Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Monday, June 23, 2014

thank you

Thank you for your comments.  I read them over and over like a meditation.  I know I don't answer them directly, but that doesn't mean I do not appreciate them.

Thank you Janzi, Syd and Ms Moon.  Such precious friends to have in the ether world.  Yes, Ms Moon, my voodoo lily did bloom again this year.  The second year in a row.  My lily blooms before any of the leaves come up, so I am excited to see your bloom.

Thank you Janie for your comments.  It helps so much to write about this.  Especially when I am being so woe is me.  It helps me to snap back to reality and remember how lucky I am to have this life.  To have so many dear precious friends, both here in my life, around the world, and in the ether. 

I am grateful for all of you. 
I am grateful for having a place to write this story.
A story of a person.
A woman who lives in a garden.
And is so very very grateful.

Watermelon Festival

At one time, Jefferson County was the largest watermelon seed grower in the United States.  Today watermelons are still grown here, but it is not the cash crop that it once was.  But this was the 64th Annual Watermelon Festival and although there was no bed race this year, there were lots of activities for the week.

Carolyn and I went to the Fashion Show and had a wonderful time.  How fun to get to watch friends and neighbors as they strutted and spun around the tables in the Opera House showing fashions available from Wag The Dog Thrift store.

Friday Bug and I got our new driver's license.  Actually it is not a bad photo, and now I guess it is official.  We now live at Casa Bianca.  Well, according to the paperwork.  We are hoping to start moving over for real this week.  Bug finished the bamboo floor in the bedroom and it is beautiful.  I am getting so excited to see how everything comes together.

After getting our driver's license we went for my bone treatment.  After the treatment we drove home and I laid down and rested.  I fell hard asleep and woke up in time to throw some clothes on and head up to the Opera House to meet the girl's to see 2014: A Space Oddity.  It was written by my friend Judi and her grand daughter Kaya.  It was full of fun space facts, dancing, and singing.  I sat in awe watching these young people, as young as 5 years old.  All but one looked completely at ease.  These kids have grown up on that stage and now they dance across those boards with grace and ease.  I loved the show and watching these talented young people as they performed.  The one girl, had a solo and stood out amongst the entire cast because she was so uncomfortable.  When she sang she looked up at the balcony running across the back of the stage.  When the others danced, as natural as if they did it all of their lives, she barely moved.  I thought how much I would love to see her in the future to see how she too becomes as comfortable on that old stage as the rest of the kids.  The costumes, simple, bright, comfortable and fun.  Carolyn, Judy, Denise and I had a great time and clapped and whooped and cheered for our kids.  I have always loved being a part or coming to see the "Children's" play.  I have gotten to play a grandmother cat to these kids.  I have stage managed a couple shows back before Abby starting stage managing.  I have been in other plays with these kids, and it is one of my greatest joys in life.  Holding hands and dancing across those beautiful old boards with them as children and now as they are grown.  I was so very proud of Olivia.  She was a Hambone and also played the part of Princess Layla with 'Fun space facts from Star Wars'.  She has two extremely talented older siblings, and the younger ones coming up also show amazing gifts, and from this group, sweet Olivia smiles and dances across the stage and our hearts.  Woohoo, Olivia!!!  I also thought Damaris who was Weirdo Wackadoo, was amazing.  That little girl has a stage personality that fills and overflows.  I had just seen a TV ad about Maleficent, and if the Director had seen Damaris in this part, Angeline would have been out of the part.

I am so fortunate to live in a place with a beautiful opera house as the center of our community.  And then to get to play in that house.  Or to sit in the audience and watch so much talent, young and old, and cheer them on.  Wow, I just love this community.  I am so fortunate to live in a small town.  A town, I picked out to live, and I have never been disappointed.  In a short seven years I have planted my roots deep and long in this place and I am so grateful that my honey has also fallen in love with this place.  I can't wait to move and be closer to town.  We will related more to downtown Monticello instead of relating to I-10 and Hwy 19.  It will be a real change, and I am grateful to find a home that we have been able to make into our own.  And it is all ours.  We have paid our way as we have gone and as much work as the house has been to get it ready to move in.  Knowing that it is all ours and we have land and beautiful trees and quiet.

