Copyright © 2007-2015 Foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

First Snow and Angioplasty

Hello from our snow covered hills!
Winter is on y'all!  (I know, not quite.)  It's been a long, long time since we had snow before Thanksgiving, and it'll be gone in a few days, but for now I'll take it. I love snow. ♥
That's not a mirage behind our pasture fence.  A neighbor's farm was sold and subdivided a few years ago.   It's sad for us because when we bought our place the hill was covered with 35 beef cattle.   Now there are that many houses.  Times change, they do. 
  We got a total of 2.5 inches of snow and very frigid temps, for us anyways.  It's a bit odd to see snow on trees that haven't dropped their leaves, yet.  o.O

My mother-in-law was the kindest person on earth and is very much missed by her family.  Her story is a bit painful to recall, but here it is.  She had a scary episode of chest pain along with shortness of breath and was transported to the local hospital.  The small town hospital released her with no real diagnosis (imagine that) so the family arranged for her to go to the best hospital in the big city nearest her small town for testing.  An angioplasty was ordered and the family remained hopeful she would return home better off then when she went.  That didn't happen.  She had a major, life-changing stroke DURING the angioplasty procedure.  She spent weeks in the hospital then months in a therapy center recovering from the stroke.  Her heart condition took a back burner while she learned to speak, feed herself and walk all over again.   She never fully recovered, and one year after the angioplasty she died due to complications from the stroke. 

   A good friend of mine worked for a group of heart specialists at the time and kept close tabs on the situation with my mother-in-law.  She informed me that strokes were very common during an angioplasty procedure.   What?  Then why do they do them?  I think we all know the answer to that question. 
Eat healthy and exercise regularly, dear readers. 


Stuffed peppers smothered with mozzarella cheese.  Goodman and I eat dishes like this very sparingly these days.  Just sayin'.

Have a great week, y'all!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Cooler Weather and the Big Snow Job

Howdy from the hills!
I'm thrilled to report that we got rain \0/ and are enjoying much, much cooler temperatures.
Blue Morning Glory on the pasture fence.

We're still harvesting our beloved Rutger's and heirloom Beefsteak tomatoes, but they're definitely slowing down and ripening before they get very large.   The tiny ones are cherry tomatoes from a volunteer that popped up beside one of our raised beds.

I picked up this linen tablecloth at a garage sale a few years ago for $4, and I love it.

Goodman took a few days off work a couple of weeks ago so we could have a full day to visit our favorite apple orchard, Kyle Carver Orchard in Cosby, Tenn..   I always love seeing this covered bridge built in 1875 as we pass by it on our way to the orchard.

We enjoyed their mighty fine catfish dinner in the restaurant.

Arkansas Black apples were for sale, among many, many others.  I know, not black, lol.

I got a li'l grouping of gourds and a few bags of apples, but mostly we just like the yearly trip with all its autumn-ness.  Is there an apple orchard in your neck o' the woods?

I couldn't resist giving this goosey-looking gourd an eyeball.

My glass pumpkins are a daily joy to look at.  I keep them out until Thanksgiving is over then store them until the following October.

The hydrangeas sprouted new buds as soon as we got rain a few weeks ago, but it won't be long until they'll be frozen and sleeping for the winter. 

a.k.a. Daylight Savings Time
My state is going to vote on staying on DST permanently.  Whaa??

The reason isn't what people have been told for years, that it helps the farmers. That's always been a full-of-baloney statement.  Farmers think it's stupid as most of them get up long before daylight anyway.  Businessmen are the only ones wanting DST permanently because folks are out and about spending  money until later in the day on it.
What they aren't considering are the busloads of kids that never see the light of day at their bus stops. Some kids have parents that wait with them in the dark of the morning, but 
I'm convinced we have lily-livered  politicians that simply don't care as long as goods are sold and money is made.  
And, yes, that burns my hide. 
Have a great week, y'all!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Falling Leaves, A New Book and Flu Shots

Hello from the foothills where we are eagerly awaiting cooler, fall-like temperatures.  I've decked out my Singer treadle machine with pumpkin pincushions to welcome fall...if it ever gets here. lol

It's been hot, very hot.

