Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Road Trip

Tomorrow morning we will start our journey to Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont. It should take us roughly 16-18 hours to get there with one overnight along the way. Some folks can drive right through but all that driving makes me dizzy! There are a few "must stops" along the way....antique shops of course, a good reason to stretch the legs.
You all take care!

To Match or Not....

ust a little survey...When purchasing jewelry do you like buying matching sets? You know earrings and a necklace or a bracelet and matching necklace that sort of thing. I have been wondering what people prefer. I am not a "matchy match" person so I rarely make earrings or a bracelet that matches a necklace, however; with that said I did make myself a necklace with matching earrings to wear to my nieces wedding.
Let me know what your preference is, I would love to hear from you.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Warm Glow

A wonderful smooth piece of Desert Jasper is wire wrapped and is the focal pendant in this warm but glowing necklace. Faceted smoky quartz, wood jasper and chunky bronze bead caps are used in this substantial adornment. A bronze metal toggle is used as a closure. Measures: 14 1/2". Pendant measures 2 1/2" X 1 1/2".

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Today's the day

Today is the day....I received a call from the horse haulers and they were to arrive at Johnny's around 6pm. I knew there was no way that I wanted to be there, it would be too emotional for me. I spent a lot of time with the horses that day and said my goodbyes, it was so hard knowing I would not see them again. Since our last attempt to get them in the barn went sour we left them in the pasture and let the handlers get them.

Around 10:30 pm the phone rang and it was Olivia, Johnny's neighbor called me to tell me there was someone in the pasture with the horses and there was a trailer in the yard. I told her I knew and it was ok. She let on that it was not a pretty site. Johnny always said that Olivia exaggerated too much but I knew she may be right, especially trying to get that little filly who had a mind of her own. I got very upset and sent Ed to the farm to see what was going on, and told him if it was bad I did not want to know a thing. I just could not handle anyone bad news.

Ed went to the farm and this is what he told me.
He said when he arrived one man was throwing up because the filly had kicked him in the gut. They had the mare in the stall and were trying to get the filly in too. They had managed to get two leads on her and she giving them a run for their money. Ed was relieved to see that they were very patient with her and were not being rough at all. They would get her to move forward a few inches at a time and then she would rare up and go back , they kept doing this for an hour hoping to tire her out. They finally decided that one guy would take the mare into the trailer and Ed would stay on the side of the ramp. Finally they managed to get her up the ramp and then she ran full throttle into the trailer. Now, the other guy was stuck in the trailer with the mare on one side of him and a wild filly and a wall on the other. Thankfully the trailer had a trap door above the mare leading into another stall so he was able to climb through. The two men collapsed after loading them. They said in the 15 years they have been hauling horses they had never seen a filly so tough. They had already loaded Salina and her foal Bucky with no problem at all, (I like to think that my good training helped there...lol). Ed said the trailer was beautiful and the horses had lots of room. I was worried about the long trip in the heat but it too was air conditioned.
The horses were on their way to Ohio to Mr. Hunt's farm were he would now care for them.

Mr. Hunt still had plans to sell Lady Gelaine after this last foal was weaned, and he would let me know when that would be. He made it sound like I would be able to get her and bring her back to Tennessee. I had some hope. I called him a few times after the horses got to Ohio to see how they were and all was fine.
My life changed...for the last year I was at Johnny's several times a week and sometimes every day. After Johnny's death I was there twice a day and enjoyed every second of it. I felt so empty and missed them so much, this is when I started getting more involved with my jewelry to fill that space.

Travis and I continue to stay in touch, he designed my website Judith B. Designs for me. I spoke with Trav last week and told him I wanted to call Mr. Hunt to see how the horses were but did not want to hear any bad news ( I am such a coward!). Anyway, I called Mr. Hunt and we talked for a bit. Salina had her foal and she had a filly this time and was doing well. Artic Roll miscarried her foal at 4 months. Lady Gelaine was due any day with her second foal. He also told me he was not going to sell Lady he was going to keep her, my heart sank as I have been holding on to the hopes of getting her. He also told me he was done breeding and would just train the ones he kept.

