12 by the Numbers

My 12th anniversary of blogging happened recently, WordPress let me know.

Also, recently, a young woman known to me, had a stroke. I listened to the highlights of her story.

Sigh – stroke, abusive relationships, healing, tools to recover, running a small biz on what she did before, and can still do, though slower, and supplies to create her cottage industry wares, more costly?

Yes, I have experience of my road, I can share with her, to see if any of it is useful to her…

She used to work as a volunteer EMS provider, too – so sometimes? I can revert to long ago learned worldview & lingo and she still ‘hears’ what I’m trying to convey in words of encouragement – 😀

How to get disability from a system you’ve worked your entire life in to pay into? How to get court orders enforced, after leaving a life partner? Nope, I can’t tell her – Most times, I’ve found, it’s less time, money and emotional resources spent, if I just focus on what I can do, where I can, as I can, for folks who believe I have something they want…

And so, dearheart? My Blogiversary post, is for you….

There is life on the other side of stroke, like you and me have had – not debilitating forever, but leaves ya rather laid up for awhile or maybe a long while…., Life will wax and wane, like it always has, just seems like more highs and lows to deal with, now…

All ya gotta do is hang on, some days, push forth as tolerated on days ya can – and don’t lose hope, ever, even if it’s only exists in microscopic size.

But, okay – from the outside looking at me, ya think I beat it, I’m ‘back’ and life is a cake walk – so, here’s the truth – for you and others – no life is ever sans any challenges, ever.

Ya just gotta choose, do I show up best as I can today? Or do I give up?

And everyday, you make that choice, over and over again.

The Years Go By –


12 years of blogging,
Seems like just yesterday.
Takes me back to an office window
In the city above the clouds
With close up view of Pikes Peak.
A marriage, where one no longer loves,
Instead, stays out late most nights.
A house filled still, with no longer spoken grief,
A friend that stuck around, after my son died,
Attends some “Positive Thinking” seminar,
And alerts me to a book by Jill Bolte Taylor,
“My Stroke of Insight”
Interesting read, and teaches me some more,
About my brain and soul.
The thoughts, chemicals and neural connections,
That take place while I navigate Life in all its emotions.
But most of all, to recognize more quickly,
When lying to myself, or asking of damaged parts,
To do what they cannot do, just now, maybe never again,
But to focus instead, on building a new roadway,
To circumvent the now dead portions of my
Internal landscape.


11 years ago, a separation,
A hurried move, two part-time jobs and one,
Side hustle of database building, content writing and tutoring others to use tech and software.
All while trying to build a huge veggie garden,
Followed by a stroke in the late fall.
Then, websites built on WorPress CMS and hosting for site biz started,
Only thing I can afford or think I can just now do,
Is budget an extra $16/month,
To upgrade personal account,
On shared hosting,
To buy room to host others –
Unlimited they say, if I stay below bandwidth and space levels.
I can try to do, just now
Something for local friends willing to pay modest costs,
For help in getting a website online, they have tried,
But are confused.
I can earn some money,
Perhaps with time, build out a modest living.
All now I am unable to do what I once did without a thought.

I can’t talk well at all,
Though if I whisper or sing,
Others can more easily bear to listen and hear, what I’m saying,
Unless I utter to them words different, from what my brain had chosen.
My right foot turns inward, way past mere pigeon-toed form,
Yet I don’t notice it, until my knee, hip
And back hurt mightily,
I must walk in way my brain shouts at me,
That I’m walking wall-footed,
But visual check confirms,
My right foot is pointed, straight forward.
No food or drink tastes as expected.
Except tuna salad on saltine crackers.
The doctor prescribes one glass of dark red wine per day;
I have to water it down 31 parts to 1, and sip on,
Throughout the day, for I’ve never liked wine
But I’m forbidden from drinking beer, ever again
Visiting with others wears me out,
For if many talk or make noises, all at once,
My brain saves itself the energy,
Through white-noise buzzing instead of
Trying to separate all the incoming strands,
And waste the energy to make sense,
Of the all the incoming noise
I must rest every 20 minutes,
Otherwise, the only sound I hear,
Is my racing heart pounding in my left ear,
And the only world I view is blurry.
I no longer can multi-task,
And even a simple meal,
Will burn or get ruined,
If anything more than box Mac & Cheese,
I stand or sit by the stove, and continually focus on
Until done, with timer set for each step.
Thus I return to the crockpot meals
5-15 minutes prep, put on low,
And it will cook just like it used to, while I used to go to work.
Put supper on the table.
For my mom and my son,
It’s the least I can do.
When they return back home,
From the world in which,
I no longer belong.


10 years ago, I stand before the judge,
And stutter-lisp my replies,
In voice that brings pity into my loved ones’ eyes,
But only brings that look of,
To the face of my ex, sitting across the aisle.
The judge proclaims my freedom,
To start my life anew, best as I can.
With a kindly added “Miss, you take care of yourself”
To me, before the final gavel rap.
Child support only, no alimony did I ask.
He offered payout, from 401(k) often raided,
And it’s enough, after penalty taxes,
To pay off the medical bills, the remnants of simple funeral bill
For son back in 2008, payments skipped by ex.
That I didn’t know about, till I tried to pre-pay for my own,
Just in case….
Back rent due to family, kindly carried on the books,
Paid and now have nest egg of $3,906, to start over.
My gums erupt blood, from stress of the day,
He still scares me, and I fast walk away.
But I breathe a sigh of relief,
Deliver name change info to the bank,
The DMV and County Clerk,
And drive home, feeling blessed,
I am now able to drive myself.


9 years ago, the first spring arrives,
At the place I still call home,
But felt as if I had arrived,
Where I was always supposed to belong,
First time I set first left foot,
Then dragging along the other,
Onto this land.
A very tiny home, on very tiny budget,
But space for son and I,
To be ourselves, heal
And grow in.


8 years ago, tiny biz
Slow but sort of growing
I brave applying,
For two hours a day
Library aide job.
I lisp through my answers,
To interview questions.
Sound more like Elmer Fudd now,
Then first generation computer voice.
The branch manager is kind,
And doesn’t insist I answer quick or fast.
My foot barely drags anymore,
Only when I’m tired.
And no one cares, how I talk
While I’m shelving books.


7 years ago, I’m getting stronger
Tiny biz numbers grow, all by referral,
I move from shared hosting,
To better, containerized server.
Business investment and increased cost shared,
Between me, and still affordable for my six clients.
No website of my own, too busy,
Building for others and working part-time,
Trying to improve the homeplace,
After massive storm and roof damage.
I work on the roof, that feels like hell on earth,
But don’t pass out, and glad I’m not a full-time roofer,
I once more count my blessings,
While treating sunburn and fatigue,
And can’t waste the energy to talk
That evening.


