Sunday, July 27, 2008

Stitches and stuff

Yesterday was "feel sorry for myself day". I had been to PT on Friday and it was very hard, in fact so hard she told me to take it easy. That put me in a down mood, pain and depression. I had been there with my hip. I remember feeling that I was worthless and would not be able to do anything again. I know we must work hard at pt but we almost must understand that there are sometimes two steps backwards and one step forward.

Tuesday the stitches will be removed. Hurrah! I am having a hard time at night and some other times because they are irritating. When I try to get comfortable in bed now they are in the way. Laying on my stomach feels like I have a metal zipper on my knee with teeth that stick out. Even now, I am sitting in my recliner typing with the laptop on my lap and I had to put a newspaper between the laptop and my stitches.

I spent several hours preparing for a program at a local state park as part of the Minnesota Sesquicentennial. Yesterday was presentation day. Total disappointment, only about eight people were present. We did a general examination of the people who lived in the park boundaries prior to them donating or being bought out. I had photos and stories of the people who settle the region in the early part of the twentieth century. I found it interesting but apparently others found the day too warm and beautiful to sit in a picnic shelter and step back into the past. They wanted to swim, fish, and sun bath. It was actually more than I could handle and when I arrived home I was exhausted. something like that is too much three weeks out after two major surgeries. I even ended up requesting someone else do opening exercises in Primary. I didn't get up until 9 am so it was a good thing I had found someone.

Today, I have focused on doing some stretching exercises so when I go to pt tomorrow I will not be so stiff. Knee stiffness has been a real problem as well as feeling like I have a a 2-3 inch elastic band around my lower thigh just above my knee following exercising or walking. I walked about 1/3 mile today and was very sore after that. I iced it but it didn't seem to help the pain. I am trying to ween myself off of the Vikaden. I'm not sure but perhaps this is causing me to have some nausea. I think I need to learn what the word Patience means!

I just put my head back for a minute and fell asleep, then woke myself snorting! I wonder how many other people do the same thing.

Here in northern Minnesota summer has reached the midpoint. The Roseau Co. Fair ended on Friday with the demolition derby and fire works. I would not be surprised if Polaris Industries provided the fire works. I was too tired to even consider attending the evening fireworks. I did go out to lunch with a friend at one of the food stands at noon though. I always get a little nostalgic at this time of year, realizing that soon we will be harvesting wheat, then canola, and finally soybeans. The mad rush to get the crop off will cause us to lose the final days of summer as we rush from field to bin getting in the harvest before a rain storm. The wheat definitely looks like a beautiful wave of grain, although not totally amber yet.

More on Polaris...Polaris was first developed in our little town of 2,800, although the population was probably more like 1,500 when David Johnson, Paul Knochenmus, and Orlen Johnson developed their first snowmobile in the mid 1950s. Although this wasn't what Polaris Industry founder Edgar Hetteen had in mind for his company, they were making farm machinery at the time, the Polaris snowmobile is a common word in the homes of moat families where there is snow. But that is a story for another time as we lived In Hoyt Lakes Minnesota when we owned our first snowmobiles. Today we do own a Polaris snowmobile and a Polaris six-wheeler with pride. My husband couldn't live without his six-wheeler on our farm. He checks fields, hauls small loads of dirt and gravel, uses it as a ladder sometimes when he is working in an area that is easier to access with the bed of the dump in the back, hauls tools, a small portable air compressor, etc. across our farmstead when working on machinery. The six-wheeler is his portable workhorse.

Time to rest again!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Kids moving home

I read in the Thrivent Magazine (yes, you can have a life insurance policy through Thrivent for Lutherans if you are a Mormon) that twenty-eight percent of adults 18-24 live with their parents. The reasons stated were financial and the family closeness. It was great to hear that family closeness is the second reason, this means that parents and children gain an appreciation of one another as they get older. And as one parent put it. "We both wanted to help...get off to a good start."

When does one stop counseling their children? I believe when they no longer listen until they request your counsel. It is hard to not give advise, especially when you have walked down the road and can look back. You already see what has worked, you already have friends who are older and have done things that caused them problems and see the reasons and the errors. We as parents would like to prevent our children from making mistakes but they usually don't want our counsel. So what do you do when they go ahead and do something that your intuition tells you is a mistake and the situation turns sour for them? Just go on, no I told you so, no what did you learn from this. Just continue your support and show forth more love, after all they too will some day be your age and will have had many experiences to draw from.

