Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Is is the last week in July already?

n What a wonderful weekend.  We took the black and silver out for ride Friday and yesterday, and Saturday we took a ride on the black cherry.  Three days in a row riding on the bikes!  Woohoo!  Saturday we stopped by for a quick hello at the Moon's.  Lon and Lis were just leaving for another gig, but I got to get a couple of hugs from each of them, and that is wonderful.  Glen took Bug out to look at his new lawnmower, it is one of those zero turn things, and could hear happy grunting from the men as they examined the mower.  Mary and I took a minute to quietly catch up.  She reminded me that it is up to me to decide whether or not to continue with the chemo.  Yes, I am, and I will listen to her suggestion and make sure that this next chemo treatment is a good idea.  But at this moment, I am planning on taking the chemo that Dr. May and the amazing and wonderful Dr. McCutie pie.  What I want to get together with Mary and Judy is not to put more on them.  No, they were my team and they helped me to get this far down the path.  No, I just need a little laughing time with those two healers.  I need to remember to laugh at the treatments again.  To remember the crazy things we came up with before to celebrate this insanity of pouring weapons of mass destruction into my veins. 

I have been pretty emotional again.  Maybe it is what the doctor told me, maybe it is the time of year, maybe I need an adjustment of my meds.  Or maybe I should just appreciate my emotions right now.  I am experiencing a renewed sense of creativity.  I keep seeing things differently.  Like someone has peeled away a film and the world seems clearer, smells sharper, light is filled with more color.  Several times on the bike things would come into this heightened reality.  It is almost like my glasses were out of alignment and magically they are sitting on my face correctly again, and the edge of blurriness is gone.  It is all a mystery to me these days, but I am enjoying it.

I picked up Vicki and my vouchers, tickets, itinerary, suggested train schedules and general useful information from my buddy, Bill at Adventures in Travel.  He did an amazing job setting this trip up and taking so much pressure off us on the trip.  Things are planned enough that we know were we are going most days.  Then there are days left open for our choices.  Hopefully during that time we will get to see Hadrian's wall, Stone Henge, Bath, Edinburgh, London and vista's from the train that will catch our breath.  I am so excited.  A long planned trip and it is coming into reality, finally.  We will have a wonderful time.  I am so glad we are going ahead and doing this instead of waiting any longer.  I feel great, but why take chances on such an important trip?!  We will fly out of NY on the 13th.  Bug and I will make a vacation out of our travels north, and time with the grand kids.  Then when I get back, we hope to be able to catch up with Susan and Jim and then have an adventure on our way home.  I love travelling.  I love my home and my garden, and my wicked chickens and dogs and cats and my fish, and even big bunny.  And I miss them terribly when I am gone, but I love travelling.  New places, familiar places, I love them both.

Monday Bug and I drove over to McClay Gardens and he filled out the paperwork, and got his disabled veterans pass to the Florida state parks.  This allows us to wave and/or reduce the costs associated with state parks.  We drove down to Lake Hall where the Tallahassee rowing club works out and watched summer camp kids carry the rowing boats.  I think they had 40 kids trying to carry one the other day, 20 on each side.  That is a long boat.  It was already noon and getting July muggy hot, so we took an abbreviated walk around the gardens.  I did get to see my friend Ginger who works there.  She told me that Isabelle had a party to celebrate her 80th birthday, and I missed it.  I would have loved to have gone, happy birthday Isabelle, gardener extraordinaire.

Today we drove down to Lake City to go to the VA clinic.  We were not able to get much accomplished there, but we did get to do some thrifting, and went to two state parks.  We went to Big Shoals SP and Stephen Foster SP.  We sat on the side of the Suwanee and watched the dark water swirl and flow past us.  At Stephen Foster we walked through the museum and back at the carillon tower.  We walked through the gift store and saw all the handmade goods.  Thrilled to have made the trip worthwhile we headed home to rest and take it easy. 

I finished my garden bench.  It is yellow.  Very yellow.  I wanted it to stand out in the garden, and I have no doubt it will.  I added a few little touches, some red spots, some green paint and a few blue dragonflies.  I hope to get a photo tomorrow when it is back in the garden.  It came out nice.  I enjoy playing at being artistic.  

