Sunday, April 27, 2008

Minnesota Snow Melt and California Heat

This afternoon, I shoveled the last of the wet, heavy snow off of the deck, in my bathrobe! It was about 45 out,very nice. I didn't even feel cold. The deck will probably be completely clear of the slush this evening.

It is hard to believe how quickly this snow has melted. Late this morning, the Flickers and the Robins were in the back yard scratching in green grass that had been under about 8 inches of snow yesterday. The ground must have been warm enough to melt from the bottom up and the top down. It sounds like we will be in the 50s tomorrow, so that will take care of most of the rest of the snow.

I didn't go to church this morning. I was afraid of falling on the morning ice. Our porch gets very wet with the snow melting off of the roof. There is too much snow melt water to go down the gutters so it ends up dripping on the porch. Thank goodness Ardmore put up the railing before I had my surgery.

Tomorrow will be my first offical day back at work. I plan to work about 4 hours; if I can handle that long. I have a significant amount of comp time to take if I need it. I will not go in early as I don't want to go down our porch stairs on the morning ice.

Brian called this afternoon. He had just returned from a run on the sand dunes near El Segundo. I see it is very warm at both LA and Valley Springs, in the 90s. That is good, it will bring us some nice weather, we need some warm weather to dry the fields out to seed. I would love some warm weather, although 90 sounds a little too hot. Perhaps 80 would be more than enough! Brian thought it was beautiful though. He was going to meet some friends this afternoon and they were going to the beach.

Time to exercise!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Minnesota weather is so unpredictable

Ardmore's moving around the bedroom upstairs woke me at 5 this morning. I sleep in the bedroom below him. It has a shorter bed in it so it is easier for me to get in and out of with my hip replacement. Needless to say, whenever he wakes up, he wakes me up. He decided to share the snowstorm with me, so came traipsing down the stairs to inform me that we had about 4 plus inches of snow. Ouch! I knew snow was coming but didn't think it would be that much. This snow is up on the office window in the lower level of the house, so much for spring. It is like a full-blown blizzard out, with the wind howling and making drifts. The snow is still coming down.

Our deck at 7 am this morning

I knew I should have taken in that deck chair!

I feel for the birds that have arrived. Some of my friends have had to put out their humming bird feeders already. What happens to a humming bird when we have this much snow? We had several robins pecking in the back yard yesterday they too must look long and hard for a meal now. I hope this snow disappears fast!

This ends my walking outside for a few days, thank goodness for PT. Yesterday at PT, it did three-quarter of a mile on the step abductor. It wasn't difficult and didn't take long. Going to PT now will set a precedent for the future; it will have become a habit. Each day, I feel stronger and more fit.

Pam gave me a massage yesterday. She has magic hands and arms! I went right home afterward completely relaxed and rested the rest of the day. An hour massage is the best medicine.

James called last evening. He was driving to pick up a date for a LDS Young Adult Conference. He is so busy he needs to begin to say no to some things. Take this week as an example. Sunday he had guests over for supper. On Tuesday, he had an Elder's Quorum presidency meeting. He is President. Wednesday he went sailing, he had committed to this a while back He has lofty goals and sometimes over extends himself. Humm, that sounds so familar. I think I tend to do that too.

A mother's thought.

It is difficult to see your children become unhappy about something in their life, life is not usually fair. I have seen so many things in our lives and our children that I would like to see more successful, but life is not controlled by us. Then again, we also make choices that limit our ability to succeed.

Today is good example of how life is uncontrollable. We are involved in agriculture. We seed about 400 acres, not much but many in our area see thousands and we are all receiving this snow. This much snow right now will interfere with seeding, and can be devastating. It is possible that it will snow and rain off and on all spring and we won't get a crop seeded. We have crop insurance but we would sooner seed and harvest the crops than take an insurance payment for not being able to. There are no guarantees in life.

Thought for the day
"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."
Henry David Thoreau

1:30 pm

Ardmore is out snowblowing. I hope this is the last time; we have at least ten inces of heavy wet snow!

Snow blowing the last of April!

Thoughts on hip replacement exercises

I have about 15 exercises I do two to three times a day. Most are very easy but a few I find give me some discomfort. Those are the ones I am going to focus on and see if I receive any comments from anyone about their discomfort also.

