Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

From Hell to Heaven

I am not sure that I will post this.  I have been thinking I may never be able to write here again.  It is not my health but my heart.  I just didn't think I could write about what I remember of that day.  The guilt, the shame, the horror and death.  It is Ednarose, my mix dog is the one who has killed my chickens.  And she did it again.  It was the first day the peeps were coming out of the dog pen.  They were crowded and I couldn't keep the pen or the peeps clean.  Because I was still mourning the loss of my last babies I put up a secure fence and gate where they were.  That was three openings to break through.  I left for an hour and when I came back Bob and Harley run up as normal and act normal.  But the hair was coming up on the back of my neck.  I called for Edna.  She finally came but would not get near me.  She had one of my babies dead clenched in her jaw.  I dropped everything in my hands and ran to the coop.  All of the doors and gates were broken open and the bodies of eight peeps were strewn about their pen.  This time they were mauled.  I came out and Edna's eye were not the eyes I know.  She still had the blood lust going and she danced and taunted me.  I stood up turned around and dealt with my dead peeps.  The most perfect flock of chickens ever put together, all gone.  Horribly gone.  I just broke down and laid in the yard weeping.  I couldn't stop.  My brain does not work the same on the oxy as it did before.  But my brain exploded with this.  I have no idea where the things are, or what some of them even were that I dropped in the yard.  Thursday was my day to clean the house and get the groceries.  Nothing was done.  I think I might have done some cleaning in the morning before I left the house.  I do not remember where I went, other then I know I stopped by to visit Mom and Dad.

I have not talked about this with anyone unless they were with me.  This is just more then I can handle.  Edna came into the house later.  I turned on her like the monster I saw in her.  I hit her and slapped her and beat at her.  Then I beat on the floor as she moved out of my way.  Every time my vision cleared enough to see her I turned into a horrible maniac.  I locked her and Harley in the bathroom.  I can not imagine myself killing anything like that.  But when I looked at her I felt violent.  It made me sick and I threw up over and over.  I went outside and searched for the lost peeps.  Hope still raging with the violence in my heart. 

I did not find any others.

Bug came home later.  I did not call him or go to him when I found the peeps.  What was he going to do?  And I was not fit to drive.  As soon as I had related what I knew he headed to get the gun.  He stopped and looked at me and realized that this was our dog.  I had raised her from 5 weeks old.  Christopher and I gave her bottles when she first came home to us.  Bug has known her since she was less then a year.  I have not simply lost my precious chickens.  But now I had lost my Ednarose.  The dog I named after my Mother and my Maggierose, the greatest black female lab ever.

So here we were, looking at Ednarose, a chicken killer.  We are not sure now if she might have killed the grown chickens earlier.  I can not keep her killing my chickens.  But what to do with her.  Find a new home seems to be the only answer.  But Friday I had my precious sisters and loved ones coming in.  I had too much to do to deal with to even think about Edna.  My brain struggled to understand my feelings.  My repulsion when I would look at her, but then she would sneak over and lay her head on my lap and my heart broke all over. 

When it comes to energy it is interesting when you have enough and when you don't.  I have talked to my friend Carolyn about this, in that if I want to do something I can usually come up with enough energy to do it.  If I don't want to do it, well, trying to get enough energy doesn't always happen.  But I could feel the energy of the day before.  It was violent and horrible and I wept more over that then the loss of my babies.  That I could become a monster was unbearable.  But now I cleaned and mopped, Bug jumped in and helped vacuum.  The house kept my focus and as the blur of events of the previous day started playing in my head and bringing tears to my eyes, I worked harder. 

We left for the airport and picked up my friend Polly from Michigan.  She was on the same training team with the EPA that I was and Debbie from NY and Judy from EPA.  I have not seen Polly for possibly 10 years, I am not sure.  But when she came walking out of the gate, she looked the same, no, maybe more beautiful then the time I last saw here.  We hugged and waited for her luggage and then headed back home taking the Old St. Augustine Road.  Bug had driven that way to the airport and that had done a lot to soothe me.  We got back to the trailer and then Vicki and Nancy came and then Sioux and we had a wonderful weekend.

A weekend full of laughter and talk.  Just being together and renewing our love of each other.  Sioux cleaned all the windows in the Florida room.  She wanted to be a part of the house.  I had wanted to sage it with all of my sisters, but even as I mentioned it, the thought escaped from my brain.  On Saturday I took all the girls on a tour of the new house and then came home in time to have Spat at the house and for Rich and Phyllis from Tallahassee come out to visit.  After Rich left, the six of us girls left for the Opera House to see the Murder Mystery.  It was maybe even more fun this second time.  Knowing what was going to happen I was able to pay more attention to the clues.  Of course, I did not tell the girls who did it.  That would have taken some of their fun away.  We  bet on the Steeple race and laughed and enjoyed our time together.  We got a group photo of all of us with my Amanda in her wenchie outfit.  She was wonderful and amazing in her part.  I kept telling everyone how proud I was that my daughter had been named "wench of the month".  Vicki and Sioux wore wench outfits and a good time was had by all.

