Monday, May 31, 2021

Brief Update

I didn't have such a good night, last night . The pain returned in the evening.  I took 2 Tylenols.   It seems that every time I walk to the bathroom and back, the leg hurts!  I can't very well be without going to the bathroom, can I?  I'm supposed to drink plenty of water while I am taking the antiviral medication.

Today, I have been taking Norco for the pain.  The last 2 times I took Norco, I threw up.  I've been on the bed, sleeping on and off, all day.  Listening to chantings of blessings online.  

Yesterday, my daughter cleaned the house and watered the back garden.  Then, ordered groceries.  Today, she picked up the groceries.

Cousin P called in the morning to ask if I had any bananas - apparently her daughter was throwing up and wanted a banana.  I didn't have any bananas, but, when my daughter went to pick up the groceries, she bought extra bananas and took them over to P.  (In case anyone is wondering, P doesn't drive.)

I think we'll be calling the doctor tomorrow, to let her know about the throwing up.

Today, I am grateful for:

- My daughter and all what she's doing for me
- Heating pads
- Pain medications
- Online blessing chantings
- Daughter had a safe drive to the stores and back

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Monthly Balanced Life Goals: May/June

As I've explained before, my monthly balanced life goals are similar to the spokes of a wheel, with the length of each spoke representing my satisfaction in that area of my life, from 1 to 10, with 1 being most dissatisfied and 10 being most satisfied.  Ideally, all the spokes are of equal length and the wheel will roll along smoothly.  If the spokes are of unequal lengths, then, the resulting wheel will be lop-sided and wobbly.  My ratings for each segment are shown within the parentheses, with the beginning of the month ratings in black and the end of the month ratings being shown in blue.

Monthly goals:

Spiritual (10)(10):   The goal is to live a spiritually meaningful life:
- Continue with daily prayers, meditation, being grateful, positive, and joyful
- Continue to attend Temple prayer/blessing services online
- Continue to cultivate non-attachment by being generous and giving to the extent I am able

I continued with my daily prayers (increased them, actually, in light of my newest health issues), meditation, being grateful, and I have tried to be positive, giving, and joyful in May.  I feel that I do live a spiritually meaningful life and I will continue to keep the rating at 10.

June Spiritual  goals will be the same as above.

House (8.5)(8.5):  The goal is a home that is pleasant, comfortable, and welcoming:
- Clean - Deep clean the house as needed 
- Organize - Continue to find a place for everything and keep everything in its place
- Well maintained - Keep "erasing the evidence"; implement daily and weekly cleaning schedules
- Decluttered - Continue with the decluttering process; call for a donations pick up by the end of the month

I started off May getting the whole house cleaned and tidied.  That first week in May was very productive!  After that, I was sidelined by my leg pain and while daughter is doing her best to keep things maintained, she really doesn't have the time for house cleaning in addition to her work and looking after me.  Not much has been decluttered, this month, either, except for a couple of books, and I haven't called for a donations pick up for that reason.  I am keeping my rating to 8.5 because the cleaning I did earlier in the month along with what my daughter has been able to do has kept the place maintained.     

June House goals will be the same as above, pending what I will be able to do. 

Garden (9.5)(9.5):  The goal is a garden that is productive, yet drought tolerant:
Maintaining (water, fertilize, and weed)
Clean out the garden shed

The garden was well tended to in May.  I did a lot of weeding, etc. in the first week, before my leg pain started (in fact, I think the weeding might have even contributed to the leg pain, if not triggered it).  Although the peaches were thinned in April, the poor tree was still overburdened and several branches broke!  We had to pick all the peaches on those branches and M taped the branches in place with the hope that the tree will repair itself.  M has been tending to the garden twice a week, instead of once a week, since I've been unable to do any watering, etc.  The shed has been put on the back burner for now.  I am keeping the rating at 9.5, because the garden is thriving with M tending to it.    

June Garden goals will include:
Maintaining (water, fertilize, and weed), with the bulk of it being done by M and my daughter.

Daughter (10)(10) The goal is to continue to have a close relationship with her:
- Taking her for the third tooth to be extracted
- Spending more time together, doing things we enjoy doing

Oh, my goodness!  What a special blessing she is to me!  And what a blessing it has been to have her home, this month!  I have been totally dependent on her since the leg pain first flared up on May 8!  It is not an exaggeration.  I couldn't move those first several days when I was in pain.  I honestly don't know what I would have done if she hadn't been home, although, she says she'd have taken the first available flight home!  She has taken such good care of me and still continues to do so.  She cancelled her third wisdom tooth extraction until I am well enough to tend to myself while she recovers from the extraction.  I am keeping the rating at 10!

June Daughter goals will include:
- Being together, taking it one day at a time

Family & Friends (10)(10):  The goal is to have a close connection with family and friends:
- Regular phone calls and emails to check on them

I interacted with family and friends through phone calls, emails, texts, etc.

My wonderful neighbor S took me to the ER in the middle of the night when I was in pain and her daughter N came to the ER to give my daughter a ride home, even later in the night; S also brought several meals for us during this month.  They are truly a blessing to me and to my daughter.

In addition, Aunt C and cousin N brought us dinner one night, the two daughters of my late friend Irene visited me, and I spoke briefly with cousin P's daughter when she came to pick up some soda and crackers (she was the one I had called, first, to ask for a ride to the ER, but, she was not available).  

I am blessed with some caring family and friends; I am keeping the rating at 10.  

June Family and Friends goals will be the same as above. 

Community (10)(10):  The goal is to be involved in my community:
- Continue to participate in the various community groups to the extent possible in the following ways:
  - Participate in the blogging community
  - Participate in the online organizing group
  - Weekly phone calls with neighbor T
  - Participate in temple events

I participated in the blogging community, etc. and interacted with my neighbors.  I wasn't able to participate in any temple events as the online services had to be cancelled due to technical difficulties.  I am keeping the rating at 10.

