April is Awesome!!

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

New month, new thread! We came from here:


Join us with your chat and info about all things gardening and miscellaneous "stuff", as well. :)
I'm re-posting my last post in the March thread. Feel free to do the same.

"Yesterday I discovered that my entire shade garden with the tire planters in it had been burned over! :((( Al sheepishly admitted that while he was burning leaves, the fire got away from him and jumped into the leaves in the shade bed which I had not yet cleaned out. Burned over were 2 nandinas which were on the sun end of that bed, along with a clematis and a couple of hollyhocks. In the shade area, I lost 2 hydrangeas, 2 azaleas, some hostas, several heucheras, columbines, woodland phlox and I can't remember what all. The only thing untouched was the one big heuchera in the very top tire of the tire pyramid. BUT it is a good excuse for me to buy new plants! :D LOL

For Kathy Ann's RU in May, so far I know I will have Huskers Red Penstemon, Black-eyed Susan (rudbeckia), White Snakeroot and some various sedums and hopefully some gaillardia to share. Let me know if any of you want any of those if you plan to come to the RU on May 30th."

I'll start April off with a pic of a bouquet of daffodils:

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St. Simon's Island, GA(Zone 9a)

I pruned my crepe myrtles today. You shouldn't have a problem with doing it now. I usually wait til I see the first few leaves coming out. It is a beautiful day today, but I think we are going to get rain this afternoon. Gotta go get back to the yard while I can!

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Marilyn, south Louisiana had dogwoods blooming, iris, and azaleas etc in full bloom. It was really pretty down there. I noticed in northern La the dogwoods had a few blooms on them but I haven't seen any close to here. It doesn't appear that ANY of mine have buds on them - just leaves. I hope I am wrong, but I sure don't see any. I do have blooms on a new Cherokee Pride ( I THINK that is the name!) one that I just purchased, but I am sure it was shipped in from the south because it was already loaded with buds when I purchased it at Home Depot weekend before last.

The daffodils are looking prettier in my yard than they ever have before - I have a lot more blooms than usual. I spent over 2 hrs last night trying to plant some daffodils that I dug up at an old homeplace........... I am still not finished but my knees had had it - so I had to stop for the night! Maybe I can get some more done today if it isn't raining.

Does anyone know if root pieces will sprout off of Hardy Hibiscus? I had to move one that I had planted last year and although we got most of the root ball up in one large piece - I had several pieces of roots that I stuck in a pot to see if they would sprout. I didn't know if it was possible...... but if they do, I will have some nice hibiscus to share at KAs.

Marilyn, sorry to hear you lost so many plants............... do you think the clematis might come back up? The reason I say that is that I have one that Leigh has cut down with the lawn mower AT LEAST 3 times..... quite possibly more! And it keeps coming back and has grown all the way up to the top of the chain link fence this year................ I was looking at all the buds on it the other night and he wasn't sure what I was looking at and he asked if he had already mowed it down again ...... :( Not yet anyway...............

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Marilyn, sorry you lost some plants, but like you said, a good excuse to buy more. I was going to say the same thing about the clematis. Mine are greening up now, so give yours a couple more weeks before you declare it a goner.

Thanks for starting the new thread.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

We all seem to be in different phases of blooms. My daffodils are all gone but a few late blooming varieties. They were really pretty this year. Mine started blooming way early.

My white and pink dogwoods will be in full bloom soon. They have already budded out. My azaleas have lots of buds starting to show a little color so they are not far away either.

Things are popping up by the minute literally! I made a walk around the yard around 10 this morning and my Barrenwort didn't have a single bloom. I didn't even see any buds. Then I walked around a few minutes ago and it's blooming like crazy! A few more warm days like today and things will really be blooming.

I'm like the others Marilyn your Clematis will probably come back.

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

I'm not declaring the clematis a goner yet. I will wait a few weeks and see what happens. In fact, I am going to give the entire shade bed a few weeks before I replace any of those plants. They could all surprise me and put out new growth. We will see. . .

I have 3 or 4 other clematis on the back fence so it isn't like I won't have any clematis blooms this year. :)

It was cooler today and overcast--temps in the 60's. They are saying we will be in the 60's for about the next 5 days with lows in the 40's and 50's except for tomorrow night (Thursday) which will be down near freezing! :( I suppose I will have to get out tomorrow afternoon and cover everything with old sheets. We are also supposed to have rain the next few days.

