Monthly Archives: July 2010

The hurrier I go the behinder I get…


     DH seemed to have a bit more energy today.  It could be either the cooler mornings we’ve had the last couple of days or the new medication.  He was doing well, until he went out into the hot shed, and removed the old battery from the riding mower.  The heat in there wiped him out for a little while.

     However, he did recover enough to take a short ride with me to a little hardware store.  There, we turned in the old battery and bought a new one.  Now he can run the mower without having to jump-start it each time.  He can also shut it off to move things, instead of exhausting himself by moving everything before he begins to mow.

     If I know ahead of time that he’s planning to mow, I will move everything the night before.  It doesn’t always work that way.  He often mows on a whim when he’s feeling well enough to do it.  Now he’s mowed the yard and I have to trim. 

     That was another reason to go to the hardware store.  I went to trim the yard yesterday and ran out of string on the trimmer before I’d gone two feet.  Ever notice at times that even though you think you’re ahead, you’re actually behind?

The Ampyra arrived and so it begins…


     After a complete cluster f***—it seems that the right hand had no idea what the left hand was doing.  Gazillion phone calls from DH to the insurance company, the drug company, the doctors’ offices, and back again to straighten things out, we got a phone call saying the drug was on its way.  Then another one saying it wasn’t.  More phone calls and finally the Ampyra was on its way (again) this time it arrived.

     Ampyra day one: DH’s Ampyra arrived at nine in the morning Thursday morning.  He took his first dose soon afterwards.  He’s supposed to take two a day twelve hours apart.  I’m not sure how long or how many doses it’ll take before he notices a difference, if there is a difference.  We’re hoping for some changes.  It’d be nice if his walking improved.

     We’ll give it a few days to a week to see if there is any change.  I’ll let you all know if there is.  Keep your fingers and toes crossed.  It would mean a lot to him if his walking improves.

Garden gossip


     I should have waited another week to pick the watermelon.  It wasn’t ripe.  I do have another one growing.  Maybe this time I’ll know better.  I don’t know if I’ll try growing them again next year or go for a small seedless variety.

     The tomatoes are turning red now that we’ve had a few cool nights.  In another day, at least two will be ready for picking.  Next week I can harvest the two eggplants in the back garden.  Yum, fried eggplant is one of my favorites.  The first one I’ll fry and the next one I’ll grill.  Yeah, sometimes I need to cook healthy stuff.  DH will only eat them fried so I’ll share the grilled ones with G.  There will be many more to pick after that because the potted eggplant plant is loaded with them.  (Next year all the eggplants will go into pots.)  G and I can enjoy some moussakka and other dishes with the others since DH quickly tires of eggplant.  He can have hamburgers or something.

     Even after giving a lot away, I have so many sweet Hungarian and banana peppers I’ve begun to put them in almost everything I cook.  They are so mild in flavor you hardly can tell they are there.  Now the cherry peppers, Anchos, poblanos, and pimento peppers are starting to ripen.  It’s a good thing I love peppers. 

     I have one good-sized cucumber in the fridge and a gazillion tiny ones on the vines.  Last night I cut one cucumber into strips and munched them down, they made a lovely fresh, light snack.

A rare treat


     I wandered out to the garden this afternoon to take a break from writing and I was glad I did.  I got one heck of a photo op.  There, directly behind my yard, up on a telephone wire, sat a red-tailed hawk.  I dashed inside for my camera praying that no one scared him off while I was inside. 

     I snapped a few shots from the yard.  Several people walked under him never seeing this magnificent bird.  Many city people are not observant of nature.  Since he hadn’t moved, I unlocked my gate and walked down to where I was almost directly beneath him.  He practically posed for the pictures.

     When I got the shots I wanted, I ran to G’s house and told her husband to grab his camera there was a fantastic hawk photo op if he hurried.  He did and he got some great shots too. 

