Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Plans and rain

There is a lot more to planning a wedding then I had intended on actually doing.  I just thought tell everyone to come over for a cover dish and we will have a short but beautiful wedding ceremony then cake that that would be enough.  Well, the cake was way more involved then that. 

I had sat down and thought what is really important to me.  Bug.  Standing up in front of witnesses and committing my love to him.  That is the most important.  What is second most important?  My loved ones.  Whether family or friends, they are next most important to me.  Everyone has been so much with me these past few years.  Mary and Judy committed most of a year of their lives taking care of me during the first chemo.  They saw me at my worst and held my hand and kissed my forehead and gave me a place to focus on to come back. And Denise and Glen and the rest of the family was there also.  It was a community who came to me and extended their arms and took me in and got me through that first year. 

And of course my Dad and brothers and their family.  They have watched me go from the center maternal force in our family, to splitting up the duties and pulling together.  Especially Rob/Jong Ae and Tom/Pat who to this day take the bulk of the load on taking care of Dad.  Years ago I would come and take care of Mother and Daddy a lot more then I am able to now, and with their busy family lives they have stepped up and picked up what I can no longer do.

Don't get me wrong, i am still strong and healthy and capable of living a full life, but with treatments every three weeks or so, it makes it a bit harder to get to Dad's.  Plus as Dad is aging, now 87, in June 88, he is almost too much for me at times.  I love my Dad dearly, but if you are standing on the verge of sanity and you have a conversation with someone who has dementia, well, let me just say, it is not pretty.  Conversations go much better if at least one person is able to follow along with the subject.  And bless his sweet heart we gets confused and then angry and sometimes I just have to say, "Dad if we are going to fight on the phone, I am just going to call you back later."  That usually, usually, snaps him back to his old self and we can finish our conversation.  But I talk to him most days.  There are some days I just don't have enough balance.  My Dad loves me more then anyone on this planet and my little c has really devastated him. 

I think the main reason I asked everyone to join us was because of the memories.  I really don't care of lots of people around me.  I prefer the solitude of my garden, a good book or spending time with Bug.  I love to spend time with my friends, but since most of us are social hermits, so we like our alone time.  But weddings are about traditions. "Something old, something new, Something borrowed, something blue, And a silver sixpence in her shoe." and making memories.  I will always have the beautiful memory of walking into my friends and family with this wonderful, amazing man that is such an important of my life. 

It will be a sweet memory to watch my 9 year old niece, dressed as a fairy, move through the crowd sprinkling flower petals. 

To close my eyes and remember seeing my Dad and Bug's parents standing next to my Vicki, to see the brightness in Sioux's eyes, to look in the sweet, funny, silly, handsome man holding my hand.  To spin around and see the love of such precious people coming together to share in those memories.  And when I am gone, people will smile and have memories of such and happiness.  That is why I want the focus on the people and the love.  The sharing of a few precious moments together.

Bug's Mom and I went to Publix and I ordered the bride's cake.  It will be iced all in white with a simple but elegant design.  Three layers, two tiered, and in between the two tiers, then on top and surrounding the cake will be fresh flowers.  Of course, I could not just pick out one cake, I had to take several of their design and put them together.  The lovely woman at the Publix, where shopping is a pleasure, seemed nonplussed and wrote things out and then read them back to me, and it sounded perfect.  It will be large, not huge and over bearing, but it will definitely hold it's own.  What flowers will I use?  What ever looks the most beautiful on Friday.  Bug's parents are giving us the bride cake as our wedding present.  My Dad is buying the flowers as his wedding present to us. 

But you can not just have a cake, then you have to have the knife and server.  So we had to fine those.  And I ordered the groom's cake.  I love the idea of a bride and grooms cake.  It is an opportunity to have different flavors and personalities come together for one celebration.  To have the flowers and feminine side, with light cake flavors and to have a more masculine cake in chocolate and fudge gives us the best of both worlds. 

