill with the flu or sumpin.

Better for Kay to be Timothy-Learyied than to suffer through that. :(

Yea, Nadine!

Don't know about the MRIs yet, guess only the techs work on Saturdays. :-) CT scan, carotid doppler, and echocardiogram all clear. Should hear something by mid-week.
cando1
Ozone, AR
(Zone 6a)

December 12, 2011
4:32 AM

Post #8925853

Speaking of spirits. It's time for my annual trip to Fort Smith to get some Brandy.I seldom drink anything. But like to keep some around. DD swiped what I had left in September.
We have someone intrested in buying the 10 acres we have for sale.That sure would be nice to sell it. I can think of several projects that cost money.LOL
That Golden Crane hydrangia sounds like something I'd about kill for.
Jim you hve given me an idea for Scoot. Maybe he'd like his own toys instead of Dillens hand me downs.I'll find him a teddy bear.
Fingers crossed for you Debra.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 12, 2011
2:30 PM

Post #8926675

OK, final final FINALdecision: we're not movin g to D/FW. I'm just so sick of being in this one room all the time! Arrrggggh! I fantasize that if we moved it wou;d be different, flatter. I would have more friends. I have a friend in IN who has PPS and she tutors kids who are trying to pass the GRE. Now that's a JOB.

Amargia

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

December 13, 2011
8:47 AM

Post #8927685

PPS? Post-Polio Syndrome?
One room?! Are you feeling too bad to stray far from your bed or is there a PCA problem again? Good grief, Iím climbing the walls because Iím confined to 7 rooms. I got so bored I re-arranged the kitchen and the office. Jim is being patient, but I believe he is more than ready for me to be able to go outside again. I wasnít smart enough to be bored when I was taking the mind-numbing anti-itch medication, but Iíve passed the point where I need it.
There hasnít been enough cold weather yet to cause any significant die off in the micro-flora and fauna outside. I really clawed myself up before I went to the doctor. Not all my scratches have healed. Meaning I would risk a secondary infection if I spent time out there. The over-abundance of microorganisms is one of the downsides of living in the humid south.
I would have to become a complete and total cyber-head and net addict to survive in a limited space with my mental faculties intact. Can you imagine what it would have been like before there was a cyber-window to look out of and wave at the world. It would have been worse yet before television and radio. Even if those are passive forms of entertainment, they can still engage the mind on occasion. I understand now why, in Victorian novels, the good nurse or loving caregiver was frequently shown reading to their patient. It might also explain the large numbers of crazy relatives hidden in attics in Victorian novels. I bet those were the formerly bedridden relatives that didnít get read to enough. ;-)
Debra, it sounds like you might have a high sensitivity to PTC (Phenylthiocarbamide). Do you dislike other cruciferous vegetables? When cruciferous vegetables taste very sharp and bitter to a person that is usually the case. I donít think PTC itself occurs naturally in food. The link between PCT and similar compounds found in cruciferous vegetables was discovered in a lab accident. People who can taste/smell PTC almost always dislike cabbage, brussel sprouts, collards, mustard greens, etc. Not everyone can detect the PTC-like compound in food. Itís a genetic trait. (It was even used to determine paternity before blood typing.) Many northern and eastern Europeans canít detect the taste/smell at all. The sensitivity is highest among those with Native American ancestors. Among indigenous peoples the brassica vegetables have never been more than survival food. I eat cruciferous veggies for their anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory properties, but I canít say I really enjoy them. Iím aware of a sulfur-y taste, but donít find it too bad. I guess Iím not terribly sensitive to the compound because my father was Danish. Crusiferous veggies are a food staple in that part of the world. Jim. on the other hand, is blissfully unaware of any bitterness. Brussel sprouts are one of his favorite vegetables.
LOL. You would think, looking at this post, I was getting paid by the word. Have a good day, All. k*


This message was edited Dec 13, 2011 10:59 AM
lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

December 13, 2011
9:02 AM

Post #8927714

I really like broccoli, cauliflower, and brussell sprouts. It is just the idea of 'greens' that causes a psychological aversion. Nasty slimy stuff is what the brain is saying. LOL Although I have gotten to the point I will eat cooked spinach if it is mixed in a sauce or with noodles or something.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 14, 2011
2:24 PM

Post #8929659

Yes, post polio syndrome. I'm not feeling bad, it's just that nobody is paid to help me have fun. Some PCAs like to sew or garden or wrap Christmas presents or cook or whatever but unless they do, we don't. They do my laundry feed me tv dinners yogurt and granola for breakfast keep track of my meds do ROM stretches showers toilet prn but other than that ... it's nobody's job to do everyone else's laundry, or dishes, or cooking. Sometimes it gets done...other times not.

I love cruciferous veggies! Nobody in my immediate family does.
Sansai87
Midland City, AL

December 14, 2011
2:43 PM

Post #8929674

Sorry, there are no pictures from the Victorian Christmas event. I forgot to check the batteries in the camera before I left. Iím going to have to start packing extra batteries. It was successful as a way to re-stock the food bank. It isnít often one can enjoy an all-day outing and spend less than $10. I exchanged money for lunch and a carriage ride. Everything else was paid for with canned food. It was overcast and just chilly enough that the warm apple cider and hot cocoa went over well. I plead the 5th on whether or not I ate the free fudge and gingerbread available. I admit to enjoying Satsuma oranges from a local grove and I learned oranges were an authentic part of a Victorian Christmas as a rare treat good children found in their stockings.
I think you had to grow up eating mustard, turnip and collard greens to have any appreciation for them. (I ate a lot of turnip greens growing up.) I donít know if I will ever learn to appreciate the more northerly greens like kale, beet and Swiss chard. Making winter greens palatable is what Tabasco sauce and Soul seasoning is for, isnít it? :-) :-) My theory is our ancestors found ways to choke down winter greens solely for their nutritional value and now eating them is an entrenched habit. I have noticed the people who claim they enjoy winter greens go heavy on the Tabasco and Soul seasoning. I suspect the greens are really just a vehicle for the seasonings. But, who knows, , I occasionally have cravings for a can of what MK calls ďPopeye slimeĒ, canned spinach and only the Popeye brand will soothe the craving.
Carrie, every high summer we inevitably start talking about packing up and moving to a cooler, less humid environment. In the end we always come to the conclusion we would just be exchanging one set of challenges for a different, unfamiliar set of challenges, and moving would not make things easier. For some reason we have to go through the process and refresh the knowledge every year, however. Iím not sure why. Maybe, on the off chance that one year we will decide differently and end up as Vickieís neighbors. Maybe, dreaming of living in less sweaty, buggy realms just gets us through. I think your brutal winters might be the equivalent of our miserable summers. Hang in! You will like Massachusetts better come April. ~N~
cando1
Ozone, AR
(Zone 6a)

December 15, 2011
2:16 AM

Post #8930229

Oh Dear!! Nadene, I'm one of those rare humans that loves the taste of "Greens". I use a little bacon or fat and salt and pepper. But thats all I season with.The only one I don't like is asperagus(Is that a green).
I'd love to have you as neighbors. A favorite saying up here is "If you don't like the weather wait a minute. It'll change." Today we've had peasoup fog and rain. Guess we have the best or worst of both worlds. Hot and muggy in summer and cold and colder in winter.Also something we never seem to be able to quit talking about.
Wish I could've seen pictures Nadene. But we'll forgive you this time.
Have any of you ever made Yorkshire Pudding?
Watched the Morman Tabernacle Choir last night and thought of Carrie,
Am working on ideas for scrapbooking for our group.Maybe starting seeds and recording the process with pictures.We've all got pets...Maybe a book about our pets.
lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

December 15, 2011
6:33 AM

Post #8930406

:-)
seacanepain
Midland City, AL

December 15, 2011
10:01 AM

Post #8930660

We would have to get Carrie a pet rock or a Chia pet, perhaps. Oh, I know, one of the new robo pets. Kay was listening to Christmas music while finishing up the decorating and mailing out the last of the holiday cards. I can't help grinning when I hear the Nutcracker. I keep trying to envision the SugarPRUNE fairy. lol. I know it was a reprint, but I had never read the sugarplum mystery article.
Our local Michael's is having a 1/2 off Christmas craft sale. Couldn't keep Nadine away from that. Kay has re-arranged everything inside the house and has gone on to the front porch. She'll be off the Prednisone in a few days and can work outside again. Thank goodness! She is beginning to eye my messy desk. I LIKE my desk messy! Got to go put on my "Sasquatch for President" bumper stickers. :-) (Jim)
lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

