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   BirdsNest posted on Gardening & Landscaping  Our cucumber patch is producing like mad. I have sold cukes, given them away, and fed the chickens till they can't eat any more. The last bucket got chopped up and tossed on the compost pile. Today I sold some, gave away more than I sold at the tracks, had some left over and went to Food Lion and walked the lot with my box of cucumbers giving them to anyone who would accept them. I have become a crazy lady.
June 27 at 19:15 EST .

   1 person like this.

   MeiDei  May your efforts & generosity be multiplied back to you ten-fold!
June 29 at 07:26 EST .

   Balogreene  Mei Dei is right, your generosity will be multiplied back to you ten-fold, but, as a dear friend once told me, it might be in the next life (sorry ). I wish I'd been there, Cucumbers are a favorite, kimchi, soup, with onion salad, with tomato salad, plain, who knows I eat a ton of them!
July 3 at 19:02 EST .

   BirdsNest posted on Health & Diet  Today is day 25.

Hagar had another surgery on the pressure sores. That was on Tuesday. I got to see him Wednesday, he looked quite good considering what he had been through the previous day. We got kicked out of his room soon after we arrived, the wound care nurse came in with 2 student nurses to change the dressing on the sores and evaluate. She said she might recommend some other type of treatment. I asked if it was the V.A.C. system and she looked at me. You know about that? I said that I had been doing some asking around and someone had explained much of it to me(Thank you MeiDei )
. We were out of the room for 45 min A friend stopped by on his was back to the Shore and stopped in to see Hagar,he was having his Respiratory treatment and couldn't talk but the friend said a few words and off he went. We stayed awhile longer. Hagar had his pain meds so he was off to sleep. Yesterday in the garden, the phone rang. It was Hagar, "I have had a good day", he said. I sat down on a cinderblock and listened to him tell me about his good day. A nurse brought him a cooked to order cheeseburger. He ate every bite and declared it the best thing he has ever eaten. It had flavor and he could taste it. He chatted on for 30 minutes. When I go on Sunday I will take him a slice of pizza from the cafeteria and anything else he should want. He is on a diabetic diet, so everything is beyond bland. He was not diabetic going into the hospital, it is due to the meds.
The plan is to get him out of the hospital into a rehab center. But they will not be putting him here, he needs more skilled care than what he can get here. Our friend's husband is in one of them here, he has fallen 4 times there. It is a dismal atmosphere, I went in it once late winter to visit a friend who had been transferred from the hospital across the street. He died that morning. I could not believe the look of the place, it was awful. No way Hagar is going into that one!
June 19 at 06:30 EST .

   2 people like this.

   Balogreene  You fight Bird! On 9/11 my grandmother was put in a Nursing Home, as the hospital made room for all the people from the Pentagon who would need a room! Her doctor told us it was not a good home, we did not like it, but, because of the attack, there was no room, anywhere (we tried ).

You and Hagar fight for his rights. When mom was in rehab we had to fight every day for her rights. Can we set up a rotating schedule, where all friends within a few hundred miles come down one day a week and fights for Hagar (food, exercise, sleep, care, etc. )?

Whatever you need, let us know, the least we can do is pray.
June 19 at 19:41 EST .

   MeiDei  Here's to more "cooked to order cheeseburgers" & the start of an invigorated appetite ... what good news.
June 20 at 07:36 EST .

   NotaBene  So wonderful you received a phone call from Hagar. That was very good news, and that he is tasting his food, it means he is getting better.

Blessings to you both.
June 20 at 13:01 EST .

   BirdsNest posted on Health & Diet  Day 18 Yesterday they did surgery on the pressure sore on his butt. It was a deep cavity, infected but the surgeon is confident they will be able to keep the area clean and it will start to heal. I sure hope so. I would have been at the hospital but no one informed me of the procedure. If they had been able to get Hagar to sign the consent form I feel sure I would not have known anything until I saw him again. He seems to have found a bit of an appetite, which is good. A friend stopped by today and brought him a container of ice cream. I am sure she is now on his list of favorite people. She called to tell me, and she offered to take me on Wed to see him. That was nice.
June 13 at 21:15 EST .

