Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ankle update, a bit of helmet-cam and other randonmess

Good gravy!  It's been almost a month since I've posted.  So much for keeping up with my blog goal.

I am still in the boot but am up to full weight on my foot now.  I still use one crutch if I have any distance to walk but it's progressing.  When this all started and the doc said 4 - 6 months, I was like, "ok, it's do-able" but now that's it's become a reality, it's a different story and I am ready to be done!  I started physical therapy on Friday which will help me move along to normal so I'm all for it.  The constant appointments will be a drag but if it means progress I'm good.  I can transition to a supportive shoe in a couple of weeks with orthotics around the house and to a shoe full time by the end of August.  I go back to the doc on Sept 3 and my goal is to walk in with a regular shoe without assistance.  

Since I am up to full weight I can now get on/off the motorcycle again.  It's a bit awkward and I've gotten some strange looks with my big orthopedic boot but it's so nice to be back behind the hubby again going for a ride.

Here's a few helmet cams from the last two weeks...

Love this old barn just down the road from us.  Praying it never blows down athough I'm not sure what's still holding it up. 

On our way to church this thankful to be part of a church where it's okay to attend "as you are" which makes it acceptable to not have to "dress up" so we can ride our bike to church.  We take full advantage of that many times over the summer months.

I love when soybeans are blowing in the wind and you can see the silver underside of their leaves.  So pretty to see the whole field waving in the breeze.

Corn the Midwest there are many back roads that feel like they're more narrow this time of year as there is corn on both sides.  I like riding through it but don't like not having as much advance notice of critters running into the road in front of you. 

We've had a number of crop dusters over the house in the last week spraying corn for silk beetles and fungicide on the soybeans.  

He was a little higher in this one.  A couple of nights ago, I really felt like I almost needed to duck when he went over.  They sure are fun to watch tho.

I also hope to have news in the next day or two about a new grandbaby that is being induced tonight.  :)  And another one due in a couple of weeks.  We're exploding with babies here in the Miller family.

Happy Sunday to you!  Hope all is well in your part of the world!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Update time

Two weeks ago, I was able to transition from this ...

to this.  Progress!

Although, I was directed to not put any weight on it yet.  Until today!  Technically, I cheated and started yesterday a bit.  There is some pain involved but nothing like I was told to expect.  Honestly, my knee is probably more sore than my foot and ankle from kneeling and bearing my weight on the scooter these past 8 weeks.  

Instructions were to only put 25% of my total weight on it for 5 days, then 50%, then 75%, etc.  The worst part of all of that is it means I have to go back to using crutches which seem incredibly awkward to me.  I'm hoping I'll get a smoother hang of them the more I use them.

I also started back to work last week.  I've been working half days in the office and half days from home.  It's been going well and it feels good to be getting back into my "normal" routine.  However, it's kicking my tail and when I come home I feel like doing this

 instead of the work I should be doing from home but I've been pushing through and glad I did.  It's all progress for which I am thankful. :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Learning How To Receive

All too often, when someone offers help, don't we say - thanks but we'll be fine, we can get by, we got it covered?  Maybe you don't but I sure do. 

Throughout the recovery period I'm in, people have offered to drive me places, stop at the store to pick something up, let us use their larger vehicle so I would have more room to stretch out and bring us meals and more meals and more meals.  My inclination is to say "Thanks, but I've got this."  In fact, I have to fight really hard against saying just that.  When I struggle with this, I am reminded of a conversation I had with our Alabama pastor friend.  As I was declining his help, he reprimanded me "Don't y'all steal my blessing".   That conversation has stuck with me these past few years as I have made a conscious effort to try and I do mean try to not decline assistance so quickly.  When we decline others help, we really are stealing their blessing to us.  Oh, they might be offering help because they feel they have to for whatever reason but I believe most people offer help out of love and genuine care for the other person.  When we say no, it devalues them and their gift to us.  It doesn't allow them to love on us as they wanted to.  It doesn't allow them to bless us.

For instance,

If I had said no to our small group leader when she wanted to set up a schedule for people to bring meals while I'm laid up, we likely wouldn't have incredible food like this...

Doesn't this salad look amazing?  And it tasted as good as it looked!  The meals people have brought have been incredible! 

If I'd have said no to my daughter in law, Heidi, when she offered to drive 15 miles both ways to pick me up for Ella's preschool program, I would've missed out on spending time with Heidi, a nice picnic lunch in the park on a gorgeous day and the opportunity to see Miss E. in her program.

