Friday, March 29, 2019

rigged up and wasted

Another gorgeous day out there perfect for working outside and there is still plenty to do but I'm not very motivated because I'm sleepy. I'm sleepy because I was wearing the 24 hour heart monitor and I found it impossible to sleep with it on, waking about every hour and a half to adjust the position of the monitor or to rearrange the folds of the shirt that got all twisty and just having to wear the shirt when I haven't worn bedclothes since I was 16 and the air conditioning went out in our house and it was so hot I stripped and slid my naked body between the sheets and it was heavenly.

I went in Thursday morning and the first thing the woman asked me was where was my front button shirt? Um, didn't know I was supposed to wear a front button shirt. It was the first thing on the preparatory list they gave me at my last RNP appointment when she ordered the monitor she tells me. Oops. I didn't even read it. I don't think I have a button down the front shirt I told her (Marc reminded me later that I do, my western style long sleeve flannel shirt which would have been too hot anyway). No problem as they have some very stylish shirts there for those of us who don't know how to follow instructions.

It's a good thing I wasn't wearing a necklace or body lotion and I don't wear a bra in any case, number 2 on the list that I read when I got home, so I was good there. No baths or showers, no problem since I took one when I got up. Try to do as much of your normal activity to get a true test, well I didn't want to do any gardening work since it's dirty work, at least the stuff I still have to do, and the monitor was hanging in a little pouch outside my shirt so I worked on cleaning up and rearranging the garage now that the plants have all been moved outside and got less than half done. So because I've been having two episodes a day 5 out of the last 6 days, yesterday, all rigged up, went by almost without a hitch just to show how perverse the universe can be, until 9:45 PM when the afib kicked in and then out sometime after I went to bed.

Something wreaked some havoc outside last night and not a peep out of the dog. I went out this morning to find that the little boy with the pot of violas on his head had been knocked down backwards breaking off a gorgeous poppy at the ground. Of course it was this one

which I knew would be different from the common red ones I have because the foliage was more silvery and the leaves more pointed and the bud was enormous. I was hoping it was a purple version of the red ones I have but it opened yesterday to the gorgeous frilliness of above. Well, no matter, there's at least 5 more plants. And then I spied this variation among the reds...

I went out a bit ago, thinking not to waste this day but soon realized, I am wasted. I'm headed to the couch with my book.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

misc. photo dump

If I don't start doing some artwork or sculpture soon I might just as well change the description of my blog, you know, the part about being an artist working in glass, to one about gardening. I got out there again today after my day off to take advantage of this gorgeous weather before the heat and humidity descends on us because once it does it won't go away for nearly six months. Weeded the last flower bed and got the rudbeckia in which basically took me all day, moving slow as I was. I did get the dog bathed and we went on the long walk and got the tomato plants and blueberries watered. Remember when I was trying not to complain about all the rain? It's fucking feast or famine around here. I never thought I'd say this so freaking soon but...I wish it would rain.

The yellow iris opened. I was expecting this...

what I got was this.

So pretty, don't you think, pale and frilly and faintly green in the center.

The maroon japanese iris opened too.

And the pecans trees, always the last to bud out, are sending out their blooms.

The previous owners of the country house planted a little dogwood tree which I understand never bloomed for them and also never bloomed for us until about 3 years ago when we lost a big branch from the pecan tree that shades the buddha garden and it started getting a little more sun which surprised me as I thought dogwoods were understory trees. We never get more than a handful of blooms but at least it's trying.

The other morning we had a standoff going on between the dog and the cat. One wanted in and the other wanted out and neither was giving way. The dog eventually pushed her way past the cat.

Steve from Shadows & Light asked about the cleaver or stickyweed wondering if it was the same as what they call cleaver. Well, here it is. Every part of this weed sticks to you...leaves, stems, seeds.

My new readers that I was so excited about that I got at the Evil Empire turned out to be crap China shit (I swear, Walmart is just one step above the Dollar Store for quality) because while the lenses are good and the frames hard plastic, the fabrication has a lot to be desired. The left temple fell off a couple of days ago and not because a tiny screw came out but because a piece of metal broke out of it's slot. Tried glueing it back. Twice. With two different glues. Then just wrapped it with masking tape which tore in no time. Finally had to go full on geek with duct tape.

There's a frog somewhere close to the back door. The other day a woodpecker was doing it's rat-a-tat-tat to attract a mate and the silly frog thought it was another frog and would sing back to it. This isn't that frog but one I saw earlier today on one of the wrought iron fence sections I have put up on the property line between me and the bat shit crazy neighbor.