6 years ago, son graduates,
Mother retires and moves
Just me and Oakley, the wonder dawg, left,
With all this free-time, and no budget for travel,
Just what will I do?
More customers taken on,
More hours at library,
I’m now a tech, no longer an aide,
My voice only lisps or stutters,
When I overdo and get extremely tired.
More income, less grocery budget needed,
My century plus three years old home now fully rewired,
By my high school teacher with a little help
From me, and my brain now knows,
What each color of wires and screws,
Really means.


5 years ago, another interview,
I’m recovered enough to talk too much.
For more hours and increased responsibility,
At library day job.
Tiny biz now at full-service client list of 10,
But bills for what’s left over,
After scholarships, grants and work study,
At son’s college, hit my inbox.
Nothing to do but apply for Lead,
For my part-time hours will be cut,
From my little job, to pay for newly formed position.
And I am encouraged to apply,
By same boss that hired me when I couldn’t talk well or much.
I want my son to have what I was unable to do for myself,
Life got in the way. Amazingly, I am hired,
Start new position and the year marches on,
A spring day of brush and trash clearing,
And hauling back in, shredded mulch,
By the side of the homesteaders group formed,
I started as monthly program at library,
But we now work together,
For each homestead’s needs.
I am offered an ice-cold beer,
As I arrive with one leg bleeding,
From a fall and scrapes from brush,
That had nothing to do with balance,
Only me getting tired and losing my temper over my strength.
My mind remembers with longing,
The taste of ice cold beer, after working under hot day sun,
Long ago….
I take a hesitant sip,
It tastes like it should!
One goes down after another,
Though some turn warm half-empty,
And never are finished.
While I luxuriate in just visiting with folks,
I worked physically hard alongside today,
And didn’t fail in doing my part.
I walk home from host of the afterwork potluck BBQ,
Just three blocks back home, but I surely wouldn’t dare drive!
I’ve been drinking and feel rather sloshed….
The morning after 5 beers consumed,
Hangover and dehydration reign,
I realize, it might taste right – but no longer worth it.
I chafe over the day of misery and missed
Work to be done, cuz I’m miserable and can’t work well,
On what’s mine to do, on any streamlined front…
Not like I did often in my youth.
But it didn’t instantly kill me,
Just a reminder I’m no longer young,
Though another work day meant,
I discovered I could buck straw bales,
Onto a trailer, once more.
Again, after that hot day of work in the sun,
I’m reminded,
Stick with my well-watered down wine,
Sometimes poured in ratio of 8 or 10:1,
When hard day or many days, under my belt,
As I sit listening to music or,
Dancing in the living room,
With Oakley and she plays,
Her game fully, without fearing she’ll trip me.
Then? I don’t always pay attention,
When refilling the water mug.
I’m hydrated, everyday, and well,
Sometimes imbibe enough,
The ache in my joints and once in awhile,
My heart,
Eases off.
Beer doesn’t kill me, true,
But I no longer yearn for days gone by,
Or even want,
I’m often high of life, and the aches are bearable without,
More I can do, than I cannot
So there is much overall,
This year, To Celebrate.


4 years ago, foot traffic,
Customer engagement grows,
At full-time job of books, programs & community,
While referrals for tiny biz,
Are handled best I can via free advice given,
Or passed on to other providers, locally.
Existing client requests handled,
Late at night and wee hours of morning.
I hardly ever lisp or stutter anymore,
Though often drained from interaction,
After nine hours of multi-tasking.
Sometimes 150 people taken care of in just one day.
I discover I can balance on just my right foot,
To reach, stretch in tight space, without falling over,
To get an odd job done.
When did that heal and now I can once more do?
I don’t know,
I was too busy to test and log,
My monthly ‘gains’ stuff I used to do.
Son, with 3 semesters under his belt,
Takes the summer session off,
Moves to live with Dad and stepmom,
He’s burnt out from non-stop schooling and working.
I understand that feeling.
But a month after he moves,
Ex stops sending,
The extended by 2-years of monthly support,
In lieu of long term alimony or asset buyout,
To cover portion of schooling costs,
Which his half of estimated 4 years,
Already racked up,
Only recourse is contempt of court filing,
And I will not do, not while my son
Lives in his household,
For He will take it out on my beloved,
In sneaky, heart felt ways,
Rather than facing me.
As he always has done.
And nothing to do, but soldier on.
I am able, and I well enough now,
To take upon my own shoulders.
I rejoice in my recovery.


3 years ago, more changes arrive,
First seasonal flu, then pneumonia,
As I blindly repeat past cycles I should have learned,
Not to do,
Of working/serving others first, taking care of myself last…
If at all.
Most likely caught at job, as sick folks
Cough, hack and sneeze while traipsing through,
Choosing books and movies,
To keep them entertained while they stay ‘home’ sick…
I can’t breathe well, for awhile,
The lisp and stutter return.
I’m nearly down to the size jeans I wore,
When I was 20 years younger.
Come spring, new board of directors,
New company organization,
What I love at my job, duties once more changing,
And hours will be reduced.
What’s asked of me now, not focused on,
Direct customer service.
Resignation tendered and small, but paying its way biz,
Once more sole focus of my attention.
Son who moved in with schoolmate, months ago,
And working full-time steady, loses congenial roommate,
To upcoming ‘marriage’, and though invited,
To join the new couple in their new home,
He, instead, close to lease expiration,
Comes home, until he can,
Show year’s worth of pay-stubs for his ‘career possible’ job,
And perhaps? Put a down on a small place of his own.
Our household now numbers 3 once more.
And we are working and getting ‘er done,
To pay the bills, nip away at college debt lingering,
Together we invest in side of beef and hog,
To stock the freezer to keep him well fed.
Young men who work manual labor jobs,
Require more animal protein per day, than I do.
what? I can do this,
I’m healed up from last winter’s illness,
And folks figure I’m smartest crayon in the box,
On anything they need help with,
That deals with tech.
Because my voice no longer ever hints,
That I may be brain-damaged.
And I don’t offer up the info/possibility of it,
I only list out what I do/do not think I know,
Offer what I may be able to help with,
At this bargain price,
Those in my area can afford.
I have no wish to serve those,
Promising higher pay, benefits or steady checks,
For while I forget some things,
I remember well who stuck around and hired me,
When I held no value for anyone else.


