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sjlovestosing
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March 25, 2019 7:43 pm  

Hi everyone,

We just got hit with a whopper of a storm on Friday -18" of the white stuff! Though it's beautiful, I must admit that I am getting a little antsy for spring. I am looking forward to digging in the dirt.

Also, my older sister has just retired from her job and is moving to Vermont in May, so I am anxious for her to come. She'll be renting a cabin, but will need our help looking for a home of her own. It will be the first time I've seen her in a couple of years, though we do keep in touch regularly. 

Does anyone else have spring fever?

Stella


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 LK
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March 26, 2019 2:02 am  

Oh Stella>>>YEEEESSSSSSSSSSS....I 'm so antsy it is unreal. I live in British Columbia Canada, and just Saturday took my first walk since winter dumped on us. I think 1996 was the last time we saw this much snow and freezing temperatures.  I took my little dog for our walk and he was all over the grasses on either side of the walkway. He ignored my calls, but was on one of those extending leashes so he was fine, but it was as tho he was chasing a squirrel.

On the upside, (unintended pun) my next door neighbors crocuses are blooming and my bulb flowers are on their way up by 8 inches above the soil this week. There is always hope.  If it helps any, Spring is on its way to you.  I hope and will.pray that your sister can find a home and will settle in very well. Chin up, winter has to leave sometime! Keep smiling and all the best to you!

Linda

Linda


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sjlovestosing
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March 26, 2019 8:17 am  

Thanks, Linda! 

We won't be seeing crocuses until April here. Daffodils won't appear until May. Also, we should be getting into mud season (the fifth season here) in a week or two. That's just the way it is in the Northeast Kingdom. It's not that I am unhappy, I just get antsy to play in the dirt! Happy Spring!

God bless!

Stella


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VeganOstomy
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March 26, 2019 11:11 am  
Posted by: sjlovestosing

We just got hit with a whopper of a storm on Friday -18" of the white stuff!

That's terrible this time of the year! This past weekend, it was actually quite mild here. Nearly all the snow and ice has melted and we expect to be above freezing for the foreseeable future. 

I hope some of the warmth hits you too! 

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.

~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


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March 27, 2019 5:08 am  

Stella... I really enjoy watching the snow fall and seeing the beauty in the trees after a snow fall horror frost can be so beautiful and I love photography, so I always have to take pictures.   Going for a walk at night when it snowing is one of my favorite things. I appreciate the list of crafts and projects I have, to help me get thru the long days of winter. I imagine you have some also. I understand what you mean, and it is hard to be unhappy in any season but when they are long, I too long for spring. I really enjoy watching the different changes as each season settles in. I love to play in the dirt too, especially with my Autistic granddaughter.  Both her and I do not appreciate running into those creepy worms.                                                There are so many of them and I know they are good for the plants and all, but really, can't they knock before they show their faces....if they have them. My daughter once asked if worms chewed?!  Lets just say that led into a book study I did not want to do.

Not to rub it in but we are wearing  short sleeves and light jackets this week, but it could change. I noticed today that the smaller birds are twitterpated already. Tomorrow, I will be tying the longer hair I saved from when I groomed my pup, Romeo. I tie it in bundles and then tack it onto the top of the fence out front. The birds always come and get the hair and make their nests with some of it, there is rarely any bundles left by the time four weeks goes by.  It is a fun thing to see them doing as they look like little Santa Clauses when thy fly away, no dog, a groomer will give you some hair. Romeo is a Laso-Apso sp? too tired tonight.  

If I remember right you plant a veggie garden too right? I just love planting the plants in the garden and seeing  the results and the tomatoes and zucchinis growing. It seems they grow so fast. I need to put some new soil up in my four steps up garden, but it is nothing I can do with the Ankylosing Spondylitis.  When you said mud...my son is in landscaping and when the thaw happens, what a mess. 

