Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Sunday, October 27, 2013

New Computer

Here I am using  my new computer.  It is not completely set up, but as far as Bug could take it.  We will have to take it back to have my files transferred from my old hard drive to this one.  Bug tried to do it, but this has the new windows operating system and it does not seem to understand my old system, but I am sure that the tech people we bought this from will be able to take care of everything.  One step at a time.  Thank goodness my Sweetie is good with computers and electronic doo hickeys to handle this kind of stuff.  I do not have the patience or the brain power to deal with these things.  Sigh, I love him. 

Friday we drove the truck down to St Marks and picked up the boat getting ready for our trip to Key West.  It was a coolish day (in other words cold for me) but that blue sky that we get in autumn and winter.  It was breezy so we went to the Riverside CafĂ© in the boat and had fish sandwiches and then headed up the St. Marks River.  It was a short trip, but perfect. We took the Harley down to St. Marks yesterday for the Stone Crab Festival, and yes, there was eating of stone crabs.  It was beautiful, fun and what a special place St. Marks is.  After the stone crab claws we headed back home with a large smoked mullet safely stowed away that we had bought at Ootz's to watch college football.  There was a block party downtown Monticello, but I had dressed as a wench, or the Mother Mary to give candy out at the Garden Club booth down town, and really I was costumed out.  What?!?!?!?!  Say it ain't so.  Yes, I was tired and was enjoying the football games and was peopled out.

Today after watching Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood, we took the Toy down the scenic Old St Augustine Road, picked up my computer, got some screws for one of Bug's projects and I picked up some stain for a rocking chair I have been working on.  Then we went to Costco "for lunch" and to pick up wine.  Our lunch consisted of tasting the food at the food booths and we bought dinner tonight based on those taste booths.  Some kind of lamb shank for Bug cooked in red wine or something, he enjoys that kind of thing.  Spinach and mozzarella stuffed raviolis for me.  I enjoy that kind of thing.  After Costco we hit Wally world for ping pong balls and yarn and then home for NFL games.  Yep, I love football. 

Yesterday before we left for the Stone Crab Claw Festival we looked around and no Harley.  The automatic gate has been acting up lately and somehow had opened up.  Harley had run.  Bug, Bob and I jumped on the golf cart and headed out calling for our new little boy.  Thank goodness we did not name him Norton.  I would have to have driven around yelling "Norton" out.  Bob got excited and we let him out of the golf cart and he led us to where we found Harley.  Bob was cheered as a hero and he loved every minute of it.  He then ram all the way home showing Harley the way.  We rode along next to them cheering them on.  Those two boys of our are so gorgeous.  Lean, muscled running machine, that what those two labs are.  They raced and stretched out their long legs and ran until they foamed at the mouth.  I think they would have run until they dropped if we let them.  We have been talking to Harley about what it means to be a family.  About how running away is not safe because he does not know what is out there.  He can not know that people would not love him and feed and let him sit in their lap, like we do.  We know he is happy.  We know that Harley loves all of us and we all love him.  But he has not been raised to understand living together as a family.  He knows what it means to be locked up and to run, but not to just be a part of a family of humans, dogs, cats, fish, rabbits and chickens. Maybe he will learn.  He had not seemed to want to go near the gate when we first brought him home.  Now he has found a home he is not aware that he must stay and participate as a member of this family.  That he can not just go.  He is young.   Hopefully he will learn before he leaves one time and we never get him back.  That would break our hearts.  He stole our hearts from the moment we met him.  I see how he looks at Bug.  He adores him.  But he just doesn't understand the concept of "home"

Well, my hair is still blond, but I have not blown dry it since I got home, so it is out of my eyes, and it is not so big, but other then that it doesn't look that different then before.  I don't mind.  I am so glad that it isn't so big and I like the blond.  It is one of the colors my hair already was, so it looks sort of the same, only not so many different colors, now different hues.  I will try and get a picture and post it, but just haven't gotten anything so far. 

It is warming up a bit so that it will be in the upper 70s next week here.  We are heading south and so it should be warmer there.  YEA!!!!!  Have I ever mentioned I do not like the cold?

