#20 Practical Matters for Physically Challenged Gardeners

Casa Grande, AZ

Good Morning Gang :D

How frightening. Thank Goodness Ray was there. Do you have additional help should he not be? It is alarming enough when somebody is home. It is terrifying when they aren't. I empathize with you. Our disorders aren't the same but being disabled myself I get the sheer panic and terror of losing control of one's consciousness and body and mental/brain functions. Worse not having the capacity or awareness to do anything about it. Always praying someone is around to catch it or assist. I try not to think of that in regards to myself (especially in light of my last incident and some of the other goodies that landed me on SSDI).

I am so truly sorry. Hopefully this happens rarely if hardly at all with you. I am so happy Ray was there for you. Does he work? If so, do you have family and friends that are with you regularly or a neighbor that stops by? I'm assuming you probably have a close network of other friends/supporters that you get with regularly and call you. I hope so.

Do me a favor...PLEASE buy a pill cutter from the drug store if you don't already have one. Although my pills aren't big I learned a hard and painful lesson that one should not attempt to swallow 4 pills and a vitamin all at one time (duh! smack forehead! ).

Well on to more pleasant things....

If you can call pureed food "pleasant" !
Couldn't imagine. Fortunately didn't have to be subjected to this ever. Had a major tooth problem once. Just didn't eat for a week and lived off of tepid soup, buttered noodles, milkshakes, and overly ripe bananas (I prefer them on the rather firm and somewhat green side normally...I dunno), and watermelon.

In the prison we had a thing called "loaf". They give it to inmates on constant watch. Constant watch is reserved for those who try to commit suicide, threaten to or deliberately hurt themselves. Your job consists of sitting there for 8 hours a day watching an inmate and writing in a log every 15 minutes describing everything the inmate says and does. You are not to converse with them unless it is to say "do this/don't do that" ('Please put your hands through the food slot opening so we can handcuff you to escort you to medical' is an example).
Mind numbingly boring task but have to admit once in awhile it was good to just sit there and pretty much veg out and not have to deal with the general inmate population or the other officers and "bosses" always floating around.
All the inmates get to eat are "finger food" and loaf. Loaf is anything they are serving that day that gets thrown into a blender and pureed. I do mean everything! No joke. Everything on that tray for that meal at that time. YUCK!!! Sad too because all they get is a paper gown and a paper blanket. I had a hard time "adjusting" my face not to show pity.
I'm a "face maker" be it good or bad and it has been commented on by a lot of people (unfortunately some of them employers). With me it is an automatic reflex because it either precedes some comment I'm about to make or helps me stifle on I shouldn't. (LOL). I've learned to adjust that (eye roll) even though it is challenging living out here! There's just so much grist for the mental mill. (*grin*)
I know the majority of these people were pretty disgusting human beings but still I just couldn't help but feel so awful watching someone eat this stuff I wouldn't feed Zoe and just sitting there lying on the floor in a paper gown with a paper blanket. No "bed", no "pillow"; a lot of them put their head on the toilet seat and slept sitting. God how awful. I was supposed to yell at them for being near the toilet if they weren't actually using it but I'd let them "sleep" on it when I knew the slacker bosses who never cruised by were on duty.
Half of the inmates never ate the "loaf" or ate very little. They had to eat with their hands. On the few days I got assigned this duty (thank God they rotate it amongst everyone) I went hungry too. How could I eat my lunch in front of them? I'm not a sadist. I'd ask to get relieved for the bathroom and go stuff half a sandwich in my face or something in my face.

I hope I never have to eat like this if I'm ill and can't feed my self.

I did get a really good laugh one time though. I was writing in the log and the inmate let out a huge, resounding fart. He looked at me and said, "Hey, C.O. (corrections officer) did you log that? In case you missed it, here's another." and he did it again. Made my whole day considering the circumstances.

Yes.....new beds! Ahhh....sleep. I love my bed. I just need a new mattress. :(
Will have to wait until I pay the Neurologist, the urgent care and the doctor for pulling the staples out of the 'ol noggin. Happens every time I plan on buying something for the house, us, or going somewhere. I think it is some kind of cosmic joke. Oh well, I've learned to just be grateful for what I have.

One of my favorite songs from the early 70's. Probably garbled lyrics but enough to look up:
"You may not have a great big Cadillac,
Gangster white walls, 8 track and T.V. in the back.
You may not have a car at all,
But remember brothers and sisters
You can still stand tall,
Just be thankful for what you got"

Wise Cactus said this puts things in perspective when I start comparing my self to others I know and knew and their lives. I told you teacher cactus is very wise. He often knows much better than me.

O.K. gotta start the day. Boat load of ironing to do (groan).
Have a great day everyone!
Agave Girl/ Talks To Cactus

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Ray retired in the fall of 2014 so he's around 24/7 which is good and bad, heh heh. But he is great to have around in an emergency. We do have a pill cutter, but I knew I could swallow this huge antibiotic without cutting it. Famous last words! My sore throat is gone, too.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts agrees with you that I need someone around. They awarded me plenty of hours of paid assistance. We just need (that's the Royal We) to find something for Ray to do. Also, the pool of people available to do that type of work is not the type of people one would enjoy spending a lot of time with. It's a mixed blessing. However, we actually need to hire someone so that in any kind of emergency for Ray, I can have someone come.

Your prison job sounds pretty awful, at least the part you were describing! Being "retired" for 25 years does have its advantages. Of course, we miss the interaction with other humans, change of scenery, current events other than online, etc. etc.But when I quit working to have kids, I had US SSA paying me to stay home with SSDI. Of course, the COLA increases are a pittance compared to what a job would pay, I think. Oh well.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Midland City, AL

Yes, Carrie, it was only the mattress I replaced. The bed frame goes with the nightstands and I like the mahogany finish. You know Kay and re-cycling though. There was no loading the old bed into the truck and taking it to the landfill. By the time she was finished, what was left of the old bed fit into a trash bag.
Foam padding that was still good, was turned into a travel bed for the van. The box spring was stood up on its edge, partnered with an identical box spring and turned into a green wall to disguise an utility area. Thick, king-sized pieces of cloth were turned into weed block for a gravel area. Those rolls of weed barrier cloth Iíve bought from the nursery didnít do their job. Our weeds are vigorous enough to poke through them in a single season. It saved money and we got to feel very environmentally responsible, But Kay was singing her personal version of that Kermit the Frog song, It Ainít Easy Being Green. Kayís lyrics are unpublishable, but here is Kermitís version for those who donít have kids around and have never been Muppet fans
I didnít do much lifting. I was able to slide the mattress through the house on its edge after Nadi got it out of the back of the truck. It was in a plastic bag and slid easily, but they yelled at me for even doing that. Iím telling you I live with tyrants!
What did you finally decide on as the best bedding option for you, Carrie? Iíve experimented with most of the choices looking for the most comfortable. Water beds actually cause more back pain in my case and apartment realtors were always wary when they found out I had one. Those expensive, select your own firmness level beds arenít always made with safe, allergy free material and are a nightmare when the air pump starts leaking in the middle of the night. Memory foam? Allergy problem again. I finally went back to a traditional, firm mattress minus the pillowtop. Iíve slept well so far and I can get out of the bed without trouble or assistance
The physical therapist at the hospital taught me to use a technique called a log roll for getting in and out of bed without twisting my spine. I learned the first day home from the hospital that it is nearly impossible to do the maneuver on a soft, pillowtop mattress. I try to replace mattresses every few years anyway. I wear them out quickly in my eternal search for that elusive, pain free sleeping position.
I would not forget all my little ladies. The honeybees now have their crocus for early season forage. It is vital to the health of the hive that the bees leave the wild yellow Jessamine blooms alone. The best way to insure that is to have something in bloom at the same time as the Jessamine that the bees will find irresistible. That isnít an easy job since the Jessamine can bloom during warm spells in January. We are pinning our hopes on paper white narcissus, two types of redbud and crocus. They also seem to like the willow and it blooms very early.
Hospitals are supposed to employ registered dieticians. You would think they could come up with something a little more creative for those on a liquid diet. Kay got Jell-O, popsicles, juice and a nasty tasting version of Ensure. I know because after I fussed at her for not drinking the Ensure, she made me taste it. Gross. None of the other Ensure varieties I ever tasted were bad. The hospital managed to find the only one that tasted horrible.
It doesnít sound like there is much to those stories about the ease of prison life. Iíll keep that in mind should I ever be tempted to make money the easy way.
Thanks for the mini lesson on the symbolism of the traditional plants in a Japanese garden. I lived in Okinawa for about four years. I should know more than I do. I just know I liked the look and feel of Japanese style gardens. I know bamboo is associated with wisdom and sages and that has something to do with the fact it is hollow. I never quite followed the connection. Youthful experiences really are wasted on the young. I would get far more out of that amount of time spent in Japan now.
The flowering and seeding of bamboo is a botanical mystery. All bamboo of the same kind blooms at the same time no matter where it is in the world. It dies after producing flowers and seeds the way agave does.
Nadi has one of those emotive faces. You can guess what cards are in her hand by watching her face. Kay . on the other hand, has a mask-like Siberian face and her eyes are usually hidden behind sunglasses. Iíve learned to watch her hands to gauge her moods. If her fingers are dancing around and there is no keyboard beneath them, itís a bad sign. Iím not sure about myself.
Pic: Yummy Pears

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Casa Grande, AZ

Good Morning Gang :D

Pears are lovely. :D DH loves them. I just love the smell of them or if they're baked/cooked down. Never appreciated them in the raw. Something about the grittiness in the skin bothers me. My "hyper" taste Epilepsy thing. But then again I could sit there and sniff them all day. Again the hyper sensitive smell Epilepsy thing. I could try to bake you all a loely pear tart IF I can keep track of the amount of flour I put in it. (grimace..eye roll). Speaking of desserts the cake has met it's demise. It has outlived it's usefulness and has been claimed by the garbage can.
Good for your tyrants. You shouldn't be moving or lifting diddlly squat. What was that about youth being wasted on the young? I presume you're old enough to know better and know you shouldn't be lifting or moving things right now.
As for mattresses I'd just be happy with a new one. My pouf is becoming my nest. Ever see a thing called a Love Sac?
Huge oversized nest like pouf things one can sit on/curl up in. I fell in love with them when we were shopping one day. I actually got one in a nice black microfiber. Mine is supposed to fit two people. NOPE...IT'S ALL MINE!!! I snarl at him when he gets near it! He's got the couch and ottoman. Zoe tried to get in it one time. She got snarled at too. Never went near it again and is content with HER pillows. I don't sleep on her pillows. I don't want 70 pounds of dog on mine!
It practically engulfs me and I can curl up in it like a perfect little nest. I usually do and fall asleep. Half the time my DH pulls me out of it and makes me go to bed. I think I'm going to start requesting he leave me in it. They actually make these things big enough to fit 3 and 4 people. I keep telling him we should replace the couch with one.
I call it the pouf monster. It claims victims. So far every person that has come over and sat/sank into that thing has fallen asleep. We take pictures of the pouf monster's victims before we wake them up. :D
Don't know much about honeybees or bees in general just know that we need them and they're in short supply right now. Anything that encourages their presence is great. Out here they seem to like Texas Sage bushes. Really pretty green bush with small oval leaves that are soft and really pretty small purple flowers. They adore the Mexican Bird of Paradise out here. They were always buzzing around when I watered mine at the last place. I'm sure they like some of the cacti flowers although I haven't seen a lot of them. Maybe because I don't have time to actively look for them. I know the birds love the prickly pear fruit. Make a mess of it drilling holes into it and picking at them. We do get tons of humming birds. I presuming anything a hummingbird likes bees would too? I love Narcissus, Paper Whites, Tulips, Daffodils, Lilies of any sort. Your typical Spring flowers. Used to get all excited to see Crocus. It meant Spring was here. Living in Ohio and Pittsburgh, PA really made me appreciate that fact.
Okinawa sounds like it would have been a wonderful place to visit. I think (don't quote me) it was Edo before. Edo Japan is perhaps my favorite period as far as art, culture, and aesthetics in Japan. The Japanese gardens remind me so much of it. How great you had the time to spend there. I hope you enjoyed a lot of it.
That is fascinating about Bamboo. I guess because it grows and spreads so prolifically it only makes sense. Otherwise it would run rampant and be uncontrollable and probably overcome almost any plant next to it. It is a mystery to me why Agaves die after flowering. They still look perfectly fine. They do produce an over abundance of young but considering the ratio of what lives versus dies and how long it takes for them to grow it is strange. Some grow outrageously fast and the other half if I didn't know better I'd swear they were plastic they grow so slow.
Hospitals and hospital food. YUCK. I think registered dietician is another way of saying inability to cook. When I was in the burn center for 2 days I couldn't eat the garbage. First day I didn't eat because I was stoned (morphine drip...self administering...best vacation I took in years!) and had to have surgery in the morning. When I got out of surgery I was starving. Ravenous. I took one bite off the tray and just went YUCK! My husband went to Taco Bell and Starbuck's for me. He was surprised I actually ate that, didn't get sick and asked for more. He brought me back a blueberry muffin from the cafeteria and a coke. :D Ate that too.
Felt much better. Guess I had the munchies (LOL..or should I say perma-grin). Nurses flipped out. I told them shut up or I was checking out and when I did my patient questionnaire I was going to say they wouldn't let me eat when I was hungry. Next day was McDonald's before I left in the hospital in the late afternoon.
Yep faces. I'm the face maker, and caster of sarcastic comments and arm waver. Dave is the finger tapper, twitcher, pacer and silent type with no facial expression. Like I said as long as my mouth is going it is all good. When I get real quiet or monosyllabic uhm...it isn't.
Yeah doing illegal things aren't so good when you get caught. I think everyone needs to spend 1 day in prison doing the job just to see what it really is. The T.V. shows, movies, and "Orange is the New Black" are so way off base and unrealistic it is laughable. Embarrassing in its portrayal really.
It wasn't a hard job. I describe it as a babysitting job watching overgrown children with temper and impulse control problems. It was my job to make sure they didn't give way to them while I was there, get them to and from where they needed to be at designated times, locking them down and counting them 2 xs in my 8 hour shift, searching 2 cells per day, and then basically ignoring them while going about my business and they went about theirs.
Parts of it weren't always pleasant. It's prison! For the most it wasn't bad 90% of the time and it was routine. You knew what your job and expectations were everyday. They rarely changed. You knew how to perform them quickly and efficiently and at what time it had to be done. You knew who and what you were dealing with in terms of inmate mentality (although you NEVER asked what they were in for). You knew who and what you were dealing with in terms of staff (some worse mentality and bigger PITA than the inmates).
They are people. You addressed them as "Mr. Whoever" when you spoke to them. You said "Would you, could you, thank you and please" when you asked them to do something. They did the same back. They called you "Officer, C.O. or Mr/Ms. Your last Name". You could talk about sports, books, weather, the classes they took. Very general things. You told them nothing about you. "Oh, it's got to be hard going home after work and cooking and taking care of kids?" My response, "You don't need to know anything about me personally or my life or what I do outside of here. All you need to know is I'm C.O. Now, is there something you need to ask me or someplace I need to be sending you right now?" Cons are cons. They're like dogs. Always looking, listening, watching and "sniffing".
It was a lot more pleasant than working retail or other jobs even when I was the boss. At least in prison I gave the orders, had control, directed things, and knew things got done "my/the prison's way". I didn't answer to anyone. I didn't have a boss I had to involve or answer to unless I had a reason to involve one or they needed me to do something specifically for them.
Inmates would comply and if not I could issue the discipline papers that would make the consequences unpleasant for them or call a Sergeant, Lieutenant or the Captain on duty (who usually just lived for this stuff) to hose them down with pepper spray or cuff them up and put them in Segregation for running their mouth too much, failing to comply with a reasonable directive or prison rules, or threatening me. They all knew this. (Can't do that in the real world. Darn!)
You also knew better than to go in there and bark at them, be a bully, not be of any use or assistance when they legitimately needed something, and run your mouth to the point of deserving to get beat down by one of them or having them file a grievance. Thus we had and operated with a mutual respect. You did your 8, hit the gate and skate. Not a bad paying gig either. Can't say I made much of a fashion statement in the polyester uniform and combat boots but hey, wasn't there to make a fashion statement or "appeal" to them. Often tried not to. Never had to do great "make up" a lot for this job either. :D
Most of them gave the women very little problems. They usually were more afraid of us then the men for two reasons. They knew we wouldn't put up with them and would all to easily slap paper on them than deal with their crap. (This adds time to their sentence). Also they knew the first time they got mouthy, non-compliant or threatening we had no problem calling down one of the Captains to hose them down with pepper spray. We weren't going to get all macho, puff up and "man up" to them the way the guys would. We'd just laugh and look at them like they were stupid and call the goon squad Captain to do that for us. So all in all the inmates tread a little more carefully and respectfully with us than the male C.O.s
They also like having us around. Unlike the guys they could "talk" to us. We "listen". We didn't judge. We didn't make fun. We didn't "expose" them to others either. There was always that 2% in there with a light bulb on. They got it...a little to late in life unfortunately but they got it. They would sometimes quietly ask advice about how to handle life on the outside relating to family or their kids; going back to where they lived or trying to get into the real world again without getting in trouble.
That always flipped me out. To see some guy who weighed 220, prison muscles and gang tattoos, ask me about how to handle life because he was afraid and didn't know what to do when he got out next month and didn't want to keep making mistakes. They "fixed " their drug problem and they don't want to go back. They asked because I was a "real everyday person" who lives life outside of the place, not some b.s. prison counselor who gave them a book to read.
They got "upset/worried" if you weren't there one week or had a different job or out sick. They actually depended on your specific female presence and guidance at times that much. They didn't react to the male officers that way. My theory is that's why the prisons started hiring women. I think they discovered we could reach them and settle them down and get them to comply for the most part more effectively then the men could!
Like I said, they are people. There are a very few that have a light on. I guess I went to "work" for these ones and went into robot mode for the rest. It is interesting though to think about how a few of the stupid things we did in life and people we shouldn't have been around could have quickly altered our lives and not for the better! Thank God we have light bulbs that work!

