Saturday, November 19, 2011

" Just Not Feeling It. "

The following photos of artwork and windows were all taken at my church home, Faith Lutheran Church.

 I've been doing quite a bit of thinking about Christmas lately and it is not by choice. Quite frankly I am sick of it already. It's been shoved down my throat since before Halloween and I have just had enough.

Am I the only one who remembers a day when Holidays came one at a time? I want to know what happened to Thanksgiving Day. Since I was a very young girl, Thanksgiving Day was one of my favorite holidays. We used to hang pictures of turkeys and pilgrims in our front room windows.

Many of the stores carried all sorts of related table wear for Thanksgiving Day. I still have my grandmothers little Pilgrim salt and pepper shakers along with a turkey set and a turkey candle.

Going to grandma's little apartment for Thanksgiving Day was always "The" big day in our family. Her kitchen wasn't very big and she didn't have a dining room. We, cousins, aunts and uncles would joyfully SQUEEZE in together around my grandmothers kitchen table decorated so beautifully for the holiday.


Grandma would cook the entire dinner for all of us, always wearing her apron. And all the while smiling and humming while cooking. She was always so happy to do this even though it would be so hot in there!! Grandma always had a relish tray, a tradition that my mother and then myself, would carry on.

All of the stores would be closed on that day. If you happened to forget cranberries or needed extra gravy, you had to call a relative that hadn't yet arrived, hoping that they may have some or you would just do without!

I'm sure that my cousins and I may have shared some dreams of what we had wished to receive for Christmas, but if we did, I don't remember. All I remember was enjoying our turkey, ham and all of the Thanksgiving Day fixings. My favorite was always the hot turkey with gravy sandwiches that we would all fix ourselves later in the evening. How we made room for more food is still a mystery to me!

How Thankful we all would feel to be together sharing the delicious meal grandma had prepared just for us!

And somehow Thanksgiving Day stayed with us for days afterward. We didn't think of putting up Christmas decorations until after the first of December and even then we wondered if we were doing it a bit too soon.

Today of coarse, the decorations in the stores start coming out in October. I've actually seen some before Halloween. Am I the only one that thinks this is ridiculous? My neighbors were outside taking there Halloween decorations down the week after Halloween and putting up Christmas lights!

I am ashamed of our society today. It seems as though everything has to be bigger, faster, better and sooner. I sometimes find myself feeling guilty because I can't buy my loved ones a big screen television, I pad, Kindle, I phone or even a shiny brand new car.

That is when I find myself getting angry. Is this what Christmas is all about? Lights, glitter, and spending tons of cash?

I do know better of coarse. The Advent season is my favorite season in the church year. I can't even put into words the warmth that I feel in my heart after going to Advent services. I won't even try. If you don't know that feeling, I really can't explain it to you.

It wasn't that long ago that I enjoyed Christmas music, decorating my home and tree. Right now I'm just not feeling it. I suppose it could be a bit of grief from my mother passing in December 2009. The last day that we saw her was that Thanksgiving Day.

But I really think that a great deal of my disappointment is directed at retailers and advertisers.

They don't give us time. They don't give us the time that we need to slip into the holiday. They don't give us time for the spirit of the season to envelop us like a beloved, warm blanket.

They don't even let us feel the spirit anymore. All that matters is the end of quarter sales. And that my friends is the bottom line.

My favorite window that sits high above the alter.

I am angry. I am angry because the fun part of Christmas has been robbed from me. I am angry that Thanksgiving is all but swept under the rug anymore. 

I am not decorating my house for Christmas yet. I may not decorate at all this year. It all depends on when and if I feel the spirit envelop me. I am hoping that it will. But I'll be darned if I am going to let the corporate mongers dictate when and if it happens.

I've had enough.


We are having a small Thanksgiving dinner this year. Just myself, my husband, daughter and her best friend. And that is fine. I intend on not only enjoying the food that we are blessed to have but I am going to enjoy the day itself. With the people that I love. No expectations, no gifts. Just sharing our love for each other and of coarse some sweet memories of my mom.

To all of my Blogger friends that celebrate this holiday,
may you have a
Blessed Thanksgiving Day.

