Thursday, October 15, 2015

Good Times, Bad Times

 Well, sorry that I have been so lax on posting lately, but to be honest, I have lost all interest in it.  Now, it is not that I do not enjoy hearing from you lovelies, I certainly do, but things have just gone downhill and I've withdrawn from a lot of things.  Computers and social media and the internet can be wonderful, miraculous tools sometimes.  And sometimes they can be the worst thing ever created.  I've been trying to read more actual books lately and just do other things.  I SO enjoyed the week in Florida with no online activities that it really impressed upon me that maybe life would be better with a little less of that stuff.  So!! but it never hurts to try!

Another thing is that while we were in Florida, you know I pigged out on all sorts of seafood.....and apparently that is another thing that I am allergic to or just contains so much histamine that my body cannot process it correctly.  So.  It took me over a week to get over the side effects of that and I still am not feeling much of any relief in just the general symptoms I had to begin with.

And on top of all that we had an incident with the rooster.  He had gotten very large and very aggressive apparently.  I'll admit I did not notice much because I have felt so bad lately, but he jumped on Little Red and somehow injured her back (or something) to the point she can't really walk anymore.  The confusing thing is she was able to walk around pretty well right after it happened but by the next morning she was just unable to get around at all.  She can sit up about what you see here and is very alert and with a pretty good appetite, so I don't want to.....well, throw the towel in for her.  It's been about 2 weeks though and not any improvement.  I've given her aspirin and even a little muscle relaxer and that seems to help her being able to sit up more.  But nothing even remotely like walking.  I want to give her a little more time though and see if she can't recover.
And Susie has been sick again with some kind of internal thing that gets her about every 6 months, so I've had 2 chickens needing full-time doctoring or looking after.
*The rooster was taken to a farm in the next county to be sold.  He came real close to the pot but Jack decided to spare him.

The fall garden is doing well though.  Thankfully.  The weather has been really nice lately.  I've read about 3 books that I enjoyed.  And that's about it.  I've been researching job possibilities because that has become pretty important.  I've got to get back to some kind of paid work.  An old carpenter buddy that I worked with for years passed away suddenly a few weeks ago; just after we got back from the beach.  I was pretty sad to hear about it and did make the 3 county trip to the funeral.  Was nice to see some of the other guys though.
So, there you have it.  Not a lot that I've really wanted to talk about lately.  And may not for some time.  I'll see ya'll around though.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Alive An' Kickin'

 Yes, we are all still here and with the living!  We just got back from a week long vacation down in St. Andrew's State Park, in the sunny state of Florida, where we had a fabulous time!  As you can see, I finally got to try paddle boarding, which I had wanted to do for some time now, and it was great!  I enjoyed the hell out of that.

 It is a little harder to stay upright that some might think; I was just mildly surprised.  But it's not terribly hard.  It is a great workout on your legs and stomach though. I did fall off one time, in shallow water, and my big butt went straight to the bottom and hit pretty hard!  That didn't do a whole lot of good for my hips and tailbone but it didn't seem to bother me too much later.

 The waters are beautiful and so clear at St. Andrew's so I could see all sorts of sealife below me.  Fortunately, no sharks but I did have 2 dolphins swim right under me!!  and several large schools of fish and a stingray.  The dolphins were feeding on the fish so we all went back and forth and round in circles.  It was great!

 Since we were camping in the park we had time to do all sorts of other things, like hiking.  Their trails are very short but it was interesting and we saw lots of stuff.  I was trying to photograph a squirrel here and just almost got an unintended shot of said squirrel being snatched up by a hawk.  Me and the squirrel were both very surprised!
 Tons of dragonflies but I was not able to get a good shot of any really.

 The beaches here are some of the prettiest I've seen anywhere in the U.S. and I've been to both seas and all around the Gulf.  I also did a fair amount of snorkeling and swimming and had a little group of my own fishes that followed me around anytime I did.  They apparently liked for me to stir up the sand for them because there was something there they liked to eat I guess.  At any rate, they stayed with me every step of the way.

