Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bees and Wildflowers

Yesterday Cary and I made a trip to Baxley, Georgia to pick up 9 lbs of bees - 3 separate hives. They are all now safely in their hives with their respective queen bees and are buzzing around, licking up sugar water. The first thing they have to do is dig the queen out of her little cubicle, then they will start preparing the brood box chamber for her occupation. Two hives will be tended by the Pierponts on their horse farm near Flemington and one hive is here near the house. Bees are fascinating creatures and these appear to be quite tame. I stood around and took photos without any special netting or equipment to cover me. A few lit on me, but no stings!

We had a great day, though it was a long day, leaving about 7:30 a.m. and getting back about 7:30 p.m. We stopped in Odum, Ga. and had lunch with Cary's Uncle Bobby and Aunt Dorcas. They live on the original land that Cary's Grandpa Trull homesteaded, though the old house burned down. They have a pond on the back of the property where they enjoy fishing for catfish and brim.

I was totally wiped out by the time we got home. Took a quick shower, put on my jamies and climbed in bed. Cary cooked a chicken pot pie for each of us from the freezer, so I got up long enough to eat and went right back to bed. I have been in bed some this afternoon, with my feet and toes freezing and feeling a little numb. The scar tissue around my arm is pulling and a little painful, more so than usual. Don't know what has happened there.

The poppy blossom is from the collection of wildflower seeds our daughter, Bobbie, brought back from her trip to Antonio, Texas last year. I scattered them around during the coldest weather, the chickens scratched them in (I thought they were eating them). They really came up very well and I'm hoping to have seeds again for next year.

How Great God Is!


Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Sunday Bouquet, "Curtains", and Cross Creek,


Mary Ann Rath Kelly brought it to me last Sunday after this lovely basket bouquet had graced the altar at McIntosh Christian Church. All the amaryllis blossoms came from a sunken, walled garden that Mary Ann's maternal grandfather, Mr.William Dedman, created probably sometime in the 1920s or 30s and started with 25 amaryllis bulbs. Most people called him either Uncle Will or Uncle Bill. Chris,Mary Ann's mother, took over the task of caring for the garden in 1952 when Mr. Dedman passed away. Mary Ann began the tradition of adding different varieties and other friends and relatives followed suit.

Chris and the garden were featured in the 1988 John Deere Calendar as Miss March. The garden is beautiful right now and Mary Ann has graciously offered for anyone wanting a peak to just drive by. I recently took my friend from West Virginia up to see it. It really is a wonderful local attraction with such an interesting, rich history. Chris grew up in the wonderful old farmhouse as well as her children, Mary Ann and Bill. Mary Ann came here to live with her mother shortly before Chris passed away in 2008 and has stayed on to care for the house and garden until Bill and his wife come to restore the house. Rarely does a home and garden have such continuity to nurture and sustain it!

A group of us went to the P.K. Yonge production of "Curtains", a Broadway production, I believe. Broadway couldn't have made a more professional presentation. I understand some of the crude material was left out(an improvement, I'm sure). Curtains is a musical from a book by Rupert Holmes, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and music by John Kander, with additional lyrics by Kander and Holmes.

Based on the original book and concept by Peter Stone, the musical is a send-up of backstage murder mystery plots, set in 1959 Boston and follows the fallout when the supremely untalented star of Robbin' Hood of the Old West is murdered during her opening night curtain call. Can a police detective/musical theater fan save the show, solve the case, and maybe even find love before the show reopens, without getting killed himself?

Our grandson, Cary, played the part of Chris, the director of "Robbin' Hood of the Old West" and had all the hysterically humorous one liners. We were very proud. There were twelve of us there which included his maternal great grandmother (90 years young), his paternal and maternal grandmothers,his namesake grandfather, a great aunt and uncle, 2 aunts and 2 cousins. On the way home Ana, Papa and I decided our favorite character was...Chris, the director!

Kitty Dunn and I spent Friday visiting the artist working during the plein air paint out at Evinston, then drove over to Cross Creek. I remembered my camera was home while visiting the artists, so we dropped back by the house for it before heading to Cross Creek and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings home. The farmstead took me back to my childhood, cracker houses, chickens in the yard and a small kitchen garden. Ms Rawlings furnishings were fancier than our plain stuff, but the house didn't look a bit more comfortable. My personal favorites of the four photos are the barn and the rooster resting under the shade of an antique Louis Phillip rose bush. His hens were sitting further back.

The rain today has been such a joy! We had our lawns sprayed for weeds last week and the rain should help the spray do its work. Of course, there were so many weeds we may have a brown lawn soon!

Tomorrow is Infusion #6 and the very last one! Hallelujah! I thank the dear Lord for seeing me through with you good friends to cheer me, side effects I could live with, and my dear sweet hubby who has been right there with me. I know prayers have lifted me up and I'm thankful for those who pray and the power of prayer.

Love to all,

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

One Little, Two Little, Three Little Biddies!

