Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Dr. Report/ Day's Summary

I discovered, when we lived in the RV, that I liked blogging outside around a campfire. The days aren't terribly quiet around here with everyone traveling...but the evenings ARE. Nolan and Dad both go to bed around 8 p.m.  I've been reading outside...while the chickens get ready for bed and the garden gets watered....but tonight, I discovered something even better.

Blogging from our own deck....
Dad planted these flowers - I love the peak; can't see as much of it in the
summer....but the green is nice. 

On either side of the deck are these lovely lilacs. They smell wonderful! 

And I'm sipping on a mug of home-grown spearmint tea...If I weren't daydreaming I'd be inspired to blog. ::snort:: 
My favorite little pot from a Japanese thrift store
This morning I was up early spending time with Jesus, working out, watering, weeding corn, . I even pulled two watermelon plants. It hurt my heart to do so...but I chose the healthiest two to give the space to. I think my cantaloupe needs more room. I don't think it gets warm enough in the garden for it to grow. I may have to choose between the cucumbers and cantaloupe. 

I left the house to visit with my nurse practitioner before Dad was up.  It was a great appointment. After nine years of being a vegan, she had suggested I switch to a Mediterranean diet. I was introduced to the Blue Zone Lifestyle . This helped me see how to make it all work together.  She felt my cholesterol would  be managed, and I'd benefit from more food choices, as I worked to limit complex carbs and eliminate sugar. My A1C was high, I didn't want to go on Metformin (it had been high for a year). I had been trying to "limit" sugar, and it kept rising. I needed to eliminate it.  If I agreed to only have sugar "occasionally," and  make sure my heart is in target range at least 150 min a week, I could re-check in 3 months. I was willing to make the changes.  

I had no sugar/bread/meat until Easter. I had sugar on Easter, Mother's Day and Father's Day. In May I had meat once. I didn't like how I felt when I ate  meat and haven't had any more since then. I made a conscious effort to "eat more fish." I ate all the fruit I wanted. I made a couple of desserts with dates and apples.

I had been trying to cut out sugar for years....having a cancer scare and a big D diagnosis in the same month motivated me to get serious.

Today was the moment of truth. We'd see how my cholesterol and blood sugar reacted to the changes.  I lost weight. My HDL was up (viva la salmon!), my LDL was down. My triglycerides were up a bit,  but she said that is genetic. I'd gone off the drugs for that and so a slight increase was better than we had thought. She said we don't need to worry about this with my lab numbers.

My A1C had been one higher than the top of the pre-diabetic range this practice uses (and I'm noting there are several scales online). It is now the very lowest of the pre-diabetic range. If it had been one point lower the diagnosis would go away....but she told me I need to eat like a diabetic if I want to keep my sugars low....I am managing it with diet and lifestyle and  if I begin to think it's "gone," I'll slide back to old habits.  She encouraged me to continue plodding away at these changes as they are a total lifestyle and it's working.  She added strength training to my workout routine...which I'll begin when I find the handout with the exercises. ::snort::

I have lost weight - even on the "doctor scale."    My Vitamin D has tanked. I'm about to get  huge doses of D for 16 weeks....and then go back to the daily 5,000 IU. Repeat of my Misawa experience. My liver and kidney functions have both improved. My electrolytes and protein et al were fine.

I'm relieved not to have to limit or give up fruit.

She didn't mention colonoscopy once today.

I came home to watch Benny so CoRielle could go out. He and Dad took a nap. This is what I got done while I watched Benny. ::wink::

I planted 150 corn starts, 24 beet starts, and 3 kinds of squash. I checked the packages and all had a 50 - 60 days to maturity range. All were seeds I had hanging around.  I'm hopeful as  we get twice the sunshine of the lower 48. Michael and Alex planted 155 corn seeds...and only 11 have germinated (yes, I soaked them).  We decided to start more corn inside - because  it worked last year. LOL  Everyone told me they NEVER start corn inside - but.....I guess you have to do what works for YOU.

I planted some forget-me-nots in my "Gather" pot, and replanted all 3 things on the shelf. I'm not sure what the first one is - a 2018 Mother's Day gift,  the second pot contains spearmint, and the 3rd pot is chocolate spearmint. I clipped it back and put it in a bigger pot. I put the  clippings in a jar to stick in here and there when they grow some roots. I saved some leaves for my evening tea. 

I tried to put together a greenhouse shelf we have. It wouldn't stay together. I'd planned to use it for some of the starts. I put them in the greenhouse....I hope it works. If not - it's all seeds I had...and the main garden is in - I just want to fill up some of the spaces. LOL
I have ALWAYS had a black thumb - I'm a bit amused at all the green 

CoRielle came home and proceeded to make fun family memories....Dad is teasing about finding a bear tape to play.  I watched Benny chase moths for a bit and then headed in to make dinner.

After dinner Nolan, Dad and I played two rounds of Farkle. It's become our habit. I won both - I'm ok if THAT becomes a habit. LOL

It's been HOT around here....Its predicted we'll hit 80's in the next day or so. Cory told me I need to be watering more. I took advantage of the watering to get some photos.

Isn't this the prettiest kale you've ever seen? 