The cakes are ordered and will be picked up the morning of the wedding and I will put the flowers on then.  I will pick up the flowers on Friday and make the flower wreaths for our hair and my bouquet and hopefully we can have just little glasses of flowers all around.  Maybe all of this rain, sweet, quenching, dear, dear rain will bring out the flowers in my yard.  The hard frost bit back the early blooming azaleas.  Over night their bright coats of pinks and whites turned into brown coats hanging limply turning the yard from budding spring, back into winter.  But we are getting long days of rain, steady water lightly drumming on the porch roof lolling Bug and I to sleep on our little couch.  The cats nestled on our laps, the dogs asleep on our feet, a blanket pulled up to our chins cloaking us in one warm cocoon.  The white lights twinkling above our head as the thrumming grows louder and then softer as the clouds lumber across the sky.  I love sitting on our porch.  A real screened in porch.  Just the right size for this little family that has come together at this time in this place.

We have bought plates for the cover dish, plates for the cakes,  We have bought plastic utensils that look like fine silver, the plates look like china.  Fancy fancy.  We have the knife and server for the cake, fancy again.  We have bar napkins and dinner napkins, sorry, no wedding napkins.  We run all day.  Mom and  leave the house around 11 and remember to eat lunch around 4 and usually don't get home until after 6.  We shop and shop and mark things off our list, butter mints, check, serving platters, check.  What in the world is taking us so much time and shopping?!?!?!!!  I don't know.  It means that I don' get to see Bug for most of the day and by the time I get home I am so tired.  Shopping is not fun for me, it is OK, but mostly it just wears me to the bone.  Dealing with people, having to make decisions right then or make the trip back.  I am not great with the stress of having to make so many decisions.  It is extremely stressful.  I feel like I need to apologize constantly for being grumpy.  My crazy meds can only help me with a certain amount of stress.

But just about the time that Bug and I go, "Let's just fly to Vegas" we hear from another sweet precious one who is coming to join us, and we remember what is important and why we are doing this.  It is not about the stuff, it is about the people.

Have you noticed I don't talk much about what I want?  Well, I am the one that wants as many loved ones around me as possible.  For them and for me.  I am the one that thought decorations, music, fancy location, no, what I want is our home, our yard, with a beautiful cake and lots of flowers.  That is what makes me happy.  I keep hearing from people that this is my day, my wedding and I should focus on myself, not on others.  Well, first of all, it is not MY wedding, it is our wedding.  Bugs and mine, our families, our friends.  And what makes me the very most happiest of all?  Is seeing joy and happiness in my loved ones. 

I looked up the weather, on and it predicts March to be a drier month then normal.  Temperatures should be in the 70s, but I will know more in another week or so.  At this time I am planning on wearing my white silk Gatsby dress with the gold and pearl mini beads.  But it is light and sleeveless, so I may have to wear a shawl, or I might have to pick something else all together if it is cold.  I have looked at clothes when we were out shopping and I have not seen anything, anywhere that interests me.  As long as I have flowers in my hair, I am not concerned much beyond that.  I did buy some makeup yesterday.  I do want my husband to look at me and think I look beautiful.  But that will come from the joy inside of me while at that moment I marry my best friend.

Oh, another gift has just been given to me.  My precious one, Geeta asked what she could do, and I asked her to give Bug and I a traditional Hindi blessing.  Vicki is doing a Celtic ceremony for us with a traditional blessing.  But we can use all the blessing we can get.  I was thinking of just a moment with Geeta, but she says she has the blessing printed out from her son Raju's engagement and so she will bring copies to share so they will understand what she says to us.  How special.  What a dear gift to share this with us.

I still have one more fairy dress to make for my sister-in-law who is the mother of my flower girl and who will be taking photos of the wedding for us.  Then more cleaning and a special present to make for my flower girl.  Lists to be poured over and new ones to be written.

But this weekend we will take a break.  Bug and I are driving down to see my Dad tomorrow. Monday we will leave after breakfast and drive across the state to Titusville to celebrate Bug's Aunt's 82 or 83rd birthday.   Then we will travel back home and start working on the yard getting it ready.  Maybe another blessing of this wedding besides of all the loved ones coming, is that we are working hard on cleaning the house and the yard.  It already looks wonderful and we have so much left to do.