Linda


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sjlovestosing
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March 28, 2019 8:25 am  

Hi Linda,

Short sleeves!!! We won't do that for a while - not outside anyway. However now, that I am in my spring mode, I am wearing lighter shirts and spring-like colors. (The elements won't discourage me even though we are expecting 3-6 inches of snow on Monday -  and that's no joke!)

Yes, I do a veggie garden every year, though this year will be a little tough preparing the ground as the weeds were horrendous last year due to the fact that I was healing from my operation. My granddaughter will be helping as well. Usually, I let her plant something of her own even though my daughter has a vegetable garden as well. 

I do have a couple of crafts which keep me occupied, as well as yoga to help my joints stay as limber as possible. I am looking forward to the time when I can go walking, as that is my favorite form of exercise. I usually go up our hill with my dog as I cannot take her on walks on the road. She lunges at cars!

I am sorry to hear of your Ankylosing Spondylitis. Are you able to control the pain or level of stiffness? I will pray for you.

Enjoy the beautiful weather over your way!

God bless,

Stella


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March 28, 2019 11:10 am  

Hi Stella,

 I once new of  a dog that did the same thing and earned the name...Tire Biter. I had such a great time the year before last, giving zucchini away. I had planted two plants and it was the gift that kept on giving.  I found I had to give my recipes away with them. Do you know if we can freeze zucchini?  I have done it in home made soups and stews and it is fine there. I need to try and freeze a small piece to see if it can be done,  if  so, I would make a whole lot of   zucchini sticks for winter. I have my own homemade recipe for that and I bake vs. deep flying them.  The dip is usually a ranch type dressing when eating out, but I also make my own dip and for a coating I make a mix of pancho bread crumbs and shake and bake southern, S&P to taste.  I love playing around with recipes and making my own.  There is a bit of a saying...you know you live in a small town when your friends lock their car doors at the mall during zucchini season! Sadly, my garden is in the weeds too, I was  unwell all summer last year.  I have a bad bug to get in there now, but I still have to be very careful with my back. My garden is in a step formation going up in the back yard, so I can stand on a lower step to be able to pull weeds. It is ideal for my back.

I did have horrible back pain for a few years before I got a new doctor, he immediately sent me for an MRI, then the AS was diagnosed. It started in my upper spine and is working its way into my lower spine now. My doctor prescribes the Fentanly patch and a hydro-morphone tablet in a low maintenance dose for the pain. About three years ago, my back was doing really great and about nine months into feeling pretty good, I asked him to reduce the dose, it was down to half for three years about and I have just recently had to have it increased. Now, I take less of the H-M, but because of the the slight increase. It was a pain specialist who advised on the treatment.  You should have seen my doctors face when I asked for the decrease, and then brought him the bottle of the HM, I was removing from the blister pack before I recycled it.  He grinned and chuckled, and said that he has never seen a patient hand over narcotics before. Because some people can be naughty he did not want the bottle hanging around his office where he worked,  but he did advise me on what to do with them as I did not want them hanging around either.

I just spent about six days rounding up supplies, searching thru the thrift shop to find things that the kids liked to use in their projects, watching how to videos, talking about them and there likes and dislikes, fav. colours and teaching the two oldest grands and a plus one friend how to make a collage about themselves, instructing some painting techniques too. I never got my afternoon rest those days, and by the sixth day the back pain was pretty bad, but a few days taking it easier and getting that required rest paid off.  The kids projects turned out really well. I was very impressed with their imaginations and ideas. I was there strictly for ideas, solutions and encouragement and some instructions...oh yes, and I forgot how well 14 year old boys could eat so, lunch too. 

I know we talked some about this kind of thing last year, but chime in here and let us know what the rest of you enjoy doing in spring & summer too.  Stella, what do you enjoy growing in your garden? Do you can foods and make jams for winter? Pickles anyone? 

