Sunday, October 23, 2011

October Craziness

What a mad, mad month October has been!! 

The first two weeks were spent mainly at the hospital as my father fought for his life on a ventilator. It was stressful, waiting to see if being on full life support would allow his body to rest enough to continue to fight on its own again. My Dad is a fighter though. He has always been a fit and active man, and at 81 years old he wasn't going to let a little thing like Legionnaires Disease (which has a 33% mortality rate!!) and a severe pneumonia stop him for long. The intensivist told me that if he hadn't been so fit and active he would not be here today. He is back home again, but the illness has taken its toll. He has gone from looking much younger than his age, to now looking much older and is suddenly frail. It's hard to see him like this. Time will tell as to how much of his former vitality he is able to recover, but I am just thankful to still have him.

Our little Delphi got run over by a car (we think) in late September, and had to have her badly broken leg pinned and plated. Then came a month of house confinement. That may sound easy, but it becomes a shuffling game when you have three  cats and two dogs. Previously we kept the two ranch slider doors open all day and night with lengths of wood in the groove for security. This allowed the chihuahua and three cats free access in and out whenever they felt like it. The labrador is outside most of the day and is allowed inside in the evening when we are watching television or whatever, to lie on his bed. All that changed to accommodate Delphi. Suddenly we had to manage letting cats and dogs inside and outside again, but without letting a determined Delphi escape. She did, a couple of times, but she is such a sweet little thing that I only had to call to her and she came running straight back to me, thank goodness. And because the labrador and she are play buddies, suddenly they had to be kept apart. All this while shuttling back and forth between the hospital and home. I am now a certified juggling expert, I do believe :-)

We have had a very rainy month of October. The lawns are shaggy within a week of being mowed, and it's been hard to mow them when it kept raining. A horrible sticky weed has errupted throughout the back garden. It clings to my skin if I try to pull it out, or to my clothes, and brings me out in a rash. Today I went out and used weedkiller on it. It hasn't flowered yet, so I am hopeful that I can get on top of it with regular weedkill. The jasmine that is the bane of my life (but may be replaced as such by the sticky weed) has sprung forth again with the warm weather - that got blitzed today as well.

The ornamental cherry tree and the Fairy magnolia I planted to mark Old Sophie's grave are both flowering for the first time. I was convinced the cherry sapling had died, as I drove around town and saw all the trees with their spring leaves and blossoms - while mine sat still dormant !! It has double blossoms which open pink and fade to white, and it is blossoming at the same time that the leaves are forming, so the tree has a two-toned effect. Beautiful. I have tried to take photos, but I only have a point and click camera and it simply doesn't capture it well. I have resorted to a Google image, although the leaves in this picture are reddish and mine are a soft, spring green. And the mature blossoms are pure white. But this was the closest image I could find.

I have precious days off now, so some intensive housework is needed, as well as some intensive gardening. Keeper the labrador completes his obedience training tonight, I hope. He should fly through the assessment, however last week he was shocking and distracted  and not paying attention to what was being asked of him, so it has thrown an element of doubt into my mind. Since he is only 5 months old, the trainers have reassured us that all puppies have days like that and not to worry. 

Well, I will happily farewell October this year, and with no regrets. 

May November be wonderful !!

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