Our little cutie is the second from the right.  So glad I accepted and went along.

So, the next time someone offers to help you, take a chance and say yes.  By not stealing their blessing, you just might feel blessed, loved and cared for in the process.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Last Thursday I had to head back to the doctor due to extreme pins and needles(nerve) pain in my ankle.  They wanted to make sure the cast was fitting correctly and there wasn't an infection or something else going on.  Fortunately, it wasn't anything serious.  They were able to pad a new cast differently and give me a different medication that will help with nerve pain.

As we were sitting in the waiting room waiting to be called back, a woman and her husband sat down across from us.  The woman looked to be in her upper 30's and physically fit.  She was sitting in a wheel chair because her one leg was missing just below the knee.  As we sat and waited, we couldn't help but overhear bits of their conversation.  As they were talking, she was extremely positive and upbeat. 

Then she struck up a conversation with me asking how much longer I needed to have my cast on.  I told her with any luck I would get a walking boot on June 16.  Her response was "Casts are the worst thing.  Granted it's annoying to have my leg cut off but casts are worse!"  

Ok, so let's back up the conversation...she said it was "annoying" to have her leg permanently cut off but a temporary cast was worse?!?  Now that's some positive perspective!

For the first time in my life I didn't want to be called back to a room right away.  I really wanted to continue our conversation and hear more of her story but as luck would have it, I did get called right after that statement.

Her one statement has impacted me greatly.  I will probably never run into this woman again but what she said and her positive attitude will stick with me forever.

It really is all about perspective isn't it?  We get so wrapped up in what's going on with us that we forget there are others out there who are struggling as well and have much bigger challenges to deal with.

I am committed to keep things in perspective.  Yes, there has been pain and yes, I've had to humble myself and ask for help and yes, my dirty house is starting to get to me but this is all temporary.  In a few short months, I should be back to normal and going full speed ahead again while others have longer term issues to deal with.  So, for now, I will keep things in perspective.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Just look away....another lesson in the learning

I typically try to "git r done" so not being able to do that has been a slightly frustrating challenging.  I have had to learn the tolerance of not everything being clean and in it's place.  I don't have a spotless house by any means but I do like things picked up and in their place without a bunch of clutter.  I don't work well in clutter, nuff said.  DH has done a wonderful job of keeping the house up as he is able, keeping things in my line of sight from the recliner tidy and the cupboard doors shut. Oi!  Does that bother anyone else?  A cupboard door left hanging open?  Oh my, but that's a topic for another post someday on the OCD qualities that have taken up residence in my brain. 

I am now 3-1/2 weeks post surgery(yea!) and 4 weeks since the last time my house was really cleaned.  

In the grand scheme of things it's probably not so bad.  In fact, we've looked at homes for sale that were much dirtier than ours but everyone has a specific level of tolerance until things drive them batty, right?  For instance, from where I am sitting, I can see dust on areas of our hardwood floor and on the furniture.  Small potatoes, right?  I was also just out sitting on our front porch and of course, I noticed(cuz that's how I'm wired)  how dirty the porch was and how badly it needs sweeping.  Again extremely high on the importance scale?  Not at all but sometimes it's those little things. 

All this to say, I have had to learn to tolerate some things that quite honestly really aren't all that important in the grand scheme of life.  I've had to just look away and realize my and DH's limitations.  Quite honestly (and sure in retrospect), I think it's been good for me to go through this and really focus on what's important and not on what isn't done.  My list doesn't need every box to be checked each day.  So for now, I am putting it in perspective(a topic for another post), and choosing to erase the "in" and am practicing tolerance. :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Incredible inventions

If you've been reading here, you know I'm currently laid up after ankle surgery.  I thought it might be fun to share a few items that have been helping me cope with the limited mobility I'm experiencing.

The Body Pillow
I've never owned one, never saw a need to but am so thankful I do now!
This has made a world of difference in how I sit and lay as it levels out my whole leg while elevating my foot without having to use extra pillows and doesn't leave my knee dangling in mid-air.  So comfortable!

The Lap Desk
What a great dual purpose tool!  It allows me to use a computer on my lap without my legs getting overheated and when covered with a towel it makes a fine lunch tray.  Computer and food - does anyone really need anything else?? 

