New website...

Hello readers, I have been trying to figure out how to create a link between this blog site and my new website but unfortunately, have not been able to import one into the other. So, my new blog is found at
Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May 31, 2011-- Tired, bug bitten...

Yesterday was a long slog of a day--I took the day off from my paid job to catch up on a lot of the garden work that needs doing. Since it was the first sunny day in quite awhile, there was a lot to do including shoveling manure off the truck, into the wheelbarrow and dumping it on the raised garden beds. Then, the leaves which had been used for banking that still remained around two sides of the house needed removing before any more of the grass died from the weight of the wet leaves and lack of sunlight. Then, an area near the compost pile needed to be cleared of sticks and twigs so the second load of manure/compost could be unloaded in that spot. Fortunately my son came home with a friend just in time to shovel off that truck load. It's amazing how much faster two teenage boys can unload a truck than one middle-aged woman. Although my husband assures me that the second load was noticeably smaller than the first.
Lucky for me my neighbor called in the middle of the afternoon with the suggestion of cold drinks at her house at 4:30 as after all, it was Memorial Day, so the next couple of hours went by in a blur of finishing small tasks like bringing in three loads of dry laundry off the line and watering the greenhouse. A hot shower made me aware of the many bug bites on my legs as well as the sun burn I acquired on the backs of my calves, which stop in a line with the tops of my rubber boots. Drinks and snacks led to dinner and some wine, so by nightfall, I was pleasantly relaxed but also damn tired and grateful to fall into bed. And didn't wake up until 6:45 this morning!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

May 29, 2011-- Things to note...

It's been too long since I wrote a blog, a page or two in my book, actually anything except grocery lists and to-do today lists that seem to stretch on and on and on. However, I am pleased to say that one, I have not had a patch over my right eye for almost two weeks now and yesterday was the first day I did not need to apply any ointment to it (which makes my vision blurry. Better than no vision, but blurry nonetheless.)
Two, my husband has small bunches of energy which he is wisely using to help me do things like set up the garden fencing-an onerous task for two and really impossible for one, so I am grateful for his help.
Three, little by little the brush and wood from the fifty-plus trees we had dropped this spring by two able-bodied men with chainsaws is slowly being beaten back off the grass and garden areas. I tackle one small spot a day and figure if I am consistent with my efforts almost every day, I should have the whole area nicely cleaned up just about in time for the first leaves to fall.
Four, today was the first day I had eaten enough black flies and done enough in the gardening department to feel like I could sit at my desk and work on my book. What a treat to get back to writing after over a month away.
Five, having been sick myself and now with my husband sick, patience and enjoying the smallest things are so very important now. Watching the hummingbirds come to the feeders is probably one of our favorite pastimes these days.
Six, Life is short and I'm learning I can't do it all. I am setting priorities for the things that must be done for physical well-being, like the garden, as well as those things I must do for emotional well-being, like my writing. Some things will fall by the way side this year but I am determined that my book is not going to wind up on that list. So, on that note, I will go back to the Mayan jungle.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May 17, 2011--Three weeks and counting...

It's been a little over three weeks since the Bell's Palsy hit and I find today is the first day I have been able to go more time without a patch over my eye than with one. Although I still have to keep putting in drops and ointment to keep the eye moist which makes my vision blurry, it is a vast improvement over wearing an eye patch all day and not being able to see at all. Just having depth perception back is a huge treat and I was able to take a walk on a very rutted road today without fear of stumbling.
We are still waiting for the doctor to call with results on Jeffrey. He is doing okay; the most difficult aspect of all of this is not doing anything all day. It is hard to keep an active man quiet and sitting still. If anyone has good reads to suggest, send them along as I imagine he will be going through books quite rapidly this summer.
A couple of things I have learned this week--my wood splitting days of the past have come in handy as I have been able to split kindling this week, even with one eye covered. Driving is a challenge but doable as I made it all the way back from Jackman the other day and also navigated traffic in Augusta yesterday. Of all my senses, losing my eyesight completely would be the most devastating to me. I have had some loss of taste and hearing with this Bell's but the eye business has been far the most difficult part to deal with.
I hope to get back to writing about Mexico soon--for those of you who are interested, I have five articles on Suite 101 now--mostly about Mexico, so if interested, check it out.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

May 10, 2011-- For Better or Worse...