Monday, November 14, 2011

" Bilateral Total Knee Replacement/Week 13. The Ups and Downs. "

Today's post is a bit difficult for me to write. But I am trying to be a good Blogger by posting when I'm not "Up" as I usually do.
I'm having a not so great day today and here I am. 
As I was taking the dogs out last night, my Tendonitis in my foot decided to pay me a VERY painful visit once again. For no reason really. But that is generally how it happens. Just take a step and the pain just starts.
But I didn't come here today to complain. I came today to prove to myself that I can do a Blog post without being in the best of moods. Besides, all I can really do today is R.I.C.E.

You know, Rest,Ice,Compression, Elevation.
I'd like to add boredom to the mix but it has given me a chance to work on that Christmas Afghan all morning long.

And now here I am with you, so lets get on with it shall we?

Here is a photo of my scars at week 13.

The great news about week 13 is that I really don't have a lot to report! My aches are almost completely gone. I stated in the past that my knees would ache every evening until I went to lay in bed.

Not horribly, just a little achy. I wondered if it would ever go away since it didn't seem like it was getting better at all. And then one evening a couple of weeks ago, the aching just stopped!

That's when I knew I had turned another corner. The knees are working just wonderfully. I am so happy and pleased with the results and the fact that I had it done at all!

I'm just past the three month mark and the doctor says it will take anywhere between a year to a year and a half before we know exactly how much I will be able to do. I'll tell you, so far I can't imagine doing a lot better than I am already except for maybe going down the stairs. 

I do still feel tired more days than I did pre-surgery but that is getting better too as well as the stamina part. I'm not quite back to my old self on that part yet, but all in all, I am very pleased except for this darned foot!!!!

We went Geocaching again this past Saturday and took my daughter and her BFF with us. They had "Nothing better to do" so they came along. It was a fun few hours and we finally found our first cache!!!

It was only a log sheet but still it was exciting as all get out to me!!! Actually my husband found it and I dug it out.

Now, I did take my camera along and took photos of our adventures that day but guess what? I was so excited about the Cache that we found that I totally forgot to take pictures of it!!

But that's me. I was so aggravated with myself about that but in any case I will just post the ones that I did take.

Here we are at the beginning of our first adventure. It was located somewhere down this nature trail that is surrounded by a Pioneer Village, Golf Coarse, and a Cemetery. 

Lots of fun for Jake and I. Notice if you will however, the look of pure excitement on my teenager, Katie's face!!

And there go the girls. Remember what it was like to be young and fast? Jake and I did a slower pace while searching for the Cache.

He walks with the GPS, telling us where to go.

Jake and I had a feeling that the Cache was right around here somewhere but we are still novices at this game. We've since looked up some tips on Youtube, so we will be coming back to this spot again when we can.

A clue, we think!!

Proof that I am out there WALKING through the woods.
Something I wouldn't have thought about doing last year at this time!!

An old grave marker Natasha and I uncovered. 

As I said we never did find the Cache out there, but will return when we can.

After that adventure we went to the big park in town where my husband actually found the Cache, I know...
I feel like an idiot for not taking a photo of it. Next time I promise!!

So on to the next park. The Skateboard park just blocks from our house. We had been here the first time we went Geocaching with no luck but wanted to try it again.

I am bound and determined to get better at this game and if nothing else, we are getting plenty of exercise!!

I think it was at this point that the girls abandoned us and went back to the car, way in the back of the picture!

Oh well, it was fun having their company anyway. We gave up shortly after that for the day. My legs were getting a bit tired.

I think I did really good that day but the next day I was exhausted. That's how it seems to go since the surgery but it is getting better and I am getting stronger.

I just need this foot to start behaving!

There you have it, I did a blog post while in a BLAH mood. 
If you made it this far, thanks for the company!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

" Ceramics Collection "

I'd like to share with you some of my ceramics collection. Actually some of it's mine and some is on loan.

Raw Talent.

A vase that I use.
A platter.  That Looks like a piece of toast!

Until I put a candle on it.

A perfect candle holder.

This holds my lip balm and little scissors to snip yarn when I crochet.

An interesting little bowl.

A different view.

Tea for two ?

Two more you say ?


Lets make it tea for six...

I do have bowls for soup,
if you're hungry...

