Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Growing Her Wings

 Whew!!  I have been really busy lately!  Which is a great thing.  We are beginning the height of our growing season here and have lots of stuff coming in from the garden now.  So, you know that means picking, canning, freezing, drying and so on.

 Most of the garden is doing well but some things got off to a real slow staart, like the tomatoes and okra.  We've had plenty of rain!  But that's makes for not so much sunshine...at that slows down some veggies.  We are finally starting to get a little of everything now.

 I guess I put this up mainly for the little birds!  They are about the only ones that ever see it!  The little phoebes and bluebirds have been working their little hearts out this year though...catching lots of bugs for me.

 I think we will have a much better corn crop this year.  We added amendments to this plot all winter long and it seems to have helped a lot.  Can't wait for some fresh, hot buttered corn on the cob!!

 Just a little sampling of what we are getting so far. 

 We also did a bit of landscaping while we had the neighbor's backhoe.  This area was really lumping and horrible; filled with rocks and stumps.  It was about impossible to mow, so I had Allen dig up all the stumps and grade everything.  We also expanded the little wet weather stream bed and I am slowly lining it with flat rocks to make it more attractive when it's dry.  It looks pretty nice actually but this photo isn't very good.  The edges are lined with irises in places.
We also cut out several old, crappy trees and expanded the cleared area, which you can't really seee here.  We intend to plant another apple tree and possibly a plum and cherry.

My annual row of zinnias in the garden is finally  blooming!  There are a few other flowers mixed in but the zinnias kinda dominate.

Thank you for all the kind comments in the last post.  I wanted to respond here to a couple of the last ones made, so to be sure they would be seen.  And also, please, please note this:  my blog is set so that all comments made after 3 days of the post publishing, must be moderated by me.  I have to physically post them.  Blogger does NOT always tell me when some people comment.   I don't know why.  So....I don't always know that I a comment has been left unless I go to the blog dashboard and check specifically for that.  I forget to do this frequently because not a lot goes on here anymore.  I recently discovered a comment from last year!! that I never knew about and never published!  I would never skip a comment on purpose (unless the person was just being a total and complete, useless ass in their comment), so if this ever happens, please know it is not on purpose.  My memory is just not what it was and sometimes I forget to look.

Since March the doctor has had me trying a couple of different meds and dosage amounts etc. and it's had me all over the place at times.  But that's just natural.  They have to try lots of different things for each person to find the right combo.  Anyway, he doubled my dose of Mirapex lately and I had a very bad reaction to that and went I dropped back down to my low dose it seemed to throw me in a another horrible direction!  It was quite unpleasant.  So, after wrangling around with the cost of another drug (there was no way I could begin to afford it) he put me on a very, very low dose of Sinemet.  This is actually helping a lot and I feel much better.  I still have a lot of pain and stiffness but the brain fog is better and just feeling more like doing things and with a better outlook.  My skin has cleared up great and doesn't hurt all the time and I can swallow food easily now.

Tammy asked about a support group and I have looked into that.  Unfortunately, there is only one anywhere around me and that's at UAB, of course.  On a good day... UAB is at least 45 minutes away, usually 50-60 minutes, so that's not really something that would work well.  I still don't often feel "clear" or "on" enough to drive in Birmingham traffic. If you've ever been or lived here you'll know what I mean! lol!  So.  I did find a good online support group though, that I like very much and is very helpful.  So, that allows me some contact with folks that truly understand my condition.  They are very encouraging and a lot of them have some pretty wicked sense of humor, so it's fun.

So, that's part of what's going on.  Hopefully I will be back soon with some more activity!!  I hope you all are enjoying your summer!!

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Hello Hello!!

 Anybody still out there??!!!

 Ha!  I truly did not mean to be gone this long but I guess life, mental fogginess, apathy, spurts of busyness and everything in between has gotten in the way.  I have been feeling better lately in many ways but still seem stuck when trying to come up with anything to post about.  Maybe I've just gotten so used to the instant post and response of Facebook and similar sites that blogging seems sluggish to me.  I do know that there are many days I have trouble with typing still.  Spend more time trying to correct mistakes than actually typing.  I'm also having trouble with words more often.  I forget or just can't think of the specific words I'm trying to recall.  Of course, everyone does that to some extent but it's getting fairly frequent for me and, as someone that is used to writing fairly easily in the past, it is very frustrating.

