Posts tagged: around the house

In Loving Memory of Our Precious Liz

By , November 2, 2018

 ♥ Liz ♥

July 18, 2000 – May 14, 2018

This is a hard post to write.

It is with such deep sadness that I tell you that we lost our precious little Liz to an aggressive oral squamous cell cancer (a mass under her tongue) on May 14th. She would have turned 18 on July 18th, 2018.

My precious girl, my precious Liz…my guardian angel physically watching over me for almost 18 years…she was that once-in-a-lifetime cat. Not just a cat, but her own person. A highly evolved heavenly being, she loved me with unflagging loyalty and dedication until literally the very last moment of her life. The amount of unconditional love this precious being could give was staggering. I will be forever indebted to her.

She was of pure intent, with none of the aloofness or air of ulterior motive that cats can have. She was absolutely nothing but sweetness. So, so dear and sweet.

♥♥♥

I hate that this cancer took her away. And the rest of her body was still in good shape… I feel that she still had good, solid years left in her.

The upside to this was that her body supported her right up to the end. She maintained her weight, she maintained her spunky spirit, and she was able to be herself and do the things she loved to do. She was a happy cat and she kept having great quality of life right up until the last week or two when things really got real.

In late February she lost the ability to eat by mouth due to the tumor. But she was still so robust and otherwise completely her normal everyday self that we elected to have the veterinary oncologist place a feeding tube — like a little port in her neck, protected by an adorable white padded collar — which was a great solution and Liz adapted to it, no problemo. I continued to bake chickens for her and cook 12-hour chicken bone broth, which I would puree for her in my Nutribullet blender along with her Balance-It vitamin supplement, various other supplements, Chinese medicine, homeopathic remedies, my own flower remedies, as well as some wet food (either Newman’s Own or the Science Diet a/d Urgent Care that the vet gave us.) I was so grateful for that feeding tube!! Being able to continue to nourish Liz gave us three more priceless months with her, and I hold the memory of that sweet time dearly to my heart. We got to simply be together for as long as we possibly could.

The chemotherapies we gave her (oral Palladia at first, then IV Carboplatin) both worked for a little while but then stopped working. Liz and I elected not to do palliative radiation sessions because of the low success rate combined with the fact that she’d need to be sedated each time.

Lizzie didn’t want to be euthanized, so we were together right till the very end, surrounded by all the comforting familiarity of our childhood home where we grew up together. She fought literally to her last breath, but the cancer finally just got her, and took her.

Even on her last day on Earth, we were outside together enjoying the fragrant spring air, sunshine, and lilac blossoms in the peaceful, familiar backyard. Her beloved yard! Her last few days were tough and rough, no doubt. What I found interesting was that even through this, and right up till the very end, her tail continued to do its usual light tapping “all is well” sign. She also tried to reassure me as best she could, with her special noises, purring, and nuzzling me. Her last day was really hard. It was a struggle, and she could no longer purr, but her tail continued to lightly tap, and she made deep eye contact with me for reassurance. That was a hard, scary day. My wish for her was that she could cross the rainbow bridge peacefully in her sleep, but alas it was not to be. I’m just glad we were together in familiar surroundings, not in the hospital, no strangers around… just us two together, staring death in the face, being brave for each other, and cherishing every last possible second together. ♥

Liz was an extraordinary cat; a very special being — she really was a guardian angel to me — and she brought me such joy and unwavering love and truly constant support over the almost 18 years she was with me. I am lost without her. I don’t know how to express how much I desperately miss her. We were so close that we were practically one in the same. And you can surely bet that I am grateful for each and every one of the probably thousands and thousands of photos I’ve taken of her over the years. And even more for the videos. I wish I had more videos.

Precious Lizzie we miss you.

♥♥♥

There are so many pictures of her that I love. But here are just a few.

Baby Liz. She showed up one Friday morning at our back doorstep, and we took her on our camping trip to the mountains the next day!:

♥♥♥

The rest are from just this year — in her last 4 months on the Earth:

For some reason she loved celery and celery seeds almost as much as she loved catnip. One morning I found my bucket of homegrown celery seeds like this! I wonder who did it!?!

Making chicken for her!:

Taken the afternoon of May 14th… I was so worried about her, and at the same time cherishing every second with her. This was one of her favorite mouse-watching spots:

♥♥♥

Good Days and… Crash Days

By , January 18, 2018

Hi again!

