Sunday, July 14, 2013

They say "time flies. . ."

Yes, time flies, but not just when you're having fun.  I can't believe it's been 7 weeks since my last post.

A lot has happened in the meantime, and most of it good.  As usual, this post is way long and probably only of interest to my family, although there is a bit of polymer clay mention at the end as well as some mention of future RV trips planned.

My perennial garden is finally taking off; the spring flowers have given way to the summer ones (although it still needs some weeding done), the pond is clean and the fish are happy and growing.

The barrel planters I had to replant (thanks to the chickens digging them out and eating the plants) have been replanted with succulents (started with ice plants--the fringy looking ones--several years ago and now has expanded to all kinds of succulents) and they are growing like crazy and blooming beautifully.

My wonderful Mom has amazed her Dr. and everyone else concerned with her fall and subsequently shattered and reverse total shoulder replacement at 84 years young.  On Wednesday, July 10, Mom was released from the Dr's care and from physical therapy.

 She still has physical therapy exercises to do and has some work to get more range of motion, but the Dr. says to just take it at her own pace, she's already surpassed his goals for her.  She's back home and driving and taking care of herself.  WOW!!! in just a bit less than 7 weeks.  Here are some pictures just after the accident and the day of her release from the nursing home rehabilitation.

We celebrated Father's Day and our Dad's 85th birthday, talk about time flying. . . how'd he ever get to be 85 years old?
Dad, Sister, and Mom

B's back surgery was successful, as far as fixing the ruptured disk and subsequent nerve impairment; but there has been a complication in that the wound has not been cooperating in the healing department.  So we still have some concerns in that situation, but she is so pleased to not be having such debilitating muscle spasms and pain.

N's news is great, as he has been hired as a permanent employee at his work rather than being a temporary contract worker.  He and his family are so relieved to feel they can finally settle and know they will be able to stay in one place and have some benefits from his work.  Except for the snow and cold, they like Wisconsin, so it's a win/win situation for them.
N's two little girls will be coming down to visit us for a week, starting the 20th.  Hopefully B's family will also visit the week after with a 3 day overlap for the cousins to enjoy one another's company.  I can't wait and really look forward to their visits.
We had a catastrophe with our remaining chickens this year.  Something (probably wolves, coyotes, or wild dogs) got into them and we only have 4 of 12 remaining.  Both roosters are still here and 2 hens are left.
Mr. C has been busy scheduling our last two trips for this year; a long (5 day) weekend at Lake Shelbyville, here in Illinois and a longer trip to Louisiana and then to Gulf Shores, Alabama.   After that, the summer will be over and we'll start winterizing the Big Sky and the pool.  He's also already planning our trips for next year.  We think rather than 2 LONG trips we'll take one long trip and three 10 day trips.  We won't be seeing Mr. C's Dad this year, so probably we'll head for Albuquerque, NM again next year for the long trip.  We try to see his Dad at least every 18-24 months.
Speaking of the pool, we're already thinking about winterizing and putting the pool away. . . and we haven't even used the pool yet this year.  The weather here in central IL has been so odd this summer that, although the pool is running and clean, it's been too cold to actually go swimming (we run on Solar Heating and if it's cloudy, it doesn't heat, if it's cold at night, any heat accumulated during the day gets sucked right back out, and our "old bones" prefer WARM water to swim in).

It's supposed to heat up (day and night) this next week, so hopefully by the time the grands all get here we'll be able to play in the pool.  I know that's the main reason they all want to visit Nana and Papa, just for the pool, LOL.

In spite of the late spring and odd weather we've had, the crops around us are all planted and happy.  We have corn around our house this year (no, we aren't farmers, we just live in the middle of a farmer's fields).  The "old wives' tale" is if the corn is "knee high by the 4th of July" it will be a good crop.  This corn is not only knee high by the 4th of July, it's way over my head by the 14th of July.