Pics #1,2 &4 My neighbor's huge prickly pear. It is probably about 20 years old.. It is growing new pads. I just thought they were pretty. The paddles are smooth ad so is the fruit. The fruit is a yellow-yellow orange and turns orange when ripe. It is oval shaped rather than round and about 1/2 the size of the fruit of the p.pear I showed before.

Pic #3 My Agave CrŤme Brule. Was all but dead earlier this Summer; Completely fried up and sizzled leaves that looked like bacon.

Pic #4 My "Trixy" actually it is some kind of Trichocereus. Don't know there's about 300 of them. Cute little guy. He was pretty fried too and his arms were all flat. Now they're perky and nice and green!

Peace; Out

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Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Ugh ugh ugh UGH! When I was sick in 2001 they tried to get me to drink Ensure....not a chance. I mean I tried, they said "if you don't drink these, we have to give you an NG tube. " I didn't drink it and I got the tube. But, I had it for 6 weeks, I almost died and eating was the farthest thing from my mind. I would have gotten the nasogastric tube anyway. And the Ensure was DISGUSTING. Ray ended up getting me a chocolate ice cream soda. When I couldn't eat that, he knew that I was really sick and he was right. I was really sick. I got better eventually though, despite the doctors' instructions/predictions.

Hendersonville, NC(Zone 7a)

back pain and beds. . . since one third of our life is spent "asxleep",. it matters greatly to have a comfortable bed. WQhen you have back problems (like I do) it becomes VERY important! I am fortunate there: My granny "handed down" her antique bed (frame) a few years back, in anticipation of dying soon (shwe just celebrated her 99th birday, remmber?) Since it wasn't the usual dimensions of modern bed framed, we couldn't just buy from some box store, it required a special set otherwise I could see the floor for about 4-5 " on either side, pl,us the "fit" was so tight head-to-toe we had to CRAM a box store set in the frame! There's a place nearby that makes mattresses the old-fashioned way, where you can sleep on either side, turning it over. . a useful feature the industry has almost succeeded in banishing (not being able to turn a mattress over and sleep on the OTHER side cuts its useful life expectancy in half!) and it also makes them to fit (custom size???) I opted for extra firm, so when making it thry put extra coils in it. I LOVE my mattress!

Recently, my familial arthitic conditioln started to effect my left hip, so I added a 4 inch topper of memory foam. I also have severe allergies, so I already had a hypo-allergenic mattress protector / pad -one with almost a foot of stretchy material on the sides to enusre the pad could/would be able to get tucked under the mattress completely and would STAY!! I just put the memoty foam topper UNDER the pad!! No allergic reaction!!!

Gawd! My typing is REALLY bad today!!

Loaf and mental health watch While I believe prison should NOT be a comfortable or pleasant time, that "loaf" seems beyond the pale: the realm of "cruel and unusual punishment". I thought and thought but could not think of any logical reasons for it other than REALLY making mental health watch something/someplace NOT a place/situation any "sane" person would choose. But that begs the question: isn't mental health watxch FOR those prisoners who AREN"T exactly "sane"? So what would be the reasoning behind punishing a sick PERSON for being sick?? I just don't get it.

Edo I spend a lot of time in bed, so I do ALOT of crossword puzzles. Clue: The old name of Tokyo. Answer Edo

Granny, dentures, pureed food About 40 years ago, Granny had an accident and damaged most of her teeth: she was wearing high heels, not holding onto the (outside, concrete and metal) stair rail and fell on her face. She refused then to have dentures, insisting her dentist do whatever he could to save her teeth. (I believe I already told y'all she's vain>) one by one, her teeth were lost, but it wasn't until about six months ago that she lost the last remaining molar and could no longer chew. She STILL refuses to get dentures! I know how yucky pureed food is (one of her first ideas was for her to try toddler baby food - it was GROSS! No wonder my babies spit it back at me!!). So I "encourage" her to eat by suggesting her to take me to: Zaxby's (she can& does eat french fries and fresh chicken tenders), the ice cream place, Honey Baked Ham (she loves their ham& bean soup...of course with my cornbread that I make for her) and make cupcakes weekly for her wqith Benefiber hidden in them (pre-iced since she ADORES sweets!). . . . in short, I do ANYTHING I can think of NOT to give her pureed food. She USED to come over for my home cooking, but lately it's too much for her to get out and my knees won't let me climb the stairs to her apartment regularly either. I'm at my wits end, dealing with MY problems, HER problems and daily living!!

I need a wise cactus to talk to!

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Re beds: A good mattress is REALLY important, I agree. We sleep on s very firm mattress with memory foam type. Since I prop myself up on the mattress, I need the firmness. Since I have reduced sensation, I also need the memory stuff--I think it helps with pressure sores and so on.

When I got OUT if the hospital in 2001, I had lost a lot of weight from being on tube feeds. My GP suggested an ice cream shake every day to regain weight. It worked. Not as healthy as Ensure (I think I was supposed to drink "Boost") but a lot more palatable.

Prisons: I have lots of different opinions, and most of them contradict each other. So I'll just not say anything about that. I know that living in a prison would be worse than death, and I think executing the Marathon Bomber is the wrong thing to do, but I'll shut up.

Casa Grande, AZ

Yep beds....Had an antique one previously. Got rid of it. No mattress would fit it. Couldn't extend the bed without altering the wood or the integrity of it. So just parted with it. We don't have a place that custom makes mattresses around here. Oh well got a beautiful Charles P.Rogers one to replace it. :D Now just need a new mattress.
Had/have (?) a great one. Firm, nice pillow top. It just seems every time I need to replace it some other stupid little bill or necessity comes up that is more of a priority. So the mattress gets relegated farther down the priority/needs list. Just how it goes sometimes. I'll get to it.

Yep prisons...not the vacation people think they are when they say, "They get cable t.v., and e squares a day, and this and that..." Yep. They do but it isn't what you think at all. There's a lot of things "censored" that they don't get on t.v. and well...let's just say the regular food aint that great.
As far as loaf well they're not going to give people who threaten to kill/hurt themselves forks or bones that could be swallowed or sharpened. They're not going to give them clothing that can be ripped up and used to hang themselves with (elastic underwear bands, uniforms), shoe laces, etc. They're not going to give them food they can deliberately choke on. They're not going to give them pillows they can tear the stuffing out of and eat or stuff in their noses and down their throats, ETC. It is for their own good. THEY threatened to kill themselves. You have to take it seriously.
We have to. If we don't and they commit suicide well we're liable as an institution, as the officer in charge, etc. We just can't excuse it and over look it even though we know cons are cons and are most likely conning us.
Not inhumane just sad. The actual amount of "crazies" or people who are serious who wind up on constant watch is less than 5%. But again what do we do with them? We are not a mental institution. We are a prison. Big difference. We are not a prison that caters to the mentally ill. We are a prison where 95% of the population is not. We did not sentence this individual to our facility. They were sentenced there and their lawyer or whomever agreed to it.
We did not shut down the mental health facilities and hospitals and toss these people out. But here they are. We have to deal with them. We have to deal with them like everyone else, make the same rules apply and can't give them preferential treatment. THAT is what causes problems in a prison or with large groups of people. We do have unit managers, correctional counselors, nurses, etc. on staff. They have opportunities to go for outside treatment and to take meds. (WE can't make them. THEY have rights. THEY can refuse treatment they don't want.)
The other 95% in prison is full of CONVICTS. Cons are cons are cons and that's what they do. They "con" or try to "con" you. A lot of them...95% of them pull this stunt to get out of their unit and away from the general population. It is usually because they have gambling debt or owe someone money or a favor they can't/won't pay. There are gangs. That's why they're there to begin with. Gang tattoos don't magically disappear. If the officers recognize them the inmates more so. It doesn't matter in or out of prison gangs are gangs and prison is very segregated. You stick with your own. As long as there is no violence, trouble, gang VIOLENCE, threats, etc. we don't care who they "associate with" or who their "friends" are. We try to house them accordingly (security threat groups) but we can not control who they associate with inside their unit/pod or on rec. THEY ARE people.

BUT no matter who or what they are they all have to coexist and play nice together and not act like animals. If they can't well then there's repercussions for acting like an animal. It is dealt with on paper, added time, segregation or worse case scenario getting hosed down with some pepper spray and/or tear gas and hauled away in handcuffs. The amount of times that happens I could count on 1 hand in the years I worked there. Usually it IS because they were absolutely begging for it! Which is why I say by the time the Captain gets down there he/she is all too happy to let them have it. We don't call a Captain for no reason or to deal with something we can.

So most of these "cons" pull this little suicide stunt to get out of their unit and away from someone/something. It is their CHOICE rather than tell us someone is after them or threatened them or they "owe" someone, etc. They consider squealing is even worse. Hey, again that is their choice. The option to "tell and report" is there. We ask, stress and tell them to utilize it. If they don't want to utilize it we can't force them. It is their legal and constitutional right.
All we can do is take their declaration of wanting to commit suicide seriously and treat them anyway we would treat someone else who would commit suicide or hurt themselves in earnest. So they get loaf, paper gowns, constant watch, segregation, mandatory documented trips to mental health, etc. Again...they asked for it literally by saying "I'll kill myself".

Like any job there's a degree of objectivity and pragmatism that has to come into play especially when dealing with 100s of people that you are responsible for. I had 12 pods of which each pod consisted of 100-160 people! There were 4 or 5 floor officers for 12 pods and 1 or 2 running the control bubble (glass enclosed room that open and closed every door and cell electronically and the "eyes" on you! You were the eyes on the inmates. The bubble was the eyes on you!).
You don't have time to babysit, play shrink, counselor, and mommy. You have time to perform your tasks at the specific times they needed done (everything in prison is on a schedule and time based) and get them done in that limited time slot. You interacted briefly with the inmates and you always walked the areas, looked, listened and scanned for activity that was unusual, "no-no's" and that things were o.k. You never stood still, stopped or clocked out for lunch or just b.s.'d with people. You grabbed a few bites here and there. You were eating "finger food" too all day! (LOL). Yes you did have a few lulls to talk to coworkers or "eat" but for the most part you hustled all day!

You can not get overly invested in these people emotionally either and view the treatment as good/bad, or right/wrong or humane/inhumane. If so this isn't the job for you. It is like being a vet. Feel compassion for an animal but if you have to cut off it's leg because of an accident can you do your job without bursting into tears? Is it ethical of you to put an animal down because the owner can't afford to treat the life threatening illness and the place you work for won't make payment allowances/exceptions? You have to stay out of the "gray zone".

Also keep in mind "convicts" are called "cons" for a reason. All of them are there for life but none of them are guilty and all of them feel like they've been wrongly committed and can't figure out why they're there. They still don't get it and they try to "con" you into believing them. They're not stupid. They just made bad choices. They're not stupid by any means! They may not be "educated" but trust me...they're a lot smarter than you and I. You just can't get suckered by them. They prey on peoples emotions, compassion and empathy. Like I said, there's only about 2% of them with a "light on". They finally get it and finally stop being a "con" and accept the fact they're a convict who is rightfully convicted.

The private prisons that employed me and my husband currently ARE better than most! We have MORE staff than actually required BY STATE LAW and more programs and more additional counselors, etc.!! Doesn't matter state, federal or private. Prison is prison. Convicts are convicts. At some point at some time something is going to happen that will make the news. Always does. I live around 13 prisons. All different. All have made the news. Doesn't matter who owns, operates or runs them. Prisons are prisons are prisons. Consider who and what is there under one roof and why. No big surprise there that things happen. You probably here more about private ones though because unlike the state and fed ones don't "Pay Off" the local government to keep stuff out of the news either. Well known common fact when you live in an area where prison jobs are one of the major economic driving forces.

Yep...I have some divided thoughts on the prison systems here in the country also. BUT since I am not the power that be and I don't get to play King for a day all I could do was look, observe, listen and learn. Got a real education because I worked there. Like I said, 98% of them deserve to be there. I worked in a penitentiary. That's minimum 40 years and maximum life. Basically you can pretty much throw away the key on these guys. My husband works in a prison (40 years and less).

If anyone wants a "real education" on the pinal system of America spend some time in a place like these first hand on either side of the law. Shut off the T.V. That isn't reality, that isn't "prison" and that isn't how the system or the people in either uniform work there.
It isn't great but it isn't as inhumane as people think either. People like me and for the most part the majority of the people that worked there cared about their jobs. You certainly couldn't be a derelict or delinquent and get hired. Had to pass a 10 year background check, personal and professional references where they send people to your references HOMES to interview them, a credit check and a drug test. My husband and I have Bureau of Prison clearances (BOP) not easy to get! But there's always those few like any job there's always those "few" who just don't act right, care or do the wrong things.