I was so excited that my blog post worked that I wanted to start updating you on stuff. Unsure where to begin with that, I decided to “start where I am,” so took my camera around and took pictures of various things on what had been a good day recently. I was going to post the pictures that night, but was feeling kind of off color, so didn’t. The next day was a big crash day, so here over a week later I am bubbling up to the surface, thinking about that post again! I’ll put the original pictures up, plus those from the next day too. What better way to update you than to show you the Reality.

These green shakes I’ve been making are delicious and nutritious: pineapple, green apple, fresh ginger piece, spinach, parsley, rice milk, milk thistle seed, pumpkin/sesame/sunflower seeds, turmeric powder, protein powder, brewer’s yeast, spirulina, kelp powder.

Unloading coffee grounds, to be spread in the gardens.

I love flower gardens even in Winter — the browns and the branches.

This soup was so good. Black eyed peas for New Years — soaked near the woodstove as pork neck bone broth simmered on top of the woodstove. Then the black eyed peas cooked on top of the woodstove in the broth, as I thawed some frozen cooked-together zucchini and onions from this year’s garden, and opened a home-canned jar of homegrown organic heirloom tomatoes! Mixed all of this together, ate with chunks of avocado, and oh my gosh!!!

 

That kombucha did eventually get bottled much later in the week…

…but there were more important things to do.

Next day.

Maximizing that sun patch, with freezing chills.

Fever of 103.5°

Anymore, I let fevers burn. After a bad experience several years ago while bringing down a 104° fever with tylenol (like that weird movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), I thought Never Again. “Why do we do this?” I started to wonder, why disable this potentially helpful immune response? Later on, I came across Anthroposophical medical literature (Steiner-based — like Waldorf schools and biodynamic agriculture) where their view is that fevers are healers not to be tampered with. Burn off the dross! Top, top priority is keeping up with oral hydration though, that is for sure!

My standard hydration thing for when I’m sick is diluted juice. About 1/3 juice, 2/3 water. I always have several jugs of apple juice on the back shelf for times like this, just in case.

If you’re guzzling diluted juice, don’t forget your other electrolytes. Potassium and sodium are easily washed out with lots of liquid consumption. If you have a huge nonstop headache unrelieved by hydration, try getting more salt in. I like Ume Plum Vinegar in some warm water, like a salty broth drink. It’s your one-stop salt shop, with an astounding 1050mg (44% daily value) sodium in 1 tsp (5mL). It’s also really good mixed into plain yogurt as a salad dressing, for when you’re not sick. 😉

Potassium powder is cheap at the health food store (or buy it at grocery stores in the salt section as the “NoSalt” brand potassium chloride salt substitute). The NOW brand in the picture has 365mg (10% daily value) in 1/8 tsp (0.7 g). By comparison, a medium banana has ~420mg of potassium. The way I take the potassium is put some water into my mouth, measure the powder and dump it into my mouth, swish to dissolve, and swallow. Down the hatch.

And if you’re blowing your nose a lot like I am this time, these two are my favorite things to rub on, in, and around my chafed nose and upper lip: Weleda Calendula Diaper Rash Cream (goes on white but rubs in) and Alaffia brand Africa’s Secret.

***

I’m doing better. I’d been noticing something simmering since Christmas, a lung exacerbation (a flaring-up of the ever-present infection where there is lung scarring), and then I think this was just some wandering virus on top of that which really came on like a Mac truck. Not the flu, but some other thing. F came down with it too, several days later. We’re both better but not best. I’m still “running warm” with some lung unhappiness. Hanging really low, taking it slow.

***

May you be keeping healthy and warm!

*****

 

 

Happy Winter! Merry Christmas! Happy Hannukah!

By , December 23, 2016

Christmas tree, (c) The Herbangardener

Greetings of the Season to you all!

I hope this finds you well. Can you believe how quickly it has become almost-Christmas? It’s almost a little scary.

I have been meaning to put pictures here of the rest of the season’s garden including the harvest, but it hasn’t happened. After Christmas I will backtrack and post those pictures.

But in the meantime I wanted to put some wintry pictures up. We’ve had approximately two days of wintry weather so far this year. It’s been too warm and dry. Most of what we’ve had is this:

Sunshine, (c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

That picture above is pretty too, but I love the raw bleakness and snowfall of a real winter’s day. We had one yesterday, and I went out and gathered evergreen boughs and made a wreath.

