Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Range of Motion and Total Knee Replacement

Sometimes I experience groin pain in the leg that I had tkr on. Today is one of those mornings. I always lose my range of motion over night and experience some pain in the knee. The only way to help that is to get into the rocking chair and rock. Monday when working out on the bike I did not have a rocking chair to limber in prior to riding. The experience is always painful at first. I have to do some bike rocking by going back and forth and then coming up as high as I can on the bike with the bionic knee. Finally I go backwards and then can go forward but not without pain for the first 10 to 15 rotations.Once in the swing of the rotation, the pain becomes tolerable, I speed up and my leg limbers up. I am waiting for the day when I have no pain, will it ever come?

We live in a split level home which means we are always climbing stairs. Going up is pretty good, coming down is another story. Once I have rocked for a while and/or rode the bike, climbing is much easier. Most things are better though. Walking is no longer a problem and I don't think I limp any more. Range of motion is a huge problem for me. I believe weight, swelling and varicose veins to be a major problem when it comes to managing pain and range of motion following total knee replacement. The day I can put my leg back and comfortably put my foot on the base of a folding chair at church, I will say, yes, success!

I started reading the book The Shack. It sounds like a compelling book.I asked my librarian friend what he has heard about it. He said people either really like it or don't like it at all. I will have to see what I think. I also order the first book in Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series and American Lion (the Andrew Jackson book), which Ardmore is now reading. I read The Host by Stephanie Meyer about a month ago and would highly recommend it to anyone.

Here's hoping for a warmer night. The temperature fell to -23 last night. It was fascinating to see it change on my way home from Roseau at 7 pm. When I left the museum, my car read -13 by the time I had driven about 8 miles it had fallen to -26. We had -22 when I arrived home.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Snow again yesterday

We woke up to snow again yesterday. I thought it was only about a 1/2 inch until I went out to start the car before heading to work, the car had about 3 inches on it. The drive and the road past our house was ok but the road going east 3/4 of a mile from our home was very drifted over. I was really looking forward to getting to highway 89 thinking it would be good, no such luck. The road was totally drifted in and there were only two tracks down the highway all the way to highway 11. It was the worst it has been in many years. The wind must have really blown to drift it in that bad, which means I must have slept well as I never heard it. Everything but the road 3/4 of a mile from our house was plowed when I went home in the evening though.Winter is NOT my favorite time of year!

I will have to finish this later!

Later... made arrangements for Britt and I to stay at a motel in Brookings, SD on Monday and Tuesday night. We have a meeting for the 2010 SITES exhibit Between Fences. Brookings is quite a distance from Roseau, about 400 miles and with the winter we have had, we decided we had better drive during the day only so decided to go down on Monday. I think it is at least a six and a half hour trip if the weather is good and we can't count on good weather so need to allow more time.

It is always enjoyable to go to these meetings. We have plans to visit a couple of museums on the way down and back. We learn something new on exhibit designing every time.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

Well that is what the song says, right? We must have gotten about 4-6 inches this morning and so for the third time this week, Ardmore will crank up the snow blower and head out and do the driveway. Good thing it happened today and not yesterday, we order 2,500 gallons of diesel for the farm yesterday and the fellow had absolutely no problems turning around in our yard. Today would be a different situation; one can't even see the driveway!

I love when we have a heavy snowfall and always have this desire to go out walking, so this morning I did. It is totally different from walking in Hoyt Lakes. When we lived in Hoyt Lakes I would love to go out walking at night when it snowed. The street lights always seemed to be shrouded and there was no wind because of all the houses. Here one is comfortable in their yard but get to the road and it is a totally different story. This morning it was great walking south and I felt warm but the return trip was against the northwest wind and having a scarf around the face was a necessity. I didn't wear my down coat and my legs were cold even though I was dressed for what the weather was like. I had purchased a pair of flannel lined walking pants and wore long underwear, still not enough. My bionic knee was a little cold too so I put on my flannel pjs when I got in. It is a little stiff now.

Yesterday, I decided to go swimming at AmericInn. It felt wonderful, the hot tub limbered me up so I was ready for exercising in the pool. I followed the swimming protocol set up in the Total Knee Replacement & Rehabilitation book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is undergoing tkr, it has the best exercises and techniques to get one's knee rehabilitated. I am going on my sixth month and can say the process is long and requires a lot of work. Riding a stationary bike is another important thing to do. I rock in a rocking chair a lot and bring my foot back as far under the rocker. Rocking really helps prior to going on the bike. It limbers the knee.

After the driveway was cleaned out, I went for another walk. It had gotten a bit colder by that time but I wore my down coat and that kept me warmer on the legs. I enjoy walking but sometimes it is just too cold to go far.

