More Snow, Chickens, Random Photos, and a Miracle Inside!

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well! Well, the temperature dropped to 9 or 10° F but was 16° by the time I got up (which is supposed to be the high for the day). It wasn’t snowing when I got up but it soon started… The birds weren’t very active over the weekend and the feeder remained about 3/4 full. This morning, however, they had been busy and pretty much emptied the feeder so I had to refill it.

I decided I would take some random photos when I went outside…

 

I went to the chicken house to remove the ice from their waterers and give them fresh water. The Old English Game Bantams (three hens and a rooster) are always happy to see me.

 

The bigger chickens were also glad to see me but some are camera shy. Most of them come to me but when I pull out the camera they run. Pictured above is the While Chantecler rooster and one of the three hens. The White Chantecler hens are very sweet and well mannered.

 

The Delawares are friendly unless they are on the nest. If one of them is in the nest I pass her by because they are very protective… I took a photo of one of the black sex-links but for some reason, it wasn’t there when I uploaded the photos. They are very good chickens and great layers and friendly on the nest. Right now they are on vacation from laying…

 

Equisetum hyemale (Horsetail)

The Equisetum hyemale (Horsetail) always lays down on the job during the winter. They will mostly stand back up when temps warm up in the spring…

 

Achillea millefolium (Yarrow)

The old Achillea millefolium flowers are great snow catchers. They are pretty much dormant over the winter but when temps stay mild they regrow new leaves. Since we had a fairly mild January, some new leaves have already appeared.

 

Cylindropuntia imbricata Tree Cholla)

The Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla) is very hardy here but not particularly fond of the cold. It turns a maroonish color and kind of shrivels up…

 

Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’

The Monarda didyma ‘Cherry Pops’ has been really weird this winter. The leaves have stayed green!

 

Allium ampeloprasum (Elephant Garlic)

The Elephant Garlic stays green and grows all winter.

 

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’

Yep! Under the pot is Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’. It doesn’t particularly like to be covered but I like it better this way even though it thinks I am a bit nuts and overprotective.

 

Allium sp. ?

There are many clumps of some kind of Allium species. I have not been able to identify the species but it is some kind of wild onion… I usually mow around this clump during the summer because they have very interesting flowers…

 

No comment!

 

I think this cat is a bit… Ummm… Maybe I shouldn’t call him retarded but that is certainly the word that comes into my mind. He usually sleeps in the wooden box, kind of like a doghouse, on the porch but he has been particularly weird lately. Last week when it was raining he was right out in it and was soaking wet. Now, this morning, he was right out in the snow.

Maybe he is mourning… Thursday morning his brother wasn’t feeling well and growled at me while I was feeding the cats. He has never been friendly and has only recently allowed me to get close to him as long as I didn’t try to touch him. Thursday evening he was lying under a table on a potting soil bag and he growled at me again and was kind of slobbering. Friday morning he didn’t come to eat and I found him dead next to the basement steps…

 

Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands)

Now for the miracle… I have had this particular Kalanchoe daigremontiana since June 2015 and have regrown it many times. That sounds weird… Anyway, it can get quite tall, so you have to cut the stem below the leaves and regrow it on occasion. If not, the leaves grow smaller and it is much better looking with HUGE leaves. Over the years it has produced countless thousands of plantlets that can’t resist taking root in the pots of its neighbors. I am in and out of the back bedroom every day but this morning I went to see if I could get a photo of the shelf with all the plants. Well, the light was no good but then I noticed something different with this plant… IT IS FLOWERING FOR THE FIRST TIME!

SO, even though this plant is not so exciting and dealing with the plantlets make it even less so on occasion, it really surprised me with flowers. You never know when a new experience will come along. I have several different Kalanchoe species and this is the first one that has flowered. Well, that’s not counting the plants I bought when I lived in California in 2008 that were already flowering. Since 2009, this is the first… I am excited!

It is now about 2 PM and it has stopped snowing for now. It is, of course, still 16° F and tomorrow it is supposed to be 36.

The National Weather Service says it is 14° F but what’s a couple of degrees? It is cold. The forecast from Tuesday evening through Friday doesn’t look that great but we will survive. Spring is right around the corner. 🙂

That’s all I have to say for now. Until next time, be safe and stay positive. There is always plenty to be thankful for.

 

Stint Removal & Doctors Kidney Stone Prevention Diet

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all doing well. Today was the trip to the urologists to have the stint removed that was put in place when I had the laser surgery on January 2. I am not going to go into the details. Well, maybe kind of…

I want to say I have changed my diet somewhat over the past month. I have cooked most of my own food, eating mainly fish and steamed vegetables for dinner. Instead of chips, I have switched to grapes, apples, pineapple, and blueberries (since I have so many in the freezer). I have cut down ice cream to almost none and very little cheese. Even eating before bed was stopped until this past week (I had a bowl or grapes and pineapple a few evenings before bed). I noticed a big difference in the way I slept during the night and with heartburn. No heartburn or indigestion for weeks now.

