Practical Matters for Physically Challenged Gardeers #16

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

Welcome to Practical Matters for Physically Challenged Gardeners #16. We came from here:
This thread is all about sharing the everyday joys and tribulations of gardening when there is some sort of limiting physical condition to contend with. The contributors here are dealing with a wide range of mobility challenges. Others have visual limitations. And, still others, conditions that cause energy deficits such as Depression, CFS or just too many birthdays. We welcome new comers. Jump in and growl and grumble about the frustrations, brag about your accomplishments or simply pass some time with people who can relate to what you are trying to do.
We are in the process of creating a list of books and websites we have found helpful. Feel free to add any books or websites that have been helpful to you or to comment on the books/websites in the list.
WEBSITES: Please let us know about any sites you have found especially helpful or if you found links invalid.
-This site addresses gardening with various types of challenges. This website is based in the U.K... Some gardening vocabulary might be unfamiliar to U.S. gardeners. This is not a major issue, however. Highly recommended
AgrAbility is a program for disabled farmers and ranchers. The focus is on agriculture rather than horticulture. The link is to AgrAbility ďAbout UsĒ page. If you need info such as how to get from a wheelchair into a pick-up truck, this is the place to go.

-Gardening from a wheelchair

BOOKSóAll, except one. of these books are available in audio format from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. The exception is ďGarden UnseenĒ which is only available in Braille at the time of this post. This list was compiled by a visually impaired person; there may be print books available that are not on the list. Please correct the oversight, if you know of any. The books in this list are, of course, also available in print and may be at your local library.
-Garden Unseen by L. Stevens
-Accessible Gardening for People with Physical Disabilities by Janeen R. Adil (We especially liked the list of recommended vegetables for containers and raised beds found 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
Very comprehensive. No matter what problems advancing age is throwing at you to spoil your gardening fun, you should find a way to keep gardening in this book. Mobility limitations, visual impairment and more subtle issues such as balance are all addressed. Will possibly be updated later this year. .
--The Able Gardener: Overcoming Barriers of Age and Physical Limitations by Kathleen Yeoman
A good book for those new to gardening and those who garden on the west coast. Some information may be outdated, but much garden knowledge stands the test of time well.

We are adding Jim Wilsonís Container Gardening this time around. Since container gardening is a technique so many of us use, Iíve been on the lookout for the best book on the subject. So far, this one is the one I like best.
I spent most of the day working on my pull-behind lawn sweeper. My back doesnít complain nearly so much about riding around on the lawn tractor as it does about raking pine straw. I will do the sweeping tomorrow, weather permitting. (Jim)

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Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Staying outside all day doesn't sound so bad! (Jim's last post on the old thread.)

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

But, obviously, I shouldnít try to start a new thread after spending all day outside. I should have waited until I had rested and my mind was sharp. (Well, as sharp as a mind can get under the influence of Tramadol..)
I donít know any way to correct my goof up on the title. Should I just let it stand or make a 16-b thread? (Jim)

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Ahhhh, let it stand, I didn't notice. You can't change the title of a thread. You could edit the to and from posts to mention it.... what spices do you associate with Christmas? Cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg/mace, and clove, that's my top five. But I'm taking requests (it's for an article).

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

That would be my top 5 too. Add the flavors of pepermint and orange and you have Christmas.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Yeah, I was unsure how to get orange and peppermint in--neither is a spice, you know. It wasn't published today--I think I will go back and add orange and peppermint (a fruit and an herb). For sure, those two are very strong flavors/smells/sensory experiences.

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

Carrie, I know the Lady Bird Johnson articleís appearance is keyed to her birthday, but it shows up at the perfect time to remind people of a great resource. I was on the NPIN website yesterday. I want to turn the windswept NE corner of our property into a natural prairie, but I want the plants that are unique to the moister Gulf Coast parries. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center site had a list of gulf coast prairie plants. They seem to have a recommended plant list for every inquiry and I keep finding new ways of using the site. December is dream garden design time.
One catalog isnít going to make it to my Christmas Day stock pile. Kay recognized the feel of the R.H. Shumway catalog. That particular catalog does have a unique look, but I think it is a sure sign of seed catalog addiction when one can recognize a specific seed catalog by touch. ROFL.
I harvested chard. Now I have to search online to find out what to do with it. :-) (Jim)
Photo #1 and #2: A few December garden surprises.
Photo #3and #4: Is this the bird equivalent of having pizza delivery? No wonder I didnít get any grapes off this vine. You donít prune muscadine grapes as severely as you do other varieties, but a little more pruning to keep it open does seem in order.
#5: One of Kayís odd container combinations. Artichokes and snow peas.

