Wednesday, May 7, 2014

My Vacation: Lots of Work, a Few Cookies

I'm on vacation, and it's wearing me out. Yesterday, I laid down insulation in my parents' attic, had a meeting with a Medicaid consultant, and fixed my toilet. My father may need to take out Medicaid, and I wanted an accurate picture of what the options were. Home care and a nursing home are viable; assisted living is not since the facility would take nearly all of my father's income. The Medicaid consultant said we may have to open yet another account to keep a minimal amount of money in my father's name. I'm still transferring direct pays from US Bank to the credit account that Mom opened a few months ago (since US Bank charged fees left, right and center).

As of today the insulation project at my parents' house is finally finished. I'm relieved that I never have to see that attic, feel its sharp little nails, or breath its dust again. My next project at my parents' house is to landscape an unirrigated hillside, but it'll have to be rototilled first. It hasn't been watered in over a year, and it's so hard that I couldn't get a shovel more than a few inches into the ground. Weeds are growing through the landscaping fabric that I told my father was a waste of time and money. Meantime, I fixed up a little bed near the front door and planted cosmos seeds, which should look good alongside the daylilies, hens and chicks, and dusty miller growing there. I squirted liquid dish soap in another hard, unwatered bed. After it rains this week, the soap should make it tillable.

Next, it was on to the post office to send back a book and bunch of stuff from Publisher's Clearinghouse my mother decided she didn't need, like a couple of bottles of handi-wipes for $20 plus shipping and a set of ten storage bowls (there's barely room in the kitchen for the stuff they already have). ( sells a five-pack of Wet Ones for $18.) Publisher's Clearinghouse does not make it easy to return items (no return form or pre-printed shipping label) and there's no obvious way to tell them to end your membership in "clubs" so that they stop sending you packages.

Back at my house, the grass had grown so tall I couldn't ignore it anymore. I don't have a lawn in front--it was weeds. I've never had so many weeds before--usually, the flowers re-seed themselves and choke out most of the weeds. There were a couple of dead bushes, too. Maybe it was the cold winter--even my hardiest roses had a lot of dead wood to prune. I dug up about a third of the front yard, filling six lawn and leaf bags with weeds and dead bushes, so I could plant something else--and I hit paydirt. I found a gazillion little blue mist spirea seedlings, just the thing for my back yard, part of the front yard, and the hard bed by my parents' house. I've started some cuttings for my parents, but these will work, too. Another pleasant surprise: for all the dust I breathed today, it hasn't bothered me. I got a stronger dust mask for the attic (the front of it is grey now), but I knocked the dirt off the grass roots with a shovel. Yet no runny nose, stuffy nose or watering eyes.

My reward for finishing the insulation project was a box of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. I could have made myself brownies, but going to more trouble seemed like an odd way to reward myself. The cookies are wonderful, but I'm not going to make a habit of eating them. They're not low carb (first ingredient is some sort of sugar, and 25g of carb in two cookies), and I don't normally burn enough calories to justify eating so much carb or take on such an odious project to need a reward like that.

Tomorrow, if it's not too rainy, I'll clean up my back yard and prune my parents' rose bushes. Pruning isn't the hard part--bundling up the thorny canes is. 


tess said...

i've never heard of the liquid-soap-before-rain technique! i guess subsequent plantings don't mind the soap? does it have to be a specific kind?

Lori Miller said...

It doesn't have to be rain--you can use any liquid dish soap and water, or mop water, to soften the ground. Most plants don't mind the soap, but some do: rugosa roses, hop vines, and I'm sure there are others.

Galina L. said...

Even in my before-LC days as a reward I would buy some tasty deli things. I guess I am just have a salt tooth instead of a sweet one, which used to be problematic when it came to chips.

Lori Miller said...

I used to like malt vinegar chips, but they didn't cross my mind as a reward.

Lowcarb team member said...

Sometimes that's the trouble with holidays/vacation.There we have time and it's filled with a long list of things to do.

Hopefully at the end of it you will have a good feeling of satisfaction at all you have achieved.

I agree with you pruning roses isn't too bad it is the thorns you need to take care with when clearing. Don't forget to take some pictures when they flower. Roses are just lovely.

All the best Jan

Lori Miller said...

I spent four or five hours pruning the rose bushes in my parents' front yard. They hadn't been pruned in years, most of them had died back to the ground, and most of them were covered with long thorns. It made for a lot of work, and a sunburn.