Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Catching my stride

I have not had the nerve to try the pain patches again.  I feel like I understand the phrase, "pain management".  It does not say painless, but managed.  That has been a huge help post pain patch, or ppp.  I take a whole oxy in the morning after breakfast and a half at night half an hour before I go to bed.  That combination helps to manage the worst of the pain.  I still get an oops once in a while, but who at this age doesn't?  I am in pain, but the pain is knocked down below "throwing up with pain".  Then if I choose what I do and don't do with thought to the pain, I can do so much more, by doing less.  Does that make any sense?  I needed to get the trailer here that we still live in clean.  The new house in all of it's horror was looking better then this place.  Working sometimes on one task for the day I got the overall basics done by Sunday.  Each day I could do a little more, but stopped and rested more often.  I try to drink as much water as possible to keep flushing the poisons from my body instead of letting them build up.  But then I need to increase my sodium because lately I have been washing it out also.  So when Bug and I went to Thomasville to buy the materials for our counter top I had a house margarita at Applebee's, with salt around the rim.  It was 2 for 1 and even though I don't normally drink anything but red wine, I threw caution to the wind and enjoyed my drink and my lunch with my favorite guy.

Bug has really been making an extra effort to spend time with me.  To be patient of me as I am slow, string unrelated words together that do not make sentences or sense.  So Saturday riding up to see the flower Rose Show meant more to me then I can ever explain.  My mother belonged to the Woman's Club, the Garden Club, the Women's Circle at church, Friends of the Library, Historical Society, etc. etc. and so on.  The only thing she enjoyed about the garden club was flower arranging.  She could grow orchids like no body's business, but that is because she built an environment in the back yard for them that she never had to do anything at all.  Every other plant that my mother tried to nurture, even plastic plants on a piece of drift wood would slowly die off, leaf by leaf and end up in a pile on the ground.  Bless her Heart.  She knew it, and was quite the nature person and loved trees and flowers, but just didn't have a green thumb.  However, each year at the garden show she usually took home a blue ribbon, if not the best in show.  This was the 60's and 70's and the introduction of exotic flowers from Hawaii.  Flowers that now where becoming cheap enough for the flower stores to carry, especially during flower shows.

Mother's arrangements have been on covers of garden program.  She was one of the ladies who introduced, Ikebana (|生け花, "living flowers") the Japanese art of flower arrangement, also known as kadō ( 花道, the "way of flowers") to the ladies of the garden club.  She also insisted that the children's garden club also were given instruction as to Ikebana.  I loved arranging flowers, but not being competitive I did not enjoy having to do it for shows.  But to this day as I cut flowers and put them in a vase I think about the three points, the proportions of each point to each other, the geometry of the points and how to incorporate the color and design of the flowers and foliage into the design.  Looking at the arrangements triangles and measurements appeared in the flowers and how they moved the color through the arrangements tying them together.  It was like what angel voices look like.  The color the glory, beauty and sheer joy of flowers.  Bug still thinks some of my flowers would have won. 

I am doing something that I do not normally do as a habit.  I am cutting the flowers in my yard and bringing them into the house.  I have hardest time cutting my flowers, picking my veggies and herbs.  I have already started using more of my fresh herbs and of course the food is more delicious and for those who grow herbs know that most herbs respond bigger and more beautiful with a little regular snipping.  I am almost loving all the flowers in the house, and I am able to rotate through them as more bloom.  Here are a couple of photos from yesterday morning:

I love flowers in the house, and the fact that I am growing them only makes it better.

Sunday, I overslept and missed the first of Charles Osgood.  It was the death issue.  What a show for me to miss.  But it is okay, I picked up a lot of good information and things for me to do because of the show.  I will make an appointment to meet with hospice.  I will get the list of cremation facilities and start acting like a responsible adult.  Who knows there might be a green cemetery in the area.  But I can go ahead and make the arrangements for things and get that out of the way and off of my husband who is overwhelmed enough with two houses a sick wife, parents and well, life. 

Yesterday took the truck down to St. Marks to pick up the boat so that he can work on it.  One more thing on his plate.  The sky grew darker and more ominous as we headed west and south to the coast.  The storm was hundred of miles away but it was coming.  Destruction rolling over towns and homes and forest and ripping things up and throwing them into the air.  It was gloomy but the sun would peak in and out as the layers of clouds moved and crashed into each other.  The temperature was extremely comfortable and the boat started right up, as always and we had a lovely ride up the water gorged river.  The vegetation grows down to the very edge of the water, but now that the water has left its banks and meandering back into the woods it is hard to tell where the river used to start and end.  The river was deep, but lots of trees and snags and rocks below so our slow putter up the river was perfect.  I laid on the front deck, he fished from the back.  He caught a small bass and was happy.  It was quickly released even though we would have loved to bring it back and release it to the pond, we weren't set up for that and didn't want to take a chance and simply end up killing it.  It swam happily off.  We have released a couple of sliders over at the pond.  Anytime we find a turtle on the road we stop.  Now we have property for them.  I have no idea if they will stay or if they have already headed off in search of a mate or a new pond.  I love turtles. 

We trolled up the river and ate fish and oyster sandwiches at Riverside Café.  It was a beautiful day.  Bug and I seem to each be appreciating spending time together.  We do like each other, and I am going to try and make more of an effort to spend part of each day with him at the other house.  There is more then enough to do, but he has put my rattan in the Florida room so there are places for me to sit and lay down when I get tired.

This new way of dealing with the pain is interesting.  I can feel the difference between my lungs and the lymphatic system.  I see more swollen nodes under my arms.  Maybe they are bigger and more engaged, maybe I am just thinner.  But with this information I can now put the different pains in categories and that helps to mentally treat it.  'That is lung, so it is cancer', 'That is a muscle pain in my back, old age', 'lymphatic pain', and so on.  Really, to look at me, you would not know I am in pain.  And right now as I sit here writing, I am not uncomfortable.  I just sort of feel like I am running low.  I still feel joy and wonder.  I still live and do things.  Most people would never know looking at me that there was anything wrong.  I like that.  I hope that I can just fall asleep out on my lounge chair on my little back porch at the new house and never wake up.  Not now, of course, but wouldn't that be a lovely way to go. 

Life is still more about life then death for me.  I want to get out and air layer my camellias.  Not today with thunder rumbling and crashing just above the trees. Bob and Harley are asleep at my feet, Edna tried to crawl into a basket half her size so I checked and sure enough the guest bath door was closed.  She huddles behind the toilet when it rains and thunders.  Bob used to be closer to that kind of scared, but as long as I am with him, he is fine.

I hope I have not lead everyone to worry about me or think that I will not be here next week.  I think I have time yet.  I don't know how much, but where a couple of weeks ago on the pain patch I thought it could be sooner, but now, not so worried.  I am worrying too much about getting things done.  I am having nightmares of not graduating from school again.  I always have these when I put too much pressure on myself.  I need to relax and laugh more.  I don't laugh enough these days.

My precious beloved friend, Polly is coming down for Memorial Weekend.  I think Vicki and Nancy said they are coming down, and it might be the same weekend.  Oh how wonderful, it is like winning the visit lottery.  All of my friends love each other, of course, they are precious wonderful dearly beloved people, how could they not love each other when they meet.

But I am feeling pretty good right now, so it is time to get off this couch and get some work done.  I am ready to clean this place and then head over to the house and do a little cleaning there with Bug.