I still hope one day to get a horse, I would love to learn how to ride. I have seen lots of advertised horse camps lately, Ed says I should go. I would be the old lady with all the 12 year old girls! But seriously, I just may!! I had the most amazing year with Johnny and his horses and add that wonderful experience to the journey in my life. Next month will be a year that Johnny died...it is so hard to believe, I still miss him so much. I know there will be something around the next corner for me....I am still looking for the right yard to walk into.

Graduation Day

It only seems like yesterday that my son Nick got on the school bus for his first day of kindergarten; I then followed the school bus to school, went up to the front door and watched him enter the school. Phew, he was safe! Being my one and only I have worried excessively at times, at least that is what he would say.
And now here we are on graduation day, 13 years later....wow, time flies! We were so happy to have some family fly in to be here with us for this wonderful occasion. These are the times when you miss having your family so far away.
Our weather alarm went off two hours prior to the ceremony announcing that severe thunderstorms were on its way. The ceremony was planned to be outside at the town football field, and there were no plans to move it inside. It rained off and on during the ceremony with thunder and the occasional lightening, all the while there was a patch of sun shining and a double rainbow behind us. I would like to think of that as some kind of good omen or a sign of great things. Here's to my boy and all great things and great love!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ruby Red Earrings

I have been busy making some earrings...here is one pair. I love the combination!
Brushed sterling and ruby red jade earrings. You can find these on Etsy.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Saying Goodbye.

Getting back to my horse "story"....

The summer was hot as usual in Tennesee and I continued to care for the horses. I worked with "Bucky" with the lead and he was doing pretty well. I at least felt like I was accomplishing something.
John (the ex-jockey/horse trainer) was called to look at the horses hooves. I felt like they were splitting more than usual and wanted them checked. John was also a farrier. He did a little trimming and filing but said they were not bad. I was not having anything go wrong on my watch! Corn syrup and corn oil was added to their diet, as recommend by John's girlfriend that also cared for horses. The horses seemed to like it and it could only help. I later would see a nice improvement with their coats.
One morning when I went to feed the horses I noticed Lady Gelaine limping. She seemed to be dragging her back right hoof. I went to to check it out and noticed some raised red areas scattered on her lower leg and open red spots under her hoof, it looked like eczema. I got on my cell and called Travis and he was going to call Mr. Hunt. I also called Julie in Louisiana to see if she knew what this was. She did not but later spoke with someone and thought it was Dew poisioning. The vet came the next day and treated her and sure enough it was. Some blood work was done to rule out anything else. It slowly improved and she started to walk better.

Since Johnny's death Mr. Hunt had decided to stop breeding and wanted to sell the mares and their foals. Since he was unable to do so he decided to have them shipped up to Ohio to his farm. I knew this day was coming and did not look forward to it. Originally it was going to be sometime in the fall but later changed his mind to end of August.

Mr. Hunt called me on a Monday and told me the haulers were coming Wednesday and asked if on Tuesday I could get the horses in the barn. Ed and I were not use to this and Travis did not handle the horses either. We tried to get ahold of John to help but could not.

Ed and I decided to put Salina and her foal Bucky in the barn first. No problem....Ed took Salina and I had a lead on Bucky. It went pretty good until we got close to the barn Bucky no way wanted to go in and started to pull back on me, Ed got Salina in and then she started making a racket! Her whole docile demeanor changed and she started flaring and pacing...we finally got Bucky in the stall with her thinking this would solve her anxiety but she actually got worse. I was afraid she would hurt Bucky, she started to sweat and would not calm down. At this point we knew it was going to be impossible to move the other two, Lady Gelaine no problem but her filly, that was the tough one. We realized this was not going to work. Salina was not all worked up because she was in the stall it's because we separated her from Lady Gelaine. Now Salina started to roll in the stall and really sweat out, I called Julie because I was not sure what to do. She said we would have to put her back in the pasture, and then Julie was worried about colic. Now I'm thinking holy crap what the hell did we do?? Heck with the haulers let them get the horses from the pasture themselves. Ed took Salina out first and I followed with Bucky, right back out to the pasture with no problems. Salina started rolling and rolling, all the while I had Julie on my cell. She then went to the water and started drinking and stuck to Lady's side like glue. She was fine, thank God. I could not believe the change in her. She was not worried about her foal she was worried about her good friend Lady. Needless to say the horses stayed in the pasture and thankfully so because the hauler did not show up on Wednesday.

