Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Blessings of Good Weather

Though I haven’t been able to get about much this second session of chemo, it has been more pleasant in that it has given me more of the better days I was hoping for. With that, the weather also cooperated by providing a sunny warm autumn with cool light breezes. The colours have remained longer and the air so fresh, that each day that I did have strength to walk, I tried to get out as often as possible.

Away for the Season
With my previous idea of a photography show in mind, I finally found the correct settings and light to get the effect for the pictures that I had been practicing with several outings previous. I succeeded in getting a good motion blur and a handle of moving the camera, so that I was getting the pictures of things I found on the roadside during my walks. As I couldn’t really attempt long photo shoots and the woods, this has become my focus for now.

My Spouse in a Puddle
Meanwhile I am supervising the regular fall cleanup preparation for the coming cold months. Most of the actual work is done by my husband, who has been taking great care of me during my chemotherapy. We gathered all the figurines in the garden and washed them for storage. We dumped some flower pots as well and put them away. He continued the cleanup with repairs of gravel on the driveway ruts and will soon put the chains on the tractor and get out the blades. The first snowfall last year was the beginning of November. I will still be in chemo throughout November so hopefully a milder start can see me outdoors again for a few of those days.

We lost most of the summer this year but I have big plans for next year. I will be putting in my order at Vesey Seeds in the early Spring or sooner for more bulbs, seeds, two more apple trees, as well as visiting the local garden centres to fill my flower pots again. This year I plan to purchase the cloth to suppress the weeds around each bed. There will be an order of good soil and manure for such beds as I wish to build them in a higher mound. I intend to make up for the dismal display of our gardens in the next year as well as get the farmer in for more haying in the lower fields which require a larger tractor than ours to stay afloat in the wet areas. The biggest thrill will be that I will be able to participate in this venture once again.
Gravel for the Driveway
Our house in Autumn

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Cooler Breezes Blow Softly

Cooler Breezes Blow Softly

High Hay
Spending many warm and hot days on the deck during convalescence this summer, had given me a new appreciation for the area in which I live. Gentle walks along the roadside while I build strength, marked by the distance I increased, gave me time to meet and talk with the neighbours as they gave their wishes for my recovery. It is indeed a good place in which we settled. Unable to assist my spouse in chores, i watched him take on more for my health’s sake. A great companion and caretaker he became or always was, and just needed a situation to show his strength and fortitude.

We didn’t make the mark in many chore areas what with travel and a lone worker. Not all the flowers survived in the beds as the weeds took over; despite his constant attempts to chase them as they grew. The hay could’t be caught and is very high in some areas and along the driveway. some of them are creeping into the drive narrowing it slightly. It’s amazing how nature tries to reclaim more land that we thought was our domain. The garden is finally coming after a slow start and some bug infestation. We are reaping the harvest now. 

Inside the house, it  still needs walls in the basement and shelving upstairs. But maybe the winter will see some work there. I am already coming back to help my husband with common chores so he will be able in the near future to concentrate on the chores that best suit him. Sharing will give relief to both of us. We plan on the next year to fix the things we couldn’t this season because of my health problems. The driveway will be renewed by our neighbour, the hay will be captured early on so the land will appear more groomed and I will be able to travel around the acreage and enter the woods once more. New soil brought in to rebuild the flower beds and more time to trim and weed will make a difference the next summer. I’m looking forward to all that next year with new ambition. 

Plein air Painting
But a trip to my oncologist has altered the chore plans for the time being. I am now in chemotherapy, and my spouse has been called on to care take some more. I have almost 3 months of chemo to take on and if this first session is an indication, I do believe that I will handle this new fight. The worst of it so far has been the chemo fog, the weakness and floating head. It is difficult to find the energy to do things and often I will lay down for part of the day. But all in all, not feeling too badly. Hoping as I come back up between sessions, that I can get some art work done. Meanwhile I’m trying to get in our walks when I feel up to it. There is different air I felt today, as the breezes blew through the trees. Actually in the woods the trees were quite loud while the road breezes were softer. All down the lane crickets were singing loudly. I almost expected a swarm to fly out of the hay. I enjoy getting out of the house and taking these slow walks now.Looks like I will be enjoying the autumn changes close to hand for the next few months. Autumn is my favourite time with the colours and the cool air.

For now I am looking forward to autumn walks, trying some photography on the walks, and enjoying the cooler breezes already creeping in this week. Christmas offers new hope and a new enthusiasm, already with plans in the making. News of my son returning home for Christmas will be the highlight, but any Christmas this year will be very special to me.

Roadside Panning Photography Project

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Recuperating in Heavenly Bliss

My Healing chair
Healing from my surgery this month has given me plenty of time to take each day and enjoy the surroundings of our acreage we built on three years ago. With my strength limited and my arms needing caution to heal, my husband has taken on many of the projects plus my care during this period. We almost saw the land go back to the virgin fields as he tried to keep up with the growth that the early wet weather and the full sun temperatures brought this month. It is green and lush all around us and over the hills. The hay took off along with the weeds and clover , with my husband chasing behind on the tractor. He hasn’t quite caught up to the growth so we have just left some natural areas which the wild life and birds will savour. A few of my flowering plants will be lost to the weeds with my inabilities to tend to them. He has made a good attempt to save some of them. Plans are now being thought to begin again next year with greater ideas and numbers.

