#12 Practical Matters for Physically Challenged Gardeners

(Debra) Garland, TX

That makes me very happy, Nadine. :-)

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

Debra, I’ll have to get Nadine to post a pic tomorrow of the special planter Jim made for ‘Dixieland Band’. I think you’ll get a kick out of it knowing the bloom color and pattern.
Vickie, there is a bud on the ‘Spiced Custard’ DL I received, as well. If we don't have any more weird weather surprises, it should be fine. Normally, I would try to get newly transplanted perennials to focus on developing a root system, but it is so healthy I don’t think it would hurt anything to let it do its thing. All the DLs Debra sent were healthier than the ones Jim purchased online. You can tell they were loved.
All of my poor plants seem a little confused about what season it is. There are blooms on one of the peach trees!
Nadine has been taking advantage of my GS’s slip-up with the craft paints. She thought it was a good excuse to paint the artroom again. She confessed to hating the ‘Chutney’ (muted orange) color of the walls. Even Jim, whose idea it was, had to admit it was too much. Well, he admitted it after Nadi offered to do the re-painting. When he was the one who would have been doing the re-painting, he said it was “an interesting look.” lol. k*

Midland City, AL

This is the 'Dixieland Band' planter. It is a very wide ATV tire with one side wall removed and painted. I did one something like this in pastels for the CanDo Container Garden, but thought the painting was to painstaking to do more than a couple. PJ used a mini paint roller to do the white accent part. Duh. Why didn't I think of that. It's quick and easy done that way. Can wait to see it when the daylily blooms and it all comes together. ~N~

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(Debra) Garland, TX

That looks great!! Thank you for posting it.

Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

That is one very cool planter!!

(Debra) Garland, TX

Nadine, what kind of paint was used for the red base?

Midland City, AL

I used spray paint, Debra. But, Nadine has used latex paint on the ones she has made.
I harvested the first of the spinach and the last of the basil today. There was lots of basil so I’ve been making pesto. I think I will freeze the remainder. The leaves are limp when you thaw them, but the flavor is unaffected. Kay makes a carrot-ginger soup she is convinced helps keep winter colds at bay. It contains lots of basil. The soup is pureed so the texture of the basil leaves doesn’t matter. I like having basil frozen for use in this soup. The fresh basil available in the grocery stores during winter is not that good and usually beyond our budget.
Nadine will be traveling back in time tomorrow. She will be spending the morning learning how small farmers dug peanuts and processed sugar cane in the late 1800’s. Kay and I are both tired and achy. October is a busy time here. She and I will stay in the comforts of this century and enjoy time travel vicariously through Nadine and her pictures. (Jim

mulege, Mexico

I like the tire planter. Nice job and good idea about using the small roller.

I haven't posted here for a while but I've been following through lurking. Had a bad experience in another forum and have been licking my wounds.

My right shoulder has been sore for several months. I'll be going to Ca. to get a shoulder harness and to see my doctor if I can get through the Kaiser crap.

Lots of work to do and I'm seriously slowed by a bad arm. My left knee is still shot and I may get knee replacement surgery next year.

Tony and I (mostly Tony) have been clearing aspace in the fron for a garden. It will be flat and ther's good soil as it's had leaf drop for sweveral years. It will be a place where we can display some of our garden art and maybe get some business going. I have lots of concrete molds.

Of course, we're still working on the house.

If anyone is interested a new solar light I got at Walmart stayed on all night. They usually last only a few hours. Don't know how many weeks or months it will last but it's nice and bright this morning. It's the one with the crackly-looking plastic bulb. Very pretty and should be good for lighting paths. It will also work as the center of a flower made from and old washing machine agitator.