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Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Regarding Kay's "odd container combinations:" as long as all participants in a combination are happy and healthy and coexisting, it's a great combo to me. I think it's lovely. And yes, agreed to your comment about LBJ, the Mrs. Crazy gift-buying and wrapping and people changing their mind about where they will spend Christmas day, night, Eve, YIKES! Grandma got run over by a stocking disguised as a ham, but DSD refuses to eat ham, so we're making Christmas Chili instead!

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

Merry Christmas, Everyone!!!
Kay laughed at the idea of eating ham to celebrate a Jewish manís birthday, but I was able to spout the relevant New Testament passages so ham it isÖ.all dressed up with pineapple and cherries. I think we are all suffering from turkey burnout. Itís a cool, rainy day here. Chili sounds good!
We all liked the new article, Carrie. When we decided to experiment with a locavore diet, there were two items Kay and Nadine wouldnít budge on. Coffee and the warm spices they consider mandatory for holiday cooking such as cloves and nutmeg. Iím not a coffee drinker and we can grow our own ginger here. (Ginger I consider necessary because I love ginger beer. (You can freeze ginger for winter so I am able to keep myself supplied year-round from the garden.) But, I couldnít imagine life without cinnamon so we have compromised on our locavore experiment when it comes to coffee and spices. There is a fair trade program allowing individuals to buy directly from coffee and spice growers meaning the people who actually do the work growing coffee and spice crops are better compensated for their work. Iím looking into direct, fair trade sources for the exotic food stuffs we use. I read about a locavore couple in Canada whose eating experiment doesnít include any compromises. Thatís impressive! We are in a region where it can be done fairly easily. If we plan for things, like putting up ginger for winter use, it is relatively painless.
When you seriously think about giving up spices, you begin to see how spice merchants like the Dutch East India Company amassed such wealth and power.
Kay harvested purple-topped turnips yesterday. Nadine declared she didnít like turnips and I declined the greens, but would eat the roots. Kay insisted we at least try a bite. Nadine and I ended up eating our words and all the turnips, roots and greens. They tasted nothing like what comes in cans or is served as part of school lunches. Those turnip sources have probably given turnips their bad rep.
Hereís hoping everyone enjoys their Christmas Day whatever they are dining on. (Jim)

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Yeah, Jim, I didn't put anything in there about an ounce of cloves being worth three sheep etc. And there are all kinds of fair trade issues that come into play and I also didn't talk about the Portuguese-Spanish-English races to try to cultivate nutmeg ginger cinnamon and clove. Obviously ginger is not a big problem but the other ones ... whew boy.

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

Iím not sure if the strange sights found in a January garden are scary or laughable. A little of both, I guess. (Jim)
Photo #1&2: Bizarre mushroom.
Photo #3: Very large cactus. This guy is definitely more on the scary side.

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Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Not Halloween pictures but January? And the cactus doesn't rot? I think of FL/AL/GA as very humid, too humid for cactus, but I really have only been to Disneyworld in the past 20 yrs, so my thoughts don't amount to much.

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

Those do look more appropriate for Halloween, donít they? There are cacti that donít mind our humidity as long as drainage is good and there is a little wind to keep powdery mildew at bay. We have a native species of opunctia (prickly pear cactus), yecca and, of course, saw palmetto. Kay tells me you can find cacti on the windward side of the Virgin Islands so I guess they are very adaptable.

The Texas and Oklahoma people who immigrated here in the 50ís felt right at home. The Florida ďpanhandleĒ is a major beef cattle raising region. (We are very close to the Florida state line and have more in common with the panhandle than with the upper parts of AL.) Northwest Florida is very different from the touristy south Florida. We are sometimes called ďThe Forgotten CoastĒ or ďThe Redneck Riviera.Ē Lol. Our sandy soil doesnít support the lush greenery common in the upper south, except in the Ďalluvial bottom landĒ around waterways.

One reason I think the Sunset zone system will eventually be more used than the USDA system is Zone 8 covers so many different climates. When I think zone 8a, the lush interior of Alabama comes to mind and Iím sure that is a far cry from your version of8a, Carrie.

