Thursday, May 29, 2014

Celebrating Granddaughters

   A major milestone this month as Brittany, our oldest granddaughter, graduated from Eagleville High School. Here is a little pictorial history of Brit and Katie since we moved to the South 9 years ago. How time flies!

Miss Brit will be a freshman at Middle Tennessee State this Fall, staying at home and commuting about 20 minutes.  Miss Katiebug will be a freshman at Eagleville.

This is 9 years ago at the airport as they first arrived for a new life in the South.

Southern ballerinas!

Here with cousin Jackson (now 10)

   We are so proud of these girls. They are both sweet, loving, family oriented and Jesus loving believers with a strong faith. And they are beautiful.....just like their Mother and Grandmother.  Just sayin'...from a proud Granddaddy.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

More rain and cool, but garden is growing

   Rain clouds linger this morning as the owl and a whirlybird try to keep the birds away from the ripening strawberries. We may cover them with garden netting if this doesn't work. We got 1.5" of rain in the past 48 hours which was needed and appreciated. What isn't appreciated so much is 62 for highs and mid 40s for lows for a few days!

    Right, first planting of sweet corn, to it's left, second planting, just up a couple inches. These 2 beds will ripen every 5 days or so in July. 

    These 2 pictures above show the bean row, Annialator bush beans first pic and Sweet Slice cucumbers and Fortex pole beans on the fence. We have trouble with rabbits nipping the early seedlings off at the ground, so we covered with plastic mesh garden fencing. Seems to have worked! We have seen rabbits sitting alongside trying to figure out a way inside! 

                            Looks like we'll have some thornless boysenberry production this year.

                           And the thornless blackberries look good in spite of being late this year.

    The blueberries are loaded as well. We just keep pouring on the Miracle-Grow for acid loving plants. It's the only method we've found to keep them acid enough. 

    See the 4 Kildeer eggs in the center of the picture. Another set of 4 hatched out 2 weeks ago and we thought they were done, but here's more!

                              Just finished mowing this morning when another shower moved in. 

    Yesterday was the second of this set of 3 chemo treatments. Next Wednesday will be the 3rd, then the last week of May will be blood tests, a CT scan and appointment with Dr Parikh, my surgeon, along with Dr Gian to see where we go next.
    I feel good today. My blood counts are still low and I can't gain weight. I'm eating tons of protein at Dr.'s orders, but all in all, I am good and very thankful for each new day.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Garden Update

    I can't believe it's been 2 weeks since I posted. I guess we have been busy. The storms moving through this weekend were supposed to have totaled over 2" of rain, but have fizzled so far....maybe a tenth or so. Not enough to register in my big rain gauge. I have 2 repairs to make on my distribution water lines so I can turn the drip hoses on. It is quite dry now.
    My continuing lack of stamina from the chemo treatments limit me in what I can do, but Rita has been a real trooper and is doing much of the work. The potatoes are growing very well; I pulled all the loose dirt up to them last week and now we will mulch deeply with straw. The Walla Walla onions are growing well too. The first planting of corn is 4-5" tall and the second planting will be up this weekend, along with pole beans, cucumbers, summer squash and melons.Monday we hope to plant more sweet corn and butternut squash (the squash was waiting on a roto-tilling task). I will continue to plant sweet corn through June and make the last planting about the first of July, along with pumpkins at that time. That should allow for mature pumpkins and dried corn stalks in Oct/Nov. Wendy always gets some for her classroom, and last year I planted pumpkins too early and they were rotting before time to decorate with them.
    One of the easiest tasks for me to do is mowing, and I love to mow. But yesterday I about over did it. I got the John Deere fixed (needed a fuel filter and fuel lines blown out). The south pasture was over knee high in thick lush grass and clover. Oh my, how my cows would have relished it! But I bush hogged it and did about 4 acres total yesterday, which was too much bouncing and steering I guess. I was beaten down when I quit. But the pasture looks like a lawn this morning; very beautiful.
    I just completed the 2 week regimen of antibiotics and it was effective in stopping the clostridium diarrhea. We started the 3rd month of chemo last Wednesday, since there are still cancer cells present, we will do 3 more weeks of chemo. The last week of May I will have a CT and we'll see where we go from there.
    The GREAT NEWS is that the Ca 19-9 marker test is down some more. Remember, it skied to over 36,000, then dropped to 6000? Last weeks test was 2550! Going the right direction. "Normal" is 0-37, so we still have a ways to go, but the chemo is working. Praise God.