Prickly Pear

At Avdi’s, I got up early while it was still not a furnace out, watered the veg garden, and weeded it.  More like liberated it from its weedy bondage.  Percy got his big salad.  Then I went back to being a zombie on drugs.  Later, Avdi and I went grocery shopping, and he dropped me off at my apartment, where I promptly fell asleep.  I feel a little dazed, not all there.   I didn’t even take more photos, just this one of the prickly pear blooming, which I find amazing.

Armadillo Roadkill

Today I saw my first armadillo here and it was roadkill.  Right on Watson Road, where even humans fear to tread.  I couldn’t believe my eyes (or nose).  Sorry, too ghastly for photos.  Other places have normal roadkill like deer or skunk; here we have armadillos!

On top of my zombie meds, I now have two different vaccinations in my arm (ouch).  Slowly but surely I’m checking off the medical backlog.

Apparently it’s in the 90s in May here.  I dread to see what it’s like in actual summer!

I walked to Avdi’s this afternoon, so now we have photos of actual living things.

B&B#2: New Friends and Flowers

Yesterday Avdi had an impromptu Beer and Badminton, and a nice little group of friends spent the afternoon.  I was a little drugged on my new med, but I still managed to enjoy hanging out with familiar and new friends.  Even K joined us, and set up the new B&B website/newsletter.  I was happy to see a couple of Monarchs fluttering around the milkweed.  Plus some new exciting flowers are in bloom.

Later, A and I watched one of our episodes, then he drove me home.  Or is it!

Cherokee Street

Later…Avdi decided we needed to get out of the house, so we walked around Cherokee street in STL.  What a fascinating, diverse ethnic neighborhood.  One section is like a Little Mexico, with actual Mexican food being prepared outside under canopies.  Little kids were selling their art out on the sidewalk.  There were iconic bars, a craft beer and wine shop, many old-fashioned barber shops, bakeries (especially Mexican), art studios, a Black indie bookstore, dispensaries, the smell of weed wafting everywhere, paraphernalia shops, eateries, musicians playing outside, you name it.  The highlight was The Fortune Teller Bar, a well-known destination in STL, where we had excellent crafted drinks in their unique space.  It was a very pleasant and needed break.

Later, we drove both cars over to Jess’s, who’s getting back from Paris tonight and will need her car.  (Earlier, Avdi let me try driving his car, in case I need to at some point.  No life forms were harmed.)  Then we drove back, and Avdi left to pick her up at the airport and go see friends.  I’ll stay over (with K) another night.  I actually feel too exhausted to work!



This new med has some unpleasant side effects, which I won’t go into in detail!  I barely slept all night, and feel like a zombie.  I’m still anxious about things I have little control over, like getting myself to appointments, and not becoming dependent, but also too groggy to motivate, or operate machinery.

This morning I managed to water the garden, give the spinach a haircut and sort it, and pick peas, but that’s about it so far.  Sometimes I forget it’s OK to observe Shabbat (in this case Shavuot as well) and give it a rest.  I feel like I always have to be accomplishing something, or I’m just taking up space.

This must be one of those two paths diverging moments in a life.  Part of you feels like resigning yourself to reality and fatalism; the other part wants to resist and fight to retain your self-worth and purpose.  One half is anxious and fearful of new challenges, the other knows it’s essential to embrace them in order to keep living.  Some people just give up and die inside at this point.  Others refuse to give in.  I’m trying to be the latter, but some days it’s harder than others.

Or maybe it’s just the meds talking!  I haven’t reached the side effect of suicide yet, so that’s something!

Vegetating does have its appeal sometimes, though.  Here’s an illustration:



The Festival of Cheesecake

Happy Shavuot, the festival of cheesecake, probably the most interesting feature of this holiday.

I spent all morning at my new PCP, partly just ironing out some initial business issues with the insurance, but also getting my first routine exam here.  I was able to get a prescription for my anxiety and depression, and just need to set up some other preventive appointments.  The side effects from this new med are…interesting.  A polite term for weird!

When I was finally done with the doctor and then the pharmacy–some unfinished business there, too–I drove to Avdi’s to catch up on Shabbat (also, as it happens, Shavuot) preps.  I arrived at the same time Kashti got home from his final day of middle school.  I baked challah as usual, and made an Italian dinner featuring lots of fresh herbs and lettuces from the garden.  Avdi’s friend Amy, whose birthday it was, joined us for dinner and, you guessed it, birthday cheesecake.  I enjoyed getting to know her.  And eating cheesecake.

Here are some random shots around the house and yard.  Now I’m going to bed.



L42 Terraforming Station (Near Saturn)

Avdi got back safely last night.  K. uncharacteristically went to bed very early, still not feeling well.

In the morning, Avdi gave him a COVID test, fortunately negative.  K. surprised me by opting to go to school.  Soon after, I drove to my apartment, but not before doing my morning garden rounds, eyed the whole time by the big rabbit mowing the lawn.  He didn’t even get out of the way!  Look at those beady eyes.  Something unnatural about rabbits.

