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Old 04-27-2011, 03:39 PM  
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Originally Posted by flaja View Post
So there is zero chance that I'd ever grow marijuana.
Well... Count me out then.
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Old 04-27-2011, 04:00 PM  
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Originally Posted by blucher View Post
Sorry, that confused me. Are you rejecting your meds because of an aversion to meds?
I am rejecting them because they have debilitating side effects. When I was taking them I could not sit, stand or walk without being dizzy. I could sleep 10-14 hours a day and still be extremely fatigued. I had loss of appetite along with upset stomach and weight gain (due to hormonal effects). And my arthritis pain was worse.

My cardiologist wasn't bothered by the dizziness, appetite loss, weight gain or arthritis. And he said the fatigue was caused by something that yet another doctor would have to diagnose treat me for.

Quote:
I was once suffering from congestive liver failure and if the two are at all similar you will need medication. I realize that some of what can help us can also make life miserable.
I have what is called aortic insufficiency. My aortic valve does not close all the way so blood pools in my left ventricle (one of the 4 chambers of the heart). In 2008 I had a bout with pneumonia that allowed blood to back up into my lungs and this changed the shape of my heart. I took a heart-regulating drug that allowed my heart function to normalize after a few months. The BP drugs are supposed to reduce stress on my heart to keep me from going back into active heart failure. But then when you cannot get out of bed in the morning because you are drugged-up, it doesn?t matter if you have heart failure.

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I wasn't suggesting you grow grass but I was surprised to hear the best research in the field of hydroponics came out of illegal growers. Good old free market can do I guess.
Hydroponics research began during World War II as a way to grow fresh vegetables for GIs stationed on remote Islands in the Pacific. Then NASA took over looking for ways to grow food in space. But until now, farmland in the U.S. has always been too cheap for hydroponics to be (legally) profitable.
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Old 04-27-2011, 04:02 PM  
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Originally Posted by ionakana View Post
yea, I thought you wanted to get away from the heat and humidity. Augusta is not the place if that's what you're looking for.
The forecast temperature for 9:00 pm here today is 85 degrees.
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:28 PM  
mohel
 
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I am rejecting them because they have debilitating side effects. When I was taking them I could not sit, stand or walk without being dizzy. I could sleep 10-14 hours a day and still be extremely fatigued. I had loss of appetite along with upset stomach and weight gain (due to hormonal effects). And my arthritis pain was worse.

My cardiologist wasn't bothered by the dizziness, appetite loss, weight gain or arthritis. And he said the fatigue was caused by something that yet another doctor would have to diagnose treat me for.



I have what is called aortic insufficiency. My aortic valve does not close all the way so blood pools in my left ventricle (one of the 4 chambers of the heart). In 2008 I had a bout with pneumonia that allowed blood to back up into my lungs and this changed the shape of my heart. I took a heart-regulating drug that allowed my heart function to normalize after a few months. The BP drugs are supposed to reduce stress on my heart to keep me from going back into active heart failure. But then when you cannot get out of bed in the morning because you are drugged-up, it doesn?t matter if you have heart failure.
i have some insight into what you describe about exhaustion and weakness despite getting sleep. It was not a good time in my life so I understand your choices. Just wonder if your cardiologist is the only guy in FLA with answers.

I'm not on BP meds but no one I know taking them appreciates the side effects a bit. I'll ask my holistic friend if there are any natural approaches for treating it.

There are many milder climates for growing food than Augusta. I moved to Oregon's Willamette Valley which is like a diverse nursery 100 x 50 miles in area. Summer is August if it comes at all but crops grow 12 months a year and it's rarely anything like winter.
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:31 PM  
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Originally Posted by blucher View Post
i have some insight into what you describe about exhaustion and weakness despite getting sleep. It was not a good time in my life so I understand your choices.
One of the drugs I am supposed to take is Norvask/Amlodipine. One of its side effects is nightmares. I didn't have nightmares with it, but I dreamed constantly with it. When I was taking the drug I could not wake up without waking up from a dream. I never slept when I was asleep.