After watching the children's play and clapping my hands red, the four of us decided to go get ice cream at Marcie's new shop.  It is a coffee/ice cream shop with bike rentals and I am sure other fun things.  We walked not quite a block and came across Katrina's with the wonderful ice cream sandwiches made from home made chocolate chip cookies and home made ice cream.  We started to walk over to sit and listen to the music, but it was another maybe 3 blocks, and I could not go.  Just thinking about it sent my stomach into major issues and I walked with great urgency back the two blocks to my car.  I had to stop one time to rest, but my stomach rushed me on.  By the time I got home and ran into the door I was hit with the delicious smells coming from the kitchen with my sweet man making us dinner.  By the time I made it to my hot wonderful meal I was a sobbing poor me mess.  I hiccuped my way through tears that I could no longer walk 3 blocks with my friends, and I couldn't even cook dinner for my husband.  He held me until the tears quit and I ate his wonderful dinner.  I took another pain pill and that was when I realized how much pain I was in. 

Saturday morning we got up and I was over myself.  We headed up town to watch the Watermelon Festival Parade.  Bug and I had looked at a house on Hwy 19, about 3 blocks from the courthouse when we were looking for houses for ourselves and his parents.  We had looked at this house and had discarded the idea for us because it was on a main road.  We discarded it for his parents because there were lots of steps to get into the house.  It is an historical home and has hardwood floors, high ceilings, lots of windows and a fire place in almost every room.  It was a lovely place to watch the parade and there were mimosas, quiche, sausage biscuits, fruit and banana bread.  Many of the stage company players were there and as always it was so much fun to spend time with them. 

We clapped, cheered and laughed with a running commentary of a very southern parade in a small town often referred to as "Mayberryesq" (yes, I made that word up).  First came the police, then the sheriff followed by the various volunteer fire departments and EMS.  Then came a flow of politicians and queens.  There was the Miss Watermelon Queen, the Miss Teen Watermelon Queen, the itty bitty queen, the king, the little bigger queen and so on until we had about half a dozen watermelon royalty.  There were also visiting queens from Perry and to all of our joy and amazement, a Moon Pie Princess and Queen.  The Moon Pie Princess was adorable and tiny.  She wore her tiara with style and grace and a pair of sunglasses that finished this 2 year old off with total Moon Pie attitude.  I never saw the queen, I was so enamored by the princess.  We also had a preacher screaming his version of the gospel on a microphone as he rode his float by.  Following the preacher, who, yes, was Baptist, Calvary Baptist, was the Sons of the Confederacy.  We all looked at each other, and went yep, we are in the south.  It was not a big parade but it took about an hour.  There were a lot of breaks in the parade and many found this to be helpful to freshen up their mimosas.  All in all, a very good time was had by all.

But asked me if I wanted to walk around the festival downtown, but I was not able to do so.  We drove home, rested and then he headed over to finish the floor in the bedroom.  I think I laid down.  Sunday we worked at the house.  I painted floor boards and helped to mop the floor.  He finished the details in the bedroom like putting the newly painted base boards back on.  We watched soccer.  I was tired and uncomfortable.  I mean more than normal.  I am not always tired and hurting.  Okay, maybe I am, but there are different levels and I was pegging out.  Then I realized that I had experienced bone pain and nausea from the previous bone treatments.  That helped remembering that.  Or maybe I only want to think that had happened.  Regardless, it helped to think that.

I didn't get to walk around downtown during the festival, but I went to the fashion show, saw the play and the parade.  I celebrated summer, sweet juicy red fruit with seeds to spit and clapped and cheered along with the other people in this community I love so much.

Next Friday I will attend a class on the chemo I will start taking.  I asked the precious Ms Allison if I really had to take this class.  She said she would check for me because it is not as if I am a newbie with chemo. But if I need to take a class to take this, no problem, I will.  I know that I might be opening myself up to all those horrid side effects that come with shooting WMDs into my port and letting it course through my veins hopefully slowing the little c more then it will wipe me out.

Today I spent in bed resting.  I slept some, but mostly just rested, read a little and with out much to do, made dinner for my honey when he gets here from our home.  We are both looking forward to being there. Waking up there and working.  Relaxing in that the Florida room, listening to the trees and the birds.  I need to start working on the sofa covers.  It will not be bad once I get the first one made.  But until I get that first one done, I will have to fight my lack of self confidence.

I think I will go and rest some more before Bug gets home. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Bone Treatment

The Oncology Center called yesterday and said I had a bone treatment today.  I was a bit confused because the doctor had said they would call me on Friday to set an appointment for next week.  She said that all she had was an order for me to take a treatment today.  I said fine, and planned on just driving up by myself in the morning.  Bug has two passes left on the bedroom floor.  He knocked out 3/4 of it yesterday.  I knew even though his back is giving him a lot of pain, he would want to finish the floor today. The floor is gorgeous. Simply gorgeous.  This morning he said he would rather go with me to make sure that everything went well this first treatment.  I appreciated that even though I have been through this before I don't remember any problems or reasons that I shouldn't be able to drive myself, but I don't remember a lot of things.

