• Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 551 other followers

  • “Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers” — Isaac Asimov

  • Recent Posts

  • Pages

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 154,315 hits

DIY Fail

Y’all know that when something breaks around here, I’m usually pretty good at fixing it.

Well, I think I finally met my match a couple of weeks ago.

It all started when I woke up one morning and reached into the dryer to pull out what I expected to be dry towels, which I’d put in the night before.

That’s when I had an inkling that something was amiss.

Everything in the dryer was still very much wet.

I wondered if I’d forgotten to turn it on, so I did and went about my business . . . working out, showering, etc.

When I finished, my clothes were still wet.

Y’all, when my stuff isn’t working properly, I don’t function well.

I quickly googled what might be the problem and realized that I could be in for a pricey fix.  I left the Mr. a note beside his coffee . . . just so he wouldn’t miss it . . .

After posting a picture of the note on Facebook, because I’m all about posting everything on social media, or so my family tells me, the Mr.’s cousin sent me a message listing out possible fixes.

The first thing I needed was a multimeter to check the connections of a few parts . . .

I had to do some reading to understand the difference between open and closed circuits.

Then, I began taking the dryer apart – after I watched a video on YouTube . . .

One of the thermostats that controls the heating element

This is the heating element

This is the fuse.

I’m not going to lie.  I don’t think I ever quite figured out how to read the multimeter as I tried to test four different parts.  By that time, the Mr. had found a kit with the parts I needed . . . the more inexpensive ones . . . for only $30, so he ordered it.

In the meantime, we found ourselves needing clothes.

Thus began our weekly treks to the laundromat.  We’d wash our clothes at home and then carry them a couple of miles up the road to dry them.

It had been awhile since I’d had to use the laundromat and couldn’t remember how to operate the dryer.  A lady patiently told me that I’d put my money into the wrong dryer.  Then, we figured out that I couldn’t get my money back, so I had to move my clothes over.  Then, I figured out that I didn’t have enough change, so her husband gave me a few quarters.

Because this is how I do life.

Sigh.

Of course, I didn’t realize, until eighteen minutes in, that I’d set the dryer on medium heat.

I repeat, this is my life.

You’re jealous, aren’t you?

The Mr. visited the laundromat the next day, because we wash our clothes separately, and made the same mistake with the heat settings that I did.

Welcome to our life together as a married couple.

Betcha feel sorry for us now, eh?

Ha!

Unlike me, who did not enjoy the experience, the Mr. actually enjoyed the time he spent there.  He likes people watching.  We’re in a good town for that too.

It’s a good thing though because even after spending a couple of hours installing the new parts when they arrived, the heat still would not work.  The dryer was also making a funny sound when it ran – a sound that had not existed prior to my magic touch.  Ahem.

As a last-ditch effort, I pulled out the Mr.’s wet/dry vac and tried to blow out the dryer vent.

Picture the Mr. standing outside, at 10pm, while it’s cold, looking for dryer lint to fly out.

This didn’t fix the problem either.

I knew, at that point, that the fix would involve a lot more than $30.  The Mr. knew it too, so he reluctantly agreed that it was time to find a new dryer.

Truth be told, even though we’d had our current unit for about five years, it had never really dried clothes all that efficiently.  Simply put, I think we’d gotten a lemon.

So, we spent another week visiting the laundromat until we got our butts in gear and ordered a new one online from Best Buy.

The Mr. thought he was going to get away with getting me a cheap one.

Yeah, no.

I told him that I was going to pay for it, so I could get what I wanted.

We researched the heck out of them, ran to the store to look at them (they didn’t have the models I’d narrowed my search down to), and finally made our decision.

It had really good ratings, and I also liked that this model was made in America . . .

That was last Sunday.

I set up delivery for Friday afternoon, the day after my surgery.

Now, let me tell you that the only place I’ve ever bought big appliances from has been Sears, and I’ve always gone into the store to do that.  It’s usually been a bit of a hassle.

