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Saturday, November 29, 2014

November 29, 2014 After the hip replacement.....

I'm 10 days post-op and I'll have to say, I think this hip replacement was a LOT worse than I'd imagined. I've finally reached a point where my hip pain is taking a back seat to my back pain. I have taken Celebrex for years because of having Degenerative Disk Disease, and had to stop taking it a week before surgery. I was already getting in pretty bad shape by the time I had the surgery. My pain level had already multiplied several times over. But maybe that's a good thing. I didn't get nervous as surgery was approaching, which I though was amazing considering how spooked I was after pre-op testing...... lol
I took my twisted sense of humor with me, I guess, and had several people laughing at me as they readied me for surgery. I guess the first one to get a taste was a chaplain. I saw him at the nurses's station as they took me back to a room to get me ready. Within a minute or so, he came in the room to see me and I immediately asked him "Are you here to read me my last rites?" Obviously, that wasn't what he was expecting me to say and he had to gather his wits for a moment before he answered me.....
Then a couple of nurses came in, one carrying a tray with all of her tools of the trade to get the IV started. I told her I don't like IV's and I had a horror story to share with her about an IV I had done in Danville, IL. It took 9 tries to ever get that IV started. This nurse assured me that she was good at it and she nearly always got it on the first try About that time, she said here comes a big stick. Geez! I think they must use a stick of firewood or something! I told her I was glad she was good at it because I'd hate to have to pop her in the chin......... she said "Oh, no, it blew out" She decided on the next try, she was going to stick it in my hand instead of up in my arm. I'm grateful to say the second time worked.

DOES EVERYONE REMEMBER GOLDIE, the little feral kitten we took in last year? What a cat! She is quite the buddy and thinks she HAS to be on my shoulders several times a day. She jumps from my printer onto my shoulders and "fixes my hair", "washes my face" and just hangs out there.....
Did I say she's my beautician??? You wouldn't believe how relaxing it is to have a cat fix your hair! In fact, she can just about put me to sleep!
But, while I can honestly say, she doesn't try to scratch me, my shoulders tend to have scratches most of the time, simply from her hopping over from the printer.
Well, anyway, back to the hip replacement.......
The next person to come in was the anesthesiologist and he was quite a character. I liked him immediately. His sense of humor was as warped as mine!   I asked him if I really had to be awake to get the spinal block and he assured me that I would be asleep when he did that part. I told him that I had told Mom the night before surgery that I figured they were going to be laughing at me while I was asleep in surgery. He asked why and I said because of all the scratches I had on my shoulders. I said I didn't want everyone to make fun of the scratches when it was all thanks to my puddy cat... He just laughed. I told him that I figured he might need to know that I'd been told after previous surgeries that I am really difficult to put to sleep. He winked and told me not to worry, he would give me "the big one".
Next, my doctor came in and chatted for a few minutes. He drew on my right hip and marked it YEAH and then marked an X on my left hip and wrote NAY!  I really like the fact that they check and then double check before they cut!
It wasn't long before they wheeled me back to the OR and moved me over from the bed to the operating table. The anesthesiologist stepped over by me and said "Do you remember I said I was going to give you 'the big one'? Well, here it comes"..... The next thing I knew, I was waking up in my room and the surgery was all over.
I had surgery on Wednesday, November 19, and they told me I would probably be in there until Saturday. Thursday, they had me up and walking early. I took a heavy robe with me because every hospital I've been in tried to freeze me. I made it 25' the first time and was soaked in sweat. I DID NOT NEED THAT ROBE! That afternoon, I walked 60' and actually was going to walk further but the therapist said I'd walked far enough and not to over-do it. Friday morning, I walked 120' easily and then was told that if I wanted to, I could go home that afternoon, provided I was able to climb the stairs. I climbed the stairs with and without the walker and they told me I was doing great. Different nurses were amazed at the strength I had in my arms and upper body.... I told them they would not be so surprised if they knew the work I'd had to finish before the surgery took place.
I'll have to admit, there is still a lot of work left to do to get these beds finished next spring, but when I think of everything that we've already finished, I think it's pretty good considering Mom is 84 and I've been trying to work with a bum hip. We even finished all of the mulching! We've come a long way in the last year. I'm hoping that this winter is milder than last winter and that we can get an earlier start next spring. But at least I shouldn't be battling a bad hip next spring! If I could just get started on a little bit of the rock borders, it would help a lot.

 I guess I will have to entertain myself indoors for a while. This will give me time to update the webpage, and hopefully get Plantstep brought up to date. And I have yard ornaments needing repainted. And when I need a plant fix, the Christmas cactus are blooming and Mom's Amaryllis bulbs are starting to bloom. Here are some pictures taken over the last couple a weeks......
Alfresco amaryllis
Opal Star amaryllis
We're just getting started - there are about 40 more amaryllis to go!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A WHOLE YEAR HAS GONE BY!!!!!!! 10/9/14

