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4 minutes ago · Let's Talk about Gardens in COVID-19

As Colleen inferred, my plantings are designed with Bambi in mind. I've had to deal a few times with our neighbor's cows and horses wandering into our yard. Fences are in place, but stock seem to be smart enough to get over or through or around gates and fencing. But the deer are always a nuisance. They damage fruit trees, nibble on the evergreens, pull up succulents (and drop them because they figure out that they don't taste good), and munch on the mums just as the flowers begin to open. I have a high fence around the vegetable/perennial garden. It's a 5' field fence with 2 rows of barbed wire above. I've put in 10' t stakes – I have to use a step ladder to reach up with the post driver. Not one of my favorite chores.

I have fencing around the orchard that I hope to improve on this summer. Fencing cages around individual trees, a climbing rose (a favorite of deer), around bushes and so on. It doesn't enhance the beauty of the place, but it's a necessary evil. I found that they don't like rosa rugosa, iris,daffodils, peonies, Oregon grape, juniper and leave blue fescue alone. Until I moved into deer habitat I always had roses.

Anyone who thinks that deer are cute, as I used to, doesn't have them bedding down in their yard.

I got a Gurney's nursery catalog today, and I guess that if I want very many things I might have to order through online nurseries. I'd normally get my vegetable and annual starts from a greenhouse down the road, and I might give them a call to see what their plans are. I always plant vegetables on Memorial Day weekend, hopefully after the last frost.

Happy gardening, everyone. It will be even more therapeutic than usual for me this year, in the throes of the pandemic.

Jim

7 hours ago · Gratitude Discussion Group in Just Want to Talk

@parus @lioness @merpreb @contentandwell and whoever is in this discussion.

This is take 3. The first and second tries suddenly went who knows where. So,I'm moving from my phone to my tablet.

So far we're doing fine. Living out in the country, houses are at least a quarter of a mile apart, so we already are practicing social distancing. We only go to town for groceries, every 10 days, and do our banking and post office business if we need to. We make our last stop at one of the drive thru fast food restaurants, and take it home to eat. I know that doing those things presents a level of risk, but everyone is taking the virus seriously and as a rule are following the rules. So far, no cases are reported in our county, but that certainly doesn't mean it won't happen here. There are huge Facebook and Apple call centers at the edge of our town, each employing hundreds of people, and that would almost certainly raise the level of risk.

Our son is a truck driver for a plumbing supplier in Indianapolis, so has some risk when he makes deliveries. Their 7 year old daughter is living with her other grandparents until the pandemic is past. His wife is a nurse practitioner and sees patients in several nursing homes, a number of whom have tested positive for covid 19. She's at a huge risk, but for many of her patients she's the only health professional who makes the rounds for face to face visits.

Our daughter's husband is in the Coast Guard in Alameda, which is in the San Francisco bay area. Our daughter and her two girls who are 8 months old and 3 years old, are finding things to do. But there's a limit to what they can do for however many weeks or months without getting serious cabin fever. Her husband has to go to work as usual – we hope he won't be exposed to the virus on base.

It means a lot to us that both of our kids call and message every day. Connection, even online, is a key part of maintaining our sanity and helping us control fear and anxiety in this time of uncertainty. Conversation with the friends we make through this Mayo Clinic Connect can and does help us in many different ways. It helps us to stay grounded and helps us maintain a healthy perspective, and at the same time we can learn all kinds of things that we'd never thought of until we read about it here. At least that's what I've experienced.

Y'all stay safe and sane.

Jim

1 day ago · Getting off of Seroquel in Depression & Anxiety

@chrisjc

I've been taking 1mg of Clonazepam at bedtime for 14 years. My prescription is for two per day, but I rarely take a second one. I did try to taper off it a few years ago, but after a few nights with no sleep I decided it wasn't worth the effort. I have sleep apnea and use a Bipap machine, so if a medication is sedating I'm happy to have the help.

There will be people who love it and people who think that no one should ever take it. For me, if it works, why would I change it?

I hope you continue to have improved sleep and appetite.

Jim

2 days ago · ~ Depressed and scared, not making it financially ~ in Mental Health

@amberpep

I get what you're saying, Abby. It seems like I keep telling about my various issues over and over. I hope that regular followers don't get tired of reading it. I can't remember what I've told to whom.

I had an hour with my therapist today and talked a bit about isolation. When I'm feeling depressed, I want to isolate, but having it required as it is right now is a different kind of isolation. I know that I'll feel better when I can get outside to start the gardening.

I finished a sweater a few weeks ago – a yellow pullover with an unusual shawl collar – and steamed it to shape it to fit my body. For Christmas I made a doll bunkbed for a granddaughter who just turned 3. Now I'm knitting blankets for her dolls. I just have a few inches to go on the third one. I'm poring over my wife's considerable collection of knitting books and magazines, and looking at the Ravelry website, trying to decide which pattern I want to use for my next sweater. My wife and my daughter each gave me some alpaca yarn for Christmas, so I have to figure out the designs for a few scarves. Except for the things I make for granddaughters, I always knit with wool.

So, enforced isolation is kind of nice in that I have lots of time to do the things that are on my list. A week or two ago I put new tires and tubes on my bicycle, with the plan in mind to ride it down to the mailbox. It's a little more than a mile round trip, downhill going and uphill returning. I'm putting on a few pounds which I don't need because I've been working in my recliner. I cut out the snacks and I'm taking smaller servings, but it's not enough to do the job. I've always hated exercise, but I guess I don't have a choice if I'm to shed some pounds.

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I pray that she will have good treatment for her cancer. One of my wife's friends from her knitting group just passed away after being able to keep cancer at bay for several years. She was able to do lots of things on her bucket list.

Do you ever get out for a Sunday drive? The country around you is truly beautiful. I guess you see some of it on your trips back and forth to Maryland.

Be safe, Abby, and know that you're not forgotten.

Jim

3 days ago · Neuropathy: Anyone have any experience with gabapentin? in Neuropathy

@pfbacon

I've never heard of having to list meds for the DMV. That's weird. I would say that if it's something you take rarely, it would be reasonable to leave it off the list. I no longer include Percocet or orphenadrine (a muscle relaxer) because I take them so rarely. It just adds eyebrow raisers.

3 days ago · Music Helps Me in Just Want to Talk

@lioness I put saucers of cooking oil out where the earwigs hang out, but my dog finds them and lick up the oil, so I made screen covers. Doesn't that sound tantalizing? Yuk

3 days ago · Music Helps Me in Just Want to Talk

@contentandwell The critters haven't caused damage other than to the lawns, garden and pasture. Our neighbors to the west have a couple dozen barn cats that have cut down the squirrel problem in the pasture and my dog, Sadie, tends to the lawns. I welcome their help bc my 15 traps can't keep up with them.

Jim

3 days ago · Pins and needles during exercise? in Neuropathy

My brother deals with the same frustrations with the VA. I've been on a 3 year search for pain relief from polyneuropathy, and I've kinda reached the conclusion that I just have to live with it. My pain is quite different from your husband's, but after a while any chronic pain is difficult. I hope you get some answers soon.

Jim