One of the nurses was in training and as they were preparing to get me ready, I said I bet she is thinking “the things I have seen today.” I was thinking about other things. I have only been in two relationships before and here are two women at once looking at… You know what I mean. The nurse explained what to do with “it” to the other nurse then inserted a syringe or something into my “you know what” to put the stuff in to help numb the urethra. Then she put a clamp on it so the stuff wouldn’t run out. She explained what she was doing and what everything was properly called, but who could remember.

The nurse told me I could watch what the doctor was doing on a screen next to the bed. I first told the nurses I didn’t think I wanted to watch. Once the doctor came in and I saw the size of the “tools”, I knew I didn’t want to watch that either. I opted for the screen…

 

The doctor ran a probe, or whatever you call it, up through the urethra, the bladder, prostate, ureter, and then inside the kidney. A light and camera were on the probe so I could clearly see what was going on. I was amazed at how fast the doctor was moving through everything. But, I was thankful it was going as fast and smoothly as it was. Then another gizmo was ran inside the tube to grab the stint and pull it out. The nurses in training was the one the doctor selected to open the “grabber.” When the doctor asked her to do it, she said, “You want me to do it?”

While I was watching the screen, she opened it up. I was thinking I hope they don’t grab the wrong thing. They looked around for the stint then finally found it. I thought, “HOLY S–T!” IT LOOKED SO BIG! They grabbed it and pulled out. As far as what it felt like… Let’s just say it was very uncomfortable. Toe-curling uncomfortable…

I asked the doctor if I could have the stint and he said, “sure.” As you can see, it is 12″ long! The loops on the end are to keep one end in the bladder and one end in the kidney.

Then came the doctor’s list titled “Kidney Stone Prevention Diet”.

Avoid milk and milk products at all times other than allowed. Only have 1/2 pint daily.

Avoid cheeses, creams soups (made with milk), ice cream and eggs. Avoid products containing amounts of egg yolks.

Avoid dried legumes of all kinds: lentils, beans, peas, and soybeans.

Avoid dried fruit, figs, prunes, peaches, apricots and raisins.

Avoid the following vegetables: cabbage, dandelions, kale, mustard greens, turnips, turnip greens, watercress, and collards.

Rarely eat: almonds, hazelnuts, molasses, maple syrup, clams, canned salmon, bran cereal, bran bread, custard-filled pies, pastries with whipped cream, dried fish and dried meats or oysters.

Reduce tea, dark colas and salt.

To maintain healthy kidney function, an adequate urine output is important, therefore, it is necessary to drink at least 6to 8 glasses water daily. Add a slice of lemon or lemon juice when possible.

It is important to maintain good vitamin intake, especially vitamin “A” and ”C” but eliminate vitamin ”D” from the diet entirely by not eating cod liver oil and codfish.

On the way out, the doctor said that should take care of me for 10-20 years. I am thinking I have 10-20 years to eat differently. LOL!

Seriously, the diet plan won’t be that hard. I drink very little milk unless I use it in cooking. Not eating eggs won’t be hard because I don’t normally eat eggs unless it is in a recipe. I only use dried beans when I make vegetable soup. Avoiding dried fruit is no problem because I eat fresh fruit.

I do like cabbage, kale, and turnips and I suppose this list should include other brassicas such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, etc. All contain calcium oxalite but they are not all on the list. I think “moderation” is called for but I can survive without.

I am not particularly fond of almonds and hazelnuts but I often buy cans of mixed nuts and save them for last. You can buy cans without peanuts but not without almonds. I always wondered why they put in so many almonds in the first place. Pecans, pistachios, and cashews are my favorite.

Avoiding cheese and ice cream would be very tough as I love both. I think maybe to cut down would be better than doing without.

I drink one glass of iced green tea at dinner are rarely drink colas. I wonder why coffee isn’t on the list? I drink 1/2-2 cups in the morning.

Now that the stint is gone I can happily drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. It was very uncomfortable emptying my bladder with the stint inside… I knew I needed to drink more water, but the pain involved when urinating made me not want to.

So, now life is back to normal. The ordeal was quite an experience and I hope not to relive it again. I am very thankful for all the staff and doctors at the Golden Valley Memorial Hospital for their care and expertise. I am thankful for medical technology. I am also thankful for everyone’s prayers and the Angels and guides that watched over the entire ordeal. We are never alone.

Until next time, take care, be safe and give thanks always!

And AGAIN With The Snow

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. It is easy for me to say I hope you are all staying warm because it is cold here. Currently, at 2:35 PM it is 21° outside. Ummm… That is -6.1° C I think.

The rain was in the forecast as was a winter storm but the rain was a day late. I got up early on Thursday and Friday morning to feed the cows because of the possibility of rain. As I headed back to town on Friday morning the rain started. It rained most of the day yesterday, which is an understatement. Many times it literally POURED. It rained most of then night then froze. All was calm when I got up and fed the cats and it wasn’t snowing. I looked outside at 11 AM and it had started…

The above photo was taken at 12:12 PM so I thought I would take a few more shots while I was at it…

 

The birds have been weird this winter because we have had fairly mild weather. The migratory birds were slow to arrive compared to last winter and especially the winter before. The first week in January 2018 saw temperatures of-10° F!

