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Today was a magnificent day in NE!

Posted by Kathy G on 4/14/03 at 18:12 (116114)

Today was a truly beautiful spring day in NH. It was sunny and about 60 degrees with a light breeze. I went outside and pruned my holly bushes and the rhododendron (sp?) that grow in front of our house. I had let them get way ahead of me the last few years and they were in bad shape. I must have cut back the hollies by 50%! They look so much better. Lucky for me, my husband returned from his first day of golf and picked everything up and put it into a few barrels for me.

My feet are hurting but we'll see how they are tomorrow. I sat on a stool to do much of the work. We have this bath stool that we got 20 years ago when my son had a broken leg. It is absolutely wonderful. I use it to stand on to wash windows, put up curtains, you name it. It's just the right height for someone my height (5'6') and it's got a non-skid surface. It also kind of dips in the center. Actually, this our second one. The first one was getting kind of rickety so we bought another one. So, I brought it outside and sat in front of the bushes and trimmed the areas I could reach from the stool and stood for the rest.

Where there's a will, there's a way!

Re: Today was a magnificent day in NE!

marie on 4/14/03 at 19:18 (116130)

Hi Kathy,

It has been beautiful here in northern Indiana. The kids and I were laughing about the fact that we had a snow storm and school cancelled just one week ago. Today it was 80 degrees. Everything is starting to come back to life little by little each day. I love holly bushes I don't think they do well here. With the help of my 15 year old son I planted 2 cherry trees, two peach trees and an apple tree at our cabin. I put out the outdoor pots.....I filled them with cactuses...I am hoping they will be deer proof.

I use a garden cady now when I work in the garden. I got the tip from some of the folks on the MS boards. I use it in the classroom too. It's a little like a kids toy. You sit on it and scoot around at a low level. It keeps me from having to squat or bend over alot and it takes the weight off my feet. My hubby borrows it when he washes and waxes the car. I found mine at a garden discount store but they can be found on the internet. There are many gardening tools for folks with disabilities. Do a search on the internet and I am sure you'll come up with some.

take care all and take care of those feet.


Re: gardening tools for the disabled

marie on 4/14/03 at 19:26 (116134)

This is a link to a site that sells a variety of tools for disabled folks.

There are several links at this site you may find helpful.


marie @};-

Re: gardening tools for the disabled

marie on 4/14/03 at 19:36 (116135)

The site below is a forum for disabled gardeners. Many ideas and questions are answered here.


Happy gardening

Re: beautiful today in KY, too...

Suzanne D on 4/14/03 at 20:58 (116141)

We were in the high 70's this afternoon, and it was such a welcome relief from the pouring rain and cold temperatures last week!

Of course our new school building has kinks to be worked out, and one of them seems to be the heating and cooling systems. Last week we were instructed to keep an hourly log of the room temperatures each day. My room averaged 72 - 74 degrees all week. This afternoon the room cooled drastically, and the temperature was 66. We are to all keep the thermostats at a uniform temperature and not change them, but the children were begging me to do something as they scurried to put on the jackets they wore to school this morning. I took them out in the sun for the last half hour of the day and read to them.

I can remember the years I taught when we had no air conditioning in school, and my upstairs room would get up to about 95 in the afternoons. I guess there are always challenges!

It IS nice to have spring once again!

Suzanne :)

Re: Beautiful weekend

Necee on 4/14/03 at 22:10 (116147)

Sounds like you gals had a wonderful weekend! @};-
It was nice here in Texas too, the temperature was in the 80's. I did yard work myself Saturday and got a sun burn in the process! I was enjoying the outdoors so much that I didn't realize just how long I had been in the sun.
I wish ya'll could see the Texas Bluebonnets on our hill, they are so thick and pretty this year.
I hope the nice weather continues for all of you. Just don't overdo it out in those yards!

Happy trails...**==


Re: beautiful today in KY, too...

john h on 4/15/03 at 08:54 (116159)

Suzanne: I never attended an air conditioned school. Down south we just did not have A/C at that time and when I moved to Chicago most of the school year was cool. My first taste of A/C was when I bought an add on
A/C for our car in Lubbock, Texas when my wife was pregnant.

Re: Thanks, Marie!

Kathy G on 4/15/03 at 09:27 (116164)

Thanks for the link. I am familiar with Garden Web but didn't realize that they had this section. I do have a garden caddy but the stool was a better height for pruning the bushes.

I have recently been diagnosed with arthritis in both hands. I went to a hand specialist as I thought I was getting carpal tunnel syndrome. I've had DeQuervains tendonitis in my left hand for five years and I thought I was getting it in the right hand, too. I found out that I do have both mild CTS and the tendonitis in both hands but I wasn't aware that I had arthritis of the CMC joints as well. It's not as bad in my right hand which is pretty strange when you consider that I'm right handed. My gardening ventures yesterday have left me with more hand pain than foot pain. At least as far as I can feel at 10 o'clock in the morning! Of course, I haven't tried standing and walking much so far.

