Friday, July 22, 2011

A tale of two heat waves.

First, our state is one experiencing the lovely heat wave that is sweeping across chunks of our great nation.  The temperature hit 96 F today, with a heat index of 106 F.  K- and I decided to go outside to do a little experiment. 
We tried to fry an egg on the sidewalk.  It didn't fry, but the yolk did a hard gel type thing and later I had to scrape and scrub it off of the sidewalk.  I'm sure that neighbors and the mailman will be talking about the crazy people that had the plate, flipper, raw egg and a pitcher of soapy water on the sidewalk for about 4 hours today.  If no one gives them anything to talk about, what will they do?
Secondly, K- is making fine progress with the respiratory virus that she seems to have gotten from me.  Her temperature reached new heights today, but I'm glad to say that after hours of work, we did get it to drop back down nearly three full degrees.  We're now in the higher 100.-, so we'll take that.  She's doing a good job of drinking lots of water.  She hasn't really eaten anything besides 8 little graham crackers, 2-3 oyster crackers, 3 spoonfuls of applesauce and half of a vanilla Zinger.  (When your kid is so hot and you are trying to bribe them with something frozen to help get the temp down, you go for what you've got.)  She slept decently well last night, didn't need a dose of Tylenol until 4 AM and fell right back to sleep.  She's got books on CD from the library, so she was talked back to sleep by Edward Herrmann narrating Geronimo Stilton.  Just to settle the masses, I'll be phoning the doctors office tomorrow to talk to the lovely nurse on staff, but I'm certain that they will agree that she has what I had, it is viral, nothing can be done but push fluids and fever reducers.  She's following my path to a T, even the exact days of the week.  I'm obviously hoping for a shorter duration for her.

Back to the heat wave, despite the 6.81 " of rain reported at a downtown reporting station, being the largest amount of rain our area has ever seen in a 24 hour period, the intense heat has forced me to set the sprinkler up outside to take some stress off the perennials.  Some leaves on the butterfly bushes were turning in a curl today, which led me to believe that a drink would be a good thing.  We're on a rinse and repeat for tomorrow heat wise, so I'll be hitting the beds with a 10 minute drink again.  As for the other plants, they were watered with the bath temperature water that is rolling from the water urn/rain barrel spigot. 

I can report that I saw one, just one, Tiger Swallowtail today.  (Though in my intense tiredness, I believe I referred to it as a Yellow Swallowtail.  What can I say, I'm on day 4 of rather sleepless nights.)  I long to see more, but our season just isn't lending itself to that.  I was so spoiled with the wide varieties we had last year.  I guess that I was wishing for more of the same.  I know, I'll be thrilled with what I get.

My evening will be filled with the beep of the Braun ThermoScan Ear Thermometer, many glasses of water (for K- and as a bladder alarm for me), Tylenol, Advil and late night junk TV. 

Now if you'll pardon me, I must go check the line-up to make certain that everyone has what they need.

Smiles in my day:
-  Fever reducers.
-  My house is cleaned!  Now I'm going to get into the nitty gritty of some areas to do some organizing tomorrow and perhaps Saturday.  It'll help me to prep for the yard sale in August.
-  Allergy meds for me.

Have a great day!

ETA:  (Besides the photos.)  I did phone the doctor's office today, K- does have a respiratory virus running around (surprise, surprise), she doesn't have West Nile (told the nurse that MIL wanted me to ask), give comfort meds, keep fluids up, they don't care if she eats, come in if it gets hairy or let them know if it rolls past Monday.  This, too, will pass.  See, I knew that.  If it would just hurry up and pass!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

She has officially fallen victim.

K- has officially come down with the respiratory funk that I had.  Poor kid.  Called this afternoon to check in on her and my MIL reported that she wasn't eating, which isn't like her.  They went to McD's Play Place to play (air conditioned play on a 95 degree day) and while K- played fine, she wasn't up for eating her Happy Meal.  Yarg.  I called later to check in and my MIL was taking K-'s temperature. 

It was 101.5 F. 

I told her to hit her with a dose of Advil and I'd be there in about a half hour to get her.  By the time I reached her, the Advil had kicked in and she was feeling fine.  I still took her home, sent her to bed with jammies and unlimited movies on the tiny TV.  (AKA the portable DVD player.)

Her fever is waving.  I just ran to the grocery to get some Tylenol, as the Advil doesn't seem to be doing the trick and the Tylenol worked better for me when I had it. 

Have I failed to include that I have not slept the last three nights and I don't envision sleep for the next three?  I brought home a 2 liter of Diet Lime Coke to combat that tomorrow.  I should be zipping around being all domestic while locked in on what is predicted to be the hottest day of the year. 

The good thing about this?  K- is due to start a fantastic arts camp with a local theater on Monday.  The camp runs M-F for the next two weeks.  We also have some other family visiting plans in the works, so best to get this through her system before all that comes up. 

