Wednesday, January 18, 2017

January 18th, One Year Ago Today

All that early morning business yesterday caught up with me during the afternoon and into the hour I slept till this morning. The CBS station here carried great coverage yesterday morning on the storm that tracked through our area and into north Houston and the lands beyond. A small tornado touched down and was rather close to my friend's home in the foreign land. The most reported damage in our area was the trampoline high above the ground, resting in the wires now broken, that would normally supply electricity to the surrounding homes and businesses. While somewhat newsworthy, the attention the trampoline was receiving smacked of overkill. Whose was it? How far had it traveled? Had the power company been called? I never learned the answers to these burning questions and I'm fine with that. I did learn a lot about funnel clouds and tornadic activity from the station. Very informative and educational. The meteorologist on the morning show is passionate about his work and it showed in the reporting.
Wednesday morning. There were storms in the middle of the night with close lightning and thunder. And oh my goodness, the rain was some of the heaviest I have heard. It was not a good sleep night. I should have stayed with mindless TV instead of finishing up CBS homework before going to bed. Isaiah, with emphasis on King Hezekiah. He has always been so interesting to me and the questions got my brain awake and thus...a slow falling into sleep. Also Buddy was restless and couldn't settle. My brother sent a text letting us know that Aunt Amy had passed away. She is the last one from that generation of family. She is really my great aunt.

One year ago today I was on my way home to NC when I stopped at the Cracker Barrel in Lafayette,LA and tripped on a small piece of metal by the trash receptacle. The tip of my tennis shoe caught the metal piece and hurled me forward and as a long time ago volleyball player, I turned my body to absorb the hit like I had been taught. Only thing, this wasn't a gym floor, it was concrete. Thus began the saga of the shattered hip and replacement. I read my blog entries the other day from that period of time and rejoiced at how God had kept me safe and arranged the right doctors and nurses for surgery and recovery. There were small details that I had forgotten about. I rejoice that it has been one year, fall free. 2016 into 2017 is all about learning again how to walk correctly and that is an ongoing process. New knees has brought about more learning in how to "walk this way."

As PT is winding up, I like what we do now more than anything before. It seems like we are into the fine tuning of all the other work. My balance is still off but Kelly sees improvement. We did some tough work yesterday and I was tired at the end of the hour.

I am thankful for this past year, 2016. Lots of changes and learning.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Up For A Storm

Marathon Sunday in Houston...warm, muggy Houston. The threat of rain ever lingers and the gray skies attest to a dreary looking day. But I take hope cause I like cloudy, overcast days. The tree in the backyard has a few spinning leaves on it. Those leaves creating such art must not be hanging onto the tree to tightly spinning and twirling while the rest of the leaves remain still and stoic, behaving like leaves are wont to do.

This morning I woke up with a sore throat and this shall be a sign unto me since 2008 that I need to slow down and rest a bit. So, I opted out of church. Roy went onto church and is stopping at Walmart on the way home. He found the pretzels he loves there and they are being displayed as a seasonal item..seasonal as in football. They are in these huge plastic containers which seems to be another indicator for the seasonal designation.

After a hearty start to the day, donuts and coffee, Dena and I headed over to Home Goods yesterday morning. We are both pleased with what we found and loaded up the truck with all our Home Goods goodness. Our plans had originally been to go to brunch at Las Alamada's but we opted for Red River. We split the shrimp plate and added sides to our order. Delicious! Our dessert option came as Sonic because we wanted to bring Roy something, sort of a bribe, although we didn't need to, for his help in putting Dena's purchases into the back of her SUV. We had a wonderful day that ended too soon because Dena needed to get back over to the foreign land.