June Community goals will be the same as above.

Finances (10)(10):  The goal is financial security:
- Continue budgeting and spending mindfully, with purpose

I continued to spend mindfully in May.  There were a couple of unanticipated expenses, but, I have a "Miscellaneous" category in my budget for the majority of them and savings in place for the rest.  I am keeping the rating at 10.

June Financial goals will remain the same!

 Health & Well Being (8.5)(4):  The goal is good health:
- Continue to work on the following life style changes: 
  - better diet - eat more vegetables and complex carbs, less refined sugar
  - better hydration - drink 8 x 8oz glasses of water, daily
  - better sleep habits -  get sufficient sleep and try to adjust the sleep schedule
  - more exercise - continue with a walking schedule 
- Continue to strive for a healthier weight 

I don't even know what to say about my health spoke, this month!  It was good at the beginning of May.  The April blood test results had been good, I had lost a little bit of weight, I was feeling energetic and well, and I was spending at least a couple of hours a day weeding, etc.  I did feel some aches and pains that I put down to the weeding because my body was unaccustomed to that much exercise.

And then, on the evening of May 8, I was gripped with a searing pain I had never felt before!  I am not exaggerating.  The visit to the ER took place on Monday night - the blood tests they did showed normal results, the X-rays they took showed bone spurs and some arthritis in the lumbar region, and they ruled out that it was a blood clot; the diagnosis was sciatica.

My primary care physician prescribed some anti-inflammatory medications, one of which (Prednisone) caused my blood sugar to rise and my weight to go up (I've since lost some of that weight), but, otherwise, the blood test I did for my visit with her showed relatively normal results (she wants me to do a follow up blood test, next month).  Her diagnosis was inflammation caused by a reactivation of the herpes virus due to the body's stress reaction to the Covid vaccination.  I am now on a course of anti-viral medication for that.

Although the doctor didn't think the pain was due to a herniated disc, I asked for an MRI, just to rule out any other causes; I am waiting for the request to be authorized by insurance.  While I am no longer gripped by a searing pain, I still feel some pain which limits my ability to resume normal activities.  Plus, my daughter wants me to wait until I've had my MRI before I do anything much, just to make sure that the pain in not due to something other than inflammation.

While this sciatica pain has been debilitating, I am grateful that it wasn't anything more serious (stroke, heart attack, blood clot, etc., or worse!)  That is the most important thing!  However, I'm lowering the rating to 4.  

June Health and Wellbeing goals
- Focus on recovering from this latest health issue
- Follow up blood test
- MRI if authorized
- Reduce weight gain  

Time Management (8)(5): The goal is to spend my time in a mindful manner:
Spend time purposefully, mindfully
- Continue to focus on making my schedule work for me
- Procrastinate less

This area has become almost a non-issue because I am spending my time resting!  I don't even know what rating to give this area of my life!  However, I did manage my time well in the first week of May, getting the house cleaning done and gardening and I am trying to spend my enforced rest being productive in other ways, knitting and reading with an eye towards decluttering my books, in order to make the best use of my time.  I will focus on what I can do to manage my time better to the extent I am able.  I have lowered my satisfaction rating to 5.   

June Time Management goals are the same as above.

Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies/Self-Care (10)(10):  The goal is to relax doing something I enjoy doing for the pleasure of it.
- Engage in daily joyful activities

I have been engaging in daily joyful activities to the extent I am able.  I have been knitting, reading, etc. while resting.  I have given up the piano lessons, temporarily, because sitting at the piano is painful (but my daughter has resumed her piano lessons and S has a different student for the duration).  I am keeping the rating at 10.  

June Leisure/Crafts/Hobbies/Self-Care goal remains the same as above.  

May had started out being a well-balanced month, but, after the first week, health issues have deflated my wheel to a certain extent and things have been rather wobbly!   However, I am encouraged to see how many areas remained the same and at a rather high rating of satisfaction, too.  I need to focus on the positive aspects - even though I had some health issues, they were not life-threatening, and my daughter, family, friends, neighbors, etc. have all been very supportive, kind, and caring.  It could have been worse!

I am looking forward to June.  Hopefully, my health will improve and I can make some progress.    

Anyone else making monthly goals for a more balanced life?  If not, how do you try to maintain balance in all the different areas of your life?  

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Saturday Update

It's been three weeks for today since I felt this sciatica pain!  I can hardly believe it!

I felt a little better, today.  I still can't stand for long, but, I was able to make myself a cup of tea in the morning while daughter slept in and I managed to get myself a few snacks from time to time.  I also managed to scrub the toilet in the afternoon!  I felt such a sense of accomplishment! I never thought I could get so excited about cleaning the toilet!  LOL.

I couldn't quite manage to make the evening tea by myself, however.  I put the water to boil, but, daughter had to pour the boiling water and keep the tea to steep for me.  Then, I went back to the kitchen to add the sugar and milk.  Baby steps!

I spent most of the afternoon knitting.  I finished knitting the front of the sweater I am making for my daughter and started on the first sleeve.  I might not be able to do housework or gardening, but, I can take this time of enforced rest to knit!  I will still be accomplishing something!  

Today, I am grateful for:

- Feeling a little better
- The little tasks I was able to accomplish
- Access to the internet
- Phone calls and emails with family and friends
- My daughter's help

Today's joyful activity was...scrubbing the toilet!  Yes!  Really!  LOL!  It made me feel so good to be able to do that one small household task!  Followed closely by knitting, of course.

No plans for tomorrow as I am taking things one day at a time.  Hopefully, hopefully, I will continue to feel better, please.  Most probably I will continue with the knitting.

How was your Saturday?  What are your plans for the rest of this long weekend?