Too be continued.....

Comfort Food

Macaroni and cheese is considered by many to be a popular American food. There is some debate over the history of this cheesy dish. However, the overall consensus is that this delicious dish was first cooked up in the 19th century.

Mac and cheese became a true American staple in the 1930's when a now industry leader in boxed dinners (no introduction needed) introduced mac and cheese as a fast and easy to cook meal.

Here is some food for thought. It's common knowledge that homemade is better that boxed. The numbers show that mac and cheese is loved by all. So why don't you have the best of both worlds.

Step away from the quick and easy box and cook up a side dish that is loved by everyone. Here are several macaroni and cheese recipes to choose from. Enjoy!

As you know I am preparing for guests today and have started getting dinner ready for tonight. I have decided to make a nice southern meal, Barbecue (pulled pork), homemade macaroni and cheese, corn bread and since we are not care for okra I will make roasted asparagus.

I always make homemade macaroni and cheese and really do not follow a typical recipe. It's a little of this and that. I like to use sharp cheddar as the main cheese and add a few others, typically it is what I have on hand. Another tip...I like to warm the milk before I add it to the rue, it blends much easier.
...and by the way we will be eating around 7pm if you would like to stop by!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Knock knock...who's there?

Tomorrow they'll be knocking on my door....well not really but company is arriving tomorrow.

Our son Nick is graduating from High School on Friday evening so my in-laws are flying in from Connecticut as well as my sister in-law. I am busy getting the house cleaned and everything in order (I absolutely hate being unorganized!!) It is just not having company but a week from tomorrow we will leave Tennessee for Connecticut and Massachusetts for 2 weeks. There is always lots to prepare for before leaving on any trip, unfortunately I am not the spontaneous type on taking off.
My niece is getting married on May 23rd so that is the reason for the trip. We have decided to drive back to New England so that I can do some antiquing and bring back a good load of treasures for my antique booths.

We gave Nick the opportunity to fly back to Connecticut with his grandparents so he would not have to drive with us and he jumped on that idea. This will also give him some extra time with his cousin. Going back "Home" for any type of visit is always hectic, it is no vacation that is for sure!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Square Foot Gardening

I have started to plant my little garden, although here in Tennessee I am just a tad behind. We have had so much rain it has prevented me from doing this little task. I say little because it is. My friend Johnny had shared with me his book on square foot gardening and now I have 3 raised beds 3 x 3 ft (very basic...nothing fancy!) Planting these babies takes like a second, so that is the little task, but actually doing it is another. My husband Ed put these together for me last year and I planted in them but my crops did not do well, the soil settled too much and I had pesky bugs. I tried to do this "organically" so I did not spray and I finally fertilized a little too late.

I have planted some watermelon, squash, peppers, cucumbers and the must have tomatoes, but I still need more things. You see, you only plant a few of each- one plant is suppose to fill one space in the grid, so you get a big variety in a small area. I planted one planter full of silver queen corn. I planted the same last year and I did get some good ears but most of them were dwarf, so this year I am hoping for a better crop.

Here are the goofy just planted pictures and I will keep you posted on the growth (lets hope there is some!) Like I said I still need to plant a few more things.

Peppermint Fresh Milk Glass Necklace

his piece reminds me of those red and white peppermint candies that we all love so much,and besides the minty fresh taste they are pretty to look at too!

The focal piece in this necklace is a vintage milk glass brooch fashioned as a pendant. Wonderful faceted white glass beads,faceted red jade beads along with a composite mosaic bead all add to the color and design in this piece. Antique bronze metal bead caps are used to dress it up. Pieces of an antique watch fob chain and hand forged brass hooks finish out this vintage inspired necklace. Measures: 17". You can check this out on Etsy.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Buttons, buttons...

e all have a collection of buttons even if it's just a few to make clothing repairs. For those of us with limited space this is a good collection for you, hundreds of buttons take up very little space.

Buttons are made up of all sorts of materials, including ivory, pearl, glass, horn, bone, enamel, silver, jewels, pottery, rubber, composition, shell, wood, lucite , plastic, fabric and celluloid.

