September Playlist + Meet My Niece!

Hello everyone!

This past month has been pretty crazy and I’m happy to be done with it honestly.

The beginning of it was interesting though, my sister has expected contractions throughout her pregnancies, but she went to the hospital more frequent with this one, and the most recent weren’t necessarily had anything to do with my niece. She had some issues with her breathing and her feet were very swollen, and she was told to rest more and put up her feet, and she tried to do everything the doctor requested but she still had complications, so she went to the hospital to be checked out and when she came home over two weeks later, we had welcomed our newest member into the family!

💗 MEET KIMBER MAE 💗

In my baby announcement back in May, I mentioned that I wasn’t going to share her name until she was born, mainly for the suspense but I also didn’t know whether or not her parents would change it last minute.

Kimber is a preemie, like moi, but at least she didn’t weight like two pounds and have to spend roughly 70 days in the NICU! Despite this though, she actually weights one pound less than her brother Nolan. We are all in agreement that we definitely don’t remember Nolan ever being this small! Nolan was a chunky baby but she’s very petite. A big difference between she and Nolan is that Kimber loves to be swaddled whereas Nolan has never enjoyed being wrapped up. He’s even four years old and he does not sleep with a blanket on him!

Since she came so early, as she was supposed to be born in early October, we had to make some adjustments to our plans of having my nephew come to our house while Blondie was in the hospital, we assumed it would be like two days, but it turned out to be two weeks. He went to his dad’s house on certain days but for the most part he stayed at our house, and he was a very good boy. He was very helpful to us, especially my dad and I, with our issues lately. I watched a LOT of toddler based educational shows like Paw Patrol, Blippi, and Cocomelon. By the end though, I was growing to be a fan of Blippi’s videos at Children’s Museums and Zoos. And at night we switched between Bluey (another favorite of mine!) and Muffet Babies. He seemed to enjoy having a sleepover in Aunt Meg’s room.

When Blondie was officially allowed to go home, she came to our house, and I finally got to meet her after almost a week after she was born. I was thrilled as this meant that I could have her on my bed like I did when Nolan was a baby. My mom got her a bouncy seat thingy in the beginning of her pregnancy, and we got to test it out and we found out that even though she enjoyed sitting in it, she seemed even smaller! I swore she gave me a little smile that next morning too!

found on Unsplash

Now let’s move on to the sad part of this post. I was hoping to write a separate one, but I thought it would look strange since I included Kimber’s announcement in this one.

I am very sad that Her Majesty the Queen has died. She was the reason why I became obsessed with the British royals and other monarchs in Eastern Europe, as I was curious about why she had the Roman Numeral “II” behind her name and that’s when I discovered my love of the Plantagenet and Tudor dynasties.

I have watched many documentaries on the Queen’s 70 reign in the last few years. I’ve enjoyed seeing her all dressed up, doing engagements out in public in various colors and her signature smile, hat and bags. She always seemed so interested in everything! I will forever enjoy the opening of the opening ceremony of the Olympics in 2012, where she walks the walls of Buckingham Palace with James Bond and her corgies, and acts like she drops out of the helicopter into that arena, I knew it was fake but it still shocked me they would do something like that. She must’ve had her say in the way of the segment too, after all she is the Queen, she wasn’t going to do something that showed her in a negative way, and joining Daniel Craig, allows us as the audience and fans to see her playfulness and overall sense of humor!

After 70 years of her reign, we now have a King and will probably have one for quite a while as after King Charles is William, The Prince of Wales, and his son Prince George of Wales. This part is a part weird, but I’m sure I am not alone in my thinking, but I am curious on how the British royals will evolve into this new order, and still be able to be caring human beings to themselves and others around the world.


As you can imagine, having to experience all of these new changes in a matter of two weeks, I haven’t been able to listen to music nor read my books as much as I normally do, I am finally trying to keep up with my stuff but I’m trying to take it easy as well.