Life is good
I am going to enjoy as many things as I can this summer
and then this fall after our trip,
I will make my garden

Friday, July 26, 2013

A beautiful ride

The weather made up its mind today to be beautiful and shine its brightest.  A perfect day, finally to go out in the boat.  But we were both tired.  The sun shined and the sky was blue, we felt obligated to get out and enjoy the boat.  But we were both just tired.  I put away the guilt trip on myself and enjoyed a happy quiet morning at the house.  We grew restless in the house so put on our jeans and boots and took a ride on the Black and Silver.  This is the Heritage Soft tail, versus the black cherry one we take our longer trips on.  The weather was perfect.  Absolutely perfect.  Bug took me down back roads I have never been on  Roads I didn't even knew existed.  We are a giant swamp up here now.  The weather has been in the mood for rain and the greenness and lushness of the area is gorgeous.  We were flying free today, no GPS, no map, just Bug's sense of direction and hard surface roads.  The water is almost across the roads in places.  As you look into the cool darkness on each side of the road you see cypress, knees sticking out of duck weed green water, and dark layers of green in the shadows behind the bright green of the cypress.  The temperature dipping and rising as the bike slipped down into a valley before riding up the hill back into the sun and warm temperatures.  The quiet, the peace of slipping through nature.  We saw  deer, raccoons and Kites, both Mississippi and Swallow tail Kites.

We stopped at the Wacissa river and joined the families camping, boating, sunning and swimming.  Smaller children wore blow up rings around their waists, older children looking over younger ones.  Two young boys were taking turns throwing a ball for a lab.  The lab was in heaven, boys, water and a ball.  There was a young mother sun bathing with her young daughter.  The mother had no hair.  I was so drawn to her and to ask her what had happened to her hair, but I didn't.  I am loathed to admit it, but I am bothered about the possibility of loosing my hair again.  I have been loving my hair lately.  It is fluffy and white, gray, brown, yellow, red and everything in between.  But it is my hair, and it is longer then my collar and now I might loose this.  Knowing this, I am still planning on coming home and trying to be prepared to have successful chemo treatments. 

I have wanted to be with Mary and Judy.  Mary leaves on Sunday for a magical trip with her oldest daughter to see her youngest daughter, her love and their new dog.  This weekend Ms Moon is spending time with the most precious Lon and Lis.  Love, love, love.  I need to get with Ms Lis myself when I get back to see if she and Lon will help me to record my lullaby.  I need to once again focus on a few things that would be nice to finish.  But sometime between now and my treatment I know that Mary and Judy and I will be together.  They were the ones who were here for the first two times, I need them to help me remember the positive things that came out of loosing or thinning hair.  If it was summer, of course, not having lots of heavy hair might be cooler, but this will be heading into fall and winter. hmmmm. I will save money on shampoo and conditioner.  Hats and I get along.  I mean, really, what am I going to do?  The doctor has a possibility, I will try it.  Who knows where this is taking us and for how long, but for now I went on an amazing ride today with my honey.  The weather was perfect, the roads here made for riding.  The gentle rolling and twisting of the roads between great oaks and farms of pine.  No traffic and a perfect world of green and water and animals as the bike roars and purrs into the curves and over the hills. 

The world seemed to be right again.  We will plan on going out on the boat this week.  There is one day that is supposed to be perfect boating weather.  The rest of the time it is supposed to rain.  We will watch and hopefully we are able to take advantage of the day to boat.  Lots coming up for both of us, and then before I realize it we will be heading north.  Bug and I will get to be grand parents.  Okay, Poppa and Miss Kathleen, but that works for me.  And then Vicki will be there and we will be in Great Britain.  Oh my, Great Britain.  Not just plans, but really doing it.  Past trips in planning involved a lot more countries, but this trip should be wonderful, and not too exhausting.  Yes, I have started to take things into consideration.  I can still travel and live adventures, just be reasonable.  It works for me.  It works.