I really don't see inmates living conditions any worse than what I had in boot camp in the military. Pretty much same bed, same nasty toilets and group showers, (NO nothing was ever 'clean' in the military), same nasty food, same nasty blanket and pillow THAT TONS OF PEOPLE USED BEFORE YOU, always cold, same nasty space shared with nasty people from all kinds of walks of life (a lot of them NOT good and most of them having been in trouble).
Only difference was my stint ended in a short time and I volunteered willingly for this.
In comparison the inmates are allowed a t.v. and radio, and they only have 1 room mate. Inmates also get commissary, and the ONLY TIME they get subject to a chemical is if they ask for/ deserve it. And those do no real permanent damage. Hmm.....better than what I actually had or how I was treated and the chemicals I and a whole bunch others were DELIBERATELY subjected to. Part of the reason I'm sick (and gee coincidentally so are a few of the other people I served with).
I'll keep the rest of my opinions about the military and our hyper industrial military complex to my self.

Personally though I'm not a fan of the death penalty. If they're nuts they're nuts. What does one "do" with butt nuts crazy and crimes that result from it? I don't know. I have ideas and solutions to some things due to my unique perspective of having been an "insider" in the industry. I do not have the solution to the prison problem overall as a nation. Does anyone?

Ahh....Edo and Tokyo. How wonderful. Wouldn't it be great to visit, sit in the garden. have lovely tea and sushi (I bet gran could eat that!)
I adore sushi.
Does your Granny like sushi?
Bets don't know what to tell you about Grandma and You're arthritis. Wise cactus suggested that maybe you two take turns spending a few days each in each others apartments. You won't have to climb and can make plenty of meals for her to take back upstairs when she goes home. She can entertain the kids a bit for you while you do things about your house.
Next few days you can stay at her place. She can take care of things about her house and you can do what you need to up there and rest. If she were younger I would suggest getting a much larger apartment the 2 of you could share BUT with Granny being 99..well, er, ah, you know.
I'm just as vain as she is so I get it with those high heels. I'm in them every chance I get. Fall on my head or not I don't care. Figure I'm going to bust my head or something else if I have a seizure anyway. Doesn't matter if I'm in flats or heels. Might as well put on the heels and look good doing it! (LOL)

Gotta go. DH is off today. Making 9 pound pork Boston butt roast. Having same group over for football game (HUGE Eye roll). I'll be puttering outside with cacti and garden. Ms.Thang is not coming. Actually had the nerve to cry to her boyfriend that "Nobody talked to her, listened and that everyone talked over her and she has nothing in common with us."
Chris looked miserable and doesn't know what to do.

I blathered enough. I'll save that one for tomorrow.

Hendersonville, NC(Zone 7a)

Oh, AG/TTC: without asdking or being told, I understood all the OTHER precautions in the mental health watch you described. And I did consider the fact that the majority of inmates there are there for NON-mental health reasons, so it wou,ld be reasonable to make it less pleasant than their usual. BUT. Our legal system is built with so many safeguardsw because it's reasoned that it's better to let a guilty person go than to punish/incarcerate/etc. an innocent one. I agree that a prison is a prison and a convict is a convict. . . but its an Ameriocan prison and an American convict. Rather than punish ALL with loaf, why not give a sack meal (no spoons, forks or knives, no bones....bland if one must. . . ) I just don't see how loaf accomplishes anything other than pile on another level of punishment. After all, if the inmate wanted to harm himself, he could stuff his nose with it, cram it all down his throat and choke on it, inhale it (are infirmary visits/stays handled the same way?? Thinking pnuemonia or bacterial infedction) abd/or pack his ears with it (MAJOR infection, so near the brain, and, of course, there is the risk of systemic infection, with the increased risk of septicemia and death) You still haven't gicven a logical reaspning for loaf, other than that's the way it is. I still can find no logical reason to change my belief that it is cxruel and unusuaol punishment.

You might be surprised that you and I share many negative beliefs about the military: my beloved son joined the Army and fought/opccupied Iraq during the search for WMD. His MOS meant he was the one who tested the area etc. BEFORE the troops were allowind in.

Granny & I lived in the same apt/house for brief periods of time: it never worked!! She remembers me as the lil baby she changed diapers, potty-trained etc. It's easier on both of us to live apart: neither of us HAS to associate with the other!! [What is the difference between the very old and a small child?? You can send the child to their room when they misbehave and send them to bed when they get cranky']

enough for now

Casa Grande, AZ

Good Morning gang :D

Bets honestly to answer your question about loaf I just don't know the prison systems real reasons. It is not the C.O.'s personal decision or the Sgt.'s Lt.'s or Cpt.'s or even the Warden's.
It is "contract" specified. We get people from all over the U.S. Currently my husband's prison has inmates from Hawaii. Due to the size of the pen I was working at (huuuuge) we had several contracts going at once: Washington State, Washington D.C., U.S. Marshals in A.Z., California, and ICE
ICE was immigration custom enforcement. These were people who committed NO crime or misdemeanors or low level non-violent crimes but were here just being detained until they could be shipped out to their country or their country could be contacted and tell us what to do with them.
We had people from all over the world not just Mexico. I mean some really far flung places. You communicated with them the best you could but most spoke Enough English to get by . They had more "freedom" than a typical inmate and as much "liberty" as anyone could get short of roaming the halls. Very nice people and very willingly compliant. They didn't want trouble. They knew they were there just kind of "hanging out".

You had one unit BUT SEPARATE PODS that never intermixed in the unit or were with general population regardless of contract for STG's (security threat groups: White Supremists with Nazi tattoos and Arian Brotherhood or KKK tattoos who hate everyone and every race went straight to seg but were treated like "normal inmates". They just couldn't be put with general population for obvious reasons.
You had one for hyper violent criminals who couldn't live with anyone. You had one for "special" (trans sexuals, overtly homosexuals ..for THEIR protection) a place for people who were known child molesters. For some reason inmates hate them and it is guaranteed they'll get beat down/killed).

Every contract was "housed" in a different unit/block in the prison. You did not mix up all these different contracts. So you had A block for Washington D.C. and B block for Washington State and F block for ICE, etc. You had the same general prison rules BUT you also had specific contract rules of things they could/couldn't do. (Example some were allowed different things in their commissary while others were not. Some are allowed "porn" and others not. If in segregations,some got 1 hour of supervised rec outside in an open area by themselves but others got 1 hour of rec in an enclosed small area a certain size just so they could do some basic exercises/stretch legs).

Again these were not "our decisions" but the decisions of the state who issued the punishments and determined what "rights and privileges" they would of had in a prison in their own state. The reason they are not in their state is that the state's prison is filled to capacity BUT we have room for them so they are shipped to us and we "act" as an extension of that prison with their specific rules while the entire inmate population abides by the whole rules of our prison in general. (There has to be basic cohesion).
As officers we did what the "post orders" of that bock-unit/contract specific inmates required and no matter where we worked we did what was required as a whole in the prison: when to lock down; 2 counts per shift, 2 cell searches per shift; 1 rec per shift and at what time so they didn't bump into anyone else, when each unit went to medical, programs, chow and when they finished, back to the unit, etc.
Hence everything was highly orchestrated and timed! You had to listen to your radio constantly and the people in the bubble would "cue" you to "cue" the inmates.
You had x amount of time to get these things done and completed and inmates moved and halls cleared for the next group. You didn't dilly-dally, punch out and go eat your lunch, take a break etc. You moved and hustled all day! It was not a job for the pokey and slow or the inefficient and lazy.
The inmates knew the drill better than you did. Half of them honestly very nicely "trained me" to do my job better and more efficiently and easier! (LOL). Their time away from their units and being free a little to walk around and socialize was important to them. They wanted as much of it as possible. They didn't want a slow, hesitant, fumbling "new" C.O. They wanted one that knew the drill and how to move them and things along! So they "helped" you by making it easy, and "Naw man, do it this way. Watch the other C.O.s not that crap in your class. This is how to make it fast C.O., you do this, then this, then...." They actually helped me for real! NO JOKE!
When you're not moving inmates you're moving your self doing constant "watch tours" in the pod/unit.Just walking past cells, looking in, looking at inmates, scanning the day room, etc. ALL DAY LONG! But this is when you stop a moment and "chat" with them, make sure they're not doing something stupid in their cells (making hooch, tattooing, etc.), making sure the person sleeping IS sleeping and breathing and not dead, take a moment only just to look at the T.V. with them and ask a question about the game or program. Ask about their class/program/ art project for the day. THEY ARE HUMAN. You are there all day with them. You have to have some kind of rapport.

As for loaf and/or finger food again and constant watch and choking hazards, etc. that was why we "sat on" them 24 hours a day and watched them and log what they do every 15 minutes. If they attempted to do something with it or to themselves WE had to respond. (slam their head into the wall/ try to drown themselves in the toilet...now you know why I could have got in trouble for letting them put their head on it to sleep.) We had to go in there immediately and would have been the one pulling it out of their ears, nose, etc.
We had a literal key that opened that door and WE were trained in basic medical on CPR, choking, how to stop someone bleeding, what to do to prevent concussion, etc. until medical could get there. We knew how to restrain someone and yes, we knew how and when to take someone down and put them in cuffs,which we had on seg and constant watch only, because these were the most violent/dangerous offenders that often tended to get violent.
When we called a "code" on the radio it was stop, drop and run!! NOW!!! I mean half the officers, medical and supervisory staff descended ASAP IN LESS THAN A MINUTE. Not just for constant watch but anywhere in the prison. Everyone else locked down the whole unit and/or prison if need be.

As for medical they had hospital that they got to go to when they needed it just like you and I. Difference is that's free for them! We took patients in for cancer, dialysis, surgery, major and minor things,etc.
The nurses on staff handled regular and daily pill call for aspirin, cold medicine, infirmary type of things, issuing of daily scripts (inmates didn't have this stuff in their cells), shots, vaccines, etc. By law you can't make crazies take meds. You can't make anyone take meds. If they want it they do if not they don't. Reason why we document times and when we offer it to each unit/pod and the nurses on duty list who comes and who doesn't in terms of inmates. Nobody can claim we deny them meds or chances to take it.
If a doctor was needed there was always one on call that could be called in. Just like you and I get treated. Difference is they get "house calls". Honestly, I can say their medical treatment is better than ours. I wish I had their care.
They even get mental health days! They get shrinks and counselors to go boo-hoo to twice a week. Wouldn't that be nice? They also get to write up grievances on us! Although 95% of them are laughable (cons are cons are cons) there are some legitimate complaints that get taken VERY seriously and people have lost their jobs! It could result in the prison losing the contract and thus work.

So no I can honestly say nasty loaf aside nobody is treated badly at our hands or by our own personal or deliberate choice. It is more a case of "just following orders". You know how that goes. Same in any job.

Also the max I have ever seen anyone in this situation was 3 days. We didn't prolong it any longer than necessary. They usually went back to normal everything by then.
By then they had several physical and mental health evaluations and the state where they were from originally was contacted (Washington, Hawaii, etc.) and THEY determined what they wanted us to "do" with the inmate per the Warden and Chief of Security. Send inmate to regular seg for b.s.'ing everyone there and wasting our time, go back to general population in their unit, go to special custody with the "unique" cases because they were now "unique", go to a mental health hospital outside the prison and be committed for legitimately being nuts.

I dunno. I just dealt with them when I showed up for work wherever I was scheduled to work that day and wherever they were that day. I can't keep track of literally thousands of inmates and where they go or are shuffled off to outside of my 8 hours a day. I guess that's the Warden's and Chief of Security's jobs. So if loaf as opposed to finger food is on the menu I guess my job for the day is to make sure they get their loaf on my shift and if they want to eat it they can. If not I can't force them. I just write it down in the log one way or the other.

So now you all got a very superficial look at what REALLY happens in prison and what I used to do. Nothing like "Orange is the New Black" is it? Not what you see in those movies either.
Like I said, everyone should spend a day or two in there to get a real concept and grasp.

Yep...get crazy relatives and living with them too. Want to choke them. They don't know nothing but they know better than you. Can't take care of themselves but they're going to take care of you or tell you how. Told you when you got older what a pain in the butt you were as a kid and then want to raise yours and always not the way you want to. (I don't have kids but know people who do and who live with family).
Moved in with my mother one time. Thought I was going to choke the woman. They work your last nerve. I swear the older they get the nastier, more immature and passive-aggressive they become. All we did was fight. Much better to stay on your own even if it means living in a rat hole.

I feel for you in regards to Granny. Wise Cactus said just keep feeding her sweets and maybe she'll hush or sweeten up. :]

Great tremendous rain yesterday and all last night. Was wonderful. DH is off today. We're going to enjoy some of it.

Hugs gang,
Peace. Out. TTC/Ag

Do you got a nice neighbor willing to run food up and down steps for you a few times a week? Can you get the kids to do it?

Casa Grande, AZ

Good Morning Gang :D

Busy day today. Have to drive all the way back to old neighborhood to check on our former neighbor's cat. Bernice (former neighbor) was sooooo good to us in terms of Zoe when I was working and/or when Dave and I had to go out of town to see the Neurologist, or anything else and weren't going to be home. She never failed to come over and feed & water Zoe for us. She did this for the entire 7 years we lived there! My schedule at the grocery store was willy-nilly with no set hours and always, "Can you come in early; stay late; come in on day off and we'll give you a different one..." etc. Bernice never let us down.

So it would be pretty crappy of us not to return the favor although she now lives 35 minutes away. I'm happy for her though. She and her daughter (living in Washington state) are going on a trip to Hawaii. Good for her! So every few days we'll be popping over to feed cat and clean litter box (Ewwwww!). Hang out a bit to play with cat, collect mail, check on house, etc. Hey, got to be in town today anyway to see hairdresser. Only go to her. Took me 3 years to "train" her on how to cut my hair perfectly. Refuse to go to anyone else.

So that is my big exciting day.

Also going to be moving some of the back yard plants to the front. Something about that back yard makes everything look sickly. They put some kind of double layer of weed preventative mesh on the ground before the landscape rock over it. Somehow water gets trapped or there's a lack of aeration and the soil, although it is the same soil in front, gets "sour" and the plants always seem sickly back there and not thriving they way they are in the front which has no mesh.

So what is doing well back there will stay. What isn't will get transplanted to the front yard. Easy job since it rained the last 2 days and the ground is super soft and little to no effort is required to dig them up.

I've decided to do raised beds in the back yard and build them over winter. Get some decorative brick, rake away the landscape rock, and just sink them a few inches into the soil (pull up immediate weed mesh..easy to cut away) and then build up from there about 3 layers in height.

Not sure if I want to do 1 big bed or a series of several small ones. Definitely going to use the center of the yard and leave the perimeter for the dog. Have a huge rectangle for the yard and the whole 2' perimeter is in shade. The middle (about the size of a swimming pool) is my lake of fire. Intense all day beating sun! Definitely need things that can take it like P. Pears, Chollas, Eve's Needles, Barrel Cacti, etc.

Maybe I'll make a bed designated to that crazy Century Plant pup I got off the neighbor. It keeps GROWING!! Keep in mind these things get huge width wise as well as height wise and produce a lot of pups (babies) under them and around them that spread! Having it contained literally would probably be a most excellent idea.

Now all I have to do is find a place up front for all these other plants. It is starting to get rather crowded. Not complaining. Loving the plants and happy to see what I planted as little fledglings starting to really take off. I've only been here 5 months now. Next Spring ought to be just stellar. I just have to do some plant reshuffling so it isn't just a matter of digging a hole and dropping in my plant. I have to move something first and find it a home and then put something from the back in the pre existing spot. Shade and sun requirements have to be considered thus also the reason for the "shuffle" .
Wise Cactus said exercise, thoughtfulness and mindful planning is good for me. Solving yard logistics and placement puzzles often mirrors life's puzzles and logistics on how to cohabitate and work with a variety of persons that are fussy or have special needs or some that are just content with wherever and whatever. Hmm...good lesson. Also Wise Cactus told me to enjoy. It isn't often I get to "Play God" and organize and order a universe according to how I see fit. :D
He did threaten to thump me on the head though and make me sit on cactus needles to talk to him the next time if I cause the demise of any of his loving plant devotees and distant relatives.

