Saturday, May 28, 2011

lip update...then get lost in the woods...

for those of you who read my last post,
here's a quick update on my lip...
surgery was on may 19th. i don't need to go on and on about how nervous i was...
but this Dr was so gentle and understanding of my fear...
that after the first injection of numbing agent...i felt absolutely nothing.
until of course it started to wear off. the stitches on the inside of my lower lip were
such a nuisance...i had to drink everything through a straw...could only eat what
i could pick up with a fork, and pass over my (FAT) lower lip, and put in my mouth...
warm salt water rinses, had to sleep with my head elevated & on my back!
besides THAT, one of the hardest things to get used to 
was drinking coffee through a straw.
OH! and not talking too much...doing THAT always caused my lip to throb.
finally. a week later. may 26th. back to Dr for follow-up visit.
most of the stitches had dissolved...but there were still 2 that hung on.
the Dr snipped them out...OUCH!  but what a relief!
my lip felt so much better. i started drinking without a straw...
just had to be careful not to lean whatever i was drinking from...against my lower lip.
there's still a little 'angelina jolee' going on in my lip...
but the swelling is subsiding day by day. thank goodness!
NOW i just have to deal with an abnormal fear of biting my lip while eating...
and starting the whole cycle all over again.     i wonder if there's a name for that FEAR?
i could be the first.      they could name it after me!
i might have to start eating with some kind of lip guard.
just kidding...
i'll just have to slow down...i'll try NOT to always be the LAST one to fill my plate 
and the FIRST one finished eating!
so, ONE MORE Dr follow-up visit on june 2nd...just to be sure everything looks good.
they should have the biopsy results by then too. 
i'm NOT worried about that. after wasn't a growth on my lip...
it was scar tissue that developed from biting...NO, GOUGING my lip...
**THANKS everyone...for your support...concern...healing thoughts...
well wishes...and for just hanging in there with me! i needed that!**

"We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, 
and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend."  
-Robert Louis Stevenson

NOW, on to OTHER things!

a few weeks ago sam and i did a spur of the moment get-away.
stress was mounting...and we just needed to head to the woods.

we ended up at one of our favorite florida parks - O'Leno State Park
only about a 45 minute drive from home. we stayed there 3 nights.
O'Leno is one of the oldest state parks in florida. 
it was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930's.

O'Leno is located on the banks of the Santa Fe River,
which is a tributary of the Suwannee River. 

as the river travels through the park, 
it disappears underground ("River Sink") 
and then reemerges over three miles away ("River Rise").

O'Leno is loaded with sinkholes, harwood hammocks, river swamps and sandhills.

don't worry. i have no desire at all to go swimming! not here anyway!

we did lots of hiking.
it was a much needed time for relaxation.
so...go ahead...i'll leave you alone. i've talked enough.
so sit back. slow down. get into nature. 
and wander through the park...
and i 'll only interject an explanation now and then!

(the OLD creaky suspension bridge, built by the CCC...
spanning the Santa Fe River.  the river is so low can walk across it.)

(cypress knees along the bank)
(added later: since cypress trees usually grow in wet and swampy water...
they send up these big roots...up out of the they can breathe)

(Red Shouldered Hawk)

(if you look REALLY can see a baby deer nursing...)

(i walked off the beaten path to get a pic of this coral bean plant.
when i got back ON the path, i felt something on my leg. it was a tick.
i plucked it off. then i felt something else on my leg. i looked down.
yeah, another tick...but not just ONE...i must've walked through a tick colony...
because there was at least a dozen of them...crawling on my sneakers! UGH!)

(TRACKS!!  deer. raccoon. vehicles. shoes. bike.)

 (turtle party of five. look closely. you can spot a tiny turtle on the branch.
i didn't even see that turtle until the picture was enlarged on my comp.)

 (Prickly Pear Cactus)

(Red Headed Woodpecker)

(some kind of  loooong legged spider...)

(a smiley trunk...with lizard...)