We flipped channels last night between Dateline and the Texans. Seems like we spent more time with Dateline because we kind of knew the end result for the Texans. The story on Dateline took place in Austin with some Houston thrown in. The story of a man, who was found guilty of killing a woman who was selling her home. He had a long history of making women nervous as he acted like he had cash to buy these homes on the market. He also claimed to be a Christian and he worked at a church. It was a bit unnerving as the show told the story and how he came to be discovered when the fiance and another man friend had been considered the chief suspects.
Roy was especially noisy this morning while getting ready for work and since I was wide awake, I got up at 5:00 am. The forecast has called for rain but we didn't really get any yesterday but this morning, a totally different story. Rancho de Five and surrounding Beigeland was under a tornado warning. The alarm to take cover went off on my phone several times. Buddy wasn't too interested in hunkering down in the bathroom, so we moved to the closet/bathroom in our bedroom where she had a little more room to roam. Thankful that Dena was texting and keeping me in the loop weatherwise. Once the worst of the storm had passed and Buddy was onto her first nap of the morning, I went about fixing the screen on the refrigerator that was flashing error. We had a huge power surge earlier in the morning that also had the alarm system beeping and chirping. I feel a nap coming on for later this afternoon.

I woke up with a sore throat yesterday morning. Since 2008 a sore throat is an accurate warning that my immune system is in upheaval and I need to pull back and rest. So, I opted out of church but if there had been more initiatives like choir and orchestra or lunch plans afterwards, I would have powered on through. It was good to rest and read. Roy had gone to church and when he got home we made Black Eye Pea Jambalaya. It is a recipe that my mom used and lunch turned out pretty good.  We also made cornbread. And what a coincidence, this is what we will be having for supper tonight.

One of my favorite movies was on TCM yesterday afternoon, All About Eve. That movie contains some great lines along with the story of Margo Channing and her star struck, yet cunning protege Eve Harrington....

Now that the sun has risen the sky has that eerie iridescent feel that comes after a storm. We had some hard rain and I think the rain loosened the leaves to fall that were twirling and spinning yesterday morning.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Planks and Parties But No Overthinking

It looks like some mockingbirds have taken up residence in a fixer upper nest in our one of the trees. The nest came with the tree when it was planted in our front yard. It has been used by many a bird family in the past few years. Upon returning home yesterday one of the birds rustled out of the tree and perched upon the garage roof to keep an eye on my activities. Nothing to see here bird, just getting a few groceries out of the back and I'll be on my way.

PT was especially challenging yesterday. We did all new things, harder things that kicked my butt. Had to stop and do a BP reading at one point because it felt like it had gone low. Kelly asked me why I was looking at my watch so much and I told her I was looking at it to see my heart rate and not looking at it with the thought of how much longer. Last year is the year I relearned how to walk and this year is leaning toward posture and opening up my lungs and connective tissue. When Kelly asks me to do something new or something I haven't been able to do in years, after a bit she reminds me not to overthink it. I thought I was trying to better understand the request and movement required to be able to perform it. Alas, it is overthinking and I am learning to discard that habit. It seems to be a slow discard. While trying not to overthink yesterday muscle memory came back in the form of my arm and hand shake I always did before big moments in a tennis or volleyball game. It is the way I would get rid of extra kinetic energy and calm nerves before a serve or executing a particular play. Kelly mentioned the shake and I told her just an old jock habit. She not being athletic in former years laughed saying well that is not anything I know about. We ended my session by doing some moderated planks. Yes, it is as fun as it sounds. The first nine were such a struggle barely if at all being able to count them as a modified plank. I took a moment before the last one, yes probably overthought it but I actually did one and held it for five seconds. The goal is thirty seconds. On Monday we did another assessment of progress and we did some leg stretches that helps with extension. To begin, she gave pressure to the back of my knee and then began a process of pressure points to loosen connective tissue. It stung a little at first but eventually, I could feel a difference.

After PT I went over to CBS and signed up for the remaining time I have here. Peggy's class is full but at least I was able to go into a core group with a leader I have had before. The study this year is Isaiah. Afterwards Emily, Peggy and I went to lunch. There were a few errands to run before going home and I was happy to get home because this child was exhausted.
I feel like I am having a celebration hangover for Peggy's surprise birthday party last night. Such fun! Well planned and Peggy was very surprised. Jaimie did a great job. It is always fun to catch up with friends and meet new friends that you've seen on Peggy's timeline. The variety of friends and the deep love we all feel toward and about her was so powerful in that party room in Pappasito's.Before the party, Dena came over from the foreign land. Since it is such a long dark drive home for her now she spent the night. We both said it is like a mini road trip. Roy is at Bible study, Buddy is settling in for her first morning nap and Dena is still asleep. All is well..... When she gets up and after some coffee, I am already having some, we will do a little bit of shopping and considering brunch.

