Sunshine Today

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It was lovely!

Morning view
Lilies are opening up. This is the view from where I sit in the morning with my coffee. 

Big damn gazania
The gazanias are loving the sun, too! This is a two year old plant, and is truly enormous. Grown from seed, and is just stunning. 

Gazania 1Gazania 2Gazania 3
Gazania close up shots. The little white specks make me think of bird feathers. 

Hope you have had some sunshine, too! 

Healthy Wealthy and Wise

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I might have the Wise part. Maybe. The other two have been in massive decline for the last decade or so.

I’ve been at my current workplace for just over 5 years. And it is a good place to work. Before that (when I first started this blog because I had free time), I was unemployed for nearly two years. We were just starting to get out of the financial hole from all that delay this last last summer… then Spot died. While the vet bills were very reasonable, we had already spent our ‘extra’ money on my bass guitar, flights to America and tickets to see Iron Maiden. And of course, then we got Lumi. He’s now on illness benefit and it doesn’t cover the bills, so back into the hole we go. At least we don’t ow tens of thousands to the hospital. 

The flights to the US never happened, as himself is too unwell to travel further than the stairs to the bedroom. Iron Maiden had to be done with himself in a wheelchair. He could stand and walk, but not for hours.

Best thing about a wheelchair at a concert? No queueing. Right in the door. Worst thing? Other concert goers who thought he was “brave” or “awesome” or “cute” when he got into the music and whipped his long hair around (like you should do, if you are a man with long-ass hair at a Maiden concert). One fucker actually patted him on the head like he was a dog. That twat is lucky I didn’t break his damn fingers.

We’ve learned a lot about how the world is not wheelchair accessible. I’m a strong woman, physically, but I got sore pushing him around on walkways that tilt to one side or the other. You wouldn’t even notice the cant on foot. Gravel? Forget it. A two inch curb? Not happening without him getting out of the chair first. Oh, that last one was learned at our local hospital. Of all places to be perfectly accessible to a chair, you would think a hospital would be top of the list, wouldn’t you? Nope. 

He has iGA necropothy, an immune disease that attacked his kidneys in October 2015 and left him with 30% kidney function. He will need a transplant one day, its incurable. The treatment to keep his function from continuing to decline was a very heavy doesage of steroids – which has lead to the rare (of course) side effect of pinching off the the blood supply to his left femoral head (the ball of the hip). So, the bone started to die. Literally. At first we thought his pain was gout. The iGA has done so much damage to his kidneys, which means they don’t filter correctly, and a buildup of ureic acid is gout. However, the pain went on too long in one single place. He was misdiagnosed twice by his GP with muscle or sciatic nerve issues. Once he was screaming and writhing in pain he was given morphine and sent for X-rays.

Which showed sweet fuck all, of course. Then an MRI after more waiting. Finally a diagnosis. I won’t go into how long it took to get his surgery, but the pain started March 15th and he had the surgery May 18th. So two months on addictive painkillers and nerve blockers, which of course is another worry for us. He is voluntarily weaning himself off of the painkillers this week. 

The surgery was core decompression. They drilled a bunch of holes into his femoral head in the hope that blood would start flowing to the bone again. No bone graft, no cartilage added, but between 7-20 holes were drilled. We don’t know how many. He was sent home the next day, about 26 hours after the surgery. We spent more time waiting in the hospital hoping to be seen over those two months than he actually spent in recovery.

He was handed a pair of crutches. Neither of us has ever had to use crutches, and don’t have a clue how to use them properly. He wasn’t given much education on using them, either. YouTube was more help. Thanks to the Aussie lady who helped us figure out stairs!

He’s put on a ton of weight due to the steroids, which he is still on, and of course that makes moving around on crutches even harder. He can’t put any weight at all on his left leg for six weeks (down to four now). His right leg and knee are sore, along with his arms, just from the amount of moving around the house he can do. 

I could talk about the issues he has just peeing, or having a shit. I’ll leave it at this – it is incredibly complicated, and I’m so very grateful that I have access to the medical equipment to help him.

Showering is even more fun. If he didn’t have long hair, it would be a shorter process. I don’t care: I love his hair and I’ll take care of it for him when he cannot. It took an hour and a half tonight to get him bathed and dressed again. The hardest part is the compression stockings he has to wear to prevent blood clots. Let me tell ya, those bastards are tight! I stuck my arm in one to turn it rightside out and holy crap, it was even tight on my skinny wrist. Trying to get them on his legs is a job and a half. I feel a bit shit that I can’t do the bath more than once a week as it wears us both out. 

