Friday, July 18, 2014

Pain, Pigs, Pitching In, and Personal Hygiene, TToT Week 57

It's only Wednesday, and I already have enough thankful things to write a post!  I guess when a person is stuck on a couch, unable to do much of anything besides go to the bathroom, being waited on hand and foot, she has plenty of time to see the good things going on around her.

Plus, writing a thankful list helps said invalid focus on something besides feeling sorry for her sleep-deprived, uncomfortable self.

This week I'm thankful...

1.  for my ability to come off the pain medicines.  They were making me completely loopy, but even worse was the vomiting I was doing most mornings.  I've managed to get down to only one pain pill a day, usually in the late afternoon.  My head is clear and able to finally read some books.

2.  for a working carpool.  Phoenix and Buttercup have high school soccer practice every night.  Fortunately, someone from Phoenix's team lives close by.  She picks both of my kids up to take them, and Bryan brings them home afterwards.  He has been busier than he's ever been in his life at work, so he stays until 7:30 and can just pick the kids up on his way home.  It's working out nicely, since I don't have to rely on my friend to drive both ways.

3.  the kids are still able to have fun this summer despite my absence and inability to drive.  I have felt badly for my kids, thinking they were getting robbed of a fun summer.  Except they're not.  They've all gotten to do fun things this year.  This week, Star is at Boy Scout camp and the little boys went to a friend's house to play most of the day.  It was quite a logistical feat to get the little boys to her house, but people have been so kind to not only offer but call and insist to do such things for them.

4.  the kids are willing and able to cook.  All of the kids have been pitching in to get breakfast and lunches for the little boys and me each day.  This week, Giant (the 11 year old) has basically been in charge of dinner.  With the oldest three kids gone during dinner time, and Bryan not getting home with them until after 8:30, that leaves the three youngest kids and me left to fend for ourselves.  Giant has been a trooper, doing basically all of it on his own.

5.  for my mom making it home safely after a once in a lifetime cruise to Alaska.  My 65 year old mother went on every excursion that was offered, including walking over a suspension bridge 200 ft in the air and ziplining even higher.  During the whale watching excursion, she got to see something the guide had never seen before. She promised everyone that no one they know has or will ever see what they got to see.  My mom watched humpack whales successfully execute a bubble net.  Ever heard of it?

She took no photos, despite the fact it occurred 15 yards away from her.  She said it was just too unbelievable of an experience she didn't want to miss by looking through a camera.  Clearly, I didn't get my blogging/document everything gene from her.

I showed the kids the above video and told them that Nana had gotten to see it for real.  Later, Cuckoo came to me and we had the following conversation:

C:  I know why they call them hump whales.
Me:  Really?
C:  Yes.  It's because they swim upside down.
M:  Oh, is that what you think?
C:  No.  They actually do.

6.  that Kris came over to help us can green beans.  The beans...they are a growin'.  Bryan and the kids have been picking them like crazy.  Only problem is, I can't stand and do all the work involved in canning them.  Kris, aka Mrs. Always Random, has been wanting to learn how to can.  I sat on a stool in the kitchen and told her what to do.  Thanks to her, I have 7 quarts of green beans on the shelf, she has a new skill and a gob of beans, zucchini, and eggs to eat at home.

7.  that I am able to get up and do a few things.  While canning would require too much standing and precarious movement on crutches, other things are more within the range of safe.  Last night, I made omelets for the three youngest and me for dinner.  I have finally been able to get upstairs and sleep in my own bed without fear of waking Bryan up several times in the middle of the night.  And I shaved.  That was huge.

8.  to see the boys becoming real farmers and problem solvers.  While Phoenix and Giant were in the garden picking beans, Giant looked up to see 2 pigs standing there watching them.  Did they panic?  No.  Did they waste time coming to tell me?  No.  They simply solved the problem.  Phoenix grabbed a zucchini from the garden and lured one of the pigs back to the pen.  They both then used their brawn and brains to corral the other one back.  I didn't know anything about it until Phoenix came to me asking for a bungee cord.  It seems the pigs got through our two-"lock" system.  They chewed through the bungee cord, then broke through the chain on the gate.  He came to ask for another cord, which he installed higher than the pigs can reach.

9.  for Bryan's job.  He has been working ridiculous hours for the first time in years.  It's bad, as he hasn't been home to see the little boys all week, but I'm grateful that he has a job and is in demand.  Plus, despite all the work that still needs done, he will still be able to go on our annual vacation with friends this weekend.  (Would-be robbers, don't get excited.  Our house sitters will be here.)