We came home and drank a toast of Acorn liquor, a tradition from Mother.  The girls all tried to get me to slow down and let them take care of me.  I really tried to listen to them, but like I said the oxy changes the way that my brain works.  Not just on pain, but I seem to override everything my brain tells me to do.  It is so hard to be fighting between your un-drugged self and my drugged self.  My un-drugged self sends normal messages to my brain, and my drugged brain argues that I am not the boss of me.  I know it is hard to explain, but it cripples my ability to make decisions.  Even the smallest simplest ones, like sit down for 5 minutes and drink a glass of water.

But not only did the visit do my heart good, but I was able to talk about issues like my brain, or being tired, really just about everything that I hate to put on Bug right now.  He has so much on him already.  He handles it all and juggles everything into place and we hope to start moving into the house the first week of June.  maybe.

I was able to sit down and let others do for me.  Not much, but I did try and they saw I was trying.  They talked about what knowing me and having me in their lives means to them.  And as I listened all I could think of was that was my Mother, not me.  She was the fun, gracious, kind, curious one.  I wanted to grow up and be as like her as I could.  But to listen to my friends talking brought tears running down my face because my Mother's influence has been there in all the good and wonderful things that they said about me.  I felt a huge burden fall from my shoulders.  I am so insecure and to have these women, all of who are part of my sisterhood say to me such kind and thoughtful things.  I felt so blessed to have had my Mother and to have these friends who also are all the things they say about me. 

Vicki and Nancy left early on Sunday morning, so we did not see them after they left the house Saturday night after the play.  It was too short of time with them.  But they will be back in September in St. George and then I shall have these two very dear and precious women all to myself.  Janak and Geeta came out Sunday and we all watched racing and golf and just spent a little time together.  Geete made flaked rice and everyone ate it hungrily, even though we had just finished lunch, and we all ate it again with dinner.

Sioux left early Monday morning.  Spat left when Bug and I took Polly to the airport for her plane at 10:00am.  We went out for breakfast and then did a quick trip into Home Depot.  I was literally dead on my feet and Bug saw it, and hurried us out and back home.  He sat with me here at the house until I started to give in and rest.  He put me to bed and then, bless his heart, he went back to the house and worked.

I slept so hard that I did not wake up when his Mom called me.  I never heard the phone.  That is very rare with me.  I managed to go out and spend time with my chickens and ducks, but each time I go near the coop my heart falls apart and I can barely breath.  Today I went out and gave them all treats.  George scares me a little by his size.  His head is bigger then all the hen's heads put together.  But when he hears me call his name he rises on those massive tree trunk legs and thuds to me.  Some of our company told me horror stories about this breeds legs giving out and the birds suffering.  But I have also seen these chickens at the breeders before.  They had one rooster that is much bigger then George.  He was strong and healthy, so I try and work with George to get him up and try and bring him a little closer into the flock each day.  He is trying and I am so proud of him. 

Which only breaks my heart over all of those precious peeps that had stole my heart and are now gone.  Even this morning I have that panic feeling as I walk to the coop.  I know they are not there, but my brain still screams, "check the babies"  I try to stay calm and tell my brain that the babies are gone.

I have no one but myself to blame for the hell I am in.
My sisters pulled me up out of that hell and it was heaven to have them circling me and loving me.  And I am starting to find the balance between the guilt and the loss of my babies.  I know that I will not heal until I can forgive myself.  I have forgiven Edna, but I still do not know what we will do with her.  I am not sure I can ever trust her again.  No, I am sure, I can never trust her.  period.  Can I live with her here like that?  I do not know.  I will take each day and see what I can do for the best of all of my family.

Thank you all my dear friends who were here, and those like Kim and Lori who could not be here, but I would have loved to wrap my arms around those two precious friends and the others who were not here.

I was honest with my dear ones about these fade outs I have.  I will be sitting there talking or just watching TV, walking across the living room, or down the steps outside and it just feels like all of my energy just drains out of me.  Like a brown out of electricity.  Maybe it is my sugar, or blood pressure.  I don't know, but if I make sure that I am safe from falling I find that just giving in for the few seconds it takes to pass is better then fighting it.  I just say, "fading out now" and the girls, with concern, but such love and patience would wait and then I would just pick up where I left.  This fading thing has been happening more and more.

I am going to lay back down again.  I will sleep for a few hours and then I hope to wake in time to drive a load of things over to the new house and see if I can collect my husband who is trying so hard to get me into this home we are making.

My heart still holds the memory of the hell of Thursday, gently cupping it, trying to let it give up some of the pain.  To instead reach towards the heaven of my loving precious dear ones.  This will take time.  Will I ever have more baby chickens?  I don't know.  At this moment, no.  Each of these peeps, although with me for such a short time had filled the gaping hole left in my heart when I lost the first batch.  And now I am repulsed at the idea of simply bringing home more babies to die.  More babies under my protection to not make it.  Each of these babies had been named almost right away because their differences were so dramatic with the banties and the giants and the silkie and the polish and the reds.  I was already looking at who was a rooster and who was a hen.  I have to stop.  I can not talk of this anymore.  It just rips my heart in two over and over.  Tearing against scar tissue and the pain is more then I can stand.

I will sleep, and when I wake, I will go sit with my chickens and remind myself the heaven I have with them.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

It has been an odd day

In honor of my daughter getting ready for finals! - Bill  ;-)
Ever had this feeling?

