#20 Practical Matters for Physically Challenged Gardeners

Hendersonville, NC(Zone 7a)


Live and learn, TTC. . live and learn!


Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Agave, you talk a lot about plans you make for cooking/entertaining and guests who are unappreciative. This is not your first post on this topic. I think RESERVATIONS ia perfect thing to make for Christmas. I hope you enjoy them. It is so sad to see you get your expectations up and then read your unhappiness!

Casa Grande, AZ

I do it to myself. I really do 'ask for it'. You know, my mother throws out a few gems every once in awhile and I really should write them down.
One has always been "Do what you can stand."

I'm 'thankful' I've finally discovered just that. Takes awhile for me to 'get things' but when I do I definitely don't forget them!

Reservations for X-Mas folks, reservations! Anyone want to join me?
Let me know so I can R.S.V.P. by the 5th of December and get the table.

If DH so much as says the words: 'grocery shop', 'home cooked', 'invite', or 'friends over' I will charm him into the kitchen, hit him over the head with the roasting pan and then stick his hand in the food processor and repeatedly hit the chop button until I feel better.
He though we had a grand old time.

You know I really do this stuff more for him than myself. My family was odd. Since my parents were divorced we always had 2 of everything and they were always on 2 different dates. Dad being Romanian-Greek Orthodox had a different calendar so we went over my Aunt's who did the big to do with 40 relatives. My mom, stepfather and brother and I went to my grandparents where grandma did the spread. (I finally understand why my grandmother never at but sat on the couch instead). When grandpa died we took grandma and went to my Great Aunt Ida's. Aunt Ida stopped doing it after awhile because she her son got married and she went there to eat.

My mom made thanks Giving and X-Mas dinner a few years after that and then said, that whistles wind so she started making reservations. We enjoyed it. I enjoyed it. Everyone was in such a good mood because of it.

Dave, whose parents are so old they fart dust (87 and 91) always had Thanks Giving and X-Mas at home. His mom made his sister and brother cook everything even when she was younger(typical). So Dave got this quaint notion that even with a small family or no family you 'create one' and have people over and put out this huuuuge spread and if extra people show up oh well and someone else (his wife) does everything and all the cooking just like "mom" (LOL) and there's no issues, blah...blah...fantasy land.

I've done it quite often. At times it turned out nice but most times like the above.
I told him I'm done. None of these people reciprocate or even bring us a plate from their friend's, family or the grocery store.

Now I do like to cook. I do like to entertain. I like to do this stuff when it is organized and the people confirm they're coming and show up as normal and not with an entourage unexpectedly and a difficult child. The difficult girlfriend I can see.(Happy to say he got rid of her before I did.)
The difficult everyone is not normal. For some reason it seems to be this on the holidays. I don't know why the two are so different considering it usually is the same group of friends.

Either way I've learned. Dinner parties are over. It's time to go eat at their house for a change.
It is definitely time for just the two of us and holiday reservations!

I've selected his black suit. It is hanging on the door to go to the cleaners. White shirt, and tie to be determined by what I wear.

I'm debating on whether to wear my black dress and good black heels or my charcoal gray skirt and light gray twin set with a black and gray scarf that has red roses on it. That way I can wear nude hose and my really nice red pumps. :D

I've started perusing the Wild Horse Resort, Spa and Casino's for their menu and am checking a few places in Tucson.

Hmm...X-Mas Eve or X-Mas day? Afternoon or Evening (Helps determine what I wear).

So...how's your Thanks Giving going?


Casa Grande, AZ

Greetings all, :D

Hope you had a wonderful Thanks Giving. Mine was great. Made a big pot of chili, sat around in sweats, read and watched Deep Space Nine reruns (intellectual right?).

Went out today...since it is the day after Thanks Giving and did my decorating for X-Mas/plant covering as the sun is going down and it will be in the mid 30s for the next week. So 'Santa's Wonderland' will be making nightly appearances for the next week but then it will be warm in the evenings again and the goodies will go back in the garage...until next cold snap. Oh...the bow and jingle bells are staying. :D Maybe a Santa hat or two also. :D

P.S. Happy...very happy to say got my X-Mas dinner reservations made. :D

The Grill at the Hacienda del Sol in Tucson. Fabulous place has a great hotel, resort, golf club spa and two very nice restaurants in it. Nice buffet going on that required reservations. Made them. Amazing thing was they were already half booked up BEFORE Thanks Giving.
The Thanks Giving buffet was booked up by Halloween!

So I guess I'm not that unusual in going out to eat for the Holidays. Surprise...biggest surprise was DH was more thrilled than I was. I about fell over.

Again, knock me over with a feather, Dave sent the e.-mails to all the friends and invited them. Invitation put out by DH went as such:

"Just to let you know we are inviting you to celebrate X-Mas and have dinner with us at The Grill in the Hacienda del Sol hotel in the Tucson foothills.

We've decided to do something fun and different this year and go out to eat.
We will be at The Grill at 1:00p.m. You are invited to join Jacqueline and I and we hope you do. The cost per person is $$.00. Children under 5 eat free otherwise it is 1/2 the adult price.

You can check the menu on line or call to make inquiries as to what is being served or if substitutions are available. One complimentary cocktail is included. Additional drinks are to be paid for.

They have limited seating and are filling up fast. It was suggested by the person taking reservations that you call within the next week if you are going. They REQUIRE YOUR credit card number to reserve your spot for the buffet. You can pay how you like once you're there.

There IS a dress code. Ask and they will explain it to you when you call to make your reservation.