   2 people like this.

   MeiDei  Thank you for keeping us informed. My son feels so badly for Hagar, he knows what it's like & they take a while to heal if immobile, faster if he can get up and move around. Guessing that the surgical procedure was a 'debridement' & he's either on a Dakins wet to dry protocol or a V.A.C. system now. Both work well & are interchangeable; our combined thoughts & prayers for Hagar (& you too ). Don't get discouraged, your angels are moving to the infield to meet you at home plate.
June 14 at 09:13 EST .

  2 people like this.

   MeiDei  BTW - "faster" doesn't mean chasing the pretty nurses down the hallways : ) An hour a day up is usually what is allowed with additional time added gradually. Hopefully more nice people will escort you to the hospital.
June 14 at 09:20 EST .

  3 people like this.

   NotaBene  BirdsNest, this has been a long journey for you and Hagar. So nice of your friend to drive you to see him. I pray to God that he keeps getting better, that he will recover and you will be together again. It takes time but hopefully things will improve. Love MeiDei's comment of chasing the pretty nurses down the hallway... So nice you keep us informed. All the best!!
June 15 at 01:46 EST .

   BirdsNest  Mei and NotaBene, I would be thrilled if the nurses informed me he was chasing them. So far he has not been out of bed since he was admitted...May 26. I wanted to talk to him last night, but the phone was busy. Our friend M called him, M did all the talking and when I tried to call-busy. Tried calling the nurses station 3x, no answer. I finally called at 5:30 this morning. His nurse said he slept through most of her shift, he tolerated dressing change well and there wasn't much else to report. I asked about the progress on the sore and she said she heard the doctor mention wanting to debride it some more. That doesn't sound like progress to me. The nurses don't give out much information at all. Surely one of them knew he was due for surgery on Friday, he would have had to have been taken off of Cumadin several days before yet no one told me. So Friday when pre op called for permission to do surgery(Hagar was confused )I lit into the nurse. Of course I would have been there if I had known.

I am getting more concerned about his mental health, he needs people that he knows around and I just cannot get there every day. They want to re hab him in Norfolk not here. I am calling the lady in charge of that to find out more details.

This is an acute care hospital. The nurses for the most part are efficient and pleasant. What I can't understand is why the doctors cannot keep me updated without me having to call or have nurses make the request to call me.

Thanks to everyone that is praying for Hagar.
June 15 at 06:29 EST .

   MeiDei  Bird I just had a rather long post denied for some reason. It was meant to alleviate your fears - wish I had copied it before hitting comment. We're on wounds #5 & 6 (not exactly old hat ) I can identify with any current fear, doubt or discontent. You can email me at & I'd be happy to recreate what I was trying to say to add peace to your hectic days. Today's opening prayers for you both have been offered.
June 15 at 08:37 EST .

   BirdsNest  Mei, I sent you an email.
June 16 at 20:16 EST .

   Bettijo  Bird, my prayers are with you and Hagar. After my hip replacement March a Year ago, I went into a nursing home for rehab and PT because I live alone and was afraid to go solo just yet. The social worker had trouble finding a nursing home who had room for me. She finally found one at LifeCare (I think that is a national chain ). It turned to be very nice, as nursing homes go. I hope you can find a suitable place for Hagar.
June 27 at 21:18 EST .

   BirdsNest posted on Gardening & Landscaping  I had string beans, zucchini, and cucumbers to sell at the tracks today along with all of the plants. Surprisingly the zucchini sold out first. Brought some cucumbers home and gave away the last pound of beans. Traded them actually for some large plastic pots. Not a big crowd today, maybe because it got hot early this morning and kept getting hotter. I know I was close to melting. We have had 3 straight days of high heat and it has really worked me to a frazzle.
June 13 at 21:03 EST .

