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Do you go on Pinterest?


I do.


I am often inspired to try new gardening ideas or new recipes that I find.


Some of the gardening ideas are good and some frankly, aren’t.


The same goes for trying new recipes.  Some of my favorite new recipes come from Pinterest.  But, it seems that about 1/2 of them don’t turn out that great.


Still, I enjoy Pinterest and have ‘pinned’ some of my favorites on my own Pinterest page.

However, there are some ‘pins’ that aren’t any fun at all.

Yesterday, I shared with you about my son’s hand surgery.

This is what his hand looked like afterward…



He has 3 pins going through his thumb and he has a huge cast/bandage covering it all up.

I hurts me just to look at this x-ray photo.


Kai came through the surgery quite well and his pain medications seem to be handling the worst of the pain.

Thank you all for your kind wishes and support for Kai – I appreciate it so much!

Life has been quite busy, which has kept me out of the garden much of the time.


Of course, the with the hot temperatures of summer, I probably wouldn’t be spending a lot of time outdoors, regardless of how busy I have been.


I did spend some time weeding my vegetable garden last week and checking on how large my white pumpkin is growing.  However, that will probably be that last time that I do any work there for at least a week.


When I look back at the past 5 weeks, I realize how little I have been in my garden, which makes me grateful that I have a landscape filled with beautiful, fuss-free plants.

My second-oldest daughter, Rachele, surprised her brother by coming home for his birthday in late May.

Rachele is in the Navy and is stationed in California.  She enjoys what she does there, but I don’t get to see her near enough.

Enjoying Mackinac Island

The beginning of June, I embarked upon a road trip through the upper midwest with my mother (our fourth road trip).


A week after returning from our road trip, I hit the road again with my family on our annual sojourn to the cool pines of Williams, Arizona.  A bonus was that my daughter Rachele was able to come back out and come with us!

My sister, me and my granddaughter, Lily.

Along with my sisters, brother and their families, we all have a great time staying in several small cabins nestled into the woods.

I had a great time with my kids, sisters and my granddaughter, Lily.

My son, Kai

My daughter, Gracie

We spent time strolling along Route 66 and enjoying ice-cream at our favorite restaurant, Twisters in Williams.  Nights were filled with board games including a particularly competitive game of Scrabble between me and my son-in-law – he won 🙁

Today, I confess to feeling a bit glum.  Rachele left today after spending 2 wonderful weeks at home.

Kai with his niece, Lily.

Tomorrow, my son Kai goes in for another surgery.  This will be his 8th or 9th (I’ve lost count) surgery overall. 

However, unlike most of his previous surgeries, this one won’t be for his hip – it will be done on his left hand.  The doctor will be fusing his thumb joint and performing a tendon replacement.

We are hoping that the recovery from this surgery won’t be as difficult as those experienced after hip surgeries that leave him wheel-chair bound for weeks.  

Kai will have to wear a cast for several weeks though.  But, he is a tough kid and it is likely that this surgery will be a piece of cake compared to most of his previous surgeries.

You can read more about Kai and his remarkable story, here, if you like.

My garden should do just fine without me for a while.  It has been enjoying the arrival of our monsoon season and the increased humidity.

I hope you are enjoying your summer.  I’d love to hear about what you have been doing!



Can you tell what is wrong with this Mesquite tree?


This tree has mistletoe growing in it.

Can you see it?

It is hard to spot mistletoe when it first infects a tree.  I can spot it right away, but it takes some time to recognize it when it is small.

Here is a closer look…


Look for green growth that has a slightly different shape and texture then the tree leaves.

Here is a close up photo…


You can see where the mistletoe has attached to the tree branch.

Mistletoe is easier to spot in the winter, when many of the trees are leafless.

The types of trees that I see with mistletoe are mesquite, palo verde and sweet acacia.

Because mistletoe is a natural part of the desert ecosystem, there is debate about whether or not to remove it from trees.

Mistletoe does not kill your tree, but it can stress them because it steals nutrients from the tree.  This can leave the tree open to additional stresses that can kill it.

Mesquite tree heavily infested with mistletoe.

As a Certified Arborist, I recommend removing mistletoe infestations from trees in landscape settings.  You may not mind the mistletoe, but it is spread by birds and your neighbors may not be too happy when their trees start sprouting mistletoe.

In the natural desert, I would leave mistletoe alone because it is part of the natural ecosystem and its berries are a food source for birds.

This small mistletoe growing on a palo verde tree trunk cannot be completely removed.  But, you can break off the mistletoe easily and keep it from becoming more established as long as you remove any new growth as it occurs.

For more information on when it is possible to remove mistletoe completely, you can read my previous post – “Got Mistletoe?”

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Thank you all for your supportive comments regarding my son Kai and his recovery from his sixth hip surgery.

His recovery has been harder this time with the pain.  Also, he is a lot heavier then he was the last time.  We have to carry him from his bed to his wheelchair to the toilet.

Kai is know finished with his prescription meds which has helped ‘clear his head’ a little bit.  Ibuprofen is not as effective with the pain, but it is manageable.

This week, instead of our weekly dinner at the family farm – they came over to our house because it is hard to transport Kai.


It was fun seeing his young cousins play army men with Kai using his wheelchair as a battlefield.

Kai is enclosed in a ‘cloverleaf’ brace that covers his torso and both legs, which helps to immobilize his hip.  The blue braces on his lower legs are his AFO’s which he has to wear all the time.  They add strength to his lower legs and keep his feet straight (he has had surgeries on these areas as well in the past).

We are slowly settling into our new routine with caring for Kai while getting our other tasks done, like blogging 😉

I stepped outside, early this morning, and did a little pruning to our palo verde tree that was hanging too far over our front entry pathway.  It felt great just doing something normal.

I hope your summer is off to a good start and you are finding ways to keep cool 🙂


I must confess that I am not particularly inspired to write a garden blog post.  


The reason for this is that my son, Kai, has been recovering from surgery.


Kai was born with a condition known as arthrogryposis, which affects some of his joints.  He was born with a dislocated left hip, which the doctors have been working on throughout the past 8 years.  

Every few years, he needs to have additional surgery on his hip, which leaves him wheelchair bound for 6 – 8 weeks.

After 4 days at the hospital, we are now home.  He needs a lot of care at this point, so I will try my best to find some time to write.

Kai is a remarkable boy and I am so glad that he is my son.  He was abandoned by his birth parents in China when he was 2 weeks old and spent his first 2 1/2 years of life under the care of an orphanage.

You can read more about his story in a post I wrote about him called,