I tried several times to get a good photo of the little ones, but this was the best I could do. Mama Hen is very protective and tried on a couple of occasions to flog me when I was inside the enclosure with her and the chicks. Three out of four eggs isn't bad. Mama Hen was faithful and sat on those eggs through last night when the third one hatched. The fourth didn't make it and number three seems weaker than the first two. He's slower, and often stops to close his eyes, isn't quick enough not to be stepped on by his mama. So, I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't make it either.

Well, now that food is tasting normal again, it's almost time for another infusion. But...It is infusion #6, the very last one, so I can endure another few weeks of food not tasting good just knowing that I will done with the chemo.

Cary has finally finished the chicken pen complete with wire overhead to keep them from flying out and predators from coming in. I was beginning to think I was going to have to call in reinforcements to get the job done. It was a difficult project because of two different roof lines plus a little alleyway between the two buildings.

Tomorrow Shirley and I will be going to Sparr Elementary to their Earth Day celebration. Shirley will be demonstrating solar cooking, solar driven music box and sun tea. I am taking a sample of the quilt blocks 4th grade made last year using transparent paint to create designs using leaves, flower, etc. The little 2 1/2" squares are painted with the paint first, then the design material is placed on top, and placed in the sun. Once the material is dry and the design material removed, it leaves the design on the fabric. Each student completed a cathedral window square, which was a lot of work! I am taking supplies and will demonstrate on several squares so the learners can get a first hand view of how it's done.

This is Ana's square.

My sister, Yvonne, is having difficulties with her radiation which is stoking my own apprehension about my own radiation treatments. Please pray for her that the rest of her treatments will be easier. Her last treatment is supposed to be on Monday. And,dear friends, pray for me that I will overcome my fears and hopefully, not have difficulties. Others have told me the radiation is a piece of cake.

Did I say I like cake?

That's about all the news around the ole homestead.

Love to all,

Friday, April 16, 2010

Iddy biddy baby biddy

I'm happy to report that The Sultan still has a job! Mother Hen has two eggs under her, as well as the new baby. Hopefully they will hatch tonight or tomorrow sometime. I was surprised the baby was yellow. I guess I expected him to be dark, like his mommy. Anyway, he/she is adorable.

Silas spent another afternoon with me in the yards today. There's still plenty of weeding to do, but there always will be, won't there? I did buy a weed retardant that works for about 3 months, according to the label. It is a pre-emergent weed killer which prevents the weeds from coming back up. I haven't used it yet because I'm still waiting for the chicken pen to be finished (needs an overhead covering and a working gate). I wouldn't want them to get sick pecking away on this stuff.

Sorry to say that Sheba most likely broke up the mockingbird's nest. It was spoiled yesterday afternoon when Ana took a little peek. Sheba loves to catch birds and other small creatures and "play" with them. She has brought several bats through her pet door to the back porch, several squirrels, but never a mockingbird. But she must have tried to take the mother mockingbird from the nest. Those birds build their nest less than 4 feet off the ground, near the house, for heaven's sake! You'd think they would get far away from humans to start a family.

Sheba was just doing what cats were created to do, and that is hunt for prey. She later came in and curled up on my bed like the queen she is. She has learned to leave the chickens alone. The Sultan warned her off fairly early. We plan to keep the biddies in a little brooder box with their mom until they are big enough to get out with the rest of the flock. Lindy has 4 little pullets we are to get as soon as the pen is finished. One is an American Araucana and 3 are Rhode Island Reds. It will be interesting to see the dynamics of the flock, and The Sultan's reaction when his harem more than doubles!

Not much else happening around here. Just couldn't wait to share photo of our youngest member of the tribe!

Happy weekend,

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Manifestations of Spring

I was going to title this post "Spring has Sprung" but honestly, the weather doesn't know it yet! Such turns in the weather this week with a little windy sprinkle bringing a chill back to the air and the wind just continues to blow!

The mocking bird's nest is located in one of my favorite camellia bushes. I've placed air-layers on several branches of the bush and those parents got really nervous. So far they aren't dive bombing me when I go outside, but I've seen mocking birds give Sheba, our cat, a really hard time. Sheba usually holes up in the house when she's under surveillance by the birds.

Years ago when our children were younger, Evans Smith told Cary after church one Sunday that we must have raised our children in a mocking bird's nest they all sang so pretty! I've cherished that remark and have to agree, all our children have fine, beautiful voices. Each child has their own style, too. Well, enough bragging!

Silas has been out two days this week helping me in the yard. He's helped me move two large bushes, set up an arch on the south sidewalk and do a lot of weeding and edging. Now I ask you, how many sons would take their vacation time to come help their Mothers? I really appreciate it too. Of all the things that need doing around here, the yard work depressed me the most. I dearly love having my yards cleaned and spring plantings done. Well, enough bragging. Did I say that already?

