Garden CPR

So of course today was a perfect summery day, sunny, dry, breezy, as if the tornadic storms never happened.  I performed some CPR and first aid on the garden, and it’s looking a lot better, despite some casualties.

The kids were pretty chill, other than an incident or two, and Avdi was able to go work away from home where tantrums couldn’t bother him.  It used to make me nervous when he’d leave me alone with Them, but now we all seem to get along and just do our various things.  I notice S listens to me and usually cooperates, and if he says or does something inappropriate, he sincerely apologizes without prompting.   K and I get along really well.  The “squirrels” have their extreme moods and anxieties, but open up to me a little more lately.  I think just my consistent presence may help them feel more secure and stable.



Flood Recovery Day [Many Brave Tomatoes Lost their Lives]

And lo, the waters receded, leaving spongy ground, many veg casualties, a shorted burned-out outlet, power outage, and sewage smell upon the land!

People’s basements (not ours, somehow) were flooded, and people demoralized.  But everyone got to work cleaning and repairing and recovering.  The resilient E&Y were determined to go ahead with their homemade lemonade and muffin stand all day.  Poor Avdi lost a lot of work time because his office power was down most of the day and he was busy dealing with the aftermath.  (Yes, some people still have to work on holiday weekends.)

I did house chores, cleaned up the whole patio, and tried to sort out the veg garden after all the flooding destruction.  Lots of seedlings sacrificed their lives (I suppose fitting on Memorial Day), so I direct-sowed more tomatoes, hoping we’ll get something.  There was a coating of smelly debris over everything.  Maybe it will fertilize them?  The hail really did a number on all the plants.  Still, it wasn’t a tornado.

Here is the veg garden, once again above water and somewhat the worse for wear; the bare reseeded tomato area; borage flowers, happier than ever with battered leaves; and prickly pear, which not even floodnado could stop.  Unfortunately, it couldn’t stop the cicadas, either.


Stop Already with the Tornado Sirens and Raging Rapids

Well that was exciting.

Once again, the annoying tornado sirens came on, so we all ran down the basement to ride it out.  Then Avdi said, “Y’all need to come up and see this!”  So we all ran upstairs and gasped to see the whole yard under water, all the way up to the back porch!  No more veg garden.  The usual trickle of a runoff channel had become a raging river overflowing its banks, flooding the yard and garden, and rushing into the road like rapids.  It was not the first time it had happened, but the first for the kids and me.  We were stunned.  Then we all went out front in the lightning and hailing (big balls!) and the kids ran around in the waves and cheered on the cars trying to run the rapids!  The new neighbors were out there, too, not believing what they were seeing.  It was actually kind of funny, in a resigned kind of way.  Like a weird Missouri sport.

I could live without this kind of excitement.  One can only hope it washed away some cicadas.



Summer in STL: Humid, Severe Storms, Hail, Flooding, Tornado Watches, and Cicada Plagues

It’s been hot and wet–hey, at least I didn’t say moist–and literally raining cicadas.  You can dodge raindrops and hail more easily than swarming cicadas.  Not my favorite plague.  It really is like a steaming jungle here.

Still, I sweat on over to Avdi’s, with a lot of help from music mixes, or fixes would be more accurate.  Music is another love that I had lost interest in in Ohio, along with many things, and have reclaimed.  I’ve mostly left behind the old school stuff, and am discovering newer genres.  I’m almost caught up to this decade!  No going backwards for me.

For erev Shabbat, besides the renowned challot, I steamed a big pile of assorted greens from the garden with basmati rice seasoned with turmeric and other Indian-style spices, to go with simple roasted chicken.  S actually loved the latter, and even asked for more.  Progress.

The kids are now all officially off for the summer, and already lining up activities and camps.  After that, they’ll go visit their Mom in her new home in Michigan.  Avdi will get to go away to visit friends and places.  It sounds like I’ll be on my own.

Here are the usual photos.  Note the corn and beans.  And lots of milkweed!


Swimming with Cicadas

I’m getting behind again, so just a quickie.

We’re starting to get salads and greens from the garden.  Lots of new flowers blooming.  I’m always propagating.  (I am the Propagatrix.)