So that's what I'll be busy with. How about you guys?
Whatcha' doin?

What's going on down on the farm?

How is everyone feeling?
Hope you are all well.
Have a happy garden and otherwise day.
Peace. Out.

Midland City, AL

Hi Gang! Iíve been off-line due to some technical difficulties. Allergies have Kay totally offline. Sheís reading and sleeping and apparently sleep reading. Whenever I have caught her snoring with the audio book still playing and shut it off, she immediately wakes up and tells me, ďHey, I was listening to that
The books havenít been her usual fare either. I have never known Kay to read chick lit like Calling Invisible Women or unrealistic science fiction like Pandemonium. Imagine Jurassic Park set in caverns underneath the Ural Mountains with creatures even older than dinosaurs and you have the book Pandemonium. Kayís an Analog: Science Fiction and Fact kind of reader. The science in a book has to pass muster or according to Kay ďIt lacks verisimilitude.Ē I had to look that one up the first time she used it. My vocabulary has grown considerably since I hooked up with Kay and I think she has become more efficient since hooking up with me. She always worked hard, but hasnít always worked smart.
My BIL would probably like LOF for breakfast. He is one of those people who hits the floor running in the a.m. and he doesnít want anything messing with his momentum and that includes taking time to eat. He will dump his orange juice into his cereal and drink the milk, juice and cereal from the bowl in a few gulps. He answers anyone who calls him on it with, ďThe food gets all mixed up in your stomach anyway.Ē Why waste time eating it separately.Ē He slows down enough by lunch to eat normally. It will be interesting to see how he handles retirement.
I do not believe in the death penalty as long as we have a good prison system. If they let the older of the two young men who tried to kill Kay out, he would not survive long. Too many people want him dead. There is an aspect of prisons most people never think about. They exist not only to protect society from criminals, but also to protect criminals from an angry society. I would not object to his being taken off death row, but there are others who probably would. It isnít that I donít think he deserves death. He deserves a long, painful death. I donít believe in the death penalty because of what it does to the people who pull the switch or give the injection. Even the hardest people will have moments in their lives when performing an act like that will bother them.
I set up and leveled a large raised bed in the vegetable garden. It isnít filled with soil yet. In a few days I will make a run to the nursery and pick up a truckload of compost. Can I grow anything in straight mushroom compost given it is no longer hot? We have too many earth moving projects going already. Nadi will strangle me if I tell her I made another. It is a LARGE bed.
Beth, there is a cookbook with lots of good recipes for people who have problems chewing the (I can't chew cookbook by Randy J. Wilson is good ). Your Granma has more teeth than I do and I hate wearing dentures. I have an over-developed gag reflex and they trigger it. My dentures are just for Kayís vanity. She doesnít want anyone to know she is married to a toothless old man. LOL. Itís no fun robbing the cradle if the man looks older than you.
Hey, Carrie, be a pal and give me a word Kay would not know. She is teasing me because I did not know what duff was. Iíve been reading Adventures of a Verbivore, but considering it is Kayís book, I doubt I will find a word there to stump her. It has allowed me to drive her up the wall with bad puns though. Richard Letterer, the author, shared some real groaners.
Pix1 Texas Blue Mist flower
Pix2 Basil in flower and friend

Thumbnail by seacanepain Thumbnail by seacanepain
Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Jim, try her on "tonicization."

Casa Grande, AZ

HI Gang :D
Good Morning!
Ahhhhh.....words. I so adore them. Which brings me to you Jim. I will help enrich your vocabulary by putting all new words in caps for you. I found plenty of grist for my mental mill because I watched the debates last night.
Of course being a MASOCHIST (one who likes to have pain deliberately inflicted upon them by others needlessly and for senseless and unnecessary reasons other than to take perverse pleasures in it; proven psychological disorder), and the fact that even Ringling Brothers is incapable of putting on a 3 hour circus, I decided I needed to perform this act. Besides, I needed a good laugh after a long day.

This is what brought to mind the word MONTEBANK.

A MONTEBANK is a hawker of quack medicines who attracts customers publically by mounting a podium or stage and drawing people to them with stories, jokes and tricks in order to cheat them; flim-flam artist; cheat; person of DUBIOUS (questionable; suspect) character that takes advantage of others through deceit and manipulations for their own self betterment and to appear as though they possess magical, curing, restorative or healing powers that they do not.

What a wonderful word. How apt. How SUCCIENT (efficient; concise, exact, precise). Now
isn't the ability to say all you wanted to with just one word absolutely amazing? Ahhhh...the power of words and the ability to be articulate. (I'm assuming you know that word.)

I miss books. I was/am a VORACIOUS (huge appetite; unusually hungry and not easily satisfied) reader. YES....I LIKE PAPER. I LIKE 'BOOKS'. They're nice in that you can read, re-read, and refer back to them whenever you choose. Once you pay for them you own them. They are yours forever REGARDLESS of being out of print, unavailable years later, unpopular, and they can be handed down from generation to generation.

(irregardless is NOT a word. The prefix 'irr' means not as in irregular, (not regular); The suffix 'less' also means not as in thoughtless (not having thought; or less of something) So by using irregardless you are saying not..regarding..not/less. Pleeeease use REGARDLESS. Big pet-peeve of mine.) The word is REGARDLESS. REGARDLESS means not having regard for. Please use it correctly. Big pet-peeve of mine.)

There used to be a wonderful book store in Ohio close to where I lived called Twice Loved Books. You could buy, sell and trade old books. I found a (now) 200 year old edition of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Not worth a dime. The four key factors in determining book value are: condition, edition, title and author. Since Shakespeare and everything he wrote is not unusual, rare or scarce that left me with condition and edition. The condition of the book was excellent although the outer binding had some flaking and the edition was not rare. There was a PLETHORA (overabundance, multitude) of these books printed in that year.
So what I really have is a very, very, very old book that is quaint in good condition and a lot of fun to own but not worth anything. Who knows...if I leave it to someone who loves books maybe in 300 or 400 years it will be worth something. To me books are treasures. I can read any book on line. I can not hold a 200 year old computer in my hands and touch the pages, reference the footnotes, endnotes, cast of characters, etc. without having to flip screens or use two devices simultaneously. (I'll take for granted you know that word also.) I can not literally hand down my computer or Kindle to someone is 40 more years (I'd be 87).
I have few books now as I neither have space for them nor a room to devote solely to book shelves or as a library. I live in a small house.
Dave is not a big reader of books and prefers on line things. While quite intelligent and making me seem inept when it comes to things like using a computer or simply turning on the television without a user's manual I do the same thing Kay does to you. I enrich his vocabulary. I also correct his grammar. :D

O.K. final "English" lesson for the day. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use the word neither without using nor in the same sentence.
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use the word either without or in the same sentence. They are comparatives. In order to compare something there must be 2! They are quantifiers.
Example: I neither like mayonnaise nor ketchup as a condiment. I use either mustard or A-1 steak sauce. OR is not a substitution for NOR. Reason being is you are comparing 2 things.

Neither-nor means this or that. I don't like 2 things (neither). I don't like one better THAN the other. "I don't like mayo better than ketchup".
OR means another or an alternative. I like mustard or alternatively A-1 steak sauce.
So to sum up: NEVER,NEVER when speaking or writing us neither without nor or either without or in the same sentence.

I'm not much of a sci-fi fan but I do enjoy most things. Lately I find myself with a thirst for knowledge and educational books and instructional manuals. I'd love to go back to school but suffer the blight of the middle class plight. Not enough money to pay for it and not poor enough to get it paid for. So I content my self with educating my self at home with whatever I can and however I can. I've taught myself the stock market from ground zero and have done quite well. I am not sure what I'll be learning next. Haven't decided on the topic.
As for grammar, writing, punctuation, spelling and the mechanics of the English language we will NOT discuss the endless hours of torment inflicted upon me and others by my college advanced placement English I, II and writing professor (same odious, little man for all 3 classes.). I wanted to bludgeon him with his unabridged dictionary. Had I, I'm sure I would have received an overwhelmingly thunderous round of applause from my classmates.

I'm glad you have improved Kay's work efficiency, effectiveness and progress. To your credit it has probably helped her since she is legally blind. Made things much easier on her to navigate and to have more time in her day. It must be terrible also dragging yourself through the day with allergies. I am thankful I live in a place where there is little to no pollen and now that I moved to a city a lot less dust! I know my house needs cleaned when I start to sneeze because I'm allergic to dust! To Dave's credit he has helped me become more thoughtful, reflective and even tempered. I now put a filter on between my brain and mouth, stop, think and react more carefully or often find out there is no need to react or over react at all. I've learned how to be more analytical and less emotional. In some ways I think he has done me a bigger favor.
Your BIL sounds like a peculiar person. Being a foodie and a cook and now a bit of a hyper-taster I couldn't conceive of eating that way. Eating is a pleasure and an experience meant to be savored and enjoyed.But I guess to each their own.
I do share with him, however, the hit the ground running thing. I don't care what time I get up providing I had adequate sleep I am go..go...go...all day long like a little hummingbird. I only have two speeds; off and on. I go..go..go until I drop into a coma of utter exhaustion. To be honest this year and last were the first time I ever found myself needing to nap on occasion or having the rare day where I just wanted to be a vegetable. Although I no longer work outside the home I still work and/or create as much work for myself at home. I just can't sit idly. I don't understand people who can. I don't get people who sit at a desk all day and look at a computer, come home, eat, say they're exhausted, watch T.V. and then go to bed for 9 hours. Uhm...why? You expended no to little physical energy. Maybe the reason you feel that way is because you expended no physical energy and oversleep?
Like my vanity I refuse to slow down with age. I'll keep it up until I can't. Jim, I really don't consider having teeth a vanity issue so much as a necessity issue. It helps when you smile at someone or eat out in public. At home...well, LOAF and the toothless cook book are just dandy. I'll have to check out the "I Can't Chew Cookbook". Sounds like a hoot. Who knows, might be something in there I'll like or can put on the table when Dave irritates me. (LOL)
That's horrible Kay had an experience like that! I couldn't imagine. What an ordeal to have one's literal life threatened. YIKES. I can see how the situation with your neighbor was making things feel all the more frightening for her and alarming for you.
I agree too, there are way too many vigilantes in the world who want to take the law into their own hands. While emotionally and psychologically justifying it isn't practical for the general public to go about determining what constitutes just punishment and dispensing their own form of justice.
Yes, prisons do exist to safeguard criminals from others that want to harm them. That includes themselves. BUT there are plenty on the inside who will also hurt them. The majority of the other inmates know what you are in for (although the officers don't). They also know what gangs, what drug runners, what corresponding murders are relevant and pertinent to them and their world and family/friends outside. There's plenty of inmates on the inside that want to and occasionally manage to dispense their version of justice.
Reason why we house specific people regardless or contracts in certain places/units in the prison. Reason why certain gangs are classified as security threat groups. Reason why some parts of gangs are separated from others regardless of contract.
Also why we scrupulously study tattoos when they enter and have them photographed and put in a data base. We know who is who and what is what. We know who can and who can not coexist together. As a C.O. part of my job was ALWAYS observing and looking at arms, necks, faces, legs if they had on gym clothes for new tattoos they got while in prison or if they changed affiliations or if they got "rank" markings or changes to what they had while in prison within a gang, etc. etc.
You'd be amazed at how effective a tattoo gun you can make with guitar string or dental floss, ink pens, and a Walk Man motor/battery and a simple razor blade. I've collected multitudes of them or tattoo paraphernalia in my cell searches. (huge eye roll).
You can always tell a fresh tattoo also: blood, scabs, red, itching until healed as per any tattoo norm even on the outside and then the worse case scenarios resulting in trips to medical or outside doctors due to infection and sickness from it not being treated immediately. (No inmate is going to come up to you and go, "Hey, C.O., uh..... my new tattoo is all infected and pus is oozing out of it. Can I get a form from you to fill out so I can go to medical for tomorrow?")
I don't think letting people malinger on death row is appropriate. If you're going to do it then just do it. Don't let people malinger there. That's cruel, unnecessary and eats up tax dollars or money that could be appropriated elsewhere in the prison on worthwhile programs for the 2% that have a bulb on in their heads. It is a technique I would rather not employ or encourage for many reasons.
Me being me and my beliefs center upon the thought that while it looks like someone gets away with things or seems to for a long period of time we all will be held accountable in one way or another. Maybe not in the most obvious tit-for-tat or eye-for and eye way but justice and vengeance always seems to get metered out in the most apt and appropriate ways befitting the circumstances. One only has to turn on the news to know that.
It may not be what we feel is right or significant BUT we do not people's lives or circumstances. We do not know how painfully appropriate or justifiably effective a punishment really is. We are the observers not the ones experiencing it. The so called unjust or unfair and unfitting punishment we see could be far more so than we ever imagined based upon the impact it may have on that person's life, circumstance, health, wealth, and all they hold near and death. The loss of things you truly, deeply and profoundly care about in life or being abandoned by others because of who/what you are cuts far deeper and lingers a lot longer than most punishments.
In terms of justice I do like to think the world is on autopilot. I like to believe we have someone to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for painting the white lines on the cosmic highway.

I'm not sure about the mushroom compost. I just always thought mushrooms wasn't anything you would want in your soil and they have spores and could sprout. I had that happen with potting soil I bought once or twice. Threw out the soil. Got new stuff and replanted the plants. Once again envious of the basil though. So lovely. So fun to cook with. So yummy. So not able to grow in Arizona! (at least where I'm at.) The blue mist is pretty. Nice cool color to add to a garden.

Speaking of garden....I'll tell you tomorrow. What an exhausting, long day I had in mine. Major overhaul on everything was done.

Peace. Out.
Still Tired TTC

This message was edited Sep 17, 2015 7:34 AM

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Right, Agave, neither nor and either or. I try to have who/whom and he/him lined up.

Mushroom COMPOST is the operative word! Jim, I think you would be able to grow stuff in mushroom compost. I agree on the death penalty! Even if you could be absolutely sure that someone is 100% guilty, I think it does something to a society when it (the society) is KILLING PEOPLE. Plus I think be alive and unhappy is worse than being dead. And, isn't the crime cruel and unusual to the people who were the victims? I also think the expenses of all the appeals and nonsense is more than just ordinary life sentence. (The total overall expenses for society, not just the cost of execution vs life imprisonment.)

Agave, Kay has a pretty large and extensive vocabulary, We have to try harder to stump her than that. Those are all words I know. We have to find something technical or obscure.

Hendersonville, NC(Zone 7a)

mushroom compost. . . . I was informed that this is the media/stuff that mushrooms had [already] grpwn in. It's not just plain soil that the mushrooms had to grow in, so in that way alone it is special. Then too, mushroom roots are colonized by mycorhizae that fix atmospheric nitrogen into the soil. . .which is ano9ther rezason it is special.

