Sunday, October 24, 2021

Changes..........

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've posted.

Many things have happened since my last post on August 14th.



I got COVID on August 29th (or I should say "it got me")....... toughed it out for a week at home and then when it got more difficult to breathe, I went to ER and was transported to the hospital in Bend (1-1/2 hours away) and was in the hospital for a week. Thankfully, my lungs weren't attacked too severely, but I've never felt so rotten in my life.

My husband was a little sick, and he said it was "just a cold". He was trying to take care of himself at home. When I was in the ER, they tested him for COVID and the next day was told he was positive for COVID. He still chose to stay home.


Two days later, he called me in the hospital and said he "had taken a turn for the worse" and was going to the ER. They immediately transported him to the same hospital I was in in Bend. We were on the same floor, about 10 rooms apart. We never got to see each other though, as they were VERY strict on keeping the people in the "COVID rooms" completely shut off from anyone else.


While I got a little better every day, he continued to get worse. I was on oxygen and the steroids they give you specifically for COVID. 

My husband had many complications - he had air in his belly, and his pneumonia got worse. They put a tube down his nose to try to release the air from his belly.  They gave him a more concentrated oxygen. They talked about having to ventilate him. I was in constant contact with his nurses and his doctor. He agreed to be ventilated if it would help, although we both knew what the outcome usually is when you're ventilated.

I went home on September 14th so was in the hospital for 7 days. I was not allowed to go visit my husband, but we talked on the phone every day and the nurses and doctor called me to let me know his condition. I felt so helpless. I kept "suggesting" other things that friends and family had suggested worked for people they knew who had COVID. The doctor was very insistent that none of those things worked. Again, I felt so helpless.  

I, myself, was still recovering from COVID. I was on oxygen at home, took the steroids for a few more days, and was taking many other supplements to boost my immune system and help my lungs. I was so so fatigued, tired, weak and lethargic. I couldn't even fathom traveling an hour and a half to the hospital, suiting up and going to see my husband. I felt awful that I couldn't/didn't go, but I was still very sick.

My husband continued to get worse. He was struggling to breathe. The doctor said they could not vent him at this point as his lungs were very bad and had previous scarring (they did a CT Scan).  At this point also, my husband could not even talk - it took too much effort.

On September 22nd, early in the morning, my husband passed away. I was in shock. Two days earlier he had seemed to rally and they had him sitting in a chair and he could talk. I had high hopes for his recovery. Two days later, he was gone.

I am still in shock and denial. 

I don't know how much I'll blog now. My life is going to be so different... and I know there will be many changes coming. For now, I'm staying put where I am, in this sweet little cottage.... but I don't know what the future holds for me.

Being in the hospital for those 7 days, and being so sick, and knowing my husband was so sick, my perspective changed drastically. All of the little things seemed so irrelevent as I laid there in that hospital bed........... all of my "stuff" seemed irrelevent, TV, commercials, news, noise, people, talking, all seemed to mean nothing to me. And I still feel that way now.


I pray every day to "Let Go and Let God".. and try not to control the next path I will take in my life. All I know, is that everything has changed.


Rest in Peace my sweet Husband.
Ronald McLeod
10-29-1948 to 9-22-2021



Our 18th anniversary was October 18th, 2021.


~Marilyn~


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Saturday, August 14, 2021

Yard and garden #2

Hi all,
I decided it's time for another update on our yard and flowers. What is YOUR weather like in your neck of the woods???? It's HOT here.

This post is more like a book, so get your tea or coffee, your cookie or muffin, and settle in. Since I don't post that often, I try to squeeze 2 months of life, into one post! Just the way it is.

Can you BELIEVE this Coleus? It is in the HOT sun all day long, and it loves it! I thought Coleus was only a shade plant. I'm learning they love the sun and heat.

Considering the super HOT weather we've had here in central Oregon, most of my flowers and shrubs are surviving the heat... thanks to hubby for watering every day!  I sometimes water again in the evening, if it was over 100.


From two tiny Nasturtium plants, I have quite a large bush now growing up our mailbox! This was my plan and it is working!

