Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Out of my Illness Ill-nest

Whenever summer comes around I get excited, but then I have to remember, summer is my garden's best season, but it is not always mine. It takes longer for me to recover from a swelling, and there is simply more to do, so that means an additional chunk of time taken from my life that I hadn't planned to lose in the first place. To add to this irritation, this past weekend there was a one-day conference here in Portland concerning Hereditary Angioedema, its three types, and what treatment options are available for all of them. We left with the realization that my Type III HAE is really as crazy and as unpredictable as it feels, we were told there is no treatment anywhere on the horizon for me, but to help that process along, I gave them blood and DNA samples so I understand now that it's all out there for the right researcher to investigate and that's kind of exciting. So, with that in order, it's back to work.

My Egyptian walking onions are all ready to walk out on me. Maybe being surrounded by the jungle that is our garden right now has inspired them to take the walk they need in order to get better spacing for next year. I hate to anthropomorphize, but this little army of onions really cracks me up. Luckily, every single part of them tastes great too. 
I have also finally started to break open the Christmas houseplant terrariums I'd planted to help those plants continue on their journey. The heart I found at a thrift store recently and since I love topiary so much I stuffed it and planted some baby's tears in it. With all of the rain we've been having, this should do well this year. 
Here is the lovely Julia Child rose. With a chef in your household, who is also a winemaker for Rosa d'Oro, you need to have golden butter colored roses, right? I only have this one, but it is more than enough for us. 
Lastly, here are two of our three black cats (Mona in the foreground, Maurice in back) waiting for the winemaker to return home from California a few nights ago. 

And with that, I'm back on my horse, and off to garden at my employers' home. 

Friday, June 4, 2010

Keeping Busy When You're Down

For the last week I have been ill—as in being chronically ill. With a compromised immune system, it is not uncommon to have complications during this time of year. Allergy season, when it coincides with have a variety of weekend foster children, can cause horrible respiratory complications. Lucky for me, I have an arsenal of remedies and treatments to ease my way through this one. Besides, I have plenty of garden-related craft projects to work on while I'm down.

My mom never made crafts with me. We never made anything. She didn't even cook with me. Until I was 16, I really had no clue that I could make anything. So, it often surprises me still that I just cannot stop fiddling with things, making stuff out of whatever I can. 

This is a picture of some of my work I've accomplished this week. These are wooden pieces/beads for things I intend to make in the future, but my touch, was simply to dye them in natural dyes I made myself from things I had in my house: saffron, blueberries, tea/coffee, and red onion skins. I am ecstatic about the results. The process was fun too and easy for someone on the mend as well. 

Lastly, this is another project that will take a bit longer, but I just had to begin. I am able to glue pieces on every so often and it's really taking shape. I love these tiny mosaic tiles since they are so easy to use. I am terrified that I'll nip my fingers off when I finally get around to filling in the awkward spots, but it is so worth taking that chance.

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