Friday, May 28, 2021

Friday Update

I felt a little pain, last night, after I stood at the altar to say my nightly devotions, but, a few minutes of using the heating pad took care of that.  I slept well and had a relatively pain-free day, today.  However, I can't stand or walk for more than a few minutes before it starts to hurt.  

I called the pharmacy, this morning, to find out if the doctor had prescribed another anti-viral medication.  Not only had she prescribed it, it was ready for pick up!  It would have been nice if the pharmacy had notified us that it was ready!  No idea if it was filled yesterday or this morning!  Anyway, I am very grateful that the doctor prescribed a different medication, that the insurance approved it, and the pharmacy filled it!  My daughter went to the pharmacy after work and picked it up for me.

In the late afternoon, M came to tend to the garden; I asked him if he could continue to come twice a week for at least the month of June, instead of once a week, and he agreed to do so.  It means not having to worry about watering the garden until I am feeling better.  I'd hate for the fruit trees to die because I am unable to water them!  While I was talking to him, I saw the neighbor's white rabbit hopping around my garden!  I think it has found a second home!

Today, I am grateful for:

- The new prescription was issued and filled without any problems
- Daughter was able to pick it up for me
- M agreeing to tend to the garden twice a week
- Being able to move around a little more
- Phone calls from family and friends

Today's joyful activity was picking a handful of blueberries from the garden!

Plans for the weekend include knitting, reading, and relaxing!

How was your Friday?  What are your plans for the weekend?

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Thursday Update


Another Book to Donate

I had another good night and the day has been mostly pain free.  However, in the morning, I experienced some pain when standing and walking for more than a few minutes.  Not the excruciating pain I had felt earlier, but, there was some pain and discomfort.  What I don't know yet is just how much I should heed it or ignore it!  I am more likely to push through the pain, but, my daughter has asked me not to.  She is afraid that I might end up being in that really bad pain again.  On the whole, as a result, today has been more of a day of rest than activities.

I called the doctor's office, in the morning, and left a message telling them that the pharmacy had said my insurance does not cover the anti-viral medication that had been prescribed and asking for a different medication.  The pharmacy is supposed to have notified them, but, I thought I'd better follow up.  The next call might be to the pharmacy to find out if they have heard from the doctor's office, but, I might do that tomorrow, just to give the doctor's office enough time to attend to it.  I know they were closed, yesterday; I'm not sure if they are open tomorrow (the doctor sees patients only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, currently) and Monday is a holiday.   Most probably, it will be Tuesday before I get a new prescription.  Which if fine, but, it emphasizes the need to take it easy in order to avoid any flare ups during the long weekend when the doctor will not be available.

I did spend about an hour in the evening, seated in the family room, cutting up some of the peaches that had some stem end holes.  Daughter had tried to cut one of them, yesterday, and found some insects inside it, which had her feeling squeamish and shuddering!  I laughed at her about it and she was most upset about it!  She threw the offending peach, put the rest of the ones with stem end holes into a bag and left them outside on the doorstep!  But, today, I had her retrieve the bag of peaches and I washed and cut them up.  Of course, I didn't find a single insect in any of them!  Daughter sprinkled some salt and chili powder on some of them and had them as a snack.  The rest will be eaten later in the night, or, perhaps, tomorrow.

I finished re-reading another book I had in my collection:  "The Princes in the Tower".  It's another of the books I had bought and read, but, didn't want to declutter until I had re-read it.  It was published in 1992 and I had bought it in 1994.  I enjoyed reading it when I first bought it and I enjoyed re-reading it, this week.  I don't think I will want to read it for a third time, but, if I do, then, the library has a copy of it.  So, this book will be donated.  I am currently looking through another book I've had on my bookshelf (a gardening book) to see if that can be donated, too.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Being pain free
- Being able to take it easy as needed
- Daughter's continued help
- Fresh peaches
- Phone calls with family and friends

Today's joyful activity was reading.

Once again, no firm plans for tomorrow.

How was your Thursday?  What are your plans for Friday?  

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Operation Peach Tree Rescue on Wednesday

I slept well, last night, and woke up fairly early (for me, anyway), this morning.  I washed, dressed, made myself a cup of tea, and put a quilt to wash (I had spilled some of my late night snack on it, last night).  I had told my daughter to leave the dinner dishes unwashed because I wanted to run the dishwasher, so I put the dishes in the dishwasher, as well (will add today's dishes before running it, tonight). 

Shortly after that, cousin P called to ask if I had any ginger ale.  Apparently her daughter was having some tummy problems.  I didn't have any ginger ale, but, I offered a bottle of lemon-lime soda, instead.  My cousin's daughter came over to collect it and I gave her a packet of saltine crackers, too.  Hopefully, that will help settle her tummy.

Then, I rested until M came by around 10:30 a.m. to tend to the garden.

He was sad to see the peach tree with the broken branches, but, he was encouraged to see that the leaves were still green and fresh.  He said we could try to fix it by taping it up!   I had read that, provided there was enough cambium tissue intact, taping the branches might work.  Duct tape to the rescue!

Operation Peach Tree!
Peach Tree Repair

We have no idea if the tape will hold or if the branches will fall over, again (especially if we have windy conditions).  But, it is worth a try! 

Of course, the first thing to do, before the branches could be taped, was to pick all the peaches on the broken top branches, to make sure all additional weight has been removed:

Peach Harvest

Although the fruits have turned color, they are not quite ripe.  They had at least two weeks to go before they would have been ripe.  All are still quite firm and some are still quite green.  But, M picked them all and I now have a box of peaches, waiting to be processed!  I do believe that some will ripen at room temperature if left for a few days.  I plan to make chutney with the rest - with my daughter's help, of course!

The fruit on the lower half of the tree were left to ripen on the tree and the lower branches were propped up a bit.

I went out into the garden when M was picking the peaches and brought some of the peaches in.  M and my daughter brought the rest in.  