This hand specialist I saw insisted that I have rheumatoid arthritis even though I've been tested for it twice and it's been negative both times. Since he's the third doctor to tell me I should see a rheumatologist, I have made an appointment with one for the end of May. The other doctors were my Pod and the orthopedic surgeon I saw for the ankle sprain that wouldn't quit. My Primary has always said I don't need to see a reheumatologist because he thinks I have Fibromyalgia. If he won't give me a referral, I'll just have to pay the bill out-of-pocket. I believe the time has come to get an expert opinion. In the meantime, the right CMC joint is really hurting. I liked it better when I thought it was just tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome! There's something kind of permanent about arthritis. On the other hand, I knew I had mild arthritis in my fingers but he said that it was pretty bad. Maybe I'm numb but I don't think it's 'pretty bad' so maybe it's all relative.

At any rate, I will continue to garden. I have cut back on the extent of my gardening, and just about everything else it seems, over the past five years due to PF but I refuse to cut back any further. As I said, where there's a will, there's a way!

Re: Air conditioning

Kathy G on 4/15/03 at 09:45 (116166)

When we installed central air conditioning in our home in 1992, it was still kind of rare in New Hampshire. Now, more and more homes are being built with it, or with the capability of having it easily installed. The weather patterns have changed so much that our summers have become very hot and humid. What used to be a luxury is almost becoming a neccessity.

The months of May and June can be just brutal here, in the schools, and many of the teachers say that it is difficult to expect the students to function in the heat. Despite a curriculum that is almost cast in stone, my friends who are elementary school teachers often bring their classes out under a tree and read to them or pull the shades and read books to them in the classroom. If the weather patterns remain, perhaps in another 100 years, you may see rich school districts install AC but I doubt it.

Suzanne, it must be tough to remember to take a temperature reading every hour. It's not like you have anything else to do!

Re: Air conditioning

Kathy G on 4/15/03 at 09:47 (116167)

Duh! Time to quit! The last sentence was supposed to say it's not like you don't have anything else to do!!!

Re: beautiful today in KY, too...

Suzanne D on 4/15/03 at 10:19 (116169)

I'll bet your wife really appreciated that air conditioning in the car in Texas, John! :)

It's funny: I never attended an air-conditioned school either as a student. And I don't remember us complaining about the heat. It just wasn't an issue then. Of course most of us didn't have it at home or in the car, either, so I guess we were used to the heat. I can remember going in stores that were air-conditioned and feeling cold.

Suzanne :)

Re: Air conditioning

Suzanne D on 4/15/03 at 10:28 (116171)

I knew what you meant, Kathy! :) I've depended on my students to remind me to record the temperatures. They love remembering to tell me things like that!

One more thing about air-conditioned schools: The older buildings (like many homes) used to be built in areas with trees around them, providing a lot of good shade. Now most of them are like our new building - built on a lot with no trees in sight. We do have some new little trees that have been planted in the front, and someday they will be pretty, but they aren't close enough to give any shade. And there used to be huge windows and ceiling fans in the rooms. Some of our rooms have no windows at all, and those that do (like mine) have only 4 small ones. In the old buildings I have taught in, I had 5 or 6 huge windows. We have no ceiling fans, so we are more or less at the mercy of the heating and cooling system.

In thinking about when I was in school and not remembering complaining about the heat, I DO remember learning to make those fans from folding notebook paper first this way and then that way. I always decorated mine with stripes and flowers. I suppose those were our air-conditioners!

I'm sorry about the trouble with your hands. I hope the specialist will be able to give you some answers and the right treatments. Good luck with your gardening!

By the way, I have always used a high stool in my classroom. It is really helpful!

Suzanne :)

Re: beautiful today in KY, too...

Carole C in NOLA on 4/15/03 at 18:43 (116227)


I never had A/C at school either, at any level. Our classrooms had huge windows along one wall, from about three feet high to the ceiling, and the teachers would throw the windows wide open to let in some cooler air.

Back in those days, boys had to wear long pants and although girls wore skirts, by junior high school they had to be an inch below the knee. Nobody was allowed to wear any T-shirts or other styles that exposed much or were cool or comfortable. No bare midriffs, or muscle shirts, or skimpy sundresses. I guess we just got used to the heat. I remember everyone feeling pretty languid, but not too bad.

The first time I felt A/C was when my parents bought one for their bedroom, in the mid to late 1950's. Mother wouldn't allow us to stay in there, though, and used to shoo us out to play.

Carole C

Re: Carole...

Suzanne D on 4/15/03 at 20:02 (116238)

Are your feet still feeling better, Carole? I hope so! Are you back to biking yet with your orthotics?

Just thinking of you and hoping you're still improving,
Suzanne :)

Re: To: Kathy

Necee on 4/15/03 at 22:37 (116246)

You mentioned summer being brutal there in NH, I was curious, what are the high temps like there in the summer months.