We drove up and Ms Rose took care of everything and within an hour we were on our way home.  Bug sat with me during the infusion.  Each person gets their own little space.  The nurses give you warmed towels, snacks and drinks.  They are so nice to you there.  When I got there Ms Rose said she was surprised to see me because I was on the calendar for next week.  I told her what had happened with the scheduling and we both just laughed.  The treatment was done so there you go.  I told her I would call Ms G and let her know what chemo I had settled on and asking for an appointment to either start or meet with Dr. May.  They were working at another office this morning so I will probably get a call next week.

I have been at this place before.  That place where this must be the end of the final chapter.  It is time to start putting things in order.  This time.  I am just too tired to worry about it.  I still say the same thing as people stop to talk to me.  "How you doing?"  "Fine," I say, "Just fine."  Well, that is the truth, I am doing fine.  Tired? yes, Bone weary? yes.  But I am doing fine.  Have I turned the corner?  Well, again, yes.  Three months ago the cancer had not metastasized to my back bone.  Three months ago I did not have large dark spots on my lungs.  Three months ago I could still carry 50 pounds of chicken feed.  No longer.

But is this "the end?"  Please.  I have no idea.  I can't say that I am afraid, but now worry about the cancer metastasizing to my brain.  After all, my ex-late husband died of brain cancer.  Even though we did not know that was going on with him, we had dealt with debilitating headaches.  I have lived with headaches, but honestly have not had to deal with that for many years now.  So I will be able to understand what is happening and know what to look for.  Of course I am hoping that we do not need to worry about that.  And honestly, I am not worried, just.....aware.  If, if, this is "the end", well, I hope I have time to take care of everything, and if not?  no worries, I won't be here to worry.

I have a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple weeks ago.  She had a double mastectomy on Friday, and when I talked to her briefly today she sounded like the same person.  Not someone who had just been through what I would consider major surgery.  She sounded like she was just getting ready to go work in the garden or make her honey lunch.  The surgery went well, but they did find a spot on a lymph node, so that might change things.  Where the surgery might have handled the little c before, now they know that it has metastasized so that changes the play book.  I told her she was my hero, and she laughed and told me she thought the same.  After I hung up I thought how all of the people I have known dealing with the little c since I found out I had it just breaks my heart.  I do not dislike my c, but when thinking of others, I am now the one that can do nothing for them.  It is a helpless feeling.  I try to keep that in mind when people are having to deal with me.  It is much easier, in my case anyway, to be the one with the disease. 

I have been a care giver for family and friends and I have appreciated that opportunity.  I understood that they were not going to live forever, and several of the deaths were very hard.  But not because of their illness, but because I loved them and would miss them.  Each time I learn of another friend who had an illness, the wind gets knocked out of my sails.  I think I just feel guilty.  I am still here using resources of our planet, and breathing the shared air.  I am still here.  Not helping others, not giving back.  I still feel like I am part of the community, and tonight Carolyn, Judy, Denise and I will go to see the children's production at the Opera House.  I talked to Ms Moon yesterday and said that if her kids got back in time and picked up their kids, wouldn't she love to skip her weekly happy hour with her honey and go to the Opera House and watch lots of children.  She laughed and said no.  She has had her grand babies for a few days and thought she might need a little adult time.  If her grand babies are even gone at that point.  She is making a difference, she is helping to raise two sweet loving intelligent humans and what could be more important.  I will get to spend two weeks with Christopher and we will plant my garden.  I also want to have some kids and other stage company people for a makeup class.  I don't know how much energy I can manage for this, but I want to hand over the makeup to someone that the stage companies can call on.  Stage companies need light people, sound people, makeup, costume and prop people.  Anyone who comments they are interested in doing any of those gets as many opportunities as they would ever want.  It is also great for the stage companies to know who can do what. 

Other than that the only thing I have to give is to try and be as nice as I can to everyone I meet.  That and be there for the shows, applaud loudly and let the kids I have watched growing up know I am there.  To support them to be the most they can. 