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

Marilyn I'm sorry about your loss plants but sounds like a good excuse to go shopping to me!!! LOL!!!

Today I saw the pecan trees are budding. Winter is finished here!!! YEA!!!

Ripley, MS

I think last nights storms "woke up" the rest of the trees here, our big oak is putting out, in Memphis today the cherry trees were in full bloom and looked beautiful.
Jerry's Mom got her new pacemaker today and did great !

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Got some more sad news today. I have suspected that Richard's older brother also has Alzheimer's but my SIL has gotten really defensive when I've tried to talk about it. So I had just dropped it. Well today their son went public and announced it on FB. He just kinda decided that people needed to know and then told her what he had done. He told me his mom and brother and sister have just been in denial and would not accept it. I think they finally had to in Nov. He seems to be in about the same stage as Richard. The son told me his wife (a psychiatrist) had noticed signs 10 years ago. Knowing what I know now, I know Richard was also showing signs that many years ago. It just really runs in their family.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Sandra we did a cross post. Glad Mrs. Mills did ok. The cherry trees are in full bloom here too. They are beautiful! We have a storm going on here right now. Lot's of lightening, rain, etc. Hope it quits in a little while!

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

Sorry about your BIL, Charlotte. Perhaps now that the son has made it public, the rest of their family will be more open to getting help. I hope they will let you talk about it now and that you will be able to tell them how you manage certain issues as they arise. I am sure you can be very helpful to them if they will allow you to be.

Sandra, so glad to hear that all went well with Mrs. Mills! Hopefully, she will do much better now.

We did not have any storms last night and only a trace of rain but they are still calling for a 30% chance of rain today and an 80% chance of thunderstorms tonight. Now they are saying that the low tonight will be 61F, the high on Friday will be 64F and the low on Friday night will be 34F! Go figure that one out! LOL

Ripley, MS

Sorry to hear more bad news, Charlotte. How much difference in their ages?

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Sandra, so glad Mrs Mills is doing well. I hope she will be feeling and doing much better now.

Charlotte, so sorry about your BIL. I remember you suspected this for a long time, and it's sad his wife was in denial for so long. It's a scary thing for a lot of people to face, but really does no one any good. It must be really scary for the sons and daughters when they know it runs in the family. Some people still think of it as an embarassment and want to keep it hidden, like many psychological illnesses and diseases. I too hope you can communicate with your SIL more openly and that she will be receptive to hearing what you've been through and can learn better how to cope.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

His brother is 4 years older. Yes it would concern me if I was a child of theirs. Their mother had it and 2 or 3 of their dads siblings. Then Richard had a son that died from a very rare genetic condition. Both he and his wife were carriers. One of his daughters has it. Both daughters had just one child each. I would think that the fear that it might show back up had something to do that. Yes I think people still try to hide it feeling there is some kind of stigma. It's a disease of the brain and they can't help it! Yes there are ways to handle them and I've learned a lot about it by talking to other people. The things they do are so very similar. As they progress eating, personal hygiene, etc all become issues. They seem to go through phases of certain things. One thing I'm tracking now are the moon phases. People keep talking about how a full moon really causes them to act up. The last time I had some real problems with Richard being so irrational was during the last full moon. We have another full moon coming up Sat (the blood moon). Nurses, etc all say they see it in nursing homes etc. It is supposed to have some to do the the magnetic of the moon. There is more pull during a full moon. There are cards you can get or have printed yourself that explains they have a memory impairment. I have thought about printing some up but haven't yet. We go out to eat every night. That is an outing for him every day and he really enjoys it. I of course always order for him. He doesn't remember what he likes to eat. Most things I will also cut up for him. He has trouble using a knife - or even if it can be cut with a fork - he can eat better if I cut it up. I know people wonder but so be it! There will come I time he can't go out anymore but while he can he might as well enjoy it.

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

Great news on how well Mrs. Mills did with the pacemaker. They have everything down to a find art now and it has made it easier on the patient and the Dr. How has she adjusted to life at your SIL. Did Cayla hear anymore?