So, yes, I am fading, but you know I will have to play this out for as long as I can.  And as always, I can't express my joy and happiness that it is raining.  That the frog are singing, and air vibrates with the rumbles of thunder and lighting lights up and crackles the rumbling air so that you can feel the energy of the storm standing at an open door.  I know we have had a lot of rain and it is a bit swampy in this part of the world.  But I love the rain.  I cannot complain, it is like warm weather.  I rarely complain about warm or hot weather and rain.  Cold and dry are torturous to me.  I guess I am more insect then reptile.  Maybe I am not physically as evolved.  Hee hee

Lunch on Monday with Judi and Carolyn to try and provide art and crafts supplies to the Jefferson Art Gallery for the summer art program.  I hope Christopher is here for one of the weeks.  I love sending him to an art camp.  I know he could be one of the counselors, and I will ask if they need him.  Ms Judi and Christopher are both Whovians and know each other.  Ms Judi is in charge of the Art Center and she is doing a fine job of it.  So here I go, making plans again.  I want to make dinner for Mother's Day for Mom.  I don't think they will be here for Father's Day, so maybe I will make a custard pie for Dad.  Why I make plans is who I am, but fortunately my friends just roll with me. 

Today's report, I am okay. 
It is raining and I think I shall make something for my husband and take him lunch.
Over all feeling good today.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Glorious, horror, another restart, friends and Thomasville Rose Show

I am not sure if I have mentioned it lately, but I am married to one of the most amazing people in the universe.  He is adjusting better then I am to my lack of ability to accomplish anything.  I have friends constantly telling me that I do more then they do, and I know I am barely capable of accomplishing more then one thing in a day.  Bug vacuumed the bed room.  I have not used this beautiful new vacuum cleaner that Bug brought home.  I have seen him use it and I can see the carpet afterwards.  It looks brand new and works better then any other vacuum I have ever used. 

But that is not why I was bragging on my honey.  I was bragging because Thursday morning he asked me if I would like to go on a motorcycle ride or a boat ride.  I chose motorcycle because that can adjust for time or my abilities.  The boat is more of a commitment and given even a nights notice I would love to spend a few hours floating up the river in the Ms K.  This is the most beautiful time of the year here.  I have to say possibly the most beautiful natural area this time of the year anywhere in Florida.  So Thursday morning we hopped on the Harley and took off.  We rode first to the house before heading off for a beautiful ride.  The temperatures are prefect, the rotation of blooming plants and birds migrating fills the air with scents, petals and birds only seen this time of year here.  The pitasporium, ligustrum, weilgia  and honeysuckle are swirling in the pollen thick air right now.  The first two not normally planted for their insignificant bloom, but always some of my favorites each year.

The ride was just long enough to feel sated but not exhausted.  We had a wonderful lunch, ran a few errands.  I was ready to come lay down when we got home, Bug headed over to the house to work for another 4 - 6 hours before he calls it a day.  After a typical fitful nap where I act like my 4 year old kindergarten self flipping and flinging and just not able to waste time like that, I got up and through a series of horrific events my 8 young hens were all dead.  Some clustered together in the coop, others spread through the pasture.  Not a mark on them, just empty warm bodies.  I devolved into a more primal self wailing as I ran around the yard clasping up each of my dead children.  As I picked each one up calling it by name and hoping that maybe it had just been shocked.  Sometimes a shocked chicken will come back.  I have brought back some myself, but not today.  The first three, the ones that would come up and feed from my hand were together.  When I came up on George, she was alive.  I set the others down and gently picked up my obese child not sure how badly hurt she might be.  He thigh is almost twice the size of my hands.  I have big hands for someone my size.  She drank water and revived a little as I held her to the watering can.  I set her down at the food and she immediately started eating.  That is my girl.  I got my med kit and decided hydrogen peroxide was my best option to see what was wrong.  Well, George got her hefty breasts and girthie thighs and ran maybe 10 steps, which for her is pretty amazing to watch, and feel (okay, that is exaggerating).  Her tail was shredded and there is a huge bruise and puncture wound on her thigh.  I covered everything in triple antibiotic gel, and as of this evening she is eating and surviving just fine.  Willie and Lily and the big chickens did not appear to have been targets of what happened.  I only missed everything by maybe 20 minutes, but there was nothing I could do.  The door had been wedged open and then the second door wedged open.  Not that hard, but in the broad day light, with three labs in the yard.  That is all I will say.  It is too hard.

The next day every time I walked outside, checked on the other girls, worked in the garden, shoot, it happened in the house, I would just loose it and start weeping.  It was too much.  So by mid day I had convinced myself to go to tractor supply and just see what might be left.  This is their last week for chicks.  I am not sure if I should own my chickens.  I am a good mother, but all of my baby girls were taken brutally from me.  Do I get back up on the horse, or not.  I have sacrificial plants that I am constantly killing and trying again, but chicks?  Ooooh, not the same.  But yet, exactly the same.  So I threw all the reasoning and logic and all thinking of any kind and peered over the gated area where the peeps and baby ducks are kept.  They had lots of ducks, I passed them by easily.  Willie and Lily are ducks enough for me.  All of the peeps were priced at $1 and they had two tubs full.  One tub had all the reds mixed together but they were probably mostly straight run Rhode Island Reds.  The other tub had mixed banties and the giant Cornish Rock cross.  I was not sure I wanted anymore morbidly obese chickens, but.  But if George had a couple of chickens more like her, maybe she would have more of a normal life.  The three of them can sit around and eat together.  There is no reasoning, I am just making it up as I go.  I also bought four banties.  Two I am sure are at least part silkies, maybe all four have some in them.  The last six were the straight run reds.  Twelve.  What am I thinking? 

I have no defense for myself.  I am once again sitting in my chicken coop staring into a cage with little peeping noises coming out of it.  My little peeps are happy and eating and oh, I have such hope.  again.

I spent half of the day talking on the phone to two of my dearest precious friends that live so far away and share so much of my life.  First was Kim who is married to Jim and they live in NC.  Second was my friend Polly who is married to Larry and lives in Michigan.  Kim and Jim ride motorcycles.  Polly and Larry are pilots.  I worked with Kim and Jim at the Florida Department of Agriculture.  Polly and I were part of a state/EPA cooperative program where they put together a training team to teach everyone in the US the same thing at the same time.  I love these two women, who do not know each other, but who would sit and have the loveliest of conversations.  These two women have the sweetest voices you could want to hear.  But do not fooled.  They are no pushovers.  I was exhausted after almost 4 hours of talking, laughing and just feeling loved by these two women.  Connected to me, but unknown to each other.  I did not accomplish anything else.  Bug and I had watched the morning news and saw that the Thomasville Rose show was this weekend.  He told me he would be back early afternoon and we would go. 

My husband is not a flower or garden person.  It just doesn't exist in his world.  Here, two times in three days, surprised me with an invitation to spend time with him.  To share a few hours together and today it would be things I love.  We rode the Harley up and stopped first at the Garden Center for the flower arranging, then on into town to see the rose exhibition in a giant tent and the orchid exhibition in courthouse.  We walked a bit around town, which is actually harder on him then me, bless his heart.  We stopped for lunch and enjoyed the ride, the shows and having time together.  He is so wonderful about setting time aside to be with me.