The last two weeks have been a roller coaster ride of emotions, physical ailments, doctor's appointments and the like. My Bell's Palsy is slowly getting better; friends who have not seen me for a week have noticed improvements on the right side of my face. My little lines around my mouth are starting to reappear--god, I never thought I would miss my wrinkles, but having them come back is a good sign that nerves and muscles are starting to work again.
The bad news is Jeff's diagnosis based on the blood in his urine, the CT scan and then a cystoscopy--bladder cancer. Jeff underwent surgery last Friday afternoon and the doctor scraped the inside of the bladder to remove all the tumors and spots he found. Those have been sent off to the pathology lab although we already know the result is cancer. I guess the depth of the tumors will determine the next stage of treatment. Right now, Jeff has 6-8 weeks of rest ahead of him, a hard thing to do for a man used to cutting trees, splitting firewood, doing gardening and the like at this time of year. No pushing, pulling, lifting etc are the orders, which means we have already had to adjust how we do some things around the house, like starting the generator. It is an old pull cord one, difficult under good conditions for me to start, and impossible now for Jeff to do, so we work as a team. He holds the damn thing in place so it doesn't roll forward while I yank the cord. I think we will be purchasing an electric start one in the near future, though.
Plans and projects for the summer are on hold, being moved to a hire someone list or a scrap altogether list. Amazing how something like this can change a person's perspective on everything and what once seemed so damn important suddenly gets dropped like a hot potato.
My writing has been on hold for three weeks now; I am anxious to return to the Mayan jungle and help my protagonist work through her difficulties. Soon, I hope to find the time and energy to get back to her.
I will keep you posted on health and other related issues as time and energy allow. May you all remain healthy and happy in the weeks ahead.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May 3, 2011-- Slow progress....

Slow progress being made here in the health department--no real improvement in my eye these last couple of days, but my tongue is less tingly, so I take that as a good sign.
All things happen for a reason and I have been searching for the meaning behind this sudden illness of mine. Especially since it happened right after a full moon/ovulation sequence where I felt like I was flying, on top of everything--work, writing, blogging, research, gardening etc. The lesson I think was that I was going too fast and headed towards disaster. I was spending so much time racing from one thing to the next, sometimes multi-tasking with various tabs open on the computer, etc. that I stopped paying attention to the little details along the way. Like that my desk was beginning to disappear under a mountain of papers and research books piled on the floor at my feet. Or that I hadn't really sat down and read a magazine article in depth--I had just been skimming them to get the gist of things before moving on to the next. Or taking time to just sit outside, doing absolutely nothing except having my eyes closed and listening to the wind, the sap suckers and robins.
I needed to slow down a bit and the only way I was going to do it was by getting slammed hard.
So, here's to the little things in life these days--the way a bubble forms on the rim of the dish soap bottle when I squeeze the liquid into the sink, the feel of soft fingers massaging my face to help with circulation, the taste of corn chips and guacamole eaten with both eyes closed, the grittiness of the soil on my hands as I plant seeds in the get the idea.
My mantra these days--take it slower, enjoy each passing moment, tomorrow will get here soon enough.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May 1, 2011--Rabbit, Rabbit...

Happy May! The sun is warm to the skin, the wind is not too cold, the light is beautiful, the last of the plowed snow is gone in the front yard...all signs that winter is rapidly becoming a distant memory.
We planted a new lilac, blueberry, sour cherry and two black elderberries today to add to the fruit/berry trees and bushes we put in last year. I plan to start a journal of what we have planted and where so that someday when I am enjoying the fruit from these trees, I can look back and go, oh yeah, that was the spring I had Bell's Palsy and did everything with one eye closed for awhile.
Slight progress on that note--I can almost close my right eye again--it takes concentrated effort, but it does almost close. My tongue is still tingly, like I used way too much mouthwash, no chance of a smile, frown or flared nostril yet, but the eye is a good sign. So, with fingers crossed, I keep moving forward.