My recent life feels as if it can be divided into two periods, BC and AC (Before Chemo and After Chemo). Having been through the first round of six treatments, I have no desire to discuss chemotherapy. It’s enough to say that while many have experienced much worse than I, the modern improved version is still bad enough. For one thing, I have only the most minimal energy available for the garden.
Fortunately, there have been other things to occupy my time. Chief among these has been our new kittens, Walter and Molly. They were brought to us last week by our good friend Joanna, who has been fostering numerous kittens for her local animal shelter.
Walter and Molly have added a great deal of entertainment to our days, though Judy is still trying to convince them that her earrings are not cat toys, especially when she is wearing them.
While I don’t feel up to most gardening chores, I can still go out and take pictures of the Monarch Butterflies.
Though lord knows I’ve got enough pictures of Monarchs on Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia). I like this one more because of the Brown-Eyed Susan (R. triloba) in the fuzzy background.
Aside from kittens and butterflies, Judy is constantly doing everything she can to keep me comfortable. Our son Daniel and his wife Beckee are over frequently, and our son David from Minnesota will be visiting soon. We get cards and gifts of food on a pretty regular basis (homemade quiche and marinara sauce the other day). So things are not so bad. If only it would rain.
Your photos are lovely and hopefully your energy and health will be just as robust in the future.
Thanks. That is certainly what I am looking forward to.
What beautiful monarch photos. I have had a total of zero monarchs in my garden. Not just this year, ever. Plenty of flowers, milkweed, etc. Loads of bees and skippers, a gray hairstreak now and again. Once in a blue moon, a swallowtail. I can’t figure it out. The valley is agricultural, no GMOs, organic for Amy’s Kitchen products, and pears for Harry and David.
Oh, kittens! Two! They must be a lot of fun to watch. I have three cats, one abandoned that showed up in July. I thought I was a dog person (have only one), but cats seem to send out memos to show up and move in.
It’s disheartening when the butterflies don’t appear, but at least you have plenty of bees.
Thank goodness for kittens and butterflies! They add zest and beauty to a time that sorely needs it. I have been thinking of you often. Wonderful to read that quiche and sauce are finding their way to your house. And the cherries on the sundae are visits from your children. Nothing ever tops that.
Very true. David has arrived from MN and is staying until Sunday.
Glad to see you are still photographing your lovely garden with its butterflies.Your new kittens will be a source of never ending joy for a long time to come. That is a lovely photo of you with Walter.
Walter says thanks, as do I.
Let’s be thankful that the animal kingdom–as represented by Walter, Molly, and Monarchs–adds so much cuteness and beauty to the world. Enjoy!
Your photos are gorgeous and such a nice display of blooms and butterflies. I’m sure you’re having fun with these kitties–they’re darling! Keeping you, Judy and your family in my thoughts.
Hang tough, Jason, and keep purring!
I’m glad to find you here — been thinking about you just as the other folks who leave their notes here. I am not sure there’s such a thing as too many photos of butterflies and flowers, especially in these combinations. I agree about the one with the fuzzy Susans — that is a beauty! As to your energy, I feel bad for you; a gardener has a hard time accepting such a limitation. May there be rain soon, and may Walter and Molly not grow up too fast.
We had a little rain last night, not nearly enough, but something.
I must have missed something, I didn’t know you were ill. Bleh. I am so sorry to hear it, and am sending healing thoughts. And doing a rain dance! I hear you~ the same has been happening here. Radar promises a big storm and all we get out if is grey skies.
I agree, the Monarch with the black eyed susans in the background is a nice image, as is the pearl crescent. I don’t know that I’ve ever succeeded in getting a photo of one~ they are pretty flighty for me. Here’s to adorable kittens helping you get better!!
Yes indeed. The Pearl Crescent is a little blurry, but this is the one and only time I have gotten a picture of one.
Walter and Molly will provide you with plenty of entertainment when you are not feeling up to venturing out too much. You’ve had more monarchs this year than we have had here in Kentucky.
You are like me, constantly reading the weather forecast. Hurricane Laura’s outer bands gave us some much needed rain on Saturday.
Certainly I feel grateful for the Monarchs we do have.
What a great time to get a couple of kittens.. they’ll be a distraction every day of the week. If you have the energy to take photos of butterflies that is enough, I never tire of beautiful photos of butterflies..although it worries me that we don’t have as many in our garden. I hope you get rain soon, it makes it easy on the garden…we are getting above average rainfall ..but not before time. Take care and enjoy those family visits.
Glad to hear you have been getting some rain, late or not.
We’re having the same kind of dryness here. Enjoy the new kittens!
Kittens are the best. Glad you have them for company and entertainment. My garden is waning- no rain to speak of, hot temps and the irrigation system on the fritz. Hope you have good results with your chemo. Hugs all around.
I’m still waiting for the transition to asters and goldenrods.
I am in the Chicago area, and would be very happy to help in the garden. Do not hesitate. I work as a personal gardener for about 10 clients, but things are winding down at this point in the year, leaving me time to putter (at your direction) in your yard (pro bono, of course).
Thank you for the generous offer! I will keep it in mind? What area are you based in (North Side, etc)?
Hi Gail! So I’d like to take you up on your offer if I still can. I have a bunch of plants coming in early October for fall planting – I couldn’t help myself. If you’re available I could use some help then. I’ll keep you updated about exact dates.
It’s so good to hear the first round is over and wonderful that your family are rallying around. You do look well.
