Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Friday, August 30, 2013

home, sweet wonderful home

Tuesday morning, London, England time, Vick and I took a bus from our hotel to the airport, circling round and round through the city, picking up other passengers.  Then herded ourselves through Heathrow and flew across the deep blue Atlantic.  We survived customs without even a hiccup. Vicki changed planes, I waited at JFK, and hours Iater loaded on to a plane for my final destination for the day, Atlanta and my hone.  Vicki changed planes again in Detroit to head to  Indy, sister Bev waiting in the cell phone lot.  Vicki didn't get to bed until 3 am, which is more then 36 hours with out sleep, and worked the next day.  Bless her heart, I am exhausted, there is no way I could have walked 5 feet in a straight line, let alone drive.

Bug had gotten us a suite at the LQ not 10 minutes away.  It was lovely and open and comfortable.  When Bug opened the door there were a dozen red roses, a bottle of red wine, 2 glasses, some snacks, a card and two photos framed.  One photo from our honeymoon at the Suwanee Music Park, the other from a photo taken at the Cesar in Atlantic City.  We look so happy in both photos.  Such a wonderful sweet way to come home to. 

I am so lucky,  getting to visit Marty and Shelia, and then Susan, Jim and James, getting to spend time with the grand kids, then an amazing two weeks with my sister in England and Scotland.  Finally coming home to my sweet husband and his arms, sweeping me up with my suitcase and whisked me away to sleep.  Deep, wonderful blessed sleep, or I had hoped.  But I was zombified and slept restlessly until around 3am dozing a little more after 5am and finally getting up at 8am to have breakfast, that did not include Heinz beans.  We were on the road around 10am and just enjoyed being together again.  The miles just slipped by and by early afternoon we were in Thomasville, GA.  We had lunch at the Farmers Market.  A huge buffet with lots of veggies and home cookin', fried chicken, pork, chicken perloo, corn bread, peach cobbler, sweet tea, and lots and lots of country food. 

I was ready.  Vicki and I ate more traditional dishes from the areas we were in.  Our favorite was to have cheese, bread and scones for dinner.  I did have chicken Marsala once, but Indian restaurants are as common fish/chips.  I ate a traditional English breakfast each morning, but I was ready for Southern cookin'.  I was ready for American Pizza, and Chinese food is in my near future, but my first real meal back on American land was the Farmers Market, Thomasville, GA.  Oh yeah.

Today is Friday.  We got home from Atlanta on Wednesday.  I remember doing laundry, but other then that the rest of my time since getting home is a blur of exhaustion.  But today Bug drove me to JoAnn Fabric to buy pillowcases.  We bought a new rattan table for the TV in the living room, washed the car, enjoyed lunch together at the Red Elephant, picked up animal food at Wally World and then take Old St. Augustine Road home.  It is a canopied narrow two lane road running generally parallel to HWY 27.  It feels like you are way out in the country and swampy and just a little hilly and one of our favorite roads to enjoy together.

I have material for my latest projects, and some paper machie to make art, and serious focus on making the garden.

I am so happy to be back on this magical little place.  The property in Scotland is green and fairy like, magical and far away, this little place with my family simply a warmer version.

I missed my Bug, my Bob and Edna.  I missed my Henry, Stella and Luna, the Cabbit and wicked chickens, even the fish all named Bubba, Big bunny and all the other creatures that share this magical place with us.  I have new projects to work on, a garden to build.  I have trips yet to take with my honey, some books I would like to get read, a song to record, some writings to deal with, a play would be nice, and some crocheting/knitting to be done.  Projects that I can do at whatever speed I have once I start treatments.  I am ready.  I have time to rest, eat well, light exercise like walking and remember how amazing my life has been.  Come what comes, hair or no hair, feeling great or not, just hope that it does something, and side effects minimal. 

But before treatments will be Bug and my 6 month wedding anniversary coming up on the 9th.  Six months of living our lives fully and happily.  nice.  very very nice.