Charlotte I'm sorry too about your BIL. I thought that alzheimer was very rare and maybe like 1 in a generation would get it. I had no idea it traveled through a family like this. Really scary at how many in my family that I know that has had it. My great aunt Birdie, Uncle Norman and now about 3 of my mom's 1's cousins(all different families) Every time I forget something Jimmy said he is gonna admit me. Actually though he is worst than I am.

Jimmy spent the day at that hotel where the US Marshall was killed a few weeks back. The apt. manager went into an apt. to do some maintance and found a 1 year old baby alone. The mother had the cousin run her to work and the cousin didn't come back. Jimmy arrested both of them. The daddy had been paying child support but the mother wouldn't let him see the baby. The mother was making over $3500.00 a month off of that baby and a 4 year old by a different daddy. She was hitting both daddy's up for child support and then getting money and food stamps from Social Security. Outrageous!!!

Sat. is our 100,000 egg, Easter egg hunt please pray no rain. We have games and inflatables, pony rides and tons of free cokes and food. We really need no rain so we can reach these families and hopefully make a difference in some of their lives.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

So sad about the baby Jeri! Sure glad someone found the baby. People are crazy!!

Alzheimer's is something they really need to find a cure for. So many people still hide it. But it is amazing the number of people that have it. I know lots of other people that are currently dealing with it.

Forgot to say that my redbud trees are are in full bloom. They are really tall and I hadn't even noticed they were in bloom until last night during the storm I was at the back door and looking up at the sky and realized they were in full bloom!

Richard just came down stairs and is telling me he thinks he's going to kick the bucket soon and wants me to take him to Pine Bluff to look at the cemetery. They have a family plot but he says he not sure there is room. Thinks he may need another one! Something new every day!

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Alzheimer's is not just an "old" peoples disease. It can strike at any age. If you have any interest in reading about it the link below is to a blog that is written by a gentleman in his 50's that has Alzheimer's. He is still in the early to mid stages and is a good writer. He is sharing his experiences in hopes of helping others.


Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

It is for sure a dreaded disease...... there was a woman here in Camden who was only in her 30s when she was diagnosed. She was as kindergarten teacher and everyone said she was a great one! They realized something was wrong because she would take her students to art class and never return to get them. She was so attentive to her kids and took such great care with them they knew something had to be wrong............ they really thought she might have a tumor or something, but instead it was Alzheimer's. :( This was several years ago and there wasn't much in the way of medication or anything to try to help her.

Sandra, how is Cayla feeling?? I sure hope she is doing better. Glad to hear Mrs. Mills did so well - I bet she will feel better now with it working correctly. How is Jerry?

Jeri, hope ya'll have pretty weather for your big Easter Egg Hunt. They are calling for rain here tomorrow. I sure hope it doesn't do much because I have the day off and I have WAYYY more to get done outside than I will ever accomplish! I am having so much trouble with my shoulders that I have a really hard time feeling like I am accomplishing anything. Been working a couple of hours every night - but feel like I am getting further behind instead of gaining on it. And I swore I bought a new big concentrate bottle of RU last year that I didn't open and for the life of me I can not find it. I was planning on using it on that big bed down by the road assuming it wasn't going to rain - and another bed that I am about to totally revamp.
I know if I go and buy another one - I will probably find it! :( Maybe I need to be checked for Alzheimer's ...... my memory sure is pitiful!

It is muggy, muggy here today - feels like storms are coming...............

Hope everyone has a blessed Easter!


Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Unfortunately Genna there is still nothing that would help the lady you mentioned. Aricept snd a couple of other drugs help slow down the symptoms but after a while they don't even do any good.

I just took a walk around the yard and found lots of things blooming! I've got tofind time soon to do some clean up in the back. Here are some of the things I found. I'm not going to explain them. You can probably figure it out.

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Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

The vine going up the tree is a climbing hydrangea. The light colored tree is my butterfly Japanese maple. It is my favorite. It is the second picture. I have several varieties of camellias In bloom now. I have one I have lost and plan to replace. I had planted a row of them next to the fence. My older neighbor that moved to assisted living last year decided to Gerri's of the ivy on the fence. I use it for a screen! A whole section died and that's when I found out what he was doing. I think he put round up on it. He said he didn't. I just think he was afraid to tell me he did. I've had trouble with 3 camellias every since then and one just finally died. People just don't realize what RU can do!

