sweetfigs   s w e e t   f i g s


                in pursuit of a fruitful life


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Thinking of John

We intended to be in the Upper Peninsula until mid July, but we're abruptly back in Chicago, or I should say I'm back in Chicago and David has flown to Miami to be with a big brother who is very ill.

Big brother John survived neck cancer, but the radiation treatments that helped cure him five years ago broke down his jaw bone, and jaw implant surgery in Miami has led to serious complications. The jaw surgery was actually about 3 weeks ago, but I avoided talking about it until now, partly out of uncertainty and partly to respect John's privacy. He was pleased with the surgery and was about to go home from the hospital, but then suffered respiratory problems and was found unconscious in his hospital bed. He went to intensive care, and was intubated, heavily sedated, and flat on his back for weeks, improving ever so slowly. As an alternative to the intubation and heavy sedation, he underwent a tracheotomy and was gradually weaned from the ventilator. The last he knew, he was about to go home, but as he's been weaned from the heavy sedative, he's learned about this major setback.

John is a sweet, kind-hearted man, who would give you the shirt off his back. He's brilliant, intensely interested in the world around him, and always ready for a challenge. Despite his amazing, encyclopedic knowledge, he's very humble and spiritual. He's a good son, a good big brother, and a good friend.

The family has been sick with worry but cautiously optimistic about John's slow recovery. His body is healing, but his morale and energy are very low. Please help him. Whether you be the type of person that prays, wishes, or sends positive energy, please think of John in Miami. Please use your influence, your powers of persuasion, and the collective consciousness, and please send him whatever you've got. Please help him heal, smile, and come home soon. There's a huge void in the family without him here and we want him back already.


Monday, July 09, 2007

Nature Walk

This year my friend Jenn joined us at the lake for a few days. She picked a good year to see the foxgloves:

This reminds me of the Queen Anne's Lace:

I love all these shades of green:

We noticed about six different types of ferns one morning. This is the medium sized one that likes a lot of sun:

One morning after our walk, Jenn and I got busy making four batches of jam. It took us most of the day to wash and sterilize the glass jars, prepare the peaches, fresh ginger root, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries, cook the fruit with lemon juice, pectin, and sugar, fill and seal the jars, and then clean up. While Jenn and I were toiling in the kitchen, David worked on the computer. You would think we would have more to show for a whole day's labor.

We also went kayaking on the lake, and got a bit closer to a little eagle.
Jenn also found a little sunburn and some itchy bug bites. I wish she could stay longer, but she's probably happy to get back to civilization.


Friday, July 06, 2007

Eye Candy Friday

Hi all and happy Friday!

We found these exotic looking mushrooms while taking our morning walk. I love their rusty color, gloss, and gnarled shape. There were about 20 of them and some green mosses growing on a tree stump.
Later I spotted some more on our own lakeside property. This is the first year I've seen these or anything like them. Gotta wonder, are they poisonous?

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day/It's my blogiversary

It's wonderful to spend the 4th of July in the Upper Peninsula.

We've been here since Friday and have started every morning by taking a long walk with Lib and the camera. She gets tired out, but can't bear to take time out for a nap. All the good scents and sights keep the city girl awake for the rest of the day.

I've been happy with a few of the morning photos, but many of them make me wish for better lenses and have been trashed.
After the walk and breakfast, we get down to work, mowing, sweeping, mopping, doing the laundry... There's still a lot that needs doing before the house is "open" for the season. When we first got here on Friday, we were kind of spinning about, there was so much to do. I've tried to knit a bit too, but don't have the energy to concentrate on lace repeats. At the end of a long day, I'd rather have a hot meal and a glass of wine. So I've got the morning nature photos, but no WIPs to show you.

Thanks for stopping by to see what I've been up to. Especially today, which is SweetFigs' blogiversary! David always refers to this as my knitting blog, but I don't think of it that way. Do you? Sure, it's about what I've been making, but it's a lot about just me and about what's caught my eye, no? I'm rarely without a camera these days and hem and haw about upgrading my equipment. Who knows what the next year will bring. :)