Saturday, February 6, 2016

More normal day by day

I sorta ignored the basement greens during the "big sick" of January, but I did keep them watered.  

That paid off in February.  Now I have luscious chard and arugula to pile on my sandwiches made with homemade sourdough bread. (Really, the sandwich is larger than in the pic - the angle made it look kinda tiny.)  Yum.

Over the past week I did a LOT of housecleaning and grocery shopping and am now sorting 2015 paperwork getting ready for tax season.  

I feel much better.  Mom is doing well, too.  

When I'm not in OCD organize/clean mode, I've been playing a lot with Remona (my sourdough starter).  2 New entries on the Chef's Page.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Return to order (albeit slowly)

Mom was well enough and strong enough to return to her own home on Friday (after the doctor checked out her lungs).   She probably could have gone home earlier in the week health-wise, but strength-wise she was not altogether enough to drop right back into taking care of her house, 2 cats, food prep, bill paying, housecleaning, laundry, etc.  

I'd been taking care of her cats since the 13th (going over every 2nd day).  This past week I took Mom each time so she could spend an hour getting her ready for full return.  During those visits she would wash a load of dishes, maybe sweep the kitchen floor. We cleaned all the overaged food from the fridge and tidied up the place so she wouldn't have to hit the ground cleaning when she returned.

Then Friday, after the dr. appt I went and got her fresh groceries (fruits, veg, canned soup, bread, etc).  Since she was finally off all the Rx's (steroids, inhaler, antibiotics, probiotics, cough syrup), she only now has to take her usual Rx's (chronic conditions like osteoporosis, high blood pressure, glaucoma drops, brain surgery (from 1995) meds) and the normal vit/mineral supplement.

Since she insists on living alone and I cannot be in 2 places at 1 time, I've learned not to angst too much about her over there alone.  I see her 2-3 times a week, but I'm sure one day there will be tragedy to deal with, but she prefers that deal vs living with me.

Me?  I'm much better, thanks.  It's taken me longer to get well I'm sure from having to take care of Mom and thus getting little sleep for the duration.

Yesterday (Saturday) I spent nearly 7 hours washing bedding, linens, clothes, slipcovers, pillow cases, anything soft and washable.  Today there will be a lot of steam cleaning of kitchen & bathroom.  Finally, a general dust & vac of the main floor.   I do a little at a time.  I'm still not up to full speed.

This episode really frightened me.  Neither of us have EVER been this ill.  Ever.  And bronchitis?  Were did THAT come from?  One fevered night I dreampt I was reading Mother's obit in the paper.  Honestly, you just can't deal with someone so very ill when you yourself are so very ill.  This could have ended so badly.  

But we're bouncing back.  I'm not taking Mom to Fitness center in February.  Not during prime 'bug' season.  For both our sakes.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


Last Monday I noticed Mom had a tiny cough at the fitness center.  By Wednesday she was wheezing and I got her to the doctor.  She had her first ever case of bronchitis.

With an inhaler and antibiotics, I moved Mom to my house (she was so sick she didn't even argue).

Due to miscommunication (and a bit of patronization), the albuterol administration was a disaster.  She has no strength in her hands so cannot use the inhaler.  And when I shook/depressed the inhaler, she can't coordinate an useful inhale.  And the stuff sent her into a wheezing/coughing fit that lasted a good hour.  It did that again 6 hours later.  She didn't want it after that and not knowing the expected reaction, I was loathe to administer it.

Mom started sleeping almost all the time, wouldn't eat, wouldn't drink.  By Friday afternoon it was bad. ER bad.

Now I was not looking foward to a stint in a Friday night ER.  I've been to that ER 2ce (sliced hand, and the body numbness).  Both experiences were awful.  So I sorta argued with her doctor when she said she HAD to go.  Finally, with the suggestion she go in an ambulance so she didn't have to 'wait in line', I called 911.

Never have done that before.

There were here in minutes.  Mom taken to ER.  I followed with purses, etc.

Now I knew that for the past year a lot of the hospital area was torn up because they were working on the ER.  This was my first experience there.

It was like night and day.  Mom was taken to a private examining room (not just behind a curtain).  When I found her she was already hooked up to everything along with a saline drip.  The whole bottom floor of the hospital was now like a mini-hospital, quiet, private, all computerized.

The doctor/nurses/etc were polite, helpful, non-condescending and it all felt so safe.  Mom of course, just wanted to curl up and die.  Yep.  Little food and water and a fever - what else was she gonna say?

Well they took anything they could get out of a living body. LOL  EKG.  Chest X-ray.

Acute bronchitis.  They nebulized here with albuterol.  I explained to the Doctor we just didn't know how to administer the inhaler effectively and what to expect after one.

They explained everything that the primary care doctor and the pharmacist did not.  Those guys seemed to think a) everyone understands/can operate an inhaler and b) what's gonna happen AFTER that deep inhale.

They gave  us a tube extension for the inhaler where I can spray the mist into the tube, then Mom can just take a really deep inhale from the tube, no timing needed from spray to inhale.  (But she cannot depress the inhaler on her own.  This is going to be a big issue in future.) 

She is doing much better now and eating/drinking more regularly.