Buttons were first made during the Bronze age, more than 3,000 years ago, but they were decorative-not practical fasteners. Within a thousand years, the Greek and Romans had figured out that buttons could be pushed through loops of thread to keep garments closed. It took another millennium for the creation of the buttonhole and still another for people to start collecting buttons for the sake of collecting.

Here are just a few of mine that will someday be used in my jewelry designs.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Lady Gelaine

We were still uncertain if Lady Gelaine was in foal and the vet was expected to come out to do an ultrasound. I was praying she was not in foal because Mr. Hunt had mentioned selling her and he knew I was interested. If she was not in foal I had hopes she could stay at the farm once her little filly was weaned. I had paraded the stud pony around her and she did not show any signs of interest, in my heart I felt she maintained the pregnancy after having one twin pinched off.

Travis was sure to let me know when the vet was coming he knew of my vested interest. I was also interested in seeing the procedure, as a nurse I had seen plenty of pregnancy ultra sounds but never one on a horse. Lady was good and cooperative, but I did not like the "twitch" (not sure if that's what it is called) but twisting her lip to keep her in place looked so painful. I prayed not to see an embryo my heart was racing but I knew when I saw it, she was in foal. I was glad for Johnny his hard work was successful, but sad for me. Tears filled my eyes, I just could not help it.

I had a nice routine with the horses but I knew taking care of them was not permanent , I hated to think about that.

Travis was planning on moving into Johnny's house, since this is where he grew up I was so pleased with his decision. He started on some renovations and kept busy keeping up the property.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Boy Bucky

The horses now belonged to Travis and Mr. Hunt. Mr. Hunt decided to send a hauler to pick up the yearling "Derby", his Mom Artic Roll and her foal. I was not terribly upset for Derby to go as he was a lot for me to handle as an inexperience horse woman. Artic was the prize mare at this point with some potential for the new foal and the foal within, so I could understand Mr. Hunts concern. I took more pictures and said my goodbyes. I did not want to be there when they left, Travis would see them off.

It seemed quiet now, I had Salina Star and Lady Gelaine and both of their foals, this suited me just fine. Morning and night I doted on my charges. Salina was so happy to be rid of crabby Artic and she and Lady got along wonderfully. Travis took care of getting the feed when it was needed, We had developed a nice friendship he and I , I lost Johnny but gained a new friend

I talked with Mr.Hunt about worming the horses as Julie said they needed it. He told me what to purchase and how much to give. The only one I could not treat was the filly so we had to give John a call, If you remember he is the ex-jockey that was helping johnny train. John was almost always available if we needed his help. Since you could not get close to the filly it was best to get the mare and foal in the barn. Lady was no problem but that filly had a mind of her own. Lady was not an experienced mother and could of cared less if the filly followed her into the barn,, she never once knickered, John said she was a horrible mother, I took offense because she seemed attentive enough to me.Anyway, the filly just took off and ran all around the yard like a wild child, my worst fear... a runaway foal. There were 4 of us and after quite a while John wrangled her into the stall with Lady.
She was a tough one and it was hard to watch. John finally got a halter on her and gave her the medicine. After a bit they were back out almost the same as they came in. Phew!!

Bucky, Salina's foal was my little buddy he was the sweetest foal, I could do anything to him. Putting a halter on him for the first time was so easy. I knew I was spoiling him, he already loved peppermints. One thing I remember Johnny saying was racehorses were always spoiled so I guess I was starting him early. I also like to think that all this attention made him so loveable too.
Now that Bucky had a halter on him I wanted to try to clip a lead on him. I talked to Julie about it and she said to give it a go.Julie was in Louisiana and had Johnny's other two race horses. I called her when ever I had questions, she was most helpful. Since the horses were kept in the pasture I would clip the lead on Bucky when I would go in the pasture to feed, he would eat and go from pail to pail, I let it stay on until I left so he slowly got use to it. My buddy was growing so fast he was going on 4 months old.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Friend's Award

I was surprised to find that Gypsy Moon Designs honored me with this lovely award.

"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbon of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

Thanks so much! Here are my seven awardees:

Worlds End Farm

Eclectic Element

Black Star

Livewire Jewelry

Chipolte Pony

Just Something I made

Boyle Jewelry

Rain Rain Go Away...