Got to run.  Things to do, but wanted to make a note of this day.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

life with three labs

I don't know what I have done, but I can only write my blog in HTML. I have done something where I can not work under compose, so no spell check, trying to move back and forth between HTML and then the post means that it is hard to correct typos, so when I typed 25 instead of 15, I was not able to get back and fix it once I had seen the typo. So why do I keep torturing people with my posts misspelled, full of typos I simple reread would fix? Well, I guess the bottom line is that I write this for myself and anyone who would like to come and spend a little time on the porch will have to forgive me. To sort of walk around the squeeky board on the porch and just sip some lemonade and not to judge me for my lack of editing. Thank you to those who do that. To those who can not tolerate the grammer and misspelling, please check out Bless Our Hearts. A wonderful blog written by the amazing Ms Moon, and she can spell and use spell check and she is an amazing writer. She also talks about chickens quite often, as I do. We have shared chickens and a life at the Opera House, and she and her darling honey, Zen Glen have always been there for me. They are the kind of people that just scoop you up in their big loving family and just make you feel loved and like you belong and life is just better some how. I realized I said that this post would be about our three labs, and I will get there. The reason I started with Ms Moon is because I called her up a few days ago and asked her for a name of someone who could cut and dye my hair. I have never had my hair professionally dyed. For over 40 years I dyed my hair and when I turned 49 I said enough is enough and went cold turkey. It was not pretty. No, it was not. But I also cut my waist length hair off and all in all everything worked out just fine. Fast forward to cancer, all my hair falls out. That brings me to today when my hair has grown out, thick and plentiful. I used to have fine hair, now it is "normal" hair, lots of body and many colors. So I decided to make another little change. Ms Moon graciously gave me the name of the precious woman who cuts her hair, an appointment made and today was the day. She knew that I know Ms Moon, oh yes, I am not below name dropping, especially when it is Ms Moon and someone coming at me with scissors. We talked and laughed. I think I talked more today than I have for several months. Melisa made some suggestions on style and color and promised not to take anymore off the bottom then necessary. Time flew by and then I put my glasses on and I was a light golden ash blonde with a very put together and simply style do. I looked amazing. I felt like one of those woman from what not to wear when they spin them around in front of the mirror and they see the significant changes made. Some of my hair was exactly this color, now all of it is some hue of it. My hair is styled very much like it was, only shaped up and well, nice. Bug loved it, I loved it. Melisa was absolutely wonderful. She listened to me, kept my needs and willingness to girlify where I am comfortable, which is basically nonexistent and I have a great cut and color I can grow into. Life is good. We then took my computer to the a computer guy to fix. The news wasn't exactly good. We will see what happens there. But life here is once again focused on three labs. Black, yellow and chocolate. Bob and Harley are pretty equal all things considered physically. Edna has shorter legs and is a little chubby so she can get up and go and usually out last the boys, but they run circles around here. I have had to explain to her that she is no longer the baby, but instead is "the girl" a position in my family. The girl. I wish I could describe to you what it feels like to watch those three beautiful creatures, three parts of the same. Each unique, each their own special little creature, but together they become so much more. Bug and I have completely fallen in love with our Harley. BOb and Edna have also fallen in love. The three of them pile up on each other and kiss and kiss and kiss. THose dog kisses where they clean the other's face, teeth, throat tonsils, from either end of the body and so on. They are three happy dogs. Three happy labs living in paradise with four cats who are adjusting just fine. The fish are still a little shell shocked and the chickens are not crazy about Harley running in amongst them wanting to play. He has no malice or desire to eat or hurt them. He just wants to play. He has taken this family of retirees and broken bodies and has breathed life into it. We in return have welcomed him open arms and the mutual love and adoration society of the Tonski's is quite happy.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

