Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Friday, September 30, 2011

Sittinonaporch

How I long to just sit on my porch.  To kick back with a good book and listen to some relaxing music, sip some lemonade and not have any pressure.  No one to take care of but my "kids" and myself.  No where to have to go to, no one to answer to.  Just sit on my porch.

Wednesday Dad and I drove into town to meet up with some of my former co-workers.  I hired all but one of the people who met us for dinner.  I love these dear people with all of my heart and they all looked wonderful.  We had Chinese buffet and it was fun getting to be with them.  It wasn't the best night for all of us to meet, but we did our best, and I saw as many as I could.  I miss them all.  I do not miss the job, but I miss these intelligent, hard working, kind wonderful people.  They brought me presents, which I was so taken a back by.  But how sweet of them.  The real present was seeing them.  But that was so generous and thoughtful.  A couple others bought Dad's and my dinner.  I am telling you, these wonderful people are just the best.  And they were so cute.  Most of them told me that they come to sit on my porch to find out how I am. 

Actually I have been hearing that more and more as I see people who read my blog.  Of course when I am writing this blog I have no idea who is reading it.  And then to run into people who tell them have come to sit on my porch, it just melts my heart.  I am sorry that my blog is not deep, or does not have an important earth changing message.  It is a simple journal.  A simple day to day rememberance of a life.  A life I tried to live as best as I could.

I have made many mistakes in my life, haven't we all.  I have probably not been as nice as I would want to be sometimes.  I may have made some really stupid blunders in my life.  I have tried to open and accepting of all people and all things.  Sometimes I do better then others.  I try to help when I can.  And I try to learn to be a better person as often as I can.  But the bottom line, is I am just me.  An imperfect human being.  A normal person just like everyone else.  Well, I have Stage 4 lung cancer, but doesn't everyone have a challenge of some kind? 

I still feel so very very lucky to have been given this gift of cancer.  People are more tolerant of me.  Ok, I do need people to be more tolerant of me at this point in my life.  The chemo makes me tired and anxious.  When I am tired and anxious I am not my best.  But I am trying to be better.  I am trying to take the meds more regularly.  I am trying to watch myself closer and stop before I am unpleasent.  The fact that it is chemically induced does not make me feel any better. 

Being around those dearest people Wednesday night made me realize that I am too hard on myself.  That I have to be more accepting of my imperfections.  Because they love me for who I am.  So if these people can, then why can't I?  Hmmmmm isn't that the million dollar question.

Thursday Dad and I did the modified Y thing where we drive up for me to work out by myself and then go to Yoga, so Dad is not sitting there too long.  Then we came home, he took a nap and then we drove into Tallahassee and went to one of my former co-workers retirement party.  It was packed.  He is well loved.  Gary, another former employee brought up his giant traveling BBQ grill, which is monstrerous and made chicken and pork BBQ.  The night before when we went to eat Chinese food, Gary had cooked dinner for people that night.  I did not realize that early enough, or I would have just preferred to have been a part of that, and get to see everyone there, rather then making them go get ok Chinese food.  And I love Chinese food.  But that is ok, we got to see almost everyone else at the Retirement party.  But I had rehearsal, so we had to leave so quickly and so I only got to give people a passing hello.  A quick hug and then move on.  I am so sorry, that I was not able to spend more time with everyone.  I miss them dearly.  Not the work, the people.  They are all the greatest, and were happy to see me still alive.  I wanted to sit and talk with them forever.  To give each one of them my full attention for a time to hear all about how they were, but there were so many, and I had to go to rehearsal, so I swept through like a maniac and hurried on to rehearsal, getting there, late, but I had told them I would be late, so they were fine with that.  I got home around 10:30 and to bed way after 11.  I am running on empty.  I am exhausted.  I am tired to the bone.  And there is still so much left to do

I still have birthday presents from last week.  Well, I will make sure to get Owen's and Lily's to Mary's sometime next week.  The rest, well, they just became Christmas presents.  I hope Billy and Vergil understand.  I love you both, you sweet dear precious men.  I apologize for not doing a better job getting your presents to you earlier.  My thoughts were good.  I am just having time management issues.  Please accept my most sincere apology.

Today has flown by.  I was up at my usual time, fed the animals, walked up to get Dad a newspaper from the quick store.  So I got my 2 mile walk out of the way early.  Two miles used to sound so far, now it just seems natural to walk up to the store and back and not think anything about it.  Then I came home and started working on putting Dad's Christmas list on the computer.  I stopped when Dad got up and fixed him eggs and english muffin with fresh fruit for breakfast.  After breakfast we finished working on the list.  Then I went on line and tried to order sodium hypochlorite for my soap.  Yep, soap is made with lye.  but when you make soap, you mix oils (fats) with the lye and the mixture saponafies and then you have "soap".  the lye is not lye anymore, mixed with the oil, it is chemically changed into soap. 

I used to be able to go to the store and buy Red Devil lye, but not the people who make meth also buy lye, so no one can buy it anymore at the local hardware store.  sigh  It took filling out a form, scanning it, emailing in.  Not really anything that should be a problem.  At the same time I made another order.  This company made a mistake.  They cancelled the incorrect order.  I said, please don't, please just correct the mistake.  You can see from the original paperwork to the receipt that the error was made on your side, not mine.  Yes, that is true, but we can not make another order now.  You will have to wait 24 hours.  I am in a rush to get this taken care.  If everything had gone correctly, then I made the order as soon as I knew I could make it, and everything would have been fine.  But their idea of "fixing" things make a huge mess and a huge ordeal.  I am too tired to deal with this.  I started crying on the phone.  I told him the entire situation, and how this was not a rush until they made the error.  He said he would call me back in an hour and see if he can fix it. 

Well, I started this email earlier this morning after taking pictures to my porch.  And now here it is after  6 and I still have not completed what I started to do.  So here is what I wanted to show you today.  I wanted to show you how to come and sit on my porch with me.  First you will turn off of State Road Hwy 19 onto Ebeneezer Church Road:
Ebenezer Church Road 

Turn on to Farmboy Road

It is a private UNmaintained road just drive slow

Take the bend to the left and go past the mailboxes
There is my mailbox 

Here is the spot with all the pot holes.  You can't tell in the photo but some are large enough to swallow a VW bug, really

Once you get past the potholes, continue slow heading north

Then take the bend to the right

Now you are heading east, just a little further

Here is your first view of Labrun

Come on in the gate

Watch out for my watchdogs, they might lick you to death

Drive on in, watch out for the dogs, cats and rabbits. 

This is my pump house

Through this gate is the pasture, see my chickens?

This is my back yard with the glass house, green house and my airstream, oh and lots of weeds

Here is my back door and back porch
Here is my front door and my magical front porch


So now you know how to come join me and spend a little time sittin on my porch with me.  I will make you some lemonade, or something a little stronger, maybe a nice cup of Earl Grey Tea.  And I can bake some cookies if you let me know you are coming.  So come on by.  Life is pretty good here at my porch.  Filled with friends and animals and love and family and flowers and books and cookies and lemonade.  Not a bad place to visit

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Busy,busy,busy

That is how I feel lately.  Just busy.  Very busy.  Too busy.  And I am making choices of somethings that I dearly want to do, but just have to say not this time.  LIke going to Owen's second birthday.  And tonight Lily's birthday.  But I have my Dad here, and I don't want to leave him alone while I run off to a birthday party, and yet, it will be crowded and noisy and chaotic, as all good birthday parties with young children should be,  And it would just be too much on him.  Ok, it would be too much on both of us. 
Last year when we worked on his Christmas list there were a couple of catalogs that we were able to order 90% of his presents out of.  It was a piece of cake and just took us a couple of days.  This year, the catalog didn't really have as many things in that were what we were interested in, so I have been taking him on short shopping trips so he can order somethings and pick up others.  We were able to take care of almost all of the out of town friends with one catalog.  I think we did a wonderful job there.  So that took a huge chunk of the presents out, but we are struggling with the rest.  And honestly by the time we have to sit down and go over more catalogs, I am just exhausted. 

