Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Monday, December 31, 2012

December 31, 2012

The hoidays have  been wonderful.  I recieved so many thoughtful cards and gifts.  I am still working on my cards and will continue sending them out even though the year is ending and the holidays are slipping away.  My favorite gifts were given to me by my oldest and youngest brothers and their families.  My oldest brother and his wife and daughter bought me 2 flocks of chickens.  These chickens will be given to one or two families in the Caribean and provide them with eggs, fertilizer and meat.  Children will learn how to take care of the little feathered creatres and watch their antics as they grow into full feathered clucking joys.
My youngest brother and his family gave me a share of a rabbit and a goat.  Heifer International is wonderful and the opportunities they open for the world.  And it makes me so happy to know that other people will have the joy of animals in their lives.  Thank you so much, dear family.

And I recieved so many thoughtful messages and gifts, thank you all.  It was wonderful hearing from everyone.  I hope to return the favor soon.  But for right now, I think I will sit back down again.  I feel okay, just lost in space.  I don't want to move too fast or try and do too much.  I just want to sit and pull myself back together.  I had wanted to have lunch with Geeta, Marsha and Darlene, but I just can not face leaving the house and having to talk to people.  Conversations are hard.  Focus and concentration is hard.  But I fee fine.  Bug and I are watching football, an there have been some amazing games.  I can sit and watch football.  No interaction, just sit and stare. 

Tomorrow is the day we start another year.  Another year with so much potential.  Happy new year everyone.  Love to all

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Eve

Here is my holiday letter, love to all and may this coming year be overflowing with Joy for all of us.

Thank you all for spending a little time on my porch, and those who leave comments, whether regularly or just once.  Thank you for taking that moment to write.  I do appreciate every comment I receive.  Like hugging a friend, only one you may have never met.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanuka, Happy New Year and Peace on Earth.
Merry, Merry and Happy, Happy, Happy!!!  We find ourselves at the end of another year.  That time when we look back and remember our precious loved ones spread throughout the world.  I love this time when we scurry to and fro.  Shopping, writing cards, baking, making traditions of a life time come alive again.  That is part of the magic of this time of year, where loved ones here and gone share the memories we make today.  My life has been so full this year.  I still cannot believe what a wonderful life I have, just so filled with joy and love and adventure.  Oh there are downs with the ups, but they seem so few and fade where the memories of happier times seem to grow bigger and brighter.

In January I met Bug.  He was living in Lake Park, GA.  He is retired Air Force and a full time RVer.  We got to be good friends and started spending more time together.  This should not surprise any of us.  After all, I am an Entomologist and he is well, Bug.  So after only knowing each other about six months, in June we took my Dad back one last time to Spain.  It was the 50th Anniversary of the sister cities.  Bug lived in Spain when he was in the Air Force.  He is fluent in Spanish and the people of Barcarrota fell in love with him immediately.  We had a wonderful trip.  It just wasn’t long enough time to spend with those dearly beloved precious ones.  It is like tearing my heart out each time we leave there.

In July Christopher came up to stay with us.  I had won a flight in a small plane and took Christopher. He had never flown in any plane, and before you knew it, the pilot had turned over the controls to him and he was flying, I mean really flying.  Bug had gotten the golf cart running, so Christopher spent a lot of time taking Bob and Harry for rides.  Harry really loved that.  Then Christopher and I jumped in the Toy, put the top down and drove to CT to visit Susan and Jim for their son, James’s high school graduation.  During our perfect stay at the Grantham’s we took Christopher to VT, MA, NY, and RI.  Then we picked up Bug in NJ who was visiting his lovely daughter, Shireen and grandson Kensington, and the trip stepped up a notch.  Christopher was hoping to get his citizenship badge and had already visited the Florida state capital and toured around Tallahassee and Florida government earlier this summer with me.  We took him to Philly and the Liberty Bell and Constitution Hall.  After consuming our share of cheese steaks sandwiches we headed to DC.  There we saw the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.  We spent a long day taking in as much as we could before heading on to Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown and the surrounding historical areas.  Here we started encountering Civil war history as well and kept heading south into Charleston, then Savannah.  We took boats and horse drawn wagons; we drug him into every museum and historical site we could find.  We visited a total of 16 states in two weeks.  The only state Christopher did not get to on the Eastern Seaboard was Maine.  It was a trip of a life time.