Quote:
Just wonder if your cardiologist is the only guy in FLA with answers.
Since I am the only caregiver for my mother, who is disabled with lupus, I am not employed and thus don't have health insurance. I had no choice but go on the city's plan for the medically needy. I have no choice about what doctors I can see.

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I'll ask my holistic friend if there are any natural approaches for treating it.
I?ve heard that valerian and hawthorn help with BP. But all valerian does is act like a tranquilizer and its side effects are the same as some of the prescription drugs. Hawthorn is said to act like a muscle relaxant and theoretically this should lower BP by reducing pressure on blood vessels. But I know of no clinical tests that show either really works on BP.

I do know that salt has no effect on my BP. Right after I was diagnosed I cut sodium in my diet to the point that I wasn?t eating enough (menu fatigue) to not lose weight. My BP showed no change. I also went about 72 hours one time without ingesting so much as one atom of sodium and still my BP didn?t go down.

I last saw my regular cardiologist in May 2010. He said that he could prescribe more drugs to bring by BP down some more, but he didn?t see any reason to do so. He didn?t want to expose me to more drugs in case I develop a resistance to them and put me in a situation where no drug would work. I bought a treadmill in August 2010 and I spend a half hour or so on it almost every day. By the time I had my next (and last) doctor?s appointment my average morning BP (top number) had fallen by 17 points. But my regular doctor was out sick so I had to see a substitute. The substitute told me that my BP was still too high and he wanted me taking yet another drug- one used for prostate trouble (which I don?t have) with lower BP being a side effect. That was pretty much the last straw. Shortly thereafter I told my mother that I want to buy land for a farm and she went ballistic and essentially told me that I am too stupid to run a farm. So all-in-all I would rather be dead than alive right now. It isn?t worth being drugged up to stay alive.

Quote:
There are many milder climates for growing food than Augusta. I moved to Oregon's Willamette Valley which is like a diverse nursery 100 x 50 miles in area. Summer is August if it comes at all but crops grow 12 months a year and it's rarely anything like winter.
Finding a place where I can afford to buy land is just as important as climate is.

Isn?t Oregon damp most of the time? After this last winter I don?t think cold bothers my arthritis as much as wet does. Winter here in January 2010 saw 19 straight days with nighttime lows at or below freezing with daytime highs staying in the 40s. But we had little cloud cover then. January 2011 was not much better temperature-wise, but we had overcast skies for a week at a time. I ached much more this year than I did last year.
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Old 04-28-2011, 03:40 PM  
mohel
 
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Isn’t Oregon damp most of the time? After this last winter I don’t think cold bothers my arthritis as much as wet does. Winter here in January 2010 saw 19 straight days with nighttime lows at or below freezing with daytime highs staying in the 40s. But we had little cloud cover then. January 2011 was not much better temperature-wise, but we had overcast skies for a week at a time. I ached much more this year than I did last year.
Very damp very often but for me it's the barometric changes that bother my own arthritis. Is your own rheumatoid?

The weather is unlike anything I'd known in the East or Midwest. December feels like winter but snow appears about one year in 5 in the Willamette. By January 10th we're getting crocuses and new crops for grass seed are all about. Killing frosts can occur but rarely do. This state is filled with microclimes so if you don't like it in A, you move to B. We range from snowy mountains to a SW desert.

As I grew older heat began to exhaust me and PA humidity is a killer. Cool humidity doesn't hurt me at all and the rain is really more a constant mist than rain. Umbrellas are almost never seen and raingear is a hoodie sweatshirt.

When the first signs of arthritis hit me 20 years ago I asked a stranger what he did for his own. I could see he had pain in his wrists like my own.

His answer was; "when it's real bad I whine a little" told me enough. When I'm working with my own plants I don't even notice it till I quit.

Another plus if you're growing organics is the largest markets are West Coast like Seattle, Portland & California. I5 connects everything from BC in Kamloops to San Diego.
Homesteading-tulips.jpg 

Homesteading-willamette-valley.jpg 

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Old 04-28-2011, 04:34 PM  
mohel
 
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Pt.1

Quote:
One of the drugs I am supposed to take is Norvask/Amlodipine. One of its side effects is nightmares. I didn't have nightmares with it, but I dreamed constantly with it. When I was taking the drug I could not wake up without waking up from a dream. I never slept when I was asleep.
When you're dreaming you're in REM sleep. the most refreshing deep sleep. Dreams are a good thing.