One should ghrow big, beautiful whatevers using it alone. I know a friend who grows big, beautiful, tasty tomatoes having the soil almost entire;u mushroom compost. Personally, my local garden center/nursery reccomended adding copious amounts of mushroom compost to my nutrient-poor clay soil as an amendment. It was too expensive for me to add it all at one time, so everym year I have my garden helper add as much as my budget can afford!

death penalty and cruel & unusual punishment. . . . studies have shown there is little to no deterrence effect of having the death penalty re crime. As it is now, I can see why. . . but wonder if the same study parameters would yieldc different conclusion if the death penalty was swifter and surer?? Consider criminals and Texas' judicious use of the death penalty: while the convicted are afforded all their appeals, they linger on death row LESS. No wonder criminals are known to avoid committing certain major crimes in Texas! They also tend to avoid Texas jails, too!! As a right-to-carry state, their crime rate has gone down! Not only so they hyave concealed carry, but I myself saw many a pickup with a loaded gun rack.

If one REALLY wanted to abolish cruel & unusual punishment: forgive the criminal at the end of his/her trial, set them free with no restrictions. . . then some time later, when he/sxhe relaxes and thinks "It's all over.". . have someone walk up and execute them on the spot! I imagine someone among the friends/relatives/loved ones of the victim(s) would be glad to volunteer.

Casa Grande, AZ

Good Morning Gang :D
Hope everyone is well. Ahhh....words. I usually don't try to stump or outdo anyone. I just love to share those I know and have fun sharing them with others. I think I told you about that nightmare English professor I had for all my classes in college. Gandhi would have strangled the man. I swear he took his impotency and frustration as an unpublished writer (aside from his PH.D.) out on his students.
I got such wonderful comments on my papers. Papers were required to be all hand written of course because he would never accept them typed until THE final draft and corrections were made to his satisfaction. If he couldn't read your writing it then it was wrong..and late because you had to rewrite it and turn it in the next day! If it was misspelled then it was wrong. A comma out of place it was wrong. A comma instead of a semi colon...it was wrong.
I got comments like: poor word choice; inane; trite and meaningless filler; 'What is this?' (yep, actually wrote that in brackets around 4 paragraphs); "Why is this here?"; "Do you own a dictionary?" (Now remember we didn't have spell check on our computers and these papers were being hand written per his request.)
One of my all time favorites was nothing but a big red " ? " across a whole page I wrote. WHAAAAAT???? Tellllll me WHAT YOU WANT before I killllll you! What the %#@# does " ? " mean?
There were some other goodies too like: random use of punctuation, superfluous commas, unnecessary, redundant, repetitive, monotonous, oh and the ever so kind, "Your paper reads like a palindrome". KIILLLLLLLL!!! Then he'd go..."It's not so bad. If you cared you could get an A on it. As it stands, at best this is a B paper and that's being generous. Just rewrite it."

PALINDROME: A word, verse, or sentence that reads the same forward as it does backwards. (madam; Hannah; LOL)

At times I actually feel myself tense up when I have to write something on paper. Talk about shell shock.

Who/whom, he/him and a few others give me trouble. My latest has been trying to focus on when to use "my self" versus "myself" correctly. It was pointed out to me in a letter I wrote to an editor at a newspaper that I used the wrong form. Can we say, "cringe...red face?" Case nominative, possessive and objective pronouns always drove me nuts. (*grimace*)

Mushroom compost. Interesting. I am not real familiar with it. Most likely it is because I live in a desert and deal primarily with things that take cactus/citrus/palm planting mix. Regular house plants I just grab a bag of Miracle Grow potting soil. Mushroom compost sounds intriguing if it works and produces big plants. I'm all for it. Do they have anything that makes cacti grow faster?

Speaking of cacti I'm sooooo tired. The soil in my back yard is hateful. The former owners put down a double layer of mesh to keep the weeds from coming up then put the landscape rock over that. For months now I couldn't figure out why my plants looked so sickly back there or were about half the size of what was out front. It never dawned on me the soil was sour. It had not been aerated and the mesh was trapping moisture between it, the ground, and the plants causing root rot and yellowing.

Me being me spent an entire day digging up every single last plant in the back yard and bringing it to the front. I then moved a lot of the things in the front yard to make space for them. This required digging new holes and more holes. See you just can't plop cacti anywhere. Some need more sun than others, some need heat but not sun, some like shade, etc. So I basically rearranged my whole front yard and dug new holes for some other things.

I only have some Aloes in the ground and a pine cone cactus left to move. Two Agaves are in pots on the patio which is fine. I am soooo tired and sore. I worked from early morning until 5:30p.m. Quite sunburnt too although I had a hat on. I had a V-neck shirt on and so the whole front area got burnt too. Thank goodness it wasn't low cut! Did no gardening yesterday. Sore and tired and rather dehydrated

Finally colored my hair yesterday. :D YIPPEE no more gray roots. Well...couldn't do it with staples in my head and while I had a scab there (Ewwww). Yesterday had to go look in on the old neighbor's cat in our former neighborhood. That was a bit of a drive. Today I have something I got to take care this afternoon and I need to get the house cleaned up. So it looks like tomorrow I'll finish the last of the gardening.

Now I just have to figure out what to do with the back yard! Raised beds. Then it doesn't matter what the soil is like because I'm the one putting in the fresh, appropriate soil. Bets, I'm with you on doing a little at a time as one can affords. I'll be doing that with brick and stock piling it until I have enough to build the beds I want.

This Agave's work is never done. Time to go flip laundry and do dishes.

Pic #1: front yard left view
Pic #2 front yard center/left view
Pic #3 Agaves around tree (not all)
Pic #4 Bubble garden on left and front yard. This is the walk when you come out my front door.
Pic #4 far left view of yard.

Now these plants are currently small BUT keep in mind that pole cacti, Agaves and prickly pear do grow fast. In two years there won't be room to move around or very little room out there between those plants!

Thumbnail by Agavegirl1 Thumbnail by Agavegirl1 Thumbnail by Agavegirl1 Thumbnail by Agavegirl1 Thumbnail by Agavegirl1
Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Beth, my husband feels the best solution to death penalty questions is to let the families of the victims at the accused. Jim and I live in a civilized society where that would not be done.

Agave, what a lot of hard work! I'm worried about your sunburn. Having trouble with my computer typing so all my other words of wisdom will have to wait.

Midland City, AL

Ah, musical terms! Thanks, Carrie! Most of those would sail passed Kay unrecognized. She loves listening to music, but she is purely a consumer. She has never studied music and doesnít play an instrument. I wasnít the talented musician in my family, but we all learned music the way we learned to walk and talk. It was just part of the environment.

TTC, montibank, was a new one to me. Thanks.

I had seen the word ďduffĒ in print and guessed its meaning correctly from context. I just didnít think it was a real word. I mean, if someone had tried to use it in Scrabble, I would have called them on it and hauled down the OED. The only occasion where I saw it used it was preceded by fluffy making it look and sound like the writer was channeling Dr. Seuss. A scientist exploring the canopy of a redwood fell. He survived to everyoneís surprise because he landed in a deep layer of FLUFFY DUFF beneath the tree. Okay, itís a real word. If the writer had been able to resist tacking fluffy in front of it, I might have realized that. Couldnít the scientist have fallen into a downy layer of duff instead?

When I hear environmentalist talk about the death of the printed word as a good thing because it saves trees, I remember a plot twist in one of my favorite Terry Brooks novels (Antrax: The Voyage of the Jerle Shanara, Book II). The gist of the story is that our generation created a repository of information to make it easier to rebuild civilization after an inevitable apocalypse. The OíHenty twist is that this treasury of our civilization was stored in computer banks making it useless to the primitive remnant who survived. The hero makes the hallowing journey to the fortress library, manages to get inside and thenÖ. There is nothing to be found he recognizes as a book. The humming machines are a complete mystery. I think Shakespeare is worth the sacrifice of a few trees.

I have a long border that is filled with 20+ varieties of daylilies. I was inordinately proud of weeding the entire length of the border yesterday. Then, I come here to brag and read you basically dug up your whole back yard, TTC. ROFL! Iím still gonna crow about what I did.

Yeah, Iím feeling it today too. It is not so much that my back is hurting. I took a page out of my elderís book and sat on the ground to do the job. Iím just out of shape from all the laying around.

I guess youíve got plenty of aloe to treat that sunburn? I learned something I thought was interesting while I was reading up on prickly pear. People have also used its flesh to treat burns. Youíve got to love the way Nature set people up for problems like sunburn, but then provides the solution in the same environment. It is like the way jewelweed inevitably grows near the poison ivy. Let us know if you want some African aloe (soap aloe) to go with your Aloe vera, TTC. I think soap aloe is a little tougher and it definitely grows faster.

I hear what you are saying, Beth. I can emotionally afford to be more civilized. Kay had her face rearranged a little, but came out amazingly unscaved compared to the other women these creeps fixated on. She was much older than the other victims who were barely into adulthood. One of the girls was literally butchered alive and partially beheaded. I have never even seen or heard of a cat or wolverine mauling its prey to the extent this young woman was mauled and those are the most ghoulish animals I know of. The girlís father sat through the full trial and heard all the forensic evidence. Iím not sure I could live my beliefs in his shoes. I think he pushed for the death penalty. (Iím not certain. I was in the Middle East during the trial.) His daughter was a late life child and he will probably not live to see justice carried out. What I do know is that executing this less-than-animal excuse for a human being will not bring his daughter back or erase any of the suffering she endured. I know revenge tastes sweet on the tongue, but can turn to ashes in the throat and cause a person to psychologically choke. ďJudge not least ye be judgeĒ applies to this father also, however. Nadi became my ward when she was 14. She is the closest thing I have to a daughter. Not that long ago I was ready to rip and tear just because the crazy neighbor was playing psychological intimidation games. If the father sincerely believes executing this criminal would bring some sort of peace and closure to the family, I know I could not deny him after all this family has endured. I would try to discourage him because I donít believe it would give him the satisfaction he thinks it would. If he insisted, I would not stand in his way. No violent crime affects only the two parties. The people most affected by the crime should have the loudest voice when it comes to sentencing especially in cases like this where the victims did not even know the perpetrators before the crime. I think it was the sheer brutality of the crime coupled with his cool demeanor in court that elicited the death penalty. One of his victims survived because he thought she was dead. The evidence of his guilt is beyond question. If I believed in the death penalty, this would be the kind of case where it would be appropriate. As long as we have a prison system that can keep sub-humans like this behind bars, I can afford to be high-minded. (That sub-human comment would destroy any chance of passing a security clearance to be a prison guard, wouldnít it? I bet it is very hard to get such a clearance.) If our prison population continues to increase and we canít afford to keep it up, the rules change. Hey, it gives a desert community a way to improve its economics. Deserts are good places to have prisons.

On a subject where my opinion actually accomplishes something, I will try filling the new raised bed with the compost. We try to add a truckload to the cultivated areas every year. (It is cheaper by the truckload than the bag. I could not afford to do this if I purchased by the bag.) It sounds like as long as the compost isnít still hot, fully decomposed, I should be okay. Thatís good. Itís a lot easier to move than soil and the nursery loads it for us. Nadi will still gripe about having to clean ďherĒ truck, but not as much as she would about moving that much heavy soil.

I only now notice what scent figs have. These are an unknown variety that fruit very late. Weíve picked them as late as November when there were no early frost. The Brown Turkey figs that fruit in mid-summer are a safer bet. Weíve already had our first cool mornings, but it is expected to warm back up. It will be a race to see if these ripen in time.


Photo: noID fig variety.

Thumbnail by seacanepain
Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

The smell of figs....we have a Quickfire Hydrangea which is really very lovely. We used to have it out back, where it was hard to reach and there wasn't enough space for it. So we moved it out front, and now we can SMELL it. It has a wonderful fragrance. I had no idea hydrangeas had a fragrance! Of course, there isn't enough space there either.


This message was edited Sep 18, 2015 8:23 PM

Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

I was actually enjoying some figs as I read the above post!!

Casa Grande, AZ

Good Morning Gang :D

Yes Carrie,
Thank you for the concern over the sun burn. Did put Aloe on it. Feels better. Love my Aloe leaves. So soothing and restorative. I use it a lot. Rather foolish of me to not have though about more protective clothing for the neck, collar bone and upper most breast bone area. But hey, when you get into a project....well, you know. You don't focus on this. You just get busy.

I love Aloe Soap. Hey....have you checked your mail lately? Let me know.
The Prickly Pear thing is interesting and I didn't know it was medicinal also. I kind of chuckle by the time you get the glochiles (little pinchers) out of it or the needles your injury would most likely be healed. :D But yes, I do think it is splendid how nature provides a cure for almost every ailment. Never ceases to amaze me.

Still have just a little more to do as I need to move that last patch of Aloe and that one Pine Cone cactus. Holes need filled in. Not today. Have to clean the house. Have to go on that drive to former neighborhood to look in on cat. If we've gone today the cat only has 2 days without us before we're back on the 21st. Friend will be back the 22nd.
We've been going every 2-3 days. Cat is an indoor cat. It has a huge self watering container plus a whole bowl. It also has a huge feeder plus another whole bow. We check and refill these as necessary.
We also clean the litter every time we're there. Spend a little time there just letting it know there's people around. It isn't people friendly and a hider so I've had to walk around the house and check for it. Even if I don't see it I know it is alive....litter box is proof (roll eyes).

Yesterday was relatively unproductive. Moody, in a funk/rut, whatever. Happens sometimes. Start pondering the "Why are things this way in my life?" and "How did I get here?", and had I did this or that before or made this choice instead of the one things would be different now; and why didn't my parent's ever tell me about, blah, blah, blah. You get in that loop. Ruins your day because it is self inflicted.

Just wake up and drive on the next day. Take the hamster off the wheel. Don't watch the news, read the paper or talk to the relatives, or anyone else you may want to throttle and suddenly things get back to normal.
I've learned that if you don't like it change it.
If you cant' change it then you must stand it.
If you can't stand it then you must bear it.
If you can't bear it then you better find a way to learn how to ignore it to the point where it truly doesn't exist and adopt a few vices in life to keep the delusion going.
It works.

You got a lot done Jim! Sitting was smart. I do often. My back and knees aren't what they used to be either. Not a contest. Just had energy to burn and something imperative, or so I thought, that needed done.
Still...I'm wondering why are you doing things that you do with your back the way it is? Things need done but you do have Nadine and friends right? I'm guessing you're like me. Nothing like hard work to take your mind off of things.
I'm going to have to check out Antrax. It sounds very aprŤs pro considering the day and age we live in and from what I see in regards to today's people in their teens and 20's. I had been talking to one guy in his 20's about music.
He actually had my musical listening generation and artists of the late 70's and early to mid 80's confused with my mother's of the late 50's, 60's and early 70's. He had no concept time wise of what era I was from. I mean I know I'm Generation X but come on! It was music that was 35-15 years ago. After that I stopped giving a crap about what was on the radio and primarily got stuck in a time warp. I kind of understand now why the Lawrence Whelk show is still on television and after a certain point they won't buy new furniture or accessories for their home. Time essentially stops.
When those people die what is the "new" Lawrence Whelk? Artists from the 60s and 70s? Dave and I got really depressed when I heard Led Zeppelin in a Cadillac commercial. To make matters worse that commercial was followed by one for Cialis! (*grimace*)

How distressing for you to have come home from the Middle East only to find more havoc and turmoil at home. The worst kind imaginable. Poor Kay. It's a miracle she can step foot outside the house. I couldn't imagine having to deal with that. I just don't have words for it or to convey my shock, horror or disgust that someone would behave this way in an unprovoked manner towards someone who is just an innocent who never had an interaction or impact on their life one way or the other.
The only thing that would make it even remotely acceptable, but no less horrible, would be if the person was stark raving mad. Not drug induced but biologically, mentally, genetically stark raving mad butt nuts crazy. But like I said before what does one do with butt nuts crazy? How does one deal with that, the person themselves and their actions? What do you do legally and within the penal system with these individuals who aren't really cognizant, reasonable, logical, intelligent or capable like you and I and most of the world? What is an apt, fitting and just punishment? Should the punishment be limited to them or also to those who made them crazy (abusers, neglectful drug addict molesting parents, etc.). What about to the individuals and politicians who pass laws that refuse to help persons such as these and then get outraged when something like this happens? They are sane (supposedly). The know what the outcome will be by constant neglect and lack of care and deliberate stripping away of help for these people that are just crazy. Does that make them accessories? In my mind it should. But then again, If I were king for a day.....Unfortunately I'm not.