Leaves have been falling from our Sugar Maple trees from lack of moisture without turning the usual yellow or orange.  Sadly, they're a gnarly black as above or just brown as below.

I recently bought a book that I wish I'd had sooner.   The Backyard Pharmacy Book is by the same author as the Be Your Own "Doctor" book, and it's a real gem in the herbal remedy genre.  (Side note:  There is also a Be Your Own Pediatrician book by the same author that I hope to get someday.)

The author is very knowledgeable on the subject of herbs and how to administer them for optimal benefit. 


True Flu $hot $tory:

For many years Goodman worked for a company that supplied their employees with flu shots at no personal cost.  He didn't want to miss workdays at home in bed so his work ethic bade him to get the shot, until looking back, he noticed that he came down with the flu every year he got the shot, but didn't get sick when he didn't get the shot.  And he wasn't the only one, either. 0.0  Hmm

I've done a lot of reading over the years about flu shots.   Mind you, I've never had one, but I've never had the flu, either.  Some people think they have the flu when they get a bad cold, but unless you have a temperature and a host of other symptoms, you don't have the flu.

Did you know there are so many sub-strains of the flu that there is no way this side of heaven to prevent a flu epidemic even if every last person on earth got the shot?  No one can see into the future to know which strain will be going around or even IF a strain will be going around.  It's that simple.

What's not simple is the math involved:
Did you know that flu shots are a nearly 2 billion dollar annual industry in the U.S. alone?  That's a lot of money.

p.s.  For the glass pumpkin lovers, there are similar ones in three colors at this site.

Would you believe I've never used any tea lights with them.  I'm so enamored with the colors I just never thought to do it until today.

They're okay, but I think they're the most colorful in natural light without the candles.

Have a great rest o' the week Y'all!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Good Morning, Glory!

Hello from the foothills!  
 We are sooo looking forward to fall weather, but we're enjoying a few clumps of Morning Glory vines on the pasture fences in the meantime. 

The summer season started out wet and pleasant, but it's closing out hot, parched and dry for us here in the hills.

 This Burning Bush (another volunteer from the neighbor's bush)  has already turned red due to lack of moisture.  I don't know how this will affect the fall colors in the Smokies.  Hopefully it won't.

Earlier this year a family member was taken to the emergency room at their local hospital and was diagnosed with gallbladder issues and told it should come out immediately.  The diagnosis was extremely helpful, and we're ever so grateful for that, but the surgery was NOT necessary at all*.  In fact, what the family member wasn't told is that there are often lasting ill-effects to having it removed.  I personally know two people who have shared that they are plagued with virtually chronic diarrhea years after they had theirs removed.  

*We referenced our  Be Your Own "Doctor" book and that family member followed the directions for flushing the gallbladder along with diet recommendations - totally avoiding the recommended surgery. 

1. Bile ducts: 2. Intrahepatic bile ducts, 3. Left and right hepatic ducts, 4. Common hepatic duct, 5. Cystic duct, 6. Common bile duct, 7. Ampulla of Vater, 8. Major duodenal papilla
9. Gallbladder, 10–11. Right and left lobes of liver. 12. Spleen.
13. Esophagus. 14. Stomach. 15. Pancreas: 16. Accessory pancreatic duct, 17. Pancreatic duct.
18. Small intestine: 19. Duodenum, 20. Jejunum
21–22. Right and left kidneys.
The front border of the liver has been lifted up (brown arrow).[14]

The purpose is to:
Its primary function is to store and concentrate bile, a yellow-brown digestive enzyme produced by the liver. The gallbladder is part of the biliary tract. The gallbladder serves as a reservoir for bile while it's not being used for digestion. The gallbladder's absorbent lining concentrates the stored bile.
I believe we are wonderfully and fearfully made as the Word of God states.  And I believe that the idea that we don't need certain body parts is a might remiss.  I am convinced many surgeries are unnecessary and are suggested in order to keep a revolving door spinning at medical centers and hospitals all over the country.  If you have a gallbladder story you'd like to share, please do so in the comments.
Have a great weekend, y'all!
Shared at My Corner of the World

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

My Li'l Corner in August

Hello from the hills!