     Every year for at least the last twenty years we’ve had a pair of red-tail hawks nesting in the ancient and very tall horse chestnut trees in the cemetery.  Getting pictures of them is a rare treat since they usually stay hidden because the crows tend to mob them.

Begging my muse for help


     My muse got to laughing at me today.  I don’t get any respect around here.  I sat down to do some writing and she wouldn’t help me out.

     “Now where was I?”  I asked her.

     “You snooze you lose.”

     “Oh, come on I’ve been busy.”

     She giggled and stretched out on the couch moving Patty to the floor.  “I’m on vacation.”

     “No you’re not.  I need you to inspire me I have to work on two books today.”

     She sipped a drink with a little umbrella in it.  “Not gonna happen.”

     “Hey, where’d you get the drink?  At least you could share the beverage if you won’t help me work.”

     “You couldn’t handle this.  It’s not for mortals.”

     “Then inspire me.  Please?”

     “It was a dark and stormy night…”  More giggles from her.

     “You’re real funny.”

     “No seriously.  Imagine the storm, the thunder, the lightning, the deluge of rain.”

     “Had that yesterday any more brilliant flashes of insight?”

     “You’re always telling me that your settings suck.  I just gave you one to work with there.”

     “Okay, let’s see.  The characters are in a small town, it’s March…Hey, I think I’ve got it!”

     “Good.  Now leave me alone.”

It’s little old me the klutz again


     Only a true klutz can whack the same knee in the same place four times in less than an hour.  Yep, me again.  When I managed to do this, I was out in the melon patch picking cucumber bugs off the leaves and vines.  I was stepping back behind my rather large gargoyle to reach them and then stepping back out to drop the bugs in a jar of soapy water.  Each time I did it, I managed to hit my knee on the gargoyle.

     This isn’t a knee height gargoyle like the one pictured with the watermelon, this one is almost as tall as I am.  Don’t ask how I kept hitting my knee because I haven’t figured it out yet.  I guess I should slow down or something when I’m chasing those bugs.  I have managed to put a dent in their population along with the dent in my knee.

     At least I didn’t sprain my ankles again.  No, I look like I frequently did as a child.  I have a skinned knee.  I know when I go out to lunch with G later today she’ll have a good laugh.

The midnight gardener


     We’ve still no break in the heat and humidity here.  The veggies don’t mind they are growing like crazy.  Then again, so are the weeds.  Since the veggie garden is in the area of the yard that gets the most sun and it gets it all day, it’s been impossible to spend much time out there weeding it without suffering from heat stroke.

     Thus, I’ve become the midnight gardener and am out weeding by flashlight at the oddest hours.  I’m also killing the cucumber bugs as I come across them.  My neighbors think I’m strange.  That’s okay though because I’m one-step ahead of the bugs and the weeds doing it this way.

     Do you know how you tell someone is an avid gardener?  They will pull weeds out of yours as they converse with you.  I had a young woman stop by the fence and admire the garden today.  She was talking to me about perennials and I went to the gate to unlock it and invite her in.  I offered her a few of my more prolific perennials that have taken over some areas of the flower gardens.  While we talking and I was digging them out for her, she began to pull a few weeds.  It reminded me of G and me when we are checking out each other’s gardens.  We do the same thing.  Spotting real gardener is easy.

Horror writers scare the crap out of me


     One would think that since I write murder mysteries, horror wouldn’t bother me.  One would be very wrong.  I’ve only read a couple Stephen King books (and had to turn all the lights on in the house), I have one old autographed Jack Ketchum (Dallas, you are a dear but your writing terrifies me), and now I own several autographed Jonathan Maberry books. 

     The minds of horror writers scare the living crap out of me.  I can describe a gory murder scene and stalk or be stalked by a killer through page after page.  However, things that go bump in the night, complete psychos, zombies, and werewolves intent on brutal, mindless massacre make my skin crawl. 

