The Orange

At lunchtime I bought a huge orange β€”
The size of it made us all laugh.
I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave β€”
They got quarters and I had a half.

And that orange, it made me so happy,
As ordinary things often do
Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park.
This is peace and contentment. It’s new.

The rest of the day was quite easy.
I did all the jobs on my list
And enjoyed them and had some time over.
I love you. I’m glad I exist.                                    

~Wendy Cope

Oranges are my favorite food.  Orange is the color for MS Awareness.  I love poetry and Wendy Cope writes good stuff.  Titles for my blogs are always kind of hard to settle on, but this one was easy. And so, it occurred to me that it must be time for a post.

Besides, daily and ordinary things are important. Tethers feel good when life is pitching up the sea all around you. Maybe your ordinary day looks different than it did at the beginning of the year (cough – Covid), but I hope you have found some level, familiar ground upon which to walk. Everything is pretty much the same as before for me thanks to my parasitic sidekick MS. It’s been doggone hard to walk the past couple of days, so I’m especially grateful for the little things that help me get through the endless hours of sitting. 

Cue a few of the pictures I’ve taken this week.

Part I. Light

Shiney cobweb
Sunbeam, sunbeam, I want to be a sunbeam…

Part II. Birds

The backdrop of my peaceful little backyard world.
Cigar or seed??
Somehow he reminds me of a Muppet.
A chipping sparrow’s senior portrait, perhaps?
A mourning dove perfectly displaying all the glorious colors that make it a personal fav 😍. Seriously, just look at those preposterous feet!
Friends or aquaintances?
You’ll have to indulge me, I know I take a lot of pictures of finches. Their songs, friendliness, and the sheer quantity of them at our feeders delights me.
Another senior portrait pose πŸ˜‰
I get so excited to see downy woodpeckers at the feeders, but I have to be quick because they don’t hang about long.
“But above all of them ranked the chickadee because of it’s indomitable spirit.” ~ Tom Brown, Jr. – The Tracker
Titmouse delicately holding a sunflower seed.
Carolina Wren (top) carefully chosing a seed…
…deciding if he has the calories for it…
…indulging himself anyway.
Red-bellied woodpeckers always seem to be smiling about some secret delight.
This lil’ nuthatch sang his heart out just for me!!

Part III. Cats

Pip (L) and Laudy (R – pronounced LAW-dee) just after I stood up from being seated between them…
… and now they pretend the other is not there. πŸ™ˆπŸ™‰πŸ™Š

Part IV. MS

Lousy, good for nothin’, traitorous legs. But, I ❀️ my yellow Crocs 🐊!
My new shirt πŸ™ƒ

Part V. The Orange

I hope you have a “huge orange” kind of day. God be with you! ~Amy

A Week Interrupted

There I was having a perfectly good day last Saturday riding around with my hubby as he ran into a couple of stores for our weekly shopping, when all of a sudden I felt a familiar pain in my lower tummy.Β  Within just a few minutes I felt the next stage of an all too familiar urge hit and I knew before we made it home I had a UTI.

Fun Fact: One of the most common symptoms of MS is bladder control problems.  The bladder has spasms and won’t empty completely causing frequency and urgency.  Because the bladder won’t empty completely, MSers get a UTI very easily.

Anyway, my suspicion was validated at urgent care that same Saturday afternoon and I came home with the usual round of antibiotics and some Azo to ease the pain.  I typically feel better within 24 hours, but when things felt worse by Sunday evening I knew we needed to go back to see what was going on. 

A kidney infection was what was going on.Β  I got a different script for a stronger antibiotic for the next seven days and then a thigh-full of another one.Β  They warned me it would hurt as they added Lidocaine to the concoction and said it would take about 30-40 seconds to give because it was “thick”.Β  I made it through the shot, but then nearly passed out πŸ₯΄.Β  My blood pressure dropped too low very suddenly, I got all sweaty, and felt myself going.Β  No big deal, I recovered and they let me go within another 30 minutes.Β  Passing out was nothing compared to the pain throbbing through my thigh! With hubby dragging me by one arm and my cane propping me up to stay vertical with the other, I limped and whimpered my way to the car and thought, “That shot better be worth it!”

I’ve had lots of UTIs, but this was my first kidney infection; I wasn’t quite ready for how hard it kept hitting and how long it took to feel better.  By Wednesday I knew I was going to live and felt back to my normal self on Thursday.