Happy trails...

Re: Carole...

Carole C in NOLA on 4/15/03 at 23:12 (116251)

Thanks for caring, Suzanne! My feet are feeling a lot better, and I'm still improving slowly but surely, thanks. :)

I am still doing the conservative treatments and wore my orthotics on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and my Fuldas the rest of the time. But today, I had a meeting all day so I wore my SAS Siestas, which do not have as much support as other SAS shoes. Siestas are the ones with only two holes for laces on each side, like the ones that I wore before PF. If the meeting had involved a lot of standing, I might have felt some pain, but it was all sitting and everything was fine.

As soon as I got home, I put on my Fuldas and my feet seem to be no worse. My left foot wants me to be careful with it today and twinges a wee bit if I am not. I did do some mild versions of my gentle stretching under the table at the meeting, as I sat there. And, no bare feet and my shower shoes are a must at this stage. Tomorrow I have a half day off, so I may wear my orthotics and the clunky men's SAS shoes they were fitted to in the afternoon.

I'm still waiting to bike with my orthotics. I'm not sure when I'll start. I'm kind of scared! What if I try it too soon, and can't do it? At the moment, I'm thinking that maybe I'll wait until walking at least a half mile for exercise is not a problem. I can't do that now, but I was doing that last summer (and sometimes a mile or two). It has been a real struggle for me to get moving! Having PF sure makes us grateful for some things we used to take for granted.

How are your feet doing now that the wedding is behind you? You are probably still very busy with Easter coming up, and I hope you are able to rest your feet a little.

Carole C

Re: To: Kathy

Kathy G on 4/16/03 at 09:21 (116280)

Hi Necee,

Well, you'll probably laugh, living in Texas, but for us, high humidity and temperatures in the eighties and nineties in July and August are brutal. That's what we've been having for the last few summers. Last summer was particularly bad but it was hot everywhere in the US. We used to have the 'dog days of August' when it was hot and humid for days on end. One of the weather people mentioned last year that we need to change that to the 'dog days of July and August'.

It does usually cool off into the sixties and seventies at night, though, so it's not as hot as what you are probably accustomed to. Keep in mind that I hate the heat. My ideal weather is dry, between 60 and 70 with a gentle breeze. We get maybe four days a year like that! On the other hand, I love to swim and that's best when it's at least 75. I hate it when the lakes get warm in late July and August and they aren't as refreshing. It's a joke in my family that when I say the water is refreshing, it means that most people think it's freezing!

Just for the heck of it, I did a brief search and found New Hampshire average temperatures for July and August to be 67 and 69 respectively. I suppose when they average in daytime and nightime temps, that's what it comes out to. Here in southern NH, we frequently get the same weather as MA so our temperatures run a little higher. We don't benefit (of suffer) from the sea breezes they get in Boston or Portsmouth. My daughter goes to UNH in Durham and she is nearer the ocean, lucky her! It's not unusual for her temperatures to be 8 degrees lower than ours.

How's that for a long answer to a short question??

Re: Carole...

Suzanne D on 4/16/03 at 21:06 (116359)

Hi, Carole! I'm glad you're still improving. You are sensible and will keep doing all the right things and soon this setback will be just a memory. But I'm sorry you've had to contend with it!

We're having really nice weather, and that seems to help my feet. Right now they're doing as well as any time since all this PF began almost two years ago. But I am ever watchful! Thanks for asking.

I have thought of you this week as I am reading Charlotte's Web to my children at school. I know I have written about this before, and you have mentioned that you like the book, too. I enjoy reading it to the children in the spring, giving them a taste of a harder book and one that they have to listen to over a week's time. That helps stretch their comprehension skills. And I have a few students who can read it themselves (It's about a 4th grade level.) and they are enjoying following along with books they are bringing from home. And I just love the book! I never get tired of it, year after year. For something special, we'll see the movie Friday after our egg hunt.

Take care, and I'm happy you're feeling better! =D>
Suzanne :)

Re: Carole...

Carole C in NOLA on 4/16/03 at 21:37 (116369)

What great news to hear that your feet are doing as well as any time since your PF began almost two years ago! For some reason, I worried that with all the stress of the wedding, and Easter, and daily life, that things might not be going this well for you. That is just great.

Yes, I loved Charlotte's Web as a child. Your students are quite the readers if some of them can read it themselves, already.

I'm also so pleased that one of 'your soldiers' came and did the Pledge of Allegiance with your children. Many of the children may remember that all of their lives. It makes the Pledge more meaningful.

Carole C

Re: To: Kathy

Necee on 4/16/03 at 23:01 (116375)

Thanks Kathy, I enjoyed reading that long answer, besides.... I got educated in the process!
I did have to chuckle a little when you mentioned the high temps in NH, Oh what I'd give to have a summer like that! I don't care for the heat at all, I love the springtime and autumn when the temps are bearable.

Happy trails....