It seems like yesterday when I got my knee replacement, but when I look at the calendar, it’s been twenty days. Wow, how time flies! I’ve still got quite a bit of pain but every day it’s getting better. I’m able to walk around using the walker, only for balance occasionally. So, I hope to be done with that pretty soon. (I feel like an old lady, hobbling around with it!)

Our weather’s still holding to spring-like temperatures, so strange for the end of January here. I’m not complaining though but do worry about drought this spring/summer as we haven’t had much moisture at all.

It won’t be long before I’m planting peppers for 2024.

Just think, I’ll be planting my late peppers in a couple of weeks. It doesn’t seem possible! Then it quickly folds into mid-season and early peppers, some flowers, then tomatoes by the bushel. I can’t wait, really. I’ve gotten out my notebook planner and am starting to plot out what and where everything will go this year. Hopefully, with two new knees, I’ll be able to do more than last year. I’ve even bought some more daylilies through the lily auction, planning on putting in another bed in the backyard. I do love my flowers!

I can’t wait till our yard looks like this, instead of snow and muck.

I really want to thank all of you for your prayers and good wishes. It sure makes me feel humble and grateful for all of you. THANKS so much! — Jackie


  1. So good to hear from you. I, like your other fans, have kept you in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you get past the pain soon, it could never be too soon for that. I smiled at the picture of your greenhouse with the lovely flowers all around. What a welcome sight and a really good hint of Spring. Your planning for the gardens will help pass the time for you until you can get out there and plant. Wishing you and Will a really good growing season this year. When I see a weather map, I always look to your area and think of all the work you two accomplish up there. Thanks for sharing all your work so others know how to follow.
    Sherrie in Ohio

    • Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers. I’m sure they’re helping!! This week I’m starting to plant pepper seeds!! Yea!!

  2. Hi Jackie, so glad you are feeling a little better. I admire you so much in having the second knee done after what you went through with the first. It is one year today for me! Can’t say it’s been the best year of my life!! I went to see the surgeon for my one year check up. He was shocked to hear I was still having pain everyday. He said the xrays show everything is fine. He said I have pain because I have weak quads and I need to go back to physio until the pain is gone!! At $90 a visit I don’t think that’s going to happen. We went to the good old Mr. Google and found more excercises to do to strengthen the quads. I would say I have only missed 5 days in the entire year of doing excercises so we’ll see what happens! I know that garden is calling you but don’t rush things. Take care. Janice

    • I hear you about the knee pain. My first one still hurts even though I’ve done my exercises with both of them. My doctor says some folks just take longer than others to become pain free. We’ll see. For now, I’m taking it easy.

  3. I’m so glad you are doing better. It always makes one feel better to plan gardens and think of being outside, doesn’t it. We have had a lot of snow this month and I am hoping our drought is busted. It is quite warm for us now though, in the 50’s, which is too warm for January, but I am not complaining because we were negative 22 a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately, influenza has hit and we are trying to recover from that. I just don’t understand how i can be snowed in for two weeks, not leave the house and come down with flu! its nuts. Anyway, enough complaining. I am so grateful that I am improving and that you are also feeling better. You have been in my thoughts and it is always nice to read your blogs and know your are progressing. Prayers for a blessed week.

    • Phooey on the flu. That’s so tough to endure. Will and I both got our flu shots and (so far) we’re flu-free. (We’ll probably get it tomorrow, now I’ve said that!) I hope you feel better soon. My knee is getting better, although slowly. But, spring IS coming!!

  4. MSP is going to be warmer than my area – that is extremely odd this time of year. We’re going to be close to/up into the 50s in the next week.
    I think we caught up on our snowfall “shortage” – in a week mind – concrete snow no less. Then it turned bitter cold. Then it rained – my yard was like walking thru a convenience store Slushee/Icee. We’re probably on track/ahead of schedule for precipitation. But the work we contracted has been delayed. Better half and I have *never* seen the ground *not* freeze by the end of January. Climate change is here and here to stay.
    Still not planning on planting anything but taters before mid-May. This abnormally odd weather has me a bit spooked truth be told. But in the meantime we plan, knowing we may have to adapt.
    BTW – the feral (and another “regular” my neighbor feeds) survived the snow and cold. The feral was at her house and actually went into a carrier that contained a warming mat during a rain/sleet/ice/slushy snow spell. We’ve gained a bit more of his trust I guess.

    • I agree on climate change. I remember years of Minnesota winters where we had weeks of really below zero, finally “warming up” to zero. In the past decade, we’ve maybe seen -45 a couple of times. And that’s without many feet of snow, either.
      We’re waiting for the other shoe to drop with the weather. So far, we’ve NOT had winter!!

  5. Glad you are doing better. Here in Copper Basin, Alaska we have the opposite weather problem. We are on a 24 hour pause with the high low 20’s between cold snaps, the next one is supposed to go -40 or so and three major winter storms in the last month have made it questionable if the local wood cutters can work in the woods! Enough snow on the ground so break up will be muddy not counting lots of rain just before freeze up! I was supposed to have foot surgery the end of this week but had to delay it to March 1 so I hope I heal in time to start the garden!
    Hope you keep improving!

