July Garden Update

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Gardening is a safe hobby, right?

I could hear the impact of my my head crashing into the stone floor. Wait a minute. What does this have to do with gardening? Maybe I should take it from the beginning. It was Sunday early afternoon. I had finished taking care of the horses at work, my own horses, and I’d finished the have to do every day tasks in my garden. The temperature hadn’t reached three digits yet, so it was quiet comfortable. I decided to re-pot some container fruit trees, that needed bigger pots. I listened to a country music channel on Spotify, and had a great time. ..until I felt an intense pain. For a second I could’t tell where it came from. Then I realize it was my left foot. My only thought was, please, let it not be a rattle snake. Despite the horrible pain, that just keep increasing, I was kind of relieved when I saw that it was just a tiny little yellow jacket, (or two? There was a total of four stings that I could see.)

I didn’t feel good at all. It happened really fast. I screamed, and went inside. The stinger was still inside my foot. I got it out. Washed my foot with soap and water. I put some honey on the area, just in case. Somewhere in the back of my head I heard my grandma’s voice telling me to do that, to draw the venom out. Not sure if that’s the right thing to do, but that’s what I did. The pain started to increase, the foot got very swollen. I had been outside working for many hours, and I felt uncomfortable. It was difficult to say if I felt sticky, and itchy,  because I had been sweating working outside, and then went inside an air-conditioned house, or if it was connected to the stings. I decided to take a shower, and then put ice on my foot. When I’m in the shower I start to feel really bad. I can barely stand on my feet. I get out, and figure I better put some clothes on, in case I need to go to the ER (I HATE HOSPITALS.) I happen to see myself in the mirror, and I have a bad rash all over my body. I start to shake, and all of a sudden I’m ice cold. I get clothes on and crawl under the blankets. Luckily I wasn’t alone in the house. Which I’m very grateful for, by now I’m pretty scared. I’m normally a super strong, healthy, energetic person. I’m never sick. We talk to a nurse. It’s obvious that I have a reaction, but it doesn’t affect my breathing at all. As long as it doesn’t affect my breathing, I can choose to stay at home. I was recommended to take two Benadryl. I take them, and went back to bed.

I’m too scared to fall asleep, but I’m feeling like I’m sleeping, but I’m not. I have ice on my foot, which helps tremendously. After two (or maybe three) hours, I need to use the restroom. I walk very slowly there. When I’m on my way back to the bedroom everything goes black, that’s when I hear my head hit the floor. I was probably just out a few seconds. This was likely the effect of taking two Benadryl. I wake up with my friend standing over me. I get back to bed, and stay in bed for a few more hours.

Besides taking care of horses, I pretty much stayed in bed Sunday, and Monday. Today I almost feel like myself again. Just a little weaker than usual. My left foot is still a tiny bit swollen, but not bad. I had ice on it probably for a total of 40 hours, the past two days/nights. The left side of my face, that I landed on when I fell, have some interesting colors I don’t usually have.  Is gardening a dangerous hobby? I don’t know. LOL. This was a scary episode. Do you have any awesome remedies of what to do if you have an unpleasant rendezvous with yellow jackets? I did not have a clue of what to do. That itself scared me. I usually have both a plan A and B for most things that can happen. Somehow I didn’t have enough knowledge about what to do when meeting these little devils. I guess it is possible that this could happen again. I’d like to be a little better prepared, but I still don’t know exactly what the best thing to do would be? What would you do?

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Some of the container fruit trees I re-potted when I had the rendezvous with the yellow jacket(s). 

On a brighter side, the garden is doing really good. My idea of succession planting works like a charm this year. I have a constant stream of fresh veggies daily. This is a normal daily harvest. 


This is a good amount for our family, and friends. I do some local bartering with my vegetables, towards produce that I don’t have at the moment, as well. Then there is enough salad greens, and kitchen herbs for our family to use, but I just pick that as I need it.  

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The t-posts in this photo is 8ft! It’s yellow squash that you see growing along the fence, and cherry tomatoes in the background. I always have this challenge with my tomatoes, that they take a lot of work staking. That’s a little tricky, since my tallest stakes are 8 ft. I’m doing the best I can there, and just letting them grow as they please (above the 8ft.) It’s almost like a jungle. LOL. The white powder on the ground is dried sea algae, to keep the ants away, totally harmless for humans. 