(Actually, all the birds and critters here are starting to get used to me, and hang around.  Of course I always talk to them.)

Now I’m just catching up on apt. stuff.  Tomorrow I’ll drive myself (!) to my first PCP doctor visit in STL, just down the road, then back to Avdi’s to do Shabbat preps, etc, etc.  Probably spend the night.

I made sure to take some photos at Avdi’s before I drove here, so I’d have something to show.

Here’s the early morning veg garden, and my pot of okra seedlings:

Here’s some basil blooming, and some of the masses of native milkweed that grow like weeds here:

Here’s the jungle “zen trail”,  and some very happy prickly pear cactus getting ready to bloom:

And lots of natives and perennials/annuals blooming:


Not much exciting at my apt, although my hydroponic herbs are outgrowing their space again and need to be potted.  Sometimes I feel like my apt is like an artificial domed terraforming station in space, and Avdi’s is like visiting earth if you’ve never been before.  (“Don’t look up!”)  It’s why I can relate to Prax in The Expanse.  All he wanted to do was raise his kid and manage the hydroponics on Ganymede station, until it all got shattered.  His life was changed forever, having to adapt to a harsh new reality, but he came out stronger in the end, with the help of new friends.

Well, herbs to pot, puttering to do…


Cheers To Jobs Well Done

I still haven’t run out of jobs on my list!  K went back to school (reluctantly), and I got busy.  I took out the trash and recycle, did some laundry, finished cleaning up the garage fridge and replaced some drinks in it to chill, put some frozen leftover beef curry in the slow cooker, and other misc. chores.

Then I took Jess’s car on some errands–got some beer and sodas for A&K, and other household items on their list, filled the tank, and stopped by my apartment–I feel like a stranger there!  I watered my plants, dropped off and picked up some items, and then drove back to Avdi’s.

I finally remembered to eat something, then did a few more chores, and headed outside to water the veg garden, and harvested a colander-full of snow and snap peas.  Percy got his big salad–no two alike!  There’s a lot more to do out there, but I think I’m winding down for now.  I definitely earned my tall icy drink.

Yesterday evening, this large chipmunk was just chilling on the back patio for quite a while.  Not eating or moving, just meditating!  Lots of them make their homes in the patio raised beds, and they’re very tame, for chipmunks.  You can sit out there at the table and throw nuts at them, and they’ll come out and eat while you watch.

I saw my first large mushroom on the “zen trail”.  If you squint, you can imagine you’re in an actual woods.

The garden (including the veg garden) is transitioning into serious summer jungle mode.  My work is cut out for me–call it job security!  I’m very impressed with how exuberantly things grow here.  All except for my tomato and pepper seedlings, which didn’t thrive, for some reason.  Some of the older ones in the ground are just starting to grow larger.  On the other hand, I’m pleased to see the cucs, melons, and squash that I had to replant after the varmint invasion are finally doing well.

Gardening is always a learning process.  Notes: next year (assuming I make it that long!) I need to make wider paths and plant less of most veggies!  I went a little crazy with radishes, peas, spinach, and carrots.  Though I’m very gratified by how well–almost too well– all the various assorted greens and lettuces are doing.  It’s hard to keep up with!  Not a bad problem to have.  Nothing a herd of hungry Gkids can’t solve.

K still feels a little sick, but he brought home his impressive middle school diploma.  Cheers, to a job well done.

Earning My Keep Some More

Today K. wasn’t feeling well, and stayed home from school.  I spent the day working my way down my jobs list.

I remade A’s bed ( a project in itself), refilled the kitchen freezer from the other one, got some dinner going in the slow cooker and rice cooker, cleaned out and stored J&C’s downstairs bathroom drawer stuff, took the compost and some trash out, and that was just the indoor stuff!  Then it was on to gardening.

I turned off the last of the seedling grow-lights and heat pads downstairs, and took the flat of tomatoes and peppers outside.  I planted the peppers in the veg garden, and another basil plant in the herbs.  I potted some rooted tradescantia cuttings.  I did some tomato plant maintenance, and some weeding.  I thinned out a lot of plants taking over the perennial herb area.  I watered the veg garden.  I picked greens for Percy.

And…I even had time to take some photos.  Dinner is stuffed cabbage (chicken, rice, veggies), homegrown lettuces, and basmati rice.  And a refreshing icy drink for me!  I think I earned it.

Mow the Wabbits

One thing about Avdi’s, I always get a lot done, since there’s always lots to do!

Today I did laundry, watered the garden, mowed the rabbits I mean lawn, transferred the food back into the kitchen fridge, prepared dinner (frozen leftover Hawaiian-style chicken with rice and fresh salad from the garden), and got ready in case K. wanted to go to his graduation ceremony.  He definitely did not want to.  That was his choice and OK.  He only has a few more days to go until summer vacation.  He may have to go to PA for the summer while the kids move here, but he hopes he can stay here.  I’m “not” a biased GM, but secretly I hope he gets his preference!

You know I’m busy when I don’t have time to take many redundant flower photos!  Here are some views post-mow.  (“No rabbits were harmed.”)  Tomorrow’s list is just as long!