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New Year’s Shenanigans

I managed to stay awake until midnight New Year’s Eve.

Go me..

Actually, what helped pass the time was that the Mr. and I rented the movie, American Assassin.  It had a lot of action!

I slept in a little New Year’s morning.  It was the best night’s sleep I’d had since prior to my surgery.  Of course, it was the first time I was back in my own bed since then as well.

We got going pretty quickly and headed to the mall.  We had recently upgraded to the iPhone X and had purchased screen protectors and cases from Cellairis, a place in the mall that my Sprint guy had recommended.

Y’all, we usually buy this stuff on Amazon and don’t pay much for it; however, we weren’t willing to risk dropping our brand new phones without them being protected, so we coughed up the extra dough.  I was impressed by the young guy’s quick service and the fact that he got the protectors on without any issues.  I always ruin the first one when I do it myself.

My protector started lifting while I was out of town with family, so I visited a Cellairis in the mall there.  It took me a few hours to realize that they’d: 1) put it on crooked and 2) given me a matte protector.

Not good.

I went nuts.  I went back to that mall the next day and asked them to fix it but was told that they were out of them and to go back in a week.  I couldn’t do that because we were going back home the next day, so I figured that I’d go to the one in my own mall.

That’s what the Mr. and I were doing there at 10:00am New Year’s morning, but y’all, when we drove up, look at what we saw . . .

There were lines of people waiting to go into Dillard’s.

What the heck?

The Mr. dropped me off so he could park, and I got in the queue.  It was freezing, but the doors had just opened, so I didn’t have to wait.

Oh my goodness!  The people were NUTS!  They were almost running across the store, while I was doing my best to not get trampled or tripped.

I saw people grabbing blankets off of tables that only had 20% off sales signs.  What the heck?

I went past the shoe department, and that’s where the wacko behavior really cranked up.  I don’t even know that people cared what the shoes looked like.  They grabbed them and then jumped into a line that was marked off with a rope.

I just wanted to get out of there and into the rest of the mall.

The guy at Cellairis did NOT give me a new protector.  He had to call his boss who wouldn’t allow it because the other place had put on the wrong one.

Talked about MAD.  I was extremely angry and told the kid that it wasn’t his fault, but that this was horrible customer service.  I asked when his boss would be in, and he said later that day, but since the Mr. and I had plans to watch football, I told him we’d be back today.  He did straighten the matte protector, but y’all, do you know that it started lifting in the corner a little later?  I was DOUBLE-MAD.

I even tweeted out to corporate.

Take that!

When the Mr. met up with me, he told me that the line in the shoe department of Dillard’s was wrapped all the way around the corner.  Fortunately, he had parked in a different lot, so we didn’t have to risk our lives getting out of there.

We ran a couple of other errands before we returned home.

That’s when I got busy.

I had gotten an Instant Pot for Christmas and was eager to make my first dish, Vegetarian Instant Pot Chili.

First, I had the fun of using the new slicer that Chicky had given me to do some prep work.

You can find this at Walmart.

Look at that green, yellow, and red pepper deliciousness

I was so impressed with how quickly my veggies were chopped.

Next, it was time to get everything into the Instant Pot.  I was nervous; pressure cooking is something I haven’t done is probably twenty years, and it made me nervous back in the day.

Setup was actually pretty easy!  The manual that came with it had clear instructions.

Of course I chronicled my antics on Instagram (I saved the entire video story, posted below) . . .

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The dish itself took thirty minutes to cook.

I am sooooooo glad that I asked for the model that has Bluetooth; watching its progress on my app was fascinating.

I was like a mama hen and refreshed my screen often . . .

Isn’t this cool???

The pot took a few minutes to heat up and then about ten minutes to vent.  I’d read a few things about manually venting it or allowing it to do it naturally.  I turned the valve to venting after ten minutes of letting it do its thing on its own.

The results were sooooo worth my foray into new cooking lands . . .

The recipe is flavorful.  I’d suggest adding chili powder for an extra kick.

It made quite a bit, so I’ll be eating it for lunch this week – no complaints here!

Cleanup was a piece of cake!  Everything was seriously done in one pot!  I didn’t know that you could saute in it (this recipe didn’t require it, but I read that you could saute in it on a blog) . . . something that will be handy when I want to whip something up after a tiring day of work.

I also did some baking.  The Mr. had requested the Peanut Butter Cake that he loves so much.

This thing usually sinks in the middle because he’s not allowed to have anything with baking powder, cream of tartar, or other leavening agents.  I decided to try adding a splash of lemon juice to the recipe with the hopes that it would interact with the baking soda and make the cake rise.