I think I mentioned that I am being included in a new book on pate de verre and it taking me all freaking day one day to edit and rewrite the verbiage. Now I have to pick one image that I think represents my work. One. How is that even possible? So I posted 5 images that I selected on various glass related pages on FB and asked for feedback. I've narrowed it down to these two and I have to make my choice soon. As in yesterday. One last survey which I may or may not ignore.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

more spring more yardwork

Friday morning my sister and I went to one of the sort of local nurseries that usually has a good selection of native perennials. This time I remembered to bring my list of plants and came home with some of what I wanted but not others. She didn't have the germander (bird's eye) speedwell or the coral porterweed or the loosestrife which has now been designated so invasive that it's illegal to bring it into Texas but I did come home with the valerian and the mullien verbascum. She had the grevillea, a large shrub/tree native to Australia which has very cool flowers, but she wanted $65 for it. There are some bulbs on the list but didn't ask about those.

I also picked up an ox-eye daisy, something I've never had luck with and the last ones I had were wiped away as if they never existed by the flood, oh well, ever the optimist me, and a pot of Brazos penstemon and a Hinckley columbine, something else I've never been able to get to bloom but I am nothing if not stubborn, a yesterday-today-and-tomorrow since neither of the two I transplanted from the city house survived, and three small pots of rudbeckia. So the rest of Friday and all day Saturday were spent out in the yard though only got the valerian in the ground. I did more weeding, just about have all the flower beds done now with the old garden spot being the last still to do but it's pretty much wild all the time and I got three of the plumerias in the ground and moved two small azaleas that weren't blooming where they were. I have another plant to move that involves digging up iris bulbs first that haven't bloomed for three years now that were always reliable and the first to bloom because I want to move it where they are but that will have to wait. Not on the agenda for today.

Today I got everything but the rudbeckia in the ground though I put the ox-eye daisy in a pot because I couldn't decide where to plant it so I figured, in a pot, I can move it around until I decide. I also dug up a volunteer althea (rose of sharon) that had already gotten to be about 4' tall in a place I did not want it and put it in a pot for the time being as well as some of the firecracker fern that I dug up yesterday which has never bloomed very well and was just getting bigger and bigger. It was mentioned at one of the garden club meetings that it didn't do well in the ground, liked to be potbound, so we'll see. I had to do the potting over at the shop yard since that's where my dirt is.

The main item on the agenda today though was getting the tomatoes in which meant I had to transfer dirt from the collapsed raised bed into the white raised bed which, after two seasons was only about 3/4 full but first I pulled all the weeds out from around the blueberries which aren't doing so well, aren't blooming nearly so well as last year so I guess they didn't care for the fall and winter of neglect and then I had to repair the hose which had got run over by the mower so I could water everything. But I did finally get the tomatoes in 

and then walked the dog and sat and visited with my neighbor Judy and finally got my shower. And let me just say that after 6 days in a row of working in the yard, then two days off and 3 more days in a row working out in the yard, I am bushed toast.

I think maybe tomorrow I'll lay on the couch all day and finish my book.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

spring stuff and heart stuff

I spent all of last week working out in the yard, six days in a row. Would have worked the seventh, Wednesday, but I had my follow-up with the cardiac RNP and then yoga class at 5:15. It was such a beautiful first day of spring that we had class outside. Wednesday evenings class is held at the local elementary school so we spread out on the lawn.

I got most of the wild mexican petunias dug up. 



This is going to be a constant battle because they spread to the other side of the chainlink fence and filled the space between it and the turtle pond which is crammed into the corner with an althea and a rose bush and I can't get back there unless I empty and move the turtle pond, something that ain't gonna happen.

Some of the denizens of the flower beds.

I also got the front flower bed weeded and half the long day lily bed which took two days. The other half should only take a day as it is more filled with stuff I want. Probably won't get to that til Friday as we went to the movie today to see Captain Marvel which, I imagine, if you are a Marvel fan you've already seen it so no preview.

The field behind us continues to fill out with the flowers creeping almost to us

and the wisteria over at the shop is coming into bloom.

The iris are not the tri-color I thought but white,

and the white fragrant climbing jasmine at the shop.

More poppies

and I finally made it over to the Hungerford Co-op for tomatoes, the only thing I'm planting this spring.