To this day I am still amazed at how wonderful life can be.  A life lived.  Lives shared for life times, lives shared once life is being fully lived. The working, planning, challenges and pulling myself back at up, always with the help of friends.  And still living and pushing my limits, and sharing moments that will be memories for life times.  Moments quiet and truly spent with loved ones.  Appreciating each moment, each joy, each challenge, exhausted from my last adventure nipping across the pond with Vicki, and looking towards the next adventure, but for now, quiet rest at home. 
Just a little more rest, and ease back into life. 
Rest and prepare for treatments so that we have the best chance
best chance
that is the story of my life
the best chance
anyone could have in life.
woo hoo!!!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hummingbird moths

As the evening cools and the sun slips below the tree tops the hummingbird moths have been coming out.  The native lilies and the butterfly ginger are blooming and the moths are zipping back and forth between blooms.  You would swear they were hummingbirds watching them fly and sip sweet nectar from each blossom, but they are more camouflaged.  Instead of the jeweled colors of the birds, the moths are beige to brown and can hang on to an oak tree in the hot part of the day and bled in, but when they come out in the evening they are enchanting.  You can walk right up to them, something you could never do without getting a hummer up your nose.  The bird variety is much more aggressive then the moths. 

We will be leaving Sunday, I have finished making my pillow cases.  I have made a lot of them.  I want to use them as hostess gifts.  They are bright and crazy and I have had fun making them.  I had bought most of the material when I first got sick.  And now I have finally made the cases.  Thirty one in all.

Some are more traditional, others a little funky.  Here is a photo of some of them:

The light isn't the best, so the colors aren't as bright.  hmmmm in some cases that might be a good idea.  Some are relaxing, are just fun.  I don't know why but I made a couple of pillow cases, I think I might have been short some, and had guests coming.  I always have material laying that I buy when I find it on sale.  I loved the first cases I made.  They were moons and stars on a blue and green tie dye material.  I had several different cases that worked with my sheets.  They are a lovely soft cotton and they get softer with each washing. 

I usually wrap most of my presents in cloth bags.  They are reusable.  And say what you wish, I can give you antidotes of the bags still be using, ten years or more later.  I thought this year instead of making bags, I would make a different type of bag, pillow cases.  I mean really, everyone  uses pillow cases.  I like giving presents that are useful.

Now to go start packing and to bed to sleep.  Another wonderful day.  I always enjoy our trips and adventures, even the little ones like today.  We sat in the waiting area of the   lawyers office to sign the papers.  The paperwork went quickly, but then to go through the process of the signatures and swearing and witnessing, well that takes time and is done with ceremony.  It was not wasteful of time or energy, four of us went through the process.  And it was pretty cool.  But there was about a 45 minute wait.  But that worked out fine actually because they had Reader's Digest.  It has been years since I read one, and I have to say, they are just as much fun.  We switched back and forth sharing articles together.  We laughed and laughed.  How many people can say they laughed that hard in a lawyer's office?

A busy, but happy day.  Lots to do tomorrow.  But we leave Sunday, so I get done, what I get done. 
sweet sleep



We have had some wonderful walks lately.  Yesterday we drove into Monticello and parked the toy at the court house square parking and walked down to the Chamber.  The Chamber building is a beautiful building.  It's previous life, it was a church, here is the link to the chamber 
We picked up one of their walking tour maps and headed back into to town and take our walk down town as we turned and twisted through the streets looking at houses.  Many of these houses we see regularly, but now to know a few lines of history about the house and the date it was built.  As we walked we traveled back and forth through history.  Houses from the 1840s up to today.  We took a walk through the old cemetery and looked at graves from the civil war, both confederate and union.  Some of the old graves from the original town folk are above ground in brick or cement graves.  Many of the brick ones are crumbling and falling apart.  It is quiet and peaceful.  The new cemetery is next door, but I understand that it is sold out, so they have started another one.  I heard through the Garden Circles that there are no trees or vegetation to speak of, so it will need some plantings.  We ended up at the Brick house Cafe.  Earlier this week we had eaten at the pizza kitchen.  Today we ate at the Rosemary Tree Cafe.  Monticello has several lovely places for lunch.  We try to eat at all the places downtown, but we will have to catch Tupelo's when we get back.

Today our walk was at Moody Air Force Base.  First we met with the lawyer and had our wills completed, then we went to the thrift store, the BX and the Commissary.  Military bases are a lot like schools.  You can do a lot of walking.  But I am getting ready to do a lot of walking, so it is nice to stretch and combine errands and a walk. 