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

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If you need any last-minute Christmas making-and-baking ideas, here are some from my recipe archive:

Challah Bread, 6-braid

Chocolate-Orange Macaroons

(Healthier) Pecan Snowball Christmas Cookies

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Cranberry-Pumpkin Muffins

Gingerbread

Chocolate-Dipped Candied Orange Peel

Snow Ice Cream

Cranberry-Mandarin-Ginger Relish

Traditional Hot Mulled Apple Cider

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

*****

Moving house

By , February 27, 2016

Moving (c) The Herbangardener

Yep, we have moved again. It’s such a breeze and so stress free, you know, we can hardly get enough!

This last year, circumstance dictated that my folks reclaim their home that we had been renting from them for the past three years, which meant we needed to find ourselves a new pad. Their house is where I grew up, so this homebody’s roots there run awfully, awfully deep–soaking up comfort and familiarity and cherished memories like precious life-giving droplets of water over these past few terribly challenging years. Difficult to pack up and go, you bet. Our move has blessedly been to a place just a couple hours “down the road,” so visits back are realistic and doable on a semi-frequent basis — which has been helpful for my heart which does not, alas, sway to the currents of logic or plan or situation, and does not apparently even realize that it’s actually their house and not mine at all. Helpful also in that I finally found some good doctors and I’m not, and I repeat not, in the mood to drop them and doctor shop in a new city right now. Commutes back for doctor appointments are softened by wonderful time spent with my family so this setup is working well, considering.

Going through the experience of a home purchase was new to both F and me. I would totally not recommend it. We’re lucky that we also did not have a house to sell at the same time! How do people do it?? We felt heroic for getting through it (applause especially to F) but wow, the stress was busting out the seams. Hopefully we will not have to buy, sell, or move again, ever, for the rest of our whole entire lives but if we do, I think it will definitely be easier the second time now that we’ve traced the learning curve.

We got really lucky with the place we found. And by lucky I mean that if we’d missed seeing the new Zillow listing by a single day, it would’ve been gone. And since we already had a contract on another house the realtor wasn’t sending us any new stuff so it was F that stumbled upon this one thanks to his persistent internet searching late into the night. We shudder now to think of ourselves at the first house we had the contract on! Instead, we lucked into a perfectly sized, solidly built 60’s house (we’re only the second owners!) on three irrigated acres. We wake up to meadowlarks and mountain vistas. It’s a special spot, as you’ll see:

Mowed pasture (c) The Herbangardener

Mowed pasture (c) The Herbangardener

Mowed pasture (c) The Herbangardener

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Tractor mowing the pasture (c) The Herbangardener

Wish this tractor were ours!

Tractor mowing the pasture (c) The Herbangardener

Green pasture (c) The Herbangardener

Green pasture (c) The Herbangardener

Sunset (c) The Herbangardener

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Clothesline (c) The Herbangardener

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Flood irrigation (c) The Herbangardener

Irrigatinggate pipe (c) The Herbangardener

Irrigation gated pipe (c) The Herbangardener

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End of the rainbow (c) The Herbangardener

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Winter dusk (c) The Herbangardener

Winter dusk (c) The Herbangardener

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 *****

Catching up: Late Summer into Autumn

By , February 3, 2016

Lindsey The Herbangardener, (c) The Herbangardener

Your eyes do not deceive you my friends! Yes I am finally updating my blog.

February of 2016! And I haven’t even shown you the rest of last year’s garden. There’s much to tell you about since we last chatted back in July, but first things first and this post will be for catching up with the rest of the season. Last summer’s garden is a distant memory already and these pictures remind me that it was a pretty good year although at this point I can’t even quite remember the details of it. Right – oh, I know. I remember I was impressed actually with how well things did considering the long-lasting, cool spring we had paired with a few pelting hailstorms, each one progressively more damaging, leaving leaves and stems hanging by threads. All that hard work, seed starting, transplanting, and coddling, shredded! It was a Great Year for roofing companies, let’s just say. I think I may have already talked about the hail — I bet I did, this is sounding familiar. No matter; it was a surprisingly satisfying year with a solid harvest in general and more tomatoes than expected. Then again when you set your expectations to ZERO, a number of things do tend to look surprisingly good! (Do you smell a life lesson too?)

The pictures really do look luscious don’t they? The beauty of this garden absolutely fed me and kept me grounded when I needed to block life out for a while and put my bare feet on the earth and my hands in the soil, or relax with a cup of tea and admire my living, growing, changing, edible creation.

Potato of the Year!

POTATO OF THE YEAR!

(c) The Herbangardener

Raised beds vegetable garden (c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

Potato harvest (c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

Siamese twin squash blossoms

Siamese twin squash blossoms

Siamese twin squash blossom, (c) The Herbangardener

Early Silver Line melon, (c) The Herbangardener

‘Early Silver Line’ Melon – they were seedy and not very sweet, strange texture, not that tasty.

(c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

Zucchini harvest, (c) The Herbangardener

Preparing zucchini parmesan, (c) The Herbangardener

Zucchini Parmesan about to go into the solar oven

Zucchini Parmesan about to go into the solar oven

Heirloom tomatoes, (c) The Herbangardener

Heavenly Blue morning glories, (c) The Herbangardener

Geranium (pelargonium), (c) The Herbangardener

Destemming elderberries, (c) The Herbangardener

Destemming elderberries

Pureed elderberries, (c) The Herbangardener

Elderberry Fluff (cooked & pureed elderberries) – I love it

At the clinic, (c) The Herbangardener

Heart in a basil leaf, (c) The Herbangardener

Homegrown heirloom tomatoes, (c) The Herbangardener

Green Zebra open pollinated tomato, (c) The Herbangardener

Garden Greek salad, (c) The Herbangardener

Cat in the basket, (c) The Herbangardener

Tomatoes heavy on the vine, (c) The Herbangardener

Verbena, (c) The Herbangardener

Cucumbers on the vine, (c) The Herbangardener

Green cabbage, (c) The Herbangardener

Homegrown strawberry, (c) The Herbangardener

Apple wood bundle, (c) The Herbangardener

Freshly cut ash wood, (c) The Herbangardener

Raised beds vegetable garden, (c) The Herbangardener

Heavenly Blue morning glory, (c) The Herbangardener

Raised beds, (c) The Herbangardener

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Red Kuri winter squash, (c) The Herbangardener

Homegrown heirloom tomatoes, (c) The Herbangardener

Harvesting green tomatoes, (c) The Herbangardener

Harvesting potatoes, (c) The Herbangardener

Autumn in the garden, (c) The Herbangardener

*****

Height of the MidSummer

By , July 24, 2015

In my garden, (c) The Herbangardener

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A completely bearable, beautiful wet summer we have had so far! Since we’ve had no need to turn on the sprinkler system yet, last night was the first time this year that I dragged a hose out and watered a dry patch of lawn. Believe me when I say, this is unheard-of! After a late Spring warmup and some dismaying hail storms early on that defoliated or bruised much of the garden, things are finally looking pretty nice.

Summer clouds (c) The Herbangardener

Zucchini leaves, (c) The Herbangardener

Tomato flowers, (c) The Herbangardener

Borage, (c) The Herbangardener

Cucumber spiral, (c) The Herbangardener

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Pruning fire blight off the apple tree.

Unless you prune during the winter, pruning utensil blades must be wiped off with rubbing alcohol between Each And Every Cut.

This is half of what came off:

Pruning apple tree, (c) The Herbangardener

Apple tree, (c) The Herbangardener

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On her quinceañera:

(c) The Herbangardener

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Squash flower, (c) The Herbangardener

Borage flower and bee, (c) The Herbangardener

Morning glory flower, (c) The Herbangardener

Summer garden, (c) The Herbangardener

Green tomatoes, (c) The Herbangardener

Homegrown garlic, (c) The Herbangardener

Backyard garden, (c) The Herbangardener

Winter squash, (c) The Herbangardener

Zukes and cukes, (c) The Herbangardener

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This tiny being – a wee chickadee – quietly completed its circle of life within the safe boundaries of our backyard.

Chickadee, (c) The Herbangardener

And to dust we shall return, (c) The Herbangardener

We must honor our fellow Earthly travelers.

Tiny grave, (c) The Herbangardener

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Daisy, (c) The Herbangardener

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Out and about for the joy of it, soaking in Summertime at a beautiful nature space, with my Mom. It was really a special day. Our eyes were even treated to male and female Cedar Waxwings, as well as male and female American Goldfinches. And many, many irresistible baby bunnies!!

