Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

life with hospice

I have been very tired. Part of it is the meds, and I was trying to get out and do something, no matter how small.  Maybe that needs to be scaled back a bit.  The day after Josephine the Counselor came out, Gwynn, the Nurse came for a visit.  She was very nice and has a comfortable way talking about things I would rather not talk.  I liked her right away.  I thought she would have been by for our weekly visit, there was an impression on my part that she was going to try and come on Tuesday/Wednesdays.  I am sure that in this line of work things aren't very predictable. 
I understand.

I spent most of the days resting on the bed.   I have become very fond of our bed.  I love my sheets, my quilt, the pillows.  The bed and I are becoming good friends.  For all those years, napping was a bother.  And now, it is one of my favorite ways to spend time.  Its nice not to feel like I have to do a lot of stuff.  I am very satisfied with the life I lived.  I was not even good with some of the things I tried.  Others I picked upright way and was quite successful.  I am just happy I tried things.  I have never worried about whether I finished it or not, as long as I got to try it.

Today Andy, the Hospice Clergy came by for a visit.  I was thrilled.  Andy was in Casablanca, the first play I was in her.  I also met Mary, Rich, Colin, Jack, Jan and most of the Opera House Stage Company great group of volunteers.  For the next five or so years I continued to learn and work with the Stage Company learning lights, stage managing, sound and sound effects, and any thing that allowed me to play with my best friends.  I mean play.  It was fun, it was hard, it took a lot of hours. 
And it all started with Casablanca.

A friend from when I was another person, and here we are sitting and talking and enjoying our reminiscing and just talking.  We talked about the house and how he knows where we used to live, and when he drove into the gate he thought what a beautiful bright wonderful piece of property.  I said, "yes, my honey had asked if I wanted to travel or buy a home.  I chose the home.  It was rough, there was a lot going on to get from there to here.  But here we are, I'm in heaven.  Our home is surrounded by the most beautiful trees and vegetation, and a lovely house, barn like with a green metal roof.  But it is the love that  radiates out from the home, and that was what Andy saw.  I will look forward to talking to him in the future.  I guess I should also bring up what people might be expecting.

I need to sleep.  I rest all day, but I am not sleeping enough and I can feel it.  Saturday the oxygen man came and dropped off my concentrator and some travel bottles.  I am not taking the bottles anywhere.  No, I see myself more and more staying at home.  The only reason I am wearing this hose tied around my neck is because the meds affect my breathing, and if there is a simple solution to minimize my stop breathing, okay.  I have got it tied around me several times.  It is a single hose, but add in sheets and my twisting and turning and sometimes it may take a while to get away from the bed.  I barely notice it, so when I lay down, but not walking around.  Not yet.

Poppy and Perriwinkle are starting to meld into flock.  Poppy is a bit bigger, but she is way more fuzzy than Perri.  Hyacinth Ladean is part of the flock and everyone seems to be happy in their little chicken world.  I sit on our tiny back porch and watch my chickens and ducks.  The cats visit.  The dogs want to play ball.  It has been a little cooler in the mornings, and early evening and Bug and I sit and look out over our home.  We are happy.

I am happy.
I feel so loved  Ms Moon has made beans and rice, and then brought over blueberries and yogurt and  I am not eating more, but I am eating better.
I talk to my family and beloved ones, but mostly everyone is giving me space and time.  They limit their visits and their phone calls.  Thank you everyone.  But remember this is going to take time and lets pace ourselves.  I will try and stay closer to keeping my record up dated. 
But I am tired at times, so no guilt or worry I will be back as often as I can.
I am enjoying the peace. 
Peace is good
forgiving myself
forgiving others
accepting my life
I think this is how I feel
and I like it

Friday, August 22, 2014

Congratulations, you have been accepted by Big Bend Hospice

The social worker came yesterday and I told her how important it was to this over achiever to be accepted by Hospice, and so she stuck out her hand and told me congratulations.  She thought it was funny.  Most people she said struggle with having to go into hospice.  It was nice to have someone with my outlook.  I asked her if I would get thrown out if I did not die fast enough.  She was a little taken aback but saw that it was a real question and assured me that if I was to leave hospice we would tackle that then.