There are tons of various wildlife at SA, as you can see in the following photos.  Most of the creatures are fairly used to humans too, so you can get some good pics.

Did I mention we had a great time? lol!  Those of you that have followed for a long time know that Jack and I have not always had the best luck camping but this trip went real well.

Our mattresses stayed blown up, we had a nice, shady, quiet camping spot, the amenities here are great; nice showers etc.  The weather was outstanding.  Warm in the day and just cool enough at night to sleep good.  I cooked a nice breakfast each morning but we had dinner out each night so I got lots of great seafood!

And to top it all off, we saw this bald eagle on our last day there!  Almost everyone else on the beach was too busy checking their phones or taking selfies to notice it, which was truly discouraging, but Jack and I were thrilled to see it and get one half-way decent photo.

One thing I really enjoyed about being there was internet, no electronics of any kind.  I'll tell you I did not miss it one bit.  We both took books to read and just enjoyed being together.

I'll be back soon with another post I think with what little has been going on around here..  Honestly, I have not had a lot of interest in posting this past month, for various reasons I guess, but I think I have a couple of updates for ya'll.  Just lots of busy work getting out of clay and cleaning up, checking out new work leads etc. and the regular yard, garden and chicken work.

Thursday, September 03, 2015


I know ya'll are probably getting tired of my hummer photos but I just haven't been able to get anything decent of much else.  This has been a very wet summer so seems like it's been cloudy forever.  I went out yesterday after the sun came out some and really tried to get some new pics but it just didn't work out.  I only got a few and then it clouded back up again and I just gave up. 
Things are going fine though.  Just been real busy trying to get ready for this last show and that doesn't leave me with much to tell ya'll about. 

And of course, it seemed like I had more that I wanted to write about but now that I finally have time to sit down at the 'puter I can't think of what I wanted to say.  I've been doing better as far as the fatigue goes; not quite as tired through the day, but seems like around 8:30 at night I just poop out and my mind goes on auto-pilot.  I will really be glad to get this show over with and a few other little orders done so I can just get away from clay for  6 months or so and see if that won't help things.  I suspect I will feel much better.  I also suspect that the wet summer we have had is contributing to things because there are tons of mushrooms all around the house and you can just smell the dank, mustiness everywhere.  When I go outside it's like I can't breath good. 

It's been so wet all my cantaloupe rotted and several of the watermelons busted.  The girls get to enjoy the melons, such as they are.  Most of them did not turn out to be very ripe so I don't know how much the chickens really like them but they eat them anyway.  I hope we get 2 or 3 ripe melons at least.  Some of them are pretty big so you'd think they would do something. 
Jack has done an amazing job of cleaning out that awful, over-grown garden so we can maybe plant a few fall crops.  I've felt really bad that I have not had time to help and he fusses if I go out there and start pulling up much because of all the grass.  I did prune back some of the herbs and clear out a couple of things there that have rotted due to the wet.  Half of my big sage bush died and I think my beautiful lemon thyme is gone.  Also, that new variegated mint croaked and I thought they usually liked a little damp.  This has just been an awful year for the garden.  Maybe the fall will be better and we can actually harvest a few things.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Small Swift Birds

An absolute favorite song of mine.  Lot of truth in it.  Don't neglect what you have in your hand.

I've been told that it's just the way life goes

Once the wildest river is now a trickle to the sea
The peak we risk our lives to scale becomes dirt beneath our feet
The wisdom of a life time always disappears untapped
Paradise once given will always be taken back
And the love you hang your life upon will start to slowly crack

I have seen people suffocate the dream
Forgetting to turn that one last time while she 
 watches through the door
Focusing on the garbage that she use to ignore
Thinking she looks so beautiful but not yelling it out loud
He should have thought to kiss her before he headed out
Just forgetting how fucking lucky you are to have found her in such a crowd