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Ripley, MS

I asked Glenda yesterday if Mammaw had asked to go back home yet. She said only once, just a few days after they went and Glenda told her when her legs got stronger. She has been trying to walk more and get her strength back, working toward that goal ever since. She loved her new place and she wants to come back !!
Jerry got another medicine added today, a rhythm med. he is going to take it 3 times a day. The doc wants to do another conversion (shock) Monday morning. He is hoping that with him on this new medication the conversion will last longer this time.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

I could swear I posted this yesterday, but then again I think I lost a post and must have lost this too.

My friend Kate had her surgery and I got a note around 1 that the surgery went well but she was not awake yet. The doc was supposed to talk to someone later in the day about details but I never heard anything. She was to be in Intensive Care unit for at least 24 hours and then to a private room where she could have visitors. I am going to try to swing by the hospital for a few minutes this afternoon if I can and peek in if she is. I'm just glad to know she came through the surgery ok. Thank you all for your prayers.

This message was edited Apr 3, 2015 6:51 AM

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Sandra I hope the new meds work for Jerry. It's sounding like the same path my neighbor was on before they finally put her pace maker in. I guess they try all measures first before they go with a pacemaker. Hope this works for him. It's sad that Mrs. Mills can't stay in her home but that just happens some times. Better for her to be safe.

Elaine I'm glad to hear your friend made it through her surgery. It sounds like you all have created a good support system for her.

Cloudy here again today. Looks and feels like it's going to rain. It's going to take a long time for the yard to dry out. I have a couple of bigger things I want to move. Now's the time to do it!

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

Happy Good Friday and Easter!!! Time to plant!!!

That is good that Ms. Mills is adjusting!!! I'm sure she wants to go home but sometimes that is not best!!! Did they put Jerry on Cumadin(SP?). That was what they put Jim on and he had to stay on it for a few months afterward.

I'm glad that Kate did so well and will continue to pray for her complete recovery!!!!

Well I have started the gardening season out with a bang!!! I pulled my gloves off and somehow pulled a diamond out of my wedding ring. Took the ring to the jewelry store to be repaired and they laughed at me because he has been telling me this was gonna happen. I told him if he made his jewelry better it wouldn't have happened but he said his guarantee ran out at 30 years. So I won't be wearing it anymore when I have my hands in dirt or gloves. RIGHT!!!

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Happy Easter everyone! Blooms are popping out everywhere! My azaleas are opening, dogwood is in bloom, columbine, etc. Going to be a cool overcast rainy day for the kids but sunshine is on the way!

(karen) Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Good to see everyone is starting to get in the gardening mode. I have been a slow starter this year for sure between breaking my arm and now our company is being sold in 30 days so I haven't gotten a lot done.

I did work outside yesterday and since I knew it was going to rain I moved some things around that needed to be moved and planted some things still sitting in pots all winter (I know it's a miracle they survived) One of them was a clematis vine I got for $7.50 which was originally $50 - why I left it sitting outside in just its nursery pot I have no idea but it was already leafed out so I am so happy. I moved my fireworks clematis as it just didn't get anywhere near enough sun to bloom. I moved it next to the deck and moved the iron trellis it was planted behind and even though I hadn't ever thought of moving it there I ended up really liking the look once it was done. All my clematis vines are leafed out but my President clematis has big buds already. I LOVE that vine looking at it in bloom just makes me smile.

Surprisingly my arm held up to raking and shoveling and everything I did yesterday for 2-3 hours so I'm happy about that. I was finally released by the surgeon last week and I have only one more hand therapy appointment if I can find time for it in the craziness that is an acquisition. Thankfully I'm pretty much done with my yearly tax load of 10-12 returns, I actually wasn't sure when I broke my arm if I'd be able to do taxes at all but seems like I'm ahead of schedule on that one thing:) I do know that I have missed terribly getting out in the garden when it is nice, not that it HAS been nice much this last few months.

I am soooo excited for spring. Every year I'm still surprised when everything starts to burst to life. I guess I'm still expecting to find that I'm a failure at gardening because I never would have thought I'd be able to grow anything. My peony's are popping up and my hostas. I have irises that are putting out buds - WOO HOO!!!