We talked about our lives and I explained how normal was just not part of my world.  My Dad dressed up like Hernando Desoto and travelled around the world.  I have had a Klingon accuse me of being a neighbor.  I have ridden across Alaska on a motorcycle and then Bug and I rode across the entire continent and back on his Harley.  That life has been filed with adventure and I was ready to see what happens next.  We had a nice visit and then today my nurse came by for our first meeting.  I am officially all set up and ready to go.

Then, yes there is more to life, this morning Bug took me out for breakfast at the Huddle House and then drove over to our old place where I picked up a lot of plants I had planted for this house. Then I drove home, unpacked the plants and laid down on my white quilt and enjoyed a quiet relaxing day.  Carolyn came by for a visit, a few phone calls and the nurse, that was a full afternoon.  I just laze on the bed, just enjoying the feeling of being right where I should be.

I was proud of what I accomplished today, just like a real person.  My life is happy and fulfilling.  I do what I can, I rest when I can't.  I mean how perfect can life get?  I don't know because it just keeps getting better and better.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A most wonderful day

There are important moments in our lives.  Our first tooth, first step, first kiss, getting your driver's license, graduating, getting married, having a child.  Blessed moments that we celebrate the passing through the phases of our life.  The moments may slow a bit as we get older, retirement, certain birthdays.  But signing yourself into Hospice was one of those moments for me.

I was nervous, what if they don't accept me?  What if I am too far out of the rules, the norm?  I got myself bathed and brushed.  I look very much like a sheep dog with my face covered with hair.  I put on something that mostly fit me.  Bug and I washed the sheets and made the bed.  My white cotton quilt covering the top, my pillow cases covered in pink hibiscus.  Bug brought in chairs.  He asked how many?  I had know idea.  The Hospice nurse, the two of us and friends.  That is the best I knew.  He has a hard time with my math preferring to deal in actual numbers.  I had not set this up so I couldn't tell him any further details.  I just thought it was a lovely idea to have friends here while you agree to release and let yourself die as naturally as pain relievers and anti-anxiety drugs will allow.  I am not agreeing to do this solo.  No, I am quite happy to have medical assistance, and to have people in charge of managing that who will only do that which will give me the greatest peace.  Isn't it a shame we don't have something like this for our whole lives?

 A little before 1:00, Pat and Jan came, then we had Carolyn and Marcie and Mary.  Denise called to say she had gotten a promotion so would not be able to come.  Of course I would love to have her with us, but this  is finally Denise's year.  She was just named Chief of the Aucilla Fire Department, something she will be amazingly good at.  And now, Senior Teller.  She has run branches of banks before.  She has opened and set up branches of banks.  She knows her stuff, but banks pay notoriously low and set ridiculous hoops to jump through, but she has held tough, and it is finally paying off.  With her call I knew that Judy would not be here. 

The Nurse showed up and I liked her at once.  The bedroom was filled with laughter and joy and woman talking.  There was lots of hugging and chaos, and I think Bug was a bit uncomfortable, but the rest of us were all happy to be together.  This was the core of the Jezebels.  There are other Jezebels, but this was our group of woman who have lived lives.  Many of us here had already faced Hospice for parents or siblings.  We are experienced about life at this point.  The Nurse worked through her questions and made check marks on her forms.  She got my humor and I think was extremely impressed by my Greek Chorus.  All Stage Company regulars.  People who love theater and drama, in the right place.  And as a chorus they added depths to the questions and answers.  One of the first questions:  "Have you selected a Crematorium?"  My response:  "I have been looking for one that does it by the pound and haven't found one yet."  The Chorus sang in with the name of the Funeral home everyone uses here in Monticello.  The nurse looked at me with a sparkle in her eye.  She went to the next question, admiring my drugs, schedules etc assuring me that Hospice would take care over all of this and I would not have to worry.  I explained I already was not worried.  I simply was going to relax and enjoy as much peace as should come my way for as long as it should be.  I doubted that it will be over anytime soon.  I don't feel like I am dying, I just feel loved, lucky.  As long as I stayed at the Oncology Program, people would be hoping for a miracle.  I had my miracle a long time ago.  I was born.  Life has been an amazing carpet ride ever since and I was grateful that I had as long as I had. 

