Friday, December 30, 2011

30 Days of Pictures - Day 7

Because of where Christmas fell this year, and because of the chaos of family, fun and frivolity, I didn’t have a blog last week. So…to make up for it, this week’s blog is a bit longer than usual.

A picture of something you wish you could change

I really, really wish I had better knees. I have always had problems with my knees. When I was about 10 years old, I developed Osgood-Schlatter Disease in both knees. For an entire year I was unable to participate in any kind of sports at school. On bad days, I had to wrap both knees in ace bandages. I won’t even go into the ostracism that led to. I was left with large bumps just below the knee caps that made it impossible to kneel. And it was ugly.
About 8 years ago I developed arthritis in both knees, but the left one was much worse than the right. For quite a while I was on a heavy load of pain medication. Then I graduated to using a cane. I was always in pain. Walking hurt. Walking improperly also really messed up my back.
After struggling with it for a couple of years I finally accepted that I needed to have the left knee replaced, hoping it would save the right knee for a few more years. The whole experience was horrific. I have never had pain like I did with the recovery. Plus, this was before the antidepressants, so I was already borderline going off the deep end emotionally. The addition of the pain made it all a hell. I didn’t do the physical therapy as I should have, with the result being limited mobility in my left knee. Getting my socks and shoes on in the morning is an adventure in itself, not to mention pedicures! But it DID help with making the right knee last for a while longer…I told myself that I would go through a GREAT DEAL of arthritis pain before I would EVER go through another knee replacement.
In the last 2 weeks, the right knee has decided that it no longer wants to participate. It’s almost exactly 6 years since the left was replaced, and the right knee seems to think that it’s carried the load long enough. BUT…I now have the antidepressants on my side! HA! I can handle a LOT more pain than I could previously. I went CHRISTMAS SHOPPING with Paula…AT THE MALL while in great pain. I went AFTER-CHRISTMAS SHOPPING with Sarah…AT THE MALL while in even greater pain. I’m back on a heavy load of pain meds, but I just cannot face that surgery and post-op period yet. And while I could handle a cane with ease when the pain was on the left, I haven’t quite gotten the rhythm of dealing with it on the right. So I guess I need to practice a bit…
But God is so good! I have never had to deal with my knees and back at the same time! When the back has been bad, the knees have been tolerable. And the reverse is true as well. Through the last couple of weeks I have had very little trouble with my back. So it’s all good…I just keep clinging to Phil. 4:13. It also helps to remember St. Paul and how little he considered the challenges in his life. I try to be content in all things. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Feasted, Feted and Felicitations

I had a birthday recently. December 11th, to be exact. My 58th. Wow, I am old!

As with most adults, celebrating on the actual day isn’t as important as when one is a child. It doesn’t matter when you get a card or present or maybe go out to dinner. It’s nice to have the day of your birth celebrated “whenever”.

This year, it started shortly after Thanksgiving when I spent a week with Sarah. I was given a lovely, soft, yummy throw blanket. I even used it while I was there. And one night Chris took us to dinner at Red Robin (yummm!), and while that wasn’t specifically for my birthday, it was a celebration nonetheless. Also while in Fresno, I bought a new purse! You can NEVER have too many of those! That was my little gift to myself.

Back home, a friend took me out to lunch a few days before the 11th. It’s become a tradition to celebrate at either Taco Bell or Jake’s Burgers. This year it was Taco Bell. We had a nice lunch and then went back to her house, where her mother was waiting. I had invited Thea’s mom to join us for lunch, but she didn’t want to cut into “our” time together. We had THE BEST VISIT just the 3 of us! AND….there were homemade Christmas cookies for our dessert! Can’t beat that!

Paul called me on my birthday!! He NEVER calls!! This was a BIG WOOT! This does NOT take away from talking to Sarah almost every day (and that is pretty essential to my well-being) but was a nice little bennie. Also, my brother called me, and he and his wife and daughter sang to me.