You can see that it worked!  I was shocked!

It looked like a real cake after I frosted it . . .

The Mr. said that the texture was spongy too.  Yay!

I wasn’t done in the kitchen, though.

Chicky had found a recipe for a Peanut Butter Lover’s Chocolate Tart, from Oh She Glows (I found the recipe online yesterday, so you’re welcome) in one of my books, but we had not had the time to prepare it, so I got busy.

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Every component was homemade . . .

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First I baked the crust, and then I made the filling . . .

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While it was setting in the freezer, I made homemade caramel sauce and chopped peanuts for the garnish . . .

This was seriously fun to assemble!

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Look how pretty it turned out!

I’m going to cut this into small slices and freeze them individually for a quick solution to a craving for something sweet.  This thing is DECADENT!

After all of that cooking, I finally sat down to watch football and knit.

I slept well again last night – past 9am – the Mr. thoughtfully got up early and fed the dogs.

We headed BACK to the mall.  Just look at the aftermath from yesterday’s sales . . .

I am so thankful that the Mr. was willing to take me out on errands.  This is the second time in just over a year that I’ve been unable to because of my ankle.

If only my makeup looked that good without the Snapchat filter!!

We first visited the Cellairis place, and this time the manager was there.  I went through the spiel again, and he had to call the owner.  I was just about ready to blow a gasket; however, I’d prayed before I’d gone into the mall, and God had answered.  The manager replaced the screen cover, even managing to apply it evenly.  Whew!

Then, the Mr. and I did a bit of shopping at American Eagle, where they were having a lot of sales.

Of course, the things that fit me perfectly weren’t on sale.  I got them anyway.  Ha!

Excuse the hair – it was clean and dry but not styled. #ChristmasBreakProblems

That outfit right there?  Yeah, it’s what I’m wearing for the first day back at school tomorrow, so if you see me, just know that I did not wear it home!

We also went by Books a Million; I had a gift card to spend!

It took two employees to locate the cookbook I wanted . . .

While looking for it, I found a lot of other books I wanted; however, I held myself to just one more . . .

Aquafaba is the liquid left over in a can of chickpeas, and it’s magical, especially if you’re a vegan and can’t use eggs for whipped stuff.  I am so excited about this cookbook!

I’m sad to see the end of the break quickly approaching.  I needed the rest that this break provided.  Although the first week of it was rough with my surgery and ensuing recovery, I still enjoyed not having to stress about writing up errant children, entering grades, or making lesson plans.

Please say a prayer for the Mr.  He’s got to get up to take me to school until the 22nd (boot removal day), and he is not an early-morning kind of guy, let me tell you.  He’s already refusing to take me to Starbucks for hot chocolate or by Panera for the free daily bagel deal that’s going on this month.

It should be an interesting series of mornings as our “together time” is put to the test.

Ha!

Shopping, Taste Testing, and Cooking

Is it Friday yet?

This was me, on Tuesday, after I got home from school . . .

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I needed groceries.  So badly.

I needed a nap even more.

Wednesday, I pulled up my big girl pants and went to the store on my way home.  That was after I spent my entire lunch break, my planning period, and a half hour after school inputting about 400 grades.  I’d taken up three assignments this week but had figured out a more fair way to grade the third . . . only AFTER I’d put grades in for three or four of my classes – because I suck at math and like to do things the hard way.

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And no, I did not go to the grocery store with my hair in a wrap, thank you very much.

I am not that much of a redneck.

Ahem.

I am glad, though, that I pushed through my fatigue and made it to the store.  Look what I found . . .

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When you play the video, it will right itself.

But y’all . . . look at all of the options!  I had a hard time deciding which one to buy, so I didn’t choose at all . . .

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Can someone please explain to me WHY my videos are sideways?  Ugh.

Anyhoo, I decided to do some taste testing to compare.  I felt a bit like Goldilocks.

The Original Silk Nog is thin but tastes most like what I grew up drinking (before I became lactose-intolerant and a vegan).

The So Delicious Coconut Milk Holiday Nog is the thickest of the three and has a distinct flavor that I can’t quite put my finger on – maybe it’s a subtle hint of coconut. It’s almost as though I’m drinking a version I’d find on a Caribbean island. Delicious!

The Califia Farms Holiday Nog seems, on first appearance, to be the second thickest, but after going back and forth, I think it’s actually more watery in flavor.

While I was taste testing, I was also hard at work cooking up a new-to-me recipe from a blog I follow.

This recipe is called Meatless Meatloaf Cups.