2 years ago, son and I both get sick,
Early January it was, bad respiratory flu,
We recover, slowly but surely,
I stutter and lisp some in the weeks following,
I lose one recent new customer; a missed deadline.
Turned out okay, and they got elsewhere,
What they wanted, in less grand fashion than I envisioned building.
Refused my offer of entire refund,
But still,
Humiliating and no excuse, no matter what info I didn’t get,
I’m better than that, and it was, after all, only the flu.
By March I’m better, and mom has surgery,
I push her wheelchair out from hospital,
As newly hired security officers, set up screening
At the entry/exit points, because of first case
Of the new virus scaring many.
By June I’m very grateful, son is home with me.
Were it not for splitting home & utility costs,
I would fall behind, given requests from clients to keep
Their bill as low as possible, and only hold the line.
It’s not the stroke after effects, or being ill this past winter,
It’s the cares and burdens,
To carry – I’ll get back on my feet, here soon
I need only not tarry on fronts where I can do,
And rest whenever I can.
I start to suspect, as the year goes by,
And others around my locale, fall ill,
Or die…
Perhaps my son and I,
Had the dreaded virus, before
Ever it was newsworthy or labeled as a hoax by many.


1 year ago, after taking on odd jobs,
And meeting obligations,
While sitting in front of computer,
My muscle tone is gone, weight creeps
Back on, and blood pressure spikes here and there.
I no longer can work 18 hours a day,
Even just in front of the computer.
I’m thankful for final round of stimulus,
To keep it all going.
Income slowly improving,
Client requests and concerns over potential billing,
I fear the quiet and various signs that show up,
Those I associate with
What happened in the time before my stroke,
Physical, Mental and financial stress,
But for $5.99 monthly HerbMentor subscription,
And $243 spent on herbs to use in tea, that will grow here,
Herbal Medica books, and seeds for herbs that work,
Plus lots of hours ‘wasted’ (?) in non-paid work,
Reading digitized versions,
Of pharmacopia and treatment pamphlets,
Published in 1880-early 1900s,
From Western doctors, using local plants,
Two online mini-courses virtually taken,
From one Herbalist and one Qigong Master,
I beat back the fears, and find what works
Well enough, just now, for me.

Zero or Lift-Off

This passing year, so far,
Has been another doozy,
A variant, most likely caught in May,
Son was just starting with symptoms,
The day we saw each other, for only the second time,
Since he got his own place January.
I treat the discomfort at home,
And make it through, without ER or Doctor visit.
Learn the results of son’s required for work testing,
One positive out of 10 taken, since 2020,
And he has been vaccinated.
Not a hoax and I did nothing special or drastic or experimental,
Nor believe I have any answers for others,
On pandemic fears front,
But it arrived at busiest time of year for 4 of my now 13 clients.
And still, three non-profits, waiting patiently in the wings,
For me to donate hours, to build & launch their dreams,
With what they and I together, can do.
Clients requested to double check my work sent,
I’m all but begging them to,
I’m not at they consider, my established & proven before, best.
Clients are nice about it, patient and sometimes leave,
Homemade soup or other gifts, at my front gate.
I remember to rest when needed,
Put learned options to treat myself,
On various health needs at home,
As I can stumble into kitchen and fix.
I’m stroke survivor, that’s true
But really, I’m just getting older,
Though, I guess, in better shape than I thought,
Seeing as how I survived this latest health encounter.

The road walked,
While WordPress marked,
My days of blogging history,
The stats, the pals made here,
Their shared journey and many others known to me,
Have been a part of my own path.
I guess, as I write this out today,
For one just starting her stroke recovery?

I can’t tell you what your journey will look like,
But know this….
You had a tiny biz before, and you’re still able to do,
You are back home in a community,
Of those who love and support you.
Don’t give up, I’ll help where I can,
Others will too.
Do not ever depend upon
Court documents or systems far from you,
To provide resources or cheerfully meet your needs.
And never, ever, give up your will,
To hold on, for just one more day,
If even you wake up struggling to breathe.
Seize any opportunity, to survive or take onestep forward,
Whenever you can.
You’ll be amazed, on what shows up,
And what fades away,
As your coming years,
Wash over you in waves.
But every day you live,
You’ll fear less,
And witness your true strength,
Better gauge your real value,
In ways you never imagined possible.
In the end?
That is worth showing up for.


My first memory of ‘medicinal’ was stories told to me in vivid detail on how Grandfather’s homemade liniment worked better than Ben Gay, but didn’t smell as good….

The horrible taste of Robutussin DM in the yellow form, OTC, that didn’t help with the years I suffered from asthma attacks that required ER visits and tasted like Black Licorice, which I hated – and had never had to ‘ingest’ as Dad would ‘trade’ my preferred flavors of Jelly Beans from Easter Baskets and my ‘share’ from the mixed bag of bulk salt water taffy flavors, in exchange for my “EWW! tastes nasty!!” and would generously purchase strawberry licorice whips for me, while he got Good N Plenties for himself for an afternoon treat at local filling/mechanic station where the work truck was being serviced while we waited…

Of how nourished and resilient my hands became when I, a youngn’, by modern standards, was trusted with the mama care of the milking goats herd through nutrition, milking and application of Bag Balm every day, and the trust that if I poured a bit of beer into my hands for them to lick, afterward, didn’t mean I was guzzling it and drinking ‘on the down low’ – …..

Of how those goats came to be on our place, and milked, to address the cause of my asthma attacks – after the chiropractor, who smiled and said, “You know, I’m not really considered a doctor, in my professional circles” was the only one who tested (in very non invasive, ‘that was easy!’ ways) the changes needed in my nutrition, daily activities until I healed my body and diet, to address the asthma, which included:

  • No store bought, pastuerized, cow’s milk/try goat milk and see if she does better (after 6 weeks of very strict diet that, included very, very strict ‘1st week diet’ and slow introduction of other food families, each week, until asthma attack showed up – which, starting with rolled oats, soaked in salted water overnight and cooked the next day for my ‘3 a day or any time I was hungry first week, ended with 6th week of ‘milk’ introduced back in and asthma attack that was treatable at home, 3 days into ‘that final week’ of testing- That first week was surely a disappointment to me – no spices, no fruit, no sugar, no milk, no bread, no veggies, no meat of any kind – just ‘bland oatmeal’ every day, for every meal (and yet, that same diet? is what keeps many around the world, though the grains vary and often they don’t get the addition of salt! from dying of starvation right away…so what was I whining over? really?)
  • Supplementation of B vitamins and B complex formulas
  • No playing outside in the dusk of the evening, around fresh mown lawns or hayfields, in the humidity after a rain storm in the west, and absolutely, a quiet, indoor, no outdoor playing/exertion when we visited family back east in more polluted, humid, growing green things l geographical region my body was unable to adapt quickly to, only a week or two visit ‘home’, every year.

I learned the horrors (read ‘bitch on wheels’ behavior as I observed myself, but can’t stop myself!) when undergoing ‘hormonal therapy’ of various styles to ‘treat’ what was, after 13 years of pain, massive disruption of simply living life, correctly diagnosed as endometriosis, instead of “Eve’s sin, working woman’s disease/your cross to bear in this life, and quit fussing over the pain, take it like a woman….”