Paperwhites are popping up everywhere now and redbud trees are beginning to bloom. . Chomping at the bit to seed some small fruited tomatoes indoors. Waiting another week or two would probably be best. That way the peas will be finished and the tomatoes can take their places. In mid-March.

Photo: Ooookay, narcissus in the company of red mustard. lol.

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

Camellia...camellia... camellia...and a redbud... nope thats another camellia. So.... camellias can have red buds and redbuds are sometimes white I'm So confused.
Inquiring minds want to know, if the flower is white is it still called a redbud? :-) (Jim)

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

This is a redbud right? although, it still looks pink to me lol. (Jim)

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Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

A redbud (Cercis) is a genus of plants, a red bud is a bud that is red. Does that help? I know it might not help you tell them apart.

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

No hope for it. Need to take on the Latin and the Greek Botanical names indeed time to go study Latin.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Jim, I took French in school, never Latin. I just try to remember what I learn--wait, I also took Chemistry, which has some Latin chemical roots. Like Au is the element gold, aur- as a prefix means golden foliage, usually, or means gold in French, and so forth.

Anybody take Cymbalta? I'm interested in side effects.

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

Great article yesterday, Carrie!!! Iíll never look at a bottle of molasses the same way again. It is hard to imagine molasses as dangerous. That article definitely benefited from the pictures.
The weather has been more like April than January lately. We all have early onset garden fever. I canít imagine winter is through with us already though. The few occasions weíve had snow, it has been in Feb.
Kay is helping eldest DD prep the CanDo Garden area for a vegetable garden. EDD is doing well, but she tires easily and doesnít have much strength. After the initial prep, the work shouldnít be beyond her though. She is enthusiastic about having a garden space of her own. She will probably have to start her own DG account eventually as full of questions as she is. I doubt even Kay can field them all. . Nadine is starting her own tomatoes. There is going to be some friendly competition between the three of us for best tomatoes this year, but we all benefit at the dinner table from that kind of competition. Iím looking forward to it. We all have our favorite tomato variety and method of growing. Topsy-turvy bags and eBuckets are my chosen grow methods for the year and Iím going with old varieties like ĎCherokee Purpleí. Nadine likes a mystery variety of grape tomato that volunteered in the compost pile one year. It can completely cover the walls of the sunken garden in a season keeping us in salad tomatoes deep into summer. The cooler condition in the sunken garden means that the plants donít go dormant in the high summer heat. EDD hasnít made her mind up about a variety, but the growing method will be traditional.
I guess you could say Kay is focusing on the bones and overall structure of the land this season. She is growing more trees and shrubs. Many from seed. She and I will probably never see some of the trees mature, but the world probably needs more people who can think long term. I hope I live long enough to see all the new Cercis canadensis and Cercis chinensis trees she is planted as early forage for the bees come into flower. There! That wasnít so hard. Lol. I think calling them redbuds was just a way for the ladies to sneak more pink flowered things passed me. I wonít fall for their tricks if I learn the botanical names. That one was simple. Just family name and Latinized region of origin or place of first discovery by the namers.
Off to discover if there really is a red redbud or if I should settle for camellias as a source for early season red. (Jim)

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Thanks, Jim. It's not that hard to make enlargeable pictures like that, and SO much more effective than the tiny ones, but we're not supposed to make "hotlinks" to Flickr pictures. We're supposed to save the picture to our journal and then link to it there, for example. So....I guess I won't be doing that as much any more. It was effective, though. Man, I could get lost in those old newspapers.

It's funny; you have EDD, and I call mine DD#1, and there's also DD#2.

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

Hi all, Been depressed and kept busy crocheting.Made an afghan,houseshoes,catbeds,and a small scatter rug. It's nice to be back to the land of the living. It was so good to hear you talk of spring things. THERE IS HOPE!!!!!
I've got some seeds but is too early to start anything yet. Maybe in 2 more weeks. Have been living on peanutbutter sandwiches.Tell me something good to cook. It's also nice to be on line too. I appreciate Jim calling me..... When I'm depressed I can't talk about it.
Have also had my fill of TV.History,Science and news.I feel like I know more about politics than I ever, ever wanted to know. Have come to the conclusion that all politicians should be locked up and the key thrown away. Let my cats and dogs take care of the government.They would get along better.LOL Am proud I can complain about our government.All and all I love it anyway.
Found some old magazines next to my puter that I thought I'd lost.Now I'll be reading instead of sleeping.
I had to buy a new tire and will need to buy another one next month.It went flat at Walmarts and I refuse to buy tires at Walmarts so I drove around on a donut till I could get another. Life can get intresting sometimes.
Am looking forward to spending a day at Hobby Lobby and Lowes in the near future. Whatever I spend is to me like spending for a ticket to Disney World.Well worth it.
I had'nt thought of Amargia as like N Florida. But I guess it is.
A question....Can one camp anywhere on the beach in ALA. Or do they have designated camping areas? Yes It's getting that time of year again when I get the urge to just take off. I really do hope you ALA guys get to come up this way. I don't have a bear to intertain you with this year tho. My cats and dogs will do their best for you tho.
My neighbors have Emus too. The drive up my mountain should be good for a thrill or two. It is a good highway. And I'll cook better than peanutbutter sandwiches. Have you ever had butterscotch pies? My favorite thing to cook.
It is now eleven AM. time to go to sleep.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