I am tired.  Wow, that is new! Okay, I am always tired, but I am still alive.  I went to the fashion show yesterday with Carolyn.  I laughed and clapped and cheered the models on as they circled and spun and tried to look like TV models.  They wore clothes from our thrift store, Wag The Dog.  A woman sitting with us made a comment that she would never have thought to shop at a place called Wag the Dog.  She has now changed her mind after watching this fun show.  She wants to do some canning so I need to call her and make arrangements for her to get my supplies.  Canning sounds so romantic, but it is hot, heavy, hard work.  Way past what I plan on doing again.  She is about 10 years older then me, but she wants to make fig preserves.  All older southern women are charged with growing tomatoes and leaving them at doors of neighbors when they overflow the garden.  And, to make fig preserves.  I had looked forward to making the preserves.  I don't eat jellies, jams and preserves but it is written somewhere that is what we do.  I think Baily White has also discussed that in several of her stories.

This lady was quite nice, but it is interesting to listen to her views after moving here from Gainesville.  She is a judge for flowers and ornamental shows.  We are not a big judging place.  We tried to introduce her to other gardeners in the area that belong to different garden circles.  I do not think she found what she was looking for.  We told her about the art league and other groups and things in town.  I do not think we particularly impressed her.  Oh well, I love our community. Where the grand marshal for the parade tomorrow is the UPS driver.  He is well liked, a native of this community and goes above and beyond in serving his customers.  Sounds like a grand marshal to me.  A small town, but not for everyone. 

Oh!!!  I have seen my first red/yellow/green stop light in Jefferson County.  No, it is not at an intersection.  It is in one of the antique shops in the main business district.  You can see it through the window.  It certainly caught my eye.

They have set up booths downtown and by this evening it will be hopping.  Tomorrow will be the big day of the festival.  Breakfast, car show, parade, street dance and lots of other fun festivities.  Life is good here in our small little community.  And I am doing very well, all things considered, but I think I will go lay down so I will be rested up for the play tonight.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Doctor visit

I have grown quite fond of my Oncologist.  My first one completely missed the mark on me.  He did not diagnose my cancer, he gave me poor treatment and worst of all dismissed me as not being worthy of his time when he could serve those who were going to live.  I will leave all comments on him off, but I am sure I have left a few on previous posts over the years.  My second Oncologist was a gift, plain and simple.  He stepped right up, diagnosed the little c and then set about learning everything he could about it and my other health issues.  He literally brought me back from the dead and gave me a life again.  My third and current Oncologist and I took a little time to get used to each other.  It is understandable after having such an amazing doctor who was also charming and handsome and so intelligent he produced a glow about his head like a halo just with all the energy in that brain.  She took over most of his patients and had to deal with all of us constantly questioning her and going around her.  But I have to give her credit for winning me over.  I am very comfortable with her and she says things like, "I wish I could make all of the cancer go away, but since I can't lets just do what we can to give you the longest healthy life we can."  I very much appreciate that she lays it on the table.  She tells me what is going on and what are my options.  She then tells me her first choice, but leaves it open to me decide.

Numbers wise, my blood counts are all good, my liver is almost that good.  These are great, because it gives me options.  So, strong and healthy body, all things concerned.  The biopsy was no surprise,  lung cancer.  Dr. M said that  after the biopsy the lymph glands all seemed to get a little smaller.  I am not sure how she knows that, but sounds good.

The Pet scan showed a change.  On my back bone, not in my back bone and not in my spinal cord there appears to be some growth.  It looks like it is on 5-6 vertebrates.  We will deal with this bone treatments.  The kind they give people with osteoporosis.  My friend Jan took this and it did not work out so well.  However, I think this is the same drug they gave me back in the beginning of treatments when I had radiation and I tolerated it just fine.  Hopefully by strengthening the bone we will slow the growth down.  We can always do scans and radiation later if needed.  But at this point, it seems like over kill.  I will start the bone treatments next week.  It is a once a month treatment and is taken through infusion.  Good thing I have a port.  And as Dr. M said, she has never seen an easier port to use because it really stands out. 

She had asked me if I had felt any bone pain in my back and I had said, "No".  That is why we are taking the simplest route.  Unfortunately once I got home I remembered the severe pain I had last week.  I had thought of it as around my shoulder blade.  As I think about it now, I better mention this pain to her.  It put me to bed two days, but at the time I was not thinking back, and it might not be.  But still.

Another change in the scan was my lungs.  The Tarceva does not appear to be working any longer.  Really, all in all, it has been a good run, and it was a great drug.  But it has side affects, so if it is not working, then why keep taking it?  She discussed how she had gone back through all the records and had taken time to look through the amazing Dr. McCutie.  There was one chemical left on his original list of possibilities.  I have three choices.  Simply stop the Tarceva and accept what will happen.  Or We can add Avistan to the Tarceva and see if that might work.  The final choice is the last chemical on the list.  Her preference is number three, but after giving me information on both chemicals she sent me home to choose what I want to do.  At this moment, I am planning on number three also.  I am bone weary right now and just stopping everything would be easy.  To simply lay down and rest, but there is so much to do getting the house ready to move in.  We will move over there next week.  If we have to move the 5th wheel over an live in it, fine, but we are ready to be there. 