Sorry to hear about all the troubles you guys have weathered over the winter - I had to read thru 2 whole threads and this one to catch up - I have certainly not been here much since the fall. Charlotte I really feel for you in dealing with Richard. My dad has been showing signs of Alzheimer's for years and refused to admit it or to even see the doctor. For Christmas my mom asked him to go to the doctor for that and to have his cataracts removed. Surprisingly he did both of those things - he is now on Aricept and his eyesight has dramatically improved. He told me that before the surgery he couldn't read the speedometer or the gas gauge but he 'adjusted to it' I nearly fainted I had NO idea his eyesight was that bad and he drove my mom and himself around ALL the time. I warned him that next time he couldn't read those he needed to say so but you know how well that would go over. My Dad isn't as advanced as Richard but he is getting to that point. At times he forgets how to tie his shoes or how to tie a tie which he has worn every Sunday for his whole life. It is sad and scary - His older brother has it as well and I'm with you I wouldn't want to die from that as it is a long and dark road for everyone.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Karen good to see you posting. Glad your arm is healing.

Sorry to hear about your dad. There are so many people that have Alzheimer's. I don't know if people are finally admitting the problem or if we are having more cases. I do think in the past people have been very reluctant to talk about it.

Richard also takes Aricept. He has taken a couple of other drugs (Namenda and the patch) but Aricept works best for him. Of course as you know it doesn't undo any memory loss but can help slow the progression. Richard stayed pretty steady for quite a while after his diagnosis but just since the first of the year I've been able to tell a big difference. Knowing what I know now I realize he had been showing signs of Alzheimer's for at least 10 years. Karen watch your dad and his driving. That will be something he will have to give up at some point. Richard drove longer than he actually should have. While the cataract surgery may have improved your dad's eyesight, the Alzheimer's also causes problems with depth perception, etc. Before Richard the only person I knew with it was my mother's oldest sister. I wasn't around her that much as she lived in a different town. Also her husband was very secretive about it and didn't let anyone know she had Alzheimer's until it was extremely obvious. Everyone knew something was wrong but they didn't know what. He let her drive until she had an accident in very familar territory. She was going to church just a few blocks from her house to pick up grandkids and pulled right into the path of an on coming car as she was making a left turn. In her mind the car was much further away than it actually was. They lose there depth perception.

Richard was in a minor accident by our Kroger store and he was so confused the officer knew something was wrong. They actually thought he might have had a stroke and called the ambulance. The officer revoked his license due to the confusion. Several months prior to that he had been going to Kroger and when he got to Hinson and Rodney Parham he realized he had gone too far. He pulled into a driveway and tried to turn around and ended up backing into a ditch. An officer brought him home that day. I happened to drive up just as he was dropping him off. I asked him to take me back to his car so I could pick it up. He cautioned me about allowing him to drive that day. I'm sure he also made a note on his record.

Richard also forgot how to tie his tie. He had worn a tie to work every day since he was 22 years old. We were going to a funeral and he couldn't tie his tie. I didn't know how - so we ended up going without it tied and we had to meet some immediate family at the cemetery before the funeral and I got one of the men to tie it for him. Their short term memory just leaves them. Things that will become a problem are tv remotes, telephones. If he operates any kind of machinery that will become dangerous for him. They can no longer put things together in a sequence - they can't remember the sequence to go about cooking something. I belong to a group on FB called Memory People. It's a closed group - you have to request to join. I have really learned a lot through the group. They have files with lots of information. Also hearing other people share how they handle different situations helps. They lose their ability to reason so it is impossible to explain something to them and expect them to understand. I also recommend reading "The 36 Hour Day". I bought a copy and gave to his daughter.

(karen) Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Thanks for the info Charlotte - I know we have a lot of hard decisions ahead and unfortunately I am usually the one called upon when things need to be dealt with. My mom has her own health issues and dealing with him sometimes makes those worse. But it is what it is and I guess we will deal with it when it comes and try not to worry about the future.

I managed to get outside this afternoon and rake leaves again. I never got them raked out of all my beds last year so I have a very large job ahead of me. I'm looking into getting a leaf blower with a mulching attachment to help me out.

Happy Easter All!

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Richard was not actually diagnosed until after his minor accident. I knew he was having problems but just didn't have a clue as to what was causing it. He was diagnosed shortly after.