This month saw a lot of good and bad things, but I still had my music to get me through it. So, I hope you enjoy my Top 20 below. If you’d like to play the entire monthly playlist on Spotify, click here

Little Lies by Fleetwood Mac
Fallin’ For You by Colbie Calliat
Sometimes A Prayer Will Do by Celtic Woman
All She Wanna Do by John Legend
Late Night Talking by Harry Styles
Brand New by Ben Rector
Love Me Anyway by P!nk featuring Chris Stapleton
Vegas by Doja Cat
Choke by The Warning featuring grandson and Zero 9:36
Shivering by Illenium featuring Spiritbox
Kickstart My Heart by Halocene featuring Shershen&Zaritskaya
Bow Down by Rain Paris
Toxic by Charlotte Wessels
Try Again by Aaliyah
Come, Little Children by Clovet Mae
Godless by BANKS
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost by Eklipse featuring Melissa Bonny
Bom Bidi Bom by Nick Jonas featuring Nicki Minaj
Black Widow by Fame On Fire featuring Twiggy

What were listening to this month? Name your top three favorites in the comments!

snowflake

The Garden Tour | Side-Yard + Pickle

Hello, and welcome back to the next part of our garden tour!

For today, this post will be about the side yard mini garden, so technically, last month’s post was mainly about the landscaping the front end of our house, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, click here. Honestly, it doesn’t matter which post you read first but if you want to hear my thoughts about these changes, plus the reason why I am even writing these blog posts, you can read them later.


Last fall, we had a miracle happen in our backyard. A single sunflower sprouted up from the ground. The only way it could have flourished was around mid-summer, my mom found me some sunflowers at the store and once they become very droopy and sad, my parents toss them out the back door. Unfortunately, we don’t own a compost contain, so any food leftovers and scarps end up in the back and the cats tend to enjoy most of the food we throw it, however, they don’t eat the dying flowers (thank God!) and it decided to upcycle itself and leave us with a nice present one day!

Everyone seems to know that I am obsessed with sunflowers, and my dad has always wanted to grow a big bunch of them in and around the location of my bedroom window, but I’m very short, even if I am sitting in bed or my wheelchair, so this past spring, we made the decision that we were going to have a wall of sunflowers up against Rumer’s fence. If we didn’t have either of them, I still believe my parents would have planted them in the front anyways. It’s the area where they would have full access to the sun as there are no trees in that whole section, so they have a huge section to grow and spread some joy to the neighborhood.

We actually planted two different kinds of sunflowers, we had the regular yellow and my folks kind of fell in love with the chocolate ones. I was a little hesitant about them because I didn’t exactly know how they would turn out, but they are so beautiful!

In the beginning, we put about five seeds if I remember correctly into five separate pots. They in various sizes but they all seemed to take off around the same time and it was neat to watch them come out of the dirt, and grow little green leaves and stems. Since these were like my babies, everytime I went outside to visit with our cats, I would roll over there to check on their progress. My mom and I were looking at them almost on a daily basis, and since I am a huge namer, I decided to give each pot a name because to name each flower would be too much, especially with the amount we have now.

I became very inspired by the fact that Ukraine’s national flower was actually a sunflower, I thought the pots needed to be named after names used there in a way to honor the people and state. So, with that being said, the first big pot had the largest collection of flowers in it, so I named that one Boris. I don’t know why, but I felt like I needed to use this name. It may not be a well-used name, but I took that as a sign and went with it. The meaning behind Boris is fighter, so I thought it was perfect as the Ukrainians are real fighters, it doesn’t matter whether they are on the front lines or left their homes, schools, life, etc. They are survivors.

The middle pots are similar in size and my mind went, “well they’re fraternal triplets!” so they were all named with my favorite girl names, Oksana (means: welcoming, hospitality), Olesya (means: protector, forest), and Olena (means: torch, shining light). Olena is for the First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska! And finally, the last pot was the smaller and I was drawn toward the name Lev, which means lion, so it’s smally but mighty at the same time.

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By June, all of the sprouts were ready to be replanted along the fence line and my parents sent like a whole day and a half getting these guys into place, once there they were given a little bit of water and they began to grow.