December 15, 2011
11:41 AM

Post #8930742

Do they look as good as we thought they would, Jim? Sometimes hard to tell on a computer monitor.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 15, 2011
12:12 PM

Post #8930772

Oh Jim, I'm glad you mentioned that it made you smile to think of the sugarprune fairy!!! Do you guys notice that the pictures are back on the home page? I've noticed VICKIE commenting every day.
Sansai87
Midland City, AL

December 15, 2011
6:04 PM

Post #8931195

Yeah, it is good to have you back on regularly, Vickie! Travis took one of the white quartz looking rocks you sent to be his pet rock. He gave it a name and everything. Maybe, we should send Carrie one too? :-) I kinda like the intricately marked gray one best. The one that has the perfect hole in it. PJ snagged that one to use as a pen holder,) But, it is the white quartz that catch most people's eyes. Rocks with bling! Do you remember where those came from?
I think the bumper stickers came out cool, Debra, and I'm going to order another Green Amber Project t-shirt. One for Papa Jim this time. ~N~.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 16, 2011
7:37 AM

Post #8931879

Please, no rocks! That would be hard to explain. I'm admiring a view of three amaryllis bulbs, all started on the same day and all developing at different rates. Two are definitely taller, one shorter, but they all have at least two stalks. The shorter one bloomed first and is now on its second stalk, but by happy coincidence, the two taller ones bloomed at the same time, so it's just a blaze of pink and white over there. I should get the PCA to turn them all. They are listing toward the sun the way I do. Well, I tilt a lot, no matter where the sun is!
cando1
Ozone, AR
(Zone 6a)

December 16, 2011
1:35 PM

Post #8932308

Carrie, Please take just one rock!!!. Thats all this ole mountain has to offer. Some people even suspect they mate and multiply. Tho the white rocks came from SE Okla. No one, but no one here beleives I would import rocks from elsewhere.
I love your articles Carrie and several other peoples articles too.So try to read most things that pop up.
Have been thinking about starting a journal just for fun. and maybe doing more at DG.
Has anyone got any seed catalogs yet?
lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

December 16, 2011
3:05 PM

Post #8932433

Got a Park

Amargia

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

December 16, 2011
4:55 PM

Post #8932526

Ah-h-h, Vickie, you may rescue mongrels to be your fur-buddies, but you had some mineral equivalents of poodles and Pomeranians among the rock collection you have shared. :-)
Here, Carrie, you can choose among the remaining quartz litter. Amargia will kennel your pet rock for you until youíre ready. ROFL. You have to choose one and give it a name though. They make wonderful pets. They donít chew on your shoes or furniture and they donít puddle on the floor. True, they may not be as interesting as a dog, cat or amaryllis. But, quartz has an unusual amount of personality for a pet rock, especially resting in a place it can play with changing light. You can trust a pet rock to keep your paperwork in place without making a mess of it. That canít be said for a canine, a feline or even an Amaryllidaceae. I wish I had a sunny place for an amaryllis in winter. I would like to try the fragrant variety, ĎJewelí. All my sunny windows are over-crowded with plants already. .
Feeling okay, Debra? I am so-o-o ready for some outdoor time. Being on the front porch is something, I guess. But, that is really Jimís realm. He still has all the rail planters and hanging baskets in winter veggies and edibles. Heís decided to forgive me for snagging the ĎSugar Snapí peas in the hanging basket. What can I say? I love peas. Iím growing accustomed to the veggie themed front porch. It is practical, fun and a little off-the-wall. Just like Jim! :-) k*

Thumbnail by Amargia
Click the image for an enlarged view.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 16, 2011
5:03 PM

Post #8932535

Kay, do you Armagians grow any tea, Camellia sinesis? It sounds like something that would do well down there.

No, Vickie, please no rocks, but thank you for the terribly kind offer!
lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

December 16, 2011
7:37 PM

Post #8932667

Feeling better, just a little weird yet. Still speaking in "word salad" sometimes--go to talk to the dogs first thing in the mornings and what comes out makes no sense a'tall. My sister 'allowed' me to drive myself to the store today. Yea! LOL
Sansai87
Midland City, AL

December 16, 2011
8:33 PM

Post #8932715

Vickie, you reminded me of a favorite funny scene in The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. When the main character, Eragon, learns about how crystals grow, he decides he has found the answer to something that always puzzled him. He recalls how he, his father and brother struggled to remove all the rocks from a field before plowing, but the next time that same field was cultivated there were more rocks that had to be removed. After learning about crystals, he decides the rocks on his farm grew back during fallow years. . :-)
I think weíve received a Southern Exposure Seed Exchange catalog, but the majority of the catalogs seem to arrive in January. Iím surprised we still get any at all. Iím the only one that looks at the print catalogs and I rarely make the purchases.
It is funny you mention tea camellias, Carrie. MK wanted to try some of the named varieties this year. We wanted to see if there was a real difference in taste between the named varieties and the grown-from-seed types we have. When we got ready to order, the company wasnít listing them anymore. Hopefully, just temporarily out-of-stock. We keep checking back and have put the word out to local nurseries we are looking for some.
ĎLady Kayí is the only camellia we have that isnít a source for tea or grown for fragrance. MK claims she bought it for me because of the highly reflective leaves. It will be a great addition to MY moonlight garden, she says. Yeah, right. Uh-huh. I believe that. :-)
Debra, one of MK's sisters experienced something similar a few months ago. It took her several weeks to fully recover. It must have been a full recovery because she is a hospital administrator and I know she is back at work. It sure spooked her though. You seem to be handling it very well. ~N~

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 17, 2011
8:04 AM

Post #8933003

Oh, Debra, BIGGEST hugs! I was at PT the other day, and there is an aid (PTA) there named Craig whom I have known for several years, although he doesn't necessarily call me by name nor the other way around. Still, I know perfectly well (and have for some time) that his name IS Craig. So the other day, a particularly MS-y day, apparently, he and I were standing near each other -- I guess I was waiting for my therapist and he was waiting for his client or had just finished, so we were face to face, and I could not make my mouth say Craig, or maybe it was my brain that was on strike, but I knew his name started with a "C" so I said "hi Carlos!" Now I KNEW that wasn't his name but it seemed like a close enough approximation that I might be forgiven. Especially since he had an enormous ID badge that said CRAIG on it affixed to his body. I'm still taking heat for that...but it wasn't me, it was MS.

Amargia

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

December 17, 2011
3:14 PM

Post #8933415

Two years ago, one of my brothers experienced transient global amnesia that lasted several hours. The doctors found no sign of disease and all the neurological scans came out clean. Thus far, there has been no repeat of the experience. His job is supervising the maintenance of enormous stretches of railway and he was out on the road when it happened. A witness said he pulled smoothly over to the side of the road and just sit there. His ability to drive was unaffected. He even turned on the emergency flashers and emergency brake. He simply had no idea who he was or where he was going. I believe it was one of those odd neurological experiences former football players report in their advanced years. It seems only logical that having your brain slammed repeatedly against the inside of your skull is going to have some long-term effects. He was a former linebacker and they take more blows than most. He feels vindicated in his choice to play football since his siblings have now all experienced neurological gliches of their own. . None of us have experienced total amnesia for such a long period, however. I still think it is payment for his football glory years in early onset and severity, if not in causation. He ranks 7th among the 8 siblings. (Iím #8.) There is almost 20 years between he and our eldest sister. I fear he has yet to be presented with the full bill. It will come due in the next 20 years. He maintains he would still have chosen to play football even if he had known the risk. Aside from financial benefits, he thinks it helped him manage his aggressive tendencies. One of the problems with being the youngest in a large family is you get all the previews of what you might expect in your own future. There is something to be said for blissful ignorance. :-)
It has been unseasonably warm for days. Some Belles of Ireland, pink fairy Bells and jonquils decided to take advantage. Southern Christmas bells? :-) There is a possible light freeze tonight and temps will become more normal for us. Iíd better go bring in some houseplats I put outside. k*

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 17, 2011
3:39 PM

Post #8933435

Ooooooh, so jealous, Kay of your blooms! EVERYTHING is shutting down here, if anything was left.
seacanepain
Midland City, AL