My daughter’s garden also fell back with the onslaught of a bug that attacked last year. She got control of it then, but may not recoup that part of the garden this season. She is not the only gardener to suffer lost here from that bug. We will have some vegetables though and will attack the garden preparations next year as well. There is always next year and with next year, greater plans are made.The weather this month has been fabulous and a boon to me for sitting out on my deck and recuperating.
Walking for Health

The deer, plentiful in the area, hasn’t visited our fields as much this season but I expect them back in the fall. We have a busy porcupine behind the garage area which waddles out in the early evening and we watch for a skunk that got a little to handy under our deck. He hasn't returned but I cautiously step out in the evening with some noise to urge him away. Meanwhile we watched a raccoon take down the bird feeder and damage it beyond repair. He had climbed the pole and was hanging off of it attempting to get into the seed. I think he was back for the com poster recently and before that a bear was spotted in our driveway. He made quite the mess in a full com poster bin.
High Hay

The neighbour has some apple trees and wild roses growing on her property. She told us she cleared a path from our line into her gardens so that I could walk and enjoy her area. This kindness has me looking forward to the venture as soon as my husband attaches the bush hog back on the tractor. He hadn’t cleared our side to her path yet and I’m not prepared to navigate the six foot high hay. When he clears I will enjoy the walk and my daughter will enjoy collecting the apples this fall. I will also enjoy some plein air around the property when my strength increases and my arms are ready for the activity. While I continue my cancer procedures, I have a few more fine weather months to enjoy the 49 acres of heaven.
My Studio sign in Growth

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Late Summer Start

Spring has moved into summer officially by date, but the weather hasn’t taken note of the change over. Except for a few days where sitting out was a fine event, it has been raining and the temperatures dropping at night. Plants and flowers have been slow to sprout but the tress are a flourish with greenery. Of course the fastest growing plant on our acreage turned out be the hay crop. The hay is not a crop anymore as it is filled with weeds but can grow very high and swallow up our horizon. The constant rain and even thunder showers has prevented bush hogging so we are late getting to the cutting. We have one section completed and now the lawn area is growing and the whipper snipping on the edges hasn’t been taken care of  because of the delays. If the sun would come out and celebrate the summer arrival, the catch up wouldn’t seem to be so tremendous while we soak up some rays.
The garden begins
First flowers in hospital

George lost in hay
The garden was also late in the planting with frost warnings hanging on well into the season. My daughter got her plants in finally and is still planting when she saw that the click bugs that harassed her root crops last year had returned with vengeance. Trying to remain with an organic garden I think she has resolved she may need some stronger attempt at ridding them this season. She has removed the sweet potatoes which seem most vulnerable and planted them in bins. It is to be hoped that she can beat this attack of nature as she did last year and see some successful growth.

I didn’t get as many flowers out this year. The garden plot in front of the house suffered from ice as it was more concave than a mound. Some bulbs and seeds are coming up now but the middle area will probably have to be dug up and have soil added and replanted. Whether there will be time for that is questionable. I suspect with me recuperating from surgery and unable to help, we may be waiting for next year to repair this winter’s damage. I did mange to get some pots of flowers planted before going to surgery and they have bloomed to my expectations. They are giving me pleasure during my three weeks into my convalescence. I know next year will be a more fruitful time for the bushes and flowers when I come back to the gardening. Meanwhile I enjoy watching the tractor work in the fields and wait for my daughters produce from the garden.
Ready for July 1

Saturday, 31 May 2014

9 Days and Counting

9 Days and Counting

lobster boats in
Sitting out on my deck yesterday was a treat that I’ve been looking forward to all winter long, as well as  through the wet spring. Finally the sun and warmth is here. The garden and flowering plants are late though because of the unusual cold and wet we’ve been having. There isn’t time left for me to do the gardening that I look forward to at this time. I’m not sure if the rain has delayed my flowers and bulbs or the are just not ready. Therefore I have to wait longer to see if some of my planting will be redone. I did have my seasonal lobster feed already, thanks to my daughter.

I only have 9 days left for any work and then I am in surgery for a full double mastectomy. It’ll be weeks after before I can do much physical activity. The first two weeks I can’t even make the bed. I can’t paint. I could do some light drawing if paper is in my lap and my arm isn’t held upward. I can get my coffee or even try washing a few dishes. This activity helps my arm movement. Other than the exercises I will be doing I will be sitting a lot. I can walk a little ways in the second week so will enjoy getting out and about. I am so happy that the weather appears to be good this week before I go into hospital for about four  days and hope that it continues to shine on my return home. I’m counting on sitting on the deck, watching the family work, the birds fly, and any animal visitors. My artists colleagues promise to visit so I can look forward to keeping in touch with happenings in the area. 

horses in the field
It’ll be a long slow summer for me, not only for the surgery and getting my full range of movement back, but as of yet I don’t know if I shall be experiencing chemo or radiation. This could lead into the autumn. I do have my art work at a point that I can leave it until I’m back. I have some computer activities to do and to learn.  Mostly I will enjoy my place and recuperating in the prettiest area around.