2 months for good behaviour, Harley, nature, being social and a broken computer

I brought Harley Davidson Tonski home today. He is a 1 1/2 year old yellow lab found in Lamont and taken to the Jefferson County Humane Shelter. We had seen the add in the paper where they announced that a yellow lab had been lost and was at the Shelter for the owner to come and claim. Two weeks, no one had claimed him. Monday Bug had said we should drop by the Shelter and see what was the story about the yellow lab. I was a little anxious. One of the most wonderful parts of my life was when we had Maggierose, Harry and Lily. A black, a chocolate and a yellow lab. My heart is happpy when I look out in the yard and see all three colors playing and loving. Each color has personality tendencies and together it is something very much akin to the joy you feel for children. You know they are dogs, but they are so special, each so different, unique pieces of a puzzle that together are labs. And today as I let Harley out of the truck to the surprise and dismay of Bob and Edna I had all three colors again. That man has to love me more then words can describe. He knew that giving me Harley and all three colors in my life was one of the best birthday presents in the entire universe. Do we need three dogs again? Oh, no we do not. I have mopped the kitchen three times this evening. I finally gave up. Harley immediately discovered the little raised fish/lotus/water lily pond and has been in it 6 times that I witnessed. Fearing for the fish, let alone my plants, I simply walked in the house and closed the door. There is nothing I can do today to prevent him from slipping over the side and into the water like a river otter. Bug will be home tomorrow and hopefully we will be able to secure the pond again. I had to secure it from Bob and again from Edna, so it is natural that Harley a labador, would be any different. Hopefully the Bubba's will forgive me. (I name all of my goldfish Bubba, it is simply easier that way). Since I was in the house that drew Bob and Edna and Harley followed along behind them. Or on them, or in front or around. He is a puppy in lab terms and full of energy. And for someone who just had their fe3rtility clipped yesterday and is supposed to be kept quiet and slow, he is a cheeta. A gazelle, a Harley motorcycle. Full open power, and loud pipes. Bob does not bark or make any noise particularly in the house. He will bark at delivery people, people passing by in front of the house, wildlife that get to close to his territory and other outside diversions that a good watch dog would bark at. Edna and Bug will converse with each other, but Harley is a very vocal child and the cats are not quite sure of this so far. Harley, like Bob is a lapadore. Everyday Bob gets up on Bug's lap in his chair and they have a little one on one time together. Well, move over Bob. Bless his heart, I am not sure he is crazy about sharing laps. Harley gets in mine anytime I drop my guard. He is a sweetheart. He is smart and loving and has huge paws still and he captured Bug's and my heart the moment we saw him. The others will grow used to him. They have been through other animals, and they do just fine. Tuesday I went to see Dr. May. My Pet scan shows the cancer growing and spreading through my lymphatic system. That is what cancer does. I have started referring to my way of dealing with the little "c" as Passive Aggressive. You hear about the method where people "fight" their cancer. They changed diets, they try traditional medicine, they try alternative medicine, they wage war on their cancer. I have chose a different path. I have not given in to the cancer, but I am just not good at hating and fighting. So I have chose to embrace my cancer. To be passive in that I still eat my same healthy diet that I have eaten most of my life, although I do eat more animal protein as the doctor asked. I am a Southern woman and love my fried chicken and bisquits so vegeanism really lasted longer then even I would have guessed as a diet choice. I try to drink plenty of water, but be moderate with a glass of wine at dinner. I try to get plenty of rest, stave active and physical, but not over do it. In other words, I am still trying to live the same peaceful life I have tried to live my whole life. Give back to my community, garden, read, be creative, do yoga, sing and laugh each day. It has always worked well for me. And I still consider that the reason that I am doing as well as I am. Fighting? NO. Cancer is my cells gone rogue. It is me. It is of me and to hate it or fight it would be to hate myself. No thankyou, I am far from perfect, but I am happy with myself. The aggressive part comes in that I allow the doctors to wage war on my "c" with their WMDs. I feel that is enough fight for all of us. And Dr. May understands and instead of doing whatever it takes to try and cure an incurable disease, she thinks about the whole me and what is best. My blood numbers were the best ever, again. And were actually as good as any normal healthy person. Wooooohoooo! My live numbers are also better again. Only one number was out of line. Red wine to build the blood, beets to cleanse the liver. I am telling you it is working for me. And I like my glass of wine and I like my beets so life is good. The Lymph nodes from my throat and chest area (thorax if I was an insect) are starting to light up like Christmas lights as the cancer, slowly mutates and consumes. The cancer has not sped up, it just keeps plodding along, so I get two months off from having to give blood or injected with radiation. I will go back in December and if the blood works is still looking good then we will do another Petscan in January with the blood work to see where we are. I really have very little pain, and most of it could probably be easily passed off as gas caught up in my chest. I look like I am well. But I am tired. Very tired. That