Double Pink Rose of Sharon

 I wanted to tell you about a very short shortcut  (Thank you, Joybilie Farm, for the idea!)  for making fresh sauerkraut if you don't like to bother with shredding cabbage.  I didn't grow cabbage this year so I bought 4 bags of coleslaw mix (on sale, of course :)  to make this half-gallon of  probiotic rich kraut.   I used this method for the fermentation process and let it ferment for four weeks.

We've indulged in lots of homegrown Rutger's tomatoes with our meals all month long.

August has been a busy, hot mess of interminably muggy days, but thankfully we've had rain and cooler temperatures for the past couple of days.  A friend from out of state was here visiting for a week so we did day trips to places she wanted to see.  However, this is the only photo I took.

There was a monumental traffic delay due to construction just yesterday in the GSMNP.   So, if you're planning a trip to the Smokies soon go here and check the status of construction in the areas you'd like to visit.

My friend took a few pictures, and sent them to me so I'm adding them here.
This is an overlook on the Foothills Parkway.

And this one is a shot from Wears Valley Road in Townsend.
I love seeing the misty clouds hovering on the treetops.

Rosacea Update:
For the past two years I've tried a lot of things that didn't clear up the rash I had.  On July 4th, just last month I talked with someone that had taken a supplement that cleared the rash so I decided to give it a try.  I've been taking Dr. Gundry's Vital Reds supplement for the past month, and it has helped in reducing the degree of flushing and cleared nearly all the bumps I had experienced for the past two years.  I'm also watching my carb intake, but that alone wasn't enough.  I'm glad I heard of this product.

Flowering Spurge in the pasture:

Have a lovely week, y'all!
Shared @ this link My Corner of the World

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Diabetes Docu-Series, Eye-Opening

Hello from the hills! 

I'm interrupting my normally irregular posting schedule to tell you I'm watching a docu-series on the black plague of the 21st century, diabetes.   It's free now but will not be free after this airing.  I have to tell you I'm only into the second video, and I'm very concerned by what I've learned.  If you or anyone you know has diabetes this series will help you understand the disease from a totally different perspective as there are interviews with health professionals that will surprise you.   Most patients think as long as they have diabetes under "control" with insulin they're okay.  Not so.   I don't have it myself, but I have family members who do, so I'm all in to help them.

Go here and request a link to watch, but hurry as each episode airs for only 24 hours.

Our plain white Rose of Sharons finally opened up.

This will be our second heirloom cantaloupe, that is if the night critters don't take a shine to it first.  ;)   Did you know raccoons and coyotes poke holes in them and scoop out the juice?  Ask me how I know, lol.

I don't think I've ever posted about my Mulberry trees.  They're 1 1/2 years old and already 5 feet high growing in pots on the deck.  We're hoping for a small berry harvest next year.

I'll leave you with these sleepy looking hydrangea blossoms.  They were blue last month, but the color has turned to fallish hues.   Have a great weekend y'all!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

The Rosy Red Runaround

Howdy from the hills!

A few weeks ago all the Carolina Wrens left the nests. This lil fellow was one of the brood in my wreath on the porch.   He's adorable.

We've had a ton of rain so our Rose of Sharon trees are bursting with blossoms.  This pink one was a volunteer from our neighbor's tree.

I was at a moving sale three years ago when I spotted a gorgeous double pink Rose of Sharon near their mailbox.  I asked if they'd mind me taking a few cuttings as they were moving, and they kindly offered me clippers to cut them.  I rooted this one below from a 6 in. cutting.

Goodman thinks this white one that is lightly tinged with pink is the result of cross pollination.  We had several of the white ones pop up in our yard that are also from the neighbor's white one.  Neighbors can be handy at times. ;)

This purple Rose of Sharon is a volunteer from one we got from Goodman's old home place in Virginia.  It's purple-er in person.

Lastly on the flowers, our white Crape Myrtle has giant blooms this year.  They're so heavy they nearly touch the ground.

