Sunday, June 24, 2018

Summer Visits begin with the Rossman clan

Katie and Casey left their home in Aurora, Colorado for the drive to Cedar City. They are here for Casey's mom's (2nd) marriage and for visiting EVERYONE.  Ha.  Well, everyone in our little family, anyway.  They got here on Saturday morning about the time we woke up.  We had a nice late breakfast together, and then some took naps, some played.  It was an okay drive for them, but exhausting.

Saturday evening, Katie and sat out on the front lawn with her twins. The older boys were at a baseball game with some Rossman cousins. Jumping up for leaves on the tree is a fun game.

"Climbing" is a good thing to try, too.

Hailey was marching around the truck parked in the driveway.

Quintin loved the water in the gutter. It's just irrigation water from the local creek that comes down our canon. He tried drinking it. Ick. It's good for plants, not for kids. ha.

Just wading in the gutter.
Saturday morning, they all piled into the hammock

Sunday night with Mike's not-quite-so-swollen leg. He has been wearing compression hose all day and it's still puffy, but seems to look better.  A lot of the yellow tone is from iodine/disinfectant that he hasn't showered off yet. Spit baths for him for a bit longer.  

This is how many raspberries I picked in ONE evening (Sunday evening, and oh how my back is aching from it!)

Saturday afternoon Corbin crashed.

The all-time favorite airplane toy. Thanks, again, Tandy!

Just enjoying the cool water. ;-)

Yard Updates

This is the clematis vine in our front yard. It looks positively stunning for about 2 to 3 weeks every summer.  Then it's just a green vine.  While Mike and I were sitting outon the front porch (yes! He went outside for the first time since surgery last week and it was delightful to sit and enjoy the breeze and our quiet street on a Sunday afternoon in the shade), I had a little brainstorm to split this vine in the fall and plant the other half in front of the other bedroom window.  I think that would be really cool!  And symetrical.

We have these pots in our front yard. And ants. So many ants. Ants that eat all baby plants.  I planted some seeds in the pots. Some are finally starting to sprout. The middle of the pot has cosmos seeds, and I planted a bunch of old left-over carrot seeds around the outer edge of the pot. The little clay pots have Forget-me-not seeds in them from my friendly neighborhood realtor. They sent them in the mail. 

The white stuff is something that is supposed to deter insects.  Diatomacious Earth.  Ground up white dirt/rocks from somewhere.  It's a very fine powder.  I'm telling you, I think I will just douse the whole flower bed with Sevin, high-potency toxi bug killer. Those ants are large and rather awful. And voracious.  We have tinier ones in the lawns near sidewalks that swarm quite regularly. Ugh. 

The celery in the blue pot in the backyard haven't changed since I planted them. But the egg plant has one blossom. The petunia and pansie (door prizes from a work dinner) on the top are still alive.

These are the pears over the wall from us.  I water the pear tree, the home owner said to help ourselves to any of the fruit back there and I really quite enjoy Bartlett pears, so I water them. 

Above.  Cherries. On our side of the wall.   Very ripe and very high and un-reachable. Darn.  Eric says he can stand on an extension ladder, and he would fall carefully. How generous of him, but not really worth it, thanks anyway. I mean, we really love cherries and they are very yummy. But not at the expense of Eric risking life and limb.

Our peach tree is doing okay. I keep thinking I'm watering enough, but they don't seem to be consistently growing. Some look stunted and small, others look not too bad.

Here's the overview, looking north toward our apple and peach trees. I've bee trying and hoping to keep the lawn nice, but it is still struggling in areas.

We have a couple of cucumber plants, some carrots and some tomatoes with marigolds planted between.  Half our marigolds were eaten by bugs. Their purpose is to repel insects in the garden. I guess nobody told the bugs who ate them.

The raspberries are on!  Yum, yum, yum. I've had to work hard at eradicating yet another bug-induced disease in this patch. At the end of the season we're taking some drastic measures to get rid of whatever pest that is.

