MS Haiku

Energy all gone,
Feels like I’m in a coma –
A puddle of goo.

I think I’ve melted into and become one with my recliner these last four days.

Thankfully, once again, my feathered friends have come to the rescue and filled the long hours with the joy of their songs and avian antics.

Eastern Bluebird and House Finch
Cardinal at takeoff. I love how you can see the individual features of his right wing.
Female Cardinal
Female House Finch
Another Eastern Bluebird
I can’t get enough of our State Bird πŸ’™
American Goldfinch
Mourning Dove
Carolina Chickadee
Dark-eyed Junco
Though the image isn’t great, I was able to document my first ever sighting of a gorgeous Pileated Woodpecker across the road in our neighbor’s tree on Saturday!! This sighting was absolutely thrilling for me and I was on cloud nine for the rest of the day ☺️.

Another source of happiness filling my idle time has been the company of our cats, Laudy and Pip. They have no idea what a blessing and source of company they are to me, but I count them as one of God’s treasures gifted to my keeping. And they are experts at the art of resting 😻.

A person very dear to me gifted Hubby and I a fun surprise, a 6-month subscription to Universal Yums. It’s a monthly box featuring snack food from different countries around the world. This month’s box arrived yesterday with treats from… Austria πŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ή πŸ˜‹!

Hubby’s favorite was the Waffelz and mine was the Auer Baumstamme.

I hope you are well.

God be with you! ❀️, Amy

2023 Beginnings

Watching the water flow at the lake in our neighborhood park.
MS gal and her scooter
Beauty in death and a promise of what will be again.
Even the sun’s rays were windy πŸ’¨
My favorite bench
Pretty corner in our backyard
I decided to clean out the empty bird boxes for the season…
… and found the partial remains of a Carolina Wren egg 🧑.

Hubby and I celebrated 17 years of wedded bliss last week πŸ’ž. First thing he did that morning? Cleaned the windows so I had a better view of the birds. Love and happiness – just look at that smile – are found in the doing of little things.

May you find your greatest joy in Christ this year and always. God be with you! ❀️, Amy

Christmassy Christmas Cheer To You and Your Kin!

Christmas tidings to you, my friend! Here’s a peek of Christmas at our house.

Welcome to our home!
Our tree is up!
Putting ornaments on the tree brings back so many memories, like this one. My Mom went to France in 1986 and brought me this sweet, hand painted cat with a lace collar and velvet body. She was always thinking of us girls ❀️.
I think Mom got this ornament for me from our local craft fair one year.
This is one of my favorites from Mom – whimsical and preposterous kitty vibes!
I remember Mom getting this little chap at the Tower of London gift shop on one of the many vacations she took us girls on.
Mom loved hippos and, in her later years, this was one of her favorite ornaments. I cherish her memory and hang it with love on my own tree now. I always miss her, but especially at Christmas.
Hubby and I went to London for our honeymoon. We’ve been back several times since but see fewer and fewer of these classic fixtures on the streets each time.
This came from one of the shoppes on the Royal Mile heading up to the Edinburg Castle. My Grandma Lois’ side were Dunwoodies, hale and hearty Scots they were!
I chose this sweet little robin from my stepmom Beverly’s collection of ornaments after she passed.
This friendly gingerbread man used to hang on Hubby’s family tree when he was growing up but now waves “Hello” from ours.
I got this for Hubby a few years back, he’s an avid cyclist 🚲. It’s cute, just like he is πŸ˜‰!
I found a pattern for gnome placemats a couple of weeks ago and decided to give it a go. I was going to make several as gifts but it was a LOT of work! What do you think, is it worth the effort to make more? πŸ€”
The 3-D tree was a sewing/quilting project from a couple years back when I was first learning to quilt on my machine and… you can tell I was a beginner. It almost caused me to lose my sanity so, despite it’s imperfections, I display it proudly as a tribute to my sheer determination and sewing grit πŸ’ͺ.🀭
So…I may have ordered some chocolates from Belgium as a “gift” to myself. 🀫
There are 27 delectable goodies packed into this box. My plan is to have one a day like an Advent Calendar, which means I can have THREE on the 24th πŸ˜‹!
Of course, I can’t buy myself gifts without remembering to give something special to my feathered friends. They bring me incalculable year-round joy.

I wish YOU a wonderful, happy, healthy, festive Christmas season! Thanks for stopping by today. May God be with you! ❀️, Amy

“Keep Going”

Thank you for the encouragement to keep Amy’s Axons going. I received numerous texts, messages, emails, and FB posts saying this little blog is meaningful to my friends and family. The most important voice was my Hubby’s, he said it was “worthwhile” and “meaningful”. So, I will continue to share snippets of my life with you and hope you continue to enjoy the content.

Although most of the leaves have succumbed to the great gusts of wind in the Ozarks the last couple of days, I was able to photograph a few places close to our house in mid-October. Looking through these makes me hungry for pumpkin bread, such are the fall vibes.

The day before the first frost of the season (a couple of weeks ago) I caught these butterflies on our butterfly bushes.