I used black beans instead of the white ones suggested in the recipe.  I also used my food processor to mix everything together.  I think I’ll try mashing up everything with a fork the next time I make this for a chunkier texture.

Still, the flavor was amazing!  My house smelled like I’d been cooking real meatloaf.

The cooking didn’t stop there though.

Well, okay.  So I actually had a break . . . say a seven hour sleep break 😉 . . . and woke up with the plan to make one more dish I’d seen in an email . . .

That is Snickerdoodle Mug Cake, a recipe created by A Virtual Vegan.

Preparing it was super easy.  I used almond butter and almond milk.  I did NOT use my microwave – I quit using this appliance quite a few years ago.  Instead, I baked this in my toaster oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

The texture came out perfect!

I snacked on it all morning at school!  Since I haven’t been baking lately, the treat was especially delicious.  My taste buds were not complaining one little bit.

Time to Make the Donuts

Y’all, I am constantly on the lookout for yummy things to make.  I’m just about willing to try anything vegan related.

Last week, the Mr. and I talked about how much we missed Krispy Kreme donuts.  Neither one of us can have them due to our special dietary needs.

Well, I did what I do best and googled.  My search proved fruitful when I hit upon this Vegan Glazed Donut recipe.  I headed out to the store on Saturday to pick up the ingredients I needed.  Then, I got busy.

It’s been a long time since I worked with yeast, so I was a little nervous.  I used aquafaba, the liquid leftover in a can of chickpeas, as an egg substitute.  I wish I’d saved the photo of my dough rising.  It was pretty though.  I love when magic happens.

Then, I rolled out my dough.  I didn’t have a lot of space because there were a ton of dirty dishes on the counter.  Since I had not been feeling well the past two days, I wasn’t up to washing them by hand, and the dishwasher was full, so there was that little problem.

I had a bit of an issue when I realized that I’d forgotten to purchase a donut cutter when I’d been at the store earlier.  I googled what to do, but I still didn’t have what I needed.

I found a round cookie cutter among my baking items and used that first.  Still, I needed something to cut out the centers, and after thinking and thinking about it, I went back to my cabinet where I found a cupcake center removal thing – the tool you use to take part of the cupcake out so you can add filling to it.  I’ve never actually done this before, but I had anticipated a time when I would, hence the item in my kitchen.

It worked perfectly.

I had to let the donuts rise a second time.

They weren’t the prettiest, and some were thicker than others.  Since I didn’t have much space on the counter, I couldn’t roll them out evenly.  It’s okay.  It was my first time, so I was still in the experimental phase.

I didn’t waste anything and even let the donut holes rise.

The thicker ones got HUGE after an hour of resting . . .

I’ve never seen Krispy Kreme donuts that thick before, but whatever.

Then, I fried them in canola oil.

Oh my heavens.  I should have downloaded the Instagram story I did on it.

They took about 45 seconds to cook on each side and came out amazingly well!

The icing was a piece of cake to whip up, and I gave each donut a quick bath before setting it on a rack to cool off.

These donuts are so delicious!  Because mine were kind of small, I was able to get make almost 36 out of the dough.

I’ll be sharing these with friends at work to prevent me from eating all of them and, thus, keeping my cold, which is a result of too much sugar and stress in my life of late.

But y’all, I freaking made donuts!!!

The Mr. is a bit jealous and said that he wished I’d enjoyed cooking like this before he’d been forced to change his diet.  Poor dear.  I’m going to be on the hunt for something he can have.  It won’t be a Krispy Kreme donut, but maybe it will be an acceptable alternative.

 

Falling for the Hodgepodge

Yay!  It’s time for Joyce’s Hodgepodge!  I love the questions she dreams up each week, and I love reading others’ responses too.  Thank you so much for visiting me and spending a few minutes here.  By the way, I feel the need to apologize.  A few of you left comments last week, and I was completely overwhelmed with work, so I didn’t get a chance to reciprocate.  Please forgive me. ❤

Let’s get to the questions.

1.  What’s something you’d rate a 10/10? Tell us why.

Sleep.

Go ahead and laugh, but it’s something I treasure . . . more so when the school year is going.  It’s something I can’t seem to get enough of, but what little I manage to snag ranks right on up there with the most decadent dessert I’ve ever eaten.

2.  What job would you be terrible at? What makes you think so?

I’d really suck at at engineering because that requires a lot of math, which I struggle with.  I mean, if I can’t use my fingers, I’m kind of stuck.  The world can thank me now.