is why I didn't go with Bug to Biketoberfest and to visit the precious Hobbie and Col. Bill. Bug rode over on the red Harley and will be back tomorrow. The three of them have been working on the house and then enjoying the bike festivities. They are tired, but sound like they are getting it done. I started out doing too much I guess. I got the guest bedroom/office cleaned up a bit and organizzed again, and the living room and the master bath. I did not get the rest of the house clean, and there is still so much to do. Today I was so tired I basically survived all the animals. Stella freaked out at one point with Harley. They were nose to nose not 5 minutes earlier, now she decided to destroy our world in one wild crazy schophranic moment. She knocked a glass of wine over, she used my left arm as a voulton box and left a deep bloody scratch across my sister heart celtic knot tatoo. The rest of the arm is scratched badly also, but my tat!!!! I didn't even realize I had been hurt until I was cleaning up the broken glass, the wine, a water glass, my crocheting and knitting projects, a phone and all the objects I had been carefully moving from smaller easier to dump tables to one that was strong, secure and behind the others. It was like the mainland with barrier islands I had thought and surely it would be the safest place for breakable items. Well when Stella flew through the air, she landed in the middle of everything so thoughtly and safely put away. As I was cleaning I saw blood dripping and of course assumed it was one of the kids. So I am searching Harley's face. Henry already left a mark, but other then those, Harley was fine, so were Bob and Edna. Stella had returned to the scene of the crime and showed no apparent blood loss, at which time I looked at my arm and had no idea what damage had been done because the entire arm below my sleeve was dripping blood. How is it that you can have a major injury with relatively little loss of blood and a few cat scratches and you think you should call the Red Cross to donate blood, so as not to waste all that is leaving your body. I finished cleaning up Stella's mess. And this is Stella. Yes, Harley startled her, and he is knew, but she had to go out of her way to do the damage she has wrought upon the house. I then went in and washed my arm well and slathered it with antibiotic and tried to remind myself that when they radiated my chest that my peaceful heart tat got burned, but it came through just fine. These are minor scratches and should not scare Vicki's and my 50th anniversary tat of going to kindergarten. We will see, it is not as if I can do anything about it now. We took the boat out on Thurday, the last time we had taken the boat out we rode the Harley down and that day we saw turkey, racoons, aligators, an eagle, osprey, turtles, fish, every water bird you can name and deer. It was quite the day of nature. But it is the season for nature to prepare for the coming season. I talked to Vicki tonight and we are both looking forward to Samhein and the new year. We both hate the cold, but we love the transition from growth to harvest to rest. Thursday we just went out for a couple of hours and the ride was too wonderful. We just headed up the St. Marks at idle speed and enjoyed the warm sunshine and the beautiful world around us. On our way home, it was October 16th after all, we stopped at the Riverside Cafe and placed an appetizer order of stone crabs. Stone crab season opens October 15 and closes May 15. A lifetime ago I helped run 30 stone crab traps. Just ours, and it was alot of work and a long time ago. And even though I am not much of a crab eater, I love the opening of stone crab season. And these were beauies! Well, at first they were deep fried blue crab claws. The first woman who had given us our menus said they had a dinner and an app for the stone crab claws. So when our waitress, who was new asked us what we wanted, we did not look at the menu, we simply said the crab claw app. She was new, and maybe new to the area and did not know to at least ask which crab claw app after Oct 25, but we didn't know they had the blue crabs, and she didn't realize that the stone crabs were in. So she raced by the table and dropped the claws off. I sat there dumbfounded. My brain is not as quick as it used to be, and it stared at the fried blue crab claws and knew that something wasn't right, but I was having a hard time unscrambling everything to understand what I was looking at. Bug started to grab one and made a comment about them being small or something. It was enough to snap me back into reality and I explained that these were not stone crabs, but fried blue crab claws. He looked relieved, he also was confused by the unexpected claws. We were able to corrall the waitress and explain the problem. She said to just eat the blue crab and she would bring us out the stone crabs. After she left we felt bad for not being clearer. It was obviously not our mistake, but this is a costly error and we felt bad for her. Bug whispered that he would pay her for half of the blue crabs also so she wouldn't take as big a hit. But she only charged us for the blue crabs and explained that the bosses understood and that they gave us our stone crabs for free. I have to say they were the best claws I have had in many many years. We left a sizeable tip, and hope that she lets the owners know how much we appreciated their handling of the matter. And we enjoyed the blue crab claws also, but I swear I don't know why anyone would fry those tiny little things. Jan has gone through week one of her chemo, and I got to talk to her and Jack tonight and they both sound wonderful. Jan is tolerating the treatment extremely well so far, and that has Jack breathing a sigh of relief and Jan said she isn't tired yet. I told her it took a while, but maybe it wouldn't be that big of a problem if she is tolerating it so