Thursday, April 30, 2015


Lately I have been regretting that I ever had this surgery on my hand.  I assumed that I would bounce back quickly and without issues, and that hasn't proved to be the case.  My recovery has been very slow, and less than a week after I was given free reign to garden 2 handed, I had a major set back.  I went back to see my surgeon this week, and it seems that I have now developed tendonitis in a different part of my thumb.  There is a lump the size of a large blueberry in my palm that is exquisitely tender to touch...meaning that anything I hold in that hand causes pain.  Again.  He injected it with steroids, and promised that it should "feel pretty good" by the weekend.


I normally would be manically gardening by this point:  broad forking, digging, weeding, sweating, and loving every minute of it.  Of course, my hand would REALLLLLLY be hurting while I did all of that too.


After work today I decided to take the dogs for a walk since I missed exercising this morning.  I walked through the woods, and kept an eye out under the trees for morels (didn't see any!)  It was sprinkling when we got back, and let loose once the girls got off the school bus.

I may not be able to garden right now, but I can still appreciate what is growing!  The Redbud looks like a pink cloud through the trees.

The ferns are beginning to unfurl.

This striking Jack-in-the-Pulpit was growing on a path that JP routinely mows, so I moved it to my flower bed.  More and more of them come up every year!

My shade bed is extremely colorful right now, with 2 varieties of bleeding hearts, and Heuchera 'Tiramisu'.

This has been an extremely busy week, and luckily the girls have a half day tomorrow, so we can start our weekend early.  I am counting on the surgeon being correct about feeling pretty good, and have asked JP to get a truck load of mulch for the flower beds.  I regret not having done it already!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Where's the Bear? #24

Kali found the Bear's lap nice and comfy yesterday afternoon!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cold Snap

The weather has been so wonderfully Spring-y lately, and my plants are growing like crazy.  Despite that, I'm feeling on edge this evening.  Below freezing temperatures are forecast for the next 2 nights.  I spent about and hour and a half this evening trying to prepare everything, but I just can't save it all.  It's kind of a Spring downer!

I covered the strawberries, rhubarb and blueberries in the garden, and picked all of the asparagus that was above ground.

The peach trees in the orchard are the only ones that flowered this Spring, so I covered them.  I didn't cover the new baby trees that I planted last weekend.

I covered everything in the flower bed that is supposed to flower yet this year, especially if it had buds on it.

My bleeding hearts are blooming in the shade bed, so I covered them.  I decided let the Hellebore and mint fend for itself!

I closed up the chick-bit house and brought the water inside.  I also brought in the hummingbird feeders and the cat's water.  The outdoor potted plants are safe in the garage.

Sigh.  This is so very inconvenient.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Rainy Day

I have an unexpected day off today, and it is pouring down rain outside.  I should take advantage of the weather to accomplish some things indoors that I meant to get done over the winter, like steam clean the downstairs carpets, paint the girls' bathroom, or paint the picnic tables so that they will be ready for summer use.

Instead I spent most of the morning finishing a book by the was cool enough this morning to warrant one.  I am gearing myself up for moving furniture and getting those carpets cleaned now, but first I wanted to post some more Spring pics!

I took these yesterday as a big storm was on its way in, as you can see by the dark sky.  L took the opportunity to play outside in the sprinkles and wind with her umbrella.

My orchard peach in full bloom!

The pears lining the drive...and the dead tractor -
been there for 3 weeks at least, on the "wait list"
for repairs!

Bleeding Hearts

Goldfinches...these little guys were really swaying
back & forth in the wind!

Where's the Bear? #23

The yard work and gardening has suddenly swung into high gear.  The bear is doing his part to help out!

Monday, April 20, 2015


I returned to see my hand surgeon on Friday morning.  He proclaimed my hand "healed", and said that I no longer needed to wear the hand brace.  "Now don't go home and roto-till the garden!"  he said.  I tried to get a list of specific no-no's from him, but he basically said that I can't really damage my hand, but depending on what I do, it might hurt.  If I would continue to wear the brace, he informed me, my hand will just continue to get more and more weak.

I have noticed, and been a bit concerned about how small and withered and pathetic my left hand has been looking during its short periods of time out of the brace lately.

I arrived home on Friday just in time to receive a box of 6 replacement fruit trees for the orchard, as well as 3 red raspberry bushes and 25 strawberry plants (also replacements.)  I figured that was a sign for me to try out 2 handed gardening once again.

As much as I wanted to plant EVERYTHING on Friday afternoon.  I did not.  I paced myself, and planted the raspberries and 2 trees on Friday.  I filled several buckets with compost that has been on the pile for over a year...lovely, dark, fine soil it had become too!  This went into every hole that I dug and around some of the other established trees as well.

Saturday I planted the remainder of the trees, and hung 3 loads of laundry out to dry in the sunshine.  The girls had a friend over, and spend the entire day out in the sunshine drawing in chalk on the driveway, and creating a music video.  JP got the riding mower working, and mowed for a couple of hours.  Saturday evening, I have to be honest, my hand was painful and swollen.  I put an ice pack on it for awhile, and took Aleve.

By Sunday I was feeling good enough to plant the strawberries.  JP and I got out the hammocks.  The girls rocked in the hammock and sang at the tops of their lungs.  It clouded over and the wind picked up.  The girls got out their kites, and we flew them for close to an hour until the rain seemed quite imminent.