Sunday I did not have to go to rehearsal so Dad and I spent most of the day just going over catalogs.  We watched some football, I made meals and did a little laundry, but that was about it.  Dad took a nap and I was exhausted, we both were not getting to bed until after midnight from going to see Sound of Music.  And we were both pretty tired already, so that just whooped our butts.  It was nice getting to take it easy on Sunday.  I have taken a couple of walks, but I have not been able to keep up my normal routine, and that is also affecting me.  All the muscle tone I was building and was so proud of.  Ok, it was pretty minor, but I could see it.  And now, I haven't been to the Y in almost a week and have only walked a couple of times since then, and no yoga, other then a stretch here and there throughout the day.  

FIrst thing Monday, Ednarose and I went to see the vet for her monthly vacinations.  She was so good, and her skin condition is clearing up nicely.  The Vet said she thought only one more month on the meds and she thought we might get past this.  Then back home to pick up Dad.   We drove into Costco and Wal-mart.  We did a little birthday and Christmas shopping, as well as picking up some food.  I know, it doesn't sound very busy, and it is not. However, there is a lot involved with all of that.  First I have to try and put the dogs in a location where they will be ok while we are gone.  Then I bring the toy around to the back door, assist Dad as he works his way down the 4 steps and then manages to get into the car.  And he is forced to move very slow with his arthritis, especially in his back.  Any movement is tough, and sitting too long sitffens him up, but walking is so hard on him and you can see how much pain he is in.  So what would take an average healthy person a minute or two, takes dad more then 5 minutes, at least.  And Dad is struggling all the way trying to move.  So now he is in the car, we get the seatbelt fastened, which is another bit of a struggle because I have this giant pillow in his seat to raise him up high enough to get in and out of the seat more comfortably.  Ok, so now I close the all the doors, to the house, to the car, and run around and get myself into the car. 

Now we drive to the gate, if we are lucky Ednarose has not seen us.  Ok, that never happens.  So now, I run back and forth putting her in a more secure location each time.  Talking sternly, "stay"  "stay" I demand, I beg.  And she just looks at me like "Don't tell me what to do!!!"  So at three times I will just give in and put her in the house.  Ok, sometimes it takes more then three times.  So now, I am exhausted, frustrated and now matter how early I start, I end up running late.  I don't like running late, even if it is just my schedule.

So off we go, when we finally get everyone secured and I am so anxious I have to take an ativan. 

Today, I had let the chickens out early in the morning.  They were just acting so cramped up.  But then when it came time for Dad and I to leave for the Y, I could not get the chickens back into the coop.  They headed off to the woods on the back of my property.  This is not a big woods  It is about 20 - 25 feet deep with a fence on the rear of the property.  I like the buffer of the wild vegetation.  And obviously so do the chickens.  Then I realize that is probably because Endarose thinks it is her job to fetch the chickens for me.  Of coruse the chickens don't know the difference between Endarose's idea of fetching and the other dog's idea of killing.  So they take off to the woods.  Needless to say I was a bit nervous to leave the house with the chickens loose and Ednarose wanting to "play" with them.  I had a good talking to Ednarose, loaded Dad and myself in the car, and made it out of the yard and on our way, only 20 minutes later then I had planned.  sigh

So we headed up to the Y and I did a mile on the eliptical and did half of the machines.  Time for yoga so off I scampered.  It was nice because people had all came up to me and said they had missed me.  Yoga felt good, it felt great actually.  So did working out on the machines.  After yoga I went back to the exercise room and finished my work out.

After that, Dad and I headed over to the Oncology Department to give my blood for tests for Dr. M next week.  There was a new nurse in the bloodletting room.  I made a comment that I had gone to Tallahassee to an Oncologist there first.  It turns out she had worked there for years.  She made a comment about how much she liked my ex-doctor.  I put my hand up.  I said, I apologize for being rude, but please, never mention that man's name to me ever again.  That I disliked him strong enough to actually say I hate him.  And I can't think of anyone I hate.  Ok, I don't hate the man, but I hate what he is doing to people with cancer.  I hate that he is burned out and does not do his job the best he can.  That he gives up before he has run all of the tests to find out what kind of cancer someone has.  I hate that he guesses based off of old science and then treats someone, and instead of healing them, makes them worst.  I told her that I am not the only one.  That I know of maybe half a dozen, maybe more that he has also mistreated.  So, please, do not ever mention that man's name ever again.  She was rather taken back, but was quite gracious and made some comment that she was glad that both of us are not at Thomasville.  I told her I agreed, and I was sorry for being so upset, but that man had done everything possible to kill me, and it took all that Dr. M had to keep me alive.

After that Dad and I went to the Bookshelf for the unveiling of the Calendar Girl Calendar for the HOPE project.  It is beautiful and well done.  For the most part, everyone has clothes on, or is covered with something so there is no nudity at all.  Dad and I went to the party and most of the people in the calendar were there, including Rich's sister Susan.  Her hair has grown back in and she it is beautiful.  She looked lovely and I was able to get her signature along with a few others of those in the calendar, including the only man, Frankie.  He is in my HOPE Classes and is a hoot.  He just heard on Monday that after more then a year he is finally stable.  That is such great news.  I remember a couple of months ago when I stablized.  It was such a sweet time.  So I knew exactly how he felt.  It was a lovely event, and everybody was happy and laughing and eating and talking and a lovel precious evening.  I am so glad that Dad and I stayed to go.  It made for a longggggggg day, but so worthwhile.  It was nice for me though because I knew many people there, and several of the instructors commented on my work ethic at the Y.  They see how I make sure to get my work out when I am there.  I need to get back to doing my yoga at home and taking my walk on the days I am not at the Y.  It has been busy with dad here, so I have not been able to keep up with that as well as I would like.   

After the reception, Dad and I had dinner at the Plaza.  The Plaza is a Thomasville institution since 1916.  We had a lovely dinner in a nice atmosphere with a wonderful waiter.  He was funny and smart and could keep up with Dad's jokes.  Actually he was one step ahead of Dad.  But we had a wonderful time and a  perfect ending to a long, but a wonderful day.

And now I am getting ready to go to bed.  When I got home I searched the internet for love songs to send to my Sweetie in the Ukraine.  Dad and I are now watching The Mummy.  Dad is enjoying it.  I have seen it before, but it is a great adventure movie.

And Ednarose is growing up.  She is sweeter everyday.  She was well behaved with the chickens and has hair again.  I keep trying to get Bob and Harry to help me raise her, but Harry is tired, and Bob loves to play with her, but when she starts to get out of control, he dumps her on me and disappears.  I really can't blame him.  After all I am tyring to dump her on him.