(this is the first time i've seen this bird! 
we decided to go for an EARLY morning  hike...down by the river. 
this is a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron!
usually nocturnal, we were lucky to see him still hanging out by the water)

(a couple of  structures built by the CCC)

 (i just love it when turtles try to fly. 
i was lucky enough to get this picture before it took off!)

 (make a wish....)

(hmmm...really odd looking fungus growing on a downed tree...)

 up by the Ranger Station.
don't forget to look both ways!

wasn't able to get a gopher picture this time. 
we saw a few, but they were too close to their burrows...
and they scurried back in too quickly!
(added later: gopher tortoise...not little furry gopher! i took a pic of a gopher
tortoise in previous 'suwannee river' post)

one of my favorite things to see while out hiking!
i know, i know...that's a little weird...
but you don't always see the wildlife that's around you.
BUT if you notice the SCAT and the TRACKS...then you can ID later
and know what you can't see.
at first we thought...bobcat. but it has a little taper at the end...and lots of fur.
we decided on Coyote.

 (Zebra Swallowtail)

(this picture is a reflection of the underside of the suspension bridge.
see the rock and cypress knees in the foreground...for perspective...)

well...our long weekend adventure came to an end.
reality check. it was time to go home...
milo wanted to stay too...but she finally gave in and loaded up!
(yes! milo's getting a little tubby in her old age!)

it was time for me to work up the courage...and find a Dr to work on my lip.
and now you know the end to THAT story.

OH...and we spotted some wild turkeys on the way home...

that's it...for now.

oh yeah...just one more thing...
(sure...famous last words...'one more thing'...i've heard that one before...)

i made these little Forest Filled Vials...necklaces...
with forest floor, tiny acorns, air ferns, feathers, leaves, rock pieces..
"may the woods be with you"

(i'm keeping my fingers...and toes...crossed...for good luck...
that when i click on PUBLISH will do just that!
google's been having LOTS of problems lately...)

have a safe journey & enjoy the ride.
:] laura

"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." 
~Mark Twain 



  1. what a breath of fresh are you are! thank you for allowing us along the way .....

  2. glad u found this latest post...because here i am...hours after posting...and cannot figure out why it wasn't picked up in Reader! oh well...
    thanks for wandering... :]

  3. A much need hike for me this morning! That bridge reflection picture is cool, like an Escher print. Glad the lip is behind you..or in front of you, I guess!!

  4. So glad to see your adventure, more than glad to hear YOU are healing! Oh, and don't you worry I'm either digging that Poppy or taking seeds because it was saying, "take me, take me, don't forget me!"...:)JP

  5. What a splendid post from beginning to end, Laura...truly worthy of several more lingering visits! I'm so pleased to hear your procedure went well and that you've 'almost' fully recovered from the ordeal...mentally might still take a wee bit longer...that fear of biting your lip!

    There is so much beauty packed into every single one of your posts, but somehow this one has really tugged at my soul...possibly because it was attached to your good news...or because it's a cold, blustery, wintry day here and being able to step out into the forest with you (I wisely stayed on the path, so didn't collect any unwelcome hitch-hikers!) and allow my soul to soak up all that magnificence was a marvellous treat. I really, really, really think you should seriously consider publishing your blog in some form, Laura! You have a wealth of information and the most amazingly gorgeous photographs...schools could benefit hugely from all of your keen observations and a gorgeous coffee table version would be snapped up in this day and age, of that I'm certain!
    You are truly a one of a kind person and your book would be so special!!!

  6. Glad the lip stuff went well!! And HEY! you have cacti there too! awesome!

  7. Hi Laura, you had 3 posts showing on my dashboard, but two of them would not come up. This was the third one, and, by George! I think she's got it! What a great post and, yes blogger is having some probs.

    Sure like the pics of the Santa Fe River. They're eerie and would make good backdrops for spooky tales.

    The suspension bridge is really cool...did you walk across it? And I've never seen a night-heron-what a cool bird! The deer in the woods and the little turtles-such serene captures! Did the flying turtle have back legs? I didn't see them, and how did it fly?