My sweet K-.  Poor kid.  She's complaining of exactly the same symptoms I had.  "Mom, my feet are freezing."  You know what?  They do.  They feel like blocks of ice and are ice cold, yet you are fevering.  Doesn't make sense.  "Mom, my head hurts so bad."  Yes, baby.  It's like someone smacked you with a baseball bat.  "Mom, I think that the soda is making my eyes teary."  Nope.  It's what you've got.  Your eyes will burn, too. 

In 3 1/2 days, she should start to feel like new.  Let's hope for a shorter time span, yes?

Smiles in my day:
-  Though K-'s "prize winning sunflower" was bent over by the winds the other day, I supported it with my chop sticks from dinner, then it flopped over again, she managed to get it nudged up against the wood leg of the tower and don't you know that the darned thing seems like she's not only making it, but will be throwing a bloom shortly?  Amazing!
-  I've had to tie up and support some wind whipped plants from the other day, but I think that they'll make it just fine, too.
-  Having a place of work that understands that I have to go to take care of my sick kid.
-  K- is in watching old Woody Woodpecker cartoons.  How it warms my heart that she'd rather watch those than some of the funk and junk that they are trying to market to 7-8 year olds.  I know that times will change, but I will appreciate this for as long as I can, 'kay?
-  Though I am sleep deprived, surprisingly I'm doing fine.  Let's hope that I stick with that.
-  My allergy medicine seems to be back to helping my throat inflammation. 

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Some sparklies.

Rachael requested that we share some "sparklies" on this Hannah's Heaven Day, so I shall.  Now remember, I'm a lemonade from lemons kind of girl, so these things may sound like a drag, but I promise that it is all good.

1.  Last night I came home to find Hubs, K- and two neighbors in the front yard.  Apparently, the 220 line for all the houses in the neighborhood had gone ka-put.  We all had half power, but no A/C, no ovens or anything else that might require a 220 line.  In the midst of all this, Hubs worried that something had gone wrong and went to search out the problem in the breaker box.  The back corner of the living room breaker was busted and needed replaced.  After going to 4 different stores, Hubs was able to find a replacement and the power company was able to come out to do the necessary repairs.  Our power was only out for a few hours.

2.  We had nearly 7 inches of rain last night (not lying) and we didn't flood.  I've got some plant damage to contend with, but all is well.

3.  On the way to drop K- off at the in-law's, a pebble flew up from the highway and cracked a 1/2" x 1/2" T into my windshield.   I was able to call our insurance company, who connected me with Safelite and they came right out to work to fix it.  You can hardly even tell!  The poor guy was stuck doing the repair in 94 degree heat.  Yikes, but he did a fantastic job.  Another great part?  My insurance pays Safelite to do the repairs, but a replacement would involve paying a deductible. 

4.  After a second night of no sleep, caffeine is a fantastic thing.

5.  A friend had a rather extensive allergic reaction to Ambien, involving repetitive calling and repetitive texts, taking her garbage out, throwing dinner out and driving her car a mile and a half way and back.  She found herself in her daughter's bed this AM (her kids were not at home), but she was safe.  Though the course of events during the Ambien episode are fairly embarrassing for her, I'm glad that she was home alone, and that she injured no one in the process.  She went to see her doctor, they told her that she had an allergic reaction and that she is never again to take a sleep aid.  Hubs took this same thing probably 6 years ago just a few times, ended up having extremely vivid dreams and causing himself physical injury which called for visitations to medical personnel.  It's some nasty stuff, but both of them have come through fine.  Wow. 

6.  Cinnamon toast for breakfast.

7.  Hair ties for when my hair goes all unruly in the tropical humidity that we've been experiencing.  Even Wen can't hold it down!

Have a great night!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tales from the (not my) Trenches: Hannah's Heaven Day

4 years ago, my friend's daughter died.  I don't exactly recall what blog rolled me on over to hers, but I recall there being a call for prayer.  I remember Rachael's post stating, "Oh God, it hurts." 

Today is Hannah's Heaven Day.  I leave you with a link to click over to read Rachael's post about Hannah and her thoughts. 

I never had the opportunity to know Hannah before her death.  Over the years, I've come to know Hannah as a little girl who loved to dance, loved all things sparkly, was smart as a whip, but could get herself into trouble, had a squeaky voice, was a funky monkey, loved snuggles and Bath and Body Works "fruit salads," as well as spending time with her family. 

Rachael and her family will be at the surface for me today.  I will search out my sparklies so that I may share them with her later. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

The mid-summer gardening report

We had a horribly wet spring, one that brought us 30 out of 31 days of May with rain.  The rain was mostly torrential.  That has killed off all of the lovely butterflies I normally get this time of year.  My counts?  1 Monarch, a few flutter-bys of Yellow Swallowtail and Black Swallowtail and an early spotting of something brown and orange that I didn't know.  We have a ton of Cabbage Whites, but that is all I have.