I swear this stuff is bigger each time I go out....the heat, sun and water are working magic.
3 kinds of Kale

The potatoes are finally big enough for this novice gardener to feel comfortable telling them from the weeds. I'll weed them tomorrow.

Good grief it's 11 p.m. again. The days are long when one  has a rooster outside one's bedroom window. Phoenix hasn't learned to go to bed before the sun goes down....he is up making noise at 1:30 a.m. and crowing the sun up at 4:30 a.m.

Garden Update

Y'all - we actually grew something besides lettuce and basil that we ATE. Radishes....I was thinning them out and lo and behold, there were tiny little radishes.  We also had spinach from the garden tonight..

I pulled a weed and  realized it looked like parsley - I tasted it. Cilantro. Shoot....I only see two other little leaves that survived the moose....but maybe there are more under there. They must have gotten buried pretty deep.

This teeny-tiny Texas Rattler melon actually has caused the most excitement around here. God-speed little one.... 

We've carried the seeds around for years and we need ONE melon to mature so we can get more seeds. None of them survived last year....but this year....they have one side of the greenhouse designated for watermelon. I had planned to pull the weak plants out when I saw which was growing well. I've only had the heart to pull one of the plants. ARGH.

Garden layout -Corn in the forefront, potatoes in the brown space between the corn and carpet. YES - I DO have the old carpet from BreZaak's house in my garden. ANYTHING to cover weeds. Zuchinni to the left of the carpet. The beds have carrots, lettuce, cabbage, kale, beets, spinach, radishes and evidently a bit of cilantro. There is a row of cauliflower and broccoli to the right of the 2nd bed.  

By the time I realized I had way more space than seedlings - I couldn't find more things to plant. I'd love to find squash, pumpkins, more potatoes.....
Cauliflower or Broccoli - novice problem - I am basically letting everything
grow until I can figure out what is food...then I pull weeds. 
 Pepper dreams 

Tomatoes in our future? 

Something ate the beet leaf....back to google I will go. 

I keep repeating Michael's comment, "It's a work in progress, De'Etta."  This is better than last year. Next year will be better than this year....I'll get it figured out.

Trouble.....Natural Aphid Spray

Yes, I discovered trouble in the happiest place on earth....
Facebook friends identified it as aphids on my pepper plants...and offered solutions. In keeping with our endeavor not to use chemical/pesticide on the garden or yard.....I selected a "safe" recipe and sprayed. I suspect I'll need to use this often so am putting the "recipe" below.....This site had many recipes.  I went ahead and sprayed anything in the greenhouse or garden that looked like it had bugs or holes....something has gotten left holes in ONE beet leaf and several radishes.

Recipe from the US Department of Agriculture (I figured they'd know a thing or two).

2 tsp dish soap
1 C oil
Fill 32 oz bottle with water (16 oz pictured above)

Shake and spray tops and bottoms of leaves every 9-10 days, ensuring aphids are completely covered.

I have one potted tomato plant with yellowed and leaves and found a couple of curled leaves on others. Google suggests they need more water.....or are too hot.....

Have Passport Will Travel?

The house is QUIET with three people out of town! Wow.

Dad and I made another trip to the post office - this time with an appointment. His passport application is on it's way to PA! Have passport, will travel? He is happy to think he has it for another 10 years.  The last time he'd renewed it was in Manila.

Nolan got home from work a bit early.

We all took naps.  I have discovered a new joy! Reading outside at midnight. A habit which evidently leads to afternoon naps.

I woke up in time to prepare dinner and have a water fight with Benny. 

The three of us played Farkle after dinner. The games are much quicker. LOL They are really fast if one rolls like this - I've never seen a roll like this. 3,000 points and Nolan for the win!

Dad and Nolan headed to bed after a second game. I headed outside to get chickens to bed, close up the greenhouse, water what looked dry and take care of some bug problems.

It's been a bit of a quiet day - but it's been a good day.

MeMa and Benny's First Water Fight

Benny LOVES to be in the middle of whatever project is occupying our attention. He especially likes chores involving water. Here are a few photos from last week. 
Helping water

On another day he helped me fill the chicken's water. 

He was doing a great job - until he turned the hose on them. 
The chickens tend to avoid Benny
Benny has spent yesterday and today calling for Papa, Yay-a, and Ax....alas  all went bye-bye. I suggested he come out and help me feed scraps to the chickens tonight. We asked Arielle - she said yes - and off we went.  I should have remembered the chicken incident.

It all started so innocently. Dandelions and Eggs - remember? Our two crops at Wibbly Wobbly Acres. All crops must be watered.  Don't be fooled by the cute innocence. 
Watering the dandelions

This was the warning shot....

and then all the photos became blurry and water logged as I attempted to escape  the onslaught of Benny-directed watering. He got me good....I was laughing and yelling. Arielle was laughing.  G Dog was yelling and laughing from the window....I was WET.

Benny? He was laughing with glee.  And chattering a mile a minute. In the midst of it all he called me MeMa (Memaw?). I have no idea if it will stick - but I liked the sound of it coming from a little grandblessing.

I told Arielle to help me....she said he'd get her if she helped. ::snort:: I told her to turn the water off. ::snort::  Look at the determination on that face!

I hope it's the first of many water fights to come.