And it looks like we will not be taking a 2 month honeymoon.  Reality rears its ugly head at us.  The Amazing Dr. McCutie Pie says it is not wise to take so long off the medication.  And since I want to have as much quality time with my sweet dear, precious, handsome, wonderful and amazing husband as possible, we have decided to continue the chemo every 3 - 4 weeks.  I am tolerating the treatment just fine this time.  I think part of it is my attitude, but I think the biggest part is that most of us are over getting the stomach virus, the flu, the other flu or a cold, so dealing with chemo with out the flu is much easier then the other way.  Maybe the Amazing Dr. McCutie Pie and his family might come to the wedding, maybe, he has a very busy schedule, but he knows he is considered one of our most favorite and precious friends, and if it works out we will be so very pleased to have him here.

There is a short break in the rain, so I need to go out and get something done in the yard.  And really, how much rambling does anyone need to write.  But my mind and my fingers are happy to type out the letters and words and sentences and to have happy memories written down of this time. 

Life is so wonderful, and I am so very very happy. 


Sunday, February 17, 2013

March 9, 2013

March 9, 2013 at 2:00 pm  That is our Wedding date, mark your calendars!!  I know it is opening weekend of The Stage Company's presentation of Neil Simon's "Prisoner of Second Avenue".  That is why we are having it at 2:00 pm.  That way everyone can attend the wedding, enjoy a pot luck, have a piece of cake, toast with a glass of champagne and then go to see the play.  Bug and I will be running off after the wedding to spend the night in an undisclosed location. We will be back in the morning, but I want to get him away all to myself, just for the night.

His parents should be here later this afternoon.  We have been working on the house the last few days, cleaning and fixing, hanging our considerable art collection and generally making the house ours.  We have changed everyroom and the Feng Shui matches our energy better. 

Watch here and Facebook for more details and hotel accomodations.  Everyone is welcome, and you can bring your tent or your trailer and stay on the property.  The parents get the two bedrooms in the house.  There are places to stay here, but they are going fast.

I am so excited and happy.  It feels like we are in this little bubble right now.  Time feels different, million of things are running through each of our minds.  Everyone's happiness for us is overwhelming.  We are so blessed to have such precious wonderful people in our lives.  So much love, such joy, such excitement.  I just keep thinking about what is important and what can we skip.  Cake topper?  No, instead a bride's cake wth fresh flowers and a grooms cake with Harely and boat stuff.  Live music?   Maybe some friends will show up with instruments, maybe not.  We have discs.  Flowers?  Simple and favorites.  I know, I am just as gushing as a young bride.  I love it!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Life just keeps getting better

I woke up this morning engaged to the most amazing and wonderful man.  He was sleeping so sweetly next to me, breathing that sleep breath that lolls me to sleep.  It is the dearest lullaby to me, the sound of my loved one's regular sleep breathing.  On the other side of the bedroom door the house is filled with lullaby's as Bob and Edna, asleep next to each other.  Henry and Luna asleep in the guest room, Marina on her box in the hall, Stella next to Bob and Edna.  Their child like breathing filling the house with the sweet song of love and sleep.  Life is so amazing.

I woke up this morning around 4 am with my head swimming with marriage thoughts.  Bug was awake, his head filled with boat thoughts.  Bug was followed home by a 2009 19 foot Carolina Skiff Elite with a 115 Yamaha.  It was our Valentine present.

