Some cool Hard Water Problems images:
22 of 365/2- My mornings…
Image by Pahz
I have fibromyalgia. And like most of you, I thought it was a made-up disease that people just used to label something they didn’t understand, but guess what, it’s real and it bloody well hurts. It took five years, total, to get a diagnosis- two of those years were spent with an awful doctor who didn’t care about anything other than maintenance of my other health stuff (like blood pressure and such). I could turn this into a blog post about how he blamed everything on my weight, except for the fact my weight was fine till the pain set in, but I won’t. This is about fibro and it hurts. It turns out, many of my family members have the same problem. In the late 80s, my mother and her four siblings had a biopsy done to try and identify the "unnamed nerve disorder" they all had. My cousin (older than I am) also had the biopsy. All of them had the same "unnamed nerve disorder". It was described as "the nerves attacking the body…" All the biopsies showed was that they had the same thing. I’ve never had a biopsy, but I have a real doctor’s diagnosis. As did my cousin, who was six months younger than me. (she passed away almost two years ago- not from fibro, because it doesn’t kill you).
On a good day, my pain level is at a 3 or 4 (on that 1 to 10 pain scale). And if the pain alone wasn’t enough- because I can deal with pain, I have been for so long- I’m exhausted. And I’m not saying "tired", I’m exhausted. You know how you feel at the end of a hard day’s work? That is how I feel most of the time. I feel like I’ve just walked five miles or chopped wood for two hours. And all I’ve done is get out of bed and come downstairs.
On bad days, my pain brings tears to my eyes. On those days, my physical exhaustion is so bad I have trouble sitting upright. My skin hurts- you know when you’re coming down with the flu and the water from the shower hurts your skin? That’s how it hurts. If I’m lucky, that’s all I have with my skin because sometimes, my skin will itch. From inside. Scratching does nothing but make it hurt. My bad days are fewer now that I’ve been getting treated for this very real, very painful disorder.
Most of the time, though, my days are between the good and bad. Like today. I’m up, I’m showered and dressed, but my clothes hurt my skin. It took me almost two hours to get showered, blow-dried, and then dressed. I had to rest between each task. I took this photo between the blow-drying and the getting dressed. (I was looking at the TV, which had an episode of "Law & Order CI" I hadn’t seen all the way through).
At the moment (as I type this), I’m resting at my desk (which can be tiring) then I’m going to make something for lunch, take my midday fibro pill and then go run errands. And I’ll be down for the count when I get back because that might just push my middle-day to a bad-day.
But for now- I’m up. I’m dressed. I’ve got my boots on. And I’d rather be under that soft fleece blanket. I gave the disabled guy a bunch of crap about that blanket. He got it for me in October, while he was in NC and then waited till Christmas to give it to me. He gave me two- this one (with a wolf on it) and another with an eagle on it. I told him he could have the eagle one for the living room- because that’s what he wanted all along. I also told him he could have just given them to me when he got back from NC. I love this blanket because its soft and it is just the right weight to lay over me without hurting me. And yes, I’m naked under this blanket because that’s the best way to be with fibro and a soft blanket.
Morning Glory and Virginia Creeper
Image by bill barber
Virginia creeper or five-leaved ivy (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is a woody vine native to eastern and central North America, in southeastern Canada, the eastern and central United States, eastern Mexico, and Guatemala, west as far as Manitoba, South Dakota, Utah and Texas.
It is a prolific climber, reaching heights of 20 to 30 m in the wild. It climbs smooth surfaces using small forked tendrils tipped with small strongly adhesive pads 5 mm in size. The leaves are palmately compound, composed of five leaflets (rarely three leaflets, particularly on younger vines) joined from a central point on the leafstalk, and range from 3 to 20 cm (rarely 30 cm) across. The leaflets have a toothed margin, which makes it easy to distinguish from poison-ivy, which has three leaflets with smooth edges.
The flowers are small and greenish, produced in clusters in late spring, and mature in late summer or early fall into small hard purplish-black berries 5 to 7 mm diameter. These berries contain oxalic acid, which is poisonous to humans and other mammals, and may be fatal if eaten. However, accidental poisoning is uncommon, likely because of the bad taste of the berries. Despite being poisonous to mammals, they provide an important winter food source for birds. Oxalate crystals are also contained in the sap, and can cause irritation and skin rash 
From my set entitled “Morning Glory”
In my collection entitled “The Garden”
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Morning glory is a common name for over 1,000 species of flowering plants in the family Convolvulaceae, belonging to the following genera:
As the name implies, morning glory flowers, which are funnel-shaped, open in the morning, allowing them to be pollinated by Hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and other daytime insects and birds as well as Hawkmoth at dusk for longer blooming variants. The flower typically lasts for a single morning and dies in the afternoon. New flowers bloom each day. The flowers usually start to fade a couple of hours before the petals start showing visible curling. They prefer full sun throughout the day and mesic soils. In cultivation, most are treated as perennial plants in tropical areas and as annual plants in colder climates, but some species tolerate winter cold. Some moonflowers, which flower at night, are also in the morning glory family.