Not so this time.

I signed up for text alerts and was updated and reminded regularly that my appointment was coming up.

Not only that, but someone from the Geek Squad called us two different times to tell us they were on their way.

The second call came about ten minutes before they arrived, which I appreciated because I was in quite a bit of pain, trying to navigate around on my crutches.  I called the Mr., who’d gone to Walmart, and he made it home a few minutes after the delivery guys arrived.

They were well-dressed and uber-professional.  They carefully removed the old dryer and quickly got the new one set up.

As Yoda might say, “Thoroughly impressed was I.”

They even saved me $30 by suggesting that I keep the dryer vent I already had since it was longer and more flexible than the one I’d been required to order with the dryer.  They set up the refund before they left.

Totally cool, eh?

The Mr. and I went back and forth over who was going to use the dryer first.

I won.

Naturally.

He stuck a load of sheets in to help me out since I’m unable to put weight on my bad ankle, and when it was time to turn on the dryer, I took over.

My new dryer has a lot of bells and whistles and a fancy menu screen.

You know me and technology; we are a match made in heaven.

I used the Sanitizing setting since they are sheets that Chicky will be sleeping on the next few nights.  She’s got a lot of allergies, so I wanted everything squeaky clean for her.

The dryer was super quiet and yeah, the heat worked just fine, as evidenced by my hot laundry room.

While I’d love to brag and add another item to the long list of things I’ve fixed over the years, I can’t say that this DIY fail was, in fact, a fail.  I wound up getting an early Christmas gift out of the situation . . . From :  Me . . . To:  Me

Day 1 Post-Op

Wednesday afternoon, the Mr. and I headed out of town.

I’d tried to pack lightly but . . .

The Mr.’s parents, brother, and my sister live in the same city as my surgeon, so the plan was to stay with the in-laws.  We thought my report time was going to be at 7:30, according to the patient portal account I’d set up.  I had to call the surgery center after 3pm my time to find out for sure.  It wound up that my report time was 10:00 . . . still early but not too much so.

After eating dinner with the hubby’s parents, I headed over to Super Sis’s house to watch the Survivor finale.  She and her hubby are big fans of the show, and we were all rooting for Ben to win.

What a finale it was too!  Did you see it?  We were shouting at the TV, cringing at stressful moments, and praying like crazy (God says that we can pray for anything).

In the end, our guy won!

I had a hard time sleeping that night.  It wasn’t that I was worried, but the anticipation and uncertainty of what, exactly, I’d be feeling after the surgery kept me tossing and turning.  I finally gave up around 4am and opened up my First 5 app for my daily devotion.  The opening lines brought tears to my eyes, y’all . . .

I don’t know why I’m always amazed when God shows up in such tangible ways.  ❤

After I finished reading, I got up and did my physical therapy exercises.

I’d been told that I wouldn’t be able to do lower body workouts until my boot comes off . . . FOUR WHOLE WEEKS.  Sigh.

This was my view as I did lunges and squats . . .

Isn’t the tree gorgeous?  I’ll miss sitting in front of it on Christmas morning this year.  The Mr. is on call for the first Christmas ever, so we are going to have to wait until the 29th to do Christmas with his parents and our siblings.

When I finished with my workout, I grabbed a shower.

Y’all, I’m going to have to rely on the Mr. helping me get semi-showers, where I sit in a chair, drape my right foot over the side of the tub, while he holds the nozzle over my body.  This is what we did last year, and I was miserable . . . while he chuckled each and every time.

Yeah, so the shower yesterday morning was amazing.

It wound up being a good thing that I’d gotten up so early because I got a phone call from the surgery center at 7:30 asking if I could be there sooner – at 8:30.  The Mr. was still sleeping, so I woke him up, and he got ready really fast.

While he was driving me there, his dad went to pick up my post-surgery pain pills, which he and the Mr. had dropped off at the pharmacy the night before.

The hubby dropped me off so I wouldn’t have to walk very far while he found a parking spot.

