Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011
The Toad
Monday morning dawned overcast with evidence of a light shower during the night. It remained overcast and I realized it was a perfect day to get out and do some weeding. As I pulled weeds, using a little clawed trowel, I raked back the dead leaves from around a daylily. Nestled down into the dirt next to the base of the lily I caught a glimpse of a beady eye! Upon closer inspection, I discovered a big brown spotted toad (perhaps a bewitched prince!). He was almost completely covered with dirt and leaves. I considered the possibility of kissing him, but already having a very suitable prince,and the idea of kissing him was quite unappealing, I gave that idea up. I carefully avoided him but continued cleaning weeds out. I wondered if the scratching of my trowel, and the tremors of the earth frightened him and was reminded of Peter Rabbit and Mr. McGregor. Alas! Peter was in much greater peril than my little prince-toad!

I adore discovering little creatures to whom I must appear to be great danger. Not that I enjoy frightening them. I just enjoy seeing them in their world, knowing their fear will fade away as I move on in my own world. Reminds me of an old saying, though I doubt I can quote it exactly. It goes something like "Most of the things we fear never happen." How often do we waste countless hours worrying over something that might never come true?

Monday, March 14, 2011

New Beginnings - Or Spring!

I have jumped back into my yard with a vengeance since the weather has warmed up and I'm done with all treatments. I still have to be careful about being in the sun. I wear protective clothing and a hat. The down side to that is I often feel I'm breaking out in hives because I get hot quickly (a side effect of treatments). But, my yard has captured many years of my life and deserves some attention. I know it will soon be too warm to work outside except very early and very late hours, so I'm working as hard as I can while I can. My back is protesting and I hope it soon gets over it!

I miss my chickens now that I'm outside again. They were a source of entertainment. We're fortunate that Lindy furnishes us with free range eggs, though I'm sure that will be seasonal as the hens get too hot and start to molt. She has 3 young geese that are so adorable! I do wish I could live on a farm and have animals about. I do love that. I suppose it takes me back to my childhood.

I had my port taken out a week or so ago. The incision hasn't quite healed but is coming along nicely. They close incisions now with something called dermabond. I don't know why doctors can't make a nice little seam and leave prettier scars.

Cary still complains with his hand occasionally. For those of you who don't know, he injured his right hand, cutting a tendon, while boning out a deer last Thanksgiving. He had surgery and physical therapy but says if he'd known what he knows now, he wouldn't have gone through all that foolishness.

I doubt anyone will read this, since it has been such a long time since I wrote. But...I just felt like contributing tonight. Giving my back a rest at the keyboard!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Life Well Lived

How do we decide someone has lived their life well? The first thing that comes to my mind is what kind of effort the person put into their life. Did they put forth their best effort, always doing the best they were capable of? That's really the crux of the matter, isn't it? Because from that one character trait you can look at how one treats their family, friends, and the rest of the world.

My mother is gone. She passed away October 23rd, 2010. She never sloughed through any task or relationship. She always did her best.

I could go on and on about all the things she did well and she did do many things well. But I won't. She simply did her best, always.

Thank you, Mother, for setting an example I try to follow. Proverbs 31:10 "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies." Rubies can't begin to compare with you, Mother.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Overnight at Fanning Springs

Katie and I decided to spend Friday night at Fanning with her children.  Lee joined us later after he got off work.  We stopped to visit Mother on our way through Trenton.  She was in a semi-conscious state, not really awake nor completely asleep.  

We went on to Fanning and prepared dinner.  I went to bed pretty early and awoke when Lee came in and again about 4:30 a.m. when Linda Grace was fussy.  I took her to my bed and she smiled and cooed for a while until she found her thumb.  I could tell she was sleepy, so I turned off the light and we both fell asleep.  She slept until almost 9 a.m.!  

About 10 a.m. I went in alone to visit Mother.  She was in bed, semi-conscious but would not open her eyes.  I sang two or three songs to her and stroked her hair.  She moaned a little and only opened her eyes once when I began singing "Red River Valley".  Katie and I had planned and packed a picnic lunch to take to the river, but Linda Grace slept on until almost 1 p.m. so we had a lovely lunch on the porch.  Later, Katie, the children and I went back to see Mom on our way back home.  She was pretty much in the same state.  The nurse told me she had been up for breakfast, though she ate little and they had been able to feed her a little for lunch in bed.  

How much of her lack of responsiveness is due to medication and how much to her true condition, I cannot tell.  I plan to talk to her hospice nurse on Monday to find out how much pain reliever they are giving her and if her condition is congruent with the medication.

Katie and I got home about 3:30 P.M.  Lindy invited me out for dinner so I took a bottle of Sterling, some cheese and crackers and had a lovely evening with her.  Bob was still there when I arrived but left for his Saturday night gig with his band buddies.  Cary was there also, but had his friend, Maelee over, so I saw very little of him. 

The photo is one I took last weekend at Fanning.  I tried to capture the sun's rays coming through the trees.  I am not satisfied with my efforts but hope to do better.  A friend who is a good photographer and I plan to make regular photo op trips together and I hope to learn a lot more from her.  I find photography very relaxing.  I have always admired art that followed reality rather than the abstract and photography satisfies that interest.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Time to Sow and a Time to Reap.