What is in a butterscotch pie?

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

Hey, welcome back, Vickie! Kay says she prefers dogs and cats to bears. Lol. Iíve noticed she doesnít go wandering in the woods by herself since I convinced her of the possibility of bears in our woods. What the reality of rattle snakes and swamp cats couldnít do, the mere possibility of a bear has accomplished. Geneticly far northern types seem to have an ingrained fear of bears and wolves even if they have never actually seen one. Or, maybe, it comes from growing up listening to all those scary folktales about bears and wolves.

I made the statement that I wasnít afraid of any land animal, but Nadine and Kay burst out laughing. Okay, so maybe I have some issues with wasp.

There arenít many places you can camp right on thebeach anymore. The coastline is getting so built up. I canít understand building right on the beach front in such a hurricane prone area, but people sure do it. . Plenty of public beaches remain though and there are camping sites not too far away. As retired military, I have access to the beach on Tyndal AF base so that is where I usually go. If you still have a military ID or go to the trouble of renewing it, you should be able to get access to such places. They are usually well kept. Last time we wnt, we saw raccoons come out of the woods and play on the beach. There arenít many places you can see things like that any more. A woodland right up to the strand large enough to support wildlife has become a rarity.

We are getting more heirloom tomato seeds in a trade. That will be good. Eldest DD needs as many fresh fruits and vegetables as we can get her to eat. Getting enough vitamins and minerals is a problem for those with cirrhosis. She is frighteningly thin. Iíve started several jars of sprouts. That may be a way to get more nutrients into less food. Iím using the canning jar with the canning ring top holding the screen in place method for now. If it works out, I will step up to something more sophisticated. Iím sprouting lentils and chickpeas we already had among the dry beans for now. I want to try sprouting things like broccoli and clover when I can find a source for untreated seeds fit for sprouting. Alfalfa seeds are easy to find, but that is the one I have to avoid. It has chemicals that are harmless to most people, but could be bad for a body not easily able to rid itself of toxins.

We harvested the first asparagus spear yesterday and one of the peach trees is flowering. That particular tree is a good producer when it manages to avoid late freezes. Bells of Ireland are up and irises are beginning to put in their appearances. At least I think they are irises. They are in the iris bed anyway. I guess there are good reasons Iím in charge of the veggie growing and not the flowers. Lol. (Jim)

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mulege, Mexico

Check for seeds for sprouting. The enzimes in sprouts help with digestion so they are really good for you.

I'm mostly lurking here but I'm aroun.

hugs, katie

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

I think you can sprout quinoa, too, Jim--it's a seed, not a grain. Spring, already? Wow. We cancelled a planned trip to Boston this weekend because it is so cold there!

And I love that place, Katie. Only can shop there once every few years, though.

