Sunday, April 24, 2011

From Bad To Worse

If you've been thinking that posting has been a light here at Chez Bums, it's about to get even worse. My mac, which as been misbehaving for quite some time, has really fallen to new lows. After Apple's repair back in December, it was running reliably well, until one day a few weeks ago when I shut it down. For some reason, my computer doesn't like restarting. I mostly stopped shutting it down because I was tired of trying to get it back on. But I threw caution to the wind and shut it down. When it finally turned back on (after several false starts) it started up with a screen that was half in black and the login box duplicated directly below itself. Very funky, very weird. Roger zapped the P-Ram, started it in safe mode, and then it finally came back to itself. I did not shut it down again until last Friday. I must have lost my mind. But there were some system updates that needed to be done, and even though they required a restart, I did them anyway. I guess that was a big mistake, the computer has not started up in a normal fashion since. In fact, I'm typing this post on it, and there is an exact duplicate of the screen just below this one. It's a spooky world here. Apple is sending a box for it on Monday and back it goes to an undisclosed location where it will either be repaired (hah, how can they fix such a broken thing?) or Apple will send me a new computer.
In the mean time, I've set up computing stuff on my mother's brand new PC that runs Windows 7. It's a nice little machine, but it takes a while getting used to. I'm missing my Photoshop tools and haven't found anything yet that lets me crop effectively, or edit thoughtfully for color, light, and shadow. We have been seeing some very interesting and cool things lately, like this rose-breasted grosbeak that showed up last Thursday about a thousand miles outside its range.
It returned on Friday with a friend, who turned out to be a female evening grosbeak. We have not seen any male evening grosbeaks, so this may be an inter-species romance.
And speaking of romance, we've been seeing newts in amorous pursuits all along the ditch and in the little reservoir. They are richly inventive little creatures who seem to enjoy group sex quite a bit. They roll along the bottom of the ditch entwined in lovely piles of arms, legs, and tails.

Not sure when I'll be back posting. I'm going to try to keep up with my favorite bloggers, but I'm not going to be checking the robin and roger email. if anyone wants to contact me, send email to robin.andrea13 at gmail dot com.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Oh, We Forgot To Tell You

My mom is staying with us. She arrived last Tuesday and is staying until May 16th. It's a trial run to see if the three of us (Roger, my mom, and me) can live amicably and well together. So far, so good. Except I haven't been blogging or even reading other blogs. We are also sidetracked by life and good spring weather. We had about 700 pounds of chicken manure delivered and have been slowly spreading it in the freshly dug garden beds in the yard. We have pretty crappity crap crap soil (at least that's how I describe it), red and rocky. We're amending it as best we can. Thanks to all the chickens for their very stinky contributions. We like these chickens very much. We first came to know them through their very delicious eggs, locally laid and sold in the food co-op.
In the meantime, one of the things that has me wondering quite a bit lately is this: how do birds communicate with each other? They do a damned fine job of it. No sooner did we scatter a few kernels of cracked corn down by our little pond, as a sign of our deep appreciation of our wood ducks, when suddenly a pair of mallards arrived to partake in the offerings. First there was a pair of wood ducks, then two pairs, then five. Then, there were mallards. How does that happen?
Then on Monday, another surprise, the geese arrived. How did they find out? Who told them? Four of the Wood Duck pairs have moved on. We didn't mind, we only really wanted one pair to call our very little pond home. But now we wonder if the geese will eat everything and make a giant stinky mess (have you ever seen goose droppings?). Birds must tell each other everything, even when it's not in their own best interest.

Little gossipers... that's what they are.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sunday, April 10, 2011

chemo sabe

i wrote the following intending to post it the first day of no more chemo. then, in my mentally impaired state, it sounded awful to me. i'm glad i saved it. looks ok now. that's my left thumb up above. see the ridges? i think each ridge and valley corresponds to a two week cycle of chemo. not sure if the ridge or the valley is chemo.

well it's over except for some recovery time. i have depended upon the kindness of my wonderful and wonderfully competent robin, our loving daughters, our families, our neighbors, and our far flung internet pals. thank you all for your good wishes for my recovery and support during surgery and chemo.

coping with the whole process of cancer treatment, indeed all serious illnesses, is sometimes more difficult for the caregiver than the patient. i have the anecdotal evidence of two friends who were caregivers for their spouses, and of course robin and me. the most difficult "side effect" of my chemo for robin was my mental impairment, which for me was the most invisible, though i did have an odd stuffy feeling in my head at times.

i know that i escaped the more severe reactions to chemotherapy. i did not have any real pain. no hair loss. no gross or extreme gastric upset. no blisters on hands or feet. i still have slightly deranged digestive system. i get a burning sensation in my throat at odd times. my fingernails and toenails are very dry and brittle and one thumb has a painful crack that hasn't healed for more than three months. my fingers feel strange. my eyes are dry and sometimes burn.

i look forward to better health. that's my story and i'm sticking to it.


that's it. not bad for chemo-brain.

i am recovering fairly well. much more energy. still stupid now and then. thumb crack healed but skin still dry. fingernails still odd. i'm happy to be done.

quoting james brown... "i feel good!"

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Word Wednesday: Newts In Flagrante Delicto

Hoping for a menage et trois dans l'eau
But not quite getting there
These two headed off very connected and together
And Mr. Lonely looked so forlorn...

Sunday, April 03, 2011

In The Moment

Roger's 90 year old mother is in the hospital. Not always lucid, not always thoughtful. The world is slipping out of her hands. We can't restore it. The past few days we've spent many hours in emergency rooms and hospital rooms. Roger wears a blue mask so he won't be exposed to her pneumonia coughing, and a green glove so he can hold her hand. I talk quietly to her, trying to remind her of everything that is true in the moment. (UPDATE: Roger's mom is responding to the antibiotics and is feeling considerably better. She is going to be moved to a nursing home some time on Monday or Tuesday. A sigh of relief, but a reminder of what is only a matter of time.)

In two consecutive days two female purple finches crashed into our dining room window. The spring light has changed everything. I held their tiny bodies in my hands, placed them in the darkness of a cardboard box while they came to their senses. After a short while, they both flew out with renewed vigor toward the endless blue sky. I choose to believe that they lived.

The wood ducks have four ponds to find food in our little neighborhood. They come to our pond several times a day. Lately I've been putting out some cracked corn and sunflower seeds for them. It's both encouragement and gratitude.