More snow? I would imagine that you are feeling wintered out and with more if the white stuff on the way...wow! It was a bit cooler here yesterday, but not too bad at all. The mid double digets in metric. We see more birds arrive every day here, and I am still feeding them suet and some some seed. I learned a long time ago that if you wanted a pest free garden, feed the birds and it pays of greatly. If winter takes too long to leave I start my spring cleaning early, then I am done. 

It is so fun to plant a garden with grands, ours seem to like the baby tomatoes best. I am out to find a pear tree this spring. We had 3 cherry trees, but I was the only one caring for them. We took them down last spring.  I am allergic to the fruit and leaves anyways,  so I let the neighbors and people walking their dogs and or kids in the evening have a go at the cherries too. Same with the grape vine. So many cherries fall over night that it means a boat load of bending for me, so I have opted out for a larger fruit and one I can eat. 

Now I am even more anxious to get going out there.  I hope it happens for you soon. Hang tough!

Linda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linda


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zhtfreak
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March 28, 2019 1:29 pm  

I'm jealous! Fresh cherries are my favorite, followed by fresh peaches, fuzz and all.


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March 28, 2019 9:25 pm  

Yes, from what I remember the Lamberts were the biggest, darkest, and juiciest cherry. The quail here like to sit in the trees and nibble on the fruit. But when someone came close the the, they would fly, sort of, away from the trees. When we first moved here, I saw several Quail running across the lawn with these two balls hanging one on either side of there beaks. I did not realize they were cherries at the time and tried finding them in the bird book. I felt silly afterwards, but they certainly got my attention. The cherries would dangle and sway back and forth as they ran.  There must have been about 14 of them all doing the same thing. I had to wonder if the running cherries were a peace offering, or perhaps a treat for Mommas sitting on eggs. It was all to cute and sweet. I fell in love with Quail when I saw the hats they have on their heads. That tall feather they have. That was about the time I also learned that Chefs would cook and serve those little things up on a platter!   Good heavens, that was in 1996! 

Linda


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Raine
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April 1, 2019 11:21 am  

Mother nature played a cruel joke on us today in western Pennsylvania.  We woke up to snow!  Enough already!!

 

Raine


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April 1, 2019 1:12 pm  

Oh my goodness. More snow, and in April!  Did you have to dig out from it?  It has been a long winter for us in Canada too, but about ten days ago, we saw the changes we were needing. It is always a joy when the crocuses show their noses, and open up and shine. Just like the clouds in the sky and that big round ball of heat called the sun!  I hope you see the changes for spring soon!

Linda

Linda


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VeganOstomy
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April 1, 2019 2:32 pm  
Posted by: Raine

Mother nature played a cruel joke on us today in western Pennsylvania.  We woke up to snow!  Enough already!!

We had snow yesterday, but it melted by the end of the day. The next two weeks look "warm", so I hope that's that! 

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.

~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


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April 1, 2019 7:10 pm  

Raine and Eric...I wanted to like your emails, but did not have the heart. I understand how frustrating it can be to be held back by whether. Today, when I took my dog Romeo for a walk, I rested on a public bench for a few min. and you could actually feel the heat from the sun. It was all so promising.  If it helps, the breeze was a bit cool, I should have had on another layer today. I hope spring arrives sweetly for every one this year and not in, rapid melts,  torrential downpours, floods and fires and that suffocating smoke. I think we are all ready for a nice change.

Linda


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sjlovestosing
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April 2, 2019 3:17 pm  

Hi Linda,
In answer to your question about freezing zucchinis, yes you can freeze them. I skip the water bath and just grate them and freeze them. This way, you can thaw them and use them for soups or baking.

I enjoy planting all kinds of veggies. In the past, I've planted summer and winter squash (I love acorn squash), peas, pole and bush beans, asparagus, celery, potatoes, carrots, peas, cabbages, broccoli and an assortment of lettuces and tomatoes. I think the ones I love to eat right out of the garden are peas. I enjoy them best this way or I put them raw in a salad. I have been growing some sort of vegetable garden for over 40 years.