I was informed if you cancel and do not give a 24 hours notice they will charge you full price regardless of coming.

We're excited about doing something new for dinner and probably will go out to enjoy the city afterwards. Open to suggestions and ideas you have for a fun day.

E.mail or call Jacqueline or I and let us know you are going. Look forward to seeing you.
Thanks, Dave

Looks like my X-Mas will be Merry and Bright after all and my night silent and my kitchen clean. Sigh....God bless those who work on holidays. :D Oh, did I mention how much I love my husband. I knew there was a reason I married him! Doesn't say much but when he does he pretty much makes his point.

Enjoy the AZ X-Mas cheer. I am.
Hope all is well with everyone.

1.) Jingle bells on prickly pear.
2.) My 'bubble garden' with the 'snow' blankets you put under the tree and some of the Santa Hats I used to keep the smaller plants warm. Found bubble wrap likes like fairly convincing 'snow' also.
3.) Red bow on the pole cacti
4.) Some Fall-early Winter color. Fire Sticks that are 'stressed'. This is usually a reaction to cold, too little water or too much heat. So far it has been cold but not freezing so I don't need to cover them. I've cut back on watering since the color is so gorgeous.
5.) Agave CrŤme Brule. Really pretty with it's pale yellow and green and tinges of pink. This gets covered!

Take care.

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Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

I love it! That's perfect! Hooray!!!! Your Dave is a keeper.

Casa Grande, AZ

Good Morning all, :D

Couldn't agree with you more! Dave is indeed a keeper that's why I married him. :}
Took a long time to find the right one but I think I did o.k. here.
Plus the man has the patience of Job...look who he puts up with (*grin*) LOL.

Now, if he could just do something about my mother...sigh :[

Anyway hope you all had a wonderful Thanks Giving. Tell me all about it. Love to hear about "normal people's" holidays and lives. Is there such a thing or should we all stone Norman Rockwell to death if he hasn't already died?

Jim & Kay...been thinking about you guys. How are you?

Bets: What's shaking down where you're at? How did granny like her toothless Thanks Giving?

In praise of wonderful spouses here's some great songs for the day:

"Nothing Like The Real Thing" by Marvin Gay and Tammy Terrell
"Not Enough Time" by INXS (probably my favorite)
"I Believe In Miracles" by Hot Chocolate (you'll know it when you hear it...it always makes me smile!)

Peace out.


It is 34 degrees this morning! High is only going to be 67! I know 'shut up' but we're freezing! Hey, 67 is big difference from 107-117 in the daytime and 34 is a big difference from 84-94 at night o.k.! Not rubbing it in but I"M COLD! Let the dog out and my teeth were chattering!

If it makes you feel better you can tell me about your Summer while I'm dying and hiding in my house and treating it like a cave because I don't want 2nd degree burns or my retinas fried to a crisp and you're out playing in the sun and swimming.

Hendersonville, NC(Zone 7a)

Thanksgiving Day was a bust: I want a do-over! On this most recent ill-fated day, I tried to bake pumpkin pies again. (In last year's attempt, the aluminum deep-dish pie pan collapsed like a clam shell when I was trying to take it out of the oven, splattering my kitchen carpet and ME. . resulting in several large blisters from 2nd degree burns.) Ever the optimiwst, I tried successfully with a regular-sized aluminum pan. I reasoned that the ezxcess pumpkin pie mixture was like a custard, so I filled my large custard cup with it and put it in a water-filled pan (I was cooking a custard, remember?) When it was done (so far, so good I thought. . . it cooked and didn't burn. . . little did I know what came nexst!) I was taking it out when the shelf of my toaster oven collapsed and (you guessed it!) the scaldiong hot pumpkin custard and water bath splattered on my kitchen carpet and ME! I reacted immediately and dropped everrything and leaped back. . to safety I thought. My weak leg gave out and I grabbed the kitchen counter, breaking my fall but wrenching my back.

It's been 4 days of bedrest and pain meds. . . whenever I HAD to get up: I cleaned on the disaster zone. My kitchen is almost clean, I'll have to get a new kitcxhen carpet (the old one developed a moldy bottom), Granny declined to eat my perfect pumpkin pie, and after I cut a slice for me, gave it away (Taste test verdict: not up to my usual standard! It was rather non-descript and bland - deep six THAT recipe!).

I foresee a few more days of incapacitation and hopefully I will be ambulatory again later this week, so I can arrange to get a new kitchen carpet.

What I was thankful for this Thanksgiving: I didn't get burned.

Granny is being. . . . difficult. She didn't want me to make my cranberry sauce this year (which BOTH of uas like) and don't EVENask about the candied yams!!

I'm alarmed: today is the day we go out to lunch at her regular place, but she said she's "feeling her age" so we're not going (It's rainy and cold, so I said I, too, wanted to stay in and be warm and comfy.) For the last 3+ years, she's ALWAYS looked forward to going there on Mondays; same time, same place, same order. Only once have we not gone. . .becausze of the weather and then we went the NEXT day. Makes me wonder if she's not being difficult but is feeling poorly??

As for my garden helper: he's not been home since his lady dies 2 weeks ago. His car is there but a flyer on his door has been there for about a week. I hope: he's with family and/or the doctor's have/are fixing his back problem so hes not in pain.

I'm running out of puzzle books and my pantry is looking a bit forlorn. Thank ??? for delivery! But I'm getting tired of eating pizza and/or Chinese food. I DREAD having to go out right now, but I have a long-standing appointment with my pain doctor later this week. . . and his office is out of town!