The other thing is that he is doing half of the things that need to be done here, he is doing 90% of the work at the house, helping with his parents and neighbors and then dealing with a wife with health issues.  He never gives out any guilt about what I accomplish or not.  I did nothing today.  I feel guilty.  He appreciates that I saved my energy for him.  I am the luckiest woman in the entire world.  I love this man so much.  I can't believe that I have him in my life at this time.  I couldn't tell you all he does for me.  All the small simple gestures that mean more then words.  How after working himself to exhaustion he comes home to a dirty house and a tired sick wife and his eyes sparkle and his smile fills his face.  I feel the glow inside me start shining.  I feel like a star that has fallen out of the sky and this man living a life so far from here finds this broken star and brings back her shine.  Oh, that is a movie.  But let me tell you, it was like seeing the story of my life being told under other people's names and really great costumes, and Robert DeNiro. 

That is how he makes me feel.

Now as the will to live is changing.  Now as the pain fills my body I can feel when it  is in my lungs versus my lymph nodes.  As areas swell and ache and change into something no longer useful, it is more then just pain.  I feel time slipping away.  Is it cancer?  Drugs?  Age?  The changes in me feel like it is all of the above.  No sadness, no regret, just my brain and body changing in consequence to the disease.  My quagmire at this time is when I have to fight to be alive each day.  I have not fought up to this point, now do I fight to stay alive, or do I appreciate the time I have and not fight, let things slip away.

My friend Kim told me that if I needed her to come and just sit with me, call her.  Kim and I have been through lots of interesting things together.  One thing I know about this precious friend is that funerals and other gatherings of grief is way too much emotion and sorrow for this very empathic friend to survive.  I had not thought about what was I going to do about people coming to see me as time becomes important.  As I talked to her I knew what I want to do.  I am not going to ask anyone to come.  I will let people know what is going on, and let them choose whether to come and when.  If someone I love decides they do not want to see me like this.  I understand.  If someone has to come, I understand.  I will not accept that I will never see my dear precious friends again.  But, memories are made and exist in each of our minds and will never go away.  No pressure from me, or on me. 

Our house is painted.  It is not done and needs a lot more work by the painters, but they should be done the first of next week.  The bright spring green in the bedroom done stairs fills the room with light, in what could be a very dark giant room.  The blue in the living room is going to be a perfect back color for our art.  The yellow wall in the office takes a room with lots of natural sunlight and all of the walls take on the yellow color.  I am getting so excited as the house moves through the process.  We will be looking for the bedroom floor soon.  We will replace each room as money is available.  In the meantime, what is there will just have to do.  The house is looking wonderful.  The chicken coop waiting for me to clean it up and paint it.  Bug will put a green metal roof on it. 

I had such a wonderful day.
I have fragile little peeps.
I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
I am married to the most amazing man in the world.
I am in love with the most amazing man in the world.
Today, I went to three different flower exhibitions.
I got to talk to two dear sweet peoples.
Here is to getting to talk to more precious friends.

Thomasville roses

orchid show

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Okay, take 2

I took the patch off on Wednesday.  It had been such a good idea, and honestly in less then 12 hours I was becoming very aware of how well the patches were working.  I finally gave in last night and took 1/2 of the oxy when I went to bed.  I was hurting, but more I knew I had to start containing the pain before it reached its peak.  I woke over and over last night with stomach issues but I could tell that the pain was not getting any worse.  Exhausted and worn out from the last few days, shoot, a rough week or two, I felt like I was back to square one and with more information then I started this.  I know that the patches work, and that they will be included at some point.  I will have to take other meds to counter act the nausea but they can be minimized by diet, exercise and mental preparation.  I am better prepared now for that.  In the mean time, I understand the oxy a little better.  I need to understand when I am nauseous because of pain, or the need of food, or the need to lay down and close my eyes for an hour.  It is time to take all the things I have learned my entire life and to get through the challenges that are here and yet to come. 

Yesterday, still tired, nauseous and weak Bug and I ran errands.  I found my "vanity" at Wag the Dog for $15.  It is a cool retro metal school desk.  It has the beige formica top and sleek streamline steel legs chromed and then two separate metal compartments, one pinkish the other turquois.  It was not what I was looking for, but when I saw it yesterday, I could see how much fun it would be.  Less work, just a good cleaning and then spray paint the two compartments, some fun colors, maybe a little modern version of the colors then.  And Bug said he would put a new formica top on that will match the kitchen counter tops, and then I can put some kind of fun border, and it is done.  I had just gotten a mirror at the goodwill and it will be perfect with this vanity.

I feel my old hopeful self coming back.  Maybe it is simply illusion is all I can give myself at this time.  I do not feel sorry for myself, just frustrated at my inability to be in control of everything.  Oaky at this point I do not feel in control of anything. 

So what should I do?  Lay down?
No, I can stand being locked in this dark, damp, dirty nasty dog filled trailer one more minute.
I can clean the house.
No choice there.  I think I shall feel a lot less mopey and whiney if I am not afraid to sit on the floor of my house.  So, done, well, the mind is set, I have a whole day to see how far I get.
I want to spend some time outside weeding my garden.
My beans and cucumbers are through the ground.  I saw what might been a squash the last time I was able to get out to look.  I can't wait to see what is coming up today. 
Yesterday, for Earth Day, Bug and I walked around our property.  I giant tree had fallen and missed the back of the new fence by a few feet.  It was huge and was a dead stump about 30 feet tall or so.  It broke off about 10 feet up and the heart was rotted and rich composted material.  We saw a beautiful big skink with a reddish brown diamond shaped head and a shiny gray black body.  He looked at us with resentment for the loss of his house.  I tried to explain that we were as surprised as he was, and that we would not touch anything for a while, and I was sure we could work something out.  He slowly turned his back to us, looked back and stuck out his tongue and then disappeared into the still moist center.  Around another corner we found a pale baby girl pink native azalea.  I was so thrilled.  Later a small box turtle stopped and stared at us, then locked himself up until we left.  In our yard just behind the Florida room there is a weiglia. Okay, I don't really know why I think it is that, but it has the most beautiful green and white variaged leaves.  It is planted in a puddle of sunshine that seems to hold on to that spot all day.  The green and white look like they glow in that light.  It is beautiful, whatever it is.  Next month we will pull the boxwood away from the sides of the house.  I hate to waste plants, and they are perfectly healthy fine box wood, as boxwood go.  But in this giant yard, my ability to work with plants will consist of what is around the house and in pots.  So the boxwoods need to be moved.  They would look lovely running along one side of the fence,  On the end side, it would cut back on the dog trail that will appear around the fence.  These bushes are big enough to stand up to the dogs.  But there are other places we might put them. 

Today, I just hope to sit in the garden for a little while and let the sun wake up this tired old body.  To bend and stretch, slowly in a prayer to remove the weeds from the garden and give them to the babies, circle of life.

I want to make that strawberry cheesecake.  I think I have found a recipe that is simple and give him the taste and texture he likes.  I like finding things to make that he enjoys, even if I don't make them very often.

Since the oven will be on, I need to make banana bread. 


Okay, that should keep me busy for the rest of the week. 
My body and I are on speaking terms,
I need to listen better
and learn how to slow down
maybe it is time

Oh, the green wall is up in the bedroom.  It is beautiful.
The house should be painted by the first of next week.
My honey is driving to Thomasville and picking up the counter tops we got on sale yesterday.  It is actually a color they are not going to carry any longer.  Whatever, it is the color we have wanted and now it is on sale and they have just the amount we need.
We also changed our minds on the backsplash.
We were going with the new glass tiles that are all the rage.  But honestly, I thought they were a little busy and I loved the reflective light from the glass, but I was noticing as we looked each trip that they pieces people looked at were not holding up well at all.  They had broken stones or glass and I realize they go through a lot of wear and tear, but the uneven surfaces also made me think about how easy was this going to be to clean?  Yesterday we saw a woven stainless steel tile.  It is a flat surface, but because of the woven look pattern it seems three dimensional.  It is simple, reflective and less busy then the glass/stone ones.  It was less expensive.  And it is so simple to apply to the wall for the back splash.  I nervously showed him because we had pretty much set things and constantly changing things can be more stressful, but when he saw them he fell in love with them also and they are sitting in the kitchen now waiting for next week when hopefully we can put the kitchen back together.

