Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Monday, March 17, 2014

Willie, Lily, George and the girls

I can't believe I haven't posted more about the ducks and chicks.  I have loved all of my chickens, but this little funny flock of ducks and peeps are too precious.  I have settled on the ducks names, Willie and Lily Ponns.  Willie and Lily.  I love their little top knot of feathers.  It is like a yamaka perched on the crown of their heads.

Willie, George and Lily

Lily and Willie

George, a fine white leghorn

George is twice the size of the other peeps.  He is as big as Lily now

Lilly, George, and the girls
The sleep together, the little peeps crawl under Willie and Lily like they would under their own mothers.  George has no feathers on his chest, belly and butt so sometimes he sleeps on top of the ducks.  They love each other and cluster up together to sleep or when they hear loud noises.  As the storms charged through and the lightening and thunder caused the dogs to shutter and hide, the baby flock crowded in their bunny house and peeped and cheeped as loudly as their little voices would go.  John C and the girls in the coop next door cooed and clucked, clustering on their roosts. 

George is easily as big as Lily, the smaller of the two ducks and twice as big as the rest of the peeps.  Willie, Lily and Rudbeckia all come up and will eat their treats out of my fingers.  I pull up tender weeds and grasses for them but every other day I cut up spinach, strawberries, grapes, kiwis, whatever healthy fruit or veggies we have in the frig.  Pansy looked like a baby quail when she came home but now her down feathers are blue.  Rudbeckia and Periwinkle look a lot alike but Rudbeckia has a redder head.  I am still trying to find the color or personality of each to name, but this will take time.  They are just getting their feathers and have not gone into that teenage time where they get tall and straggly.  They will be next week.  I found all of them playing in the rain this morning.  The peeps did not look like they were enjoying it nearly as much as Willie and Lilly I noted.  They will have to learn the difference between duck and chicken, but I will be there with them.

I have always been fond of just sitting with my animals.  Because I am worried about the safety of the chickens I have kept them locked in their coop more then they would like.  I sit on each side and spend time with both flocks.  If things continue to work like they have been, I will have combined the two flocks by the time we move.  They will not be allowed to range free at the new place because of the red shoulder hawk.  The hawks were there first so we need to work around them. 

With the rain, the gray drippy weather all of the cats and dogs are asleep around my feet in the house.  I love my animals, all of them, and this time of rain and temperatures that keep running up and down, is perfect time to rest and snuggle with my kids.

But the rain seems to be passing and I need to go pick up some cabbage.  It is St. Patrick's Day and my middle brother's birthday.  Maybe I will make some soda bread, but I doubt that I have that much humph right now. 

I think the lymph node under my arm is smaller and hardly noticeable.  That makes me feel better.  I have had such a hard time the past couple of days of staying awake.  I had this amazing ability to sleep day or night, but I did not take the muscle relaxer last night and I did not sleep. I did sleep, but not well.  I watched the clock as it ticked away the hours.  I would sleep for half an hour or so, but then be awake and finally I could not tell when I was awake or asleep.  It was not restful, and as tired as I am, I am not that drugged sleepy feeling.  I have made it up to 120.2 pounds today.  I have been trying to get above 120 for a couple of weeks now, and as of this morning I am there.  I will go see the doctor tomorrow.  I don't know that she will have much to say.  Sometimes I worry about what I must get done in this life.  But then I step back and think, will I really be so upset if I don't get this done.  Will it really matter. 

I don't know.  But the music festival is at the end of this week.  We are going to tent camp there this time and take our bikes.  The golf cart is giving us trouble and really we can ride our bikes anywhere we would want to take the cart.  This is the coming together of "my" people.  It is a huge gathering of tie dyed clothes, hammocks, children and child like parents celebrating spring and the music and the gorgeous woods and yahoo!  I am excited to go.  It is close enough that we could come home each day to take a shower and check on the kids. 

