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Sunday thoughts, in no particular order

March 12th, 2017 at 08:27 pm

Today's accomplishments (so far):

1. Finished up current freelance assignment a full 2.5 days early. I wrote about the 25 best online master's degrees in instructional technology.

I have to keep pushing her to give me longer (aka higher paying) assignments, as I still managed to get this one done with time to spare.

2. Waldo's allergies have taken a turn for the worse, inexplicably, even tho he's on the same meds he's been on for a while now. Could pollen be in the air already, with snow still on the ground?

So I vacuumed the upstairs and have the air purifier running on medium in the bedroom, where he spends most of his time. I'm so glad that when I bought it, I bought a highly energy-efficient model.

3. I made another batch of my yummy oil-free salad dressing (blended walnuts, garlic, vinegar, thyme and raisins). I eat salads daily and use a fair amount of dressing, so it makes sense to do this.


I picked up my dad for dinner last night and went to our usual haunt. I brought home half the massive lasagna and had that with my salad today for lunch after picking off the mozzarella.

Last week....

I got a great buy at Aldi's. It is a "miniature greenhouse" that i easily assembled with no tools. It consists of 4 metal shelves about 2.5 feet wide and it stands about 65" high. It's lightweight and easy to move. It has a plastic cover that snugly fits around the shelves to form the "greenhouse." It has 2 zippers in front so you can access what's inside and leave it open if you want. Each shelf can take up to 21 pounds of weight.

And get this: it only cost me $19.99.

It would be perfect for someone who's big into starting veggie plants from seed, which I don't do much, but I do plan to try using it for regular container veggies in my driveway.

The directions say to remove the plastic cover once temps get to 60 degrees, I think, or it could melt! But once I have that off, I could easily use my plastic fencing to wrap around the bottom of shelves to keep marauding critters off it.

That was my problem last summer. I gave up a regular veggie garden due to voles, and while I did ok with container veggies in the sun-baked driveway, a raccoon or something went on a rampage with my string beans just days before I was going to pick them. I had the plastic fencing around pots but the critter just clambered over it and ate the plant from the top. I think wrapping the fencing around something with a sturdy metal frame would work better.

The space between shelves is maybe a foot-and-a-half, so the shelves wouldn't work for certain plants that grow tall, but I suppose I could use it for unlimited numbers of smaller pots of herbs, like the parsley I want to grow to attract more black swallowtail butterfly worms. Or for basil for pesto and mint. Or for lettuce.

A viney veggie plant would work well, like a cucumber, becus I could keep the vines off the ground better that way, which is again desirable due to critters.

I also bought a bag of purple potatoes at WalMart for planting. I've decided to try growing them in a small galvanized garbage can which now has a small amount of birdseed in it.

I've wanted to try this for a while and i might even try planting some carrots in with the potatoes since they'd both be protected from voles in the can, in the driveway. I would just need to drill some drainage holes in the bottom.

I'm getting heating oil delivered tomorrow at a pretty good price of $1.90 a gallon. That'll see me through next December.

So last week I went to a total of THREE MS programs, 2 lunches and 1 dinner, all at very good restaurants. The choice of entrees at the one place was wild salmon or filet mignon. Smile

This was a record, 3 in one week. There's another one next week and another one later in March. I must admit to taking advantage of these for free meals, but I'm certainly not alone in doing so. I see all the same faces at most of these events. I once questioned one of the organizers at one of these when a whole bunch of people didn't show up (as evidenced by empty place settings). I asked her if her company had to pay for each plate whether or not someone showed up, and she said yes. She was very nonchalant about it, saying they had a budget for it and no big deal. This is a pharma company, so I guess that explains it.

So you might call this a fringe benefit of having a serious disease. One of the regulars I've been seeing is the only MS guy who has a dog with him, like you see with visually impaired people. I asked him how the dog helps with his MS and he told me that he also has type 1 diabetes and recently diagnosed lung cancer in addition to the MS.

But the dog is really there for the diabetes and is trained to "alert" when it senses his blood sugar is too low. He does this by thoroughly licking him on his hands or face, and will do this in the middle of the night when he is asleep and unaware of the danger.

The dog will also go to the refrigerator, open it, and grab orange juice, which is high sugar and thus a preferred food choice to normalize blood sugar.

I got to experience the dog's licking abilities myself and what a soft tongue! I'm used to cats' sandpaper-like tongues, I guess.

Nothing financial here...sorry.

5 Responses to “Sunday thoughts, in no particular order”

  1. LuckyRobin Says:

    Yes, there is pollen in the air already even though we still had snow until Tuesday. The crocuses are up. Some of the trees and shrubs will be or have started like forsythia.

    We have had a couple of mini-greenhouses like that. One big tip is that at the end of the growing season is to take the cover off, thoroughly hose it down and let it dry completely, and then fold it up and put it in the garage so it is not exposed to the elements all winter. It is less prone to get brittle and tear. Otherwise the cheap plastic cover will only last about 2 summers. Also, even with several plants inside weighing it down, it won't make it through a major windstorm, nor will the plastic, so if you know one is coming up, take it into your garage.

    If you really want to garden again, I would suggest building raised beds with 1/2 inch galvanized wire stapled onto the bottom so nothing can dig through it. Then make a rectangle cage out of PVC pipe and cover it in chicken wire that sets just inside the raised bed wood. You can lift it out easily to garden and then put it back in to protect the plants inside. Secure it with a few landscape staples (those U shaped pins that are about 3 to 4 inches long) if you have anything strong enough to take them off. Mine hold up to squirrels and raccoons.

    If you are going to grow potatoes in garbage cans, make sure you get indeterminate varieties. Determinate do not do well in cans or towers since they do not grow up the length of the vine as it grows, but only grow out from the part of the potato planted to when the plant first hits the surface. Hilling only works with indeterminate potatoes, so that's why growing them in cans works, as you add more soil as it grows. Determinate potatoes do well in grow bags, though.

  2. PatientSaver Says:

    Lucky Robin, Thanks for your advice!

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    There is a lot of pollen down south of you! So much we can see it on the ground. It looks like yellow chalk. I imagine it does float up that way a bit.

  4. PatientSaver Says:

    We get that yellow pollen powder up here, too, but generally I would see it in May! Before I closed in my screened porch, it would waft through the screens and coat everything. I also see it on my car, but again, not til much later.

    And since Waldo doesnt go out, it baffles me how that much air exchange takes place to affect his asthma. I know the heating system does that, and me coming and going outside, but I mean really.

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I saw that greenhouse and debated about it. I hope you get good use from it.

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