I am tired, but happy and my body feels much better.  I was already starting to loose the little bit of muscle tone I had gained, but I am back at the gym and feeling better.  I have a house full of presents for Owen, Lily, Vergil and Billy and Shayla.  I will try and get them delivered before Jessie heads home, but if I don't, I can mail it to Vergil.

I have so many emails to answer, and gardening and house cleaning, but I don't get that much time with Dad, so all of that can wait.  For now we are just too busy. 

Tomorrow night is dinner with the Inspectors, Thursday is the retirement party and rehearsal.  Friday night, well, let's just wait and see what comes.  Saturday we will drive to Qunicy to see Annie Get Your gun, and then the week will start again, and it looks not as busy as this week, but still retirement is busy.  How you can be so busy after you retire, I don't have any idea, but eveyone tells me that this is normal.  I would like to try a week or two or three, with nothing but gardening.  Some day.  But for now, I am alive and living and there is so much to do.  And time to spend with Dad.

And emails to read with love songs
yes, this is a good time to be alive.
Time to take a chance on life
on love
on spending time with those who are important
Happy Birthday Lily
Happy Birthday Vergil
Happy results for Frankie.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Daddy, the Ukraine, Ednarose, the Y, computers...............

I can't believe it is already Sunday and I have not gotten a post up since last Saturday.  At night I dream of writing posts and when I get up, sometimes I think that I really did, but I haven't and then life gets busy and I am off running and time passes and I have not finished writing this post, which I have been working on since Friday.
Another reason I have not been writing posts is that I have been communicating with a man who lives in Maryland.  He is a Civil Engineer, which as far as I can tell is an architect who builds roads and bridges and other municipal things.  I looked up Civil Engineering on Wikipedia and it was all very interesting, but all I got out of it was that one sentence, so what do I know.  I do know that this civil engineer is very much like me in that he is half engineer and he is half poet.  I am constantly dealing with the scientist half of me versus the "artist" side.  So it has been fun communicating with this intelligent man who sends me poetry throughout the day.  He is self employed, so he is not on someone else's clock burning their money.  He was born in Ireland, but has spent most of his life here in the US and is a US citizen.  His Dad was Irish, but also a US citizen and he was in the army, so this man grew up an army brat moving around.  Anyway, I have so enjoyed getting to know him and laughing with him about our bipolar minds constantly jumping back and forth between math/science and art.  So Wednesday when I drove down to G'ville to meet my older brother and dad for lunch.  My older brother was so sweet to volunteer to drive part way with dad to save me from having to drive all the way to Palmetto and back.  Anyway, just as we were finishing lunch I got an email from this man, and it opened with the fact that he just been awarded a contract to build an overhang bridge in the Ukraine and that all the travel paperwork had come through and everything was happening so fast, and he was leaving with his daughter for the Ukraine........Thursday.  My heart just stopped.  I could hear the ripping of my heart as I thought, you have got to be kidding.  Why am I always drawn to men who are flying away in a helicopter or  leaving in a day to go to the Ukraine?  Who knows people who fly out west in helicopters or fly off in airplanes for the Ukraine.  The Ukraine!!!!  I swear sometimes I just have to wonder if we really create our own universe what the heck am I doing?  Why can't I just create a universe with an interesting man that lives near here and doesn't go flying off at the drop of a hat?!?!?!  I mean really.  I manage to create some of the most awesome friendships in the entire universe.  And these friendships last a lifetime. Seriously, I have friends from before kindergarten, from second grade, from college, from 25 years ago, from just 5 short years ago, and yet, all of these people are still in my life and I adore each and everyone of them.  I mean my Dad is one of my best friends and here he is at my house, coming to spend time with me.  I am a good person, so why am I constantly drawn to men that by their very nature have to fly away?  I have no idea.  Maybe because honestly, if I had the ability I would be constantly flying off to wonderful places.  And then again, the bipolar Kathleen has put down some seriously deep roots and isn't going anywhere. So there you go, I have created a constantly swinging universe from calm, steadfast, loyal and stable to the other extreme where people ask if they can land their helicopters in my yard or fly off to the Ukraine to build bridges.  The Ukraine????  I mean really.





Sunday I worked on my little front porch.  It is a lovely little porch, 10X10 with a rail and it sits under the pines, maples and oaks in my front yard.  On the west side of the porch is one of my earliest gardens.  It is filled with hydrangea, hosta, crilliun lilies, agapanthas and confederate jasmine.  Old fashioned flowers.  I love this little garden, even though it is a bit too much in the sun during the summer, and a bit too much in the shade in the winter, the hydrangeas have done wonderfully same for the lilies and I have placed my first ever garden statue in it.  My mother bought me this statue 25 years ago.  It is of a young girl with braids sitting  It is tall, almost 3 feet maybe, and heavy.  It is cement after all.  And my Mother and I both saw her at the same time and fell in love with her.  Mother had just returned from a trip to Europe where these types of garden sculptures grace so many of the old European gardens and she insisted that I must also have one.  This is when I lived on Pine Island and had a subtropical garden.  But I put her in a special garden with the few old fashioned flowers that I grew at that time and I have loved her dearly and lugged her with me when I moved here.  So there she rests next to the stairs leading up to this sweet little magical porch.  


On the east side of the porch it is dark in the winter and not as dark in the summer, but it is always full shade.  I have a pedestal with a large ceramic pot on it surrounded by ferns and  brightly colored impatients.  In the winter it is usually void of any plant material in that it is just too dark.  So the bowl, which I will soon shift out from brown to a lovely Tiffany blue one is the only point of color there in the winter.  I have moved my lounge chair and table along with another chair that will be changed out when I find the right one, and a chimichanga.  Oh, that is not what they are called, it is one of those small Mexican pottery fireplaces.  And in the fall when the leaves all around this magical porch change from the deep green of summer to the yellows, reds and oranges of the season and a chill fills the air, I love to sit on that little porch and light up my chimichanga and wrap up in a blanket and just sit for hours and hours.  


About 3 years ago we had put up a gazebo on the porch so it had a roof and was screened in.  That was lovely for years and that first year we put it up we spent 90% of our time at home sitting in that little room.  We even set the TV, so we could sit out there in the cool evenings and open the door and eat dinner while we watched the TV.  Sweet silly memories.  But the years had worn away the top and the screens had ripped and no matter how I had tried to replace the top, I just never seemed to get the right size.  So Sunday while the TV screamed football games out the door at me, I cut and tore and ripped and pulled and banged and cursed and lost screw driver drill bits but finally managed to get the old out, move the rattan furniture that was not happy there out into the barn and brought back my little open porch.  


When I first moved here, money was tight.  Larry was having major health issues, bleeding ulcers, heart attack and pneumonia..........oh and addictions.  We also had a substantial contract pending on our property.  And then everything seemed to evaporate.  I still had my job up here, but now money was tight and we were considering keeping the house in Bokeelia and my staying here for 7 years and then we could decide, Bokeelia or Monticello.  So from 20 acres with huge beautiful log cabins to 2 acres with a single wide in a small neighborhood out in the woods.  But I love this place.  I love the shade in the front perfect for azaleas and camellias.  I love the sun in the pasture to plant an orchid and grow vegetables and flowers.  And the little front porch nestled so serenely in the trees.  The back porch was hot and in full sun.  It was hard keeping plants alive.  We did put a shade roof over that porch and it changed everything and during the cooler times of the year it is a wonderful porch to spend time on.  It is the spot that Larry also choose to hang out.  I always loved the little front porch, a place where a fairy could hop out of a flower or off the branch of a tree and it would just seem natural.  There is almost a buzz of peace there.  I can't describe how my blood pressure lowers, my heart rate slows, my breathing relaxing into a peaceful rhythm.  