My mother said something interesting to me once. The person who drives the get away car is just as guilty as the person who robs the bank. Makes you think doesn't it when it comes to crime and punishment and what type is fitting and to whom.
I truly like and want to believe that although we may not feel, think or be convinced the human system of punishment and vengeance is adequate enough there is some cosmic power that dispenses it's own unique brand of justice more fitting and appropriate than what we could imagine. Perhaps this is why this rock keeps spinning on it's axis despite our own barbaric and self destructive tendencies. Someone up there put a white line down the middle of the highway that most of us don't drift over while driving aimlessly through life.
I'm also convinced there is no such thing as a missing link in evolution. We can't find fossils or evidence because we're it! Think about it for awhile.

As far as prison work that is exactly why the tell you not to ask the inmates or attempt to find out what they are in there for. It will affect your job performance, attitude and bias you. They're people. No matter what they did to whom the simple fact remains they are people. You are employed to ensure their safety, security, and to see they get the services and programs required when needed, per contract, state, and federal laws in a safe, effective, secure and efficient manner.

You are not there to play judge or jury. They have already been tried, judged and convicted. You are not there to be their moral superior or savior. That is not your business. It was not what you were hired to do. They have visitors,organizations, churches and a variety of religious services/church programs for that.

You are not there to rehabilitate them or play shrink. You are not qualified. They have programs, counselors, and doctors. It isn't your job to figure out what makes them tick and why they think, act, look and feel the way they do.

You are not a lawyer. You never dispense legal advice or argue prison policy and procedure. You know the rules. They do too. If there's not a meeting of minds and you can't effectively work it out then you call a Superior who is better qualified to explain the situation to them and make them "see reason".

You are not there to fight with them, bully, push, intimidate or get into a pissing contest with them. By the same token you are not there to be abused, intimidated or taken advantage of either. It is the inmate's job to try and get away with as much as possible. It is the officer's job not to let them.

It is your job to usher the population to and from where they need to be, when they need to be there in the times allotted. You are there to help make sure they are present and accounted for and are secured in the place where they should be by locking them down briefly and counting them 2x's every 8 hours. You do not let them out for any reason until the whole prison's count is complete, the numbers match per pod and unit and the ENTIRE prison's population total matches the Warden's books and he/she says so. Those outside the facility in the hospital, in court or in holding to be released or just coming in that day are also accounted for. Your accurate count in the area you work helps balance a human population checkbook.

You are responsible for making sure they are not doing something illegal, or harmful to themselves or others or to the property or prison its self by searching their cells and property. You are there to make sure the prison's equipment itself is in good working order: doors, locks, controls, speakers, lights, drains are working, showers run, microwave, sinks, etc are functional/useable the inmates are cleaning.

You are responsible for knowing how to respond in a variety of emergency situations.

You are not there to be their friend. When you are interacting with them, you are there to treat them as you would any person on the most minimal, basic, functional, fundamental human level. You are there to be objective and expect them to treat you the same.
If something bothers you personally or emotionally in regards to them and their situation You don't voice it. You don't outwardly show it. It's on you how much psychological and emotional baggage you want to carry home at night or bring to work every day. Your job is as easy or as hard as you want to make it. It's an acting job. You leave most (not all) of "you" at the door and pick it up after 8 hours when your life resumes outside the prison. It has to be this way or you can't do your job. Just like doctors, or veterinarians, or soldiers or police and firemen.

THIS is a Correctional Officers job. That was my job for 3 years. This is what my husband does and has been for 10 years now. Not very glamorous, high powered or intense.
Like I said a lot different than what you see in movies, T.V. and in books. Not quite what one imagines, is it? I think everyone should spend a few days in this place. It would go far to dispel a lot of myths on all levels.

I'm with you on the raised beds. :D Looking forward to getting brick and starting mine next week. Just have to decide where, how many and how big I would like them. Then I can decide what it is I'd like to put in them. YIPPEE even more fun.

Figs....not a fan of the fruit but love the plant and it's leaves. So pretty and graceful. For us right now the barrel cacti are in bloom with magnificent flowers and the prickly pears are giving up the last of their fruit. It is going to be awhile before we have cool mornings. They claim some of our cacti flowers have scents but I've yet to smell anything. I will say though they are some of the most amazing blooms I've ever seen. My neighbor's barrel is going to flower soon. I'll snap some pics for you all.

Have a great day. Gotta get cracking on the house.

Hendersonville, NC(Zone 7a)

Scrolled up. . and uop. . .and up; then scrolled back down. . and down. . and down. . . AHGA! Found it: the name & author of that cookbook the one for people who can't chew. Now I can go search Amazon for it and hopefully find some good recipes that Granny will eat!

As far as sushi and Granny goes. .. . I believe she would have a special word for it: BAIT!!

death penalty. . . I think there is no disagreement that one who has violated civilized society's moral (and legal) code so heinously to be given the death penalty, is one who has been adjudicated so dangerous that the civilized society needs to be protected by the permanent removal of said individual. How this is accomplished is a controversial subject, with no right or wrong opinion(s).

If one rules out killing the offender, one is left with incarceration for his/her lifespan. This then prompts the choice of either to cage and care for the individual [which some might say is cruel] or confine in a different society [think "Escape from New York", where the entire island of Manhattan was a penal colony, with no guards].

Me, I have a sense of karma: what goes around, comes around. In other words, treat others the way you'd like to be treated. With a healthy dose of "an eye for an eye." LOL

It must have taken me almost an hour to nip off all the flowers from my Tomatoe Jungle. Enough is enough already! Time for the 'maters to STOP!! I'm planning/scheduling my garden helper for next month's weekly work: it's time to put my gardens to bed for the winter....unplant all he did in May and June!! Plus, I want him to amend my front garden some more this year. . . I wish I could haul in stuff by the truck load, but I can't: Maintenance must have special trucks that don't damage the lawn. . . .they jump the parking lot curb and drive the ten feet to an apartment's front door [and PARK for hours] rather than walk to the door. But just listen to them howl and threaten if a TENANT dares to do the same, just long enough to load/unload something!

Casa Grande, AZ

Good Morning Gang :D
speaking of cruel and unusual punishment YOUR'E KILLING ME with those 'maters! Stop tormenting me already. Do you know what I'd do for a "real" tomato out here in this God forsaken, dirt filled waste land that produces only things with spines and tumbleweeds?

Speaking of killing...I'm finally done with house chores. :D Now I have time to go move that Pine Cone cactus and that clutch of Agaves to the front yard and to fill up them holes in the back from where I removed all the plants.

Feeling better today. Get to keep busy. :D
Will be going to buy my brick and mortar (no caliche dirt out here to make "adobe" cement with) to put in beds. This is my definitive Fall-Winter project. Also discovered former owners left some sturdy but small hooks under the eave of the house out back on the uncovered part of our patio. Can we say, "hanging baskets". :D Another project for me. Oh goody. Have to put in small things that will do well in all day, intensive heat. There is no shade there as the eaves are shallow in depth and there isn't much overhang.

DH went to work. Wish he had a few extra days off as our anniversary is the 24th. Yep, 10 years. Awwwwww. And we haven't killed each other yet. Guess orange isn't either one of our color. Besides he likes my cooking too much and I'm not allowed to drive anymore and who would take care of the dog? (LOL) He is off the 23rd and the 24th which is our actual anniversary. Not doing anything special for it. We're broke. (LOL) Instead of gifts and money we just exchange bills and pay each others off! (LOL) Much more romantic and meaningful don't you think?

He'll have his 2 long weekends the beginning of October. Schedule is funny. His days off rotate. One week is Mon & Tues. Next week is Tues & Wed. Next is Wed & Thurs. Then Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun off. Then Sat, Sun, Mon off. Then repeat. Mine was the same way. Everyone who works in the prison is the same way except they stagger you on a "card system" so the whole place isn't off at one time. So if his card (A) is off on Mon & Tues, then B card is off Tues & Wed, and C card is off Wed & Thurs then D card is having their 4 day weekend (Thurs-Sun), and E card is having their short weekend (Sat-Mon). There is always coverage for three 8 hour shifts on each card 24-7-365. I've never seen more than 5 cards.

This is common among all the prisons. Also the times of the cards stagger in this area since there are 13 prisons out here, all different companies, state, federal and a jail. They're all located in the same general vicinity with one main road that leads to it. They can't have the main road clogged all the time at the same time so each prison agreed to "change" their shifts. Some start 1st shift at 3:30a.m. to 11:30a.m. and then next one 4 a.m. to noon while the one down the street may do 5a.m. to 1:00p.m. and the one down the street from that will do 5:30a.m-1:30p.m. etc. This is done for all the shifts. Could you imagine the traffic jam on a 2 lane highway that's the major artery through town otherwise? Keep in mind these places are out in BFE not real populated areas with tons of roads, street lights and side streets.

O.K. not a whole lot else to say right now.
Just wondering how everyone is, how there projects are going and Carrie, haven't heard much from you. How you feeling today dear?

Song for the day. I usually get up almost every morning with some song playing in my head for some reason. So the song for the day is "We Have Got To Get It Together" .
I've been getting these "hippy-skippy" songs for some reason. (Wise Cactus's influence perhaps?) Can't recall the name of the group but they were a one hit wonder from either 68 or 69. Really odd name for the band.
Here's enough of the lyrics to get you started.

"Call out the instigators.
Because the revolution's here.
something, something, something
We have got to get it together,
We have got to get it together,
We have got to get it together now" .

Very nice song. Almost "Beatle-ish" in it's instrumentation, kind of dreamy bouncy keyboard and guitar thing. John Lennon-ish kind of singing.
I wonder what it means that I identify more with music from the year I was born (1968) through 1990 when I was 25 and pretty much don't really "like" anything else. You would think it would be the other way around. I'm only 47. Not quite the Lawrence Whelk show yet. All I can remember my whole life is that my parents had the radio on in the car, the stereo on at home and there pretty much wasn't anything they wouldn't listen to. I can't remember ever growing up a day without music. Ironic since I have 0, zip, nil, nada in the way of musical talent, ability or comprehension of how to read it or "hear" it. I couldn't tell you an A from a C or a sharp from a flat. All I know is if I had a choice of only 1 electronic device in life it would be a radio.

Anyway check out the song.
Peace. Out.

Went back and looked up the song. It was by a band called Thunderclap Newman (told you it was a one hit wonder band). Amazing thing was that they were produced by Pete Townsend of the Who. I thought that was pretty interesting.

This message was edited Sep 20, 2015 4:39 AM

Hendersonville, NC(Zone 7a)

Just got back in from aggravating my 'maters: giving the stalks of each plant a no-nonsense YANK to say HEY! YOU'VE GOT FRUIT TO RIPEN BEFORE YOU CAN QUIT!!! LOL

TTC Even where you live, you can successfully grow tomatoes. . if you want to. In the online tomato-growing community I belong to, there are people growing them in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Texas etc. with triple digit temperatures: they use varieties bred to set fruit at high temperratures and shade cloths. There are even tomatoes that grow wild in Texas and Mexico (to name two. . .different species than the common/commercial plants grown, produce3 fruit 1/2 in in diameter, survivew and thrive with heat. .poor soil, are small plants with a PROPENSITY to ree-seed / start new plantsd near-by!).
And finally, here are pics I took today (unfortunately, you can't see the still laden vines of the plant in the grey planter!)

Thumbnail by BetNC Thumbnail by BetNC
Midland City, AL

Hey, Sheri!!! Itís good to see your post on the #20 thread. I like the taste of a perfectly ripe fig straight from the tree. My definition of ripe is when it barely holds together for a quick rinse under the faucet. However, I get an odd sensation in my mouth if I eat many that way. It isnít a problem if the fruit is cooked and I came across an impressive collection of recipes on the website of a California grower. It caught my eye because there are savory dishes along with the usual desserts.


Carrie, Iíve never noticed hydrangea have much of a scent. But then, I never noticed the distinctive aroma of figs until we moved them close to the main building. There is a relatively new introduction from Monrovia called ĎGolden Craneí that is advertised as fragrant, but I havenít seen or heard much about it since the introduction fanfare.

Beth, my favorite recipe in the I Canít Chew cookbook is potato turnip soup and country pie for the meat dish.

I have a mild case of dyslexia. Some doctors say it isnít a true form, but the result of my first grade teacher trying to make me right-handed and that caused the wiring in my brain to get a little jumbled. I am solidly left-handed. Anyway, I downloaded a free screen reading program to keep up with the reading. The only problem is now that I can easily read what I write, I write more. LoL.

TTC, I finally realized you meant my snail mail and went through it. Thanks. PharmDogs are a great idea. I know Kay isnít doing as well outside since she lost Tate in January. Tate was a yellow lab mix Kayís brother gave her when she lost her LeaderDog, Stanley. (Stanley was a yellow lab.) I wish there was a breed of dog as easily trained as yellow labs that didnít have the double coat. Stanley and Tate were amazing dogs, but all that fur was a problem.

We need a dog with a sleek coat like Fenny. Iíve thought of training Fenny. I know beyond a doubt she is more intelligent than Tate was, but where Tate virtually trained herself, Fenny is impossible to train. Tate loved games, but I canít get Fenny to play a single one. Fenny saw Tate retrieve balls hundreds of times and anything else anyone was willing to throw. If I try to get Fen to retrieve a ball, she just looks up at me and makes the strange talking sounds she is so well known for. Knowing Fenny, I imagine she is saying something like, ďYou threw the darn ball. YOU go get it!Ē

Fenny does the job she has chosen for herself well. Kayís like you, TTC, in that she has a bad habit of overworking. Itís like she either has no energy or way too much. If Fenny decides Kayís been outside too long, she makes her come inside. Fenny whines and grumbles and nudges Kayís hands away from whatever she is trying to do. If that doesnít work, she will lay down where Kay is trying to work or intentionally body block Kay when she is trying to walk from one place to another. Kay inevitably gives up and says, ďOkay, letís go inside.Ē After being tricked once, Fenny now insists Kay go inside first. Itís hilarious! I know this dog is intelligent enough to be trained but she would have professional trainers pulling their hair out in frustration. For those who do not have a screen reader, I will stop here. LoL.


Thumbnail by seacanepain
Casa Grande, AZ

Good Morning all :D

Another fulfilling day of gardening. Another day of sore muscles...but in a good way; you know that "I got a workout but I'm not going to drop dead" feeling. NO sunburn this time. :D Also extremely well hydrated. Being out there even in 90 degree weather forces you to drink tons of water. I don't think people realize that normally we have NO humidity here (3-7%) so you don't sweat to cool down unless you are doing serious labor. Even when you're sweating it evaporates so quick your body is dry and dehydrating quickly. This leads to what I call Arizona sickness. You get a headache, dizzy, nauseous, tired, can't urinate (there's no liquids) and are just basically miserable. Even in "Winter" you must keep yourself hydrated here if outside doing anything.