Concerning the snow, we still have 2 feet on the ground. I know, because as I was walking on top of the snow today, my leg suddenly sunk in about that amount!

Happy Spring!
Stella


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zhtfreak
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April 2, 2019 9:07 pm  

If it were up to me, there would only be snow during the holiday season (Thanksgiving through New Years). After that, it can stay up in the mountains just to keep the skiers and snowboarders happy. Definitely not me! lol

 

Walking in snow makes me dearly miss my dog as I find it much easier to get around in snow with one than not. Snow is for a blind person what fog is to you guys with working eyes. lol I've been lucky that we haven't had a really bad winter here since about 2008.


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April 2, 2019 9:47 pm  

Wow, Stella, that is one fantastic sounding garden. Good for you! I hope your snow melts off soon. Two feet sheesh! No wonder your feeling the itch for spring.

Fresh from the garden peas are also my fav. veggie to pick and eat off the plant. My yard, is not nearly big enough for all that you grow, so, I plant the ones I like fresh the most. Green beans, and tomatoes, I plant every kind I can get my hands on, but I love the beefsteak  best. I also plant Zucchini, spaghetti and butternut squash.  There is also a great big old grape vine in the back. Tomatoes are frozen in wedges, skin on.  I imagine that freezing zucchini sticks would not work well at all, but chopped or grated they are great in soups, stews, sauces. I bake then freeze.  The area we live in has plenty of hard working farmers and orchardists, so anything else I desire I can purchase right from the farms and I appreciate that so much.  

Wow, forty years of gardening, that is wonderful.  I know that I get spoiled over summer with all the fresh veggies, and fruit, and then fall critical of the veggies in the store over winter. But there is something so great about eating them fresh from the garden.  You deserve a medal for gardening that long. We have not always lived in places we could garden, but I did plant something here and there in pots.  If nothing else, at least herbs.  I always made a good effort to use them with meals.  Last year, I dehydrated a bunch of tomatoes to the point that I was able to put them thru the food processor and turn them to small chunks and "powder", then I sprinkle that on foods, popcorn and  eggs.  I also (sun)dry them in the oven and store them in olive oil or freeze them. I do not have a great area to store all the jars I used to, so the freezer gets it.  

I made pickled carrots last year and added a bit of extra spice, that was a good recipe.  I used to do a fair bit of home canning, but now that it is just me, I don't do so much anymore, but I still do my own jams, salsa and some fruit, peaches pears and apricots. and pickles. Does anyone else out there also do canning? Tell us what you like to grow and or preserve.  There is something so satisfying about having fruits and such on hand in winter. 

Linda   

Linda


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sjlovestosing
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April 3, 2019 9:10 am  

Linda,

What great ideas you have about freeze drying tomatoes! I will have to give that one a try. As for the garden, though we have a 10' x 10' garden, I've never planted all of those veggies at once. I usually do about seven to eight different types of vegetables a season. We also have raised beds, which sort of limits the garden space, but is very effective in deepening the soil so that the plants have more room for their roots.

Stella


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April 3, 2019 9:03 pm  

Hi Stella...If you are interested in doing the tomatoes, I can tell you how I did them. They were not exactly freeze dried.  It started with slicing them in about 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Lay them out on a cookie sheet lined with Parchment paper. Turn the oven to 200 F and then I put about four pans in the oven, I save empty soup or tomatoe cans so they have a sort of rack to sit on.Extra trays are placed on angles sitting on the cans. The time it takes depends on how soft you want them.  The thinner cut takes a shorter time. I check them here and there and take out the ones that are dried to the softness I want.  I pack in clean jars and then cover with olive oil. I store them in my fridge or freezer. The O.Oil makes a nice seal from oxygen. Or, I put them in zip lock bags and press most of the air out and them freeze them. You can add some O.Oil to the bags to help keep the fruit soft.