Bill & Corrie / Taste & See
This morning on the way to Thomasville for my PetScan I saw a plane driving north on US 19.  I calmly turned to my honey and said, "there is a plane driving up 19"  Of course his response was, "what?"  So we drove back around the circle and what should be reaching the circle at the same time as we were?  Yes, that is right, have I already told you this?  It was the plane.  It was partially taken apart and was on a trailer so that the top wing stood up on one side, and the other wing precariously close to the asphalt.  It was at an angle, but it still better then filled up 2 lanes of traffic.  They had two spotter trucks in front and one in the back.  It was very festive with all the blinking lights and we waved the plane on ahead of us and pulled in behind the back spotter.  Unfortunately, just as we got into position, and could no longer turn in any direction, the plane got stuck on a magnolia branch on the northeast side of the court house.  With much pointing by the spotter truck men now standing in the road, and the tractor/trailer driver inching forward and backwards.  They finally freed the plane with out much damage to either it or the magnolia.  The time it took to free the plane allowed all the people in downtown Monticello to grab their phones and cameras and get a photo.  We saw Amber from the Monticello paper was there so I would expect that it will be on the front page of the Friday paper.  We don't have a Thursday paper.
The spotters, tractor/trailer with plane and all started driving up 19 heading for Georgia and it was like a mini parade.  We rolled our windows down and waved at all our neighbors who meet downtown each morning for coffee and got to enjoy the place.  Of course it was a short parade, even throwing ourselves in it like we did. 
I was still a few minutes early to my appointment at the hospital and did the whole  check yourself in with the computer.  Ms June came and got me and we had a nice chat as she prepared me for the test.  As we walked into the dark space there was another man sitting there getting up and grumbling that he had been held here for days in the dark and needed to pee!  Ms June explained what was going on in the tone that one uses when you repeat the same thing over and over.  I just got my pillow and warmed blankets she had left for me arranged and settled in.  I still needed her to put my feet up and hook up the IV, but other then that I was set.  A few minutes later Ms Cindi came in.  She hugged me before she went to get my radioactivity.  Then she went to take the man into the machine, but he was not there because Ms June had put him in the bathroom.  But Ms Cindi had just come by the bathroom and no one was there, the door was open.  Oops, lost radioactive man lost in the hospital.  I started giggling and then outright laughing and hooting at what a morning I was having.  First a plane driving up 19 and now a lost radioactive man who needs to go pee pee.  I told them what he was wearing, they couldn't remember.  He had big strange hair I could not tell you what was in or on it.  He had on camo pants and a white shirt that on the back in big green letters, "God is always Good".  They looked at me a little oddly with my description, but I was an inspector and he was unusual looking.  I reminded them he was wearing camo so might be hard to find.  But they did find him lost in a dark hallway.  I heard them call for the special clean up crew.  I guess he might not need to pee anymore, bless his heart. 
Okay, so three blogs back to back.  One that was only photos, but hey, just think of this one as an extra smile. 
I know I have laughed all day. 
I have not taken any pain pills today.  It was hard at times, but I don't remember feeling pain when I was laughing.
Tomorrow I need to get everything ready for the girls.
But I also need to rest.

A few Photos of life here

Photos, just photos:

Lavender Lady passion flower


Gloriosa vine coming up


handsome George

George standing

Lily and Willie

hydrangas are blooming

our bedroom floor, bamboo becoming one with its environment

bedroom focus wall

entrance to the Florida room

Florida room where the bar will go

Florida room

back porch

Our entrance way

light in the entrance way

other side of bed room

living room

my closest with my desk and seat done
I had another meltdown feeling sorry for myself.  I need to go to bed for a few days but like a hardheaded spoiled child I will not.  No, I will not lay down and rest.  There is too much to do.  Today I went over with Bug to the house in the morning.  I did some cleaning in the kitchen, under Bug's supervision.  I sewed the curtains for the bedroom and finished my chair for my vanity desk.  I think it came out great.  it is not what I had imagined, but maybe if I gave in to my creativity instead of using my brain.

I still spend a lot of time with my poultry, my flock.  George is actually going outside with Willie and Lily.  It is so funny to watch the ducks preen George.  He doesn't seem to enjoy it, but tolerates it.  These two ducks, closer to his size then anyone but John C, are the only friends he has.  They were once all baby peeps together in the tub.  They are the three that survived the attack.  They are family in the purest sense of the word.  They have chose to stay together as a flock and love each other.  How can you not want to sit and just be with this loving group of young creatures.  The older flock tolerates them and picks on George, but when the baby peeps come out I think we will have a change of pecking. 

I love sitting and watching and listening and feeling George walk.  He is huge, just now starting to be strong enough to stand up and walk.  When he does walk he sort of walks like Frankenstein's monster.  Each foot is lifted with great difficulty and then he bangs each foot down.  Seriously you can hear his feet as they thud down each step.  If you watch him you swear you can fill him like Godzilla or some other giant movie monster as he shakes the earth.  He is not pleasant and has gone from the gentle giant I could stroke and coo to biting rooster.  I can not tell how he will be as a rooster.  Mo who was spoiled and a terrible rooster when he was hatched and lived here is not a very successful rooster for my friend Spat.  Mo has protected his flock, he calls his hens for food before he eats and he is gentle with humans.  I would not give George as high a chance of success, but he is still very young and we will just have to wait and see what happens. 