And now that porch belongs to the animals and me again:   



Monday I talked to a financial Adviser.  Yikes, things don't look as great as I had hoped.  But I should not be surprised because when I made my plans I was dying of cancer.  And now with Dr. M making me so much better, now my money has to last for a much longer time.  I am sure that I will work something out.  I still haven't talked to my regular Adviser to see what he thinks he can do to assist me, so there is no reason to worry at this point.  But I am looking at my life and deciding what is important and what is not.

Monday night was the Opera House Board Meeting.  Bill Hatcher was not there having found out on his way home from NC to the Board Meeting that his mother, who is in her 90s had had a heart attack and so he and his sweet wife Violet changed their direction from Monticello to the where his mother is.  He made it in time to be there for her last few dying breaths.  I know that he will miss her terribly, but I am so glad that he does not have to live with the regret of getting there too late.  Bill is part of our Stage Company and a man I have grown to care about.  We are different as day and night, and not someone that I would hang out with, well, other then during the production of a play, but as we have gotten to know each other through these plays, a mutual respect has grown and I am glad to have someone like him in a list of friends.    I took notes for him at the meeting, then worked the rest of the week to get them typed up.  I still need to get the reports scanned and ready to go to mail the minutes and reports out to the rest of the Board.  The meeting was fairly short, but it is a very hard working group of people and I appreciate being one of them.

Tuesday brought the Y and rehearsals.  I brought a more tropical looking outfit for my part in the play to show the Director.  I also picked clothes this time that would be more typical of the 1960s.  It was a good rehearsal, and I really like our Director and Stage Manager.  I love all the other actors I get to work with, so all in all, this is a lot of fun.

Wednesday I finished cleaning the house and then drove down to G'ville to meet Rob and Dad.  We all had lunch together and then Rob transferred Dad's things, including the wheelchair into my car, and off Dad and I headed north while Rob turned his car south.  Rob had gotten up before the sun that morning to take his wife, daughter and his wife's best friend to the airport so they could fly to South Korea.  So he was in the go-go-go mode.  He got to Dad's a little early, packed up all the things Dad had ready in the living room, hustled dad out to the car, got the wheel chair and the handicap parking permit and off they drove to G'ville.  Getting there 45 minutes earlier then we had planned to meet.  When Dad and I got home and I unpacked the car, there was not suitcase with clothes.  Nope, no clothes.  Dad had worked hard getting everything packed, and the suitcase sits as I write this still in Dad's bedroom.

So Thursday I looked to see if I had any shirts that might work for him.  I stepped out of my airstream, I took that long step down with my arms filled and twisted my right knee again.  Dad was moving a little slow that morning, and we needed to get him clothes, so I skipped going to the Y, and instead Dad and I drove into Tallahassee and bought him a couple pair of pants and some shirts and then all the other things you need each day.  When I am focused, I am a good shopper.  If I am just out shopping, not so great, not so much fun.  But if I have a goal, watch out, I can get in and out and get things taken care of.

While we were in Wally World I bought a new computer.  Not a big powerful thing, just a student computer.  It already has Microsoft office installed, so that was a big plus.  My old computer had Vista.  This has 7, and I have to tell you it boots up faster then the old system could pull up the logo.  It is lighter, brighter, and I am so happy with my new computer

Friday we drove into Tallahassee and picked up Geeta, it was her birthday.  The three of us drove through town in the toy with the top down and I was able to get my wig for the play.  Again, I knew what I was looking for, so it took less then half an hour and we were on our way again.  We had lunch at Hopkins, a local chain restaurant that has delicious food.  And for three people with very different eating habits, there was something there for each of us.  And the portions are so huge.  We all brought home leftovers.  After lunch we reluctantly took Geeta home so she could get ready to celebrate her birthday with her family that night.  She is so special and such a dear friend.

Dad and I took Friday evening easy, I picked up a mullet dinner for myself from the Waukeenah Methodist Fish Fry.  I grilled dad a rib eye steak.  I don't know much about cooking meat, but Dad said I did a wonderful job.  Then we watched Second Hand Lions, one of my favorite four movies. 

Saturday I managed to get a walk in, and a short nap.  I am wearing myself out, not sleeping enough, nothing new there.  Then last night Dad and I went to the Opera House to meet Pete and Jan for dinner and to watch the Sound of Music.  The dinner was wiener schnitzel and noodles, just like in the song, My Favorite Things.  Dessert was Apple Strudel.  I had the veggie meal.  The most interesting part of the dinner was that we sat at an 8 top, and everyone at the table had had cancer.  Pete and I of course still have cancer, and one other man, takes a pill each day like I do to keep his cancer controlled.  That just seemed so bizarre, until you realize that I was the youngest at the table by 10 years.  I guess if you live long enough cancer just may be a part of your life.  And when you see all these people with the same disease, and realize that 5 out of 8 have recovered and are in remission, and are survivors.  The other three of us are surviving with the cancer.  It just seemed so weird to realize how much this disease is a part of our world.

The dinner was sold out and the show packed.  There must have been over 200 people in the theater.  And with good reason, it is a wonderful production.  It is amazing how much talent there is at the Opera House.  There was a huge orchestra of talented people, and then all of the actors were wonderful.  It is a along production, but a lovely show, and I asked Dad at Intermission if he wanted to leave, and he said no.  Jan also asked Pete if he was tired and wanted to leave, and he said no.  A good time was had by all.

Then we came home and I opened up the back door to the house and it looked like it had been destroyed.  It was mostly superficial.  I had put Ednarose in the pasture three times, then we were running late, so I just put her in the house, not in a kennel and she got a hold of the paper towels and shredded the new roll into a million little pieces spread all over the house with a few other things mixed in.  It was a mess.  But she was safe, and so I just cleaned up after her.  But she did not stop there.  She felt righteous to yap and ear splitting barks yelled at me, and was just horrible, biting, snapping, barking.  I put her outside for 3 time outs, it only slowed her down for a few minutes.  I have followed every one's advice from the dog whisperer to friends, and she is just a challenge.  She can be so sweet and wonderful, and she can be just horrid.  Last night she decided to be horrid.

So I have spoken to my friend in The Ukraine via email and IM and now over the phone.  I am so happy to be able to talk to him.  To get his poems in the emails, to download the love song videos he sends me.  He is so sweet and wonderful and makes me happy.  We will get to meet face to face in about a month, and if he is half as good looking as his photos, if he is half as wonderful in person as he has been at a distance, all I can say, is be still my heart.   I feel like I am living in a romance novel and I do not want to wake up.

Today Dad and i have been going through catalogs looking for Christmas presents.  And now he is laid down for a nap.  I think I shall do the same.

Since starting to email this man, I feel less lonely.  I feel like someone out there finds me attractive, finds me desirable.  He is wonderful and I am happy to wait for him to do what he needs to get done, and then he will be here.  I am looking forward to that.  I am looking forward to meeting him face to face.  To stare into his blue eyes, to listen to his beautiful voice with the Irish lilt.  To listen to this intelligent man talk.  To fall into his arms and bury myself into his heart.  Time will tell, but right now,time is on our side.  He understands about my cancer.  He is fine with that.  He has a daughter who he adores.  He is confident in himself and knows what he wants out of life.  This is so different from what I have been experiencing and I am enjoying this relationship more then I could ever have imagined.

