Back to the Garden, and Yahrzeit

Before I get too preoccupied with cooking and baking, a quick review of yesterday.

I brought over more herbs and the latest flat of salad greens to their respective locations.  Then I direct-sowed some collards in the veg garden.  I weeded the peas, then did some more cleanup of the future herb beds.  Lastly, I took some flower photos.

I met a wonderful gentle giant pit/Amer. bulldog mix, Jean, walking his girl out front.  A totally friendly teddy bear as is typical of those breeds.  I got my doggy-fix, and it made my day.  It doesn’t take much.

I lit a yahrzeit memorial candle for my father, who died this month in 2010.  It’s the first one I’ve lit in STL, at Avdi’s.

It rained hard overnight, and now it’s a beautiful spring day outside my window.


It’s been uphill, but I think I’m emerging from that latest round of blech.  It takes a concerted effort to feel more like a normal human.

To that end, I did some laps, I ate some of my latest craving, a blue cheese salad, I found ways to be productive.  I even found myself a dentist, finally.  So relieved about that.  One piece at a time, I’m trying to reassemble myself and resist entropy.

Later I’ll take another load of plants over to Avdi’s and spend the night.  Tomorrow will be the last Shabbat (and challah) before Pesach.  I’m hoping possible threatened tornadoes don’t blow us away.

Obviously not much to report.  Probably a good thing.  Here are random photos.

Getting Back on the Habitrail

Yesterday I totally made up for some lost time.  I still wasn’t feeling all there from the meds, but nevertheless I got busy, starting with some laps, the first in weeks, just to get some oxygen into my blood and possibly brain.

Then Avdi came over, we caught up on some business items to be done, and then we went on a Pesach shopping spree.  We stocked up on basics and Pesach items, and also picked up some seeds and soil amendments at Lowes, and hauled it all home.

At Avdi’s, I worked on garden tasks.  I cleaned up and reorganized the seedlings in the prop lab downstairs, to ready them for rotation out to the garden soon.  I took all the mature lettuces, herbs, and wildflowers to sheltered beds on the back porch, to start hardening them off.  While there, I noticed all the new seedlings coming up in the veg garden–carrots, beets, turnips, and the rest of the peas and spinach.

The native flowers and others were really exploding out there–it was a pleasure to take it all in and explore.  The masses of Virginia bluebells starting to bloom are especially gratifying.  And trillium! And it’s just the beginning.  I love these former, as yet unmet residents, who had such an obvious appreciation for restoring native plants into the landscape.  I look forward to talking shop with them one day.  In the meantime, I will faithfully help maintain what they have created.

On the way home, A and K and I ate questionable burgers and these ridiculously huge root beer floats at Hi- Pointe Drive-In, or tried to.  It was my first so-called meal since being indisposed, and it may not have been the ideal call, as it reminded me all night long!

Today was a big day for hydroponix!  The Thai basil and sage had outgrown their space on deck, and the root systems were like something out of a Japanese mutant monster movie!  So I carefully, surgically extracted them and potted them up.  I’m a proud hydroponix mother.


Sage and Spirit

It’s about time I got my act together and get back on this wagon!  I’m a little dazed and lightheaded from this prednisone (speed on steroids!), but the rash seems to be fading, and I even got back on some semblance of normal sleep and eating.  Not quite ready for the laps yet.  More like a lapse thereof.  I did some pre-Pesach kitchen cleaning and sorting, though.

Back in my old life, I’d be living half-outdoors by now, just grokking the fulness and reveling in ephemerals and micro-signs of new life.  This unnatural, sanitized lifestyle was the price I was willing to pay for the freedom of choosing life over resignation.  I would never take it back.  It’s just another form of adaptation for survival.

Still.  Some days I’m like a caged critter, going a little off in the head.  Even tame dogs can’t stay sane in a cage indefinitely.

I know long days in Avdi’s garden are still ahead of me.  And probably other people’s gardens as well.  The opportunities are there, if I can just get myself back.  These setbacks threw me off, slow me down, but I won’t let them set me a new lower bar or benchmark.  If anything, it makes me more determined to overcome them.  I just need to pace myself.  After all, I have to build up energy reserves for the coming Gkid invasion, the other reason I came here.

I almost wonder if all these mysterious symptoms could be partly an effect of decades of neglecting my own health and sanity to caregive for everyone else and their baggage, and the resulting backlog of stored tension and anxiety caught up with me in the form of physical ailments.  So moving here was a chance to catch up on my rehab, before I jump back into the caregiving game.  Just conjecturing.

Like I said, lightheaded.  Just indulge me.

Here is hydroponic sage and basil going berserk, and a scene from yesterday evening kicking back with the Skullies.  You could call it “Sage and Spirit” (for all you DeadHeads).








The Hideous Horror from Hell, or, The Masque of the Red Death

The last few days have been surreal and not pretty.  As if I didn’t have afflictions enough, the final day of my antibiotic meds I woke up covered in a hideous, itchy rash from head to almost foot.  Yes, a new, different rash.  Nothing I’ve ever experienced before.

The next 24 hours are just a blur of wrestling with my bed in utter discomfort.  Not to exaggerate.  I’d hoped I could ride it out and not ask for help.  I was wrong.