(c) The Herbangardener

Bee hives, (c) The Herbangardener

Pond, (c) The Herbangardener

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Water lilies, (c) The Herbangardener

Stream, (c) The Herbangardener

American Goldfinch, (c) The Herbangardener

Baby bunny, (c) The Herbangardener

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Lingering Spring and a Touch of Summer

By , June 3, 2015

Oriental poppy orange, (c) The Herbangardener

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~I hope this finds you all well~

Just some photos for today.

We are busy here; isn’t that the way of the world though! The to-do list never seems to shorten does it…

I’ll post more of an update in the coming weeks but for now, enjoy this most glorious time of year with a tour through the garden… pausing to pet the Kitty of course… and maybe you’d like a few strawberries too, still warm from the morning sun, and a cold fizzy glass of homebrew kombucha? (I’ve finally upped production, brewing it by the 3-gallon-full these days and I’m thinking of going to 4!)

Greetings from a wet, chilly Colorado night,

~Lindsey

***

(c) The Herbangardener

Purple lily of the valley, (c) The Herbangardener

Mousing, (c) The Herbangardener

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Spring vegetable garden, (c) The Herbangardener

Homegrown strawberry,, (c) The Herbangardener

Spring vegetable garden (c) The Herbangardener

Oakleaf heirloom lettuce, (c) The Herbangardener

Cat feet (c) The Herbangardener

Star of Persia, (c) The Herbangardener

Maple leaf, (c) The Herbangardener

Fern, (c) The Herbangardener

Celebration Song iris, (c) The Herbangardener

Homebrew kombucha, (c) The Herbangardener

Kombucha day, (c) The Herbangardener

Green lawn, (c) The Herbangardener

Johnny Jump Ups, (c) The Herbangardener

Garden strawberries, (c) The Herbangardener

Seedlings, (c) The Herbangardener

Walls o water, (c) The Herbangardener

Tomato plant (c) The Herbangardener

Oakleaf heirloom lettuce, (c) The Herbangardener

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Yarrow (c) The Herbangardener

Yarrow (c) The Herbangardener

Orange oriental poppy, (c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

*****

The last of Winter and the beginning of Spring

By , April 28, 2015

Pinecones in snow (c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

The trail is the thing... (c) The Herbangardener

Evergreen in snow, (c) The Herbangardener

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Finch in feeder, snow, (c) The Herbangardener

Cat silhouette, (c) The Herbangardener

Storm clouds, (c) The Herbangardener

Whiteout, (c) The Herbangardener

 

Bottling, (c) The Herbangardener

Bottle conditioning, (c) The Herbangardener

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Early spring garden, (c) The Herbangardener

Lilac buds, (c) The Herbangardener

Lilac leaf buds, (c) The Herbangardener

Spring planting, (c) The Herbangardener

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Daffodil, (c) The Herbangardener

Peach blossom, (c) The Herbangardener

Early spring vegetable garden, (c) The Herbangardener

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Pink tulip, (c) The Herbangardener

Tulip and grape hyacinth (c) The Herbangardener

Purple tulips, (c) The Herbangardener

Yellow tulips, (c) The Herbangardener

Spring garden, (c) The Herbangardener

Spring garden, (c) The Herbangardener

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Lilacs, (c) The Herbangardener

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Winter Days~

By , February 9, 2015

Snowstorm, (c) The Herbangardener

Gingerbread cookies, (c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

Springtime starting seeds, (c) The Herbangardener

Family laundry, (c) The Herbangardener

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Beef marrow bone broth, (c) The Herbangardener

Doctors office, (c) The Herbangardener

Chat noir, (c) The Herbangardener

Winter aspen branches, (c) The Herbangardener

Aspen branch in water, (c) The Herbangardener

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Indoor cat grass, (c) The Herbangardener

Smiling orange, (c) The Herbangardener  (c) The Herbangardener

Making cookies, (c) The Herbangardener

Christmas cat toys, (c) The Herbangardener

Brewing, (c) The Herbangardener

Strawbale greenhouse, (c) The Herbangardener

Inside the straw bale greenhouse, (c) The Herbangardener

Mature zucchini, save seed, (c) The Herbangardener

Kitty, (c) The Herbangardener

Zucchini, saving seed, (c) The Herbangardener

(c) The Herbangardener

Lychee, Date palms, and cilantro, (c) The Herbangardener

Clothesline, (c) The Herbangardener

Nebulizer hypertonic saline, (c) The Herbangardener

Burdock in winter, (c) The Herbangardener

Heat lamp, (c) The Herbangardener

Cabbage seedlings, (c) The Herbangardener

*****

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