We have lots of fires around us, but not too close (praise the Lord).... and I so feel for those more affected by the fires than we are. Other than some very smoky days, we are safe so far.
This was taken yesterday.. it was really bad. Today the smoke has blown away somewhat.

It is especially smoky here the last couple of days. It's a yellow gray look outside, and I don't even want to go out. I did go outside just a little bit ago to take some updated pictures of what is going on in our yard. (the smoke wasn't too bad when I took the pictures).  We live on a small plot in town, but I do love it.. and it's become more and more like a little green oasis for us.

Our back yard lawn is FINALLY, after 6 years, looking pretty good. There are still some bare spots but we will reseed again this Fall.

Here is before and after. The "before" is on the top and taken about 6 weeks ago! The bottom picture I just took today. It is greening up nicely and filling in. I thought the new grass seed would NEVER grow, as it had to survive that heat wave we had. 



A lawn guy I was talking to also recommended a different type of weed spray called Speed Zone. I HATE using pesticides, but this one you can spray all over your lawn and everything (not flowers) and it only kills the weeds and not the grass. It works great and this way I can keep those pesky weeds from taking over.

Here are some "before" and "afters" of my strawberries, peach tree and roses. The strawberries are growing like crazy and there are MANY white flowers on them for some berries in a few weeks. These are everbearing strawberries mostly.

Peach tree now (on right) that we thought would never grow! I swear it looks more like a bush!

Roses... the one on top is from today... the bush on lower left is today, and the roses on the bottom right are a few weeks ago.... they came in the first time really pale. I love the brighter peach color.

Strawberries... top was right after I planted them.... see our scraggly grass??? Today.. on the bottom, they are lush and I think they grow a couple of more inches every day. They are sending out runners everywhere!  I am very happy as I love strawberries.

I used to get up early in the morning when I was young, around 11 and 12, to go to the strawberry fields and pick for pay. You could do it then (back in the 50's- aging myself!), but today, they say it's too young to have "child labor" at that age. I thought it was fun and a great way to earn money for school clothes. I was lucky to maybe make $1.50 for the day.

I was really late planting my Nasturtium seeds, but finally got them in some pots. They are coming up nicely. My mom always had climbing Nasturtiums.... they are hard to find now.


Hubby dug up some dry climate sage (middle) and some sort of succulant when he housesat for my sister. They are doing well in our back raised bed where nothing seems to want to grow.

I love our purple sage. It is finally thriving after struggling for a couple of years. My sister gave me a darling garden "bee girl" for my birthday. She ordered it on Amazon and it came from China and took 3 months to get here!



My blueberry plants have almost doubled in size! They love being watered every day with the sprinkler... I've even been given the joy of eating a few! 


Would you look at those blackberry plants? Look! Green berries!!! I'm so happy. I used to live on the west (wet) side of the Cascade Mountain Range, and blackberries grew wild there, EVERYWHERE!  You could walk down your road and pick them for making jam and pies. Here in Madras, there is only one patch in the entire town, and that is along a large river that is about 15 miles away, and I haven't gotten there yet. Of course, it's "snake city" so hubby doesn't want me to go (rattlers). I may not. Nuff said. So I'm trying to grow my own.


The blackberry I planted in our gravel, is spreading, spreading and spreading. I know I'll have to keep it pruned or it would eventually take over our yard! It has some red berries on it. I want to get a little fence to put around it and keep it tamed.

Since we had to cancel our beach trip for my birthday, due to the "heat dome", I had rescheduled for Aug. 16th, but I had to cancel again due to this heat. I know... I know.. the best place to be during the heat here is on the Oregon coast! But..... when you have 4 cats depending on you, and it's too hot to leave them outside, then you just can't go, unless you have a pet sitter, which we don't (or unless you want to take them with you!).

Maybe we'll get to the coast this Fall. I hope so. I sure miss it.. miss the smells of the wet sand and seaweed, sounds of the seagulls and the waves as they crash and then sizzle with foam to the sand. I miss the mist and fog even!


Even on one hot day a few weeks ago, I talked hubby into driving to Lake Billy Chinook about 10 miles from us. I just wanted to sit by the lake and have lunch. I've wanted to do this all summer, but has just been too hot. I compromised and said we could sit inside with the air conditioning!!!  We did.. and it was so nice.


