Sunday, March 23, 2008

Back In The Land Of The Living !!!

Before I begin my post, I want to thank everyone for wishing me well. Your good vibes must have made their way to me because the worst of the cold was gone by Wednesday. It stayed in my head - which is usually the case - and my voice is still down an octave, but except for being tired, I feel pretty good.
As most of you probably know, this Good Friday's weather was anything but good. A small area from Milwaukee out through Waukesha County (where I live) received an amount of 15" of blowing, drifting snow! The rest of southern Wisconsin got lesser amounts. That was surely disappointing for me since almost all of the previous snows had melted and I had crocus and snowdrops beginning to bloom. There were also daffodils and tulips as well as hardly perennials showing. I planned on doing all sorts of garden clean-up this holiday weekend. Now, everything looks like this AGAIN:
I took both of these this afternoon.
Looks pretty familiar . . .
Our Family Outing last Sunday was great. As I said before, we went to the showing of "Body Worlds" at the Milwaukee Museum. Here is an explanation from the web site:
Each exhibition features more than 200 real human specimens, including whole-body plastinates, individual organs, organ configurations and transparent body slices. The specimens on display stem from the body donation program that Gunther von Hagens established in 1983.The exhibitions also allow visitors to see and better understand the long-term impact of diseases, the effects of tobacco consumption and the mechanics of artificial supports such as knees and hips. To date, nearly 25 million people around the world have viewed the BODY WORLDS exhibits.

This plastinate was showing how different areas of the skeleton can be replaced with stainless steel prosthesis at the hip, knee, elbow etc. It's really amazing the amount of screws that are needed for each operation!
Here is a good description of plastination:
Invented by scientist and anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens in 1977, Plastination is the groundbreaking method of halting decomposition and preserving anatomical specimens for scientific and medical education. Plastination is the process of extracting all bodily fluids and soluble fat from specimens, replacing them through vacuum forced impregnation with reactive resins and elastomers, and then curing them with light, heat, or certain gases, which give the specimens rigidity and permanence.
This "Man Astride A Horse" was something - and it was huge! The horse must have been a very large breed. I know by this picture that it looks like two people are riding, but one of the legs is only the bones, the other is the musculature separated to show each area of the body. That procedure was done quite a bit and was a little disconcerting at first, but once I got used to it, it made the exhibit even more interesting. Other times the muscles were pealed away from the skeleton to expose the organs too.
We weren't able to photograph any of the exhibit, so I got the above pictures off of the "Body Worlds" web site. These two lungs are eye-openers! I wish I could have enlarged these even more but this was as big as they got. Obviously the ones on the left were from a smoker!
And the ones on exhibit looked just like that! It's pretty sobering and am I glad I quit smoking a long time ago.
I enjoyed seeing the individual organs in the display cases and was really surprised at the sizes of them. The liver is so big!! And the bones of the inner ear are so tiny!! I saw a heart after a heart attack, a brain that had a stroke, a stomach ulcer, enlarged prostate, lung cancer, breast cancer and damaged liver. There is nothing gory or gross about it at all - just amazing. The most wonderful were the blood vessels. They are as tiny as thread in our hands and looked like beautiful red (dyed for viewing purposes) sea weeds. The exhibit made me appreciate what is under my skin and realize how little we know about our bodies.
Last Saturday I began my indoor planting of annuals. You can see a week later they sprung up and are on their way to looking beautiful. I planted a total of 13 dozen pellets!
Double hollyhocks . . .

"Lady In Red" salvia
"Sundance" gaillardia . . .
Quaking grass . . .
Various impatiens and petunias . . .
As you can see, I've got the light fixtures very low for the new seedlings. I also like to hang pretty things from the 2 x 4's that hold the lights. Some are Christmas ornaments and some are silk flower garlands.

Remember these from previous posts? They are coming a long nicely.
The fibrous begonias had to be segregated for a while 'cause I thought they had some kind of fungal disease on the leaves. They seem fine, though.
Nameless African violet that I started from seed and just love!!!
This impatiens reseeded itself last summer in a pot that had another African violet in it. The violet has since died but the impatiens did well and is really nice to see at this time of year. Did you spy the Halloween crow in the background?

Two beautiful and lovely Easter flowers. Sierra looks so cute posing with the lily and was thrilled that Grampa gave her an antler to keep. She's wearing an arm load of bracelets that Gramma had in a tiny Easter basket for her.
I guess this was a tough week for Garm too!!
I found these lines in a poem I was reading yesterday and thought I'd share them with you.
The poem is Chinese and written by T'ao Ch'ien who lived from 365 - 427 and is entitled
"One More Fields and Gardens".
My private rooms are quiet,
And calm with the leisure of moonlight through an open door.
What a picture those words paint . . .
Bye for now,


kate smudges said...