So, as mentioned above I had my next appointment with the cardiac RNP. Halfway through the last month I took it upon myself to double my dose of the beta blocker, keeping a close eye on my blood pressure and pulse, since I was seeing no improvement the previous two weeks even though I had three days in a row of no episodes but then I was having two a day and a couple of days off and on all day. I also quit having my evening cocktail and reduced my meager two cups of coffee to one cup a day in an effort to identify any triggers midway through the month but alas, still having an episode a day at varied times of day with an occasional day free. So I went to my appointment with my calendar of episodes and my list of dates with blood pressure and pulse notations and my list of questions and she didn't blink when I told her I had doubled my dose and that while it hadn't stopped the episodes of rapid and irregular heartbeat the last two weeks seemed less frequent and less severe. We talked about triggers and her opinion was, considering all the evidence, that I didn't have any triggers (yay! I can go back to my evil ways!), just a rogue spot in my heart that sends out these signals whenever it jolly well feels like it. So the next month, keep on the higher dose and I can take half a pill when I'm having an episode as long as I keep an eye on my blood pressure and pulse and I go in next week for the 24 hour monitor. If there is still no improvement by the next appointment, we will talk about other medications, possibly adding another. Not sure I want to pile up the meds so maybe the catheter ablation is in my future. Turns out I don't need to be having an episode for them to do it as they can stimulate me into one oh goody and she has a doctor in mind to refer me to since I was not interested in having some unknown through the emergency room do it. I want to know who the doctor is, want to meet with said doctor, want to know how experienced said doctor is in the technique, how many times said doctor has had unsatisfactory results, etc. She also said I may need to see an electrocardiologist which is a cardiologist that specializes in heart rhythms.

So with all this weighing on my mind I had the weirdest dream last night where I finally agreed to have the procedure but she wanted to admit me the next day but I told her I couldn't have it the next day because we were going to the movie and we had already bought our tickets but she could go ahead and admit me though I would leave for the movie but come back and then some other weird shit happened and I woke up.

Well, since alcohol does not seem to be a trigger, I'm going to go fix my evening cocktail.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Ms Nature is showing off her new clothes

I have yet to clear off my desk or work tables. While the weather is still overcast and cooler, it has been dry and so I've been working out in the yard Thursday and Friday tidying up the side yard on the west side digging up the walking onions and pulling other weeds (plan to make this a huge shade fern garden since grass doesn't grow there well anyway), planting fern nodules my neighbor gave me and the rest of the phlox Ms Moon sent me but mostly trying to tidy up around the bluebonnets out front. Got the weed eater out and trimmed around them and then when my retired farmer neighbor walked by and identified the grass crowding them out as rye grass which was starting to go to'll have ten times as much next year he says, just trim off the tops...I got out there with scissors and filled a huge trash bag with the debris, and picked the first of the peas.

Yesterday I trimmed the little backyard as the lawnmower won't fit through the gate and around the flower beds just outside the gate (the evening primrose which hasn't started to bloom yet and I are parting ways, much as I love it, because it has invaded my flower beds and just takes over), pulled up armloads of sticky weed (or cleaver as my sister calls it) and another weed that makes sticky little seeds that get caught in the cat's fur out of the big backyard (did I get it all? oh hell no). Then my daughter showed up for a surprise visit and after she left I took the dog for the long walk where we saw this ornamental plum tree in full bloom

and then filled the tea cup after a cardinal perched on it giving me the stink eye. Unfortunately, it slipped out of my fingers and crashed to the ground breaking the saucer, the third saucer I might add. Squirrels broke the other two by leaping off it with such vigor that it swung right off the hook. So now it's hanging slightly askew til I can get a new saucer to drill.

More yard work on the agenda for today, the main chore being a return to digging up the wild mexican petunias, which I also love but are highly invasive and crowding out stuff I want. You'd never know I spent a good week digging them up last spring as every bit of root left will regrow though they aren't nearly as thick.

these are coming out

The maroon japanese iris are sending up scapes as is the yellow which is the first time this one has bloomed but the white iris and purple iris behind the buddha which were always first have failed to bloom for the third year in a row. I also have a tricolor iris in the front that has four buds on that I noticed Friday and then Saturday two had been munched on so I put aluminum foil strips around the bottom last evening because I read somewhere that snails and slugs won't travel across it and this morning no more munching (no pictures because the stupid camera in the iPhone would not focus on the iris scapes, maybe when they bloom).

More spring porn...

The first poppies are open

and I guess I was just impatient about the bluebonnets which have really filled out 

and the indian paintbrush as the field has also filled out with many color variations.

click to bigify
The spirea is halfway to full bloom. It usually blooms with the azaleas but they bloomed early and are done now.

And the baby-blue-eyes scattered around the yard are also starting to bloom.