I learned the blessed relief of knowledgeable DOMs (Doctor of Oriental Medicine) who put needles in, came back to wake me up from the exhausted sleep I had fallen into, once the ever present pain was alleviated, tweaked some needles, added others, and then, sent me home with herb mixture to ‘prepare this way, and drink every morning, for the next 10 days…

YUCK! Had to plug my nose and do like a shot of moonshine, to get the first 8 ounces done….but then, I didn’t throw it right back up (surprise!) – and by day 3? I yearned and craved for that morning tea – looked forward to it, even – it was odd tasting, but I wanted more – though I was strictly told – “Only once a day and only for 10 days” and, though I craved the taste, I never sought out additional herbs that went into – I had learned through my cravings, what foods and such, met that craving (bitter/sour tasting veggies, vinegars and food preparations to make at home)

I learned how to belly dance from ‘for loan’ DVD at my local library, on advice of male doctor, to keep down the damage, lesions, adhesions of internal scar tissue, from endometrial cysts, until they figured out how to ‘heal my body’ without giving me a hysterectomy, because I was young, only had one child and well…if I felt better, I might yearn for more children, someday….no sense being that damn drastic, just yet….

I remember seeking assistance, suspecting, I once more, might be on the road to walking pneumonia, after I healed up, but not fully, from a bout of ‘seasonal respiratory flu’ I managed to do to myself when work fronts/schedules were not ignored at first sign of ‘upper respiratory cold’ or the exhaustion I thought I could simply ‘power through”

Only to be told, “Viral and nothing we can do. Taking extra Vitamin C and Vitamin B, or those herbs are useless – you need to quit listening to quacks – nothing to be done…well?? You are determined to get something – you want a prescription for antibiotic?” (pad ready…)

All while I was thinking and asked out loud…”Why? You JUST said it was viral and nothing you could do and antibiotic not needed/will help, but you’ll write me a prescription for one? just so I go away and feel ‘satisfied’ in your care?

And when, upon leaving that PA for the doctor who first asked me only 3 questions and got me into specialist, 2o minutes (drive time) later, for finally addressing (and me learning about….) endometriosis…..had built his practice out to successful size, and I no longer EVER had him for my attending… and I missed his care – –

I used my long ago black berry cell phone while sitting at a cafe that had…a pay phone and yellow pages, and called any MD who had bought an ad in Yellow Pages, that included the words ‘nutrition’, ‘whole body’ care, in town and found myself at a Dr. office, with another male doctor….during his lunch hour, because his ‘specialty’ was high risk pregnancies, and I wasn’t pregnant and might, given our phone call, be a risk to his core patients….

No intake paperwork, his front office staff (one person) was on her lunch ‘hour’ (she got 3 hours, just like he did, for middle of the day break!) he told me the fee schedule he worked to (affordable for me – even if my wants/needs were unreasonable….) and I paid cash ($35)…

He asked me more about what I had spewed out, best as I could, on the phone call he answered, himself…- took my temp, felt my neck, face, head area – thumbed on the front and back of my torso in various ways, listened in as I ‘breathed as he said I should do so, just now” via his stethoscope, asked if I had my tonsils or not, and then… finally! (really, not that long at all!)

…poured some clear, dense liquid into a lil medicine cup, and, as he handed it to me, said….

“Now, I want you to take a sip of this, but DON’T Swallow! Just hold it on your tongue until I tell you to spit it out or swallow, okay???”

Um…..okay – what is this? moonshine?

I take a sip, hold on my tongue, while he gazes at his watch….

“Does it taste like you have a penny in your mouth? Touched your tongue to a 9-volt battery to see if it’s still viable?” he asks me,

I shake my head and gurgle, sorta out, a verbal “no”, best as I can, with stuff I’m not to swallow, on my tongue….

“How about now?” he asks 10 seconds or so later…..

I just shake my head, “No”

“You have, haven’t you? tasted a penny or tested a battery with your tongue?” he finally asks…

I nod, yes, oh hell yes! How else do you know if the battery in the junk drawer is good still or needs thrown away???

And finally, he says, ‘Swallow it and drink the rest in the cup”

I do as I’m told and ask, what is it?

“Zinc – you are deficient, that’s how you test to find out if you are. Go home, rest this afternoon, and see how you feel tomorrow. Get the some zinc lozenges – hold them on your tongue and don’t swallow them if you get that metallic/penny/battery taste sensation, okay? Here’s some brands I think are best to purchase, and you can buy them”.

(here, here, here list of options is shared too, both independently/locally owned nutritional stores, nationwide chain drugstores and sports nutrition stores, to boot – I purchased at the walgreens that was on my route home, and carried one of the brands he mentioned…)

I go home – three hours later, I feel better than I’ve felt in weeks. Sleep well. Next morning? I feel better than I have in months! I test/take the supplement I purchased on his say so – doing as instructed, I take supplements for a little over a week, and ask my friend, who is into nutrition, what foods have Zinc in them, that I can have a mind towards ensuring they are in my weekly menu planning for my family….

To this day? I have zinc supplements on hand, though I often throw out due to the fact, they are nearly 5 years old and taste, faintly, of pennies in my mouth, but hard to tell anymore, given the expiration, if I’m deficient, how deficient or if I really ought to trust their ‘expires’ date….ya never know what ya might need….

I’ve gotten the health results I’ve desired/yearned for from country/rural docs, with MD, PhDs, etc., PAs, rural route nurses, farm wives, shots in the butt, horsepills to take at home (instead of getting admitted to the hospital), from homeopaths that give me tiny pills and later tell me it’s a ‘mimic/hologram'(?) of snake venom (ARRGH!!! Thank you for not telling me then! I no-likely/am skeered of snakes), from needles of acupuncturists that were so long they still stuck out from my thigh, by a good 6″, and I was told to ‘breathe, and this sucker is gonna have to reach/touch the bone in your thigh, deep breath, I’ll be inserting this into you, and not pleasant, and you’re just gonna have to pony up, this, right now, has to be done’, acupressure, applied kinesiology and counseling with a non-judgemental, third party or simply ‘paid to listen to me’ personage…..

I’ve also had those who are labeled, by OTHERs, as ‘witch doctors’ or ‘snake oil salesmen” say to me, in my pleas, “help me!” and they refuse, telling me, I need quicker help and I could die, and they risk their license for what they do, if they pretend to help me, when the ER and ‘western’ version of medicine is right down the road – –

“Go get what you need to save your life. Come back to me to help you rebuild yourself from this hit. I will help you rebuild….I cannot save you and you risk dying if you don’t listen to me, right about now….”