Okay, in the time it has taken for me to write this, the pills have kicked in and the pressure is better, easier to breathe.  I feel a little less worn down, a little more hopeful that I am going to make it into this new house and watch my garden grow and the crepe myrtles bloom. 

Thank you so much for your sweet dear comments, Janzi, I appreciate the time you took to make my morning a little nicer.

And just thank you to those of you who do come and sit on the porch with me. 
You help to keep me focused on my attitude and being the best I can be.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Not feeling so good

It is just a little back step here.  The patches are too much.  Dr. M gave me the lowest dose the patches come in, but I have been vomiting, sweating, sleeping fitfully, and generally I could not feel sicker if I had the flu.  Yuck.  It is pretty miserable.

I called my dear nurse, Ms Geraldine and left her a message about what has been going on.  She called back this afternoon and Dr. M said to take the patch off and give it 3 days and then she wants us to try again.  I am to call Ms G and let her know how I am doing.  I will call her before I start again and let her know when I would be trying again and we will see what we can do.  It is possible that this might work if I take more meds.  These would be anti-nausea pills. 

This is not the beginning.  No, that happened when I first started this journey.  Meds for the little c, meds for the meds for the little c, and then meds for the meds for the meds for the little c.  It is very easy sitting her and ignoring the reality of things and just say, "The patches aren't working, it is time to wake up and deal with the reality of where I am."  But back to reality, there is a lot at play here.  So many things have to be considered.  How many drugs do I give up at one time?  I feel as if I am carrying around a back pack with cancer, meds, renovations, beloved ones.  Do I lighten the load?  Is that possible?  Or do I put the back pack down and walk away.  That might be a very short walk.  It would be a walk filled with pain.  It would be a walk where I am even more of a burden to myself and those around me.  Once you decide to live and gather love and people and animals and plants and things all around you, it is a little harder to just stop.  And I don't know how long it would take if I just stop. 

I was so looking forward to Easter.  Okay, my idea of the holiday.  The part that celebrates spring and flowers and life returning and bunnies, baby ducks and peeps and eggs.  I love dying eggs and have pretty much run the gambit of dying from brewing my own home made dyes, to marbleized, speckled, painted, and Ukrainian dyed eggs called, Pysanky. This year I was looking forward to just plain egg dying kits you pick up at Wally world.  I had bought a box after Easter last year.  But my Honey who is trying so hard to deal with all of this, the house and the fear of what is going on with me.  He brought me home one of the most wonderful presents, a box of egg dying.  He had no way of knowing that I already had a box.  He also bought me chocolate bottom peeps.  Three yellow peeps with just their bottoms dipped.  He just makes me stop in awe of the little things he does that breaks my heart open and I love him all the more.

I had a dozen and half eggs boiled ready to go.  Some were white from the store and some were our own colored eggs from our own dear sweet girls.  I was going to make a salad, a vegetable, I thought some fresh asparagus, and a dessert.  I wanted to make a strawberry cheese cake now that I know it is my Honey's favorite dessert.  I have such beautiful strawberries.  But Saturday I had to call Mom and tell her I was too sick to dye eggs.  Later that evening Mom called back and told me she had everything for dinner.  All we had to do was show up, and if I was sick, Bug could come and get our dinner.  How sweet is that.  I wanted an Easter so bad, with them.  I wanted to have Easter Dinner with my family, and Mom gave me that.  I was not feeling well at all, but I put a chair in the middle of the kitchen and I made zen cookies.  Those are my cookies that have all in one.  Everything goes in to them:  oatmeal, flax seed, wheat bran, pecans, dried cranberries, dark, milk, semi-sweet and white chocolate, peanut butter chips, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, coconut, brown sugar, white and whole wheat flour and I am sure that I am missing some things.  I did not feel better for baking cookies, but I am sure that I did not feel any worse for it either.  I packed some cookies in a cute little porcelain Easter bowl I had gotten for Mom.  I packed extra cookies, and some a little darker because Dad swears he prefers those and then choose one of my ribbon sachets and off we headed to their home. 

Mom basically did all the work.  She fried chicken, cooked potatoes for mashing, cooked lovely fresh corn on the cob, set the table and made a lemon meringue pie.  Dad gave Bug a chocolate bunny and book on sun rooms for ideas for our Florida room.  Dad gave me a rubber ducky like you play in the tub with but it is made out of white chocolate dyed perfectly so that I think you could swap it out for a real rubber duck and no one would know.  I think I would rather eat it.  He also gave me two books on poems, writings, paintings and thoughts and myths about flowers.  These are two of the sweetest people in the world.  The apple did not fall far from either of these trees.  So even though I had a case of guilt strangling me when I got there, by the time we sat down to dinner and finally convinced Mom to sit down, I was so happy.  Mom and Dad have both said time and time again that they miss not having family where they live to go home to "grandmas and grandpas house" for holidays.  They may only be here for a few months, but we had Easter at their house, and Mom couldn't have been happier.  That took all the guilt away and I was able to enjoy the four of us having dinner together.  It wasn't at all  how I had pictured it, but it was sweet and our little family huddled together for a meal and then the world grabbed us all back up and we were off and running, or in my case, off and sleeping. 

When I was a child we would go camping for Easter.  Instead of an Easter Dress or suit for the boys, we would get new clothes like sneakers and shorts and t-shirts.  If it was still cool, it might be a new pair of jeans.  But we would put on our Easter clothes and go out to the chapel the Dads would have set up for us in the woods and we would have our sunrise service out there in the middle of the Ocala National Forest.  Meanwhile at home the Moms would be hiding the eggs and getting Easter Dinner out and ready to go.  The Dads would lead us back to the campground and the rest of the day would be spent in the woods, searching for eggs.  The Moms had to take over the egg hiding because the Dads hid them so well and so high we would only find part of the eggs each year.  After the Moms took over we had a much higher finding rate.  I remember sun streaking through the tops of pine trees.  I remember watching all of these families come together to run wild in the woods and laugh and play and take time to pray and sit together a tribe of different families that came together several times of the year on holidays. 

I remember Easters at home also where Dad would hide the eggs we dyed and sure enough we wouldn't fine a couple of them until around Christmas.  I remember my first Easter here and I had bought this giant Godiva chocolate bunny and Harry ate it.  I knew it was him because he still had a piece of the torn box showing the chocolate bunny ears stuck in his teeth.  Ah, happy memories.

I remember my first egg hunt with Maggie, Harry and Lily.  I dyed a couple dozen eggs and the first dozen were gone by the time I realized that Lily had eaten them.  Maggie and Harry kept bringing them to us, but Lily never came back and by the time we found her she was already bloating and releasing a poisonous gas with the familiar odor of sulfur.  We barley lived through those endless weeks until everything finally passed. After that we had peep hunts for them.  But Maggie really didn't care for the marshmallow treats and Lily would bring those back to us and then spit out a sticky slimy version of its once sugary self.  Harry just walked around the yard like a vacuum cleaner.  Peeps flew off of benches, out of bushes and pots as he inhaled deeply with that giant yaw of his open.  Great memories.