Had my lobster feed

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Perfect Timing for the Right Season

Fishing Under the Bridge
49 Acres of Heaven Blog - May-2014

Perfect Timing for the Right Season

As spring finally arrives with hints of summer to come, I can plan for the perfect time to sit and walk and just contemplate the beauty of place. We don’t often take the time to just see, listen, feel the moment and the place. Life sometimes forces us to take the moment. Life is forcing me to take the moments and the next months to enjoy the acreage and the home and just being here. 

We have joined the throngs to the river.
As the breeze blows gently in the trees now, the birds chirp happily, the horses and deer are dancing, the grasses green while the allergies begin to rage, I am in a very reflective mood. Facing the next several months of health procedures, I know there will be times I can do no more than sit, rest, and convalesce. Here is where this place will be my perfect healing venue. I will sit on the deck in the sun and enjoy the fauna and the wildlife. We joke about that huge deck that no one wants to leave, once situated in a deck chair and holding a glass.The scenery of the hills and road below on this 49 acres of field and wood, makes everyone feel like they are on vacation. What better place to sit and heal. 

While I am forced to endure my third round of cancer treatment, and hoping this is the last time, I have found myself in the right place and heading into the right season. This place as my muse will become more familiar to me in the next seasons and I hope to share the peace with my artists colleagues and friends as they stop by to visit me. This is also the best season to bring out those same visitors once they have discovered that view and the restful immovable state of sitting in the deck chairs.

While I heal, I can still visit and work a bit in the gardens we planted last year. Although the winter was harsh, I'm still hopeful most of the flowers and bushes will sprout. I’m not seeing hints of some of them, but that’s okay. It means another trip to the garden centres and replanting, probably by my spouse. I get to watch my daughter this year in the garden with a good excuse for not helping with the weeding this year, yet benefitting from the bounty.

The Old Shed/Down by fishing hole

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The Long Winter

more snow
The snows continue to blow and bring us an almost regular schedule of storms. A feeling of becoming trapped inside makes me want to get out to town on the good days even when I have no destination or errand. The fact there is nothing one can do in a storm situation, I am getting much work done this winter.

George is becoming an expert on the tractor plowing our driveway. He has no reservations even considering the high levels falling and obliterating the drive way. The tractor is certainly paying for itself the first year of ownership. I’m sure though that George would like to be doing something else with the time he puts in at 5:30 am getting the way out to the road cleared.

I have been missing the wild life views as well. The deep snow and storms must be keeping the critters within the woods. This week though, we are seeing the deer again and the hawks are back too. My grandson got some great shots of the hawk by chasing him down the road in the car driven by his mother. Either the hawk gave up and posed or was enjoying the game.

I got a shot from distance of the long huge wing spread of the eagle. So activity seems to be increasing as the weather settles going into early spring. It is to be hoped that the weather continues to be calm, but I expect a few more storms until we can welcome the new season. We comfort ourselves by booking our summer cottage for our friends and the grandsons we will be taking with us. It’s Prince Edward Island for us this year and an experience of a ferry ride for our grandson.

We are also expecting a visit from our son from Australia where he works;

it’s been a few years since we saw him, so we have that excitement to look forward to this summer. We also are receiving the bulb and seed catalogues and planning the garden by choosing our orders gives us hope the sun will be warming us again.Despite the long winter, we have much to look forward to for a full summer experience.  Whatever the next winter brings we will have great memories of the summer to carry us through that longer season.
the long drive
winter works

Friday, 17 January 2014

Snow, Snow and More Snow

The last two months has seen so much snow and cold temperatures, I long for the winter to end. This is not a normal wish from me as I do love this time of year. It slows life down and work increases, giving me a great sense of accomplishment. And indeed, I am progressing in my art works with great diligence and focus. But I do miss long walks and maybe a few photo shoots, and some plein air trips for painting.

It is a good thing that I have all my resource materials for my projects and now the time to get these works done. My spouse has gotten a good handle on that tractor. What a fabulous year for that purchase. It has been a life saver. He didn't realize he would grasp the concept of tractor skills so quickly. It’s certainly paying for itself.

I do feel for the deer though. They must be having a difficult time of it this winter. Viewing them has decreased albeit tracks in the morning are still sighted. The land just looks so still and frozen. People seem scarce as well. I guess they are all tucked into their warm homes too and reluctant to venture out. A thaw is in the forecast very soon, so we shall see if activity increases for wildlife and friends.

The West River that I wish to paint in winter season is piled up with great chunks of ice. I do see a small moving water way weaving down its middle trying to seek a path through the ice. I shall keep an eye out as the warm spell hits, because I would like to paint a thaw picture. 

Artist painting river
Meanwhile I will continue working away, knowing that this season eventually has to end, and I’II be ready to join life on the outside again.