They called me back quickly, and I had the joy of peeing in a cup for them to do a pregnancy test – something they do for all non-menopausal women.  Ha!

Then, I changed into my gown, and they brought the hubby back to sit with me while the nurse put in an IV and got me to sign off on more paperwork.

I love the staff at my orthopedic center.  They are very gentle and tenderhearted.  They see patients at their worst, suffering from so much pain.  Their care is top-notch.

It didn’t take too long before I was wearing compression and no-slip socks, waiting for my surgeon.

I took pictures of all sides of my foot just to compare with what it will look like when I get to see it post-surgery (it’s currently wrapped up in thick bandages) . . .

My nurse checked in frequently, and I had to call her three times to help me to the bathroom to go potty.  Nerves were starting to kick in big time.  When I returned to bed each time, I was cold.  She patiently gave me a new blanket every time.

Warm blankets from the blanket heater are the absolute BEST!

I was told that I was my doctor’s second surgery, but we still had to wait . . . and wait . . . and wait.  This doctor is very popular because he’s got mad skills.  I was glad that I wasn’t last in line like my first surgery.

The Mr.’s dad came back and waited with us, cracking jokes along the way.

The surgeon finally came to visit, went over the procedure, and marked my right foot with his customary smiley face.

Then, I got to wait a while longer.

Finally, the OR nurses appeared and whisked me off so quickly that I barely had a chance to bid the hubby farewell.

Things were so different from last year.  When I had my first surgery, I went into a pre-room first where they gave me something to sleep before administering my nerve block.  I guess we skipped this step since I refused the option for the block.  Last year, after I’d gotten my cast off, I’d experienced a burning sensation that ran down my big toe and across that toe’s knuckle.  The pain was constant and had me in tears for days.  I’d also been numb down the rest of my foot for weeks.  I didn’t want to go through that again despite the relief from pain that the block promised.  Talk about a catch 22!

So, instead, I was wheeled directly into the operating room.  It was FILLED with nurses and other techs, and I said hello to all of them.

I helped them move me from the gurney to the operating table, and they got my surgical cap on for me.  Then, the anesthesia nurse began giving me good oxygen.  At the same time, I could tell that they had put the anesthesia in my IV, although I was surprised that I wasn’t out in two seconds flat.  I’m a lightweight, don’t you know.  I keep breathing deeply and finally felt myself drift off.

The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery room.

My mouth was so dry (the result of not having anything to drink since the night before as well as the anesthesia).  They brought me Gatorade.

They gave me the hardware that they’d removed, sterilized and sealed up in a bag.

See that long bar with the holes? That’s the plate. It doesn’t look anything like what I expected! It’s also a lot smaller than what I’d thought from feeling it in my leg (a strange feeling indeed).

If you look closely at the next picture, you’ll see the LONG pins that were used on the inside of my ankle.  There were THREE of those, to be exact and played a big role in the swelling that stayed with me on the inside/top of my foot.  The doctor had told me, back during my last appointment, that once I healed from this surgery, the swelling would eventually go away.

I was in a LOT of pain down the right side (outer part) of my ankle.  The next picture reflects just how badly I was feeling.

I couldn’t feel a thing on the inner side of my ankle, and my toes were numb, but that right side was something else.

Now, I’m really not one to complain much, but I did some advocating, let me tell you.  I knew that I shouldn’t be feeling that kind of pain.

They gave me two Oxycontin and promised that I’d be able to tell the difference within thirty minutes.

They didn’t touch the pain.  I was in tears.  The Mr. was beside himself because he remembered how I had not felt anything for a day and a half last year.

The anesthesiologist came by and mentioned the nerve block and another medicine.  I opted for the second thing (I have it written down somewhere but can’t get to it while I’m writing this).  He said that the medicine would make me a little sleepy.  I was all for that.

The nurse had to administer it slowly, in two batches.  I felt the effects of it immediately and began to relax quickly.