Please come back another day....actually not for at least a week or more.

It has been rainy here for a week with the exception of yesterday but the rain is back today. Yesterday I got outside to take a few pictures of my roses and to my surprise my rhododendron was blooming. My orange tabby "Samuel Adams" and gray tabby "Jack Daniels" like to follow me everywhere. They are so very interested in everything I do, I must have a very interesting life to them. Anyway just to clarify the cat names, we are not a home of boozers or anything, the names were just cool names,(although there is some Jack Daniels in the cupboard and probably a few Sam Adams in the fridge).
We need to pretty up the yard as company is flying in next week for our son Nick's high school graduation . Let's hope the rain stops so we can Have our celebration outside

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Goodbye my friend...

My heart is broken with the loss of Johnny. I know it was a greater power that put me by his fence that sunny day in May. A greater power that knew Johnny needed someone to help him and sometimes idolize him and that I needed to be that person. I learned so much from him, he would chuckle at my "horse" innocents. I cataloged everything he taught me and thankfully, as I would need that information in the following months.

Johnny was a veteran and wanted to be buried in Nashville at the vets cemetery. I knew this because we had this conversation only a month earlier when Mr. Hunt came to visit. It was eerie to see the reality of that conversation.

His son Travis did all the arrangements as Johnny would have liked, very simple. Johnny would have been pleased. After the funeral we all went over to Johnny's house. I took the pony out and his friend Julie said to let him go that he would not run off. He was happy grazing in the yard. Out of no where he just started running all around and making so much noise, I think he realized there were three lovely mares watching him. Anyway, all his running prompted the mares and their foals to start running. Two of the mares were in the 10 acre pasture and they started running the perimeter of the pasture like they were in a race, the foals stuck like glue and did the same. The sound of their hooves and their tails held so high, It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen or heard. They ran forever and all I could think of was Johnny, he was putting on a race for us. We could hardly catch the pony as we all were in amazement and then laughing so hard. Finally we got him and tied him up to where we were all sitting.

Julie took care of the horses for a few days and then was heading back home. Travis lived about a half hour away and would come up to feed. I lived closer and never minded feeding so Travis and I made a schedule for feedings. A few weeks later I took on all the horse care as it was easier and I needed to be there.

It was hard going up to the farm and never seeing Johnny come out of the house, his truck always in the same spot and knowing he was not coming home this time.

Travis was not interested in the horses like Johnny and I knew he would not be keeping them. I had hoped so bad that an arrangement could be made but it really was just wishful thinking. Right now most of the horses would stay at the farm and Travis would pay me to take care of them.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A win for Johnny

Watching the Derby the other day and seeing "Mine That Bird" come from the back to win was amazing, but when the story unfolded about the trainer all I could think about was my friend Johnny. He too would have hitched his old horse trailer up and drove his own horse to the Derby....He too use to ride bareback in the rodeo....their were too many similarity's and it was kind of weird for me. I like to think it was his win too.

It has felt good to tell this story of mine and to share my new found love of horses. There is more to tell so I will continue.

Fix My Broken Heart....please

Ed called me while I was away to tell me Johnny was not home, on his was to work he could tell the truck had been gone for a few days. Ed checked on the horses and it appeared someone was feeding them. I then got a call from Julie in Louisiana to tell me Johnny was in the hospital. He had not been feeling well since his trip to Louisiana and drove himself to the hospital. His condition was not good. They were talking about putting a heart pump in to help Johnny until he got a new heart.
Thankfully I was flying out on Wednesday the following day. Ed picked me up at the airport and we went right to the hospital. When we got to Johnny's room they were moving him to intensive care. but we were able to visit briefly with him in intensive care. He was not doing well and was very emotional. I told him not to worry about the horses I would take care of them. His son was going to go and pick up his dog.They were preparing Johnny to be moved to another hospital to have the heart pump put in on Friday. I talked with Julie and she told me his health in Louisiana was not good and that this trip took a lot out of him. I planned to pick her up at the airport on Friday morning and head right over to the hospital. His son was going to be there and Johnny's mother was driving up from Georgia. I had never met the two before. We met in the cafeteria and I instantly liked them both, I could see so much of Johnny in the both of them and it was a nice feeling. We sat and waited all day. Surgery started at around 9am and a few updates would come saying all was going well. I think around 7pm or so they called to say they had a complication but he was doing better. He did not get into recovery until 11:30 pm that night. It had been a long day, but all were hopeful.