But after I dropped Christopher safely back with his parents, I put on my Harley jacket that weighs more than I do.  I pulled up my boots and climbed on the back of Bug’s black cherry Classic Electra Glide Harley and off we headed, trailer in pull.  Our first stop was the retirement of one of Bug’s dearest friends from the Air Force.  The tropical storms charged up behind us and after spending as much time as we could with friends, the road called to us and we headed off again on this almost 6 week adventure covering 22 states.  We spent a week in CA with his parents.  Sweet wonderful people and I also got to visit with my cousin Ned and his precious family.  I hadn’t seen Ned for about 35 years.  Our trip evolved as we road skirting snow and rain.  We saw one of the three old faithful geysers in the world, a petrified forest of giant redwoods, the Mojave desert, Grand Canyon, Napa Valley, The Spruce Goose, Yosemite NP, Santa Fe, Little Big Horn, mountains, grasslands, oceans, rivers and lakes.   In Napa we took the wine train, a boat ride on Lake Tahoe, and a train ride into San Francisco and then on the trolleys.  We visited Bug’s brother Ron in OR and his cousin Kim in CA.  We visited friends here and there as close as family.  We saw sun rises and sun sets, we drove when it was so hot you fried like bacon on the bike flying across the black cooking surfaces of roads.  We rode up the CA and OR Giant Redwood coast where the temperature dropped from the upper 70s to the 40s in like 15 minutes.  We left Omaha with frost on rooftops.  Every day was a new adventure with places to see and people to meet.  We rode over 7500 miles on the Harley alone.  It was one of the most amazing things I have ever done in my life. 

We lost Harry just a few months ago now.  Rest in peace dear sweet giant Harry boy.  We still have Bob and Edna, the 4 cats, John C Bennett and his flock, as well as gold fish in the lotus pond.  Blessings overflow in my life.  I am back in treatments waiting to see what my options might be for this year.  So come and see us, and know that I am thinking of you with a big smile on my face and a twinkle in my eye.  Love you dearly!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I am here

I am here!  I have not fallen off the face of the earth, but I do sort of feel like I am free falling.  Between the Amazing and Wonderful Dr. McCutiepie, and my new doctor, I am back in treatments.  Just one chemical in the infusion treatment, and I am still taking the Tarceva but I am not doing well on the treatment.  Well,my mind isn't.  Everything else seems to be tolerating things just fine.

So I have gone to Atlanta and visit Dr. M and I have had the two treatments.  One in Atlanta, the other one back in Thomasville.  I have had a little bout of the stomach bug, which came when Bug and I had driven over to St. Augustine after Thanksgiving.  We did get to drive down to Sebring and walk around the car show, and our first night in St. Augustine we were able to waunder around that beautiful old city dressed up in her Christmas finest.  White lights shining golden and bright wrapped around palm trees and bushes, people walking around with 3D glasses on singing Christmas carols and riding on the tour bus trains.  It was beautiful and one of the most magical ways to start this time of year.  But by Sunday I was not well at all, and other then a quick drive out to the lighthouse, I spent the rest of our time sick in the room. 

So many things have happened since I last posted.  Part of that is because of my computer, the other part is that I am struggling with things.  I had a little break in my crazy meds, and it took me a couple of weeks to get myself back.  And then on this came the infusion treatment.  One measly WMD, and that one is one of the best working with the least amount of side effects, and yet it is like a perfect storm of insanity.  Crazy chemicals swimming through my system, each with their specific job to do.  Each with their own range of side effects.  The result is me sitting on the couch, practically drooling, barely able to keep my head up because I am so very exhausted.  And like someone who has not slept for a week, but who is altered with drugs, my head spins and I can barely focus.  This  makes me naseous and dizzy, but honestly, if I could think clearly I would be just fine.

Dr. M wants one more treatment.  Dr. May has already scheduled two.  Honestly, I would rather go for the two treatments.  Even though I am unable to carry on much of a conversation or to accomplish the many tasks this time of year allows, that functionin above bare necessity is difficult, I would rather take the 4 treatments of WMDs, hope that they stall the cancer, and that we can work our way back to a maintenance situation. 
I don't know what that means.
I don't know if we are going to have to add in another of the WMDs that we are fairly certain will impact this cancer.
I don't know if we can knock it down enough so that I can go back on maintenance.
Is there a maintenance?
Have I lost what little mind I had left?
I am not sure about anything.

Isn't that the way life is?

I did the Radio Play.  Mary Moon and I did our last stint together as the Miller Sister Foley Team for the Stage Company.  I am no longer able to tolerate the rehearsals and performances.  I love the work, but the late nights wipe me out.  And I am not really enjoying the performances because I am working so hard trying to stay focused.  To not fall over, to no retch on stage.  It was wonderful getting to Foley with Mary one more time.  I love that woman so much.  She is a fine Foley, and a dear sweet funny woman.  We also had an apprentice.  Our favorite 15 year old, Zach Holly.  We have worked with him on several plays in the past and he is one of our all time favorite people.  He is funny and quiet and a little shy, but charming and a wonderful quirky sense of drama and silliness.  He had to bang a cymbal so we gave him big pot lids.  The first time he had to bang them, he does this dramatic extension of his arms, and then BANG he brings the lids together.  They make this horrific clatter of lids, not very cymbal sounding at all.  And you just can not help but laugh.  It was wonderful getting to work with him and for Mary and I to know that the Stage Company is in good hands for the next generation of Foley work. 