Finally got finished moving the plants up front. Finished filling holes in the back yard from whence the plants were removed. I'm hoping everything will thrive up front. All my other plants seem so happy up front and have grown (some are fast growers) and done well.
We're supposed to get rain the next 2 days. YIPPEE. It is supposed to be in the low 80s!

Considering it was 103 yesterday that is a dramatic change. But then after those two days back up in the mid to high 90s. Gotta love AZ weather. You need 3 changes of clothes a day. Normal for morning, almost nudist colony for day and a parka for night. (Ground holds no heat due to being caliche, nutrient poor dirt or sand). Believe it or not more people freeze to death out in the desert than die of heat stroke.

Dave's day off I plan on picking up some brick and mortar (have to learn how to use) and thinking about placement in the back yard before building. (Making more holes...LOL)
One must consider placement. The back yard is only so big. It isn't as easy to move brick as it is plants. Also there's that sun/shadow thing going on and DH's space for his BBQ grills (eye roll). Well...he doesn't complain about my plants so I guess fair is fair and he does relegate them to a designated spot and all together...unlike my plants.

You're still killing me with them 'maters! I do know of people who grow tomatoes here and have seen the plants for sale. I'm not sure how successful they are. I haven't heard anyone crowing about them or their bumper crop. I know the sunscreens help. I'm not sure about the lack of humidity here though. 90% of the time we have less than 7% humidity.
Texas and Mexico both have humidity (Gulf and Mexico has the Pacific currents wind and the Sea Of Cortez in the Baja Peninsula). I don't know if their temperatures are more consistent day by day and not as extreme from morning to night than ours either. Like I said it could be 103 in the day and 73 at night here (last night's weather) and 84 degrees the next day and 99 the one after that. Do you know if these areas have more consistent weather or not as dramatic drops from day to night?

Also watering excessively causes root rot in the sand because sand holds water and stays damp rather than releasing it or evaporating. Sand compacts and stays damp. It isn't loose and "airy" like regular soil. The sand stays "moist" but the plants aren't sucking enough water out of it. I guess that's why we got cacti that need watered once a month if that.

We did get 2 tomato plants when we first moved to AZ. They looked o.k. and seemed to be doing good.We kept them in pots with a small amount of water in a dish under them (humidity). Only problem was MOSQUITOS!! The water was attracting them and we got infested. I mean infested to the point where we got rid of the plants and haven't had them again.

Maybe I'll try one plant next Spring and see how it goes. You're the 'mater expert. You tell me what you think.

Hi Jim,
Don't feel bad about the dyslexia. I have seemed to developed a mild case of it since I got Epilepsy.

I don't have a problem reading per se although I noticed sometimes I break words up in odd ways. Like for ex: constantly I see/read as "const antly". Then my brain goes "What's an 'antly'?" Then it dawns on me that the word is constantly!

I know how to spell. I have a problem "writing". I do notice however, that although I know how to spell a work like (ex) interesting. I know/think I am writing it correctly BUT when I look at what I have written it is actually, "inteersting." Seems more a "mechanical" problem of brain circuitry between my knowing and my doing.

My comprehension seems to have gone just a tad too. I find myself reading a sentence or two several times in order to comprehend it although I read slowly and thoroughly (a habit I was taught in school to be a 'good' student; read once..slow..done..and understood. Skimming is bad...you miss way too much important info). I'll never forget the time I got stuck on the word "with". I mean I literally stared at it thinking hard what it meant!

I also have what I call C.R.S. syndrome. As in Can't Remember S***. My memory is like Swiss Cheese. It is amazing I'll retain something you did, said, wore a year ago but can't remember what you said yesterday or what I watched on T.V. Unless I do things over, and over, and over, and over I have procedural problems. I can't remember how to do something complicated or multi stepped unless I write it down. You can show me repeatedly BUT unless I write it down and I DO IT then I can no longer grasp it.

Thank God these things are momentary (except the last). A large part of it with the memory has to do with the medication I'm on. "Forgetfulness" is one of the problematic side effects. Also I am right handed. Language is the left side of the brain. Since the lesion that causes my seizures (supposedly) is on the right front temporal lobe I am wondering if this affecting me more and more as I get older, the longer I'm on this medication and just the accumulation of the amount of seizures I've had over time.
One can only rattle their brain and hit their head so many times before some small amount of damage is done. (no jokes!). I have been trying to teach myself to become ambidextrous. I am hoping this little exercise will help retrain the brain. Also the reason I "teach myself" a lot of things that challenge me or make me think in ways I normally don't (stock market, etc.) I'm hoping this will reboot something.

Another odd thing is even pre seizure I have always been right handed BUT left eye dominant.
This used to drive the military and my on the job fire arm instructors nuts when I went to qualify! I had to cock my head side ways to the right but move my gun (right hand) over across my body at an angle (lining up with my left shoulder) so I could sight out of my left eye rather than holding it straight in front of me and sighting out of my right eye like "normal" same hand same eye dominant people. I can not wink either try as I might.
Always passed though! Good shot too. :D
Dave said when he had to go to the range for weapons qualification there was only one other guy there like me and he used to be a police officer before he retired and worked in the prison! I dunno. I guess this is somewhat common?

BE RIGHT BACK.....time to walk and then feed Zoe.

Casa Grande, AZ

Hi Gang,
Turned on the computer and got an e.-mail from my best friend of 26 years. Now, keep in mind when you know someone that long you can pretty much laugh and joke and say anything about whatever.
The thing is she left me slack jawed with awe, amazement and downright hysterics by sending me a commercial for a REAL PRODUCT. Yes, it is REAL.

It is called Poo Pourri.. It is a scented bathroom deodorizer to use before you go! The "goal" of what this product is supposed to accomplish ought to be clear by now.

The thing is whoever did this commercial with awesome comedic timing and humor.
Go to Poo Pourri.com and look for Girls Don't Poop.
Beautiful young blond in a stunning little cocktail dress sitting on a toilet talking to you in an upper crust British accent . Commercial features dairy farm, boyfriend, cocktail party, work, etc. and .......YES all of the "quaint" euphemisms we use in regards to this subject and "object." are tossed out there.
Just hysterical. Still laughing. I'm serious. Couldn't make this one up. You HAVE GOT TO see this commercial! It is a real product. It is not a joke.

But I digress......

Glad you got the card. :D Also glad you liked the article on the dogs. I thought it most interesting. I'm sure it must of been hard on her to lose her dogs. :( especially when they were more than just pets. Also it has been such a short time. Not even a year. It took Dave and I about 2 years after Rudy, my little Italian Greyhound;(I.G.s are a 4 cylinder model...they are not 'mini' Greyhounds bred to be tiny; they are their own breed. Whippets are the 6 cylinder version and Greys your V8 engine). We still miss "The Rude Dude" and talk about him from time to time.

The problem with dogs in general is they have such personalities and are so unique like people. No two are the same so I believe you truly do lose a "friend". It takes time to grieve the loss of a friend before you are ready to move on. I know we're going to be crushed when it is Zoe's time to pass. Especially me. She is my constant companion. Dave is all macho but he's as happy to see her when he comes home as he is me. He hugs her AND tells her he loves her as much as he does me! (lol).

Fenny sounds like an excellent candidate due to intelligence and her bond with Kate and just her ability to instinctually respond to Kate's needs and "parent" her in a sense. Quite amazing when you think of it. Zoe does a bit of a circle thing around me at times. I've learned to "listen" although I may not have a seizure I do sit down! She seems to know when I need rest because that is exactly when she wants me to play with her or sit and pet her and bother me for "nothing" so I leave my chores. She definitely knows when I'm upset or something is bothering me. She knows that with Dave too. It is a rarity if she goes and lays down somewhere by herself alone. She is always in the same room where I am/ we are or in a hall where she can see me. She waits outside the bathroom door for me when I take a shower.

Greys aren't retrievers either. They're sight hounds. You will rarely find them with their noses on the ground. You will always find them "looking" and "listening" intently at something. They chase, catch, shake and then play with it. They're good hunters this way. They all look at you like you're some kind of high functioning retard if you expect them to bring you something back. Squeakies and stuffed toys and a bit of rough housing they like. Balls...pretty useless toy with a Greyhound.

They run for the sheer joy of running and are very competitive by nature. They chase down small fuzzy things that move quickly. Then again that's what they were engineered to do by nature. It's also why you NEVER tie a Greyhound to anything (it can snap it's neck) and why it is A MUST you have a fenced in yard. It is that 1 time in 100 that dog will run out in the street even though it may have never left your side before without a leash.
But they do make good Therapy Dogs.(hospitals, nursing homes, school visiting) Many of them retire to a career of this.
Some do wind up becoming Service Dogs. This is rarer but they're there. Grey's are cool, calm, collected and aloof in public. They also prefer people's or other Grey's company to "dogs" in general. Also they're very, very, strong. They have a super gentle disposition and are "quiet" not barkers/yappers.
There's a woman at www.helputrain.com whose name is Cindy Sanford. She's in Florida. She runs a "Teach You to Train" class. Who knows they may have something similar where you are.
You can check also with GPA (Greyhound Pets of America) to see if the people in charge has a service Grey. They have a national as well as a state organization. They're even in Canada and the U.K. They do and will move dogs all over the country to place them in good homes. (We just happened to get Zoe in Phoenix because we live 1 hour away).

Also in Georgia there is Canine Assistance who raises puppies and trains them specifically for disabled persons. They are a non profit org. They are www.canineassistants.org. They primarily deal with all kinds of dogs but mostly labs/lab mixes.

Those are some options for a replacement dog or at least a way to start looking for one.

O.k. blathered enough. Gotta start the day. Today is the last day to go check on former neighbors cat. She'll be home the 23rd! Don't mind helping her. The drive is just a pain and eats up a lot of time and Dave is tired after coming home from work.

Talk to you later.
Going to sit on the patio and enjoy the light rain that started.
Peace. Out.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

I can't remember what I wanted to say when I read all that. My grandmother was left-handed to begin with. She was born in 1901 so they tied her left hand behind her back and made her learn to write with her right hand. (Seems like torture to me.) So then she acted right-handed until her 60s. Then she was in a car accident and her right arm was shattered. She became left-handed again. It's interesting because my nephews are both left-handed. I guess the mother must have a lefty in her family tree too. I think left-handedness seems like blue eyes or something.....if you have two in your history, better start buying left-handed scissors!

Tomatoes....it's all interesting. I used to try to grow them, but we just don't have enough warm days here. They are fussy....if it's too warm they won't set fruit, if it's not warm enough, etc. Now I'm always talking about "early girl" or other cultivars that are bred to fruit early. I wouldn't be able to grow the types that grow in a desert. (Obviously!)

Our morning glories are doing a late season rebound! I thought they were all done for the summer, we went a week with no new flowers, but now the vine is covered again! They came from the flower goddess, ie we didn't plant them this year. They are in a container near the front door.

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

Hi Everyone.
Carrie, what you wrote about reviving the old Still Laughing for Joy thread has me thinking. (Always a dangerous event, Jim would say.) Do you think there is enough activity on the Accessible forum now that we can think about sorting post by topic threads again? I was thinking we could try two threads first. This one for the nuts and bolts of gardening and a second thread for our coffee table conversations.
When I first discovered DG and the Accessible forum, there were several threads ongoing and an occasional short lived thread dealing with something specific.
I think Admin would appreciate it if we neaten up our corner of DG and I believe it would make it feel less overwhelming for newbies.
How does everyone else feel about the idea?
I do not believe there is anything on the web quite like Accessible Gardening. We do not have any formulas or blueprints to follow. What I say in the Practical Matters thread introduction post about our breaking new ground is not just a fun twist of words. I think it is simple truth. In a time where people with different physical disabilities are battling one another for available funds, what we have here is unique.
Beth, the site below collects recipes for people who have problems swallowing, but many recipes will work just as well for someone with problems chewing.
I remember encountering a link on E-care about preparing a Thanksgiving meal for those with chewing and swallowing problems. You can probably locate it faster than I can with my screen access program. Programs like ZoomText and Jaws make it possible for blind people to use computers. It can be much more time consuming for us though since we are not able to visually scan and e-care is a large site with all sorts of information to help the elderly and those who are helping them. I know I saw the holiday dinner recipes link there somewhere. This should get you close.
I thought that link might be of interest because the holidays are coming and they are the biggest challenge.

Agave, that is interesting about having a dominate eye. Is it a matter of your sight being better in one eye or is it just more comfortable and natural to use the dominate eye?
About teaching yourself to use your left hand, did you know that is a trick authorís use to try and break through a case of writerís block?
Thank you for sharing the Pharm Dogs article. I found info on line after Nadi read me the article you sent and I knew what to look for. A German Sheppard might make a good southern version. It is hard on dogs that have thick coats in our region. There are people with huskies and collies as pets here, but it always seemed a little selfish to me to bring them into an environment they are so unsuited for and they have higher vet bills. Fenrira? She is getting rather old and honestly sheís a spoiled brat. I have always thought her main job at Amargia was comic relief. I guess whether or not she could be trained as a serious service dog would depend on whether or not that saying about old dogs and new tricks is true.
Reading about others who are sticking to their rural life does make me question if moving to town is really something I want to do. We could move to Missouri. ;-)

Casa Grande, AZ

Good Morning Gang :D,
Good to hear from you.
That's horrid about your Grandmother. But then again consider the times and the limited knowledge people had in regards to psychology, neurology, biology, child rearing allowances and punishments (some still debatable to me today as far as what's permissible---eye roll), etc. They were ignorant. Not ignorant as in rude or crude. Ignorant as in unknowledgeable and uninformed or unenlightened.

I'm not sure about left-handness being hereditary. I never thought about that. Entirely possible. Also thought it was possibly "taught". When we are kids we often observe our parents writing, and doing things in general. We mimic. Or our parents help us play, open and shut things, use toys, crayons, to dress, eat with utensils better, etc. Perhaps they are putting things in our left hand unknowingly when we are very young and malleable because that is "natural" for them. By the time the kid gets to go to school to learn how to write it seems only natural to use ones left hand. Would be an interesting study though.

Blue eyes fascinate me! Did you know there as no such thing as blue eyes? They are only eyes that lack color pigment! I found that fascinating. It isn't Albino related to the body but only a lack of pigment to the eyes that's why there's so many shades. I just love blue eyes due to the color and contrast. My maternal grandparents had blue and green eyes. My mother has the most amazing green--not hazel--eyes and a shade of deep, rich, dark chestnut red-brown hair I could only dream of and can't achieve despite the best colorist or products in the world. (Still trying--LOL.) I got brown eyes and naturally brown-black hair. Thanks Dad! I was tempted to try blue contacts just for fun since they look a lot more real now than when they first came out. I wear contacts or glasses anyway, so why not try blue? They probably would look good since NOW I do have "natural" (ahem.......) brown-red hair.

Your Morning Glories sound wonderful. I miss Morning Glories. They are one of my favorite flowers for outdoors. BUT you have wonderful fall foliage and cranberries. So jealous. I love both and can't get enough of either one. Our Gardening Goddess has bestowed upon the desert the blooms of the barrel cacti and Ocotillo (flame red/orange plumes).The Prickly Pears are done bearing fruit but are growing pads (except mine of course). I did snap a pic of the barrel cactus buds. In a few days when it blooms I'll post it for you along with the flowers.
I finally got to see a Dragon Fruit (a.k.a. Queen of the Night) in person. It wasn't in bloom but it was bearing it's fruit. Magnificent. What a fascinating plant.

You of course know our Saguaro are Spring to early Summer bloomers. The Agaves have finished blooming. They also bloom late Spring to early Summer.

