Feelin’ Froggie

IMG_2291We have been in a drought for quite some time but finally, we have been getting some much needed rain. Just wondering, do we have to get it all at once? This is frog weather! It is smoldering here and the rain just seems to make it worse, feels like a steam room. And this year it’s extra “special” because the estrogen blocker I am on gives me hot flashes. So now I’m hot on the inside as well as hot on the outside! Everything is moldy and damp including me! And since Tallulah, the puppy, will not allow any throw rugs in the house (she seems to think they are possessed and it is her job to destroy them) the floor is in a constant state of mud. The heat makes her drink a lot of water and her lovely beard holds about a gallon, and she likes to share it with everyone! It is true when they say “When it rains, it pours!”

We travel often for work. We live on a small farm and have some wonderful animals, they are family. Little Tallulah is doing great! We call her Lulu for short. She is growing so fast, I swear you can almost see her growing! It is like having a toddler in the house. She believes that everything and everyone is hers. She does not believe in rules. And she has lots and lots of energy! She plays ball and frisbee. We go on long walks and car rides. She loves toys. Right now I am obsessed with dog toys! Well she loves them, all kinds. And it seems like every time I go out I find another toy I just have to get her! She has so many, I have to rotate them. But I must say she does really seem to enjoy them all. Sometimes she will pile them up all around her in the middle of the living room floor!

I have been trying to socialize her, by getting her used to all kinds of stuff. It’s really kinda fun. The other night we sat out in the backyard with her while neighbors were shooting off fireworks. At first she was a little nervous but once she saw we liked them and the treats started coming she was fine with them. I had anticipated taking her everywhere with me for her socialization but of course, about two weeks after I got her this canine flu thing broke out. So I am doing what I can to expose her to as much stuff as possible right here on the farm. And believe me there’s plenty of crazy stuff she has already gotten used to. Tractors and horses and saws and thunder, lots of thunder! I am hoping she will be a very well adjusted dog.

She is potty trained but…last week she had a little tummy trouble. And had me up all night every two hours to take her out for about 4 nights. Ugh! We seem to have gotten all that under control now. She has been sleeping through the night again. I need my beauty rest! So this got me thinking… how in the heck am I gonna be able to go out of town? My plan was to board her when I was away until she got a little more settled. But now with this canine flu thing there is no way!  And I won’t leave her in a crate for that many hours. So…on to the next project. A beautiful little outdoor kennel. I will keep you posted!

Relax

Today is a good day. I am happy to say I am feeling really good in a kinda relaxed familiar way. I have been very busy to say the least. I think I may have been over compensating for what I perceived as lost time during the active phase of my illness. I felt kind of “out of control” wanting to get back to “normal” and do all the things I hadn’t been doing for the last 8 months. I have a bad habit of forcing things, making stuff happen! But sometimes, as I am learning, you just have to let things run their course. So in the last few weeks I have been going like crazy, doing this and that. Go, go, go! The puppy keeps me busy, in, out, in, out, play, play, play!  Jerry left for Puerto Rico, so everything is my responsibility, yikes! I have started painting again, with many more cool projects piling up. I have been yard saleing. I have been playing my cello, even jammed with some friends! I have been cleaning and organizing my house and getting back into doing some much needed yard work. It has been crazy steamy hot here, of course it is summertime in Florida! I have been walking and doing Tai Chi. Promoting my artwork again. I have been eating healthy and taking care of myself. Researching all kinds of stuff. Back to doing farm chores and horses. Wow!

Don’t get me wrong I am thoroughly enjoying myself! I oftentimes look back and think I couldn’t have done this six months ago. Just walking to the barn was all I could muster! I am beginning to recognize myself again. I feel more like the old familiar me! My strength is coming back, my hair is coming back, I think it’s actually thicker than it was before! I now have eyebrows and lashes! I have researched, got approval from my doctor, and have started taking a supplement called Turkey Tail Mushroom. It has had some very promising results in supporting the immune system in post chemo patients. I am still dealing with some side effects like this crazy burning in my thighs if I stand up for too long and hot flashes and night sweats from the hormone therapy. Bone and muscle aches and pains, some mornings I’m not sure if I can get out of bed! But these things are getting better and I can live with them.  And I am finding that the better I take care of myself, eating clean and gentle exercise, the better I feel, mentally and physically, surprise!

So now I am beginning to feel like I can calm down, rope myself in a little bit and find some balance. Work, play, RELAX, repeat!