Lost one of my dogs, Amber, the other day. I'd found her alsmost dead about a hundred miles north of here seven or eight years ago. She was very tiny and very sick. The American vet who was here then performed miracles with her. She got big and healthy and had a good life here.

hugs, katie

(Debra) Garland, TX

Katie, I am very sorry about Amber. I still can't believe my Russell isn't here anymore. Glad you had her as long as you did and glad you are back. :-)

Midland City, AL

Well, I’m back in this century. I discovered the food was good back then. I had fresh cow’s milk, sweet potato pancakes with preserves, a strawberry malt, roasted corn-on-the-cob, samples of flavored honey and, of course, cane syrup. I learned that a malt is different from a milkshake. Draft horses are HUGE and it’s a little scary when they like you. Pigs don’t like paparazzi. And, never get into a staring contest with a ram. They WILL win.
I stopped by the Botanical Garden on my way home where I learned MK’s scarecrow creations aren’t as weird as I thought they were. I saw giant scarecrow ladies, zombie scarecrows, scarecrows picnicking and that scarecrows are at their scariest first thing in the morning.

Picture: Huge Horsie

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Midland City, AL

Here's the pretty, giant, scarecrow lady

This message was edited Oct 22, 2011 6:19 PM

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Midland City, AL

But here's what she looks like in the morning

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Midland City, AL

Sad to hear you lost one of your fur-buddies, Kb, but glad you are posting again. ~N~

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Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

Katie you are in my prayers. Losing a furbie BFF is not easy. Remember the good times. Do ya think we could meet somewhere in the middle between us/ I too have been seriously advised to have a knee replacement soon, and even as much as I hate hospitalizations do know that I can't make it like this
much longer. It's more the post op rehab that I dread than the actual surgery.

Sheri

mulege, Mexico

Sheri - Wish you had Kaiser coverage. We could recuperate together. As it is, I'm looking for someone in So. Ca. who might like a recuperating (and paying) room mate for a month or so after the surgery, which will probably be in January.

katie

Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

No Kaiser. Just Medicare, AARP & VA (if I ever get down right desperate). Mine will probably be in January also. I can dream of recovery in San Diego though ;-)

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

Well good luck to you two. You both may as well come have it in Arkansas and stay with me.I'm about in the middle between you. The U of Arkansas had a commercial today saying they would gladly take medicare patients. So I'll be going to Fort Smith for my medical care from now on.Probably pretty soon.
That will have to include a trip to Michaels.
Sorry about the furbaby Katie.I know he had a good life with you.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Where was Nadine that she had so many cross-cultural experiences? That was my mantra crossing Spain with DH. He would say "I'm home sick, I want a hamburger and a Coke" and I would say think of it as a cross- cultural experience.

(Debra) Garland, TX

I craved nachos when in England, Ireland, and Wales. :-)

Midland City, AL

I just traveled 120 years or so back in time. Only about 30 miles in space. There was an agricultural heritage festival at a nearby park
So. Other than missing hamburgers, the trip was fun? ~N~

Photo: Turn of the last century drugstore. They make an epic malt there.

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Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

OH yes, We had one of those drugstores in Arkansas in the 50,s They served luscious purple cows and cherry cokes as well as malts (with lots of malt.)
I love traveling back in time once in awhile.
When we lived in Turkey, I never really craved anything. I had too much fun sampling native stuff.Afraid I was always impolite. You are supposed to leave a bite or two on your plate to show you were eating because it was good not just hungry. I would look at that last bite and smile saying this is so good and eat the last morsel.I tried hard to follow good muslum manners, but not when it came to leaving food.LOL
Debra, The Brits have got to have something crunchy and cheesy.
Alas, I can't think of a single spanish replacement for hamburgers and coke. How about a roast beef sandwich with tomatoes,olives,garlic and wine.

(Debra) Garland, TX

Ooh, that last sounds good. Put a little tapenade on roast beef with good chewy bread and some red juice of the grape. yum

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Vickie, I never knew you lived in Turkey!!! When was this? I went to Istanbul in 1981. I loved it. I only wish I had known a little more about Islam manners and Turkish history and so forth THEN that I know NOW. I think I wanted to go because I had read about it in some Agatha Christie mystery. Of course, in Agatha Christie, the sun never sets on the British Empire, tea is served the world around, nobody ever gets dysentery from eating local food, or maybe nobody eats local food.