Well, I guess I really didn't have that much to say today.  I just wanted to share some photos about my little loves.  I think George will be a fine rooster and is already good with the girls.  I think Willie and Lily will love their pond.  The dogs will love the pond and the swamp.  The cats, well, they will adjust and I am excited about moving.  About moving to our new home, our swamp. 

I am happy.  I guess I could have just posted the photos and


and that would have explained it all.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Started March 10th,

After another very busy week, we are off for a few days to get away.  Yesterday was our one year anniversary.  We celebrated it with left over take out Chinese and were in bed asleep early.  We have been so busy this week that we had no energy left.

Bug is wearing himself out more then I am.  I have worn myself right back down.  I managed to get all the wall paper off of the upstairs bathroom.  Bug worked on the kitchen a bit, but he can do so many other things that I am not able to do, I took over the wall paper removing.  I have half a wall left in the kitchen.  It will wait until we get back.

We have electricity in the house, but as we have started our renovation we are falling in line with all the TV shows.  Yep, we knew that the Florida room was going to have a new roof and everything above the tile floor would have to be removed.  Unfortunately there is a problem with the front wall of the house.  We may need a whole new roof.  If that is our best choice we will replace the shingles with a green metal roof. 

It has been raining and our swamp seems to keep growing.  With 5 - 6 trucks running up and down our drive it has turned into an amazing mud bogging site.  The mud is everywhere.  Sticky, smelly, slimy mud.  We love it.  But not in the drive.  Bug has bush hogged as much property as he could finding springs erupting up through already sogged ground. 

I have worked so hard this week and I can not tell you what I have done.  Bug works non-stop.  He not only works here at Labrun, but even harder at our new swamp, and finds time to help his dad fix their brick walk. 

Bug and I finished removing wall paper from the kitchen.  The wall paper in the kitchen was so bland and odd looking and feeling.  It's width, feel and how it came off seemed more like drawer liner.  At least they did not use gorilla glue to hold the seams like they did in the bathroom.  I cleaned the cabinets going back in the bath room.  I swept and gathered up piles of scattered wall paper and other debris from the electrical repairs. 

Each time we go to the house it feels more like our home.  The tile as you walk in the door.  The big bedroom with the glorious closets.  The little kitchen, that once the frig was out seemed roomy and full of opportunity.  The bathroom vanity, which was actually a kitchen cabinet is going to make a lovely island and I can't wait for the roof and walls. 

Yes, we have learned that we must replace the roof.  There is just too much damage.  The Florida room was always on the list as roof candidate, but now with the damage at the front window, it is just too much, so a new green roof with a different back angle will be installed.  Of course we are not thrilled about all the bills.  They are spurting up faster then the blackberry vines, and just as prickly.  But this is just like on TV.  We have a buffer to help us get through this and have already had to designate some of those funds to fix the air conditioning.  The vandals stole the copper out of the air conditioner, the gauges off of the well and the pipes off of the downstairs toilet.  Really?  That was just being mean.  The copper and gauges I can see getting a few bucks to make it worth your energy, but the pipes, only the ones for the downstairs toilet?  I don't get it.

Just as the pressure of the house, life, his parents was getting to be overwhelming we packed light, left the trailer at home and joined the journey of the pilgrimage to Daytona.  We headed over on Monday and the trip over was sunny and beautiful and a wonderful ride.  We stayed with the ever fabulous Bill and Hobby.  The weekend had been one of the most attended Daytona in years according to the news and our friends.  Fortunately the downtown had quieted for the few days early in the week before it ramped back up for the last weekend.  A friend asked me why, how do I go to Daytona.  She knows my discomfort about being around drunks and crowds.  That is why  we went during the week, and staying with our friends outside of the turmoil on the peaceful river. I love all the bikes and noise, if I can get away from the people.  So I go to a few things, and then I go home and Bug and friends head out and join the throngs of revelers.  No, most of it, is not in my comfort zone, but I have always pushed my comfort zone.  Usually to step back and surround myself in my peaceful quiet world.  But just because it is not for me, I still love the pilgrimage with the roads filled with bikes and trucks with trailer and campers all drawn to the same place.  Drawn to celebrate their bikes, their creativity and a life style.  I am drawn from curiosity.  The weather was gorgeous and we visited our favorite spots, ate our favorite food, then the weather was to turn cold, so we hugged our sweet friends good bye on Wednesday morning and raced home trying to skirt the storm front roaring across the state.  One close call and we had a little spit, but we managed to avoid the worst of the rain and enjoyed our ride home. 