It seemed as though it took forever to get discharged; instructions had to be given, and the IV had to be taken out.

She also gave me a folder that contained the x-rays the doctor had taken during the surgery.

The first picture is when they were halfway done.  You can see, if you compare it to the next picture, that there’s no hardware!  It looks like he used staples instead of stitches.  I’m glad because they are easy for the nurse to pull out, and the pain when she does it is like pulling out hairs from your leg.  They will remove the staples on Thursday.

No hardware!

We finally got to leave and headed back to the Mr.’s parents’ house.

That’s when things went south.

I had started feeling sick as I’d gotten in the car.  I made the Mr. pull over while he was driving so I could throw up.  I didn’t, but the feeling remained.

Ugh.

It was just awful.

I couldn’t get into his parents’ house fast enough and crutched my way to the bathroom as fast as I could.

I still didn’t throw up though.

Oh Misery, you and I got well acquainted.

I tried to eat a few crackers, but my mouth was so dry, it was a struggle.

We stayed about an hour before heading home.

The Mr.’s mom sent two Sprites (or 7 Ups) with me, along with more crackers, but I still had a hard time.  I sipped on the drink but mostly tried to sleep.

The first half of the drive was okay.  Not so much with the second half.

As I rode, stretched out in the back seat, I struggled.  As I sat up to take a drink, I got super sick and threw up in one of the bags the Mr. had put back there with me.

I never want Fruit Punch Gatorade again.

I felt better and rested more; however, as we pulled into the garage, I got sick again before even getting out of the car.

More Gatorade.

Ugh.

The dogs were happy to see me.  Although I wanted to love on them, I just couldn’t.  It was all I could do to get to my recliner.

The Mr. helped me to the bathroom a couple of times where I threw up more.

The protein bar I’d eaten in the car came up.

Along with more Gatorade.

Total misery, I tell you.

The nurse had told me to start taking my prescription pain pills when I got home, so I took two; however, the Mr. started comparing what the directions said with what I’d taken last year and discovered that I had taken fewer pills with each dose after my first surgery, so we decided to go down to one pill every four hours to try to alleviate my sickness.

I was exhausted and turned out the light around 8pm.

Thank goodness for my new recliner.  It’s incredibly comfortable, and although I woke up nearly every hour, I slept well when I was sleeping, if that makes sense.

Untitled

The Mr. got up and helped me to the restroom around 11:30.  I still had a lot of nausea, and my stomach hurt.  When I got him up at 5:00 to help me potty, the nausea was gone!  I stayed awake and haven’t been sick to this point.  I’m praying that this side effect is gone permanently.

And so this is how things currently stand . . . or should I say recline.

The Mr. had to work today.  A couple of days ago as we were discussing the rest of the week, I was very apprehensive about him not being home today; however, because the nausea is gone, I was able to tell him to have a good day as he left this morning.  He’ll be home around noon to check on me and wait for Best Buy to deliver a new dryer (a story for another post).

I am so thankful for all of the prayers that people are lifting up on my behalf.  I put in a request on the military support group page I’m a member of on Facebook and have gotten dozens and dozens of supportive comments.  My friends have been texting me, and I’ve been in constant contact with my family.

Of course, there’s the Mr.  He’s been his usual wonderful self, fussing at me because he’s worried that I’ll do too much, all the while caring for me without complaining.  He’s a good man; I am very undeserving of him.

Thank you for the kind comments you’ve left as I’ve traveled down this challenging road.  Your prayers and words of encouragement always make me tear up in joy and gratitude.

I’m still #findingjoyinthejourney despite how difficult it’s been.

God is so good.

God’s plans are perfect.

God’s love for me is steadfast and true.

Here I Go Again

. . . cue in Whitesnake . . .

Tomorrow, I’ll be going under the knife for the second time in just over a year.

This time, my surgeon will be removing the hardware he used to hold three of my ankle bones together after I broke them last November.