The Knee Walker
I was able to borrow this from a friend who had foot surgery a year ago and let me tell you this thing has liberated my life!  It is so much less tiring than crutches or a walker and I can go much faster.  Those that know me well know that faster is extremely important to me. LOL  I still use a walker to get in and out of the shower and for a few other things but I haven't picked up the crutches since I've been home.  This thing scoots around my house amazingly well.  I also hung a small bag on the front of it so I can transport things easily from room to room.  What an incredible invention!

The Cast Cover
Oh my goodness.  Let me tell you if I had to take only sponge baths for these 6 weeks, I would be pretty cranky by now and I'm only half way through the time.  I found these cast covers on Amazon.  It pulls on easily over the cast and has a vinyl grommet at the top that once in place seals any water out which in turn allows me to take a shower which in turn makes me feel like a human being!  Bliss, I tell ya', pure bliss!  We have an oversized walk-in shower in which we've placed a plastic lawn chair that I can sit and use a handheld shower head.  This has worked out so amazingly well.  What a huge blessing it's been to be able to feel truly clean.

And last but certainly not least, I have to show one more thing my DH came up with.  

The Honda Civic Adaptation

I have to keep my foot elevated almost all of the time.  This makes it incredibly hard to ride in a vehicle.  Not to mention that my doctor is 1 hour and 45 minutes away which is waaaayyy too long to leave my foot down.  I think it might swell right out of my cast should I try that.  
I didn't quite fit sitting sideways in the back seat...a 35" inseam and a Honda Civic doesn't measure out correctly.  
Ingenius DH got the bright idea to take out the front passenger seat allowing me to sit in the back seat and prop my leg up on stools and a cushion in front of me.  

What a God send this has been!  It made the long trip back to the doctor so much more bearable and we are able to go out for a ride in comfort as well.  Yeah, I think I'll keep him.

If I could find the creators of these wonderful inventions, I think I'd give them a huge kiss!  Well, at least the one who lives with me.  :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day happenings

Years back when our children were young, Memorial Day weekend was always the start of camping season for us.  It was typically our family and two other families.  We would pack up our tents, sleeping bags, coolers full of food, bicycles, the kids friends and head out.  

Many Memorial Day weekends here in the Midwest seem to be rainy; part of if not all of it.  We camped many of those rainy weekends or even worse those cold and rainy weekends.  One year in particular I remember it getting down to 34 degrees at night.  Brrrr.  It never failed, the years we couldn't go for some reason, it would be a beautiful weekend.  In fact we used to joke that the reason it was beautiful was because we weren't camping.

This year was no exception.  It was a beautiful weekend (because we weren't camping). It was a little rainy on Monday but not enough to be concerned about.

We don't camp much anymore and certainly weren't this year with the ol' bum foot.  To be honest, I was a little sad going into the weekend thinking about being cooped up in the house and missing and remembering all those old camping trips.

However, I had some visitors and was able to get out a few times.  On Friday afternoon, daughter-in-law Heidi and little Miss E stopped by for a few minutes, then my friend, Lisa came and kidnapped me to take me for ice cream.  Seriously, it was a kidnapping, I swear.  Of course, I went willingly kicking and screaming. ;)

I was able to get outside a bit on my knee walker and make a round or two.  We made it to church Sunday morning and DH made a wonderful Sunday dinner of smoked chicken, green beans, sweet potatoes and salad with fresh blueberries.

We have been abundantly blessed with family and friends bringing meals for us so DH doesn't have to since I can't be up cooking.  This was really only the second time since surgery that DH needed to prepare a meal and he did an amazing job!  Ya, I think I'll keep him. :)

Sunday night we were invited to my cousin's home for a bonfire.  Nothing fancy just come and sit around the fire type of thing.  We rigged up my lawnchair and used my scooter to prop my foot up so I was able to enjoy life outside of these four walls.  Such a nice relaxing evening. I totally spaced taking any pictures of the evening.

Yesterday, our son and daughter-in-law, Joe & Kristen came for breakfast.  They live 2 hours from us so we don't seem very often and is nice when we can.  They are expecting their first child late August so it was doubly nice to see K's baby belly which we hadn't seen yet.

And last night to finish off the weekend, our neighbors called and invited us to come sit on the deck by their pond and enjoy a glass of wine.  Such a peaceful spot, listening to the frogs croak and the owls hoot. I was very content to sit, relax and listen to nature (note the purple cast at the bottom of the picture).

