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Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

Hello everyone!

Spring is in full swing in the Midwest, USA.  The daffodils and tulips are gone and the vegetable gardens are beginning to thrive.

Today I want to talk about something that has bothered me for a long time.

GRANDMOTHERS

I became a grandma for the first time when I was only 37 years old!  My oldest daughter was 20.  Please don’t do the math 😉  From the very beginning of the grandmother adventure I noticed that society picture grandmothers the way MY grandmother looked.  See pictures below…

This is an illustration from 1949.   Source: http://www.americanartarchives.com/petersen.htm

This is an illustration from 1949.
Source: http://www.americanartarchives.com/petersen.htm

This was posted TODAY by a Facebook page for a wonderful new movie called "Mom's Night Out".

This was posted TODAY by a Facebook page for a wonderful new movie called “Mom’s Night Out”.

 

BOTH illustrations show lovely older women.  Short gray hair, pearls, apron, domestic.  I’m here to tell you this is NOT what the grandmas of TODAY look like!  This is what MY grandma looked like! (below)

 

Grandma & Grandpa Smith. Grandma was born in 1904.  She would be 110 now if she was alive.

Grandma & Grandpa Smith. Grandma was born in 1904. She would be 110 now if she was alive.

Grandpa Smith doing quality control on the watermelon and corn.  Grandma in the background ... WORKING of course.  Note the softly floral dress and apron.

Grandpa Smith doing quality control on the watermelon and corn. Grandma in the background … WORKING of course. Note the softly patterned dress and apron.

 

Again…grandmothers of today just DO NOT look like this.  The World Wide Web needs to get with the times.  It’s 2014, let’s update those grandma memes please!  Something like this would be nice:

 …… Um, well… I can’t FIND ANY young grandmother pictures online without using actual photos of my friends! haha Or cosmetically altered celebrities.  Thus, enforcing my point.  

GRANDMAS OF THE 21st CENTURY UNITE!  Get pictures of yourselves out there so the stereotypical mid-20th century grandma images can be banished!

Thank you for listening…

GARDEN UPDATE

How are your gardens doing?  Ours is really taking off.  Well, most of it.

Just a few of the things we currently have thriving.

Just a few of the things we currently have thriving.

 

Have a wonderful first week of June!  Please remember to visit me on FACEBOOK and post pictures of your gardens and YOU with your GRANDCHILDREN!  I’d love to see some smaller container gardens and hear how they’re doing.

 

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Hello everyone and HAPPY SPRING!!

It’s been a wonderful spring in our family.  We were all reunited with a grandgirl we hadn’t seen for four years!  She’s now 10-years-old and just as precious as ever.  It was a blessing to have 10 of the 11 grandchildren together just before Easter.  We hope to see much more of her this year.

Our yard has been alive with flowers and trees.  Although, not nearly as many tulips as we used to have (see this page’s top photo).  They just seem to have disappeared.  The daffodils were plentiful and beautiful.  And the lilacs! Oh the amazing lilacs!  (I hope Heaven smells like that.)  I’m even adding a few new bird feeders.  Later this spring or summer I’ll tell you about my birdbath project.

If you recall, last year my husband built a brand new raised garden.  This is probably the biggest project we’ve ever undertaken.  Also, a huge blessing to our family.

This year we are adding to the garden space and putting up a new fence.  And when I say “we” I, of course, mean “my husband”.

Planted so far in our raised garden are (in no particular order and some plants/some seeds): lettuce, green beans, carrots, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, jalapenos, kale, arugula, onions, cucumbers…gosh I must be forgetting something.  Yet to be planted are: tomatoes, asparagus (which we will hopefully harvest next spring), spinach, Brussels sprouts, and all the herbs.  I’m also planting peanuts in two large containers and strawberries in a great salvage yard find which you’ll see in the pictures below.  I know it’s late for the strawberries, but we have the plants and should get a nice crop next spring for sure.

So, are you planting anything this spring?  Do you have raised beds or containers?  Or a good old fashioned garden patch right in the ground?   I urge you to plant SOMETHING this year!  Even if just one tomato plant in a container.  Be sure to give it something to vine on.  You won’t regret it!  PLEASE share your gardening stories and photos with us on my FACEBOOK PAGE!

HAPPY GARDENING!

 

Our beautiful spring tree.  It seemed to be much fuller and lush than usual.