M was here for almost two hours, tending to the peach tree and watering the garden.  Daughter served him a piece of her banana bread before he left.  

After he left, I warmed up some leftovers for my brunch, chatted with Aunt C and cousin N who called (and helped them with some online research cousin had asked if I could do for them), and sorted through the peaches.

In the early afternoon, I cut up a couple of the riper peaches for a snack for my daughter and myself, while standing at the kitchen counter.  But, by then, my leg was starting to hurt (note to self - sit down to cut fruit, whenever possible), so I came back to the bed to rest, with my leg propped up on pillows (to reduce the swelling).  I think I will spend most of the rest of the evening in bed, reading or knitting.  Which is OK.  I managed to do a few things, today. 

Today, I am grateful for:

- Feeling better, being pain free
- M helping with the garden and taping up the peach tree in an attempt to rescue it
- The peach harvest
- Being able to help both cousins P and N
- My daughter's continued support
- What tasks I was able to accomplish today

Today's joyful activity was watching M tape up the peach tree and sorting through the peach harvest.

I haven't made any plans for tomorrow.  IF I feel up to it, I might try to change my bed sheets, with daughter's help, and maybe do a load of laundry.  If not, well, I can knit or read in bed!

How was your Wednesday?  What are your plans for Thursday?

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Doctor's Appointment on Tuesday

I had my appointment with my doctor, this afternoon.  My appointment was scheduled for 12:30 p.m. and we got there in good time.  My daughter drove me there and back.  I told my doctor that my daughter was my advocate and asked if she could come in with me.  The doctor was agreeable, so we both got to talk to the doctor. 

One of the questions the doctor asked me was if I've ever had "cold sores", which I have had in the past.  Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus.  According to the doctor, the body's stress response to the Covid vaccination can reactivate the herpes virus which reside in the ganglia ( a group of nerve cells), which can cause an inflammation.  She suspects that the sciatica pain was due to inflammation brought on due to reactivation of the herpes virus in response to the  Covid vaccinations!  If so, then, it was a rather delayed reaction, making itself felt four weeks after the second dose.  But, maybe the weeding I did prior to that also had some impact?  In any case, the anti-inflammatory medications she prescribed have reduced the inflammation and thus, the pain.  She has also prescribed an anti-viral drug to be taken for 7 days to deactivate the herpes virus!  We are waiting for the pharmacy to fill that prescription.

In the meantime, I am to resume normal activities, doing what I can as long as I am pain free.  But, I need to take care not to over do things!  So, baby steps - do a little, rest, do a little more, stop well before any pain starts again, and build up stamina.  

She didn't think that I needed an MRI, but, my daughter insisted, so, a referral has been submitted for authorization.  I think both my daughter and I will be happier with an MRI, if only to rule out other reasons such as a herniated disc.  

My foot is still swollen and I still feel some numbness in it, but, I am not in pain and that is a blessing.  

Other than the sciatica issue, I am in relatively good health.  My pressure was quite low (the nurse was a bit concerned when she checked it and asked if I was feeling alright and I was); my weight had gone up as well as my blood sugar reading (but, the doctor stated that was due to the Prednisone I've been taking), but the other blood test results were within normal range.  She does want me to redo the blood test in one month's time, just to double check.  I have a follow up appointment with her in three months' time.  

Afterwards, on our way home, we stopped to pick up some lunch from a Japanese take out place, close to home, as a treat, and daughter picked up a Starbucks coffee for the first time since last year March!  

After lunch, daughter went back to work and I decided to rest.  I don't want to do too much on the very first day and suffer a set back!

I think I need to plan my daily activities a little differently from now on.  Work smarter, not harder.  So that I can accomplish all what I feel I have to do, in terms of household tasks, without aggravating existing conditions.  I haven't quite figured out what I should do to accomplish that, but, it will be something to think about in the days to come.  

It was a rather warm day, today, with the high being 87F.  I wore a skirt and short sleeved blouse to the doctor's appointment.  I took a cardigan with me, but, I didn't need it and left it in the car (I know that a couple of my readers are interested in knowing this!  LOL!)

Today, I am grateful for:

- The doctor's appointment, access to medical care, medical insurance
- My daughter being available to drive me there and back and advocating for me
- My bloodwork, etc., were mostly normal
- A safe drive to the clinic and back
- Being able to buy take out for lunch

Today's joyful activity was being seen by the doctor and receiving the all clear to resume daily activities.

I've planned a quiet evening of reading and knitting, with maybe some easy cooking (daughter had taken out some chicken to thaw, which needs to be cooked).  

Plans for tomorrow include having M tend to the garden and some paperwork (month end bills have come in and need to be paid).

How was your Tuesday?  What are your plans for Wednesday?

Monday, May 24, 2021

Self Pruning Peach Tree


Peach Tree Self Pruned!

This was the sight that greeted me when I went out to the backyard with my daughter, this evening!  The top of the peach tree had snapped under the weight of the fruit!    Oh, no!


Even though it was propped up, the very top of the tree wasn't propped up enough, I guess.  We had pruned the tree, last year, and M had been very diligent to keep the fruit thinned, but, even so, the weight of the ripening fruit was too much for it!   Hopefully, the tree isn't badly damaged and will be able to recover!

Daughter watered the tree and the rest of the fruit trees, today and M will be coming out on Wednesday to take a look and water some more.  I shall ask him to pick the fruit from the broken branches (hopefully, they will continue to ripen after being picked) and have him cut off the broken branches.  Hopefully, the tree will recover from this unplanned pruning and continue to grow!  

Apart from that, today has been another good, pain free day.  I didn't do a lot, however.  Rested in bed for the most part, read, called and confirmed tomorrow's doctor's appointment, chatted on the phone with friend R and aunt C, and watched a few videos online.  I am getting to a point where I feel I've rested enough and want to do something more productive than reading and knitting!