Quote:
Since I am the only caregiver for my mother, who is disabled with lupus, I am not employed and thus don't have health insurance. I had no choice but go on the city's plan for the medically needy. I have no choice about what doctors I can see.
Gotcha and I've been there. I can get a referral from my health clinic in some cases. You may want to explore options by speaking with professionals who know how to use the system in such cases.





"I?ve heard that valerian and hawthorn help with BP. But all valerian does is act like a tranquilizer and its side effects are the same as some of the prescription drugs. Hawthorn is said to act like a muscle relaxant and theoretically this should lower BP by reducing pressure on blood vessels. But I know of no clinical tests that show either really works on BP."

Valerian root is an old friend despite smelling like gym socks. It's just a mild relaxant.

My friend in KY has been actively using holistic medicine for many years. He's one smart cookie so keep an open mind.
I'll have to send it in two parts.
From KY;

Natural Remedies for High Blood Pressure
Lifestyle changes and natural remedies may help to control high blood pressure, but your doctor may also recommend medication to lower high blood pressure. It is important to work with your doctor, because untreated high blood pressure may damage organs in the body and increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, brain hemorrhage, kidney disease, and vision loss. See a drawing of a hypertensive heart.



Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
There is some evidence that the supplement CoQ10 may help to reduce high blood pressure.


A 12 week double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 83 people with systolic hypertension examined the effect of CoQ10 supplements (60 mg twice daily). After the 12 weeks, there was a mean reduction in systolic blood pressure of 17.8 mm Hg in the Coq10-treated group.

Another study conducted at the University of Western Australia looked at the effect of CoQ10 on blood pressure and glycemic control in 74 people with type 2 diabetes. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either 100mg CoQ10 twice daily, 200mg of the drug fenfibrate, both, or neither for 12 weeks.

CoQ10 significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure(mean reduction 6.1 mm Hg and 2.9 mm Hg respectively). There was also a reduction in HbA1C, a marker for long-term glycemic control.
To learn more about CoQ10, read the Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) fact sheet.


Garlic
In a meta-analysis of seven randomized controlled trials of garlic supplements, three trials showed a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure and four in diastolic blood pressure. Researchers concluded that garlic powder supplement may be of clinical use in patients with mild high blood pressure.

Garlic supplements should only be used under the supervision of a qualified health practitioner. Garlic can thin the blood (reduce the ability of blood to clot) similar to aspirin. Garlic may interact with many drugs and supplements such as the prescription "blood-thinners" drugs such as Coumadin (warfarin) or Trental (pentoxifylline), aspirin, vitamin E, gingko. It is usually recommended that people taking garlic stop in the weeks before and after any type of surgery.

To learn more about garlic, go to the articles about garlic.

Hawthorn
The herb hawthorn is often used by traditional herbal practitioners for high blood pressure.

In a randomized controlled trial conducted by researchers in Reading, UK, 79 patients with type 2 diabetes were randomized to receive either 1200 mg of hawthorn extract a day or placebo for 16 weeks. Medication for high blood pressure was used by 71% of the patients.

At the end of the 16 weeks, patients taking the hawthorn supplement had a significant reduction in mean diastolic blood pressure (2.6 mm Hg). No herb-drug interactions were reported.


Fish oil
Preliminary studies suggest that fish oil may have a modest effect on high blood pressure. Although fish oil supplements often contain both DHA (docohexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), there is some evidence that DHA is the ingredient that lowers high blood pressure. Learn more about fish oil.


Folic acid
Folate is a B vitamin necessary for formation of red blood cells. It may help to lower high blood pressure in some people, possibly by reducing elevated homocysteine levels.

One small study of 24 cigarette smokers found that four weeks of folic acid supplementation significantly lowered blood pressure. Learn more about folic acid.



Diet
Changing your diet is an important part of lowering high blood pressure. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is promoted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Insitutes of Health (NIH).

The DASH diet includes fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, beans and nuts. Sodium is limited to 2,400 mg per day.

Studies have found that the DASH diet can reduce high blood pressure within two weeks. These are the daily guidelines of the DASH diet:

7 to 8 servings of grains

4 to 5 servings of vegetables

4 to 5 servings of fruit

2 to 3 servings of low-fat or non-fat dairy
2 or less servings of meat, fish, or poultry

2 to 3 servings of fats and oils
4 to 5 servings per week of nuts, seeds, and dry beans
Less than 5 servings a week of sweets
Serving Sizes
1/2 cup cooked rice or pasta
1 slice bread
1 cup raw vegetables or fruit
1/2 cup cooked vegetables or fruit
8 oz. of milk
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 ounces cooked meat
3 ounces tofu

A related diet called the DASH-Sodium reduces sodium to 1,500 mg a day, which is approximately equal to 2/3 teaspoon from all sources (processed and canned foods contain hidden salt).

Patients following the DASH-Sodium diet had a significant reduction in high blood pressure.
More: The Salt Wars: Is Salt Restriction Necessary?
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:36 PM  
mohel
 
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Pt. 2

Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium
Calcium. Calcium supplementation appears to have a modest but statistically significiant reduction in systolic blood pressure (mean difference of 2.5 mm Hg), however better quality studies are needed. Learn more about getting enough calcium in your diet.

Potassium. A meta-analysis of five trials indicated that potassium supplementation compared to a control resulted in a large but statistically non-significant reduction in systolic blood pressure (mean difference 11.2 mm Hg) and diastolic blood pressure (5.0 mm hg). Learn about potassium in the diet and find out which foods have potassium.

Magnesium. In 12 randomized controlled trials, participants receiving magnesium supplements did not have a significantly reduction in systolic blood pressure, but they did have a statistically signicantly reduction in diastolic blood pressure (mean difference 2.2 mm Hg). Read more about magnesium in the diet.


Mind-Body Interventions
Mind-body interventions, particularly autogenic training, biofeedback, and yoga, have been found to modestly reduce high blood pressure compared with placebo.

Autogenic Training
Autogenic training is a technique used for stress reduction and relaxation. It involves a series of sessions in which people learn how to control breathing, blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature.

People learn six exercises that each involve a certain posture (e.g reclining in a chair), concentration without a goal, imagination, and verbal cues. Each exercise is learned by watching a teacher demonstrate it or by reading a description. It requires regular practice.

Biofeedback
Biofeedback is a technique in which people learn how to gain control over internal body processes that normally occur involuntarily, such as blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and skin temperature.

Biofeedback is primarily used for high blood pressure, migraine, tension headache, chronic pain, and urinary incontinence.

Of the different types of biofeedback, thermal feedback (which measures skin temperature) and electrodermal activity feedback (which uses a probe that responds to sweat) may be more effective than direct blood pressure feedback or electromyography (EMG), which measures muscle tension. Learn more about biofeedback.


Herbs That Lower Blood Pressure
Can Work For You
But few people know which herbs that lower blood pressure can be effective and how much to take. Don?t waste your efforts. Read this physician?s guide...

How Many Are There?
There are about fifteen supplements and herbs that lower blood pressure.

Definitions:
An herb is derived from a leafy plant that doesn?t have a woody stem.

Dietary supplements. Congress defined the term "dietary supplement" in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994. A dietary supplement is a product (other than tobacco) taken by mouth that contains a dietary ingredient intended to supplement the diet. Dietary ingredients may include vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, and substances such as enzymes, organ tissues, and metabolites. Dietary supplements come in many forms, including extracts, concentrates, tablets, capsules, gel caps, liquids, and powders. They have special requirements for labeling. Under DSHEA, dietary supplements are considered foods, not drugs.

As you can readily see, an herb is just one form of a dietary supplement. The herbs can be used for other purposes such as skin preparations. We will confine ourselves to herbs that lower blood pressure.