So happy to see Stevie at Emmanuel yesterday for a haircut and highlights. I met Roy afterwards for a quick lunch and then stop at a convenience store to buy seventy scratch off tickets for Peggy's BD. I have never bought them before.

Back to my thoughts of yesterday reminding myself of a new way to walk and how to release and ease connective tissue. A great word picture for this girl in so many ways and in so many thoughts. Although I don't want to overthink it.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Little Thursday Shoutout

It is going to be a warm spring day in January today and tomorrow the temps might break previous records. I'm wondering if the winter season is over or if we will have a few more days of cooler temps before it is over? I know I brought limited spring type clothes. That new washing machine will be getting a workout at this pace. Because of the cold and icy roads from Dallas, on Saturday our delivery and installation of a new machine didn't happen until 10:00 pm. I was so tired and Roy told me to go onto bed but I didn't want to be in jammies with workmen in the house. Besides, I've been watching ID TV again and every situation is probable for something to go wrong. Then you become a Dateline show and we do not want that. I am thinking, with the doors open and machines being removed and replaced, it could be a crime of opportunity for someone to just come in among the change and create chaos. So, I was in the bedroom watching TV and praying for that not to happen. It all went well. We could have had the washer fixed but the repairs were almost the same price of a new washer and a new one could be delivered before a repairman could get here. We got the upgraded version of the machine we bought for NC. We've been very happy with it.

Monday was a momentous day in PT World. I was able to do three flights of stairs. Real stairs and although it was a halt and lame kind of climb and descent, it wasn't the one step, one step kind of deal. I actually used one railing, not two, and went up and down like normal. It was a celebratory kind of moment. Beginning next week PT will only be once a week.

Tuesday was a productive day in recovery world or what's left of that world. I was able to get some things picked up and although not put away because they will be going back to NC with me, at least in some kind of order. Roy was pleasantly surprised to see the work I had done especially in the closet. All the synthetic workout clothes I brought for rehab are going to Katy Christian Ministries along with a few other clothes that didn't quite workout the way I thought they would. Even some clothes that have been hanging around the closet got the heave ho. It dawned on me yesterday that I am not going to get nearly everything done I had wanted to do while recovering. A lot of time you think can be used for reading or projects is used to rest and restore. Stamina is slowly returning. One of the assessment questions on Monday, can you stand for an hour? I'm getting closer to doing that but it was a struggle on Saturday at the reception after Don Bolin's service.

John's song, Daddy's Lullaby, was used in the service on Saturday. I just happened to be sitting in between two friends who both had wonderful daddies. And there were tears. I even had some tears, but not because of such love...I kind of laughed to myself, oh this song would have to be re-written for my circumstances, your daddy hates you. Now there was a day that thought would have put me over the line emotionally but thankfully, I am not living in that season anymore. It was like an acknowledgement of life but the forward pressing into the present that I have a Great Father and I have Roy a great, great hubby.
Once I hit the floor running, I didn't stop until last night. I met Geni H for lunch at Collina's. The ravioli is one of my favs. So another place marked off the list to go to while in Houston. We had a wonderful time of catching up and I came home with a handmade knitted lamb. So, so cute but must keep it out of Buddy's vision. I took the back way through Memorial to Memorial City Mall and wow, so many new homes, giant homes...  I stopped at Macy's and that was a bust. Must be getting close to inventory time because most departments were filled with clearance items. Lots of clearance items...more so than usual. That stop at Macy's, although quick, put me in Houston 5:00 traffic. I have avoided that kind of traffic on most trips back here. Wow! It is a bear but like most things here that are opposite of life now, you adjust for the time here or avoid. Chris was still here when I got home and I barely beat Roy home from the office. Leftovers sounded like a plan for dinner.

Today, PT and then I am stopping in at CBS to register, I am happy that I was able to schedule the rest of PT on other days than Thursday.