This chickadee was so obliging that he posed in the most photogenic spot in the backyard and allowed me to capture his loveliness.

I somehow managed to squeeze the trigger at just the right moment as the twigs were parted by the wind and caught an unobscured pic of this handsome house finch.

My Mom is always in my heart but especially today. I cherish my memories of her and the love she always gave me.

Purple flowers (her favorite color) and a good cleaning of her headstone. Happy birthday, Mom!

May God be with you. ❀️, Amy

Where Have You Been and Where Are You Going, Amy’s Axons?

Mellow sunshine through river birch leaves

Hello friends! It’s been a while. Today is a good MS day so I thought I’d write a wee bit.

As you can see…

… I’ve been enjoying the butterfly bushes we planted just last spring. It’s easy to say they love the corner of the yard we chose for them.

I’ve only ventured to the neighborhood lake once since the last time I posted pictures. Sadly, our neighborhood lost their groundskeeper and they’ve not had much luck finding a consistent replacement. As a result, the lake is looking pretty weedy and rough. I know they will get it sorted sooner or later, so I probably won’t hang out much over there until it’s cleaned up. However, I was able to get a shot of a beautiful blue dragonfly.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time watching the birds at our feeders and on the trees at home. Shocking, I know 🀭.

This is the last chipping sparrow still here before migrating.

So, on to the main thing. I’ve really been thinking about my blog these past few months. As you can tell if you’ve been following Amy’s Axons for very long, I haven’t been posting much.

Getting ready for takeoff!

Soon after taking full-time retirement in February of 2019 I started my blog as a way to stay busy and feel a bit of a connection to the world. I wrote quite a bit the first year or so before changing the format to more of a photo album of my life.

The first hummingbird feeder I ever put out and I got a trio of hummers within the first week πŸ₯³!

Since getting my Canon Rebel t8 it has felt like a whole new world of opportunities has opened up. Photography has become a very fulfilling pursuit and outlet for the artistic side of my personality. It has meshed beautifully with my love of birding.

This female cardinal has almost finished molting.

Something has been missing, though. I feel like I should be and want to be writing more and not just relying on photos to fill the space. I suppose I feel a bit intellectually lazy, but mostly I feel reluctant. It isn’t for a lack of topics – I’ve thought about writing on a host of different subjects and have even fleshed some of them out in rough drafts. But, the climate of the world and its intolerance of free ideas has left me cold and I realize I will never publish any of them.

Red!
A house finch convention 🀝

There is one exception: I’m not reluctant or afraid to defend my faith and belief in God, not here online or anywhere else. I know Jesus Christ is the only true Son of God, that all scripture and prophecy pointed to Him, that He fulfilled all prophecy and came and died as an atonement for our sins, that He rose from the grave on the third day and later ascended into heaven, that He will come back, we all will be judged before God the Father by whether or not we have named Him as Lord of our lives and lived according to His Word, and those who are His will spend eternity with Him and God our Father, while all who have not named Him as Lord will be eternally condemned. (Please let me know if you want to know more about Christ, I’d love to talk to you about Him!) It’s everything else that can’t be said without censure. I don’t want to be trolled and fight the nastiness of the world online.

White-breasted nuthatch
Downy woodpecker

I have never had a bad experience here on my blog, probably because I haven’t shared my thoughts on serious subjects. Looking back, I think I thought I would when I started Amy’s Axons. I realize now that I never will share them in this type of forum because it’s too impersonal for me to feel comfortable. If I’m ever going to discuss sensitive topics, I want it to be within a personal relationship with my conversational partner(s) so we can still feel the tie of humanity between us. The respect of equality of mind, though different conclusions, is essential to talking through viewpoints that are at odds between people.

Black-capped chickadees are so fun to watch ❀️
I’ve had several bluejays at my suet feeder these past several weeks. They are noisy critters but absolutely striking to watch.

Anyway, I don’t know where I’m going with this blog anymore. I haven’t decided if I will continue it or if I’ve outgrown the need I had for it when I started it. I suppose time will tell and you will know as soon as I do πŸ˜‰.

This crow sat in our neighbor’s tree across the street for several hours a couple of weeks back and cawed and cawed and cawed some more into the silence. Finally, as I was packing my things up to go inside, it got a response and flew away to find the voice that had answered. I haven’t seen it since. πŸ€”

Whether I continue my blog or not, I want to thank you for being here. Thank you to those who have stayed from the very beginning, I truly appreciate your interest and care about my life, particularly those who have prayed for me over the years. And thank you to those who have joined somewhere along the way, knowing you felt like this was worth joining in on has given me great joy.

May God be with you! ❀️, Amy

Arkansas, The Natural State

Long weekends should be spent in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. Forget your images of hillbillies and poverty and replace them with rivers, lakes, trees, mountains, and lush, green glens. The drive between Springfield, MO and Hot Springs, AR is eye candy all the way. We kayaked on Lake Hamilton, lazed around in hammocks, drove up and down some switchback roads of the surrounding mountains, sat on the dock behind the house and watched the dragonflies whiz to and fro, dipped our toes in the water, and ate some really good food.