My story of the week:  While installing the swamp cooler and going back and forth to Ace Hardware, I purchased a zucchini plant and put it in the ground. It was lovely. The next day it was eaten and dead as a doornail.  Grrrrr. I'm telling you, Dear Readers, I am in a battle to the death against these destructive creatures!  I'm not sure if it was ants or grasshoppers. Either way--they are doomed!!!

Our Jonathan Apple Tree produces a nice crop about every few years.  Some years we spray for bugs; others we skip it and get no fruit because it just falls off the tree. I think this will be a good year.

The view looking south. Raspberries are along the fence on the right in the shadows, green beans, weeds, tomatoes, onions, peppers. I did plant a few potatoes, but they never came up.  Or, perhaps they did one day and I missed it because bugs gobbled them up before we got a chance to even greet them!

The size of the apples at this time.

And that's what has been going in in our yard and garden this past month or so. 

Mike's knee replacement surgery june 18, 2018

 Mike had a total knee replacement surgery on his left knee on Monday, June 18. It was done in St. George with Dr. Edward Prince.
Here was the plan to avoid/include scar tissue from the 50-year-old surgery. He usually just does a straight line incision from the top to the bottom (top is on the right in the photo above).  But small spaces between scars, where blood supply is alread compromised, lead to tissues dying and sloughing off, so he kind of curved around the old solid scar and did the dotted line approach and included the old scar at the bottom.

When the Dr. came out to visit with me briefly after the surgery, he said, "That was a BAD knee." Duh. He found pieces of broken -off bones floating around in the knee area because it's been bone on bone for so long.  There were three chunks and one was the size of a quarter. Ouch!

Below is Mike enjoying (?) some physical therapy on the day after his surgery. Pain blockers and pain pills are a beautiful thing.

Below is the view down the hall from his 4th floor room. I got to spend the night there and eat my meals there with him for Monday and most of  Tuesday. In some ways I wish I would have driven home. NObody sleeps in a hospital. What was I thinking? They also have a "partners in healing" program there, so I could wear a badge and get him drinks and snacks, log stuff on a sheet, etc. Or I could choose not to. That was kind of nice.

And if you don't like gorey pictures of wounds, look no further.  Home Health came by on Wednesday to change the dressing on his wound.  The incision is glued shut, not stapled or stitched.  He still looks kind of like Frankenstien with the stitched look. I don't know how it works.

Ice and elevation. Compression stockings.  He has been quite swollen. We should have left the hospital on Tuesday with the socks, but it was forgotten. And then we forgot. But I got them on Thursday and he got them on then.  VERY swollen, but that is normal.

I took this photo (above) to document his range of motion with his first physical therapy session on Thursday.  He does not have much range at all. But then, he is very swollen and sore, too.  Same with the photo below. I put his foot on a paper plate to help it slide more smoothly over the carpet.  It will be interesting to see the difference as time goes on, as swelling dissapates and strength returns.

Below is a very swollen and bruised surgey site. His surgeon initialed the bottom of the scar, EP. Is that a common practice to "Sign off" on your work?

As I type this on Sunday June 24, he is improving each day. He can move more freely with his walker, does ask for ice treatments and help with pillow propping for elevation, eats well but not too much, as he has determined that being "morbidly obese" as his hospital charts described him, is not a good thing and he needs to drop a lot of weight and be good to his new knee. He had a novacain-type pain blocker infusion removed from his left thigh on Saturday morning and is still taking a very minimal dose of his pain relievers. He could take as prescribed, 2 five mg tablets every 4 hours. He takes about three tablets total per day and that usually helps him keep on top of things.  I can see improvement is movement daily, and improvement in attitude, too. One day, he actually whistled!  That was fun to hear after a long absence of that little happy sound. And like this afternoon, he just walked to the bedroom to get his phone rather than just holler and say, "Hey, can you get me my phone?"  I don't think he'd actually settled into his comfy spot yet, but still!  Also, he hasn't been able to get to the basement, so he's done a lot of reading and napping. The basement is where our only TV is. And Eric and I managed, with some help from two neighbors and two trips to Ace Hardware, to get our swamp cooler installed. That helped the comfort level greatly as Mike was so uncomfortable that he got a heat rash. Or maybe it was a mild reaction to pain meds. Whatever it was, he was miserable all day Wednesday till we got it done on Thursday. Whew!