Morning glory is also called asagao (in Japanese, a compound of 朝 asa "morning" and 顔 kao "face"). A rare brownish-coloured variant known as Danjuro is very popular. It was first known in China for its medicinal uses, due to the laxative properties of its seeds. It was introduced to the Japanese in the 9th century, and they were first to cultivate it as an ornament. During the Edo Period, it became a very popular ornamental flower. Aztec priests in Mexico were also known to use the plant’s hallucinogenic properties. (see Rivea corymbosa).
Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations used the morning glory species Ipomoea alba to convert the latex from the Castilla elastica tree and also the guayule plant to produce bouncing rubber balls. The sulfur in the morning glory’s juice served to vulcanize the rubber, a process pre-dating Charles Goodyear’s discovery by at least 3,000 years.
Because of their fast growth, twining habit, attractive flowers, and tolerance for poor, dry soils, some morning glories are excellent vines for creating summer shade on building walls when trellised, thus keeping the building cooler and reducing heating and cooling costs.
Popular varieties in contemporary western cultivation include the Morning Glory "Sunspots" "Heavenly Blue", the moonflower, the cypress vine, and the cardinal climber. The cypress vine is a hybrid, with the cardinal climber as one parent.
In some places such as Australian bushland morning glories develop thick roots and tend to grow in dense thickets. They can quickly spread by way of long creeping stems. By crowding out, blanketing and smothering other plants, morning glory has turned into a serious invasive weed problem.
Ipomoea aquatica, known as water spinach, water morning-glory, water convolvulus, Ong-Choy, Kang-kung, or swamp cabbage, is popularly used as a green vegetable especially in East and Southeast Asian cuisines. It is a Federal Noxious Weed, however, and technically it is illegal to grow, import, possess, or sell. See: USDA weed factsheet. As of 2005, the state of Texas has acknowledged that water spinach is a highly prized vegetable in many cultures and has allowed water spinach to be grown for personal consumption. This is in part because water spinach is known to have been grown in Texas for more than fifteen years and has not yet escaped cultivation. The fact that it goes by so many names means that it easily slips through import inspections, and it is often available in Asian or specialty produce markets.
The seeds of many species of morning glory contain ergot alkaloids such as the hallucinogenic ergonovine and ergine (LSA). Seeds of I. tricolor and I. corymbosa (syn. R. corymbosa) are used as hallucinogens. The seeds can produce similar effect to LSD when taken in the hundreds. Though the chemical LSA is illegal to possess in pure form, the seeds are found in many gardening stores, however, the seeds from gardening stores may be coated in some form of mild poison in order to prevent ingestion or methylmercury to retard spoilage. They should not be taken by people with a history of liver disorders or hepatitis. They should not be taken by pregnant women as they can cause uterine contraction which can lead to miscarriage. Individuals with a history of cardiovascular disease (Heart attack, blood clot, and stroke) or a family history of such problems, and the elderly should avoid consuming these seeds due to their vasoconstrictive effects.
Note that the plant known as Korean morning glory, Datura stramonium, is of a different species, is poisonous, and also produces hallucinogenic effects.
Squash Garden House
Image by superfluity
Seven hundred years ago, several families of farmers lived in a collection of adobe and sandstone homes in a south-facing alcove in Upper Salt Creek, a 35-mile long canyon in what is now Canyonlands National Park. A spring once flowed from the cliff near their alcove, and water was abundant in the canyon. The wide floor of the canyon bottom allowed them to plant crops.
These families lived a life that was in some ways hard. The high desert is subject to drought and they endured exceptional heat in the summer and bitter cold in the winter. The ecology is fragile, and their use of wood for fire and building denuded the landscape and increased problems of erosion and flooding. As the environment deteriorated, many families in other parts of the canyon and throughout the region began to fear for their security and built their homes in alcoves high on the cliffs, accessible only with ladders that they could retract into the alcove at night.
But their lives were also rich in many ways, and much better than the lives of many contemporaneous people living in other parts of the world. They had a sophisticated agrarian economy, cultivating squash and corn, among other things, and storing their crop in sealed adobe granaries. They hunted bighorn and deer and small game. They created beautiful homes, decorated with traditional and religious designs. They painted the world around them, from their cookware to the walls of the canyons in which they lived. They painted the cycles of the moon and the rotation of their crops.
The family that lived in this small alcove in Upper Salt Creek grew squash in the garden they tended in front of their home. They ground the squash and corn on metates to make flour that could be stored throughout the winter.
When they left Salt Creek as part of a general migration away from the Colorado Plateau (perhaps due to drought, warfare, or a deteriorating environment), they left the garden behind, and they left remnant seeds in their granaries and middens.
Fed by the underground water source beneath their alcove, their squash garden has renewed itself for seven hundred consecutive years. Every year the big, leafy plants grow from seed; every year they produce squash, which are broken open and sometimes carried away by small animals.
Today, in the fall, you can visit what remains of the home these families left behind and see the squash growing in their garden. You can see the faint remains of the pictures they painted on the walls of the alcove and imagine the fields of corn they tended on the flat sandy bottom of the canyon, now covered with sage and blackbrush. And you can see the squash fruit that will renew the garden for one more year.