The butterflies have started floating around the yard.  Swallow tails and sulfurs, zebra long wing, my favorite and the state butterfly of Florida and skippers, black ones, blue ones, yellow, orange, bright spots and stripes on these quiet peaceful creatures.  I find so much joy and peace in our yard.  I have loved working on projects in the barn these past two weeks with Christopher, and I am ready to finish a few more projects before we leave for our trip.  Lots of things to do, but I will get down what I can get done.  The rest, well, we will see what happens.  we will be back the second week of September, so it is no where near frost, so hopefully I will have time to prep the plants and gardens for fall and winter.  It is hard to make any guesses about weather anymore, the cold fronts already hitting the Midwest are taking temps to record lows in the 30s and 40s.  In JULY!!!!  The weather is something. 

Spent time holding on to my husband as we rode his black and silver bike the back roads of Jefferson County.  That is where we live.  The first time I saw the property I knew I belonged there.  The first time I stepped onto the small hot deck in Bokeelia that I belonged there.  I had that same confidence in that feeling here as I did now, and I was happy there, then.  And I am happy here and now. 
gardens growing and moving through the seasons
wicked chickens everywhere
motor cycle rides
boat rides
rain shine

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

It is all good, but I am a little tired

The weather has made up its mind to rain, and it is set to do so no matter what.  There may be moments where you see blue skies, maybe even a few white fluffy clouds in the morning. But this is the rainy season and before mid afternoon, even when the weather procrastinators say 30% chance rain, the white fluffy clouds are turning gray and looking heavy.

We have been going strong since Christopher got here.  We have been shopping at Goodwill, Wag The Dog, Wally World, Hobby Lobby, Sports Stores, Guitar Stores and more shopping then I can remember.  Whew!  We have been participating in moving currency through the economies of north Florida.  

But it has not been all work and shopping.  One evening Christopher and I spent the evening with my dear precious Janak, Geeta and Ba.  We watched slide shows of Raju's wedding  and when he came home from Afghanistan.  Raju, Janak and Geeta's son is a JAG officer in the Air Force.  Roma, his new bride is a doctor and they will be living in the greater Dallas area where Raju will be stationed in Wichita Falls.  Geeta and Ba made us an amazing Indian meal with red garbanzos, and veggies, home made yogurt and bread, rice and a dessert similar to rice pudding but made with vermicelli instead of rice.  Christopher      tried everything.  It was not his cup of tea, but he had had a big lunch and trust me, the boy has not gone hungry.  He has had lots of healthy food and has tried new things.  Maybe not with an open mind, but he was polite.  I like introducing him to new cultures and foods and to see the slide of the wedding, so he could see some of the ceremonies they have. 

But the most unusual thing we have done together, was the Sunrise Cube.  Friday night at the Jefferson Art League we went to see a Performance Art called The Sunrise Cube.  Christopher was the only person under 40.  They did find some apple juice for Christopher, the other choices were red wine and white wine.  I love the art gallery.  There were about 25 of us there and we crowded into the front gallery.  It would have been wonderful to see outside, but the weather had it made its mine up to rain........or not, but every time they tried to set the cube up outside, the sky spit at them.  So we were all grouped up in the Gallery and as the sky darkened, the show started.  Four college students played the cello, talked about how light had affected their lives, danced in the cube or ran the projection machines of the lights.  It was interesting and I enjoyed watching the lights  as they reflected through small Mylar tubes and the shadows dancing through the light and dark and the shifting colors as the dancer moved around the cube.  Only one side is made of the Mylar tubes, two other sides are space blankets and the last was some sort of heavy cloth.  It was interesting, but the main person kept getting emotional as he tried to talk.  His parents were there and I think it was kind of important to him, and he cried.  It was a little awkward, but overall I think everyone there felt that their time had been worthwhile.  Christopher enjoyed it, even though the crying was a bit too much for him.  He was polite and we enjoyed the time, but I don't think I will be calling them to arrange to watch a sunset with them.  I do wish them the best.

Other then that he finished all of his sewing projects, and I have to say he has plenty of reason to be proud of himself, which I think is more important then I am proud of him.  But I am.  He refinished his new cane and rebuilt, then refinished the box.  Again, he should be proud of himself, and I am sure that his family is, and of course I am.

The weather had not made up its mind to let us take the boy out on the boat, so today, in the rain, we had a picnic on the boat.  It is parked in the carport with tarps, blue and white.  we pretended the blue tarp was the water and the white one was the foam from our motor.  We had more fun making sure that each other had a good memory.  Isn't that always the way it is?  It is not the event it is the sharing of the event.