I hope your week had a more peaceful start than mine 🙂 Do you have an unexpected garden story to tell? I’d love to hear it. Be safe ❤



Ms Zen

Weekend Coffee Share; Northern California Weather & Co-Parenting  

How about another cup of coffee? I sure could use one. I drove my daughter to Sacramento yesterday afternoon, to leave her with her dad for the rest of the summer. That was kind of hard. I stayed the night at a nice hotel, but didn’t get much sleep. Just too loud in the city. I started driving back at 4.30am this morning, and had a big cup of the black magical brew on the go. I never eat at McDonalds, but if I’m on a road trip, it’s usually the only place open for a coffee when I start driving in the am. The coffee was extra delicious this morning, but I’d love to have another cup with you. How do you like it?


I stopped by the side of the road to watch the sunrise this morning, while enjoying my coffee. It was magical. 

It’s been a  busy week, with very hot weather. I’ve spent every second possible with my daughter, having many conversations, and trying to prepare her the best I can. She is always with me, and is very used to me being there for her. I’m sure she will be fine. Her dad is a good man, but a workaholic. She haven’t seen him in 6 months, and they haven’t spent all that much time together. It’s just the mom in me hoping that she will get the attention, and care she needs. Not that I have any reason to believe she wouldn’t, but still.. She’s my baby, even though her 6th birthday is coming up. I do her hair every morning, reminding her to brush her teeth good, not snack in between meals..you know, mommy stuff. She’s never ever been away this long. I know that she’s going to have so much fun, going on an airplane for the first time, and spending time with relatives on her dad’s side all over the US. That is what I’m going to focus on. I am happy, and excited for her, that she gets to have a relationship with her dad (I didn’t get that with mine.) Time with him is something she has been craving. She adores him, and I can understand why. I gave her my birthday gift yesterday, a camera, and a camera bag. I helped her put the battery and memory card in, and showed her the basic settings, before saying good bye yesterday. She’s been borrowing mine a lot lately, and she was thrilled to get her own.  

The garden is doing good. Fighting the heat. Two days ago we had a high of 117. There’s lots of fires all over northern California. It’s going to be around 108-110 this weekend. We harvested our first corn, and cucumber earlier this week. We still have plenty of squash, and tomatoes. The salad is doing OK, and so is the kitchen herbs. I’m kind of amazed that the salad is still doing OK. I thought for a while that I wasn’t going to  get more salad, but the beautiful green blessings just keeps coming. This time of the year I usually have problem keeping the salad alive. I planted it in my compost from last year, earlier this spring, and have been mulching a lot on top of that. Maybe that’s why. Last year I bought organic soil, and by July there was no nutrition left. A high percentage of what I eat now comes from my own backyard. I like that! It’s something that I am working hard to increase even more. My goal is to have my own homestead, and being as self sufficient as possible. At least knowing that I can be. That I don’t need the grocery store to survive. I do enjoy having grocery stores out of convenience, but…I don’t want to depend on them, and I don’t. Everything one would need for survival is available within a short distance from where I live. Hopefully I will never be forced to actually experience that kind of survival, but this is not a bad place to be. I wouldn’t consider myself a prepper, but I do plan for the future. Different possible scenarios.

How is your week? I have guests coming to visit later today, that is great timing. Giving me something else to think about. I should clean the house before they come. It’s not messy, but I like it when it smells good. Any fun plans for the weekend? 

Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!
Grab a cup of coffee and share with us!



Ms Zen


After a couple cooler days in the mid 90’s last week, we’re back to normal three digit temperatures. I was planning on just doing the minimum required in the garden, and with the horses today. I was going to get a great work-out, and lift some weights in my comfortable air-conditioned house. Afterwards I was planning on spending the afternoon reading. Well….it was so much fun outside that I ended up working with both horses, and spending six hours working in the garden. A concerned neighbor actually told me that I shouldn’t work outside more today. LOL.

Well inside I didn’t exactly feel a need to work-out, or lift weights anymore, but my book is still tempting. BTW, don’t Ghost look amazing? The break in his training have done him good, and he have matured some. The heat doesn’t bother him at all. Just looking at him you could never guess that it is over 100 today. If he ever trust me enough to become an endurance horse, we’re going to be dangerous out there. He rarely even break a sweat. I kind of had hoped that the heat of the summer would make him slightly less energetic, making it easier to start him under saddle. That did not happen…

I hope you’re having an awesome day!


Ms Zen