So, changes, not necessarily good, but honestly I felt a little relieved.  I need to start smiling again, laughing.  I need to feel happiness.  There is no need to be unhappy while this continues.  I want to smile at my husband and feel joy again.  I want to sit in our new house and have friends over and enjoy time with them.  I can do this.  I can spend the next six months enjoying this wonderful and amazing life I have.  My cousin Lori is moving to Florida.  She is a RN with the VA and has gotten a great job in St. Pete.  She will be near the brothers and only 4+ hours to here.  I am so glad that she will be here.

I have to admit, there is a bit of relief finding out what is going on.  I have not been feeling better and my stamina is slipping, so this explains it.  How much longer?  I have no idea.  It isn't about time, but life.  So on to another phase.  The symptoms are pretty typical, stomach issues in both directions, nose bleeding, exhaustion, flu like symptoms and hair loss.  I might not have all of them. 
Then again, I might. 
Oh well. 
Let the games begin! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Getting better all the time

That might be more wishful thinking then reality.  I have lost my sense of humor.  I have found bits and pieces of every now and again.Over all, I notice that where a smile was my norm, it does not seem so these days.

I have no reason to be this way.  We are getting closer everyday to moving into our home.  Bug has started on laying the bamboo floor in the bedroom.  We put the goat fence up on Father's Day.  Well, I handed him the screw/bolts and he did everything else.  I have moved boards for him and brought him things as he has needed for the house, but he is doing 99% of the work. 

I had come up with a new strategy for gaining weight.  Nothing tastes right and even when my stomach says it is hungry I have a terrible time finding something I can actually eat.  Oh, and that has calories.  As I have said before, I should have learned to eat junk food years ago.  It is just too late for me now.  I thought I would simply make sure that I eat three meals a day.  Not big meals, just try and eat some balanced meals, small but healthy.  Then eat a package of peanut butter crackers twice a day.  Simple enough.  That should get me over 112 pounds.  I made two meals and two packages of crackers and a very small bowl of ice cream, or a glass of whole chocolate milk.  I hoped it might soothe my stomach with the dairy and increase my calories.  So, two days I made it close and then last night I weighed myself as I went to bed and I weighed 115 pounds.  Wooohoooo!!!  Then about 2:00am my stomach revolted and by the time I got up at 9:00am I was back down to 112, and exhausted from getting up and down so many times with my tummy.  sigh.

I ran into a couple I had not seen since before I was diagnosed with the little c.  She had tried out for the first play I was directing.  She is a talented community theater actor.  She does great voices.  But unfortunately another woman walked in as I was finalizing the cast who was any Director's perfect person for this one part and after discussing the situation with the rest of the cast, we decided to cast the new person.  I am sure it was pretty difficult for her.  She and her husband had been a big part of the previous years Spring murder mystery and now she was cut out of a part.  Anyway they actually saw me first and waved.  I was so happy to see them I ran into the restaurant and gave each of them a hug.  I commented on how much weight her husband had lost.  It was well over 100 pounds and he is looking so much healthier.  The woman in her typical straight forwardness said, "You are so skinny!?!?!"  I do not pretend to be kind or gentle when I tell people about this situation.  I simply said, "That is what happens when you have Stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer."  She pulled back like I had slapped her.  I honestly felt terrible I had been so blunt, but she bounced back right away, bless her heart.  She something like she was so proud of me.  She probably meant my attitude but I was confused and a little embarrassed I explained it was genetic, I really could not take any credit for it.  She laughed and said something about "fighting".  You know how over sensitive I am about "fighting" cancer.  I tried to hold back my tongue, but I did tell her I had decided not to fight, but to just do the best I could with the situation.  We hugged and I was gone after just a couple of minutes. 

We have seemed to lay low these days as I have not been feeling that great.  Not, that bad, but not that great.  However, we did go over to friends house on Friday night for a little get together just down the road.  We knew a few of the people, but many were family of our friends and we had never met them before.  Both families are from Key West.  Real Conchs.  Their families go way back, at least 5 generations.  One of the in-laws was a fireman in Key West and all of them lived near or just off of Valera Street.  When I first moved there I lived on the corner of Truman and Valera.  So we had a lot in common and he spun stories about living in Key West and being a fireman and Bug and I both just ate it all up.  It was a lovely evening and we are both enjoyed ourselves so much.  These are such wonderful friends.  I have only known them for about seven years, which for me is not that long.  But they are the people of this community, that Bug and I have adopted, and that they adopted also. 