This is a surgery that I’ve actually been looking forward to.  Just admitting this says a lot because I am a person who is deathly afraid of needles.  Just the sight of blood makes me feel faint.

Over the last year, I’ve developed a strong stomach.  I’ve kind of had to considering all I’ve been through.

I had my pre-op appointment Tuesday afternoon . . .

I asked a lot of questions.  I’m glad the Mr. wasn’t there because he would have cringed.

I’ll be in a boot for four weeks while the holes in my bones, left from the pins and plate, fill in.

The doctor said that it will take between six and eight weeks to complete the healing process.

Heck, what’s another two months?  I’ve been through thirteen of them already.

My prayer is that the pain and swelling that have been a part of each hour of each day since 11/13/16 will gradually become a distant memory.

I’ve been ordered to take it very easy the first week, keep my feet up, and simply rest.

You know that’s going to be hard for me to do.

Still, I will baby my ankle because of the stitches/staples that I’ll have.  I don’t want to do anything that will make them pop out.

The doctor did say that I could do upper body exercises if they don’t require putting pressure on my foot.  It’s a good thing my weights are close to my recliner.

😉

Seriously, though, I really will be good.  Listening to the Mr. fuss at me is never any fun.

I’m supposed to be weight-bearing; however, I don’t know if I’ll be able to walk much at first – especially while I still have my stitches/staples.

One of the things that makes this a little hard is knowing that I’m going to be taking some steps backward as far as my fitness goes.  I’ve worked really hard to get strong again, so the possibility of almost starting over has me a little down.

Oh Piyo, how I love thee.

Still, as Super Sis told me on the phone a few days ago, I can draw strength from the knowledge that I have already come back (sort-of) once from my injury; I can do it again.

I sure would appreciate your prayers for the surgery to go smoothly, for the pain to be bearable, and for the healing to be complete.

Thank you! ❤

Changing the Lesson Plans and Taking Time to Reflect

Tomorrow marks the end of over six weeks of ACT preparation.

My students are battle-weary, as am I.

In the midst of some of the most boring lessons ever, there’s been an underlying tension.  My students took the FSA Retakes early in October, and we had all been waiting with baited breath for the results.

Well, y’all, we got the scores back two days ago.

My assistant principal quietly delivered them to me late Tuesday afternoon.

My hopes were high as I dug in; my nerves were strung tightly as I eagerly scanned pages and pages of test scores.

My heart soared as I read the names of the students who had acquired the score required to pass, and it plummeted when I saw the scores of those who had fallen short, some by only one or two points.

I took the list home to run some numbers.  I prayed.  Super Sis called me, and I asked her to pray.  I also texted Rebecca and asked her to pray.

You see, the next day, I was tasked with telling my kids if they had passed or not.

Stressful much?

I worried about how I would deliver the news . . . how the kids would respond . . . how I would help them rebound given the ACT test fast approaching.

The next morning, I opened the door between my classroom and the empty one beside it and called each student alphabetically while keeping an eye on the kids in my room.

I had last year’s scores in front of me to help me show the kids how much they had improved (or perhaps regressed) from the spring test administration.

I expected a lot of tears or even anger when I had to deliver less-than-stellar news.  What I got, instead, surprised and impressed me.

Most of the kids took the news well.  Many were quick to reflect and honestly admitted that they’d fallen asleep during the test, had been distracted, or just hadn’t been in the mood that day.

One young lady told me, with a determined look on her face, that she was going to ace the ACT.  Her motivation and confidence had increased ten-fold.

Then, there were the kids who received good news . . . that they had, in fact, passed.

The looks on their faces were priceless as the realization that they wouldn’t have to sit for another FSA test ever again settled in.

One young man, who I’d had the pleasure of teaching two years ago and learned that he’d passed, waltzed back into my classroom and announced his good news.  I heard one of my girls say, “Congratulations!  Now, you get to graduate.”  Her words were sincere; this was a good friend of hers.

