Being Thankful

I had my last Physical Therapy on Tuesday. I knew even before I sat down with the therapist what he would say.

I think we all hope to live in a pain-free body, like the ones we had as a teenager, but this is not to be the case.

On Tuesday the doctor told me that this is it. This is the best we can hope for after all the surgeries, infections, and weakness. When I went to him my pain level was extremely high. I could hardly lift my arms and my left shoulder and neck ached all the time.

Since seeing Dr. EK and doing the exercises and needle therapy, I have gotten so much relief. But the pain (down to about a 2-3) is there all the time.

Today I faced the fact that this is as good as it gets.

At first, I was pretty sad about this. Then I began to think that it could be worse. Instead of having the pain I do, I might be paralyzed. Feeling nothing. Being able to lead my life and play with Savannah and Quinn and my doggies, well, that is just really good news.

Everyone gets old and everyone has their aches and pains. I simply refuse to let the pain define who I am and what I do in my life.

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I think sometimes you need to find peace with what you have in your life, understanding that there is no perfection, simply understanding, and acceptance.

Food & Tests

I think one of the hardest things to do when you feel no desire to eat is to cook good food for other people.

I do not feel like cooking or eating or anything. I go through the motions. Last nights casserole was dry and almost inedible.

So, today I decided to make Jack a good meatloaf. I took my time, followed my recipe and it will go in the oven soon.

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I have thought about my cooking and I believe that if it were just me here, I would be making decaffeinated tea and toast. As it is, I am just baking a plain potato for dinner for myself.

Tomorrow is my ultrasound and we shall go from there.

Oh, yes, today the phone rang and it was the Technician that will do my test. She went over the pre-test instructions.

Nothing by mouth after midnight, not even a sip of water!

Now, this confused me. I’d gotten written instructions telling me I could eat breakfast, take my pills, etc. Add to this that I had to drink a quart of water 1-hour before the test!

The Technician looked up my orders and said I had been sent the wrong instructions! I was so glad she called. Had I followed the other instructions I would have been sent home with no test. It’s a 100-mile round trip drive! So this is a very big deal! I’m glad it was caught.

 

 

The Weekend Wrap

I decided this morning to make apple sauce. We certainly have enough apples on the trees, but I must tell you, without proper care and fungicides, the apples are small, mottled and sort of icky.

What this means is that you need to peel and core every apple and discard anything that looks bad. I worked for nearly two hours doing this, at times alone and at times with Jack.

I was trying to keep up with the cleaning and things and I checked on the cooking apples and the apples had begun to burn to the bottom of the pan! Fortunately, I caught it in time and avoided yet another kitchen disaster.

The apples are slowly cooking now and will need a lot of sweetening. I tasted the apple mash, which is cooking down and it sure is tart!

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I cooked a turkey on Friday and then made Turkey Soup on Saturday. After boning the turkey on Friday evening, I put all the bones, a  couple of onions and carrots into a crockpot with a little bit of chicken stock and enough water to cover all the bones, and cooked it overnight to make the soup base.

If you have never made your soup base this way, give it a try. I find you wind up with incredible tasting soup broth!

So, tonight I am taking some of that broth and making a turkey casserole. Turkey seems to sit well with me this day. Although I am sure Jack will complain. (He did!)

Our darling Anneliese shows more signs of blindness. She startles easily and sticks to me or to Jack and to her brother Arnie.

You know, one of the most beautiful things to have watched the last 12 years, is the love that Anneliese and her brother have shared since day one! Imagine how lucky we feel to have shared in their lives. Brother and sister, and we have owned them since the very day Greta gave birth to them.

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At birth, Arnie on the left and Anneliese on the right.

Jan. 20 Anneliese and ArnieAnneliese left and Arnie, right. About 7 weeks old.

Yes, raising your very own sibling pups right from birth has been an experience of a lifetime.

Arnie & AnnelieseArnie left and Anneliese, right.

We are blessed, that’s for sure!