 

Happy Fourth

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I definitely appreciate my independence, Fourth of July celebrations not so much. Don’t get me wrong, the fireworks are beautiful and cookouts are fun. But every year they seem to have to push the fireworks envelope further and further, more, bigger, better!  Are we never happy? What if the fireworks display was just as good as last year? The crowds are crazy and we live in a relatively small town. You have to park a mile away from any venue if you can even find a spot to park. Not to mention, this time of year in Florida is pretty brutal, July in Florida is usually 95 degrees and 100% humidity. If it’s not storming, with nature putting on her own light show then it’s so humid the smoke from the fireworks lays heavy on the ground. Most of the time there are enough people in the neighborhood setting off fireworks that we can sit in our backyard and see plenty. And then there’s the fact that we live on a farm. With animals. And animals, for the most part, HATE fireworks! The horses will be spooked and nervous and my dog MacKenzie will be shaking under my bed all night. Not a whole lot of fun. We will make it through and I’m sure everything will work out fine!

One of my favorite Fourth of July memories was when my daughter was about six years old and we went to a little town not too far from where we live. We went with her best friend Candace and her father. We sat on blankets in the grass and watched fireflies, there were just enough fireworks and lemonade. It all seemed so magical! Oh for simpler times!

I hope you have a wonderful fourth, enjoy doing whatever makes you happy!

Summertime Makes Me Feel Fine

I don’t know if I am crazy but…I always have stuff going on! So far this year it has been a slow travel year. But that doesn’t mean I have not been busy. The farm is in full summer mode right now. We had a pretty mild winter and a wonderfully long spring but summer has come on full force! Heat and humidity. Constant grass cutting. Everything is wilting by noon! We had an amazing bunch of delicious peaches and raspberries this year. Grew a few heirloom tomatoes but other than that this is a pretty harsh time of year to keep much of anything growing (except the grass!) The herbs that are on my deck seem to pull through and hang in there, I have had my sage plant for years. MacKenzie, our dog, prefers the ac. this time of the year. The horses are sweating just standing in the field, I have to get up pretty early in the morning to work the horses before the full heat settles in.

We have had a pair of Sandhill cranes raising their family in our yard this year. This is the first time we have ever had them here and I feel privileged that they chose our farm as their sanctuary! It is so much fun watching the babies grow, and I love the little purring noise the grown ups make, it is so peaceful to be in their presence.

Just this morning I watched a family of Kites flying above the trees, looked like the parents were giving the youngsters flying lessons! It is nice to be here. I am very grateful for the peace and serenity we have in our own backyard.

So my mind shifts elsewhere…I have been painting a lot and designing some cool furniture. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a nice little vintage trailer to take to art shows and what not? Like a traveling boutique, you know, to sell art and furniture out of…

I FOUND ONE!

Chica Chica Boom Boom!

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The crew!

The crew!

It is that time of year in Florida, in July and August when you step outside you just can’t breathe the air is so thick! As soon as you step outside in the morning the humidity slaps you right in the face! You will be dripping with sweat just sitting outside, let alone doing farm chores. Even the plants seem droopy and tired this time of year. This is the time of year you lose lots of plants to the heat and moisture. Everything seems damp and moldy, even me! There is a never ending amount of laundry to do since you have to keep changing into dry clothes throughout the day. More cleaning of coops and barns as animal bedding stays damp and gets mildewed quickly. Horses are sweaty and gummy by 11:00 am. Bugs are lovin it! Frogs too, on some nights the neighbors pond is absolutely roaring!

We are in our rainy season which just adds to the dampness. We have been getting lots of thunder and lightening every day, in fact a house down the road got struck by lightening last Monday, yikes! The storms can be pretty powerful here. My dog McKenzie hates the thunder, she has a thunder shirt that seems to help, but she is still not happy about it. It is supposed to rain all weekend, I heard we could get up to 12″ of rain, better get the Wellies out!

If you have things to do outside you better get them done early in the day. Yesterday we made nesting boxes for the chickens. I just found out last week that we do, in fact, have two roosters. They were having a lovely crowing contest! So now we know for sure! We really don’t want to get rid of one as long as they get along, so far so good. But I think I might need a couple more chickens to try and keep the peace! Over the last few weeks I have been letting them free range during the day and putting them up in the coop at night. So far so good. It is very scary because we have lots of predators around here but I prefer not to keep them locked up. We have fencing and plenty of cover for them. I really enjoy them in the yard! They seem so happy running around chasing bugs, scratching around in the grass, and taking dirt naps! It is so peaceful and fun to watch their silly antics. They seem to be pretty aware of their surroundings. If I go out to check on them they come right over and if I sit on the adirondack chair they like to come and sit with me. No eggs yet, but I think it will be soon.

Just found a new pet sitter. We are heading to LA in a few weeks, can’t wait! Looking forward to a much needed break from this humidity! Can’t wait to hit the beach!