My patio has some pretty blooms now, which makes me happy. In the past couple of days, I’ve gone out and plucked and deadheaded spent flowers.

That always relaxes me, working with my flowers and plants.

Doctors’ Visits:

After my appointment with the ankle doctor Monday, I drove the few blocks to the smaller nursery I’ve been going to lately. I bought a big Boston fern and a pot of petunias.

I have them pick the plants up and take them to my car for me. Then when I get home, I go down the path to my apartment to get my big cart.

I put the plants in the cart and roll them inside. Then I roll it to the patio door and leave the cart inside while I take the plants outside.

Since I’m not planting them in potting soil, I typically buy the hanging plants and pull off the hanging plastic part.

Another Brace Ordered:

Regarding the doctor’s visit, he said he would have another brace made.

This other brace apparently is tighter around the top of the foot (I think maybe it laces up). So he’s saying my toes won’t end up being crammed at the end of my sneakers. This is why I can’t wear the first brace.

That visit was all about the new brace, so I decided to talk to my internist about a referral.

I had an appointment with her yesterday morning. She said she’d have to send me to one specialist at a time, and we’d start with my ankle.

New Doctor:

I told her I wanted a referral to an orthopedic surgeon. But she said she wanted me to see another guy first.

So she’s sending me to a Dr. McConn.

A red geranium bloom from one of my plant pots.

Today I see the chiropractor for my weekly visit to work on my hip. I don’t know how many more visits I have left covered by Medicare.

What My Internist Thinks:

My internist thinks the hip/lower back pain may be tied to a surgery I had when I was 30. It was on my lower back (L5S1). The pain I have now is in the same spot.

At the time I had a herniated disk that had somehow become shattered.

L5 spinal nerve provides sensation to the outer side of the lower leg, the upper part of the foot, and the web space between the first and second toe. The L5 spinal nerve controls hip, knee, foot, and toe movements.

I feel like all I do is go to doctor’s appointments these days.

Sometimes I think back to this time last year. My physical condition now is in stark contrast to how I was then. I wonder how all this happened so fast.

Guess that’s what happens sometimes as you age.

In Doctor's Visits & Plants On My Patio, one of my new plants is this lush Boston fern.

Enjoying My Patio:

I’m enjoying doing what I can do, and that’s what counts. Many of you have reminded me of that fact. And that makes me feel more positive.

I get to sit in my patio chair and stare at the greenery and flowers around me, which is what I needed.

The tree above my patio has lacy leaves that are so pretty. I believe it is a bald cypress, which I’m not very familiar with.

The cypress tree just outside my apartment

Ant Problem:

Since Monday I’ve had a deluge of ants. They told me they couldn’t get anyone out to take care of them until Thursday.

So I had to move my chair and some of my furniture out to the middle of the living room to get away from them. I had ants on my arms and the computer screen coming in from the window behind my chair.

I’ve put lots of cinnamon powder there on the carpet and around the window sill. At least it’s slowed them down. They avoid cinnamon.

I may go outside and spray around that window with vinegar and water today.


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  1. I am glad since you have plants growing outside you are not being so hard on yourself. We all just do our best to plant, weed and nurture our gardens. Wether you have 5 or 50 plants things not under our control like weather or animals can ruin our plants. I am slowing down and however and whenever things get done just has to be good enough. Everyone has ants or other pests every now and again and I hate them, too. I have used chalk, vinegar, peppermint, boiling water etc., also. In one house I lived in, I had ants every Mother’s Day in the same spot!

    1. Steve next door said he knows an exterminator that told him you really can’t get totally rid of ants. There are so many kinds of them.

  2. For ants, you can sprinkle a line of cream of tartar across wherever they’re coming in. It works surprisingly well.

    1. I’ve kept them at bay. I still see one here and there. Kasi came over just a while ago and moved a dresser out of my closet so she could put my old living room TV up on it. It’s been sitting on the floor all this time. Now I can go back there and watch TV if the ants bother me in here.

  3. Ants, ugh. I had a big problem in my bathroom. Turns out you have to find their nest. Found that in the front of the house, under the cement in front of the garage door. The exterminator showed me the little piles of dirt coming from the crack. When he sprayed into the crack, could not believe the ants coming out. Apparently they follow a path to an attraction. Who knew?
    Love that you are finding joy in your patio. You will eventually make it just right. Thumbs up on seeing new Dr. New hope that you will get answers, and resolutions.

    1. A few weeks ago I was pretty down about not having my garden. But I’m working on it. Kasi was just here helping me with a few things and she moved the wicker settee back out on the yard so I can add more plants where it was. There are a few bricks coming up just off my covered patio, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tripped on the edge of one. And that’s not even going up into the yard!

  4. I always have ants at this time of year. I find that good ole Ortho home defense does the trick. Your flowers look awesome.

    1. I don’t have many flowers yet. But the ones I do have make me smile. As do the herbs I actually planted in a pot with soil. I love my herbs this time of year.

  5. Gardening and plants make me happy, too.

    Ants also will not cross a chalk line. So if you take a piece of chalk and draw a line outside your patio door, they will not come in that way.

    1. They’re not coming in my patio door. Yet anyway. They’re coming in my living room window. Ivy got up on the windowsill today and laid down and covered herself in cinnamon.