 

The Red-Bellied Woodpecker is trying his hand at the feeder. Maybe I should say “his beak”. It could be the same one that used to look in m bedroom window. In November I photographed a Downey Woodpecker taking seeds from the feeder and hiding them in the fork of this tree.

 

The photo above is the Red-Bellied Woodpecker looking at me through the back bedroom window on December 26, 2017. I moved to the back bedroom after mom passed away and I could really watch the birds. I have moved to the front bedroom since then (after dad passed) so I now feed the birds at one of the Maple trees in the front yard. They have gotten used to the traffic from the street.

 

The Cardinals and sparrows enjoy the feeder the most and occasionally I see a Dark-Eyed Junco feeding from it. A few days ago I spotted a Purple Finch at the feeder. Good thing I bought a six-holer.

 

There are at least three species of Sparrows that come during the winter.

 

At about 2 PM I looked outside and saw the young tomcat hiding behind a feeder that blew over during the night. I think the feeder may have had some help falling over from deer. A few nights ago I was awakened by a loud racket on the front porch which followed by Jade being in a panic state in the living room. I looked out the window but saw nothing but I think a deer may have walked up the steps and onto the porch…

 

It was funny to watch the cat as he thought he was unnoticed. I think the birds were well aware of his presence but they had no fear of a young kitten. It seemed he would get ready to jump but the bird he had his eye on would move. He stayed there for about 20 minutes and his back became snow-covered. Once in a while, a bird would get pretty close on the other side of the feeder but he didn’t notice.

 

Later, a female Cardinal was at the feeder…

 

The above shot was taken at 2 PM from the back door…

 

What is really strange is that the House Sparrows have not bothered the Martin house this winter. Last winter they took it over fairly early.

 

The cactus at the siding door are glad they are inside. They are not complaining one bit.

 

Every window I look out I see snow. I was hoping to view a tropical paradise from the south window.

 

Jade wants no part of it… She refuses to look out of the window. I took her to the bedroom window where last month she enjoyed laying on the windowsill. She still refused and jumped on the foot of the bed and turned her back to the window.

I noticed the snow had lightened up to fine flakes a little after 2 PM.

 

At 3:25 PM were several Cardinals in the tree and birds started flying in from all directions.

 

Hmmm… I just noticed the time on my photos is an hour ahead! No wonder I thought something was whacky when I looked at the time. I think I noticed that before but the settings in the camera are correct. I will check again.

 

The Red-Bellied Woodpecker didn’t like the company and spent more time trying to defend the feeder than getting seed. He soon tired of that and flew off.

 

The birds started flying in from all directions for a moment then flew off almost as soon as they landed. Every time I look out the window the scene changes. In one second the feeder is loaded and I want a shot then the next second they fly off. LOL!

SO, at 3:45 I will end this post. GEEZ! An hour has passed already! The forecast says it will get down to 17° tonight and currently it is 19. What’s a few more degrees. 🙂  Tomorrow will be in the 40’s and up to 54 on Monday and in the 50’s on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Be sure to keep Australia in your thoughts and prayers!!!

Until next time, stay well, be safe, stay positive and give thanks.

 

Harrowing footage of kangaroo carcasses as a billion animals feared dead in bushfires – World News – Mirror Online — Arthur in the Garden.

WARNING – GRAPHIC IMAGES: Experts believe a billion animals have been killed in the fires and fear some species, including the Western ground parrot, could be on the brink of extinction — Read on http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/harrowing-footage-kangaroo-carcasses-billion-21218397

via Harrowing footage of kangaroo carcasses as a billion animals feared dead in bushfires – World News – Mirror Online — Arthur in the Garden.

Successful Surgery

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. I went for surgery Thursday morning and everything went smoothly. All the staff was friendly, professional, and knew what they were doing. They worked efficiently together as a team.

When I was taken to the operating room, the anesthesiologist but the cup over my face and told me to take a few deep breaths. Then he put pain medication in the IV and said my head would feel funny which happened within seconds. Seconds later, I hear a voice saying “Lonnie, Lonnie wake up. Surgery is over. You are in recovery.” It took only 25 minutes for the surgery…

My sister came from Raytown to stay with me in case I needed help. I am grateful for that because neither one of us knew what I might need afterward.

The urologist put a stint in from my bladder, through the left ureter to the kidney in case of the possibility of the ureter collapsing. The nurse told me if I happen to see a “string” coming out to call them. She said it would be the stint trying to come out. She said the doctor may want me to just pull it out. Otherwise, he will remove it on the 16th in his office.

Each time I urinated, the pain was horrific at first as clots and small pieces of stones passed. The pain always subsided and I would be fine until the next time. The urine was always a reddish-orange from the dye they used during surgery. Several times the urine flow wild stop as a good-sized clot passed through the urethra. Then around 8 PM, a HUGE clot passed which was a very weird feeling. After that, no more clots passed and the pain wasn’t so bad during urination.

I got up to use the restroom a few times during the night, but I did sleep well. This morning I feel normal and all is well.

I just thought I would let you know how the surgery went and that I am still alive and kicking.

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, and be thankful!