I’ve also been put through (and paid for!) unneccessary tests, diagnosis through experimentation via prescription, landed in ER by myself, with racing heart, that is viewable by just watching my shirt front move, and in fear I’m having a heart attack, only to sit, waiting, in lobby, for many hours, and finally, just removing myself from the intake/waiting for care list, and driving home – and that’s how I learned that bladderwrack (sea kelp) is not a viable nutritional aide, for me, or ‘what’s wrong with me’

It’s also how I learned the local herb shop proprieter and licensed practitioner for my state, was an arse-wipe, not a true health provider, all because I emailed them the next day, reported in and asked, “Um, this showed up, and the only thing that has changed is me taking the formula of herbs you prescribed, is this really the best option for me?”

And was met with condemnation/blame/shame about how I had no faith, don’t want to heal and don’t know anything and not his fault!

Charlatans and Snake oil salesmen abound in many fronts of the Health Care options

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it –

But, I’m alive, just now – due to many a true health care provider – on so many accepted, non-accepted, paid for by insurance/not paid for, fronts…..and every year I continue to live long enough, in order to seek advice, consultation, guidance from those who work in the health care field? and take their discipline and oath to serve others, seriously?

Just adds to my ability to better practice medicine on myself at home, but know when I must ask for expert help….

….what signs to look out for, when I’d best be getting expert help…and when, in the end….

It might be time to realize, Death comes knocking for everyone, sooner or later –

True Medicine & Healthcares comes in so many, many, forms and ways to us all….

My bloggy pal circle here? My social circle that includes folks from very different circumsances than I, but who are willing to ‘have a conversation’ with me?

Ahh…that too….is such a viable portion of my ‘medicine/health care’ plan!

This is, after a long time, my first ‘foray’ into participating in a ‘daily prompt’.

Mainly because, I’ve enjoyed reading the blogs of those who engage in it, and my ‘circle’ of knowledge and bloggy pals I can learn more from, has expanded.

Sigh – I’m not very good at ‘participating’ in blog prompt’s sphere – not really -but at the end of the day, I’m a prosumer in some ways,

A consumer of the words of others – and well, to me?

If I’m demanding a varied library of free consumption offerings, isn’t it rather my duty to show up where I can, on the ‘producer’ side of the equation??

I can produce many words – whether they are shared in the right forum, in the proper way, as the creators of the prompt wished for? Time and feedback will tell –

Cuz ya know…I’m also a fan of bio feedback in many ways, although, I think that field and especially in social media fronts, has been rather hijacked overall, by those who DO NOT have the first two rules of health care carved in their heart….

“Do no Harm and Quality of life is just as Important as Quantity of Life”


Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda…

I logged in here yesterday and today, to catch up on new posts from my bloggy pals, and found a host of replies, comments, etc. and started working through those, while formulating a title/update for my feed, because….

Well…. Jacked Meself Up!

(Which was the the original post title, but I stopped writing yesterday, because I wanted to ponder upon the week’s events, more…)

Sigh – I managed to injure the same knee in the same way, as I did in May of 2016.

Not as badly, mind you – I realized it, as soon as I did it, and put away the last bit of my tools, buttoned up outside work and waited to see ‘just how badly’ I had messed up while I lifted something heavy, twisted on my feet/back to ‘throw it from here, to this spot over there” –

I KNOW Better!

But, well, things took longer than I thought they would, as they always do! When I wake up and realize,

“Free day to do what I want AND I’m ready and rarin’ to go! Today I will do…..(long list)”.

I always plan for doing more, than time/my energy allotted will actually allow for –

Town water pipe delivery infrastructure is going on in front of my house and during deep digs, mysterious extra pipes showed up that may/may not be connected to my house/outdoor hydrants, and a lot of stop what I’m doing, wait for signal to turn on this hydrant, or that, and house faucets, to see if mystery pipe is connected to anything, ensued.

Wait for Public Works Director to show up, so I could give the water meter, main, house and hydrant back story to him, best as I knew it…. Wait while he contacts the guy who installed my extra hydrant in 2015…..

I don’t begrudge any of this – Our town water system infrastructure is getting a long overdue upgrade! Yahoo!

I also got to chat with a fresh out of college, with BA in Civil Engineering young man who got me informed and up to speed on how his life is turning out thus far, and what he is learning on the job that his time in college didn’t hint at.

After Troubleshooting & Social Time was over….

I then realized, the roots on the bare root plants to be placed in the ground, were longer than I thought, so instead of getting the post-hole diggers (which use my arms/chest/back muscles)….

Nope, I grab the already out, short shovel, I use to load the wheelbarrow with light, easy to move from pile to conveyance, wood chip mulch, and….

Switching feet, as need be, I stomp on the plates for feet, of the wrong tool I should be using, with abrupt, hard, weird angle for my outta shape legs, to get dug deeper than the slow build up of sheet mulching over the years, has managed to aerate the ground. (along with severe drought….)

Thus, putting more strain on my knees, than I had already done that day on kneeling and squatting activities, that, I do not have all the robust strength of major muscles in my legs to support my knees in their complex and intertwined tendons, ligaments, joints I was engaging in, just then…

(I hate doing squats for fun/exercise in the winter time, I surely do….

If such things need to be done, via work activities (paid and volunteer)?

No problem……but to do, just to do, to be in shape for future to-doing?

Nope – hate doing squats for the sake of doing squats – and now that I don’t work at library and local food bank where I volunteered at has long been closed down – um…come wintertime?

It’s doing squats or paying the piper of consequences come gardening season – 🙂

I KNOW Better! Oh, wait….I already said that….

Knowing, remembering you know and applying that knowledge, are rather different things, really –

Just knowing isn’t enough….

In other news, in my true fashion of, “Well, that’s not THAT important, it can wait a day”, (know it, but not applying what I know, to the to-do list….) fronts….

I’ve also been without hot water since Monday.

The microbursts of wind, that sometimes show up, also, sometimes, manage to hit just the right angle of wind, to put the pilot light out in my water heater…..

via the ‘carry the CO2 out of the house, spout that runs from the roof, to the heater, which is in the cellar….

….a cellar, which is accessed by steep, old fashioned, concrete stairs and the first step down, has cinder block sitting on hard pan earth, because, the cellar was first located outside of the original built abode, then they put in a porch area/then enclosed the porch and various layers of flooring were added over the years…meaning….

By the time I ‘came home’ to my lil house on the prarie? When the original one to three room abode built, was nearing it’s 100th anniversary?

One end of my kitchen has an enormous sized, in the floor, storm cellar door, that is flat, but as big as the one in Wizard of Oz – AND…..

Watch out! That first step is a doozy!

And, the blocks added in, to halve that first step down, are fairly…well….sorta…kinda, stable and solid….

Suffice to say, best to have your wits and balance about ya, before taking that first step.


The wind I suspect being guilty for the outage, blew like a banshee on Sunday – my dishes were all but caught up….and didn’t really have need of loads of hot water, so I didn’t notice.