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

Thanks for the link, Katie. There are many things that caught my interest on that site in addition to sprout seed.
Vickie, do you just make butterscotch pudding and put it in a pie shell to make butterscotch pie? I think we have a couple of packets of butterscotch pudding. It is my favorite flavor.
Nadine suggests St. Andrews State Park (Panama City,) if you make it down this way. (I think St. Andrew was a military reserve at one time.). Iím afraid my serious camping days are over. I need that comfortable bed at the hotel on base. Of course, you could camp out in the CanDo Garden. No Gulf nearby though, just a creek. We had a campfire there last night. Now, thatís my kind of camping. Only steps away from my bed and spa tub. BTW, was that garden named after you or did you and Kay have a case of great minds thinking alike? Iím slowly selling off my comic book collection to fund a trip your way in late spring or early summer. That will take care of two birds with one stone. Kay is tired of shuffling around the boxes and boxes that contain my collection. Kay has a sister near Houston and one near the OK border above Dallas so we will make a big, roughly circular trip of it. Kay is the youngest of her bunch of siblings. She is afraid if she doesnít get out to see them again soon she may not have the chance.
Are you up to growing tomatoes in containers this year, Carrie? I think it is time in your region to start the seeds, if you want to go that route. You will have a completely different set of tomato growing issues in your new home. I donít suppose getting the tomatoes to ripen before high heat pushed the plant into dormancy was ever an issue in MA.
Winter popped back in to remind us it still rules. The forecast is for 8 hrs. of below freezing temps. I hate the timing because the little boy is still being held hostage in the storm bunker and I doubt the mentally disturbed man who kidnapped him thought to install a heating system in the shelter. (I assume news of that local situation has gone national. There seem to be news crews from everywhere near the site. ) Negotiations are still going on. Letís pray the child is free soon.
The sprouting experiment is a success. Dried chickpeas and lentils from the grocery store sprouted well. They have a nutty taste I like. Iíll try quinoa next. I heard sprouts recommended as a survival food for situations in which the power is out for a week or more and heat for cooking is not easily available. That is a use for sprouts I never thought of, but it makes sense. Sprouts provide an easily stored, high nutrient, good tasting food without the need for cooking. (For everyday cooking, I like them in stir fry dishes.) Adding sprout seeds to our hurricane season emergency stash seems like a smart idea . (Jim)

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Uh, er, I haven't grown ANYTHING except paperwhites, amaryllis and coleus since we've been here, Jim. I killed the tarragon I scored at a round up but most of the other stuff, well, some of the other stuff is still alive.

I still don't have a way to get outside w/out a LOT of help, and I'm afraid that anything I tried to grow would burn up. It was 115* quite regularly last summer.

Will you be calling on ME when you make your big circular trip? I think if you go from Houston to OK north of Dallas, I'll be right on the way! Just don't come 4/27/2013; we're going to CT that weekend. There may be a RU around then....have you ever been to one of those? And Debra is very near here too! We'll have our Accessible Gardening West sub-committee meeting.

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

That sounds like fun! I wonít have to take notes at this committee meeting will I? lol. Maybe I can be in charge of the refreshments. Iíll bring some heirloom tomatoes and we can have an heirloom tomato tasting. It looks like we will be growing tomatoes in a big way this year.
I keep meaning to go to our local RU but something always comes up at the last minute. Maybe, Iíll have better luck making it to an RU in TX.
Iíve been reading what I think of as a ďthorns and rosesĒ article. You always see them around Valentineís Day. One of those exposes about the dark side of the cut flower industry. (Iíll probably go for live miniature roses if I buy Kay any flowers this year.) I did learn something new though. Botanically speaking, roses donít have thorns. They have prickles. I still think, outside the happy realm of garden geekdom, roses will continue to have thorns. It sounds more poetic. Lol. (Jim)

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

THAT should be my Valentine's Day article this year! I wrote a book review of 'Flower Confidential' by Amy Stewart and she talked about the cut flower industry and rose breeding and how the thorns and smell have been bred out in favor of roses that can be shipped and packaged and stored without losing their rose-bud look. Just then they decided that book reviews couldn't count for articles. (When you see one, it's written by someone on salary.)

I'll appoint Debra in charge of refreshments

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

I'll try to be there. When is it again? I've had a stomach virus that just hung on.
I really want you to come up here. But I can surely come down there to Dallas area too. And if things work out can go to Alabama next fall.I still love to camp out. Our family reunion is in Oklahoma in Sept.I have'nt had an outdoor fire yet...too cold. Am jealous.
Oh Jim,Yes I've been hearing about that poor child and say a prayer several times aday for him.and that he and that guy have bonded enough to keep him safe.
Carrie, There are some rose fields near the A&M RESEARCH Center in Overton that still grow roses that have a good rose scent. Its on ST hwy 31 between Kilgore and Tyler.They also sell roses(with THORNS) at a stand on 42 (31 intersects with 42) in Kilgore.during bloom period.
I think you'd injoy the drive Carrie.And I think it's WC accessible.Am not sure you can do anything but drive thru the rosefields.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

I'm supposed to be getting a new power chair in 4-6 weeks....I'll wait until then.