Bug and I spend more time at the house then we do at Farmboy.  We still sleep here and do most of our meals here, but just to sit in that Florida room.  The air conditioner is giving us a bit of trouble.  We have had no air conditioner for almost a week now.  Not that it is a problem downstairs.  Even with mid 90s in this almost summer weather, just flip the ceiling fans on and wallah!  The temperature is perfect.  Caroline finally made it over to see the house.  I still need to get Mary and Glen and the rest of the Stage Company over.  We will have a party the beginning of July.  Hopefully we will be mostly in by then.

While we were putting the goat fence up I moved a garden block and underneath it was a snake surrounded by eggs.  At first we thought she was dead, possibly smashed when the blocks were thrown there.  But she did move at one point, so I carefully secured the block back over her nest and left her there.  What kind of snake?  Oh, just one of those garden variety snakes.  Honestly I really couldn't tell you what it was, other than it was not a rattlesnake, corral snake or copper head.  Those are the only poisonous snakes here, so there was no reason to hurt the potential family.  Hopefully they will prosper and move out closer to the swamp and keep all the undesirables away. 

We took the dogs over to the house so that they could be with us during the day instead of being home alone getting into what kind of mischief.  Also they miss us terribly.  Bug put the dog door in and they will be able to come and go from the Florida room as they like.  They will not be living in the rest of the house.  If I was stronger and not so easily knocked down by them, then trampled.  If I was able to clean up properly after them.  But I am not.  They are simply so strong and happy and I am not so sure on my feet or very strong anymore.  I am not a 70 pound weakling.  After all, I am still up at 112, and hoping to figure out how to gain more, and still able to help.  They have a wonderful area fenced off to protect them, as well as keep them from running off.  It has sunny spots, shady spots and cool damp areas right behind the house.  The Florida room is nice sized, and at this point the room we spend 90% of our time.  I doubt that it will change all that much. 

My baby brother turned 55 last month.  My big brother turned 63 last week.  I will be 59 this coming October.  I am still here.  It will be 4 years in about 3 weeks.  I am looking forward to celebrating that day.  It changed my entire life in way I had never expected, but it is nice to have a date to mark time by.

I was watching Fanny on AMC today.  One of the characters says something like, 'It is not dying that I mind so much, it is the fact of not living that bothers me.'  Is that great or what???  I might start using that.

The Watermelon Festival has started but we have not done anything yet.  Carolyn and I are going to the Fashion Show on Thursday.  Tomorrow I have an appointment with the Oncologist.  We will see how it goes.

Sunday, June 8, 2014


Photos of my life this week:

Bug and our three lapadores

Easter lilies and pink day lilies

more day lilies

Shireen sent us grand children art for our frig.  perfect!

My new porch

our entrance is coming along

I love how the kitchen came out

purple turtles are gone and instead there is matching mosiacs

Bug and I with Ron and Mom and Dad the day before they headed home to California
Sunday morning and it has been a day worth remembering.  Bug had gotten up to feed the kids and I was still resting.  He gets up in the morning and feeds the dogs and cats and makes his coffee.  This takes the excitement level down to a point where I can safely navigate the hallway between our bedroom and the kitchen.  A narrow hallway without much natural light with the washer and dryer on one side, the door on the other.  This is a dog door in the door, so even when the people door is closed I can have dogs and cats coming at me from every possible direction.  Some of the cats sleep on the washer so they can leap out from behind the curtain and land on your face or shoulders.  It is my life, and as hard on my body getting up each morning and stumbling through the gauntlet of animals, I love that my children miss me.  For many years they slept with me or were at least free to come and go at night.  But I grew tired of bloody lips, scratched faces, black eyes and so on.  So now that first minute of the morning when I join my family is a little rough, but at the new house will be different and there is no dark hallway to survive. 
The new house. 
We are getting closer to moving in.