I probably didn't know it was a Muslim country before I went. If I had, I wouldn't have known what that meant. Etc. Etc. I was full of energy but SO DUMB!

Midland City, AL

I would like to go to the Middle East as a tourist in peace time. My last oversea assignments took me to Saudi and Kuwait, but my cross cultural experiences were limited to blowing sand, staggering heat and, let us not forget, those lovely camel spiders. Military personnel were kept sequestered on the air bases. The only nice thing about that trip was that I was laid over in Germany for a few days. Some of the locals kept buying me beers because they got a kick out of hearing me speak my Amish variation of German. I got the impression it was rather like meeting someone in a pub in NYC who ordered drinks and spoke to the barkeep in Shakespearean English. lol. My attempts at German kept me supplied in lager and good food though.
That sounds like a great tour, Debra. I guess I would have to add Scotland to the list of destinations to get Nadine to go as Kay's sighted guide. Kay says traveling with a male sighted guide has limitations. Did you run into any major accessibility problems, Carrie? (Jim)

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

LOL! I never meet a stranger and I'll talk to anyone that'll listen.(Or not sometimes) Was there in 60 to 63. We lived in town rather then on base. In our apt building we had Brits,Scots and of course Turks.Next door was a Turkish family that was pro communist and across the hall was a family that was pro american.Even tho it is a muslem country. They are much less strict religious than most muslem countrys.Womens vails were outlawed years ago. The Brits and Scots were teachers in a nearby college.I loved Turkey and the people and the food. Course we were told not to eat the local food but we did. Never had any problems.
Carrie, I was a big Agatha Christie fan too. It's been a long time since I've read one of her books. Will have to check one out again. The first one of hers I read, I had to reread again cause i was so surprised.

(Debra) Garland, TX

Jim, I didn't write that clearly, sorry. Was in the Republic of Ireland for seven days in 1992, eight days in Wales/England in 2002, and five days in London in 2007. Guess I've lived in Texas so long even that little bit of cultural difference was too great for my Tex-Mex palate to endure for more than a day or two each time. LOL

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

That is probably a better way to enjoy western Europe. A bite at a time. Those Grand European Tours travel agents push sound exhausting to me. Well, when I was younger it might have had appeal.
Carrie, what you describe sounds like typical under 35 behavior to me. I think only a lucky few get a strong, young body and a discerning mind simultaneously.
k*

(Debra) Garland, TX

Ain't that the truth!

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Which what I describe, the trip we just took or the trip i took in 1981 when I was 20 y.o.? Probably both were under 35-type - this European adventure totally exhausted both of us!

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

Carrie, Is'nt that what adventures are supposed to do to one?
Wait untill you are 70. Just going to the grocery store can be an adventure.LOL

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

I was referring to the earlier trip, Carrie.
:-) How true, Vickie. And, I’m not even 70 yet. The older you get the more of an adventure daily life becomes.
I’m like that character in The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett who doesn’t want to go on any more heroic quest because you never know about the restroom facilities on quest. :-) k*

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

Could'nt agree more Kay!!!! But of course wait till January. I'll be wanting to go anywhere and everywhere that has green stuff growing.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Ha ha Vickie sometimes it is: if my WC breaks or someone is blocking my return to the van or the ramp doesn't work or one of the 6 ways of my 6-way power seat gets stuck or .... the adventures in Spain were at least fun to think back on, even though we feel like crazy old coots. I guess there's adventures w/DH = fun and silly, or misadventures with a PCA = hazardous w/ no combat pay. PCA's don't get the underlying silliness in every awkward situation.

(Debra) Garland, TX

carrie, how many of the pcas are young? i remember only feeling awkward and not understanding the silly part. thankfully, MOST of the time, i can now find the funnies. :-)

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

You're right. They're probably all under 35. Except Tania who is my favorite of ALL my PCAs, she's been with me for 5 years!