3.  When did you last take a fall? What’s something you’re falling for (in a good way) these days?

Really, Joyce?  heeheehee

If you’re new to my blog, you don’t know that I last took a fall on November 13th when I tripped over my dog as I was headed to bed in the dark.  I broke three bones in my ankle in what is known as a trimalleolar fracture.  I had surgery a week later where a plate and twelve pins were used to put my ankle back together, and I have been in physical therapy since the third week of January.  I have a lot of rehab ahead of me and another surgery in November.  I’m trying not to fall any more!!

So, what is something I’m falling for in a good way?  I’d say cooking.  I’ve been a vegan since December 2010, and I’ll admit that at first, I stuck with very simple meals.  I started branching out by learning how to make vegan desserts.  In the last year or so, I’ve found two or three vegan recipe makers who I routinely cook from.  It’s become a lot of fun, and I actually look forward to afternoons in the kitchen, when my ankle cooperates.

Here’s what I made last night – Creamy Vegan Pasta Marinara

I follow A Couple Cooks on Instagram, and they post recipes almost daily (along with pictures of their adorable baby).  This dish is absolutely incredible, and it required very little work.  I cannot believe that I made my own marinara sauce, and that it tastes as good as something I’d get at a restaurant.  My picture does not do it justice (maybe it would have if I’d sprinkled some fresh basil on top).

4. According to the Travel Channel here are some of America’s best fall festivals-

National Apple Harvest Festival (near Arendtsville PA, close to Gettysburg), Harvest on the Harbor (Portland Maine), German Village Festival (Columbus Ohio), Wellfleet Oyster Fest (Cape Cod), and Wine and Chile Fiesta (Santa Fe NM)

Have you ever been to any of the festivals listed? Which one appeals to you most? Does your hometown have any sort of fall celebration, and if so will you make it a point to attend?

I have not been to any of the festivals listed above.  I think I’d probably like the Wine and Chile Fiesta the best because who doesn’t like wine along with a bit of spice?  🙂

I guess Podunk, USA has some sort of festival, but I don’t attend.  I’m rather anti-social that way.  Bah humbug and all that.

5.  What is your goodbye message to summer?

Dear Summer,

We had a wonderful time together . . . poolside, nap side, Netflix side.  Alas, I did not win the lottery, so I have to bid you a fond, but temporary, farewell.

I’m already counting down the days until June, when we can be reunited.  I’m planning our activities (same as this year except for the physical therapy, I hope).

See you soon!

Love,

Auburnchick

6.  My Random Thought

On Thursday, my classes and I will begin reviewing the answers to the FSA packet the kids completed on Monday and Tuesday.  It was wickedly difficult, but with retakes coming up and increased pressure to pass for my juniors and seniors, this teacher isn’t playing around.

To prepare, I did my own “homework” and marked up the text and the answers . . .

Which of the following characters do you think I’ll resemble while trying to help my precious kiddos?

When the Plumbing Stops Working

I am, literally, sick of being off my feet.

Not just tired of it, but truly sick of it.

Yesterday was a bad day.  It was probably the second worst since I broke my ankle.

The day started off great.  My pain was completely under control, and I was feeling great!

I thought that I’d turned a corner.

That’s when the universe laughed.

One of the bad things about pain medication is that it can limit a person’s ability to do some personal business in the bathroom…as in the not-tinkling-kind-of-business.  The kind that takes care of the plumbing, if you know what I mean.

So what ultimately happened, we think, started with my visit to the emergency room the night of the 13th, is when I began getting pain medication, both in my IV and as a prescription.

I’ve taken a lot of pain meds, let me tell you.  Breaking three bones in your ankle is not something you can ignore.  The pain screams for intervention.

Then, with the nerve block I got during my surgery and the heavy pain medicine I’ve been on since then, my body has not adjusted to all of the new stuff being put into it.

In addition to pain medicine, I’ve been taking vitamin supplements to begin the process of improving my bone density.

All of that led to my inability to use the restroom.

It would be okay if it was just a day or two, but folks, we are talking about a week and a half.

For someone who never, ever has issues with this body function, this is a huge ordeal.

Everything caught up with me yesterday.

I tried to eat but became so nauseous that I couldn’t.

The nausea took over my day, along with my efforts to try to go.

I got sicker and sicker.

The hubby made me a smoothie. I’d recently come across the recipe.

Although it tasted delicious, I was only able to drink half of it, and it stuck in the middle of my stomach.

Y’all, it was bad.  I felt as though someone had put a fist in the middle of my stomach, right below my chest.

I knew I had to potty, but I wasn’t 100% sure I wasn’t going to puke either.

At one point, I spent a couple of hours in the bathroom determined to wait things out.