There was no hunting for the dogs this year, I wasn't up to it.  The eggs remain undyed in the frig.  The boxes of dye getting ready to put away.  We did buy chocolate bunnies when we were at the BX, and chocolate lady bugs.  Ooh, I had forgotten about them until just now.  I had my Easter dinner with family and I baked my cookies.  Good memories.  Shiny new still bright as dyed eggs memory.

There is so many things I need to get up and do, but I have not been able to because of the nausea.  Now we will rotate back to the pain.  The pain has been a little better.  Not gone, but maybe a little better.  Hard to say because sometimes my body can not tell the difference between pain and being sick.  Both make me useless and nauseous.  Life is a challenge.  I need to buck up and get back to being alive, or not.  But I guess I have to keep trying.

My honey went to Lowe's with Dad last night after dinner yesterday.  They bought the color paint for the house.  The precious beloved ones, Marty and Shelia gave us a gift card to Lowe's as a house warming present.  It bought all the colors we needed.  A deep forest green that matches the roof for the door and shutters.  A new leaf green for the bedroom focus wall, yellow focus wall upstairs in the office and pale blue for a focus wall in the living room.  The rest of the house inside will be white.  That gives us a blank canvas to work with all of our art.  Bug has been working so hard on cleaning and working on the house.  I haven't been well enough to even go and see.  He power washed the front of the house and I am not even well enough to sit in front of the sewing machine and make curtains with the material I have on hand. 

Time to step back and punt.  Stop the meds for a while.  See if I can get my feet back under me and back to living.  I am down to below 115 pounds.  I have barely eaten in days, and now like removing the patch would fix everything instantly, I am still not able to eat much. 


Saturday, April 19, 2014

lunches, surprises, pain patch and rain

Last weekend I seemed to fall into the 1950s TV "The Donna Reed Show".  Bug had never seen it and as we were flipping channels, there she was, Donna.  She was wearing a fitted front button blouse with a peter pan collar and what in black and white looked like the same color a 9 gore skirt with a thin belt.  Her little bow in the perfect curl on the right side of her head, and comfortable short heeled pumps.  She was sitting in an easy chair reading the newspaper.  The Dad was trying to teach the son a lesson and through a series of misunderstandings the boy actually taught the Dad the lessons and Donna was there between her two "boys" so pleased and happy.  It seemed to short circuit my DNA and that day I made a pound cake, candied orange peal and sugar violets.  I made the cake for Garden Circle and sprinkled candy orange peal and then then sugar violets and it was a perfect cake for the Garden Circle.  There were only four of us at circle, but we had a lovely time and since I had made the cake for Carolyn's birthday, and she was not one of the four, I stopped by her house after the meeting and cut her a couple of pieces making sure she got lots of the orange peal and violets.  She was delighted and sufficiently satisfied that I had baked her a birthday cake and pretty sure that I would drop it.

But no, not me.  I had already lined up some of the ladies from the Opera House Stage Company.  Carolyn and I were in our first play there together.  I played the first man shot and she played the bankers wife, the first woman with lines in the play.  The play was Casa Blanca.  We have been in other plays together, murder mysteries and radio plays.  We used to work setting up the dinners and sat around the table at the end of a play and laughed with our fellow stage company friends.  I sent out one email just suggesting we have our first monthly ladies out to lunch on Wednesday early at Carrie Ann & Co.  Wednesday morning I had a message from Carolyn, her plans had changed and she would not be able to make the lunch.  But all the rest of us knew this was a surprise birthday party for her.  She had no way of knowing, because I apparently excel at surprising people.  I called her cell phone and she finally called back.  I thought about just letting it go, but I had brownies waiting with a candle in them at Carrie Ann's and people wanting to have lunch and celebrate this special friend of ours.  So, since I had nothing to loose I said "Surprise! This is a surprise birthday party for you."  "What?" was her response.  I tried again, "Carolyn, this is not just a lunch to get together, we are throwing you a surprise party."  The lady on the line with Carolyn starting laughing, and since it was her fault that Carolyn's schedule had changed, she made arrangements to work out things with Carolyn so she could attend.  Once we were all there I explained how the day had gone so far and Carolyn drove to Tallahassee, back so we could hug her and eat brownies (and they were wonderful) together and then she drove back to Tallahassee.  Bless her heart, but she did seem touched that we had all gotten together in her honor.

The next day was the Spring Garden Club Luncheon.  I made a spring Quinoa salad packed with fresh cut herbs and violets from my garden.  I also added lots of lovely veggies and since it had flowers in it, everyone knew immediately I had made it.  Our Circle was doing half of the ways/means table and I had made ribbon woven scented sachet/pincushions.  I painted thimble sized terra cotta pots and then planted blooming purple violets and ran ribbons around the pots.  Finally I dug up some white butterfly gingers and filled bag fulls and then tied ribbons around the bags, writing the color and type of flower it was. 

Three of us from our circle started putting out the ways/means and pricing.  All of the items brought from our circle had been priced prior to getting there.  The other circle placed their unmarked stuff on the table and walked away.  I got a little terse with one woman who kept insisting that she had donated this for the club.  All of us had donated our items.  She had done a nice packaging on her products, but she seemed to miss the $5 limit.  She did not like what we were doing, so we told her that we were not in charge of the world and she could do as she wanted.  She ended up basically giving it to a few woman and did not make any money for the club the way she handled it.  I felt a little bad that she wasn't going to get the price she thought was fair, and I have no doubt, but she still could have made money if she raffled them, but oh well, that was her choice.  We were able to raise $80 on the raffles and $70 on ways/means.  Kay was able to sell and trade her plants, and it seemed like our circle did 75% of the work.  Isabelle baked the ham, she helped set up the tables, she took the money.  Jane took the lead on the ways/means and Maureen and I joined in.  Then Maureen and I sold raffle tickets and finally we worked the ways/means table as people were getting ready to leave and got about half of the stuff off of the table.  We managed to pack all the rest of the ways/means things that have been on that table for a couple of years, back in the boxes.  Most of it is now priced, so depending on who handles this table in the fall, they might have an easier time.  Then we stayed behind to clean up.

Thirty one of us met for the spring luncheon and I had a lovely time sitting at our circle's table.  My friend Beulah, whose sister Mary I knew at LSU in the pesticide safety group, sat with us.  She is one of my favorite people and every time she talks to me her sister comes up, and Mary is such a hero of mine.  It was a lovely day.  I always feel so 'grown up' when I sit in these luncheons.  I used to sit with my Mother at these events and loved it.  I can't believe I am now the one doing things like this.  I felt like such a Southern lady.  Crocheting, making candy orange peal and sugar flowers, weaving and sewing, digging and packaging.  It was a lot of work, but I enjoyed it so much. 

Friday I spent the day sick.  I slept until after 11:00am.  I got up and decided I was fine to go help Bug at the Casa Bianca house.  We got there and I got sick, so he had to drive me back home.  I Spent the rest of the day either sleeping or staring down porcelain.  The dawn had broken with lightning and thunder and rain drenched the water sodden soil bubbled in puddles and pools and runs like creeks across the streets.  The water table is filling up with all this rain during our dry season.  If the summer is as wet as the Farmer's Almanac says, we should fill all the aquifers up.  All in all the house and rock driveway are doing just fine.  There is some standing water in the yard, but no more then Labrun. 