He loves his new boat.  He is taking an Internet course on boating safety.  He already holds his certificate for boating safety, but he thought it would be a good idea to take a refresher and to learn about Florida regulations.
And now I am watching him as he learns all about his new boat, motor, electronics such as the Loran C with GPS and he is so happy.  That makes me happy.  I will be even happier when w finally get some boating weather and I am standing next to him as he takes her out the first time and sees what she can do.  Bob and Edna have never been in a boat.  I think they are going to love this.
It is now my joy to plan our wedding.  He is so sweet, he says, I don't want anything fancy or big........unless you do."  I assured him that no, I do not want anything big or fancy.  Just a cover dish dinner with all our friends and loved ones who can be here as Vicki performs the 5 minute ceremony that publicly announces what we have already whispered to each other.  We are committed to each other. 
How can one life be so filled with such joy, such love, so many many wonderful precious people????? I have no idea why, but I have been given the most amazing life.  And I have met someone who also has had an amazing life.  Challenges, we have been lucky to have challenges.  They have helped us to see and live our lives to the fullest.  I can't believe I found him.  I can't believe that I have been given a chance to live this time of my life with this truly amazing man.
But the wedding:
When?  As soon as his parents and my Dad can be here
Where?  Here at our house, of course
Who?  Vicki will marry us and hopefully all of the people who know us that can be here will be here
What?  A celebration of spring and love
How?  Bug's parents are on their way across the country so as soon as his Mom gets here we will sit down together and start working out ideas.
Will there be music?  Well there will be canned music, live music?  Hmmmm we will see if anyone is available
Flowers?  Of course in my hair, in my arms and wherever else I can fit them; I can get these at Costco
Cake?  I need to get a hold of a couple of friends who do cakes and see who would be available
Tokens?  Bubbles and bells; OTC is on the Internet
Food? Cover dish
Beverages?  We have already started getting wine.  Champagne for a toast, beer and an open bar at the new Turtle shell pub.  Just need to pick up the champagne
Dress?  He asked me if I wanted him to wear his uniform.  I told him that I wanted him to wear whatever made him feel comfortable.  I was thinking of a pair of blue jeans and a Harley shirt;  He asked me if I wanted a fancy wedding dress.  No, I want to wear my white silk 1920s Gatsby dress.  It is wedding looking, but comfortable and simple and I bought it for an Opera House New Year's Event and I love it, so that quickly solves that situation.
Rings?  Bug is giving me his grandmother's wedding band.  It is a simple, delicate platinum band with a little etching on it.  Bug had said he wanted to take me to get a diamond.  I said I didn't want one, instead I would rather wear my grandmother's engagement ring with his grandmother's wedding band.  That just seems right.  He saw the ring and agreed.  We did look at rings yesterday quickly.  It was a jewelry store that sells sparkly huge rocks.  There wasn't a ring in the cases that I could picture on my hand.  We both agree that the grandmother's rings are perfect.  I am not saying that he can't buy me other jewelry, but my rings are set. 
But what about him?  He does a lot of mechanical work and work with his hands so I didn't know if he even wanted to wear one.  I looked at a lot of rings last night and I think we will settle on a Celtic band.  Vicki will be doing a Celtic based ceremony for us, so it is very fitting.
What if I need to get this together in a couple of weeks?  We can do that.  I mean really as long as we get the license everything else will fall into place.  I am not going to stress over this.  We just going to enjoy the time with our precious ones.
I have Stage 4 lung cancer.  I a 57 years old and I am getting ready to marry the man of my dreams.  And then we are going to take a 2 month honeymoon.  We are going to take off in the 5th wheel with a Harley in the back and spend time together.  Okay we will start our marriage with a 2 month honeymoon, but if the coming years are anything like the previous year, the honeymoon isn't going to end.
I am happy, so very very happy.
I am in love and I get to plan our wedding
and then, I get to continue this amazing and wonderful wife with him.
How wonderful is life!!!!!
I guess I need to go on a link and find out what we need for our license.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day everyone.  This morning during our coffee and tea, Bug and I exchanged valentine's cards. Then as I was sitting on his lap telling him how much I loved my valentine, he simply slipped a small black box from his pocket.  He handed it to me.  I love presents and surprises.  I opened it to find the most beautiful heart shaped opal stone with diamonds on a gold band.  Simple, elegant, and does the man know me or what?!?  Then he looked in my eyes and said, "will you marry me?" 

I said "YES!"

How sweet
how perfect
how romantic

Valentine's Day

I am about bursting I am so happy.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Where do I begin?????

I went to get my Pet scan on Thursday.  I had to be there a little after 7:00 am.  When I was one of the working people that was nothing.  I went to work at 7:00 many mornings over 26 years with the Department. But now I am retired and getting up at 5:30 am to be on the road a little after 6 to make the 45 minute drive.  I have found over these past few years to be early to doctor appointments.  The wait time somehow is a little shorter because they will move me up with someone else is running late.