Did I mention its cold and rainy??

Casa Grande, AZ


OUCH! So sorry about the burns! :( Yes, I'm going to lecture you about the kitchen and hot things...I had a seizure few years back and stuck my hand in a pot of boiling hot chili and wound up at the Maricopa Burn Center. Hand huge blisters with 2nd almost 3rd degree burns. They wound up doing surgery on my hand. Got pictures but won't post them...they're really, really, really nasty!

Great morphine drip though...enjoyed the mini vacation...oh, and they sure weren't shy with them drugs or refills either! Spent lots of time literally sitting on the couch drooling on myself and staring into space! :)

NO...really, I did. Took me 8 months to be able to get my wedding rings on and much painful at home physical therapy (hand exercises). Thankfully no permanent tendon or joint damage and I still...4 years later...still have to do my hand exercises!

Now...PUT SOME SHOES ON or at least slippers or socks when in the kitchen baking/using oven so if you drop something hot and it splashes at least your feet are covered and hopefully your legs are too. Unless my husband is home I don't cook in shorts I put on light 'yoga' pants or sweat pants. There's a reason chef's 'cover up' when they're in the HOT kitchen!

(OH, I'm only allowed to make chili in the crock pot for now on and not on the stove...eye roll.)

Sorry your Thanks Giving turned out to be such a disaster. :(

Shame you hurt your leg, your rug is a mess underneath and Granny doesn't want to eat.
I don't know what the situation or rules are for where you live but can you get linoleum for your kitchen floor instead of carpet? Relatively inexpensive, easy to clean and doesn't go 'funky' underneath. Usually it is cheaper than carpet too.

Can't help you on granny or her being difficult and that she didn't like your pie/custard. It seemed you tried so hard too. Now I don't understand that cranberry sauce and yam refusal on her part! Just being stubborn because the pie didn't turn out so she didn't want anything at all?

Can't tell you about lunch either. She is 99 going on 100. Like you said maybe she IS feeling her age. There's days I feel her age! Sometimes the weather isn't real conducive to motivating you to want to get out either. Is she depressed about something? Combo of Thanks Giving Dinner and not wanting to go out for lunch could be a sign that maybe something else is bothering her or on her mind. I dunno.

That is so sad about your neighbor too. Can you call him to see how he's doing? If possible take the flyer off his door. Nothing tips off thieves more to the fact nobody is home than junk mail and newspapers uncollected for days and days. If he only lost his wife 2 weeks ago most likely he is with family or they're there buzzing around him trying to help. It's the few months later that he'll be alone. That will be hard.

Hope your leg feels better. Sigh...how do you do it?

If it is any consolation my hand hurts (joints), my knees ache (years of former running and no cartilage left) and my lower back (arthritis) is kicking my butt in this cold weather.

It was 30 degrees when I woke up! I'm freezing despite the hot flash I had the other day that knocked me for a loop! (*groan*--yep I had my first 2 this year! This was number 3. Can we talk about the night sweats?...Yeah.).

DH is complaining about his hip (probably arthritis).

Zoe gets up slower too...but then again she's going to be 11.

I can help with the grocery thing! :D
Look up these services (the Epilepsy Foundation gave me this list because I have 'no keys' to drive) Some of these may or may not be available where you live.

TaskRabbit.com (has 'taskers' who are vetted to help you for a low cost to run errands and do home repairs)

Shyp.com ( pick up, pack it and send packages for you)

Instacart.com (will pick up fresh groceries from your grocery store for you)

Uber.com ( independent taxi drivers using their own cars. Hey, I get a discount! If you use the promotional code 'EPILEPSY' until the end of 2015 you get $20.00 off your first ride and $5.00 goes to the Epilepsy foundation. I won't tell if you won't! )

Also I don't know what supermarket chains you have but Safeway will deliver groceries to your home locally with no charge if your order is over $50.00 You can always call and inquire if they have that service at your grocery stores. This service varies from store to store.

Let me know if you have some pasta, olive oil, garlic, basil, sugar, salt, cayenne pepper and some good canned ready cut/diced tomatoes. I can give you a restaurant worthy stove top pasta sauce recipe that takes 20 minutes to make! I've gotten rave reviews. :) Oh, do you have a food processor or a blender?

Can't help with pumpkin pie. I'm a cook not much of a baker. Do it rarely and it is challenging.

Would you and granny like to come out to X-Mas dinner with DH and I? :D :D

It would be safer, granny could have all the sweets she wants and the sun is shining even if it is cold!
You're welcome to join us. See above post with my X-Mas cacti pictures for time and place.

Have a good day....O.K. try to have a good day!
Wise Cactus told me, "It is always darkest before the dawn. If you can not see then be still and wait for the sun."

Carrie: How are you?
Jim and Kay: Been thinking about you. Know you're busy but I've been wondering how you're doing.

I think awhile ago I mentioned DH and I went to see Wise Cactus and Kin and went hiking. Here's the map and trail descriptions of where we go. Wise Cactus said it was o.k. to share the location of his family's home.

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Casa Grande, AZ

Hey....everyone has gone dark out there!

Jim and Kay want to let you know I've been thinking of you and wondering how your daughter is doing and what has been going on with Kay's eyes. Jim how you holding up?

Carrie you well?

Bets you doing o.k.? Drying out and did you buy some shoes for that kitchen?

Wise Cactus and I are doing o.k. Knock on wood I've been well. Husband is well. Zoe is an adorable PIA as always.

Wise Cactus and I wanted to send you some Winter desert blooms/soon to be blooms from my bubble garden. We hope this will cheer everyone up.
Hear from you all soon?