While I commiserate with you on the tomatoes, I envy you. You have Fall. Glorious Fall! Fall foliage and colors and this amazing quality to the natural light I can't describe but is an artist's dream with the way it lights and warms and colors things. It illuminates objects from within and out. Even before my pre Epilepsy hyper awareness to color, light and patterns and also smell I also adored these things about Fall. Love the smell of leaves even when they're burning (yes, some places in OH allowed this). Love the sound of walking through them. Like a big kid still love jumping into piles of them. :D
Would love to see Fall now with my hyper advanced color condition. Would be like being on a drug free acid trip! You also have Morning Glories. One of my favorite out door flowers. Dainty, delicate and abundant with lots of colors to pick from and grows anywhere you throw it.

Good Morning Kay :D
Nice to hear from you. I think dogs are like people. Set in their ways past a certain age. They pretty much do what they want and what they feel inclined to. If they want to learn something new they will. Zoe knows the hand signal for "come". She looks at me like I'm stupid when I use it UNLESS it is when we are done playing and she knows she'll get pets and hugs or it is time to go for a walk. Otherwise she lifts her head up, looks at me like I'm stupid, and rolls over and goes back to sleep. I can hear her when she looks at me just thinking, "Come? Snort/chuckle..Yeah right. Now that's funny. "

Full size Greys are incapable of sitting. They have NO butt. They have two thighs that meet at a tail/tail bone. (Wish I could say the same--LOL) If they sit it isn't really "sitting" but hovering in some kind of weird yoga posture with their "butt" a couple of inches off the floor and immensely uncomfortable for them. Instead they "Sphinx." Pose just like the Sphinx in Egypt or just flop over. They are masters of "lie down" :D No training required.

I am glad you liked the article I sent. I wasn't sure how you would feel or if it was presumptuous of me but I thought it interesting. I also thought it uncanny since we were talking about dogs, farms and the woman in the article was also legally blind. Not to mention I saw the article in our paper immediately after our chat on line. Really feel good it gave you ideas to go on and you enjoyed it.

Have you thought of a Doberman? Good dog, loyal, protective, smooth hair, strong, smart and easy to train (reason why they make good guard/work dogs like Sheppards). They have wonderful temperaments...they only look menacing. Dalmations are nice but they're not the brightest bulb in the box and they have a tendency to go deaf. Although they are service dogs as associated with fire departments so they must be quite effective. A Boxer might be good.
Weimeramers (? sp) are great dogs. Good retrievers! Bird dogs though. Very STRONG instinct. May not want to have it around chickens and/or geese. There are several breeds of pointers and retrievers other than Labs. I'm just trying to think of large breeds that are smooth haired.
I couldn't agree with you more in regards to being unfair to animals when it comes to fur and heat. Our friend has a Husky. It is perpetually shaved down so it isn't so hairy. He pays a fortune at the groomers. The dog is still hot though. He complains about the fur all over the house (not that it matters..you should see the house) and the grooming bill. So why do it? Why not get something more appropriate for the weather you live in? If you wouldn't wear a winter coat when it is 110 degrees why ask your dog to? Same with cold.

Dominant eyes I guess are kind of fascinating. I never knew about mine until I had a vision test and my eye doctor tested me. It was the first time ever I was tested for something like this. Had nothing to do with my sight or vision changes. It was just a standard test he gave in his exam like checking for Glaucoma. My vision has changed many times but my dominant eye never has.
Easiest way to find out what is your dominant eye is to simply take an empty paper towel roll (cardboard part) and hold it chest level in front of you. Raise it quickly and see what eye you reflexively/naturally "pull" it towards or put it up to. That is your dominant eye!
Try it again but to the OPPOSITE eye and see if you can see as well. It is most unlikely that you can. Thus, when I had to qualify for a weapons permit when I raised the hand gun to fire I "pulled" the gun towards my left eye. In order to use the "sight" on the top of the barrel of the gun and line things up I had to cock my head to the right so I could also see that in my left eye and fire accurately BUT I'm right handed naturally. I dunno.
When I tried it the other way I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. Drove the weapons instructor nuts but he finally figured out you can't pound a square peg into a round hole and finally let me be since I was more than accurate doing it the way I was "naturally inclined" to. Dave said he knew one other guy like me and he did the exact same thing when he qualified for weapons training. Must not be too common but not all that unusual in people.

Lot to be said for city living, the amenities, conveniences, and accessibility. Not much to say on the gardening front. May want to rethink Missouri. Pretty state. Not sure if you'd like the psychographics...or you may. I'm sure you know this but as always the easiest way to determine is watch their news or read the local newspapers to check their attitudes on disability, Social Security and what it is exactly they support or don't in regards to the "ideas" and "beliefs" that matter to you most socially, etc.
I didn't do that prior to moving here. Wish I had. May have rethought my decision to move here although I love the natural beauty of the state the scenery and landscape does not determine the rules by which I'm governed or have to live under.

Have a great day folks.

Oh, happy to follow forum however you would like to set it up. JUST PLEASE let me know ahead of time so I don't get lost. Thanks. :D

Hendersonville, NC(Zone 7a)

two forums/threads while I would happily adapt to whatever y'all decide, I don't think there's enough "traffic" for a second one: what I think would happen is that everyone actively posting would migrate to the social one and the other (for gardening-only stuff) would be little used. I don't feel as if I have the right to take part in this decision, being so new (I only found this forum/thread a few months age while looking for tool to help me garden).

I used to live in a VERY small town in Missouri. . . . longest time I ever lived in one place while I was a kid, in fact. Sixteen years, almost.

Thanks for the links, Amargia (Kay?). I found and ordered that book "I Can't Chew Cookbook": Granny is skeptical that it'll have anything she'll like. I just think she's happy with sweets and what little I've come up with so far: things she KNOWS she likes!! She's like my kids were when they were little:P ask them if they'd like [something new] and they'd invariably say YECHH! NO!! but quietly put it in front of them, then The Devouring Duo would gobble it up and ask for it again and again!!!~

Management is up to its usual shenanigans and, with this latest petty aggravation, I'm feeling rather down in the dumps so I'll avoid further whinging.

Hendersonville, NC(Zone 7a)

two forums/threads while I would happily adapt to whatever y'all decide, I don't think there's enough "traffic" for a second one: what I think would happen is that everyone actively posting would migrate to the social one and the other (for gardening-only stuff) would be little used. I don't feel as if I have the right to take part in this decision, being so new (I only found this forum/thread a few months age while looking for tool to help me garden).

I used to live in a VERY small town in Missouri. . . . longest time I ever lived in one place while I was a kid, in fact. Sixteen years, almost.

Thanks for the links, Amargia (Kay?). I found and ordered that book "I Can't Chew Cookbook": Granny is skeptical that it'll have anything she'll like. I just think she's happy with sweets and what little I've come up with so far: things she KNOWS she likes!! She's like my kids were when they were little:P ask them if they'd like [something new] and they'd invariably say YECHH! NO!! but quietly put it in front of them, then The Devouring Duo would gobble it up and ask for it again and again!!!~

Management is up to its usual shenanigans and, with this latest petty aggravation, I'm feeling rather down in the dumps so I'll avoid further whinging.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

I think (maybe) the advantage of two threads is that the "Laughing for Joy" one was about good news we were celebrating (at least, maybe it was in the past). I vaguely remember one thread was about medications, maybe, and I said "we have to have a positive thread because we get so depressed after reading about all these drugs" (or something along those lines) and someone (Sheri? Scraps?) said "let's call it 'laughing for joy' and so we did.

In other words it's not that we have so much traffic, but that we could sort our comments by information vs, celebration, ?? What are your thoughts, Kay? And you newer-comers, by all means, we care about your opinion. If it weren't for you guys, Kay and I would be saying "what do you want to do?" "I don't know, what do YOU want to do?" "I don't know, what do you want to do?"

Agave, I'm pretty sure handedness is hereditary. When you give a baby a crayon (or bottle, or pacifier, or toy) you don't think about "am I putting this in her dominant hand?" The baby decides which hand to hold things in exclusive of where you want her to hold things! If you could train folks to be right-handed, everyone would do it and we wouldn't need left-handed scissors!

But yes, I think her story (about being a lefty and then learning right) is interesting because of what it says about how times have changed, She is my namesake; I ws named after her.

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

ROFL Carrie, did you have this in mind? did you know Walt Disney originally wanted the Beatles to be the voices of the vultures? I think it ended up being The Band.

Midland City, AL

Well, two threads would give newcomers an option. Some people might not want to join in the community fully. They might only be looking for information or a place to share a project of theirs. You would expect a information/nuts and bolts thread, to be slower and have dry periods. If someone is looking for info that isnít a bad thing. Some people are very private and donít want to talk about themselves and what they think or believe beyond a garden project or a good plant pic and there is nothing wrong with that. A second thread would give them a place here among we bolder more open types. Carrie, if you want to refresh Still Laughing for Joy and move our general chat there, thatís fine with Kay, Nadi and I. (Nadi may not have her own account anymore, but she is still lurking.) She is one of those who might participate on a purely info thread. I will help with the housekeeping on a refreshed Still Laughing thread or we could call it something else. Can you post on a Still Laughing thread on grumpy days?

We have 5 new projects planned for the fall/winter season . Ií working on one today. Practical Matters would not dry up any time soon.


Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Can you post on Laughing for Joy if you are feeling grumpy? I don't know, can you? And I think the Laughing for Joy thread was after a thread about prescription drugs, and we wanted something more light-hearted. In other words, it was an unheavy thread, not a funny or laughing thread. But some of you guys were around then; don't take my word for it. We could call it something different, like "The Unheavy Thread" or "Something Different" or a third, different idea.

Casa Grande, AZ

Good Morning Guys, :D

Probably won't bee around later today or tomorrow. It's DH's and my anniversary. Ten years.

Big whoop with the way I've been feeling about things and towards him this week. (GRRRRRRR!!) Won't get into it. It's the little things you know...them "LITTLE" stupid things and habits they have that just grate, irritate and annoy and work your last nerve.

I swear men are proof we evolved from apes or Aliens exist. (Sorry, Jim).
You've seen the size of Zoe's head. I am presently I'm convinced Zoe's frontal lobes and cerebral cortex are bigger. Makes sense since she (dogs) is 78% genetically like us and inhabits the same planet.

Let's just say in regards to me and my mouth the first thing Wise Cactus told me this morning was, "Silence is golden. Duct tape is silver. Silver is more flattering on you Agave. "
Truer words were never spoken.
Told you Wise Cactus is very wise!

Bet's I'm with you....enough Whining.

On a lighter note I am going to go today to buy some brick and start doing some raised beds in the garden. (Has anyone read the Cask of the Monticello by Poe? he...he...he). No seriously, it is for the raised beds. I also have to rescue a couple of pole cacti that I had moved from the front yard. The rain and damp soil/clay will rot the base of them. They are prone to this. So I'm going to pot them and keep them on the porch to Winter where I can monitor how much water they do get and keep them dry so they don't rot. There's also a little Trichocereus not looking to happy and I really adore this little plant.

Very excited about the brick. Hey, little things and things that keep me inordinately busy make me happy. It is also very creative in that now I have to think about what pattern and design I want to put them in. Do I want separate beds or one bed put in tiers? Do I want a "keyhole" bed or just round or square? How many feet around/wide/deep, etc.?

Ahhhh....decisions, decisions. It is my goal to have everything done by February. In February I can start plant shopping. In late February and/or March when there is no danger of any frost I can plant and have all of Spring and Summer and Fall to watch it thrive. :D :D

Also I discovered some very sturdy cup hooks in the one wall outside where the previous owners had hanging baskets (?). I can use these hooks and do a little hanging garden of my own. YIPPEE!

Put up a Humming bird feeder. Cute little green guys. It is close to the porch so they're still leery but will use it quickly and dart away. I'm waiting for them to get real comfortable with our presence and then it should be great fun to watch them. They're very active right now.

As for dividing up the forum maybe we should have two running simultaneously. Call one "good day" and a "bad day". Everyone gets to gripe and complain and "ask" for help kind of like a Dear Abbey thing within limits and boundaries personal, emotional, medical, and gardening! .
The other one we kind of do what we do here and be funny, humorous, etc. about our emotions, personal, medical and gardening! That way no one gets too bummed out or feels like that can't emote on whatever. If they feel bummed out they can go read the good forum. Also having to participate in it means they HAVE TO look on the bright side of the street and find something "happy" or positive to say about themselves, situation and others! That is bound to bring you up!

O.K. have a great day. Have to go buy brick...and duct tape. (LOL)
peace. out.

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

Beth, I cannot say much about Grannyís sweet tooth. , angel food cake topped with whatever berries are in season and a little whipped cream is my favorite summer breakfast. I tell myself it should have plenty of healthy protein with all the eggs in the cake and the real dairy cream.
Iím sorry the management is giving you grief. That is my biggest concern about moving into a development or gated community. I thought my friend Patsy had found the perfect living situation. She is in a gated community where the management takes care of the landscaping and exterior of the houses. The home owners are only responsible for the interior and there is a roomy patio area for gardening, two ponds for fishing and walking trails. There is a club house that can be used to hold large events for a small fee, a gym and a pool. Patsy is in her 70ís and recently developed some foot problems that made it very hard for her to walk. Her daughter and granddaughter were staying with her to care for her while she recovered. When Jim and I visited, mother and daughter went up to the pool to relax since we were there to look after Patsy. Patsy received a call from the pool 15 minutes later. A resident who lived next to the pool had evidently appointed herself the pool police and there was some rule about guest not being able to use the pool without a resident being there. I understand why such a rule would be necessary, but this was not a couple of teenagers. This was a responsible 20-something year old nursing student and her 50-something year old mother. There were no residents using the pool. It was not like they were crowding anyone out. Patsy had to limp up to the pool and sit in the mid-summer heat for her daughter and granddaughter to use the pool. The incident was so stupid and petty. It will make me think twice about a gated community.
Congratulations, Jaclyn! Duct tape might be the secret to a successful marriage.
I think I should hold off on actually getting another dog until I know what my next living situation will be. Everything is still up in the air until this place is paid off. That will be a year or two depending on how many double payments we can make. The way we are set up it is possible to move the farm. I insisted we wait until the land was paid off before building anything permanent. (One of the few smart moves I made.) Everything here is portable including the barn and greenhouse. If we decide to travel around for a time to check different places out a dog could be a problem. I am going to put all my markers back up in the garden to make getting around easier. I do not care anymore if the neighbor thinks they are ugly. They are just bamboo post and baling twine. It is their fault we have to move everything around and I do not know exactly what is where any longer. The change in the road meant we had to turn the backyard into the front and vice versa.
I will give training Fenny a shot. She has become very clingy and needy since Tate died. It is a way we can spend our time together if nothing else. As Jim said, she does not play any of the usual dog games.
Carrie, either we should start a second thread or I should probably change the title of this one next time I refresh it. Practical Matters is sort of false advertising since it consist mainly of off-topic chats. Since we are people with all different sorts of physical challenges, I think it is important to have a place simply to chat.
Practical Matters and Good Day? /Bad Day? Is my only idea at the moment. Let me get some more coffee in me.
Sorry, I could not resist. That scene from The Jungle Book comes to mind every time anyone says. ďWhat do you want to do?Ē I did not watch it when it first came out in 1967, but I have watched it countless times on video with my children and grandchildren since.
I am cutting down peach trees today. It is hard to destroy perfectly healthy trees, but they do not work in the new low maintenance plan. Jim is creating a new container for the dragonfruit to live in long-term. We are hoping it will produce fruit if we do not subject it to the twice a year move (From greenhouse to ground in the spring and back into the greenhouse for winter).

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