Today I had planned on dying eggs with my Mother in law, but I am not feeling well.  Am I sick?  Slight warmness, but I have been sweating like a horse and had to keep getting up yesterday to change out of wet bed clothes.  I would wake up and pull the sheets and blankets back to dry and air, but I wasn't well enough to change them.  I would dry off, change bed clothes and lay down again to go into shivers into a fitful sleep only to wake up an hour so later and repeat the process.  Is this sick?  Or am I simply having my typical problem with meds.  I have had on the pain patch since we picked them up Tuesday when we drove to Valdosta to Moody AFB.  Bug thought I might be having problems since I was a day overdue in replacing it.  Maybe.  I was more afraid that my body was saying "NO MORE"  But last evening I had to give it a chance and I changed out the one on my left arm and put a new one on my right.  Still have some stomach issues, but no worse than yesterday, for sure.  I am still taking it easy and Bug is going to pick up the paint, but I just can't go.  I showed him the yellow I want for the office.  It is named joyful yellow.  Hello, is that my color or what?  It is a lovely soft creamy yellow that will match my linen material for the curtains in that room.  Now to feel well enough to start sewing.

I have painted my butterfly hooks for my closet.  I am still more focused on making things for my closet then worrying about the rest of the house.  Bug has such a clear view.  I am sure that he will surprise me and I will be very happy.

Right now, my Luna is asleep in my lap and her sister, Stella is asleep next to us.  Bob and Harley sleep at my feet but leap up and run outside every once in a while, barking and sounding tough.  Then back to my feet and they curl up like a couple of puppies, making happy noises when I rub their ears.  Edna is in her hidey hole behind the toilet in the guest bath room.  The older chickens have been freed from the mud bog of a chicken coop.  George and girls with Willie and Lily are more used to the mud and they have full run of the coop.  About 3 weeks ago I came out one afternoon to find the door in the middle had been pushed open and ducks and peeps and John C and the older girls were all mingling around each other.  The older ones still peck at the wee ones a bit, but they have been raised with other babies so they are being extremely patient.  Lily likes to swim in their water bucket, even though we have given her and Willie a little bigger pool.  I have seen Lily swim one time in the bigger pool and she swam in a tight circle under water and then splashed up and flapped her wings and quacked and had such a lovely time.  I hope that we can work out a way for them to swim at the big pond and keep them safe.  We will see.

Yesterday Bug picked up our new chicken coop.  It is basically a raised house with laying boxes.  But it can be cleaned up and add on a little more cover for when it rains and then a run area for them.  But the house is sitting behind our house waiting to be painted white and the green metal roof to be put on.  It will look like a mini house like ours.  It will be lovely when it is done.  I am so excited.  The sheet rock is up, most of the list of to dos is done and we are hoping to start painting as early as this weekend.  Who  knows, we might be able to move in by the end of May.  Bug has been working so hard, and I have been pretty useless. 

The rain should pass leaving Easter Sunday and Monday sunny and warming back up.  It got into the 30s again this week.  No freeze, just cold.  But it is the middle of April.  I am waiting for one more cold snap.  Not a freeze, but just a cooling rainy week and then summer, maybe.  Bug plans to go fishing with his Dad on Monday.  I hope to be able to do something.  To just not be sick.  I really want these patch things to work.  They are less then a square inch big.  Just tiny things that disappear on my skin, but slowly releases narcotics slowly into my blood system.  I felt one day like it might be working, but then I got sick, so now I am just seeing if I can get back on my feet and adjust.  Maybe I can get used to this and not have to take the other pills also.  maybe.  I have high hopes, high apple pie in the skyyyyy hopes.  Just love that song.

If I can get to feeling better I am hoping to make a strawberry cheesecake for Easter dinner.  I have some gorgeous berries.  We will see.  I have boiled eggs, I hope we can dye, even tomorrow.  It is a day of eggs and bunnies, peeps, marshmallow and little bundles of fluff.  It is a time of returning outside and sunshine and flowers and hope. 

I am filled with hope for these patches. 
It is not working so great yet, but I need to give it time.
I feel like such a part of this lovely little community.
A place where I can be me and where my little crafts like weaved ribbons sachets and candy violets, seem perfectly placed. 
I love my little Brigadoon community
and so many lovely people in it.
And a surprise birthday party
and a spring luncheon
and plant sale woohooo!
and lovely candies
and creativity
and life

Monday, April 14, 2014

Maybe George is a Gardenia

I have been so worried about George, or maybe she is Gardenia.  When we were picking up yet more bags of food for the ducks and chickens I saw that one container was filled with the tiniest itty bitty little peeps and the sign on the side said, "Bantam, mixed breed, straight run"  in the bin next to these tiny cotton balls were some Cornish Rock chickens, straight run.  When we bought our peeps the white chicks had been marked leghorn straight run.  I have raised leghorn before.  They are a nice size chicken, but George/Gardenia has been the fastest growing chicken I have ever seen.  I have been so concerned for this poor little obese chicken.  But Cornish Rock.  I think those are the giant chickens.  So here is what Murray McMurray says about this particular breed:

"This is the most remarkable meat producing bird we have ever seen. Special matings produce chicks with broad breasts, big thighs, white plumage, and yellow skin. The rapid growth of these chicks is fantastic and the feed efficiency remarkable. Whether you get these Cornish X Rock chicks for your own pleasure or to raise and sell, you can’t do better. If you want to raise capons, buy males and have them caponized at 2 or 3 weeks of age. Females have a fine smooth finish when dressed and reach beautiful roasting size. Buying straight run chicks gives you some of each sex so that you can take advantage of the strong points both ways. We think our Cornish X Rock chicks are among the finest meat birds in America. We should know. We fill our family freezers with them every year! Males will dress from 3 to 4 pounds in six to eight weeks and females will take about one and one-half weeks longer to reach the same size. Please Note: These birds are not recommended for raising at altitudes above 5000 feet."
Here is the photo they have of a hen on their website:
That looks like George/Gardenia.  Huge giant redwood legs with a wide stance, huge breast and thighs so large that he/she can not put her/his wings all the way down.  But it at least looks like he is supposed to be like this.  I feel so much better.  I mean he is so big and out of shape that he/she has to drop to the ground to rest and does not do much standing.  He/She also eats constantly.  But with that growth it makes sense that he/she would always be starving.  So maybe that solves ones mystery.  maybe

I have gotten the sunflowers planted with wax beans.  The yard long beans are running around 2 sides of the fenced garden, rotated from the opposite side for the last two years.  I have also planted golden ruffled squash along the front fence and cucumbers growing up the final side of fence and on the lean to.  I mixed nasturtiums with the squash row so hopefully I will have nasturtiums growing up the fence with the squash.  I pick the nasturtium flowers and leaves for salads.  I also planted a small area of wild greens.  I will cut them back when they are young before they bolt.  I also planted some chard, rainbow colored as well as a giant green leaf.  I planted a small spot of carrots and spread marigold seeds around the tomato and basil plants.  I plant rudbeckia in front of the sunflower and beans.  Many of these seeds are old and in 10 - 14 days I will look at planting something else if all the seeds do not come up.  I would still like to get in a watermelon and a pumpkin.  We will have to see.  The sweet potatoes are purple and sprouting.  They will be my living compost for the garden.  I have rotated everything this year but the tomatoes. 

My irises are glorious and more and more blooms just keep surprising me each day.  The creep myrtles along 90 are covered with their spring green and the pecan trees, the last of the trees to set leaves have are unfurling their leaves and flowers sending another round of thick pollen to ravage our sinuses.  I need to take the time to walk around Casa Bianca and see what types of nut trees we have and mark them so it will be easier to harvest their precious crop.