As to my physical well being, my energy continues to be very strong. After the last two infusions I have experienced more problems with my intestinal tract and I expect the last infusion will render the same results. It's just something I have to work through. Food hasn't tasted good for a longer period of time and I've completely quit trying to have my glass of red wine at night. Also, the scar tissue under my arm continues to be a problem. It becomes constricted if I don't exercise or if I do. Sort of a damned if I do, damned if I don't situation. I still see my physical therapist, though not as often. That's my report on my health issues. Please pray that I can work through this last infusion as well I have the last 5 and that I can get a handle on the scar tissue. I really am very thankful for fairing so well.

Cary got a really good report from his doctor the last visit he made. His exercise and weight loss have paid off so well that the doctor reduced his blood pressure medication by half. Also, he thought he might have to take meds for sugar diabetes but his sugar level was normal - also attributable to his exercise and weight loss!

My sister, Yvonne, is just 8 days from completing her radiation treatments. She has experienced a problem with burning so they've changed her treatments, giving her 6 days of booster shots rather than radiation, then the last 3 days she will have the radiation again. Evidently, the 6 days of booster shots usually comes at the last of the treatment but they felt her body needed the rest.

Oh! And I have a chicken report/update. Tomorrow the biddies should hatch that our little speckled hen has faithfully sat on for the past 20 days. We had another hen trying to set, but she had her nest outside the fenced nesting box area. I moved her into a nesting box, but she was having none of it! These Sumatrans are really not far from the jungle. I mean they are wild. Anyway, I feel badly for her and I know if Speckles does hatch out a couple of biddies, she's going to be very jealous. If Speckles doesn't hatch out a biddy, guess who is going to be replaced? As fine a looking rooster as he is, The Sultan will have to go! Any takers?

I hope everyone is enjoying spring, chill winds and all. It hasn't been that long since I was hovering around the wood burner. It feels wonderful to actually work up a sweat now and then!

Love to all,

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mark's photo

Don't know what happened to Mark's photo in today's blog, but it previewed fine before I posted it. So h e r e ' s MARK!

So far...

This first photo was taken at Van Ness Park of the beautiful resurrection fern growing on the oaks. The next photo is of Mark, at the park, participating in the annual Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by the Garden Club. Next is Olivia in yet another Easter dress she received this year, and last is Ana and Olivia Easter morning. Blog follows.

So far I am weathering infusion #5 just great! My energy level is good and I've worked this morning in the yard, re-potting plants and doing a little trimming. I came in about 11 because pollen is at it's worst during the heat of the day. I rinsed my eyes with eye wash and rinsed my sinus passages with saline solution(thanks for the suggestion, Mary Ann), so I am hoping not to have a repeat of sinus trouble this time around.

I think the weather has a lot to do with how I feel, and all the prayers that are being sent up for me. I thank the Lord for both. I received some disheartening news from my cousin, whose husband has cancer also and has had a recurrence. His name is Tad, and he's facing a pretty tough decision after testing is completed today. Please pray for him and Betty as you feel led to.

Yesterday Cary and Ana left for an overnight chartered fishing trip, so I've had some time to myself. While I love them both, it has been very pleasant to do what I want, when I want and not have to consider someone else. Now if that is selfish, I'm guilty. I ate a whole mango right by myself for breakfast yesterday and later enjoyed an iced coffee. Now I know I could indulge myself when others are around, but somehow these indulgences are better enjoyed alone! I mean, I would have to share the mango (I only had one) and I'd probably have to make another iced coffee for someone who asked me what I was drinking!

Yesterday evening a good friend brought me the most delicious, authentic Italian lasagna with an arugula salad. Katie had shared some rosemary bread with me which completed the meal nicely.

Life is good, friends. I love every minute of it, alone or with family and friends!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Infusion #5

Well, I haven't written a post in a couple of weeks. (Nobody seems to have noticed!) Tomorrow is infusion #5. Cary also has an appointment tomorrow at the VA so it will be a full day for us. Plus, I have my bible study tomorrow night on Joshua.

Olivia has been here since Wednesday, having gone back to her mom today. She enjoyed coloring eggs with Mark at Aunt Katie's and an egg hunt in their field. She made a new friend, Ashlynn, who participated in the egg hunt with her and Mark. They didn't really have time to get to know each other, but hopefully they will continue their friendship the next time Olivia visits.

My recovery time from infusion #4 took a little longer than previous ones. I still feel very fortunate to be getting along as well as I am. I've had a sinus infection for which I just finished antibiotics. The pollen has been extra heavy this year and even well, I normally have a lot of sinus trouble in the spring of the year.

Nothing witty or earth shaking to share. Up until recently I have felt a buoyancy of spirit. Lately, though, I have felt weary of this whole process and discouraged about my recovery around my arm. Nerves were damaged and scar tissue continues to be an issue. If I don't do my exercises, I feel it and if I do my exercises, I'm sore. And...I understand it gets worse again once the radiation begins. This is not meant in way of a complaint. Just sharing where I am right now.

The weather has been wonderful and I've enjoyed being warm! I'm a little frustrated I can't work in the yard, but keep telling myself next year, next year, next year!!!

Love to all,