He's on the mend!  Hurray! One knee down, one to go.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Flower Thief

Yes, I am a flower thief.  There are roses growing over the wall from us. The home is vacant (students occupy it during the school year, but not this summer), the pear tree needed water, so I walked over to adjust the hose and helped myself to the roses. They are a tangled mess. They whole yard is. So sad. But, I already have two or three yards to care for, so I'm not taking on this one, too!

Anyway, the flowers just brightened my work area this week. Thanks, neighbors. It's been a good year for roses all over town. It's a wonder I don't stop and steal even more of them ;-)

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

May 2018, in brief. (Or not.)

This actually starts in April. We have blooms!  Well, not on the raspberries (above) quite yet in April, but they are green and growing and I'm starting to become very excited about the fruit that is to come.  I'm also beginning to wonder, "When will I ever have time enough to pick them all???!!" and "What was I thinking?"  But also, "Mmmmm, we do love raspberries!"

 The apple tree, above, had gorgeous blooms in April. Now there are baby apples all over it!  Yay for fall apples!
That's the apple tree in the foreground, above, the neighbor's cherry tree soaring above that. There are some cherries on it now, but they are so high up that we'll never be able to reach them.  They are few and far between, also. Too bad.

The neighbors on the other side of the yard have a pear tree and an apple and an apricot tree that all hang over into our yard. Lovely.  The pears are always wormy and small, but we plan to give it some water. It won't help the worminess, but should improve on the size. The apples are mushy and wormy and nearly all of the baby apples (like the size of an almond nut) have fallen to the ground already. Maybe because of lack of water. Students rent the place and they don't water. There are a few apricots that survived the frosty mornings we had in March and April.
This was taken in May.  NOW there are blossoms galore on the raspberries and the bees are as busy as...well--Bees!

Later in May, I attended the ULA Conference in Provo. I got to present some Certificates, help with a panel presentation and do one mini presentation on my own. I stayed with Robert and Janet and it was nice to visit with them for a while. Robert sure enjoys his garage/woodshop and woodworking tools.
Look at the cool hat/coat rack he made for their kitchen.

His garage. Many of the big saws and things roll to the side, he can quickly sweep up and it's ready for Janet's car.  Unlike MY garage, below:

GAAAAAA!! And it's getting fuller and fuller by the day.
Yes, School is out, the program ended, and Mike cleaned out the office, the work room, sheds, storage areas and brought home all his tools and the other things he had there. Materials that didn't have a home. Ugh.  I will get my garage back one day. I will! He says he's going to clean it out and organize it.  But there simply is not room for all of that. (Plus he unloaded some at his Mom's garage, AND there is still one ware house that he still has to clean out at school!!)  There are no words.

Except, MAYBE, Happy Birthday to Jonathan!  And Gail. They both had birthdays in May and I got to celebrate with them. Kind of. 
After my library conference on the 18th, I drove on in to Salt Lake, had dinner with these cuties
And Rachel

And Kaylee ('s legs...ha)

Poor Logan cried at first when I came in the house.  He did get happier, later on. I'm hoping it is because he thought I was going to baby sit and his mom was leaving and that's why he was so sad. Nick wasn't there. He'd gone on a long backpacking hike to Coyote Gulch(?) with some of his high school friends. I just saw some photos of that area. It is gorgeous!

Then, I left Salt Lake on Friday night and headed over to Elko, NV.
Gail and Seth were headed to Mexico the next day for an all-expense paid vacation from a work contest that Seth won. Cool!  They went to Cabo San Lucas and had a great time.  Caroline, Jonathan and I
Sat around and played on our devices?