AND, I think we are going back to Cancun in the end of February. And then CT in April. Hot diggity dawg!

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

Well, the hostage crisis wasnít resolved peacefully, but it has been resolved. The ordeal is finally over for the little boy. Physically, at least. Emotional healing from that kind of trauma will take years.
Another trip to Cancun sounds like a blast, Carrie. I like making return visits to a destination. You can appreciate a place more deeply after the novelty has passed. This time if you are served nopalito you will know you are eating a prickly pear pad. Lol.
The back pain has been worse than usual lately so Iíve been doing lots of reading. Iíve read Flower Confidential . in my opinion, it gives a more balanced picture of things than the other ďthorns and rosesĒ stuff you see in print around Valentineís and Mothers Day . (f I remember correctly. Amy Stewart called those sort of exposes ďBLOOD and rosesĒ articles. That is a more accurate description when you include the exposes on the Colombian cut flower industry. Did our government really think moving the cut flower industry to that part of the world would help curtail the illegal drug trade ? That seems NaÔve.
A cooler filled with fragrant, locally grown flowers next to the cash register, is a part of my girls dream for their own coffee /bakery shop. (Did I say ď..girlsĒ? Uh-oh. You know you are getting old when you think of 20 and 30-something women as ďgirls.Ē) I might as well say ďmy daughtersĒ. I donít think of them anymore as my god-daughter or step-daughter. With no living fathers, they are simply daughters to me now.
We want to factor your mountain into our trip, Vickie. Kayís oldest sister grew up near where you are and Kay wanted to take pictures of the place to bring to her. Arlene canít travel, but we can still give her a virtual visit to her childhood home. It must be a beautiful place. It seems to haunt the people who lived there with pleasant memories. It was during WWII that Miss Hlen and her oldest daughters lived there. They had to have been poor and struggling, but they still speak of their years in Arkansas with a smile.
The doc prescribed Lortab5 for a while to handle the muscle tension and pain so Iím feeling better than I have been. Finally able to get some sleep. I just wish DD#1 did not work at a bakery. She doesnít drive and a bakerís work day starts obscenely early. Nadine and I take turns driving her to and from work so it isnít really too bad. Iím still walking the property every day on Kayís arm so I get to see all the little seasonal changes. My none-to-clandestine love affair with my snapdragons continues. Youíve got to love them! They take a break in high summer, but the remainder of the year they just keep on keepiní on. (Jim)
Photo: Snapdragons hanging out of my deck rail planter.

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Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Lovely! I hear you about your daughters. Are girls different from boys? I mean duh, obviously, totally, but I have 3 step-sons and one step-daughter. The daughter is the one who turns to Dad for car loans, school loans, amnesty from prior loans. I'm the c.f.o., DH comes to me for can we afford to loan her money from our retirement fund. I always say sure. And then she asks me. The boys/men don't ask for that kind of stuff. I don't think I could say no to them either.

The hostage thing--I don't think there IS any peaceful resolution of that type of situation. There's no way you can tell the little boy "everything's okay, that bad man will be in jail forever but you should have no trouble sleeping for the rest of your life." Ugh. Once he's the hostage,things are pretty bad for him for a long time. But at least the healing can start and he's safe.

BEAUTIFUL day here, today. Like April in Boston.

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

The mother will have a hard time getting over this too. It'll be hard to let him out of her sight for awhile.
Jim, saw you had some rough weather for awhile this afternoon.
Wait untill you're still calling daughters, the girls when they're 50 LOL
Carrie, daughters and grandsons both seem to come to mamaws for most stuff. sometimes the answer is no.
I think the times we had no or little money were the happiest for us too. We could always have a little garden and were good at gathering wild things from animals to plants. Even the girls remember this as good times,like playing in mud puddles,picking berrys,looking for fishbait,fishing in a little pond.churning milk. Vonn remembers a big ole bull......except it was a cow from which we got milk, but it had horns thus it was a bull.LOL
I fell a couple days ago and banged my neck up(don't know why my neck and not much else) DD came up and stayed the night with me. Am doing fine.
Have got all I need to start some seeds,maybe tomorrow.
My SIL is going to put up a long shelf in my hall for the cats to play on.That should be fun to watch....The cats not the SIL.
Take care all

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Heh heh heh, the cats not the sil!

Golfer's elbow is getting worse--now I'm typing left-handed. S-l-o-w!