Once again, it's been a LONG time since I've written. It's been another busy year but I can honestly say, I'm starting to feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Mom and I are working on the last bed we'll build this season, and like last year, we have some partially built beds that will have to be finished next year. Next spring I hope I can finish the Diploid single and the second Diploid Double bed, plus will have to build the stipples beds, and I've decided to build a Patterned bed. Plus I want to fix a place for growing the seedlings in better conditions.
This year, we were really held back by having the tractor unusable for 2  3/4 months. I knew the hydraulic cylinders on the front end loader needed rebuilt when I bought the tractor, so had that done last winter. I thought I'd be smart and get that done while I didn't need the tractor. What I didn't expect was a lousy job. I didn't use the tractor for several weeks after I got it back home. It was winter, and I just didn't need it yet. But when I did, it was a disaster. One of the cylinders blew, so I had to send it back to John Deere. They don't rebuild hydraulic cylinders so were sending it out to be rebuilt. They rebuilt it again. I got it home and it blew again. In fact, all I did was raise the loader up to drive the tractor back to park it in the barn. So it ended up that this outfit rebuilt it 3 times and each time it blew. They said there was nothing more they could do for it and said I'd need to buy another cylinder for it. But the problem was, this was a homemade loader and I had no idea what kind of cylinders it had on it.... and no-one else did either. I heard of a tractor salvage yard about 1 1/2 hours from here so took the cylinder off (yes, I did it myself) and drove down to see if the salvage yard could match it. No, he said he'd never seen one like that. But he looked it over and asked who had rebuilt it and I told him. He suggested taking it to a different shop and recommended the shop that they used. He didn't think it looked like it was in that bad of shape. So, I got lucky - that shop was right on my way home. I stopped and showed it to them and told them what the story was. They were shocked and told me they could definitely fix it and told me exactly what they would do. I knew just from listening to the fellow that he knew what he was doing. Plus he said he could have it for me the next morning. WHAT???? I'd been waiting for nearly 3 months to use my tractor and he was going to have it fixed overnight? (Actually, that was around 3:00 PM and they called at 9:00 the next morning and had it ready). Wow, I was wondering what that was going to cost me. I mean, I'd already socked $600 into it. He told me it would be less than $100. WHAT???? Unbelievable! Well, I'm a believer now. I put the cylinder back on the tractor and it has worked perfectly ever since. That, in itself, is a miracle since I took it off and reinstalled it! But anyway it sure slowed us down.... having to move compost and mulch with a little yard wagon and buckets sucks!  lol But once we were able to use the tractor, we've made a lot of progress. You may remember that last fall, I ran out of time and planted a bunch of plants (378 plants) in the curved part of what would be the Tet Single bed, knowing I would have to dig them and move them this year. Plus there was the little bed that had over 600 Tets in it that had to be dug up and moved so I could finish the Tet bed. So first thing this spring, I had to dig and pot over 1000 plants!        Here's what it looked like last fall.
This was taken standing on the porch.
And a view of just the small bed....
And here's one from the south end
And here is the Tet Double bed - last October
Ok, here is the Tet Single bed - completed, with 903 plants.... a couple of views,
Notice where the wishing well is and then look for it in the next picture
And here is the Tet Double bed completed - with 271 plants
This was taken today, and is kind of messy looking with all the fallen pine needles. But that's just added protection this winter.
And last year, I had only one mini bed.
Now both are completed. But I saw there would not be time to finish digging out the plants in the veggie garden and I needed a place to winter the stipples so I have the Minis and the Stipples planted in these two beds, for a total of 213 plants.
 And more of a side view....
And I built a Stripe Bed, complete with 23 plants.
And then we started on the Dip Double bed that will be on the opposite side of the sidewalk from the existing bed. It's one that won't be finished until spring but I needed a place to get the potted dip doubles planted (plus I crammed in some seedlings for the
The yellow line outlines where it will be when completed. This one will look a lot different when it's done. The wooden raised beds will come out, the rock pile up by the tree will be moved and this bed will circle around the tree by the rocks and then cut to the right and will end at the sidewalk. I will put rocks along the sidewalk, as well. But it will work for this winter.
And then there is the Dip Single bed that is also started but not finished. I planted the potted dips and will wait until spring to dig the rest of the dips that are in the veggie garden. Here's what's done now and then a couple of pictures marked with a yellow line to show you approximately where it will end up.
And a picture with the yellow line outlining where the bed will be when finished.
It will have a circle of geodes around the little tree. Hopefully I can make a better circle out of
Hopefully, using the small tree as a comparison point in the two pictures, you'll be able to get an idea of what it will be like when complete. The double yellow line on the left will be the path to the shed. And to the left of the left line will be the upper boundary of the partially built diploid double bed pictured above.
Mom and I are building on the toothy bed right now and hope to have it finished and planted within a week. Here it is today.
If you can see the stakes - it will be an oval shape going to the stakes.
Lots of other things have gone on in this last year as well. Do you remember when I introduced my girls to you? Mama Kitty developed cancer and died several months ago.
And a new little girl has come to live with me. Her name is Prissy. She's a 4 month old American Eskimo that weighs a whopping 7 lbs.! And what a holy terror she is!
I will finally be getting that hip replacement done on November 19 so we are hustling to try to get done with these beds. I still have to mulch 4 beds before then. And we also built a Fantasy garden this year....... but that's another story. I'll save it for the next time.
Well, I've rambled long enough and if you're still reading, all I can say is....... I'm