I really haven't done anything to get ready.  I want to finish one more project, and this evening I will start packing.  One bag for the trip before the trip over the pond.  One bag, plus a carry on for the trip in the wild north.  I really do not plan on carrying very much.  We will have to carry our own luggage and we have a 12 minute change in Bristol.  My earlier memory of Bristol is quick changes that involved stairs.  The second time I had to pass through dear Bristol I was with my Dad, again, but this time with his girlfriend Marie.  Dad had back surgery like three months before the trip, and he was still wobbly.  Marie is not the most nimble of people either, bless her heart.  And she was so overwhelmed and exhausted by the time we got to England, and Dad had scheduled us either impossibly short changes or hours and hours.  The taxi drivers will take you on a tour of the cities, reasonably, and trustworthy in most cases.  You can tell those who aren't.  Anyway, I digress, going down the stairs in Bristol with like 6 minutes to run across the station, Dad slips and somehow ends upside down hanging onto the metal railing.  There was a lot of construction and noise and confusion and Marie, her arms loaded down with baggage froze.  There I am, pulling suitcases, carrying suitcases in my arms, on my back and I now have a 76 year old man hanging upside down, strapped into his back brace, he can not move and now Marie can not move.  Well, we made the train, it wasn't pretty, and I had to use a team of train employees to deal with the situation.  I need to go pack.  I need to make sure I am ready.  Vic called, she received her paperwork.  She is over the moon.  We leave Sunday for adventures before hand.  Maybe even an airplane ride in an airplane that Bug helped to build.  That would be so cool.  Maybe

My garden is just really starting to produce.  The veggies are getting big, cukes, tomatoes, eggplant, okra and beans.  The pepper are all blooming and the jalapenos are loaded down.  I keep finding beans that are like 22" long.  They are yard long, but I normally pick them closer to 18.  I did dig one potato plant.  I ended up with three new red potatoes.  The biggest was about 2" diameter, the next one I almost sliced in two, but it was about half the size of the first and the third, was half again as big.  I planted our potatoes really late, so I was not sure they would produce anything.  We will see when we get back if we end up with any taters.  After all, moles and voles love to eat potatoes, not to mention insects and all other kinds of creatures who enjoy roots. 

It was a lovely day.  Fog this morning.  It was pretty heavy but was just starting to clear up when we headed out this morning.  Now it is sunny and warm, but it didn't seem to get as hot as they predicted, fortunately.  It was just right.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Stones

I love the Internet.  Even though my computer is still a bit difficult and I have all kinds of things unwanted on this poor machine, and Bug is going to have to go through it again and update and remove the evil spies.  But regardless of that, today, I was able in the comfort of my own chair, in my own little place here, to book 2 tours for Vick and I on a Mad Max tour.  We will pick up the tour in Bath.  Then in a van that holds less then a dozen people, we will drive up through the Cotswold to Stonehenge.  It will be early morning with the light shining through the stones.  We will walk around the stones our shoes getting wet with the dew.  Of course, it is England, so it might be raining.  That will be just fine also.  We will stand there hardly able to believe that we are there.  Then the tour will take us past the white chalk horse.  It is not that old, but it is still very cool.  The next stop will be at Avery stones.  I think of Stone Henge as a giant seasons sundial.  Avery reminds me of a KOA campground.  You can see where there were three giant circles and then more space out beyond them for awesome camping.  You can have a central location for any big meetings, another one possibly a communal eating area, and the final one could have been for games or sharing of new tools or techniques.  After having read the Clan of the Cave bear and the rest of the series, standing in these spots feels like I have stepped into the books.  There is a great gift shop at Avery filled with traditional toys, and crafts from the area.  Then we will drive through the beautiful country side to a little village where there is a pub that we will have lunch at.  In the pub is a wheel that small dogs, Jack Russell size would run and run in the wheel powering it to turn the spit in the fire place around the corner.  The food is good.  The atmosphere is cool and the rest of the little historic village is also pretty cool.  Our final spot will be Castle Comb.  It is one of the most picturesque villages in the UK, It was even used in some Harry Potter movies.  We will walk from the parking area through the old chapel.  It is full of tomb stones, old beautifully carved stones bent in odd angles.  In the lovely little chapel is a tomb of a knight with the casket showing that his feet were crossed meaning he died not in battle.  cool.