And yet another interesting vase.
To bad it's lacking flowers today.

Ever wonder what a Kitty Kat thinks about ?


Just ask my daughter Katie. 
Apparently they think about handmade beads...

Or quite possibly Penguins !!!!

Many thanks to my daughter Katie who so generously shared her beautiful works with me !!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

" Hope "

A much better week this was! Physically I accomplished much more than I thought I'd be able too. One of the changes that I have made seemed to really help. Most of you know that I clean house for a family every week. I've been with them for at least six years now. They are truly are a warm, loving, understanding, Christian family from my church.

Usually I clean one day a week but this week I decided that I would split it up into two days in hopes that it would make things a bit less painful at the end of the day. They don't really care when I come so that wasn't a problem.  I went on Tuesday to clean the bathrooms and the kitchen then went back on Wednesday to do the dusting and the floors. This worked out so much better for me. I was still tired and a bit sore in the evenings but just not so much so. I'm going to do it this way for awhile or until I get healed more.

Look at the gorgeous color of these Petunias from my yard. This little camera really doesn't do them justice. They almost glow! I wanted to take a picture of them before we get a hard freeze. Not to far off I suspect.

On Thursday I went shopping. I bought my husband a new video game that he has been wanting. I can't usually splurge on items like that but he deserves it. He spent his entire three week vacation in August taking care of me, Katie, the animals and the house while I was having my knee replacement surgery. The poor man was exhausted I know. I just want him to know how grateful I am to have him as a partner. I couldn't have asked or paid for better care.

I really wanted to get him that game!
I walked all through Wal-Mart that morning and then I went Croc shopping for me.

I ran all over town looking for a pair. Two malls. 
Oh you didn't think that I meant that kind of crock did you ?
No that would be silly! 

I've been having problems with the tendons in my feet since the double knee replacement surgery. My husband thinks it's probably because I walked sort of crippled up for so long that my feet got used to supporting more than they have to now. I think he's right. I've been actually practicing different ways to place my feet when walking. I think it's starting to work for me. However I have also found that the only shoe that I am totally comfortable walking in is Crocs.

These one's to be exact. And they had to be black as I already had a comfortable brown pair of shoes. So the one store that carried them didn't have my size, blah, blah, blah.....

But I didn't give up.

While I was at the mall looking at Penny's, I ran into this woman that I used to work out with a few years back. She is probably in her 70's although she looks so good it was hard to really know for sure. We would workout together nearly every morning. She was so sweet and I remember her telling me about all of the cooking she would do for her family.

Now you all know how much I hate cooking and her food always sounded so delicious. I remember even back then thinking how painful all of that cooking would be for me then. A lot of standing.
Anyway the subject of Crocs came up and she suggested that I look online. DUH!!!!!

So after giving Penny's and Sear's a try with no luck, I drove home, went online and ordered the exact pair that I wanted and saved money to boot. The whole point here folks is that I cleaned house two days in a row and then walked all morning the next day. Something that a year ago would have been unthinkable. To top that all off, today I ran errands, went to three grocery stores, came home and cleaned my own house. I'm just a little sore. I just hope I don't pay for it all tomorrow.

My husband will be home tomorrow and the poor dear is pretty sick. My daughter-in-law had minor female surgery yesterday. She is doing fine and loves her Mother-In-Laws Chicken and Homemade Noodles. So I promised them both homemade Chicken and Noodles.
The plan is to cook them in the morning so my son can stop by on his way home from work and pick them up. Wish me luck!!

Speaking of my son, who never reads my blog, I am about three-quarters of the way through his Christmas Afghan. I was telling this to my oldest daughter, Ginny, and guess what? She wants one now too. Of coarse this won't happen before Christmas but it will make a nice winter project.

It isn't a fancy afghan but then my son isn't a fancy man! It's just all of my scrap yarn. But he will know that each stitch is a hug from mom. For those of you who crochet (Naida) I am going to trim it with a reverse single crochet in black. I love that stitch as it almost looks like a rope.

If I can make it through this weekend without feeling exhausted and too much pain, I think I may have just turned a corner. This gives me hope again. 