My peeps are anxious to be out of the pen.  Maybe by this weekend I will fence off part of one of the coops so that the peeps can run free.  I can not keep them clean enough in the pen.  But it would be much easier to rake out the hay without the pen.  I just have to make sure that Peony, Perriwinkle and Pansy can not escape through the chicken wire.  They might get out and not know how to get back in and they would not survive outside without their flock.  When they were running around the coop today while I was cleaning out their pen they were jumping up in the air and chest bumping.  I have no idea how many of these chickens are roosters.  I know Gerranium is a boy, Gardenia is a girl.  I am not sure about the banties.  And maybe half of the production reds could be roosters.  Time will tell.  They sure were hopping and a jumping and having a great time.  Big or small, it doesn't seem to matter.  Some of them have become groups of friends, but they all get along as a family.

I am happy and enjoyed spending the day at the Casa.  It is starting to sink in that it is my home.  I love my home.  We have so much work, even after we move in, but we knew that going in.  I am just not as strong as I was 6 months ago.  Shoot, I am not as strong as I was 3 months ago.  Who knows?  Next week I might be full of energy.  It just seems that the energy is not quite as much or as often.  The rest needs to be listened to more vehemently. 

I feel like I should try and explain where I am, but I don't know.  I feel like I should have wise words, I don't have any.  I am just living each day.  Making enchiladas, working side by side with my honey, sewing curtains, resting in between.  Yes, I accomplished several projects and I am happy about that, but I wonder if I rested more, would I have more good days?  I guess I will have to give it a try.  Maybe I can do that this weekend when I have dear precious friends coming down to be with me.  I feel nurtured and loved and pampered just knowing those who are coming, and those who can not be here, but know they are loved and still hoping that I might hug each of you yet. 

I am sorry that I am not able to give you more information.  I know that maybe half a dozen, maybe a dozen times a day I feel faint and like I have to hold on.  You know the feeling, like your sugar drops or your blood pressure drops.  That woozy, spinny out of control feeling.  It is probably one or the other, but it is a bit unnerving to feel that way so many times in a day.  I can hear my cousin Lori telling me to rest.  Okay.

It is Wednesday now and I have a PETscan.  It is not until 11am, so that is a long time with no food, but oh well.  That is all I have planned, sort of.  I do have to go to the Opera House and get the tickets for Saturday.  It is a fun play and we are going to have a hoot.  No eating this morning, so I might as well go and get ready to go.  I would rather sit in the waiting room where there is no food then in this house where there is plenty of water to drink, plenty of food to enjoy.  I will later.  Last night I made chicken enchiladas and they tease at me from the frig right this minute. 

I have let the older flock out including the ducks.  George decided to spend this time in front of the feeder.  I have no choice but to separate out a space for this new growing flock in one of the coops.  I have it set to go, I just need to do it. 

Off for the day.  Still here, mostly, and as tired and weary as I get, I am not ready to give up and lay down yet. 
Our house is coming along
My sisters and dear precious friends will be here soon.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The weather continues to be glorious.  Friday we took the Harley down to the marina to drop the lift motor.  It was a glorious day of that deepening blue sky of summer and not a cloud in site.  The green this year just catches my breath every time.  Every time I walk outside, or drive down the rode or take a ride through the back woods heading south to the gulf.  The temperatures are 80s heading for 90s.  The humidity has been low but is coming back.  Bug played the perfect riding music and I just held on to him and felt the sun on my face.  What a wonderful life I have.  We had lunch at Oouzes.  Steamed oysters with butter and garlic, fresh out of the smoker mullet and mullet dip.  A cold beer, a glass of red wine and sitting on a bar stool in a biker bar.  Then back on the bike and another gorgeous ride home.  Time spent with my honey and holding on to him on the back of a Harley.  I guess I really don't have to explain what an amazing life I have.

I had about an hour when we got home to get ready to meet Carolyn for the Murder Mystery.  It was a small opening night audience, but a perfect number to test out the family dining style versus the plates set in the kitchen.  I am not saying that this might be a good idea for all productions, but for a Medieval murder mystery, the food and how it was served added to the whole experience.  The play was so much fun.  It is well written and full of great lines.  The Wench expertly played by my very favorite Amanda, works perfectly with the jester.  The third one of this merry group is the monk, Theolonius, and the three of they genuinely look like they are enjoying playing together and I even saw the monk crack up a couple of times which just made it all the more precious to me.  The Queen, our tiny Jan played a very formidable larger then life queen. The prince and princess were fabulously petty shallow characters played by Steven and Steph who really enjoyed getting to be so silly.  They were just wonderful and a lovely couple.  New to me, but not to the Stage Company is the Tax Collector.  He is a Handsome, young leading man type, just perfect as the tax collector.  The hunchback steals the show, or at least the first minute of each act.  But it is how all of these characters interact with each other.  How when you sit and watch this play you have fun because the actors look like they are having fun.  They all look like they love who they get to play and are playing they hearts out, when they aren't laughing their heads off.  At least that is how I felt during the entire performance.  I highly recommend this show, but you need to get your tickets soon, because this show is going to fill up soon.  There are still two weekends left!!  Great Job Judy, Denise, and the rest of the cast and crew.

Oh, the best part of the entire evening is when the person who is murdered kicks the bucket.  Just for that opening night, just for me, they used an actual bucket and the person kicks it.  I love that.  It is such a standard sketch.  Thanks everyone, that was the sweetest thing you could ever do for me!!!