So yesterday Avdi was kind enough to take time-a lot of time-out of his busy schedule to get me to the Total Access Urgent Care, the next most convenient place when the first Dr. appointment I could get was for late May.  This involved getting on the queue, which turned out to take all day, and spend much of it lying down at Avdi’s, since they don’t let you in until your turn gets close.  I know it had to inconvenience Avdi, but as always he was very gracious about it, and worked around me.

Finally, hours later, I got in to see someone, and then more hours while various personnel got around to examining and treating me.  Again, a mystery, but it could be a delayed allergic reaction to the sulfa drugs (IKR?  Avdi and I were like, do they actually still have those?  Weren’t they from back when I was a little cave person and that’s all they had?)  Lesson learned.  So they gave me another steroid shot in the butt, and a prednisone prescription (more steroid).  This time I was sentient enough to fill it at CVS for free, with my insurance.   What seemed like days later, Avdi finally dropped me home.

I got basically no sleep again last night, tossing and turning in discomfort, and that’s before starting the med, so I finally just got up and read.  Just now I ate and took my first dose, which is supposed to turn me into The Great Cornholio, with more insomnia.  If it takes away this Plague, I’ll be glad to go sleepless a few more nights.

Forgive the inexcusable symptom-spewing, something I despise and avoid in other oldsters!  Since you, my long-suffering 2.5 readership, have probably moved on by now, this is still basically just a forum for me to journal (talk to myself in “legit” form).  The scintillating diary of dying, woo.  It truly is a bitch.  But not as bad as the real deal, so they say.

In better news, look what finally bloomed while I was MIA–my orchid!  And look at these hydro- babies!  I think they’re reaching the “Period Of Prosperous”!  Soon I’ll start to pot them and start new seedlings of my harder-to-grow herbs.

An Off Day Off

Today at my apartment was a really “off” day.  Let’s’ just say I was thankful for a day to just sleep and not much else.  I couldn’t eat much.  I definitely couldn’t exercise.  The best I can do is recover somewhat for Avdi’s tomorrow night.  Obviously nothing interesting to report; just thought I’d check in.

Oddly, I did get to socialize by phone with someone unexpectedly–our old (Black) housekeeper Barbara, who helped raise us in NJ.  I hadn’t known if she was alive or dead; turns out quite alive, and lively at 86.  We talked and caught up for a while.  She still loves our family, and tries to keep in touch with whoever’s left, but we had fallen out of touch.  Seeing her positivity, it helped put my minor discomfort in perspective.  So that happened.

At least my “greenies” are healthy–maybe a little too healthy!  I go away for a few days, and look what happens–a salad bar!  Pretty soon they too will be leaving the nest.






My Own Private Sanatorium

Happy Spring!  My final day here.  I didn’t feel too good today, but I was determined to finish up chores I wanted to do, like scrub the bathroom, do some token work in the garden, and lots of other misc.  I weeded and cleared out the bed I want to use for perennial herbs.  That’s about all I had energy for.

It’s hard to eat, or keep it down, but I did make Percy and myself a little salad.  I got a little exercise outside, and going up and down these stairs.  Just doing that makes me tired and winded.  I hope I get back to normal soon, so I can garden some more.

I’m loving all the early spring flowers blooming here.  Here are a few:

Commuting Between Homes

Today I felt OK enough to get up and do some cleaning.  I cleaned and organized the whole refrigerator and freezer.  I figure it’s Pesach cleaning for the next time I stay here alone extendedly.  I fixed a salad for Percy, and one for myself!  I fertilized the greenies.

Last but not least, I walked to my apartment to check in on my seedlings and plants–they were fine–and walked back.  I talked to a human on the way, obviously a dog person.  It’s the first human I’ve encountered for days!

A&K will be back tomorrow night, it turns out.  Tomorrow is supposed to be nice out, so if I feel up to it, I’ll do some garden cleanup.  About time!

In the back of my mind is my mother’s terminal condition, and what comes next.

Here are some flowers.


Status Update

First official full day alone here.  I finally got some sleep, and even managed to sleep in.  No ghosts bothered me.  Still don’t feel quite right, but it’s amazing what you can get used to.

I’m still not my mother, who is seriously dying as far as I know.  The other shoe is temporarily suspended, which is fine.

Update–she’s stabilized in the hospital for now, able to eat (gruel or something), while my brother Andrew wrangles with the insurance company to get coverage and treatment for his broken ankle, and looks into hospice.  Robert as usual is doing all he can from a distance to manage the situation, and keep me informed.  And I’m just sitting here nervously, trying not to turn into green jello!

If nothing else, this antibiotic makes a great diet pill!  I had to force myself to eat some bread just to take my dose this morning, and try to keep it down.  I attempted to slice a semi-frozen bagel just now, and ended up slashing myself instead, so maybe it’s trying to tell me something.

I’m observing Shabbat as much as my OCD need to clean allows me!  I watched some of CRC services on streaming.    Here’s R. Daniel and his teak Torah scroll.  I may even attempt Havdalah this evening.  Mostly I’m getting actual rest, see if I can kick this malaise once and for all.

Here is the star of the show, Percy The Person in his lair; can you see his beady eye?  I gave him the best salad ever, freshly harvested (and washed) from the lab!  He eats better than I, since I’m not eating much.  He says “whee”.