My students continued to impress me throughout the day as they handled the news with a grace that eased my tender heart.  A few were disappointed after discovering that they’d barely missed the mark.  Those were the hardest on me.

Overall, though, the day had gone surprisingly well, and I realized that I had not needed to worry so much.  God had prepared the way through the prayers offered up on my behalf.

As a result of yesterday’s test results, I decided to change up my lesson plans for today.

As I’d talked with my kids yesterday, I’d heard their weary voices.

They are test-tired.  With the district’s common assessments, delivered via the computer in most cases, they are constantly being assessed.  Plus, we’d been working on ACT passages for so long that they couldn’t take any more.

So, despite my wanting to review the mock ACT reading test I’d given them on Monday, I decided to allow their voices to alter our course today.

Instead, I had them record their FSA scores on a sheet I’d created for them.  We had done this in August for the spring scores, and it had been illuminating.  Most, at the time, had no clue what they’d made.

Today, I walked them through finding the percentage of correct answers for all sections of the spring and fall FSAs.  Then, they compared their scores to see where they had improved and what they needed to work on.

You should have heard their comments.  One young lady told me that she realized that her score had been affected by the divorce her parents are going through.  They are fighting over who the children will live with.

Doesn’t that just break your heart?

Another young lady told me that she had lost her car keys and drivers license the day of the test, so that’s all she could think about.  I told her that I didn’t blame her, but that on an important test day, she had to find a way to block out everything else.

I told the kids that it was important to take time to reflect . . . that they needed to understand their strengths and weaknesses . . . that their parents couldn’t be the ones managing their academics for them because, ultimately, it was the kids who would be doing the work and trying to pass.

It was during my sixth period class when my principal came into my class for an unannounced observation – part of my yearly evaluation.

He got to witness my high-spirited class ask probing questions about the FSA, the ACT, and if could they get away with not really trying on the ACT (yes, this was really asked).  I absolutely loved watching them take the reins of their learning because this is really the end goal – for the kids to handle their business with a bit of gentle leading.

I am grateful for the last couple of days because, quite honestly, it can be extremely difficult to find time to sit down with over one hundred students and have truly meaningful conversations.  At best, I can do this with two or three in each class each day.

I think that the few minutes we spent chatting, one-on-one, reminded them that I am in their corner, despite pushing them so hard the last few weeks, and that I am listening to their feedback.

While this has been a time of growth for them, it has also been a time of growth for me.  My students continue to remind me what’s important – taking time to reflect and being willing to adjust.

It’s what’s best for them, and really, it’s what’s best for me as well.

Thankful Thursday – Thanksgiving 2017

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!  Today, I’m joining up with Rebecca for her weekly Thankful Thursday post!

This Thanksgiving has some special significance to me because I remember the way I spent last year’s holiday – three days post-op, dog sick from the side effects of my pain medicine, unable to eat, and plain old miserable.

You shouldn’t find it any surprise when I list, as the first thing I’m thankful for this week, the ability to walk and, so important to me, work out.

All Photos-419

I am so thankful for the essential oils that keep my ankle pain and emotions at bay . . .

There’s a roll on bottle inside. The combination of oils in this blend is so soothing!

For the baths I’m planning on taking after I get my stitches out after my surgery

For my migraines. I hope the hefty price tag proves worthwhile.

I love the rewards program through Young Living.  I’m earning points for my purchases, and when I spend a certain amount, I get free items with my order!

Free!

That Christmas Spirit you see?  Oh my goodness!  It’s amazing!  I have it in a USB diffuser that I run in my car.  ❤

Also free – The Pine oil will be perfect in this ornament diffuser!

I am thankful for my fur babies.  Molly took a piece of my heart with her when she passed away this summer.  My boys keep me grounded and help me remember to keep loving even when it’s hard.

I am thankful for a husband who didn’t mind that our Thanksgiving meal wasn’t all that fancy given our lack of company this year.  He went with the flow, ate the spaghetti squash and spaghetti sauce that I prepared, and never complained.

