Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Putting One Foot In Front Of The Other

I'm here at the cabin for a quick weekend visit. Timed it just right to be able to enjoy the beauty of the recent snows but not to have any impact on my flights.
The cabin holds it's usual magic...peaceful, surrounded by nature & much to my delight, snow...
...and funky icicles...
 ...sun sparkles twinkling on the snow...
...birds gathering at the feeders, ice cold spring water to drink, the gurgle of the creek slipping along the rocks...the perfect environment for a relaxing weekend.

Much has happened since my last post. I am still enjoying my work with Allegany Franciscan Ministries and life in Crystal Beach. But last July, I tore the labrum (the "cushion" between the ball of your hip and the socket) in my right hip while on the treadmill. The torn part of the labrum flaps around, sometimes clicking in an odd way and sometimes getting caught between the bones, causing immobility and extreme pain. I met with three doctors, each telling me that I not only had a torn labrum but I had some arthritis in that hip, resulting in the diagnosis that success could not be guaranteed with arthroscopic surgery and a hip replacement was preferred. HIP REPLACEMENT??? A resounding no was my response and I requested we try every other means of healing before deciding on a surgical route. I tried physical therapy. Anti-inflammatory medication and natural supplements. Walking with a cane. But my mobility continued to decrease significantly, as did my enthusiasm for anything but the most important daily tasks. I've definitely increased my understanding and empathy for people who deal with chronic pain on a daily basis...it sucks the life out of you!

My daughter Jessica and I were talking about what I was going to do about it. I said I didn't want to have surgery until there were no alternatives. "Mom," she said followed by a short but pronounced pause, "look at you, this is eating at your soul!" Whoa. I took a deep breath, and knew my next steps.

I chose to continue my treatment with Dr. W. He has years of experience, Johny liked him and after much discussion and a review of my MRI in conjunction with my symptoms (which had always been specific to the tear, without arthritic pain), we decided arthroscopic surgery was worth a try. With Johny by my side, Dr. W cleaned up what was a severely torn labrum, along with some other "pebbles" in the joint, and I've been healing ever since. Dr. W thinks I'll still need a hip replacement at some point, because the arthritic spot is significant, but my hope is to heal completely and not have to take that road.

Johny was amazing throughout the entire process, staying with me from before Christmas until I went back to work. Every day I discover another capability that I have "regained" like being able to sit and stand, putting on my pants and socks, and even shaving my legs...it's the little things in life, one step at a time! Staying positive and holding on to the knowing that I am healthy and well!

In the meantime, Johny and I decided to buy a house in Tarpon Springs, near where I work. We're excited about this cute little furnished Florida cottage on Lake Tarpon that I found, and we'll be closing near the end of April. I knew as soon as I walked into the front door that this was our future west coast FL home. This is the back yard looking onto Lake Tarpon in the distance, and no, the sail boat doesn't come with it. You can be sure you'll hear more about it!

As for the family, all are doing well. Liam of course continues to be a sparkle in our lives. 
Fluffy and Pogo are well, though Pogo did get hit by a car in our small corner of the mountains and lost his left eye as a result. But he's a real trooper and for the most part, I don't think he knows there's an issue.

That's my update! I'll close with a few photos from behind my current apartment...

...a Golden Crowned Night Heron...
 ...Black Crowned Night Heron...
 ...Red-bellied Woodpecker... 
 ...Blue Heron taking off...
 ...a gorgeous Hawk...

And a couple tulip closeups...

Here's hoping that this post finds you well and I'm holding thoughts that your days are filled with love, laughter, good health and fun!  Keep putting one foot in front of the other :)

Thanks for reading my blog, see you next time,

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Like Fireflies

Here I am, home sweet home in my little slice of Heaven on earth. My first vacation since I started working.
It's so peaceful but not necessarily quiet...what do I see and hear? Bird song surrounding the cabin...rich green leaves fluttering in the breeze, brushing against each other and periodically a rusty redish orange one floats to the ground with an ever so slight thump...hummingbirds racing past my head, sometimes close enough to cause me to duck as I feel the breeze of their wings...my chimes gently ringing tones of joy that resonate a calm within me...the creek gurgling over rocks in its way and splashing down the cascades...as night falls, the chirping cicadas resound through the woods, almost overpowering the creeks gentle lullaby. Then there's the rain - it starts with the drops dripping through the leaves, morphing into a sound similar to a tap dancers soft shoe slide, building into a multitude of snare drums being brushed and if the weather is right,becomes a syncopated symphony on the tin roof. And much to my surprise, the fireflies are still twinkling, little flashes in the night that I didn't expect to see this time of year. I've missed this place.

I'm happy to say though, that I also love my beach place and my work with Allegany Franciscan Ministries. It certainly has kept me busy, as have a few other things (I'll share just a few). I was greeted by Liam (I went to share his sixth birthday weekend) with a huge lingering hug and an impassioned "I've missed you Mémère!", (brought tears to my eyes). Here he's sporting his two dangling-by-a-thread front teeth that he eventually lost, one by one.
I had a business meeting in TN, and Johny and I met and stayed at a B&B the weekend prior. The most relaxing part being watching the cows across the French Broad River graze in the rain.
The meeting I attended was the Blue Ridge Institute (something I would highly recommend for any non-profit execs) in Fall Creek Falls State Park, where I was greeted by this doe,
got to see the breathtaking falls,
 walked across three suspension bridges (personally challenging my fear of heights)
 and waking to gorgeous foggy sunrises. It was a perfect venue for a very uplifting, informative and fun week.  
Then back to FL where I watch lizards battle, birds appreciating the bayou behind my little beach place, sit by my little Gulf beach listening to the small waves splash on the sand, and keep my brain stimulated with the operations of the office. 