The first exercise I seem to have pain with is the back leg raise while laying on one's stomach. This exercise causes pain at the top of my inner thigh. The second exercise to cause pain is the side leg raises. These also cause pain in the inner thigh. I can do these better than when I first started and it seems the pain is not as bad but they are still very hard to do. The pain for each of these exercises lasts for a while following my exercise program. I know it is not uncommon for women to experience inner thigh pain up to two years following hip replacement and wonder if these exercises help or hinder the recovery effort.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Fact can be stranger than fiction

Today our daughter, Michelle, called home and told her father she had gotten married on April 10th. She had told me she was getting married about three weeks ago but then said she had cold feet. Well, a week later she did, and is now Michelle Askeland, the wife of Dave Askeland. She meet Dave at least a year ago and started dating him in November. When I visited her in January, Dave, Michelle, and I went to the temple and the following night her family, James and I went out to dinner at Red Lobster. He seems like a very nice man and I hope they will be happy. Marriage is a great commitment and often people don't work hard enough to make it work. I will be praying that they commit to each other for time and all eternity, no matter what great good or problems they encounter. She hasn't told her brothers yet. I wonder what they will think. Especially knowing that they weren't invited to be there when she and Dave were wed. I know I couldn't go and Ardmore wouldn't have gone, besides I really needed him at that time.

PT went well today, I worked on a couple of the arm and chest exercise machines also. I was not able to go on the bike, too hard on my left knee. I now am pretty much on my own until next week when I start more advanced PT. I hope to see about why the leg seems so much longer and if that can be taken care of during PT.

Well it is time to read a bit before bedtime.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Recover from hip replacement is work

I thought it would be good to mention some of the most important things that I have learnt about recovering from hip replacement.
1. Do your exercises. Do all that PT advises.
2. When in pain take the medicine, try to take it before it gets too bad. Remember the meds are only there for a temporary time, you won't allow yourself to get addicted.
3. Rest when you feel tired. One of the nicest things about the hip replacement was that I was able to sleep at night and not wake up with back pain every 1/2 hour. Now I can sleep almost through the night, unless nature calls.
4. Find some things to keep you occupied the first 2 -3 weeks when you are pretty much bed ridden. Remember Netflix has loads of movies that come straight to the home or can be downloaded and watch on your laptop. There are also those tv shows you have missed, like ER, check them out on the internet also. Make sure you have some good magazines and a book or two. You won't be doing any quilting!
5. Be prepared to keep yourself well. Avoid anyone who is ill, your resistance is lowered. I know this flu was awful, I am still recovering. I probably would not have gotten it before my surgery.
6. Expect periods of depression or feeling helpless. This is part of the program and as you recover and get out among people, this improves.

That said, this hip replacement is the best thing I have done for myself in a long time. I know I will now be without the awful pain and be able to do more.

Neither Ardmore or I were able to go to church today. I haven't been to church for about 5 weeks. Next week I hope to attend, then I start work the next day for half days.

I hear the historical society annual meeting went well last evening, with a good attendance. The speaker, a former Roseau County Sheriff was entertaining and informative. People inquired about several things which gave him the opportunity to give more information about things that happened during his 28 years of service. I am really discouraged about not being able to attend, but this flu was not something to hand out at a community meeting!

A friend gave me an excellent book to read on Thursday, The Star Garden. It takes place in Arizona during the early twentieth century. It is suppose to be a fiction book with stories about the author's grandmother. Told in the first person, it has been a delight to read. Just what I need when I am design the 2008 Minnesota History Contest, a good book! :>)

Friday, April 18, 2008

What a last few days

On Tuesday I went into the museum at about 3 pm thinking I would get some work done before the board meeting. That, of course, never goes as planned. Our receptionist was out ill I ran a little late so that complicated things a little. I had just enough time to get the board meeting info ready. The board approved the annual report with some editing changes. The meeting when well and we are ready for our annual meeting on Saturday night. It will be very interesting to see what our attendance will be due to the many activities in Roseau and area this weekend. There is a home and boat show, a quilt show, a non-denominational Christian Woman's Conference in Warroad, a fundraising church dinner for someone, and the list goes on. Normally we would do this one week earlier but there was a wedding last week so we ended up one week later.

Our receptionist was ill on Wednesday again, and so was I. I came down with some kind of a intestinal track flu that really put me out. On Thursday I felt a little better and decided to go in PT and copy all the annual reports for Saturday's meeting and do a bank deposit. I get the annual reports copied. I tried to locate people to put up chairs was didn't have the luck I needed; our STS crew leader is off this week. I turned it over to a board member in the evening and had a good report on that this evening.

