Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Highs and Lows of an Eventful Spring

With temperatures warming in February this year, I was worried that spring was going to be warmer too. While we've certainly had some hot spells, we've also enjoyed some nice moderate to cool days. Before the dreaded heat and humidity settles in for the long summer ahead I wanted to take a moment and look back at the spring that was.

Spring Favorites

As usual, I spent a good amount of time resting and/or distracting myself from my various pains with Netflix. In April I started streaming a show called Life Below Zero. I would call it a docuseries. Sort of a hybrid of a reality show and a documentary. It follows the lives of 5 people living a subsistence life in remote areas of Alaska.

I fascinated by the way these people live. Their lives are so remote and harsh, so different from the way most people in the U.S. live. Netflix is now streaming 4 seasons of this compelling series. If you are thinking about checking it out just be aware that occasionally they mount a camera to an ax or shovel and show dizzying footage from the perspective of the tool. It doesn't happen a lot but it does happen. I have to look away because it increases my nausea and can make me feel dizzy.

Spring Success

It took some doing and I wasn't sure it was going to happen but I managed to paint our mailbox and the iron stand it sits on. Despite only being 3 1/2 years old the black paint on the iron stand was already beginning to rust in places and the paint on the metal box had faded a fair amount. I figured a good 2 or 3 coats of a rust prevention Rust-oleum paint would take care of the problem and cost only a few dollars. A much better option than letting it rust, look terrible and then needing to replace it.

I found a nice gray color that matched the gray siding on our house well and then waited. The waiting was the tricky part. I had to wait for the perfect combination of mild temperatures, very low winds, cloudy, dry, day when I had very low pain. Thankfully this perfect day arrived and I was able to do this project. It didn't take long at all and it made a huge impact.

The other success of the spring season was the planting we've been able to do. After I developed all this pain in my hands and feet late last summer I was forced to abandon my garden entirely. It didn't take long for everything to die. I honestly wasn't sure if I would be able to do any sort of planting this year but I decided to give it a try when I found a medication that helped to reset most of my hand pain overnight.

I started slowly by planting some snow pea seeds. I honestly didn't imagine it would actually grow but it has far exceeded all of my expectations.

As of today it is 3 times bigger than any pea plant I've tried growing from the store in previous years. Best of all it required absolutely nothing from me. All I did was put several seeds in this small garden bed and then put a couple trelllises in when they poked through the dirt. We've had plenty of rain this spring so I've really not had to anything to it. Today it is about 9 inches taller than the trellis and producing snow peas. Tomorrow I will pick a few and make a stir fry with them for dinner.

I also planted a few pepper plants - green, yellow and jalapeno. They have also grown much larger than any other year. The peppers have just begun to bud. My fingers are crossed that I will have fresh peppers and fresh snow peas ready at the same time so I can enjoy both in a fresh stir fry in the weeks ahead.

You can see how the peppers quickly dwarfed the marigolds I planted with them. The marigolds are great for keeping bad pests away from the veggie plants. Just like with the snow peas, these peppers have been super low maintenance. I have watered them a few times but otherwise have not needed to do a thing.

My rose bushes are also having an especially good year. I cut them back a bit early in the spring because they had gotten too big and were touching the siding of the house. Apparently, this trimming made them very happy because they just exploded with new growth and produced more roses than any previous year.

I've had such a wonderful time watching my plants grow this spring. I'm so glad that I decided to go ahead and put some some effort into the garden. With minimal effort, padded garden gloves and pacing, I've gained so much pleasure and soon some garden fresh veggies.

Spring Failure

As the temperatures have warmed, the pain in my feet has gotten worse. I'm beginning to wonder if the increased warmth and humidity is responsible for the extra pain. My feet have always had a tendency to overheat in the summer. I'm one of those people who can't wear closed shoes and socks in the summer because my feet will quickly swell and become overwhelmingly hot. I will have to find a few pairs of sandals for the summer because I can't continue to wear my sneakers.

Spring Highlights

Spring evenings are the best because the temps are perfect for firepits. You know how I love my firepits.

We light the tiki torches and settle in to watch the fire burn as the sky gets darker and darker. It's so relaxing and enjoyable. We will try to get one more firepit in this weekend but there certainly aren't many cool evening left before summer temps force us to stop.

The other highlight of this spring was getting to see a bunch of family at my cousin's wedding. While I certainly didn't get to spend much time with them because I was in a lot of pain, I still really loved seeing them.

Spring Lowlights

Gypsy has been battling a nasty infection most of the spring. We had to change her food, which has been a bit of an odyssey itself, and we've been vigilant in an attempt to knock it out completely but it has been a long process.

Look at that cute little face!

We hope to get a clean bill of health in the next few weeks. She's such a sweet and loyal little companion, it's always hard to watch her struggle.

There is something so refreshing about spring. Somewhere between the greening vegetation, the flowers and the warming temps the world almost feels like it's resetting. I do love it.

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