I am glad that you are on the mend and that your cold is getting better. All that snow - I had no idea that you were hit with that storm. It's disappointing when you planned to spend time outdoors on the long weekend.

The 'Body Worlds' exhibition must have been an incredible experience. I would love to see it.

All of your seedlings are taking off ... at least you had them to play around with - and also your adorable granddaughter Sierra. Garm looks as if he was plain tuckered out ...

Keep feeling better - I hope your week is a good one and all that new snow melts right away!

Gina said...

welcome back, alyssa. I missed you! sierra is so freakin cute. looks like your seedlings are doing great. thanks for the detailed advice about my grow rack and newly potted trees - it was very helpful and I appreciate it. have a great week!

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

You seem to have about the amount of snow we have. There is another storm today which will leave 1/2 foot North and West of here. We live in a shadow of the lakes and don't get nearly as much snow as those North and south of us. I am tired of it all -26C this morning.

Your little plants are cheery. They are doing well. I hope to start some vegetable plants but it is too soon for here.

Glad you have shaken the illness. I am still in a wekened state.

DeeMom said...

Heyya there Alyssa, wow your seedlings are coming along beautifully. That kind of activity makes the outside temps ALMOST not as bad…

I was putsing about outside yesterday and noted I have volunteer seedling from the Violas and pansies from this past fall HOW NEAT that is
I have read about that exhibit and it is supposed to be really awesome, glad you all got to see it
Tell Steve thanks for explaining @ March Madness…also our Women’s team is doing rather well…

Tee hee Gooooooooooooooo Mountaineers ;)

Mary said...

Hi Alyssa,

So glad you are back and feeling better. The last cold I had lasted about three weeks.

And, what is that white stuff again? Half the country, it seems, is covered in it for Easter.

At least your seedlings are looking good. Maybe in a week or so you can get out there and work in the garden. I know you must be ansty to start.

Body Worlds sounds fabulous. I'd be so intrigued by it.

Sierra looks like a little princess. Garm looks whacked out!



Lizzie A said...

Yeah, you were right. I am pretty much all better now! Thank G-d!!!!
I hope that you are having a super day, and that your garden is begining to look like it used to again. I know that our crocuses are coming back again and we are really excited!!

Alyssa said...

Kate - Yes, this cold didn't turn out as bad as I had feared. I had a lot of very nice distractions to keep my mind occupied. This week can only get better!

Gina - Thank you. I'm always so thrilled when those tiny seeds start growing. Anytime you want some gardening advice I'll be happy to try to answer your questions. I hope I don't come on too strong - sometimes I think I sound like an old lady who thinks she knows everything!

Tossing - I'm sorry that you are still not "up to par". I'm tired of this crummy weather too. Warmer temps will surely help you to feel better.

Dee - Yup, they are doing great. I think volunteer plants are such a welcome surprise. They pop up in the most unusual places! I will be watching for your team on tv. I hope they do really well.

Mary - You must have had a pretty bad time with a 3 week cold. Ugh!
I'm so sick of the white stuff - and there is more predicted for the end of the week. Antsy is the perfect word for how I'm feeling. Before I know it, the weather will be warm and I'll be scrambling to clean things up and get planting. Yes, Sierra is a real little doll - she's such a sweetie. I hope someday you can get to see Body Worlds - it's pretty amazing.

Lizzie - I'm glad you are feeling much better. Right now the garden is covered with snow but hopefully soon I'll be able to work outside. The first crocus are so exciting! You are so lucky!

Old Wom Tigley said...

Wow what a way to make your come back.. ha!.. glad to here you are feel better.. a most enjoyable post.

Alyssa said...

Tom - Thank you and I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I think I'm nearly back to normal.

Alyssa said...

Tom - Thank you and I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I think I'm nearly back to normal.

beckie said...

What an interesting post. The Body Worlds must have been intriguing. Your seedlings look great. I had no idea you could grow violets from seed. Where did you find the seed?

Alyssa said...

Beckie - I'm glad you enjoyed my post. I think I got the violet seeds from Pinetree Seeds or Thompson and Morgan. They were very easy to start.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Just called back to thank you for this mornings comment and visit and all the other times as well.
I just wanted to say I acknowledge the time you put into blogging.

The stand for the milk churn is something I drive past a lot on my drives towards the moors. I must make a collection of the others I see and come across.

All the best

alicesg said...

I am glad you are feeling better now. Sorry for not visiting. I went for a vacation in South Korea. Glad to see your flowers blooming. Have a nice weekend. :)

DeeMom said...

a PS for you Alyssa

I finally figured out how to link some of the Blogs I really enjoy. I do believe this will be an additional help for me to visit your blog more often.