All of these ladies, friends, sisters, my heart made the moment fill like the most important moment in my life, and the most joyful moment.  I am still vibrating from the love.  And yet, I am still not "accepted" my hospice.  They have to accept me and Ms. Sheryl said she would call me and give me a "Congratulations! You have been accepted as a member of Big Bend Hospice!"  The ladies explained it was like getting a part in a play.  You loved getting the call.  Ms Sheryl smiled and said that although that is not normal for Hospice she would be happy to.  I am still waiting on that call.  I know it involves paperwork and medical stuff and it is just as simple as it once was.  But not much is.

After everyone had left and I lay quietly by myself on my white quilt.  I felt a happiness so simple and real.  It was like I could feel it all around me.  Everything I touched, smelled or could see was perfect.  A well lived life in a beautiful bright happy room.  A body worn out from laughing and enjoying time with beloved ones.  Knowing that I can just live out the rest of my life without the pressure of numbers or blood draws.  I am just me again.
Bob and Edna sleep next to my bed.
The sun shines through the windows
The pain does not matter any longer
I am happy

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Still hanging in there

Sunday, August 11 I begged Bug to take me to the emergency room.  I could not pee, I could not poop, I was literally overwhelmed with pain.  I was dramatic.  They were wonderful there, took me, asked me over and over to describe what was happening.  I always try by reminding them I am an entomologist, and know nothing about soft body creatures.  I would then say it felt like someone had just jumped up and kicked me as hard as possible in both of my kidneys.  My liver had been sucker punched up at it at least a dozen times.  That all parts of my digestive system burned and ached at the same time.  My back hurt.  All of my joints are red, swollen and hot and can not hold my body weight.  I feel like I am going septic and if I knew what gang green smelled like that I would probably be a big clue as to what was happening, oh, and I might be going into shock from the sheer force of pain.  They fortunately did not ignore me, but at the same point we all knew that what I felt was happening probably wasn't quite accurate.  All the things were done, stuff collected.  When they took my blood pressure it usually brought me out of wherever I was bolt up right and completely over the top over whelmed.  They took the cuff down one, then they set a lower pressure, but it was a surprise moment of panic and pain each time.  They shot me up with Dilaudid.  My pain was 10, 8, 7.  I could live with 7 and I would disappear in the mists of that drug.  I see how it could be a favorite.  It is too much for me.  I enjoy the moments of pain that are somehow pain free in that they don't matter.  But not as something to replace life with. 

I woke up in a room, mustard colored walls, but with a huge window looking out where the clouds and the trees meet.  There were nice people talking to me and I was there for three days and they did get everything to clear and work appropriately again and sent me home to rest up for my next Doctor appointment on Monday.  I remember a tiara and wand and purple boa and then getting to sleep in my own bed. 

My joints are still sore and my bones and muscles aren't sure about how to hold me up.  But with a walker and trying things differently we are getting it done.  Bug has worked to a point that his back is completely out.  He keeps going, but I wish we could enjoy a little peace and less struggles.

But now as I manage these new drugs the pain is disappearing from my memory and my new memories are learning to live on the other side of chemo.

Funny things, my numbers looked great.  I mean everything was improving, but not getting out of bed for weeks on end, not having a movement for 10 days, all the things that are falling apart because of the whole have gone too far.  Dr. May understand completely.  She gave me the facts, told me all that we know and agreed that for me, it was time.  She would have willingly given me another treatment.  But I just couldn't.  I felt like I was fighting myself when I was not fighting at all, and was getting whopped big time.  The body can take what the body can take.  Some people heal themselves, others choose to be like a field.  The species that adapts the quickest will survive.  Unfortunately the species that do not adapt are pushed out.  It is how nature balances itself.  I am finally letting the balance begin.  Understanding that it will take my life. 

But now I will have the help and access to care to manage the rest of this journey as peacefully as possible. 
I am searching for peace
and I can feel it coming.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Beets and boats

I did not have my treatment on Tuesday, I did not qualify.  My white blood cells were too low and my liver numbers too high.  And it is my own fault.  I know I have to eat beets.  And I have simply not been.  Oh, I eat some for a day or two and then I forget and go days without eating them.  It is only antidotal information, but when I don't eat them my numbers go screwy and no treatment.  It wasn't until last night somewhere between 3 am and 5 am before I could think clearly about what I am doing to myself.