Our beautiful spring tree. It seemed to be much fuller and lush than usual.

 

The lilac!  This is a very old bush that faltered for a while.  But the last few years it's been glorious!

The lilac! This is a very old bush that faltered for a while. But the last few years it’s been glorious! Yes, the little dog is cute. You want him? No, seriously.

 

I hope Heaven smells like this...

I hope Heaven smells like this…

lilacs 02

 

We get our plants and seeds at a local Heirloom market.  I encourage you to search for heirloom seeds and plants in your area.  No GMO!

We get our plants and seeds at a local Heirloom market. I encourage you to search for heirloom seeds and plants in your area. No GMO!

 

 

One of our little helpers.  She did a great job digging the little holes and getting the plants in the dirt just right.  And, she's little enough that she can stand right in the garden to get it done.

One of our little helpers. She did a great job digging the little holes and getting the plants in the dirt just right. And, she’s little enough that she can stand right in the garden to get it done.

 

It won't be long and this lettuce will be much larger and on our plates!

It won’t be long and this lettuce will be much larger and on our plates!

 

We had a couple of onions reappear on their own this spring.  But had to plant new seeds.  My daughter talked me into buying kale this year.  Wish me luck.

We had a couple of onions reappear on their own this spring. But had to plant new seeds. My daughter talked me into buying kale this year. Wish me luck.

 

And THIS is our fun salvage yard find!  A large metal gutter-type contraption.  I'm told it's a chicken feeder.  It's going to sit there on our NEW FENCE and be home to our strawberry patch!

And THIS is our fun salvage yard find! A large metal gutter-type contraption. I’m told it’s a chicken feeder. It’s going to sit there on our NEW FENCE and be home to our strawberry patch!

 

We have this great space available now too!!  But for this year it will be hold a row of sunflowers and the containers of peanuts.  We'll mulch over it this year.  Plenty of other projects to keep us busy.

We have this great space available now too!! But for this year it will be hold a row of sunflowers and the containers of peanuts. We’ll mulch over it this year. Plenty of other projects to keep us busy.

 

Don’t forget to visit my Facebook page and let me know how your garden grows! 🙂

 

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Milestone

Hello everyone!!  It’s been ages!

Today is the two-year mark since my first knee replacement surgery.  Hard to believe it’s been so long.  Probably because it’s only been a little over eight months since my second one.

I really don’t have anything profound to say today.  I just wanted to acknowledge this milestone.  And encourage those of you who are approaching, or have just had, this type of surgery.

IT WILL BE OK!  Things do get better!  I promise!  Stay strong! My first surgery was not a happy experience.  Recovery was a long, difficult process.  So I know what I’m talking about.  However, the second time went much better!

TIME TO GARDEN:5f6cf59e523d1eac783c480d942bb1bd

It’s spring in the Midwest, USA.  Well, according to the calendar it is.  The weather is slow to catch up.  Burrr!  We hope to have some sunshine this Saturday so we can get some garden prep and yard work done.

What are your plans for a garden this spring?  Raised beds?  In ground?  In containers?  Share your garden ideas and plans with us as spring progresses!

As always, you can find me on FACEBOOK and share your vegetable and flower garden pictures! 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!  I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ve got planned for the spring.

 

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Hello Everyone!

I haven’t written for a while.  But if you “like” my page on Facebook you’ll know I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth.  I’ve just been either busy or too tired to commit to writing.

Today is the five-week mark following my total knee replacement surgery.  I’m doing pretty well!  I’ve returned to a few normal activities, but have a long way yet to go.

Last Saturday I worked for a few hours.  And plan to stop in the office briefly again tomorrow.  It’s nice to go on Saturdays though because I can get the most work done and am tempted less to chat with friends.

Then on Sunday I actually went to church!  It hadn’t been since before my surgery.  It was so nice to see everyone and just BE at church.  Then we went out to lunch.  Another big deal! On Monday we spent a nice chunk of a beautiful Labor Day afternoon on the deck of our favorite restaurant in town.  It’s right on the Mississippi River.  Perfect weather for a leisurely day.

Physical Therapy is going well.  It’s not fun, but there’s a little more progress every week.  I even ride the stationary bike for a while.  Nice and slow, but it’s a great exercise for the knee.