Just as I was about to start the deposit I felt very faint. Due to the 90 degree rule I couldn't put my head between my legs and ended up just leaning back in my office chair and calling one of the volunteers on the voicemail to bring me a cold cloth. I was out when she arrived and my staff called 911. Needless to the rest of day was spent in ER with several tests being run. They all came out ok in the end. Ardmore and I headed home and within a half hour I was deathly sick again.

Today it is Ardmore's time to be sick, and I think he is worse than I was. But then maybe men just react more demonstratively when they are ill. Women always have to be in control when there is an illness in the family so they can take care of everyone. I am suppose to give a talk in church on Sunday. I can see that is not going to happen with both of us this ill. I can't see that happening. All that seems to keep my stomach and lower gi at bay is rice water, bananas and rice. This is not fun.

I am listening to accuradio's 60s music on the internet right now. Accuradio has the most comprehensive music selection I have seen on the internet. They cover everything: jazz, country, classical, etc, plus they have the best selection of Christmas music. You pick it and it plays. It has something for everyone.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sad news

Today I received some very sad news. One of my dearest friends is now receiving cancer hospice. About eight months ago she started to cough; after a month of this and when she started to lose the ability to breath normally she went to her doctor. He gave her some medicine, which didn't help so did some tests. He found out she had a small cancerous growth at the upper area near the airway.

Chemo was started immediately and more tests to see if it had spread and one tumor was found on her brain. Radiation was started right then to see if the tumor could be taken care of. When she finished the radiation she was in a very weaken condition and she ended up in the hospital where she received two blood transfusions. She was still too weak to restart chemo and more tests reveled that the cancer had spread to other areas of her body, her liver, bones, and blood. The best that can be done now is to help her be a comfortable as possible and enjoy each day. The sad part is that she has never been a smoker. Lung cancer runs in her family and she and I spoke of the other family members who had had lung cancer and they were all smokers. I am devistated by this news. She lives about 6 hours away so it hard to go and visit her also. Her daughter is staying with her and her husband for as long as her mother wants her to stay. I hope that I can find a why to go and visit her within the next few weeks.

I received the hospital bill for my surgery today. Almost $36,000 of which we pay about $1,200. Thank goods we have insurance. I am curious about what the surgeon's bill will be.

Physical therapy is going well. Today I was put on a machine that you pump which could be very beneifical. I needed a hair cut very badly so was able to have that done today too. I don't like to go to town more than one time a day, we live 15 miles in the country. With gas at $3.20, I try to do as much as I can in one day. I was able to do some grocery shopping too. I think I will see about having a massage the next time I go to PT.

I was able to finish the Historical Society Annual Report today. Our receptionist did a proof reading and I did the correcting and emailed it back so she could print out a copy and one of the board members who is an English major can read it and I will do the final correcting. I'd like to give it to the board members tomorrow night at our board meeting.

Ardmore went to pick up the drills that he had purchased earlier this year. It is hard to believe that it is almost time to start spring seeding. I am hopeful that the weather holds up and we can get the crop in and then it rains when we need it. Today was a very nice day, although quite windy. Tomorrow is suppose to be in the 60s.

Time to read some scriptures and get some sleep.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Patience is a virtue I don't have enough of

I've been to PT twice now and have about 15 different exercises to do three times a day. Each day I feel a little stronger. I do think sometimes I overdo though. Like tonight I had dropped a couple of dvds and needed to pick them up. I use the tree yoga pose to pick things up, but sometimes don't lift my leg high enough and then can feel it in my back. I have to be more observant when I pick up something. Things do seem to go well and I am impatient to advance to a cane.

I called Michelle's last night. I really didn't think she would be home, she wasn't but Leah and Bryce were. Bryce will be out on sick leave from the Coast Guard for a few months. He broke his arm just below the elbow a week ago. On Friday he had surgery. The CG doctors put a plate on the bone to hold it together until it heals. They told him it could be removed in about six months. Today when I called, he was in agony and was icing his arm. They must have given him a nerve block when they did the surgery so he had no pain until late in the evening and now today.

Ardmore cleaned and painted the John Deere 8650 he purchased last fall. I can tell he is anxious for spring. The only snow we have left in the yard is little patches here and there. The grass is even getting green, even though it has only been 48 for a high.