I worked in my yard all afternoon too. I'm determined to get in shape. I got mulch down in The big bed in front and did some more cleaning out in it. I has put preen down last week. There aré aiready little seedling of some kínd all over The place. No way i can pull all The weeds up. I painted the wild violets and other big weeds with RU. I guess i'll keep painting them until i kill most of them.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Hi Karen, glad to see you posting again. And glad your arm has healed well and that you are back in the garden! Good therapy, both for the mind and body! Sorry to hear about your Dad.

Our local paper, which is now really more state and general interest news that anything, had an interesting article yesterday about how a very low percentage of doctors are not informing their patients or their families that they have Alzheimers or dementia! It was something like 40%! I was certainly shocked at that, but can see that it is true. Cancer, on the other hand, has above a 90% rate of reporting as one might expect. I'm actually shocked it's not 100% unless that includes patients who are incapacitated, incarcerated, or who have no next of kin, etc. I know with my DILs grandmother, they didn't really get a diagnosis until they took her to a gerontologist, but she was in denial herself and didn't even want to go to a doctor. Her husband didn't force it either, so it was a while before her family could get her out of her room to go (she would lock herself in). She's now in a nursing home and getting the care she needs.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

They are very good at covering up the problem. They can fake it for very short periods of time. Richard went regularly (every 6 months or more) to a gerontology clinic. His doctor ordered by battery of mental test several years before Richard was diagnosed. Shortly after they started the test Richard decided he didn't want to take it and left! I don't know if he was having difficulty with the questions or what. Not sure what prompted him to leave. But he was not going to have any part of it! I think he would have been diagnosed at that time if he had finished the test. They all also react different with the disease. From what I read and hear about others. Richard has so far has not had any violent behavior. Some can become very abusive. I'm trying to get him off cigarettes. I don't mind him smoking them but my concern is from safety standpoint. I'm been just putting 2 or 3 in his package at a time. He will forget to smoke and those two can last several days. I noticed yesterday morning that the package was empty and I think had been a for at least a day. I decided to just put the lighter and cigarettes up to see what would happen. Not until last night did he ask about it. He wanted to know if I had seen his "red" thing? Lighter. I told him I didn't know but would look later that I couldn't right then. He never asked me again. So far this morning he hasn't asked about them. It may work and it may not but I hope I can keep changing the subject and put him off until maybe he forgets about them.

Another rainy day!! We've had enough rain! I did transplant a couple of things yesterday and planted two roses that I have been growing in pots. The pots were looking terrible! I put them in pots to begin with so I could move them around if I wanted to. Well they have been sitting in the same spot since I planted them so I decided it was time for them to go in the ground. The dirt just fell apart when I took them out of the pot so they ended up basically bare root. I hope they make it!

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Hello all... Hope everyone had a blessed Easter. I only had Jessica at home. Alex is doing a rotation in Ft. Worth and one of his good friends is in a broadway production of Chicago that was performing in Ft Worth this weekend, so Natalie road down with Kyle and Maddie and they all 4 went to the performance. Alex and Natalie had much better seats but I was glad they all got to see Jacob perform. I would have probably went as well, but Jess had already agreed to work on Friday and Saturday so we all just spent the weekend at home. We went to church together Sunday morning and then Jess had to head back about 2 to study for 2 different tests. Leigh and I went to El Dorado to Home Depot and then back to my sister's house for dinner. My BIL had to work yesterday so we ate after he got home.

Elaine, glad to hear that your friend Kate made it thru her surgery well. Hope you are able to check on her today and know that all is well. I have a dear friend and prayer warrior that is having breast cancer surgery on Friday. Her name is Lana. Lana has been my hair dresser for at least the past 8 years - maybe longer.... I'm not really sure. Her mother had breast cancer several years ago, and now she is having a double mastectomy on Friday. Please say a prayer that her surgery goes well and that her lymph glands come back clear. The results on the lymph glands will determine if she takes a pill chemo or has to have IV chemo.

I worked all day outside on Friday and I just about couldn't move Friday night! I did make a little progress, but I have a long way to go. I did work outside on Saturday as well, but I had several little interruptions as well as got started later and stopped earlier, so I didn't accomplish as much - still I did make some progress. I did pick up some more RU yesterday while I was in Home Depot and if I ever have an evening where there isn't a wind, I will try to spray some things. It rained here most of the day yesterday so I didn't get anything done outside other than the trip to HD. I plan to start back in as soon as I get home.