See those DRY hills??? This lake is surrounded by dry dry dry, but it is beautiful in its own way.

Please try to ignore the 12 lb. "covid weight gain"!!!  Darn it. Hard to stay away from sugar now.

I've been doing a little bit of cleaning out, organizing and destashing.... even of my craft room. I have way too much "stuff"!!!

Ready for donation!  (more is already in the car).

FUTURE PLANS:

1.  I plan a trip up to Washington to see my chiropractor in a week - it's a 5 hour drive one way, but I have to go.... he is the ONLY one who can "fix" my neck, and I have been in alot of pain.

2.   We plan a 2 night camping trip in our Van (finally!!!!) at a lake not too far from here. My sister and husband are going and taking their boat... so we decided to book a site close to them. I know it will be hot probably, but I'm hoping for some cooler weather, maybe in the 80's???  Keeping fingers crossed.

3.   I'm hoping for a beach trip sometime in October! 

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer.  Until next time.....

~Marilyn~








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Thursday, July 1, 2021

Yard pictures and updated blog info

Hi friends!

(NOTE: You are receiving this post via Mail Chimp, my new notification service for my subscribers. If you ever want to go directly to my blog post and be able to see the sidebar images and lists, links, etc., then click on the BLUE title of my post at the very top of this email.)

Now to begin...........I just wanted to let you know that my blog is now updated to use Mail Chimp rather than Feedburner, for my subscribers to receive my blog posts in their email inbox! Thank you to Linda at Life and Linda.  She was such a great  help - or I should say, she did it all herself!!! THANK YOU Linda!

If you didn't know, Blogger is going to quit using Feedburner this month to direct Blogger posts to their subscribers. If you have already subscribed to my blog, then you will begin receiving this post and all subsequent posts of mine from Mail Chimp.

 
NOTE: If you HAVE previously subscribed, and maybe used an old email address that is no longer current, then I would ask that you re-subscribe by going directly to my blog and use the "sign up" link via Mail Chimp on the right sidebar. I was looking at some of the emails in my contact list, and some look like ones that are not current. Mail Chimp will continue emailing to the old email addresses, so PLEASE UPDATE YOUR EMAIL so you won't miss any future posts!


IF YOU HAVEN'T YET SUBSCRIBED AND WANT TO, then please go to the sign-up box on my right side bar and add your email address, (after you click the blue title at the top of this email which will take you directly to my blog). You will then be notified by Mail Chimp of my future posts.

It's been SO HOT here, as most of Oregon  has been this last week or so, that I haven't had much motivation to do outdoor things or work in my yard. I HAVE managed to water everything every day or twice a day, but the high temperatures (in the triple digits) have done a number on a few of my plants. I hope they come back! 

Saturday it was 110, Sunday 113, Tuesday 109 and Wednesday 107. Today, it was "only" 101! Funny how your perspective changes when it gets so HOT. Now 99 degrees seems downright cool!

My poor peonies just could not withstand the heat.... doesn't help that bugs have been chewing up the leaves too.

Even my vine maple, that is partly in the shade, has crinkly leaves. I water it religiously!

My poor raspberries really haven't done well in the heat, even though I water the roots and get the leaves wet twice a day. It was only this one section that was hurt and burned. The rest seem pretty good.

My peach roses haven't done so well.... this one in the middle is pretty nice and didn't burn, but most of the other blooms dried up right away. Last  year they were so gorgeous and a bright peach/orange color. This year they are so faded. 

Most of my bushes and shrubs are doing OK. Before this heat wave, I had just planted alot of new pots of annuals. I am fortunate that most have survived with my constant watering and moving them into the shade for the most part.

My lilac bush by the back "patio/gravel" area seems to be thriving in the heat!


These are some shrubs in my front yard that have grown so fast in the last 3 years. They were 50 cent plants that I bought 3 or 4  years ago when we had our last really bad heat wave. They were all wilted and almost dead. They have thrived in the front yard and make it seem like a little oasis under our quaking aspen tree. Love it!

A view of our front, the quaking aspen (trunk) and some recent annuals I planted in pots. Sorry about the hose.. I was too lazy to get up and move it in over 100 degree heat today! My petunias aren't loving the heat at all.

