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A Musical Hodgepodge

After a bit of a hiatus, I am back and excited to participate in this week’s Hodgepodge.  Thanks, Joyce, for posting these questions, even as you’re snuggling that precious grandson of yours!  Now, let’s get to my answers!

1.  April is National Jazz Appreciation Month. Are you a fan? If so what’s a favorite you’d recommend to someone new to jazz listening?

I can’t really say that I’m a fan.  I do appreciate music, but I don’t listen to jazz it and probably could only list out a few  musicians in this genre.

2.  Mandolin, ukulele, harp, accordion or banjo…which would you be most interested in learning to play? Or do you already play one of the instruments listed?

I think it would be fun to learn how to play the banjo.  Growing up in the South, I grew to love the sound of this instrument, and I always enjoy it when someone at church pulls one out for worship.

3.  Do you judge a book by it’s cover? Elaborate. You may answer in either/both the literal or figurative sense of the word.

I’m human, so I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I do, sometimes, judge a book by its color.

I think that teaching has changed this tendency, though.  A lot of my kiddos present tough exteriors as defense mechanisms.  I’ve learned that taking time to get to know them . . . to compliment them . . . to show them that I’m interested in them goes a long way and removes some of the walls they keep around their hearts.

As far as books and covers, well, there again I do judge them, initially, from how they look on the outside.  Let’s face it, folks.  Publishers need to help their writers market their books with eye-catching covers.  They are the first things that entice us to pick up their books and at least turn them over to read the blurbs on the backs.  I’ve often skipped over books (and have probably missed out on great plots) because the covers weren’t alluring enough.

As I said, I’m human.

4.  According to a recent study the ten most nutritious foods are-almonds, cherimoya (supposed to taste like a cross between a pineapple/banana), ocean perch, flatfish (such as flounder and halibut), chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, swiss chard, pork fat (shocking! but I don’t think they mean bacon), beet greens, and red snapper. Are any of these foods a regular part of your diet? Any you’ve never ever tasted? Which would you be most inclined to add to your diet?

I would have to say that almonds and chia seeds are a regular part of my vegan diet.  I’ve never tasted cherimoya (sounds interesting), Swiss chard, perch, flatfish, beet greens, or red snapper.  I guess I’d be most inclined to add the fruit to my diet, if given the chance.

5.  Besides a major holiday what is the most recent thing you’ve celebrated with your people? Tell us how.

The most recent thing I’ve celebrated with my people was my birthday last month.  Chicky was on Spring Break, visiting a guy friend nearby, and drove over to eat dinner with us.

We went out to a popular Mexican restaurant . . . a local establishment that has divine food.

Unbeknownst to me, she arranged for a surprise after we’d finished.  Of course, we had to wear the special sombreros . . .

I was both mortified and entertained by this guy (I do not like to be the center of attention).  He certainly earned his keep, let me tell you.

The singing came with dessert, which I couldn’t really eat.  Chicky dug into it though.

The evening was definitely memorable!

6.  My Random Thought

So, while we’re on the topic of birthdays, allow me a moment to share what my sister gave me.

But first, the video of me opening it.  Excuse the hair (ahem) and lack of makeup.  I was about to go for my pre-work, o’dark’thirty walk – no fixing up required.

After I finally got it opened, I found this . . .

The Mr. had snuck into my jewelry collection and given her a list of the charms I already had.  Of course, he told me later that he had a hard time getting to the bracelet because I wear it almost every day.

Here’s a closer look at the charm . . .

It was the perfect gift given my love for books and my job as a reading teacher.

I discovered that it opened up and had a special message inside . . .

“Ignore the things you have to do and just enjoy a book or two.”

What a lovely addition to the other charms!

Six Weeks Post-Op

Happy January 2nd to you!

Last night marked seven weeks since I broke my ankle.  Today marks six weeks since I had surgery to fix the three fractures that I got when I fell over my dog (in the dark).

Here is a list that the emergency room doctor wrote for me the night I broke it…

Yesterday, out of curiosity, I googled the bones.  Here are some pictures (nothing gross, I promise)…

If you’re wondering what the pinning looks like, here’s a photo (nothing gross)…

Here’s another illustration (it’s a little yucky)…

You might remember that I went to the doctor on December 21st and had the cast that I’d worn for three weeks removed.  It was replaced by a removable boot.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve progressively been adding more weight to my bum leg.

Using a scale to figure out what 25% feels like was harder than it looked!

Rooster took these pictures of me the first day I used the walker.  What a workout!

Oh goodness, but this has been so hard!  The first day I added 25% weight and walked around with a walker, my foot swelled so badly!  It was almost comical, except that it wasn’t.  It freaked me out a lot.  I took it easy the next couple of days to allow the swelling to go down.

I was also instructed to begin making air motions with my foot to work on my range of motion.

Meanwhile, my left leg, which has been doing all of the work for both legs, began hurting.