Nope, not really.
I delivered Jonathan's birthday present from Nick--a Harry Potter-type wand!
I was also supposed to deliver the Gail and Seth gifts from Nick, but I am sorry to say they never left my car and I forgot. Sorry, Nick and Kaylee. They will get them. Eventually.

Since it was Jonathan's birthday (Tandy contributed, too, and) I took them Bowling, and for Pizza and Ice cream at Cold Stone (which, conveniently, is located in the Bowling Alley).  We had the entire bowling alley to ourselves.  That was kind of cool. It's small--only 8 lanes. No photos of us bowling, but I think Caroline sent a Marco Polo video to someone.
Jonathan won! That game, anyway.
We went to Church on Sunday. They called their parents too many times. We went grocery shopping for ingredients for Caroline's school project she had to make on Monday after we got home from bowling.  Want some yummy stuff?  Make this! She did and it was delish!
Caroline is a very good cook and her Spanish Class was lucky to be able to enjoy this dish. I want to make it, too!

We also played Monopoly for two nights in a row.  I am happy to say that I trounced them thoroughly.  I was not lenient in the least and it was the ONLY time I have ever won at Monopoly (this was T-Bird-opoly, but whatever) in my entire life.  Sad that I had to do it to the sweet grandkids, huh?
During the day while they were at school, I worked on a Christmas craft project and watched tv, so it was a good vacation for me, too!  Fun times. I left for home before Gail and Seth got back.  They were heading home as I was and got home on Thursday night, May 24. I had to be at work on the 25th, so that's why I left early. I wanted to avoid the elk on the Nevada highway on my drive home and didn't want to be home late, so I just sent kids off to school and went on my way.
The drive home was really quite nice. I listened to an audio book and enjoyed the scenery. They had had lots of rain and it was very green.  I even saw elk! Far away off the road, grazing.  And I saw antelope, too. And had fun junk food for lunch.

Next in May was Memorial Day and our annual trek up to Utah county to decorate graves. First Stop, American Fork. We met Gayela there. Only Mike and I and his mom went. Eric had a rehearsal that evening that I didn't think we would be home in time for. I forgot to take pictures in American Fork. 
2nd stop was Provo City Cemetery.

This is how we roll. Well, some of them. I actually caught a ride in the back this time, too. I'm old enough.
Next stop was the Park in Provo for a Picnic with all of Gayela's family.  Some of Anita's family came, too, AND  Mike's cousin Ed Liebhardt, his wife and 2 kids. It was a good time.
Charlene, Anita's daughter and Mike's cousin. She also brought her daughter and a friend.

Plenty of food and some nice visiting. All of Gayela's Utah kids were there with most of their families, plus one of Troy's daughters from Denver was there visiting, too.

Mike headed north, and we headed south. I took Berenice to her cousin Iris's 90th birthday party in Provo at a different pavilion. We just stayed a short while. I just people - watched and visited briefly with the only people there that I knew, Wade and Karen Seely from Idaho.

 Iris and Berenice.

Then we stopped in Springville and decorated more graves (her sister LaPrele and husband), and THEN we drove home.

Mike picked up Nick and they drove to Vancouver Island, British  Columbia, Canada, met Damian and Braeden and did this:

And a fun time was had by all.  They were back on Saturday, June 2.

I had fun while he was gone. I worked.  But we had a party, too!  Amber is leaving and moving to Virginia, so we had lunch together at work. On Book Carts. How librarian-esque. ha. Not really. Food has no place in a library!!
I planted flowers (no photos), I attended at play and helped usher for "The Music Man" (no photos), I went to the temple--twice. Once with a group of Relief Society Ladies from the ward, and another time to clean--again, with the fine folks from my ward.

May was full and fun and busy and relaxing (because I got to sit around and blog and listen to audio books). What will June bring, I wonder?
My day (today, June 5, 2018) began like this:
I walked over to Berenice's to get some exercise AND to water some flowers at 6 am.

AND it ended like this--the view from my kitchen window (screen and all):
I should have gone out and done it justice with nothing between me and the sky.  But oh well. I was tired. I dug up a bucket of weeds today after work.