This morning when I checked the temperature for Roseau, Valley Springs CA, and Los Angeles each zone was very close; Roseau - 64, VS - 63. and LA 62. Michelle, in Valley Springs will be the warmest at 92 today and we will have 78. Very nice!

Ardmore has been getting the combine ready for harvest. Yesterday he took out the mower and did a couple of rounds on one of the CRP fields. He said it was very heavy. He can't do the cutting on some fields until after August 1.

Today is the last day of the Roseau Co. Fair. I went to the fair and had dinner yesterday afternoon. Ardmore is always too busy, but I am going to cajole him into going in tonight. I really enjoy the afternoon music and was able to listen to a little yesterday. I did have to run to Warroad and cash in the museum CD and also so some other banking for the museum. I guess, even when one is on a medical leave they end up working some.

Exercise time!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Another beautiful day

This morning I had my second appointment for physical therapy or Pain and Torture as my therapist calls it. Monday was tough and today was no better but there was an increase in knee mobility which was good. Each time, it will improve. Today, I decided to try and put the teds on. I didn't know if I would be able to do this earlier so opted out of wearing them but after all the suffering of the week, decided perhaps it was worthy of a try. They went on well and I did it myself! If I can't wear them at night, I will at least try to wear them during the day.

I feel like such a whoose. My knee pain and the bruise caused me some concern and so I called Dr. Schall's office in GF. I ended up calling two times, the first call was not returned until yesterday am but the second call, which I made later in the day on Tuesday I spoke with his receptionist who talked to him about my concerns. I had more concerns when I talked to his other nurse the next morning. Well, about 8 pm last night, Dr. Schall called and after talking to him for about 15 minutes, I felt much better. He has the most wonderful way to make you understand and feel. The best bedside manner I have ever seen in a doctor. I feel very fortunate to have been that lucky to have had Dr. Anderson decided I couldn't wait any longer to see a hip doctor and made the initial call and set me up with Dr. Schall at Bone and Joint. I know I will be happy with the results of my knee, I just need patience!

After PT, I did some grocery shopping. No, I didn't walk, I rode the cart, zooming up and down the isle like I was in a go cart! Another woman was in her remote control wheel chair and I challenged her to a race, which we didn't do, of course. To end the morning I call a friend and asked her if she was ready for lunch at DQ. Yum!

My brother and wife are coming up the beginning of August to spend a day at the race track in Winnipeg. My sister-in-law loves going there and it is both of their birthdays so the timing is right.

Ardmore is almost done with the installation of the hopper under the bin. I am so proud that he was able to install this alone. It is quite a job for a 74 year old, he has climbed in the small square hole at the bottom over 70 times to bolt things together or do other projects. Not an easy job of a young person, much less a man his age.

10 things I love about living Northwest Minnesota this summer:
  1. The greenness of all of the trees and grass
  2. The lushness of the crops (wheat, barley, canola, soybeans, sunflowers, and oats)
  3. The fresh smell after a rain
  4. The beauty of my flowers on the deck
  5. The wind as it spins its melody in the trees
  6. Eating breakfast on the deck in the early morning
  7. Riding the six-wheeler
  8. Walking to the Roseau River on a cool evening
  9. Listening to the birds when they first awake in the morning
  10. The peacefulness quietness of country living

Thought for the day:

A favorite poem I would quote to our son James when he was little and we would be going somewhere at night and the moon was only a sliver:

The Moon's the North Wind's cookie
He bites it, day by day
Until there's but a rim of scraps
That crumble all away.

The South Wind is the baker
He kneads clouds in his den,
And bakes a crisp new moon
that ...greedy.... North.... Wind ....eats....again!"

What the Little Girl Said"
Vachel (Nicholas) Lindsay, 1879-1931.

Monday, July 14, 2008


First day of phyisical therapy. It went pretty well, but I have been doing lots of exercising at home already. It is amazing how quickly one can see results. I was commenting on how surprised I was that there was not more bruising. Well that statement was squashed this evening when I decided to massage my calf because it felt sore, there was a bruise from behind my knee down to my ankle on my inner calf. No wonder there was pain there and I have been having pain in my leg and foot. This must be part of the TKR surgery, I guess.

I am walking with two canes. This seems to go very well, no corrdination problems and it is less painful to both knee and hip.

Talked to Breanne this evening, she had a weekend to herself. Josh took Damen to his grandma's home. The three of them had spent the 4th at his mother's but it had been about two months since Damen's great-grandma had seen him. He is quite a chunk, about 20 pounds. She said he loves carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, apple sauce, and pears. That should add some muscle to his body!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Time to go home...