Last Monday I had gone and had another PTscan.  This Monday I gave blood and had my port flushed out.  Then I saw the doctor.  The cancer is showing up bigger in the lymph system.  My cancer number has jumped from around 40 to 170.  I know that she gave me a quick short version, but the point is, it is time to go back to infusion chemo.

We have tried the three common chemo, these other three that she is talking about are related to the other three.  Dr. May said she would call the amazing wonderful Dr. M and talk to him about the choices and his recommendations.  She also sent home information on the three for me to read about.  I looked at the side effects.  The first one said, "hair thinning", the second, "reversible hair loss".  But the third said something to the effect, "for non medical symptoms that persist or are bothersome, you should discuss these with your physician" and one of the side effects was "hair loss".  I would like to point out right now that loosing my hair again is bothersome!

I have not one moment worried or feared death from what the doctor told me.  No, I am bothered knowing what I getting ready to put my body through.  I have whined, I have tried to joke about it.  I have thought about it.  I have made a mental list of what I have to do to prepare for this.  Of course at the top of the list is gain weight.  sigh.  Gaining weight for me is as hard as loosing weight for others.  I am not looking forward to the possible nausea, the exhaustion.  I am trying not to preset my mind for the worse.  I am trying to be positive.  But this will be a once a week treatment.  For how long?  For as long as I can tolerate it.  Then what?  I have no idea.  I wasn't sure that I would have these options, who knows what will come up next.  I am still a little quiet, a little anxious, a little more aware of my life.  But each time I hear this kind of news from the doc, I admit it, I am drawn into myself and need some time to think things through.  Doctor May said we could start the treatments when I get back from the travels in August to the first part of September.  She said once again, this is not a cure, this is trying to extend the life I have.  And the best thing I can do is to travel and enjoy my life.  I am trying to.  I am waiting for the paperwork from the travel agent about Vicki and my trip to Great Britain.  And Bug and I will have time to do some traveling, and then in November we are planning on going to Key West for 2 weeks.  He is wonderful about trying to find lots of things for us to enjoy together. 

Maybe the weather might just get it in its mind to give us some sunny weather.  Boating weather, motor cycle weather, gardening weather.  I can garden  in the rain, as long as there is no thunder. 

Tomorrow Christopher and I will head south to meet his father and he will head home and on with his life and the last of his summer before school.  I will turn back around and come back home.  To the green quiet of this place.  Where Bug and I have our life.  Where I can lean over and pick up my Henry and take a walk around the yard.  Henry loves to be held like a baby.  I think that is a Manx thing.  Anyway rain or shine I can always just take a walk around the yard, Bob in tow with a ball in his mouth.  Edna darting here and there.  Henry in my arms, Stella running in and out of Bob and Edna, Luna standing just out of the circle where she is safe.  The silence broken with John C Bennett and Mo calling the girls, crowing out as the girls softly cluck and chuckle amongst themselves.  They have scratched all the mulch out of every bed on the property.  They have turned over every leaf, at least twice.  The yard would be neater, prettier with out the chickens scratching and throwing and moving the plants, but it would not be happier.  The world would not be as sweet or peaceful without the girls and roosters working the yard.  It would be neater, but not as much of a garden.  The chickens, wicked and scratching and throwing and digging up tender young plants, make me happy.

We have had the boy for two weeks. 
It was good
I love that boy
I love his brother
and his cousins
And for two weeks this summer, I enjoyed the connection of having my nephew with me.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Sun is shining

The sun has come out for a few days.  It was sunny yesterday, only a little drizzle on us as we drove the toy, top down, home on Old St. Augustine Road. After Christopher got home from art camp we headed into Tallahassee.  It was Tuesday, Old people discount day at Goodwill.  Our favorite one is on Thomasville Road north of Bradforville Road.  We know several of the people there and they are always kind and helpful and have a smile on their face.  After finding a few things we could not live without, like a vacuum cleaner.   We have several light weight vacuums, that simply cannot handle the work here.  They are meant for people who are much kinder to their carpet then I am.  We may only have 2 dogs now, but there have been many large dog feet covered in mud and heebeegeebees.  Some stains just don't ever go away, and with the amount of hair shedding I am not able to make it through an entire room anymore with out it clogging on the hair, etc.  So I am thrilled with the "new" vacuum.