My brother and family live in Hoyt Lakes, MN. This past week they have had two snow storms. Last Saturday through Monday they received 24 inches and then yesterday they had another 6 - 10 inches. Minnesota had a band of snow that started just west of Fargo and ran from about Grand Forks to south of Fargo all the way to Duluth. We were so lucky, no a flake dropped here.

Yesterday, I stopped at the museum prior to my PT appointment. I have been working on the Annual Report for the historical society and needed some info. I forgot to get one thing but haven't checked my home computer for it yet. Hope that it is there, then I will be done and all it will need is editing.

I called Brian this afternoon, we have been playing phone tag lately. He had the day off and was running errands. Told me it was the most beautiful day, about 90. He said he had been berating himself because he thought he should be working at the salon but then realized the day was a blessing to have off and was going to enjoy it. Good for him!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Recovery equals having staples removed and going to PT

We took the Volkswagen to my doctor appointment in Grand Forks on Monday. Not a good thing to do. The VW has bucket seats with wings that are pretty high and small. I am use to driving a Mercury Grand Marquis with comfy leather seats. The VW also had cloth seats. When one has hip surgery it is nice to be able to slide on the seats, couldn't do that in the VW. The wings were very uncomfortable and by the time we got home after the two hour drive to GF and the two hour return trip, I was sore! All in all, it was a good trip though, my staples were removed and I can drive. I return to work on April 29 for half days. My next doctor appointment is on May 20.

Today is my first time at physical therapy. I am a bit apprehensive as I don't know what they will expect me to do. Dr. Schall told me not to overdo in PT, to watch my pain level. Mickie and I are going to lunch before PT and then I'm meeting some friends for ice cream at DQ after that. I hope it isn't too much.

I have been working on the historical society annual report this week. I am glad I have an outline. It makes it easier as add the information. Our staff is a wonderful help. She emails me all the info I need, such as the statistics.

The Minnesota 150 Northwest MN Consortium project is coming right along. They do need teh RCHS photos and information for the book. I will need to stop at the museum today and see that that is taken care of also. We have made many changes and additions as we have organized the exhibit. Tamara has set it up and is very excited about it. I can hardly wait to see it. She sail in an email today, that she had ideas for the next exhibit. Whoopee! We have had a great time putting it together. It has been a wonderful opportunity for us all.

I'm also very excited about our Women's History Month for 2009. This will be the first year that we have tackled that program. I was so fortunate to find a wonderful person to volunteer to Chair the program. She has organized a committee of great women who I have such admiration for. They will do a wonderful job.

10:30 pm

This day has gone by way too fast. PT was good, I know more about the 50% weight rule and how to use it correctly. I received several new exercises to do each day. It will now take about a 1/2 hour for each set and she wants me to do at least three sets a day. Not bad, especially if I am able to see progress. She felt that a month of PT would probably be enough.

I went back to the museum after meeting with my friends and checked out our exhibit photos for the 150 project. Britt will put them on a disk tomorrow along with the write ups. I need to contact the hockey hall of fame in Eveleth to get the rest of the info that I need on one of the photos. Seems like we are always busy with something!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A short walk to the end of the driveway

We spent most of the day listening to general conference. It was inspiring to listen to so many testimonies of our Savior bore by our general authorities.

This afternoon I decided to try to walk out to the end of the driveway with my cane. It was a bit windy coming back, but I did it. My left knee gave me the most problems. When that knee is replaced I should be able to move better and without pain there also. My next surgery will be on that knee when I am recovered enough to handle it.

More cabin fever, so we decided to go for a drive and ended up at DQ where I had my favorite sundae, a caramel, hot fudge with pecans. Yumm...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Cabin Fever after about 3 weeks

Well, this week I suffered from cabin fever. I went to town with Ardmore a couple of days. I really needed a pedicure! What is it about having a pedicure that makes a woman feel so feminine? It must be the color of the nails! Just soaking my feet and being pampered was wonderful.

The next day, Ardmore had an appointment so I went to the museum for about an hour. I had finally completed the historical society newsletter and it was ready to be printed. A couple of our faithful volunteers were there and we did a quick proof read. I ran off 200 copies. On Friday, our receptionist completed copying the rest, prepared them so a couple of board members could labeld and stamp them. It always feels so good to get the newsletter out. This is our fifth quarterly newsletter.