Happy here in Monticello
Learning about the Ukraine
Feeling good about myself
Wonderful feelings
A wonderful world I am floating in
If this is a dream, don't wake me up
I am happy
I am happy
and a lot of this happiness comes from my romance
I am happy to have my Dad here
I am happy with my life
but I am so happy to be sharing in a small way this wonderful life with this man who is in the Ukraine right now. 
And he is more considerate of me
and wanting to learn about me
and make me happy then anyone I can think of in a very long time
sigh
a sigh of happiness





Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sometimes life is almost perfect

It is getting routine going to the Y on Tuesday and Thursdays.  I do my workout, then chair yoga, finish any machines I didn't get done, take a break and then floor yoga for an hour.  I am making friends in my classes, and I really like the instructors and I can see the beginning of a change in my body.  I walk a little taller, sit a little straighter, I am able to balance a little longer.


Thursday night I went up to rehearsal and talked with the Director about the last scene.  I wore the dress I bought while we were on St. George.  She wants something more island, so with that information, I know which direction to go.  It seems a little strange not to participate in the rehearsals, but since I still have problems sleeping, I am not complaining.  I will start going to rehearsals on Tuesday.  In the mean time I am working on my lines.  I don't have that many, so hopefully this will not be that big of a deal.  I like everyone in the play, so this is wonderful.


Some of the cast of Sin, Sex and the CIA, the tiny one to my left is Barbie Nettles are Director


Friday was perfect in every way.  I woke up and had a leisurely breakfast, did a few things around the house and then headed into Tallahassee to meet the precious Ms Moon at Tallahassee Nursery.  I was ready to spend my retirement gift card.  I hoped to pick up blueberries and/or apple trees and/or pomegranate tree and/or persimmon tree.  But they did not have anything I wanted in those plants.  But I did get a Parson Brown orange, a Sumatra Orange and an olive tree.  I also picked up some fun plants for the veggie garden and a couple of flowering plants, one for the kitchen and one for the garden.  I also picked up 2 new begonias.  Ms Moon got me hooked on begonias, and it is always fun to see if they have a different color or leaf shape.  It is like walking around a lovely garden going to one of these big beautiful nurseries.  And of course, you can not go anywhere in Tallahassee without seeing someone Ms Moon knows.  This time it was Susan, a long time employee at Tallahassee Nursery, and it just so happens that I also know her from an almost disastrous kayak trip a couple of years ago.  We still talk about that trip whenever we see each other.


After buying more packets of seeds and plants then we really needed, we filled our cars with our emerald treasures and headed over to the Mockingbird Cafe for lunch.  Ms Moon stopped and picked up Hank who joined us and May was our waitress.  it was perfect, the food wonderful the service professional and friendly, I mean it was May after all.  And with the talented people in the kitchen, which now includes the sweet and wonderful Taylor, it was a relaxed and lovely lunch.  I had an eggplant sandwich with sweet potato fries and brought half home for my lunch today.  


After our successful walk around the nursery followed by the perfect lunch experience Mary and I headed over to Target so I could get a yoga mat.  I also found a couple of new bras with a sport back that I needed.  I grew up thinking that bra straps showing, going without a slip or having pantie lines would be viewed by head shaking and gasps from my mother and her friends.  Then the 60s and 70s came along and we gave up our undergarments.  So again, no bra straps showing and no pantie lines.  Of course we also did not wear slips, but our cotton skirts were long and full and we were hippies and it was a time of free love and breaking old rules.  Civil rights, drugs, women's rights, changes in the work place, people travelling through space, the beginning of the internet and the world started spinning faster and it has never been the same.  We still have so far to go with civil rights, equal rights and equal pay, but we have opened the door that can never be closed.   The young people of today wear under garments again, and now they are proud to let their bra straps show.  The boys wear their pants hitched below their bottom showing off their boxers and girls wear thongs, and the colors are bold, the straps lacy, and everyone can see.  I am still more comfortable when what I wear or don't wear under my clothes is my personal business, not public knowledge.


I bought a beginner yoga set with a mat, block, strap and 2 DVDs.  I will make a bag to carry my yoga mat and strap.  I don't think I will carry the block, but I will keep it here at the house in case I need to use it.  I finally feel like I am being serious about my workouts.  I know that this is important part of strengthening my body and hopefully adding productive years to my life.  I try to take time to remember that I am doing this, I asked for the opportunity and I am trying to make the most of it.


I ran by the bank, filled up the toy's tank and headed home with the top down.  It has been so long since Ms Moon and I took a trip to Tallahassee and it meant so much to me.  Just being around that sweet nurturing woman calms my soul and makes me feel loved.  Being around her children I feel  peace in the universe.  Lately I have pulled away from people and spent more time alone at home, I have dearly missed our trips to Tallahassee.  I haven't seen Ms Judy much either.  It was nice to have life get a little bit closer to normal and to be with a dear friend again.


At home I took the evening watching movies, emailing friends, but sleep was again elusive.  The day had been so perfect, by sleep just danced beyond my reach for most of the night.  


This morning I woke exhausted, but today is my day to get to have lunch with Bob at Panera.  His birthday is this week so I stopped by Publix and picked up a mini chocolate cake for him with a candle that sings happy birthday.  He brought me this very cool cottage industry made wisk broom when he was on vacation this summer.  It is beautifully braided with a sturdy but flexible brush.  The pride in the workmanship is evident.  He also brought me more tupelo honey.  Bob is such a considerate man.  He showed me an article in Air and Science, a Smithsonian Magazine from the 1970s with an article about a,  pilot and his airplane landing at the Moore Farm in Albion, NY.  That is Bob's family, and in the picture, you can see Bob's dad in the crowd and then in another picture as he was getting ready to spin the prop.  Bob always has something interesting to share.  We enjoyed our lunch together, I ate all my lunch, then regretted pushing myself with my stomach deciding to argue with me all the way home, sigh.  


But Happy Birthday Bob!  I had a wonderful time.  Bob and I have been friends since my first day with the Department. He is such a dear person, and I am so fortunate to have him as a friend.  We talked about so many things.  A lot of time was spent talking about retirement plans and how we both are trying to figure out how to put ourselves in our best position.


Today is the FSU/Oklahoma game and Tallahassee was overflowing with people in for the game, so I headed back out of town to my little place in Jefferson county as soon as we had finished our lunches.  My stomach required a little rest time, but as I felt better I got out front and started taking down the front porch gazebo. I am going to move the furniture which is not made for outside into the barn and move my lounge chair and table to the front porch along with an umbrella to shade the afternoon fall sun from the plants and me as I sit out there to read.  That front porch was one of the most magical places that made me fall in love with my little place here.  When I first moved up here I would go out there in the evenings with a glass of red wine, my dinner and a book and I would enjoy a quiet moment watching the sunset, have my dinner and unwind after a stressful day at work.  I was able to get about 1/3 of the gazebo down.  It already looks so much better.  


Four years ago, we put up a gazebo on the little front porch and it was nice for the first couple of years, but it was only meant to be a temporary fix until we could figure out how we wanted to enclose the front little porch.  I still haven't made up my mind, but it is time to remove the old and enjoy the little porch again.


