gardening

Spring Has Sprung!

IMG_5345 Fillary in bloom

Spring has come to Montana!  And none too soon.  While folks from places from North Dakota or Buffalo, New York would probably tell me I’ve never seen a true winter, this last proved the hardest one I’ve seen in a long time.  At any rate, I got outside a couple of days ago, returning inside just long enough to shed my jacket before heading back out to get a jump on the weeds.  Already I hear laughter, because those darn things bloom underneath the snow, I swear.  That red stemmed filaree above looks might robust for so early.

I was gratified to find that, despite my best efforts, everything I had planted and nurtured the previous year had actually survived, which means: 1) Those plants are mighty tough; 2) They’re growing just to spite me; or 3) My thumb’s not as black as I thought.  (The reason HAS to be 1 or 2.)

The elderberry that laid down flat after I thought I just HAD to transplant it last August is coming up from the bottom and looking mighty good!

IMG_5335 Elderberry

So is the rhubarb I over-harvested to satisfy my craving for rhubarb-strawberry pie (which, by the way, was delicious!)

IMG_5331 Rhubarb

Doug Fir and Lulu Larch look content within their deer-resistant enclosures.  (I say deer RESISTANT because if they’re hungry enough, deer seem to find a way into anything.  But, like so many of the old-timers remind me, THEY were here first!)

IMG_5341 Doug FirIMG_5337 Larch

 

 

 

 

 

 

This currant didn’t look overly happy last fall, but seems well enough now!  (At least, it’s all budded out.)

IMG_5333 Currant

Last but not least, despite a late planting and not as well established as I hoped for before winter set in, this little bush has green leaves beneath the dead stuff.

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This will be pretty when it fills out!

The field is greening up and before long I’ll be mowing again, which I won’t mind a bit. . .until after I’ve mowed that acre a half-dozen times with my walk-behind!

HAPPY SPRING!

© KoppingAnAttitude, 2017  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.

 

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Nature

Winter Beauty

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I was going to start this post with a rant about how I’ve had enough of winter and never want to see another one for the rest of my life. It’s cold, it’s windy, and I hate driving on slick roads.  But while shoveling snow gets awfully tiresome, I must admit winter has a certain beauty; plus, those seemingly endless storms brought us much-needed snowpack.

 

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Last week after putting down about two feet of the white stuff, Mother Nature brought us a night of howling winds which left some sizable drifts across my freshly-plowed driveway.  I went out early the next morning to clear off the sidewalk–AGAIN.  Amid my grumbling and grousing, however, I couldn’t help noticing how beautifully the wind had arranged the snowy field.  After clearing off the concrete I put the shovel away and grabbed my camera.

 

 

 

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These pictures reminded me of the sand formations at Bruneau Dunes:

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The snow sparkled like diamonds, but in this picture looks like black sand:

 

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Yes, the snow is pretty–but I’ll still be glad to see green grass again!

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Life

The Dreaded Colonoscopy

 

3 Yellow Leaves Over Pond

We’ve all heard it: If you’re 50 years of age or older, the American Cancer Society recommends you have a colonoscopy every 10 years.  For most of us, that particular procedure elicits a feeling of–well, ugh.  And, if you’re like me, you tend to think that if nothing abnormal is going on, everything’s OK.  Besides, we’re busy.

I rarely visited doctors when I was younger.  I was young, strong, and felt great.  Later when arthritis set in I figured that was to be expected at my age.  And cancer?  Well, we have a family history that includes colon cancer, BUT: There’s just something about a butt exam that turns me off.  The colonoscopy itself never worried me, since I’d be sound asleep on some good drugs the whole time.  But a few years back you had to down a gallon of horrid-tasting stuff and then spend most of the night in the throne room expelling gargantuan amounts of liquified Number Two.  Noooo thank you!

However, subtle changes in my exhaust system prompted me to suck it up and undergo the exam.  I had wanted to attribute what was going on to a lousy diet, but that nagging question haunted me: What if?  So, yesterday afternoon I drank the first round of magnesium citrate.  Within the hour the purge began and by the third trip to the throne room I was wishing I could change my mind and call the whole thing off.  My poor bum felt like I had passed fire and then wiped with sandpaper!  (I relayed that to the surgery nurse this morning, who responded that the prep instructions should be revised to include applying Vaseline around the anal area.  A nice thick layer would not only soothe the burning, but afford some protection to the skin each time that tanker load of acid blows out the tailpipe.)