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

Carrie, You sure thats not writers elbow? Do you really play golf? Have you tried a heating pad on it?
Did'nt plant seeds. It snowed....Somehow it did'nt seem right to plant seeds when it was snowing,but we've got a beautiful white world.
Am so-o-o-o mad at my car insurance company. They are going up on my insurance. Have never had a ticket or an accident. Its just my age.That just seems like discrimination. gr-r-r-r

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

It's CALLED golfer's elbow. (To distinguish it from tennis elbow, which is the opposite.) It's actually called medial epicondylitis, and tennis elbow is lateral epicondylitis. It comes from hyper-extending my elbow, like a strong forehand and then back-hand in Wii ping-pong. It's mostly, I think, from transferring and using my upper body too much in ways it wasn't designed for. It hurts when I shift gears in the car, or when I use the mousepad in the laptop, and most of all when I prop myself up on my straight arms, like doing a push up, and straighten my elbows. The cure is to stop stressing the tendon for a LONG time. I can't stop transferring!

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

I learn something new all the time on this forum. I thought golferís elbow was just another name for tennis elbow. Hope your neck, Vickie, and your elbow, Carrie, are better today. Happy Valentineís Day. Itís the traditional day for planting potatoes in our area, but we arenít planting white potatoes this year. Kay is planting seeds despite the rain and cooler temps. I donít think anything short of snowfall could stop her.
lol. I think a shelf full of cats sounds like hours of entertainmentÖand better than most of what is on TV. But, I wouldnít get my hopes up that the cats having a shelf of their own will keep them off your shelves. We had a cat named Catherine who push anything we put on the mantle off onto the floor. Finally, I just gave up and cleared the mantle and made it her space. Her response was to start pushing things off the coffee table. I started putting her toys on the mantle for the express purpose of being pushed off. That seemed to satisfy her. Your feline fur-buddies are probably better behaved. Catherine spent most of her life as a barn cat. She didnít dain to come inside the house until she was very old. She was a great outside cat, but she was the house cat from Hell.
An amazing amount of rain came down in a very short period of time. There has been some flooding. Iíve seen worse here though. Fixing the lower drive is going to take a bite out of my travel budget. Not too big of one I hope. I would rather have the freak rains than the massive snowfall that hit New England.
What work Iíve done has been in the kitchen lately. We Canned an excess of mandarin oranges in a light syrup and froze four bags of whole strawberries. I picked up a gallon from a nearby strawberry farm, but we couldnít eat that many fresh. My eyes were bigger than our stomachs. Lunched on a chicken/sweet potato pot pie. Sweet potatoes grow so much easier in our area than white potatoes, we will focus on them this growing season. Kay and Nadi have been showing me how versatile sweet potatoes are. A few more dishes like sweet potato pot pie and I donít think I will miss Irish potatoes TOO much. Growing up in PA, we ate sweet potatoes around the winter holidays and that was about it. I wasnít a big fan of candied sweet potatoes.
It seems like prices are going up dramatically on everything. I had to pay double what I normally do for my Cymbalta this month. I need the neuropathy relief that comes with Cymbalta so I canít just go to a different anti-depressant. Ouch! My back and my wallet are under assault. (Jim)

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Yeah, my husband was on Cymbalta, just came off it! 2 Cymbalta stories: first, with OUR plan, a refill of Cymbalta was one price, whether you took 1 a day or 3 a day. Clearly cheaper to get the md to write for more per day. Two, dh decided to come off them. He was allegedly ONLY taking them for pain, not as anti-depressants. All the same, he was strangely morose coming off them. He did it when the rx ran out--not the right way! Be careful, that's all. He never got pain relief. I think he would like gabepentin, but it made him sleepy. I think that wore off for me.

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

Thanks, My neck is much better. Now if the depression would lift abit,Id be able to do the jitterbug. LOL
I'm still looking for the Butterscotch pie receipe. I don't trust my memory for someone else.I wrote it in a cookbook .....but which one?
I've tried other anti depressents but always come back to Prozac.
We're under an icestorm watch tonight, so our electricity might go down for a few days. I am prepared, tho I might run into town to get another bag of catfood and beleive it or not an icechest for milk and butter. I think the last icestorm took down all the weak trees so should be safe from those.
some of our lines go thru forest which am not sure about. Fun to live in exciting times LOL Everyone up here stays prepared for outages,at least the oldtimers do.Most today have generators. I hate the sound of them tho and tough it out,just pretend I'm camping out.
It'll soon be daylight so better go get dressed.

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