Today I have all to myself.  Hubby is working.  Daughter who visits a lot is working.  No PT.  I have been able to do some work from home and write to you while sitting on my back porch.  There’s been a sweet little hummingbird buzzing and chirping around.  It ate from both our feeders, sitting briefly at one.  And it ate from both the hanging flower plants bought especially for it.  I think I held my breath the whole time it visited! haha

As the end of summer approaches, I look forward to getting back into an even BETTER than normal life.  “Normal” to me wasn’t all that great.  But now, with both knees replaced, things should get better.  I’m looking forward to our favorite fall activities that include a trip north to view fall foliage.

GARDEN UPDATE

How did your gardens do this summer?  Did you plant in ground, raised beds, or in containers?  Share pictures with us on my Facebook page.  Ours has done very well.  We’re buried in cucumbers right now.  And the tomatoes are amazing!  Hubby replanted some green bean and snap pea seeds several weeks ago in hopes that we would get another harvest before it gets cold.  They are doing very well!  The green beans are stretching skyward with all their might and should be just as good as the early plants.  I am so glad I planted a few sunflower seeds too.  They’ve been beautiful!  And the bees have been constant as they fly in and out of the flowers all covered in the yellow pollen.  We’ve done our part for the local ecosystem.  🙂

Well, have a great end of the week everyone.  I hope you can all get out this weekend and enjoy one of the last weekends of summer.  Be sure and visit me on Facebook for other news and brief updates.  And let me know WHAT’S NEW with you!

(Did I mention that I’m on Facebook? haha)

Our view on Labor Day afternoon.  So nice to visit this local favorite again.  Perfect weather.

Our view on Labor Day afternoon. So nice to visit this local favorite again. Perfect weather.

Our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle tomatoes!

Our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle tomatoes!

Garden Candy.

Garden Candy.

I know, you've seen them before.  But ain't they beautiful?! :)

I know, you’ve seen them before. But ain’t they beautiful?! 🙂

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Hello everyone,  I have a few new followers, EXCITING!  Welcome to all!

The final countdown begins.  Two weeks from tomorrow I have (another) total knee replacement surgery.  My first was in April of 2012.  Every day I think “I don’t want to!  I don’t want to!”  But my knee reminds me each day in it’s own special way that I must go through with it.

I’ve done the MRI and X-rays, the pre-labs and pre-registration.  And today I scheduled my first week and a half of physical therapy (PT) appointments.  Dread.

And that’s all I have to say about that.  Except to request your prayers.

OTHER STUFF

Let’s see, what else is going on?  Yesterday was hubby’s 50th birthday.  Now we’re the same age again.  Shhh, don’t tell anyone!  I look so much younger than him.  Giggle! No gray hair here folks!  Ask my stylist.  🙂

Anyone on Twitter?  I follow Melissa Gilbert (of Little House on the Prairie fame).  She’s just like the rest of us on Twitter.  (@MelissaEGilbert by the way).  She’s humorous, shares pictures of her life and food as we all do. And passionate about the things she believes in.  Recently she began blogging and disclosed that she’s beginning the hormonal stages of menopause.  IT’S LIKE WE’RE TWINS! haha I highly recommend you follow her.

GARDEN UPDATE

The weather in Iowa is hot and humid.  Which means the garden is in heaven!  In a days time we’ll have ginormous zucchini where there was just a flower.  It’s hard to keep up with this time of year.  A little overwhelming for us.  But then we knew it would be.  Maybe we’ll set up a fresh produce stand in the front yard?

That’s really all I’ve got today.  Some random A.D.D. thoughts.  Thanks for stopping by!

Remember to find me on Facebook.

You've all seen it before... but it makes me laugh every time!  Have a great week.

You’ve all seen it before… but it makes me laugh every time! Have a great week.

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As some of you know, I had a total knee replacement last April.  You can read a little about that HERE.

I’m afraid it’s now time to replace the right knee.  July 24th is the big day.  Which means that the pre-op appointments are already being scheduled.  There will be several; most of them out of town.

I’m dreading the surgery and recovery.  My last experience was pretty awful.

This time, I hope to blog my way through it.  No idea how that will work out.  If I disappear you’ll know why.

For those of you who are so inclined, I would appreciate your prayers now as I begin the process and work through my anxiety.  And prayers for my husband as he works so hard to take care of me.