Since this was our first time with sunflowers in general, we were a bit puzzled when my mom snapped this picture. We were sort of concerned because it looked like we had planted some very weird Venus Flytraps! We did make a note of the inside of the plant had a small hole in the middle and we realized this was where the seeds were, and the little dark green spikes would become the petals. We were thrilled when they transformed but it was cool to see a part that we never knew happened in their way of becoming regular sunflowers.

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Once they began to climb up the fence, they started to change again–this time it was size! Several of the sunflowers were a little too top heavy and so my dad stuck some dowls into the ground next to them to help give them some stability, and they seemed to relish in the support because they are huge, and I mean, they are so big in the middle part they still have issues lifting up towards the sky. So, these flowers really hide among their leaves and other flowers. They are still pretty but you instantly feel bad for them too.

It’s sort of funny if you really think about it; although we only bought (and planted) two packages of sunflowers, we ended up with three different flowers. We expected all of them being in the same size as the chocolates, but then we have a small section with these bad boys! We are sort of dumbfounded at the mystery, but they’ve been fun to watch as the season changes, and we know going into this we would have a bunch of bees come around to collect pollen, and we were right with that assumption, but we’ve also seen some hummingbirds and yellow birds make their way to them in the last month.

Back in late July, I finally got to go around to see them up close and they were somewhat intimidating as they just towered over my mom, sister, nephew and I. It was sweet to see a couple of the newbies (because we have even more flowers traveling up to the others!) and I’m happy to say, it makes really happy to see cars come around our neighborhood to see them. We had an older man bring his wife around to see them the other day and I thought it was so sweet because I love going to other sunflower gardens too! We also have a lot of bees visiting too. Bees are very important to our ecosystem and even though I am terrified of them, I don’t want them to disappear forever because they are probably the reason why we have baby sunflowers below the veterans.

While I was outside, we made a trip to see the other garden along the left side of the house. Nolan managed to find a baby cucumber and pulled it off its stem. He really loves visiting the gardens and picking the vegetables with Mimi and Papaw. He was very proud of his discovery too! A few days later, my mom went by the same section and found the biggest cucumber we’ve seen so far! We don’t know how we managed to pull these things in the same time span, but it happened.

In this garden, we also have some green pepper plants. As a family, we like to snack of chopped up peppers with dip, use them in stuffed peppers (or stuffed mangos as my dad grew up calling them!) and finally salsa!

As the title says, I’ll be discussing our pickling process as well, but we have also made one batch of marinara sauce, and two large batches of salsa. Now, I will not be going into too much detail about the steps to make each one, but I did have my mom take photos of the packages they used to create them though! I’m hoping that’ll be enough, but I also wanted to leave you with their links as well at the end of the post!

On July 16th, we got our first harvest, and the cucumber was really big. I often wonder why my folks don’t pick them while they are somewhat smaller, but it may have something to do with ripeness like most vegetables. I don’t really know. I was never a fan of cucumbers, unless they transformed into pickles… so I’m not an expert on them. Honestly, I can’t physically grab any of our vegetables out of the gardens, which is why my knowledge is lacking in certain areas.

Anyways, the first time my parents decided to start creating our own pickles, they went all in with it and made four different kinds: bread-and-butter, kosher, garlic kosher and non-kosher dill. I have tried one of the dills and it was WAYYY too strong for any of us! Last month, I finally got to try a bread-and-butter and they were much better, very mild and even though they were sitting on the kitchen table, they were not cold, and it didn’t matter because I got to savor the flavors a lot better compared to them coming out of the fridge and my teeth screaming at me because of the coldness!

My nephew was even part of the pickling process, he really loves to help out, and a way to use this to our advantage was getting him involved with stuffing the wedges inside each mason jar and he really enjoyed being able to do this. What was cute though was my dad had this smaller jar that is like a fraction of the others, and he cut cucumber wedges smaller so Nolan could have his own jar! He seemed to love having his own stash in the fridge but since he went home before the jar itself cooled down, we ended up holding onto it for a couple of weeks!