Recovery is better than I thought so far. I have walked several times with the walker. The hour and a half drive home may not be very comfortable. I also would like to stop purchase some groceries.

A new roommate has been checked in. she is from Greenbush and had TKR done by Dr. Schall. She has 12 children and had children waiting for her to come out of recovery. Nice lady, 74 years old. I hope her recovery goes well. One of her daughters works at the Karlstad Care Center so she should be in good hands.

Later - Home at last

Tough ride home. Sore knee but did buy groceries. Forgot the meds at the hospital so need to take care of that in the morning. Called Dean Mattson and asked what could be done. Mattson's has only four of the Lovenox but he will see about getting more on Monday. I'm very tired so will head to bed.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Total Knee Replacement (TKR) Surgery

Well, I went under the saw again yesterday afternoon when Dr. Schall replaced my knee. I had a hard time sleeping so I listened to Bach in the Bath most of the night and was then able to sleep a little. Sleep is very difficult the first two days after surgery due to the nurses coming in and checking vitals. Mine were fine.

I noticed that that the pain was different this time, perhaps more intense. I had a shot for pain, which was to last for 8 hours. PT came twice today. First time was very hard, she gave me some exercises and then I was able to do them on my own. When she came back, we went for a walk down the hall. That went well.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Quiet Day

Sudays often are the only days that one finds time to rest. With so much going on this next week I had to check on many last minute details. I realized that there was one more day for the Roseau County Fair so had to get people to cover for that time. I added the family reunion onto Flickr and sent the info on to our family. That was a great family reunion. I had only seen my Uncle Bill, my father's half brother, one other time. We always sent time visiting by the campfire at night and between me and my cousins, we convinced our aunts to sing which got us all singing together. My grand parents children could sure harmonize. All in all the weekend had been a very enjoyable one. We probably will not all be together for a couple of years now. My aunt Bernadette passed away this past winter and my Uncle Bob is not very well, neither are Renee and Bryce. I guess we are not staying young!

I have some last minute packing to do before tomorrow. Haven't talked to the kids today either. Hummm.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Two days until knee replacement

I am having a few reservations about having my knee replacement surgery on Monday. My hip has been giving me some pain in my buttocks and then when I sleep I wake up with some pain. I like laying on my side, my left side, my right side is the hip that was replaced. When I wake up I have stiffness and some pain. It goes away right away but it is still a cause for alarm right now. This is what makes me concerned about having the knee done. Perhaps after the knee is done I will feel better about it, plus my knee pain will be gone.

I also find I am having more problems with incontinence. I wondered if there could be a connection between my hip replacement and the incontinence and found this web page that explained this was possible. Bummer. I will need to do more kegel exercises to see if it is possible to get more control.

I woke up yesterday when Ardmore shut the door at 6:45. He was already heading out to put the bin together. Needless to say, I fell back to sleep and awoke about 8, by that time he had the bin on top of the hopper and was ready to put in a couple of stabilizing bolts. I grabbed the camera and snapped a couple of photos with the hoist still in place. I really am proud to see that my 73 year-old husband could do this all by himself.

We spent yesterday at home. I mowed the back yard and picked up the grass later. Our only 4th of July treat was ice cream at DQ. We usually head to Warroad for the evening of the 4th. I knew that after Ardmore spent 3 hours driving to Steinback at 25-30 miles per hour he was not going to want to go to Warroad and I thought no where else either. Ho, he picked me up during my walk to go to DQ. Couldn't have happened at at better time, the mosquitoes had found me and I was hot and sweaty, that air conditioned car felt like heaven!

While he took the crane back to Steinbach I cleaned some windows and washed sheets. it was a great day to do that with the wind drying everything in under 2 hours.

As hot as it is today, 86° with 70% humidity, he is busy putting in the 60 plus bolts that fasten the bin to the hopper, no small feat when you realize he must drill the bolt holes, put in the bolt and climb into the bin through a small square opening on the base to put the nut on. He does about 10 at a time and then puts the nuts on. Lots of work in this heat.

I have put off spraying the weeds on our driveway but not today. I have about 1/2 of the area where we park done now. It is just too hot to do the rest.

11:10 pm It is raining, a blessed short but sweet rain for all of the crops and my flowers too!