My time here at the cabin has been refreshing, where I've shared my birthday with Johny, taken lots of pictures, and enjoyed swinging in the swing, just being.

Beyond all that, you may be wondering where I've been. Truth is, even though I have lots of awesome things that are happening in my life, the essence of Lise's Log Cabin Life comes from the cabin, and what happens to me when I'm here. Not only on the outside, but the inside (of me). My writing self is inspired here at the cabin and I want to share this wonderful place with you (and where, of course, I have lots of time to write for pleasure). My working self is inspired in FL, and I'm not sure how much of my everyday life is going to be of great interest to you (where, of course, I don't have lots of time to write for pleasure). The fact is, there are some things I believe will spark your interest, and I will post those as life happens...I'm thinking of it somewhat like the fireflies, sparkling a bright light now and then, long enough to be enjoyed, brief enough to not be boring yet make you want more, and intermittent enough that when you see it again, the thrill is there. I'm hoping you find the comparison to be true. At this moment, being in the space I consider my muse, I'm sharing :) 

Thanks for reading my blog, see you again soon,

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I'm Late!

I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date! That's right, I'm late in publishing last weeks post. In fact more than late, I didn't write one. Why you ask? Good question. I just didn't do it. And you know what? I didn't put myself in a rabbit stew about it (as the White Rabbit did in Alice in Wonderland), I just let it go.

So, hello! It's been a great two weeks. Family's been coming to visit and enjoy my new place on the weekends and time seems to fly by during the work week. Here's a little of what's been going on...

Pretty sky
My niece Sophie canoeing in the bayou
Fireworks in the driveway
A Heron (hangs around here a lot)
A Downy Woodpecker
An Egret
A colorful Lubber grasshopper...

...he found a friend...
Life is good.

And a little update on the cabin...there's going to be LOTS of blueberries!

My brother and niece are coming today; he's bringing some tools to help me hang my chimes...awesome! I'm looking forward to seeing them. We'll also canoe and play in the pool, who knows what else.

Next week, I'll be posting from Tennessee; I'm meeting Johny in Knoxville for a little weekend getaway and then I'll be attending the Blue Ridge Institute for the week, that should be a great experience.

Did I say life is good?

Thanks for reading my blog, see you next week,

Sunday, June 29, 2014

I'm In!

One box/bag at a time, that's what it takes to move a short distance. It took two loaded car trips and one wrap up trip to get everything moved. That would include 50 or so trips up and down these stairs to get everything inside...I kept running the thought "this is good for my legs and butt" through my head to keep me going.

And here I am, settling in and loving this place.This is my back porch rocker that came with the place; the pillows are new, I bought them especially for this purpose. I posted this on Facebook (if you're on FB and want to be friends, send me a friend invitation), asking for input about what color to paint the chair, and decided I may very well leave it with the rustic "sandy, weathered look" that a few friends suggested. 
I was tickled when I discovered that the armchair in the dining room is the same color scheme...it definitely wasn't a conscious decision, but I'm happy with the way it turned out (the rocker is just on the other side of the sliding door).
This is what I look at when I sit on the rocker. It's been extremely warm and humid here, so the time I've spent outside is limited right now. I did take a dip in the salt water pool we have, (I say we, this is a duplex, but I haven't met my neighbor yet), and it was extremely refreshing. 

I was tickled when I arrived; this rose welcome was in the guest bath. Quite creative and it put a big smile on my face!

 This beauty joined me early Saturday morning.
 And this Blue Jay seemed very happy that I put bird seed out.

These are the only bags and boxes I have left to unpack. The kitchen & my bedroom, bath and closet have been completely organized (LOL, I sorted my clothes by type and even color coordinated some of it). That makes me very happy.  

This is the kitchen, spacious and bright (well, not at this time of day, the blinds are closed to keep the sun out), and has lots of working counter space.

As I unpacked, I came across this horseshoe that Johny found in the garden. I need to hang it up; I think I'll install it above the front door. In the meantime, it's sitting on the kitchen counter, collecting all that good luck. 

Life is good, gratitude fills my days. I do miss Johny, Pogo and Fluffy, but they'll be back!

Thanks for reading my blog, see you next week,

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Look At That Garden

While Johny was visiting, he spent lots of time checking on the weather in case he had to ask a friend of ours to go water the garden. He was relieved as each day passed and rain graced the garden frequently while he was here, in fact so much so that he became a little concerned that there might be too much rain (we had that problem last year).  When he arrived at the cabin on Monday this week, he was thrilled to find that everything was growing beautifully and all the rain did the garden good, (including the weeds.) He spent a lot of time weeding after he took these photos...

...and turnips...
...I can't wait until he comes back and brings me a goody bag.  Both Johny and I are looking forward to seeing each other again in mid July. We're meeting in Knoxville for the weekend as I head to a conference in Tennessee the following week. A mini vacation for both of us and I'll be able to enjoy some of these awesome organic veggies he's nurturing!

This is the sunset that welcomed him home, I do miss that view and can't wait to see it with my own two eyes again! I'm hoping to make that happen in early September.

I've gotten back into my routine since Johny, Pogo and Fluffy left. Work continues to be extremely rewarding, and my life here is quite enjoyable. I spent this morning drinking coffee at Crystal Beach, 
and watching this fiddler crab scurry about.

I'm excited that next weekend, I move into my new place; my next post will be from there! Ah, life is good:)

Thanks for reading my blog, see you next week,