While we were in Daytona I realized that I could see the lymph nodes in  my left arm pit and arm.  I know I was hurting.  But in my crazy backwards way of thinking, once I saw them, I knew that was not good, but at the same point, the pain was real.  I could see it, not just feel it.  Knowing it is real, helps.  It was a hard trip in many ways, but in other ways, I did it.  I pushed past the pain and pulled up my black cowboy boots, hefted on my Harley Gortex coat that I swear weighs twice as much as I do.  I knew going, I was limited on what I could do.  But to get to spend time with these two people, even for a short visit, well, it is like choosing to add on the miles on our way home from New Jersey this Christmas so we could spend one night with Marty and Shelia.  You know the love will just grab a hold of you and your body will relax.  Let go of the things that have to be done.  They will wait.  Just give in to the joy of friendship and good times.  How could I not do whatever I had to.  So I did.

My dear friend Karen died.  She is the one I was talking about with the dance recital, and she sang Frank Sinatra.  I had not seen her in many years.  But that is part of friends or pets for that matter.  We give our hearts out to others our entire lives.  If we are lucky.  We give out that love and it comes back in ways we never expect.  And yet when one of those people you gave your heart to, maybe years and years ago, it does matter.  We were different people in a different life in a world both of us had left.  Yet knowing she was gone, this person I have not seen since that other world, I felt such a huge loss.

That night Bug and I went to visit some friends we rarely see anymore.  These people and their family was so much of the joy and love and acceptance I have felt in this place.  The place I have chosen as my home.  Through life and family and illness, I have not gotten to spend the afternoon tea I once considered so blessed to share.  I have not been able to just sit and talk and be with them.  Those people who have been so important in my life today, let alone so much of the happiness in my life here.  But there we were.  The two grandsons even more amazing then described in her blog.  I know she discusses her chickens and grandchildren a lot.  But if you could spend 15 minutes with her and those boys and that gorgeous rooster, you would see that she is not exaggerating about the children's intelligence, lovingness and joy.  I was in awe listening to the conversations, the need to understand some things and to be so open to simply ask their grandparents knowing that they will tell them the truth, or a great story.  They can tell the difference from the twinkle in the eye, the curve of the smile on those older faces cheeks.  I told the older boy about how he laughed at me when I was bald and he was about the same age as his younger brother.  He was so upset that he would do something that terrible as to laugh as someone hurt.  But when I told him that he had not hurt me, I did look funny.  It made me happy that at least one person admitted that I looked silly.  He was so amazed at how he had made me happy and was proud of himself.  As he should be.  It was a short visit, but it was a day where a friend from my past slipped away and friends from a less distant past were back in my heart.  

I spoke to another friend that I have not gotten to spend enough time with this past year.  We talked for 2 hours.  We talked about plays, friendship, houses, gardens and the Stage Company.  We caught up.  That simple, just talked and caught up.  It inspired me to call my best friend from work, Bob and catch up with him.  I tried to call and talk to a few others, but even though I did not  reach them, it felt good to try.

I am sleeping.  I have never been a good nap takers, and now I can sleep most of a day and then go to sleep early because I am tired and sleep through the night.  My body needs sleep.  Not just rest, sleep.  Food had gotten to be something I hardly thought about and my weight was dropping again.  I seem to have broke that circle of not eating, but the stomach troubles have also increased as I try to eat more food and more often. 