December 18, 2011
10:19 AM

Post #8934348

The camellias and the osmanthus haven't started doing their thing yet so the unseasonable blooms were a treat. Every year we say we are going to add some helleboris to the beds, but every year I forget until I see their image on Christmas wrapping paper.
I give Kay a hard time about being a rock hound, but seriously I canít imagine a garden that doesnít feature rocks. Kayís smaller acquisitions have a way of migrating into my spaces. The result of years stationed in Japan followed by years stationed in the New Mexico desert I suppose. You see interesting rocks resting on pedestals in Japanese gardens as natural art. And, of course, there are the Zen gardens. (Iím making a mini one of those for the porch with an in-scale bamboo rake to maintain it. There is something about the sound of a bamboo rake moving across the pebbles I find soothing..) I know most of our succulents are native to temperate and tropical regions, but I like giving them a desert feel with a top dressing of sand and some properly placed stones.
Nadine found some tiny ornaments at the craft store sale. Iíve been using them to decorate mini wreaths small enough to use as Christmas magnets on the fridge. (I had some powerful magnets around Iíve taken out of computers I scrapped over the years.) Vickie, I put something I thought you might like for upcoming scrapbooking and paper projects in with your Christmas card. Itís more appropriate for another holiday, but, since I got my cards out so late, you wouldnít have had time to use the Christmas stuff anyway. Sending out cards brought absences into my forebrain. Has anyone seen Sheri and Katiebear around the other forums? (Jim)



carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 18, 2011
11:01 AM

Post #8934383

I haven't BEEN on any other forums! I wish we could grow camellias and gardenias up here...oh well. We got a new whiz-bang vacuum cleaner in the mail so DD will be able to breathe better and DH is trying to make it work - no luck so far. Boo hoo.
lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

December 18, 2011
1:55 PM

Post #8934535

Katie has popped in a few times, but not in the last couple of weeks. Haven't seen anything of Sherri for a long time. I'll Dmail Katie. Anyone have Sheri's number to call?
cando1
Ozone, AR
(Zone 6a)

December 18, 2011
9:43 PM

Post #8935072

I think I did have Sheri,s ph#. I'll look and see.She's sometimes on the Pet Forum. Bet Katie is busy with her Christmas toy project. Thank you, thank you, thankyou, Jim. I am donating most of my craft stuff to our Group therapy class. We've decided to start scrapbooking in January. I decided I had to downsize my craft room(not enough room left for me in here.)

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 19, 2011
12:22 PM

Post #8935721

I know the feeling, Vickie!
lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

December 19, 2011
1:29 PM

Post #8935840

From Katie:
================================================
Hi Debra,

The battery on my computer died and, this being Mexico, it's taking some time to get it replace. Thanks for checking up on me. I'm having a very good Christmas season. Have a twenty/five pound box of hard candies and several boxes of stuffed toys ready for my Christmas gig as Santa. My neighbors and I are getting along very well and I'm helping raise money for the animal clinic which Dana is very involved in. All our dogs are well and so are the cats.

Physical problems are ongoing but somewhat aleviated by my lsoing twenty pounds over the past couple of months.

Post office was closed today, at least when i went by so no new battery today.

Please tell all I'm doing ok except for no puter. Will be back soon.

hugs to all, katie
===================================================================================
cando1
Ozone, AR
(Zone 6a)

December 19, 2011
5:04 PM

Post #8936131

Thanks Debra. She sounds pretty good.Guess we're all going to have flare ups wih health problems. So proud of her for losing 20 lbs.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 20, 2011
1:11 PM

Post #8937079

Losing twenty pounds is pretty amazing! Rah rah rah! I'm afraid I've gained a little...can I blame my husband for feeding me too much?
lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

December 20, 2011
1:29 PM

Post #8937098

Yes, you can. Part of the privileges of married life, Carrie. :-)
seacanepain
Midland City, AL

December 20, 2011
7:21 PM

Post #8937467

Sure, Carrie, Kay blames me for her weight gain since we've been married. There might even be a shread of truth to it.
I can relate to that too, Vickie. Kay declared my workroom a disaster area. She had a minor meltdown when she tried to find a hammer. It WAS exceptionally bad in there. I had been saving some broken glass with the intention of running it through the tumbler. Somehow I had ended up accumulating more than I could process in our little tumbler in a year and I couldnít remember exactly what I had been planning to do with all that tumbled glass anyway. (Iím sure it was a fine idea though.). There were electronic components I couldnít say why I saved. (..But, Iím sure I had a reason once.) There were a surprising number of three quarters finished woodworking projects. (Iím one of those people who tend to flag near the finish line.) Cans and other things destined for the recycling center seem to have gotten only as far as my workroom. (Being environmentally responsible can get messy if you donít stay on top of things.)
Good to hear Kb is doing okay. I sent Sheri a card so she has Amargia's address. Jim
katiebear
mulege
Mexico

December 21, 2011
10:38 AM

Post #8938246

Hi - As we have all noted before, pain sucks. However, I am nothing if not persistent and I know Christmas is a prime time for flareups both mental and physical so I've been working steadily to get the stuffed animals ready for their new homes. I have several big bags of them ready to go, along with 25 pounds of candy.

There is a very lound man at the puter next to me so I'll sign off and be back soon, probably not til after Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all.

hugs all around, katie

Amargia

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

December 22, 2011
1:27 PM

Post #8939540

Truly excellent article, Carrie! I didnít find it too long or too data dense at all. It was just right. The best new article Iíve seen in a while. .
I spent yesterday in the realm of jasmines trying to decide what to keep and what to add among jasminums. I think ĎBelle of Indiaí will be the only sanbac that stays. It appears to be the hardiest of the sanbacs although it still needs winter protection here. (I just canít bring myself to give up all the Sanbacs. Jim has two tender bottle palms (aka; Ponytail Palms, Beaucarnea recurvata)
that have to come inside for the winter. I should be able to get away with one or two high maintenance jasmines. :-) All the others I chose are fully hardy in our zone.
I came across a new-to-me jasmine that sounds lovely, but learned Zone 8 is too hot for it. That was the first time too HOT had ever been a problem with a jasminum. Variegated poetís jasmine (Jasminum officinalis is worth a look-see for those in more northern climes. Itís said to be hardy from Zone 4 thru 7.
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/48894/
Iím doing the same sort of research on roses today I did on jasmines yesterday. Seeking out the most highly fragrant, disease resistant, non-invasive rose varieties and cultivars, then culling the list with local experience.
Non-sterile rose types (ďself-cleaningĒ cultivars in the vocabulary of rose advertising.) are okay with me if the rose fruit is showy. That is as good as repeat blooming, in my opinion, since the colorful hips extend the season of interest as well as repeat blooms and for an even longer period of time. (Plus, most hips make great tea.). My criteria is set. On to list making. K*
seacanepain
Midland City, AL

December 22, 2011
4:52 PM

Post #8939735

Kay's makin' a list.
She's checkin' it twice.
Finding' out which plants are naughty and nice...

Sorry. I couldn't resist. :-) My dearly beloved does love her list!

The nandina has saved itself once again. The berries are a gorgeous punch of color on a warm, but rainy, day and they make good holiday decorations. . We snag the nandina branches with berries and bring them inside as soon as they color up to prevent the Nandina from spreading. If the American holly ever starts performing its Christmas duty, the nandina's days will be numbered. When Nadine was young and gullible, someone used the name similarity to "gift" Nadie with their orphaned nandina. That is how we ended up with it. She says when I bred a pretty plant and name it after her, she will dig the nandina up. ;-)
Tea olive is about to bloom. (Jim)

Sansai87
Midland City, AL

December 23, 2011
7:04 AM

Post #8940330

I wrote an entire post about how all of you have your names enshrined in plant names somewhere, but no one has ever named a plant cultivar Nadine. Even Carrie has a mango cultivar, but, alas, no Nadine. Then, Mama Kay came along and told me there is some obscure begonia cultivar named ĎNadine.í I hate it when that happens! lol.
I like the new writer whose article appeared the same day as Carrieís. We need to adapt those song lyrics to a raised bed style of gardening though. -) ~N~

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 23, 2011
10:19 AM

Post #8940559

What good does a mango cultivar do me in New England? Sorry, just my Grinchiness coming through again. I'll have to check this "new writer" because it's unlikely they would have two actually new articles the same day.