So this morning as I laid in the bed checking out how I feel before I take the first oxy, Bug brought me Henry.  My sweet Henry.  He is the best smelling cat in the entire world.  He is a beautiful animal, sweet, loving, plump and thick shades of honey fur.  He has been lost to us for the last many weeks.  We have been coming and going a lot.  Even when I am here I spend a lot of time locked away in the bedroom.  Our regular baby sitter got it in her head that Henry was starving and being mistreated and started feeding him and keeping him with her.  This has been one stressful situation in my life.  So while I have been trying to deal with the loss of my chickens, and then the realization that Ednarose had lost her mind, moving, Bug's parents moving, friends coming back into my life, I was missing my Henry.  He did not know where he belonged and started living like a lost boy.  He has lost weight and had a terrible hair ball.  Elizabeth gave me some mineral oil to help it pass.  No.  I do not pour mineral oil down my animal's throats.  Many years ago I would  use Vaseline, so you could put it on their paw to lick it off.  But I prefer butter or Crisco.  It is easier on his system.  It may take longer, I am not sure about that, but I know it is much easier and they generally pass it on in the direction you want it to go.
It was such a joy to have him in my arms.  Henry and I spent some time together, me scratching and hugging him.  He finally relaxed and gave into full purr.

Then, Bug came in again with another wonderful surprise.  Sioux was on the phone.  So I laid in bed and talked to one sister as I hugged and loved on my Henry.  We had a wonderful talk.  I told her about my wacky Wednesdays.  She told me about finding out she had an abscess under a crown in a top back molar.  Apparently she has had this abscess for quite a while because it has eaten a lot of bone.  She never knew.  There was some occasional difficulties, but nothing that she couldn't ignore.  She has it all under control, and thankfully she has insurance with her business.  I don't know what she would do without it.

So Sunday morning started just full of love.  I came out to my honey and the rest of the kids chilling out on Sunday morning.  Bug usually makes breakfast, it is a hard meal for me to cook.  But this morning I felt strong enough to at least get the biscuits in the oven and the turkey sausage gravy.  I made a cup of Earl Grey tea and sat down.  Bug finished making our breakfast and then I watched Sunday Morning.  He headed out to mow the pasture with the John Deere before it got too hot.

After Sunday Morning was over, the quiet minute was wild mustangs in Nevada, I went outside to mow the little backyard between the trailer and the pasture.  I couldn't believe Bug didn't give me a hard time when I said I wanted to do this.  I mean how hard is it to sit on a riding mower and drive it around?  Well, first, the mower was blocked by the golf cart that wouldn't start, so not quite as easy as I had imagined.  Bug and I got it out and soon I was driving away mowing along the fence.  It took a couple of runs before I remembered what I was doing, but pretty soon  I was mowing.  Okay, it is a little more then just sitting and driving and I could feel it as I fought with the wheel to turn the mower within the narrow confines around my gardens.  I felt like I had accomplished something.  The rest of the day will be spent with less adventurous activities.

The last Wednesday in May was my biopsy.  I had not received the piece of paper that told me not to eat.  I didn't eat much and only when I could not get my stomach to settle down.  I am down to 112 pounds.  Eating isn't an option at this point.  The most exciting part of eating is that everything I eat tastes wrong, and bad.  I watch Bug eat the same thing I have and he is talking about how delicious it is.  So I ate part of an egg/cheese/biscuit.  That meant that putting me under was not such a great idea.  I never think that putting me under is a good idea.  I have the worst time waking up and I almost always have major stomach issues afterwards.  I can not afford to loose any weight.  This was supposed to be a needle biopsy on the lymph nodes in my arm pit.  When the doctor walked in to determine what our options were I lifted my arm and there was the lymph node.  At this weight and with the size of these nodes you can't help but see them.  The actual procedure was only 10 minutes.  They gave me a local and I was able to watch what was going on the sonogram machine.  I could see the needle go into the node and then grab a sample.  I could see muscle tissue and they even turned on the color so I could see the veins and arteries.  It was so cool.  I had a nurse hold my hand because I tend to bite or slap doctors if they hurt me.  I don't mean to, and it isn't something I am proud of.  It is like a knee jerk reaction, so I just make sure and have someone hold my hand and then I don't have to worry and neither does the doctor.  The entire procedure took 10 minutes.  After the procedure we had to wait another 10 minutes to get the okay on the samples from the pathologist.  Then they wanted me to wait another 30 minutes to make sure there were no problems.  This had all taken more then 5 hours and I needed to eat and get out of there.  I had sticky things all over me to attach probes to.  I had iodine glued to my skin covering about half of my upper torso.  I am still trying to scrub it off. 

It wasn't as weird a Wednesday as the week before with the airplane and the lost radioactive man who needed to pee, but it was pretty cool to get to participate in the biopsy and see everything.

