She’s pulling my leg

Well, I’m still in physical therapy.    The area of the pain and muscle problems is getting smaller and smaller.  It is now centralized to my inner thigh.   So what, you ask, is the therapist doing for me.    Well, along with the aspirin and ultrasound modalities and some easy exercises, she’s pulling my leg.  That’s right.  She’s grabbing hold of my shin and calf and stretching my leg out.   You may think how can this help, but I can feel it getting better the more she does it.   She’ll take a break from pulling and move my leg up and towards my body by bending my knee.   I am getting more and more range of motion from it and less pain.

My hip is feeling just about 100 percent better.  As I progressed with the therapy, the pain just kept moving inward and now it’s at the point it’s at now.   I feel a sharp pain if I turn my leg or foot the wrong way with too much pressure on it.  I think I’m getting closer and closer to the end of not running.  YAY!!  I am going out for one mile walks, which I’ll continue to do this week.   I hope to progress  to two miles next week.   In the weeks after that, I hope to incorporate some running too, until I can get back to running full-time.

The therapists did convince me that I should not run Covered Bridges Half Marathon.   I am going to take their advice and eat that entry fee.   Although I really wanted to run it again, I know I will get back there one day and run that lovely course again.   I would rather get better now than run that race and have problems for the next 20 years.    And that is where my running game is at.

The gardening situation is much better than my running.  It is finally warming up here in the northeast, so I’m doing some clean up chores in the garden.   We cleaned up the last of last fall’s leaves out of the yard and along the fence.  It was a nice warm day, although a little breezy, but we got it done.    Now it’s time to get all those leaves I mulched from last year on the gardens.

The mound before mulch.

The mound before mulch.

The mound with the leaf mulch.  Isn't that pretty??

The mound with the leaf mulch. Isn’t that pretty??

The mound was looking very dry.  I may have to rethink some of the plantings here, especially the coneflowers, which are situated at the top of the mound right below the Maryland dwarf holly.   Although you can’t see them now, they are there.  I saw the very beginnings of them pushing through while I was putting the mulch down.   I’m going to give them one more year to improve.  If they don’t thrive this year, I will find something that can take that dry area.

Speaking of mulch, I know you’ve heard me say it before, but please don’t use that bark mulch on your gardens.   It sucks up all the nitrogen out of the ground while it’s trying to break down, leaving your plants with nothing to eat.   Better to use shredded leaves or I even go to our local compost facility and get compost and use it as mulch.  It works.  Besides, do you really want that dark stuff all over your gardens?  Don’t the leaves look much prettier?   I think so.

That mulch can come from mulched up wood from the housing industry.  In fact, that’s where it first started coming from.   When the housing boom started, they were using the leftover odd lumber pieces and grinding them up and putting it on all the landscaping in the housing developments.  Imagine!  Worse, it can harbor shotgun mold, which will shoot tiny, black spores onto your siding and cars and anything else that’s in its path.  It has gotten to the point where insurance companies will no longer pay for the removal of damaged siding on homes from that icky stuff.    YUCK!

Finally this week, I’ll leave you with some native bee stuff.  I’ve already seen some ground nesting bees – NOT YELLOW JACKETS — in the yard.  These are native bees.  They go about their way without being aggressive.   The queens are going underground to make their nests.  Please leave them alone.   They are harmless, and we need them.   There are also some cavity nesting native bees.   I made some nests for them from the stalks of my Joe Pye weed.   One of the varieties that I have is Little Joe.   Don’t be misled by the name.  It gets to be about seven feet tall.  I merely cut some stalks into smaller pieces and bundled them together.    I attached the shelters to my fence with some leftover twine that I had.  Nothing fancy, but I’m going to see if I get any takers.

The queens will lay multiple eggs inside one tube.

The queens will lay multiple eggs inside one tube.

Nothing fancy here.

Nothing fancy here.

Plants are starting to emerge, and the meadow is growing.   Except for the rabbit damage to the smaller shrubs, it looks like it’s going to be a great spring.   And before we know it, the flowers will be appearing and so will all the bees and butterflies.

Happy running and gardening!

Jane

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