It’s been awhile since I did an updated family post so today is the day! I like to do periodic updates on mom and dad and if you follow me on Instagram, you see a weekly lunch with the parents segment where I show them on video and share whatever we are eating for lunch that day as well as dessert that mom prepares. There hasn’t been a lot of exciting things going on. Mom and dad are doing fine, no sickness for them and they pretty much stay home except for trips to the grocery store or doctor. We help them out as much as they need us to.
It was just the 4 of us for Easter this year. Mom made ham, rice and gravy, sweet potatoes, and coconut cake for dessert. I made green beans and squash casserole and it was delicious. We all enjoyed our feast!
With my sister, Renee moving away, their care falls more on me now, so Mark and I will look out for them and take care of anything they need as things arise. We decided this year since dad is not up for gardening anymore to plant tomatoes at their house. We were going to try tomatoes at our house but it made more sense to go ahead and plant over there, since the beds are there and ready to go. A lot of good things have been planted in this garden.
Here’s a look back at 2017, the year dad got sick with C-Diff. This was one of the last big gardens he had.
I can definitely tell a difference in his stamina since 2017, he’s not as strong as he was before he got sick and a few years of added age makes a difference too.
The garden was still pretty big in 2018.
2018 garden. After that year, it got smaller and smaller with just tomatoes last year. So we are back to plant tomatoes this year.
We went over recently and Mark got out Dad’s Troybilt tiller that he’s had since the 80’s I think and got things tilled up. Grass and weeds take over a garden very fast, but the tiller works well in breaking it all up and getting it ready to plant.
Of course, dad thinks none of us know much of anything about gardening, even though mom has been by his side for about 50 years of gardening in their backyard. Mark and I don’t know that much, but mom sure does!
Dad of course was supervising. He really was itching to get out there himself, but he’s just not able to do it anymore. His leg strength isn’t there anymore. It’s hard to watch them decline, but since they entered their 90’s it’s definitely happening for both of them. I found a recumbent stationary bike on Facebook marketplace for dad and he’s been riding that so we hope that helps his leg strength.
Mark tilled it a couple of different days and the 2nd time worked best, after he read the manual. Dad couldn’t remember all the settings on the tiller and so Mark had to figure it out, but he did.
Dad was trying to remember it all the first day we were over there. I really think he might not have been setting it all correctly all these years. Dad set it where it didn’t dig into the dirt as much. Mark set it where it could run it with one hand, as pictured above and as the manual showed. Don’t worry dad didn’t last but a few seconds tilling and then he went back and sat down.
Dad’s memory is really getting bad too and he’s just not the same man he was. It’s sad to watch this part of his mental faculties decline too, but I know it’s part of life. He’s always been a sharp smart man. He’s been on a memory medication for a few years now and maybe it helped him some, but his memory and reasoning abilities are definitely in decline.
But dad had to try it out again just for old times sake even for just a few seconds.
That didn’t last long and Mark took it back over.
After Mark finished tilling, we got out and started digging and planting. Dad started digging holes and then I took it over and then Mark finished digging while I planted.
Dad showing us how it’s done and mom telling me how much fertilizer and epsom salts to add.
Mom helped me cover the plants back up with dirt and then she went and sat down with dad in the shade.
We had one of the grandchildren with us that day, we were keeping Ryane for about 3 days (Mark’s oldest daughter’s 18 month old girl), so we took her with us and she sat with dad in the shade. She was so good.
She looks so cute sitting in dad’s lap. They rested in the shade while we got things planted. Mom helped some too and then went and sat in the shade too. We got it all done pretty fast, in about an hour.
We dug holes with a pick ax about 8 to 10 inches deep, breaking up the soil, added about a tsp. of 20-10 fertilizer and a little pinch of epsom salts. Mom heard that somewhere so we added both and then covered up the plants and got them ready to water.
We planted Parks Whoppers, Better Boys and Rutgers tomatoes, so we will see how they all do. We hope to have a good bounty of tomatoes, since all of our families love them! We planted 22 tomatoes in all and I think we are going to plant a few eggplants too.
We went back a third day and Mark ran the tiller beside both rows of tomatoes to make sure the weeds don’t take over. That was mom’s idea as weeds tend to really grow fast in the summer. But the riding lawn mower can be run over the weeds so that should help.
We have one and 1/2 rows of tomatoes going and will have to keep an eye on them. I hope Dad will be able to tend to them some and mom will let us know when they need watering if we don’t get enough rain as they are getting established. We usually do have plenty of rain so hoping we do again this year. We have a hose back there so it’s pretty easy to water them and dad can even sit in a chair and water most of them with a hose.
So that’s the news on the garden this year. We are excited to watch it grow and hope that by about 4th of July, we will have plenty of tomatoes to eat! We all dearly love tomatoes so they will not go to waste, believe me!
I figured I’d share a few pics of Daisy while I’m at it. She’s doing well and is 3 months old now. She weighed 3.5 lbs. last time I took her to the vet a week or so ago. She’s eating and growing and doing fine. Very feisty girl full of personality and we love her so!
We are working on potty training and it’s going fairly well, she’s definitely not there yet, but I know it takes time. We take her out regularly and she’s getting some of it. I’m trying to use the bell method so she can learn to ring the bell.
She has definitely captured our hearts and changed our home for sure.
She’s such a cute little joy to have around and we adore her!
That’s the update on the family and garden for you. I’m in New Orleans right now and will have lots of pics to share from this trip when I get back. Thanks for stopping by today!
Ninfa DePalma says
Awww how sweet to continue the magic of a garden with Tomaoes, Egg Plants and maybe some other easy to grow veggie. Reading about your Dad as supervisor of Garden is endearing. Your mom is right about the Epsom Salt, it will increase the tomato crop!! You go Mom!!
Mark is such a dear to do all the tilling for the garden and Little Daisy is just a Gem of the day!! THANKS for sharing your gardening adventures, I may go and buy a tomatoe plant and plant it in the big container where I had my Aloe Vera Plants that were frozen by the big Texas DEEP FREEZE of February 2021. Hugs and prayers.
My son used the bell method for awhile, until his dog was ringing it constantly because she just liked being outside, not when she wanted to go potty. LOL.
Michelle Smith says
I don’t usually comment but I know we all just love your parents and love hearing about them. It can be hard to see our parents wind down as they age but everything is a season of course, and hopefully this is a season of rest and reflection for them as they are clearly loved and cared for.
diane in northern wis says
Thanks so much Rhoda for the update on your folks and your planting their tomatoes. It was so fun to watch you guys tilling and planting and your folks right there helping and then resting in the shade. You are so blessed to have your parents still around in their 90’s and I know you know that! It is so fun to see them and you and Mark visiting together. Your little Daisy is such a doll too…..just a beautiful little dog. Can’t wait to see your story about your trip to New Orleans and the little girls down there! Have a great weekend with family!
I always plant marigolds with mine to discourage pesky bugs. I don’t like to use insecticide if I can avoid it. Dawn dishwashing liquid solution and marigolds #goawaybugs
Kristy Sands says
You are the first blogger I ever followed. I always enjoy the weekly parent dinners. I just love both of them. And thank you for sharing them with us and your precious Mamas recipes. You are such a wonderful daughter to them.And
Mark is such and all around awesome guy. So happy you found each other to enjoy life with. Y’all seem to complete each other. And lil Daisy is just adorable. Hugs to Mom and Dad. Happy Summer, to you and Mark. 💛
Thank you so much, that’s very sweet of you to take time to leave a comment!