We retired to the house, and snuggled up for a movie together, while the rain came down.  Sadly, the chalk drawings are a thing of the past!  I took Aleve again, but the hand is not too bad today!

It feels odd to use my left hand again.  I played 4 Square with the girls on Friday evening, and realized that I was doing it one handed without thinking.  I still stop and think before picking things up, not sure if I can do it with my left hand.  It is very weak, and I can't hold things very well between my thumb and fingers.  The entire side of my thumb down to the wrist is still numb, so it feels strange to touch and hold things.  Certain movements/actions still hurt, yes, just as much or more than before surgery.  I'm hoping that this is still recovery type pain, and not lasting pain though.  Overall, I'm glad I overcame my fears and had this done.  I'm looking forward to many more years of 2 handed, (relatively) pain free gardening!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Just in Time

Last night I FINALLY finished reading Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  I became aware of this novel through the movie "Serenditpity", with John Cusak and Kate Beckinsale.  The title was unusual, so I decided to read it.  I've been s-l-o-w-l-y working my way through this book for about 2 months now - the writing style was not my favorite, with excessive facts and too many minute details to hold my interest for long.  To be honest, I put it down several times over the past couple of months, to read a few books that interested me more.

But I digress.  The real reason for this post is not to do an unfavorable review for this book, but to announce that since I have finished it, I can finally make myself a drink from this quirky little book after work this evening.  The drink is called "Love in the Time of Kahlua" in honor of the novel.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Where's the Bear? #22

Since I can still only garden with 1 1/2 hands, the bear is lending his paws this week to weed my shade bed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Green & Growing

I am SO excited about Spring this year!  Every little sprout and bud makes me want to dance and take pictures.  And so I have...LOTS of them!

Some of  my little seedlings...I think these are
broccoli, tomatoes and  okra.

The daffodils finally opened!

These buds are on a peach tree in my sad
little orchard.  We might get peaches this
year!  New trees are ordered and due any day.

The forsythia really took off after I put manure around it twice last year!

The weeping cherries are just beginning to
bloom.  They are gorgeous when they are
covered, and the bees LOVE them too!
The ornamental pears lining the drive are juuuuuuuust about ready to burst into bloom as well.

I am frustrated that I cannot do as much as I'd like in the garden and flower beds...still quite restricted with my left hand.  I see the surgeon back on Friday, so I'm hoping...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


When I go in to check the hens and rabbit, I will frequently let the bunny out of his cage to stretch his legs a bit.  One of the first things he usually does is a "spaz jump" or two: where he runs, leaps in the air, twists, kicks, and finally lands back on all 4 feet.

After that, he samples every thing that is sitting around the Chickbit House by nibbling on it - shovel, buckets, bag of wood chips, random leaf.

Finally, he hops over to the door of the chicken enclosure, stands on his hind feet, and peers in at the hens.  They all gather around and peer back.  It's pretty funny to watch!

Where's the Bear? #21

The Bear has been spotted this week watching movies with its buddies, J & C!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Flowers

Just a quick picture of my beautiful Easter Flowers:

In other news, the peeps are ordered and the peas are planted.  Hooray!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

1 1/2 Handed Gardening

After a couple of days of Spring Rain, it was a beautiful day today with (as put it) abundant sunshine.   All of us spent the majority of the day outside, except for Stella.  She rolled in something nasty early on in the day, and spent a while tethered outside until the girls volunteered to give her a bath.

I over did it trying to garden with one and a half hands, and am paying for it tonight with increased swelling and aching.  I need to remember not to set my recovery back any by being overly ambitious, and take things easy for another 2 1/2 weeks.

Yesterday I finally dead-headed my flower garden.  It looks so much better!

See the red peonies coming up in the upper right?

In the process, I realized that the deer nibbled off most of my crocuses.  GRRR!

Today I hung 2 loads of clothes outside, then poked around in the garden.  I found the rhubarb that Mom and I transplanted last Fall is coming up, but there are no signs of asparagus yet!

I rebuilt my rock wall, which got partially dismantled during a plowing episode last winter.

I picked up and raked gravel out of the side yard.  JP was much better about scraping snow with gravel in it to a different area instead of the yard over the winter, so although there is some more gravel clean up to do, it is much less extensive than last year!

In the meantime, JP cleaned out and "summerized" the outdoor wood burner, and cleaned one tractor scoop of trash from the garden (corn stalks and asparagus stalks from last Fall) before the tractor transmission failed in the middle of the driveway.  He and Dad were able to move it off to the side, and we are waiting for Monday to call the Tractor Doc.  Sigh.

The girls had a friend over to play today.  I packed them a picnic lunch to eat in the tree house.  They devoured it and begged for more!  That is what fresh air and sunshine can do to growing girls!

The hens have finally discovered how lovely it is to scratch outside in the sunshine, and they have been out from dawn to dusk.  I am ordering new peeps tomorrow.  J took her rabbit out to stretch his legs in the greening grass as well.

Oh, I also made over 50 newspaper planters and filled them with soil and seeds on April Fool's joke.

We finished the day off with homemade Bahn Mi...yummy.

Ah...the sunshine, the fresh air, the warming skies, the growing things...these are a few of the reasons that Spring is my favorite season of the year, and they are all the more appreciated after surviving the long, cold Winter!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Where's the Bear? #20

This week, the bear has been hanging out on the deck, watching all of the Spring birds at the feeders!