The first week in 2011 was a quite stressful one for all of us as we dealt with death, a seriously ill friend and all the stuff in between.

Last Tuesday we were notified that Aunt Jane had three-four weeks to live.  As we going through prilminary discussions if we could get things in order here at the urban homestead  to go back to New Orleans for a visit,  she passed (peacefully) the very next day.

When we heard the sad news Jordanne brought out the needlework that she had salvaged from Aunt Jane’s house. We fondly remember the time we spent with her, drinking beer and eating chocolate on her front lawn after a hard day’s work cleaning up her house from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. (Read about our trip to lend a help hand after the flood waters receded and check out our photo gallery of pictures

Jordanne pulled needlework of hers from the mud when we were cleaning her house. Jordanne brought it home, carefully cleaned it up from the grime and mold. The needlework now sits proudly in our dining room. A beautiful reminder of Aunt Jane and her energetic spirit.

Thank you, friends, for your cards and comments.

Then mid week we heard that one of our best friends was in the hospital in serious condition.  She’s been battling dangerous health issues for over a year now and last week it took a turn for the worse.   We sent cards and a care package and made sure to call to keep her spirits up.

Thankfully, she’s back home after a drug injection that may have serious side affects. So, we are praying that things turn around for her.

Last, but not least, we said goodbye to Jo.   One of our older duckies passed (quickly and peacefully) . She was  in good health and spirits — eating, swimming and hanging out with her buddies, then we heard a rukous!  The ducks were going crazy and  Jordanne ran over to the animal enclosure and saw that couldn’t walk, she was limp.  Jordanne picked her up and she passed within seconds in Jordanne’s arms. Now there are only Meg and Beth left from the “Little Women” foursome.

Though sad, we knew her time was limited as she had a some issues with her ovaries  (Jordanne diagnosed it a few years back and she’s pretty spot on). Jo was certainly one happy duck and we are blessed that she didn’t suffer. Also so lucky we perfectly timed our new batch of baby ducks that are all grown up and should be laying soon!

Last week was a REALLY rough one, hoping this week is better!


  1. Nebraska Dave says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your rough start for 2011. Aunts are specail aren’t they. I had my matriarch of the family aunt die last year at a ripe old age of 90+ years old. With sharp as a tack mind she went in the hospital with health issues and died shortly there after. She also will have a special place in my heart for the rest of my life.

    I’m sorry to hear about another flock member’s demise. It is the natural way of life. The old die and the young mature and take their place. They just don’t live nearly long enough. But then what would be long enough. I guess maybe that’s why I don’t have animals, birds, or rodents in my life any longer.

    I’m glad to hear that the sunshine has returned and the temperatures have warmed up for you there. Here in Nebraska …. not so much. The good news is that it’s only 67 days until spring. Yeah!!

    Have a great California day.

  2. V Schoenwald says:

    I send my thoughts and prayers to you on the stressful New Year. Life is always full of challenges both good and bad. I had a bad week also from a pet that I had to put to sleep and a few other stressful things.
    Please take care and know that I keep you in my thoughts and prayers always.

  3. Jill says:

    I am sorry for all of your losses. You are in my thoughts.

  4. says:

    Wishing the Dervaes family the best in this tough time.

    “Live for yourself and you will live in vein, live for others and you will live again.” – Bob Marley

    The Dervaes family does so much for others, we are all truly thankful for everything you do!

  5. Jeni says:

    I am so sorry for your very rough start into 2011. I pray things get better for you and your family and that all may be at peace in time. Hopefully your family has gone through all the rough times you will have this year. Your all in my prayers.

  6. Chris says:

    Sending you heartfelt condolences for the loss of your Great Aunt in New Orleans. I did not know about her so thank you for sharing and reminding us of all of those whose lives are still devastated by Katrina. We need to come up higher as a nation and your family continues to “be the example” ~ a blessing everyday to so many!

    Sending prayers for your dear friend that things turn around for her and that she is experiencing peace and serenity knowing that she is surrounded by loving and caring friends.

    Sending condolences for Ducky Jo. It is ironic. I think they “wait for Jordanne” before crossing over. A blessed little duck to live in such a warm, loving environment. What animal or human could ask for a better life! May your baby ducks bring you as much happiness and ducky antics as Jo!

    “This too shall pass” and sending you continued blessings for love and joy in your hearts and spirits for 2011!

  7. Kirsten says:

    Such a difficult start to the new year. Being engaged and attentive to your family’s, friends’ and animals’ lives are blessings to them and you both. You all are such a thoughtful and caring family. May the passing of your loved ones create in your lives a new tradition, vision or inspriation in their memory.

  8. kelli says:

    sending lots of love your way!


  9. John says:

    I am so sorry for your family’s losses and your friend’s illness. Your family and its cast of animal characters is such an inspiration for us regular readers of your blog, about how to live more harmoniously, purposefully, thoughtfully. I wish for peace for your family.

  10. Heather :) :) :) says:

    Oh,g oodness, you have had a week!! I didn’t realize all of the health issues going on with your family. I’m so sorry about that..and then to have your sweet duck pass away…wow!! I’ll definitely be keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers…loss, whether human or an imals is always hard!!! Thanks for being able to share about. Extra special love and hugs from Oregon, Heather 🙂

  11. Heidi says:

    Sending you all lot’s of love and well wishes.

  12. Mark P says:

    So sorry for your losses. My prayers are with y’all. Here’s hoping for much encouragement and good tidings in the very near future!

  13. girlgroupgirl says:

    Dear Derves Family:
    We are so sorry for your losses. Hoping that the rest of 2011 is a joyous and bountiful year for you.


  14. Kathy Woodbury says:

    My heart is with you.

  15. Ginger says:

    Grief is a difficult thing. It is hard for those that remain to get through the death of a loved one. I’ll pray for peace. But she’ll dance in heaven.

  16. Melissa Koski says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of your family’s rough start this year.

    I just came across this blog and am looking forward to going through it to get me through some long winter days here in the Michigan. I’ve loved everything I’ve read and looked at so far!

    Here’s to a much improved year!

  17. jillp says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about all your losses. Checking on your cheerful blog and website is always a highlight to my day. I’m praying for comfort for your family, and much joy in the future.

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