    WEll, along with your lip mishap, you did get away to deal with it some, and 'bit the bullet' to go thru with it. I'm glad you feel better, and you'll get to show your new lips off soon! Hahaha!

    Thank you for following on my garden blog. I didn't even know it, because my followers list 'mysteriously' disappeared from the sidebar, and then, showed up briefly this morning. Don't know if they're back yet or not. And some of my comments to others would not go the other day-I hope this gets to you.

    It was good to see Milo-hope you and Sam and creatures are doing well. Talk to you soon!

  8. glad to hear you are on the mend

    that gopher crossing sign cracked me up.... the signmaker must have been having a bad day, that or they don't have a silhoutte image of a gopher

  9. yay!! want to know how i finally got my post to get picked up by the FEEDS?!! i 'shared' it to google reader from my sidebar...and than all feeds got it! weird!!

    i hope you all didn't need a magnifying glass to read the TINY lip update...but i wanted it to be a little insignificant compared to the rest of the post...

    Truck/Tumble/stacey! YES! i thought the SAME an escher print! i LOVE escher!!

    Home Hollow/JP! yep..healing nicely!! and so happy to hear at least PART of the poppy will make the trek with you!

    Desiree/Driftwood Ramblings! as always...thank you for ALL your kind words!! and i could say the same back to YOU! do you have TICKS in africa? if so...i bet they're huge, huh?!!

    Erika Jean! yes! florida! cacti! it's HOT and sandy!!

    Susan/KardKorner! when i saw my LIP post went through...i deleted the others...ONE of which was ANOTHER 'lost in cyberspace' AGAIN! YES, we crossed the swaying suspension bridge! cool! the flying turtle has back can see them sticking straight out...back...they're like his rudders!

    Kel/X facta! hmmmm...gopher tortoise...not a little furry gopher that lives in holes/tunnels in the ground. the silhouette doesn't really do the tortoise justice...but you can at least tell it's a turtle! ha! i DID get a pic of a gopher tortoise...on my suwannee river post a couple of wks ago....

    THANKS everyone!! glad you enjoyed the wander!! :] laura

  10. Glad to know things are going well with your lip. Just try not to bite or chew on it. :)

    Thanks for the walk in the woods. I needed it.

  11. WOW, Laura, you really made up for lost time with this post! So glad to have you back & on the mend.

    The CCC did a lot of good work throughout the country. We have some beautiful structures in parks out west built by them, also.

    I always find it interesting how places get their names. I wonder if JAY knows about this place & thinks it was named after him?

    I am ignorant about the cypress knees - please inform me! Oh, I do know about the knees on living trees, but haven't seen these weird-looking ones before. Are they left after the trees die and fall?

    LOVE the collage of tracks...the Yellow-Crowned Night Heron & single turtle-taking-off are spectacular shots!

    I, too, cracked up over the "gopher crossing" sign - I wonder if the sign maker knows his (her) critters? (At least they know how to spell...)

    THANKS for this post & WELCOME BACK!

  12. ...And now I DO feel ignorant, as I didn't read all of the comments before I posted mine - gopher TORTOISE! Something else I learned today...

    One more thing - in our part of the country (WA.state) the ticks drop down onto warm-blooded animals (in this case, YOU) when they sense the heat - quite good in that, I guess. Perhaps it is the same where you live.

  13. Wow! what a fantastic post, with so many riches! I am so glad to see you blogging again.
    Well done on the lip thing, and Please don't develop lipgouge-o-phobia (maybe it should be angelinajolie-o-phobia).