Thought for the day

Last Sunday in church we sang the Star Spangled Banner from beginning to end. The last verse impressed me:

O thus be it ever when free-men shall stand
Between their lov'd home and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust!”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
We consider this our National Anthem, but how far have we gone down hill from the days it was writ en and have taken the words God out of so many areas of life. Let our land be preserved as it was intended, with God at the head of it.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bin Hopper

Ardmore's bin hopper arrived this week so today he went to Steinbach to pick up the crane to so he could set the bin on the hopper. When I came home, he had already taken the bin off the and put the hopper in place. Tomorrow we will be busy putting the bin on top of the hopper. That takes more than two people but we will have to do the best we can as he is too stubborn to ask any one at church to help. He has been through this two other times so it should be alright.

My daily walk took me to the end of Johnson's dike south of the bridge tonight.about 1.25 miles from home. I find walking is theraputic as well as good exercise. I took the cane in case I get tired but walking with it is actually harder work, besides I can walk faster without it.

While walking I listened to Creedence Clearwater Revival's CD Chronicle, Vol. 1 with Proud Mary, Green River, Lodi, Down on the Corner and every good song they ever recorded. They have to be one of my all-time favorite singing groups. They just make one want to move! I love the mp3 player, it is so easy to handle. I sure needed the fan when got home and a cool shower!

The mosquitoes weren't the worse once I sprayed this evening. They are like vultures waiting for something to die so they can get their fill if one doesn't have any deet on.

Brian has of his products now for his new business. The website is up and running. He is about ready to roll with this new business. He talked to Ardmore last night about it. It is exciting for him to set out to do something like this.


I just finished updating my Sparkpeople page and swatting mosquitoes. I must have brought them in on my clothes when I mowed the rest of the back yard as there are a lot in here. When I washed off the mower they were terrible! I think I must have been surrounded by at least 200. I, at least, could spray with deet and keep them at bay but when i think of what it must have been like before spray was invented, yikes! No wonder smudges pots and piles were so popular.

5 days until TKR surgery. I am nervous about the ability to climb stairs well enough. it seems my right leg just doesn't want to climb the stair very well following the hip replacement. All the walking and exercises haven't seemed to help that enough. I have even taken to climbing the stairs using the right side with hopes it would strengthen it. It has, but not enough for my desire.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sleep evades again...

I woke up about 3:30 and now I am struggling to get back to sleep. I know what the problem is though. With only two more days of work before the 4th of July and then my knee replacement surgery on Monday, last minute museum items are on my mind.

I hear Ardmore moving around upstairs also, he must be having trouble sleeping also. He reads when he wakes up night. Yes, we do sleep together ...sometimes...but this is our way of handling those wake up in the middle of the night things, and the snoring (my snoring, he says), his whistling (I say). So with a king size bed upstairs and a queen downstairs it works perfectly. Except, he does wake me up if he makes too much noise upstairs. I wonder if my computer tapping is heard upstairs?

Am I ready for knee replacement? That is a question that has been haunting me since I started having this stiff hip problem. Well it is too late to step out of it now. I have already had the preop physical and everything is in place to complete the job. I hear that the stiffness does dissipate after a while so that is my hope.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My Minnesota

Minnesota celebrates 150 years of statehood this year. The spring issue of the Minnesota Historical Society's magazine Minnesota History had a section on why various people loved Minnesota. One can add their thoughts on

This made me think, what do I love about "my state."

I think mostly of the beauty of Minnesota and the change of seasons. Like today, as I sit at my computer and look out the bedroom window, the day is slightly overcast with the sun casting a shadow behind the three evergreen sentinels in our front yard. We had about an inch and a half of much need rain this past week, so the air has a touch of surface evaporation. It will be humid and warm, about 80 today. My flowers on the deck are lush and the wheat in our fields have never looked so good.

From the computer in the office, I look out on our back yard where a large lauel leaf willow glistens gold and green as a the sunlight dabbles with the moving leaves. The birds flit from tree to tree and fill the air with their songs. In the spring and fall, it is a joy to watch the canadian honkers fly in their V formation over our farm, or listen to the melodious sand hill cranes sing in a nearby field where I can stop to watch them.

My memories of growing up on the Iron Range fill me with the visions of water and trees and open pit mines. Summer time spent at the lake with our children from early morning until late afternoon, basking in the sun on the Colby Lake beach or riding our bikes out to Fisherman's Point to feed the ducks or the Partridge River to skip rocks. Golfing at the Hoyt Lakes Golf Course early in the morning on warm summer day, when the dew had just evaported and the birds were singing and one could come across a deer grasing at the edge of the course. Hamburgers at lunch in the golf course cafe after a round of golf. Visiting with neighbors while working at the cafe in the evenings.

I have so much more to say, that I will need to finish later.