The dogs visited me a few times, bless their hearts.

It didn’t work.

I do not give up easily, but I had to throw in the towel eventually.

Meanwhile, the Mr. had started on a task that I’d been looking forward to for a couple of weeks…

This is the pre-lit tree we bought from Home Depot.

While I’d been in the bathroom, I’d heard him struggling to lift the different pieces and put them into place.

I’d heard him grumble about fixing the branches.  Everyone knows that’s the worst part of putting up an artificial tree.

When I emerged from the restroom, he began putting on the ornaments.

My heart, though.

We love doing this…remembering sweet times with our children.  We gave Rooster his ornaments this summer when his new missus was packing for their cross-country move to his first base, so our ornament selection has dwindled a little.

While the Mr. decorated, I dozed.  Being nauseous and dizzy just isn’t fun, y’all.

Then, he took a break to go potty himself, and that is when chaos ensued.

You know when you know you’re about to vomit?

For me, it begins with my stomach churning.

It goes into my cheeks squirting juice across my mouth.

Yeah.

Sounds like loads of fun, eh?

And I was stuck in my chair…broken leg elevated…the Mr. in his bathroom.

Sigh.

Perfect timing, as I’m wont to do.

The only thing I had close to me was a mesh trash basket.

Not ideal.

I YELLED for the Mr.

I told him in a rushed voice that I needed him ASAP…that I was about to throw up.

That poor man RAN out of the bathroom, fussing at me the whole time.

Where was the plastic barf bag he’d constructed for me while I’d been in the bathroom earlier?  He’d put three Publix bags together and had kept them close to me when i didn’t know which way I’d be taking care of business.

It was nowhere to be found.

Oh wait.  It was still in the bathroom.

I’ve never seen him run so fast, y’all.  He high-tailed it across the house, grabbed the bag, and rushed back to me just in time.

Up came the smoothie and the three bites of soup I’d had for lunch.

Into the bag, thank heavens.

In addition to bad timing, I’m also known for not hitting toilets when I puke.

I’m talented like that.

It was over quickly.  I didn’t have much food in me to get rid of.

I tied things up neatly, and he took the bag to the outside garbage can.

Immediately, I felt better, and I was able to crutch myself over to the restroom.

I didn’t get sick any more after that, but my relief from the earlier puking session was short-lived.  It didn’t take long for me to get nauseous again.

I kept a new barf bag near me…even while Super Sis and I were texting one another.

My picture followed her lovely picture that showed off her wearing the Origami Owl necklace I’d bought her last year for her birthday (or maybe Christmas…I cannot remember because her birthday is a couple of weeks after Christmas).

Her picture was prettier.

I kept the barf bag close by while I watched LSU beat up Florida…

As soon as the game was over, the Mr. helped me to the restroom one more time, and I settled in for the night.

I’d been staying awake later at night, but this girl was so very tired from fighting nausea all day that I had to give in to my heavy eyelids.

The only time I woke up was to take my pain meds, which I will not allow myself to get off track from.

If I could ask for specific prayers that I could begin using the restroom normally again, that my attempt to transition down from two pain pills to one would not lead to a lot of extra pain, and that I’d be able to resume eating again.

I am still #findingjoyinthejourney despite my most recent hiccup.  God continues to be gracious to me, and I won’t allow this setback to set me off in anger.

I continue to be grateful as I watch blessings unfold from this unexpected life challenge.

God is so good.  He loves me.  He hears all prayers…even those that involve bathroom plumbing of the human kind.

😉

Bionic Ankle

It’s 6:12 am, Eastern time, that is, as I begin writing this post.  An hour later than home, but I’m not at home.  I’m two hours away, nestled on my in-laws’ couch. right leg elevated.

The deed…it has been done.

I arrived at the surgical center yesterday afternoon for my 2pm check-in time.

That, by no way, meant surgical time, mind you.  They were all about filling out more paperwork…signing my life away to the procedure I was about to have…paying my portion of the bill that the insurance didn’t cover.  Let’s just take a moment to praise insurance, though.  I know a lot of people bemoan it, but I have good insurance, so I cannot complain.

I had to do the pee-in-a-cup thing, because all women within the childbearing age span get to have this fun experience…just in case.  For the record, I’m not.  Thank goodness.  😉

Then, I was whisked away to a hospital bed to begin preparing for surgery.

I loved my English-accent speaking nurse.  She was so gentle, listened to my fears about needles, and gently got my IV ready.  She assured me that I’d be given medicine for post-surgery nausea, which I have a tendency to suffer from.

The Mr. got brought back to me, and we did some waiting.