The colonoscopy itself?  I slept right through it and woke up refreshed but a little woozy, with no cramping or discomfort whatever.  I think my system needed a good cleaning out, because I felt better than I had in weeks.  Best yet, everything is fine!

I could have waited until unmistakable symptoms developed.  However, three people I know did exactly that.  One died.  The second survived, but only after a long and exhausting fight for her life.  The third person also survived, but underwent surgery that left him wearing a colostomy bag.

Colon cancer is a killer.  Unpleasant though the prep may be, a colonoscopy still beats the alternative.  Get it done!

 

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Faith

Encouragement for the Weary

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Another year is drawing to a close and the year-end holiday season is upon us.  But amid all the gaiety, thanksgiving, feasting, and gift-giving many of us suffer depression and weariness.  Christian blogger David Qaoud offers five inspirational quotes for John Calvin, a sixteenth-century theologian and pastor who himself suffered physical infirmities, criticism, and heartbreak.  You can read Mr. Qaoud’s post here.

Dark though the world may seem, all can enjoy God’s salvation, love and provision.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. . .  Hebrews 3:7, 8

Wishing you all a happy and blessed holiday season!

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Life, Photography

The Best Revenge

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Humor

Excitement on the Home Front

Z FullMoon

We all have those moments when life throws us a curve.  Some situations are harrowing while others have a bit of humor tossed in.  Our household had enjoyed pretty placid–some might even call them boring–lives for most of the summer on into fall.  Last week, however, one of our more colorful neighbors decided it was time to liven things up.

Abie loves a good time.  The only excuse he needs to party is that it’s Tuesday. . .or Wednesday. . .or–well, you get the picture.  With Halloween just days away, he figured he’d commune with the spirits–the liquid variety, that is, and he communed whole-heartedly.  But spirits tend to possess a person, and the outcome is never good.  After downing heaven only knows how many, he jumped in his truck (probably to buy more) and went screaming down a backroad highway faster than anyone would have believed that old ’83 Ford could travel.  Mind you, he was in control–he’ll swear to that; but these blamed vehicles sometimes have a mind of their own, especially this time of year.  (Remember Christine?  And let’s not forget The Car!)  At any rate, the devil got into the old Ford and it headed off the road, taking out a hundred feet of fence and hitting a power pole with enough velocity to sheer it off, treating the neighborhood to ten to fifteen seconds of lightning and fireworks before plunging the countryside into darkness.  Luckily, no one was hurt, although the story would have been far different had anyone been driving up that road.  Abie didn’t even appear all that shaken and would have continued on his merry way, except the Ford got hung up on irrigation pipe and mired in mud.  Anyway, Abie was there waiting when the sheriff arrived and, after he blew up the breathalyzer, got carted off to jail while crews cleaned up his mess.

Halloween evening we visited Grandma Lydia, a prim and proper white-haired lady of 93, at the nursing home.  She was sitting near the lobby with several other residents, most of whom held bowls of candy to pass out to the trick or treaters who visited the home each year.  Unfortunately, the staff had run out of candy and a half-dozen residents had nothing to hand out.  One old gentleman looked particularly forlorn and, since Grandma Lydia had plenty of candy, she gave him a handful.  Before the children arrived, however, he had eaten most of it, which got him yelled at by the nurse.  Anyway, we watched the parade of ghosts, goblins and superheros passing through.  The residents genuinely enjoyed themselves, especially Grandma Lydia, who positively beamed at each child while she complimented their costume.  But even before the trick or treating ended we noticed Grandma Lydia getting pale.  When she asked to be taken to her room, we knew she was really sick.  As we helped her into bed she complained of chest pain, with the pain radiating down her arm, and burning pain in her stomach.  Fearing the worst, LPN’s and orderlies hovered over her while I went for a nurse.

The head nurse talked with Grandma Lydia a few minutes and then left, soon returning with a glass of liquid, which she instructed Grandma Lydia to drink quickly.  Somehow Grandma got it down and then for a few seconds just sat with a funny expression on her face.  “How do you feel?” the nurse asked.  Grandma Lydia opened her mouth, but no words came out.  Instead, there rumbled forth a burp that would have done the toughest roughneck proud and elicited a rousing ovation from the staff.  Gas, not a heart attack, was the culprit.  Grandma Lydia turned beet red but the nurse put it all in perspective.  “Hey,” she said.  “At 93 you’re entitled to a good belch!”

© KoppingAnAttitude, 2016  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.

 

 

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