well. I am so happy for her, and wished that I could tolerate the chemo as well as she has her first treatment week. My computer, which of course is not backed up recent enough for me to be able to grab the disk and open the things I need to work on. Not only has it slowed and frozen with so many pop ups and advertising, but the power cord where it connects into the computer has gotten pulled and prodded and so the computer is also dying of lack of energy. I can not open it. It remains black and screams it warning of lack of power if you try and cajole into the little magic box it is supposed to be. I have so many things I have been doing lately that I was want to put down on paper to remember. I have things I need to get done and none of this will happen until I can get it to the geeks to fix it. I miss being able to blog and use my computer. But I am sure that it can be saved I just need to get someone who knows how to hold their mouth right. Last night I put the top down on the toy and drove over to the Hindu Hall in Tallahassee. It is very convienent for me and was a lovely night with the clouds and the moon. It is the weekend of the dance festival and the Hindu families of the area dressed in sparkling wonder gather together to eat and dance together. The outfits bright as jewels sparkle with mirrors and bangles. The woman form dance circles and dance and clap and spin and float around the room as the music slowly gets louder and louder and the rhythm faster. As the musi speeds up over several hours the dance steps become more complicated. My friend George from work's wife, Pia and his two daughters, Isabelle and Amelia were there dressed in Indian garb. The girls were like butterflies around their mother. Because the festival this year falls on a full moon many of the women my age or older wore white sari's. Geeta wore one with delicate pink and blue embrodery on it. Genevieve was there with her one year old, Fin who was also dressed in a tiny Indian outfit. All the woman, young and old were gorgeous and as they moved with the rythm of the music, swaying and spinning, step, turn, step back, turn, step....... Clap, clap, clap and wait, then repeat, they became even more beautiful as the exertions brightened their cheeks, quickened their breath and their eyes shiny with pleasure of the giant spinning circle of color and woman. The men join in and then waunder outside. Tonight the men will dance more. Tonight the room will again explode with color and rhythm and joy. After a few hours they offered a dinner under the moonlight. It was veggie burgers, dopla, potatoe things, chutney's, rice pudding and ice cream treats. We all gathered in large extended family groups and settled into the night grass sitting under a full moon, the sound of rhythm replaced with laughter and children's voices, the soft murmur of older family members and the moving of food to feed the mass of dancers. It was magical and sweet precious Geeta sat there surrounded by her friends and their children was radiant. I had been to a full moon meditation and vegetarian pot luck dinner just a couple of weeks ago at Geeta's It was a small group of us, but it had been so lovely to get to see some people I had not seen for a while. The next night I had met Judy, Denise and Carolyn at the Mexican restaruant for dinner and then Denise had hurried over to the Opera House as the Prop Manager she had a lot of work to do. The other three of us sat in the audience and saw one of the best shows I have seen at the Opera House. Of course the Director did an amazing job with the show, but the cast and crew were just so remarkable. I don't know, maybe I don't get out enough, but I had the best time with Judy and Carolyn and saw a show I had never seen start to finish, and there it was in Monticello at our little Opera House, and it was good. Very good. This past Sunday was garden circle. I love these ladies. It is not that we are that much alike. We have something that holds us together, but we are all very different and different ages, and we keep picking up one or two new ladies a year which more then covers the one or two who need to cut back on something so don't come regularly to meetings, but it is one of my most favorite times of the month. I am so sorry I will miss November when we are in the Keys. It is the Christmas tree decoration meeting where we get everything ready to decorate the Christmas tree at the Opera House. We use all natural ingredients on our tree and it is always the lovliest to me. I hope to be back to maybe help with the decorating around Thanksgiving. Other then that, life starts each morning with the sun and rests at night under the stars. I am able to communicate more and slowly coming back to life again. Bug is in Daytona and I miss him. Harley is here I have all three colors again Bob and Edna are not so sure about this Neither are the cats The chickens haven't noticed and bless the Bubba's I hope they have survived the invastion. It is very late for me, so I will go lay down. I am sore today I am tired today I dudn't get much down around the house, but Harley is here I am unbelievably happy I look down into those three beautiful faces and I almost explode with the joy and happiness of having my three colors back. I miss Maggierose, Lily and especially Harry since he has not been gone that long now. But when I look at Bob, Edna and Harley, I know that I am where I am supposed to be and that in this great and vast universe, there is one woman who will be 58 next Tuesday sitting at a computer with tears of love and joy running down my face as Stellas sits next to me sleeping on the mouse and the three labs nestle around my feet and knowing that my sweetheart will be home tomorrow and I feel like the luckiest woman in the entire existence. Blessed beyond my wildest hopes How can I hate cancer or myself? All of this makes up who I am and tonight I like who I am