Discussion:
According to the Natural Medicines Database there are fifteen supplements including herbs that are rated "Possibly Effective" in lowering blood pressure: Only stevia, garlic, green tea and oolong tea tea are herbs. The others are naturally occurring substances. All fifteen are listed here with comments:

Alpha-linolenic acid: Reduces risk of hypertension by about one third. Good preventive effect. Some safety concerns.
Blond psyllium: Reduces by 8 mm systolic and 2 mm diastolic. Good effect. Do you recognize this? It's Metamucil. Bulky.
Calcium: Very modest reductions. May not be worth the effort. Important in osteoporosis and should be taken in regard to this consideration. Bulky.
Cod liver oil: Modest effect. Bulky.
*Coenzyme Q-10: May get up to 17 mm reduction in systolic and 10 mm in diastolic. 26% reduction in isolated systolic hypertension. Takes about 12 weeks to obtain full benefit. Excellent effect.
Fish oil: A modest effect, similar to cod liver oil. Bulky.
Garlic: A 2 to 7% reduction. Modest effect. A food and bulky.
*Green tea and Oolong tea: One half to two cups a day for a year cuts the risk of developing high blood pressure by 46%. 600 ml a day (2 ? cups) cuts risk by 65%. An excellent preventive effect Very bulky but available as an extract.
*Olive or olive leaf extract: Some lowering effect. Has other benefits such as cholesterol lowering, reducing heart attacks and heart disease, and reducing risk of breast cancer and colorectal cancer and, oddly, rheumatoid arthritis.
Potassium: Reduces systolic 2-4 mm and diastolic 0.5 to 3.5 mm. Modest effect. Controls cardiac rhythm Both high and low levels are serious! We won?t meddle with this.
*Pycnogenol (pine bark extract): Affects only systolic, reducing Stage One hypertensives (140-159) to about 133 mm Hg. Very good effect.
Stevia (stevioside: Reduces systolic by 10-14 mm and diastolic by 6-14 mm. Very good effect. Bulky.
Sweet orange (juice): Rich in potassium so the effect is that of potassium. Drink some orange juice. A food and bulky.
Vitamin C: Works only in conjunction with antihypertensive medication, otherwise has no effect. Does it work in conjunction with herbs that lower blood pressure? A study to this effect was not found. Why not try it and see?
Wheat bran: Modest effects, but how much bran can you eat? A food and bulky.
A number of these are ?foods?, are bulky and therefore can only be taken separately, meaning they can?t be combined in a capsule with other agents. They are listed here:

Blond psyllium
Calcium
Cod liver oil
Fish oil
Garlic. Can be extract.
Green and Oolong teas. Can be extract.
Olive oil. Can be extract.
Stevia. Can be extract but still too bulky.
Sweet orange
Wheat bran
These must be considered singly because of their bulk except for the ones that can be made into extracts or concentrates of their active ingredients.

Whenever I imagine choosing two or three of these and eating them every day my stomach rebels. For instance if I had to drink two cups of green tea every day I might last a week. And that is one of the more pleasant ones.

How nice it would be to have a combination of supplements or herbs that lower blood pressure all in one capsule. This is not available right now but I'm working on it.

Let?s look at the remaining ones, listed here:

Alpha-linolenic acid.
Coenzyme Q10.
Potassium.
Pycnogenol.(pine bark extract).
Vitamin C.
There are two here suitable in effectiveness and lack of bulk, they are Coenzyme Q10 and Pycnogenol (pine bark extract).

If we combined these with Olive leaf extract and the preventive Green tea extract from the other list we would have a very nice preparation of herbs that lower blood pressure and prevent future elevation.

After weeks of part-time research a similar preparation could not be found. The formulas that were found had either inappropriate and ineffective ingredients or were woefully inadequate in dosage or, in most cases, both. You will have to buy them separately.

This is my current personal regimen; one of each daily.


Quote:
I do know that salt has no effect on my BP. Right after I was diagnosed I cut sodium in my diet to the point that I wasn?t eating enough (menu fatigue) to not lose weight. My BP showed no change. I also went about 72 hours one time without ingesting so much as one atom of sodium and still my BP didn?t go down.

