All I Need Is A Patio Table

I have created an amazing spot to hang out in my back yard. You’ve seen bits and pieces as I’ve put it together, but now it’s 95% complete, and all that’s left to do is figure out a patio table. Maybe an umbrella.

Here is the view of my patio and porch from the back of the property.

It’s a good little spot with chairs that can all be pulled to the porch or patio as needed. If you look at the chair on the right on the porch, you’ll see a comforter that we pull out to where ever if we want to layout and sun or read or play card games.

Here is my tree at the back of the yard. I love this tree with all my heart. I love reading under it. Playing games under it. Just watching it change through the seasons.

Of course, there is the food garden. Which is lovely. The basil has mites but I know how to treat for them and will very soon. Just a little bit of dish soap in warm water. I just need to get my hands on a spray bottle.

Of course, there are Sammy’s petunias. But I’m also trying my hand at growing lavender from seed. We’ll see how that goes. I might need to send up a prayer or two.

We have a nice warm and full sun spot to brew sun tea for Robin.

My shrubs are in the ground finally!

Robin’s lilac already has some green to it. I have high hopes it’ll grow this summer and give us blossoms next summer!

It’s worth mentioning that this beauty is around the front of the house. It was the only thing I did out front, which is otherwise complete as a result of the work of former tenants.

My hibiscus is in the ground. It is small. So small. They sent me a baby but that baby has great potential! I just need to nourish it!

I laid out that mulch by myself! Mulch is in fact not expensive at all. At least not the tiny bit I needed. And the bags weren’t super heavy. So I took pride in my garden and laid the mulch myself. I also dug all the holes in the ground for the shrubs. I put a lot of sweat into this garden!

My little blueberry bush is already showing some promise. I don’t know that I’ll get a lot of fruit this year. But hopefully I can keep him alive and thriving.

My rose bush is also bare-root, just like the hibiscus. I’m paranoid it won’t grow. I gave it everything it needs, but I struggle to believe what is essentially a complicated stick will take root and flourish. I might have to send up a couple more prayers. Maybe burn a candle about it.

I also now have a little bee watering station in with the garden. I want my little space to be as bee-friendly as possible. I need the pollinators, after all!

Finally, we have the finishing touches like the citronella candles to keep mosquitoes away. And a certain 8yo enjoying a root beer under the warm sun.

Like I said, all that’s left to do it get my hands on a patio table. I may or may not get an umbrella too. With the porch right there for shade, I’m less worried about creating a shady spot on the patio portion. Though, I might see about getting a second, little table to set drinks on for the porch too. I guess we’ll just see what I can find!

My next project is setting up bird feeders for my budding bird watcher of a 12yo! I’m still collecting the supplies now.

I Think I’m Addicted To Dirt Under My Nails

Ok. Starting from the back. The three on the left with the cage, as explained in me last post, are Roma tomatoes. The one on the right in the black pot is cherry tomatoes.

The two pots immediately in front of the Roma tomatoes are sweet basil. Two plants in each pot.

To the right, immediately in front of the cheery tomatoes is a strawberry plant. It’s baby and might not thrive. And even if it does thrive we’re going to have to fight the skunks and raccoons off.

The final pot there on the right is curly parsley. It’s kind of limp so I cut the worst of it off and it’s hanging up to dry. I’m hoping what’s left will double in size. I want a parsley bush. I’m going to need a parsley bush because the 8yo has declared it a tasty snack.

Sweet Basil
Curly Parsley

My rose, named Joy, is in the ground. She has fairly decent soil, lots of worms, and a few handfuls of blood meal. She’s a happy baby. In a few weeks, after the hibiscus is in, I’m going to buy a bag of mulch and cover this bit of earth.

Finally… Sammy went to the garden center with me on one of three trips and made friends.

Meet Sammy’s petunias, Patricia and Lucifer.

She was really good and didn’t beg for a million things. So when she fell in love with the section of petunias, I wasn’t capable of telling my budding gardener no. (Pun intended.)

Mather’s Day

This post is a few days late. But then, so was my gift.

Since I’m both a mother and a father to the kids, my gift for the year can fall on either holiday. The same goes for the wife*. So I’ve started calling them both Mather’s Day.

Anyway, over the past year we’ve discovered I can’t eat a single tomato product that has been in a can or a jar. Nothing that’s been preserved in the usual methods, which we at this point assume it apple cider vinegar since that falls in like with my known allergies. I have confirmed that I’m not allergic to fresh tomatoes in the slightest. So it has to be in the preservation methods. That said, Robin* can make basically any tomato product you can think of, from scratch. That said, that takes a LOT of tomatoes. So…

*My spouse of 17 years is now officially my wife, they use they/them or she/er pronouns, and their chosen name is Robin.