Peace. Out.

Song for the day, "Lean On Me" by Bill Withers

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Hendersonville, NC(Zone 7a)

I,too, hope everyone is well and happily pre=occupied with prepating for the holidays and enjoying life.

TTCV I LIKE your little cacti! When I think of cactus, I think of the pervasive occatillo, spear-like yuccas and those darn prickly pears of West Texas, near the Mexican border. When I first moved to College Station, I had to carefully squeeze past an over-grown yucca to get to the front door of my new sioght-unseen before, house -my tween son had a field day happily whacking it to pieces while I unpacked!!

I had all linoleum floors in my apartment when I first moved in. Since my apartment was built on a concrete pad and THEN that concrete was covered with linoleum: my little tooties near froze come cold weather, hence my esxtensive carpeting. Plus, I fall. . . . that's what I do: I fall. Aftrer slipping on that $%^@ linoleum, I not only put down wall-to-wall carpets but started wearing gripper socks inside instead of house shoes!! The kitchen carpet covers only about a third of my kitchen", most importantly the area I stand daily to wash my dishes!

now is one of my favorite times of the year: I get to plan next year's gartdens!! I have a good time, making detailed schematics of each garden, specifying what is planted where (and how many bulbs and their respective planting depth). (This will aid me when - and if - I get to move.) and the empty remaining areas (With their perimeters carefully measured and noted) lets me know how much I have to fill come outside planting time. (member, I start seeds indoors first.) Then I get to peruse saved gartden catalogs with their pretty pictures and on-lione nurseries: bokmarking possibilities. That keeps me well-occupied until January.
January means reviewing my bookmarkedf possibilities and making my final decisions. Nxt, I TRY and wait until late January-early February to order my7 seeds - but usually can't wait!

This year, I finished planting newbies in my filtered sun garden (BULBS AND PERRWENIALS). (I found a last-minute garden helperto plant all my bulbs and put my gardens to bed for the winter.) My little garden is already planted in spring bulbs and I've finished planning its summer planting. My back garden will agfain be in the same singlet marigolds. . . since I'llagain have a Tomato Jungle!! Choosing tomato varieties sure is fun! My biggest planning is my front , biggest sun garden: almost 8 feet X 4 fet! I've narowed my choosing down to annuals for it.

AND I have to find somewhere we can go to dine for my birthday, that offers food that Granny can eat. I'm easy to please: I like. . . food!

On a less happy note, remember my Thanksgiving disaster with a pumpkin pie? My strained back is still not as good (?) as it was before, concerning my do0ctor. He's ordered a month of twice-weekly PT (THAT'S never helped and is just a waste of my time!)) plus yet aanother MRI - all scheduled to begin this/next week.

So aside from my never-ending back problems, I'm here and happily pre-occupied!

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Yes, Agave, I am fine.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

You don't ever find PT helpful, Bets? I do, or I have.

Casa Grande, AZ

Hi everyone :D

Yes, been very occupied and pre occupied. That's good I guess since most of it is positive and good stress.

Carrie I'm glad you're doing well. I'm worried about Jim and Kay and family. I feel so bad as they seem to have had so much going on. :(
I also get a little worried when you go quiet. It just makes me worry about everyone and if they're doing o.k. not just bodily but on the inside also. This can be a hard time of year for a lot of people.

I guess in a way it is kind of good Dave and I are/were used to working holidays (prison, retail, grocery jobs). I found either a lot of our group either gets real depressed or it just seems to roll off of them and feels like 'another day'.

The weather helps and doesn't. It is nice to get up and see the sun and be warm but it is kind of hard to think of X-Mas trees and a white X-Mas when you live in a desert and the temps are what they are right now. I tried to generate a little 'holiday cheer' with the Santa Hats in the yard and the bow. Only so creative you can get out here. I know my neighbor's kids get a kick out of it. (LOL) and that makes me smile. I used to live back East and seem to remember the holidays being so much more fun during this time. Maybe it was just childhood memories of "X-Mas cheer"?

Then again when I think of the Bible and Jesus being born in Bethlehem, and the mention of places like Egypt and all of the other Biblical story locations I'm sure there weren't too many "White X-Mas" either. Cold desert nights,yes...snow, I'm going to say maybe not.

Aside from my hand I never had to go to PT. I just find my gardening, walking the dog, gardening, literally building my raised beds and sometimes some Pilates (Ha-ha-ha ROFL now). Sometimes I'll just stretch and reach or bend when sitting, standing and laying down. For some reason it feels real good and relaxes me and makes me feel like I 'pushed' my muscles a little. I think it would be beneficial. If not for the body at least for the mind.

I'm sorry you fall. :[
Heeey....guess what? I do too. Never knew we had so much in common, right? :D

I also am sorry the linoleum thing doesn't work out especially since it is so easy maintenance.
I guess with me it doesn't quite matter what I put in the house so I just put what I like. They build things on cement here too. I'm due for new carpet (hopefully income tax return time). I try to get really good padding. Area rugs became my best friend in bathrooms and kitchens. And I have a pair of garden clogs I never wear out of the house.

They're my exclusive kitchen shoes for baking, when I cook using heavy or big pots, etc. They have the rubber traction soles like chef's clogs but at 1/4 the price. In the house I'm like you, always in slippers, grippy socks or my fuzzy warm socks. I try real hard not to fall on my head
but with me it's kind of arbitrary from day to day. (eye roll).