Saturday morning we worked here at the old house.  He packed things for the truck and I spent time with my chickens.  We took it easy in the morning then drove downtown to pick up some things at the Hardware store and Wag the Dog.  Bug found a beautiful set of Lands End curtains that I can use in both the office and the guest room upstairs.  I went over with him to the Casa and Mom/Dad brought over some friends to show them our house.  I was pretty tired so I went back to the old house and Bug continued to work.

Sunday I spent resting.  I watched my Charles Osgood and then worked with the chickens and did a few things here at the old house and then I went to bed.  I slept for hours and then I read in bed and slept a little more.  Bug got home from working at the casa and we got ready for Alex's graduation party picnic.  We drove over to their house which is out in the country, down a long rough dirt road.  At the end of it.  The very end of it.  There I was surrounded by my beloved children.  The Brookins, Alex, Kat and Olivia, the Brittons with all the kids and I was able to tell Damaris how much I loved her as Snoopy in Your a Good Man Charlie Brown.  We sat with the mayor and his dear wife, Denise.  I love to tease Tom about being the Mayor.  He did not run for the job and I know he will be thrilled when he can give it up to someone else.  Everywhere I turned were precious beloved ones, whom I have watched grow up and their amazing parents and dogs who thought we smelled wonderful.  We were there about an hour and that was all I could do.  We came home and I was tired but so happy.  What an amazing community we live in.  The people are positive and supportive and loving and open and welcoming and their children are all above average, to throw in a little Prairie Home.  Which is simply the northern/Lutheran version of this close little place.

This morning I went out to take care of the chickens and ducks.  George is walking outside and hanging out with the ducks.  He is trying to be a regular chicken, but all the other chickens pick on him and peck at him and it just emphasizes his lack of flock.  But he is trying, that is the most important part.  It will be better when Geranium and Gardenia grow up so he has others like himself.  I just love my flock right now.  It is currently made up of three flocks, but they are starting to come together.  The ducks sleep with George in the same part of the coop that the other chickens roost.  The peep flock is so cute with various peeps making friends.  Peony and Rudbeckia hang out together, often on the top of the bunny house.  Periwinkle likes to hang out with the Geranium and Gardenia.  Petunia and Pansy seem to like Daisy and Sunflower and so on.  It will change over and over, but it is nice to feel like you fit in, and they are setting things up now.  The older chickens eat in the same side of the coop that the baby pen is in and they like to watch the peeps in their pen like going to a zoo.  This is the most diverse group of poultry I have ever had.  The older ones and younger ones, the giants and the very tiniest, ducks, egg layers, meat producers, pets, well for me, they are all pets.  Bug keeps eyeing George and talking about eating him.  I keep reminding him that he is my pet.

I am weaker, I am tired, I am wobbly, but life comes to each morning as I wake.  I think one reason I keep insisting on doing things, laundry, cleaning, dishes, etc, is because it is an anchor for me for the real world.  It is hard enough to stay in this reality when you are in pain and taking drugs to confuse your brain about pain.  I guess some people would be happy this last part of their life to be taken care of and to lay around doing who knows what.  But I would rather just live my normal life.  Do those little things we all need to do.  To celebrate the tiny moments of dew on the grass.  Or to turn around and your eye catches a dandelion with its bright yellow flower open and full.  To see my girl, Edna sitting in the back of the truck with a big dog grin from ear to ear.  To hear Willie and Lily as they honk and quack and demand attention.

I am still here. 
I don't know what all I can do any given day, but I am here.
And at this point it is still worth the bit of fight I have to do to get out of the bed in the morning.  As much as it would be easier to just give in, sometimes working or even fighting to stay alive I think is worth while.
For now.
For now I am happy and we are getting close enough to move.  The kitchen will be done today!!!
Next?  We will see

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Slow down

Same old story, doing too much, need to rest, need to eat, need to sit down.  I am not getting better at any of this.  Today I did spend most of the day in bed, but it is the first real day of rest that I can remember. 

Yesterday Bug's Mom and I had lunch at Fanny's again.  She calls it the garden restaurant, which is an accurate description.  She had the shrimp and grits, I had the pesto turkey sandwich.  We were both extremely satisfied with our meals.  We sat at the same table in the same room and Mom announced that no one else was allowed to be seated there.  May smiled while she looked over her glasses and made some mumble about we will see how that goes.  Mom just smiled, and when another waiter did bring in two ladies, she announced that this was our room and that they might want to think about eating in here.  Well these two woman, one from Jacksonville, the other Pensacola share grand children.  It is nice that their two children married, but the important thing was that they got to share their grandchildren.  From the hour that we spent talking back and forth during our meals, I would have to say that those are some very fortunate grand children.  They had pronounced to their husbands that they intended to spoil their grand children, and I am sure that it is not with just things.  I am sure that they spoil those children with love and adventure and adoration.  I of course told them about my cancer.  I think it is a defense over how scrawny I look.  I am always insecure, which is probably one of the reasons that I over do, just trying to over achieve to show that I am worthy.  Anyway, they were lovely and kind and gracious and audacious and lovely Southern women that I wouldn't mind spending time.