Kay, I think that jasmine is hardy to z. 4 if it's in a pot and you bring it inside; the PlantFiles ratings get screwed up sometimes by people putting in their zipcodes who aren't growing under normal outdoor conditions.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 23, 2011
10:26 AM

Post #8940565

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzXKWKaxt3c

Thurl Ravenscroft

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKagQWqr87Q
Sansai87
Midland City, AL

December 23, 2011
1:44 PM

Post #8940780

Oh, that must be why Iím so ĎBah, Humbug.Ē I havenít watched ďHow the Grinch Stole ChristmasĒ this year. I always get that warm and fuzzy Christmas feeling when the Grinchís dog, Max, gets his big slice of roast beast. What all due respect to Jim Carrey, itís got to be the old, cartoon version to work the magic.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 23, 2011
1:56 PM

Post #8940791

You can watch the whole thing on youtube, if you don't mind switching between chapters or commercial breaks.
cando1
Ozone, AR
(Zone 6a)

December 23, 2011
10:11 PM

Post #8941185

Almost Christmas eve, When something magic happens.animals talk,peace is everywhere,there are angels among us. Then we wake from our dreams and are in choas again.and the bills come rolling in.
Bah!! humbug!! LOL
Will be cooking tomorrow.actually today.Had veggie soup yesterday.
Gotta make somekind of goodie for the dogs and cats.maybe a dogfood cake.
lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

December 24, 2011
8:10 AM

Post #8941481

Bet they'd like an oatmeal cake, and it'd be easy to make and good for them, too.

Happy Christmas, Vickie and Nadine and Carrie and Kay and Jim and Sheri and Katie. (Bas HUGS gum) :-)
seacanepain
Midland City, AL

December 24, 2011
1:23 PM

Post #8941714

Fenny gets a whole sleeve of saltine crackers in her Christmas stocking...if she's been good. That's her favorite people food. Old Tater's favorites don't lend themselves to being put in a stocking so she gets a new squeaky toy. The squeaker part of Tater's toys always mysteriously disappear a few days after Christmas. I suspect Kay is behind these disappearances. No one has ever seen her surgically removing a squeaker from one of Tate's toys, but the circumstantial evidence is overwhelming. Kay is startled by the squeak when she steps on a toy Tate has left laying about and the squeaker component from the toy inevitably disappears soon after. But, you can't convict someone on circumstantial evidence and there is a vague possibility she isn't the one doing it. After all, I thought it was Kay who kept removing the batteries from my motion activated, singing Christmas tree, but new evidence suggest someone else is responsible. I have the singing tree under surveillance. ;-)
Merry Christmas, Everyone! (Jim)

Thumbnail by seacanepain
Click the image for an enlarged view.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 24, 2011
3:23 PM

Post #8941798

Merry Christmas! Both DDs are home--they're ok when alone together, but add a third person, like Grandma or me or any of their friends and pandemonium breaks out. I called DD#1 a terrorist yesterday--she was acting like one! Our entire relationship takes place via text messages.

I got my hair cut today. Amazing - the salon was empty. She said this year was an economic slump. This is a little two or three woman operation that does hair cuts and mani-pedis and eyebrows, and sells knock-off designer bags in the back room. Everyone's hair grows!
Sansai87
Midland City, AL

December 24, 2011
5:46 PM

Post #8941910

I admit I have cut cost by having my hair trimmed at Wal-Mart. (My cut is so simple I can get away with that.) Still have to go to the beauty shop to get it thinned out though.
Iím not entirely sure why, but when my sister and I are on our own, she treats me as her equal. But, when older people are around, she goes into bossy, big sister mode. I assume it has something to do with the decade age difference between us and a choice of what generation to ally herself with.
I think PJís singing Christmas tree would make a good Halloween decoration. Its eyes pop open when you walk into the room and it shifts its gaze around while it is singing. This is not a confession. Iím just pointing out there are many here who think that tree is much more appealing with its eyes closed and its mouth shut. Poor Fenny is afraid of it. I know Iíve been moved to the top of Papa Jimís battery thieving suspect list, but I assure you, it is a loooong list of possible suspects. Papa Jim and Tater-dog are the only ones around who like the tree. (Making the tree perform is a puppy power trip for Tate.)
Wishing you all a non-creepy Christmas tree and other good stuff. Holiday hugs. ~N~

Thumbnail by Sansai87
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sansai87
Midland City, AL

December 24, 2011
10:02 PM

Post #8942024

Hi Dillon, Scoot, Willie, Zuzu, Pookie, Jenny and all the gang. Itís Fenny. You know how it goes, we get the gift of speech once a year and there is no one awake to talk to. Everybody is asleep here, even Tater. (The old dingbat exhausted herself playing with that creepy tree. Trees should not talk! Even on Christmas, that just ainít right.) Since we can communicate via the computer anytime we can slip it passed our monkeys, being able to talk ainít the big deal it once was. Iíll let the old alpha sleep. She always goes on and on about her toys and her tennis ball collection when she can talk. I will enjoy a year without having to listen to all that to be honest. Iíve never understood the appeal of a plushy toy squirrel when I can go outside and chase the real deal. Maybe, one of you can explain the game of fetch to me. My intelligence has been called into question because I donít play fetch. I figure it this way. If some mangy monkey throws a ball, that mangy monkey should be the one to go and get it. And, if I do go to the trouble of going to get the ball, it seems only right to me that I should get to keep the ball. Scant fur and opposable thumbs donít always make the monkey rational. Iím sure none of you needed me to tell you that.
Well, I just wanted to touch base and wish you guys a happy holiday. Sounds like you and Scoot lucked out this year, Dillon. Itís ham and crackers for me. As long as they keep my water bowl full and donít smear all that fruit and sweet stuff all over a perfectly good pig, Iíll be happy.
Better go. There is a bobcat Iíve got a few choice words for before the magic is gone. Hope Santa Paws does right by all of you. Yeah, even you Miss Kitty. Peace on Earth and all that. `Fenriraí
Hey, no laughing! You all know you would have done it too for a big bowl of milk. I wouldnít sit still for it until they gave me the much cooler looking ďBah HumbugĒ hat. I do have my standards. ĖF-

Thumbnail by Sansai87
Click the image for an enlarged view.

cando1
Ozone, AR
(Zone 6a)

December 24, 2011
10:40 PM

Post #8942035

Dear Fenny, Thank you for the good christmas wishes. I don't really understand Christmas,except i get lots of goodies to eat.Mom still won't let me chase the cats. and i can make them run so fast and to watch them climb a tree is pure pleasure. I also don't see why I'm not allowed to take shoes outside to play with. They're just left lying around. mom goes barefoot in the house anyway. So whats the big deal!!? Her voice can go 2 octaves when she hollars.Hurts my ears! I do try to be good but i look at those shoes and i hear a voice saying "Go get those shoes and RUN."Sometimes i think the voice must be from the CAT. The black cat loves to wait for me to come in the doggie door and hiss at me.Mom is very strict about anyone getting violent so all we can do is growl,hiss,bark or meow.
anyway Merry Christmas!
Scoot

Amargia

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

December 25, 2011
12:51 PM

Post #8942435

Since Jim, Nadi and I draw from a shared resource pool, we decided it was sort of silly to buy each other costly presents. If one of us needs or really wants something at Christmas, we just tell the others and buy it for ourselves. But, we found we missed a Christmas morning without a few fun surprises. So..Jim is playing withe the slinky he found in his stocking this morning. Nadi is looking at recipes for the hard-to-come-by cooking ingredients Santa brought her. . Tater is patiently waiting in front of the stove for the ham to finish cooking and Fenny is sleeping off her yearly cracker binge. I am munching on or planning where to sow the contents of my stocking and waiting on calls. Amargia's hearth and heart children tend to report back in on Christmas Day. This is one of my favorite parts of Christmas. I didn't even mind the one who forgot about the time zone difference and called in at 5;30 this morning...well, not too much. ;-)
My genetic children, on the other hand, expect Mom to call them, but I've learned to wait until the GC's have settled down some from the excitement of new toys to call.
Hope everyone is having a comfortable and peaceful Christmas Day. k*

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 25, 2011
4:30 PM

Post #8942563

Merry Christmas!
cando1
Ozone, AR
(Zone 6a)

December 26, 2011
10:15 PM

Post #8943827

Hope all have recouped from the Christmas fun. I've injoyed just appreciating my fur kids today.Did i tell you guys my cats love my singing. It is really awful singing,but...Oh well!!!!!
After the first I can get serious about gardening.Dreaming that is.Seed catalogs start coming in.
seacanepain
Midland City, AL