A couple of weeks after my folks completed their first attempt at the pickles, my mom really wanted to make her own marinara sauce, we eat a lot of pizza and spaghetti in our house! Unfortunately, when my mom tried it, she wasn’t that impressed with it, and hasn’t tried to redeem herself yet. The third venture was salsa, and again we love restaurant style salsa so it wasn’t that big of a surprise they would try it out, but I don’t think they expected us to go through seven jars in a matter of two or three months! One of my dad’s ingredients was adding our baby green peppers into the mix and I can’t taste it in there, but I love the flavor of the whole thing! One day, my dad literally made salsa and the only container he could put it in was our lemonade/tea pitcher!

As we continue to harvest our goods, the room on our kitchen table keeps getting smaller and smaller, so much so that the side I eat on was very chaotic and full of empty jars and rows of cucumbers would feel overwhelming! In order to solve this problem, especially with storing the jars that haven’t been used yet, we have this old pie storage, it has to be extremely old and completely made up of wood, but it is large enough to hold three or four levels of our stuff to last a few in the colder months, but we might want to control our intake of salsa if we truly want to do this though!


Next month I will have the final post of the garden tour and will talk more about the whole setup, because it has been a massive undertaking for my dad, but I think in a secret way, he really enjoys fixing it up! It will include the original plans, more vegetables, and how we were keeping the cats and other animals out of it.

I hope you are enjoying these posts; I’ve been surprising myself on how much fun it is to write them for you. I used to do these types of posts when my sister was in her first year of college, but thankfully, the photos are in a lot better quality! Anyways, be sure to be on the lookout for that sometime at the end of October.

How you ever pickled anything before? Do you know of any other recipes we should try to make with our vegetables? Please leave everything in the comments below.

snowflake

August Playlist

Hello my friends!

August hasn’t been one of the friendliest months; lots have happened, but as long as my niece decides to keep inside her cave just a tad bit longer, we’ll deal with it.

Speaking of her though, we had a nice baby shower for her, and we all had an excuse to dress up, Blondie wore a rose-pink dress, kind of fitting considering she wore a bright ocean blue for Nolan’s shower! Originally, I wasn’t going to want to wear a dress, I tried to talk my mom into getting a jumpsuit or romper, but she talked me out of it, and I found a nice olive-green Maxi dress instead. I’ve been really obsessed with my clothes in the color green these past two years and I have yet to figure out the reason for it! I was going to leave the leggings at home but even I saw right through that idea! Whenever I wear dresses, I tend to wear shorts underneath so I can talk verbally and physically with my legs without flashing the poor people in front of me. I have done this on accident in the past, so it is just better to wear leggings or something.

Anyways, we had a great time, celebrating my sister and my little niece. Nolan had a blast too! He absolutely adores baby socks and the “bow ties” (which are the hair bands!), hearing him “ohh” and “awe” over the gifts was so sweet! He is thoroughly excited about his baby sister, and I am thinking of placing bets amongst family members to see how long it lasts because he does not have the patience for things, so a lot of us know it’ll be an interesting adventure for him.

A week later, my little dude decided to grow up and start preschool!

The first day was a bit odd, he didn’t want Blondie to leave him, but it seems after she left, he had a great time! He came home with first crafts he had made in class, and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing bits and pieces of his morning activities because he was playing with his toys in the living room. We’re all still trying to wrap our brains around the fact that he’s even old enough to attend “big kid” school, but nothing really prepared us for it like the second day, he pretty much told his mommy to go away as he walked up to his teachers and new friends. The other day they came over and brought his Spidey backpack inside to show us some of his assignments and a fairly large magazine full of book fair goodies! I definitely don’t remember this in my preschool days, but since with COVID, they just send home these catalogs for each student and my dad and I went through that whole thing on our own because that was our favorite thing about school, although I never bought books home, so to see Nolan point out certain books or magazines was very touching to me! He loves his books like his mimi and mommy!

And then all hell broke loose, my mom came home from work a week later not really feeling well, and as she tried to start her second shift on Sunday, she was sent home with COVID within half an hour later.

