Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Big Changes and Family


24th February

25th February

11th March

13th March

14th March - Only 23 hours later!

16th March

(13th February -Hoping for more of these)


And this is the reason why I happily let huge caterpillars eat a little of my citrus trees! Citrus/Orchard butterflies are the largest butterflies we see locally. I have enjoyed seeing them fluttering around over the last month- this female one was just over our fence in the neighbour's yard recently. Stunning! 


The Citrus/Orchard caterpillar changes appearance quite remarkably over a few short weeks. Sunday afternoon I saw Mr Caterpillar attaching to our mandarin tree and settling in to begin to pupate. When I looked Monday morning it still looked like a caterpillar, drying and changing colour.  I nearly completely overlooked him a few hours later, thinking Mr Kookaburra must have found him. The rapid change is stunning. He is so well hidden now I doubt He will be taken as food by a bird. Hoping for a happy ending in the fullness of time.





Looks like we'll be enjoying our own avocados again in a few months too!  :)

Good changes have been taking place in our family also with my husband making a gradual return to work (state government office job) over the last few weeks. Last week he worked 12 hours, this week he will work 15 hours and hoping to manage 18 hours next week. 

He has not been well enough to work since mid April 2014, nearly two years ago. My husband, and consequentially our whole family, have been through a maze of massive physical and mental health struggles during this time, an unpredictable rollercoaster of complex conditions and unusual complications. My husband (always accompanied) has seen a multitude of doctors and specialists, some of which we still visit regularly. His healing is ongoing yet some permanent damage remains. 

The good news is that his 'eczema' is virtually completely gone. In actuality his adult 'eczema' was always his body's reaction/addiction to the cortisone/steroid creams/drops/tablets which he was continually prescribed by various doctors and specialists for 24 years to treat the skin (which first flared on our honeymoon after a bad asthma attack a few weeks prior to our wedding was treated with lots of cortisone). His quality of life, and ours as family, has been hugely impacted by his ongoing struggles with his skin (total body, including scalp, eyelids etc) and general health over these many years.

All going well, he is hoping to increase to a full-time work load within a couple months. Maybe he will even be capable of safely driving a vehicle again within a few months. 

We are certainly hoping some of these recent chapters of life are never, ever revisited. Through perseverance, medical assistance and God's grace we stand where we are today and choose to appreciate the goodness of each day and to look ahead with humility and optimism. Big changes - for the better!

26 comments:

✿ chica said...

Adorei tuas fotos e metamorfose! LINDAS! bjs, chica

Liz said...

I'm so glad to hear that Jim is continuing to improve and finally able to gradually return to work. It has been a long process for you which I understand all too well with my own health over the last 6+ years. I too continue to hope and pray that my independence will return in some form so that I can drive and even return to part time work.
What wonderful images to go with your post. It would be wonderful to watch the process of the caterpillar change into a butterfly. Beautifully documented, Karen! :)

s.c said...

Great macro's. Love them.

the momma said...

Oh Karen - I am so happy to hear that your husband is steadily (if slowly...) improving!!! This is indeed happy news!
The rapid changes in your caterpillar are fascinating ~ thanks for sharing

Anita Johnson said...

What a post! I too cannot drive and have been busy seeking second opinions. I thank God for the medical help available and for the support we receive. These photos are beautiful! I've only had Monarchs in the kitchen! God Bless!

SarahZ said...

Big smiles over here! It is so heartwarming to hear the news of Jim...that you as a family are getting over on the other side...I can hear the gratitude and sense the relief!

And there is nothing quite so captivating as a chrysalis!!!!

Lisa Gordon said...

Karen, I cannot tell you how good my heart feels, reading this wonderful news.
I am so happy for you, and all of your family.

Lisa Gordon said...

And oh my goodness, I completely forgot about that beautiful butterfly!!!
How fortunate you were to be able to see it through all of its stage, and thank you for sharing those photographs here.

Mary Col said...

Wonderful! I sent my best Swiss wishes!!! You're a fantastic family!!

Giga said...

Very, very glad that your husband back to health and that it has returned to work. What evil has already been for you. Changing the caterpillar in the beautiful butterfly is great and you showed it interesting. Regards.