So because I have been so busy with pity parties, another common symptom from my liver being, crying.  I have not used my scientific portion of my brain.  This is not rocket science.  You pour poison, say like WMDs, into your body and expect your liver to take care of getting rid of things and you keeping going.  But my liver is compromised and WMDs are a lot to ask of a struggling liver.  It feels like food poisoning.  I have a nauseous headache, a little off kilter and feel like I will be sick any minute.........all day and night.  I can lay down and sleep at a moment's notice.  This is how I have felt for the most part for the last 30 years, and it still takes days, no weeks to figure out to simply eat more beets.  Placebo affect?  I don't care, it has worked for me.  I felt so foolish, I didn't want to talk to anyone.  My sister Sioux was so worried about me, but I just didn't want to talk to anyone. 

So, maybe today after I get some beets, I will start feeling more like myself.  I used to be a smart person.  I used to use my brain.  And it feels really good when I do use my brain.  sigh

The pain for the most part is manageable with the oxy.  Of course when I am not using my brain, and not eating beets, feeling nauseous constantly it is hard to take medicines that need to be taken with food.  sigh.  How complicated, dramatic and difficult can I make this for myself.  It even amazes me.  I feel like I should dress in a long silky gown, lay back on a fainting couch, lay the back of my left hand pressed to my forehead.  My mother used to describe that to the doctors when they told her she would never walk again.  Then all night long the nurses would find her splayed on the floor after getting out of bed and trying to walk.  She walked her entire life.  I have to quit living the Camille drama, eat my beets and feel well enough to actually live my life.

And the pain is not that bad.  No really.  Okay, the hornet stings on the feet.  That was the worse pain I have ever felt.  And I doubt it was worse then child birth, or torn rotator cuff, or nerve back pain.  But all of the other pains are more of a tool to help me understand the disease and how to manage it.  Really, I see people in pain that is so much worse then mine everyday.  Please do not worry about the pain.  It is simply another tool to live by.  And I could live a whole lot better if I would simply eat my beets!

We took the Ms K out yesterday for a few hours in the morning.  I first said I could not go because I had been up most of the night before with dry heaves and headache.  But I wasn't "sick" and I could be miserable on the boat as easy as at home, so I talked Bug into taking me out.  It is so easy, get dressed, grab the boat bag, a few drinks into the cooler.  We always have some kind of ice in the freezer.  Bug calls the marina and by the time we take a beautiful drive through rolling hills of cattle, pecan groves, century old oaks and planted pine.  There is also lots of scrub area maintained under Management areas and just a beautiful part of Florida.  When we reach the Marina we grab our bags and cooler, step on the boat, that starts up like a kitten purring and push off to the river.  We idle for a while, sometimes he will do a little fishing, there are a couple spots where you can open it up, and the rest of the river is a Manatee zone, so you get a little bit of everything.  And yesterday we saw 2 people on the river.  The rest of the time it was all ours.  It is the romantic version of the African Queen.  It was hot, but it was a beautiful August day.  It is hot in August.  Normally I am fine with that, but yesterday it drained me.  I stayed out of the sun for the most part, choosing rather to sit in the shade reading my book.  I am proud of myself for getting up and going.  Even a few hours on the boat was outside, in nature, quiet and tranquil.  But most important, we were there together.  It was heaven sitting next to my honey, the sun warm on our backs and wind in our faces, cool and fresh, even in the heat of the day.

But I was not feeling well and so after a couple of hours we headed home.  We ate in a place we had never eaten.  The service was quick, and food hot and fresh.  I rested when we got home, tired because I didn't sleep well the night before.  Sleep was to elude me again last night. But hopefully in my sleeplessness I was able to figure out what I have been doing wrong.  Such a simple answer.

The new chickens are lovely.  I had not planned on mixing them so soon, but these chicks were free range and keeping them in a confined area was miserable for them.  That and the little peeps are so wee that they could with effort go in and out at will.  Which they did.  My first reaction was to race back to the old house and get fortifications to keep these creatures pinned up.  But the side of me who is trying so hard to figure out what is right and wrong anymore, I decided to trust their need to be free and to run to the older chickens when they sensed danger.  The older chickens, and even worse the ducks are very rough in this pecking order business.  I have to step in at times reminding the older ones that these are banties and babies so they must be a little more accepting and gentle.  Yep, typical of Mother Nature's children to think we know better.  All the chicks are doing fine.  Since I don't have a fainting couch I spend my time on my little porch on my lounge chair watching the antics. 