Your garden planning sounds so exciting. I'm jealous of all the time and thought you get to put into stylizing and personalizing it. I remember growing tomatoes and Morning Glory seeds in egg cartons during the winter and then planting them in the Spring. It was fun. :D

I brought some of my Agaves and potted small pole cacti indoors and converted my office to a 'sun room' for the plants. My desk is in a nook off the room and hall. It is a fairly deep nook and the desk fits the wall perfectly so it works well. Hey...if DH can have his wires all over the house I can baby my plants a little right?

I like looking at the catalogs too but they're usually so overpriced when it comes to cacti, Agaves and Aloes and the plants really tiny. I have much better luck just cruising the Big Box stores and garden centers. I've gotten great plants at very reasonable prices and a lot of them were fairly large to start with. :D (Bonus since some of these things grow slooooow.)
Still enjoy looking at the pictures though and making 'wish lists'.

When's your Birthday! I always believed that was one day that should be celebrated. It is YOUR day so it should be a celebration of you and for you and about all the things you like and enjoy and just a day to appreciate the things in life that matter to you. I find it is wonderful to just celebrate yourself sometimes. I think we all need to and may not do so often enough. We make time to honor holidays, Sabbaths, and others. Do we ever make time to 'honor' or celebrate 'ourselves'? I've been trying to do this sometimes.

Thanks for the compliment also on the bubbles! That's what I call them because they were all tiny,round, and 'bubble' looking when I got them. I have this odd space smack up against the side of my house that is only 1.5 feet wide but 14 feet long! I had no clue what to put in it so I did cutsey little things. Thus the bubble garden was born! :D

Here's some older pics of my bubble garden. I'll have to take more recent ones. It has filled in considerably since these pictures. I bought lots more 'bubbles'. :}

Have a great day everyone.
Hugs to all,

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Casa Grande, AZ

More bubbles....because they're so darn cute!

Yep that bloom came off a plant that's only 3 inches high and about 5 inches around!

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Casa Grande, AZ

Hello.....anyone out there? Are we o.k.?

Hendersonville, NC(Zone 7a)

hmmmm. . . looks like Santa sent his naughty elvers to visit this thread. Either that or the fine foks here at DG are trying to tell us something! TWO HUNDRED FORTY FIVE [email protected]!! (this makes # 246) Who's in charge of making a new thread?? (I don't klnow how so don't EVEN ask me!!!)
Battening down the hatches here, getting ready for winter.

TTC, I thought of you the other day, whilst poriong thru my gardening catalogs. There was one item: cacti....little bubbly ones....30 assorted seed, hardiness zone 4-10. Do you have to have a special seed-starting mix specifically for cacti?? Do you start seed indoors? I've found it the most economical way to get a bunch of plants; iffen I had to go buy them from one of those big box stores , it'd take me FOREVER to amass a plethora!
Just my marigolds alone last year: 28 square feet!lemme see: my garden heklper used half of them in my front gartden (207/2 = ~100). Flats of 4 @ the store, roughly [email protected] each (100/4 = 25 flats * $2 = $50!!!!! vs @2.97 per packet * 2 packets of seed = a bit over 5 bucks!!!) NOW I LIKE that math!!!!! Plus you have a larger selection to choose from.

On another note, I dutifully went in for yet another MRI today. (a question on the paperwork was "Reason for today's visit"..I wrote "Doctor's over=reaction to a minor fall" Honestly! The specialists have stated there's nothing more medically that they can do, but this GP thinks he knows bertter! hhhhhhaaaaaaarrrrrrrrruuuummmp[pppphhhh!!!!) The tech's tried rthree timesto sllliiidddee me into the machine, only to hear me loudly insisting "Let me OUT!!! I don't fit!!!"" So no MRI today. Afterwards, the tech was walking me out and told me that few people fit in this new machine. I THOUGHT there was something different about that machine!! I've successfully endured several MRIs there and was NEVER so crammed, cramped etc. My NOSE was only 2 inches from the "ceiling"!!!

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Yuck, I know lots of people have trouble with the enclosed space because they're claustrophobic or feel like they don't fit, but literally not to fit, that sounds awful.

On a different note, the way this looks to me is totally different and I don't like it! I have tried to stay calm with all the format changes which started maybe six months ago, but this latest change feels like more than I can take. I will try to patient and wait and see how it turns out but I used to specifically like the fact that the comments to s thread were arranged chronologically. Now it seems like conversations branch off? I will bite my tongue and try to reserve judgement for a few days. I JUST reupped my membership, too!

Casa Grande, AZ

Hi gang, :D
Been a little busy, sorry. Glad to know all are alive. Soooo...what does everyone think about the 'new' format? Let's just say I don't like it. A few others I've talked with don't care for it either.

Aren't them little bubbly cacti cute! :D They just make you smile when you see them!
I haven't grown anything from seed because I am not a patient soul. When I say a cacti grows fast that means maybe an inch or two a year or maybe a new arm. In comparison to plants like perennials or annuals these things grow at the speed of molasses in January. So for $2.00-$4.00 each I just buy them already full grown/mostly grown and pop them in the bed and let 'em go crazy.

It didn't take long to amass a good sized collection or for them to take off. Also since my space is limited I buy them as individuals so that each one can be just a little different and they stay there as permanent plants. Unless I kill them or choose to move them, I don't dig them up. They've got a permanent home in their bubble bed. :D

Some how I couldn't see walking out of a big box store with flats of cacti! For flowers I do agree, seeds are the way to go. Bulbs I know can get quite pricey even for a few. They do sell bulbs in a bulk bags though don't they? I seem to remember having seen them that way when I looked back East.