December 27, 2011
1:43 PM

Post #8944446

Kay is keeping the hopes of garden future alive with her list. Sheís still working on the Fragrance Garden list, if that can be called a distinct list anymore. I notice there were way too many plants on the Fragrant Garden listÖmore than could be fitted into the area designated for scented plants. Then, I deduced her cunning plan. She is slipping fragrant plants into other peopleís garden spaces under the guise of her generosity and our garden themes. A ĎFourth of Julyí rose for the Old Soldiers Garden and a new Bee balm in the bee corner, etc. We know what sheís up to now because the plants are on both list. Oh well, I can handle a nice smelling O.S.G. Two can play that game! I can find plants with manly, military sounding names as long as they have some scent and claim that Iím buying them for the Fragrance Garden.
We moved about 100 jonquils yesterday. They were on the front slope of the Fragrance Garden and would have been buried when we leveled that section. Iím diving into the confusing world of daffodils-narcissus-jonquils trying to find out exactly what we already have. Iím 90% sure what we moved WERE jonquils even though the color wasnít what I think of when I think of jonquils. They look like theyíve been the victim of a jonquil vampire. The piercing yellow petals are anemic almost too white. Kayís theory is that they are indeed the common bright yellow jonquils that pop up everywhere in spring. They are just bleached out looking because of the exceptionally early bloom time and from being in more shade than they like. Weíll know soon. Most of what we moved hadnít bloomed yet. I decided to trust Kayís Jimmy Dirante nose for now. She was right about the paperwhites based on scent. I doubted what we had been calling paperwhites actually were because I couldnít find a pic that perfectly matched. Kay had no doubt insisting the smell of paperwhites is unmistakable. I found a picture of a paperwhite that matches what we have. The nose knows! (Jim)
lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

December 27, 2011
7:38 PM

Post #8944956

Jim, in spite of the frou frou fragrance, the Fourth of July rose is perfect for the Old Soldier's Garden. Bright red and white and absolutely glorious in bloom.

Thumbnail by lovemyhouse
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Amargia

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

December 28, 2011
11:44 AM

Post #8945501

Thank you, Debra! :-)
It is probably safe to sing in your own home to your cats, Vickie. I would advise against singing in the car though unless you are known to law enforcement. My sister and I were pulled over on a trip to St. Augustine because of our singing. I can't carry a tune in a 5-gallon bucket, but I don't think it is bad enough to get me arrested. The State Troopers simply thought we were way too happy to be sober. :-)
ďThe world seems sad in winterís gloom. But, all is well when the jonquils bloom.Ē.
We put all the jonquils in the bed alongside the front walk. Hereís hoping Jim is right and we find out in a couple months. They donít like being moved at this time of year. What we have growing and blooming at the moment is the tough, jonquilla so often seen naturalized in the coastal parts of Texas. (The smaller ones that are usually described as ďcharming.Ē The larger x odora never puts in an appearance until true Spring in my experience. The species jonquilla are brave little things that poke their heads up every time there is a winter warm spell from Thanksgiving to Valentineís Day. The winter bloom are a paler yellow than during their main bloom season. I know from the feel of the bulbs these did not like the amount of shade which couldnít have been helping. X odora can handle some shade. These love sun. (I had a pine taken down, but the remaining one is casting more winter shade than I anticipated.)
The front walkway bed requires little digging to maintain so Iím hoping I can work around the bulbs the remainder of the seasons. The foliage melts away as soon as it starts getting hot. The massing will be high impact in Feb.-March and the promiscuous blooms will be fully appreciated along a walkway used every day.
Jim and I compromised on a few paperwhites in that bed. Iím a little wary of massing paperwhite narcissus. Many people just donít like the scent of paperwhites. I suspect the critics got a concentrated nose full of the worst scented cultivars. (Some are better than others, but they all seem to have a strong scent that can totally pervade a house when they are forced inside during winter. I donít mind their scent. I just like them better outside. k*


This message was edited Dec 28, 2011 1:51 PM

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 28, 2011
6:06 PM

Post #8945882

Ach, I wish we could PLANT paperwhites outside.

Amargia

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

December 28, 2011
7:18 PM

Post #8945961

What are the earliest blooming bulbs there, Carrie?
LysmachiaMoon
Waynesboro, PA
(Zone 6a)

December 29, 2011
5:22 AM

Post #8946318

Sorry to jump in here, but I wanted to say THANK YOU to Kay for mentioning my book, Accessible Gardening by Joann Woy! Thank you so much! I'm working to update the book for a second edition that I'm hoping will come out sometime this year (2012). And also...if anyone has anything they'd like to contribute to the book...please contact me! I truly truly value the input and ideas I receive.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 29, 2011
7:36 AM

Post #8946434

Wow--you're welcome to jump in any time!

Kay, snowdrops, iris reticulata (?), those are the first. Early crocus come soon after the snowdrops. I planted a patch of the tiny iris in a spot there's NO WAY I can get to them in the winter so I don't actually know when they bloom. But we're on the fall side of winter; it hasn't even snowed and it's only gotten really achingly cold 2-3 times. We've got a long way to go before we can even think about spring bulbs, unless it's planting them.

I feel the way I'd feel if I'd been churning butter by putting cream in a jar and shaking it, like they do in kindergarten, and just found out you could buy butter at the grocery store! There's a BOOK??? Not just teamwork, like Armagia, or hired help like Katie and I use, but a book with instructions and so on? Hmmm. I have to confess I didn't garden at all last summer; it was just too hot. I got my flats from Mitch and planted them out, most of them, but other than that it was just too much, too hard, too hot, too hard to get out the back door, and too revved up about our trip.
seacanepain
Midland City, AL

December 29, 2011
2:33 PM

Post #8946879

I echo Carrie, jump in anytime, Joanne! You have the perfectly named book for this forum. I swear we didnít steal your book title. :-) I think Carrie, the grandma of this forum, had to go through a prolonged back-and-forth before everyone agreed on the proper semantics. Was that a challenge with the book?
Carrie, Kay had me read an Isaac Asimov short story about a time when people almost never went outside. Now, sheís talking about buying me a mushroom log. Think sheís trying to tell me something? I like working in my deck farm once I get out there. But, as things are, if itís a day when I canít trust my legs even for a short distance, I have to go out the back door and completely around the workhouse to get to it. We are debating a sliding glass door to replace the front door. It isnít a problem for most wheelchairs, but mine is a little larger than norm. Iíve seen some hardware in a w/c ramp catalog that allegedly makes sliding doors accessible, but Iím just not sure about it. I know the width is good, but Iím afraid the bottom track of the door would eventually get damaged. Any experience with those?
Debra, I admit ĎFourth of Julyí does look like it belongs in the Old Soldierís Garden. Is that pic from your own garden? Nadine reminds me that the scent of roses isnít considered particularly feminine in Japan and other parts of the world. Thinking of roses as girlie is a cultural bias and I need to become a man of the world. 4th looks like a good, manly rose. lol. BTW: Iíve decided to forgive the ĎZephirine Drouhiní you sent Amargia her pinkness. Sheís a tough gal. She and her offspring are still lush and green despite some nights below freezing.
Hang in there, Vickie. I got a Jung and a R. H. Schumwayís catalog today. The cavalry is on its way to save you from the winter blahs. Youíll have to buy your felons some catgrass for helping you make it through the winter. (No, that wasnít a typo. Felon and feline are synonyms in my personal vocabulary.
Nadine is working on a post for Amargiaís blog on Gardening and anger management. She and Kay are arguing about the title N. has given it. ďI garden, therefore, you live.Ē ROFL. I think weíd better do our blogging on DG where people have already become accustom to our particular brand of humor. HEY, that might make a good t-shirt design, Debra. I would buy one for Kay. (Jim)
lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

December 29, 2011
2:52 PM

Post #8946903

Jim, that photo is from my own 4th rose. The fragrance is clean and bright, too, not at all cloying or frou-fy.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 29, 2011
3:04 PM

Post #8946908

"Clean and bright" sounds like the lyrics from the Sound of Music "Eidelweiss".

WAIT -- I'm the "Grandma?" What does that mean? How about Vickie, she's older and technically, a biological grandma. I'm only a grandma by marriage.