We had lunch at Panda Buffet, went to another Goodwill, a Wally World and then a beautiful drive home, all on back roads.  Most of those roads were canopied and with all the rain we have been getting everything is so green and thick, water almost to the road in many low areas.  Water, water everywhere.

For the next two days it is supposed to be sunny, then rainy again by the weekend.  After art camp today we will head back into the Capitol city to pick up mangoes and a hug from Geeta and then maybe to see a movie.

Well, need to run to get the boy to camp on time.  Happiness, joy and a feeling of peace still surrounds me. sigh, I love summer, with zebra wing butterflies and flowers, rain and sun.  A little slower time, filled with air so thick with humidity it is hard to see through sometimes.  sigh.  It is summer!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

It's raining, it's raining

Bug and I drove down to Ocala on Thursday and picked up Christopher.  His Dad, my youngest brother Tom, had driven him up to meet us and will drive up to meet us at the same spot to take Christopher home.

So far he has worked on rebuilding a wooden box that was built about 25 years or so ago and had come unglued and was in 7 parts.  He has glued and nailed and I have to say his woodworking skills are improving with each day he works on it.  He should be able to finish it off tomorrow.  He has also been learning to sew.  He is pinning and working on my sewing machine, a Husqvarna.  I love my sewing machine.  It is not fancy compared to many machine, but it is a work horse.  On top of those two projects he is helping me with all the meals, and even made dinner last night.  He also helped me to propagate azaleas cuttings.  He has worked with his Uncle Bug on the hydraulic system of the boat motor, and today he helped with changing the front tire of the scooter.  He also has been riding on both scooters and the golf cart.  He is having an okay time so far.

He is working on a merit badge.  Something about raising amphibians/reptiles.  We had the tadpoles, so that inspired him to start working towards this badge.  He has collected about 6 tads and moved them to a wide mouth jar and is feeding them lettuce.  He is looking up information on frogs and tadpoles and will take the tads home with him to finish the project. 

Normally when you have someone coming to stay with you the last thing you want is it to rain the entire time, but there have been enough breaks for us to spend some time in the yard, either working with plants or riding on one of the toys, and he is learning new skills, which is fun and also hard.  Trying to teach your hands to move and act differently.  But he is starting to relax into it and accept it is part of learning something new, you are not always instantly good at it.  But with a few deep breaths and stick to it, you can do it, and he is.  He may not have cut the boards, but he has taken a pile of wood that was taking up space and turning it back into something useful, a box.

We will spend more time learning skills and learning more about plants and gardens.  We will go to the grocery together next week and he will plan the menu, shop for the food and then make the meal.  I only have so much time with him to try and share my skills with him.  Will he become a chef?  Who knows.  A mechanic, a gardener?  I doubt either of those since he is not found of getting dirty.  A tailor?  He hasn't seemed to enjoy the pinning very much, but I think tomorrow when he sees what he has completed he will be much happier. 

Monday he will go to art camp in the morning.  We discussed him going to an acting camp, but it would mean that he would be in camp the entire time he was here and not get to spend anytime with us on the farm.  So, we will work on projecting and presentations here at home.  Maybe we will go up to the Opera House for an hour or so after camp this next week and have him work on the stage. 

If the weather clears we will go fishing or scalloping in the boat, if it continues to rain we will don rain gear and go for a walk.  I really don't care one way or the other, I just enjoy getting to spend time with my nephew.  He is 13 and I am just grateful that he still wants to spend time with his wacky crazy aunt. 

