Monday, September 28, 2015

Sprinting a Marathon

Today my PT therapist came to the cottage and I was struck by how much she reminds me of one of my nieces. She looks, talks, laughs and seems as sweet. The result is that I feel motivated to give her my very best. Wonderful.

I am now working on learning how to do squats and kicks. I never did them with my God given knees but it seems I will be with my new ones. Who would have thunk?

It also seems I am about to graduate from chairs with arms to include those without. This is much earlier than I had expected and frankly makes me nervous but I am hoping to be up to the challenge.

I am getting back into the household routine by starting to be responsible for the laundry again. I never thought I would say this but it feels good. I consider it to be a form of OT.

Another OT thing I intend to do tomorrow is make a birthday cookie for a friend.  Baking is a wonderful form of OT as far as I am concerned.  Therapy you can eat.

Tomorrow is also the day I get my stitches out.  I cannot believe things are moving along so fast.  I am beginning to feel I am sprinting a marathon.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Ten Days and Two Knees Later

I'm at the cottage we will be calling home for the next few months.

They removed my knees using tools that are close cousins to those available at Sears:  reciprocating saws, drills, hammers and epoxy. Modern medicine.

If you had assured me that I would be walking, getting into and out of bed and on and off bathroom facilities in ten days I would have assumed you were just trying to be nice. In fact, that is exactly what I did think. But they were right. For a woman who literally does not have a good leg to stand on, I get along fairly well.

Now, me and my bumps and bruises have to relearn how to walk in a manner that does not resemble Frankenstein. I also have to learn to walk and sit and get up without the support of modern pharmaceuticals. That looks to be a challenge.

I will keep you posted as to who is winning.

Monday, September 14, 2015

O Day!

Tomorrow is the day I get my new knees!

I am psyched and a little scared all at the same time.  After all, I have never been a bionic woman before. LOL

It will be a few days before you hear from me again but I will be back.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Mickey and Minnie Were All Around

My darling little granddaughter had her second birthday party and her favorite characters were there all throughout her party, starting with her special Minnie party outfit.

My DD2 did a wonderful job making items supporting the party's theme:

  • Mickey lollipops using normal and mini Oreos  
  • Mickey Mouse garland
  • a Mickey wreath
  • Mickey silhouettes
  • Mickey shaped rice krispie treats
  • chocolate Min(n)i(e) cupcakes
  • and a gorgeous, looks like the cake boss made it, Mickey themed birthday cake
There was also a huge Mickey balloon for decoration as well as a Disney bounce castle parked in the driveway that provided So Much Fun and helped burn off some of that sugar induced energy. LOL

Each little guest received either a pair of Mickey ears or Minnie ears. 

Any child would have been enchanted. 
This grandma was enchanted.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Zero Waste Part Two

Now that we have bragged about what we do, let's get real about what we could do and what we won't do, even though we should.

What We Could and Probably Will Do In the Future:

Compost again:  we tried it on the boat but it was a no go even though I love the idea so we will do this again when we can
Make our own yogurt to save on packaging:  fridge space is a premium but I intend to find a way even though I can't make it a quart at a time anymore
Move from plastic storage containers to reusing glass containers we saved to reuse from things we have purchased
Eat more vegetarian meals so that so much grain does not need to be used to feed meat animals for human consumption
Learn to make more cheeses and not just ricotta to minimize packaging
Eat more fresh and seasonally available fruits and vegetables so that we can minimize our use of canned and frozen items and the packaging waste that come with them

What We Probably Won't Do, Even Though We Should

Stop flying in airplanes that consume so much fuel
Stop using Ziploc bags
Stop using shampoo with its packaging and go nopoo for our hair
Using family cloth that is washable rather than toilet paper
Get rid of plastic entirely, I just don't see how
Buying products that are only packaged in paper or glass because I am too cheap, really

There are probably more of everything but you get the idea.  Life is a learning experience so as we learn things will continue to be in flux and hopefully for the better for us and Mother Earth.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Zero Waste

The push for zero waste is a big topic in England right now. So I have been thinking about what we already do, what we could do without much of a problem, and what we should do but probably won't.  Today I will talk about some of the things we do to reduce waste.