I managed to catch the last quarter of the UF/Tennessee game, GO GATORS!!!!!  We won 33 - 23.  Oh yeah!  GO Gators!  And now I am watching the FSU/OK game, and it is the first quarter and one of the Seminoles took a huge hit as he was sandwiched in between two Sooners with high hits and he has not moved.  They have brought in a stretcher and are getting ready to move him off the field.  I hope he is ok.  He has not moved since he hit the ground.  They are taking every precaution with him.   The score is OK - 7, FSU - 3.  I think he had possession of the ball until he took the hit,  it was a hard hit.  They just announced that Kenny, the player who was hit has not been conscience enough for them to make a determination concerning his neck.  And The Sooners just intercepted the ball.  I don't think I can watch this whole game.  I am a Gator, but I can't help but root for FSU when it doesn't affect UF.


And I am tired, I think I will lay down and see if sleep will be friend me tonight and give me rest.  Tomorrow, I have no commitments.  My goal is to finish taking down the rest of the gazebo, and start clearing the yard so I can mow it.

Update on Kenny, he does have movement in all appendages, so that is great news, and I am so thankful for the good word about the young man.



I am looking forward to my Sunday.  I love Sundays.  The day of rest, the day of celebration of the week, whether looking back at the previous week or looking towards all the possibilities of the coming week.  Daddy will be coming up next week to stay with me for a couple of weeks.  We will go see The Sound of Music, and I am thinking about getting tickets to go see Annie Get Your Gun at the Quincy Music Theater.  Dad played Buffalo Bill when the Manatee Players did their production of the show, when I was a young girl.  I think he might enjoy seeing it.  It is just finding the time to get to see it.  


The other big news for today was the first day that my chickens were allowed out of their coop to scratch and peck around the pasture.  They are such good chickens, they stayed close to the coop, but they were so happy scratching and clucking.  I still got 2 eggs, including the giant Tiffany blue one.  It is so funny that both Ms Moon and I are both getting a giant Tiffany blue egg.  I am also certain that Brugmansia, a whitish Aracunda is laying it.  Mary's is one of the new chickens so it is mostly black.  Such wonders eggs are.


John C. Bennett and some of the girls on their first "field trip"

Out in the pasture

John C. Bennett and Magnolia, isn't he a lovely rooster, and so sweet!


I also have a couple of pictures of the dogs, Ednarose with her sturdy little self is quite a handful, and then at other times such a sweet affectionate little girl.  


Ednarose at 3 1/2 months

Harry and friends


Such a sweet life, such a life filled with such gifts and joy.  I need more sleep, and I need to be able to eat without my stomach turning on me, but with this gorgeous weather and perfect light, this last week of summer finds me happy to have moments to remember, and photos to look back at my "kids".   


You know, sometimes life is almost perfect.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sweet Tea Olive

I can't believe it is Wednesday and I haven't posted since Saturday.  Maybe because I was still pretty weepy and moodied out.  I hadn't been eating and my weight had gotten down below my bottom safety number of 120.  I was still struggling with sleep and I was pretty darn miserable.  But I have managed to get a few nights of decent, not good, but decent sleep.  I moved back into my bedroom since sleeping in the other room was not helping, and I have to tell you that first night, Bob was so relieved.  He is not a Labrador that deals well with change, and even though he moved with me from my bedroom to the guestroom  and back, I wished I had had a camera to get a picture of that sweet face when we finally laid down in the bed he is more used to.  He slept through the night, no getting up and down.  Which of course helped me to sleep.  Ednarose is doing very well about sleeping through most of the night.  Not bad for less then 4 months, but she is still a baby and needs to go out sometime in the night, and by 7:00 am she is hungry.  Chews on anything she can, preferably a bone, like my arm.  So I get up and feed the kids around 7.  I think my internal clock tells me when it is 7, but I will not know for sure while Bob and Endarose are babies because they are up and ready to go.  Harry, my sweet old man, can sleep right through.  He does not get up until he hears the food bowls getting set on the floor.


Sunday was the first garden circle meeting of the year and we were making things for the upcoming District meeting here in Monticello next month.  I made quiche.  I am getting so many eggs, that anyone who invites me anywhere should be prepared for eggs.  And it is fun watching how some are still so small and others are getting to be huge.  I get a pastel green one that is extra larger and now a pale brown one that is equally huge.  The others are still more of small to medium, especially Ms Brugmansia who lays a pale turquoise blue egg.


So Monday I woke up feeling a bit better, still weepy, but less exhausted, I mowed the pasture and my strip of a back yard.  Ok, that sounds so physical, when reality is I sat on the lawn tractor and just drove it back and forth.  It is not like I am pushing a mower around the yard.  I am just sitting there.  But it was the first positive thing I have done around the place in a while.  And it felt good to feel alive again, out of the stupor of self pity weeping.


Monday was the full moon, so I made another quiche to take to the Full moon mediation.  About half of our group are hindu and do not eat meat.  I now know that many of them do not eat eggs either.  And one, does not eat eggs on Monday.  So, that was not the best choice on my part.  Those who do eat eggs enjoyed the quiche, and the sweet woman who does not eat eggs on Monday took a big piece home to have on Tuesday.  That made me smile.  It was a gorgeous night.  The meditations are so peaceful and relaxing.  The group of people is diverse but all are very kind, intelligent and very nice people.  I am very fond of this monthly event.  As I drove home, full and relaxed the moon was big and golden and was so bright that it actually had rays shooting away from it.  Reflected rays of the sun golden and clear shooting away from the moon making it look like a star.  It danced back and forth across the road and in and out of the trees.  It was solid and round, not like many full moons that look like they are floating up in the sky.  This moon looked strong and determined to follow the sun around the planet reflecting back as much light as it could.


Yesterday of course was the Y, and my trainer was telling me how exercise can help regulate my meds and maybe keep me from being so emotional.  You should have seen me on those machines.  I was like a crazy woman.  And for the first time I can actually say I feel the work out.  It is not that I am in pain, but I finally feel like I have pushed those muscles a bit.  I then went back on the elliptical machine between the chair yoga and the floor yoga because someone said they could see the difference in my behind.  I have never had a behind.  I have always been flat as a board back there, and when I got home and looked, she is right, there is actually a small, but noticeable shape.  Whoo hoo!  I am very happy about all of this, because I do not want to waste my time and money driving to the Y if I am not going to do enough to make it worth while.  But between the work out and then stretching out with the yoga, I am finally seeing a difference.  Small, but I will take it!


This morning I got up and took my walk in the morning.  I did not hurry and worry about my pace this morning.  I just wanted to get out and walk.  It was not as cool as it has been, which for me is good.  The sky was so blue and the air clear and dry.  The dirt road had so many different animal tracks, deer, fox, raccoon, dog, cat, birds of different sizes.  I love looking at tracks.  And I walk past a pasture area where someone has a fenced in area with ducks and geese and turkeys.  I love to walk past, the geese form the opening delegation to greet me and in formation honk their way up to the fence.  The ducks, with none of the pomp and formality run in and out of the geese avoiding the nips of the geese who see themselves as so much more sophisticated then these young ducks.  The noise and commotion will stir the turkeys who sit in pairs and singles strung out along the fence line, with one turkey always on the wrong side of the fence.  Isn't there always one?