Pet Scans aren't so bad.  I mean all they do is inject you with radioactive material.  They advise you to stay away from pregnant woman and small children for 20 hours, and to flush the toilet twice for 24 hours so as not to expose Bug to the radioactivity as my body flushes it out.  But it doesn't make me feel bad, and think about how much money some woman spend trying to get the glowing complexion I have.  OK, the steroids also help with the rosy glow on my face.  Hey, if you are going to have stage 4 lung cancer you have to find your happy place where you can. 

The scan went without a hitch.  It is nice that I have been going here so long that they staff knows me and knowing I am not going to be difficult, they really take excellent care of me, and refer to me as a favorite patient.  They help me up and down off the machines because with the chemo I have a lot of numbness in my feet and legs and even in my hands and arms at time.  But after laying in the tube for 25 minutes with my arms braced over my head, when I go to get up I am extremely wobbly.  But they laugh with me and gently guide me out to where I can go find my car.  We send best wishes to each other hoping not to see each other for a while.

I left the hospital and went to get some food to eat.  It was that weird time when the transition from breakfast to lunch.  I picked up some fast food, not being very hungry and headed over to the Oncology Center.  They got me into my labs quickly and I had plenty of time to get some food down before I had my appointment with Bobbie and then Dr. May. 

It is always wonderful to get to visit with Bobbie.  I still miss Ashley but as long as I have Bobbie and Betty Ann, I can do this.  Dr. May came into see me.  She did not have the results back from the PetScan yet, which actually worked in my favor because I got to play "What if" with her.  What if the chemo did better then we had hoped for?  What would be next?

I don't know why I had not expected this, but the answer was, "Keep taking the chemo infusion along with the Tarceva every 3 weeks for the rest of my life."  WHAT?????

Wait a minute, that makes sense, but I have been sick or at the least had the sit downs and lay downs the entire time.  I had like 3 -4 good days for every 3 weeks.  But, I did get the stomach bug, the flu, more of the flu and then a cold, so if I could minimize my exposure to the illnesses out there, maybe I can do this.  hmmmmm.  maybe

After all, this has been a really bad flu season, and I have not been careful of where and when I have been going out around people.   But I think the biggest problem with this treatment was somehow I had it in my mind if I could just survive these 4 treatments then I could go on with my life as it had been.  And I need survive, barely. So what if I change my attitude?  After all, I am not going to live without it.  Bottom line folks.  I stop the chemo, either the infusion or the tarcevia then the cancer continues to take over and well, die.  Not right away.

How do I know that?  Well, I asked Dr. May during this "What if" session, what if the infusion chemo did not affect the cancer at all?  What are my options.  There are two options, stop treatments, or try adding in another med into the infusion treatment.  But this is the easiest chemo for me to handle.  Anything we would add in would only make it harder on me, even if it might work better then the Altima on its own. 

Based on the lab results while we were waiting on the PET Scan results suggested that the infusion treatment was working.  But the bottom line, do I want to spend the rest of my life, of maybe a year or two more, sick?   no.  no, I do not want to do that. 

So Dr.May through out a compromise.  I take 2 more treatments to really knock the cancer down as far as we can, and then I can have a 3 month break to travel and get out and live my life, and then I am to come back and we will run 3 treatments and check to see if the cancer responds again to the treatment.  This is not adding quantity to my life, but if I can tolerate the infusion better then I have, it could increase the quality of my life for the time I have left. 

Okay, I agreed to the two treatments and that after my 3 months, I would come back to talk with her and make my final decision then whether to continue treatments.  So when would we schedule the next treatment, number 5?  Oh, well, she had already scheduled it and they were waiting for me.  WHAT?  I had to laugh.  We do have control over our lives, to a point, and if we are smart we will listen to those we ask their advice.  So I found myself in an infusion chair, surrounded by sweet competent staff, who know me and laugh and take care of me.  I sit in my comfy chair covered with a warm blanket.  Would I like a bottle of water, with a glass of ice?  How about some cookies, or crackers, maybe a sandwich?