What We Do:

We use cloth napkins and not paper
We don't use disposable dishes
We make our cleaning products and store them in containers that once held products like vinegar
We reuse plastic bags, aluminum foil, waxed paper cereal bags, and supposed one use plastic containers over and over again
We have reusable drink bottles
We have a filter pitcher for our water rather than buying bottled water
We reuse gift bags, tissue paper and wrapping paper
We purchase our clothes and household items from the used market so that energy and resources don't have to be used to make new items
I make my own kefir drink and store it in a reused milk container rather than buying it bottle by bottle
I cook from scratch rather than buying boxed items to reduce packaging waste
We turned off the stove and oven pilot lights to save gas and light them by hand to use them
We line dry our laundry to save energy
We use stale bread to make French toast, a strata for dinner, croutons, bread pudding, or bread crumbs rather than throwing it away
We make stock from bones, veg peelings, wilted veg, etc.
We make our own salad dressing and reuse the same bottle over and over to reduce packaging waste
When I use the oven I fill it to capacity so as to maximize the energy being used
I often cook with my pressure cooker to save time and energy
When buying fruits and vegetables I focus on one's with a long shelf life so they don't go bad before we can eat them

Even small changes make a difference.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


We are currently living in a hotel room with a small fridge and microwave. So I was quite pleased to find a deal on Papa John's pizza for 40 percent off a large pizza. It was only $10 and provide us with two dinners and a lunch.  Not bad.

I also found a gift item for 60 percent off saving me $15. Not too shabby.

On Saturday I went to a salvage grocery with a friend and got a huge amount of groceries at about two thirds off regular price.  Then on the way home we stopped at a bakery outlet and I found bagels, English muffins and multigrain bread for 89 cents per item.  Score! We now have a base of easier to cook food for Mike to make for himself while I am in the hospital.

I was in need of some more yarn to crochet with so Mike and I headed for Goodwill.  It was a great day for shopping.  It was 50 percent off senior citizen day.  I came home with 14 skeins and they cost me less than $9 !!!  Good times ahead.  My first project is a tea cozy for us.

Dinner  one evening was from Ruby Tuesday's.  We got $20 worth of food for $15 by using a coupon. I had hoped it would provide both a dinner and a lunch but it was too good.  Dinner only. Oh, well.

For our anniversary we had Chinese.  The leftover will provide another dinner or lunch.

Lots of little things that help balance the budget in these less than normal living conditions.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Leave of Absence

Tomorrow Mike and I will be leaving the boat at Anderton Marina for the next three to four months while we travel back to the states.  They will be repainting it during that time and we are looking forward to seeing her all bright and shiny when we get back.  I'll take pictures and post them when I can.

When we are back stateside I will be having a dual knee replacement on September 15th followed by a few months of therapy to get my pins under me again.  I am looking forward to the result if not to the actual process.  I must admit my knees have been a bit wobbly for a few years now.

When we come back I am eagerly anticipating some long walks along the tow path, something I have not been able to do for awhile now.  I have missed them.  It is wonderful the beautiful things of nature that can be found among the hedgerows.

I will be posting occasionally  while recuperating if anything even remotely interesting occurs.  But expect the blog to be back in full force in late December or early January.  Thanks for your understanding and patience.

Near the Anderton Boat Lift

The Anderton Lift is a marvel of boating on the British waterways. 

Abandoned and out of use from 1983 to 2002 (a Thatcher government fatality) it is once again lifting boats from the Trent and Mersey Canal to the Weaver Navigation or visa verso.

It is amazing to think that this ingenious lift dates from 1875!!! 

It was built to lift boats the 50 feet from the canal to the River  weaver below, saving the boats a much longer and meandering route via the canal only. 

The boats are moved using giant tanks of water and it is a sight to see, even if you are not going to use it.

Unfortunately for us, we will not be cruising on the River Weaver just now so a ride is not in the picture for now.  But coffee and a look was too much to pass up.