I set a fine table, don’t you think?

I am thankful for those who create vegan recipes so people like me can still eat good food, like this dish – Cheesy Lentil Bolognese Casserole – from Oh She Glows.

It took a couple of hours from start to finish to put this together – mainly because I accidentally dropped the carrots and potatoes I’d cooked for the “cheese” sauce in the dirty side of my sink and had to boil more.  :::Slaps forehead:::

All Photos-409

I used this marinara sauce, which I found at Publix.  It’s one of the few I’ve seen that doesn’t have added sugar or other unnecessary additives . . .

The smell coming from the oven reminded me of an Italian restaurant.  Seriously.

All Photos-411

The “cheese” sauce is absolutely divine and MAKES this dish!  I’ll be eating on it for days and days.

Another recipe I made for Thanksgiving is this Vegan French Silk Pie, by Detoxinista.

I’m fairly certain that it’s the most decadent dessert I’ve ever made.  It’s that good (and deceptively quick to assemble).

I am very, very, VERY thankful for technology that allows me to see my babies’ faces when we talk on the phone, should they choose.  The Mr. and I chatted with Rooster and his sweet wife for forty five today.  Seeing the smiles on their faces, the little nuances when they cracked jokes, their raised eyebrows at the sarcasm thrown digitally across the miles – well, it made our hearts swell with love.

I hope you have a wonderful day and that, if possible, you’re able to spend it with loved ones.

Giving Thanks for the Hodgepodge

Happy Almost-Thanksgiving, y’all!  I’m very impressed, but not at all surprised, that Joyce put together another fun list of questions given her precious company this week.  ❤ ❤ ❤

Thanks for visiting, y’all, and have a wonderful holiday!  Oh, and if you’re new to this, link up with Joyce to play along!

1.  Traditionhow tightly do you cling to tradition when it comes to holiday gatherings and celebrations? For instance do you always do the cooking, never eat at home, always go to grandma’s, never miss the parade, always watch football, never change the menu, always eat at 2 PM, etc.? Have you ever celebrated Christmas or Thanksgiving away from hearth, home, and family? How did that feel?

I used to cling to tradition like crazy.  I am a creature of habit and do not do change well; however, my life became rather chaotic from the moment that Rooster announced that he was enlisting in the Air Force.  I quickly learned that I couldn’t hold onto traditions quite as tightly; rather, I’d have to adapt.  So, I’m trying.

As far as traditions that we’ve observed down in these parts, the Mr. and I have hosted Thanksgiving ever since we lived in Miami.  Our family used to drive down, and I’d do most of the cooking.  When we moved closer to the family, we continued to have them over.  That changed last year when I had my ankle surgery four days before the holiday, and the Mr. and I spent that week alone, except for a quick visit from Chicky.

This year, the Mr. and I are on our own, unless Chicky drives up, which I’m still not sure of.  I won’t be cooking this year either for various reasons.  It will be a rather nontraditional day for us.

We always watch football on Thanksgiving, so that won’t change.

The only Thanksgivings we haven’t celebrated at home have been the ones when we were on cruises.  What a fun way to celebrate the holiday!

As far as Christmas, we have, for the most part, gone to the Mr.’s parents’ house.  The only exception was the year that Chicky had knee surgery.  We spent Christmas getting her back on her feet.  It was very strange to be away from the rest of the family.

Last year, we were fortunate that Rooster and his wife were able to be here.  Actually, they had their big wedding right before the holiday and spent the week after visiting us and her parents.  It was heavenly.  I knew that this would be one of our last years observing so many of our Christmas traditions.

This year, the Mr. and I will be home, with Chicky, because he is on call, and I’m having another ankle surgery on the 21st.

It’s a year of firsts for us.