This message was edited Dec 29, 2011 6:08 PM
Sansai87
Midland City, AL

December 29, 2011
7:20 PM

Post #8947106

Some of the old roses have a sharp, spicy scent. Very manly. ;-)
Moon, looking forward to the updated book. Will it be available in hardcopy or as an eBook? If itís on Kayís list, Iíve probably heard parts of the original in an audible format. (I think itís great when writers let the National Library Service make their work available to the visually impaired in audible format.) But, Iím highly visual and find it hard to follow audio books. I still enjoy books I can hold in my hand or, at least, one I can see the words of on a computer screen. Iíve noticed some of the books on Kayís list are older than I am. A few are older than Papa Jim and Grandma Carrie. :-O At least one of them is even older than Kay. I believe Vickie has them all covered. Yeah, I'd say it is time for some updates on the subject.
Carrie, I did try to warn him you would nail him on the Grandma Comment., but he was on a roll. I assume what he MEANT to say was you have MOTHERED this forum from its earliest days.
I like being outside in our version of winter. (CT. winters were a different story.) Have you guys ever noticed things hurt more when you are cold? I donít mean arthritis and stuff like that; I mean minor injuries like bumps or scratches hurt way worse than the same bump or scratch would in summer. That seems backwards to me.
Seriously, I wish I had got the mushroom kit for Christmas. I would like to learn to grow mushrooms. It has nothing to do with avoiding that blazing orb in the big, blue and green room with the broken thermostat. Itís all about mushrooms sautťed in butter. Maybe, Iíll trade PJ my carnivorous plant terrarium for his mushroom log.
Kay planted tomato seeds in peat pots today. It seems like sheís pushing it a little. They will have to go in the ground in March. I hope it works. Fresh tomatoes canít come too soon for me. ~N~.
cando1
Ozone, AR
(Zone 6a)

December 30, 2011
1:17 AM

Post #8947272

I think Now is right for March planting. We always started ours in February for late April and May planting.I am so tempted to plant just a few seeds just because. I have got my Jung catalog.Now I want Bakers Creek catalog.
I have never been sure which are Jonquils and which are Dafodils.Have both.Have'nt seen a sign of any green (except for the Fairy Bells which never died down.)Walked around outside a little today.Was really nice.
LOL Jim! You are so right about our felon felines.They are also unrepenant rascals.

Carrie, I am a great grandma!!! I have 2 grandsons and one great grandson.But I also have a bunch of step grand and great grand children.I am blessed.I AM 71 AND PROUD!! And thank you for all you have done for our forum.
Nadene, You have such a fun family.
I am postponing my trip cause I am having flooring put in and painting the whole inside of the house. Gonna go and pick out the tiles tomorrow at Lowes. My grandson is going to paint the walls first. May also get the paint if I can decide what colors I want.
Jim, I had patio doors in Texas(loved them.) The tracks are pretty sturdy.But they might cause problems getting over them for a WC.You might could build a removable little bridge.Those tracks are a bugger to clean. Think Toothbrush,LOL

Amargia

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

December 30, 2011
12:35 PM

Post #8947906

Welcome to DG and to the Accessible forum, Annie. I treasure all my how-to books on gardening with challenges, but if I could pass down only one to the next generation of gardeners at Amargia, it would be yours. Few writers have ever attempted writing about how to garden despite mobility challenges, gardening when you have visual limitations, gardening late in life and creating a basic primer on gardening in general within a single book. To top it all off, it is a pleasurable read. Not at all dry. I like the quotes (especially the one at the beginning) and the real-life examples. .
I think you would like this book, Carrie. It isnít one of those ďRah-Rah, you can do this! books that leaves you asking ďOkay. That sounds great, but HOWÖĒ It ranges from the usual raised beds to techniques like the ďgarden-in-a-bagĒ on a tabletop. (The bag garden works well when knocking containers over is a problem.)
Debra, are any of the clematis you grow fragrant? Iím looking at a Montana and a ĎBetty Corningí for the fragrance garden. I love the scent of Autumn clematis, but they can be thugs in this area.
The current wisdom is that larger tomatoes grow better before the real heat sets in so for best results in Zone 8 now is the time to plant the seeds. We are usually very successful with cherry and grape tomatoes, but the harvest on larger varieties has been disappointing in past years. It will be fantastic if I can get a good harvest of Roma or Cherokee Purple just by planting earlier. k*
lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

December 30, 2011
3:10 PM

Post #8948147

Kay, I don't know. I have the Florida sieboldii, Arctic Queen, Filigree, Duchess of Albany, Silmakivi, and Daniel Deronda. Never checked to see if any are fragrant. Guess I'll remedy that omission this coming Spring. :-)
katiebear
mulege
Mexico

December 31, 2011
10:26 AM

Post #8948924

Happy New Year, friends.

My puter is still down so I'm at the local internet cafe.

Back soon.

hugs, katie

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 31, 2011
12:51 PM

Post #8949066

Katie, thanks for venturing out. Happy new year to you.

Jim, I will agree that I nurtured the forum at times, but it was Sherri and Vickie Leaflady and scraps and the other Fibromyalgia folks who really got it going again. I just barged in and said I don't have FM, but can I play too?

My daughter broke up with her wicked, bad, horrible boyfriend and replaced him with two dogs this fall. Seeing the difference they make in her temperament, I am more inclined to understand you folks with doggie friends. Happy New Year to all pets and pet custodians!

This message was edited Dec 31, 2011 3:57 PM
Sansai87
Midland City, AL

December 31, 2011
4:02 PM

Post #8949291

Did you get to do your Santa gig, Kb? Good to hear from you.
Wow, Debra, I didnít think your part of the world was that conducive to growing clematis. I know Clematis florida is said to be slightly fragrant. If you take Sweet Autumn out of the mix, Iím afraid Kay will have to settle for ďslightly fragrantĒ when it comes to clematis. She is exploring a U.K. mega-site for clematis lovers so she might come up with something. Who knows? Two years ago I didnít know there was such a thing as a fragrant daylily and now we have a small collection of them. BTW, Debra, itís supposed to be really cold later this week, down to the mid-20s, do I need to protect the new DLs? Do you protect yours when it gets that cold? Stop that, Vickie. I see you and Carrie rolling your eyes. Hey, ďvery coldĒ is a relative term. :-)
I can only imagine that MK is planning to rip out most of our cannas to make room for all the new fragrant plants. Canna is almost void of fragrant varieties. There is only one I know of that sort of smells like cilantro.
Iíve been reading your book, Annie. I do remember this one. It was where we got the solution for the Braille problem. MK (Kay-Kudzu1) was legally blind early on and they knew her vision would get progressively worse so she was taught Braille in high school. Braille seemed simple to her because she learned it when she was young. That wasnít true for a very elderly man who wanted to keep on gardening after he began losing his sight to age-related macular degeneration. She borrowed a Braille writer from a diabetic friend that wrote Jumbo Braille, but that didnít help him much. (Diabetics often lack the sensitivity in their fingers to read standard size Braille.) Finger sensitivity wasnít his biggest problem though. He just had a hard time remembering the Braille code. He was a very intelligent man, but learning new things must get much harder after a certain age and he just couldnít remember it all. She finally tried the technique you describe for that situation. Well, we did simplify it a little. We used the house numbers you can now find at home improvement stores or even Wal-Mart instead of making numbers ourselves. The numbers usually come with pre-drilled holes for attaching them to the house with screws. You can either attach them with screws or, if the stake isnít wide enough, leave them hanging on the stake attached with fishing line threaded through the screw holes. He gave each specialty melon he grew a number and kept a record of which melon corresponded to which number on cassette tape.
Papa Jim is proud of himself today. He lost 10 lbs. He walks the entire property almost every day now using a walker or with Kay along to balance him. He tried to slip one passed us yesterday when Kay asked him if he had taken his walk. He said he took a nice walk with Lee Ann. I was racking my brain for a friend or neighbor named Lee Ann. Kay didnít fall for it. She told him that virtual walks with DG writers may be interesting, but they donít do much for the cardiovascular system. Then, I got it. Lee Ann Starksí article about the winter landscape written in the form of a virtual walk around her property was one of the articles of the day. Lol.
Well, time to put the black eyed peas on to soak. Happy New Year! p(*^-^*)q
~N~
lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

December 31, 2011
4:16 PM

Post #8949302

Nadine, they will be fine. Mulch them with leaves or pine needles or something if you want, but the ground isn't nearly cold enough to hurt them. :-)

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 1, 2012
9:59 AM

Post #8949994

Hey, Lee Anne is a friend of mine, and I KNOW she couldn't get down to walk with Jim without stopping to see me. I only live 4 or 5 or 9 hours away from her and we've never met. She wouldn't dare pass me by like that!

How does Jim do all that walking with the pain? DH is about to begin a weight loss program at the local hospital. We don't know yet what it will involve--liquid diet, low calorie, but I can't imagine it won't involve exercise.

Happy 2012 everybody!