Brunch was fried rice that daughter had made.  Dinner was vegetable soup (I added some of the salad that S had given us to a bowl of the butternut squash soup that was in the fridge and added a bit of hot sauce to it) with toast.  Snacks/desserts included fresh cherries and a slice or two of the banana bread that daughter made, last night.  

Today, I am grateful for:
- Another pain free day of rest
- The peach tree is still standing and only the top has broken off
- Books to read
- Phone calls from family and friends
- All the housework my daughter is doing for me

Today's joyful activity was reading.

The only plan for tomorrow is going to the doctor's appointment in the early afternoon.  Anything else I do will depend on what she has to say.  

Other plans for the week include M coming to tend to the garden on Wednesday and on Friday.  

How was your Monday?  What are your plans for the rest of the week?  

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Sunday Update

Peach Tree

I had another pain-free night, Saturday night, and I slept well.  

Sunday morning, I woke up at 6:00 a.m. to take my medication, then, slept again until 7:00 a.m.  I logged into the Temple's online services, but, wasn't able to detect any activity!  I waited for about 30 minutes, or so because I know that they don't always start on schedule for various reasons, and then, called the Temple and left a message asking if there was a delay.  Eventually, I logged off and said my prayers, myself.  The head monk at the Temple returned my call a little later, saying they had experienced some technical difficulties and today's Temple services will not be available online, but, they hope to have next Sunday's retreat available for online participation.  I'm sure it will work out just fine.  I am happy that I made the effort.  Intentions matter! 

I didn't go back to sleep after that.  Instead, I stayed up and read.  Later, I helped my daughter fold and put away two loads of laundry (I folded; she put away).  

But, the highlight of my day was being allowed to walk once around the back garden in the afternoon, to check on the plants, with my daughter accompanying me to make sure I didn't stumble or anything (with my foot being numb, I need to be mindful about maintaining my balance).  

The garden seems to be thriving!  The zucchini plants have grown so big over the past couple of weeks!

Zucchini Plants

These are the ones growing in the bed where the green beans didn't come up

One of the plants that were planted under the peach tree already has a small zucchini growing!

The First Zucchini!

While the plants that were transplanted to the weeded rose bed are not quite as big, but, appear to be doing well and one has a flower:

Transplanted Zucchini Plants

Nearby, the potatoes I planted in pots are coming along nicely, too - no idea if they will form any potatoes or not, but, they were old potatoes that had started to sprout and I planted them instead of throwing them away.  

Potato Plants

The Early Girl tomato plant seems to be doing well, too, and has almost reached the top rung of the tomato cage!  I can still see only the one tomato growing on it, but, hopefully, there will be more than one tomato!

Early Girl Tomato Plant

And finally, more wild flowers are blooming:

Wildflowers:  Coreopsis

The plant had fallen over, either due to the wind or perhaps from being watered, as it hadn't been staked.  But, such vibrant colors!

As you can imagine, I am itching to be able to go outside to water the garden and spend more time, but, I don't want to do anything without the doctor's approval, so, after less than a 10 minutes stroll, I went back inside, to rest.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Another pain-free 24 hours
- A walk in the garden
- The plants growing well
- Freshly picked peaches and blueberries from the garden
- My daughter's continued care and concern for my wellbeing

Today's joyful activity was, as I mentioned above, strolling around the garden!  

No special plans for tomorrow.  I will continue to read and do what I can to keep myself occupied.

How was your Sunday?  What are your plans for Monday?

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Saturday Update

Dinner Compliments of Neighbor S

It has been two weeks for tonight since I started having the sciatica pain.  It began on the night of May 8.  The past two weeks have been devoted mostly to pain management!

I had a pain-free night, last night.  I couldn't fall asleep until very early this morning, but, I didn't have any pain, and I was eventually able to sleep towards morning.  I woke up pain-free and have been feeling relatively well, all day.  My left foot is still swollen and slightly numb, but, I am not in pain.  For which I am very, very thankful! 

I spent most of the morning replying to blog comments, reading and commenting on blogs, etc.  Then, in the afternoon, I did some knitting.  I am knitting a sweater for my daughter with yarn we had bought, earlier, for the purpose.  She has requested a central cable going up the front and that's what I am working on, now.  I've already knitted the back (just a plain stockinette stitch) and the sleeves will probably be a plain knit, as well.  

Neighbor S called in the early afternoon.  Apparently, it was her husband's birthday and she was expecting some family and guests to dinner.  Usually, there isn't enough parking on the street on our block, especially in the evenings and weekends, so, I said she's welcome to have her guests park in my driveway.  She said not to worry about making anything for dinner because she will bring us Armenian barbecue, which she did, later: barbecued chicken, pork ribs, and beef; baked potatoes; a bowl of salad; rice pilaf; lavash flat bread; and chocolate cake for dessert!  How wonderful is that?   

Another Book to Donate

Last night, I finished reading the book, I've pictured above.  I had bought it back in 1994 and read it, but, I had retained it.  It's one of the books I wanted to re-read it before I decluttered it.  It has now been re-read and I will set it aside to donate.  I have started re-reading another book with the intention of decluttering that, too.  I might not be able to do much active work and decluttering, while I am resting my leg and waiting for my doctor to say what I can and can't do, but, I can go through a few books at a time and decide if I want to continue to keep them or declutter them.   Will need to call and schedule a pick up, next month or so.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Another pain-free night and day
- S bringing us dinner
- Daughter taking care of me and the household chores
- Dancer keeping me company
- Phone calls and emails with family and friends

Today's joyful activities included reading and knitting.

