My friend Valerie has been battling the kidney stones from hell recently, and as she is sadly without health insurance she has been battling them at home. A friend she knows is struggling through the exact same problem recently and was hospitalized for five days, but that friend has insurance. People who have means are simply more important than people who don’t, even if they do happen to have a kidney stone the size of their thumb bouncing around in their abdomen. I sincerely hope this won’t always be the case for our country.
As someone who has also had kidney problems and multiple surgeries and maybe not the best care from doctors, I felt bad for Valerie. So I did what I know how to do: I made her a terrarium.
Terrariums are lovely but are sometimes hard to get going. (I wrote a terrarium tutorial and a post about terrarium inspiration that may help, and I’ve answered a few terrarium questions via email. If there’s something particular you’d like to ask me, feel free!) The terrariums I most often create are open a bit at the top. This makes them much, much easier to establish.
Since we’re perpetually on a budget I filled the terrarium with plants from my garden. Burro’s tail, calico kitten, spider plant and an unnamed variety of hens and chicks were all included. Instead of adding a layer of gravel I used a potting soil mix with plenty of gravel and styrofoam mixed in. These succulents will have really shallow roots and the spider plant won’t mind the moisture. Only very light watering is necessary and only needed after the soil has had a chance to get good and dry.
While we were at Valerie’s the sun shone while thunder rumbled. Occasional plops of rain came down while we toured their farm but it was nothing to worry about. Right? After all, it’s mid-May. School’s getting out soon. We should be glad it’s not 90 degrees yet.
The countryside looked especially lovely framed with foreboding clouds, and as we walked around the sky grew dark and ominous. We could see for miles and several towns to the north and west of us were clearly getting a lot of rain. It made me feel like we were getting away with something.
But we were dry so we poked around the farm, chatting and watching the kids play together. Isobel followed Valerie’s daughter Ivy around and they immediately started digging in the dirt and making “cake.” We decided to see the animals and Ivy let Isobel feed the chickens. Isobel was intruiged and excited to see them until the rooster came right up to her squawked at top volume. This made Isobel cling to my legs, shaking in terror. Later on that day she was still talking about the chickens and how they were loud.
We stayed until it was Isobel’s naptime, so we said goodbye after giving everyone in the family a fairwell fist-bump. It started raining really hard almost the moment we left the house and I realized it was hailing on us. Hailing. In May. It wasn’t even cold outside.
As we drove out of the country we pointed out the various animals to Isobel. After awhile the car grew quiet except for the pounding rain and I looked back to see my daughter completely passed out. Is this what fresh air does to her? I like it.