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; STAYING BUSY

This morning I really need my coffee. I’ve been awake half the night thinking. How about you? How was your week?

I’ve been keeping myself busy, even busier than usual this week. Trying to not think about the fact that my daughter is not with me. However happy I am for her. It is hard! There’s a thousand thoughts running around in my head. I’m as far from the worrying kind as one could be. I know by experience that the only thing in life that is constant, is change. I can handle her being away for a visit with her dad, no problem, but there is even talk about more. I’m not really sure how I am going to handle that. He has offered to let her start school in his town, in another state. She is happy, and thrilled about finally getting some dad time. All I know is that I would do anything for that little girl. I love her to death. Since I found out that I was pregnant with her I’ve been showering her with love, reading to her, and had educational conversation with her every single day she’s been with me. I’ve happily tailored my life around her, only accepting jobs where I have been able to bring her with me. Just to spend as much precious time as possible with my daughter. (Imagine how easy that have been, to find/create jobs where you can bring a small child.) The few days now and then she haven’t been with me, have been an exception to the rule, and very few in between.

I want her to have a relationship with her dad, that is why I gave up my life in my home country. (I love America, and it’s my home now, but in the beginning it wasn’t as easy as I showed family and friends.) So far, I’ve felt that we have not been a priority. In the end I guess one could say that we have different survival strategies for hard times, that I read as not being a priority. That is why I left her father (but not the country,) when she was a baby/toddler. We’ve been able to stay friends, and I think highly of him. For the most part we’ve been living within a few hours from each other, and when he’s been able to make time, I’ve been driving her to him. For her sake. I want her to know her dad. I feel that I have been going out of my way, a lot, to make it happen. Now he lives an 11 hour drive away, without traffic. In reality it takes two days to drive safely with a kid, one way. All of a sudden he wants to see her more. So far it’s been very easy to cooperate around her. I am so hoping that it will stay that way. I think it is. I hope it will. It’s been heavily on my mind this week. My daughter is my number one priority. Her well being, and her education is more important than anything to me. You get the idea, lots of things to think about. What is in her best interest? That’s all I really care about. But how do one know what’s in her best interest? My gut feeling want to keep her close, always, but a little voice tells me that’s selfish. How could I deny her spending more time her dad, that she adores? I’m sure the universe have a solution for this as well. Please just make your solution known in time before the new school year! The uncertainty is killing me. I can work with a definite decision, and make the best of it. Not knowing is challenging.

In the beginning of the week it was easy to think of other things, as my cousin and her boyfriend from Sweden, and my aunt from Washington was visiting. I wrote about our visit to Lassen Volcanic National Park, and McCloud Falls earlier this week. Having them here was wonderful. To say the least.

We had a visit from our amazing barefoot trimmer Donna on Tuesday. Fancy’s hooves were very neglected when I bought her in April. They were cracked, too short on most places, with long parts sticking out on other. Her heals were kind of pushed up into her hooves, and her toes were partly too long, and flared. She was walking on her toes. She had an untreated abscess on her left front hoof. After a first trim, Donna’s been balancing her hooves once a month. They are growing out nicely, and her heals are starting to take a more normal position. (You can see the progress in the photos below. There is still a way to go, but it is going in the right direction.) She is moving more freely by the day. She is making great progress. This week Donna told me that Fancy will not have any lasting injuries on her hooves, from the neglect. It’s such great news! The new growth is straight, and looks very healthy. Nutrition, and TLC goes a long way. Right now Fancy is on alfa alfa (hay), Stable Mix, and California Trace.

I ordered a new bitless bridle for her last week, that came this week. It’s handmade with her measurements, made out of biothane.

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Doesn’t she look beautiful in it? You’ll have more control if you put the noseband a little further down, compared to where I placed it on Fancy. (She has an old injury in her mouth. Healed, but she has a bad deformation on her tongue. Her tongue was almost cut off at some point, and left untreated.) I have only used the headstall for work-in-hand (on the ground) so far. It seems like she really like it. I’ve successfully started, and restarted, different horses in this type of halter. Including wild mustangs. It’s soft, but the signals to your horse is very clear, and easy for them to understand. I order them from Moss Rock Endurance (they are having problems with their website right now, but they are working on it.) They also have great customer service. If you’re interested in one for your horse, contact the owner, Lisa. She has been very helpful to me throughout the years.  

Do you need a refill on that coffee? Do you have a  garden this year? How is it doing now? Is it at is peak? Or have you already harvested the majority of your bounty? I’d love to hear what garden zone you are in, and about the plants that thrives there. 


I’ve planted three different varieties of smaller tomatoes; grape, cherry, and cocktail. When I pick them, I just pick the ripe ones, all together. The different tastes makes for great salads. Speaking of which, I tried this recipe the other day, it was amazing.

I’ve harvested at least 10 lbs of cherry tomatoes this week, some squash, cucumber, salad, and corn. To the benefit of friends and family. I’ve also added one Meyer Lemon tree, and one Navel Orange tree, to my container garden. I’ve been wanting to add citrus trees for a while, so this is exciting 🙂 It’s a start. There will be more. I’ve also done a lot of mulching. We’ve had three digit temperatures the whole week, most days more than 110. (The new saltwater pool is even more awesome than I imagined. I’ve spent a lot of time there this week.) I’ve started to clean out plants that I already finished harvesting from, some squash, and corn. Those beds I’ve started to prepare for my fall garden. The fall garden is still weeks away, but I will keep feeding those beds until it’s time. I spent time planning my fall garden this week, and ordered the heirloom seed I need from RareSeeds.Com. I will have eggplant, carrots, lettuce, kale, Chinese meat radish, and two tomato varieties in my fall garden. I will start those seeds indoors as soon as they arrive. When the temperatures are cool enough, I will plant them outdoors. 

I have not been able to write anything on my book this week. Maybe next week? LOL. On an interesting note, I’ve had three hawks visiting me for hours every day. There’s a hummingbird feeder hanging from a tree, a few feet outside the living room window. Someone placed a beautiful bird bath made out of stone underneath. There’s never any humming birds there. Now these three hawk, have started to hang out there (maybe that’s why there are no hummingbirds there..) Sometimes it’s just one, or two hawks, but most of the time three. I’m far from a bird expert, but I believe it’s two males, and one female. They are just a few feet from the window, and I’ve enjoyed watching them very much. If I’m sitting very still on a chair outside, or in the pool, they come. If I make any moves, they are gone. I have not yet been able to take their picture. I’ll work on that. I don’t know what kind of hawks they are. They are on the smaller side. 

I hope you’re having an amazing week! Don’t get me wrong, despite my thoughts about my daughter in the beginning, I am having a good week, just more to think about than usual. My dog Gretchen is working wonders on my happiness levels. She always does. I’m working a little harder than normal to keep my zen balanced this week. I’d love to hear about your week! Help yourself to another cup of coffee, and tell me about it 🙂 


Ms Zen


PS. I am NOT an affiliate to any of the links I share. I just enjoy sharing things I like, and appreciate.