I am not too sure about my plans for tomorrow.  The Temple I attend is having a retreat to observe Vesak (the birth, attainment of Buddhahood, and death of the Buddha), tomorrow.  People may participate in person at the temple or online.  It starts at 7:00 a.m. and ends at 4:00 p.m.  I wouldn't be able to go to the temple in person, but, I am wondering if I would be able to join online.  I usually have to wake up at 6:00 a.m. to take my prescription medicine, so, I could simply stay up for it.  It would all depend on how well I sleep, tonight, I suppose.  If I am unable to participate in it, tomorrow, another temple will be holding their services next weekend and I might be able to participate in that.  I know I really appreciated being able to participate, virtually, last year.  Well, we shall see how it goes.

How was your Saturday?  What are your plans for Sunday?

Friday, May 21, 2021

Friday Update

Friday's Garden Harvest

Last night was a good night.  I was able to sleep, pain free, all night and well into the morning!  What a blessing!  I was ready for bed by 11:00 p.m. and asleep a little after 11:30 p.m.  I woke up once when my daughter was going to sleep around 1:00 a.m. and I remember asking for a couple of crackers which I ate.  Then, I slept until the alarm went off at 6:00 a.m. to take my medication - another couple of crackers with the pill and I slept again until after 10:00 a.m.  

I had my lab work appointment scheduled for 1:15 p.m., so daughter took a couple of hours off in the afternoon to take me.  The waiting room was full and lots of people were complaining that they had been waiting longer than their appointed times.  I had to wait 45 minutes, myself, before I was called in at 2:00 p.m., but, I was fine with that.  I wasn't in any pain and I didn't want to reschedule the appointment.  The tests didn't take too long and I was home by 3:00 p.m.  It cost $3.00 to park at the clinic, today (based on how long you were parked).

It was a sunny and breezy day, with the temperature in the low to mid 70s (72F at 1:00 p.m. and 75F at 3:00 p.m.).  I was comfortable in a short-sleeved blouse and didn't need to wear a coat or a jacket.  However, I carried a cardigan with me because I know that the waiting room can be cold and I had it on while I waited.

Daughter made us both a salad for lunch after we got home and, later, because I was still feeling a little hungry, she warmed up some squash soup that we had bought from the grocery store.  A little too sweet for my liking, but, it was good.  She cooked a chicken curry, last night, for dinner, along with curried green beans and rice, served with dhal (lentils) from the freezer and peach chutney, as well.  We will have leftovers from that for our dinner, tonight.

M stopped by in late afternoon/early evening, to prop up the peach tree and water the garden for me.  He picked the carrots we had planted because they were starting to bolt!  

Carrots, a Peach, and a Broccoli Side Shoot

I told daughter to save the carrot tops to add to a stir-fry or something.  

Apparently, there is a zucchini in the works, too, that will be ready for harvesting in a few days!  I will have to ask my daughter if she can take a picture of it for me.  

I have been resting in bed and relaxing after I returned home from the lab tests.  I am not in pain so that is a blessing.  No big plans for the rest of the evening - I might catch up on blogs and play some online games.

Today, I am grateful for:
- A pain-free night of sleep, last night
- A pain-free day, today
- Getting the lab tests done
- Daughter being able to take me to the clinic and back
- The garden harvest!

Today's joyful activity was going to the clinic and back!  

How was your Friday?  Any plans for the weekend?

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Thursday Update

Well, last night wasn't a very good night as I had pain in my leg, which was swollen, numb and tingling, and I found it impossible to find a comfortable position in which to sleep.  Flat on your back, with pillows to help cushion the spine and under your knees is the most recommended position, but, my leg hurt.  On your good (non-painful side), with a pillow between the legs to cushion the knees which are drawn up to form a sort of 90 degree angle is the second most recommended position and was the one I was able to maintain for the most part.  The pain points seem to be located along the back outer edge of my upper thigh, behind my knee, and on the outside of my ankle bone.  Apparently, that is the path of the sciatic nerve.  

I had heating pads and heated rice and gel packs placed all along my leg to try to alleviate the pain (it seems to help) and took two acetaminophen.  I was reluctant to take the prescription medication and, I was able to bear the pain without it.  I wasn't screaming in pain, but, it was not a very comfortable night, at all.  Poor daughter, who has moved into my bedroom to sleep at night, after not waking up when I called out to her on a previous night, had a very disturbed night of sleep as she woke up with a start every time I so much as turned or twisted or moaned.  I felt so badly for her.  

Eventually, I fell asleep, but, I woke up with my daughter when she woke up.  She brought me tea in bed and, later, a scrambled egg with toast for brunch.  I have been relatively pain-free all day, however, so, that is a blessing!  I haven't walked around much, today, though, as I am most reluctant to aggravate anything!  My fear of doing something wrong is what keeps me from trying out any of the stretches I've seen online for sciatica.  I want to wait until Tuesday, when I see the doctor, to ask her exactly what I should or shouldn't do.  Especially since I've no idea what might have triggered this attack!  Surely I couldn't have done this much damage over those few days when I weeded several hours a day?  

Daughter is in a work-related online meeting as I type this.  After she is done for the day, we will have some tea and, no doubt, she will need to cook something for dinner.  In the meantime, Dancer is keeping me company!  

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to manage last night's pain with only Tylenol
- My daughter's caring ways and being there for me
- A relatively pain-free day
- Prayers to give me strength
- The internet and blogs to catch up on reading!

Today's joyful activity was reading blogs and relaxing.

Plans for tomorrow include going to my lab test in the afternoon!  I hope it will work out well.

Hope you've had a good day and tomorrow will be an equally nice day.  Be in good health, everyone!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Wednesday Update

Red Rose on the Front Lattice

I had a fairly good day, today.  I woke up with a little tightness and a bit of a twinge in the leg, but, I didn't need to take any pain medications for it and it eventually went away.  

I slept well, last night, although I kept waking up from weird dreams, and then, slept in, this morning.  I slept through M coming to water the garden mid-morning, although my daughter was up and able to bring him up to date with what's been happening.  He will be here to prop up the peach tree on Friday.  

