The Thursday before my birthday, and two days after my father's birthday, Tony and I went to South Jersey to visit him and my Granny. I didn't take any photos of Granny because she was in pretty rough shape. She was still recovering from the surgery on her hip. She didn't get an entirely new hip; only the ball in the ball-and-socket joint was replaced.
Granny was in a new room right next to the nurse's station. She lamented that she couldn't do anything but lie in the bed. She couldn't get in her wheelchair unless someone helped her into it, and she still had staples in from the surgery, so she shouldn't have been moving too much even if she'd had the energy to do so. She was also anxious; her roommate was freaking out, and that was taking a toll on Gran. I tried to keep her distracted. We'd been told out in the hallway that the nurse would be coming in soon to tend to Gran and her roommate. Both of them were still in their nightgowns rather late in the afternoon. I don't know why.
When we saw her the next morning, Gran was dressed and in her wheelchair and was scheduled to have (presumably very low-level) physical therapy with the nursing home's therapist. The therapist said she could wait until our visit was over to work with Granny. Gran had just told the therapist that something the therapist had said was bullshit (or a similar word), and the therapist teased her about it.
Gran, Tony, and I hung out in the living room–like area near the main entrance. We talked for a little while, and I showed her some photos on my phone. She fell asleep while I was doing that, and the therapist showed up again to say we should wheel her into the physical therapy room when we were done visiting but no rush. I said we were actually getting ready to leave, and Tony made fun of my "boring" photos that had made Gran fall asleep. I was grateful for that lighter moment.
Later last month, the therapist told Dad the arthritis in Granny's knees is so bad, she can't straighten her legs. And there's nothing that can be done about it. Medicare won't pay for more therapy because the chance of Gran showing improvement is so remote.
That Thursday evening, Dad, Jean, Tony, and I had our usual dinner at Winfield's. My first course was anything but usual, though: Lettuce Soup with radish on top:
It was fun to see Winfield's offering something so offbeat. And without lump crab meat! 😆
For my main, I had the Cheese Ravioli and Garlic Bread, like last time.
For dessert, both of us birthday boys were given treats illuminated with a candle. Dad had tiramisu:
And I had White Chocolate–Raspberry Gelato that really hit the spot:
All summer and into the fall, I've been making herbal tea from mints and lemon balm, and sometimes also anise hyssop and/or lemon verbena, from Sandbrook Meadow Farm. If I use more than the tiniest amount of anise hyssop, it dominates the tea. So I haven't been doing that.
Tracey gave me a second, dual-chamber, rotating composter, at my request, for my birthday, to match the one I bought for myself around this time last year. Dad gave me a couple bottles of wine; sizzler platters, which I'd decided would come in handy after reading an article in Bon Appétit that mentioned them (and that I can't find online); some cash; and the book Lee Bailey's Country Weekends, which I'd figured I would enjoy based on this article from Saveur that was written by the daughter of the couple who designed many of Bailey's books. I'm glad Dad spent only a buck on the book, because most of the recipes aren't to my taste—even though it seems like I would have enjoyed hanging out with Bailey himself.
This isn't a great shot, but it shows more of the flowers whose centers have turned dark red:
The nephews came home from school for Columbus Day weekend (two weekends ago). After I was done at the market that Sunday, I drove up for an overnight stay and I brought seven different Huge Hound products with me. If you haven't already done so, you can read all about the frozen dessert–related aspects of the visit over at my business website blog here.
It was a pretty chill visit. We all watched the previous night's Saturday Night Live and ordered Italian food before chowing down on my FDs. We drank a bottle of wine I'd brought with me, a red from Loire. And I gave lots of attention to my doggy niece Molly:
When I got home, I took a photo of my two woofers looking out at me from the living room:
We were supposed to maybe get frost a week ago last night (though if we did, it was very short-lived), so I brought all of my sensitive plants that were out on the deck into our sunny breakfast room off the kitchen:
I'm going to see whether the lettuces I started from seed in late August get enough sun to grow to full size:
In mid-September, I trimmed back my ficus to make it less leggy and more bushy. And many weeks ago, I'm not sure when exactly, I transplanted everything except the snake plant out of the blue-and-white planter Tracey gave me when I moved into my Park Slope apartment. The snake plant had been wanting to take over, as usual, and I figured everything else might be happier in a new pot. The variegated-leaved dracaena (not the green-leaved one from Tony's apartment on Grove Street, which is also still alive and kicking), ivy, and prayer plant are all thriving in their new pots, and I started a new prayer plant from a cutting of the old one.
My calendulas and marigolds didn't do well this year. My calendula plants grew nicely from seeds on the deck, but I didn't get a single flower. Not that many of my marigolds germinated in a pot near our deck, but for the past few weeks, we've been enjoying blooms of the gorgeous Queen Sophia variety:
And here's one more flower photo before I go: The red and green versions of love-lies-bleeding, a type of amaranth whose seeds are edible, did very nicely in a pot on the deck and are still (literally!) hanging in there:
1I mentioned in that linked post that the deer weren't likely to bother the Arkansas amsonia or wild stonecrop. They—or some other animals—did start eating those plants, so I caged them, too, after buying a couple more stonecrop. One of the original stonecrop plants had been reduced back to a single stem, but it bounced back.