I am curious.... how often do ya'll add to the mulch in your beds? It appears I am going to have to top dress most of my foundation bed because the mulch seems to be breaking down quickly and lots of dirt showing thru. Some of it is due to gophers getting in the bed and making a mess of things, but other places it just seems the mulch has broken down into too small of pieces to cover the area. I was just curious if it was something you plan to do every year or every other year. I hope to get the new layer of mulch spread soon and then put out preen on top to try to prevent weeds from germinating. I know it won't stop the nutsedge or the Bermuda, but maybe it will help on some of the other things that keep popping up.

I managed to get about half of my big round bed cleaned up and about a 1/4 of the foundation bed so not bad for a day and a half - but I won't make as much progress just working in the afternoons after work. We also got some trees planted and a few other things but have a few to go. I also bought another Cherokee Brave dogwood yesterday at HD - I just loved the one I bought a couple of weeks ago so much that I wanted another. I also bought my sister one.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Genna mulch is a yearly thing. Good news is it turns to compost so it helps your soil.

Sorry to hear about your friend.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

I have to refresh my pine straw yearly but it breaks down more quickly than bark mulch. When I used bark I still had to refresh it in some places yearly. Other places I could get by with every two years. But places that were more exposed and where I walked on it a lot I had to top dress yearly.

Hope your friend Lana comes thru her surgery just fine. Will say a prayer for her. Did she have the BRCA testing?

St. Simon's Island, GA(Zone 9a)

I mulch every spring. And the older I get, the longer it takes me to get it done. Here is what I did today.

Thumbnail by happytail
Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Elaine I am not familiar with the BRCA testing so not sure if she had that or not. I know they did several tests and because of the results being favorable she was able to postpone surgery until after spring break. Her daughter is 16 and I think he son is around 13 or so...... so she was happy she got to wait until after spring break.

Happytail...looks like you have been busy!

I didn't get to work outside today at all. I spent the evening working on taxes because I am STILL not thru getting all my stuff together for the accountant. I am sure he will not be happy to see me this late - but MAYBE with a little luck, I will get the rest of it finished tomorrow and get my stack by to him. I absolutely hate tax season.....but i have never been this late getting everything together.

I understand it is supposed to be raining tomorrow when I get home - if I had known that, i would have probably postponed the paperwork that I did today and worked out. But, considering that today is the 7th I guess it is best I worked on it. :(

Some of my mulch seems to be fine, and other seems to be disintegrated...... its so odd. Maybe it is the amount of sun exposure or traffic....not sure.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Genna, BRCA testing is genetic testing to see if you are susceptible to breast and/or ovarian cancer. There is the BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 gene. That's about the extent of my knowledge, but I do know that if it is suspected to run in your family a lot of people are having the test done and having therapeutic mastectomies as a result, especially after a certain age. The medical community is almost guaranteeing there is a high percentage that someone testing positive will have breast cancer at some point in their life, and with some types, there is a strong connection to both breast and ovarian cancer.

Happytail, your gardens look great! I still haven't been able to do everything outside I've wanted to do. Seems like when I have the time, it starts to rain, like yesterday. I was all set to go divide some DLs and it started raining. Of course most times I go out to work and I'm totally ADHD in the garden. I start out to do one thing and then I see something else that I think, 'well this will only take me 10 minutes so I'll do this first'. Then 30 minutes later I see something else, and finally I might get around to what I started to do in the first place. Am I the only one?

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

Genna, I haven't mulched any of my flower beds for two years but they will need it again in spots this year. I think it just depends on how fast your mulch is breaking down.

I am behind again and didn't realize it had been so many days since I have been here but I have read everything and caught up.

Al's mother had Alzheimer's and spent her last year or two in a nursing home. She was physically well but just her mind was affected. Al said she always knew who he was, though.. He was her legal guardian because all of his siblings lived out of state except for his youngest sister and she was a busy ob/gyn doctor at the time (now retired). Al's mother was a very gentle woman but when she was in the nursing home she thought one of the male residents was her husband and went up and hit him when she saw him talking to another woman. (Al's father had already passed at that time.) Alzheimer's is a very sad disease!