Midland City, AL

I considered becoming a PCA, but a nurse told me she didn't think I was strong enough to do the lifting required.
Vickie, would you do me a favor and keep an eye out for wild egg gourds in your area? Cucurbita pepo var. Ozarkana, if you want to get technical about it. I’ve been doing a lot of research on Native American food for my Thanksgiving dinner project. I had this idea of going absolutely authentic and making it so every dish on one table would be something a Creek woman living in 1491 would recognize. MK teased me saying I needed to take it back even further if I was going for truly authentic Creek food. All the way back to before the Creek were introduced to corn by the Meso-American tribes. (It was a joke because I’ve been complaining about all the corn-y recipes. It seems every recipe I get from a Muskogee or Porch Creek has corn in it in some form. I know Europeans have the same relationship with wheat, but I think wheat is more versatile.) Anyway, this all led me to investigate what foods the SE tribes did eat before corn made its way north and east. It’s known the egg gourd or egg melon is one of the indigenous plants the Creek learned to cultivate. As its name implies, it can still be found growing wild in the Ozarks.
There will be three tables this year. The drummers table is just what it sounds like, the drummers favorite foods. (The dancers get the “ooohs” and “aaahs” from the crowd. The drummers get more concrete rewards.) Second are the post-Columbian foods that incorporate ingredients African and European Americans introduced, but dishes the Creek put a unique twist on. Things like fry bread and berry wojapi. Lastly, there will be the pre-Columbian traditional foods which are where the wild game and all the corn come in. By next year, I would like to add a fourth table with samples of the truly ancient foodstuffs I am learning about.
I take on the task of turning nopales into nopalitos tomorrow from our local variety of prickly pear. Kay says you can find them already cleaned in the produce department of grocery stores in Texas. I will clean and prep them once from scratch just so I can say I did, but if I discover I want nopalitos more than once a year, I am going to find a Hispanic grocery store nearby. :-) ~N~

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

I've not seen any egg gourds around here. I did find some dried ones several years ago in southeast Okla. I brought some of them home and made christmas ornaments with them.No! I'm a dummy and did'nt save the seeds.I don't suppose you have any seeds? I do have a prickly pear plant,that I guard.and a spanish needle plant along the road to the hwy.I don't have a clue how they got started growing here. My mexican market don't carry prickly pears. I feel neglected. Do you have to do anything to them besides burn the needles off of them?
I think it's wonderful that you are going to fix some traditional foods. I get a bee in my bonnet and want to fix other foods than what I always eat. My family are not in the least adventurous tho. Thats sad.

(Debra) Garland, TX

Nadine, you are going to be one busy woman. :-)

Midland City, AL

I was hoping to talk some friends into joining me in my madness, but I have quickly learned that football fans of either gender or any ethnic group are a lost cause. They are convinced that eating large amounts of a traditional list of foods and watching football is the meaning of Thanksgiving. :-) The idea of fry bread and blueberry wojapi dip is going over well with this group though. I'm told the combination has many years of tradition behind it as a football watching snack. Wojapi can be made from any berry, but my expert insist for Thanksgiving football it has to be blueberry. Thanksgiving has got to be the most tradition bound holiday there is!
I learned Papa Jim's blow torch method of cleaning nopales. There were no injuries and nothing was burnt down. Only after I had finished did he tell me nopalitos are available cleaned, cooked and processed in jars at the local Wal-Mart superstore. You can grill the pads over coals or boil the de-prickled pads, peel them and cut them up to be used in recipes.
Yes, Vickie, it is the seeds of Ozarkana egg gourds I am after. It is certain they were cultivated by the SE and Mississippi river valley tribes and not just gathered from the wild. To get a taste of the past, I will need to grow them the way I would any cucumber. Archeologist believe they were used for bowls and the like, as well as their edible seeds. What was found in ruins was much larger than what is seen in the wild. That is how they know agriculture evolved independently in North America. The Meso-tribes just introduced new crops into an already established agricultural system. Can you tell I'm having fun? I just have a unique concept of fun. I love history! ~N~.

(Debra) Garland, TX

It DOES sound like fun. Learning about something in which we have interest IS fun, don't you think? [hug]

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