A lot of it, actually.

Chicky arrived about an hour after we got there, and she did some waiting with us.

I hadn’t seen her since January; her presence made me so happy.  I love this girl so much, but our lives don’t often intersect with her being a super teacher down south and, in general, living life on her own.

The anesthesiologist came by for a chat. Can we all say a Praise the Lord for this profession?  I think that all who enter are screened for great personalities.  I’ve never met one I didn’t like.  He was kind and funny.  And uber professional.  He knew his stuff…knew about my procedure…and set my fears at rest.

We discussed my having a nerve block that would last about 24 hours after surgery.  I couldn’t sign that paperwork fast enough, let me tell you.  I am brave about some things; pain is not one of those things.

He left, and we waited.

And waited.

Periodically, there would be people who would visit my “room…” nurses who would ask me to repeat my name, birth date, and which procedure / which leg I was having work done on.  I wanted to say, “the one with the cast,” but I was being nice.  Ahem.

Chicky left to get her and the Mr. some food…and to visit her Grandmama and utilize her washing machine.  Priorities, folks!

While she was gone, my surgeon came by.  This man though.  He had been so frustrated with me at my first visit for clawing myself to the point where we had to delay surgery that I was a little scared.

I didn’t ask him the questions I mentioned in yesterday’s post.

I’ll ask those questions when I got back for my first post-op visit on the 1st.

He did write on my right toes, though.  I believe I saw him make a smiley face on my big toe.

He was all smiles himself as he described the procedure.  His bedside manner was on point and soothed my heart.  He promised to be back as soon as he did one short procedure for another patient.  The man was busy!

Meanwhile, we waited a little bit more.

I was so very tired.

And scared.

I’m not going to lie, but I grew more scared the longer we waited.

The Mr. did his best to calm me down.  He didn’t want my heart rate to go too fast and delay surgery.

He spoke words of encouragement…words I desperately needed to hear.

He offered me my phone, which he NEVER does, to distract me.  I was too tired to do much besides read a few text messages and Facebook posts.  I quickly handed it back to him.

His main job during surgery was going to be keeping our friends and family updated.

Finally, they began to wheel me back to pre-op.  The Mr. gave me a hug before I left.  I wanted him to stay with me.  That man had been the center of my world this past week…my rock.

Off I went, though, to a room that was divided into sections…each dedicated to its own surgery.

I had heart monitors attached to my chest, some sort of thing put on my leg to check impulses (I never once felt it), and other cords fastened every which way.

I even had an oxygen tube stuck under my nose.  Things were getting very real.  Very fast.

Heck, I felt like I was going to be on one of those hospital drama shows you see on TV.

Ha!

The nurse placed my right leg on a high table in preparation for the anesthesiologist.  He was going to do the nerve block before surgery.

I got really, really scared.

He’d told me that he would be giving me three shots and an extra one in my big toe to ensure that all of my nerves would be given the pain-free juice I’d need.

I.

Hate.

Needles.

And pain.

Did I mention that?

Y’all are not going to believe this, but I slept through the entire thing!

I kid you not.

The fatigue of not sleeping well the night before and a long day of anticipation had worn me out.

Maybe they put a little something something in my IV too.  Who knows.  I’d signed away my life, so it’s possible.

I woke up as the nurse was removing my oxygen tube.  My leg was off the table and completely numb.

Praise Jesus!

I was then wheeled into the operating room.

One operating room.

With lots of big lights.

I remember looking up and wondering about the pattern of the individual light bulbs in each light.

Yeah.  I had some happy drugs, I think.

I was introduced to someone who was prepping a surgical table.  I don’t remember his name.  He turned and waved.

I was moved from the bed I was wheeled in on to a surgery table.  I had to help move my body over.  That was interesting.

Then, I laid back as some sort of mask was held over my nose and mouth…not tight…just enough to breath into.

I thought that I’d never fall asleep.

Ha!

Out I went like a light.

I slowly came to in a recovery room, a different nurse at my side.

My throat hurt so badly.  She told me that they’d put a tube down my throat during surgery.

Thank heavens I was out for that.  I don’t think I would have liked that.

She gave me red Gatorade to sip on and began helping me get dressed.

I’m glad I had taken my leopard print Victoria Secret bra with me.  One must always be fashionable…even when having surgery.  You never know who’s going to see your underclothes.

The Mr. was brought back to see me.  I think he was smiling.  Chicky was there too.  Most of my heart  was there in that room.  I know the others were with me in spirit.