I went out yesterday and walked around the yard, checking on the flower beds. I was amazed at how things have grown just since Saturday!! I think spring has finally come to stay in the Ozarks. The big oak trees are starting to bud out which means we will soon have clouds of yellow pollen floating through the air! That is one part of spring that I could do without! LOL My late-blooming daffodils are blooming now and looking very pretty. I had planted about 50 bulbs in the fall of 2013 and now I am reaping the rewards of their beauty! The flowering quince is blooming prettily, too.

Charlotte, the redbuds up here are very pretty this year. You can see them blooming in all the woods around here. The dogwoods haven't started blooming yet, though. I have copied your paragraph about the Memory People on FB to share with someone I know whose husband has been diagnosed with stage 4 vascular dementia (dementia caused by lack of blood flow to the brain due to clogged carotid arteries). I don't mention her name because she hasn't been willing yet to let it be known publicly but she is someone very close to me. I gave her a copy of the book The 36 Hour Day after reading it myself.

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

Elaine, we crossed. The clematis which you gave me a couple of years ago are coming back and appear to be doing well! One is Sweet Autumn and I can't think of the name of the other one right now.
I have 5 or 6 clematis altogether so it is hard for me to remember all the names but I do have them all labeled. One of them got burned when Al let the leaf burning get away from him last week.
Have you heard anymore about your friend Kate? I hope she is recovering nicely from her surgery.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Marilyn in many cases they are physically ok. However as the alzheimer's progresses it causes problems that will eventually create secondary problems. For example swallowing, etc. It is also not uncommon from what I am reading for them to have behavior like Al's mom. Some talk about their spouse taking up with someone in the nursing home and will even prefer to talk and be with that person even when their own spouse is there to visit. I have my problems with Richard but reading what some of the others are going through makes be realize I still have it pretty easy with him. Of course who knows what the future holds. There are several types of dementia including vascular that you mention. Sometimes they have more than one type dementia. One is called lewy body and that is a scary one. They tend to have lots of hallucinations and other difficult behavior. They can be very abusive physically. On the site I mentioned there are several people that are actually patients (not caregivers) that that are willing to share what goes on with them. They are still in the fairly early stages and it seems to be easier for them to write than express things verbally. In one case his wife also does a blog sharing what she sees. I hope your friend will realize they will not be able to hide his dementia problem. People will realize something is wrong and will be more understanding if they know. Like in Richard's brothers case people knew something was wrong with him and one of Richard's friends had told him David was in really bad shape. When I asked my SIL if he was alright she got really defensive and huffy. I don't think she wanted to admit it. You know sometimes as long as you don't admit it publicly it doesn't become real. As I mentioned before Marilyn the group is a closed group. The only people that can see the posts are members. If she is not comfortable posting, it is not necessary. She would benefit just by reading the posts of others until she is comfortable posting. Some have been members for a year or two before they ever get around to posting.

I am fortunate that I can still leave Richard for short periods of time. A lot of people can't leave them at all. I have hired someone to stay with him when I go on the plant buying trip to Memphis and I also have someone scheduled for the day of Kathy Ann's RU. Yesterday I left him for several hours while I did some shopping for furniture for my booth. He was fine. He will just sit and watch tv. The other day I went down to the antique mall and about 15 minutes after I got there he called and said everything was all "messed up". He said we have all these storms and warnings. The sun was shining and there was not a cloud in the sky! I finally figured out that they probably did a warning test on tv and to him it was the real thing. A lot of them wander a lot. He went through a brief stage of wandering. But seems to be over that. But a lot of people have to put special locks up high on the door and put alarms on the door.

Another overcast day! Ready for the sun to shine. Things are popping up here like crazy. Things I've forgotten about! My variegated hydrangea that I've had for a long time really got a lot of damage this winter. Seems the last two winters have been hard on hydrangeas. I have lost both of my butterfly bushes. The one I liked the best had been hanging on by a thread and finally bit the dust this winter. It had gotten a lot of damage from the snow storm a couple of years ago. It had gotten up rooted and I had lots of breakage. Not sure I'll plant another one. I just really don't have room. Some of the azaleas in the front are in full bloom. I have three varieties in front and one always blooms first and then the other two stagger in bloom. The ones in back will be in full bloom shortly. My dogwoods are in full bloom now.

This message was edited Apr 8, 2015 9:10 AM

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