It was also great to do the Radio Play because I get to work with some of my most favorite people ever.  Of course, Mary and Zach, but it is always wonderful to get to do this play with Jan.  She directs us and her Dad was with the NBC Radio Company half a century ago, so this type of show has some of the best memories ever for Jan.  We have some very talented actors in our Stage Company, but to get them go in a completely different direction and shine so bright makes this production one of my all time favorites.  Cami and Mike were back in the play with their two daughters, Mary Rose and Lily.  Cami was in Casablanca with us, so she is a special joy for me from the beginning.  Like getting to work with Carolyn.  She and I joined the Stage Company with the Casablanca production and I still love getting to work with Carolyn.  This year to get to work with Cami and Mike, and their 2 precious lovely daughters, just seemed perfect.  And Judi Persons, another one of our talented group got to perform with granddaughter and with Jon Taylor, who is like a son to her.  I got to watch my Amanda perform.  She is amazing, and I love that young woman like a daughter.  So this show is layers upon layers of family and loved ones.  Dancing on the boards with the bright lights on.  It brings out the best in all of us, and the bittersweet reality that this may be the last time I am on stage with George or Jack, Mary or Amanda, or Judy and Denise.  That I may never again get to play with Pat or Marcy and so many dear sweet precious friends is tempered by the reality of how very very blessed I have been to get to spend 4 years learning the Foley Trade with the most generous and delightful people in the world.

No regrets, really.  I wish I felt clearer, stronger, but between the WMDs, the holidays, the stomach bug and wearing myself out, I would do it all over again.  Yes, I would.  But I don't have to.  I got to do it the first time.

So much
so much
wonderful life
and sweet reminders of how lucky I am to still be here.

We had to put Harry to sleep.  He was 14 or maybe 15, I am not sure.  But he was still hanging in there after the summer of travelling.  Then within a few days he just went downhill.  I called the vet and they of course fit us in right away.  I was not feeling so great at the time, but Bug found me digging his grave and the two of us were able to put him next to his mother, Maggierose and his sister, Lily.  He went quickly with Bug and I with him as Dr. Baxley administered the drug.  No pain, he just slipped away.  My giant Harry boy.  The child like creature that has been such a major part of my life for a decade and a half.  My three labs all gone now.  We buried him in his blanket with his food bowl, a dog cookie, a glow in the dark star to help him navigate to never never land, a candle to light the way and matches.  I stood at the grave of my three labs.  Marina is the only one left with me from my life before here.  Marina was Harry's cat.  We brought her home and put her with him.  A tiny black creature that had barely opened her eyes.  A giant labrador whose head was bigger then Marina when she was full grown.  But they loved each other.  Marina loved Harry more, but he tolerated her constant loving and attention with the dignity of a jowl heavy giant. 
Now he is gone.

We are heading over to Apalachicola today.  Bug and I are staying at the Gibson Inn.  We saw the PSA in May's blog blessourhearts about the deal they have at the Gibson about dinner and a free overnight stay.  I have always wanted to eat at the Gibson and to sleep in that old blue gray cracker hotel.  We have a room on the second floor on the balcony.  I am so excited.  The weather has been amazing lately.  Perfect for riding the motorcycle.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to ride.  That would require being able to sit up right, balance, think.  Nope, that has not been me.  But now, a beautiful ride along the coast over to Apalachicola. 
It is raining.
Oh well, we will take the toy, and  hopefully the weather will clear and we will be able to ride around with the top down.
I wish we were able to take the bike.
I know Bug really wishes we could take the bike
But for today, not such a good idea

Bug and I bought ourselves a giant screen TV
Ok, not giant compared to a lot of TVs, but giant for us
You can see the hair in someone's mole. 
Yep, pretty clear
We are enjoying it

I am hanging in there.
No pain
Really, nothing to complain about other then loosing my mind
I really miss my mind
no seriously, I really miss my mind
But I am here.
I am "well"
I look well
I am happy
I am busy with the holidays

I was able to spend thanksgiving with Rob, JongAe and Jessica.
Dad spent a week with us and we got his Christmas shopping done
It was great having him here, but a lot of work for everyone

I have missed so many birthdays and calls and just hello how are yous.

I am sorry, I am just not up to carrying on a conversation
I get lost
and then I stress
and then my head spins and I just want to run and hide
But considering how much people with sinuses or arthritis or migraines have to deal with, a few days, or weeks of confusion doesn't seem worth mentioning

Bug took my back deck/porch and has closed it in and we are going to get the windows closed up with screen and roll down canvas/vinyl windows, and I can sit out there. When it is sunny or rainy, cold or warm, I have a lovely place to sit. A real Southern screened in porch. I am now sittin on a porch in style. Thank you Bug, you are the most wonderful!

So I am good.
I hope that all of you are
Thank you each for trying to crack through my shell and find out what is going on.
Love to you all
Happy Holidays
I am happy
and well
and living my life