The roof has leaked and we have been assured that it is fixed.  We are getting close to the contractors finishing and this is where the dance of what still needs to be done will be discussed and determined who needs to do what.

Tomorrow we will drive to Thomasville so that I can get my port flushed and then my nurse, the sweet Ms Geraldine has a prescription of my pain med, and a prescription for pain patches.  Oh please, please let these work and not make me sick. 

Wednesday is the first monthly ladies lunch out.  There are seven confirmed and three possibles.  I am looking forward to it.  Thursday with the Ladies Garden Club luncheon.  I hope I am well enough to go. 

A very busy week.  Lots of wonderful possibilities and time to spend with my precious beloved ones.  But lots of work to do here at the house, and I am so slow getting things done. 


Friday, April 11, 2014


George and girls, he is now as big as both ducks and several of the full grown hens. 
He may just be morbidly obese, or a giant, we will have to wait to see

Suwanee Spring Fest, me and my honey

Valdosta Airport, FiFi

camp at Spring fest
with the attack rooster

That's me as a fairy at Springfest

my favorite iris, Kissie

native azaleas in my front yard

herbs and roses


Comtessa Del Reya, one of my favorite roses

azaleas, Edna and Harley

Lily, Rudbeckia, Perriwinkle, Sunflower, Pansy and Willie

Pink Perfection

Bradford Pears
Spring is here! and life is good

Post started the first day of Spring.........

We drove to Live Oak and the Suwanee Music Fest on the first day of spring.  As brutal as winter has been this year, it certainly has been the most winter of winters it could be.  Spring put on her sunshine and cool but it was a beautiful and perfect day.  I love the blue sky of spring.  It is somehow softer, lighter, much like the tender green of the new leaves.  The dark leathery green leaves of the oaks turn brown at this time of year and shower down through the sky as the whole tree sheds its old suit to shake out its new green wardrobe.  Our winter was so wet and stayed so cold that few things had an opportunity to open and then knocked back by the cold like last year.  This year we are having days, maybe a week (hope, hope) where the weather is perfect.  The sun shines, the morning dawns cold but by 10 is comfortable and by mid day, glorious. 

The red buds have been replaced by the soft white flutter of Bradford pears and now the dogwoods and baby girl pink cherry blossoms.  The camellias are still blooming and the azaleas which slowly peeked out are now filling north Florida and south Georgia with pinks, white, magenta, coral, purple and red.  The white white of spirea stands proudly among the mounds of color circling the oaks and lining long drives.  The wisteria drapes from the highest tips of the trees down into the ditches with heavy clusters of purple flowers.  The air is thick with plant sex.  The yellow pollen finds itself into everything.  The heavy fog in the morning paints the streets with the pollen so that it looks like a child's painting.  It is absolutely glorious.

The music festival was wonderful.  We set up our tent and our tarp with my hippie tapestries hung around the sides to look like a colorful gypsy tent.  Bug backed the truck so that the tailgate was in the little gypsy tent and I could cook and make hot tea in the morning.  We rode our bikes around the park and smiled and blended into the world of tie dye, music, families, hammocks and the beautiful glorious spring weather.  We loved the Steep Canyon Rangers, Ralph Roddenberry, Grandpa's Medicine Tour and the Henhouse Prowlers. 

Steep Canyon won the 2013 Grammy for best Bluegrass music and oh my goodness they were amazing.  But not as well known, but even more fun was Ralph Roddenberry.  I know one of Ralph's sisters, Lucretia.  She was my yoga instructor at the Thomasville Y when I belonged to the Hope project there.  I got it with her.  I mean I finally understood.  I have taken yoga off and on since college.  I also have spent time learning various meditation techniques and all of that kind of thing that people love to make fun.  But let me tell you.  When I finally put that last piece of the puzzle together with Lucretia, "put all criticism, comparison and competition aside, this time is for you, be grateful for taking this time" was how she started our classes.  All of these lessons throughout my life have gotten me here, now in this moment. 

Ralph was playing in the Music Hall on Friday evening.  Bug and I rode our bikes over and walked from the pale spring light into the darkness.  But Ralph and band were already playing and the crowd was on their feet and the energy just wrapped around you and pulled you into this crowd of friends and family and groupies.  People were dancing and hugging, singing and swaying, jumping with joy.  This is a band that you would enjoy listening to one of their CDs because they are such talented musicians and singers.  But being there and seeing that this band is not a stage band.  No, they may perform on a stage, but they are totally focused on the people there, drawing them up to the stage into the light and music.  I scanned the faces half lit from the light on the stage and looked for Lucretia.  I saw her.  Well, I think I saw her.  It had been two years since I had last been in her class.  I didn't know if she would remember me, but she had made such an amazing impact on my life, I had to see her.  Yes, it was her, and I worked my way up through the crowd of joy, dancing and shimming all around me.  She was talking to someone when I reached her, but soon I had the nerve to touch her shoulder and yell in her ear who I was.  She looked in my face and grabbed my hair.  Hair she has never seen and she gently tugged it and with the child like joy of pulling on Santa's whiskers and finding them real, she yelled, "it is real!'  Yes, my hair is real, and I am alive, and I look like I could live forever and we hugged and yes, she had remembered me and was so happy to know I am still here.  Well, enough for now.  I briefly met Ralph, who in the middle of this full sweaty fervor of music he took a minute to really look at me and say hello.  He is as special and wonderful as his sister.  Both such very talented, kind people living life as best they know how.  It was perfect.

We did not get to see our most favorite group, Donna the Buffalo.  Friday night they played at 10:45pm, so no chance I was going to be there.  We had hoped to see them on Sunday after Ralph Roddenberry played, but it started to rain, and I was spent.  Completely and totally spent.  We were not sleeping well, because even though we live in a neighborhood we are not used to hearing drum circles, fire works and sounds of party and jamming until 4am.  We thought we had camped away from all of that, but, no.  We understand that people live for this, but for us, I need my sleep and after a couple of nights of no sleep we were ready to head home and sleep in the dark quiet of our own bed.  I hope that I am well enough to go again next year.  It is such a special place and time. 

I am trying hard not to start clicking things off, like, last time at concert, last spring garden planted, last trip to Daytona.  No, these may all end up being true, but I would rather enjoy the moment for the moment, without the pressure of giving it a title.  And who knows what all I still will be able to experience.

Peace on Earth.  I am getting it.  Ever since our trip to Daytona and then to the Music Festival Bug and I have shared a connection that I love.  It makes me tear up just thinking about how far we have come.  We met a little over two years ago.  He moved into my yard "campground" two years ago this past week.  Of course we were married a year ago this past month.  It is hard to explain but I think it is gratefulness.  We both seem to appreciate each other more and therefore accept each other more as we learn what I can accomplish and what can we accomplish together.  Peace on Earth.  When gratitude replaces resentment, in yourself, about yourself and others, it is possible.

We got home Sunday evening from the concert and it would take several days to get my internal battery recharged enough to stand up.  But first I had to go through a crazy fit of vertigo.  I have always been gravity impaired, but for these few days it was like there was no gravity and yet I kept falling down.  It was like my feet were freed of gravity but my head was not so I kept landing on my head.  I finally gave up and just stayed laying in the bed.  The room spinning my stomach revolting. 