As much as we tried to quarantine in our house, it didn’t really shield us well enough, especially when one of us is like me and needs assistance on a daily basis. I had some sickly symptoms the same day she was tested but I didn’t voice it until that Monday because I was utterly terrified to say anything to my folks, they are both vaccinated but I chose to not get it. I am not one for needles/shots, but I also didn’t know what kind of side effects would present itself later on in life, so I just chose to forgo it entirely and my parents were very aware of my feelings toward it on both reasons, and they haven’t said anything about it. I know it contradicts my thoughts I wrote about in the post I wrote back when this mess started but even then, I still knew I wasn’t getting the vaccine.

My symptoms were mild in comparison to my folks, the one thing we all had was the disgusting taste in our mouths, and we found out it was caused by our medicine, and what seemed to make it disappear were fruity candies, especially Life Savers. I would keep them on my bookshelf so I can chew/suck on it for a bit of time and it would help so much for us! My dad was the last in the household to get it and he used those cinnamon candies and I remember thinking, “why torture yourself like that?!” and my mom would actually eat butter scotches and they worked, but I liked the fruity flavors to keep me occupied for probably 15-20 minutes. We were all thrilled to be done with everything and Blondie and Nolan were allowed to come over again. It was pure torture to be separated from him for basically two weeks, and as he started school too.


All right, so everything aside, this month’s music has been somewhat interesting. In the beginning, I was trying to keep up with the newest releases and the first Monday afterwards, I went through my Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify, and I proceeded to put every song onto the main playlist. I ended up listening to three albums, the first was Hollywood Undead’s “Hotel Kalifornia” which came out a couple of weeks ago. I loved it! I have like eight or nine favorites on it, so if you haven’t checked it out yet, you need to! The second was found by accident and it is called, “Aventine” by Agnes Obel. This was also great but very different compared to HU though! And the final was Demi Lovato’s “HOLY FVCK” and I surprised myself with this because I did not think I would enjoy it, but I was wrong and it’s probably one of her best releases in a while.

Here is my Top 20 songs for August! If you would like to check out the entire playlist, click here.

Meteorite by BANKS
Hands of Gold by Delain
Weight of Everything by Ill Factor featuring Katie Garfield
Blow by Eva Under Fire featuring Spencer Charnas
Every Man Is A Warrior by Lena Fayre
The Promise by In This Moment
Valiant by Nightcity.
Thunder by Imagine Dragons
Cake By The Ocean by DNCE
How Soon Is Now by AG featuring Dresage
Dorian by Agnes Obel
This Is What I Live For by Graffiti Ghosts
Kings & Queens by Ava Max
The Champion by Carrie Underwood featuring Ludacris
Let You Down by Sleeping With Sirens featuring Charlotte Sunds
Crazy Train by Joseph William Morgan
100 Little Deaths by Lilith Czar
Pink Venom by BLACKPINK
Happy When I Die by Hollywood Undead
Sound of War by Tommee Profitt x Fluerie

What were you listening to this month?

snowflake

Spinal Fusion | 20 Years Later

Hello!

In the last several years a lot has happened, I celebrated 10 years as a blogger in 2019, I hit two milestones in last year, starting with my blog turning 10 in October and I entered my “dirty thirties” a month later. For this year, there is a very different anniversary, and I’ve felt weird about it for months. I actually decided to allow myself to write about my thoughts months in advance because I couldn’t get it out of my mind of how it’s been this long since it happened, so I hope you enjoy taking a trip down memory lane today.

I was technically born with three conditions, as you may know I have Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congentia, but this can lead to other problems like babies born with club feet. scoliosis, etc. I happen to have a serve case of AMC with the addition of a club foot, rocker bottom, and scoliosis. I’ve had many, many physical therapies over the years, in the hopes of trying to help make life a little easier. I’ve had discussions about what could be done as far as surgeries go to “fix” my arms and feet, but the only I ever had been the full spinal fusion surgeries in 2002.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

What is spinal fusion?

Spinal fusion surgery is usually the last option, if your back cannot be corrected after wearing braces for multiple years. The National Spine Health Foundations says, it is like trying to fix a broken bone(s), which is a great way on how to explain it, especially in my experience. What does one do in the hopes of repairing a deformed bone? You have two options: use a splint or form a brace/cast and hope time will heal all wounds… Nice pun action there, right?

