Saturday, May 26, 2012

A good day

Made it through today without painkillers. Long nap in the middle of the day, some writing before and after.  The day has been bright and warm, with only a little wind. Had dinner al fresco in the back garden, my first time outside since getting back from the hospital. I did have to be lifted up and down the back steps. I am still clumsy with crutches though slightly less halting than at first.
Last night I washed my hair and gave myself a sponge bath, and the glow of cleanliness lingers. I'm hoping the exercise I had earlier will keep me from aches and twitches in the night.

ETA:  a series of dreams where (the immobilizer having vanished) I walked a few steps without support, only to realise that I'd just buggered my knee and set everything back by months. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

news of the knee

I saw the orthopedic surgeon yesterday, and he saw my leg. It has interesting green and purple bruises on the upper shin and on the sides of the knee, worst on the outside. The swelling is down. He won't know for a while whether there is ligament damage, but he said it's usually ligament or bone, not both.
I get to keep the immobilizer and the crutches for another 5 weeks, until I see him again June 28th. After 2 weeks I can take the immobilizer off at home for brief periods to gently flex and extend the leg.
But it remains important that I put no weight on the right leg until cleared. If I do, I risk worsening the fracture, buggering my knee, surgery, and all that. Which also means being very careful while crutching and not taking it for granted as it gets easier (I'm assuming it does get easier).
Overall, good news, with caveats.

My endurance of sitting up, whether in a chair or propped up in bed, still runs to an hour at most, and crutching to the washroom and back means a recuperative nap. On the other hand, I was suffering generalised aches and upper-body twitches from lack of exercise.  So Mark brought me a couple of 10 lb dumbbells, and I worked out with those, and did leg lifts with the good leg.
It wasn't quite as rejuvenating as my sponge bath, but it meant last night's sleep was much more comfortable than the night before.

Big achievement the first day of bed-rest:  figuring out how to lie on my side.
Big achievement yesterday:  working out how to wash my hair (still theoretical, test to be made today).

One unexpected benefit of clinic visits is how filling out the information forms makes me grateful for my good health. I'd never thought of myself as a terrifically healthy person (glasses, arthritis, always catching colds, not athletic) but being able to check the NO box for a massive list of chronic health conditions does remind me that I wasn't that much of a loser in the genetic lottery, even if I didn't win the 'tall, with prominent cheekbones' prize. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

revenge of the city tree

You may recall that I've fulminated about the overgrown city trees that have spread out to shade over half our front yard. Last year I got up on the tall stepladder and pruned back what I could reach, letting much needed air and sunlight over the plum tree and the rose beds.
For Christmas I got an extendable pruning saw and shears. Aha, trees, I said, your time is coming. A couple of weeks ago I took out the branches encroaching on the power lines, and today I went after the higher branches that I couldn't reach before. I thought I'd try out the pruning saw this time.
Branches are springy and hard to saw. One sprang back on me. I sprang back with it--off the ladder.
Fortunately from only 3 or 4 steps up, because I was nervous of the ladder's stability.
I should have been worried about my own.

Well, to betray all the principles of a well-told story, I am lucky enough to only have a slightly chipped tibial plateau, rather than anything definitely crippling. I've had x-rays and a CT scan, and was sent home from the hospital about 10 pm (went in at 3:15 pm) wih a leg immobilizer, crutches, and morphine for tonight. I'm not in any particular pain, but I suppose that may change.
No weight on my right leg for a week, doctor's note for being off work. Could have been a lot worse.

Cruthes are really tiring. My respect for anyone walking with crutches has gone way up. Good thing I've been doing weights.

Western skychair is up

 The boy and the girl came to the Island last weekend, for Mother's Day. Chris brought maple snap cookies, which as he said are not 'snaps' in the sense of gingersnaps, but round soft cookies, rather like the honey cookie from my tiny Evelyne Johnson Cookie Cookbook, but sweetened with maple syrup instead. Good choice for a Mother's Day present. (pause to get another cookie)
 I made a pan shortbread, using the method (but not the recipe) from Cooks Illustrated. Later I made a pan of chocolate shortbread, since I've finally found a recipe that doesn't involve icing sugar or cornstarch but still keeps its shape nicely. And because my child shouldn't leave my house without baked goods.

Besides baking cookies, Chris was helpfully tall, and hung up my basket chair to take advantage of the warm clear weather we had all weekend. Just gorgeous. And here is the very chair. 

 In the midst of lilac blossoms.

I always forget how brief blossom time is. The plum and pear have lost all their white blooms, and the Spartan tree's white is stained with brown edging. The Transparent was heaped with white froth for a little while, and now it's only green, with some powdery mildew mocking me. Also the horrible invisible caterpillars have done their usual trick of chewing through the bud stems so that the infant incipient apples fall away when you brush a hand over them.
 Chris and Shannon and I wandered about in the backyard and spent a little while finding the green caterpillars curled in folded leaves on the pear and apple trees, allowing one to squish them inside the leaf in a most satisfactory and sanitary way.

On the Sunday we hit the Times Colonist charity booksale, and I managed to restrain myself to two bags of books. Mark found another copy of the big book on stained glass that we have, so I can give it to my apprentice (yay!) and I found a few for Christmas and Twelfth Night presents as well as disposable reading.
Actually, I probably would have bought more books except that I went off with the kids for a late lunch at John's Place, which turned into a Mother's Day brunch (is it still brunch at 2 pm?) because the special omelette looked so enticing. Plus two free slices of cheesecake which worked out just right between three of us. And that took out at least 3 hours that I could have been using to go through the poor neglected hardcover fiction section, not to mention crafts and hobbies.
Just as well I suppose, though.

So it was a good weekend, though not as writing-productive as it could have been. I haven't posted as much this month because I'm trying to get that last burst of wordcount on, to get Storyline Two settled by the end of the month. I'm gearing up for the Kaiju Big Battel with the vampires, and I need to be sure who all will be there for it. Also I wrote a 'fen blow' into an earlier section to liven it up, and that means there needs to be a fen blow at the climax too. Argh. Well, more excitement, anyways.

I leave you with a picture of shortbread, this lot made with demerara sugar. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I was trying to get a pic of the way she had relaxed and melted in my arms, but of course the wiggling of getting PhotoBooth open woke her up.
Priscilla disapproves of these goings-on.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

missing the moon

Last weekend, you probably know, was supposed to be a spectacular moonrise, a supermoon. But it was cloudy or something, because when I went outside at nightfall, I could not find the moon. It's usually somewhere in front of the house, behind the city trees. But no.
Mark looked for it with the help of his cool IPad planetarium viewer, but it wasn't there either. Perhaps it was just too low in the sky when we looked.
Then I fell asleep. (I vaguely recall a time when I could stay awake all night. That time is not now.)
However, I rise early, and here is what remained of the moon about 5 in the morning.

 Still fairly striking. I climbed up the small stepladder and took this photo through the branches of the Spartan apple tree.

 And because I liked the cheerful colour of it, here's the first fresh pie of the season, a strawberry-rhubarb that's in the oven now (with top crust added)

Rhubarb is ours, strawberries are from BC but boughten, all shaken up with flour and sugar. I hope it tastes okay, as I can never convince myself to put in as much sugar as the recipes call for.

In other news, I have recently done 3 sets of 25 crunches, at the end of my weights circuits (free and machine). The total leaves me somewhere between astounded and appalled.
Yesterday I didn't exercise, which gave me another hour-and-half to write with, and to have a second cup of tea in the morning. Then I spent a good part of the day wondering if I could fit in a make-up session at lunch or the end of the day (answers: a)no, you have a meeting, b)no, you have to go home for dinner).
This is a worrying development, to find myself seeking out exercise and regretting missing out on it. Next thing you know, I will start believing that there is such a thing as a runner's high.