Amargia

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

January 1, 2012
11:51 AM

Post #8950152

I bribe Jim to do 15 min. of exercise a day. We push him a little because it seems only logical that losing the excess weight will ease the strain on the spine and lessen the pain. The promise that the pain would eventually be less just wasn't enough incentive for him though. it is hard to work for less pain in the future if it hurts more NOW. A good massage can give him a few relatively pain free hours and I once studied therapeutic massage. Our deal is 15-minutes of exercise earns him a massage. I think sometimes he needs a more potent prescription for muscle relaxers. (Methocarbomol), but the doctors seem hesitant to increase his dosage.
Actually, Morgan, the old man Nadi mentioned, did learn a usable amount of Braille before he died. He was never able to read a Braille book. That requires knowledge of Grade II Braille. But, he learned enough Grade I that he was eventually able to use a Braille labeler around his home and garden.
It is funny how Braille finally clicked in his mind. He brought me some of the imported beer I like for my b'day. We got to playing a game with the carton, empty bottles and full bottles. Braille is composed of a cell of potentially six raised dots. The empty carton represented the Braille cell. Full bottles represented raised dots and empty bottles represented blank places in the cell. A summer of playing the game on breaks and he knew the alphabet and the number sign. After my b'day, we did use a six-pack soda carton and soda bottles. of course. lol.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 2, 2012
8:20 AM

Post #8951274

That's a great system of bribery, Kay, and you're 100% correct, pain now = less pain later is a hard equation to sell. My trouble with doing PT exercises at home is they're BORING! At PT, 1)I got dressed and left the house, 2)interact with people who aren't related to me or employed by me, 3)drive 4)get praised (even if it's only "good, that's 10 reps.") Doing my exercises at home I get none of that. So I regress.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 2, 2012
2:41 PM

Post #8951791

Hey, it's Debra's BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

Nadine, make your opening paragraph MUCH shorter--it should just be a teaser. And the article should be comprehensible without it because sometimes they get disconnected.
lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

January 2, 2012
7:10 PM

Post #8952173

Thank you, Carrie. :-)
Sansai87
Midland City, AL

January 2, 2012
8:21 PM

Post #8952290

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEBRA!!! It must have been tough growing up having a birthday so close on the heels of Christmas. Most people would still be broke from excessive Christmas generosity. :-) Do you have a place for a tea olive? Will it grow there? I think you should have something that is in bloom on your birthday.
Thanks, Carrie. I'll remember that. You should find "I Garden, Therefore, You Live" on Amargia's DG blog in a few days. Mama Kay is up for renewal here and is checking into changing her user name from kudzu1 to AmargiaX without losing her journal or trade list. I'll post it on the Amargia Experiment blog when that's all ironed out. We are making "simplify" the word for 2012. None of us have the time and energy to maintain an independent website.
I am resolved to do some real body building kind of stuff this year. It became clear today I need that. Mama Kay is demolishing the old stone well on the north end of the house. I wanted to help, but the fact that the sledge hammer is painted pink didnít make it any less a brute tool in my hands. I tried to hit those ďsweet spotsĒ and ďshatter pointsĒ Kay indicated, but I found it impossible to wield a 20-lb. sledge with any precision. And, Mama Kay is as possessive of her smaller sculpting tools as I am of my pens and brushes. Iím relegated to cleaning up the debris after she does her thing with the hammers and chisels. We want to keep the hand pump intact and unharmed to be re-used as part of a rustic fountain. The fountains available are either too frou-frou or too tacky for Amargia. Well, we do already have a tabletop fountain by the front door. Itís one of those tiny battery operated type whose main job is to help Kay locate the door. It certainly isnít meant for wildlife, but I caught a cardinal trying to drink from the tiny reservoir of that fountain. She was beak to snout with a dragon, but didnít seem the least intimidated since she was 3 times the dragonís size. Dragon wasnít very successful at protecting his castle. Ms. Cardinal drank almost all the water in the castleís lake. The Cardinals are long-time residents of Amargia and personal friends of Papa Jim. They should have their own fountain.
Aside from starting on the well demolition, Kay and I got the last of the erosion barrier tires out of the Old Soldiers Garden and into my Beezare Corner. The bees appear to approve of the name I chose for our corner. They were crawling all over the sign today. I guess because it is the most colorful thing around at the moment. They did appear somewhat disappointed by the taste of the flowers on their sign, however. (Kayís offering a reward for anyone who can come up with a more creative name for her Fragrance Garden.) PJ worked in his deck farm, but I think he spent most of the time doing maintenance on the emergency generator stashed there. One of his resolutions is to keep the maintenance up on the generator so we donít find ourselves without power come hurricane season. ~N~
Sansai87
Midland City, AL

January 2, 2012
10:19 PM

Post #8952368

Wow, Carrie. I just went back and looked. You are dead on target! I should have dropped the first paragraph entirely. The second paragraph made a much better hook. Good thing I can get paid just to correct spelling and grammar. I have a lot to learn about the creative end of it. ~N~
lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

January 3, 2012
7:41 AM

Post #8952617

Nadine, I would love to try a tea olive and will be happy to make a place for it. Been wallowing in a black funk for some weeks, now, but starting to come out of it, I think. :/ Planning where to plant will help. Thank you. (hug)

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 3, 2012
8:06 AM

Post #8952648

Oh, Debra, don't let turning 29 get you down! (Sorry, that was kind of mean, but I couldn't resist.)

So far today I've called 2 different branches of the medical records department and had to just leave a message both times. IF a baclofen pump would work --baclofen eases spasticity in MS patients and some SCI people, but it also makes you, or me at least, very stupid--it's a great idea! Pump the medication right into the spinal cord where it's needed, bypassing the stomach and brain--my brain isn't spastic and neither is MOST of my body. So that's what "they" want to do to me now, implant a baclofen pump. Problem is, I already had one in the early 90's and IT DIDN'T WORK! And they want me to get the records showing that I either had the wrong kind or it was badly handled or something!
katiebear
mulege
Mexico

January 3, 2012
11:00 AM

Post #8952873

My puter is still down. I{m at the internet cafe.

Christmas went well. I had lots of stuffed animals )in part due to neighbor Dana and an excellent thrift shop in San Diego=. symbols are all different on this typewriter. Also had twenty'five pounds of candy. Was out for a couple of hours and all went well.

Had a bug of some sort over New Years. Watched lots of dvd's and increased weight loss to thirty pounds. MUCH less pain but I agree it's hard to lose when the pain is there and demanding your attention (and ice cream). Threat of knee surgery was a good motivator for me. I'm working my way into the Fat Flush Plan. Down several sizes in my jeans.

New growth is starting on some of my trees and plants. Our weather has warmed up a bit. I'm hoping for about six months of spring weather.

hugs, katie

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 3, 2012
11:04 AM

Post #8952879

CONGRATULATIONS on your weight loss, katie. Did I tell you DD#1 dumped evil, pernicious, violent and detrimental BF? A happy day for us.
lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

January 3, 2012
4:06 PM

Post #8953368

Way to go, Katie!!!!

Amargia

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

January 3, 2012
6:10 PM

Post #8953510

That's fantastic, Katie. Giving up sugar helped me drop 20 lbs., but it has leveled off now and I'm not losing anymore. Scratching my head over what to do next. Reading a book on diabetic cooking that really puts the focus on taste and using what is in season. Hoping to find some inspiration there. Does the weight loss mean you are going to be able to delay the knee surgery or will it go hand-in-hand withe surgery?
Vickie, Nadi decided she likes shopping in the wee hours of the morning like you do. We did an allnighter so she tried it. Now, she says she is willing to wake up and go out in the wolf hours for the purpose of easy grocery shopping.
I hope it is just a touch of S.A.D,, Debra. S.A.D. is wicked! It makes everything feel worse than it really is.
Do yu WANT to try a baclofen pump again, Carrie?
It was just the routine smoothing and leveling in the garden today. I will be so happy when the hard-scaping is done and I can play with plants again all day. I guess I will print my journal and let my DG subscription run out. I've got a rinky-dink trade list anyway. Last one to have their subscription run out is AmargiaX. :-)
Found Nadi some safety glasses and a mineral pick so she can take any frustrations out on the stone well. I don't think lack of creativity is her writing problem. She just needs more marketing savvy. That, unlike creativity, can be learned. k*

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 3, 2012
6:21 PM

Post #8953524

Kay, if they can make it work, sure. I'll try anything at this point. This spasticity is very painful. But I KNOW a trial will work...I need those records from the 90s. Maybe it was a different brand or not implanted correctly or something...they were new and experimental then. I just don't want to go though the same experience again, obviously. And you could try giving up salt. It's just a hypothesis--but it seems to me that salty food a.makes you want to eat more and b.makes you retain more than water.

lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

January 4, 2012
7:52 AM

Post #8954073

Kay, we can all go play in the "Sandbox" at ATP. Almost everything you can do here and it doesn't cost anything.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 4, 2012
11:21 AM

Post #8954322

ATP???
seacanepain
Midland City, AL

January 4, 2012
2:44 PM

Post #8954536

All Things Plants? That looks interesting.
Amargiaís insurance went up dramatically this year. That is going to bite! We need to tighten our belts and go to only one DG account. In my more cynical moments, I see the banker talking to the insurance executive. He says something like, ďHey, those Amargia folks have been making double payments on their property loan. What do you say to jacking up their insurance to slow them down so I can milk all the interest on their loan.Ē Gr-r-r-r.
Iím cynical in general when it comes to insurance. What a cash cow! If they keep draining people though, they are going to find out what every farm child already knows. Cows will turn on you, if you prod them too hard.
Iím trying to count my blessings. I almost choked when I saw what my father in PA pays in property taxes. No wonder the Amish are packing up and moving to Ohio.) Our property taxes are still fairly reasonable.
Carrie, the Air force gives you a hardcopy of your medical records when you retire. Iím covered there. I have 20+ years of medical records in my files. (Hm-m-m, donít know how well that would work for you. It would probably have to be a really big file cabinet to hold 20 years of your medical records.) I wish I had Kayís records. Doctors, especially young ones, are obviously confused when they examine the backs of Kayís eyes. They inevitably ask about records of her surgery. Re-attaching the retina was a surgery still in its infancy when Kay had it. I gather there have been major changes in the techniques and materials used since. Problem is, the Eye Foundation hospital where Kay had the surgery done no longer exists and the retina surgeon who did the work died more than a decade ago. I have no idea where to find her medical records, if they still exist at all. The doctor named all his retinal artworks after famous painters. He called the work he did on Kayís eye his Picasso so I assume he did some off-the-wall things to restore her sight. If the confused expressions on the faces of young ophthalmologists are any indication, they would find those records very useful.
I have Nadine helping me inside today. A med she is on has made her extremely light sensitive. Although cold for this area it is very bright. Kayís leveling in the Fragrance Garden. (Jim)

Amargia

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

January 4, 2012
3:43 PM

Post #8954585

SOMEONE, didn't want to have to switch over the journal so they renewed the kudzu1 account. There is probably a way to change the user name on an account at DG. There is on most sites. I asked Admin., but they haven't had time to answer yet.
Is winter an okay time for planting shrubs and trees there, Debra? If so, we will go ahead and ship a tea olive. k*
lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

January 4, 2012
4:07 PM

Post #8954622

Better to wait until end of February. While it is quite mild now, we are notorious for bad cold and ice spells between the third week of January and the first week of February. Looking forward to it, though!
lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

January 4, 2012
4:10 PM

Post #8954628

Carrie, Dave and Trish started another site called All Things Plants. It's free and is quickly building members. He started by copying all members on Cubits to ATP. The focus is on plants, gardens, and related topics like beekeeping and farming. There isn't an Accessible forum, but threads can be started on the Sandbox forum, which is a general catchall.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 4, 2012
6:10 PM

Post #8954745

Oh jeeez, splitting us up even more! Well, as long as Internet Brands will pay me, I'm working here.
Sansai87
Midland City, AL

January 5, 2012
11:57 AM

Post #8955479

Donít worry, Carrie. None of us at Amargia are moving. DG is our internet home. It is the only place you can get the current gossip about Squatch, Loch Nestle, Ms. Bear and The Old Dodge. (The latter appears to be a southern relative of Steven Kingís Christine.) Most of the gardeners at DG know and remember a very important gardening fact. Gardening is hard work and frustrating at times so you need to have lots of fun while you are at it. Checking out the other sites is like visiting the neighbors. I have this theory that Dave creates gardening websites for the same reason I write. He has to. Itís an undeniable compulsion.
Annie, if you are still lurking, this talk of the different gardening websites has brought a suggestion to mind.
I initially thought a chapter on computers and websites for accessible gardeners would be an absolute must in an accessible gardening book. I have some reservations after reading older books that tried that. I did not learn how to use a computer as a gardening tool from any of the books that included such a section. What I did learn is how quickly anything related to computers evolves and changes. There was no mention of the internet in the book I just read and it was one of those that ARE younger than me. The author primarily wrote of the computer as a garden record keeping tool. The web and websites related to gardening would greatly multiply the problem of info obsolescence happening quickly, but it might also offer the solution.
I still find it hard to imagine a book not mentioning the computer as a gardening tool. The solution might be your own website. You could maintain a web page that could be updated when a URL address changes or a website drops into the void to be replaced by a better one. Direct readers to the website when the information in question might be obsolete in a foreseeable period of time. If the hassle of your own website has absolutely no appeal for you. A STABLE website that keeps the pertinent info updated might be available. e.g., there is probably a web page where a list of seed companies that carry pelletized seeds can be found. (Pelletized seeds are good for V.I.ís and those with reduce fine muscle control. Sorry, but Iíve read so many accessible gardening books back-to-back lately I canít remember if pelletized seeds were in your book or not.) It would give an information dense book a longer shelf life.
Pelletized seeds leapt to mind because Papa Jim is working on a machine that pelletizes seeds. He saw that the going price for them was several thousand dollars, said ďThatís ridiculous!Ēand went to design his own with what he has in the workshop. As an F.Y.I for anyone interested, Johnnyís has a wide range of pelletized lettuce seeds this year. Better than the usual selection. ~N~

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 5, 2012
5:51 PM

Post #8956005

Don't include internet sites and links -- they change too often.
seacanepain
Midland City, AL

January 5, 2012
7:05 PM

Post #8956105

Yes, Annie, your own website to direct readers to would be best. Someone else's website would be chancy. Web addresses would date the book quickly. If it is just a site to hold compiled data it would be simple to maintain, Basically, it would be like having a books appendixes online.That is one reason we decided to keep the list of recommended reading and websites in the intro of Practical Matters, instead of having Carrie create a Sticky. We can check and update the links whenever we refresh the thread. I don't know anything about writing, but couldn't you politely tell a reader to Google it. Well, to use a search engine. Just give them an idea of what to write in the Search Box.
Speaking of refreshing threads, does anyone need a new thread? We are up to 118 post. How long can a thread get before it becomes a problem for those on dialup?
I spent most of the day outside.I'm tired, but I feel good. (Jim)

Amargia

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

January 6, 2012
3:16 PM

Post #8957153

I've come to the conclusion we are going to have to work the landscape around the stone well. Under the softer stone and crete are layer upon layer of granite. I don't think it can be demolished short of dynamite. Where it sits would have been the ideal place for the new tool shed. I don't like the system we use now. It is too tempting to leave tools out if you know you are going to use them the next day in the same area. Our current tool storage area is too out of the way.
I wouldn't mind the stone well if I could get things to grow well in it, but I think it has been invaded by moles or burrowing something-or-others. I used it as a water garden when I first took on the property and liked it. I got tired of trimming back the nearby pines to keep it in sunlight. Large as they are, I think it will be easier to have the pines removed. Brittle pines have no business so close to the house in a hurricane prone region anyway. The new tool shed can go where the pines now stand. Best of all, taking down trees close to the house is a job for professional arborist. I don't have to do much. :-)
Jim overdid yesterday and is having a recovery day. He trimmed grape vines and helped with visuals when I reset the post of the arbor. He also tended the fire in the burn pit where we toss organic matter not fit for compost. Nadine is buried up in for-profit work today.
Love the t-shirt design as Jim described it to me, Debra. I don't think I will be the only one who would like to have one of those. k*

Thumbnail by Amargia
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lovemyhouse
(Debra) Garland, TX

January 6, 2012
3:26 PM

Post #8957159

Glad you like it, Kay. :-)

carrielamont

carrielamont
Milton, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 7, 2012
5:13 PM

Post #8958517

Hey Debra we're taking a 24 hour trip to Ft. Worth!!! Leaving dawnish tomorrow, flying to Austin, driving to Ft. Worth spend the day with grandchildren and back by Wednesday. OMG so much stiff-making driving!

Amargia

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

January 7, 2012
9:19 PM

Post #8958810

I love the Austin hill country. Lived near Lake Travis years ago. .Have fun, Carrie.
I don't know if we have anyone here who has dialup, but some of the websites had to be changed. Vince has gone to Facebook and dropped his website and I couldn't get the tool adapting site to work.
This thread is continued at:
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