Home > Archive: October, 2021

Archive for October, 2021

Knee improves, passport arrives!

October 16th, 2021 at 03:38 pm

Knee Surgery Recovery Continues

I'm happy to report I am starting to make real progress in recovering from knee surgery.  I had 2 visits so far with the physical therapist, and I noticed a significant improvement after the very first session!

He did some massage and a lot of pressing down on my knee (I can't straighten out the leg completely), and while it was kind of painful, it seems to have jump-started something and I left there feeling much more flexible in the leg. And since then, I've been able to walk upstairs normally (I still do one step at a time going down as that's a bit too much of a stretch).  I am also walking more normally, though I still have a ways to go yet.

Someone from my Buy Nothing group gave me a stationery bike, and while it's an oldie, it does what I need it to do: let me cycle, starting with little to no resistance. However, she couldn't bring it up my outdoor stairs herself, and since I couldn't help her, she put it in my garage for me, so that's where I go now to use it. Luckily, this fall has been very warm and comfortable, so it's actually nice to go out there and do it, but when it turns cooler tomorrow, I'll just bundle up more.

I have just 4 more PT sessions left and I hope it's enough. There's still quite a bit of swelling in and around the knee and I have been icing, but without a proper gel pack, which I ordered on Amazon and which should be arriving tomorrow.

Garden & Yard Work

You'll be happy to know I was able to fling the deer bones with a shovel last week into the woods and off my lawn.  And since the weather has been divine for the past few weeks, I have also been doing a bit of yard work, slowly and not much. 

I did move a Dark Knight Bluebeard which I spent a fair amount of money on last spring to a better, sunnier location. It was completely shaded out by my amsonia. I don't think it liked being moved as it shed a lot of leaves, but I've been watering it and I got the whole root ball so it SHOULD survive into next year. It's a great pollinator plant.

Yesterday I also was able to dig up a Japanese iris (they tend to spread) and gave it away on Buy Nothing; I also completely fenced in (plastic fencing) a lot of new growth on an old rhododendron that the deer chew to bits in winter; I'm determined not to let that happen this winter, so it's pretty much like a box made out of fencing that's tied together along the seams with string so they can't push their head through.

I'll wait til December to initiate Phase 2 of my plan to rejuvenate this old rhodie, decimated by the deer and some kind of gall disease. I'll be doing a hard pruning of its long branches, which will make it look better, stimulate even more new growth and make it easier to weed under it. There will also then be more room to plant perennials. Smile

Worst come to worst and it dies, I will continue using the roughly 8 foot diameter circle it occupies in my lanw for more pollinator perennials. It's a good sunny spot.

After I fenced in the new growth on the rhodie yesterday, I began attacking the mile a minute vine that took over my entire back wild area, and then some, mid-summer. By the time I noticed it I couldn't do much because of my knee, even though the time to pull it out is before it gets its berries. I ripped a fracton of it out, but many more blue berries fell on the ground than I was able to collect, ensuring this awful invasive remains for years to come. Very sad. My only consolation is that maybe it will smother and kill other invasives it's growing on top of, but I need to clear a path to my beautiful red maple in back because I see the mile a minute vine has begun climbing its branches, and I won't allow it to be killed.

I could only work a few hours because, strangely, my leg felt fairly fatigued. I guess it shouldn't be too hard for me to understand that after a year and a half of hobbling around, favoring that leg in an effort to AVOID surgery, that the leg would have become weaker from disuse. Even though I steadily continued my indoor workouts throughout this time. Now I need to start building it back up again.

Stocking Up for Next Year

I've been busy harvesting seeds from my various mostly potted plants this year, which include mainly coreopsis, lantana, nasturtium, cosmos, calla lily, marigold and ragged robin. I am well stocked now for next spring. Not sure I'll have any space to plant stuff like the cosmos, but I have continued giving away a lot of seed.

I'm still waiting for all the bills for my surgery. So far I've paid just the anesthesiologist one, which frankly, was quite small in comparison to what I thought it would be: $312.

Flu Shots and Lunch Out

Today I got my flu shot. Next week I'll focus on getting dad his flu shot. We had a lovely lunch at one of our favorite country taverns, which was a nice drive with the foliage changing color. This was my dessert, a "triple chocolate mousse."

You never know where a conversation with my father wil take you. We discovered we both admired Vespa scooters, and before I knew it, dad was offering to buy himself or me one. Um, dad, you can't drive one.

Passport Arrives After 3-Month Wait!

I am very excited to have finally received my new passport in yesterday's mail. It had been so long since I applied for it (last July) that I had no idea what it was when I got the "official government business" envelope. I see a lot has changed in the design since my old one. Like, my old one's cover was kind of like a royal blue color; this one is a dark navy blue. I don't have specific travel plans, but I figure if I'm going to go anywhere, it likely will be in the next 10 years.

