Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sudden life changes

Life can change in the twinkling of an eye.  Actually, scientists have measured the twinkling of an eye and it's 20,000th of a second.  That's pretty quick, don't you think?  Just that fast major changes can happen for the good or the bad in life.  One such change has happened in my life this last month.  You have heard many stories about Bradley my grandson and I have written about many conversations that we have had over the last five years.  Five years ago he came to live in my household with his Mom.  Together, he, his Mom, and I went through some very tough behavior issue years with him.  At the age of nine, Bradley had grown into a great well mannered boy on the way to becoming a teenager.  As he packed and left for his summer visit with his Dad in Texas, I never thought it would be a time of sudden change but it was.  Two days before coming home from Texas the dreaded phone call came from my daughter announcing that Bradley would be living with his Dad in Texas.  The decision was made by father, mother, and Bradley.  It's been a couple weeks since that day and the emotion of it all is still fresh.  The grandfather - grandson bond was strong and will take some time to get used to the idea of not seeing his shining face in my home.  Life is quite different without hearing the word "Grandpa" at least a hundred times a day.  Just as quickly as Bradley came into my life, he left.  Living 1000 miles will keep me from seeing him except during summer visits.

The dreaded Cancer word can strike fear into the hearts of even the most strong.  This year continues to be a year of sudden happenings.  January brought the advent of an appendectomy, then soon after came the prostate cancer diagnoses.  The year of 2014 is certainly a year of sudden life changes.  The procedure for seeding the prostate has been completed and I'm now radiation hot for 3 months.  No babies on my lap.  No pets on my lap.  Pregnant mother's to be have to stay a distance of six feet away.  Four days after the seeds have been planted, I'm feeling pretty normal but am really trying to be good for awhile longer.  Just for good measure I threw in a Colonoscopy.  One polyp was found and removed with out issue.  So after recovering from the prostate seeding, I should be systems full speed ahead for the rest of my life. 

So I'm alive and well and on the way to recovery both emotionally and physically.  Don't worry about me I'm seriously thinking about mowing the grass tomorrow.  That's easing into to normal, don't you think?  At least it's not digging post holes, building fences, restoring concrete steps, or carrying heavy rocks for raised bed borders.  I'll probably have to wait another week before doing that.   Ok Ok, I'm just messing with you.  I'll be sure not to over do it.

Have a great end of summer time outside.
 
 

Monday, August 18, 2014

More summer stuff

This week the word was rocks.  While driving down the street I happened upon a homeowner pulling out his limestone rock wall to build a nice wall with retaining wall blocks.  Since I've been thinking about rebuilding my raised beds at Terra Nova Gardens, this will be just the material to use for borders.  I had to be extremely careful not to over load my little Ranger truck.  Rocks are heavier than they look.  I think I hauled six or seven loads to get the entire pile moved.
 
 
Terra Nova Gardens has gotten a bit out of control this year.
Yeah, there's a few Eggplants in the jungle and a tomato plant or two that survived the spring severe weather but nothing really that is going produce an abundant harvest.  I'm in process of trying to bring the area back under control and really I'm thinking about next year's garden.  This year was pretty much a total bust.  It's a good thing I'm not depending on my garden skills to live or I'd be starving this year.
 
 
 Here's a look at the use of the rocks and a little hint of what I hope the rest of the garden will look like by the time the snow flies.  I have plans to make this bed a strawberry bed but as always until the bed is actually planted, plans could change.  This year has been such a challenge to keep the weeds under control.  Behind the fence in the background is a huge brush pile.  That brush pile will become wood chips to cover the weed barrier carpet you see here in the pathway.  The front area by the gate will be an area that will be leveled with the gate sill and covered with patio blocks that look like bricks.  I'm hoping to get that done this year as well.  Much to do and only two months left before the threat of winter comes knocking.
 
 
 One thing I've never had to worry about since I started gardening at Terra Nova Gardens is bugs.  Wild turkeys have roamed the area for my last three growing seasons and never once have I ever had a bug problem.  They are constantly on patrol through out the neighborhood.  They scratch through the mulch but never seem to bother the produce growing.  I have had a problem with some picking at the young corn sprouts but not enough to bother their growth.  Eventually, I have plans to cover the corn patches with chicken wire until they are about two feet tall.  The turkeys then leave the corn alone after the stalks reach about two feet.  Then the threat is at harvest time when the raccoons think the buffet is open.  Hopefully, the tall fence will keep them out when I get it finished but they are pretty resourceful.  So the battle of wits is so on between wild critters of the land and Urban Farmer Nebraska Dave.
 
 

 Remember my newest land acquisition?  On the national night out, the neighborhood had an event planned.  Here is the use of my property for the event.  The Parks and Recreation department brought out a rock wall for the kids to climb and set it up on my property.  The plans for this property is to remain a place for neighborhood events.  Nothing much will happen here for a couple years.  I have enough to keep me busy at Terra Nova Gardens.  Only beautification will happen with maybe some flower beds and in the back corner my idea is to put up an arch with vines growing over it and a bench to sit on while enjoying the activity in the neighborhood. 
 
Everything is set for the August 21st radiation seed planting (pun intended) in the prostate.  I don't fore see any problems before or after the main event.  I should be back out in the garden in two or three days from what the doctors say.  There's virtually no side effects with this procedure.  I'm confident that this is only a slight bump in the road of life.
 
I hope that everyone is enjoying the last days of summer and ready for the fall weather.  I'm looking forward to the soup weather.  I love soup.  Until next time stay healthy and strong.