Anyway, I have no idea if this is the same turkey or if they take turns getting lost on the other side of the fence, but as the geese call the fowl to order the lone turkey will then run back and forth and back and forth trying to get back in with the other turkeys.  Sometimes it remembers to fly over, other times, it wears itself out with the worry and will just fold itself back up and lay down.  I love to be greeted by these beautiful creatures, who obviously understand that a human means treats, but so far I have not brought any bread or other food to share with them.  I am so afraid something will happen to one of them, and I will be blamed for it.   I would so love to take along a couple slices of bread and throw it over the fence.  Maybe if I ever see the human in charge of these birds I will ask if it is OK.



After my walk, I met my friend Carolyn at the Rosemary Tree for lunch and then went with her to the Wednesday sewing group.  This is quite an active group of woman, most of whom are working away on their quilts.  A few work on other projects.  I finished a scarf on my knitting board and started another one.  I also was able to check out of the library, The warmth of other suns by Isabel Wilkerson.  I had heard her do an interview on NPR several months back and I loved listening to her talk about recreating the cross country trip one of the people in her book took from the deep south out to California.  He became a popular physician in California, something he did not have the chance to do in the south where he had come from.  She took her parents with her on this trip and after several days, they just laid it on the line.  They appreciated that she wanted to experience what he had gone through driving cross country where most restaurants and hotels did not allow African Americans.  They said that because of people like him, they could now eat in the restaurants and sleep in a bed in a hotel, and they were ready, enough of this sleeping in the car and stopping in small stores to pick up food to eat on the road.  I am so excited to get started reading it.


The other special thing about going to the sewing group was Penny Hacket came in to change some of the bulletin boards from summer to fall themes.  She has a chicken board where she has made all kinds of chicken art.  One is made out of a crossword puzzle, another out of comics.  She had a couple of amazing ones made by leaf pressing.  She is an art teacher here in Jefferson County.  Anyway, she took one look at me and said, "I know you."  I looked at her and thought that she did look familiar, but could not place her.  Then the light went on over her head and she just beamed at me.  "You are Christopher Miller's grandmother.  He is the most polite child I have ever met.  He had the nicest manners of any child I have ever known."  I beamed back, and explained, that actually I was his aunt, but that he was one of the nicest children in the world and how nice to have her remember him and tell me that.


I came home with full intention of doing things around the house, but instead I stayed busy, but I am not sure what all I did.  I know I was able to catch up with some friends.  I have so many friends I have not talked to in so long that live within an hour of me, but I have not heard from them, and I am going to have to keep hunting to see if I can find their phone numbers. I had them at work, but those are still packed away from when I left the office.  I know that the phone works both ways, I wish they would call and say hello.  And I have got to go through those boxes and see if I can find their numbers.


I did finally go out to the Airstream yesterday and see what was inside.  I did not stay long.  Larry's shoes are sitting right next to the bed where he left them.  His clothes right were he dropped them.  He had only lived in the trailer a day or two in Weeki Wachee before going to Hospice, and everything was just as he left it.  Just like he was planning on coming back.  I fled the trailer and back into the house.  I had asked Richard and Colleen to leave it as it was because I felt like it would give me more closure, as I go through his things, donating that which could benefit someone else, and discarding that which is well used and worn out.  I need to be able to finally close the door on us once and for all, and it is difficult, but something I long to do, so that I can move on with my life.  Once I can get the Airstream cleaned out, I want to sleep out there one weekend with the dogs.  To see if I can claim back what once was mine and to move past the sad and bad moments and forward into happy memories and new moments.  I love Airstreams and I have 2.  One that took a hard hit from Hurricane Charlie, and this one.  My dream has always been to be able to move out into my airstream when I could no longer live by myself and let whoever is kind enough to come and stay and help me to have the "house".  My house is a single wide, but it is a house of sorts, and I always thought that whoever does come to help could have their life and privacy and I mine, each in our own place.  And even though my Airstream will not follow me to many adventures around this beautiful country like once dreamed of many years ago by a couple that was in love at the time.  I can sit in my airstream and remember the trips that we did take, which were many, and always full of adventure and joy.


Now to sleep and maybe dream of these places.  If not, simple good dreams would be welcome and a night of rest.  I am eating better, in that I am able to actually eat and enjoy it somewhat.  I do notice that at some point in each meal when the plate is about half empty, I sort of focus on getting the food in my mouth and keeping it there.  I am not hungry, and it no longer tastes good, but if I stopped eating when I feel full or when the food quits tasting good, then I will starve away to nothing.  But I am trying.  And tomorrow is another day.  And I will go to the Y, and then tomorrow night to the Opera House for rehearsal and life will give me possibilities.


Ednarose, who is growing up fast and sturdy and strong.  She has legs like a baby mountain goat and climbs on everything.  I caught her the other day trying to get from the kitchen cabinet on top of the refrigerator.  She is amazing how well she climbs.  But she is sweeter then ever and is learning so many things so fast and I need to get some pictures of her.  


Not now, now I need to sleep.
The tea olive scent is drifting in through the windows and it is one of my favorite
scents in the whole world
The cicadas are buzzing and it is time
sweet sleep

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Wednesday was the last day of the quilt show for the Tallahassee quilters at Tallahassee City Hall.  Carolyn, Isabelle and I drove into Tallahassee to see the show.  It was also the beginning of the quilt show at the Museum of Natural History.   It is amazing the talent of these quilters.  Some were subtle colors and patterns loved and recreated for centuries, other vivid and bright with new patterns more like stained glass windows.  The stitching done both by machine and by hand was exquisite, the corners perfect.  We walked and oohed and aaahed, smiled at our favorite patterns, wedding ring, log cabin and applique.  Jeanne Brenner, a very talented gardener, stain glass artist and quilt maker had two that caught my breath.  One was a pattern with Bird of Paradise.  The other was influenced by the beauty of Greek marble tile work.  Such treasures these ladies and their magic with thread and cloth.


My great grandmother was an avid quilter.  She had her favorite patterns and as a child I loved the appliqued flower quilts tat she had made.  Her last quilt made as she lost her sight is a dark log pattern using scraps.  She finished the top, but it has never been finished.  I had always hoped to get it to my sister in law who does quilting, maybe some day we can work that out.  Rather then making it into a single quilt, I would like to see it divided into four and either into pillows or lap quilts.  That way each of the great grand kids could share in this last piece of her.


Thursday I went to the Y and started working on the machines, I did not see my trainer Cindy, but she has shown me the machines and taught me the correct positions and muscles to focus on.  Instead another trainer came up and started assisting.  I am not sure how that works, do you use whoever is free, or are you supposed to stick to the same trainer?  Michelle was very helpful in showing me stretches to do in between sets.  She explained the muscles are now warm and so stretching them out will help with the second set.  She showed how you can use the same machine differently for each set to expand the workout.  She was full of information.  So much so, I had to at one point stop her, tell her how very much I appreciated everything she was sharing with me, but it was too much.  I can only take in so much information at one time.  Then it was time to head for chair yoga and I left having only completed about half of my workout.  


It was a small group for the chair yoga, but it is an half an hour I look forward to after the cardio work out.  To sit and stretch and for those few minutes of that day be surrounded by people like me.  People with cancer, but in our group we have something in common, so we are normal.  I like that.  I am trying to get to a place where this cancer is like my hepatitis C, just another chronic disease.  Honestly, I don't think at this point I have as much to deal with on a day to day basis then people with diabetes or heart disease or high blood pressure. 