I spent most of the day propped up in bed, but, in the early evening, around 5:00 p.m., my daughter allowed me to walk around the house just a bit and even go outside for five minutes!  I could feel how swollen my foot was when I put on my shoes and socks, but, I was able to walk out to the front garden.  I didn't actually walk about in the garden; I stood next to the pomegranate tree and asked daughter to take pictures of the red rose that is growing up the lattice by the front door.

Red Rose Climber

I can't remember the name of this rose and I don't think it is a climber as such, but, I've been trying to train it to grow up the lattice.   M didn't prune it, last year, and I think I will ask him to refrain from pruning it this year, too.  

After daughter took the photos for me, I went back inside and stood by the back door while she checked on the peach tree, picked a couple of peaches that had fallen, and picked a handful of blueberries that we shared.  By then, the back of my knee felt tight and so, I went back to bed, to sit with a pillow propped up under my knee!

Today, we scheduled an appointment to do my blood test on Friday afternoon.  The doctor's appointment is still scheduled for Tuesday.  My daughter will drive me to both and back (she has already emailed the request for time off from work to do so).

I spent the day relaxing, exchanging emails, and chatting with people.  A friend sent me an email with pictures of her son's front garden full of beautiful tulips and other flowers that I enjoyed seeing.  Then, there were the daily emails I exchange with one of my other longtime friends.  I spoke on the phone with friend R, with cousins P and V, and with Aunt C.  I also received a video chat from my step-father's sister (Aunt S), which was lovely.  

I had some cheese crackers with my morning medication at 6:00 a.m.; lunch was a salad with the last of the roast chicken.  The rest of the packet of cheese crackers was eaten when I had to take the 5:00 p.m. medication.  Dinner was rice and stir-fry; daughter had the last of the rice and stir-fry for her dinner.  We will have some cantaloupe a little later, as a late night snack.  

My daughter watered all the houseplants for me, checked the mail, and cleaned Dancer's litter box.  The mail included this week's grocery ads, but, we still have what she bought last week, so, I'm not sure if she'll do more grocery shopping this week.  However, her favorite coffee is on sale for $5.99 each, if you buy 5 or more.  It's almost time to think about stocking up for when she has to return to Berkeley, in another month or so (she's planning to go back in July).   

Red Rose

Today, I am grateful for:

- Another pain-free day
- My daughter being here for me
- Emails, phone calls, and video chats with family and friends
- Fresh peaches and blueberries from the garden
- Roses

Today's joyful activity was stepping out into the garden to see the plants!

No plans for tomorrow, other than reading, knitting, and relaxing.  

How was your day?  What are your plans for tomorrow? 

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Better on Tuesday


Help Yourselves to a Cookie!

Thank you, everyone, for all your concern, kind comments, prayers, and well wishes, for both my daughter and myself.  My daughter has baked some cookies for you to enjoy!

I woke up feeling much better, today!  Thank goodness!  

Last night, I took my pain medications and went to sleep around midnight.  I woke up a couple of times, during the night and at 6:00 a.m. to take a scheduled dose of Prednisone, but, each time, I was able to go back to sleep without any problems.  When I finally woke up, this morning, I was pain-free, and I haven't taken anymore pain medications.

My daughter made me a cup of tea and I had part of a banana and two peanut butter crackers with my morning medications (the regular ones I take for blood pressure, etc.).  She is now attending an online meeting, but, after she's done, I might ask her to make me a salad for lunch.  There's leftover sausage stir fry and rice for dinner and some squash soup, as well.  

Although I am feeling better, I am staying in bed, today.  Not doing anything, other than being online and, maybe doing some reading or knitting in the evening.  Friend R called to check on me and I told her that I am being a lady of leisure!  

On Sunday night, my daughter decided she wanted to bake some cookies and wanted to try making checkerboard cookies.  She didn't make two separate batches of dough and just added the cocoa powder to half of the vanilla dough without adjusting the amount of flour in the dough; as a result, the vanilla dough spread a little more while baking.  She also didn't chill the dough for the recommended amount of time.  No matter - they tasted delicious!  I asked her to take some pictures for me - in addition to the checkerboard cookies, she made some plain ones with the rest of the dough and some with jam, both peach jam and strawberry jam:

Cookies: Ready to go in the oven

Plain and Jam Cookies waiting to be baked

Fresh Out of the Oven

The Vanilla Ones Spread a Bit More

The Cooling Cookies 

Daughter had planned to distribute the cookies to the neighbors on Monday, but, that didn't happen because on Monday, I was in pain and she was tending to me (as well as working - I think she finished her work around 11:30 p.m., last night, after taking a break to pick up my prescriptions, take the trash cans out to the curb for pick up and for her piano lesson).  She might take some cookies to the neighbors, today.   

Today, I am grateful for:

- My daughter being here for me
- Pain medications
- Not being in pain, today
- Prayers and well wishes
- Homemade cookies 

Today's joyful activity has been being able to sit in bed, without pain, and relaxing!  

I am not making any plans for things to do, tomorrow.  I am taking each day as it comes.  I hope that each and everyone of you reading this blog is having a good day and may you all enjoy good health and pain free days.

Monday, May 17, 2021

A Not So Good Day on Monday

I had another flare up very late last night/early this morning.  I went to bed at 4:00 a.m. and the pain came back by 5:00 a.m.  At 6:00 a.m., I took two Tylenols and the Prednisone a little after that.  But, the pain stayed for at least another 2 hrs.  Very bad pain.  I prayed.  I screamed.  I cried.  My daughter did, too.  Then, I fell asleep for a couple of hours and woke up in more pain.  We called the doctor and she returned my call just before noon.  She urged me to go ahead and take the Norco that had been prescribed by the ER doctors.  I had tried so hard to avoid taking it, but, I couldn't.  It took another hour or so to fully kick in.  After which, I was able to sleep, a little.  The monks from the temple called and chanted blessings to me over the phone, which was helpful, too.  I was able to eat some rice and stir-fry for lunch, after that (around 3:00 p.m.) and I slept, again, until just before 5:00 p.m.  I took my other prescription medicine that the dr. had given at 5:00 p.m.  For the first time in the day, the pain has subsided.  