Then we headed over to JoAnn's so that I could stress myself out over the material to cover the rattan furniture in the Florida room.  I needed 15 yards.  Finally after almost two hours and searching through every piece of fabric in the store we left to check Hobby Lobby.  I was pretty defeated and Hobby Lobby did not have anything I wanted.  So back to JoAnn's where it took three different patterns, two tropical with a black background and one strip with black and greens that looked nice with the other two.  If it is horrible, or when I find what I really want, I will simply recover them, but this will work in the meantime.  Also the material I bought was 50% off, I bought the end of all three bolts so there is another discount and then with a senior 60 or over coupon I got an additional 20%.  I simply could not have spent the kind of money really needed to cover those cushions with out all the coupons.  Mom was my over 60 person and I kept teasing her that I could never have gotten the material without her, and the coupon.  She would tease me back that I referred to her as my 20% off.  We do have an enjoyable time together.  She is funny and has the ability to talk to anyone and everyone.  My Dad was like that also.  I am used to it, and in fact have learned with both of these parents to just let them go.  Mom helped other ladies out buying sewing supplies, etc.  By the time I gave in to the material I bought we were both known by everyone in the store.  She is pretty cute.  But she watched me wear myself out during the day.  Stressing and crawling on my hands and knees looking on the bottom of shelves for every piece of material. 

I drove us back to the Casa house where Dad and Bug had worked all day.  Dad had put both of the ceiling fans up in the Florida room.  They are pretty low.  But they are nice looking and very visible so I am not afraid of anyone hurting themselves by walking into them.

Tuesday Bug and I drove up to my Oncology meeting.  I waited at the doctor's while he got the oil changed in the truck.  Dr. May brought up that my 4 year diagnosis is coming up July 10.  Four years she kept saying, "Didn't he say you only had six months?"  Yes, these are all amazing facts.  But she thought that it was time to revisit my cancer to see what is going on.  She checked with the "committee" to see if they would give me approval for a new drug being tested on non-small cell lung.  The committee did not find me acceptable with the Hepatitis C.  I was a little surprised that she was thinking about trying anything else new.  I also thought she was being very positive about everything.  Then she looked at my left arm and had some concern with what ever is going on.  I will go in next Wednesday (the earliest they could get me in) for a PTscan, and then on Thursday I will go in for a needle biopsy of the lymph nodes.  I have had needle biopsies before and they were not as easy as portrayed.  I will just make sure that Bug takes me just in case it is a little difficult. 

Four years. 
Four years. 

After going to the doctors and trying to explain the significant weight loss we had lunch at Henderson's.  From there we ran errands and after leaving about 11, we finally got home around 7 and I was so very tired.

Monday I had over worked here at the house.  I had done some weeding, planting, replanting, cleaning the chicken coop, cleaning the house.  I made a picnic for Bug, but by the time I got there we were both so exhausted and just came home to eat.

Sunday was Mother's Day and my baby brother's 55th birthday.  I worked all morning baking desserts.  I made strawberry pin wheels with puff pastry and then put a dollop of fresh whipped cream and sliced strawberries.  I also made a neopalotin puff pastry with chocolate mousse, sliced strawberries and fresh whipped cream.  I made a salad and fruit salads.  I dug gingers for garden club, cleaned up and then went to garden club.  We had a lovely meeting at Jennifer's.  The house was bursting with vases and vases of cut roses.  Every color and size of rose and vase.  The house was fragrant and as you looked though the rooms the roses looked bright and happy and old fashioned.  Simply lovely.

After garden club we went over to Mom and Dad's for dinner.  Mom cooked ribs for the three of them and had chicken for me.  She had baked potatoes, cooked cauliflower and asparagus.  I had my salad and desserts.  We also took him Mom flowers, a card and then a plaque that talked about her as a mother.  We had a lovely time.  The stove blew up, but Mom put it out by simply turning off the gas.  It was quite exciting and did not please Mom.  The dinner was delicious and I ate a whole plate of food.  Which did not sit well in my stomach. 

Unfortunately I have continued to have stomach issues.  I had gotten used to not dealing with these because of the oxy, but here I am again.

So today, I rested.  I slept.  I tried to put things back in perspective. 

My honey, who also needs to rest did so this morning, but by afternoon he was heading back to the casa to work.  I went to bed.  I feel like I could lay down and sleep more.  I am light headed and woozy.  I have to be very careful standing up, sitting down or moving quickly.  I don't know if my sugar drops or my maybe my blood pressure, but all I know is that I need to sit down and hold my head until I can try again.

I am weaker and smaller, but I am still getting up as often as I can and trying to live.  Right now I need to make something for my Honey and I to eat.  Then back to bed.  Tomorrow Carolyn and I will go to see the play and I hope to work at the house or the casa and get things done, but we will see what happens.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Its May

