Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Perfect Weather

We had about 48 hours of hot, humid weather, and then in cooled off. Today was breezy, sunny, just perfect for a drive. We went for coffee and then shopping (but didn't buy anything but a beach towel lol). We stopped to eat at a little diner on the west side of town but since the place was closing at 3pm we had little time to study the menu. Although the place is rated well on the Internet, I didn't trust most of the items because of my food sensitivities. We will go back to Perc Place the next time we eat in town, or maybe try the Mineshaft when it's not too busy.

I did laundry by myself yay! And I drove again. Hubby and I stepped out at night and saw lightening bugs. My daughter and I decided to take a walk to the corner. We saw more lightening bugs and a deer grazing.

The Avid I ordered on Ebay came today, so I can treat my plants later, or tomorrow. I actually drove last night and today, just through town, but it's good to get back to doing things for myself. I'm turning my head more. For some reason doing dishes is still very tiring and it makes my neck and shoulders sore.

Thursday, June 23, 2016


Twice a week, but no more neck massages. Now I have a Theraband and Theraputty, along with a list of exercises. According to my therapist, I'm moving my head more normally now. I still feel like a bobble head. My head feels a bit too heavy for my neck. It takes time. They want me to work up to lifting 20 pounds, but that's not happening with the disk degeneration I have in my lower back.

In other news, I ordered some Avid on Ebay. I used to keep it on hand, but gave it away when we moved. I have 5 Primulina plants (they used to be called Chirita). I finally got around to re-potting them. I had two gemella in one pot and two Jade Moon in another pot. I noticed one Jade Moon plant is looking like it has a mite infestation. I was not able to spot any mites with my magnifying glass (yes, it is possible to spot them with a good eye loop), but that doesn't mean the plant is clean, or any of them, for that matter. I still need to re-pot my species plant. It has been on a different shelf, but I think I should treat it anyway. My one and only violet has been bagged for some time, so I'm pretty sure it is safe.

I have not bought any plants, except for the flowers outside on the window sill, which have not come in contact with anything inside, so I'm at a loss as to what happened. Here is a picture of the one Jade Moon plant in question.The center is off-colored. It just seemed odd looking.

The other Jade Moon (from the same pot) looks normal...?

I figure it can't hurt to have some Avid on hand, especially if I decide to acquire another violet or two. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fun Weekend!

My daughter from Indiana and her hubby and his two kids arrived on time Saturday. We ate dinner downtown and then walked around Hartford. It was a beautiful evening. Later we went back to the apartment to relax before they headed back to the hotel. Sunday dawned clear and sunny, just like Saturday. Thankfully we don't have much humidity up here. My outdoor thermometer says it hit 90. We cooked out at Pike Lake and mostly enjoyed the fresh breeze in the shade. We took a walk but it really wore me out, too much sun. Everyone headed home about 4 pm.

The bins and boxes from my daughter's storage contained a few surprises (Yay, I still have that). About 1/3 is going to donations. The huge stack of family pictures is going to get a thorough going through because pictures need to be scanned and shared.

I am exhausted.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Easy Does It

I had the same thoughts as my therapist, my neck is still too stiff for driving. We're working on it, and I am sore. My therapist is figuring 2 more weeks of PT, twice a week, should do it. I tend to progress pretty well.

Later today (since it's already after midnight) my other daughter and her hubby and his two kids are coming for the weekend. My daughter has to work until noon, so they will be here after 3 pm. We plan to go out for dinner on Saturday, and cook out at Pike Lake on Sunday. We are all looking forward to a fun weekend.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I'm Free!!!

Six weeks of hot cervical collar are over! It came off today. Doc says I can do anything, drive, swim, enjoy life. PT will continue at home, with new instructions. She is super happy with the healing in my neck and the abundant growth of new bone to form the fusion. She was pleasantly surprised to see me motion with my arms how I wash my hair and fix it by myself. "Let me see that again", as she asked me to raise one arm, then the other.