I was sent to the garden center to buy the means to grow our own tomatoes. Meet my new children!

The three on the left are Roma tomatoes. The big girl on the right is a cherry tomato. We won’t cook with the cherry tomatoes unless we pull them for salads and such. They are meant to be a snack, fresh from the plant, warmed by the sun.

Here is a close up of my cherry tomato baby. I bought her exactly like this so she’d be ready to go asap.

I was lucky enough to find one that is already starting to grow fruit! My cashier was super excited for me when she saw them growing.

Plus, judging by these flowers, there are plenty more tomatoes to come and soon!

Here is a close up of one of my three Roma tomato plants. As you can see, it has a ways to grow. But I found 3 that look super healthy so I have hope for plenty of fresh tomatoes to come!

Now for a confession.

I was sent for tomato plants and pots and such. But in my defense, I was my own and only adult supervision in the garden center. And well, it’s known how I am.

Meet my surprise rose. The true surprise isn’t that I bought her. The true surprise is that I bought only one. Which, fair. I guess I am predictable in my love of plants.

Though the reason I only bought one is that I also have a hibiscus bush and a lilac bush on the way.

In my defense, I’ve been planning and plotting that hibiscus bush for a solid year now, but for some reason keep talking myself out of it. And there was never a good reason to talk myself out of it. It was like 15$ and I know where exactly to put it.


When Robin wandered into the room and I told them about the hibiscus, they mused allowed that someday they were going to buy a lilac bush because they have always wanted one. And what was I supposed to do? I’m helpless to the longing of a pretty girl! So I had them pick one out, which was also inexpensive, and I added it to the order and that was all she wrote.

Photos to come, I’m sure. But like my new rose, they are coming in with bare roots. It’ll take them a bit to really grow and flower and flourish.

Like This

I didn’t always used to be like this. Whatever that means. My body forgot how to make blood at some point. Not sure when. Who knows how long I’ve been symptomatic. But my hemoglobin first fell to a nice and frightening 6 pretty much exactly 3 years ago.

I didn’t always used to be like this. When you’re body stops making blood on its own and you spend at least 3 years with never as much blood as you’re supposed to have, cognitive function goes. The brain isn’t getting enough blood. Nothing is getting enough blood. But the brain is where you miss it the most.

I didn’t always used to be like this. It’s a whole other type if learning disability, really, to semi-permanently function at a fraction of brain power.

I didn’t always used to be like this. I mean, yes, I’ve always been a dumbass. But that’s always been a reference to my wisdom modifier. My intelligence modifier was through the roof. I only took the test because I was lonely and wanted to make friends, but I almost got into mensa after I was already symptomatic but didn’t yet know it. I had potential.

I didn’t always used to be like this. I still graduated with top Latin honors. Summa Cum Laude. Despite being at rock bottom through most of it. Pulling off straight A’s while getting regular blood transfusions that only did the trick a month at a time. Iron infusions in between, that only did the trick a month at a time.

I didn’t always used to be like this. But even like this I still fought as hard as I had to. Because my self worth has always been tied to my intelligence. It’s all I’ve got. I don’t judge others based on theirs, don’t get me wrong. I know there is so much a person has to offer beyond intelligence. But I don’t have those things.

I didn’t always used to be like this. And I’ve forgotten that, as my cognitive function has gotten worse over the past however long.

I didn’t always used to be like this.

This looks like forgetting common words or the names of things time and time again like they are a foreign language at the tip of your tongue just out of reach. This looks like taking days to read books that used to take you hours. This looks like not being able to remember things from episode 1, now that you’re on episode 8, even though episode 1 was a mere hours ago.

And I won’t always be like this.

And I won’t always be like this. I started taking a high dose of B12 a few months ago, against the recommendation of my doctor because he said it wasn’t my B12. Two doctors said that. But I had a nugget of knowledge and a hunch.

And I won’t always be like this. A few months ago I started making my own blood. Test after test has shown my levels rise and stay steady. Well past normal.

And I won’t always be like this. It’s been 11 months since my last blood transfusion. Maybe 6 months since my last iron infusion. I was about due when I started the B12.

And I won’t always be like this. The source of my nugget of knowledge tells me it takes about a year to fully recover from this type or anemia. A year to reach my full cognitive function potential. Whatever that means for me now.

And I won’t always be like this. I have a long way to go. I don’t feel any different. I don’t remember how I used to be. I don’t know what I’ll become in the coming months. But I know.

I won’t always be like this.