Monday, July 17, 2017

TEN DAYS OUT

Hi Everyone ~

It's been ten days since my right knee was replaced.  Today I am driving!

This surgery and recovery are polar opposite from last time.  Anesthesiologist suggested a right side spinal block and from what he explained, I voted yes.  I just didn't want to hear anything, see anything or smell anything.  I didn't.  Recovery time was much quicker with less of that hazy feeling after general anesthesia. No headache (most common side effect).  It seemed to block the pain for a couple of days.

Even the hospital stay was day and night.  Altho the room was tiny, I felt like a guest at a 5 star resort.  They gave me a goodie bag with word games, pencil, lotion, toothbrush and toothpaste, ear buds and free use of an iPad while I was there!  Both physical therapy and occupational therapy were substantial.  No one questioned me as if I were a drug addict if I asked for pain relief.  They sent me home with ten days of oxycodone (instead of three) and by day five, Aleve, Tylenol and Ibuprofen managed everything.  I'm keeping the rest until all six weeks of physical therapy is over ... if memory serves me, I may need some help occasionally.

My first physical therapy session was one week after surgery.  They took off the bandage and assured me the staples won't come flying out when I am exercising or walking around.  My bending range of motion is great (what they would expect at the end of six weeks).  Totally flat is close, but no cigar.  Don't think the left one goes totally flat either.



No need for walker although I do use it outdoors so I can bring my phone and water.  I am trying to use the cane in my left hand but it doesn't not come naturally.  At home I don't use anything.

My nursing staff at home have been wonderful and the boys are making me get well cards and not bothering me if I am in my room.  A neighbor took Jesse to the farm on Saturday and I entertained the dudes for almost two hours.  I asked Mr. 6.75 to clean off the dining room table for $1.00.  While he was cleaning, Dad's hose had an aneurism.  Both boys went running to the front door (after hearing dammit) to see what was happening.  Mr. 6.75 came back and asked for his dollar ... but I reminded him the work was not finished.  He quickly did the job, got his dollar and took it out to Dad to help pay for a new hose.  Brought tears to my eyes.


We read a few chapters of a great little boy series, Captain Underpants.  Found some Minecraft songs on YouTube then went to the table to play Legos.  I had planned ahead and purchased a new "girl" set, a Hot Dog Stand.  Even though I like to keep all my girly Legos together (and in my room ... to keep them special), I didn't have the heart to stop the boy Lego figures from having a BBQ.

Life is going well for me!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

INDEPENDENCE DAY

Wow!  We have a gorgeous 4th of July here today.  75 and sunny with a little breeze ... heading to 80.  The little family walked up to our tiny City parade and family fun booths.  SO sweet.  They were both so excited this morning ... Mr. 3.5 got up at 5am!  Woke his brother up about 7am.  Needless to say they each took a 3 hour nap.  Poor Mom and Dad .... none!

Today I have had some quiet alone time (outside on our Community patio) to think.  Surgery is Thursday around noon (send positive vibes to the surgeon and staff) and I will be losing some independence for a week or two.  This is the hardest part about growing older.  Losing little bits of strength, stamina, energy.

I hope I can follow in the steps of my favorite blogger, The Misadventures of Widowhood, and work on regaining strength and balance.  With two knees that aren't painful with every step, I will have no excuses.  She has noticed a great difference in six months.

I am so thankful for a live-in support system ... and the best darned nursing staff ever!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

WHAT DID YOU SAY?

Gramma, you a dummy head.

But WHY don't you want to sit in the hot sun?


That is rude Gramma.


I can't go to sleep ... the sun is still out playing with me.


Get up, Gramma ... the sun is out!  It's a bootiful day (then sings as he waters all the flowers outside ....)


McDonald's isn't very healthy, Gramma. Let's EAT FRESH (Subway).  


Dammit.


Why don't your knees work?  Did you forget to exercise when you were young?


I free ... are you 100?


Stop Gramma.  S T O P.  And red means stop too.