I accept the bottle of water, with the glass of ice, no on any food.  I turn on the food network and sit there with a knitting board running the yarn up and down the board yarn weaving off of my fingers onto the pegs, the scarf growing with each pass.  The tube stuck in my port in my chest dripping first nausea medicine, then steroids, then the WMD.  I watched the rain sheeting down onto the gardens.  I was warm and dry inside in my little chair with my warmed blanket.  With Bug in Virginia I had not set up a fall back plan for getting home.  After all, I was just going to do labs and seeing the doctor.  I was not prepared for a treatment.  And as the steroids hit my system after the bendryl my head was spinning.  Oops.  But sitting there drinking water, breathing in and out, well I felt better.  I knew I would be able to drive home.  And I did.

I have to admit that when I found out my options today it was a harder hit then I had expected.  I don't know what I had expected.  But as hard as it is to deal with, I have to admit that is it kind of cool to realize that it is my choice.  It up to me where my fate lies.  Maybe a little overwhelming, but in a much cooler way then I had thought it would feel.  It is up to me to decide.  It is my life, all the way to the end.  Hmmmm and beyond.  It is my responsibility to take care of my children, my property.  I need to get back to getting my estate ready.  Yes, I still have a year or more, but I need to do this while my mind is still clear and in tack.

I started doing this when I first found out about the cancer.  I had a will made, but in the 2 1/2+ years now life is different.  I know I have only known Bug for a year or so, but he has brought so much to my life and home.  He has done more work on this place then anyone other then me.  He is my partner, my best friend, my pal, my love.  I can't help but consider about him as I think about everything.  He has given me so much love and life and adventure at a time when I needed it the most.  And he is still her.  He handles my insanity, my sit downs and lay downs.  He watches me stay in the same clothes for one too may days, or not take a shower every day.  He supports me emotionally and manages to get me to eat more then I would without him.  In fact these few days he has been gone, I have struggled again with remembering to eat, but when I think of him, I want to do what I can to stay as healthy as possible.  Which is kind of funny.  I was talking to Susan today and we laughed about how healthy I have lived for most of my life, and look where it is gotten me.  Now I have to take things in my own hands.
This week while Bug has been up visiting his son I have tackled the guest room, our bedroom and got the carpet cleaned.  I have played a little in the yard and thrown the ball for Bob more times then he should be running.  I have had to give me a pain pill for the last couple of days.  Today I am paying more attention to how often I throw the ball to him.  I am trying to get the house and yard ready for the garden club tomorrow here.  Oh well, my friends love me for me.  They are not expecting me to perform miracles, they know I have the little c.  And Bug's parents are heading our direction tomorrow from CA.  It should take them 4 -5 days to get her, so that gives me a few more days to finish dusting and cleaning the house, and Bug will be home o Monday and can help me.  And again, his parents love me for me and aren't expecting me to be super house keeper.  Which I am not, but I want them to be proud of me and of Bug's choice.  So I want to do what I can to get the house to look like it did before I got sick.

It has been cold here.  Okay, it is not blizzard Nemo, but 30s, 40s and 50s is too cold for me.  I live in Florida after all.  And it has been a very mild winter, but that doesn't mean that 27 degrees makes me happy.  Last weekend we went to the Singleman Concert.  A concert of local bands held out at Willow Pond.  We were going to camp there, but a tent and 27 degrees, no.  It was a lovely sunny days and sitting in our thrift store chairs enjoying the different bands.  We got there in time to catch the end of Caleb's set.  We stayed until dark and as the temps started dropping, and both of us just getting over the flu and each of us struggling with a cold, and well the last band we heard just wasn't worth sitting in the cold. 

Monday is a OH Stage Company Board Meeting and I am resigning.  I also sent in an email resigning from the Board of the OH itself.  I love the Opera House.  I love my community. I love the people here.  But I am not particularly productive or effective anymore so it is time to step aside for someone else who has the ability to make a difference.  OK, and I am trying to down size the stress in my life.  And not doing what I think I should be doing in these positions creates a lot of stress in my life. 