I took a shower and realized, hmm…water is refreshingly warm and I haven’t even opened up the cold water faucet yet…bet the pilot blew out yesterday…

Monday was busy work day, some off-site, and not many dishes to do and well – I’ll get ‘er done when I need it – I can always heat water in a jiffy need be…


Another busy day, again, with computer work, and a quick sandwich, beef jerky or some oatmeal doesn’t dirty many dishes…..I’ll get to it –


Woot! Woot! Out in the garden – no drop-bys from clients/community folks in need, as the street is dug up for water project and I’ve warned folks not to drop-in….and slow day on biz front requests –

Cloudy Cool day, light breeze, perfect working outside weather….

Look at how much I’m getting done! Man, I’m just killing it! Look! I’ve worked nearly 5 hours and don’t feel rushed, pushed and I’m still GOING! TA-DA! My strength and stamina are returning!

Now, just gonna finish up this last thing, move this thing from here to there and……oh – shit!!!


Walk carefully, put away all the tools – carry in what can be planted later….cover last 3 bare root plants with the moist soil sitting in wheelbarrow.

Durnit! Why didn’t I ‘think’ for a moment before doing that? Now!???

I injured myself and…(gripe, chide, curse, frownie face over my own inattention and clumsiness, ensues….as I make my way indoors….)

Homestyle Self-First-Aid


In the house, I hobble to cupboard, for small condiment cup, fill 2/3s full with jojoba oil – realizing I should use a blend of carrier oils, but the various oils that come to mind are stored in different places, jojoba is handy to grab and the increasing sharp pains in my knee alert me to the fact I’d best be getting off my feet, sooner than later….

Dribble in peppermint, ginger and clove essential oils- who cares if I’m mixing in too many drops? I can do higher ratio for a while – as long as it doesn’t burn my skin (stir and test on inside of my elbow – no burning – I’m good to go)

Add in some Lavender, cuz I always do, it’s so robust and versatile, some geranium for circulation because I thought of it, and it smells better than it usually does to my nose, (to …um…flowery? eww! girly stuff, save for medicinal needs/perfume rollers for others….)

Geranium smells so much better than usual, guess my body wants that, too and I don’t count those drops either….

*Disclaimer – Just because I tell the truth about practicing medicine on myself, doesn’t mean I’m an expert or you should try it on yourself – if you do? You’re on your own – which is also why I save a lot of dollars each year, because I’m not required to spend money on malpractice insurance or attorney retainers- Can you just see me suing myself?? 😀

Acupressure & TCM

Hobble to recliner – rub the oil in – find the points in my wrist to put pressure on that I know work fast, when you bang the livin’ hell out of your knee against sharp 1950s metal desk edge you got assigned to at work –

I learned that lil fun first aid factoid circa 2003….

Hobble to bedroom to get laptop – hobble back – look up knee injuries and acupressure & TCM acupuncture points for such things – that I can reach.

Try the ones I can reach – some are tender, but mainly, ‘nothing’ so figure, I overdid/overtaxed, rather than severe ripping/tearing of vital inner working parts….

Extra Support Supplies, if needed

Text mom to see if her pal she is playing Scrabble with, has an ace bandage I could borrow. It’s likely.

Mom’s friend had five athletic children and is married to the ‘coach’ of 30 years or more, at my local school (until he retired)

Those kind of folks? Probably have a CRATE full of use, wash, use again, supplies!

Why don’t I have one in the house?

Because you put off buying a replacement until ‘you needed it’ –

Me reminding myself….

I sent all the knee support stuff with my son when he moved out, long ago – I hadn’t used such things for awhile and he frequently needed such things, in his job duties –

Catch up on News Feeds, since I can’t do much else now

I find relief through acupressure and oil rub and realize, I’ve got my laptop handy – I could actually catch up on PBS newshour shows – who cares I missed the live broadcast/streaming episode?

I can catch up on the news now, instead of staying up late like I usually do, when physically worn out, and struggling to keep awake while watching/reading….

See? Nothing lost/wasted…..


Planned trip to town with friend, to carpool for supplies trip, rescheduled to next week –

Knee doesn’t hurt as bad as yesterday, but hoofin’ it around an acre of super stores to pick up 3 things, that are located at each of three external walls enclosing the complex, doesn’t seem the best option for ‘healing’ .

Hobble out to check moisture of soil covering those last 3 plants – it’s good to go.

Forgot to take camera or phone with me, and not doing trip again, just to take pictures ……

Friday? Oh, that’s today!

Well, one more day of frequent self-care and resting the injured areas it seems..

Left knee nearly pain free – still a little stiff if left in one position for too long.

I’m walking more normal, even the occasional pings aren’t that bad – one more day and I’ve got plenty of computer work/writing/creative stuff I can be doing, that allows healing time/support for both my knees….

…And my back….

Because…welll, after the one knee quit screaming/sounding the air raid siren at me, I noticed my other knee was slightly groaning and not that happy, either, and my lower back was raising it’s hand once in a while, asking,

“Ummm do you think you could give us some attention??”

Old Habits Die Hard….

Sigh – my ‘old self’ would have torn into ‘doing/get ‘er done’ things, today – I’m ACTIVELY working to restrain myself, and stick to oil rubs, changes of bent/straight position while tackling various computer stuff I laid out as ‘what to do today…”

I tell ya, it’s hard to change habits of a life time

On Priorities, Goals and Perspectives front…

My mom, bless her heart, is so worried about me being without hot water – asks if she can go down and light it….

Yeah, sure, like I’m sending my octogenarian mother down those stairs! Perish the thought! What kind of daughter would do that????

NOT this one, I’m telling ya!

She struggles to understand that….

I’m truly laid back and not suffering over it, at all –

She grew up with such conditions, and no indoor bathroom. She doesn’t ever want to go back to that life. She worked hard to build a life and gain resources so she NEVER has to live that way again!

I don’t blame her. She grew up in hard times.

My desire to downsize, and create a life that is full of ‘simple options, I know how to build, can repair/maintain, make do, to meet life needs, if conveniences fail or my body fail, means, for her, a regression to hard times.

And, perhaps, on some level, for her? Feels to her as if she has somehow failed me, her offspring, in some way, that my desired life, tends to have things in it that look eerily similar to the life she worked so hard to escape from.

I’ve found myself trapped in the life she prefers

I’m not certain, even now, if she fully grasps the goals I set for myself and how hard I have worked, to build a life/wants/needs list that is very adaptable and affordable, should layoffs, lack of income or other things change due to external forces…

I’ve been ‘trapped’ in a life that required 80-120 hours a week of external employer needs, just to keep things sorta together, and create the illusion of a lifestyle/home that met with ‘the approval of others’.

A life that was unkind and unforgiving to me and mine’s survival, should I wish for time/space to care for those in need of the care only I could affordably provide them, as they wished for, on family/housekeeping / food & friend fronts.

I have worked hard to escape that ‘successful (or labeled as such…) life…

The minute I left that marriage/work life?