Someone came in my room and stole Brubber's lego police man.  Not me.

Why does that toe curl up?

Were you ever a little kid?

Brubber said I could play all his legos because he is not using them.

Today we built wickiups and filtered river water to drink.  

I don't want to read in the summer.  I am on a break from school.

Gramma I love you.



Saturday, June 24, 2017

MY PRIVILEGED LIFE

priv·i·lege
ˈpriv(ə)lij/
noun

1. a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.

"education is a right, not a privilege"

synonyms: advantage, benefit; 

I grew up in unincorporated Columbus, Ohio in 1952.  Second child, first daughter.  Soon there were 6 of us children.  Those were the days when only the Dad worked away from home.  He was a carpenter and during the winters, he was mostly laid off.  

It was, for me, a great childhood.  While we were not poor by any means, we were definitely lower middle class. One car.  Hand me downs from cousins.  Never missed a meal but often had beans on toast. (Which I still love to this day!)

Recently on Facebook someone posted a "quiz" to see how "privileged" you are.  Since I am not black and I am heterosexual, I came up with pretty darned privileged!  Here is where I object to being part of a special "advantaged" group.  I could not choose to be any other race.  I am what I am.  Just like I can't choose to be transgender or bisexual or gay.

When I moved away from home, it was a step up in life for me.  I probably earned almost the same as my father did ... by being a secretary/bookkeeper.  Each time I changed jobs, it was another step up in pay and status.  For the life of me, I don't think I am where I am because I am "privileged."  I worked hard, commuted and helped raise a kidlet who is rather ashamed of her "privilege".

Sorry I just don't feel privileged.  I feel very LUCKY to have had humble beginnings and great parents who raised me to reach higher.  To give to community.  To use my talents.

Here's a link to this totally unbiased quiz ..


See what you think!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

BRACE YOURSELF

Yesterday I had Invisalign braces put on!  Yep, 65 years old and getting braces!!

 


Did you know your teeth continue to move all of your life?  In my family, it seems like you either needed glasses or braces.  I was glasses.  But with all the movement (and teeth grinding!??), it was getting harder and harder to floss.  My bite had changed.  So I am changing all of that.  I read somewhere that 40% of ortho patients are over 40!  With continued longevity, I am very interested in keeping these teeth in good shape until I don’t need them any more.



Several other things that continue to grow or change as we age.  Feet!  With age, feet change in shape… they will flatten out and elongate.   It’s estimated that many people over the age of 40 can gain half a shoe size every 10 years.   (So, have your feet measured often and don’t get hung-up on the size on the shoe box but the actual fit of the shoe).

And then we move on to noses and ears.  Bones stop growing after puberty and muscle and fat cells also stop dividing. But cartilage - that’s the plastic-like stuff in ears and noses - cartilage continues to grow until the day you die. Not only does cartilage grow, but the earlobes elongate from gravity. And that makes ears look even larger.


So it’s really true. Older people do have larger noses and ears.  Bad news for me as I started out with a large, long nose. That might just be the ONLY plastic surgery I could be interested in ...



Back to the braces.  What an interesting concept (invented by some Stanford kids).  The company makes a new set of clear, plastic coverings that you step up to every two weeks!  Depending on how much movement needs to be done, you can be wearing these for up to three years.  My dentist is confident that mine will be just a year.

Yesterday they put porcelain "warts" on about 12 teeth so that the plastic things have something to snap onto.  So it kinda makes me WANT to wear the braces for that smooth tongue feel.  These will sure help me cut down on snacking.  You can only drink water with them in.  After you take them out for eating, you need to brush your teeth and brush the braces with water and a kids soft toothbrush.  My car is now equipped as is my purse.  And of course the Gramma pad.  

Wish me luck!

Friday, May 26, 2017

DESIGN FOR TINY LIVING - UPDATE

Wow!  The first two hour session turned into a four hour session, with two employees so actually EIGHT hours invested.