Front  yard to the left side by our rock wall - the Sumac has about overtaken that corner - see the new "baby" one coming up in the center? You have to pull them up quick or they will overtake an area in less than a year. Also.. the lower area has my wonderful Vine Maple tree that is finally settling in and loving its location. Vine Maple don't do very well in this hot and dry climate.

Here's the better side of my raspberries. They are doing well and full of green berries... I just hope the heat doesn't prevent them from ripening. I'm really babying them this year. Also.. see our peach tree front left? It is doing really well.


One pretty peach rose from our front yard.. a few look pretty good, but mostly they dry out before they mature. The fragrance is still there though! It's just wonderful.

One more thing I've planted this year (right before this hot spell).... is strawberries. I just LOVE fresh strawberries and I never seem to have much luck with them here. The gal at the nursery said in this cold winter climate, I shouldn't be planting them in raised containers (which I was doing) because the below zero temps can freeze the roots when they're above ground in a pot.

Last  year's strawberries were in a cedar planter, but they never wintered over and never came back this spring.

So I planted my new "babies" (that had been blown all over the nursery in a wind storm a few days before) in the ground in our "new" back flower bed. I got them for $1.00 each! I amended the soil quite abit... and they seem to love it there. I know they look small, but remember, they had been all blown off of the stand and had been scattered hither and yonder in a wind storm, so they were pretty puny when I bought them.

My strawberry bed.... behind it are 4 new blueberry plants I bought, plus a thornless blackberry. I'm going to plant the blueberries in huge pots (which we just received yesterday from Lowe's), and the blackberry will get planted over at the end of my raspberries, where I have another one I planted 2 years ago, that is doing quite well.

See all that green tufty stuff in the foreground (above)??? Well.. THAT, is supposed to be our back lawn! It is horrible again, even though I've weeded, feeded, raked, dug out weeds, watered, etc. etc. etc. It just will NOT grow grass! But the weeds do love it! I just throw up my hands in despair............ 


Blueberries - blackberry at the far right. I can hardly wait. Maybe next year we may reap the rewards (if the heat or winds don't kill them all).

I planted a "knock off" (or knock out?) rose in the new flower bed, next to the strawberries, and it surprisingly has done fairly well in this heat. These are some new blossoms. I keep it well watered.

I hope this new home for the strawberries works out. I had my first berry on June 29th! I'm really babying these too.. and I want to build a frame I can set over them if/when I get some berries, to keep the birds away. These are all mostly everbearing so I will get another crop late summer.

I think we are going to be seeing some cooler (if you consider 98 degrees cool) temperatures for the next 10 days and the nights will be cooler. We have been miserable at night, because our air conditioning does not reach to our bedroom much at the end of the house. We only have a wall air conditioner. The cooler nights will be a blessing, so I can open our bedroom window! Some nights have been 95 degrees at 10 p.m.!

That's the update for now. It's just a fight to keep things watered and wet. Our poor back lawn is a losing battle. I hate to put it all in gravel or bark dust, but we may have to do that at some point or just give up and let the weeds take over. 

Me and my hubby still have alot of work to do this summer in our yard. Still haven't had time for much "fun" or any fun outings. Had planned to go to the Oregon coast for my birthday, but we could see it was going to be so hot that we couldn't leave our kitties outside, so we cancelled until a later date. I think Oregon is going to have a super hot summer, at least central Oregon, so the coast trip may not happen until Fall. (sniff sniff).

I have been cleaning and reorganizing my craftroom.. trying to "destash" some items I don't really need or use, rearranging things, and added a new 4-tier shelf beside my work area to put the items on that I use the most. It's quite big and takes up alot of space, so I'll see how I like it before I rave too much!

I  hope everyone is doing well!  Until next time.........

~Marilyn~




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Saturday, May 22, 2021

Rogue Iris

Hi friends...

Happy Saturday, May 22nd. Can you believe May is almost over already? This year has ramped up and is speeding by.  

Just a quick pop-in to show some pictures of my "rogue" Irises, and my stunning purple and gold Irises. I just LOVE Irises!

Some purple and golds that I planted a few years ago.

