Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Back From Mexico

My mother and I got back from Mexico yesterday afternoon. We went straight to bed with cups of soup (both of us) and a protein bullet (me).  We were tired mainly from travelling not from pain. I did not take any pain meds during the airport changes because they make me so sleepy. I took one last night and slept all the way from 7pm to 6am. Whew! That's a bunch of sleep.

To recap why I was in Mexico, I went to get weight loss surgery in the form of a vertical sleeve gastrectomy. It is a procedure that takes about 80% of your stomach and leaves you with one that will hold about 1/2 cup of food. This will become my weight loss tool for the rest of my life.

My surgeon, Dr. Guillermo Alvarez, and his staff at Endobariatric.Com are the best at what they do. In Mexico, the costs are so much lower and the standard of care is as high or higher than in the states.  Watch for Newsweek magazine in the next month or so. They will be featuring Dr. Alvarez as one of the top 10 bariatric surgeons in North America.

Let's Do The Numbers

Starting weight - 257
Weighed in day of surgery after two weeks of pre-op diet - 244.8
Total weight loss - 12.2

Here I am the day after surgery.  I could not have had better care from Dr. Alvarez, Dr. Gabriel, Dr. Garza, Jessika, Jesus and the entire staff.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Stingy Gardening

I just hate to pay too much for perennials, or any plants, really. Sometimes I feel like I'm paying for dirt! You've seen it, haven't you? A big container and an itty bitty plant with a root system that takes of one-tenth of the volume? It just kills me.

A hosta I found on sale that can be divided into at least
two more hosta. Love this lime color. It will add
light to the shady border I have in mind.

One way I make the most of my plant purchases is to look for a split-able plant. What's split-able?

- already has one or more plants in the pot
- has a root system that can be divided
- is basically healthy

Not all plants can be split or divided. Certainly not most annuals like petunias, impatiens, geranium or the like. Roses and other ornamental bushes cannot be divided either. Luckily lots of other gorgeous perennials can be divided with great results.

After the hosta is split. I used a sharp shovel. Turn the plant  out of the
container. Then turn it on its side. Use the shovel to split in between
the individual plants to split the root system. Then plant it normally,
tamping down around it to be sure the roots make contact with the new soil.

Patience is the key here. Divided plants are initially smaller and may need a little extra nurturing for the first year. If you wait until next year - - you will be rewarded!

How do you know if a plant can be divided? If you don't know, Google the plant. This may take another trip back to the nursery or big box store but the information is worthwhile. Check to see how it is propagated. If the propagation technique includes root division - - that's the clue. Also check on the method of division.  Is it simply pulling apart roots, like creeping jenny? Or does it need to be cut (like iris or hosta)?

Here are some of the perennials I have had success with dividing:

- hosta
- iris
- creeping jenny (aura)
- bugleweed (ajuga)
- creeping thyme
- jacobin flower (an old fashioned flower my dad gave me)
- balloon flower
- black eyed susan
- monkey grass

Hosta in their new home. They don't show up very well in this
picture, but see the big one? It was a split from last year.
Patience pays.

What plants have you divided successfully?

Obviously I have more work to do.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Don't Make Me Work, I'm Old

LSH and I laughed 'til we cried watching this video. A lesson for us all about the human condition!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Weight Loss Surgery D-2 Weeks

I started my pre-op diet today and also my video log! Here's my first video. I certainly hope I get better at making these as time goes on.

Let's Do The Numbers

Today I weigh - 257
The last time I bought clothes I bought size - 3x

Picture of me today - check out the video

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What I'm Doing vs What I'm Supposed To Be Doing

Yes, I was doing stuff in the garden yesterday while there is laundry and other work to be done. Imagine that!

Headed out yesterday to Growers Outlet in Pineville, NC. Very nice deals on bedding plants, bushes and trees. I got my Japanese Maple there last year and it is looking great this spring.

Entrance to Growers Outlet in Pineville, NC.
Nothing fancy about the place. Just good prices.
I found some really healthy creeping pink verbena for one of my sun pots and another bargain hosta. I am going to split the hosta into two or three plants. I'll post more about that process in the next couple of days.

I also got some pink splash and pink torenia (aka clown rose) for a shady pot out back. I'm going mostly pink this year in the pots.  I also picked up some sale candy tuft to fill in the sun flower border.

If you want petunias this year, Growers Outlet is the place, sans cat of course!

So far I've done a couple of pots. Here are the re-done two pots on either side of the carport.  I focused on herbs and perenials that don't need a lot of attention. So the pots have rosemary in the center for height. Then all around there is varigated thyme, dianthus, aguja (aka bugleweed) a small ornamental grass, creeping jenny and creeping veronica. They will take all the sun and none of the care. Not much water and no food.


Pot on one side of the carport.
Dianthus smells ~heavenly~ when it's blooming.

I've also refreshed the pot with the cocoa liner that hangs from the gate across from the confederate jasmine. We can't allow the jasmine to grow all the way across the gate - - we wouldn't be able to get in! So it needed a little something.  I kept the varigated thyme and the heuchera. Just replaced the viola I had there all winter with a supertunia called "Lipstick."

I have more Lipstick supertunias going in a sun pot in the back. Supertunia's need less care and deadheading than regular petunias, but you still have to feed them.  I'll just take care to feed only the supertunia because the thyme and heuchera don't want food as they are very care-free plants. In fact you can kill herbs and herbaceous plants like heuchera by feeding them. Hands off is what I have learned after killing my share.

The Three Musketeers want to be in the picture.

Laundry - it will wait! There's more gardening to be done. See you later.