I had lunch with Carolyn on Tuesday and told her I could not wait to see what the next Wednesday would throw at us.  I can say it did not disappoint me.  It turned out to be wildlife Wednesday.  When Bug woke and came out to feed the kids, Edna was busy corralling two baby birds, wrens I think.  She had not hurt them and was working very hard keeping everyone else away from them until she could give them to us.  She acted like she was trying to make up for the chickens she killed.  We explained it doesn't work that way, but it again complicated her issue.  But I would rather find alive baby birds then more dead chickens.  We took them to the vet because I have raised baby birds just like these before and all I can say is that bird parents are amazing.  How they are able to find food and get those giant baby mouths satisfied is more then I am able to do at this time.  And I don't have to find food.  I simply ground up the baby peep food into a powder and made a paste out of it.  I showed Bug how to hold them or to tap them on the heads to get them to open their mouths and then you can simply shovel in small amounts of this paste at a time.  It is fun the first time.  You feel like one of Mother Nature's favorite children.  But, Mother Nature knows best and rearing these two fledglings seemed like too much of a commitment at this time.  We dropped them off at our Vets.  They will call the wildlife people and they will pick them up and will take much better care then I can. 

On our way from the Vets to the Casa sitting in the middle of our lane was a soft shell turtle about the size of a large pizza.  Bug jumped out to try and move it, but those shells are so soft and they are so scary looking with their giant paddle like hands and feet, so picking it up was out.  He was a bit feisty but we were able to facilitate it back to the water filled ditch it had come out of, and after a stern discussion about crossing the road we left.  As we were coming up to the house what should we see on the side of the road?  Another turtle.  This one appeared to be digging a hole to lay eggs.  Her choice however was the sandy mud right next to the road.  So that she was on the road as she dug.  Bug jumped out and grabbed her up.  She was a lovely slider with a very yellow underbelly.  We took her home with us and then placed her in similar sandy muddy area and left her alone to take care of her business.  Wacky wildlife Wednesday.

Bug's brother Ron flew in on biopsy Wednesday and Thursday the two of them loaded the rental truck with their parents belongings.  Bug had hired the guys we used before to move the boxes out of the house and up into the truck.  Then Bug and Ron packed it in.  Thursday night we were all so tired that the five of us had dinner at the local buffet and we three 'younger folk' left before Mom and Dad had even started their main part of their meal.  I don't know how they did it, but after staying up until the wee hours of each morning they finally got everything packed somewhere and Saturday afternoon Mom, Dad and Ron drove off with the three vehicles and all of their belongings.  I am 58 years old and have only known these people for a short time, but this was way harder than I could imagine.   Bug and I both felt, well, orphaned sort of.  I know that sounds silly at our age, but I can not imagine seeing these two people I have grown to love so dearly ever again.  Saying good bye was saying good bye.  It is not that I won't talk to them on the phone.  As soon as I can get the number I will call Mom.  She has called her a couple of times, but I have only gotten to talk to her once.  These past 6 months that they have been here were so filled with bringing them into our lives and our community.  And then whoosh they were gone.  Yes, we have had a lot more time to work on the house, and it is paying off, but it is another loss for both of us. 

Friday we took a bit of time off and after a busy morning we rode the Harley down to the marina.  We had lunch on the river and watched the large mouth bass as they lazed in the shallow water.  One of the bass was huge, like 5 - 8 pounds.  He is a regular their and we were lucky to get to see him this time.  It was a lovely ride.

Saturday we worked at the Casa.  I unpacked  boxes and bags I had used to transport our belongings so that I could repack them again for another trip.  Saturday morning had started with Carolyn inviting me to go with her to a movie, but I felt I needed to get some things unpacked.  I really appreciated that she called me and asked about the movie.  Mary called a little later and we just had a sweet chat.  I said she sounded wonderful but I think it sounded more like I was commenting on her health.  She just sounds so happy and relaxed and intelligent and wonderful.  Not in comparison to anything.  Just at that moment she made me smile and took a Saturday with two sweet moments, but was a very hard day.  I had weighed myself that morning and 112.2.  I was frustrated.  I was overwhelmed and stressed.  It doesn't matter how many times it happens, it is never any easier to take.  But after a few minutes talking to sweet Mary, I felt better.  Two special friends who reached out and made a difference in a hard day.

Bug had made a little special place for me on our little back porch.  It is perfect.  I needed my porch.  The Florida room is open like a porch, but it isn't a porch.  Now I have both. 

The house is coming along. 
I am hanging in there, but honestly I feel miserable a lot lately. 
I know I wore myself out with all the doings these past few weeks. 
I am still struggling. 
I know that there has been a lot of loss lately also.
I am fine, but my light is not so bright.
My joy not so easy to fine
my sense of humor seems to be buried deep.