But we've seen a cloud of starlings rising on a crisp autumn day
We were handed the weight of a child sleeping and bore her away
We've tasted the tears that fall when saying goodbye forever
And we've seen the silver from a waxing moon wash upon the shore

I have heard about the lives of small swift birds
They dazzle with their colour and their deftness through the air
Just a simple glimpse will keep you simply standing there
Legendary journeys made on fragile hollow wings
The night skies rich with whistling each and every spring
And then there's the day we look for them and can't find them anywhere

I've been told that it's just the way life goes

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Looking For A Job..or....Spare Me From The Mold

this is not me but it looked very similar
So, Thursday I went to the doc and sat for 2 hours while they jabbed me with needles all over both arms.  Some of the results were very surprising, some of them not so much.  First off, grass is about my worst allergy.  Several types of grass too; rye, bahia, june, timothy and bermuda.  Second worst was molds of various kinds, including penicillin, which I had been told long ago but was not sure of.  Then came, dust mites, chicken feathers!, and cat hair.  Foods that I reacted badly to was malt, yeast, soy, tomato (crap!) and peanuts.
My allergy doctor is pretty sure that at least some of my joint pain/ exhaustion is due to these allergies.  I've also had problems with my throat swelling so much it was hard to eat and various other similar things.  I did also get the results of the X-rays that were done back in May and they said my hands and lower spine looked fine but my feet had a lot of evidence of "cartilage-loss" arthritis.  So, no wonder they hurt like hell sometimes.  Basically then, my whole body is in a huge state of inflammation and it's bad enough that it's gone into my bones in some areas.  My ENT feels it's pretty bad and is treating it fairly aggressively.  So, this means 2 types of allergy meds and customized drops under my tongue 3 times a day.  After 4 weeks I'll go to shots (not under my tongue tho!) and will eventually probably have to learn to give myself the shots. remove myself from the offending particles as much as possible.

Now, with grass, I don't even know how this is possible other than I don't cut grass anymore.  Which I don't anyway; Jack does it willingly but I can't really even help anymore.  I have to wear a mask in and around the chicken coop and don't let the girls sit in my lap much anymore.  Apparently, chicken dander is a lot like cat dander and I also reacted somewhat to cat but nothing to dog!  Chigger was relieved.
My diet will obviously switch around a little too.  I won't be adhering as strictly to the no-starch thing but some of the new restrictions do overlap, like no yeast or malt, because those things are in many baked goods and so on.  But I can eat sushi again!!!  just with no soy sauce.

The bad thing is the mold and for reasons most people would not think.  Pottery clay is FULL of mold.  The type I reacted the worst to is also in garden soil and compost piles.  So, this puts a big crimp in things.  Basically, I need to find a new source of income and get away from clay.  And no, it's very difficult to wear a good enough respirator while throwing and doing clay work.  Plus, it's just an process of elimination.  I need to remove myself from it to see what happens so I can verify that is the culprit.  I also need to support myself financially while I do this.  A number of people have kinda poo-pooed by decision to leave clay but I said, after a while and you are hurting SO bad and to the point of having to inject yourself with drugs on a regular's just not worth it anymore.  There is LOTS of other art I can do and if I may say so myself, I'm pretty darn good at some of that other art.

I will not go back into construction field work either.; my feet and back cannot take that stuff anymore but I might do something related.  I'd love to do more restoration work and I've talked about that before.  There is also sales of construction materials, job photography, quality control etc.  I'm really open to a variety of work possibilities.  Just got to get out there and see what's available.  I also have to stay in clay long enough to do the show next month that I was accepted into but I'm going to see if I can back out of the one in November I am also scheduled for.