Ed and I returned to the hospital on Sunday with dinner for everyone. Julie and Johnny's mom were staying next door at the hospital hotel. When we got there they brought us right up to see Johnny, he was not expected to wake up for a few days. His hands and feet were black due to the lack of circulation during surgery, this was normal for this type of surgery and hopefully would improve. Everyone was very positive and it seemed all was going as scheduled.
Monday the doctors were concerned be cause he was no longer on the medication that kept him sedated. A scan was planned to see if he had a stroke. I kept feeling optimistic and just knew he would be fine. Julie called me Monday afternoon to tell me to come right away, that Johnny had had a massive stroke. I nearly fell apart, I was truly shocked, this could not be happening. Ed and I went right up to the hospital and into Johnny's room. Everyone was there and needless to say it was very emotional. These people felt like family to me, over the last 4 days we had spent so much time together. My heart was broke. Johnny had suffered a massive stroke during surgery, his aorta was so weak and had shredded sending a piece to his brain.

The family was so generous and gave us time alone with him. I said my goodbyes and thanked him for giving me a wonderful year with him and his horses. Later that night they removed all of life support and Johnny Wayne Baggett passed away on June 25, 2008.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Be silent and listen

Be silent and listen....

here is so much around us that we must listen to...quiet the mind and tune into the sounds of life.

Shiny colorful polymer clay beads are the the focal beads in this eclectic bracelet,I purchased them from fellow Etsian ~
Aslancrafts. Turquoise disks and faceted glass roundels are all wire wrapped with oxidized brass. Chunky beaded cone caps are used to finish off each end. I hand forged a clasp and hand stamped the brass disk. Truly a one of a kind bracelet.

You can find this at my Flap your wings shop on Etsy.

Littlest Filly

Lady Gelaine had her foal, it was a pretty little filly. She was just darling! Since the weather was nice and warm she was moved to the paddock with her Mom after a day or so. I never really got the chance to bond with her as I did with the other foals. She stuck to her Mom like glue and I could hardly get close enough to touch her. Everyone else was doing well and growing like crazy!

Lady Gelaine made her trip up to Lexington on her foal heat. The trouble with Lady was the last time she got pregnant it was with twins and one had to be pinched off. Thankfully she had a successful pregnancy. Time would tell if the same thing would happen again.

Sure enough Johnny had to take Lady to the vet she was pregnant with twins. He only trusted a particular vet with this procedure. Now we had to hope one of the fetus's would survive.

Johnny had purchased two new Thoroughbreds. They were in Louisiana with his friend Julie who was training them. He was feeling a little better and really was itching to get to Louisiana to see them. Now that the foals were all delivered and the horses had been bread back he felt he could make the trip.
I was on my way home from the antique shop and stopped by Johnny's to see the horses. He came running outside in his stocking feet to see me, saying he had tried to call me to ask me to feed while he went to Louisiana. He knew once he got on the transplant list he would not be able to go anywhere and thought this was a good time to go. It was so nice to see him so excited. We walked back to the house where he started packing his truck. I laughed when I saw all the boots he was taking (and we think us girls are bad with shoes...) He said "That's the trouble with being a cowboy, you have a lot of boots". He was leaving right away and driving straight through, about 11 or so hours. I had his cell number If I need to call him. He would be back in 4 days.

On the last day of Johnny's trip I came over to feed and Johnny's truck was in the drive. I had already filled the buckets in case and would know if he fed then they would be empty, they were still full. I proceeded to feed and do the water. Johnny came out when I finished. He seemed fine ( I later would learn he was not).
We started talking, he sat on the truck gate and we talked until it was dark, it must of have been hours. He told me all about his trip and how happy he was with the horses. He had plans after he got his heart to spend the winters in Louisiana. It really felt like it was going to happen.

I was planning on going back home to Connecticut and Massachusetts for a week. I told Johnny he better stay out of the hospital and behave while I was gone and please call Ed if he needed help with anything.

...will continue tomorrow