   2 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Sunday I loaded the van with plants and had just picked a 5 gallon bucket of beans and cucumbers along with some zucchini and patty pan squash. Only one car stopped and he was a friend, he bought $3 worth of cucumbers. I stayed 2 hrs. In town a friend saw me and bought $4 worth of cucumbers and zucchini. On the way home I stopped at the established farm stand and asked if she would like to buy the beans and cukes. She hemmed and hawed and relented to buy just the beans. It was a fraction of their worth but I have no place to hold them so they would be saleable. I piled some cukes on the table and told them they could have them for themselves. She stopped me and bought the remaining cukes-again a fraction of the cost but I was not interested in trying to hold them another day in this heat. I am not ready to start canning, I could have made them into bread and butter pickles, but I have no help. At least maybe someone could enjoy them. It was disappointing but sometimes you just have to learn to live with disappointment.
June 15 at 06:42 EST .

   Balogreene  Bird, here you go, one of my favorite ways to eat cucumber:
Chilled Cucumber Yogurt Soup with Pepperoncini
1 pound cucumbers—peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped, plus cucumber spears for serving
10 small pepperoncini—4 stemmed, seeded and chopped, plus ¼ cup of liquid from the jar
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped dill
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup buttermilk
¼ teaspoon ground cumin


In a blender, puree the chopped cucumbers with the chopped pepperoncini, the pickling liquid, 2 tablespoons of the dill, the yogurt and buttermilk until very smooth. Stir in the cumin and the remaining dill and season with salt. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

Ladle the soup into 6 bowls. Serve each bowl with a whole pepperoncini and cucumber spears on the side.

I don't use the dill.
June 15 at 21:25 EST .

   BirdsNest posted on Gardening & Landscaping  Ah Summer, picked 4 cucumbers. One I took to Hagar, he ate a small slice, said it tasted of summer. He is right.
Picked Swiss Chard and gave it to a friend for her sister. The older tougher leaves I set aside for the chickens. They mowed them down. I will be picking more cucumbers, Swiss chard, and zucchini.
June 10 at 23:50 EST .

   4 people like this.

   BirdsNest posted on Health & Diet  Day 13 in hospital. He is not eating much says the food is awful. I did bring him Jello from home when I came Thursday, but it will be Tuesday or Wednesday this week before I can go again. They will transfer him to rehab, I have asked for a location here, I cannot keep making day trips to Va. Beach. His wound, where they opened him up, is really a big one but it has never been red or even pink. It is perfectly clean and healing beautifully. The pressure sore on his backside is an angry mess, but they are tending to that 2x a day. I am hoping the confusion he is showing is due to so many room changes and the dilaudid.
June 7 at 07:12 EST .

   2 people like this.

   MeiDei  Bring him Ensure or some kind of a protein drink, wounds respond best with high protein intake - going through that now with son; I mix powdered whey protein w/water or milk 3 x a day. I really feel for Hagar, those sores can be very painful & it's hard for the patient to be cheery. Will pray that a close rehab place is available for him soon.
June 7 at 10:06 EST .

  2 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Thanks Mei. They have Ensure juice drinks available for him but I don't think he bothers with them. I should be there more often, it is just not possible with the garden still needing to be planted. The nurse today informed me the sore is actually an ulcer that may require surgery. That sounds really bad. He asked for Dilaudid at Midnite but not since so they have him on an ask basis for that and schedule Tylenol regularly.
June 7 at 14:35 EST .

  2 people like this.

   NotaBene  Players for your husband to get better and that he can be moved to a near rehab center so you can see him more often and do not have to drive so much.
June 7 at 20:47 EST .

  2 people like this.

   NotaBene  Wanted to write "prayers". Did not give time to correct.
June 7 at 20:48 EST .

  2 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Thanks NotaBene, I knew what you meant.

A nice long visit yesterday. He was foggy early but as he got used to me being there his head cleared up and he talked and joked with nurses and made comments about various things.He was disappointed that the friend who brought me over did not stay long, she had an appt in town plus needed to do some shopping. Her husband had 2 falls at home and has fallen twice at the rehab center where we live, so she needed to have a change of scenery. Later in the afternoon a friend and her husband stopped by to give me a ride home. So I got to spend a lot of time with Hagar. Medically they are doing all they can right now, he has a pressure sore that is painful and in need of surgery. Long term care is what they are alluding to now and as soon as I can today I will call the lady in charge of that. Not looking good for coming here, at least not right now.So he will have to endure more time away from friends and me.
June 11 at 06:37 EST .