While the nurse was out of the room gathering paperwork, the Mr. told me that the doctor has spoken to him after the surgery.  He’d said that it had gone well, but that he’d discovered that my bones are very brittle.  He’d had some difficulty getting the pins inserted because of this.

As you know, I’ve been a vegan since 2016.  I don’t eat any animal products, which means I have to find creative ways to get protein and calcium.

Apparently, I’ve done a terrible job of this.  I will not be moving away from my vegan lifestyle.  It suits my tummy and other innards well.  What I will be doing, and what the Mr. has already begun doing, is researching how to put more calcium into my body organically.  I don’t do supplements.  My stomach cannot handle them, and I know the body doesn’t process them well.  I will probably have to up my caloric intake.  That’s another issue I need to deal with.

The doctor told the Mr. that my ankle injury was an accident waiting to happen.  As such, I know that I need to make changes quickly so I don’t incur another such injury.  I do not want to be an old lady who has to have hip replacement surgery.

When the nurse returned, she gave me a lot of detailed instructions.  I love that she looked right at me and spoke to me.  She was just so amazing.  The Mr. and Chicky listened on closely.  They knew I’d remember exactly 10% of it.

One cool thing was that she recognized me from the Mr.’s parents’ church.  How weird is that?  We attended it twenty years ago when we lived here and have been back yearly for Christmas Eve services.  My in-laws are very, very active in the church.  I’ve been on more than one prayer chain of late.

God is so wonderful when He makes connections like that.

She gave me lots of paperwork.  Among them were copies of my x-rays.

Y’all, they look like pictures from Frankenstein’s surgery.

There are many, many pins inside of my little leg.

Many.

There’s a plate in there somewhere.  I’m going to have the doctor show me where during my next visit.  It’s on the inside of my leg, but I don’t know where to find it on the x-ray.

Regardless, it was an intense repair, and it’s going to require much healing.  God is the GREAT physician, so I’m not worried.

Finally, it was time to leave.  She wheeled me out.  I had been the last surgery of the day.  It was both dark and cold.  I shivered like crazy.

Fortunately, the car was warm, and the Mr. gently navigated us back to his parents’ house.

What a loving reception I got.  These people have cared for me through so much…so many times when I have been unlovable.  I am so grateful for their unconditional love…something I never had growing up and something that’s been hard to accept all of these years.

The Mr. left fairly quickly.  He’d been driving back and forth to care not only for me but for our fur babies back home.  I hated that he was driving so late, but that’s what love does. ❤

Meanwhile, the in-laws gave us instructions on how to use their remote controls and how to turn off the light switches.  It can get complicated, y’all, I kid you not.  Then, they headed to bed.   They were slap worn out from the long day as well.

Meanwhile, Chicky had been assigned babysitting duties. She was to be my night nurse, relegated to the long couch.

She was wonderful.

I got hungry, so she found some crackers for me.

That was only the start.  She then fixed me a can of soup and got me a glass of orange juice.  Strange combo, I know, but when you’ve been through what I have this past week, you don’t question such requests.

Then, after a couple of trips to the potty, we were set to go.

We watched a bit of TV…an episode of Timeless, which I’ll have to rewatch when I get home because I had a hard time focusing on it…before turning out the light.

I slept pretty good and mainly woke up for my pain meds.  By 5:30, though, I’d had enough.  I had to sit up and catch up on my social media.

I needed to blog before the words were forgotten in the haze of pain and medicine.

I’m starting to feel the effects of the nerve block wearing off.

That’s a good and a bad thing.  The good is that I’ll be able to feel my toes again, which will make me feel less claustrophobic.

The bad is…well…the pain.

You might remember that I don’t like pain.

I am already feeling it on the inside of my ankle…the part I obliterated.  It’s the side that now houses a plate.  I feel as though I have a bionic ankle now.  Ha!

So, I’m asking you to continue praying, if you will.

This pain is going to be no joke.

It’s going to require that I pull up my big girl pants and deal, the best I can.

My goal is to return to work on Monday.  I don’t know how, but I am determined.

I’d like to see the pain reduced a bit before I go in.

I’ll probably be in a wheelchair.  Crutches and me…we are slowly getting to be friends.  I’ll be renting a scooter as soon as the doctor gives me the green light.  That’s when the fun will begin.

Please pray for the Mr.  He stresses.  A lot.  About everything.

He’s a good man.  He’s typical, though, and has a need to see things fixed.

He hates to see people in pain…especially those he loves.

This injury has reminded us both of so much.

We need each other desperately, especially now that our kids are grown and living their own lives elsewhere.

He’s usually been the sick one of the two of us.  I’ve been the caretaker.