I mentioned "old bones", above, I have to see a Dr. about my bum knee.  It's gotten lots worse and I can barely put any weight on it lately.  This poor knee was actually injured in track practice when I was 12 years old (I was a hurdler, believe it or not; I can hardly believe I ever did anything like that, LOL).  Way back then though, Doctors didn't have access to things like MRI's so the actual damage was never determined.  I know I got put in a cast from my ankle to upper thigh for a month.  Funny aside, one thing I remember of this time was one Sunday we were running late for Church and my Mom told me to hurry, so I was hurrying down the stairs and forgot and stepped down with the "good leg" rather than the stiffly cast one. . . guess what. . . you can't step down that way, I fell full length at my Mom's feet.  I was okay, but that's an awful feeling to be falling with no way to stop it  (maybe that's why to this day I'm so afraid of falling).  It seems like slow motion, but really is so fast, there was nothing anybody could have done to stop it or break the fall.  Sometime after that I was treated by an Osteopath who "withdrew" fluid from my knee weekly (said I had "water on the knee") and put a prickly electric pad on it for 20 minutes or so and a huge bright orange medicated bandage that burned like blue blazes the first couple days each week, the rest of the week it was just hot, but not burning.  I also know I could never do running or jumping classes in Physical  Education for the rest of my school days.  As I've gotten older, it is okay as long as I don't abuse it, with occasional bouts of extreme pain and locking up.  Those episodes usually only lasted about a week and if I babied it for a few days it "unlocked" and got back to normal.  About 6 weeks ago I had a muscle (or ligament or tendon?) spasm in the back of my knee, of some kind that I couldn't straighten my knee for a couple days and once the spasms eased it started popping like mad, (on the inner side and felt like something was catching at the top) and would over extend and HURT like crazy (it felt like it was bending backwards and knees don't do that too well).  The problem is/was that it wasn't constant.  It ached constantly but the over extending and popping with fiery pain were always an unexpected surprise (is "unexpected surprise" an oxymoron?).  My Chiropractor worked on it some but it just didn't respond, so he finally said I needed to check with an Ortho Doctor.  So, at my Mom's last appointment I asked which Doctors work on knees in their office; it turns out HER Dr. does and told me to make an appointment on the way out.  I'm hoping it's just arthritis and won't need anything done to it.  Either way, I plan to wait until after our big trip to have anything done other than checking it out.  I figure it will take that long to do all the checking out, anyway.  I don't want the rest of our summer ruined by my knee.  I can just limp/gimp along for now and take lots of ibuprofen, LOL.

On the Polymer Clay front, although I have not been able to get a lot of claying done, I have been working on finishing off a few items:  My color "theory" sticks are completed.

Do you remember me blogging about a great Kaleidoscope Caning workshop I went to back in April, in Wisconsin with Carol Simmons?  The color sticks are from that.

But also, our group decided we would do a swap utilizing 1" samples of our own Kaleidoscope Cane and putting them on bracelet blanks.  We would each make 7 and give one to each of the other members of our group.  I just finished mine and have mailed them off today.  I am quite pleased with them, although the buffing was much harder with such small pieces.  They were hard to hold on to.  But considering that I NEVER sanded or buffed anything before this class (see, Carol, you made a believer of me, LOL) I am pretty happy with how they turned out.  You can see from the reflection that they are pretty darned shiny.  One picture is one side and the other picture is the other side.  They are double sided and reversible.  I will receive 6 (one from each of the other participants of their own canes) and can make a bracelet, or whatever I want, from the 7 (including my own) pieces.  One gal, Donna, made all the blanks for us to cover, which means she made at least 49 little 1" disks and mailed 7 to each of us, to make this swap a success.  Many Thanks to Donna.  So far, I have only received one, Donna is the winner for being finished and sending hers off first, too, although several have said theirs will go in the mail this week.  I'm looking forward to seeing them all together.
That's all the news I have for this post, and I need to go get some things moved out to, and put away in, the trailer, getting ready for our upcoming trips.  Wow, between grand kids visits and preparing for our trips, the time will just keep flying by, so I"ll be back when I have a chance.  Have a good summer.  Smiles, Sue C