  2 people like this.

   Gerty  Miss Birdie, I am a whole lot of late to learn about your situation. I am so sorry to hear about Hagar's illness and the hardship it presents for you both. Please be sure that I am praying for you.
June 11 at 07:47 EST .

  3 people like this.

   BirdsNest posted on Gardening & Landscaping  Friday afternoon I organized plants and loaded the van as full as I could for Sat morning. I got to "the tracks" at 5:15am. First one there, it was starting to get light so I went ahead and starting unloading. Many yard sales were happening all up and down the Shore so I knew we were due for an unusual day. It started off slow, a few people here and there. There were a good number of people selling and even some new ones. Lots of plants for sale. One man ran up to me and said "Oh good, you're here, do you have any pepper relish?" Of course I had some, it just wasn't out on the table, he bought 3 jars. Around 10:30 it started picking up. I stayed busy until 1:15. Our friend was waiting at our house for me, she had brought her tiller and she spent about 45 min tilling the garden and we chatted awhile. I sent her home with some Swiss chard for her sister and over a doz. eggs for her and her family. I took a bit of a break once she left and then I had to scramble to WalMart for plastic for the garden and another 2 cu.ft. bag of MiracleGro soil. More plants to pot. Today I am getting a row set up for the ground cherries. That's my goal today. I picked a few string beans and gave them to some friends. Last night I chatted with a friend on the phone at 7pm. for a few minutes. The next thing I remember, it is 1am and I am still sitting in the chair. I did manage to get to bed in about 30 min and I went straight to sleep.
June 7 at 07:00 EST .

   2 people like this.

   HopeandGlory  Hugs for Birdie and Hagar . . . God be with you and yours and keep you strong.
June 7 at 21:49 EST .

  4 people like this.

   Linder  Good are unbelievable. I don't know your age but your level of energy (or maybe it's sheer will} is unbelievable. Think of you every day!
June 9 at 22:22 EST .

  3 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Thanks to all. I am trying to be strong and am fairly successful right up until Hagar says something like he did yesterday "Do you still want me?" Kind of hard to keep ones composure. I am pretty sure you know what my answer was to that.

I have always had a good work ethic, maybe I am the only one of my parents' 7 children that did. I was always the most responsible one. This year the garden is for Hagar. I am determined to make it great for him because he will probably never see it.

I am 64 years old but don't feel like I am. Also I don't act like it so it surprises people that know me. I think I look aged because of wrinkles and some days I am bent a bit from back issues. Each day I get up with a list to get done, some days it takes longer to do. Animals have a tendency to throw a wrench into your best laid plans. Like the day I was preparing to visit Hagar and had just so much time to get things done so I could meet my ride. That's the day 4 baby chicks were scooting around in the chicken house. I had to quick grab a cage big enough for a mom and 4 chicks and the feed bowls to go along with. Got everyone in, Mom was not happy with the change of homes, but she did well and all survived the transfer. I was gone all day and when I stepped foot on the property they were the first things I checked on.

So please, think of me everyday because right now I need good thoughts and prayers coming my way. My dear Hagar may not get to come home anytime soon. Thank you all.
June 11 at 07:01 EST .

  3 people like this.

   BirdsNest posted on Dogs, Cats & Critters  The baby chicks are doing well, just wish I could have added them to one of the other enclosures instead of making a third one to take care of. The Mom in the newest one is tough-she won't allow me to touch the chicks and pecks at me when I remove the water bowl for refilling. Baby ducks are growing so fast! Already 2 larger pens to put them in and in another couple of days they will require a larger one. If the weather would co operate I could give them a 4X8 moveable pen outside. I know that would hold them! Right now the outside temperature is 55F. Much too cool for baby anythings.
June 7 at 06:33 EST .

   10 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Okay so I put on my big girl pants and put the baby ducks in a larger moveable enclosure. They are having a blast. Not only do they have their water container but they also have a shallow plastic bowl for bathing. They love that a lot. will have to move the pen tomorrow because they have wrecked where they are. They are a messy lot.
June 13 at 21:09 EST .

  2 people like this.