The thinner ones were the ones that I dehydrated and then put thru the food processor.  It was really an accident but I love what I got out of it in the end.  Again in the oven, and then it just takes longer to dry them fully. If they start to burn, turn your oven down accordingly, or prop the door open with a hot mitt. When they are completely dry you will know it by the weight of them. Very light, like  feather. If you are not sure they are dry enough, leave them out to cool and then try to snap them in the thickest part. If they do not snap to break, then put them in the oven again. The second round, they turned a deeper colour, but I was sure they were dry. Throughout the year, if I or a friend bought a spice or herb in a bottle, I asked them to save their jars for me. I soaked off the label and washed/dried and relabeled them. Then when I had enough dried out tomatoes, I out them thru the food processor to the size I wanted. Anyone I gave a jar of the tomatoe dust has really enjoyed the results and the flavor it adds to food a lot. My pickiest friends loved it on their eggs. I gave some to a friend on a strict tasteless diabetic (Type 1) diet, he sprinkles it on the chicken he puts in his sandwiches. He liked it so much and asked what other herbs and spices go with chicken. He now uses dried and fresh cilantro, oregano, curry powder and a whole array of new flavors to his food. He even puts some in his mushroom soup.  I always dry the herbs as they grow.  It is good for the plants as they do continue to grow after being cut.  I have actually dried mine in the microwave between pieces of paper towel then store them in jars.  To find how long to dry in the microwave...I lay out as many stems as will fit on one towel and them cover with another. Zap for 10 second intervals and increase depending on the strength of your oven.  I have also done them just in the air. I place them again between paper towels to keep any dust off of them and if you have the counter room, leave them on your counter. If not, place them on cookie sheets and stick them in the oven, no heat, door propped with a mitt, and then leave it open in the night time. We BBQ a lot in summer so I do not use my oven for a whole lot of things, this is a space saver for me. It can take a couple days, so if time and space are and issue, use the microwave or dried in your oven, as the tomatoes. Stick type herbs, unless you like them whole or broken, dried rosemary can also be put thru the food processor ( I have even used the coffee bean grinder)  I dry then crumble the cilantro, oregano and leafy herbs by hand then store them.  Try herbs on popcorn some time it is very good. Let us know what you do and how it turns out for you. Have fun in the kitchen always. 

Linda

Linda


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April 3, 2019 10:32 pm  

zhtfreak...I have enough trouble walking in the snow and ice sighted, it would be down right paralyzing for me to be blind. I am sorry to hear you lost your dog. Was that a recent event? What was your dogs name and how long did you have your partner for. My dog is just a smaller type breed, but he keeps me company and I have appreciated that so much, especially since my hubby died. Being an empty nester, he gets all my attention and knows it! He is almost too friendly and will stop and sit in front of people on our walks and expect them to pay attention to him. He earned the name Romeo for good reason. He loves people. Seeing eye dogs are expensive and have so much better training then we could ever imagine. I was in the presence of the greatness of a guide dog once,  and I marveled at how the dog was able to concentrate only on his person. 

Will you be getting a new dog?  What is all involved in the process of getting a dog and how old are they when they start training and working?  A guide dog is the ultimate in a "trust" relationship isn't it?  Tell me just how you develop the absolute trust that is required between you and your dog?  How are you getting around without your dog?  Do you enjoy the smells of spring as much as I do.  Can you identify the different plants and trees as they bloom?  I hope you do not mind my asking these questions, but I have walked into enough walls and door frames to know it can hurt, and that is with lights on! Yes, I can be clumsy side. Enjoy your evening!

Linda

 

Linda


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sjlovestosing
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April 4, 2019 10:24 am  

Hi Linda,

Thank you for the tip(s)!

I just wanted to point out how much I appreciate how much you care for all us ostomates. Though we are not face-to-face, I can see that you are a person that listens.

God bless!!!

Stella


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