But we still have tons of snow on the ground — several feet! And mud and water running everywhere. Will’s been working on the rock wall behind the living room stove every day, knowing nice weather’s just around the corner. So far, he’s used 14 bags of mortar mix, and lots of rocks. I think it looks great. Imagine how much warmth those rocks and the concrete will hold next winter.



Meanwhile, I’ve been transplanting tomatoes and peppers like mad. I do them in Styrofoam cups. So far I’ve gotten three or four years’ worth of use out of the same cups.


But it’s been challenging because my left knee’s been giving me a lot of pain these last few weeks. I finally wimped out and got an X-ray and saw the orthopedic specialists in the nearby town of Virginia. Good news is that my knee won’t ever have to be replaced; it’s in great shape. Bad news is that I may have a torn ligament. Had an MRI this morning so we’ll see. Hopefully, it’s just inflamed and will go ahead and heal. I’ve got LOTS to do this spring and hate gimping around on it. It sure tires one out! If it is a torn ligament, the doctor said it’s a quick, easy fix and will heal fast. Considering the active lifestyle I’ve lived all my life, I guess I can expect a glitch here and there. I’m sure not complaining. — Jackie


  1. arm2008,

    I have a torn meniscus so I really think I’d better get it repaired. I do agree that chiropractors do wonders for many pain problems.

  2. Just to reiterate what others have said. I had a stack of timber collapse on me( my fault) it badly twisted my neck and I couldn’t move my head side to side or even nod. I went to see a friends chiropractor who told me that my jaw was out of line. After 1 session it was cured. My doctors could only recommend painkillers!
    I am not surprised Will is asleep! I am, I think, a good ten years younger and pretty fit and capable but i am amazed by the amount and range of work he does!

  3. Supporting what Nancy said… My knee absolutely screams when my hamstrings, calves, and/or hips are tight. Even when you have a “real” knee injury, imbalance in the other muscles can make it even worse. My now retired GP told me the best thing to do for the arthritis in my knees is to make sure to keep the supporting muscles in good shape. I have found that it does help when I keep up with it.

  4. A comment on your knee…an Amish friend from here in Illinois went to a Chiropractor in Sorth Dekota because the dr here kept saying he needed it replaced. The chiro. in SD said it was his hip not his knee and now Melvin has NO pain in it at all. Just a thought..

  5. All,

    Good tips! Any smaller, deep container works well to transplant seedlings into. I don’t use either because I don’t buy store-bought yogurt and very, very few store bought canned goods. In fact, our friends, Bill and Carolyn use the big red Folgers plastic containers around their celery and I don’t even have them. (Will doesn’t like Folgers….) Honestly, we only take about 3 garbage bags of trash to the dump every year and we always bring home a truckload of steel, lumber, etc.! That’s removing a truckload from the landfill instead of adding to it. It sure feels good.

  6. Jackie, When you wrote of your knee problem, I knew just what you meant; having done the X-Ray, then the MRI yesterday, followed by the doctor appt. The surgeon said that after the arthroscopic surgery (torn ligament), to plan on a week of help (with horses, dogs and cats). Didn’t mention to her that I have a garden to plant. Thankfully my husband will be here to take up the slack. Wishing you the best with your knee problem, and a quick recovery.

  7. The wall is looking great and so are the seedlings! Thanks for sharing these updates with us. I look forward to them.

  8. Not only have I used yogurt cups but also empty cans of different sizes. I just poke a hole in the bottom or drill a small hole or two. Make sure that you either file or pinch the sharp point of the can down from when it was opened. Most people just throw them away, they are easily obtainable. And they last for years!! Talk about going “green”!!

  9. Hi Jackie,

    I saw you mention using styrofoam cups for transplanting your seedlings into. If you don’t want to keep buying those (even though they last you a few years) you can also look for empty yogurt cups. I work in maintenance and right around January the “New Year’s Resolutions” mean a surge in yogurt eaten for lunch. Of course, the cups get thrown away but I collect them, rinse them out and poke a hole in the bottom with a hot nail for drainage. They last even longer than foam cups (my oldest ones are turning four and still in excellent shape) and are free to boot.
    Just an idea for anybody who can’t or doesn’t want to spend much money.

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