Really what an amazing life I have. The middle crepe myrtle is spectacular with the vivid bright watermelon pink.  There are six trees in a straight row and each has peaked in its own time, but the middle one is something to behold.  Bug is finishing up my planters and now that I am confident, once again that I shall probably outlive everything as a slowly getting smaller and smaller until I simply disappear.  But for now I have so many things to enjoy.  Work that needs to be done, but I am not loosing sleep over it.  I will get it done when I feel well enough to do so.  Hopefully that should be in the next couple of days.

The sky is a cloudless summer blue, the dark green of August foliage and the vivid colors of the crepes fill the room like one of our paintings on the wall.  This one framed by curtain and shade.  From downstairs the view is not of tree tops but of the understory with trunks like columns reaching up past the view.  It is like living in the trees.  The house feels happy, the time feels as it should. Summer heats up running from August through September until the first cold snap should raise our heads again from the humidity and realize that the season has come and gone.  It has been a good summer overall.  We have slowed a bit in our pace.  With the beginning of August it is easy to forget that there is at least 5 - 6 more weeks of summer. 

I think I shall go out and watch my animals at play in the cool of the shade in the dog yard.  And eat beets. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Duck Eggs

When my sweet cousin Lori was spending a treasured few days with us our WiFi box got fried and because we live in Monticello instead of a bigger place they would have to mail us a new one.  So many things happening and going on and me with no connection to the outside world.  That was okay, I actually enjoyed the break from yet another responsibility of dealing with the outside world.

So I will try and remember as many things as I can to write about.  Mostly because so many wonderful things have been happening.  While Lori was here I looked on the internet to see if I could tell what sex our ducks might be.  The first identification listed on all the sites was the curly tail feather the male has when he comes to age.  It said feather, no "s" so I was a bit curious about that.  It also said that the feather falls out easily and therefore is not the best way of telling the sexes.  Apparently the crest also has nothing to do with the sex and they provided quite graphic details on the genetic possibilities.  Bottom line, crest or no, not the way to tell the sexes apart.  Each site then described the clearest way of telling them apart was that females went "quack" and males have a deeper and raspier voice and make the sound "rob".  Hmmmmm.  Bug, Lori and I listened but I have to tell you with all the noises they make, none of the described noises were identifiable.  We finally decided the best way to tell as with chickens.  If one lays an egg it is a female.  Of course with chickens you also have the male's crow, so that is an advantage.

A week ago I found two duck eggs randomly dropped in the chicken yard.  It was sort of like they were waddling along deep in conversation, and an egg just drops out, the duck wags it's tail and keeps walking.  We have picked up 6 eggs in the 7 days.  That would be a lot of eggs for one duck to lay, so it is still possible that we might have two females.  But we still do not know that for sure.  They are quite agreeable and take turns on top in their duck bucket.  I can not say that one seems to enjoy it more or less then the other, so they seem healthy and happy and we have eggs, so I guess it really doesn't matter.

Bug took me out to Aucilla Shores to pick up some new chicks.  I am afraid they are going to be banties so that will take a bit of work to blend the sizes, but it will work.  We have two that are older and bigger then the other five.  One is red and the other a lovely two toned grey.  The red one I have named Rudbeckia and call her Ruby for short.  She is sweet and lovely.  Hyacinth Ladean is the grey one.  It was the name my mother in law wanted one of the chickens named.  Of the other five, some have black skin and most of them have feathers running down their legs.  The feathers are allegedly from cochins and the ones with black skin look like they have some silky in them.  I have named the largest white one, Poppy and the black one with the yellow face Pansy.  The other three are still in the choosing time. 

A couple of the smallest ones got out of their cage but were staying next to it when the ducks found them and chases them out into the yard and through the fence into the woods.  Fortunately they came back and were grateful to not only be placed once again in their pen with their sisters, but Bug also placed a board closing off their space from the bigger chickens/ducks.  All seems quiet now.  I have already started planning on new gates and fences to make sure everyone is safe.

The weather has been beautiful.  I wish we had more rain, but the mornings have been in the mid 60s.  I wait until it gets to the mid to upper 70s and then I sit out on my little back porch and enjoy reading or just sitting and looking. 