I think I am more affected in my mind with this cancer then in my body.  Yes, I get tired easier, but I am also older and I see this in all my friends.  I take one pill in the morning.  My friends with blood pressure or cholesterol issues or diabetes, etc. take a lot more medication then I do.  I look thin but perfectly normal.  I need to get the negative thought of "cancer" out of my mind.  I need to quit thinking of myself as someone with cancer, and just get back to living a normal life.


The funniest part of this, is that I almost want to hold on to the cancer because it makes me special.  I have always been different, but this disease took that different and instead of being odd, I was special.  I think I can be special with out a chronic disease.  This cancer is just a part of me now.  Something that will tag along with me for the rest of my life, sort of like a monogamous remora clinging to it's shark or whale, dancing through life together.  The larger animal providing protection, the smaller fish cleaning the larger one.  I wonder if they ever even notice each other, or if they are both so busy with their own lives that they do not even think of each other.  That would be a good place to get with this cancer.


I have been able to do that with the hepatitis.  The problem with the cancer is that for the last two years so many can'ts are put on you.  You can't do that, you have cancer.  Maybe that is why I find so many people with cancer on anxiety medicine.  People who do too much, or do not do anything.  They are either giving into the can'ts or they are trying to do as much as they can until they will have to rely on people.


To impose on them for the basic needs in life that comes when the cancer takes you to a place where you need help.





And yet, for a week, I have done only the bare minimum.  The weather has been amazing, but i am not outside, I am inside.  I have been very tired lately.  But I know it is a mental exhaustion, not a physical one.  That I am depressed as I struggle with the negative thoughts of being inadequate.  I need to now say, "If you love me, then quit putting your limits on me."  Cancer has become for many of us, just another chronic disease to live with.  Just another pill in the morning.   Just another check box on a questionnaire.  


I am not sleeping because of the depression.  I am not sleeping because I am struggling with finding my place.  I am struggling with what do I want to do.  Do I want to try and find a part time job.  I would have to say that the other job promised me, appears to have disappeared into the economy.  Such is life these days.  I think I might need to start looking for a job.  I don't mean volunteer work, which I am already involved in, but a job.  Just something part time to fill the gap I have where my work used to be.  Something so when I lay my head on my pillow at night I feel accomplished.


I am sure that if I could get out of this crazy place I have walked into, this place that feels a lot like depression and mow my yard, clean my house, work in my gardens, that I could have that feeling of accomplishment, but making myself get up and out, even with this glorious weather is harder then I could have imagined when I am not getting enough sleep.  


Thursday after my chair yoga while I waited for my floor yoga class I went back into the cardio room and finished working on the machines and then did another mile on the elliptical walker.  That morning I had only walked half a mile.  I try to do a mile each time I go because it helps cardio, but it also helps build your bottom muscles.  I have not bottom to speak of.  In fact I look pretty flat from the back, but this machine is actually making a difference already.  OK, a little bit of difference, but my pants don't look quite as saggy these days.

One of my favorite parts of yoga class is that it is not the same routine each time.  She mixes up the positions, and often spends more time on moving positions rather then static positions.  It felt wonderful having just focused on strengthening my muscles and now stretching them out, building a different kind of strength.  


I stopped by Publix and bought myself a couple of pink roses and a piece of wild salmon.  Carried my treasures out to the toy, put the top down and headed south.  The weather is simply glorious here.  


Glorious


A little too cool in the mornings, but by mid day 80s and lovely.  I need a heavier quilt at night, and the animals snuggle around me to share the warmth.  I love that.  


Thursday night was our first rehearsal for Sin, Sex and the CIA.  Not all the parts are cast, but we did a read through and it is a fun play.  I am looking forward to working with this group of talented actors.  George King and I rode together into town, he is trying out for the part of the marine.  This is our first time working with this Director so we don't know how everything will work.  It is a little confusing so far, and I am not crazy about driving to Tallahassee a couple of times a week at night, but it is a small part and I won't have to go to every rehearsal.  I will go to those in Monticello, and I will start memorizing my lines now.  I am not sure how long it will take me to get this down.  


Yesterday I worked opening night serving dinners at the Opera House.  There were 2 adults, the rest were kids, mostly those earning hours for their bright futures scholarships.  The kids were great.  Polite, nice, intelligent kids, between 10 - 15.  Some of them I know through the plays at the Opera House.  This was their first time waiting tables, and they were nervous.  They tried very hard.  We had 42 people for dinner and 12 servers, so each table had 2 kids to take care of it.  They did a great job, and what a lovely evening to get to work with these kids.  I did not stay for the show.  After we finished cleaning everything up I headed home.  I wanted to get to bed early, but still didn't fall to sleep until late, but the show is 3 hours, so if I had any chance of going to sleep early I had to wait to see the performance.  I will wait to see the show the last weekend as planned.


Today I have done like so many days this week, just moved slowly as I am so tired.  I need to get more sleep.  I think I will lay down and try to take a nap, at least read a little and rest.  I have no plans for tonight so I hope to get to bed earlier.


I am still wrestling with so many negative thoughts in my mind.  Thoughts that I have allowed to be there.  I am not the same person who used to deal with the unhappiness at home by being so busy that I didn't have to go home.  But my life is not the same, and I have responded by choosing to do, but not at such a fevered pace those things I enjoy.  I am not saying that i will never have cycles of being too busy, but now, I have no reason to escape by doing too much.  


And the part about anxiety and being difficult.  I am not as stressed as I was then.  People have learned not to push me so hard and with that, I do not jump.  I will always have to watch to be the best I can be.  That is who I am, always wanting to be better.  But since most of my friends do not see this negative behavior and if I would simply quit listening and maybe spend more time with my friends who do not feel so inclined to make these judgements about me.  Maybe I will be able to sleep again.  I will never not have these loving people in my life.  But I must relearn how to be their friends.  Where they do not project on me these things.  People not so willing to simply say things that to them are simple facts of life, but for me are extremely hurtful.  


This is my life, not theirs.  This is not theirs to work on, this is for me to do.  And now that cancer seems farther and farther away from who I am, and now just another part of me like my eye color, here is something new to focus on.  Liking myself.  Not being Kathleen with cancer, but just be Kathleen.  To take the pressure off of myself of always being up and helping people to feel less uncomfortable around the person with cancer.  To just be a person.  A new twist on this journey.  Re-inventing myself again into someone who has cancer and is not cancer.  A person who likes being who she is.  There is not a lot to change, but what needs to be changed is at my very core.  To believe more in myself, my words instead of theirs.  Who cares what they think.  OK, I do.  But they will have to change their own minds, not me.  And it will be easier to live my life with less stress worrying about trying to make up for a few incidents.  I am a good person.  And I have things to do, places to go and time to do it.  Well, who knows how much time.  I don't know anymore then anyone else, but that is a huge gift in its self.


It is a glorious summer turning to fall weekend.  Last night the sky glowed with the colors of fall, vivid against the blue skies shading into dusk and dark as I drove home from the Opera House.  The weather is ideal and I feel a little hopeful as the seasons move us through our lives.  Autumn is often the time of reflections as we anticipate the coming of winter and time to hibernate and rest.  Let our insides like the bulbs nestled deep in the soil, rest and form what will be in Spring the glories of the continuation of the species.   I look forward to this time to reflect, and in the next season to spend time quietly forming the buds of the new, that will become the flowers, fruit, seeds, spores and the greenness and pastels of spring.  


Yes, take this time to reflect and nurture so that next spring, 2 years from the beginning of this journey I will be able to adorn my heart and soul with lovely new thoughts like flowers in the spring.