Marv got me “Cowboys and Aliens”, which just came out on DVD. That was high on my list of new movies I wanted to watch, but just never got around to going to the theater. THEN we went out to Red Lobster for dinner. ALWAYS a treat, no matter what. And Marv told the waitress it was my birthday and I got a WONDERFUL piece of chocolate wonderfulness along with a scoop of ice cream with a lit candle on it!

I got lots of well-wishes on Facebook. I have come to really love that place. I have met some incredible people there.

All in all, a wonderful birthday…Thank you, Lord!!

PS--the above picture was not my birthday cake. For one thing, it doesn't have NEARLY enough candles...

Friday, December 9, 2011

December Ramblings

As usual, this month (and this year) is rapidly nearing an end and I don’t have much accomplished. Always have big plans, but the rush just seems to make things even harder. Don’t know if I’m going to get Christmas cards made this year. I found some very good Christian ones last year at the sales and may just go with those this time and give myself a break.

Since I spent a week in Fresno right after Thanksgiving, I didn’t get the tree up and decorated yet. Marv got it out of the attic and put together last night, so now the decorating begins for me. No more kid’s ornaments anymore. Sarah took hers with her a few years ago and this year I will be shipping Paul’s to him in VA. I did get to help Sarah put her tree up while I was at her place. Lia took such delight in being able to help put some ornaments on.

Last week I went to Chico to get my new glasses and took Anne Murray along for the ride. Several years ago I heard “Mary’s Boy Child” on the radio sung by her and just fell in love with that song. I was in the car at the time, so when I got home I called the radio station to find out the exact name of the song and what album it was from. Then I got the CD.  Really fine Christmas CD without a lot of secular stuff. And Anne’s voice is the only female one low enough that I can sing along with the songs.

I’ve needed new glasses for a couple years now, especially since my fall in the parking lot chipped up my bifocals and really skewed the frame. For almost a year now I’ve been using my reading/computer/piano glasses full time and only putting on the bifocals for watching TV. My new reading/etc. glasses are fine. The new bifocals are different this time in that they are progressives. No definite line in the lenses, which I love, but it’s taking a little getting used to the “grey area” and finding just where my eyes need to go at different times. It’s also a different material from the plastic lenses I’ve always gotten, and that’s a bit hard to get used to as well. The peripheral area is blurry. Don’t know if I can deal with that. Time will tell.

Is anyone reading this? Really? Any suggestions on topics? Anything you’d like to know about me? I have pretty much accomplished my New Year’s Resolution for 2011 by posting a blog every single week. I know some of them have been skimpy things, but by golly, they’ve been there! Subscribe! Become a follower! Leave comments! You don’t have to sign in to blogspot…I think you can leave comments anonymously. But of course it would be nice if you had your name in there somewhere so I know who reads this…I know Gladys has had problems with the comment function.

See ya next week!

Friday, December 2, 2011

November Book Report

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

As far as I’m concerned, Mr. Riggs is a genius. He took a bunch of bizarre vintage b&w photos with no connection between them and wove a story with them. The story in itself was fascinating, creepy and utterly compelling, and the addition of the photos was a great little bonus. The story had an open end to it, leaving you wanting much more. And I did. I really wanted to know what happened next. According to his blog, Riggs has confirmed that there will be a sequel with more odd photos. Yay! And…he has sold the rights to a movie based on the first book! Double yay!
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Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater

This is a delightful children’s book that I reread after watching the Jim Carrey movie “based” on it. I think the only thing the movie used from the book was the title and the fact that it had penguins in it. It was a good movie, and I enjoyed it, but the book is a separate entity to be enjoyed on its own.
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Heat Rises by Richard Castle (novel)
Richard Castle’s Deadly Storm (graphic novel based on the original book)

More fun from the people that bring us the delightful TV show “Castle.” The smartest thing they could ever do is actually write these supposed books that the main character, Richard Castle, writes. The Nikki Heat books are fantastic. And then, to start doing graphic novels from Mr. Castle’s earlier Derrick Storm series is just plain genius marketing.