Thought for the Day
I have had lots of things to do this weekend and am reminded of the saying "don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today."

Friday, December 26, 2008

2009 Christmas is a past event

It was a very quiet Christmas this year. Ardmore and I were "home alone." We did have the full fledged dinner and we opened our gifts in the afternoon on Christmas day. I think I actually enjoyed the peacefulness of the day after all the busyness of work over the past several weeks.

Today is warm enough, 25 this morning, and swimming sounds good. It has been so cold lately that I have stayed away from the pool and have been working out at LifeCare therapy instead.

I have a problem and would like some help. I have a great assistant at work. I decided to give her a gift at Christmas as a way of showing appreciation. Two days later she reciprocated with a gift to me. I didn't want her to do this as I feel she felt obligated. How does one handle a situation like this? I think, perhaps, I should have given her this at a different time, not the holidays, then she would have no reason to feel she had to reciprocate. Perhaps I answered my own question.

James and Michelle's family spent Christmas at Michelle and Dave's. It sounds like they had a wonderful time. They said Damien is walking very well now and was too busy to even stop and eat. He is like the energizer bunny, he just keeps going and going and going. I couldn't help but laugh at Breanne the other day when she told me she thought he was ADD. I just think he is a little boy who is very enthralled with all the things he sees. Imagine life when you first become aware of new things, it must be almost overwhelming! They all think he is adorable, and of course, he must be. James took several photos and videos of their time together and will download them. I can hardly wait to see them.

Breakfast is calling, I am eating candy and surely don't need to eat that! A turkey sandwich with mayo and lots of lettuce is calling!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Lazy Snowfall

This morning we woke up to another snowy day.About a week ago, we receive an agriculture magazine that predicted snow every few days for the next month. This is definitely the case. Ardmore blew out the yard with the snow blower yesterday and it looks like he will be doing it again. So far about 2 inches have fallen and it continues to fall.

There is an endless list of things to do at work and I am picking at it one at a time. Here I thought I would go out to California the first part of January and my staff reminded me that we had a Between Fences meeting January 6 and 7. I will have to change my plans to the middle of January. We start working on the exhibits for Woman's History Month sometime after the first of the year and my staff can do quite a bit so I should be able to go for a while.

Christmas is just two days away. I really would like to go out to California for Christmas but will make that a priority for next year. Ardmore does not like to leave our house in the winter. He fears frozen pipes, etc so I go alone. I have a wonderful time when I go though as there are so many things the grandchildren and I do when I am there. I think we went to about 5 movies the last time I went.

Last night I went to see Four Christmases. Can't say how I would rate it. It was about four dysfunctional families. Fairly amusing but a little over the top. Perhaps a 5 or 6. I enjoy Christmas movies, they get me in the spirit so look forward to the new ones each year. There always seems to be one that focuses on dysfunctional families. I prefer Home Alone, the Santa Claus, etc. as this type of humor is easier to handle.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday, Ahhh...

What do you do with your Saturday's if you work outside of the home? Saturday is always a day to do some cleaning no matter if you want to or not. Today will be a cookie baking day with some cleaning and resting, and getting my Primary schedule ready to be sent off.

This was supposed to be the week I went to St. Cloud to a meeting but after the snow on Wednesday I had some "road fear". There was talk of icy spots and I don't like icy roads so I opted not to go. I sent my list of things we discussed about the amendment that just passed instead. I hope that they are added to the list of ideas as they weren't just my ideas.

So that meant I could put up the tree and do some decorating, right? Wrong! My right hand person was sick on Wednesday, Thursday I had our volunteers doing a project and needed to have that accomplished, Friday my right hand person was still sick and so I headed to work.

Well we did get the tree up last night. I was disappointed in finding out that some of my lights were not working. This is a tree that has the lights on it already so we had to hang some in that area. Then I love red lights on the tree too so I put on three other strands of red lights on. I looked at it again this morning and added additional decorations to the areas where there it looked a little bare. No light and motion on the tree this year. First time in about twenty years I will put them someplace else with a garland instead.

Are you a reader? If so here is a game for you to play:

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now. The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence. "Sometimes finding the right balance is relatively easy."
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
Haven't read enough of the book to add a couple of other sentences.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog. Friday 56
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Now if you like book blogs here is an excellent book ring:

Thought for the Day
Cock-crow at Christmas
(from Hamlet)
by William Shakespeare

Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night night long;
And then, they say, no spirits can walk abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.

A Christmas Treasury of Yuletide Stories & Poems
Edited by James Charlton & Barbara Gilson

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dinner on Wednesday

I decided that I was hungry for something good with lots of vegetables tonight. I don't do a lot of cooking any more. When I get home from work, Ardmore tells me he is not hungry because he has been eating all day! Go figure, retired and winter, what does he do?

Well I cut up two chicken breasts into bite size pieces, cubed a green pepper and chopped an onion,and some carrots, added a little OO to the pan and put the vegies on one side and chicken on the other and sauteed them. Seasoned the chicken with stir fry seasoning and Chinese 5 spice and everything with salt and pepper. After they were done, you add about 2 cups of fresh broccoli and cauliflower and cover for about three minutes. Take a can of Swanson's chicken broth, add 2 tbsp corn starch and some soy sauce, blend and add to mixture,continue cooking and stirring frequently until it starts to thicken. Add about a cup of fresh spinach and turn off the skillet. Check and stir every once in a while. I served it over Jasmine rice. One could add celery, garlic, and mushrooms. I was too lazy to go chop more or downstairs to the pantry for mushrooms. It is good and of course, healthy!

I finally got our computer camera to work and was able to visit with James face to face on Skype. I called Ardmore down to talk too. Needless to say, he was impressed. James had just moved to a house and took the camera around and gave us a tour. Fun!

Michelle is in finals week, we have had a couple of short phone visits. So far she said it as gone fairly well. She has quite a bit of things that need to be done during this week so I don't call her, just let her call me.

Little Damen is walking more and more now. Breanne said he is also starting to talk. I can imagine what a talker he is going to be when he starts. He loves to hear his voice and will suddenly start screaming to hear the sound of it. I really feel like I am missing so much by not being there but at least we can call and talk. Now if I could only get them to have a camera for Josh's computer we could talk face to face.:>)

Yesterday I went to see my os. I have been having some problems with my hip on the side that I had the knee replaced. He said it is bursitis. He also felt I was doing too much.I would be so bored if I didn't do the things I do. He then said I had to make a choice, either slow down or accept the pain. Humm. Everything was in good shape otherwise, which was very good to be told. Well not quite true, he did tell me my other knee was bone on bone, but I am not going there as I don't have any pain to speak of.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Monday, the start of new week

Yesterday the Roseau Public Library held its annual Christmas Treasures. The Library Friends put it on and do such a great job. I am always impressed with how many people volunteer to help. I wonder if they specifically ask people or do the people just step to the plate and volunteer? It is always so classy. They opened the evening with the strings group. I can't remember the name but they are all women, their group name has something to do with Hope, I think. Several readings were presented and the Roseau High School special Choir, The Eclipse sang three songs and the HS Jazz band played three songs. The attendance was outstanding considering how hard it was snowing. We must have gotten a couple of inches during the afternoon. It now looks like winter.

I worked only half a day today and decided to take the rest of the week off. I have a doctor appointment in Grand Forks tomorrow and then a meeting in St. Cloud on Thursday evening. I have worked so much lately and have way too much vacation and comp time so need to take some of it.

Ardmore and I talked about where to put the Christmas light strings and he wanted to do our evergreens in the front yard so I agreed. He put one string on today and will put another on tomorrow. He had spent most of the afternoon banking the well house with snow and didn't want to put more than one set of lights on today, said he will finish it tomorrow. They look so festive!

Thought for the Day

If you could live any where in the world for one year, where would it be?
I would love to live on an island in the South Pacific. A place where the weather is always moderate, lots of beautiful sandy beaches to walk and lay on plus the ocean to swim in. I would want to have my family there too, so we could all enjoy the restfulness of that one year. I guess, I want some peace and calmness in my life! How about you?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Saturday, at last...

This morning I woke up at 4:00; what does one do at 4? Well, when you have tkr, you rock in the rocking chair and sometimes go on the stationary bike. You go get a cup of herbal tea and read a bit while rocking, of course. Then when the tea is done and you still aren't ready to sleep you go to the kitchen, pick a cupboard and clean it out. Now that should be enough for a day even! But, sleep was still evasive. I went back to the family room, filled the Christmas candy dish with both plain and peanut red and green M&Ms and red and green jelly candy. Seems this year we just can't get enough of those. I am not home during the week much, but when I “check” the candy dish there is always some missing. Perhaps we have trolls in the house. One knows how much trouble Trolls are. I couldn't blame the disappearing candy on Ardmore, could I?
Oh, back to the sleepless in Minnesota person...I discovered that I purchased a white strand of lights in a tote in my room. I had already alternated red and green lights so I set about changing three 25-foot light strands so they would be red, green, white, etc. By the time I had finished that, I decided enough was enough; it was 6:30 am, so I headed back to bed and feel instantly to sleep and slept until 9.
It was cold this morning, -1F at 9:30 am. I had to plug in the car to drive to Roseau later. Yes, I said plug in the car. In Minnesota we have block heaters on our cars so they start easier in the winter. They have an electrical plug on them that we plug into an extension cord.
After being out and shoveling off the walk too, I decided I might as well go for a walk. As I headed down the driveway I felt like I was walking on a million diamonds with each step. It had snowed about an inch the day before (about time). Sometime during that evening it had cleared off and when I went out the sun was dazzling off the snow, thus the diamonds. Beautiful sight! The trees were also decorated with the fresh snow so everything looked so white and clean. By the time I got back to the house, I was hungry; after all I had been up 1/3 of the night! We had omelets with ham, green peppers, and onions topped with cheese. Yum!
Yesterday was Ardmore's 74th birthday. Where has the time gone? Each of our children called to give him birthday greetings. Even our granddaughter Breanne called, her grandpa was delighted!
I didn't do much work for the rest of the day, but I did go swimming and to the grocery store. I really feel that is enough for a day off from work!

Thought for the day
Saturday is a day for remembering. I remember going to my grandparent's house in Eveleth during the winter. The house was a big rambling house with a dining room between the kitchen and the living room. Perhaps my aunts' and uncles' would say, it wasn't that big Charleen, but to me it was as a child. One of my favorite memories is walking into the house in the winter and hearing my aunts harmonizing at the piano. All of the Rosses have great voices and could harmonize together. At our family reunion in 2007, we were treated to those great voices once again. Memories are the best parts of life.
What is your favorite memory of winter at your grandparents home?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Where we are today

STS arrived at the museum at about 10:30 am unexpectedly. Very pleasant surprise. The leader and I are good friends and he had to show me his new grandchild. Pretty cute baby boy and proud grandpa!
Then the crew went to work... They took everything out of a wardrobe that we wanted dismantled and put it in boxes so our volunteers could sort, catalog the numbers, and rebox the items. then they dismantled it. They also put away all the Christmas decorations that we no longer were going to use this year.
Which reminds me, I need to put up my Christmas tree and decorations. Now it so cold I will have to wait a bit. It was 11 above F when Mickie and I went for lunch today, too cold to go out and put up anything. Brrr!
My camera is up and running now after a day of struggling to see why it wouldn't show on the other end of Skype. I had worked with the MN Humanities Center so we could talk with theie board members on Friday but we couldn't get it to work. Then I called a friend who it an IT designer at Digikey in Thief River Falls this evening. He got me up and going. They will be very pleased to hear that. Some people can do some amazing things, he is one of these people.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sweet, Sweet Success!

After all the hard work designing and installing exhibits this past month or so, then having a resident bring a beautiful restored 1930 Model A Ford in for exhibition, and putting together the traveling exhibit, Traveling Through Time in Minnesota's Historic NW, Britt and I had the joy of seeing others enjoy and comment positively on exhibits. One of the board members had put together a great program for the evening and the potluck dinner was delish. I can't say we feel the exhibits are totally done right now but they will be in a couple of weeks.
One of the trials of putting together the ship immigration exhibit was finding items that the people would have kept with them and not put into storage while on board the steamer. I have search the internet for this info and can't find anything. Tonight I decided to call one of our social study teachers, Arron Nelson, who incidentally is Roseau High School's Teacher of this Year. He and I brainstormed and now have some ideas. Museum staff will need to contact the schools around us and inform them that we have this traveling exhibit and invite them to bring in their students.We never run out of things to do.
Breanne called today and we visited a couple of times. She said Damen is now walking. Well walking about 4 steps just to get to the nearest thing to hang onto and walk around. I wish they had a camera so I could see him and talk to them.
I purchased a camera about a month ago but haven't used it yet. I am not sure how to but will know tomorrow. On Friday I am attending a Minnesota Humanities board of directors meeting via Skype so will need to be familiar enough with using the camera by then to be able to answer a few questions. This is all in conjunction with our last Smithsonian SITES exhibit, Key Ingredients: America by Food. We will be having another SITES exhibit, Between Borders in the spring of 2010. We are excited to be able to have these exhibits.
It seems we have several things coming up in the way of exhibits. Our wonderful volunteer Woman's History Month program committee has been organizing upcoming exhibits and programs for March 2009.
My tkr knee seems to be a little better today. Last night I woke up at 3 with a terrible back ache on that side. After an hour, I went upstairs and did several exercises and ended with about 15 Bridge exercises. That amazingly took care of the back pain and it hasn't bother since. I also had a massage this afternoon and that always helps.
Thought for the Day
The Christmas holidays have this high value:
that they remind Forgetters of the Forgotten,
& repair damaged relationships.
Mark Twain - letter to Carlotte Welles, 30 December 1907