It has taken me some time to write this, but that is because I needed to talk to a few precious loved ones before they read it here.  I love you all, but it is time to accept that I have little c and the clock is ticking.  For the past 3 months I have felt like I am sitting on the side of the bed holding a shoe.  A shoe waiting to drop.  So I am still sitting there holding that last shoe.  It is my shoe and I am holding it.  How lucky is that?  The rest of my life is in my hands.  Are lives are always in our own hands, but to think about that in a normal day to day is not as clear as it is for me now.  Making a decision to stop the chemo could mean that I might not be able to go back, so I have to be sure.  And even though it is my life, I have a partner to consider.  He has changed my life in so many ways.  So many wonderful and amazing ways.  To fall in love with your best friend, how perfect is that. 

So what are we going to do in this 3 months?  Travel. March is Daytona Bike week with our dear friends Bill and Felecia.  Then the next week is the Spring Music Festival at the Suwanee Music Park.  We already have camping reservations and our tickets.  Then in April we are going to a bike rally at Angel City.  From there we are taking the 5th wheel with the golf cart, our bicycles and a Harley in the toy hauler portion and travelling for the rest of April and all of May.  Then it will be time to come home and decide about the chemo.  Of course, I am already working on a decision by having a better attitude towards the chemo.  It seems to be working.  I am having the side effects, but I am handling them better.  Maybe.

Well, I guess that is really all I have today.  Life and death decisions.  Deep thinking with a shoe in my hand, love in my heart.  My computer got hacked and it sent out a creepy email to everyone in my contact list.  The nice part is that I got so many emails from friends asking how I am doing.  I have been laying very low for the last 3 months.  I have been insane and sick and tired and exhausted and dealing with people, even my most beloveds as just been more then I could handle.  Especially with this cough and my weak voice, red running eyes, thin face and wobbly stand.  But I am stronger, and I have a little more energy to share with others.  But don't expect me to come out roaring.  I am still going to have ups and downs, don't we all.

Yes, I am looking down the road and I can see that I will not make it to 60.  I will be lucky to make it to 59.  I have beaten all the other odds, but it is time to deal in reality and focus on day to day life.   I know I have enough money to make these last couple of years.  Five years?   I don't know, that would be really stretching things, and the market could not take any big hits.  But two years, I can do this.  And I can make it two years to remember. 

Bug.  He is the reason I am even considering taking more chemo to have even one more day in his strong arms.  To look into that face I love so much to hear his little happy song he hums, his chuckles and laughs.  To sit in his lap and feel him wrap around me and then to have Bob and Edna jump in, Stella climbs on the back of the chair and Luna and Henry come around to see if there is some attention to them.  Marina even lives with us again.  My life has so much love and joy and happiness in it.  The end isn't scary, is it a part of my story.  I have some choices here in how the rest of my life will go, and then the end.  I have the opportunity to decide how a life's work will be shared and with whom.  It will include the people who have actively been part of my life these last few years.  It will include those who love me and don't want anything but me. 

So more soon.  I hope you have avoided the flu.  I hope you are safe and warm, especially if you are in Nemo.  Down here the weather is nice, so come visit.  But call to make reservations to make sure we will be here.  This is the year.  Who knows how I will be in another 12 months.  You want to see me while I am still happy and smiling.  Shoot.  I will be smiling and laughing all the way out.  Why not?  What do I have to be unhappy about.  I have had an amazing life and I know that it is time to step up and live, really live.  Whether that is travelling or sitting in my garden, sitting in the sunshine, my hands deep in the rich composted soil.  I don't care if I am pulling weeds or planting, life doesn't get any better then that.  Life is lived in the small and large moments.  Don't miss the small ones.  Like sitting on my new screened in porch writing this post. 

Here are some photos of the porch and my winter yard:

Our new bar, the Turtle Shell Pub
Brazilizan Flame Vine

Turtle Shell

Our sitting area with a TV, a little heater that looks like a wood burning stove, with two back up heaters
The door leading up to my screened in back porch.  The pumpkin in the photo is my pumpkin from Halloween 2 years ago. It still looks great!
Come visit our new porch and sit with us for a while!