 Unfortunately, I just don't have that much to post about it seems.  We did have our annual heavy rains and flooding, as you can see.  They just came about 4 months later than normal.  But that's fine.  We are out of our horrible drought at last.  I think there are just a few tiny area of minor drought over on the west side of the state but for the most part we seem to have recovered.  As you could see in the first photo also, our garden is doing really well.  And many of the flowers are going great this year. 

 I am struggling horribly to get back into any art business though.  Sales for all kinds of things have just plummeted.  You may recall that Allen and I had a booth in an antique/ junk mall where we were making halfway decent sales.  Well, that just all tanked, so we shut that down.  Many others in that same mall have shut down also. I'm looking into online sales, like maybe Etsy, but not sure how that's going to go.  I'll give it a go most likely.  Some people do really well and some don't.  It seems like just sort of a gamble. You never know what's going to be a seller these days. So that's really been a bummer to me.  I've never, ever had trouble making money with my crafts or construction or anything.  Now, it's just all a bomb.  I really don't know what to do.  But it's just one more thing helping me to feel about useless.

 I am having some moderate success selling produce from our garden and eggs.  I mean, it ain't nothing to make any kind of living but it helps pay my incidentals and buy a few groceries that we don't grow.  I'm going to tell you the truth...I feel cursed.  Honest to God, cursed.  Like there is some kind of blackness settled here.  I even smudged and salted the house in an effort to clear things.  It did feel better afterwards and I have had more energy to do things but everything just seems a dead end.  I have a feeling I know where it's coming from but I have no solution at this point.  I'll just have wait it out I guess.

I do not mean to abandon this blog but it's just very hard to formulate a meaningful post anymore.  My brain is just pulled in several different directions at once.  It's hard to concentrate. Typing just now I am suddenly having an excruciating time getting these words out and typing correctly.  I was doing pretty good there for a while and it's like, 2 seconds ago everything just crashed.  If I were to leave this written as is and uncorrected, you would not be able to make heads or tails of what I was trying to say.
I went to back to my neurologist on Monday and he wants to up my Mirapex dosage to see if it doesn't help this brain fog and stuff a bit more.  I'm also having a great deal of trouble with my right side and right shoulder.  Everything on that side has just become so stiff that I am having trouble functioning with some things.  I have a lot of difficulty washing my hair, getting dressed etc. because I can't raise my right arm very much.  So, went back yesterday and had an MRI and X-rays just to rule out an injury.  I don't think it's any kind of injury because when it started I felt so bad I generally didn't do crap around here.  Hard to injure yourself laying on the couch. 

So, I am really still struggling with many things.  A lot of it is emotional.  Parkinson's is a very, very difficult diagnosis to accept.  It's especially hard when you feel so alone.  It's a scary disease and no one wants to hear about it or talk abut it.  If they even believe you have it to begin with.  You want to tell people what's going on with you; why you're so slow, why you're hurting so much, why you are having trouble talking...but then, you figure maybe it's best to keep your mouth shut because you know they are judging you the whole time if you don't act like that person on TV that has Parkinson's acts.  Frustration is rampant.  I feel like I'm stuck in Groundhog Day.  Except every day I have to get up, do my exercises, run until I just can't anymore, just to get my brain to pump out enough dopamine to get my head clear enough to understand what I'm doing for the day and maybe have enough energy to do it.  Then I go to bed exhausted and it all resets itself during my sleep.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Over and over. 
And it's only me to cheer myself on, to pat myself on the back when I do pretty good for the day, when I fight back and don't just totally succumb to the whole shittiness of this condition.  I post a few photos on Facebook so that 2 or 3 people can tell me I'm doing okay.  That maybe I'm not falling so far behind that I'll never catch up.  But it actually helps.  A kind word goes a long way, even if it's not in real time.  You take what you can get, ya know?
I will improve. I will get better.  I will finish my house and I will have a happy, productive life.  There's a season for everything I guess....as the ol' saying goes.