Monday, August 4, 2014

A Holiday Weekend

July 4th

After feeling so tired last night, I wake up feeling energized.  This seems to be the pattern to my days, energy, exhaustion, sleep, energy.  It almost feels like normal, but the degrees are different.  The energy goes away much more quickly than I would like it to.

I try to figure out the weather. It looks like we will be getting some rain from Hurricane Arthur, later, rather than sooner. I can get some gardening in.

Things are a mess out in my garden.  I haven't trimmed or weeded in a couple of weeks, and I never really got started out there.  It always seemed too cool, or rainy, or I was too busy to get it done.  It is late in the season, but today I will start in earnest.  I have the next three days off from work, I am hoping to get a few things done.

I have some annoying problems in my yard.  I have several small gardens that I need to be mowed around.  Since I have a reel mower, I trim around these gardens with clippers, by hand.  It is quiet meditative work, stopping the gentle clipping of blades to pull weeds. It is by choice, of course. I could buy a weed whacker, but I can't stand the noise or the smell.  It makes a calm, thoughtful job  into a crazy, noisy, frenzy of a job.  I like the quiet better even though I could get it done faster.

I make a small dent in what I hope to do before the rains arrive.  I quickly pick up my tools, put them away and get into the house.  No sooner do I get in, than the rain stops.  I should have stayed out longer.

Later in the day, when the rain really starts to fall, we drive over to my brother and sister in law's house for a cook in. Their house is large and easily fits many people.  The food and the company here are always exceptional.

It is in this house that I realize how important it is to be seen when things are amok in your life. You can email or call people on the phone, but nothing beats seeing someone in person.  It is reassuring, and calming for people to be able to hug you, and look at you, and know that you are doing okay.  Things can still be scary and uncertain, but at least in this moment, at this time, things are okay.  It is not something you can always do, sometimes you really can't bear to get out, to be with others, to expend your energy in this way.  If you can though, the rewards are great.

Saturday, July 5th

Up with the birds today to garden.  I need to take some Miralax today, since I still have had no bag action.  It seems to kick in while I am gardening, in the form of short, sharp cramps.  Some of them take my breath away. It seems to be helping to move things along though.

Once Kaileigh is awake, we head off to Johnston. I had noticed a nursery on my way to Dr. Lentrichia's office and want to check it out.  I find some cherry tomato plants, and buy several.  The daycare kids love to eat them fresh off the plant, so we need many.  It turns out that the plants are all half off.  I guess sometimes it pays to be a little behind!

It is lunchtime, so we stop into a little pizza place hoping to get a calzone. There were calzones at the party yesterday which I didn't eat, so of course that is all I can think of today.  They are not making them fresh today, so we get a chicken parm instead.  I also get a soda.  I am curious about how a soda will react with my newly routed digestive system. 

We hit one of my favorite nurseries on Scituate Ave. in Western Cranston, The Good Earth. Things are pretty picked over, so I don't find any plants, but I do need some mulch.  One of the owners helps us load it into the car. This is enough plant shopping for me today.

After a nap some friends, Valerie and Alex stop by with their boys.  I haven't seen them in weeks, and I miss them.  We catch up on all of the current events in our lives, and they get ready to go off to see the fireworks that were postponed from the Fourth.

I contemplate going to India Point Park to see the display, but I am too tired.  I need rest more than fireworks.  I lay in bed and listen to them as I drift off to sleep.

Sunday, July 6th

Today is the first day of official summer services at 1st UU, and I have the responsibility of getting childcare for the summer.  I have two good providers lined up, but only one can make it today, so I am going to help out.  I have a feeling there won't be too many children today, which turns out to be right. Two boys come, regulars to our program.  They are happy to be given so much attention from two adults, and although I am feeling a little foggy,  I do fine.

I am trying to be aware of side effects, and today marks what is often a bad day for chemo patients.  Aside from being low on energy, I feel like I am doing fine.

Kaileigh picks me up when church is over and we head out to get more plants. My rule is that I don't buy more plants until what I have is planted, and I haven't planted anything yet. This year is a special year though, a year to break the rules.  And besides, Kaileigh will be going back to Ithaca tomorrow, and I probably will not get out again.

We head out to a little place called Stamp Farms that we noticed on our way home yesterday.  It is tucked away between an apartment complex and some office parks on Comstock Rd. in Cranston.  It is crammed with plants, which are not on sale yet.  They are beautiful and healthy, and I find some colorful flowers to put in planters at the end of the driveway. I love the bright colors, and so will the kids.  I debate about a hanging plant, a fuschia.  I love the delicate blooms of this plant, they look like exotic Chinese lanterns. I am not sure that I want to pay the full price though and leave without it.

Our next stop is Confreda Greenhouse and Farms.  We have success filling up the car with flowers peppers, basil and herbs, at half the price it would have been had I been on top of things.  By the time we are done at Confreda's I am tired though. 

Over the course of this trip, my bag has shown me the new meaning of gas bag.  It has filled with gas, and is now like a balloon on my belly.  I open the windows and press the air out.  This is not pleasant, but I have no choice. If I don't empty it, I am afraid it will pop.  Is this the soda I had yesterday? It seems unlikely, but I don't know what else I have eaten that would cause so much gas. 

Although I am tired, I know I will regret it if I don't get that fuschia, so we stop back at Stamp Farm to pick it up.  The car is full of plants now, there will be plenty to do in the coming days.

After a nap, my sisters stop by to visit.  Jill will be leaving to go back home to Ohio tomorrow, this is my last chance to see her and my nephew for a while.  We sit and talk, but the plants are calling to me outside.  We take my nephew outside to play, and I start setting things into the herb garden just outside the back door.  Sara decides to put some tomatoes in for me.  By the time they leave, Sara and I have put in many of the plants.  This has been a pleasant and productive visit!

I have made it through what was predicted to be my bad day.  Aside from a few cramps and my gas problem, it doesn't seem to be too awful.  I am hoping things continue on this way.


  1. This is amazing---the details of how the bag works are so interesting. I think you're doing the world a huge service by demystifying this.

  2. I hope it really is interesting. It's so weird, isn't it? There are many people who live with these things every day, and seldom do we hear about them. Who even thought of rerouting someone's digestive system, any way? It must have been such dramatic and lifesaving discovery in its time, and now it is not that uncommon.