I tested the pool for the first time this season (spring?  summer?  monsoon?)  and it was like a comfortable bathtub!   S and I had water gun battles.

Then of course the usual tornado watch that wasn’t.  Blah.

I’ve discovered personal music playlists that make my walks much more bearable.  So what if it’s all indie, synth, neo-psychedelic, electronic dance music?  That’s how I rock (and roll).

The cicadas are deafening!!  They’re the soundtrack behind everything now.  You can’t move without cicadas buzzing you.

I’m still in debt and getting deeper, but whatever.  They can sue me.

In case you missed it, once again the now famous selfie of  Avdi and me, posing as a presentable me.


Crack Fox

This is one of Avdi’s favorite haunts when he gets to go out.  Last night he invited me to go with him.  I really enjoyed getting out for the first time in forever.  Last night’s themes were Goth/The Crow upstairs and DJ house dance music downstairs.  We ended up mostly downstairs–much more energy and interactive.  I just sat soaking it all up (including a couple of drinks).  There were lots of colorful characters to watch!  It felt very inclusive and friendly.  It was a good distraction from reality.


Walking With a Ghost

Did I say 120 lbs?  I meant 119 and change!!  I walked to and from Avdi’s and barely ate.  I was going to stay overnight, but in a rare change of pace, Jess is going to kid-sit while Avdi and I go out clubbing at the Crack Fox !!  This should be interesting.  Thank you Jess!

It’s also considerate because I wasn’t doing well today.  I’m being haunted by a dead friend in my dreams, and it’s really getting to me.  Literally ghosted.  Profoundly sad.  All I want to say about that is, don’t wait until someone who meant something to you is dead to see how they’re doing.  I really think I need a person, but it’s too late.

The kids have decided cicadas are their new pets!  They walk around with their creepy new friends on them.  Ugh!  They even set up a terrarium (for them to die in)!  I’m glad cicadas have some use.  Therapy?!  (There are no cicadas in the terrarium I made Y, pictured.)

Avdi finished treating the pool today and inducted himself into it.  A much-needed break.





Still Not in Debtor’s Prison…Yet

Medical bills keep piling in after I used up my coverage for the year.  So much for that insurance.  But I can’t afford to pay an even higher premium, or interest on a loan, however low.  I’m already in debt to my son for thousands of dollars, and putting off additional procedures until next year.

So this is how it begins.  What are they gonna do, throw me in debtor’s prison?  I guess I’ll just stop going to doctors and die before they get their money!  No mysterious rich nobility dies and leaves me a windfall, in this story.  Stupid American capitalist “healthcare”.

But wait—there is some good news on another front–I finally reached my goal of 120 lbs!  (120.5, to be exact.)  This is a day for celebration.  The last time I remember weighing 120, I was a young adult worrying I was gaining weight!  So this is a milestone for me.  At least I won’t be a Big Toothless Blob when I elude the system by dying before I repay my debts!

In more normal news, it was still raining (big surprise) at Avdi’s, but I managed to find the brief breaks in the deluge to walk there and back.  I did erev preps and the usual chores.  I even made a terrarium for Y.  The garden is a wet bog, so nothing to do there.  The flowers are loving it.  So are the baby robins, with all the baby food.



STL Monsoon Season

This has to be the wettest spring yet.  It pours, storms, and floods every day.  A dry sunny day is unusual.  The garden is literally drowning.  Every so often I run out there and do some soggy work before the clouds open up again.  That, along with the mass suicide of cicadas by the millions, and the happy mosquitoes, makes for a unique plaguey experience!

Yesterday I did manage to get a lot done in a brief rain intermission.  I prepped the tomato areas along the outside front of the veg garden, and transplanted the tiny seedlings.  I did the same with the peppers wherever onions are missing in their rows.  I weeded along the peas and cucumbers.  Hopefully all the rain will boost their growth.

Pretty much all the herbs and veggies are now planted (or replanted) outdoors, and just require constant tweaking and maintenance to make up for challenging conditions.  I’m using hydroponics and soil germination at home to replace a few of the casualties.

This is the one year anniversary (yahrzeit) of my mother’s death.