Well, I better kick, stretch and kick...cause I've got PT ahead of me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Service, A Call, A Purpose

I went to one of the most God honoring funerals this weekend and by the newsfeed on Facebook, many others felt the same way. Our music and worship pastor and friend, John Bolin lost his father unexpectedly last week. John and his four brothers were in Israel when their father passed away. Out of this tough week of getting back to the states, gathering the family, planning the service and most importantly taking care of their mother, came such love and compassion in telling the story of a life well lived and well served. You knew that Don Bolin loved the Lord and invested in others knowing the Lord too. The service was more music than talking. The seven children invited us to sing with them, they told stories and Don's wife told a few too. Most all of us leaving with the thought in our hearts, I would love to be a part of the Bolin family.

Reading stories from friends and family on Facebook before Saturday told a wonderful story of his life and it was all confirmed there Saturday morning in the service. I briefly talked with John at the reception afterwards. I mentioned the fact that his father never served at a large church and yet, his impact upon lives is like a minister that has served in large churches...but unlike ministers at large churches where you hear their words and know their leadership from the stage, those who served with Don Bolin got to know the man and know his words served with him in the trenches. John told me that his father purposely served in smaller churches so that he could spend more time with his family and not have the demands a large church places upon him. Watching his seven children lead the service, you were assured that the legacy continues and God will be glorified and lifted up in their lives, their children's lives and those that are fortunate to know and love them.

This week and the coming weeks ahead will be difficult and a huge hole has been left in their family as they adjust to life without the leader of the band. Yet, they know and have the assurance that God is there, He has new mercies every morning, and great is His faithfulness.

Yesterday morning in church I sat close to the front. My usual spot is the back row in the balcony but since I am avoiding stairs with lots of people, the main floor in the worship center has been my choice for seating. The congregation heard some exciting things from the stage yesterday and the vision for the future...We also learned the church staff at all the campuses are doing the Daniel Fast for five days. I would think twice about calling the church this week because this means none of them have had caffeine. With First Baptist being a presence in downtown Houston since 1845, not too sure on the date... it is awesome to know that First Baptist continues to have the vision and care for downtown Houston in 2017 and beyond.

Life Bible Study, formerly known as Sunday School, was good too. Dena and Carole are teaching from a book by Robert Morgan and true to my inability to remember titles, I cannot tell you the name of the book. It has something to do with being purposeful and successful in life. Dena taught from the first chapter, what we can learn from a twelve year old. Of course that twelve year old is Jesus when he told his mom and dad he must be about his father's business. The other end of the bookend with this thought of what Jesus said on the cross, "It is finished." So we start the day thinking about doing our father's business and when the day is done, we say it is finished. Dena gave great examples of going into meetings at the office with the purpose of doing the father's business. What a good challenge for me to think and act through my day with a like mind even though I don't have meetings per se or having an effect on many. My days of course are known by God and He knows that most of them are rather mundane....I am not complaining, I have come to love the mundane. So being about my father's business is about treating sales clerks, food servers, friends and those I meet along the way with love and compassion...even when it is difficult to do so. I used to think back in the day, okay Lord, is this a push over the "money changers" tables kind of day for me? Purpose and success in my life is on a much smaller scale in the grand scheme of things and that is just so fine with me. Dena shared the story of Sam Wyche, football coach, who received the diagnosis of cardiomyopathy, and given only a short time to live....but a heart transplant saved his life. My own diagnosis of cardiomyopathy in 2008 and the healing of my heart by the Lord, put me on the path to live life in a greater way in the smaller places of life, where I began to experience more than just an existence.

The Saturday service that honored Don Bolin still has friends encouraged to serve and chose differently how to live life honoring the One who created them. A call or challenge from the stage to praying, giving and going. The emphasis for the month praying which includes fasting. A purpose of being about the father's business...being used in small ways, in smart ways, in whatever ways God has purposed.

Monday, January 9, 2017

It Is Monday Already

Brrr...It is overcast and cold this morning. There is talk of sleet in the area. I am also keeping an eye on NC weather. On Monday here on the prairie, it will start warming up and we will soon be in spring like temps.

Yesterday was an ensconced kind of day. I stayed around here and totally enjoyed the time. I was texting with a friend and told her I think the units of blood I got in the hospital were from a petite woman who was always cold and is an introvert. Being cold instead of hot is the biggest change and I already know I am an extroverted introvert.

We, well mostly me, watched the Lyle and Eric Menendez, twenty six years later program last night. ABC presented factors that led up to the night Lyle and Eric decided to take matters into their own hands. We came away with it all factored in, their lifestyle, wealth, dysfunctional family, their greed and so on.
It's even brrrer....this morning. It was 22 when I woke up with a windchill factor of 9. That is rather cold for these here parts of the country. It is snowing in NC and friends have posted a few pics. The community center just posted all the roads have snow and ice in our area. Roy is out and about this morning. He bought food for Bible study and he came back here with some donuts for keep me warm this cold prairie morning.

I have been focused on January 6th since December 2nd. My follow up visit with my Dr and Orthopedic Surgeon. My friend from joint camp was in the waiting room when I arrived. She was also there on 12/2. We got caught up with each other's progress. She still needs to use her walker away from home and she was jealous that I haven't used a walker for almost a month. Her "good" knee is taking a beating from the repaired knee and she is wondering now if she should have had both knees done at the same time. My doctor visit was very good. He is so pleased with my progress and even stood and applauded my walking. Wow, I have never had a Dr do that. I asked a lot of questions on this visit. I have been concerned with stamina but he assured me it will return. I am so off the charts in my recovery that these few little things are coming into play much more than they should. He assured me around the six month mark, my stamina should be back. I am a party pooper now with bedtimes averaging between 8:30-10:00 most nights. Dr Smith told me I am the poster child for bilateral knee replacements and I have had the best recovery of any of his double knee patients. I don't think he believed me when I told him in July I was very motivated. I said that a lot to medical people as well as I am a slow starter but once I understand what is needed from me and I understand it, I accelerate quickly. I think I am also a good example of not needing the machine that moves your knee back and forth. My Dr is getting away from using them and only prescribes one if the patient is insistent.

Monday morning...where did the weekend go? Well, you'll have to wait for another post.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Beloved Recipe Is Found

The long lost apple cake recipe has been found! My brother texted me last night announcing this good news. He had found it hiding in his recipe box and it had been safely ensconced all these years. We have bought apple cakes looking for the same taste but never came close to it. We have discussed recipes for apple cake we have found along the way, but alas they didn't fit the bill. He also found a recipe for caramel icing that he is going to drizzle onto the cake. I told him he will not have any leftovers as he is taking it to a Sunday School potluck this weekend. I also asked him to send the black eye pea recipe that my mom made every New Year's Day. Bonus, he sent the caramel icing recipe.

Slowly but surely all the to do's on my list are being checked off as done. This means we are getting closer to returning to the mountains. I also do my exercises, or at least most of them, faithfully everyday. That means, I am getting closer to returning to the mountains.

So, I got a Fitbit for Christmas. I like it but not for the reason I thought I would. My best thing on my Fitbit is the sleep tracker. This has been an interesting look into how well I do or don't sleep. I am not meeting my goal on steps but I am meeting my goal on sleep. Then you factor in the times you are awake or restless while sleeping and boom, I am still meeting my goal. This Fitbit also keeps a record of my heart rate and that has been especially helpful. These past seven weeks have been revealing in that knee pain caused a whole lot of the stress I experienced. These weeks of recovery have held very few afib moments or events. Sometimes I couldn't tell the difference between heart episodes and knee pain but now I can.
Good Thursday morning! I got out and about yesterday and never came back to the blog. I went to Hobby Lobby, Whole Foods and Kroger. By the time I finished at Kroger, I was a bit fatigued and ready for the quick drive home. I spent the afternoon doing things around here and as has been my custom for most of this recovery time, I was in bed asleep before 9:30 pm. Today, I thought I might make a quick trip to Memorial City Mall but while looking through the closet last night, I found I could put together an outfit for a funeral I will be attending this Saturday.

On this cool morning it is nice sitting by the fireplace. I miss having a real fire even though it comes on with a click of a remote. The electric insert we put in the fireplace in NC is nice and it will warm the room, just not the same though.

The new washer is delivered this Saturday and the people from Nordictrack also come on Wednesday to tune up the recumbent bike. Roy is certainly enjoying his Christmas gift, a small freezer for the garage. He loves to slow cooker cook and then freeze for days ahead.

Nancy's Monablog