I have no idea what cacti are germinated in but I know we can not use regular potting soil. You have to use soil specifically designed for cacti.
There's a cacti-citrus-palm soil mix that we use out here to grow everything. Seems to work well as long as you keep it well drained. I do know that most people start their seedlings indoors and then move the pots outdoors when the plants are established. They wait a few months or even the next season before popping them in the ground. There's a big difference in light, air temperature, heat, etc. so the adjustment time is slower. Because of the space needed inside to grow them and the fact I don't have an enclosed patio so this also kind of limits my growing.

I did turn our 'office' into a sun room for my plants but they are for the ones that are in pots and just won't weather the winter well. Half of them almost died in my back yard due to the yucky soil and lack of shade.

Sorry to hear about the MRI. I swear these doctors don't do this stuff because you're sick. They do it to cover their butts. I've taken to refusing a lot of stuff. "But you need that." No I don't. Why? I don't want it, I find it superfluous and unnecessary and repetitive. If you can't justify a legitimate medical reason for me to get it done then I play the HIPPA card. I am refusing medical treatment I don't want otherwise it is complimentary and I will let the insurance company know.

That MRI sounds horrible. It has been quite awhile since I had one, have they changed them? It seemed wide enough although it was low ceiling wise. I felt enclosed but not closed in. I'm not claustrophobic though so maybe that change's my perception.

To not fit though would be terrifying. Things like that have happened to me where it is terrifying when you feel trapped or stuck or can't get lose out of something or away from someplace. It is indeed an awful experience.

You can laugh but with me I usually get my hands and fingers caught in things and can't get them loose!

Since they're little I assume I can reach, grab, and squeeze them into every little nook and cranny to get things I drop or that roll away and then wonder why I'm stuck with my hand under the refrigerator for 3 hours until my husband comes home from work to lift it up and release me. (LOL)
Well...my wrist slid under real nice but it didn't slide back out. It kept getting stuck on the grate at the bottom.
Keep well and happy folks.
Looking forward to Jim and Kay's return.
I'm freezing here. Lot's of hot tea! For the next 2 weeks I have to cover the plants because it will be between 36-26! Yep. Literally freezing.

Peace. Out.

In honor of the new 'changes' the song for the day is "Don't Go Changing I Love You Just the Way You Are" by Billy Joel.

Here's some plant photos.

An aloe I brought in this summer. It is thriving. It will be reintroduced outdoors this coming spring

A Saguaro cactus grown from seed. I didn't grow it a friend did and gave it to me.

And just some bubbles.

Oh and because I had the camera out there's the face that's always in my face!

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

I imagine we'll get used to the changes, and I do understand that it can't be the same forever, but...

Hi, Agave!

Hendersonville, NC(Zone 7a)

TTC, your posts make me smile!! This last brought to mind all the ways my toddlers found to defeat my extensive child-proofing! When you were a toddler, you must have drove your mother wild!!!

Sometimes I muse about writing a book or two or maybe a series! "Decorating Without a Dime" "Creative Living in a Small Space" "Reclaiming Wasted Space"

I live in a small 1 bedroom apartment: the "1" is the key descriptive term here. . . one each of bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom. Period. I start seed in my living room and add an additional grow light set-up in my kitchen for the last month of indoor growing. Of course, this means I can't get to my washer and dryer (in an alcove in the kitchen) so I must go to a laundromat once a week that last month. Outside is limited, too: narrow strips of heavy clay soil turned into colorful enclosed flower beds with improved soil. My "patio" is a rectangular concrete pad out my back door: home each year to my Tomato Jungle or containers of flowers.

I'm lucky! This apartment may seem much too small to others, but it's large enough for me to do what I want and STILL be able to keep it clean myself. Granted, cleaning this huge expanse takes me all week. . . and then I've gotta start all over again!! Cleaning house is like doing the laundry: something is ALWAYS dirty!!

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

This is driving me bananas having to scroll all the way to page 7 every time - so I made thread #21 here. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1411356/

Of course I was chuckling to myself about Jim's "challanged gardeners" that I made it for "phsically challenged gardeners." Jim gets the last laugh this time!

Casa Grande, AZ

One more time, making three, I'm going to try and post this. The last 2 were failed attempts because this...I dunno what is stuck on stupid. This is my test. If it works I'll follow it up with my post

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Agave, are you having problems with the "preview" part? And will you come to the new thread?

Casa Grande, AZ

O.K. I am really, really, #*&%ing fed up with this thing. I posted it again and it showed 'it was posted'. I get here and it ISN'T here. I don't know why I would be having a problem with 'preview'. I hadn't before. Everything else I've done in the last 3 days has posted.

Write. Hit "preview", hit 'post'. Unless they've changed this I have no clue what I'm doing wrong.

IF I can ever get my crap posted I'll come to the new post.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Agave, I am NOT in favor of this latest change. I've never had preview be a problem for me, but I know 1)other people have and 2)that's one of the problems they are working to fix.

Casa Grande, AZ

I give up. It won't post anything for me.

Casa Grande, AZ

It's not posting a thing. I'm going to write admin and read them the riot act!

mulege, Mexico

After Admin tells you to get lost, come to All Things Plants and chill.

hugs, katie

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Hahaha Katie, wait and see. :)

Casa Grande, AZ

%^* (&*^%$%&^ AND #^&#$ This!!!
Nothing is posting.
I'm contacting admin again. If they don't fix it I'm out of here the beginning of January.

Casa Grande, AZ

Hi there, hey there...Here I am. The ghost in the machine. Want to come back and join me?

Gomel, Belarus

I regret the only thing - I've purchased a pregnancy pillow http://motherhow.com/the-best-pregnancy-pillow-how-to-choose-how-to-use/ and it came right after I actually delivered. So think of some things in advance...

Long Beach, CA

Tap tap tap... is this thing on?! Wow... just the thread I needed to stumble upon! Gardening is my therapy in dealing with my rare disease, and being disabled in my 30s is weird when I keep reading phrases like, "geriatric gardening." Oh well, I've been 80 since I was 8! Anyways, grateful to see this thread and wishing all of you many pain-free (or at least low pain) days!!

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Hello, lejastosocial! I used to say (when I was 25 and 30) that I couldn't wait to be 80 or 90 so everyone my age would be in a wheelchair! Now that I am in my mid 50s, not too many people I know are in wheelchairs, but people my age are dying! My nephew-in-law (my husband's brothers son) died at age 47 this year, That's not exactly what I meant! I just wanted other people to use wheelchairs.

I don't have pain much anymore, which is really good. I used to have pain and spasticity almost constantly. Now I have a baclofen pump which drips concentrated baclofen into my spinal cord. So I don't have pain nor do I have to take drugs to counteract the effects of my drugs. I used to take an unsafe amount of gabepentin every day. And then I used to drink caffeinated coffee all day to stay awake! Now, I stay awake all by myself. But I have to weigh the effect of no spasticity on the rest of me. I am much weaker but I am much more comfortable.

Tell me about your "rare disease," please.

Long Beach, CA

Hi Carrie! Thank you so much for your quick reply - means a lot. I have BehÁet's disease which was only correctly diagnosed with the last year but I've had it my entire life! It is similar to an autoimmune (well autoinflammatory but no one knows that term!) disease that affects the small blood vessels in my body - anywhere blood goes, I can be affected - you get the idea. But mostly it causes severe arthritis and ulceracation in mucus membranes and other fun stuff. I was in the hospital for 23 days in July because of it. It's good to be home! I am not in a wheelchair (yet), but do have a walker for longer distances. Mostly I deal with extreme pain and fatigue, and it's anyone's guess on any given day how I'll be - an understanding I saw echoed a lot in this section of the forums. I've always loved gardening and have a large patio in Southern California, but lately I've been starting seeds (yes I know what time of year it is but I needed the symbolism!!) in my sunny windows! California does have a second growing season right now. My Dwarf Meyer Lemon is simply covered in blooms, so I took a cue :) I do have to take pain meds daily just to function. Gabapentin is pretty evil, so I don't blame you! It actually put me in the hospital one time! Last time I take that lol. Anywho, that's a bit about me. I'm sorry all of you deal with so much, but grateful to find a tribe of olds who get it. HUGS!

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Yay for Wikipedia, so now I know a little about your disease. (And don't you hate when the medical people talk about *your* disease? Hey, have some, help yourself! Why should I hog all the disease?) *My* disease is not rare, but everyone's course of it is different, so it's all trial and error. I was diagnosed 30 years ago. It just dawned on me that in the 80s they were trying to prevent disability, and now that it happened, I am just another rehab. I never get any better and I try not to get any worse.

And how do you get that accent circumflex to come out? At least that's what I was taught to call it in 6th grade French. How is Behcet's disease diagnosed ?? Where in Southern California do you live? I ask because I lived in Claremont for 2 years, but I really don't know my way around or anything, I just pretend I do.

I live in Boston. Currently it is the season for trying to make space in the house for all the stuff we dragged out in the fall, like plants and grill and Paddy O'Furniture and pots. I could grow stuff like kale and lettuce now, but I can't promise we'd eat it, so not really worth it.

When I lived in California, I didn't like not having seasons, although I am sure there were changes, I just didn't notice. Here, if you don't notice fall, you're liable to be buried in leaves or flooded out. I mean, the weather hits you on the head with a baseball bat. But your lemon tree sounds fantastic! White, fragrant flowers, Right? Do you think (in general) that white flowers smell better than non-white ones?

Tell me what seeds you're starting!

Long Beach, CA

The internet is great for stuff like...this entire discussion lol! And yeah... I actually have a bit of a speaking career about how the medical field views *us* vs *them* far too often and the problems that creates. Iím currently walking away from that, because of my health. I just canít keep on like this, thus I was granted immediate short term disability and am now starting filing for permanent.

BehÁetís is considered a diagnosis of exclusion. Meaning they exhaust every last idea before trying this one on for size. I have been previously diagnosed with things like psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis - you get the idea. But then last fall I got VERY ill and presented with every last symptom of the disease at once, and based on family heritage - bingo! ANYWAYS. Letís get on to the fun stuff!

On my iPad I can hold down a letter and get all the fun versions of it! «čć etc

I live in Long Beach! Itís beautiful down here :) Iím originally from TX, but my husbandís job/my health brought us out here a few years ago. I do miss the seasons pretty bad, but right now we have something that Iím willing to call fall lol! Leaves are turning, nights are chilly enough to turn the heater on. I love Boston! Iíve only been there once briefly in the winter, but loved it. I have a good friend that Iím trying to go visit there actually, and she also has a big garden.

I started a bunch of adeniums and plumerias, and Iíve been collecting seeds from the trees in my neighborhood, and Iím starting those because why not. So far I have Jacaranda, Orchid Tree, and Norfolk Pine. I have a mystery acacia (some sort of Wattle), and another mystery pink flowering tree Iím trying to identify before growing lol - it seems invasive...

