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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Love Plant Swapping!

On Tuesday morning, I had the best time in the garden! It was a perfect 70º outside, and I had a brand-new garden trade box to plant! 


I used to think the only way you could get a new perennial plant (besides sharing plants with neighbors and friends) or special seeds was to shell out the cash at the local retailer, or at that dream garden window shopping heaven, the internet.  About 10-12 years ago I learned there was yet another way! I started meeting other gardeners interested in trading plants on an amazing site called GardenWeb. There have been so many trades over the years... most of them went into my gardens at the old house in Papillion and were left behind there when we moved in mid-January.  The ones that come to mind as special - tobacco seedlings, a gorgeous purple wisteria vine, a Fried Green Tomatoes Hosta, lilac bushes - really too many to remember without looking back at pictures. 


There is nothing like opening a garden trade box. It's like Christmas in July, or April, or whenever! Many traders tuck in special little gifts like garden decorations, candy bars, packets of seeds... whatever! 
As long as you follow the special rules of etiquette of garden trading, you'll build a great online reputation and people will be glad to trade with you. And if things get messed up even once - (let's say the mail carrier puts the box in your metal mailbox in mid-August in blazing 100º sun and you don't take it out until evening) - it can really hurt your trading reputation even though it wasn't your fault. (That's why you always mail on Mondays, so it won't sit in the mail facility over the whole weekend, too). 


Last year such a thing happened to me. My plants must have had something happen, because the person on the receiving end said the plants were brown and withered. Well, they left here happy and green... so I will never know. They were really upset, and said so. Ouch.  Anyway, this year the trading hunger finally got to me so I answered an ad about a trade and just received my box Monday. It was awesome - I received a Twilight Butterfly Bush (purple with pink centers), a Rose Mallow (hardy hibiscus), and a Butterfly Wings Daylily as a special surprise gift! 


Twilight Butterfly Bush
Yesterday I took the newcomers out to their new home in my Out My Window garden and planted them. Then I went over to dig the trade, she had wanted Strawberries & Cream Grass.  As my surprise, I selected a baby Elderberry tree and a really good Peppermint plant. All in all, the trade took half an hour of my time, $5 in postage, and I have beautiful new plants that would have cost me at least $15 had I bought them at retail (had I even been able to find them locally!) Garden trading is just cool.


Strawberries & Cream Ribbon Grass








Monday, August 29, 2011

Still in suspense...

Waiting to hear if my surgery has been medically approved. I was supposed to hear last Thursday. Do  these doctors not know people's lives kind of hang in the balance, waiting on this sort of thing? Well, que' sera, sera I suppose. Whatever will be, will be.  I'm alternating between good days and not-so-good. My hip seems to be "moody." When it gets enough, it says STOP. What I know from experience when the other one went south, is that eventually it will get stuck in "stop" and not come back. That hurts, a lot. So let's hope for off-and-on bad pain until the surgery can get done!

Busy day today! Spent a couple hours working on file restores from CD's - you can probably imagine how much fun THAT was! Then I went out to water the dog pool, the flower gardens out back... barely squeezed in a little time to dig up some strawberries & cream grass for a garden friend. Then it was off to a mess of errands that lasted all afternoon.

Sitting here about to fall asleep. Time for a definite nap! I guess 3 hours of sleep wasn't quite enough last night... Hugs to all!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Off To Be Tortured...

Dear God,
I hate the dentist. It's nothing personal. He's the nicest guy. I just can't understand why, in Your infinite wisdom, you created the human with teeth that have the ability to develop nasty things despite our best efforts - like periodontal disease, cavities, and heaven knows what else.  Just letting you know.  --Amen.

The good news, I'm not going to lose my teeth anytime soon.

The bad news - in order to achieve that, I have to undergo root planing again. I also have to have my old fillings removed and redone because they developed cavities under the fillings! Who knew that could happen.  So I have four visits ahead of me, at a total cost of over $1600.  Thank God I have dental insurance, won't have to pay all of that.

After that fun adventure, I get to go to Mr. Hematologist to see if he in HIS infinite wisdom will this time allow me to proceed with my hip surgery! Kinda a big deal, really.  I've got everything I can cross crossed.

And if all that is not enough fun for one day, have to take my son to the consult to get his wisdom teeth taken out before his insurance runs out the end of the month. We're cutting it a bit close, he's getting it done the 31st late in the day! At least he is able to get it done. The one thing I like about what Obama did with health care is that my kids' insurance coverage was reinstated until they turn 26 (which John just did). I hate what he did with the HSA accounts where you can't buy OTC meds, supplies, etc. without a prescription. We spend a small fortune on that stuff.  Sigh...

No plans for this evening other than to relax. I'm on cooking strike for sure. I made chicken fried steak dinner last night with potato pancakes, gravy, everything... and unfortunately I ate it. That reminds me, better thaw out some soup for tonight!!

Hope anybody stopping by has a great day!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday, Monday...

I'm still paying today for overdoing it in the attic on Saturday. Since I've spent the whole time since we moved here in May of 2010 down with hips and back, plus the hip surgery, my whole attic is full of stuff that I have not been able to get up there to unpack! It doesn't bother me until I can't find something I know I have... then I go on search and destroy! This time, it was my scanner/printer I was missing. The attic is very hot this time of year, and I thought I was going to heat stroke up there! But after two hours of hunting, I finally found the missing scanner. In the process, I also managed to organize my crochet thread stash. It was all good until I decided to move a cabinet and a couple of chairs around. Apparently that was a bad idea!  Anyway hopefully this pain flareup will settle down in a couple of days. 




I did something fun yesterday. We have a giant walnut tree in our back yard and we have SO many walnuts everywhere! My two "pet" squirrels, a black one and a red/brown one, have been busy using my brand new flower garden to bury nuts for winter. They seem to appreciate the hard ground having been dug all up for them! So to amuse myself, I put a bunch of walnuts in a little bucket and sat it on the chair out in the garden. I'm dying to see one of the squirrels jump up there and steal nuts out of the bucket - I hope they will!


I've decided to share my weight loss story on the internet. I've lost 65 pounds since October 2009 and plan on losing another 35.  You can read all about it at here . It was kind of encouraging putting the webpage together, seeing how far I've come... it brought back a lot of feelings and memories!  The lovely lady to my left is my late mama, Norma.  Not to be confusing but I was lucky to have TWO moms - my natural mom Norma, and my adopted mom Izzy.  I adored them both and I hope to see them again someday in heaven. 


I am just SO grateful to be smaller now. It's easier to get around. I can fit through tight spaces better:) And hey, clothes are fun.  Even though I don't work anymore, I still have a rule that I have to get dressed through shoes, and put on makeup to face the world. I feel better about myself when I do that. So check it out... and wish me luck! I plan on continuing to update the site with my progress and new photos as I go. 


Now it's time to take a break from all the computer work and go crochet on my latest project. It's a doily I call "A Different Rose" and I'm sharing the pattern with my online crochet group. 






OH, one more thing... an update on Koby, our senior diabetic miniature schnauzer rescue boy. He saw the vet last Friday for his serial blood sugar test. It went badly - he pegged the meter at 500+ after just one injection. The test was discontinued right there. Dr. Ray increased his insulin dose, and changed him to a different food at my request. Koby wasn't eating his kibble well.  So we have changed to canned prescription food, and he is snarfing it every meal!! Yay Koby! I saw Dr. Ray again today when I went to pick up more food. He asked about Koby's water drinking and I told him it was still as much as before. He decided to increase the insulin a bit more and we will retest him on Friday. Please keep your good thoughts and/or prayers coming for Koby, he sure is in trouble. He had lost an additional 3 pounds he could not afford to lose, and we are desperately trying to get weight back on him. 



Everybody, have an amazing day! 

Monday, Monday...

I'm still paying today for overdoing it in the attic on Saturday. Since I've spent the whole time since we moved here in May of 2010 down with hips and back, plus the hip surgery, my whole attic is full of stuff that I have not been able to get up there to unpack! It doesn't bother me until I can't find something I know I have... then I go on search and destroy! This time, it was my scanner/printer I was missing. The attic is very hot this time of year, and I thought I was going to heat stroke up there! But after two hours of hunting, I finally found the missing scanner. In the process, I also managed to organize my crochet thread stash. It was all good until I decided to move a cabinet and a couple of chairs around. Apparently that was a bad idea!  Anyway hopefully this pain flareup will settle down in a couple of days. 




I did something fun yesterday. We have a giant walnut tree in our back yard and we have SO many walnuts everywhere! My two "pet" squirrels, a black one and a red/brown one, have been busy using my brand new flower garden to bury nuts for winter. They seem to appreciate the hard ground having been dug all up for them! So to amuse myself, I put a bunch of walnuts in a little bucket and sat it on the chair out in the garden. I'm dying to see one of the squirrels jump up there and steal nuts out of the bucket - I hope they will!


I've decided to share my weight loss story on the internet. I've lost 65 pounds since October 2009 and plan on losing another 35.  You can read all about it at here . It was kind of encouraging putting the webpage together, seeing how far I've come... it brought back a lot of feelings and memories!  I am just SO grateful to be smaller now. It's easier to get around. I can fit through tight spaces better:) And hey, clothes are fun.  Even though I don't work anymore, I still have a rule that I have to get dressed through shoes, and put on makeup to face the world. I feel better about myself when I do that. So check it out... and wish me luck! I plan on continuing to update the site with my progress and new photos as I go. 






Now it's time to take a break from all the computer work and go crochet on my latest project. It's a doily I call "A Different Rose" and I'm sharing the pattern with my online crochet group. 






OH, one more thing... an update on Koby, our senior diabetic miniature schnauzer rescue boy. He saw the vet last Friday for his serial blood sugar test. It went badly - he pegged the meter at 500+ after just one injection. The test was discontinued right there. Dr. Ray increased his insulin dose, and changed him to a different food at my request. Koby wasn't eating his kibble well.  So we have changed to canned prescription food, and he is snarfing it every meal!! Yay Koby! I saw Dr. Ray again today when I went to pick up more food. He asked about Koby's water drinking and I told him it was still as much as before. He decided to increase the insulin a bit more and we will retest him on Friday. Please keep your good thoughts and/or prayers coming for Koby, he sure is in trouble. He had lost an additional 3 pounds he could not afford to lose, and we are desperately trying to get weight back on him. 



Everybody, have an amazing day! 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tomorrow... NOT the day I had planned!

Well, no 7 am surgery... so what WILL I do tomorrow? Who knows.  In a way I'm glad to have a reprieve. Although this morning when I woke up with my hip screaming I thought otherwise for awhile.

Finally got some inspiration this morning on the latest doily project, "A Different Rose," which I am designing as a crochet along for my online crochet group. Now to get it written up and posted on the group.

Made my favorite dinner today, baked mushroom steak, mashed potatoes, and green beans. Also baked a chocolate cake with chocolate chips and made homemade frosting for it, I kind of invented it as I went and I think I'll call it truffle frosting. I usually do cream cheese and butter frosting. This time I wanted chocolate but not cocoa. So I dug out a big Ghiradelli baking bar I had on hand. Melted it with butter and a little whipped cream (turns out, that's how you make truffles!). Then mixed that into the butter/cream cheese. Turned out beautiful and pretty tasty too. One to write down for sure.

I only have one gripe about today:  The freakin' PGA should be BANNED from television!! OK, maybe just from MY television. Twelve HOURS of it today. Thought I would lose my freakin' mind.  I cooked, I did dishes, laundry, anything just to stay out of earsight of it!

So here I am, 11 pm, have just completed almost an hour of "real" TV whilst enjoying a piece of my cake and some animal crackers. Have I mentioned that diet I'm getting back busy with this week, LOL??

Happiest thing of all today is that my eyesight in my left eye appears to have returned to normal. Whew.

Since I've done most of the work for tomorrow ahead of schedule, maybe I can actually do something fun. We'll see.

Stinky Day

Well, it's stinky for two reasons. No, three.   One, my surgery for Monday, my long awaited left hip replacement, got cancelled yet again due to issues with my blood disorder.  Next try is mid-September. So another month of... status quo.  Stinky reason 2 is that I managed to cut my lower leg on a stupid rosebush this afternoon. (It's in this little garden by my front steps - I just HAD to walk in there and pull a weed!)

That would not be a big deal, except I have a situation where owies on my legs take about 4 months on average to heal up (that's what years of Prednisone will do for ya).  They tend to get infected during that time, more complications, blah blah.  Total pain in the rear.  Oh - and being on blood thinners tends to lend a lot of drama to getting cut in the garden too.

Stinky reason 3 is that while leaving a restaurant last night, I suddenly had a big white splotch appear in my  left (good) eye. I tried to blink it off to no avail. Today, it's still there. Reason for terror is that I am already half blind in my right eye from a stroke two years ago, and the idea of losing yet more sight ... just not acceptable.  So I'll see the eye doc Monday and find out what's up. I don't think it was another stroke. It's different.

On a far more positive note, my friend Laurie brought her girls Chelsea and Lacey over for a visit today. Chelsea's been at her dad's in Kansas City for the summer, so it was very nice to see her. Laurie brought me over a beautiful swimsuit for me to try. I'm new to water therapy, loving it, and of course you have to look GOOD so you feel good about yourself... having lost a lot of weight the last couple of years, I'm too small for most of my swimsuits. I tried one on the other day that was laughable.

My son John brought his new hot rod Chevy truck home today, bought and paid for. I am sooo very proud of him.



Koby had a good day, too. Ate all his breakfast and dinner. I'm thinking this new food might be a winner, we'll see.  We are playing a new game to deal with his blindness, I call it "Find Mommy." I sneak across the room from him and say "Koby, find mommy!"  He can actually do it! Yes, it takes a while but I make a huge deal of praising him for his success. Hey, I figure anything that makes him happy and wag that tail is a very good thing.  And it helps him learn to navigate in the house.

Enough with the computer already. Been working on website for a couple of hours now.  Time for sleep!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Way Too Early Friday Morning

Almost time to go to bed - I'm up late because I napped earlier.My son John made his chicken taco "bake" and it was great. He is really sweet, he cooks sometimes on my IV days and comes up with some pretty wonderful things!

Still no news about surgery Monday. Waiting on a call from a doc tomorrow, will either get the nod or not. If yes, I have lots of appointments and stuff to do tomorrow.  If no... nothing. I don't really care one way r the other, at least right now. I'm sure I will later, but it's been a "good hip week" meaning it's not the killer, OMG I'm gonna die pain like it gets sometimes. I can deal with this awhile if I have to.  On the bright side, I can continue with my somewhat manic reorganiation phase I've been in for a couple of weeks. I can enjoy this gorgeous late summer weather we're having. I can... get more stuff done. That would be a good thing.  Websites to write, people to see, things to do.

I did spend a lot of time sitting out on the patio today, but didn't touch (or water!) a plant.  And right now hurray, it's thunderstorming! Now that makes me happy.  I adore thunderstorms, always have.  I have several windchimes around and I enjoy hearing them.

Well, absolutely nothing exciting to write about.  It was an okay day.  I finished working on Koby's (my diabetic schnauzer) website and got it up.  (Check it out)


I'm discovering one of the most fun things about having a blog is an excuse to look through 
my photos and see what I'd like to share! This is a storm photo I took last summer in Omaha, NE. 


Well, off to dreamland for now.  Hoping for a cool, rainy day tomorrow that makes me feel like cleaning house! It needs it...
––She

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursday - The Suspense Builds!

Arrrgggghhh!! The internist is arguing with the specialist and between the two of them, I may not get cleared in time for Monday's surgery.  I may have to reschedule this puppy again.   C'mon guys, I just need a new hip... really! 

My granddog, Winnie, takes a turn at the scales with Heidi


Koby was a little sleepy this morning, seems fine now tho. He ate a good breakfast for me.  Yesterday I was sure that his tummy felt a little heavier - maybe he IS gaining weight back! Heidi may come over while I have IvIG today and I may get her to weigh all the kids again.  That was hysterical the last time - every dog lined up when she brought the scales into the living room and wanted to be weighed!! It looked like a little doggie Weight Watchers meeting, I swear!


It is another gorgeous day out, if I so much as step out there I'll want to stay out all day! No time for that, I'm afraid.  I have been doing some "easy gardening," things like snapping off sedum stems and starting new plants by sticking them here and there in the flowerbeds.  Last night I gave the honeysuckle a much needed haircut and discovered there is NOT a clematis under there anymore. Darn!  I would love to ask my neighbors for cuttings of their clematis vines, they have some amazingly beautiful ones.   Yah - I'll put that right on the to-do list! 


Have an amazing day!



Monday, August 8, 2011

It's Monday!


Wow, one week till surgery and counting.  Surely nothing will show up to stop it! At least I hope not. Spent the morning running errands with Carianne. PIcked up some new dog food at Petco to try out. We are almost out of our allotment of Blue Buffalo free dog food for the year.  Sure could use a dog food sponsor... hint, hint!


Been working on the computer cleaning up some filing work on pictures. Oh, fun. Actually it is - I can see the progress of my new "Window Garden" in the photos.  It started as blank dirt in late June, and is now a nearly completed roughly 20' X 12 ' beautiful all perennial garden! Have moved some of my garden art to it, one piece at a time. PIcked up a nice chair at Home Depot for it the other day, nice having a place to sit down and enjoy it. 


Speaking of the garden, I'm off to fill in a few gaps now. OUT the door... whoosh!!!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

OK... It's a Mulligan!

(As my husband would say in golf terms for a "do-over!"  I started this once before; apparently the plants were not in correct alignment and I just got lost wandering behind the little critters in southeast Missouri for four years (just kidding!!) But seriously, health issues and a lot of stuff managed to keep me pretty much limited to taking care of the furkids and the family. We were there for four years; I loved it and hated it all the same time.  Those stories can be read elsewhere... suffice it to say, let's jump to NOW.


At midnight, it will be seven days until my hip replacement surgery on the LEFT hip.  I just had the right one done in March with faboo results.  Sadly, the left one got sick of being the strong one during that rehab and decided to... quit. It was originally scheduled for about a month ago but had to be delayed for medical reasons. 


So I'm getting all my little ducks lined up in a row here so that when I get home (and am bored to death) I can jump on here, blog away, and bore YOU to death (ha ha). Seriously the seven miniature schnauzers always insure plenty is going on at all times.  


Back to what I first mentioned about the old blog -- I am not deleting the ancient posts until I have opportunity to archive them, so that's why they are still here.  


Another thing I want to mention is that I am trying to combine a lot of things together. For instance, my newly redone (and under construction always) website, sheilasparkles.com, takes the place of my crochet site, my miniature schnauzer rescue site, and other personal sites. That is IT.  You can just go there and jump to different sections depending on your interest now.  


Same thing with this blog. I'm not even going to try to carry blogs for three separate subjects. That means this is the same blog that covers my crochet and schnauzers, and keeps my family and friends up to date. So things will overlap.  We'll see how it goes.  


Take care, hope you had a great weekend, and hope to see you soon! Please sign my guestbook, feel free to do the RSS thing, go visit the website, whatever... you are welcome!


Hugs, -Sheila

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wednesday... Getting Nervous Now!!

I will be so glad when the upcoming surgery Monday is in my rearview mirror! I had this identical surgery in March on my other hip so I know exactly what to expect!! That's a good thing, and a bad thing.  I'm frantically trying to get everything I want done that I know I will be unable to do for a good while. The dogs all have to have a shiny new haircut (I do their hair). Koby needs to go to the doctor for his blood sugar test.  I got all my stock-up online shopping done yesterday (which is silly because I COULD do that even immobilized, LOL!!)

Yesterday I planted a few more plants in the infamous "Window Garden," the garden I started from scratch back the end of June. I stepped back and looked at it when I was finished, and said "I'm happy now." SO I will have that to enjoy out my window when I cannot go outside the first couple of weeks or so.  You do go stir crazy very quickly, so I wanted some "eye candy" to look at.  These pics were taken last night.


My daughter is borrowing my car this week because hers was in a wreck last Friday. I thought it would be a big source of conflict, since she has to pick up my son from work; BUT it is turning out to be an opportunity for everybody to work together and talk a lot more. I told my husband last night, "I should lend her the car more often!"

Today looks to be my favorite sort of day, overcast and low 80's. I am going to have to fight the temptation to go out and play in my gardens because I have inside work to do, darn it.  I also need to put together my friend's birthday package and get it MAILED. I am such a procrastinator about these things.

Inbox Dollars