Then I started the steroids Dr. M wanted me to try to take the swelling down from my hands, joints and knuckles.  It has helped, but I can't sleep on this stuff and it makes my stomach flip.  I loose weight, I am miserable and afraid to leave the house for fear that my stomach will need to empty itself in the most difficult way at the most difficult time.  A few more days and I will be done.  Hopefully I can start sleeping again.

Wednesday Marty flew in from North Carolina.  Marty built his plane.  My honey helped build the motor.  Marty and his lovely wife Shelia are so special to me.  Marty stood up for Bug at our wedding, and they have known each other for a very long time.  They first became friends because they were both married to women they had met in Spain.  Now they are both married to woman from America.  Once again these two amazing men have married women you are very fond of each other. 

Marty was on his way to Sun and Fun Fly In down in the Lakeland area, but he stopped by to stay with us so that he can help with the dog's fence.  And work they did.  They got all of the horse fence up, cleaned the garage and generally worked and worked and worked themselves to exhaustion each day.  I cooked and is my normal I swing from 5 star restaurant food to inedible dishes.  I cooked a salmon and shrimp in parchment, I made chicken and yellow rice, Cuban style and I made enchiladas.  I cooked breakfast, but they never stopped for lunch.  I would take them things to drink, maybe even some snacks, but they were focused on their tasks.  Time flew by and before we knew it Marty was ready to head down to Lakeland.  I had enjoyed our conversations in the evening.  Marty and I have a lot in common and he is a very witty dry sense of humor guy.  I get his puns and we laugh and moan over them.  We missed not have Shelia with us, but if we can't have both of them, at least we had one of them for a few days. 

We drove Marty up to Thomasville to their beautiful little airport and Marty called us when he got to Lakeland.  We had not even gotten home from running our errands.  I also asked him to call when he got home to Shelia.  I know it is silly, but he is one of my precious loved ones, and I wanted to know that Shelia had him home safe and sound.  I really appreciated that he did not blow off my silly concerns, but instead just made a call.  Shelia's birthday is coming up later this month.  It is a big one and we really hope we are able to go up and celebrate with them.  Such sweet precious friends.

Spring flowers have faded in the drier and warmer temperatures.  The azaleas in our yard were picture perfect for about a week.  The tung flowers now fill the trees with their peach throated glory.  I am not sure what is so special about these flowers, but each year I am in awe when they bloom. 

So much is happening.  Life is wonderful and fast and slow and overwhelming.  My pain has become increasingly difficult.  A lot of that problem is that although I am prescribed 1 - 2 every 4 hours, if I take 2 whole ones a day for more then a few days, even 12 hours apart, I start having stomach issues.  No matter how much pain I have learned that 1/2 pill 12 hours apart is the best I can do.  Taking more is wasteful because my stomach will empty itself repeatedly when my system reaches its maximum load of medication.  I would rather learn to live with the tightness in my chest, the pressure, the discomfort then to spend the rest of my days sitting in front of porcelain. 

I did manage to get part of my spring garden in.  The tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, strawberries, asparagus, onions and sweet potatoes are in.  I have my seeds for the squash, beans and cukes and a few more things I want to grow.  I am planning on planting sunflower seeds and grow beans up them.  I love gardening, but mostly I love figuring things out.

Bug and I headed down to Gainesville Wednesday.  We went to the Florida Museum of natural History and Harn Art Museum.  We walked through the butterfly garden and watched the jeweled beauties as they floated and fluttered over our heads, at our feet and seemed completely oblivious to all the people.  The hum of oohs and aahs rose and fall with the sound of cameras whirring away.  A sense of peace and wonder fills me as I watch the glory of the rain forest, the twittering and chirping of the little finches as they dart in and out of tropical foliage.  Memories flood me from when I lived on Pine Island and my yard looked like this garden.  All summer long the flutterbyes would float among all the plants I nurtured there.  Neighbors would bring their grand children down to play with the chickens, dogs, cats and the butterflies.  My yard then was always overflowing with flowers and animals and love and joy and I can not wait until I give that same feeling to our place on Casa Bianca.  I have worked to put that feeling here at Labrun.  This place already had a feeling of peace for me, and I have tried to respect that natural beauty and work within it.

We had a wonderful little trip away.  One we really needed.  Monday and Tuesday had been break down days.  I was just overwhelmed with pain and emotion.  Poor Bug struggles so hard to guess and understand what I am going through.  The biggest problem is so am I.  I have no idea how terse I can get when I am trying to hold on and tamp down the pain and emotion.  We both do our best.  We love each other dearly and it helps both of us try to get through the bad days.

He took me to my favorite restaurant in G'ville, Chop Styxs.  It is an Asian fusion place with a thorough menu and I love everything.  Bug enjoyed his meal okay, but his dish was not his favorite.  We went to Goodwill's and I bought clothes.  Clothes that fit me right now.  I need to go through my closest again when we move and give away all the clothes that 2 years later are still too big.  I bought bright tropical colored clothes.  One dress with a purple blue iridescence and little flowers made from seed pearls for the straps.  I have no idea when I will ever get to wear this dress, but I just loved it. 

I am starting to figure out how to go with out a bra.  This is not rebellion or a fashion statement.  It is simply that bras have never been comfortable, but it is a question of being able to breath.  I can wear a bra for a short time, but too long and the pain gets to the level of being sick to my stomach.  Not good.  I have found that going back to my hippie clothes and they are cut so that I can go with out a bra and it fit in the style of the clothes.  I have bought some camisoles and pulled out my old fashion slips.  They do not do anything to enhance my breasts, but they do give another layer of clothing, and often times as long as it "looks" like I have a bra on, that is acceptable. 

When we got home yesterday we just took it easy and watched the Masters first day.  Today we had wanted to go out on the boat, but my pain level was already around a 7 and as much as laying on the front of the boat as we drift through the sunshine and the dappled light from the oaks, palms and other lush foliage hanging onto the very edge of the rivers.  But I knew better.  Instead I went to bed and slept until mid afternoon.  I have so many things I want and need to get done, but pushing too hard backfires.

I have been running through such extreme emotions lately.  I have danced in the spring light and stick my hands up to my elbows in dirt.  I have laid in pain breathing through it.  I have felt so much love and affection from my dear sweet honey.  I am more and more confused on where I am in this process.  Syd, one of the people who reads this blog and has such wonderful insight on life commented that he had a friend who also has non small cell lung cancer.  Is it the same as mine?  I have no idea.  But I do know I would love to be able to talk to him.  I would love to know where he is in the process, how his life is changing.  I think he did comment and I would love to know if that was him, and I hope that if he would like to talk to let me know how I can contact him.  I know I have a strange way to dealing with this little c.  I remain horrified that people who do not know me still refer to living with cancer as battling.  That fits most of the people I have met with some type of cancer.  But it goes against everything I believe.  I feel the changes occurring in my body from the cancer.  It does not feel malicious, just efficient.  cancer is like weeds, it does not try to kill others, weeds, like cancer are just more efficient of making use of the resources then what was there.  Weeds can push out stronger plants, but simply out living the other. 

Is my body trying to evolve into something else?  Or should I look instead at the theory that nature is always moving toward chaos?  I don't know, but my thinking, my living, my very breath is changing.  I still enjoy figuring things out and right now I am working on ribbon weaving.  This Sunday is the garden circle and then the following week is the spring garden luncheon.  Our circle is doing the ways and means and I have made some weaved ribbon sachet bags to sell.  I will also dig up some of my gingers also.  I would love to also plant some tiny pots of violets to sell.  But right now, I am going to go rest again. 

Life is good, but changing
I can not say I am being the best I can be, but I will just keep trying.