Happy Beltane!  Happy May!!  Happy Spring and Flowers!! And Happy rain!  I spent most of May Day morning sending out May Day wishes.  The traditions of my youth with baskets of flowers and spring poems, maypoles and picnics are not quite the same.  I did fix favorite foods and spent most of the day outside and in the garden.  My veggie garden is coming up, I need to weed, mulch and fertilize it.  With all the rain it could use a light nutritional supplement.  I have plenty of chicken manure and yard trash composting, lots of lovely things to make into a tea.  It is just as easy to hook on the miracle gro and be done with it.  Yes, May Day was wonderful and filled with time outside in the sun.  Being alive and experiencing another May Day.  Beltane, the celebration of life, making new life, bringing new life, a strong reminder to everything on the planet that we are all one and rely on each other for this glorious place to exist.  And to celebrate that with love and joy and oh, I feel like a small child again on May Day.  The only holiday at school that was about nature.  Most of the other holidays were about gratitude.  Gratitude for the soldiers, the pilgrims, being Southern, being Americans.  And I love the WWI songs and the pine cone turkeys, but May Day was grateful for a sunny day, flowers and singing, dancing and playing.  Yes, like My Vicki always says, "We had a perfect childhood"

Today is May 6th and I am not quite sure I can remember everything that has been going on since May Day.  I have not mastered living in the moment and remembering the past.  Like the past 24 hours even.  But I have been having improving days.  I know there were two days, each following two days that I did too much, that I had to do more pain managing through rest and breathing instead of taking more pills and getting sick again.  I know there was one day were I cried a lot.  Sad? not really, more like overwhelmed.  When I simply get too overwhelmed by what I want to do, what I need to do, what I can do and not knowing the answer to any of it. 

My sweet precious cousin, Lori called me yesterday.  I think she may have recently been able to catch up on my blog and was worried sick,  She called the house phone and the cell phone repeatedly.  I was working outside and then I forgot my phone when I went over to the Casa (I like that, it is easier to describe each place as home and casa) I forgot my phone.  I got home just as she was calling again.  She had good news and bad news.  The good news is that they are hiring at a VA hospital that she has been wanting to work at and knew I would be so excited and happy.  I am.  To have my cousin out of OH and the horrible winters there is a blessing.  She is a talented and knowledgeable RN, hard working and very good at her job.  I know, her bad news was about me.  She was worried about me and my transitions in life.  She wants me to rest more.  Sit and enjoy life.  I do, and I will.  But I am just not ready to give up.  I still want to live each day.  That means taking care of those I love and who depend on me.  It means having one place we live and one place we are going to live.  The house is coming along, and I am not going to site by and watch the progress.  No, I don't do much, but I enjoy feeling like I have accomplished something.  It is hard to explain, but living a year resting or six months wearing myself out.  There is no choice for me.  I am going to try and push the six months.

I so spend a lot of time sitting with my chickens.  Gladiola, my alpha hen eats from my hand and follows me around like a puppy.  She simply wants treats, but I appreciate that at least she recognizes that I am the supplier.  George who we still do not know for sure if it is a he or a she, spends a lot of time next to the cage with the babies.  I don't know if she relates to the babies, enjoys the warmth or the noise, or maybe he/she wants to eat them.  I have no idea.  Willie and Lily are much louder then the chickens, and are now going outside to pull on the grass just in front of the coop's door.  They are born engineers.  I think we could get them a job with the Army Corp of Engineers.  They work the mud and dig along one side of the water container until the container tips and lets the water run into a hole which they can then make into a giant mud pit.  At least once a day I have to go out and refill and move the blocks the container sits on to different locations throughout the coop to keep it level.

My silkie, Petunia is acting a lot like a Pete, we will see.  The feathers are coming in and they are silky, and he/she is just the cutest little thing.  The other three banties are still so tiny and cute.  The two giants are now 3 or 4 times bigger than the banties and at least twice as big as the normal size chickens.  Each little flock is unique.  The personalities as they grow and change and interact and as the pecking order adjusts each moment.  George is huge and a bit difficult.  He/she bit Bug and then attacked the red baby feeder when I was cleaning it.  sigh, you never know what each child will be like. 

I am doing so much better.  I have a couple of good days, then a couple of bad days, then hopefully a few more good.  Please do not worry about me.  I am not worried at all, so I do not realize how my words sound to others.  Please forgive me, I seem to have worried people.  Everyone has good and bad days, my just seem more extreme to me.  This is my journal, and I do not mean it to be a medical journal of my progress.  When I am down, I talk about it, when I am happy, I talk about it.  Again, thank you all for your thoughts and visits here to my page.  I am sorry for worrying you.

I truly am not worried.  Bug and I are living with the reality of the changes that occur each day.  We know what is happening, but we try not to let it hold us back.  He does not read my blog.  It is his choice, but I have to say that it is easier for me to not worry about him reading this and getting upset.  It is hard enough to live with this, it just seems cruel to think he would have to experience everything twice.  But when we are caught in the reality of the moment, I feel very calm and peaceful.  It is a feeling beyond words to experience parts of life that I had never thought about.  Time seems natural, and I do not feel fear.  What is to come, will come in the order it is to.  I feel lucky to understand and be here for my husband as he works so hard to fulfill my dreams and I do not grow stronger.

No, I am not stronger, but I can not truly judge pain or how I feel anymore.  On the oxy it changes how your brain reacts to pain, and so now I am not sure of when I am in pain.  I had a sore muscle just above the inside of my elbow.  I thought maybe I was tensing the muscle when I slept.  I made an effort to not do that.  Then I noticed a red spot and it was hot and it looked more like a bug bite.  I took some bendryl and put on some bendryl gel on the spot and my brain checked it off as done.  A couple days passed and now I have a red line running down my arm from the spot.  I have to focus on the spot and then I realize how uncomfortable it is.  I am going to see the Oncologist on Tuesday, we will see if I can wait until then.  See, the pain meds help me get up and live a life, but they mess with my brain so things can go wrong and then move along quickly without noticing.  I just need to stop and check all over each day to see if there is anything of concern.  Then share with Bug if it might be a problem.  Always something.