We had a scare last week, too. His crutch slipped and he fell on the stairs, landing on the bad leg for a moment. He had also fallen getting off the couch the day before. His left foot, the bad leg foot, was sore to touch. So I rang his GP and asked what we should be worried about regarding this new pain … it turned into ‘a thing.’ His uncle came and drove him to the GP, who sent him to A&E because he was worried that the metatarsals were fractured, and that there might be a blood clot in the left leg as the pulse was slow in that leg. I was already at work and spent most of the day in a panic, but it turned out the GP had panicked instead. He had soft tissue damage to the foot, and no clot.

I’m tired. The worst thing is that I have to give an injection of blood thinners into his belly every day. He is a bit needle-phobic so no chance he could do it himself. Sticking a half inch of pointy sharp metal into someone you love is incredibly hard. I nearly threw up the first two times I did it. I’m better now, two weeks on, but his stomach is a mess of bruises now. It hurts to see what I’ve done to him. I know it is for the good but fucking hell, it sucks that I’m okay with it now. It’s just another thing like emptying a urinal or replacing a bandage or getting him a glass of water so he can take his pills.

Neither of us is happy with this version of life right now. He’s only 44. The world feels upside down and inside out, and not quite real. 

Birthday Kitten! 

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Little (not so little) Lumi is one today!


He won’t be considered fully grown for another six months. Which is crazy as he already is about a stone or 14lbs or 6.35kilos. He is a big boy!

My face is a bathtub, apparently. Ah, who cares? He is a lovely cat and I’m so glad we have him!


Especially when he sings me the song of his people! 

Abundance

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I think it’s been officially feeling like summer this month, off and on. Likely about all the summer we will get! My flowers are loving it.

The first roses of the year. I love them all.



Clematis – top one is one of the new babies from last year. Just opened this morning! The others are growing up the weed-willow I have in the corner, and are the main reason why this grey willow still lives here. That and the birds love it. And I have a wisteria growing in there, too! 


California poppies and a sunflower from seed. 


Something for the bees.


Native common orchids going crazy as usual. They have colonised my garden. I’m not complaining.


English lavender. The bees were loving this today. 


Iris iris iris iris iris iris iris iris iris! They are fantastic this year. 

Lilac Love

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I’m so excited! My little girl is all grown up. ” 🎼 Girl, you’ll be a woman, soon…” horrid song but let it go as my lilac has bloomed!


Grown from seed and still well under a yard (or a metre) tall, my little baby is now looking for love. *sniffle*

*sniff, sniff* Oh, how I love a lilac! 

Interim Flowers – Still Waiting to Wait

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I probably said that backwards. I’m only posting to post, otherwise these pictures will fall into the never-never like all of my tigrida last year did after Spottie died. 

So. Here are my bearded iris. Last year only one bloomed out of three varieties planted. Got all three blooming this year, and have now realised they are in the wrong spot as I can’t use my wonderful hose reel or I will break their little heads off. 



Really sorry but I don’t feel up to editing these for size, etc. 

Overload

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I found out last night that one of my oldest friends is dead. Suddenly, unexpectedly, and we are not sure why. Might have been her heart. Might be something else.

She is gone when she was finally getting much needed improvements in her life. The last picture she sent me is of her and her husband smiling and happily goofy. He found her dead on their couch Monday. 

My friend, who I have kept in contact with over all these years, is gone. I was maybe 11 or 12 when we first met, she was about a year and a half older. I don’t remember it, but she said I stood up for her in the face of bullies on the school bus. Maybe I don’t remember because I was bullied so hard myself, and it might have been that I found another one like me and simply sat next to her so we could be weirdo outcasts together. As I recall, she looked way tougher than me back then, and I was hoping to find a friend to have my back. 

Whatever happened that day on the bus, it left us friends for life. I moved away, she moved away, I moved closer, she moved away, and then I moved really really far away. It didn’t matter, we still had video chats and made each other laugh til we snorted. 
I miss her. I was wanting to ask her advice on how to make wire work jewellery, since she had been making and posting pictures of her work which was really amazing. I thought we’d have more time. She was only 46, just days away from 47.

I don’t even know where I’m going with this. I’m writing it out as I can’t speak half as clear as I can write. I could write for days about my friend and our shared lives. I can’t do that now.