10.  for my friend who took me to my follow up doctor appointment.  Bryan had to work, then head down to pick Star up at camp before we could leave for vacation.  My appointment was right in the middle of it all, and I'm not cleared to drive yet.  A friend was kind and generous enough to take me.

Update after the appointment:  Stitches are out, and I'm cleared to drive as long as I'm not taking any pain medicine.  I don't even have to wear a brace anymore.  Physical therapy will start soon.  I'm glad to be done with the brace, but, my word, I'm skittish.  And walking hurts more. Giant even commented that I look worse now than when I left for the appointment.  I guess fear will do that to a person.  I'm scared to death of getting bumped in the knee.  It's so exposed.

two of the 4 incision points

Don't be alarmed when I don't get to go around reading and commenting this weekend or when you don't see any posts from me this week.  I won't have internet access most of the time we're gone.  Doesn't mean you can't link up or tell me in the comments about the things which made you stop and say thank you this week.  Lots of people will come by and read about them.

Have a lovely week!

Ten Things of Thankful

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  1. OK, now the real comment.
    First, how awesome is it that you have all those things to be thankful for by the middle of the week??? It's all so good.
    I am amazed that your Mom got to see the whale thing in person - that is absolutely amazing to watch. Wow.
    Yay for Phoenix and Giant. I am not sure how big your pigs are, but if they are anything like the ones we see each week at our CSA farm, I am duly impressed. These pigs are HUGE and FAST. Holy cow, (hehe) I had no idea how fast pigs could run. Seriously, no idea. Two of them took off running while we were there picking our green beans and we were amazed. Who knew? Well, I guess you probably did.
    Meanwhile, I haven't read Kris' green bean post yet, but I have it on my queue because I need to learn to can too. My Aunt is supposed to teach me and another Aunt this summer...perhaps we need to schedule that.
    Glad you're up and about and not drugged. Driving must feel like freedom - I couldn't drive for like three weeks on my stupid sprained ankle and that was miserable. Hope you continue to feel better and better!
    Have a wonderful vacation!

  2. Hmm...I swear I posted one claiming first...but it went away. Blah.

  3. Glad to hear you're on the road to recovery and off the pain meds. The knee looks terribly painful. I'm having issues with my knee but I'm too chicken to go to the doctor!!

  4. Christine, it looks like you have a brood of handymen and women!! I'd love to taste one of their meals!

  5. Awesome week and it isn't done kudos to Giant making dinner along with getting the pigs back on their pen with Phoenix...have a wonderful va-KK! It's wonderful to have such a wonderful supportive group all around you - and how amazing that you are canning your beans and getting help from a fellow blogger. Enjoy the weekend, Oh that whale video was amazing too I don't blame your mom for not taking pics totally fascinating! :)

  6. So glad you are indeed on the mend and remember from being on bed rest during my pregnancy with Lily how boring it can be to be confined to one place in the house. Also wanted to say enjoy the weekend and the week ahead now, too!! :)

  7. What wonderful kids you have! I'm so glad they are having a great summer - that is always important to me too. They work so hard all year at school you want them to have the chance to just be kids and yours are. Great to hear you are healing up nicely - hope you have another fantastic week!

  8. Thanks again for teaching me your craft...and now I know how to do both canning methods. Wahoo! But...I think I shall stick to the awter-bath for now...I think more than once with a pressure cooker is needed before I get turned loose on it.

    And thanks for all the produce. The eggs have come in handy to make the zucchini bread, which utilized the aforementioned zucchini. One zucchini gave me enough for 6 loaves of bread plus a bunch of diced pieces for soup this winter. So yeah, I'm set.

    We will be over to pick the garden too...thanks again for that! Have a lovely trip!

  9. Having vacations before and after your surgery must be a good incentive to take care of that knee. I'm so glad that you have lots of people nearby to pitch in and help you during your recovery. As I've been out on errands throughout the week, I've thought of you being stuck at home. Like Janine, I've done the months of pregnancy bedrest thing, and remember just how liberating it was to finally be able to be up and about again. Enjoy your vacation!

  10. I am proud of your kids for stepping up, learning, growing, caring. The whale video was incredible. It's on my bucket list to see the whales breach. I think I would just watch the awesome experience as well. Bring my daughter along, maybe to document it on film. The knee is looking good. Have a great vacation - you deserve it!