Never give up... 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

" Best Laid Plans "

We all have them. And our housewifely heroine, Diana, was no different. Despite the fact that she has always thought that making plans was somewhat futile. Inevitably something or someone always seems to mess them up. So she generally prefers to let things "Come what may" so to speak.
These last few weeks of her recovery from her Bilateral total knee replacement have left her feeling very meloncholy.

It hasn't helped a bit that she has been sick three times, had two infections and her tendonitis in her foot decided to pay her a visit making it nearly impossible for her to walk for four days.

All of this has left her with absolutely no desire to visit cyberspace. The most strenuous thing that she has done over the past few weeks  is to crochet. And even that has left her hands numb from carpel tunnel.


Alas all is not lost. It seems that teenagers have decided that Diana's house is the place to hang out. This has had a strange effect on Diana's mood. After all, teens can be fun, silly and goofy. Oh and lest we not forget, HUNGRY. This too has made Diana's life more of a challenge but teens like wild animals seem to have a talent for scavenging up food. Cooked or not as Diana found out that her very own teen likes turkey bacon, uncooked. Yuck!!!

Photo taken in the middle of Diana's teeny, tiny, kitchen floor.

Since Diana's house has become the official hang out place, she and her husband managed to make a spot in the garage for them to hang out in on warmer days. And they managed to get the yard ornaments packed away for winter.

Three Months. Post-op visit

While Diana manages to have energy one day and then exhaustion and lack of energy for two days, she could not help but wonder if this was "Normal" post-op feelings. She intended on asking her surgeon at her three month visit last week.


As things turned out it was an uplifting visit for Diana. She was told that she was healing beautifully. When she expressed her concern that perhaps she was just being over anxious about her healing, her Doctor told her that those where the kind of patients that he liked because it just means that they don't like to sit around and do nothing. Boy he had that right she thought. He also confirmed that what she was feeling with having one good day and two not so good, was perfectly normal and that with time those bad days would get fewer and farther between the good ones.

The best news of all however was the fact that she doesn't have to see the doctor again for three months!


The Good Husband

Part of Diana's recent feelings of unhappiness has been the absence of her beloved husband. So he has decided at least for now, to switch from an over-the-road truck driver to a regional one. Which simply means that he will be home every weekend instead of every other weekend.

He has been doing his best to help his wife who has been having trouble keeping up with her home and jobs as of late. He has even taken her places when he is home to try and cheer her and himself up. As times have been tough lately.

One weekend they went to the city park to watch the ducks and geese and to walk to a swing that Diana has been wanting to walk to since her surgery. A goal so to speak. It was far enough away that she would not have attempted it before the surgery. It wasn't very far for the average person but for Diana it seemed a mile away.

But she made it. And so that sat together and swung while watching the geese and the turtles.

The Past Weekend

This past weekend was the best one Diana has had in a long time. Months really. Her teen, Katie, was gone for the entire weekend on a Fall Retreat with her church.

Diana's husband came home and declared Saturday to be Di's day.
She could pick anything that she wanted to do and they would take off and go!

She had so many ideas in mind. She had been wanting to go see "Puss and Boots" at the theater. Go out to dinner. Take a ride to Alto Pass to take in the beautiful foliage. But the one thing that she really wanted to try was "Geocaching".

So Diana joined the website and her husband loaded the app to his phone and away they went. Geocaching is a seek and find game using coordinates on ones phone or navigator. 

Diana and her husband tried four Geocache locations and WALKED for HOURS!!!! They didn't locate any caches on their first try but they were looking for tiny ones which they later discovered that they should have looked for larger ones on their first time out.
None the less they had fun and plan on doing this again. It seems to be a great hobby that only costs a bit of gas and is great exercise!

That evening Diana's hubby offered to take her out to dinner but she decided to go and buy some steaks to grill instead. They bought some beer and had a fire in the yard. A beautiful fall day and evening.
This, Diana decided, should be done every week!!

All in All

The past weekend and the doctor visit seemed to help Diana start to feel a bit more like her old self.

Will she continue to improve physically and emotionally?

Will Diana and her husband seek out more treasure hunts?

Will the teens continue to come to Diana's house nearly everyday?  

And what about those geese? Just how long will it be before they fly south?

Or will they fly south at all???