    • Thanks Howard. We’ve been watching your weather. Wow!! You’ve been clouted, haven’t you??
      I hope you can get your foot surgery and heal up in time to get gardening. I know how that feels.

  6. I sure hope that you are feeling better sooner than later and I will certainly say special prayers for you, along with all the rest of your readers. I know you are anxious for the new gardening year. Looking forward to spring keeps me going each January. I don’t have a big garden anymore; but I am still excited about my container gardening of herbs and flowers. I love the pictures that you post and all the advice in your books. Keep up the good work and never, ever, quit gardening!

    • Thanks so much for your prayers!! I’m slowly healing and and getting around much better. We’re so ready for spring!

  7. Thanks for the update and glad there has been improvement. Its never as fast as we’d like! Just sent in my seed order so joining the others in looking forward to gardening season.
    Katherine Jordahl

    • You’re right, it’s never as fast as we want it to be. But soon I’ll start planting seeds and the time will fly.

  8. Glad to hear you’re doing well. You’ll be ready to go when spring planting is here!
    We’re definitely in mud season here in IL. We’ve been so dry that I try not to be a whiner when I about lose my boots in the mud when I’m out feeding the animals.

    • Yuck, mud!! I’ve lost more than one boot or shoe in the mud and had to have Will pull me out, it was that bad. Hopefully, you’ll dry up a little soon.

  9. I’m so happy you’re feeling better!.I live just south of you so I’m having the same weather but I too hope we have adequate rain and snow to not have a drought or forest fires! That’s a concern for everyone who lives in the woods :(

    • For sure about the fires. The swamp grass is still tall and dry, not having any snow to push it down. That, plus dryness sets us up for a real bad fire season if we don’t get rain this spring. Ugh!!

  10. Glad to hear that you’re getting better! I, too, am so anxious to start the planting season. Thank you for the update Jackie!

  11. It’s sure good to see another note from you.
    Our several weeks of winter in January, with storms, provided 30″ snow and fence-high drifts, but the unusually warm temperatures near 50 now have exposed much of the fields again. Also, a third of an inch of rain helped shrink the drifts and much is being absorbed in this drought-ridden Iowa.
    I haven’t gotten a seed catalog from you but keep my old ones for reference.
    Hope Will is doing alright with the extra duties while you heal.

    • zI’m so sorry you didn’t get a catalog as you’re on our mailing list. It probably got lost in the mail. Email me your address, will you, and I’ll get another one off for you. (

      Yep, Will’s doing fine, especially when our friends have come twice a week to help and I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things.

  12. so glad you are up and around, and doing well. You will be going good, just in time to start planting. I am trying some knew ideas for my patio garden…sometimes wish I had more room, but then I realize I probably couldn’t keep it up like I would want to. Spring will be here before we know it. Prayers for a speedy recovery. Where do you order your day lillies?

    • I get most of my dayliles from the Lily Auction, online, and have had wonderful plants. Thank you for your prayers.

  13. Thanks fir keeping us posted on how you are doing Jackie, we do worry about you. Sending blessings from Oregon.

  14. Please give yourself plenty of time to heal! I thought about you the other day when I went downstairs with my arms loaded, carefully of course! You’ll be better before you know it!

    • Oh yeah! Going downstairs with arms loaded has caused two falls, over time, for me. So now I’m REALLY careful. And now I have a railing to the basement, put in by sons, Bill and David! I’m so happy with that.

  15. Sending peace, love and healing energy, Jackie! Here in SE Alaska we had ten feet of snow that stuck, then here here in January, torrential rain. We have had slides coming down between us and town (30 miles away), but thankfully we do not live in a slide zone, just near a creek.

  16. Prayers for continued healing! I’m sorting my seeds and starting to plan my garden too. This will be the first year I’m gardening just for family(no farmers market stand) and at my own home! I’m very excited, expecting baby #2 end of June so hopefully I can get it all in before I’m too terribly large.

    • Thanks for your prayers!! I know they help. Congratulations on your new coming addition. Happy garden planning.

  17. You have my sympathy, Jackie. Some time in the hopefully distant future I’ll be getting a new knee myself. My old one has no Meniscus left, so it’s bone on bone. I’m told I have a high tolerance for pain or I’d already have had it done. But I just keep telling myself it doesn’t hurt enough to make me do it, and I have to keep mobile so I can care for my wife.

    I planted Green Arrow and Mammoth Melting peas last week, also Goliath Broccoli, Kuroda Shin, Kuroda, and Scarlett Nantes carrots. I’m on my second planting of Bok Choi and Jericho lettuce. I won’t plant my Crisphead lettuce until late February. Gonna be in the 70’s here in NW AZ at 3750′ today.

    Keep on trucking.

    • Wow! And I thought WE had warm weather!! Yep, I put off doing my knees, way past bone on bone. And I think I really waited too long. My second knee is healing faster than the first and I think it’s because the first was my worst knee, having had several “accidents” with it along the way.

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