Saturday, March 30, 2013

Things I Have Learned From the Back Problems

*  John Wayne didn't walk so funny after all

*  Those who get addicted to pain pills got different meds than me

*  A hot tub is worth its weight in gold

*  Some people will use your back pain as an excuse to tell you about their back pain for the 47th time.  These people are to be avoided at all costs.  One pain in the backside is enough

*  There have been numerous set backs, but none of them took me back to the days of not being able to put on my own socks.  This is an important benchmark

*  We need to hang a few pictures on the ceiling in the room where I do my exercises every day

*  The first real spring day is going to end in pain

*  Slow improvement is improvement

*  Don't let yourself be nagged or bullied into things you're not ready to do.  The nagger isn't the one who lives with the subsequent pain--you do. 

*  Be thankful for friends--they're the ones who are going to see you through everything

Friday, March 29, 2013

New Lesson Learned

Remember how I thought the crocuses were coming up?  Nope--they are miniature daffodils:
I actually didn't know there was such a thing as a miniature daffodil, much less that the bag of "tete a tete" daffodils I was purchasing meant miniature daffodils, but live and learn.  Probably serves me right--since I have a minor in Latin, I sort of assumed I could speak plant somewhat proficiently.  And, in my defense, "tete a tete" is both French and doesn't mean miniature AT ALL (being literally "head to head)," so I'm not sure why I would have guessed.  But I was relieved to find out that the bulbs we planted were indeed supposed to be 6 inches tall rather than it being that we had done something drastically wrong--besides planting them in the BACK of the bed.  This may still work in our favor, as these little guys seem to be an early variety, so they might be done before they get overrun by the taller plants such as iris and zinnias, but I'm going to need a MUCH smaller bud vase than I thought. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring or Whatever

We either finally got the crocuses (croci?) to come up,
 or we have done something really bad to the daffodils we planted.  Of course, they are getting going just in time to get snow today:
 as did the remainder of the spinach, which I only planted yesterday.
 To be fair, they looked terrible when I planted them, too.  The heat of the greenhouse was getting them.  But it was brilliant timing,
 don't you think?

In the meantime,
Andy took some of our purple iris tubers and is forcing them indoors.  A friend of ours told us this absolutely would not work as iris aren't actually bulbs, but the iris are unaware of this fact, so they're growing like mad.  It's amazing how many things one can actually do which people will tell you can't be done.  Guess that shows how little armchair experts can be believed.

Our other new indoor plant:
BASIL!  Okay, if all of these little sprouts live, they are going to have to be split into a whole bunch of pots and a few moved outside, but I always like to give houseplants a head start.  With my track record, that's only fair..........

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Greenhouse - First Wave!

 The "cold hardy" plants are thriving,
and are being moved outside as I can do it.  Some of the spinach got moved out a few weeks ago, but everything else is on the "as the back can stand it" plan,
which is slow. 

It's Idaho spring now, which means sunlight dotted with pretty much anything--snow, hail, rain, or some combination thereof, so Andy installed a vent last weekend:
The tube thingy is filled with gas, so when the greenhouse gets hot, it automatically expands and the vent gets opened.  When it cools off, the gas shrinks and it closes.  WAY cool program.  Literally.

Our gardening kitty is thrilled with the greenhouse as it adds a few months to gardening season,
though we still have the always-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-door-problem.  At least inside she doesn't howl.

Last year I got my peppers started too late, so this year I was determined to keep on top of it, 
 and could still be a tad late.  Most of them are to be started 10 weeks before the last frost date, but our "last frost date" is about a 10 day period, so I just squeaked in under the deadline for the last date.  A summer without salsa is simply not to be considered.

I've also started several flowers, my favorite being these:
 I forget what they are, but they have to sprout in the dark.  That was pretty easy, but I still want to know how they ever learned to grow in nature.  One has sprouted, one hasn't, and what the package fails to mention is when to UNCOVER the sprout.  Just once there is visible plant?  Do I need to introduce it to light slowly?  Whenever I plant something, I'm pretty much convinced it isn't going to grow until proved otherwise, so I never think of these questions ahead of time. 

 And, I am proud to show you this:
It's something I pinned on Pinterest that I am actually using! For those that aren't familiar with Pinterest, I think the best description I have ever heard is "Fantasy Football for Women."  You can create your own "boards," then when you run across a recipe or craft idea or whatever on the web, you "pin" it to your board.  I've "pinned" almost 350 ideas, and I think this is the 5th or 6th one I've actually followed through on, which makes me the front-runner among my friends.  I bought ingredients to make a recipe I pinned, which if I actually do it will, frankly, make me a GOD among my friends.  There is even a running joke about needing a Pinterest party where one has to bring food one made from a recipe one pinned on Pinterest.  This one happens to be a simple sprinkler.  I punched tiny holes in the lid (which works better OUTWARD rather than INWARD, by the way), and it sprinkles water on my seedlings without bombing them with water pellets like the commercial watering can does.  That it's FREE makes it even better.  That I finally used a "pin" makes it fantastic.  If I make it to using 10, I'm thinking I can expect a call from Ripley.......

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Lessons Learned This Week

*  While Valium usually knocks me silly, there are the occasional nights when it hypes me up and I can't sleep, leaving me worse off the next day than I was to begin with.  I just love a relationship that keeps reinventing itself.

*  Never schedule a vet appointment for when your spouse is out of town.  The stress can often make kitties nervous enough to throw up all night, and it's best to have moral support--if not a less-easily grossed out spouse--on hand for such times

*  If you haven't used them in a few years, it's possible to be stumped for an entire week before remembering that the "spring" decoration boxes also includes an "Easter" box.

*  The knowledge that I've probably finally gotten the hip problem under control would be a lot more exciting if all the additional injuries from stress and trying to fix it didn't mean I was laying on the heating pad right now.

*  The only time our having two last names is ever really a problem is when we have to figure out which last name our cats are known by at the vet.  We should have given them hyphenated last names, I guess.

*  Never, ever, EVER buy a house near an airport.  If the noise doesn't get you, being constantly used as a shuttle service and/or hotel will.

Monday, March 4, 2013

She Can Learn!

Today my back had a pretty decent day.  I'm a long way from where I was when I fell, but I got to spend about half the day up and around--part of it even without the help of Valium.  So, my normal impulse would be to try to sleep without Valium, but over the last year, I think I've proved that my normal impulses and an injury that needs time to heal are incompatible.  So, it's a Valium night.  Hey, it only took a year to figure this out.............

Fall! Finally!

Even without extremely hot summers, I've always loved fall.  A little coolness in the air, leaves starting to turn, sweaters coming out-...