During the time it took to recover, I didn’t do much. I filled the lethargic days by hanging out with and generally loving around on the cats, reading an Inspector Morse mystery, listening to Dickens’ Bleak House, putting some puzzles together on my favorite puzzles app, and sleeping a lot.Β  Finally, on Thursday and Friday, I ventured back out on the patio for short bits in the mornings and evenings – to avoid the heat, another no-no when you have MS – and even managed to muster the energy to sew a cute little tunic with an adorable cat print for myself!Β 

There is a river just a mile and a half down the road from our house with a lovely bridge and trail from which to admire nature.  Hubby humoured me and took me for a while around noon on Friday.  Though I can’t walk the trail anymore, we traversed the bridge and took in all the special delights that fill the senses when around running water.  Birds chirping, breezes blowing, water rippling, the faint whiff of fish in the air, the sight and smell of earth and dirt eroding, tree roots erupting on trails down to the river banks, and the beauty of wildflowers clustered along the banks and in the undergrowth, or definitely blooming in solitary confidence and glory. 

It feels so good to feel better!  It was a good reminder to appreciate my general health, despite the MS.  I’d take a lot of crummy MS days over going through that again any time soon.  I hope you enjoy the pictures below and are able to get a sense of their feel and place for the ones not captioned.

A tired Laudy.
Waiting to be scratched…
… the progression of the scratch..
…finally leading to sleep in various positions.
Our handsome, big, chocolate Rex 😻😍❀️!
Those eyes!
Pip noticed this goldfinch at the window one morning. I snapped a quick pic with my phone.
Snickerdoodles πŸ˜‹
Hubby got new tires, always an exciting day πŸš΄β€β™‚οΈ.
It goes this way ➑️
I gave homemade tortillas a go…πŸ‘πŸ˜‹.
I took this a couple of weeks ago. What a beautiful universe God has made!

I hope you have a wonderful week ahead. God be with you! ❀️

And Now For Something Completely Different…

Sick of the world? Me, too. Let me divert you.

I like looking at YouTube videos and other blogs that chronicle the everyday activities of someone else’s life. It’s both reassuring and fun to see that we all basically have the same rhythm to our lives that encompasses everything from humdrum chores, to work, to family ties and responsibilities, and an innate need for some kind of leisure activity or down time. This sameness, no matter where we are from or what we look like, reminds us we are all created in the image of God and that He has bound us to need each other as humans.

So, with that in mind, let me take you through some of the things I’ve been up to lately. Along the way you will find some cats, a brief snapshot of the music I’ve been listening to, a little sewing project, and a few meals. Of course, there will be a fair few birds, too.

I think I’ve learned some important lessons while photographing wild birds that have resonated with me as pretty good general advice for life, especially at this time. 1. Be patient, nature works on its own schedule and at its own pace. 2. Always be ready, opportunity only lasts a few seconds . 3. Only about 10% of the media (in my case, photos I take) is worth keeping, the other 90% is missing the picture and destined for the trash can. 4. Remember that everything you see on your screen is only what you can see through the lens, you have to look up to get the whole picture. Conversely, not everything in the big picture is worth focusing in on. 5. Keep a sharp eye out for the things that are beautiful and zoom in on them.

(Yep, I like Monty Python. If you have to ask what I mean, don’t bother.)

EWW! As my cup says, I’m a CAT Person NOT an entomologist. It looks like I need to either add bug spray or something with citronella to my box.

As I’ve written before (here’s the link: https://amysaxons.com/2019/07/10/when-music-sounds-gone-is-the-earth-i-know/), I love all kinds of music and that definitely includes big band and songs from the 1940s. One of my favorite artists from that era was the British singer Vera Lynn, who was widely known as the “Forces’ Sweetheart” to the English troops. Sadly, she passed away last month aged 103.
As I looked out the patio door one morning, I found this Goldfinch on the stem of this Shasta Daisy picking the petals out one by one and eating the exposed seeds. I had no idea a stem could hold the weight of a bird, much less that a Goldfinch would destroy the flower piece by piece for the seeds. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it. I knew it would fly away if I opened the door so I got this shot by putting the lens of my camera through the slats of the blind and hoped the glass tint on the door wouldn’t result in just a blurry shadow. I ended up having to play with the saturation to make the picture clear, but it worked. It’s a favorite of mine simply because it reveals a part of the secret life of a Goldfinch that I never knew existed.
One of my favorite visitors to the feeders is a Red-Bellied Woodpecker. This one is particularly gorgeous.
The blue rim around a Mourning Dove’s eyes is stunning!
I hadn’t seen our little Downy Woodpecker for a few days, I was glad to see him at the suet feeder today.
He likes the safflowers and black oil sunflower seeds in the feeders, too. I guess the house finch doesn’t mind to share.
I’d never seen a bluebird do this before. He stayed stock-still prostrate for a good 20 seconds or so. Does anyone know what he is doing??
He flew up to the fence and seemed to be just fine after he was all splayed out.
Our first Carolina Wren!!
Maybe it will come back next spring and nest in our new wren box!
So, to end this peek into my life, here is a picture of me sweating it out under one of our River Birches this afternoon catching a few last minute photos while wearing my favorite cat shirt. I know life can feel hard these days, so dig your claws in and hang in there! God be with you.