Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Friendly Beasts

We just got back from a wonderful week at our cabin in Ohio. It wasn't as 
"muggy and buggy" as it usually is in July. 

One afternoon, after planting geraniums at the cemetery, we took a side trip on the way home. When we saw some grazing horses, we stopped to take their picture. The "horses" turned out to be friendly and curious donkeys. 

The dirt road got narrower and narrower and steeper and steeper and the ruts got deeper and deeper. Side trips may not be such a great idea if you don't really know the neighborhood. 

Earlier that day, on the way to Mount Vernon to buy the geraniums, I saw a "calico cow". Yes! Its legs and its body just above the legs were black and the rest of it was tan and white. We kept going, thinking we'd take its picture on the way back. By the time we returned, the "cow" (could have been a male calf, I suppose) was nowhere to be seen, of course. 

Phil's sister spent the night, Phil's cousin spent the day on Sunday and a neighbor came for dinner another day. We watched yellow finches at the bird feeder, saw a few deer and spotted "our" blue heron, who hangs out at the creek. Phil scared a baby duck when he crossed the bridge tapping his walking stick. The duckling took off like a rocket, paddling and squawking frantically. Phil then heard a commotion up the creek, as if the members of the duck family were trying to find each other.

I slept out on the screened porch one chilly night. The stars were bright. At dawn, birdsong! Maybe 20 species of birds sang and chirped for an hour or so, and then, as morning came on, the chorus abruptly fell silent. A week at "the farm" shows me how far removed I am from the natural world most of my days.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Day #40. Finished with radiation.

Phil Rings the Bell!

Actually, he rang it three times. 
Once for the wonderful staff at Johns Hopkins.
Once for the friends we made in the radiation waiting room
during these eight weeks, especially one very dedicated volunteer.
And once for a darling young patient
who wears a white knit cap and a pretty smile.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Day #39 of 40: 97.5% complete!


Almost, almost, almost done. Tomorrow is the big day. The nurse told Phil that the side effects (tiredness, hot flashes, chills, etc.) continue after the final radiation treatment and peak on the fifth day. After that, the patient gradually starts feeling normal again. 

This is my favorite photo of all I took during eight weeks of walks in and around the hospital. Notice the reflection of the sunny morning sky in the window. Unfortunately, I also managed to capture the Tree Hugger's arm in the lower left. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Day #38 of 40: 95% there!

Unusual Tilework on a Baltimore Rowhouse

This rowhouse is within a block or two of Johns Hopkins and isn't your usual gentrified dwelling. Perhaps the resident owns one of the nearby Mexican restaurants. 

Only two more days of radiation. He'll return in 6 months to have his PSA level checked. We're hoping for zero.