  11. I am glad to read that your knee is making progress. Papa Bear went thru a total knee replacement awhile back, and it isn't easy, nor is getting off those miserable pain meds. The best blessing I see here in addition to that, is that your family and friends pull together in time of need to help you get things done. That's what caring is all about! Also loved the pig problem solvers, those kinds of "figure it out" skills will serve them well all their lives! Wishing you a great week away, and a much easier Fall season coming up before too long. Very glad you won't be hobbling around on ice and snow!

  12. This is the greatest! So glad you're feeling better, and able to get around a little bit more. Those BOYS with the pig situation, that is amazing! They are geniuses, luring with a zucchini! I wouldn't have thought of that. City girl :) Speaking of that, the whale video is fantastic. We went whale watching in California and didn't see squat. I probably would have tried to film this while it was happening, too. Blogger curse, or our generation? Who knows.
    It's fantastic you've been getting help, good friends are priceless and your kids are learning life skills that some parents would pay top dollar to have their children learn! Great week!

  13. The physical therapy will help a lot, but you already know that. I've two friends that have had this surgery and they are thrilled with the results. It just takes time and most importantly...patience.

    Have a fabulous weekend. ☺

  14. Gosh what a great list Christine!!! Love it all... and I would be SO cautious and feeling vulnerable about my knee too if I were you. I'm actually surprised driving is allowed this soon. Be careful and keep tending to it, as you should my friend!

    Enjoy your vacation and what a blessing those kids of yours are!! I bet those omelets were the best ones you have tasted in a long time... ;)

  15. What a great week that you had! I am so glad to read about your recovery. As a sufferer of three knee surgeries I know how recoveries either go well, or not well. You seem to be doing well. You are right to be cautious about your knee. I was so afraid to do anything for fear of bumping, twisting or god forbid fall. Keep being careful and things will heal right.

    How exciting for your mom to see the whales at work. I totally agree that it was better to experience it first hand in full view than confine the experience to the viewfinder on her camera. But the video you shared is pretty cool!

    I hope your vacation is wonderful and you have lots of thankful vacation things to share with us next week!

  16. Ooh, I wish I could grab a hold of something like #1 there. I'm still waiting for insurance and surgical tests.

    Lots of good gratitude here.

  17. I am always so impressed with your children, and in turn, with you and Bryan! Because where else did they learn all this independence? I hope the healing continues beautifully and you become more and more confident moving about independently.

  18. I have heard of the bubble netting. Sorry, I agree with you Mom. I get so caught up in the moment, I forget to take pictures. I am glad she was able to see it.

    Glad to hear your knee is improving. Those first days free of the wrap and such are scary. I remember how naked my knee felt after the bandages were taken off mine. I love to hear how you whole fam is working together. Well done you for training them so well.

  19. Seeing a humpback whale bubble net in person -- you mom was so lucky! Best wishes for physical therapy.

  20. ptichas! don't forget the vcay photatoes

  21. Those pain meds are mean, aren't they? My husband, who will barely take an aspirin, had to take them after his knee surgery and he hated them. They really messed up his guts. I'm glad you're almost done with them. That knee surgery is not fun stuff!

    How awesome that 1) your mom went on a trip to Alaska and 2) the whales!! That is incredible. I probably would have missed the photo op too. That's amazing.

    I'm a little disappointed I won't be able to rob your place this weekend. I made plans.

  22. this 'time passing by' thing… jeez how is it that you hair isn't streaming out behind you as the years progress and people grow up!?! I mean, serially, when from my own short time of coming 'round 'the coop', if I see the changes…. to you it must be like those messed up Disney time lapse flower films !
    (I feel fortunate to be allowed to witness even this small segment…)

  23. Huh. I'm kind of surprised they had you take the brace off. You must have some pretty good quad control! That is so awesome that your mom got to experience a bubble net! I've never heard of it, but it looks like it would be absolutely amazing!

  24. 1. Pain meds or pregnant?
    3. Your kids always find ways to make their own fun.
    4. What can Giant cook? I'm interested to know what he fed you and the little boys.
    5. I can't believe your mom got to see something that cool! My parents have been to Alaska twice and my dad would go again tomorrow if he could.
    6. I love home canned green beans! My great aunt used to can them. Maybe you and Kris can teach me how next year....
    7. Getting to shave things is huge. HUGE. Makes you feel 110% better.
    8. Have you ever had pigs that didn't try (and often succeed) to get away?
    10. Just because you are cleared to drive doesn't mean you feel ready to drive. But at least you can if you really need to do so.
    Have a great vacation! Remember, seagulls are assholes.

  25. So why do ya suppose your site eats my comments now??? Any clues???

  26. So much to be thankful for! I am glad you are healing! My word, I cannot imagine not being able to drive!


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