GARDEN UPDATE

Our garden is doing very well!  We have had a ton of rain in our area and that helps.  Although, my cherry tomatoes seemed to have been eaten.  The little sprouts I started from seed are disappearing one by one.  None of the other plants, just those little tomatoes.  So, I will plant new seeds and hope they grow big and strong.  I also need to replant a few of the sugar snap pea seeds as they didn’t all grow.  We have taters!  A lot of tater plants that are loving this rain.  I was going to take a picture to share with you while home for lunch today…but IT’S RAINING!

Have you got a garden growing?  In the ground, raised or in containers?  Share your pictures with us on my Facebook!

Have a great week everyone.

Good gardening tip! ;)

Good gardening tip! 😉

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A close friend spent this past week at the hospital bedside of his brother.  Happiest of all possible endings to a long week!  Not only was his brother released to go home yesterday, but he accepted Christ as his savior!  Angels rejoiced!

I tell you that, to tell you this…Holding Hands with Elderly Patient

Thinking about the scenario of sitting at a loved one’s hospital bedside took me back.  A couple of years ago (has it been that long?!) my mom was in the hospital with congestive heart failure.  She’d been extremely restless so they sedated her deeply enough that she was basically in a medical coma.  I sat at her side for a week.  Watching her on a ventilator and unaware that I was there.  I touched her and talked to her.

I was approached by medical and hospital staff who did not expect her to survive.  I was asked end-of-life questions and asked to make final decisions.  I had no signed document stating that it was MY decision to make.  I felt it was not only my decision.  We haven’t had a very strong relationship for many many years.  I felt it was the decision of my brother and my uncle (mom’s brother).  But rarely were we in the room together when these people came to call with their questions.

About Thursday of that week, they decided to take her off the ventilator and allow her to slowly “wake up”.  Leaving her survival uncertain.  On Friday I went to visit again.  She was slowing coming around.  She was talking and answering the nurse’s questions appropriately.  They were amazed!

As the nurse questioned her about her children she named me and my brother.  And then, my other brother.  She recounted to the nurse how he was born with the cord around his neck and had died.  And how sad she was and how she still misses him.  Her speech was very slurred and she was still in and out of sleep.  But I understood every word and repeated it to the nurse so she knew mom was making sense. (why are my hands shaking as I type this?)  It was a precious day.  A day mom does not remember.

I live about 45 minutes away from mom and the hospital   So, knowing she was waking up and having been assured the staff would call me if needed, I chose to stay home that weekend.

When I returned on Monday she was fully awake and surprised to see me.  I said “look at you!” as she smiled.  “Yeah, look at me”, and then said something about how she’d been there for a while.  “I know”, I told her, “I was here all week”.  She had no idea, but seemed to gain a little comfort even after the fact.

I don’t remember if it was the Friday or that following Monday, but there was a day when a hospital Chaplain came to mom’s room to visit.  I have no idea what religious denomination she is affiliated with.  I don’t even remember her name.  I do remember she had some kind of little book with her…a small New Testament maybe?  What I DO remember is that my mother requested that she read her the 23rd Psalm.  You know the one…

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. KJV

It wouldn’t be my first choice, but it’s what gives mom comfort.  In fact, when my grandmother (mom’s mom) was dying she requested this verse also.  Grandma passed away shortly after.

I probably wouldn’t even remember this if it weren’t for the fact that this hospital chaplain DID NOT HAVE THE PSALM WITH HER TO READ!  Whatever little book or Bible she carried with her was not complete and she couldn’t recite it.

Daughter and technology to the rescue!  I picked up my trusty Blackberry smart phone and opened my You Version Bible app and read her the Psalm she requested.

Now, approximately two years later, mom is in a nursing home.  She shares a very small room with another resident.  It’s basically a long-term hospital environment.  I still don’t visit often.  In fact, much to my regret, I didn’t go see her this past Mother’s Day.  I have some physical issues of my own that stopped me.  Mom doesn’t have a phone so I can’t even call her.

I begin to digress so I’ll stop there.  I just wanted to share that precious memory with you all.  Thanks for stopping by and “listening”.

WEEKEND PLANS

It’s Friday and we’re hoping that the weather cooperates this weekend so we can FINALLY get our garden planted!!  See these previous posts for garden construction pictures: How Does Your Garden Grow? and This and That.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Find me on Facebook HERE.

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