I went to the orthopedist on Tuesday, and she confirmed that my ankle is basically destroyed. I have a class 3 sprain (i.e., tendon tear), which is as bad as you can go, and I have tendinitis in two other tendons. She had also previously told me that x-rays of my ankle revealed signs of arthritis. I'm being sent for physical therapy, which will hopefully postpone surgery. While I was at the doctor's, I asked for a handicap tag for the days when I re-injure it or it's feeling really gross. Perhaps I don't take my ankle as seriously as I should because I was a bit surprised when she agreed that I should have a tag for those emergency days.
I turned 29 yesterday.
Despite my ankle existing more in the technical sense than in the practical sense, I've been working like mad on the garage to get it ready for overwintering. We purchased a large wire shelving rack for plants and screwed hooks into the ceiling. We've been clearing out clutter and organizing. My hands are torn up from various scrapes, and my fingertips are particularly painful. It doesn't help that I wash my hands frequently and the air is dry. Still, it has to get done before the nightly low drops below 40F. Some of my plants should be inside already according to the experts, but I haven't seen much harm previously at 40F and would prefer the plants stay out for as late in the year as possible since the garage is potentially more dangerous than the nightly lows.
When I was at The Natural Gardener a month ago or so, I saw that they were selling three kinds of gourmet suet blocks for birds. Two were somewhat common like blueberry and grasshoppers or something like that, and they were nearly gone. The third was a hot chili pepper, and nearly all of them were still there which kinda made me laugh. I told my mom, and she asked who would want to buy suet to scald the mouths of poor little birds. I imagine this was the reaction of most people which explains the abundance of that particular suet block.
Capsaicin, the molecule in chili peppers that makes people reach for a tall glass of milk, does not affect birds (or fish for that matter). It only affects mammals which makes it great for discouraging squirrels and rodents from eating precious plants, but it won't do anything to discourage birds from doing the same. So, with a smile and chuckle, I bought the hot chili suet and put it out for the birds who might need some extra calories as the weather cools.