While in Bath we will have high tea at the Bath and will walk down into the Roman ruins, we will walk across the gold bridge and on streets that Jane Austin walked.  There is a gorgeous garden across from where we will pick up the Max tour.  We will not have enough time there, we will not have enough time anywhere.  But we will fill every moment up with memories.  Memories of places, travelling together, sitting together talking and laughing.  I am so excited.

But before Vick and I fly to the UK, Bug and I are going to travel and visit friends and kids and grand kids.  We will drive and laugh and talk and sit quietly and make memories.  We have so many happy adventure memories already, time to make more.

It is not raining everyday, but most everyday.  Sometimes the rain is here left over from the night, gray and drizzly.  Other days we wake to sunshine and blue skies, but by mid day it is raining some where near here.  Maybe over the Gulf and the rivers, so we can't take the boat out.  Sometimes it is raining in so many different places you can't ride on the bike.  Those days are spent working on projects in the house or the barn.  I can even get some gardening in during the dry spots.

Here is the garden bench I painted.

It is not strong enough to hold someone sitting on it.  Maybe a cat, but I wouldn't want to take my chances on it.  But there is a spot just under my red rose, the one you would find in most old gardens around here.  But it gets so dense and heavy that it blocks all the sun around it.  There are lower plants in front that get enough sun to bloom, and that yellow bench just adds a touch of brightness all seasons.  The moon and star sculpture was a wedding gift from Marcy and Fred.  The metal bucket is filled with herbs, oreganos, chive, thyme and mint.  Parsley gets its own pot below nestled in with the cone flowers.  I have had to start hosing the garden to chase the wicked chickens out.  I didn't mind them scratching all the mulch out.  But when they started digging holes deep enough to lay down and disappear in, nope, too much.  Then they started killing plants.  They were digging so deep that they were throwing plant out of the gardens and onto the grass.  Dead plants dehydrated in the hot July sun, plants that I had had for more then a year.  Not just little baby plants.  So now I tell my wicked chickens to get out of the gardens or I will turn the hose on.  I get the hose and show them what I intend to do.  Then I warn them one more time, and then starting at the back of the gardens I herd the wicked ones out of my gardens.  Arguing and clucking, Moe crowing, little clusters of hens running out from the greenness of the gardens.  John C is usually leading the first cluster of hens, Moe will then wait and bring up the last group.  I love my chickens, but I also love my plants and my gardens.  Will they survive this next month or more that I will be away from them?  We will see.  If the weather continues in close to what we have had so far this summer, they should be able to survive.  Hopefully I will have time to prep whatever lives for fall.  I think I have done a better job already this year prepping for the cooler weather that will eventually get here.  Now for another couple of months, hopefully.  I am loving this summer. 

Bug and I are managing to get out and take our walks around the rain.  This morning as we were leaving the property we saw a huge doe standing across the street along the edge of the meadow, just along the tree line.  She saw us and froze.  That frozen look you see as they are looking just past their shoulder, legs set to leap away at a moment.  We froze also.  It was about a minute that Bug, the doe and I stood there not moving, barely breathing.  The time passed and I was standing thinking that I wished it would move, I don't want to scare it, but I want to move.  At that moment it seemed like all three of us made a slight movement.  She looked into the trees and then sprinted off deeper into the woods.  At that moment we could see that she had two fawns in the woods.  Their white spots flashing like sun through the leaves.  Just a beautiful morning, the sky filing with thick clouds already gray.  The air is so muggy here that butterflies don't even have to flap their wings.  They can sit floating on the humidity like they are sitting on a branch.  A flap or two and the thick air moves them like a wave tossing a boat at sea.  As I pulled the barn doors open there was a nice sized box turtle.  I think it might be Eggplant, a box turtle I first met in the garden.  There was an eggplant moving, and normally my eggplants do not move.  Looking inside there was a very happy and hungry turtle eating away.  I moved this turtle, possibly an older Eggplant back into the veggie garden.  I turned the rain barrel so that it dripped the rain water and left a day lily next to this turtle.  I wonder if it thought that it was being abducted by aliens.  I mean one moment it is in hidden up in its shell and the next moment it pops head out and the world has changed. 

I am so happy here.  I am looking forward to our trip, but when it is time to come home, there will be so much to look forward to as we drive home. 

The garden is flowing over.
It is summer and life is wonderful