  6. I sympathize in all the doctor visits etc. Yesterday I spent the better part of the day trying to set up appts for my husband. I about gave up on that stupid cardiologist office. If it had been for me, I would not be going. I cannot deal with those who will not properly communicate. I had to call back today as they never bothered to tell me that the instant the clock struck 4:30 the phones go off…a mere minute or so since I had talked to the dumb cluck…and she knew I had to call my son’s to find out which of the 2 dates offered, we could take as the specialist is too far for us to drive ourselves now. When I talked to them today I told them I had no way to know that their phones go off the instant the clock changes and I had not taken up mind reading yet!! S T U P I D…not good customer service. I already have great reservations now about seeing them. But now I will be most suspicious of them. They seem to think we should trust them like they were gods, yet refuse to give us proper care and concern and communication. It was enough to throw me into a stroke when I could not get ahold of them a couple minutes after I had first spoke to them. I so hate playing games…and isn’t that what they are doing?? Seems like today it is so hard to find ones who are not just about money…THEIR money!! Wishing you all the best. You have entered now what we have dealt with since our insurance forced us on medicare. Yes, we are seeing some good docs I think…but we are paying ourselves and maybe none will be reimbursed by either medicare nor insurance. THAT is the truth of the current medical debacle that has come to be in recent years. Interesting is that back here, the medicals we have spoken to so far, about what was done, or not done, back in WA state to my husband in the hospital, is shocking to them…horrifying. They claim that does not happen back here…surely hope so!! Time will tell.

    1. Yes Elizabeth, time will tell. I just hate having all these doctor’s appointments and sitting in waiting rooms. And here in the US medical care is SO expensive. I was told that the drug I got when I first went on Medicare, for a 90 supply it was still $496. The pharmacist told me then that next time it would be around $16. Went and picked it up and it was $130!

  7. diatomaceous earth is natural and works on a lot of different bugs…The easiest way to use diatomaceous earth to kill ants is to sprinkle it directly on the area where ants have invaded. If you’re dealing with indoor ants, line their ant trail and spread the powder along baseboards, floors, window sills, wall cracks and other small areas where ants may have gained entry into your home.

      1. You want to be careful with diatomaceous earth and not breath it in. We have an earth pool filter and I make sure that we turn our heads and not breath in when adding it to the filter. May cause lung problems.

  8. I hope the new doctor will be able to provide more help for you and the pain.
    Visiting the small nursery was definitely a fun treat for you. Adding more plants to your ‘happy place’ is a very good thing.
    Watch something on TV, read a good book or sit out on your patio – doesn’t matter just enjoy your day.

  9. A referral to a different doctor to look into your back and the history of the prior surgery is a start, but don’t settle for one referral to a doctor. If your ankle is damaged, having whatever may be wonky in your back fixed isn’t going to also fix your weakened ankle. Both things need to be addressed and you need a orthopedic surgeon to look at that ankle. I am now very suspicious about the doctor you’ve had treating your ankle. WHY is a new boot being ordered – you just got one – WHY did he not realize previously that there could be a potential issue with your toes being squished by the type of brace that he ordered? What the heck? Brenda, it sounds to me as if these doctors are taking advantage of you. Maybe this could even be Medicare fraud – how would you know? You seem to trust everybody and never give things a second thought! You have to learn how to push back and stand firm because nobody is going to advocate for you if you don’t do it for yourself. As for the ANT problem – OMG! If somebody hired by management does show up on Thursday, it will be professional exterminators and they’re not going to be using vinegar and water. It is absolutely OUTRAGEOUS that ants are coming into your home and you have to wait for management to send somebody to come take care of the problem. What if the ants show up in the shower? Inside the fridge? In your bed? I would buy several cans of Raid, keep it on hand and use it unsparingly around all outside openings into the apartment that you can reach without hurting yourself – the patio doors and windows and I would spray the corners of the siding on the exterior of your entire apartment from the ground up to as high as I can reach. I would also buy a supply of “ant traps” – the boxes that have poison inside that the ants go into and grab and then take the tiny little pellets back to their nests. UGH, just the thought of ants in the house gives me the heebie jeebies. Sorry for the rant, but this is all very upsetting. I feel you are being taken advantage of.

    1. I trust my internist. I’ve had her for years. Hard to tell when you’re being taken advantage of, I know. I have already ordered the ant traps.

  10. Hi Brenda, I’m sorry you have pain coming at you from different places – been there. I’ve had surgeries for both hips ankle etc. Bottom line: after surgery (which I realize is def some trouble) the problem and pain were corrected. I really really wish they’d send you to an orthopedic surgeon. It’s their specialty, they’re good and could very likely get you out of pain. I’ve been reading your blog for years and you’ve had enough loops and pain and deserve to have your issues corrected, more than a bandaid. Hope you can get someone to truly help you instead of passing you around. With hope and all sincerely, Vicki

    1. I did some research on who you should see for ankles, orthopedic surgeons or like the one she’s sending me to. It said that since the one like she’s sending me to are more versed in every part of the ankle, it’s best to try them first. So we’ll just see. Nothing is set in stone. I won’t do anything if I’m not feeling good about it.

  11. That fern is beautiful. The one nice thing about having shade, right? Your patio is perking up. I’m glad you kept your galvanized tubs. I love the look of them. I need to buy some lavenders to replace a couple that didn’t make it over the winter.

    My back is fused from L3-S1 and I too have hip pain sometimes it feels like there is a rebar going thru the hip. So I understand it’s not fun.

    1. I’m now enjoying the shade. I recall at the other place I ended up having to quickly move plants out of the sun in what little shade I had there.

  12. Hopefully this new doctor can help you manage the pain. Fingers crossed for you! The patio looks lovely, and it’s nice to hear that it is providing you with some feelings of peace!

  13. Cinnamon powder is safe for cats, but peppermint oil is highly toxic to cats. I’m sure you are very careful with Ivy. I was very surprised how many essential oils are toxic to cats. Like you, I would do anything to protect my “baby”.

    1. I don’t have any, so I’m going to try what I have first. It was upsetting that they wouldn’t do anything Monday when I called them. But what can you do?

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