My closet was purged without any tears or regrets.  Catherine urged me to get all velour hangers as they encourage you to take the whole hanger with garment on OUT of the closet making it easier to put the empty hangers all on one side.  That tip alone has streamlined my life (and my Japanese laundry man (Jesse, the UNson-in-law) loves it as well).

She also sorted all the clothes by type and by color (blouses, vests, sweaters, etc).  I roll leggings and put them on end in a cute basket.  Now that I've lived with these modifications for a couple of weeks, I'm going to change the shoe storage and use the bottom section of my closet for clothes and just put shoes on the floor of the closet.  More practical for me.
Her handyman also came along so I got him to put a keypad lock on our front door so that Braeden can get in after school if we are running late (hasn't happened, but you never know!)  He changed out our ugly kick plate (little boys take that seriously??) and hung a few things.

I wanted to get a new phantom screen door with a latch rather than magnets and a new through the wall a/c unit as mine is 30 years old.  What I didn't understand is that I was being charged $65 per HOUR for that research (online and phone calls).  UH, what?  After a bit of discussion she changed the office work rate to half price (still too spendy for me!) and returned both items as I did not approve them FIRST.  HOA rules prevent any color but black on the screen door (they bought bronze) and I want a brand I have heard of for a/c.  In addition, she adds 20% to the cost of materials ... to cover travel ... but both were ordered online and delivered to them!  My grey must be showing but I refuse to pay that!

So I have some hours yet to use.  It will be a few weeks before we get to finish as we got notice from HOA that Jesse's plants in the front yard and on our patio must be gone ASAP.  Several residents have complained.

Kids are heading to the Coast for a mini vacay for Memorial Day so we will transport them to the farm upon their return.

So much to do and I need a nap!  Some days the Chaos wins!  But I love my little Gramma Pad and yearn for just a bit more to be complete

Monday, May 22, 2017

SANGUINE .... despite all the rage!

In my last post, I forgot to mention all the RAGE on airplanes these days.  Thankfully, I'm not interested in traveling by plane any longer, except to visit my sister and/or brothers.  Road trips with podcasts or books from iTunes and you can count me in!

Kate and I drove 45 minutes to The Allison Inn, a luxury resort with an amazing spa, nestled in among hundreds of acres of vineyards and wineries.

We arrived Tuesday afternoon about 2pm and they let us in our room early.  Plush and more plush.  Robes and slippers our size (they asked ahead of time).  Instant fireplace, wet bar, deep soaking tub, huge shower and a window seat.  We have our own little deck overlooking nature which looks amazing despite the drizzle.


Tuesday at 3pm we had 90 minute facial.  Who knew that someone can slather and massage a face for that long????  Also did our hands in hot wax with mittens to keep them warm for a while.  Lovely, long foot massage.  And an exquisite head massage.  I had an abundance of blocked pores so had 15 minutes of gouging,  which hurt a bit but not unbearable.  My face looks ten years younger!  She recommended a monthly facial for 3-4 months then go every few months or so.  Not sure it's in the budget but I have a couple of friends who DO go monthly and their skin does look young.

We came back to our room after checking out all the indoor water features.  Dinner reservations were for 7:30.  What a delight that was!  The chef sent a tiny shot glass of fresh, chilled pea soup with a few morsels of house smoked ham.  We shared a salad of wild greens, dried cherries, roasted hazelnuts, pecorino cheese with just the right amount of white balsamic vinaigrette! Accompanied by home made tater tots with mornay sauce.  Of course, we had to "cleanse our palates" with some grapefruit sorbet.

Kate chose salmon and I had halibut and every little decorative thing on the plates was edible AND delicious.  Since we are here celebrating our birthdays and Mother's Day, just as we were getting up to leave, our waitress asked if we could stay a moment ... the chef gave us a plate of cookies, candied orange peel with happy birthday written in chocolate ganache.


With a very small glass of a very great cabernet.  We are both making the most of escaping the crazy, chaotic world for just a while.