My goal was, “Never Again shall I be trapped by such things”

I can heat a pan of water on induction cook top, if I need to –

-no electricity? ? Well, I have a propane BBQ grill if I need hot water….

No propane in tank? No problemo, I have a space, pre-approved by Asst Fire chief, surrounded by pea gravel and bags of dirt, and 2 feet from hydrant, with spark destroying perks built into the the tiny rocket stove made out of concrete blocks stacked (i would have to re-stack the blocks, but still….) and a small pile of pruned twigs/small branches to feed into it.

I also have a Zippo lighter, value sized can of lighter fluid, spare flints, and somewhere? I have the magnesium thinggee that is sold as way to start a fire with a rock and I have a maginifying glass, too….)

(I bought those things, for a graduation gift, to go in the gifted, military grade, backpack, for a future civil engineer who was spending his summer before college hoofing it into the wilds of some South American country to a remote village, to help them with infrastructure that worked better for them and the ecosystem, and made them less dependent upon external resources – Sounded so handy, I ordered those tools, for myself, too – they are in my ‘oh crap! time to go lo-tech’ bag of tools)

Spark destroying wood fire chimney??? No WAy!

But yes, it’s true – all you need is high enough exit chimney portion to be able to layer and intersperse the exit portion of the J design rocket stove, with criss-crossed, fine mesh, hardware cloth -to keep any sparks from making it all the way to the top to fly around and catch something on fire.

I first witnessed such a build in summer of 2008, on larger scale, at privately owned land, used for ‘camping’ when a friend, concerned about my grief after losing my oldest son to meningitis, whisked me away to her family’s mountain retreat for a weekend when my youngest son was visiting grandparents.

Her dad had built the more traditional brick stove/chimney, with some modifications to mimic the rocket stove J design AND include the hardwared cloth/steel mesh in the chimney portion.

I never saw a single spark come out of that chimney and you can bet, as a native and one who lived in the mountains near many Colorado Fire areas? I was WATCHING, cuz I was cynical and pessimistic over the ‘promises’ made.

I tell you, her dad sure knew how to build a fire place in country that you don’t want camp fire’s escaping in AND he also knew how to build a top of the line, moveable, prime A#1 outhouse too!

I have fine mesh hardware cloth on hand if I should be called to do hot water activities lo-tech ways. It’s for bottom layer of raised beds, to keep burrowing rodents out of my veggie areas, but if needed for other duties… 😀

All I don’t have yet? Is rain collection storage in case town water dries up – that’s next on the list of ‘to-dos’ –

I repeat…. I just don’t need scalding hot water, in great quantities, that badly yet –

Cool, quick showers, as soon as I feel stable enough to climb over the tub side, to actually get in the shower? is fine…

Until then? A basin of water, with some epsom salts, vinegar and essential oils in it is a quick, refreshing way to clean myself, and I have dry shampoo made up, too, if my hair needs it….

I Am Celebrating my Freedom!

I am Free to adjust my schedule to work on various other projects, in ways that allow my body time to rest and heal.

I am Free to make to do, and not suffer much from the various things that showed up this week….

This is what I am celebrating while other’s around me ‘worry’ about me. And who sometimes label my laid back approach, shake their heads over various stacks of supplies around my place (either purchased when on sale, or gained when someone else was going to throw away, unless I wanted them…)

We all have our perspectives…. 🙂

I am also very Grateful and Circumspect

Grateful that I live a life of such freedom to adjust, that I have family and friends who are willing to be flexible and adaptable to schedules and such, when they change because I was clumsy or overdid.

Who truly support me heart-side, when I explain, “I’d really like to take the time to heal. And thanks, but nope, I don’t need anything….Yes, I’ll be sure to call if I do…”

But mainly, as I view this week’s events, as I type out this update for here, I am pondering all the steps/paths along the way, that led to this day….

God Bless the Broken Road that led me too….

  • the years I spent married to and trying to keep up the lifestyle they wanted, that wasn’t really the one I wanted
  • The years spent working for many others, and being pushed, always, well or not, to go ‘do’ things, better & faster, and cheaper…
  • The health challenges that have popped up over my life time, many diagnoses of ‘chronic’ this, or ‘lifetime of medicine’ that, which, in fact, if given natural support, care, and time, actually healed and came back stronger than they were before sans modern medicine advice (yes, I will go seek care if need be, it’s just often, for me, time, support and things ya can do at home, work just as well, if not better…)
  • All the times I added too much of this or that while practicing medicine on myself, and made notes to ‘remember’ – enough is as good as a feast! Start small, repeat or add a bit, until relief is gained.
  • The times when others didn’t keep their side of the bargain struck, or banks, investments, my ability to work any job, no matter how menial/low-paying, were all stripped from ‘choices list’ and I thought of things I could do, or make do with and kept an eye out for how to be more resilient on things that weren’t so easy to come up with solution for this time around….
  • But mostly? My commitment, each setback, to say, “Well, okay, but I ain’t gonna get caught with my pants flapping in the wind THIS badly, should something like this happen in the future, again…”
  • And, with each setback? I learn something new – or a new way of doing things that is kinder to my body, better utilizes resources, not as dependent upon only one avenue of answers/or solutions.

The Moral of the Story? For Me?

Thank God for the Broken Road I’ve traveled – it led to this, a less stressful week, for me, overall – than it would’ve been even just 6 short years ago (that’s the last time I did this to my knees! :D)

I perused my own post of Just in Case, yesterday – from May of 2016 – that carries the pictorial evidence, for my mom, that no, my knee is not as swollen or injured as badly as ‘the last time I did it”.

Found myself comparing various pics posted in it, to what things look like in the outdoor areas, now – so many areas have ‘lost’ things I wanted/was so tickled over, (started to berate myself over how I failed to keep those things going) and other areas still not built (when will I get that done? chiding myself over having too many irons in the fire, and none of them being shaped properly), but oh, so many other areas and bounties have been gifted to me since then, with little to no action/pushing/demanding/interference, from me.

Tomorrow is (tentatively) the Day!