They have yet to return my original birth certificate, which they indicated would come in a separate mailing. Sure hope they don't lose it!

Making My Christmas List

My cousin, the one who was here during my surgery, announced he has decided to order me my Christmas present now, in case, there's a delay, and I can choose to open it upon receipt or wait. And that it was something he thought I "really needed," and that he would order it from William Sonoma.

Honestly, I think he likes to tease me with "hints." I have no idea what it is I so badly need, but he tends to be very good at picking out presents an he always buys the best. This is good, but a little initimidating when it comes to me choosing a gift for him. I'm always afraid that he's not going to like it. In the past, he's told me what he likes, but it's not much of a surprise that way.

I want to start my Christmas shopping EARLY to avoid delivery issues.

Surgery recovery, deer kill in the yard

October 10th, 2021 at 05:58 pm

On cloudy and overcast days, my energy level really takes a hit and I find it hard to get much accomplished.

Found Diamonds!

I got tired, finally, of the fact that my favorite flannel shirt was missing 2 buttons, so I went to my button and sewing supply box to see if I could find some buttons that more or less matched. Then I became distracted by all the shiny buttons and set about to organize them. At the very bottom of a small cardboard box that contained buttons, safety pins and little screws, I found 2 old diamond stud earrings! Don't ask me how they ended up in the box, but I hope to sell them to a local jewelery store and get a bit of cash. That would be fun!

Knee Surgery Recovery

I'm already 17 days into knee surgery recovery.  I'm feeling stronger, but I'm a bit afraid to bend the knee too much (like when you walk up stairs) cus even though I can do it, a week ago it kind of felt like one of the sutures was pulling apart every time I bent the knee, and in fact one of the sutures did look a bit more open than the other one. So I went in to see surgeon this past Monday and he said to defer the start of physical therapy for a week to give it a bit more time to heal. I'm still doing hourly exercises each day, but none of them requires knee bends. They include leg lifts, ankle flexing and balancing on that leg for about a minute at a time.

I haven't gotten the bills yet for the surgery, but when I called ahead to find out how much it would cost me so I wouldn't freak out, they told me there would be 3 bills: 1 for the surgeon, 1 for the anesthesiologist and 1 for the facility (co-owned by the doctor, interestingly).

So far my costs are well under the roughly $4K I was told I'd need to pay as I haven't met my annual $4300 deductible. For some reason, 2 anesthesiologists each billed me $156, so I'd like to find out why. The doctor billed me $1,232 and so I'm just waiting for the facility fee.

Deer Kill in the Yard

Three coyotes killed a doe in my yard roughly a month ago now. At the time, I searched the property looking for something dead as the stench was awful. I didn't learn of the deer's location until I asked my lawn mower guy, who said "I thought you knew" where it was. Nothing but the skeleton is left already, with the head and some leg joints severed and separate from the body.

I saw 3 coyotes just a few days before I began to smell it, and at the time (early am) they did not appear to be "hunting" anything but seemed animated or excited by something as they ran back and forth from my back yard to the front, where the deer was, several times.  Impressively, they covered a distance of over a hundred feet in just a few seconds.

Above are 2 of the 3 coyotes, headed down that little path in upper right of photo, which leads to the back side of a very large white pine where the deer was killed.

This is what they left. (Note the skull and some leg parts have been severed and can be seen above where the body is.)

Anyway, now I feel I should get rid of what's left before my mower returns on Tuesday so he can do a complete mow. I plan to use a shovel to fling the bones into the nearby brush so it's all at least off the lawn and mostly out of site. I am not looking forward to this task and it kind of grosses me out, but somebody's gotta do it....

Just yesterday morning I spotted a red fox trotting past the house from the kitchen window, headed in the general direction of the deer bones. Indeed, I can look out my upstairs office window now and see a leg joint there, presumably carried there by the fox or other scavenger. Although I have seen tracks in the snow, I haven't seen a red fox here in years, so I'm sure it was attracted by what the coyotes left behind.

Got a Raise

I asked for, and received, a 5% raise at my p/t job 2 weeks ago. Not much of a biggie. They have yet to get the paycheck right.

How I Spent my Tax Refund

I did end up spending the unexpected tax refund (thank you Mr President), not from my return, on a new ultra-high-efficiency Samsung washer/dryer. I love energy-efficient gadgets and appliances in general; the dryer uses heat pump technology and actually removes moisture much the way a dehumidifer would. Kinda interesting, but I'm not sure I'm lovin' the front load vs top load. If you don't have a low laundry basket to put under the open door, clothes tend to fall out when you're filling or removing items. It's awkward and hard on the back. Most of these types of washers/dryers have a stand that at least raises them a foot or so higher, but Samsung apparently doesn't make them for this model. I may have to look into retrofitting something to make it better. The dryer plays a song when the load is dried. Smile