     Yet, I am reading Jonathan Maberry’s books because he so graciously autographed all of them for me when I won his basket.  (Thanks Jonathan, did I mention that live next to a cemetery?)

     The cemetery doesn’t normally bother me since those neighbors are very quiet.  We only worry about the live ones…or so I thought.  Then I read Jonathan’s books and he completely creeped me out more than once.  It may take a while before I’m comfortable again.

Is our pond garden now Toad Hill?


     We’ve added a toad to our outdoor menagerie.  The neighbor’s son presented him to us yesterday.  He feels bad that our frogs are gone and thought he had one for us.  I had to explain the difference between frogs and toads to him.  However, I am delighted to have a voracious bug eater around again.

     It won’t take him long to grow larger.  With the frogs gone we do have more bugs about.  Mr. Toadamus should eat well if he sticks around.  

     Several years ago, I brought home two that DH caught.  They didn’t stick around I no sooner let them go than they packed up and headed north whistling as they went on their way.  I guess they considered the frogs too much competition at the time.

     I’m still hoping that the neighbor’s son will come across some native frogs and bring them home to us.  They’d stay much smaller than the bullfrogs and might not go walk about as the bullfrogs did when the large bugs got scarce and the birds refused to land here after they saw others become bullfrog meals.

     The little native frogs will also chow down on mosquitoes, which the bullfrogs considered too small to bother eating.

DH is getting the Ampyra!


     At least three letters, the neurologist’s intervention, and dozens of phone calls and faxes later, DH will get his Ampyra.  What a total cluster f*** that was.  Now, if it works, and he walks better he will be over the moon.

     However, they only approved his meds for six months.  I’m betting we’ll have to go through the whole dance routine again when that rolls around.  Oh, what fun that will be…NOT!  I can’t understand the whole process.  They make you jump through enough hoops to qualify as a circus act and then they have the nerve to tell you yeah, you can have it, but only for six months.

     Why?  His condition isn’t going to change except maybe for the better and yet you want to toss him in the trash in six months?  This sort of thing sucks. 

     From the looks of it, even if there are sweeping changes in our health care system, there will always be someone denied the proper care or medications. 

Dogs and cameras


     Did you ever sit there and think; “Now there are several minutes of my life that I won’t get back” I did tonight.  I wanted to put up a new picture of Patty but she wasn’t cooperating.  One of her best tricks is ‘stick ‘em up’ I wanted a shot of that.  Twenty minutes later and I still didn’t have a picture. 

     Did you know that it is impossible to take a picture and work a dog at the same time?  You also need to be quick on the button to catch the dog doing the trick.  I wasn’t.  Butt shots as she walked out of the picture didn’t work.

     Tomorrow, I’ll ask DH to have her do the trick while I attempt to snap a good picture.  I’m certain Patty will do better when she has her Daddy asking her to do her trick.  She’ll do anything for him.

     The next problem will be to keep Gavin from trying to hog the shutter time.  He likes the camera.  He never enjoyed the show ring but he certainly enjoys getting his picture taken.  I can’t pick it up without having him try to get my attention.  “Look at me, I’ll give my paw.”

Photo ops with the digital camera


     I enjoy taking the Kodak Z612 outside and snapping pictures of the dogs, flowers, and the veggie garden.  It’s not a new camera nor is it as reliable as I’d like.  However, it’s either that or the even older and fewer bells and whistles hp photosmart.  These days I only use the hp to download pictures from the card I use in the Kodak.

     Why do I do that?  Because Kodak is proprietary and the program for that camera takes over all my other pictures.  I hate that.  In addition, the hp program to download, crop, and adjust the pictures is more reliable.

     Maybe one day I’ll buy a better camera, but for now, this one will do even with its quirks.  I’m only a hobbyist when it comes to taking pictures. 

     I have three folders of wedding pictures from my three cousins’ weddings and I have them saved on a thumb drive.  I had a great time taking those pictures until the danged Kodak decided to sulk.  As I said, it has its quirks.