I feel there has been great strides since my surgery. I am a little sore on my upper thigh this evening, but perhaps I have done too much today. I added leg raises to the exercises this am and did two sets of 25 on the right leg. I couldn't do them this evening. The staples come out on Monday, then on Wednesday, I start physical therapy. Monday will be three weeks since surgery. It is surprising how quickly time goes by. I hope to throw the walker away within the next week of two.

Michelle went to Stanislaus on Friday for her entry testing for acceptance into their music school next fall. She is still not sure if is she wants to go there or to Sacramento. She went to Breanne's last night and enjoyed it so much. She said Damen is absolutely adorable. She took lots of photos of Damen. I hope she emails us some.

Brian and I visited on the phone a bit today. He was at the salon waiting for a color to set . He seems to be busy every time I call, which is good. He was going to an opening at an art gallery with a friend this evening. I talked with James earlier in the week. He has been taking an instrument class for flying last weekend and again this weekend. He has definitely not given up on flying for the Air Force.

We watched church general conference today. We have general conference from Salt Lake twice a year, the first weekend in April and October. The head of our church, President Gordon B. Hinckley, passed away in January at age 97. He never seemed that old, he had such vigor and vitality. Today in a Solemn Assembly we raised our hands to sustain the new a president/prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, his councilors, one new apostle, new Young Women's Presidency, and several changes in the Quorum of the Seventy. A Solemn Assembly is held when a prophet passes away and a new prophet is sustained by the members of the church.

I hear Ardmore driving in so it is time to close and visit with him.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

15 days Since Surgery

15 days since surgery! Today was my first excursion day out of the house since I came home. Ardmore was going to go to the store and I had our taxes ready to file so we headed to H & R Block. Farm taxes are always a lot of work to prepare for. One needs car mileage and then the sales of commodities, government payments, etc. plus all of the expenses accrued during the year, such as seed, fertilizer, chemicals, fuel, insurance, machinery purchased, hired, or rented, etc. I use Excel to track our input and output, as we are not big farmers and own only about 800 acres. We do not need to hire an accountant to keep track of our expenses, we can do it ourselves. Thus said, today was file day. It is always a relief to be done but frustrating to see how much we usually end up paying. Then it was off to Nelson's Cafe for a dinner of hot pork sandwiches and a salad.

Another thing that is hard is that one can't lay on their side at first. One must have pillows between your legs so you maintain a separation between your hips. You then roll onto your side and make sure the knees are in a safe position. One night I was extremely tired and fell asleep on my side, waking up two hours later very stiff and with a sore back. I don't do that any more.

Little things are really a nuisance. I love dark chocolate chips and keep a Ziploc bag of chips with a half package of graham crackers in a cotton carry all by the bed. It is amazing how satisfying a few chips are because one can savor a couple for quite a while, and the calories are not out of sight. I have dropped the bag so many times, it has driven me insane. Thank goodness for the reacher. Then tonight after I went to bed and started watching a movie I reached for the back and it was upside down. The chips had fallen out, and the bag was not zipped shut. I don't think the reacher was designed to pick up individual chocolate chips! I will have to get the vacuum and clean them up sometime tomorrow. I also think I will put them in the bag that zips so if it falls again I won't have that problem.

James called tonight. James is our youngest. A 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force stationed at the LA Air Force base. He had so much news. He had broke up with his latest girl friend, again. Usually, he just wants me to listen, so I do. Tonight was no different. He is also discouraged with his job, it is not what he really wanted to do in the Air Force. He has wanted to fly in the Air Force since he was 6 or 7 and has not been able to do that. He presently works with the satellite systems. Well, this coming Friday, he begins working on his master's degree in Space Systems. He was very excited about this. We talked for about an hour about all sorts of things. One's children and grandchildren are such a source of joy.

Friends can make the time so much easier to bear. On the second day of my being home, my visiting teachers came over with a strawberry-hot fudge sundae. Yum! Our visit went by way to fast but I tired quickly also, which they recognized. Then on Sunday, my friend, Roxann brought dinner while Ardmore was gone doing some church service. She and I enjoyed her delicious lasagna, salad and rice krispie bars. We have so many memories as her son and James were best friends along with two other neighbor boys. These four boys fished, hunted, snowmobiled and four-wheeled their years through school. A inseperable quartet of wonderful young boys and great men now that they have grown.