Saturday, January 28, 2017

All along the watchtower

I'm writing from the couch, with a fire in the fireplace on a grey day. Q is communing with the curious old lady cat, who came to visit and see what his tube feeding and meds were all about this morning. She remains on his lap where she intermittently flicks his nose with her tail, much to his delight, while he maintains a purposefully gentle grasp on her leg. E and S are still asleep, even though I have Rattle and Hum playing not softly. K is ironing, bless her sweet heart. The cloth napkins and tablecloth needed help, I guess.

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since Q's procedures... Mostly, we're grateful to be done with the vomiting, or mostly done, anyway. I think this puts him at about five months to recover from the extra nudge on the gag reflex from being intubated. Initially, this adversely affected his weight gain, because, as you might imagine, losing an entire meal once or twice a day is problematic. But as of this week, he's up not quite ten pounds since the tube placement (lost a couple of pounds at first, so he gained all this since mid-October). We're all feeling it, like crazy, and I'm scrambling for modifications and reorganizing the house to help alleviate the increasing physical strain of this suddenly strapping young man.

All the other areas of recovery were pretty good, though. He needed more eye ointment than we'd initially anticipated, but again, healed quickly and thoroughly. Which reminds me, I need to get him back in for the final follow-up ophthalmology appointment. It's also time for another dental visit. Since Q doesn't chew much food, he doesn't have the necessary stimulation to get the roots wiggling on loose teeth. So he has a single shark tooth situation going on right now. It's kind of adorable, but probably not all that comfortable.

The girls are toddling along. E survived her first quarter on the University campus, and as sort of a junior, too. She's playing viola with the symphony, and is ecstatic to be with a group of mostly music majors and minors. K and S got to attend the concert this last week, and were duly impressed with the sheer musicality of the talent. Heh. K is getting ready to stretch her own educational wings via the local community college, wrapping up her homeschooling adventure, while S has just begun the high school portion of her last years at home. They're tracking well as individuals, growing the skills they'll need to wrangle their upcoming forays into adulthood. Not that its a seamless thing, mind you. Growing humans isn't a smooth process at any stage. But it's pretty neat to watch their innate abilities, character, and thought processes take on a certain polish as they reach for their goals, educational and otherwise. That they enjoy things like They Might be Giants is a nice bonus.

These days, I'm spending most of my time running people to therapies, work, or orchestra. In a close second is the management of paperwork, especially as it pertains to disability issues and medical appointments. Those are followed by the re-configuring of the house, as I mentioned. It's a little weird to note how much home life changes with the ages and needs of the occupants. Suppertime is later for the girls because of rehearsals, classes, and that one work schedule. Occasionally, I'm at home without anyone else here for a half hour or so at a time and I hardly know what to do with myself. Sometimes Grandma does some of the running around, bless her, and then I have longer stretches to catch up laundry, etc.

What else? The garden is its wintry self: crunchy some mornings, gray and brown, with tiny sprouts of green, here and there. The magnolia stellata is putting on fuzzy buds, getting ready for March blossoms. The wee evergreens we found for a dollar or two last fall and chucked quickly into the dirt are in various states of disarray. They look like they've been working hard to survive the couple of weeks we had of subfreezing temps. K and S and I went out and stole (shh!) leaves from right of way areas and used them as garden mulch. Despite some hefty winds, they're still there, trying to help us with our attempts at small-scale hugelkultur.

We didn't have any major evidence of wasps last summer, thank goodness. K was helpful with setting up the traps, since I'm not supposed to involve myself with that anymore. Here's to the coldness having put down a few of the possible queens for the coming summer. The baby upright apple trees also made it into their new garden spots, and seem to have survived. I'm hoping for more fruits than the two surprise babies we had from the one tree. The raspberries probably need transplanting this year...

In the bulb world, we're looking forward to new fritillaria this year - K's pick from the bulb sale last fall. The front tulips waited to stick out their noses until after the New Year this year, as opposed to early December last season. And despite our very best efforts, there are still tulips coming up under the ramp. No idea what to do about that, since we keep transplanting them, and there just keep being more... Silly overachievers.

K, in true farming genes fashion, began planning the spring plantings in November. S asked, amid a snow flurry a couple of weeks ago how long it would be before we could start working in the yard again. There's nothing quite as lovely as being outside, hands in the dirt, bringing certain things to heel and setting others free... Which reminds me: the Greek oregano needs minding.

My friend, Sarah, has been posting quotes from Thomas Aquinas today, which are inspiring me to do some real and deep reading. I think I'll do some, right after I give Q lunch.

If you could, my brother (and his wife) could use bolstering prayers as he barrels through chemo, while enjoying the outdoors as much as possible. I hope you all are well and profoundly blessed, wherever you are and however your garden grows.

Love one another...
John 13:34,35

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