I’m planning on carefully venturing back out tomorrow – Mom and I have scheduled a ‘work morning’ tomorrow – here’s the agenda:

  • She will stand by, to call for help, if I get stuck in the cellar or fall down the stairs, while re-lighting the hot water heater…. She extracted promise from me on Monday afternoon I would NOT go down there unless she is here.
    • (texting when I go down, then come back up, check in, was not a viable compromise for her – she’s a mom, through and through and I refrained from hurting her feelings by saying, “And how do you think I managed when you were in Wyoming and Nathan was off at college/living far away???” – 😀 )
  • Then if I’m careful, non-clumsy doing the heater thingee, I will mow that last little section of mowing to be done, while she brushes teak oil on the wooden bench my brother and I gifted her for Mother’s Day in 2002, and we hauled to my place when she moved from the ranch in 2016 to a small house on my brother’s farm. It hurts her heart to see how I’ve failed to oil it well these past two years.
    • (In 2017, I traded my resources available, to have the local woodworker, strip off the peeling/degraded, marine style poly-seal on it, to restore it to wood to be oiled/maintained. He passed away during the COVID times – I surely do miss him. I think of him each time I use the butcher block, wooden spoons, bowls or rolling pins he made that reside in my kitchen).
  • If neither of us suffering from overextending ourselves (she had a busy, go, go, going with friends week, this past week!) we’ll work together to get the last chokecherries in the ground
  • IF we still are good to go? We’ll plant the tire tops with Catnip, Agastache and Marvelous Mint Mixes
    • (yeah, they shoulda been in the dirt before this past Tuesday, if I’m gonna stick to ‘trying’ to plant by Moon Phases, but I’m gonna ask Mother Nature to do me a solid, if she feels up to it – – )
  • Still good to go? We’ll get the store onions and garlic sprouting green tops into the future dry bed area that will, for this season, at least, be reseeded with poppies, and native flower mix, deep watered regularly to re-establish and restore it’s diversity and health.
  • AND, if all that goes smooth? I will remember to walk around and take some pics for ‘comparison’ to the 2016 “Just in Case” post and you can see the setbacks, successes(?) and failures, via a Pic post tomorrow or Sunday (why rush things??)
  • And, if we still are wanting to do physical things? Well, guess we’ll do the dishes, and maybe, MAYBE, mop the kitchen floor, too – but seriously, I can do that stuff any ole time…..

A Facebook pal recently posted a t-shirt ad, that carried the phrase:

I Feel like I should Clean the House, so I’m going to my Garden to play until the feeling passes.

I can relate – although, I don’t feel the need to buy a t-shirt to express myself to the world…. That’s money that could buy more plants and seeds! 😀

Until my next ‘update’ from Bally Bin Doings?

May your days and weeks ahead be filled with met needs, adaptable wants and abundance of freedom to rest, heal, survive, thrive – as the day calls to your heart for….

Note – Bless your lil pea pickin’ heart! You made it all the way to the end of this long winded post! Aren’t you a peach! ❤

Miss Wild Rose and Company

The mystery flower from a few days ago has too many petals for chamomile – feel 97% sure it is some variety of Fleabane – a pioneer plant of the daisy family:


A few dreaded white flowers of bindweed appeared here and there, and were promptly ripped out.

Forgot to snap a picture, but the chokecherries have survived the wet spring snow and are lush and full with green berries – oh, how I do love chokecherry jelly.

Yesterday, I discovered a beautiful plant growing near the road – Forgot to take a picture, and later in the day – the blossoms had disappeared – this morning? They unfurl again to greet the day –

Tentatively identified as Ohio Spiderwort – another ‘free plant’ that blew in from somewhere – 😀

Ohio Spiderwort? Tradescantia ohiensis? Looks like it may be….

Areas weeded, mulched and ready to be planted with flowers and herbs next week (full moon on the 14th!)

Then I’ve got just a short week to get mowing done, infrastructure built, so I can be ready for planting on the new moon, 2nd quarter and next full moon….

It feels good to be ‘back in the world’ outside my door, once more.

Wild Roses – June 2022

Outside my back door…

After spending some time ‘reminding’ myself of which local plants are good for healing and repair after getting waylaid by respiratory illness, I was reminded of the benefits of Pine needles.

Barefoot I walk out, my feet soaking in the warmth of the sun from the ground – lightly run my hands down this branch and that, until a set of 3 falls into my hands (yes, I feel like this means, it’s a gift to me, instead of harsh harvest in the spring of growth and renewal)

I chew on the green needles as I walk around the place – taking note of how many changes occurred while I stayed indoors the past few weeks.

They taste tart and of summer time.

I don’t swallow, simply let their taste and juice do their thing, while chewing on them.

Not my fave, but whether combined with barefoot walking (finally!) and/or the placebo effect?

I care not – a part of me felt restored.

Meanwhile, the roses are going by leaps and bounds and I have nearly 15 volunteers that can be dug up and moved to create another border hedge – free plants – oh how I love that!

Alfalfa appears here and there around the place – can’t wait for it’s purple blooms to arrive.

The blooms of the lilac, native plum, chokecherries and currants didn’t survive the late heavy snow.

The rhubarb has been seen as tasty by something – the leaves have holes in them.

The tulips disappeared (does this mean cousin rabbit is back?) no daylilies to be seen yet, one plant that looks like chamomile, but the leaves and petals aren’t just right, has appeared, must identify.

The dandelions came and went in quick succession, though their stems are longer this year, perhaps it won’t be as dry this year.

Bindweed hasn’t made much of an appearance yet.

The ants are really setting up shop, even to starting little villages on the walkway by my gate – testament to how rarely I have been ‘going out and about’.

I make a note to research their gifts to the ecosystem and what it indicates of the ecosystem if their population is getting ‘out of balance’ – there are many more this year, it seems…..

Someone still thinks it’s okay to drop their ciggie butts at the edge of my place as they walk by – I found 2. I hope I don’t awake to my place on fire, some night – grr…..

Some trash blew in –

The red stem filaree (no-likely! it’s sort of greedy like bindweed) seems less robust this year and will have it plucked out quickly in the one area it showed up in about 5 years ago.

No wild mustard has yet appeared, though a few tumbleweed greens have – the few I saw were quickly pulled and left where they were pulled, to return to the soil.

There is much bare ground between buffalo, fescue and brome grass bunches – – too short of mowing in late fall with drought years have taken a toll the past two years, I think.

New seedling mix of native flowers and plants that range between 2″-6″ will be spread and irrigated to get established, and hopefully, they will had to the biodiversity and health of ‘native grass areas’.

I’m excited this year as I’ve successfully lowered my household water usage to only 1/6th of my allotment each month, for the 6 months of summer. That means I can irrigate to get native plants established, that are drought hardy once started off well.

I feel RICH in having water to get more biodiversity going on my place!

Rain arrived yesterday, whispered to me in the night and drizzled along today.

To the west of me, my neighbors awoke to fog and a skiff of snow this morning. Moisture is moisture and I’m not sorry it will be a few more days before I’m outside, soaking in the sun, playing in the dirt, and letting the earth heal and replenish me as only it can.

Hope this finds you with gift of grace and beauty in your day.

I hear from a bloggy pal that Mercury is in Retrograde – I never have seen patterns in my life that match up with Mercury’s little back and forth operations, but perhaps, that was a gift of the stars/the way the moon was hanging, when I was born, eh?

I guess today, I’ll figure I’m blessed by NOT getting the gift of Mercury in Retrograde…and pine needles…. 😀

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