I love looking at fields after the hay has been harvested.  What a vision of plenty!  I've recently been putting up pears and just feast on the sight of all those jars of spiced pears that are "laid by" for future enjoyment.  I think I'll do a whole series of photos on this theme.

We spent the weekend beginning Friday at our place at Fanning Springs.  My sister, Yvonne and her husband, David, came down from Georgia.  We had a meeting Friday at Ayers with a representative from Hospice.  My brother, Marcus, and his wife, Sandi, also came to the meeting.  My mother 's condition has deteriorated to the point she needs extra care.  She is sleeping a lot, pulling up into the prenatal position.  She's also not eating much and often refuses her medications.  Yvonne and I knelt by her bed and released her on Sunday.  We just let her know we didn't want to hold her back if she was ready to go.  Her eyes were closed and I wonder if she really understood, but she did acknowledge me when I asked her if she understood.  Mother has never expressed a desire to leave this world.  She has always been a person that made the best out of whatever situation she found herself in.  I think that's one reason she has been at Ayers for 9 1/2 years.  She simply made the best of it and adjusted to the life she had there.

We have no way to know how long she will live, which goes without saying, I suppose.  We just all hope and pray she can go quickly without becoming a bedridden patient.  So, please pray with us that she will be able go soon.

That's about all my news except to say I'm enjoying my grands very much.  Olivia was with us a couple of weeks and of course, I see Katie's children often. 

Linda Gail

Monday, October 4, 2010

New Beginnings

Today marked a new beginning or, perhaps more accurately, a return to former vitality and pleasures! It was cool enough this morning that I made myself a hot cup of tea. I've been told green tea is the healthy choice, so, since it is almost tasteless, I put a constant comment tea bag in with the green tea bag. This begs the question, have I negated the benefits of the green tea by adding another tea?

The cool air also permitted me to be outside all morning. I took a few photos in the yard which I will share. I put away the chairs around the pool, cleaned up Olivia's "pasta kitchen" on the front porch, moved plants around and weeded a corner of the side yard. My blue gingers,white butterfly gingers and curcuma gingers are all blooming now. The white butterfly drenches the air with a heavenly scent. A most pleasant area in which to work.

Last new beginning is I no longer have chickens to care for. I only had 3 and yet they still managed to do a lot of digging when roaming free. They were miserable in the pen. So Lindy graciously came over and took them back to her place. Dolly and Daisy originally came from her farm and Wheatie was from an egg Lindy brought me that was hatched here by Francine, one of my samatra hens. The main reason, however, for giving them to Lindy is they tie Cary and I down. Mickey can go with us and I can leave enough food for several days for Sheba in her food dispenser on the back porch. I know I will miss the chickens but truth be told, there is a time and season for all things. My mother is not doing well and in fact, Hospice has been called in to make an evaluation. I believe she suffered a stroke a couple of months ago. She often refuses to eat or take meds and cannot hold her head up while sitting up. I'd like to feel free to spend more time at our place at Fanning just to check on her more closely and perhaps bring her more comfort during the time ahead. I do not feel her death is imminent but still feel I should be more available to her.

Now as to the photos. I find it difficult to place descriptions with the photos, so I'll just give a brief description now. The golden rod in my pool area just volunteered there. Our bees find it most enticing (as well as the love bugs! ugh!). The large planter beside is has seeding sweet basil. The little tree is an olive tree and should bear fruit within 3 or 4 years. I bought this tree a year ago at the Seedlings Spring Garden Show and it has doubled in size already. The neat thing about olive trees is they can live for hundreds of years. I like the idea of leaving something behind that might survive long after I am laid to rest. The vine is on my pool fence. I don't know the official name but call it "Butterfly" since the seed pods form a butterfly shape. It blooms spring and fall and both the blooms and seed pods are pretty. The other photos were taken on the south side of my house in a more shaded area. Blue gingers, a potato vine that comes back on top of my azaleas year after year (I love the chartreuse color) and the white butterfly ginger whose scent makes gardening a pleasure.

I really do feel closer to my pre-op, pre-chemo and pre-radiation self today! This cool weather has started a trend!

Love to all,
Linda Gail

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pulling Together | Pulling Together

Pulling Together | Pulling Together

I shared this on Face Book and realized just today I wanted to share it with those of you who read my blog. This little video says so much, and much more eloquently than I ever could, about how I feel toward all of you who have lifted me up over the past months. This has been a journey I am thankful that I did not have to go alone!

Today is my and Cary's 38th Anniversary. We met through my parents and I have to confess, Lindy fell in love with Cary before I did. In fact, she proposed to him, asking him to marry her Mama. That speaks volumns about the wisdom of children and the character of my husband! I'm so thankful he came along when he did and now 5 children, 3 sons-in-law, 8 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild later, I can truthfully say I am happier now than ever!

Our ceremony was very simple. We planned ahead of time to stand up after regular church service on Sunday morning and exchange our vows. Lindy and Bobbie stood up with us. We didn't want to make much of a fuss and with the exception of not getting any decent pictures, I have no regrets. The only photo I have is quite small and faded. Oh, well, I have boxes of pictures taken since then which my children are going to hate us for if we don't get them culled and organized!

I hope you enjoy the video "Pulling Together/Pulling Together". Simple Truths has a large selection of wonderful videos at

Linda Gail