A few years ago, I think it was about 2015, I dug up a bunch of purple Irises from my ex-husband's yard up in Washougal, WA. He and his wife were moving from the "homestead" that he and I built in the 70's, and I wanted to dig up as many plants as I could, that I had planted way back then, or that they had planted. I also dug up some plants and flowers that I HAD PLANTED back in the 80's!! They have survived here and I have so happy about that. 

This vine maple, from Washougal, is finally doing well. It has taken  5 years for it to find its footing and grow!

The Irises that I dug up looked purple. It was early May and I don't think they had opened up yet, but the tops looked purple. So I brought them  home to Madras, and kept them in buckets of water until I could plant them. There were maybe 20 Irises and 10 other shrubs or flowers.  The Irises got planted in the corner of our front yard in a little flower bed, and then DID bloom and put on a gorgeous display for us! (see above photo).

By 2018, the flower bed of Irises had grown and multiplied! (see below)................


By 2019, they were so thick that I knew I'd have to dig up some and split the bulbs. Each May, they were putting on a wonderful show for us!

This one flower bed had mostly purple Iris, and a few gold with burgundy tops (see top photo). The gold ones popped up a couple of years after I planted the originals! They must have been dormant or something.  I decided, in 2019, to add a couple of yellow Iris to my garden, and planted those in our back yard, in the shade of our Lilac bush.


In 2020, I decided it was time to dig up the front flower bed of Irises, split up the bulbs and transplant them in more areas of our yard. Let me tell you! That was NOT an easy job. The bulbs were all hooked together just like blocks of cement. My husband  had to chop them apart with an axe......... and I had doubts that some of them would even survive that.  





Out of those original 20 or so plants, I must have had at least a hundred to transplant in our yard. I put them all in buckets of water, and tried to keep them separated as to color. I had the purples, gold and bungundys, and some smaller yellow Iris that my sister dug up from her house in La Pine, OR and gave to me. 


Here are the  yellow Iris by our Lilac bush that I planted in the ground. I even threw that last few I was trying to save, into our cedar tub. I had no idea if Iris would or could grow in a tub!

Replanting front bed with the plants spaced further apart.



Neat and tidy now!

I dug new flower beds in our front lower yard (in front of our 4 ft. rock wall), and along the side of our lower yard.  I planted probably 50 there, and 50 more in our back yard by our Lilac bush, and along our back raised rock wall flower bed.

I dug a new flower bed along our rock wall in our front yard.

Back yard raised flower bed. They love it there.. even though it's partially shady in the afternoons.

Back corner raised flower bed. I mulched everything and they love this area too. Front left bright green is a vine maple shrub that I brought from Washougal with the Irises. 

Some of the Irises stayed in the buckets of water for weeks. I was tired and exhausted from all the yard work, and planted the leftovers at the last minute, when I knew if I didn't get them in the ground, they wouldn't survive. I had no idea by then what colors I was planting, and even shoved the rest into some tubs and flower pots.


So now, in 2021, almost ALL of my Irises have bloomed and they have given us a wonderful show! I couldn't be happier. Front yard and back yard... they are amazing. My sister's little yellows are so pretty, the yellow ones by the back Lilac are gorgeous and big, and our purples and golds are taller than ever!

My sister's "baby" yellows.

Lower bed below our rock wall, and more at the far end.






My large yellows that I planted in 2019. They are two toned and have already multiplied.

And now.... I bet you are wondering about the "rogue"...... I had taken all of these wonderful pictures around May 6th.... then a few days later, my husband called me to come outside as he wanted to show me something.... and down to the lower yard we went, and to my surprise and amazement........... there was this!


We couldn't believe it! In all these years, we had never seen one like this! A purple with a delicate white top. It was amazing! Where did it come from? I had never planted one like it. All we can think is that it somehow was dormant for all these years and when I dug up the bulbs and replanted them, it came alive again! Who knows?

Then a few days later, there were TWO on the same stalk!

Then a few days later, we looked at the little flower bed at the end of our lower area, and there was this!



And that's my story... and I'm stickin' to it...... maybe next year we'll get some more "rogues"!!!!  And also, I want to plant some pink ones as of course, I need more PINK in our yard!

Does anyone have ideas where the rogues came from?


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