Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tales from the Trenches: Hornworms and a hysterectomy

I've grown tomatoes for years.  I've never once had a problem with tomato hornworms, but noticed a green caterpillar on my tomato plant about 2 weeks back.  Deciding to give it the benefit of the doubt, I had K- relocate it to a plant out back. 

It came back and brought some of it's sumo wrestler sized caterpillar friends.  They were having a Thanksgiving feast on the leaves of the plants.  Believe me, they were working fast.

Don't know if you are familiar with the hornworm, but I've heard tales for years about my organic chicken farmer friend having battles with them.  She picks them and feeds them to her chickens.  We don't have chickens to feed them to, but I did confirm with Hubs that they are one of his approved bugs that can go.  (We love all creatures and really do our best not to spray or deter them from coming to visit.)  I suggested the next best thing. 

The neighbor's koi pond. 

The neighbor wasn't completely convinced, but complied when I promised to dig dead worms out of his pond if they remained.

Later he reported that they loved them.


Be gone from my tomato plants or the lovely cardinals and koi will enjoy you for supper. 

Thank you.

Now for the hysterectomy part. The end story to my mom's bit is that she called to announce that she has to have a hysterectomy. I told her that I wasn't a bit surprised and I was fine with her going in and having it taken care of before something like chemotherapy would need to be done. She said that Billy told her the same. Actually, it seems that each of us (4 in all) basically told mom the same thing.

So the hollowing out of mom is to be done soon. She wants it out now because of the amount that the fibroid grew in just the three months. Her consultation with the surgeon/specialist want swimmingly. She really liked him and loved that he told her that he wasn't as concerned about the tale of the lost ovary. Apparently, after menopause, they can just shrink up. Who knew? He talked to my mom about the hysterectomy and told her that she hasn't used the parts in years, so why would she want bad stuff hanging around anyhow?  He stated that she has a thickening of the wall which could be a precursor to troubles later. 

Mom already started fretting about my birthday and my sister's birthday. She said that she's afraid that we're going to have to bake our own cakes. I told her that Hubs buys me a Dairy Queen cake every year anyhow, so this year he can just buy a bigger one. I told her not to sweat it. I told her that I would rather have her okay and a birthday cake is something that I can handle.

"But I'm going to be off 6 weeks and what am I going to do about Christmas presents? You might end up with something from Goodwill!" "I don't care. I've given you things from the thrift and you didn't know it." (A beautiful tart burner from Yankee Candle for Easter one year.)

I should pause to remind that in my house, the gift doesn't have to be new. Hubs buys used CD's and DVD's. He bought me a beautiful sweater and toasty fleece from the thrift once. K- has gotten gently loved games from Santa (though they looked brand new.) New is certainly not a requirement in any way. It is the love and thoughtfulness behind the gift that is important to us.

At any rate, I believe that we've confirmed to mom that her presence is way more important than her worrying about what gifts she'll be passing on or what camping weekends we may or may not be able to have together for this season. She's mama. We want her. The rest of the stuff can be done at a different time.

I talked with my sister this evening about each one of us taking a night in the week on an every other night basis to provide a two night meal for my mom and dad. In rotation, it would only be once a week for each of us. One night would give my dad some leftovers for lunch, too. LeAnne, Dumpy and I live closer. It won't be an issue for us. For Billy, he lives about 20 minutes out, works about 25 minutes out and he and his girlfriend share a car. We'll figure it out, but at least I put a bug in my sister's ear.

Speaking of my sister, she's on deck to watch K- for the day tomorrow.  My mother-in-law is unable to watch her (a rare thing), so my sister is trading me child care for a back pack.  (I insisted that she be compensated somehow for a full day of childcare.)  In the AM, they'll be stacking wood at someones house, so K- will be dropped off there.  After, there will be swimming (the pool is only filled to about 3 feet and no one is permitted in without an adult in direct supervision) and playing and much fun to be had by all.  K- is very excited and has been counting down the days.  I also made a batch of granola to take. 

With that, I have towels to fold.  They are my only dryer item, as the rest gets the line dry treatment.  I was standing outside, folding my laundry this evening and chuckling at what the neighbors must have thought when there was still snow on the ground in March and my sheets were flapping in the wind.  Oh how I love to line dry the clothes.  I miss the outside lines in the winter.  I still have the inside, but they don't have the same ozone-y type smell. 

Smiles in my day:
-  My mom finding a surgeon that she likes.  It was nice that the surgeon confirmed that everything that my mother's practice did was correct. 
-  Hubs got to have a nice Happy Daddy Day with K-.  They went to the Prehistoric Dinosaur Park and to Marblehead to the beach to swim.  It's a bit of a hoof and a haul, but they had a great time.
-  K- has started getting our gentle reminders that she needs to use her words and not flip out.  Some day the flip outs will end, right?
-  Hearing K- reading to herself.  Walking through the house, doing chores, and listening to her sounding words out.  Since I'm not standing right over her, I don't know if all the words are correct, but the important thing is that she is choosing to read on her own and is truly working on it.  That right there is good stuff.

Have a great day!


BernadetteO said...

It may help your mom, you and your family to know about the common consequences of hysterectomy. There is a short, very informative video that will you understand changes she may experience. You can watch the video at www.hersfoundation.org/anatomy.

Rach said...

I'm SO glad your mom is going to be okay. Sure, hysterectomies are no fun, but that's better than the alternative.

Hornworms? Haven't experienced then--YET. ;o)

The Bean is more ill this morning--nose-wise. Low-grade fever, nasal congestion. Lil has the nose thing going on, as does Gabe. I think they picked up something in TN.