It is hard to explain how I feel lately.  I feel a little out of body because I hurt and feel sick.  But I feel calmer.  I have no idea where I am in the progression of the disease, but having to take a muscle relaxer now to keep my right arm workable.  Life is worth living because of all the drugs I take.  Hmmmmm.  It is starting to sink in.  I am adjusting better to my condition and maybe that is why I can sleep.  It might just be the added drugs that are making me sleepy.  Whatever, I am enjoying going to sleep.  Something I can't remember when I actually enjoyed sleeping. 

So life is changing.
The house is starting to morph into a home

The Suwanee Spring Music Festival is coming.  We are holding off on tickets until after I see the doctor on Tuesday.  I don't know, I just want an idea of what is happening before I take off on another adventure.

My batteries are running low and don't charge up as much as they used to.  But the Bradford pears are blooming.  Their white petals blowing as another front blows through again.  The hardy green of winter is giving way to the green of spring.  The red of new growth, the blue of spiderwort, the yellow of Jesmine.  The pines candles are coming out, Easter is just around the corner.  The oaks are starting their spring dance of pollen.  The air has the haze of spores and pollen.  The animals are moving, those with allergies are sneezing and their eyes running.  You can see the life force coming up out of the ground and into the plants and trees.  Young growth shoot up from hidden roots of perinneals.  Azelleas are blooming in their own sweet time.  Camellias still blushing with their blossoms, and my heart feels like it too is thawing from a brutal winter.  It is easier to forgot about body pains and aches when the notes of a song bird break forth from a bud heavy limb. 

What a joy to be able to start this adventure with our new home in spring and to watch throughout the year what treasures may lay hidden below.

It is a joy to be a live today.  It is a joy to look into my sweeties eyes and see the sparkle of excitement of another day.
Another adventure.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Another Monday morning

It is another gray Monday morning here.  A little gray with thick fog that sprinkles your skin with a fine mist as you walk through it.  It is warmer then last week, but winter rages on up north.  I sit in front of the weather channel and watch the single digits appear in masses of pink, white and blue on the map where I have precious friends.  I don't know how they do it.  I can not say that I am any better acclimated to the cold then I was before.  Bless their hearts, I guess someone has to live there. 

A few weeks ago Dewdrop disappeared.  She was one of my Ameracuana chickens and laid lovely green eggs.  I searched and searched but could not figure out what happened to her.  A few days later Daisy disappeared, but I found her.  She was in the front yard her red and white feathers telling me which beloved chicken this was.  This was back when it was really cold here and at night you could hear all kinds of commotion going on under our mobile home.  The dogs were getting under there also and leaving clear evidence of where they were going in and out.  Bug kept putting the trailer skirt and admonishing the dogs.  Bob did not appear to be involved, but Edna and Harley both looked guilty.  A few days later we had over 60 vultures in the pasture.  I only counted the ones on the ground, I did not count those in the trees or in other yards.  You don't realize how big these birds are until 60 vultures all take wing at once with you in the middle of the black squawking feathered tornado.  I am not sure what term to use when referring to a flock of vultures.  I know you refer to a murder of crows, which I love, but vultures?

According to one web site I saw:  "A group of vultures is called a wake, committee, venue, kettle, or volt. The term kettle refers to vultures in flight, while committee, volt, and venue refer to vultures resting in trees."  Notice how they do not give a name for a group on the ground, so I guess 'wake' works just fine.  This is for black vultures, turkey vultures have additional names.  Always something new to learn.

The corpse of the opossum is gone, same with my sweet Dewdrop and Daisy, but the wake of vultures stay.  I have new peeps to introduce to my small but might flock, but it does not replace my two girls.  Dewdrop was a couple of years old, but Daisy was one of my newest girls and was a very funny chicken.  All of my peeps have good strong wing feathers but their bodies are still balls of fluff.  I need to get them out of the bath tub, but I am not sure they are big enough to go outside yet.  Even with a light and cage, but they need more space than they have now, and we need to give the ducks more of what they need. 