Tomorrow is Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood.  After that I hope to get some time in the garden with our little Bug, and the rest of the day will be spent finishing projects we started this week so Monday we can start on some new ones.  I am happy.  I know I am no very social, and I know that I owe all of my friends a note, a call, a text, an email.  Something.  But I am sorry, I am being very selfish.  I know, but it is still very hard for me to reach out.  I am just so much more comfortable keeping to myself in my little world of gardens and tadpoles.  A world with a sweet man, who suggests that maybe I should call friends, but even though I am not sure he understands, he lets me be.  I am surrounded by animals that follow me around like puppies.  Well, two of them are dogs, but the cats and the chickens tend to follow me around the yard also.  And I stop a minute from whatever I am doing and I look up and I am happy.  The chickens have free range now of the two acres and they cluck and scratch everywhere.  Everywhere you turn there seems to be a chicken or two.  Wicked chickens, happy chickens.  Chickens running towards treats as John C Bennett clucks and scratches showing them a rich cache of bugs or worms or fresh seedlings.  Then off they head in another direction, just as focused.  The raining afternoon is spent taking sand baths under the boat in the carport.  I could sit forever and never accomplish a thing as I watch my chickens and hold Henry and scratch his head.  Throw the ball for Bob.  Throw the ball again for Bob.  Throw the ball......well you understand.  And Edna, she can sit leaning her back against me and I rest my hand on her head and scratch her ears.  The rain starts and stops, sprinkles, mists and pours.  It feels like a rain forest here, and I love it.  I love the sun.  I love working outside, in the sun.  But right now it is the rainy season and it is raining.  Gray, slow, relaxing, curl up and read a good book or take a nap.  I am just enjoying being alive, getting to spend time with my sweet man and my nephew. 
I just seem to have a full appreciation these days of my life
our life
of gardens and leaves dripping big drops of rain,
flowers bright against the gray skies
chickens, dogs, cats and big bunny filling our lives with joy,
eggs, entertainment,
and learning how to live together
it is raining, and I am loving it
and I am happy.

Monday is my PT scan.
Okay, not a problem
life is good
and I am happy

Saturday, July 6, 2013


It is raining. 
It is July.
It is Florida.
It rains in Florida in July.
That is why we call it,
"The Rainy Season."

Having said all that, this year is far from normal.  Last year we slipped into the drought zone.  I do not like cold and I do not like drought.  I am more comfortable in an environment that insects do well in.  I am fine in the 80s and low 90s, with humidity and a little breeze.  But as I grow older I am sure that I have blended an entire childhood into the perfect summer of rain and showers.  Enough humidity to just to start to curl my hair. 

Since I have moved here I honestly can't say that I remember a normal summer, not really knowing what normal would be here.  But think about it, I have lived here for 6 summers and I missed two of them.  I really do not have many memories from two summers except sitting in my red chair.  I do remember at one point realizing that I not only was loosing my hair, but also my gardens.  I missed my garden more then my hair, at first.  But after a while all I remember is sitting in my red chair. 

This year, this year I have all the time I want to work in my garden.  I have never had this much time to just spend bent over in the garden.  My skin darkens easily, but I don't even remember ever being this dark.  My hair lightens my skin darkens my mind calms and my imagination opens. 

For the July 4th holiday Bug and I took the boat over to Daytona to visit our friends, Hobbie who lives in Holly Hill with her hubby Col. Bill.  They also were suffering with sad.  Yes, in Florida if we go more then 5 days of rain it is the equivalent of a month in the gray north of winter.  After all, that is winter, that is the north, you live with that type of thing every winter.  But this is summer, and Florida, the Sunshine State.  Poor Bill and Hobbie live in Ohio, the Youngstown area.  It is one of the cloudiest places in the United States.  That is the reason the base is where it is.  So Hobbie couldn't wait to get to Florida and sunshine.  So they were really being affected of the gray. 

Our first night Hobbie and I took our kayaks into the river.  She had been seeing lots of manatees and dolphins.  We kayaked out a way, and two manatees came over to check us out.  They swam right up to where we sat in our low boats and raised their heads up to look at us.  They scratched their noses and the side of the kayaks, seeming to be attracted to my sky blue one.  Then they swam under the kayaks and lifted up, lifting us up from the water.  They shimmied under us in this precarious position.  Just barely out of the water, but more then we are used to.  We realized they were scratching their backs.  One was huge.  Their head bigger than Harry's was.  I mean like pumpkin huge head attached to a body worthy being related to the elephant.  We were thrilled. 