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Also, today is the birthday of my dearest friend, Uschi! I wish her a Happy Birthday and good health and much joy in the year ahead!!!

cheers to success

Losses & Gains

2019 will be a year I will not easily forget. This has been the year that I have had to learn how to cope with and let go of many people who were very dear to me in life. I guess that everyone reaches a certain age when they start losing their peers, and so it has been for me.

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There have been nine wonderful souls that departed my life this year. Several were very close to me and the pain I felt at their loss was very deep.

Now I am faced with yet another good friend being terminally ill. I know it will not be too long until she passes from this world to the next. She called me yesterday, out of the blue. I was cleaning my bathroom, but I stopped and talked to her. She told me she is now in Hospice Care. So, I know the time is close.

I’ve never handled death terribly well. I would cry and cry and go through periods of great depression after. But, somehow Candy taught me so much.

Since her passing, I have found a new relationship with God and when I feel unable to cope, I literally give it all to God. Ever been in a grocery store and heard someone say: “God, I can’t take it anymore so I’m taking all the problems and giving them to you!”

Yes, that was me. Whenever and wherever I am, I give it to God. It seems he is always around for me.

Psalm 119:114 – You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.

I also find that by asking for his help, I am comforted.

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Jeremiah 33:3 – Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

It’s a place of deeper knowledge and comfort.

The Friday Five

The Friday FiveIt’s been a crazy week this week. Despite the fact that I am still not my best, I decided to keep plugging away. Here’s my list.

  1. I went in and had a bunch of tests. Still awaiting the results. I hope they find out what it is so I can start to get on the road to recovery. It’s so annoying to be sick.
  2. I’ve cooked for Jack all week. I’ve tried to make meals that I can eat a little bit of too. Baked potatoes are my best friends right now and plain simple Chicken breast.
  3. I attempted to make a new recipe for Peach Bread. It came out badly. I think I might make Jack a banana bread tomorrow. I have enough to do a splendid job of it.
  4. I decided to release the turkey! By this I mean, I got a turkey for 69¢ a pound and it’s been in my deep freeze. So, I pulled it out and it will be a turkey this weekend for dinner. I expect turkey will also be fairly easy on my stomach.
  5. Lastly, I ordered “Yesterday” and it arrived today.Yesterday-movie-starring-Himesh-Patel
    Over the weekend, I want to watch it with Jack. The music is great and I so enjoyed watching it with Mandy and Matt, so I bought the movie!

TBT: Savannah & Me!

Whenever Savannah has the chance, she asks me to tell her the story about when we first met each other. She loves to hear about how happy I was, and how I couldn’t believe I was her Oma!

Savi actually knows the story so well, she could tell it herself, but she always will sit there listening to me, and if I miss something she will jump right in and correct me!

I saw you lying in a little hospital cot. You were all wrapped up in a blanket and little hat! I went over and looked into your face and asked Mommy if I could pick you up? She said yes, and I held you in my arms and my heart filled up with so much love. You see, Savi, I immediately fell in love with you!”

May31 12 002This is one of the pictures taken when I got to hold her for the first time! Me and my darling grand-girl!

June 02 12 005The next day, I was back snuggling with her! Look at those beautiful long fingers and that perfect little face! It just doesn’t get any better than this. Or that was until Quinn came along!

This week Savi wanted to hear all about Quinn. That was a fun story too! But that is for another day!

64467716_2538902969476624_8175454300722429952_nSavannah Rose and her Oma, Me!

Getting It Done

Tuesday Jack and I spent down at the VA getting things taken care of.

He needed to get his hearing aid repaired, a financial matter is taken care of, and lastly a flu shot.

I was there to see my doctor about why I do not feel well. I had my exam with her, and tests have been ordered. I am hoping it is merely GERD, but she is leaning toward Gallbladder.

I had the blood work today and will go in early next week for the ultrasound. Then we will go from there.

Of course, she told me that if I  got sick in the meantime with severe pain to go straight to the hospital.

I also had a flu shot.

