Tuesday, June 28, 2016

It is the Dawning of a New Day

The path to my faerie garden. 
I am so happy today. I am starting to feel like a new person! This is week 5 in my shingles battle and I feel like TODAY I have turned the corner. For the first time in 5 weeks I am wearing PANTS. Yes, pants. I would like to apologize for all those who saw me in church for the first Sunday in a month wearing an oversized blouse and knee length white pj pants that I pretending were capri pants. 
My husband suggested the aquarium stone after my first thought of pea gravel failed to showcase the faeries area. 
The rash was on my hip, the back of my leg and knee and my tailbone EVERYTHING hurt the rash from the OUTSIDE, from the sheet on my bed, to any clothing with a seam that was not t-shirt material, to the texture on furniture. It was fun times. 
This is the window across from the chair where I sat for the past month cushioned by bed pillows.
 I moved my bottle tree to this side of the house - can you find it?
Unfortunately on the INSIDE I am still suffering the nerve pain, finally controlled by medication which makes me feel merely drunk during the day for twelve hours when I take one pill and unconscious at night when I take two pills. I have tried not taking the one pill in the morning so I can drive safely, but the unspeakable pain returns by noon, so I will continue as is for now. I have refills until December, but am hoping that it doesn't take THAT  long to subside! 
This is what is in hiding my faerie garden. I know I am crazy, but I love the "overgrown" aspect of my gardens.
 I planted all these bushes myself about 10 years ago. 
MEANWHILE, I wore my pants outside and took pictures of my yard in the 75 degree temperatures that pushed those nasty 90 degree days with humidity somewhere over night. 
This is the path my husband put in while I was in my chair. The pieces of sandstone came from one of the houses he grew up in.  We had originally used them for a path behind our garage, probably 35 years ago. In our clay soil, they had sunk to China. He spent a lot of time digging them out for me. (Probably to get away from my whining!) 
There is a gentle breeze which is making today even better! After taking the photos, I came inside and started brewing some Sweet Peach Decaf Iced Tea. I purchased the leaves at a little hardware store in a nearby Amish "neighborhood" (a crossroad with a few stores in the vicinity). I bottle it in recycled Lipton bottles. This is the first time I have made tea since Memorial Day. I am so excited. 

I almost missed the blooming of my day lilies. My mother and I used to go for drives in the late 70's and dig them up by abandoned railroad tracks on country roads. We would carry shovels and park the kids, jump out, dig a clump and stow them in the trunk. These grow almost 5 feet tall and spread like crazy. The Blooming of the Day Lilies is one of my most favorite times of year! One of my other favorite features of my wild day lilies is that they are very lush and hide the weeds. They are the perfect planting! 

This is the walkway to my front porch. Originally I had planted day lilies along the foundation. They grew so large we could not use the sidewalk! We dug them out and laid that brick ourselves and still remain married! Now the lilies are spreading backward and jumping the sidewalk! I think we will have to re-locate some in the fall. 
I always wanted a clematis and had no luck. I picked this one up on a whim by the cash register at Lowe's. It is named "Polish Beauty" and my husband is polish, so . . . It loves the front of my house. We went through several trellis and this metal one is nailed to the house. 
And before I forget, one of our new trees! On our side of the sidewalk so the city can't cut it down. I believe it is a flowering pear. I was hoping for dogwood, but they were a little sad looking. 

Here are some relocated lilies on the side of our garage, joined by a little red one I picked up at a nursery. 
More along the fence in the play yard. 
And - a new oak tree! We lost many of our ash trees to the Emerald Ash Borer and need to replace our shade so that our 8 grandchildren have a safe place to play. 
View from the driveway to the house. Gosh I love these lilies!

Thanks for indulging my look at my yard. I have not felt well enough to go outside this summer and am so glad the lilies lingered long enough for me to enjoy them! 

AND I want to remind everyone aged 50 or older to please be sure to get your shingles vaccine. It is a painful and miserable disease. And I feel blessed that mine was located on the lower left side of my body. I have heard of the mother of a friend who contracted it on her face and had permanent blindness. A classmate has been battling shingles for almost a year, suffering from PHN, which is constant nerve pain, along with damage to her eye resulting in sensitivity to light.  Please get your shingles vaccine. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Month of June is for Brides!

Thank you to the Creative Country Mom for the inspiration for a June post! June is the month for brides and I have some special photos to share with you. 

The photo above is my beautiful mother on her wedding day. I have this dress in my closet. My daughters tried it on as teenagers and could not squeeze into it. Not only is the waist so tiny it is unbelievable, but the sleeves (which button all the way down) were so narrow they could not get their arms into them. 

My oldest daughter married in 2001 and wore this lovely gown. 
And last summer I had her five year old daughter's photo taken in the same gown!
Isn't she precious?

Then my second daughter was married in this gorgeous gown. 
And here is the Lovely Lydia wearing mama's gown and her fascinator while clutching her great great gramma's pearls (top photo, second from the left) that her mama wore at the wedding. 
Lydia's mama wants to take a photo of her wearing mama's gown every year. What a treasure!

And here is me - in my 1970's quiana knit glory. I let my daughters play dress up in my dress and it was dirty and stained. When I needed it for a fashion show, I wasn't sure it could be saved. I sprayed it with Shout, ran it through the washer and hung it dry. It was a good as new LOL. 
Weren't we adorable? 

Thanks for going with me on this trip down bridal memory lane!

Saturday, June 4, 2016



This is my oldest granddaughter after a long hard day at Gramma Mimi's Second Annual Cousin Camp last year.  I chose it because it pretty much expresses my mood right now. 

I have shingles. I thought I had to wait until 60 to get the shot (which will be September).  Even my doctor told me that. After someone I knew got shingles, I even thought about just paying for it myself. I was told it was $500. That is not true either. Our insurance will reimburse at AGE 50. My 58 year old husband ran to get the shot as soon as he saw what I was going through and paid $243 which will be reimbursed by our insurance company. I understand with certain chronic health issues can get the shot early too. 

I cannot explain the pain and agony of this goofy disease. I am on medications, one of them for pain, and last night I would have graded my pain level was a 9 on a scale of 10.  My daughter told me to quit being a hero and go to the ER for a shot. Right now my next pill is 4 hours and 7 minutes away and I am at about a 6.  Today is going better since my doctor tripled my pain meds. I slept for over 2 hours this afternoon (the first time for a nice deep sleep in four days, only to be awoken by a telephone. The rash is on my left side and is located from my waist to my knee. New patches are appearing daily. It affects the nerves so I have constant internal pain in my leg from my heel to my hip (my sciatic nerve). 

I could write forever about how painful this disease, but I also feel guilty because I know others are suffering without the fantastic support system that I have. I am the family caregiver for my own family and extended family and my dear husband stepped in the role with so much caring and compassion. I just love him so much. My children are all helping with moral support and my oldest daughter even drove from 2 hours away to drop off meals from herself and her mother in law. Whatever help I could possibly need is in place and I know I am so much more fortunate than others. 

I am angry because I cannot be around infants under the age of 1 (and I have two newborn grandchildren), pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems.  

I am angry because I had to miss our city's celebration with musicians in all the store fronts because I can't be around people. I am angry because I had to miss a monthly lunch with a group of old friends, I am angry because I had to miss a niece's graduation, I am angry because I can't attend church tomorrow (and this is just this weekend).  I am angry because I cannot swim until all traces of the shingles are gone and it could take weeks. And my daughter just bought a house with a pool. 

All this could have been avoided it if I had just gotten the shot. 




Miss Merry