I have been having bone and muscle pain in my long bones, arms and legs.  My ankles swell and each morning it is a challenge to see where the latest side effect will be and what it will be.  The pain is not worse then the stinging hornets, but my ankles are not able to hold my weight so I spend most of my time sitting.  I feel like a race horse.  Long thin legs, fine boned ankles with ballerina envy arches that when swollen remind me of Seabiscuit's feets.  The injury not bad enough to shoot me as a race horse, but the discussion would be held.  Today I was able to actually stand long enough to cook a little lunch for us.

We took Lori out on the boat, the weather was not boating weather when my baby brother and his two sons were here.  All Lori wanted was to see a manatee.  Bug was happy to play her fairy godmother and we came across a young mother and her baby.  The baby couldn't have been two feet long.  We turned off the motor and just ran the electric trolling motor.  The day was perfect, we ate grouper sandwiches at the Riverside CafĂ©. 

Ms Moon brought over another one of her amazing dinners.  This one was a salad, a white tuna, spinach lasagna and apple cake.  We ate on that the entire time Lori was here.  She has headed on down to Bradenton and is in orientation for her new job.  I saw sunset photos on her FB page, so that made Bug and I feel better and worry about her a little less.  We love her dearly and this is her first time to be away from her sweetie for this long.  Hopefully the family will be down here so and back together.

Bug has started building my planters so I am very much hoping that my feet will work again, at least a couple of days we week so I can bet my plants over here and get them planted. 

I have moments of clarity and acceptance that this could go on for quite a while yet.  I have pity parties from the pain and frustration of my lack of ability to do most things.  I wanted to take a shower and wash my hair.  My legs would not hold me that long, so I shifted from shower to tub back up to finish with a shower to rinse my hair.  But my tub is not appetizing and it is not a place I will take a glass of wine and lay back in a bubble bath.  It is deep, but it needs to be replaced.  It is fine for now, but I would like to be able to lay back in a lovely tub and relax.  maybe one day.

We hope to start taking photos this week of the house so I can show you what a pretty house it is.  Everyone seems happy, although I am anxious to get the Bubba's, my gold fish over here from the other house.  Harley has gone again.  Bug has been putting up an electric fence.  It is the mildest one they make and is for small dogs, chickens and bunnies.  Harley does not carry for electricity so we hoped that small amount would be enough to hold him.  We didn't even get it completely done before we took off again.  I feel like I should cut him a strong bamboo stick and tie a bandana on the end so that my little hobo can travel.  But I would rather he was home.  We miss him.  Life is much calmer, but we miss his sweetness.  The stress is just so over whelming when he is gone.

And that has been the biggest thing in my life right now is overwhelmed.  No matter how many moments of sitting on my  porch while a hummer flies inches away, or butterflies the size of luncheon plates sipping at the moisture in the dirt and the chicken/dog poop.  The sweetness of the hungry chickens racing to greet me to see what treats I might have brought with me.  There is a peacefulness with all the chirping and buzzing and bird calls.  We have seen half a dozen different varieties of snakes, more insects then anywhere else I have lived, and birds filling the woods with life.  Deer prints just at the edge of the woods.  But among all this peace is my battle.  A battle I am not prepared to fight.  I can not fight myself.  I simply can't.  I am not good at fighting, period.  And with the WMDs surging through my veins the war is there, want it or not.  I have found that just letting go and crying helps instantly.  It is like it cuts through all the stress and just washes them away.  Taking time outs and just spending quiet time in my dark closest just breathing and relaxing.  Finally trying to shake off the rigidity my body takes on each day to deal with what surprises I will find in my body and just letting go and laying in my honey's arms.  It hurts.  Physically, I mean.  My body is rigid with the pain, every few hours I can take another half pill and wait to fill the slightest relief.  But even then my back, my arms, my legs and ankles, my ribs soar from coughing, the touch of another person.  Whether dog, cat, chicken or human, another person reaching out and gently holding you up away from the pain.

So much more happened that I can no longer remember.  I have another treatment on Tuesday and we start all over again.  At least I have some good books to read, a sweet man's hand to hold, lots of animals to stroke and hug.  I have gardens to plan.  I have planned many gardens.  Now to make one that fits the me of today.

I have ducks laying eggs and new baby chicks peeping and scratching happily.  John C and his girls have also been quite generous with their eggs.  Maybe they are inspired by the ducks.  Georgie is surviving and I love my giant boy, but he certainly doesn't have as happy of a life as a mother would want.

So reporting in.
Doing fine.