And yes!! White flowers are amazing! I read once that flowers either put their energy into vibrant colors or fragrance. I donít know if thatís true, but I go out of my way to smell white roses when I see them. My Meyer Lemon tree smells heavenly at the moment! I wish I could send it your way :)

What are your favorites to grow?

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

My favorites to grow? From seed or whichever? I am really enjoying my husband's amazement at gardening right now.

We have been married for 17 years, but somehow I never taught him about gardening before, so now he is retired and we go out in the yard every morning and I say "cut that back to the joint" or "cut 1/3 of foliage" and he does it and then bingo, it reblooms or whatever I wanted it to do. He now thinks I am amazingly brilliant, whereas I am just parroting things I read. This summer that's just ending, he has fallen in love with dividing plants before you plant them (you buy one from Home Depot and divide it into two immediately). Also I planted zinnia seeds and then I forgot what they were. And then in July while the daylilies were blooming I had him take out this enormous yellow daylily--it was just too much yellow for me. I want to move an enormous Helenium to that spot, but needed to wait until the fall to do that. So we bought some zinnia plants to put in that spot for the summer, where the daylily was and the Helenium will be, and as soon as they were planted there I realized that these seedlings I had been saving were actual zinnias, so we planted them in the same place. He is completely amazed by the fact that the two seed grown zinnias are as good or better than the nursery-grown one, and now he wants to propagate EVERYTHING! He collects seeds from daylilies and crocosmia and puts them somewhere. Wait until he sees what a zinnia seed looks like, about the size of one parenthesis. And I am having a wonderful time with his wonder and amazement.

So I don't think there's one kind of plant I like growing, it's just the whole thing, the seeds, roots, bulbs, leaves, and so on. Plus I am really enjoying that if I say "let's take out the plastic edging and put in a tile edge made of leftover bathroom tiles" he will do it in this lifetime. His priorities are not always the same as mine, and it drives me nuts that I can't do stuff myself, but somehow with his being officially retired, he spends more of his time doing things that are important to me.

As for fragrant white plants, right off the bat I think of bridal wreath spirea, sweet alyssum and our hydrangea, which is 'Quick Fire' and starts out white in June/July and gradually changes to deep rose, brick red, and then brown. While it's white, it smells fabulous, although once it shifts darker, there is no noticeable smell. I realize none of my favorites would be happy in Long Beach. Well, the annual alyssum would be happy if it got enough rain/water.

We lived in the DFW area for 20120-2914. Where in TX are you from?

Long Beach, CA

I just love your reply about your amazement watching your husband learn :) Thats beautiful! Sounds like you have a good one!

I ended up in the hospital for most of July, and since I was discharged I suddenly decided to start a bunch of seedlings. I am guessing my subconscious was craving the obvious symbolism. But itís been a wonderful indoor project for me right now that I can manage. I had ordered some rarer adenium seeds and planted them and put them in the windows. It thrilled me when my husband came home from work that day and told me how happy it made him to walk up to the house and see the windows filled! Iím glad thatís how he saw it and not that Iíve taken over the house lol! When I was hospitalized, it was days before I even asked about watering my plants, and when I did, he said, ďIíve been looking after all your babies.Ē I didnít even know he knew how to care for all of them, but he said heís been watching me and learning :) Weíve been married 5 years now, and going strong! This fall we will have been together for 10 years!

I wish I had more of a yard like yours, but I live in an apt (4 unit building from the 1940s) with a shared yard and large patio. Iím the only one who uses any of it, and when we moved in, I asked about having all my plants here and my landlord told me to take it over. Gladly! Iím pretty sure Iím just going to start redoing the landscaping and see if any one says anything.

And I grew up just outside of Austin, but my family now lives in the DFW area, and the rest of my family is all over Texas! My husbandís family is from Oregon, so they have a whole other set of plants I wish I could grow!

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Our son, daughter-in-law and four kids live in Fort Worth, our youngest daughter is about to graduate from UNT Denton and we lived in Euless for 3 years (right within 3 miles of DFW airport).

Texas was quite a wake-up for me. I think I used to think that Red state folks just needed a good explanation of Blue state thinking to be converted forever. Not true. We thought about totally relocating there, but just couldn't get over the mindset difference between us and all of our new neighbors. And now, political divisions are worse than ever. I still run into people back here who make me shake my head, a lady at the hair dresser and a lady at the YMCA, but it's more anomalies than expected. I understand that I literally retreated into my own ideological bubble, but I did.

I love that your husband took care of your plantlings! A month in the hospital is a long time. Ugh. I spent 6 weeks in on two separate occasions, once in 1994 before my younger daughter was born and once in 2002, I successfully did not die. Of the two stays, the one in 2002 was far more serious. They twice literally told me I was about to die. Family came from all over the world to see me. However, I was mostly unconscious, so although it was the Most Serious Ever, it went by fairly quickly. In 1994, I was 100% conscious and conflicted the whole time. it was unbelievably dull. I was in the High Risk Antenatal Unit. That is the one place in the hospital where we're mostly all awake, conscious and bored. Oh, and we're all women. We needed roommates or support groups or something! It's 100% single private rooms, too. I usually don't like roommates, but it would have been someone to talk to, or something to think about besides just ugh. I hated hat particular hospital stay. I mean, one or two nights in the hospital can be reassuring if you're a little anxious about your health. More than 2-3 is too many nights in the hospital, though!

I just read that over, and I need to amend it. 2002 was life or death for me, but 1994 was life or death for my baby!

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