Today I finally ran the water urn/rain barrel low enough that she doesn't have enough water pressure to push water out anymore, and I had to pull out the hose and sprinkler.  When the Sedum is beginning to nod toward the ground, you know it is dry.  I gave each of the beds in the back a 10 minute drink, hand watered the hanging baskets and border plants with what I had in the water urn/rain barrel, then had to hose water the herb garden and tomatoes. 

In terms of border plants, I've had a time of it this year.  Some critter decided that the marigolds were beyond tasty and ate nearly all of them.  I've been able to nurse a few back to health, but the rest either died or were a stick that was basically dead and I pulled it.  I bought replacement zinnias from the place up the street, planted them a month ago and am still patiently awaiting their blooms. 

The hanging baskets, despite all of the watering, have started to look August worn.  It's been in the 90's and they aren't at all happy. 

The good news is that we had home grown potatoes and green beans with our dinner this evening.  They were delightful.  It is nice to go out, pick some dinner and have it cooking less than 15 minutes after it was pulled. 

The grass is dry and crunchy, but I'm too cheap to water it.  Before we had K-, I watered the front lawn.  I was one of two people on the street with a green front yard, but now it isn't that big of a deal.  Water rates are going up a lot and I really don't care to hand over any more money than I have to, to the city water department.  Rrrrr.

The perennials that I planted this year seem to be holding in there.  The Blazing Star seems to be something experiencing some snackage, but the Cup Flower and Aster is doing well.  The Potentilla, which seemed beyond wilty last week, seems to have perked up and is holding its own.  The lavender that I grew from seed is happy.  The dry weather is good for it anyhow.  They don't like wet feet. 

I doubt that I'll have Hollyhocks this year, as they are still small and not throwing flowers.  Since those aren't perennials, I'll just have to eat that and start again.  The Chinese Lanterns seem to be someone's favorite snack.  They aren't pulling along so well.  I'll be surprised if I have anything from them. 

The potatoes are all dug up.  I learned things this past weekend when K- and I visited a friend's church.  They are more down-home and farming kind of folk.  I got on to talking about my first experience in potato planting and the one gentleman laughed at me (planting them in a bucket) and brought his potato farming dad over to set me straight on some things.  I was able to talk about canning with the ladies and gardening with the men.  I only knew a few of the people there when I walked in, but I left having gained quite a wealth of knowledge. 

I have tomatoes hanging all over the place.  In a quick-shot storm about 2 weeks ago, I lost several feet of a tomato plant, but it'll be okay.  We're still waiting the first sign of pink or red.  Nothing yet, but we don't have tomato hornworms either.  (Probably because of the wet spring.)  I'm quite fine with not having to battle the big, squishy green bugs.  Yarg!

The ground cherries seem to be happy and I'm so glad that I tomato caged them.  The first yellow ground cherry dropped and I fed it to K-.  She was so excited.  Ground cherries are one of her favorites. 

Though the Mizuna has long ago bolted, the collards seem to be happy enough and Spike has more than enough to keep him eating.  We talked about the Mizuna tonight and decided that I'm not going to waste the space on them next year.  It was a good experiment.

My Rose of Sharons are very pleased!  I have a purple one up near the house.  That one came from Hubs' Aunt Debbie and though it took 4+ years to kick in and be happy, she's throwing blooms left and right now.  The Rose of Sharon in the back is white with burgundy centers.  That one is a bird gift from the neighbors across the street.  Again, that one couldn't be happier. 

We have a Red Oak in that same bed that is a gift from the squirrels.  It has been slowly humming along, as all good oaks do, and we've decided to leave it be happy.  It is only a few feet tall, but over time it will tower and be gorgeous. 

After all of this, y'all are asking, "But where are the photos?"  In time, my friends, in time.  Right now, it is 9:40 PM and it was a blog post that was on my mind. 

Smiles in my weekend:
-  Home grown veggies with dinner.
-  Going out to Hubs' volunteer picnic last night.  For some dumb reason, I couldn't figure out how to open the doors to get out and finally when someone opened them for me, everyone clapped.  :insert red face:  Yup.  Just call me the bright bulb among many.  :sheesh:
-  We went on a hike last night and though we all got attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes, somehow I came out without a bite.  They got a hold of K- though and it looks like they tried to fly away with her.  Poor kid must be delicious. 
-  Though I don't like doing it so much anymore, I appreciate the fact that I have a hose with city water and am able to water my very dry plants.  My friend has an organic chicken farm and she has to hand water her plants.  She does have Jezebel, her somewhat trusty golf cart, that carries a tank of water for her.  Still, she has a well and not one dug extremely deep.  Too much plant watering means no water for the house.  I'm glad that I don't have that problem.  Add to her water problem the fact that she has MS and is greatly affected by extreme heat.  I'm smiling because she does what she does, but am very thankful that I have city amenities that give me the ability to have central air and an unlimited supply of water. 
-  I have a handy husband who is able to work on his car himself.  He just needed to do a bit of tweaking for E-check (Ohio emissions testing for license plate renewal), but I'm glad that he's able to handle it.

Have a great start to your week!