    So many gorgeous pics. Numbers 4 and 5 made me think of Lord of the Rings - mysterious and misty shapes. and I love the coral bean flower, and the butterfly, and - oh, too many to mention!
    Hugs to you :)

  14. bunnits! oh...believe me...i don't EVER want to bite my lip again!! and if i should...i will not eat until it's ALL healed up!! :]

    Ladybug! the FIRST time i saw this park...the same thing went through my head...JAY! the cypress knees...are how the cypress trees get their oxygen...since they grow in WET and swampy areas...they send up these weird roots...I THINK i need to go back and edit explain it's a gopher TORTOISE...AND, yes...those ticks will just drop out of trees on ya too...YUCK! :]

    Alexia! ha! you are the FIRST one to come up with a NAME for this phobia i may have developed!! i really don't want lips like angelina jolee...but she IS a good actress!! and yeah...the misty shots...Lord of the Rings...the BEST movie(s)!! :]

    again...thanks everyone...for wandering...for all your kind words...and for BEING there when i needed a bunch of shoulders to rest my head on!! :]laura

  15. Loved all the images!!
    So glad the surgery is over and went well :)

  16. Yes, we do have ticks here, but they're just the regular size! Doesn't make them any less distasteful and I have a phobia about my dogs collecting any when we take them walking in bushy areas. They are smothered in anti-tick treatments and are bathed as soon as we get home...a big palaver so they sadly don't often get the opportunity!

  17. THANKS for explaining about the cypress knees!

  18. As always a great Blog. Glad things are working out for you. loved the photos.


  19. Really good you're getting on top of your lip problems Laura. Thanks for the update... no need for tiny print - anything you have to say is significant :D)
    Well, as Desiree said, this post really requires more than one visit. To do all those beaut photos justice!
    The O'Leno State Park is a magnificent place - no wonder you both headed there.
    Walking along the river and seeing what you've captured is such a thrill... and eerie at the same time. Ha ha, definitely, no swimming though!
    The suspension bridge photos are beautiful - and really made me feel like I was there.
    Your wildlife shots are awe-inspiring. The baby deer feeding is very special.
    You truly see your surroundings Laura, and have an affinity with every creature with whom your path crosses.
    Thank you for sharing all this with us once again.
    Great to have you back, you've been missed xx :D)

  20. I don't know where to start, this si such an amazing picture post...
    the lizzard with the blue tail
    the plaque of the dead tree
    the smiley face
    the spider (always spiders!)
    oh, and I was about to tell you that that's not the picture of a gopher, and then I saw the sub... never knew there was such a turtle. I love turtles.
    Icky on the ticks though!
    Awesome dragonflies...

    I wanna live where you li-iv-e!

  21. PS - glad to hear the lip's better and sorry I haven't been round as much lately. Exam coming up. But your blog is so amazing. It is like a meditative walk without going anywhere.

  22. It is like stopping by for a cup of coffee. Laura, thanks for the double dose of sugar and cream with your post.

  23. I haven't been out much lately but after looking at these glorious pics I feel like I've been on a wonderful hike.

    Glad everything went well. Fingers crossed for 2 June.

  24. Wow! Gorgeous post as usual. Glad to read you got away for a while. Man, I would be jumping up and down about getting the photo of that heron!

    Glad to read your update and that you had a great doctor! Wonderful!

  25. Thanks....I can't go out to relax like that this time of year, but this little journey helped! ;)

  26. THANKS everybody...samantha, desiree, susan, ladybug, steve, keda, crayzys, manic minx, calling ravens, snail and rascal rescue!!!!! hope i didn't forget anyone! glad you had a nice wander through...
    and as far as my lip...saw the Dr yesterday and everything looks good...the biopsy showed NOTHING, so now i can let out that breath i've been holding in for a week...'s a sigh of relief although i didn't really think anything would show up...BUT i guess you never know!
    i only have some lingering numbness...which Doc said could last up to 6 months. i can deal with THAT!!
    thanks ALL!! ((still spending my spare time with friend in he has no one else!! he's still hanging in there...although me...and staff there...thought he would have passed a couple of days ago.))

    see you in YOUR part of the world this weekend!
    happy friday! :] laura

  27. What a magical looking place! I was wondering what a turtle was doing on the gopher crossing sign. Thanks for explaining--otherwise I would still be sitting here scratching my head!


thanks for stopping by! it's always nice to hear from fellow wanderers!