The ducks continue to amaze and tickle me.  They are bad about flooding the tub which is lovely for them to go splashing about, but the chickens, even though they are being good sports about it, they are not ducks.

I have one chick, the little weakling, Gardenia who is no longer a weakling and I have to say she has very large feet.  The other eight peeps have normal looking delicate pink feet but Gardenia is getting bigger then the others and her/his feet are like big birds.  Maybe she is simply going to be a big girl, but I won't be surprised if she turns out to be a rooster.  That is okay, John C has aged considerably this past year.  His second spur curls back on itself and must be constant pain.  He has a funky limp but to grab him and trim his spur again is unreasonable.  He suffers so much just being caught, and the spur, unless removed simply grows back in the same twist.

I am getting better about accepting my meds.  Dr. D gave me a mild muscle relaxer that I take at bedtime and my arm is a million times improved.  After the first dose the next morning I woke up much improved, but by this morning, I am thinking I can lay off the muscle relaxers in that my neck, arm and shoulder are all mostly back to normal.  Wooohooo!  I have had to be careful with them because the first day I felt so much better that I over did it.  That is a problem for these types of meds, whether for pain or to ease a spazzing muscle you feel so good that you over due it. 

I have had to give various labs pain meds for injuries chasing the ball, jumping fences, racing around corners, etc. but the dogs felt so good afterwards, they would jump right back up from a fall and keep going only to pay for it later that evening.  It is clear that I am not much smarter.  My brain just like theirs says, feeling good, lets run and jump and do whatever we want!!!

I hope everyone enjoyed Dr. Seuss's birthday.  I read Green eggs and Ham.  I just love that book.  I heard that Dr. Seuss was challenged by a friend to write that book.  I like to think of Dr. Seuss facing the challenge with a smile and then penned a cure funny children's story.

Bug's son and girlfriend have been visiting us for the last couple of days.  It is nice having them here.  Yesterday we took them out in the boat.  It was the nicest day in a while and everyone who owned a boat, new someone who owned a boat, or even people who simply wanted to own a boat were out on the water.  Boats everywhere.  Crazy people zipping past the smaller boats and pontoon boats as the sloshed around.  The sky was a deep blue, the weather almost warm and the sun gave its best effort to shine.  It was a fine day and the boat responded well getting out of the barn after way too long of a stay locked in the dark.  The kids seemed to enjoy the ride, but when we went to get something to eat, it appeared that everyone in the world, who were already out on the water, and everyone with a motorcycle were already crowded into the limited places near or on the water.  It took an hour and fifteen minutes to get a fish sandwich at the least busy place.  We were not right on the water but any restaurants that were on the water had lines out the door and every possible seat that could have any water view had people clustered together arm pit to arm pit.  Our food was good, but Bug and I do not normally take the boat out on the weekend, and we hope to not do that again.  Boating during the week while all the worker bees are busy at jobs, is glorious.  Weather permitting.

It had been months since we had been out in the boat, the tide was up and the green is coming back, but the river always looks the same, and always is changing.  I love that.  I was so happy to be on the Ms K and with my honey.  It was a beautiful day.

The kids are packing up and might be heading home tomorrow, weather permitting.  Kelly has to be back at work on Wednesday, so if they are going to get her back to work, they will have to leave tomorrow.  Such a short visit, but still great to have them.