Instead I’m going to be a bit selfish and wallow in my grief. I’ve also finally broken my veneer that is ‘hard ass’ and let the pressure and uncertainty of my husband’s continuing illness and the sheer fuckarow of the Irish health service. I do NOT want to talk about his issues until the fix what they can, but the messing around we have gotten means he has been in constant pain for over two months, and the opiates he is on barely work, and we still have another week to wait, IF they don’t cancel his surgery again. We can’t even begin to think about how hard it will be to break off of two months of heavy addictive painkillers. We need the source of pain to be fixed, then we can deal with that. 

So. I’ve kind of cracked. Again. I can deal with one major issue and look like I’m laughing it off. But add another and I fall apart. I’m still not over losing Spot, and why should I be? Death is a big bad one for me since my mother died; I have triggers for major depression when people or fur people die, that means I have to watch myself. I wish I was stronger mentally but sometimes the load gets too heavy.

I didn’t write this for replies, but because I had to to get it out of my head a little. Email me if you want to talk. I doubt I’ll be up to a big discussion here. 

Lokii is Nine Today

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I don’t have many pictures of Lokii when he was tiny! We met and picked him out at the breeder (a woman who had both parents in the house, a house like ours, and we met them both). He was soooo tiny. 


He still has that bewildered look most of the time, bless his little black socks.


The most recent picture I have of him that does not include his little brother. Love him to bits. Happy Birthday, my now old man who we still call The Kitten. 

April (nearly) Apres

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Things here are far from normal. I’d prefer not to go into detail, but hubby is again very unwell. Nevertheless, I found a way back into the gardening groove. I’ve done a lot in the last few days, without even getting near the years-old stash of seeds.

Wrong time of year, I know, but I planted the rest of the gladiolus hubby bought me last year (it might die, but it will certainly die if leave in the house another year). I also planted snakes-head fritillary, some ordinary lilies, three spider lilies, and about four other types of bulbs he bought for me last year. I’m almost glad he isn’t well enough to be shopping right now as I have hardly any room left! All these seed packets of potential life are kinda breaking my heart. I need about five more acres of land…

I have had a few happy surprises from older plants.


My peony has a bud! Just one, and it is soooo tiny. Today I saw that new shoots are coming up about 4in from the main plant, too. I think she is happy here!


I have an asparagus! One. Ah, well. 


Celeriac? I tried some from seed two years ago, no joy. This grew in a poor bonsai that himself bought me – bonsai died (one of the things I’m not good at). I dug it out and moved it to the Stupid Girl raised bed. Hope it keeps going as we have discovered that celeriac is delicious


Bluebells! Gift from his uncle. 


I am pretty sure these gladiolus are coming up way too early. Also shown is the world’s tallest gazania, still going strong. Tallest according to Ark, who should know; they are native to South Africa. 


The head of one of the red and black lilies I’ve had for years now. I love how they grow in an anti-clockwise spin. 


Ash tree that decided to grow in one of my containers. There aren’t any ash trees nearby at all! One of two I have. They take up a good amount of space, but I have a friend who wants them both for his very wooded property. He is welcome to have them – I figure if they like me, they will like him, too. 

My one and only tulip. You can’t tell here, but this is about the size of the top joint of my thumb. It is wee! I dug them all out last year and planted them nice and safe in sunshiney pots… I got one. Oh well! There is always next year. 


Mystery things. Look orchid-y with the purple spots, but the stems are just a straight solid shoot. May be another blow in? Garden is now plagued (in a good way) with native orchids. 


Rosemary back to its flowering tricks again. Second most neglected herb I have growing in a pot. I’m afraid to let it loose after what the oregano and sage have become (triffids, I’m not kidding).


Who doesn’t love these?


One for Ark – I rarely see grasshoppers here. This one is so tiny, that white thing is a dog hair. Poor thing was also missing one vital back leg. I ushered it into the grass, maybe it will have a chance there. 

Whaaat?

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The dog is shedding again. She’s an American Akita, so blows her coat twice a year – but man, to me it feels like she never stops! I brushed the hell out of her yesterday and only got about half of it out (if even).

Lumi, however, thought this was the best thing ever. To be honest, anything new to him is The Best Thing Ever. I’ve never had a more inquisitive cat in my life. He was right there underfoot, all six feet that were involved, and adding his four to the mix. Neko was not pleased as she always thinks I’m scary, and a cat sniffing around her feet didn’t help! She put up with it, anyway, and after I fought the static-cling and released her from the torture, I was left with half my kitchen covered in dog hair. 

And Lumi, still fascinated by the carnage.


Of course there is Lokii too, having a quick sniff and running off. But look at Lumi’s face! This needs a good caption.

Any takers?