The rosy red runaround:

Three years ago my face began to break out with bumps that I knew were not regular, middle-aged or any other type of acne.  I noticed it was a lot worse when I knitted with wool yarn so I attributed the rash to wool.  I put all my yarn in storage and waited for the rash to disappear.  It didn't.  So, my assumption that the wool was the culprit was wrong.  

A lady at church advised me to see a doctor because she thought I had rosacea.   Turns out that's exactly what it was, and I was given some cream to control it.   I asked my (then) doctor if the cream would make the condition go away.  She just smiled, and said to call if there were any problems.  0.0

A month later the rash reappeared.  I called and was told to come back to the office.  I did and was given a prescription for a second cream.  Again, the cream stopped working after a month.  I called and was told to come in AGAIN.  This time I was prescribed an antibiotic that was "supposed" to get rid of the rosacea once and for all.  It didn't.  

That was three office visits ($$$) and three prescriptions ($$$), and I was in the same predicament as I was before I saw the doctor.  I was finally over it and began my own research on rosacea.  I've tried a lot of different things, all of which worked only for a month or so to calm the rash.  Currently, I'm taking a supplement high in polyphenols that I'm hoping will correct the problem as some online experts think the problem originates in the stomach.  I'll let you know how that goes.   

My opinion is this:   Doctors either don't know or won't tell what causes rosacea since it has created a revolving door of office visits and drug company benefits flowing into their offices.  In either case, the right thing to do is to just be honest.  No, she's not my doctor anymore.

If you or someone you know has had rosacea and gotten rid of it for good, please leave a comment letting me know what you did.  I'd be forever grateful.  :)

Have a great rest o' the week y'all!

p.s.  After this post was published I became aware of the latest leftist policy at Ravelry so I deleted my account.  It's sad,and I'll miss it, but I cannot be a member of any group that seeks to stifle the First Amendment to our Constitution by banning legal, patriotic Americans from referring to our president or his administration while allowing all and often profanity laced liberal references.  My question to the owners is:  What does politics have to do with knitting, crocheting, spinning or anything else related to the fiber arts anyway?  Methinks you have lost your liberal minds.  :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Happy Summer, Y'all

Greetings from the hills!

We had a week or two of sweltering days when the temperature hit 90°F then last week we had rain and very pleasant days.  Not so this week...come back to me, springtime weather!
Bee Balm
 My favorite lilies are blooming.
Burgundy Day Lily, my favorite
The Carolina Wren family in the fuchsia basket is coming along nicely.  There were eight eggs in all, and it's a tight squeeze in the nest now that the hatchlings are growing.   

Have I mentioned that I LOVE homegrown tomatoes?  My earliest memories of them were when I was 8 years old and stayed at my grandmother's farm for a week.  I watched her milk the Jersey, helped peel fruit from the trees and gather garden produce.   One afternoon she handed me a salt shaker and told me to go into the garden and eat all the tomatoes I wanted.  I obeyed to the fullest extent my stomach could handle.  I've never been the same since that day.   They do taste better outside.

After tomatoes I think cantaloupes are a close runner up.  It will be a few weeks on those.

The hydrangeas are beginning to fade, now, after blooming for a full month, but they're still beautiful.  I highly recommend them for your garden.  They can easily be started with a cutting from a friend or bought from nurseries, of course.

Some time ago I was in a medical office for a routine visit when a health professional asked me a question:  "Your not taking any drugs for osteoporosis, are you? "   (Whaaaa?? was blasting my brain,  I'm not old enough....but I managed to recover before I actually spoke. :)  They continued,  "I was asking because they cause more harm than good and don't help with osteoporosis." 

Now, this was a doctor, a real doctor (that doesn't take bribes (perks) in exchange for prescribing drugs to patients) telling me that legally prescribed drugs for osteoporosis do the patient more harm than good. 

Happily, the Be Your Own Doctor II book offers four pages of things we can do to prevent osteoporosis.  I recommend both books in the series as they are invaluable to me, and I've said before, I have no affiliation with them.

Hope y'all are enjoying the beginnings of summer.
Stay cool!

Shared at Saturday's Critters