They brought down their two dogs, Marley, an old black lab who is named after Bob Marley, not the dog in the book.  Rudy looks like a pit bull and shepherd mix.  He is sweet and he and Harley have become tight friends.  They are close to the same age and weight and play and wrestle non stop.  Harley has a bromance going on with Rudy.  It is fun to have five dogs again.  Especially knowing that two of them are only visiting.  Rudy wants to "play" with the cats.  They do not want to play with him.  Rudy has listened to each of us when we called him off when he finds one of the cats, but I wouldn't want to trust him alone with a cat.  Josh has fallen in love with Harley, Henry, our male Manx and Stella, the evil of the twins, Stella and Luna.  Luna has stayed safely protected in her laundry basket on the dryer. Henry hangs out with Luna on his spot on the front load washer.  Stella has stayed on Josh's lap as much as allowed.  Marina, Rudy has found her a couple of times but he has backed off each time we yelled.  Marina likes dogs and doesn't run like a normal cat.  I think that has actually worked in her favor in that Rudy just wants to "play" and when Marina doesn't run for him to chase he is as confused as Marina. 

Bug's Mom is coming home from the rehab place on Wednesday, she is pretty much back to her old self.  The physical therapist are trying to continue to work with her to build her stronger.  Now if she just keeps it up.  I know Dad will be glad to have her home, he misses her terribly.  Mom refers to the rehab center as jail, but has a good sense of humor about it and she just cracks me up with her stories of life in jail.

I have so many things to do, but I need to be more reasonable about how hard I push myself.  This is a rough time physically.  Too hard to even explain.  The pain goes away with the meds, but not really and every once in a while I have a piercing pain in my chest that stops me cold.  It goes away pretty quickly and honestly I am not doing anything that I shouldn't when these pains come.  Just out of the blue, so to speak.  Once they are gone, I am fine again, although a persistent buzzing takes a little while to disperse.  I think fear is more a part of the pain then the pain itself.  Yesterday I got chilled on the boat and my fingers all turned white and buzzed.  They ached to touch anything, but I could not "feel" what I was touching and picking up things was difficult, even a bottle of water.  It took about an hour for them to get their color back and for the buzzing to stop.  The color crept up knuckle by knuckle.  I am sure it is no big deal, but it is just so weird.

My brain does not seem to be working very well this morning.  I think I could lay down and sleep a hundred years, but I need to get a few things down so that my mind will rest with my body.  Last night my mind was running and spinning and somersaulting through all the things going on in my world, and when I would say to myself, "You need to sleep."  I would hear myself sleep.  I heard my sleeping breath and my mind would get so confused.  It was awake but my body was asleep.  I think my mind would then shut down occasionally, and it was more restful.  It was a wild experience, I wonder if people in comas ever experience this.  I am sure this sounds weird.  But my life is evolving or devolving so that time is different, I experience things I try to explain to Bug, but words don't really do justice to the crazy things going on.

Yesterday Bug and I ripped down the walls in the master bedroom.  We didn't pull down the studs, just the paste board and drywall they had used.  We have been working on the wall paper in the  upstairs bedroom and I need to get that finished.  The electricians are supposed to finish today.  That means the next contractors can start later this week on the Florida room.  Bug and I can start pulling out carpet and order our floors.  So much to do to keep my mind off the little changes limiting my body.  This is bad timing with my health to now have to start all this labor, but it is perfect timing to give me a goal and things to fill my creative brain instead of focusing on what I can no longer do.

Dearly Departed opens this weekend.  Carolyn and I have talked about going to see it on opening night.  I am not sure with Mom/Dad and Bug want to see it, but I can always spend time with Carolyn.  I enjoy her company and we both enjoy a lot of the same things.

Time to get up and going.  Laundry needs to be moved and folded.  The kitchen is clean, but I need to vacuum.  I also need to start packing.  There is so much to do, thank goodness I can work a lot of it out at night in my sleep.  Now if I could sleep and pack, well, that would be useful.

Life is good.  The sky is clearing leaving a blue sky but rain will be coming back in again soon.  My azaleas are bursting at the seam with fat flower buds in white, pink and magenta.  By our Anniversary on Sunday we should have a yard filled with color.  Flowers waving in the wind, and soon the butterflies will join them in their spring dance.  The trees are starting to burst open and my heart sings, "Spring is bursting out all over...."  the words of a song from another memory dancing as a small child in the end of year recital. 

Life has been good
life is still good
life is ever changing