Today's X-ray. The ghosty wavy lines on either side of the hardware is the new bone browth

Of course my neck is still weak and stiff. The back and sides of my neck and my shoulders tire easily. I thought I should wear the brace while my daughter drove me home from Milwaukee, but she said no, that will prevent my neck muscles from getting stronger.

I stopped in for the X-rays a little over an hour before my appointment. We had some time to kill, so my daughter and I went up to the Healing Garden, then down to Starbucks for coffee, then over to Rehab so I could say hi to the girls who worked with me when I was in so much pain. They were happy to see me and happy to see I'm doing so well and that I ditched the pain meds after the 4th day at home.

It was an all-around great day.

Monday, June 13, 2016

I Drove, darnit

Ok, ok, it was only from the street out front, around the corner and into the parking lot...two right turns, no traffic. I also got the front door open. I don't know why it's so heavy. It looks like a regular door, but I need to throw my weight on it to open it, and right now I don't have a lot of that. I lost 10 pounds in the hospital, so I'm a skinny 146. Pulling it open (after unlocking it) from the outside is more difficult, because I must pull really hard. I can get it open enough to get my knee in there, and then I can leverage it open.

The security door entry to the apartments

My daughter put in an application for one of the apartments in the second building (on the corner) that will be open September 1st. We are waiting to hear from the landlady, because when the application was given to my daughter last month the price was $10 more than what we are paying, but now we hear the landlady wants to raise it up by $30. The reason...there is a third identical building that she doesn't own and she found out from someone the residents are paying $35 more per month than what she is charging right now.

It's probably still a good deal though, because heat is included, and so is water, sewer and garbage. We only pay electric. The stove is gas, so we don't even pay to cook our food. The buildings are well-lit and each building has locked entry. And they are clean. Cheap, but clean. The floors creak but the bathroom is newly tiled and sparkling clean. The cabinets in the kitchen look like a weekend plywood project and the kitchen is way too tiny and has no dishwasher, but the stove is new. All this for under $600 per month. A luxury apartment costs about $900 and they usually don't include heat. We have no idea how much it costs to heat an apartment here.

Hubby's job is going well. He is a hard worker, which has been noticed by the supervisors here and in Sussex. When there is no work here in Hartford, hubby signs up for the plant in Sussex, about half an hour south. They are always happy to have him. He hasn't had any difficulty with breaks or with time to eat. His cousin's friend recently went from Finishing to Pressing. He likes it. If a person signs up to run the presses they cannot go back to Finishing. It's a bit more money but also longer stretches when you cannot leave the machine unattended. You better be darn sure you want to be a pressman. A lot of people shy away from running the presses for that reason, so Pressmen are always in demand, and always have steady work. Apparently the printing presses usually stop after several hours for mechanical reasons and then the pressmen get a break. I told hubby think long and hard and don't make any snap decisions. 12 hour shifts are long, no matter what part of the plant you are working in.

By the way, if you get a catalog in the mail, or some other circular or flier, there's a good chance it was printed by the company where my hubby works.

I see my surgeon Wednesday. I'm looking forward to hearing what she has to say about the next steps to my recovery. I've already been taking my brace off at home. It's hot and it drives me crazy.

The weather has been good. We like it. We have warm days (usually in the low to mid 80's) and cool days (usually in the 60's or 70's). It cools off at night. Saturday was hot (in the upper 80's and humid) so we put the A/C on. It cooled off that night, so it was a one-day deal. I keep the windows open almost all the time. The air is fresh

Thursday, June 9, 2016


I took a shower with my brace off AND washed my hair all by myself!!!

I do have to say that today is a vast improvement over yesterday. I had no appetite and my tummy hurt. I had a low-grade fever and I was achy. It seemed to pass without incident. I'm relieved to be eating better today. My appetite has been mostly off since the surgery. Between the mini-stroke-or-whatever and the surgery, I spent a total of three weeks in the hospital. Three weeks of mundane hospital food, greatly suppressed by my "no soy" requirements, which was difficult to sort out with the Food Police Computer in the kitchen because I'm not bothered by cooking spray but I am bothered by soy protein. Oh, and don't forget the mega dose of Cipro to knock out the bladder infection I had. I've drank so many bottles of probiotic yogurt I'm sick of it.

You would think after all that I would have hit the ground running as soon as I got home, but no, not so much. I have a hard time wanting to eat meat. This morning I cooked some Albanian sausage with a scrambled egg. It was good. I ate it. I have a love-hate relationship with eggs. I love them as long as they don't taste like eggs.

Tonight I'm going to try home-made pizza, with turkey pepperoni and lots of veggies. Junk food, maybe, but I need to do something to get my appetite going.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Ten on Tuesday

According to my fellow blogger, today's subject is 10 things I'm curious about.

1. How my neck is healing (the bones need to fuse).

2. When can I start driving.

3. Who the cast of Doc Martin is (I just looked it up). It's a British series I like to watch on Hulu.

4. Why my blood pressure has been perfect since my surgery.

5. If my blood pressure will stay good.

6. What happened to the violets I shared because people said they would share them back.

7. Is a house really a good investment for us.

8. Is carefree apartment living a better choice.

9. What's in the boxes my daughter is bringing on the 18th (stuff we left with her when we moved the first time).

10. When will the bloom on my succulent open.

Probably not the most interesting list, but it's what came to mind this morning.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Winding Road

The road back to my health is a winding one, but I'm making progress. A few days ago I started washing dishes, leaving all the heavy stuff for my daughter. I also made taco salad, which was a milestone for me...cooking! On June 1st we took a long walk along Pike Lake. I estimate that we walked about 2 miles.

Me and hubby walking along Pike Lake. Haha that blouse makes my butt look fat. I have no butt.

I still get moody. There is the twist in the road. Memories. Recently I tried to find an African Violet my mom bought when she and I shopped together back in the mid 1990's. I kept it for many years. I have no idea why it didn't make the move with me. I still have the one I bought for myself, which is the only violet I own right now. I have many other things from my mom, a cute kitty flowerpot, needlework, a wall hanging. I don't know why the violet bothers me so much.

Then there is Wisconsin. We didn't move here to wallow in the past, but so much of my past is here, the memories keep rearing up. I have good memories and sad ones. When I first came to the Midwest from California I set foot on the ground at O'Hare Airport. It was August 28th and so stiffing hot and humid I couldn't breath. My first hubby and I and his parents then drove to the cottage in Wisconsin. It was wonderful, magical, beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, the best times of my life. It was there I learned to fish. It was a week before I would see Indiana, where I spent the next 40+ years of my life. Indiana was daily life, raising my daughters, paying bills. but Wisconsin was always magical fun. I always felt I should live here. Now that I'm living here and paying bills, I find myself wishing for magic, but the cottage was sold years ago and all the people have died.

I wasn't so naive to think that the past would be here waiting for me, but this surgery with the long recovery makes time drag on. I can't open the door to the apartment complex without help. It's too heavy, so I'm stuck, like a child. I'm still waiting to be able to drive. I'm still waiting to get to the downtown craft store to attend some group sessions of fun painting and such and make some friends. My hubby wants to make picnic destinations at the various lakes and scenic areas around Wisconsin. He missed so much work in May with me being in the hospital for so long that he's still working extra to catch up.

I only have the one therapist now, and once a week. She will come once after I follow up with my surgeon on the 15th, to make sure I understand my next steps in recovery. My older daughter and her hubby and his kids are coming to visit the weekend of the 18 and 19th. My hubby will be off work for a few days. The company does that when the workers change shifts. We might try a trip to the Dells before he returns to work on the 22nd. It's only an hour and a half away.