When we finished up it was lunchtime. We went to a restaurant and had a nice meal. And nice for me these days is bland. In fact tonight Jack is eating pizza and I am having eggs and toast.

The drive home was a pretty one and we even saw Wild Turkeys!

20151014_080704So although I still feel a tad under the weather, we did get an awful lot done! I love those kinds of days!

Questions & Answers

I went down to watch my grandchildren on Sunday, and that was wonderful. We played a few interesting games. Twenty questions, Savi is so good at that. I told her she could ask me anything and I would answer her. This was interesting because she was interested in what I was like as a child.

She asked what I was most proud of having done when I was her age? Hmmm. Well, I was in the Community Theater’s production of “The Sound of Music”. I played Gretl.

I had a speaking part and lots of singing and dancing and well, just being your average 7 years old.

received_10153642605621499Yes, that really little girl is me!

img566Yep, that’s me with my mouth open again, singing!

And the local newspaper wrote a review where they praised my performance.

Sound of Music Reviews 2And when I showed her this article from 1966, she was so surprised and said: “Oma you are marvelous!”

It was a fun way to spend about an hour before Mandy came to tuck Savannah in.

Earlier in the day, I was showing Quinn a picture of me taken when I was his age. He looked at it and said: “Is that me?”

mb age 3Maribeth age 3.

66459503_10219661161781274_6148627794579423232_nQuinn age 3.

Yeah, I think we at least look related.

I just love spending time with my grandchildren! I learn something new every time! And I hope they can think the same thing.

It’s All In A Day

On Saturday I:

  • Walked the dogs, hung the bird feeders and had a cup of tea.
  • Made breakfast, cleaned it up and got dressed.
  • Went with Jack to a WW II Museum in Wolfboro, NH.
  • Drove to Jack’s favorite Chinese Buffet for lunch.
  • Was able to eat white rice, egg drop soup, and some plain cookies.
  • Came home, got Heavenly Jam Batch #1 on the stove.
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  • Sterilized the lids and caps and jars.
  • Cooked the jam for an hour, added the pectin and cooked it another 20 minutes.
  • Canned 12 jars of Peach Jam at 4 PM.
  • Got out a 7-pound chicken and seasoned it, tied it up and put it in the rotisserie to cook for 2 hours.
  • I got Batch #2 going on the stove.
  • Sterilized the lids and caps and jars.
  • Cooked the Jam 1 hour, added pectin and cooked another 20 or so minutes.
  • Canned 12 jars of Peach Jam at 6:30 PM.
  • Cooked two baked potatoes.
  • Sat down for a few minutes and then the chicken was done and I served dinner to Jack and me.
  • At 8 PM I finished the dinner and the cleanup and I could sit down!
  • Bedtime will come in a few minutes, and quite frankly I am exhausted!

Nite-Nite!

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Another Day

Well, yesterday, after my disaster with the last batch of Heavenly Jam, I set about peeling, pitting and setting about two batches of Jam to work on today.

The biggest problem is that doing the prep work is so labor-intensive. What to do, what to do?

Well, this is what I did:

  1. I cooked the peaches for one minute and fifteen seconds, then toss them in ice water and the skins seemed to slip off very easily. Then I crushed the peaches in my hands until they were in tiny bits.
  2. I juiced the oranges and removed all the pulp inside then tossed the rinds in my food processor and shredded them. This was in place of me sitting there finely chopping them into ribbons.
  3. Then I did sit and dice the cherries. That was a bit labor-intensive, but there is no quick alternative.
  4. I measured out the sugar and mixed it all well, covered them, put that in a cool place and set it to rest.
  5. Later on today I will carefully cook and can these two batches and then I am done!
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Jack wants to go to a World War II Museum today and although I would usually be thrilled by this, today I would be happier to stay home, do my jam, and rest. But, he sort of guilted me into it, so I will go.

Meanwhile, I will be making him pancakes this morning. He got a box of pancake mix when we went shopping the other day and wants them for breakfast. Okay, one more thing to cook. As well as a rotisserie chicken for dinner.

Pass my apron!