I freaked out a little.  It felt like I was getting a shin splint, which I could not afford!  The Monday after Christmas, I emailed my nurse; I was worried about stress fractures given that my bones are brittle (a discovery through this ordeal).  She assured me that it is very normal to feel pain in the supporting leg and confirmed my guess that wearing a more supportive shoe on that foot would help.

I’ve since been babying the leg a little…icing it when it’s sore…and wearing a sneaker when I walk.

I’ve noticed that the pain is worse the more I’m up walking around.  Duh.  That may seem silly, but I’ll admit that I’ve taken it a little easy since we got home from visiting family.  That hasn’t been good because I’m supposed to be working my bum leg, which swells when I walk, and which makes my left leg pain flare up.

It’s a brutal cycle, let me tell you.

When we were visiting the Mr.’s parents, his mom had told me that one of her friends swore by Epsom salt baths to help with swelling post-surgery.

I’m all about homeopathic treatments, so I jumped on board and got my family to buy me some.  I’ve been faithfully bathing with the salts or soaking my feet in a bucket of Epsom salt water.

I've already gone through this bag and half of another. I've got a large bag coming from Amazon!

I’ve already gone through this bag and half of another. I’ve got a large bag coming from Amazon!

Last night, I noticed an immediate difference in the swelling when I took my foot out of the bucket.  It had swollen on the left side of my ankle, near one of my bad breaks.  The swelling was GONE.  Even the Mr., who’s been poo-pooing this whole thing, noticed.

Excuse the lines on my foot. They are from my knitted sock.

Excuse the lines on my foot. They are from my knitted sock.

I’ve been doing more research now that I’m emotionally ready to handle it.  One thing I looked for was an answer to why my skin has been burning since I got my cast off.  I discovered that this is due to the nerve block I had during my surgery.  My nerves are asleep right now, but they are trying to wake up.  It’s painful.  It feels like a bad sunburn every time I have my boot off and the skin is exposed to the air.  I may have found a cream to help with that, though.  The Mr. is taking me to the store to purchase it today.  I’ll report back on it later.

So, the positives, since I just realized that much of what I’ve already said sounds negative.

I’m noticing that the walking is getting easier.  Although it’s been difficult to get to 50% body weight…this week’s goal…I am noticing less heel pain when I put my foot down.  I have an area on the left side of my heel (the bottom part) that feels like a hard knot.  Left side of the heel…where my ankle hit the floor and broke so badly.  No coincidence.  I’ve read that the pain is from the Achilles tendon trying to stretch.  It’s getting better though!

I’m massaging my foot every time I have the boot off.  This is helping with the nerve pain and, I believe, distributing the swelling.

The need to walk has been a great excuse to go shopping.

I’ve done a LOT of this since Christmas.

A lot.

I did some online shopping on the drive home.  I’d wanted to get more Ginger Snaps charms for the necklace that Super Sis’s family gave me, but the store wasn’t open.  I found a coupon code to get a fifth charm free and, since they were pretty inexpensive, I went for it.

We did our traditional after-Christmas shopping and I bought Express jeans on sale for half off!  I wound up only paying about $20 after I found a gift card from last year in my wallet!

We’ve also done a bit of shopping since we got home.  Chicky went with us one time.  The Mr. and I have ventured out a few times on our own, though.

One place I shopped at was a jewelry store.  I had Pandora charms on my mind…

For the record, I didn’t get the above charms.  If you’re in my family, I would be most pleased to see these gifted to me though.  😀

I did leave with three new charms (one of them was free because of a great sale)…

The family, dog paw, and flag charms joined the heart/birthstone charm that the Mr.’s parents had bought to accompany the bracelet.

Yesterday, we headed to Dillards for their semi-annual ginormous sale.  I tried on a LOT of stuff, including these dresses…

See my crutch peeking out from the right.

See my crutch peeking out from the right.

I loved the next dress…

I didn’t buy ANYTHING from Dillards, but my ankle got a good workout.  The people, y’all!  It was an obstacle course!

We headed over to American Eagle, and I did buy a few things.  No pictures, though.

By this time, my ankle was done.  I was in a lot of pain, so we headed home so I could rest it before dinner.

Another thing I’m able to do now is cook.

Last week, I made this Soul-Soothing African Peanut Stew.  It was super easy and delicious!

Yesterday, I made another batch of chocolate covered peanut butter Ritz crackers.  I’d made a couple dozen before Christmas, but I had not put in enough peanut butter.  I made this layer a lot thicker this time, and YUM!

I’m even able to clean a little!

For those of you who are concerned that I’m pushing myself too hard, take heart.  I’m listening to my body, I promise.  I’m sitting when I need to, icing when my muscles are sore, and keeping close tabs on my pain to determine just how far to push myself.

Because of the research I’ve been doing, I understand that this is going to be a longer process than I’d like.  Making a complete recovery is my highest priority, but pushing myself a little is also part of that process.

I am thankful for the encouraging words and prayers that you lift up daily.  I know I wouldn’t be this far along if not for the healing power of the Great Physician.

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