I wasn’t a stranger to braces; we still have the itty-bitty braces doctors gave us for my hands. When I came out of the womb, my arms weren’t set in the position at my chest. According to my mother, they were somewhat flat, and the doctors tried to adjust them twice. The first was when I was in incubator, (I was a preemie, so I needed a little help breathing and then of course figuring what was going on with my body.) and the nurses made a makeshift log by folding a single wash cloth and propped me on top of it so my arms would stretched out and eventually my parents were given the braces for my forearms and they a little smaller compared to a standard remote for your TV!

Anyways, I was about five or six years when I was put into the first brace I actually remember. I don’t exactly remember the appointment itself but It had many crooks and crannies, plus it was very decorated with stickers, thanks to my fellow classmates adding a bit of fun to the whole thing! I wore it until the end of third grade and just before I turned 10, I was fitted with a brand-new brace and it was very bulky, this was as close to a corset as I could get, and thankfully I only had to wear it for less than a year because it wasn’t doing very much to help me at this point.

I remember the night before we drove up to Shriner’s Hospital in St. Louis, my mom had my sister and I and we prayed together if it was decided by the doctors I would have surgery, I remembered our expressions being of fear and shock, I mean we were kids, despite the fact we’d go over there multiple times a year since I was about two years old, somehow I hadn’t heard that word “surgery” before, so it was no wonder why I can remember that scene so well because it was a new thing to me, and I didn’t fully understand that whole process until much later in life.

The actual appointment is still hilarious to me because after getting X-Rays done five minutes earlier, the four of us were called next and put into the standard size room with a very used chalk board and different toys attached to the wall next to the giant mirror. Our parents were wrecked with nerves, Blondie was playing, and I was on the cold floor slowly peeking out into the hallway, watching everybody walk around, which is something I still do at age 30, but I noticed there were a lot of doctors looking at a set of X-Rays and I saw my doctor among them. I knew at that moment they were inspecting my images and as I was told to scoot back in the room, I didn’t feel scared but curious of the language they were discussing–I knew something big was coming and it fascinated me!

As I made my way back over to my folks, they suspected the doctor would be coming soon, so one of them lifted me onto that damn bed thingy and I sat there for a short time before they came into the room. How do you know you’re going to have surgery? Well, in my case, about 7 doctors walked right in and they were the same 7 people busy talking in low tones about the process of my spine. There were tears and I cracked a couple of jokes, because that’s how I roll in life. The day we went up there for this appointment had to been in mid-April 2002, because by the start of August, and what would be the beginning of my 5th grade school year, we made another trip which would be even longer as I was now an inpatient on the second, B floor with a roommate by the name of Shelby.

My mom and I tend to argue about the exact date we went up and stayed at the hotel and eventually moved into the hospital to stay. The first night in that hospital was another hilarious experience! I couldn’t get to sleep, because the next day would start on my three-and-half-month journey. We got yelled at by one of the night nurses that the TV wasn’t allowed on at night. This is definitely something you don’t tell a new patient, but we followed the rules, and after my mom went to bed, I decided to play with the controls of my bed, and I had that thing folded up like a taco! I think my mom woke up in the middle of my fun and told me off, because I don’t remember much after that!

The next day, Dr. Lawrence Lenke only came to the hospital on Tuesdays and Thursdays as he spent the majority of the time at the Children’s Hospital a few miles into the city, where I would end going for the second and third surgeries. The first was a smaller one but the one we can somewhat pinpoint the easiest, which is why I tend to celebrate them on this one date, as supposed to the day we left in early November. This surgery was just as important as the doctor and his nurses and techs fitted a half halo made of metal onto my skull. I had eight pins screwed into sections to keep it secured and I was attached to a pole in both my bed and wheelchair to keep myself alignment. I ended up having three surgeries altogether, but I wouldn’t have the actual spinal fusion surgery six days after my 11th birthday.

Over the years, I’ve finally figured out the timeline of everything that happened, both while I was in surgery and recovery, and what was going on at home and school too. My mom and I were separated from our support systems. My dad stayed home to work and stay with my younger sister, she actually doesn’t have a lot of memories of that time, whereas I remember almost everything. I had tons of distractions between school, friends that stayed in our section, the goofy nurses and field trips. I went on more field trips in three months than I did in one year!

A little after I had my first surgery, I got to meet some of St. Louis Cardinal baseball players. My dad was very excited, he thoroughly enjoyed this! I think this and the time a group of motorcyclists came to visit us and brought us goodies. Anyways, I’m not into baseball so I sort of felt silly meeting these guys, but the Cardinals team is a big supporter of Shriner’s Hospital, and visit the kids, and sometimes a group of kids, nurses and people in the RT (recreational therapy) go to watch a game and meet the entire team(s) and I am thrilled they do this. We met with a great bunch of guys, and it was really fun, but I highly doubt Woody Williams still has my autograph but hey you never know! He was very curious of my ability to write with my feet, so we did a trade, he signed my shirt, and I gave him my autograph.

From L to R we have Timo Martinez, Andy Benes (he retired later in the 2002 season!), Mike DiFelice and Woody Williams. Notice the metal halo on the top of my head, and the pole behind my wheelchair. Photo credit: Dona Glambert aka my nana!

It is absolutely crazy that it’s been over 20 years since I had my first surgery, the other two anniversaries will be at the end of October and first week of November.

I could sit here and tell you all of the things that happened, but it would be even longer than it is now, so I am going to stop here for now. If you would like to ask any question about my experiences; while I was staying at Shriner’s, recovering, or anything else, you can email me at gotmeghan.blog@gmail.com Be sure to get the dot in between “gotmeghan” and “blog” before you send your messages! I’d also like to say if you know someone who was a nurse at that hospital, worked in the B section, and remembers anything about the girl who drove her wheelchair with her feet, I’d also like to get in touch with you/them too!

Have you ever had surgery before? What was the location and reason why you needed to have it in the first place? Leave your answers below!

snowflake

The Garden Tour | The Beginning

Hello!

I am finally ready to give you the story of our garden. I say “our” because even though I didn’t do the actual tilling, planting and pull vegetables off the stocks, I am still very much a part of the whole thing. I haven’t had much say on the entire thing, but I thought talking about it on here will bring me closer to each of the sections.


Since we’ve been in this house and after getting our dog Rumer’s fenced yard earlier this year, my folks have been itching to make the front as pretty as possible. We’ve been in this house four years and my mom has had array of hanging flowers on the side deck and eventually the front entrance, but they took the landscaping up a notch once we started to experience spring weather. There were a few times in those early days where the majority of the plants had to go into my dad’s garage for a night or two, so they didn’t develop any frost on their leaves.

The very first thing my parents bought for the garden was a nod to me, as I had found them on Facebook one day and shared it to my mom and she seemed to like them as they arrived a week later. They are sunflower solar lights. They do not need any batteries nor water but just straight sun to shine bright over the space. Originally, they were going to be in the back deck where I love to spend time hanging out with the cats and reading one of my books, but then my mom wanted some as well. I tried to split them up evenly since it came with 8 sunflowers, but dad ended up scarping that idea as a whole and now we have the majority in the front yard and three are in the back yard.

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The sunflowers are in great company to the real flowers along the fence. As you can see from this photo, we have the lights on the inside of the fence while we have a row of plants on the other side, this is actually an almond bush, it was a small section trimmed off the other bush at my nana and papaw’s house. My nana has a section up north and now we have one for our yard.

All of the plants are non-toxic to Rumer so if she does decide to tear into them, she shouldn’t get too sick by them. We’ve had the front part done for five months and she ignores them so that’s great! For the most part, all of our flowers and vegetables are non-toxic to both Rumer and the cats; the cats have hardly made a dent in our gardens. We’ve caught Grumpy, Midge, and Nelson asleep in the big garden in the backyard but they don’t really care about any of the new landscaping, which has really surprised us in the last month or so!