I, on the other hand, finally succumbed to all the germs and now have a raging sinus infection, chills and congestion.

Okay, so now she's sick, I'm sick.  I can just about handle that.  BUT....

I still have to leave the house every 2 days to go over to HER house to take care of those damn cats....


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sea change

The mild weather will be broken today.  It was in the 40s for the past few days and we got almost 3/4" of rain over that time.

But that's done.  Today the jet stream will slump south with fierce winds and cold air.

The sky of 15 minutes ago shows the onslaught on the way:  deep dark brooding clouds from the northwest.  

Meanwhile the wind is building.  Forget the flapping flags, the garden swing is being pushed up further and further during gusts. 

I know when the wind gets over 25mph - my bad window will whine.

Some snow on the way this week, though the forecasts aren't saying more than 3-4".  Well see.  Wonder if I'll get a chance to use the tuned up snowblower?

Down in the basement the greens are growing and today I saw that the New England aster seeds have sprouted.  :-D

Me?  I'm in the kitchen.  It's a good day to make up something savory in a pot to go along with the 2 loaves of sourdough I baked yesterday.  Yum!

Hang in there. 


by 12:30 pm

Temps plummeted from 42 to 28, wind, snow....  

And by Tuesday morning --- temps in the teens with single digits ahead.

Meanwhile -- down in the basement -- the lights are on and things are green. Check out the Propagation Page.

And as for the snow .... Check THIS.  After which I needed THIS.

Monday, January 4, 2016

And into the New Year

The new year arrived quietly with no muss no fuss.  It's just the turning of a calendar page around here, and we do that every month.  No big deal anymore.

The weather continues to be mild on the whole with 2-3 days of more seasonal temps now and then - like today.  A dusting of snow (1st of the winter) and only getting to high 20s (if that) with single digits tonight.  

Another example of this brutal El Niño winter.  Ha!
By midweek we'll be back to 40s.  El Niño.  Oh well.  I just hope the occasional nighttime freeze will kill the insects else next season could be a mess. Thankfully, to that effect, the lawns and crabapple trees have been filled with flocks of robins and starlings the past few weeks.  Eat them bugs, guys!

Been playing in the kitchen a lot and have put up several posts on the Chef's Page: roast chicken, a brace of meatloafs, homemade sourdough starter (pancakes & cornbread).  And my latest triumph - sourdough spelt bread!

Mom and I are doing fine (although she broke her partial on New Year's Day; they must have been weak - she was eating JELLO at the time *sigh*).  The nice weather has not kept us from her PT 2ce a week.

Only thing rankling me right now is the RO water system.  After 3 months of 'fixes' it's still not right and I will most likely have to replace most of it, including all water lines. (RO water) For now I'm buying drinking water.  It'll get resolved one way or another.

Last year was the  big household purge and it was a huge success.  I still have a few items need to go, but what a difference after it all shook out.  

2016 will be the big reorganization of what's left: sorting, better storage, rearranging.  Same goes for the gardens.  After last year's garden purge, I'm looking for more substantial 'fill ins' like everygreen trees and shrubs.  Especially since all 3 huge ash trees are succumbing to Emerald Ash borer and will have to come down.  That is going to leave huge holes in the sky. 

There are also plans to expand SpaRRows (my container veg garden). Last year's experiment to bring everything up to the deck to keep the plants from the deer worked out great.  

Other than that - no nit-picky resolutions here.   We're looking forward to a drama-free, healthy 2016 for us and everyone else.  Fingers crossed.

====== P.S. ======

Hey!  Right this minute: a little lake effect snow.  Probably the only kind of snow we'll see this season.  No WAY will the Great Lakes freeze over this winter.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Again, which pic doesn't belong?

2015 Christmas tree in window
Anybody else as confused as I am this December?  I'm getting some mixed signals.

Sure is hard to feel even a little bit Christmasy this year.  Supposed to hit 60s by Thursday.  Good grief!

I'm glad we're past the solstice, though.  The short days and long nights are not my fave time of year.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking I didn't have to spend the time and $$ to get the snowblower fixed in November. LOL

Hope you are all feeling more seasonal wherever you are.  

Merry Christmas (or P.C = Happy Holidays)

Brilliant sunshine after 1.35" of warm rain overnight - balmy breezes -
lush green grass, daff shoots 5-6" high

Flock of robins feasting on crabapples - temps in the mid-50s

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Which pic doesn't belong?

Talk about your mixed signals!  Crazy, huh?

So much crazy that I've been gardening this weekend.  Check it out:

  Click here => Flower Page

Monday:  OK OK, no matter what I said on the Flower Page, I DID find something to do today.  So sue me!

The 2nd sweet gum tree finally decided to drop its leaves and made quite a mess all around the swing garden and lawn.

But the mower/bagger were stored away in the shed, safe from this bitter howling winter weather.  *snark*

So I went old school.  Got a rake.  LOL

Luckily I had a place needing some leaf mulch so I used a tarp and dragged 2 loads to dump under the blue spruce in front.

Bingo bango bongo.  Swing bed and environs looking tidy and the spruce roots are now protected from the aforementioned bitter cold winter weather. hahahahahaha

(Oops, getting a little wackadoo here - I blame climate change!)