2.  Help...is it easy for you to ask for help or are you a do-it-yourselfer? How is that a good/bad thing?

Well, prior to this past year, it was difficult for me to ask for help because I am definitely a DIY kind of gal.  After breaking my ankle, I had to rely on everyone for everything.  Then, the Mr. got super sick in January, and the asking kept on going.  I’ve tried not to ask for help too often because I don’t want to be a burden on anyone, but the good thing has been that I’ve learned that most people really will help if asked.

3.  Abundance…what is there an abundance of in your kitchen?

I have an abundance of flour – so many types of flour.  I am so grateful that the internet is a plethora of vegan recipes; however, I often plan to make something, buy the flour, and then forget which recipe I’d bought it for.  The struggle is real, y’all!

4.  Namethe smallest thing you’re thankful for? the biggest?

The smallest thing I am thankful for is having the week to nap . . . every day . . . (click the photo to play)

All Photos-419

The biggest thing I am thankful for is a loving, gracious God whose plan for my life is perfect, even when I don’t understand the reasons for some of the things He allows into it.

5.  Key...What do you think is the key to living a more grateful life?

I think that the key to living a more grateful life is having a humble attitude.  When we get too big for our britches, we become ungrateful and begin to take things for granted.  Things can change in a nanosecond.  This is a lesson I’ve learned this year both with my struggle to recuperate from my ankle injury, my husband’s illness, and the passing of our beloved fur baby, Molly.

I am not strong on my own, and I sure as heck cannot do life with the grace of my precious heavenly Father.

6.  My Random Thought

I could make a list of all the things I am thankful for; however, I’m sure they’re the same things that most of you would include as well.

Instead, I’ll share this adorable video, which I took the other night.

This year has been one of the toughest I’ve ever had.  As mentioned above, I lost my buddy, Molly, this summer, and my heart just hasn’t healed yet.  I don’t know if it will ever be the same.

However, I am finding so much solace with my two boys.  I recently splurged and bought two more dog beds, which stay in my room.  I’ve been leaving the door open in the afternoons, after the Roomba has run, and the other night, I discovered that they’d gotten tired of waiting for me to go to bed.  They took matters in to their own paws.

All Photos-435

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

Marking Time

Last week, I wrote about the one year anniversary of my ankle injury.

Well, today marks one year since I underwent the surgery to fix my broken ankle.

I had to wait a week from the day I broke it because I’d broken the skin when I’d scratched my leg after they took off the splint that the ER had put on it the night I broke it.  The doctor couldn’t operate until that scratch healed because of the risk of infection (the incision was going to be right where I’d scratched my leg).

It had been a long week of waiting filled with a lot of pain, boredom, and tears.

When that day finally came, I was more than thankful.

Chicky made the long drive to be with me and to support the Mr., who was more than a little stressed.

I woke up in comfort; the medical staff was incredible, their tenderness so evident in even the smallest details of my care.

I was dismayed, however, to learn that the surgeon had discovered that my bones were in bad shape, thus making the surgery extremely challenging.

I went home with what I’d like to call a bionic ankle, minus the superpower abilities that should accompany such hardware.

 

My surgery, a mere four days before Thanksgiving, made for a less-than-holiday(ish) week as I struggled through the initial days of extreme pain and sickness from my medicine.

The Mr. was such a trooper and doted on me, patiently waiting out my frequent burst of tears in between decorating the house for Christmas.

I don’t know that I’ll ever approach Thanksgiving the same way that I did before breaking my ankle.

I am so very thankful for the smallest things – things that most people take for granted – being able to walk (ok, so this isn’t a small thing), taking a shower unassisted, and being able to sleep under the covers (I spent over two months sleeping on my back with my right leg laying on top of my blankets and sheets).

I’m still learning to go with the flow and not feel resentful when things don’t work out like I planned.  That word “plan” makes me chuckle because clearly things can change in an instant.

#findingjoyinthejourney isn’t just my hashtag.  It’s my mantra.

I constantly remind myself to find a reason to be happy in whatever circumstances surround me.  Even when I’m disappointed or hurt (physically or emotionally), there’s always a reason to be joyful.

%d bloggers like this: