Sunday, March 21, 2010

First day of Spring and it snowed last night ... in North Texas.

So much for keeping the seeds outside to catch the sun.

Decided today that I'm going to experiment with not shaving this summer. The hair under my arms is now long enough that it doesn't itch at all and (as usual) I haven't shaved my legs all winter. It's a test of freedom more than anything else, I think. It's not like Em cares at all, so it's a question of whether I can maintain confidence through my daughters chiding me.

I think it was 26 or so years ago that we camped at a Coast Guard campground on the East coast. The kids were small, playing in the dirt of the campground. My husband was a CG reserve and this was the annual two-week duty training. A young, female CGer stopped by our campsite to show us a newspaper with our son's picture on the front page. He'd met a goat at the Bluebird Farm and the paper's photographer took one of those human-interest photos. She stayed for a while and discussed how she'd decided to stop shaving. I didn't have the self-confidence when I was young, but I'm willing to experiment with how I feel "going European" in this, my 63rd year. Could dispense with extraneous plastic and save money.

Friday, March 19, 2010

2010 garden seed starting and garden progress ... March 2010.

I started so many tomato and pepper seeds this year that you'd think I had a farm.

I am SO tired of starting seeds!

Done now, and sitting outside.

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Peppers: 1. jalapeno Ixtapa ( have 3 from Diane - 3 planted 03/10/10) 2. hot salsa (home-saved from my 2009 garden) - 3 planted 03/08/10 3. chiltepin - (home-saved from my 2009 garden) planted 3 seeds 03/11/10 4. Sweet pepper kaleidoscope mix - planted 3 seeds 03/08/10 5. Romanian Rainbow Sweet Pepper - planted 3 seeds 03/06/10 6. Peter Pepper - planted 3 seeds 03/11/10 7. Hungarian Black Hot Pepper - planted 3 seeds 03/13/10 8. Serrano - planted 3 seeds 03/13/10 9. Sweet Pepper Kaleidoscope 3 seeds 03/16/10 10. Hungarian Yellow Wax 3 seeds 03/17/10 11. Gourmet Sweet Pepper 3 seeds 03/17/10 12. NuMex Big Jim Hot 3 seeds 03/19/10 Tomatoes: 1. Tomatillo - planted 3 seeds 03/06/10 2. Beefsteak (Walgreens seed) - planted 3 03-12-10 3. Large Red Cherry (Walgreens seed) - planted 3 03-12-10 4. Black Prince (Diane 2005 seed) - planted 3 03-14-10 5. San Marzano (Diane) - planted 3 03-14-10 6. Taxi (Diane) - planted 3 03-14-10 7. Stupice (Diane) - planted 3 03-14-10 8. Opalka (Diane) - 3 03-16-10 9. Mortgage Lifter (Diane) - 3 03-16-10 10. Porter (Diane) 3 03-14-10 11. Tommy Toes(Diane) 3 03-16-10 12. Tiny Tim (Diane) 3 03-16-10 13. Stupice (Diane) 3 03-14-10 14. Mirabell (Diane) 3 03-16-10 15. Banana Legs (Diane) 3 03-17-10 16. Hillbilly (Diane) 3 03-17-10 17. Aztec (Diane) 3 03-17-10 18. Reisentraub (Diane) 3 03-17-10 19. Super Sioux (Diane) 3 03-17-10 20. Cherokee Chocolate (Diane) 3 03-17-10 21. Costaluto Genovese (Diane) 3 3-17-10 22. Brandywine (Diane) 3 3-17-10 23. Taos (Diane) 3 - 3-18-10 24. Peacevine (Diane) 3- 3-18-10 25. Snow White (Diane) 3 3-18-10

One would think I had a farm based on all the attempts, but I'll be happy if 10 survive the process. Thanks to Diane for most of the seeds (even if they don't have her name in the credits).

The garden is starting to come to life for the 2010 year. Here are some asparagus w Day Lillies at left. Thanks again to my friends, Bob and Judy, in Illinois for the Day Lillies.

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As usual, one peach tree starts blooming well while the other pretty much stands still. They alternate years.

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Kale is still doing well from the 2009 garden

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Last year's strawberries sent out runners which are now starting to bloom near more cilantro.

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While it looks like Spring is springing and official Spring is Sunday, we're scheduled for another freeze tomorrow.

Em felt good after eating a yogurt/cottage cheese mix every day for several days. Felt so good he got cocky and quit eating it, so I stopped making it. Now, his stomach is bothering him again. I'm not one to nag, but the handwriting's on the wall. If he asks me, I'll make it again.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cataract Surgery - What to Expect.

Em's in the middle of getting cataract surgery. That means that he's had the surgery on one eye, but not on the other eye. That means that he can see pretty well out of one eye WITH his glasses and pretty well out of one eye WITHOUT his glasses, but he can't see out of both eyes either way. We'd thought that replacing one lens with clear glass would help in the interim before he gets his other eye done, but it doesn't ... because his correction is monocular. His left eye is corrected to be his reading eye and his right eye is corrected to be his distance eye and he's trained his eyes for years to work independent of each other. He had the surgery on his left eye (his reading eye), so he can read perfectly without glasses. He could read perfectly without glasses before the surgery, too, if he got the material within 2" of his eyes, so no BIG change there.

It seems that if you live long enough, pretty much everyone eventually gets cataracts. It's nice to know what to expect. Em was very, very scared. First, the thought of someone sticking a knife in his eye wasn't comforting. Secondly, he heard his doctor talk of possible complications in a louder voice than he heard how safe the procedure is. He found no reason to believe that he'd be one of the 999 of 1,000. Third, he was told that the procedure would be performed under local anesthetic and he thought that meant he'd be aware that they were sticking a knife in his eye. I assure you he wasn't aware of much that day. They gave him some GOOD drugs and while he could walk and talk, the day of surgery is pretty much a missed day in his life.

Surgeries for each eye are spaced out with two weeks inbetween IF there are no complications. The eye doctor gave him some pills and drops to use before surgery and 3 types of drops to use 4 times/day after surgery (for two weeks). In addition to the drops, he's scheduled with two doctor visits ... one the first day after surgery and (if everything looks okay) another a week and a day after surgery. While it's out-patient surgery, it's treated as "SURGERY!". He had to get his regular doctor's approval for the surgery, which his doctor only gave after a complete physical exam complete with chest X-ray and EKG. After surgery, he's advised not to do anything much in the way of physical activity. He can't lift anything 25 lbs or more, can't lean over, can't rub his eye, can't allow water to get in his eye [no showering facing the shower], no hot-tub (smile), etc. To ensure that he doesn't rub his eye, he has to wear a patch whenever he sleeps.

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This Thursday we go back to see if he screwed up his eye lifting or bending. It's hard to stop yourself if you feel okay and you're accustomed to doing things like tying your own shoes.

If that eye is okay, he'll go through the same procedure next week on the other eye. THEN, after the two week period is over, he should be in a position to know if he'll need to wear glasses in addition to the lens implant (to correct his astigmatism) or if he'll be able to see good enough without them. Some people see well enough for a while and then get corrective glasses later.

Fortunately, Astrid doesn't weigh 25 lbs yet, so Em was able to swing her our first day of baby-sitting her. She's a good baby, but we enjoyed holding her even when she didn't demand it.

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

More dietary experiments; this time we cut back on food AND try to eat the evening meal earlier.

Em and I both have been having some stomach problems lately which we felt were associated with eating too late and having too heavy a meal.

So, he threw down the gauntlet this week. Starting yesterday, we'll try to eat lighter and earlier in the evening so we can sleep with no problems.

A few days earlier, I'd made up some Cajun Trinity. Froze two quart bags of that, which will work out well for these dietary experiments.

Last night (first night) we had :

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Cauliflower, asparagus tips, mushrooms and tomatoes tossed in at the end ... served with 4 frozen Armour meatballs that got nuked for 3 minutes.

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Doesn't look like much, but that's the point.

Tonight, we're going to have something similar with different vegetables using quinoa as our protein source. Gonna also add some of that trinity I froze earlier in the week.

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Good week to start reading Omnivore's Dillemma. I'd previously been concerned that Em might hate me if I took away his meat. Now, he seems to be saying, "I want to eat lighter meals; I'm looking for an alternative."

I'm thinking we'll try this "cutting back" approach to it all and see how that works before making a rash decision on dietary changes.