View from the dock behind our house
Yep, we made s’mores
Hubby took this shot along one of the roads he cycled on Friday morning.
Study in blue and green
πŸ¦†πŸ¦†πŸ¦†
🌸
It’s not an Amy’s Axons post without a bird picture
I may have to get a chair hammock…whee!

Do yourself a favor, go to Arkansas! God be with you. ❀️, Amy

Too Hot To Bother and MS Update

As you can see, my life has revolved mostly around our cats Laudy and Pip. That’s as it should be for a crazy cat lady. I did squeeze in making some delicious English muffins; they didn’t last long. They were especially good with some Tiptree Raspberry Jam made in England πŸ˜‹.

Southwest Missouri has been in the grips of a severe drought this summer made worse by excessive heat over 100Β°F these last couple of weeks. As a result, I’ve not been out of the house much because MS and heat don’t mix well. Summer has traded her usually lush green frock for a drab yellowish-brown garb that isn’t nearly as attractive. We may get some rain later this week, it’s gotta come sometime!

The MS Update Part: You may remember that a few years ago I started taking a drug for my MS named Ocrevus. It was an IV infusion given every six months and I was able to get the last couple of doses at home through home infusion nursing. Well, after a lot of prayer and discussion with my neurologist, I have decided to stop taking the drug. This will be the first time in 26 years that I will not be on a disease modifying therapy. My disease has continued to progress, in the normal course of things, to a place where there are no current drugs to treat it. I’ve known I’ve had Secondary Progressive MS for the last few years but opted to treat it with the drugs available for Relapsing Remitting MS because nothing else was available. Ocrevus has some significant side effects when used long-term and I’ve reached the point where the risks outweigh the benefits. Not everyone with MS may agree with my decision but, for better or for worse, no one else has to live with the results but me. As always with MS, no two people have the same disease progression or outcomes. Though I appreciate the concern and good will of others, please don’t send me articles and cures to try. I am probably already aware of whatever you’ve found on the internet or what your aunt’s cousin’s friend’s dad tried and how it “cured” him. I chose to educate myself about MS as soon as I was diagnosed and have stayed on top of research as well as drugs, diets, and homeopathic interventions ever since.

I am quite at peace with my decision, I’ve known this was coming for a long time. I’ve had 32 years to get used to my MS, we’ve sort of grown up together and understand each other πŸ˜‰. As always, I appreciate your prayers. Considering how long I’ve had MS I know I am doing very well related to many others. I can still walk some for short periods of time and I can independently take care of most of my daily living needs. My wonderful hubby is my right hand and I know God gave me a tremendous gift when He gave Todd to me. My sister and Dad are always ready to help at the drop of a hat and my Mom-in-law is only a phone call away and has come to the rescue on more than one occasion. I also have a loving and supportive church family, as well as good friends who care and always offer to help me whenever needed.

Thanks for coming by to catch up today, I know it’s been a while since I last wrote. When things cool off a bit I’ll probably be more likely to post more often. May God be with you! ❀️, Amy

A Beautiful Day In the Ozarks

Sunny with a high of 78* F and a gentle breeze. I rode my scooter to the neighborhood lake and spent a couple hours besotted by God’s creation.

The touch of amber on the wings is stunning 😍
Yellow on black good for Jack
These wings shimmered like diamonds in the sun.
Amberwings are my personal favorite.
I love πŸ’š dragonflies!
Eyes in the moss
Can you see that tail?
Though I’m pretty sure this is the equivalent of a weed in the water, the colors are striking.
Daylily

Thanks for stopping by. May God be with you. ❀, Amy

A Week In My Life

Sunday was a beautiful day in the Ozarks so Hubby took me for a drive after church.
First thing Monday morning one of our cats puked her breakfast all over the blanket on our bed. So, laundry.
I listened to some classic rock while sewing up a tote bag on Monday.
One of Hubby’s work friends has been sharing with us some of the surplus eggs her hens have been laying. She loves the St. Louis Blues, so I found some themed fabric and made this up for her.
I don’t care about hockey, but I love the yellow and blue together.
Tuesday afternoon I rode my scooter to the little lake in our neighborhood and took a few photos.
Wednesday was a rest day. Pip and I watched the birds together πŸ₯°.
After work on Thursday, Hubby and I went to my Dad’s for dinner. Hubby then helped Dad clean out the gutters and…
…weed eat.
Dad worked hard too.
I sewed up a couple more totes on Friday. I think I’ve now made 13 bags from this pattern over the last year.
The cupcakes look yummy πŸ˜‹!
I love the pockets, they make the bag very versatile.
Friday was a tough MS day with very limited energy. I was pretty proud that I was able to get the kitchen cleaned.
Today, Saturday, has been another MS dominant day. I sat on the patio this afternoon and enjoyed watching the birds and this little fella.
I think squirrels are funny and cute, though I know they can be pests.

I hope you are doing well. God be with you! ❀️, Amy