Daughter has gone to the pharmacy to pick up the medication the dr. prescribed, today.  Dr. is going to try to move up my appt. so I can see her sooner than on the 25th.  

In the meantime, I am back in bed!  I didn't think I overdid things, yesterday, but, maybe I did?  I guess I sat up for too long?  I don't know.  I haven't done anything today, other than cry in pain and sleep.  :(

In the meantime, friend A is back in the hospital with another infection which will delay her chemo treatments start date by at least a week and neighbor S's mother-in-law was taken to the ER by ambulance (but, she's OK and home, again).  I am unable to do anything to help because I am flat on my bed, again!

Today, I am grateful for:

- My daughter
- Pain meds
- Dr. returning calls
- Monks chanting blessings
- Prayers

My joyful activity has been being taken care of, so tenderly, by my daughter.

Hope your day has been better than mine!  

Sunday Update

One of the side effects of one of my prescription medications for the sciatica is "difficulty sleeping".  It's not one the more adverse side effects or one of the more common side effects, but, I remember experiencing it when I took it before, too (during chemo treatments).  Considering the fact that I already have difficulty falling asleep even on regular nights, this particular side effect really took hold of me, on Saturday night!  I was wide awake all through the night and couldn't fall asleep, no matter what I tried!

It was already 3:00 a.m.  I recited my prayers, again.  I meditated.  I tried visualizing that I was relaxing and sleeping.  I looked at the clock.  It was 4:00 a.m.  I went to the bathroom.  I drank some water.  Then, I was hungry.  I went through the contents of the fridge, mentally, and then, I ate some crackers with peanut butter.  I heard the birds singing.  It was 5:00 a.m. and quite light.  I walked around the house and turned off the porch lights.  I went back to bed, but, couldn't fall asleep.  Dancer came for a cuddle, but, he went away, again.

The alarm went off at 5:15 a.m. for my next dose of medication.  I ate another cracker with peanut butter because I needed to eat something before I took my pill to prevent an upset stomach, and took my pill.  I tried to sleep.  Eventually, at 6:45 a.m., I decided to give up trying to sleep and got up, brushed my teeth, washed my face, and made myself a cup of tea.  By which time, my daughter also woke up!  So much for her plans for sleeping in on Sunday!   She brought me breakfast in bed by 8:00 a.m., as I was hungry, again (another side effect of the medication): the last frozen burrito, warmed up with a drizzle of hot sauce!  It was delicious!

Dancer had left a deposit on one of the bath mats, so, after breakfast, I put the bath mats and kitchen rugs in the washer, with a little bleach, to wash.  Daughter put them in the dryer for me, afterwards.

Later, when I opened the drapes, I realized that it was drizzling very lightly!  We received all of 0.009 inches of rain from today's drizzle, but, it was enough to dampen the ground a bit:

The cement is a darker grey from the drizzle

I hadn't been watching the weather reports, so the rain was unexpected, but, very exciting and welcome!

Guess what, Dancer?  It's raining!

"What?  Rain?  Really?"

The drizzle didn't last long, but, the day remained cloudy, overcast, and cool.  I tried to capture the atmosphere without a lot of success, I'm afraid (taken with my cell phone camera through the front window):  
Grey Skies


Wet Euphorbia and Spider Web

I spent the rest of the morning reading news articles and blogs.  Then, eventually, around 10:30 a.m., I began to feel sleepy and slept for about four hours, waking up at 2:30 p.m.  My daughter, too,  took a nap (after she had taken out the kitchen trash, put away her laundry, washed the dishes, etc.)

In the afternoon, I was allowed to cut up a cantaloupe melon while seated at the table in the family room (I don't have a kitchen table as there is no room for one in my kitchen).  We had some of the cantaloupe as a snack and the rest is in the fridge for another day.  Lunch was leftover rice, chicken, and green beans that daughter had cooked, earlier in the week.

I also washed a very few dishes and wiped down the kitchen counters, rather stealthily!  Shh!  Don't tell my daughter!

The neighbor's rabbit has been coming over to my yard and today, I took another picture of it:

"Bun-bun" (at least, that's what I call it)

I spent most of the rest of the day doing some knitting (didn't take a picture of that, though!).  I also cut up the ingredients to make a stir fry (smoked sausage, carrots, snow peas, some broccoli florets from the garden) to which daughter also added the rest of the can of garbanzo beans she had opened, last week.  Daughter made the stir fry, but, we didn't eat it tonight and kept it in the fridge for later in the week.

Because, later in the evening, neighbor S sent us dinner: roast chicken, rice cooked with vegetables, and a salad, and we opted to eat that, instead:

Dinner (roast chicken, vegetable rice, and salad) compliments of S

There's enough roast chicken left for at least another couple of meals!  Have I mentioned that I have some lovely, caring neighbors?  They are such a blessing to me!

Today, I am grateful for:
- Some of the best neighbors (and friends) that one could ask for
- The little bit of rain we had (we'll take every single drop of it that we can get!)
- Washing machines
- Daughter being home and taking over the reins of running the household as needed
- Feeling better

Today's joyful activity was spending most of the day in the family room, instead of in bed!

Plans for tomorrow include more knitting for me.  Daughter has work, followed by an online exercise class, and her piano lesson with S (also online).  I will ask her to take the trash cans out to the curb as we couldn't do that last week, either!  

How was your Sunday?  What are your plans for Monday and the rest of the week?