   Balogreene  On the way out of my subdivision is a retention pond with Geese.

There are two couples who every year have babies (they are pretty cute by now ). They are great parents. A couple of them herd the children across the street, and the males stand on each side, blocking traffic. They really are good parents, if you watch them.

Next spring, the children may come back to try to mate, and set up their own families. Mom and Dad throw them out. This area is for the two couples who have been here for every year.

It seems many of the children have moved down to the creek behind my house. I love watching them raise their children.
June 21 at 20:21 EST .

   BirdsNest posted on Health & Diet  Hagar was much better today, talking and joking for our visit. Other friends stopped by, he was really glad to see them. They are moving him out of ICU to step down.
May 31 at 19:59 EST .

   3 people like this.

   MeiDei  Good news indeed! I'm sure that made you feel better too.
June 1 at 07:19 EST .

  5 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Thanks Mei. Today he is agitated and confused. Wonder why?? They have played musical rooms with him since last Tuesday. I cannot go see him today so I am in the garden, well not right this minute, there are 2 friends that said they would stop by after their appts. in Hampton. He seems genuinely pleased when someone stops by.
June 1 at 12:04 EST .

  4 people like this.

   MeiDei  I think he's experiencing the highs and lows of medication & room changing can be maddening - not to mention confusing. Restore yourself today for any challenges ahead.
Prayerfully, Mei.
June 1 at 12:48 EST .

  4 people like this.

   BirdsNest  You are right, he has been on a merry go round of room changes. No familiar faces. All you can press-the-button drugs. They clamped off the ng tube-if he doesn't get nauseous or vomit then it can come out. I am glad not to be there for that removal. I have been in the garden or outside all day. 84F and it is bloody hot. Had to move plants into the shade and water them again. Looks possible we could get a T-storm, I will have to gather up the little ducks from their outdoor playground to the inside playground. And make sure the baby chicks with mommas are in secure enough shelter for wind and rain.

Thanks, Mei for being a beacon of light, you have your own challenges.
June 1 at 15:42 EST .

  3 people like this.

   MeiDei  I know you have the nurturing skills down pat, so that's a given for when Hagar comes home. Your challenge will be disposition - I know you enjoy a good laugh so find humor wherever you can & keep it close - a caregiver necessity. I'm laughing here just remembering all the times it broke the tension at our house. Faith & a sense of humor will conquer most things - believe it - live it. We're here for you both. Your journey at excelling beyond the garden & your animals is just beginning - you will succeed. Find peace for yourself Bird - being a caregiver isn't for sissies : )
June 2 at 10:39 EST .

  3 people like this.

   BirdsNest posted on Gardening & Landscaping  I am really proud of how the garden looks so far and all of the plants we have grown. We get loads of compliments on the healthy look of them. We take care of them, try not to neglect them. I was counting on rain today so I would not have to water, but it never came so I had to water. A friend is picking me up at 9am to go to Va Beach to see Hagar. I am happy to be able to go. Another friend(the son we never had ) is going to come up on Sat. to see him then stay long enough so I can get over there and see him too. Other friends want to go on Sunday, so I guess I will have 3 days in a row making that trip. Hagar says they mentioned something about sending him home June 1.
May 28 at 21:27 EST .

   12 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Sending him home June 1 will entail a miracle of sorts. He has a blood clot in his lungs, and they moved him to ICU Fri. night. He was resting comfortably, our friend was there and I got to see him and we talked for a couple of hours. It was so good to see him. He gave me a big old hug, he is a good hugger.Just like Hagar. Today's jaunt across the Bay will start at 11am. No idea what time we will get home. I am trying not to be exhausted.
May 31 at 06:01 EST .

  2 people like this.

   HopeandGlory  Praying here Birdie, for both of you . . . God give you strength to overcome these latest trials.
May 31 at 21:09 EST .

  2 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Thanks Hope, it is a stressful time, each day bringing another setback. Today I am in garden mode, some friends are going to stop by and visit Hagar, so I am not going. Plus I could not find a ride. One friend has her hands full with her husband in this hospital here. Planted a row of okra, I cannot wait to have some of that!
June 1 at 11:58 EST .

  2 people like this.

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