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Spring is coming! I know it is because I just got my shipment of seeds. Tomatoes and basil and mint, oh my! (And carrots and lettuce.)

Of course, what that means is that I need to figure out how to start seeds. Like, find a place in the house that’s well lit and stuff because I looked at the price of grow light setups. Oh, MY!

At the moment, I’m eyeing the counter to the left of the kitchen sink. It’s right in front of a window and I think I can manage to put up some barbed wire to keep the three cats from eating the seedlings. But I’ll have to remember to rotate the plants. And, of course, there’s a “but first…” As in, but first, I’ll have to clean off the countertop.

Whatever possessed me to decide to start some of my own plants? One thing: Hillbilly tomatoes. The Hillbilly tomato is an heirloom beefsteak type of red and yellow juiciness that hails from the hills of West Virginia. As I do. Sometimes a displaced Mountain Mama just needs a little bit of home in her Indiana backyard.

I also got some seeds for tomatoes that are good in salsa. My favorite (and only) grandson loves salsa, and he especially likes the salsa I make from a recipe given to me by a friend.

Several years ago, at day camp, he told a counselor: “Taste this. It’s good! My nana will make you some.” (Thanks, kid.)

It seems I’m always learning new things, whether it be gardening or something else. Diabetes, for example.

Last year, I learned a new way of gardening by having raised beds constructed so I could get to the plants. (I use a mobility scooter and cannot do “regular” in-the-ground gardening.) I adopted Square Foot Gardening. And I learned that a major drought fails to bring forth food from the earth — or, in my case, equal amounts of peat moss, Vermiculite, and compost.

Please join me in praying for better weather this year. I want my nice, fresh, homegrown tomatoes, peppers, beans, eggplants, and stuff like that. Not to mention enough pickling cucumbers to actually make pickles!

Back in 1995, I learned all about diabetes. “That’s it!” I said, dusting off my hands. “I know everything there is to know about this blasted disease, including that Type 2 is really diabetes and there are books and magazines out there.”

Darned if new things didn’t start coming along. Things like rapid-acting insulin; new oral drugs; longer long-acting insulin; smaller, faster meters that could download information to your computer; new nutritional guidelines; possible Type 1 cures that look kind of interesting; islet transplants; and more.

I started on insulin and discovered new “toys.” Insulin pens (in those days, you bought insulin cartridges separately and inserted them yourself). Padded insulin vial holders. I forget what else, but my husband probably hasn’t forgotten the look on my face when I discovered a new “toy.”

Heck, I can’t keep up with everything! And the new things and knowledge seem to be coming faster and faster.

If I had taken what I learned — and what I did &#x20#x2014; in 1995 and stopped there, I’d still be taking Regular and NPH and using a meter where you put a huge hanging drop of blood on a strip, waited one minute, wiped it off, and then waited another minute to read the result.

Today, I have a continuous glucose monitor — in addition to a meter that takes the tiniest sip of blood and gives me results in five seconds. I have a touch-screen insulin pump that is set to mimic my body’s rhythms and I can pretty much make changes on fly. Heck, it used to take me several days before my injected fast- and intermediate-acting insulin combined with my personal schedule to allow me to scrub the front porch. With a pump, I could do it whenever I got the notion.

Have you learned anything new about diabetes lately? If you got your education several years ago, have you been for an update? You might find some surprising changes out there; changes that will make living with diabetes a bit easier.

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