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.