So, I finally feel that maybe I am getting somewhere.  I do have some real issues with real arthritis but hopefully, some of this is brought on by these allergies and can be corrected.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Change Would Do You Good

 Don't worry girls....this change doesn't involve ya'll!  I have just reached my limit on these health problems.  Something's got to give.  I'm sick of feeling bad, I'm sick of myself even.  Sick of laying around here feeling like crap.  Sick of sitting in front of this computer all evening, night after night not having a life.
First step is I go tomorrow to have some extensive allergy testing done.  Fortunately, I have a friend who is a very good ENT that is going to help me out and do this and maybe it won't break the bank.  Or at least, my feeble little checking account.  I helped build this guy's house years ago so it does pay sometimes to have been an ol' construction worker.  If the tests come out like I think they might, there may be some big career changes for me.  I don't know what yet but ceramics may be out of the picture.  At least for a full-time job.

 I don't know exactly what I'm going to do but I know I'm tired of wasting my life.  I know I can't help that I've had these problems and it's not just something I can will away...but I've got to do something to get better.  Of course, I've been trying all kinds of stuff all along, and I'll keep on with those things until I find out what's helping and what's not.  But it's no playing around anymore.  I'm tired of this crap.  I see so many other people doing great things with their life and I just can't fart around here making a few mugs and such and call it a day.  And yeah, most of those people don't have bad health issues but everyone has some kind of struggle, physical or not.  I can't let mine run my life anymore.

 I have to insert a funny story here about Muffin, the little Silkie hen in the photos.  I've tried for quite some time to get a few good photos of her because she's so darn cute, but it's rather difficult due to her coloring and the fact that she will NOT be still for even a second it seems.  So, I was trying to get a few photos the other day while it was not raining and she just would not cooperate.  Well, I got kinda tired of chasing her all around and started taking some photos of some of the other girls, who are much easier to work with.  After a few minutes I started hearing this little chirping sound behind me and I turned around to see Muffin staring indignantly at me....

Why you stop taking pictures of me????   
 She stood there just still as could be while she scolded me.  I guess for not paying her enough attention!  So, I did finally manage to get a few photos of her.  Not great, but at least she was still.

 I also finally got the results of all those X-rays the rhuemy did back in May.  Said my hands and hips are fine (except for the SI joint) but my feet show a fair amount of "changes" due to arthritis.  The top of my spine is also showing spurs and growths.  They call it "cartilage-loss arthritis".  So, you know what that means....gotta get all the hiking in I can now while my feet will let me.  They are very painful now at times but I can go long stretches when they don't hurt so much and I've got to take advantage of that.  I'm still serious about hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up again too.  Just gotta find someone that will go with me.  Or not.  I don't care at this point.  Of course, I also gotta start doing some hiking around here in Alabama!  We have some wonderful state and federal parks and I just have not taken anywhere near enough advantage of those.  So many places I want to go still.  And so many photos I want to take of those places.  I'm entering the Outdoor Alabama photo contest this year too.  I'm not terribly optimistic on that one but you never know.! 

 So, in other news, the garden has just gone to hell in a hand basket basically.  I have had zero energy to expend on it and even less after I quit eating starches.  We do have a few watermelons yet to pick and I get a few tomatoes every other day.  We have been getting tons of rain lately, so most of the maters have split, unfortunately.  The chickens sure enjoy them though.  I still expect to get some grapes also and we'll dig the potatoes.  Jack can eat those and maybe I can have a bite or two.  I told him today that everything else needs to just be ripped out and we can try to get in a fall garden this year.  At least some greens, broccoli and maybe cauliflower.

How has your garden gone this year?  I haven't heard anyone say theirs has done really good.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Hummingbird Heartbeat

I always keep one hummingbird feeder out during the warm months even though the most of 'em I've ever seen around here was maybe two.  But for some reason, this year has been a boom for us.  We were getting six, seven or I fished out another rarely used feeder and filled it up. 

This one I hung from the end of the rafter tails right in front of the kitchen windows so we enjoy a show every day now.  Jack even cleaned the windows and took one of the screens off so I could attempt to get a few photos.

These are not great but they are somewhat passable anyway.  I'm still learning this fancy camera too.  Maybe I can get it all figured out one day.

So, I hope everyone has a great weekend!