I last saw my regular cardiologist in May 2010. He said that he could prescribe more drugs to bring by BP down some more, but he didn?t see any reason to do so. He didn?t want to expose me to more drugs in case I develop a resistance to them and put me in a situation where no drug would work. I bought a treadmill in August 2010 and I spend a half hour or so on it almost every day. By the time I had my next (and last) doctor?s appointment my average morning BP (top number) had fallen by 17 points. But my regular doctor was out sick so I had to see a substitute. The substitute told me that my BP was still too high and he wanted me taking yet another drug- one used for prostate trouble (which I don?t have) with lower BP being a side effect. That was pretty much the last straw. Shortly thereafter I told my mother that I want to buy land for a farm and she went ballistic and essentially told me that I am too stupid to run a farm. So all-in-all I would rather be dead than alive right now. It isn?t worth being drugged up to stay alive.



Finding a place where I can afford to buy land is just as important as climate is.
My own mother was crippled by a stroke followed by gangrenous intestines and a secostomy. i cared for her for 11 years and she called me "Hitler". It's a thankless task but one I'm very glad I made.
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:38 PM  
mohel
 
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Originally Posted by flaja View Post
The forecast temperature for 9:00 pm here today is 85 degrees.
Since January days here are 40's to mid 50's with nights in the 40's to high 30's. It's about 60 this week and delightful weather for me.


Quote:
Barleans is the best OLE (olive leaf extract) on the market. I take it every day. Available from many places on the web.

http://www.barleans.com/olive-leaf.asp
http://www.barleans.com/olive-leaf.asp
Quote:
Olive Leaf is contraindicated if a person is on blood-thinning medication.
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:37 PM  
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Originally Posted by blucher View Post
Very damp very often but for me it's the barometric changes that bother my own arthritis. Is your own rheumatoid?
I don?t know what form of arthritis I have because I haven?t bothered to have it diagnosed. There?s not much point because my options for pain meds are limited because of my heart.

My mother?s father had rheumatoid arthritis and her mother had osteo. My mother?s first symptoms started when she was about 40. She realized that she ached anytime she used power tools because of the vibration. My symptoms started before I was 30 and I have the same problem with the lawnmower- 2 hours mowing grass followed by aching for a week.

We still don?t know what form of arthritis it is that my mother has The first diagnosis was rheumatoid (her joints swell up), but then other symptoms made her doctors suspect lupus. Then she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and then psoriatic arthritis. But she?s had bouts with pancreatitis and trouble with her liver. And in 2008 she had a perforated bowel. Now her doctors want to again say she has lupus.

I have noticed lately that my knees start aching a day or two before a cold front is forecast, so I am affected by changes in barometric pressure.

Quote:
The weather is unlike anything I'd known in the East or Midwest. December feels like winter but snow appears about one year in 5 in the Willamette. By January 10th we're getting crocuses and new crops for grass seed are all about. Killing frosts can occur but rarely do. This state is filled with microclimes so if you don't like it in A, you move to B. We range from snowy mountains to a SW desert.
I never dreamed Oregon could be this way. Our first freeze in an average year comes during the last week in November and our last freeze comes in the end of February. But then we?ve also had freezing nights as late as mid-April and as early as the first week in November.

Our first 90 degree day is usually in the last week in April. We can have 90 in October, but we can also have a noreaster and 40 degrees in October.

We usually have around 30 freezing nights per winter. It turned cold just after Thanksgiving last year and we had our 30 freezes by the end of January. It turned clear and warm by Valentine?s Day and it hit 85 by the end of February. We tied a record of 90 on April 1 and broke a record at 91 a week later. Since then we?ve had about 5 days at or over 90. Today we got the first rainfall since March 31.

Quote:
His answer was; "when it's real bad I whine a little" told me enough. When I'm working with my own plants I don't even notice it till I quit.
I?m like that. I?ve already had to give up most of my book reading because I cannot hold a book for very long. But I?d go crazy without my garden.

Quote:
Another plus if you're growing organics is the largest markets are West Coast like Seattle, Portland & California. I5 connects everything from BC in Kamloops to San Diego.
But what kind of production and land costs do you have?
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