The house is coming along.  The contractors are done.  Bug and his Dad have been working at the house.  There are so many little things need to be done.  Wall and switch plates to be put on, fans and lights to be hung, painting to finish.  The kitchen looks like a real kitchen now.  It still needs to be put back together and finished.  Each day that Bug is there it looks different.  He is amazing and just keeps going like the Energizer bunny. 

We found curtains for the bedroom, lights for both bathrooms, and a new door knob for the front door.

I have had lunch with Carolyn and Judi to share art and crafts supplies, and then lunch with my friend Phyllis.  Dad gave Mom and I pedicures and lunch out, and we went to Fanny's for lunch.  Fanny's is located at the Goodwood Museum, and I would highly recommend you make reservations or go early to make sure you get in.  We arrived early but by the time we left at 12:30, most of the inside tables were full and all of the tables scattered through the garden were full.  The staff are lovely.  Sweet, friendly, professional and attentive to perfection.  The food was creative, hat and freshly made.  We shared a fried green tomato appetizer, and Mom jumped in and said that we would split the odd tomato.  They were good enough, I appreciated that she was willing to share that half.  We both had the Primo Panini with a deviled egg (delicious) and pickled okra (as good as it gets).  The sandwich was perfect, not too much, but more then I could do in one meal, but it heated up beautifully and I had a second meal.  We each chose the fruit salad as a side and it was fruit cut fresh for our plate.  The blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and water melon were perfectly sweet and ripe with no other sweetener needed.  We had a leisurely lunch and Mom loved it.  May was our waitress and Mom fell in love with her.  I did too when I first met this lovely amazing woman.  She just glows.  Hmm, you know all three girls glow, when I think about it.  Must have been great parents.

Anyway, then we went for our pedicures and they massaged our legs and feet and scrubbed and moisturized and painted our nails shades of pink.  The chair moved up and down our backs pulsating and kneading tired muscles.  By the time they finished with us, both Mom and I were a little woozy with the pampering and we could hardly walk with all the friction ground off the bottom of our feet.  We callus our feet quickly here, but just after having them removed, I could not get any grip on my shoes.  It didn't help that my legs were quite comfortable and didn't seem to mind that my feet were slipping and sliding.  Mom sat in the car. 

We came home and Mom and I spent a little time planning on Mother's Day.  I had wanted to make dinner myself.  I really don't like going out to eat on Mother's Day.  It is the day when everybody goes out to eat.  I also have Garden Circle.  It is the last meeting of the year and I really want to go.  So everyone is working around my schedule.  I appreciate it, and yet feel uncomfortable asking these people I love to work around my schedule.  They of course, have no problem.  I am the one with the problem, not them.  So we will have Mother's Day at Mom's and she is doing most of the cooking.  sigh.  I feel like a burden.  I big clumsy bag of burden.  Unreliable, unpredictable, unwilling to sit down and stop.  I am sorry to all of those I have hurt with my good intentions and a mind and body that do not coordinate.

Tomorrow we will go up to the Opera House for Southern Music Rising.  We are looking forward to seeing, Lis and Lon Williams with Gatorbone records, and Grandpa's Cough Medicine.  We always enjoy them at Suwanee.  There are also a couple of other bands we would like to see, and I would like to see some of the cowboy humor and history.

Today is May 9th.  Day by Day is ticking away.  I started this post on May Day.  It is now the 9th.  I can not tell you which days were good or bad, or where I was on most of the previous nine days,  I guess that is living in the moment.  If so, then I am getting this down.

I am trying to adjust to my brain and how it functions now.  I am trying to adjust to my stomach issues that are much better, thank you, but now new issues to learn.  I know I need to be more observant and proactive over little things that catch my attention. 

I am fine.  I have come back to life.  I am never going to be as strong as I once was.  I prefer to stay close to home now.  Thank you for all of your care and support.  Please forgive me, but if I could use words used by one of you, "real", "raw".  I don't mean to sound cocky, because I can not tell you how much your comments blow my mind, but it is real for that moment, and absolutely raw.  Maybe I am too dramatic.  I am trying to speak with as much truth for the moment as I can.  I do not hope that I am dramatizing this time.  I am with a stage company.  But I am using the only words I have.  Trying to leave a record of who I am, what happened to me, and how I reacted to it.  Why?  I don't know, maybe because this journal is energy and energy is part of all energy.  It can not be created or destroyed.  Is this my way of leaving memories of myself in this point of energy?  Will they continue to be a part of me as part of all the energy?  Will I recognize them as mine?  Will any of this even be of any importance?  It doesn't matter.  Just like I am taking cuttings of plants, I live each day for the day it is.  Tomorrow Bug and I will go hear music and get to see and hear some of our most favorite people.  Joy

Life is hard.  Is it harder when you can remember what you could do just a few months ago, but no longer can do?  I don't know.  But instead of it being frustrating, it is learning about myself and what I can do. 

It is the weekend, and I have posted after trying to write, trying to live through good days and bad days, hmmm, I guess that is just like everyone else.