Oftentimes, not a great one; frustration and impatience are my enemies.

Not so after this.

Though the Mr. has gotten frustrated, he’s balanced it with attention to detail.  That man has come home from the grocery store only to hear me vocalize a desire for orange juice, which I must have dreamed about while napping while he was gone, and then he has left again to pick up a gallon.

Just because he wanted me happy.

He’s a gem, and he’s all mine, ladies.

I might be willing to rent him out for a small fee, though.  We have a rehearsal dinner to pay for and medical bills to recoup from.

Ha!

Seriously, though, I am still finding #joyinthejourney through the ups and downs I’ve encountered since my fall on the 13th.

God allowed this to happen to me.  Though I cannot fully understand all of the why’s of it, I continue to trust Him.

Please pray as I continue down the road of recovery.  I know it’s going to be very difficult at times, but God prepared me through my year of fitness gains, my return to Him in my Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies, and my strengthened relationship with my husband.

I.

Am.

Blessed.

Weekending

Even though it’s my summer break, and the days kind of run together, I find myself looking forward to the weekends when the Mr. is home from work.

As new empty-nesters, we are starting to fall into routines that work for us.

I kicked off the weekend on Friday with a beach lunch date with Rooster’s girl.

We ate at one of my favorite places right on the beach.  The view…so lovely and peaceful.

Saturdays find us sleeping in.  It’s a luxury that I do not take for granted…especially with 4am wake-up calls looming on the horizon again (for me…not him).

Even though I got up late, I still managed to get in my workout.  I just don’t feel as though I can enjoy my day guilt-free if I skip out on this.  Plus, it burns extra calories that I can later eat.  🙂

Ever since Rooster left in April, we started making trips to the beach on Saturdays.  Sometimes, we just head to the neighborhood pool.

We’re getting pretty good at this, even keeping a bag ready with our towels and sunscreen.

I always throw in a book, and we fix coolers with snacks and drinks.

First, though, was lunch…a necessity given my workout.  I was starving!  I ate a bowl of West African Peanut Soup.  It’s less like a soup and more like a stew.  The next time I make it, I’ll either increase the vegetable stock or will decrease the amount of brown rice.  It’s delicious, though!!!!!

The Mr. surprised me as I was selecting my water wear.  He’d purchased a new bathing suit for me!  They’re on clearance right now at Victoria Secret.

Because the water at the beach had been FILLED with seaweed the week before, we opted for the pool this past weekend.

It.  Was.  Hot.

Unless it rains, the water is tepid…not cool.  At least it’s wet and offers a bit of respite from the heat and humidity.

I loved my new bathing suit.  It was the perfect fit.

We really enjoy watching young families at the pool.  The little kids are too cute.  I have discovered, though, that I have a limited tolerance for boys between the ages of nine and twelve years old.  Oh my, but they are LOUD at the pool!  And they are rough.  And they don’t care who they splash when they jump in.

The Mr. knew I was starting to get annoyed, so he suggested that we leave.  We’d already been there a couple of hours, so I quickly agreed.

The Mr. wasn’t feeling well, so we stayed in for dinner.  I ate another helping of the soup.

Sunday mornings find us going to church.  First, though, was my workout.

We skipped our usual lunch with friends to run to the grocery store and Hallmark.  I picked up this Itty Bitty at Hallmark…

These are all the rage with my Facebook support group.

Then, I ignored the huge pile of dirty dishes in the background below and got ready for a second stint at the pool.

The weather was uncooperative, though.  We kept a close eye on the sky and my weather app, and hoped that the promised thunderstorms would skirt us.  They did.  For all of thirty minutes before it started raining.

Back into the house we went, where I picked up the third book in The Testing series and started reading.  I couldn’t help but notice the blurb you see boxed in below.

How fitting, do you think, regarding the leadership crisis we are experiencing right now in America.

Hmmm.

I watched First5’s weekend video message, which was one of the BEST since this free app started last year.

I was in tears by the end.  God’s provision…His promises…they just awe me.

The dogs tried to use their cuteness to get me to fix them an early dinner.

Their charms did not work, by the way.  Poor babies.

Dinner was leftovers again, but I was craving something sweet.

I turned to one of my newest favorite recipes…Crazy Cake…which is so simple and contains NO eggs!  It and the chocolate buttercream frosting are vegan-friendly.

The rest of my evening consisted of Big Brother (what a crazy episode!!), Next Food Network Star, and more of my book.

I absolutely love my weekends.  We don’t run hard any more.  I’ve learned the value of lying low and taking things easy.  There’s a peace that my soul has yearned for and is now able to enjoy.

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