In the front, we have had array of various flowers line up along the fence like the tulips. My parents were really into the tulips, but they were the first to die once we got started with everything. We had orange, pink, and purple tulips and they were so beautiful, but they didn’t really flourish like we thought they would, but by the time we got them it was the end of March, and we were experiencing frosts in the mornings, but we were able to save the hostas and rose bushes they bought throughout March to late April. It was not a good idea to allow my dad to go to Wal-Mart or Menards because he would come home with more plants, especially rose bushes and peppers!

There is a ruse bush closest to the sunflower patch, I will talk more about them in my next post, which was looking really bad at the store and my dad felt kind of sorry for it like Charlie Brown does at the little real tree in Charlie Brown Christmas special. According to them, they left Menards and went around Wal-Mart, but he kept thinking about that sad bush and they literally went back to grab and take it home. Thankfully they did this because it’s been flourishing since the start of April. It is huge! I can see perfectly from the front door and it’s a nice reddish-pink color too! We’re all happy he was able to save it from its humble beginnings and see it evolve over time in the rich soil. If you are really curious, this rose bush is on the left side on the first collage.

While my dad worked mainly in the fence line, my mom focused her attention to the porch. She has had some type of flowers either hanging from the rails of the side deck or on the front steps. We love to make that space in the front somewhat decorated for all seasons!

And since we’ve had a proper porch, she seemed to step up her game with arranging even more flowers around every surface, and we’ve had petunias of various colors like pinks and purples, but she added a couple of different daisies this year, and one of which has become a sort of favorite for me as it has a yellow hue on the outside with a deep purple in the middle; none of us had ever seen this one before but I hope it’ll become a seasonal stable for us.

We also have two cubes at the bottom of the stairs, and there are a bunch of zinnias and another flower we haven’t had before, but they’re called purple waves and whenever I go up next to the screen door I can’t quite see them because of how dad and our family friend built the actual steps and small patio last year, but I’ve learned to live with it as long as they add pretty elements to this part of our home.

Unfortunately, a lot of flowers we planted in the spring are dead, but my parents really enjoy their flowers so as the weather turns, we grabbed others that would relish in the sunlight. The rose bushes are still going strong, but we did replace the tulips with yellow marigolds. The best way to describe what they look like are dandelions when they become bright yellow, but they have more petals, they look like those 80’s or 90’s toy balls with those silky-soft hairs. I hope you understand what I’m saying, because that’s all I have at the moment.

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We have a group of marigolds next to the legendary rose bush and it wasn’t supposed to be, but I think of it as a nice nod to my great-great-great Aunt Mary and her husband Gen, short for General in fact! I’ve talked about them a few years ago, my nana and I found a file of letters and photos that were supposed to be put with Mary when she died, but they never were, and everybody has always talked about their love of roses. Apparently, Gen was obsessed with them, they had all kinds and bred different ones, and in one of the letters we found, his pet name for his wife was Marigold, which is so, so sweet! It does make me sad we weren’t able to give her back the file in the end, but it is a nice memory to have for newer generations.


I’ve been reading the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder on Spotify, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about how they did back on the wild frontier, and even my mom has said things that would make Charles Ingalls very happy too! We had a storm back in early June that was semi violent and shook our tomato and cucumber plants to the point they were bent a little and she said, “I now understand what Pa Ingalls went through when it hailed and destroyed their field.” Thankfully, we didn’t lose anything, and they felt a lot better than while they watched the wind mess with the larger plants.

So, that’s all I can say about the front part of our house and when I come back with my second post, it will be about the side yard and I’ll be talking about how my folks decided to dig further on the eastern side of our property and tell you more about the process of our sunflowers, and if you know me well enough, you know how excited I am to chat about them. And if you’re wondering if they have names like my indoor plants, they do! I also share our first experience of canning the large cucumber harvests we’ve had lately! So, I really hope you have enjoyed reading this first section and continue learning about little homesteading journey.

What kind of landscaping have you done to your home? For those who live in apartments, what are some of your future ideas to create your own garden? What are your favorite flowers/plants?

snowflake