Thursday, March 27, 2014

must get busy

If I'm going to get all of the things done today so I can sleep in Winnemucca tonight.

And yes! San Jose tomorrow.  With Jack and Jr and Stu and Shi and their girls and the Californians.

So.EXCITED.

Monday, March 24, 2014

jr says he misses me

Jr has been working me to death lately.

Last weekend, we cleaned up the front yard, and it was a lot of work, but a nice day and I chose to find it all so rewarding, really, in the end.

But that only took maybe half a day.  As compared to this Saturday past, which was the whole day Jr and I spent in the back yard, weeding, pruning, raking, gathering, and then, you know, rinse, repeat.  Over and over and over for maybe six or seven hours.  Interrupted only by lunch at Cafe Zuppas for a crab avocado melt (thank you very much Lisa B for introducing me to that delightful sammie) and a shared-with-Jr creme brulee. Yum.

Oh wait.  Back to my whining.  It was a long day, outside on a beautiful spring day, so really why am I whining?  Especially since the back yard looks so tidy now with everything pruned back and little green shoots poking through the freshly raked beds.  Blooms are just around the corner.  Yes, it is totally worth the effort. 

Even if I couldn't hardly walk the next day.  So.Stiff.  Did not see that coming.

And that was the day Jr and I had agreed we would go together to the Red Cross to donate platelets.

Have you done that before?  I had not.  Jr did it 24 times last year.  I know that because he took me to the donor appreciation dinner on Friday night at Gardner Village, which was just the right length of time--not too long--and it gave me the opportunity to enjoy a nice meal and also beam with pride for his willingness to help others so much.

The last time I donated whole blood, they told me I was a good candidate for apheresis--platelet donation.  When people have chemo or organ transplants or other issues that require blood transfusions, one platelet donation is the same as 4-6 whole blood donations, except platelets have to be used within five days so the need is pretty much constant.  Jr was so excited to have someone come with him for the two-hour donation process.  You lay still and they put a needle in one arm to take blood out, then remove the platelets, and return the remaining blood products back into your body through a needle in your other arm.  I wasn't too worried about it, but honestly wasn't sure I wanted to commit to two hours every other Sunday.  Kind of selfish of me really and there isn't a requirement that I go back as often as possible, I just figured if I started doing it, I'd want to keep doing it.

So.  To make a long story short (which I'm really not very good at) we went in, Jr's iron was too low so he couldn't donate, but mine was fine so I did. 

In a couple of weeks when I donate platelets again, I'm going to remember to drink lots of water beforehand, ask for lots of calcium beforehand, and everything will go even better, I'm sure.  Not that it was all that bad, but let's just say that donating whole blood has never been a big deal for me but this was a bit bigger deal.  Not huge, just not as easy or quick.  But one platelet donation equals 4-6 whole blood donations, so probably makes sense for it to be a bigger deal, right?

Because it takes two hours to donate platelets, and you have to hold your arms still during that two hours, you can watch a movie if you want to while you lay there, on a full-body heating pad, which felt marvelous on my stiff body.  While I donated, Jr and I watched Drop Dead Gorgeous, which seemed like it was really funny, but the whole donation thing had me feeling a bit foggy, so I'm going to have to watch it again sometime. 

So.  Even if Jr is working me nearly to death in the yard and at the Red Cross, look at me getting benefits from the effort--a tidy yard ready to go wild with blooms, a full-body heating pad under my stiff self, the opportunity to watch a movie every other week with Jr, and there's probably somebody out there who needs Jr's and my B+ platelets.

All good.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

sometimes you gotta work

Yesterday we spent several hours in the front yard cleaning up the beds.  (Again, what will I ever do if Jr moves out?)

One of the things I love most about my perennial beds is they are so self-sustaining.  I planted a few things here and there each year over several years' time and they did the rest.  They filled in, they reseeded, they give, give give.

However.  They don't prune themselves back.  Most years, the weather is too cold or wet for me to want to go out early in the spring to cut them back so I wait just a few weeks too long and then it is a difficult job.  I don't want to cut off the new growth so I have to be very delicate with the loppers and the pruning shears and it is oh so time consuming. 

But yesterday was glorious.  Sunny and clear and just a bit cool--one of those days when you start with a light jacket but take it off to enjoy the sun on your skin while you're cutting, cutting, cutting, and then raking, raking, raking, and finally gathering, gathering, gathering to send those heaps of former glory off to become mulch that will add to some other garden.

And now. My oh my how tidy it all looks and so much promise.  Little green shoots and blades and hope.

We went from this:







To this:





And ended with this:




We found the first yellow of a daffodil, tulips are not far behind, and all of those bits and clumps of green will soon be lush and covered with blues and purples and yellows and whites.  Today we'll be up at Alta, and as much as I love winter for the skiing, sometimes, when the snow is heavy on the remnants of my gardens--because I never seem to get out there to prune before the snow falls, partly because it is often blustery and cold and partly because I like the look and sound of black-eyed susans and russian sage and my other loves against the crusty snow--but sometimes when that snow is pushing down on my forlorn lovelies, sometimes, I forget that the snow will melt, the soil will warm, and spring will come.  Pruning back all of the dead, clearing away the former, I see the new, the green, the warm.  Every year, my plants know that even though it might still be cold, the warm is coming and they get growing right on schedule.  Every year, they do what they are meant to do and life goes on.  It might not be spring yet on the calendar, but just try telling that to my gardens.

Monday, March 3, 2014

best night ever

Okay that may have been a bit of an exaggeration.

Yes, I know no one wants to hear more about zumba.

But tonight, guys, I knew all of the moves. 

It was so great.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

yes we had fun