KITTENS????? Yea! How wonderful and delightful, are Molly and Walter siblings? Loving the monarchs and the pearl crescent, lucky you. My weather app is exactly the same, endless promises of sunshine or rain that never materialize, here’s to some rain coming your way soon. Please keep us updated on the kittens.xxx
Walter and Molly are siblings from a litter of six. They were raised by a good friend (and coworker of Jason’s) — Joanna and her two daughters worked hard to raise cuddly, playful kittens. I can’t imagine a better foster family, we were so lucky!
Will certainly keep you informed on kitten developments.
I hope you get your rain today. Looks like on the weather channel it might happen. Molly and Walter are cuties. Nothing more fun than kittens. Love the pictures. Hang in there…
Got hardly anything. Not enough to make a difference. Now waiting on what happens tomorrow.
Great to hear from you and know you are doing as well as you can right now with better times to come. Your photos are lovely, and I enjoy your Monarch photos because we have seen only a couple this year. Take care of yourself, the weeds will wait, and I’ll be hoping for rain for both of us because brown is not my favorite color.
Oh, kittens (and eventually cats) can bring so much joy during dark times…I’m glad they are lifting your spirits. As for the garden, now is the time to simply enjoy and forget the to-do list. I’m glad that you are being well taken care of and have many to rely upon…which now includes a couple of furry friends.
Sending healing thoughts your way XO
Hi Margaret! Trying to be mellow about the garden, but it would be easier if we could just get some damn rain.
Aha! That Pearl Crescent (?) is what I saw last week on my Tithonia. I knew it wasn’t a Monarch, but couldn’t identify it. Thanks for all the great pictures. Hang in there. Let the kittens distract you. Know that many people are with you in your struggle.
Good to have the first bout of chemo in the rear view mirror. The kitties are endless daily entertainment, they look so cuddly and lovable, and probably get into everything. You have amazing butterfly photos (one can never have enough), good for a 2021 calendar.
Let’s pray for a better 2021!
How can you go wrong with a post about kitties and butterflies??? Molly and Walter are just too cute! I love the pic of you and Walter. Two furry fellows, lol. These two will provide a wealth of fun and entertainment on days you’re feeling low. Keep your chin up, we’re all pulling for you!
2 furry fellows, indeed. Though I just ordered a beard trimmer. My kids think I should go for the full Civil War general look (Union Army, of course), but we’ll see.
The rain has mostly bypassed us too, until last Friday – TWO INCHES! I was thrilled.You are frequently in my thoughts. Take care and make sure Judy takes care of herself while she is taking care of you. Kittens help.
Congrats on all that rain. We are still waiting. Some is predicted for tomorrow, but we’ll see.
I am so sorry that you can not yet work in the garden as usual.
Thanks. My kids are giving me some help, and there isn’t all that much needs doing at the moment – except for the hand watering.
Hello Jason .. I say if you find a scenario that gives you such satisfaction .. as Monarchs on “anything” , take as many pictures as your heart desires !
I’m sorry about the drought .. that does make things difficult for gardeners and all the creatures that have to suffer through it.
Kittens … how can you not be diverted by such sweet little innocent playful hearts wrapped in fur .. I think they are doing you the world of good .. and Judy will hold on to her earrings for dear life ? LOL
I wish you the best in feeling a little better every day .. rest as much as possible .. let the medication do it’s work … it will all work out !
We got some decent rain yesterday, more coming tonight … making me feel better for now.
Gosh, Jason! I’m just catching up on blog reading. I’m so sorry you are sick and having to go through gruelling treatment. Sending lots of positive vibes and good wishes your way. I’m glad you have your family, new kittens and butterflies to keep you cheerful. X
Hi Sam! Thanks for the good wishes.
I can really understand that desire for rain… We had practically nothing in all July, but August gave us a few downpours which came just in time to save a lot of plants from dying of thirst. So I hope some comes your way soon Jason! Good to hear you are being well looked after and have had plenty of visits – AND you have two new and very cute companions! Lovely photos. My Tithonia are finally growing a little but not a patch on previous years. All the best Jason!
My Tithonias are not having their best year, either. Thanks for the good wishes.
One of my yellow ones (an experiment this year) has just opened! It is only about 8 inches tall though! LOL!
The kittens are beautiful, and so are the garden photos!
I’m glad to hear you’re past your first round of treatment, and are being distracted by kitties — there’s very little that kittens can’t help. I love the photo of the Monarch on the Mexican sunflower. Monarchs are very nice, but that sunflower’s become one of my favorites. I hope you get some rain soon. We’ve been dry, too — not a single drop even from Hurricane Laura — but things seem more promising for the near future.
I’ve been out of the loop this week since both my PC and my external hard drive apparently entered into some sort of suicide pact on Sunday evening. Things are back in order now, thanks to the world’s best computer gurus, and I’m going to figure out some sort of backup for my backup. The thought of lost photo files left me hyperventilating.
Give Judy my best, and tickle the kitties for me!
Glad your computer is in order again, it’s so frustrating when they are not functioning.
The (happy) chaos of two kittens must be a wonderful distraction and joy. Beautiful butterfly pictures, too. I hope you get some rain soon.
Best wishes to you all.
We finally did!
Fantastic photographs. What camera are you using?
I am having the same problem over here with the lack of rain. I keep looking at the weather forecast willing it to change. Amelia
It’s a Nikon? Don’t know much about cameras.
The kittens are pure 100% adorable! 🙂 And the butterflies are lovely. As for the chemo-induced gardening hiatus, I can sympathize 100% because I was in the same scenario for a year, about a decade ago. Pretty much the most I could do was stare out the window in furious frustration while watching the weeds grow unchecked; however, both I and the garden ultimately survived, which is the most important thing. 🙂 Best of luck and good thoughts to you!
Thanks – glad you and your garden got through that difficult period.