All in all, the weekend turned out much better than I had expected.  Isn't that usually how it goes?Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Quilt for Miss E

When grandchild #3, Miss E, was born, for a variety of reasons, this Grandma didn't make a quilt for her.  Never mind that I was knitting her a blanket instead which shall we say is [ahem] still in the knitting bag unfinished. :(

With two more grandchildren expected late summer this year, it just didn't seem right that they got a quilt when Miss E hadn't received one yet.

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for her and looked high and low for a pattern but was never totally satisfied with anything I saw.  Well, lo and behold, earlier this year while I was sitting in a staff meeting at work, an idea took over my brain and I started sketching.  One can sketch out a quilt design and continue to pay attention in a staff meeting can't they?  Quite honestly, at that point it didn't matter and I didn't care.  Inspiration had finally struck!  By the time the meeting was over, I had a design complete with measurements!

I frantically worked to get it completed by her 3rd  birthday in mid-April but couldn't quite make that deadline.  I was however able to get it pieced and off to my long arm quilter friend before my surgery a couple of weeks ago.  My friend was even kind enough to sew the binding on so when she returned it to me while I'm off my foot, I could hand stitch it down.  

I sent it home with her Daddy today.  What do you think?  I think she likes it!

The only thing not on it as I haven't been able to sit at my machine is a label.  Maybe she can bring it along to Grandma's house one day and I can add it. :)  

Just out of curiosity...Do you label your quilts?  Do you just sign them? or do you create a special label for the backs?

Also this is the first quilt I've used minkee for the backing and I love how it turned out.  I mostly use flannel when I back a quilt.  I like something soft on the back.  Do you have a tried and true fabric type you typically use?

All in all, I'm so glad she likes it. :)  Love this kiddo!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Proverbs 31 - You're Stronger Than You Think

I'm not trying to beat the whole "pride thing" to pieces but God just keeps bringing it to the forefront.  I receive Proverbs 31 daily devotions in my email and today's spoke to me yet again...

Proverbs 31 - You're Stronger Than You Think by Glynnis Whitwer

Sunday, May 18, 2014

What I'm learning...

As my surgery date was approaching, my boss, the Pastor of our church asked me in his very pastoral way, "What do you think God is teaching you through all of this?"  I had been praying that God wouldn't waste this trial and that good things would come out of it but quite frankly, at that particular moment, I'm extremely glad the filter over my mouth was working (it doesn't always) because it stopped me from spitting out what was currently racing through my mind which would not have been edifying to anyone. 

Later, as I reflected on my Pastor's question, I thought about the many times in which I've learned lessons through trial and hardships and how those lessons have tended to stick better than what I've learned in other ways.  

For instance, I'm an extremely self-reliant independent person.  I tend to do things myself rather than ask for help.  I tell myself it's easier that way, I know how to do it, yada, yada....but ultimately it comes down to being too proud to ask for help. I've not considered myself a prideful person as in haughty, self-important or superior but pride is also what being overly independent boils down to.   I've had to adjust that thinking in a hurry; partially out of necessity and somewhat out of desperation and frustration.  

DH has taken over all household chores.  Not sure where you've lived but that's just not how I was brought up.  Not that it's wrong to share those chores but for him to be doing it all just hasn't felt right.  He's cooked some but fortunately we have been overwhelmingly blessed by an outpouring of meals from family and friends which means yet another swallow of my pride-full self.  In the past, I've been the one taking meals to others and now I am the one in need.   DH also has to help me get in and out of the shower.  That's a humbling experience if there ever was one. :(    

Yesterday a couple of "quilty" friends came and cut out fabric for two quilts for me so in a couple of weeks when I can get up for a few minutes at a time, I can sit at my sewing machine and sew and not have to stand for a couple of hours to cut first.  That was an extremely tough one to accept since it's not a necessity.  But these two ladies knew how much it would mean to me to have that done.   

And then they vacuumed for me afterwards too yet! Yikes, someone else was cleaning my house!  That's another tough one.

When all is said and done and I am back on my feet, my prayer is that none of this hurt was wasted and that I'll continually remember what I've learned and how I've grown realizing the love of my Savior and who He has placed in our paths as our family and friends and truly "get it" and understand the blessings they are to our lives as well as paving the way to a less self-reliant Lori in the future.