The next day we took the boat out early in the morning, but the trim wouldn't work, and there is no water.  I mean really low tide.  And this was high tide.  Also the boat wouldn't get up on plain.  So we were forced to pull into Caribbean Jacks for a little refreshment.  The day followed the boat and turned gray and rainy and just was a typical rainy Florida day.  So we walked around the town and beach and visited a few of our favorite places like the Oyster Pub where we played trivia, tying three all.   We ended up at the mai tie bar.  It was a beautiful night and maybe promised to a more beautiful day to follow.  And it was glorious.  We drove down to the beach and then down the beach ending up parked in front of a tiki bar.  We laid on the beach, and walked, ate ice cream and drank rum drinks.  Ok, I ate the ice cream, and did not drink rum drinks.  But all was consumed and enjoyed.

The fourth we tried the boat again and although not 100%, the Miss K, slipped thru the water and reached up and flew on plain. We saw dolphins and manatees, we saw a barge where the Ormond Beach fireworks would be shot.  After an amazing ride the four of us set off on an adventure to Orange City.  At the Red Roof CafĂ© they were having Bill and Hobbie's friends performing.  We have seen them before and they are a lot of fun.  But oh, it was so much more.  The Red Roof is the oldest building still standing in Orange City.  They were having an armed forces recognition day with an auction and food and music.  It was the strangest day.  They only auctioned off things if you told them what you wanted and what was the most you would be able to pay.  Then they would decide if it was enough for them to auction the item.  We bought a couple bags of jewelry, mostly junk, but there are some pretty fun and are things in there.  We also bought a portable air conditioner/heater thing for the screened in porch.  The music was fun, but there were less then 50 people at the height of the day, and it was just so strange.  But one of three authorized US Postal Museums is there, and it was really wandering through the building and looking.

For the fire works, Bug and I opted to be boring and stay at home while the others went out for drinks and dinner.  I simply can not hang with the big dogs.  We had a lovely evening with a delivery pizza and a bottle of wine.  We walked out on the big dock with the second floor and looked up and done the river.  There were fireworks everywhere.  Behind us and in front of us, absolutely 360 degrees of fire works.  As each town and park and hotel seemed to have set their show off fifteen minutes apart, it was like watching waves of fire works as you turned and turned to watch the colors bursting and thundering across the sky.  Individual fire works in yards snapped and crackled around us as the fire works shot up higher and higher.  I have had some amazing 4ths, but this was one of the most fun.  I have seen some of the most elaborate fire work shows, but standing up over the river, with the breeze strong up off the water.  Pale red and green lights reflecting off the kayaks as they drift up the river watching the shows.  The sound of celebrations and joy, the sky shimmering and sparkling, whistling and booming.  It was magical.  The warm humid summer weather of my Florida childhood, my eyes lit up by the sky.  My heart full with all the things I had seen and done those few days.  It was just Bug and I.  Our heads face up, ooohs and aaahs slipping from our lips.  magical

The ride home threatened rain as we drove north, but followed by the boat we seemed to slip in and out between storms.  That all changed as we headed west on I-10.  For the most part we managed to miss most of the storms, but miles from our exit it came down.  Not in individual drops, not even in sheets, just a solid space of water.  The kind that takes you from 10 miles an hour below the speed limit to just about 10 miles an hour period.  It did not last long, but it was intense.  The earlier  rains had been sun showers.  Those wonderful showers of sunshine of big fat drops where the sky stays blue.  But we made it home.  Bob met us at the gate and was so happy that we had finally made it home.  Edna was no where to be found.  I walked around checking for her, an umbrella in my hand, the humidity 100%.  I was home, but where was my girl?  Bug gave out his loud sharp whistle that he calls the dogs.  A minute or two later, there was my baby girl.  Just now two years old.  Her collar had lain broken by the gate when I had gotten home, and it was scared me then.  Now my little fluffy, pudgy girl was home. 
We were home
All the kids look fine
The gardens are amazing. 
They grow on their own, I just get them started and enjoy them as they grow
I finally have ripe tomatoes, Roma. 
I have baby cukes and bigger egg plants.
The flowers are growing and the secret garden still waits quietly

It is not raining at this moment, but probably will again later. 
It is Florida
It is July
It is raining
Life feels a little more like I am used to, which this day and age with global climate change, a little respite of magic and joy.
It is the rainy season
I am happy