I wasn’t able to get back to working on getting the tire planter out (I can wiggle it a bit more, though! 😀 ), but yesterday evening I decided to deadhead the spirea by the storage house.
I also cut them back from the grapes they were starting to encroach on again.
As I was doing that, I noticed some dead branches and figured I may as well take them out, too.
And those other ones.
Oh, and there are a few more…
Just a bit more…
The next thing I knew…
I’d done the whole section.
It’s amazing how empty it looks, with all the dead stuff taken out!
The last couple of days were filled with both expected and unexpected stressors.
My husband, who had been in too much pain to go to his medical appointment, had to make another one for a prescription update on one that is classified as a narcotic. Which means he really should have gone in in person to get it.
He wasn’t able to.
Thankfully, I was able to go in. This gave me a chance to talk to the doctor about the pain levels my husband has been dealing with. He still hasn’t recovered from going into the city twice in three days, and that 2 hours in the waiting room before he finally walked out before getting the angiogram done. After discussing it, the best the doctor could do was adjust the prescription for the quick release version of the pain killer he takes. He’s already taking the slow and quick release versions twice a day, but now his prescription for the quick release includes a third “as needed” dose. Until my husband gets into the pain clinic, there’s nothing else the doctor dares do with pain killers that are considered dangerous. When I mentioned someone had told my husband the waiting list for the pain clinic could be 5 years, he was surprised. He had not heard of anyone waiting more than 2 years.
Which may as well be 5 years, given the pain levels we’re dealing with right now. 😦
At least we got the updated prescriptions, so my husband shouldn’t have to go through this for another 3 months.
In more pleasant news, my daughter and I took David in for the last of his “kitten package” appointments at the vet. He is no longer underweight, his eyes are nice and clear, and the staff at the clinic just adore him. 😀 What was funny was how many of them asked about Mild Cheddar when they saw us.
The little guy got a vaccination in each hip, and he barely even flinched! What a trooper. The next time Dave comes into the vet, it will be when it’s time to get snipped. If we don’t adopt Mild Cheddar out by then, he’ll have to get done, too, because we’re not sending him outside again, and we’ve got two intact females indoors. If we can’t find homes for them, we’ll have to bring the two female kittens in, too, just to prevent them from breeding until we can get them fixed, too.
Oh. And it looks like Beep Beep is pregnant again. Two litters in one year!!! *sigh*
After the vet visit, we had plans for a birthday dinner with my mother. Given my husband’s condition, my younger daughter stayed home to be available for him – and cuddle a vaccine drowsy kitten!
It’s always touch and go with my mother. This is the first time she’s made herself a birthday “party”. The first time she’s made reservations at a restaurant, too. She has been calling me frequently to make sure my daughters and I would be there, and would get very passive aggressive when we would only answer “we’ll do our best.” We are way too used to things happening at the last minute to be able to honestly say more, and sure enough, my husband’s condition meant one of us staying home with him. She was not pleased to hear that when she called me (again) to make sure we would be there. Surely, he could be an hour on his own (it was actually more than 3 hours, including travel time)? He’s not going to die. (!!!!) This is her only birthday! She’s never going to do this again. We HAVE to be there!
Yeah. That didn’t go over well. I told her, it was either one of us stays home, or all of us stays home.
At least she got that mostly out of her system before we met up with her and my sister at the restaurant.
It actually went rather well, for time spent with my mother. There were only a few unfortunate things (like her deciding to try and get attention from the overworked, very busy, waitress by hitting her coffee cup with her fork) and attempts at manipulative digs and underhanded comments. Thankfully, the restaurant got busy, which made it hard to hear anything.
At one point, I was able to show my mother and my sister some pictures of the retaining wall we built. She had been having trouble understanding what I was describing to her when I told her I’d done it. When she saw the chimney blocks, she told us that those blocks had been acquired when my parents first moved to the farm from the city. They had intended to replace the existing chimney to the wood furnace, but it was working fine, so they never got around to it.
Which means those blocks had been sitting there for at least 5 or 6 years before I was born – and I turned 51 this year!!
No wonder there was moss growing on some of them.
When I first told her about my plans to put a retaining wall at the end of that garden, my mother laughed at me. Then she told me about the neighbour across the road (they have long since passed on, the land sold, but no one lives there anymore) had all kinds of big plans for retaining walls, raised beds and apparently a pond, but she never did any of them. So it was funny to her that I would have all these big plans because I’ll never do them, just like our old neighbour.
Now that I’ve actually done it, though, she’s not really saying anything, positive or negative, about it.
I showed her pictures of my progress in cleaning up that broken tire planter. She kept asking me, how was I going to move it? I eventually clued in that, for some reason, she thought there was a tree growing through it. ??? This, even after I’d just showed her the pictures taken at different angles, clearly showing there was no tree in the tire planter; just the one that was growing up against it, that is the reason it’s all bent up now. She put that Mary statue and the block it stood on into that tire planter, herself (yeah, I can just picture my barely 5ft tall mother hauling a 150 pound concrete statue around! 😀 ). She planted flowers in there. Why would she suddenly think there was a tree growing in it? Even with all the other trees around the yard with tires around them, none of them have the big tractor tires (which would have been better, considering their trunks are now all outgrowing the tires they were planted in).
Then she wanted to know if I would put the tire planter somewhere else (no, Mom. It’s broken. It’s going in the junk pile), and where was I going to put the statue? (I don’t know yet; somewhere in the open, though.) What was I going to plant in that spot? (no idea, Mom. probably nothing.)
After I showed them the pictures of the cleaned up wood pile area and mentioned how nice the soil was under there, she was all “you need to plant something there!” While I was responding to something my sister had said, my daughter rescued me by distracting my mother and explaining that we are wanting to plant fruit trees or berry bushes. My mother would have had in mind something like she did after my brother moved his van out of the yard, leaving a patch of dead grass behind, so she planted a bunch of random things in it that I now have to mow around awkwardly! 😀
My mother was actually less interested in seeing the pictures and hearing what I was doing than using them to say how she wants to see them in person. Before winter.
I am now suspicious. 😀
Ah, well. It will be what it will be.
The restaurant really went above and beyond, with a Happy Birthday centerpiece, and even a birthday card signed by the staff! My mother had repeatedly insisted that this was her treat for us and she would pay the bill, but she doesn’t tip. So while she decided to talk to someone at another table that she thought she knew and might be her neighbour, I snuck over to the counter and was able to tip the waitress using my debit card. She earned that tip! I made sure to tell her not to mention it to my mother when she finally got around to paying, because she doesn’t approve of tipping.
My mother had also insisted on no gifts, but I managed to sneak one in. Just before we left, I took a crocheted basket I made and filled it with crab apples from the one tree that has good apples this year. She was very excited to hear I’d brought her apples from a tree she planted. She can enjoy the apples, and have a useful basket afterwards. At least I hope she’ll keep it. The last time I tried to give her something I made – a bag holder, so she wouldn’t have to keep a big messy pile of grocery bags under her sink – she refused to use it and even tried to unravel it, so as to re-use the yarn for “something useful”. She couldn’t find the end of the yarn, though, so she gave it back to me. I’m hoping she’ll actually keep this basket. She won’t be able to find the end of the yarn on this, either. 😀
By the time my daughter and I were heading home, we were both absolutely drained of energy, from having to be on “high alert” for the entire time.
We survived, it, though! Hopefully, it’s not going to bite us in the butt in the future. We just never know.