Fun60 said...

The transformation from a caterpillar to a butterfly is one of the wonders of nature. Your photos captured nature at its best. So glad to hear that family life is slowly achieving normality and much deserved happiness.

Erin said...

Wow, oh wow!! So exciting to hear that things are now at that point. :-)

Joyful said...

Amazing metamorphosis of the caterpillar.

I didn't realize that your husband was suffering from a bad case of eczema. I too have it but it is only a smallish patch so far on my left ankle. That in itself is debilitating and painful at times. I'm so happy to hear your husband is recovering and able to return to work in a transitional way. That is very good news indeed for all of you.

Hugs and continued wellness. xx

Dirk Rosin said...

wow great macro photos !

Marijke said...

Oh Karen, what lovely news! I've thought of you and your family often, so good to hear Jim is improving. X

Julie said...

So pleased for your husband and you and your family. I love the butterfly you eventually ended up with, we certainly don't have any like that in NZ. I have to admit, I'm not sure how I'd feel about picking lemons knowing there were caterpillars that big on my plant.
Have a fabulous weekend.

diane b said...

A great series of photos to go with your bright post on change. I knew your husband wasn't well but I have just read through your past posts on the topic and I didn't realise how challenged you all have been. You have done remarkably well to school your children, create amazing craft works and care for a sick husband. You must have a strong resilient character. It must be so heartening to see an improvement in your husband at last. I hope it continues into the future.

Sue D said...

So pleased to hear about Jim's improvement Karen, and the positive difference this makes to his life and to the yours and to the rest of the family - you all continue to be in my thoughts and prayers

Julia {Squeeze Cuddles} said...

Karen it is great news to hear your husband's eczema has healed. A huge blessing for him and your family. Gradually getting back to work must be a huge boost to his confidence. The citrus butterfly is so beautiful. Julia xx

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Thanks Diane. It certainly has been quite a challenge for all of us, physically, emotionally and psychologically yet we have pulled through quite well. There are many more details regarding my husband’s health issues which I have refrained from sharing and we’d rather try and forget. The family atmosphere is becoming lighter and much better, we can all begin to breathe easy, hoping these good changes continue. As his psychologist told us/me one visit (when Jim couldn’t even stay awake during his appointment), 'the children will cope only as well as the mother copes' - keeping myself on an even keel was very important for everyone.

Meg Hopeful said...

Hi, Karen. It's wonderful that your husband and you and your family are able to see some light at the end of what must've felt like a very long tunnel. I hope that his improvement will continue:)

I'm so glad that you leave these caterpillars on your citrus trees. I do too. Orchard Swallowtail caterpillars are happily munching on the leaves of our mandarin tree at the moment and I've never the heart to remove them. I love so much to see the magnificent adult butterflies fluttering around in the garden. I remember, when my son was around 4years old, that we brought a caterpillar inside to observe it's lifecycle changes closely in a little enclosure we made. His astonishment at seeing the chrysalis form and then the emergence of the butterfly is a memory I treasure. I remember these little hands gently holding the butterfly and releasing it into the garden. Nature is indeed so beautiful!

Stiletto ElsieXie said...

So glad to hear of your husband's good progress. Wellness is such an important aspect of life but much taken for granted. Many of us only realize it when we lose it.

Love the photos of the the pupa formation. The butterfly looks like the Common Mormon.

Kim said...

Such wonderful news, Karen with your husband's health on the improve. It must be the most wonderful feeling to have his eczema gone! I cannot begin to imagine what living with eczema would have been like for all those years. Great news that he is able to work again. You are indeed an inspiring family!

Michelle said...

So wonderful to read about your husband's improving health! I'll pray that his return to work continues to go well!

Jeanne said...

I am so happy to hear that Jim continues to progress. Will continue to keep you in my prayers!! Your butterfly is gorgeous!

DeborahGun said...

Just catching up on some blog reading, and so thrilled to read this post Karen. What a reminder of God's faithfulness, and of His sufficiency even through such difficult trials. I will pray that this new season continues to blossom for you all and that you find time and space to breathe again. You have shown such beauty in the way that you have kept going, taking your family with you, and being determined to find joy in each moment. Lots of love xx

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