Friday, March 27, 2009

Knee News

Several of you have asked how my knee is doing – thank you very much! So I thought I’d tell you just how it IS going.

SLOW, SLOW, SLOW!!! Now, I had been told that I would be “happy” in two weeks, dancing in six. The truth is that, after seven weeks, I’m still not sure if I’m “happy.”

I still hurt! I am doing all that the Pain and Torture people are demanding of me, I am exercising at home, I am rubbing vitamin e cream on my scar, but I am still stiff and sore.

I AM out of my walker, now, and using a cane – that was changed over my objections. PT says that I need to learn to balance on my own or else I’d be dependent on the walker the rest of my life (so is that bad?).

I can bend my knee more than before. I was able to bend, by myself, to a ninety-five degree angle when I went to see the doctor for my six-week checkup. He wants me to bend, on my own, to one hundred fifteen by the time I see him again, which will be in another five weeks.

I am down to torture for only two times a week, rather than three, but that means I need Norm to help me exercise more often at home.

The doctor said that I might not be “happy” until almost three months!!!! YIKES!! But I am persevering. I am trying to take my pain medication in longer stretches and substituting with Ibuprofen, but still am pretty dependent on medication.

Am I happy? I don’t know – there are times that I don’t hurt at all (very few) but times that I hurt to the degree of tears. However, most of the pain is just severe aching. The scar is difficult – it burns when I bend it, but that, I’m told, will get better with time, as long as I keep rubbing it with cream and desensitizing it. The muscles and tendons that were stretched and / or cut will gradually stop aching.

Part of the problem is that I still have swelling and that is causing pain with this weather that keeps popping up and down the barometer. I have been told that I actually have a barometer in my knee (but that is SUPPOSED to go away when the swelling goes away).

So, is this more than you wanted to know? I still spend most of my day in the recliner; I try to weave but can only work for about fifteen minutes at a time. I cannot spin at this time, but hope that will get better soon. I can get up and cook or wash dishes but cannot stay upright for very long. I can keep my knee bent and my foot on the ground for a small amount of time but am not comfortable for a long period.

However, hope springs eternal and I have confidence that this all will be worth it. By late spring I should be able to walk further and will have the warm weather to walk in. PT told me not to use a treadmill (I was going to try to start walking on one to get my walking in) as it is too jarring on my knee – and that will never change. However, I will walk again, easily and I will be pain free (someday). So I guess I MIGHT be “happy” at this date, but at least I’m moving onward and upward.

It’s a beautiful day today – you have a beautiful day!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy (late) birthdays!

My grandmother, Caroline Sauressig (Lena) was born on March 25th, 1883, in Norway. Nana moved to America and eventually to North Dakota when she was 10 years old. She died in 1984, very close to her 101st birthday. I often think about her but more so near her birthday. She was a very important part of my growing up – she was there when I was born and often visited our family wherever we lived; we also went up to North Dakota to visit her as well as other relatives that lived there.

Norm’s niece, Glenda was born March 25th, 19 (ummmmm). Her mother was determined that she would be born soon enough so that Mavis could take the baby to church that Easter. And Glenda obliged. Her first outing was on Easter Sunday that year. When she was born, I snuck into the hospital to see her. That was during the time that ONLY immediate family was allowed even on the baby floor. I was not approached by any nurse but if I had been asked, I was willing and able to claim that Mavis was my sister (not “in-law”).. So I was able to see Glenda when she was just hours old! Happy birthday, Glenda! I love you!

My niece, Cookie, was born on March 25th, several years after Glenda (ain’t telling that year, either!). Candy was determined that she was a girl and was going to be born on Nana’s birthday, even though the 25th was not even close to the due date. But born that day she was and was named after Nana. Even though Nana had hundreds and thousands of grandchildren, great-grands and great-great grands (well, maybe not THAT many!), Cookie was her favorite – and who can blame her? Nana treated all her grands equally, but there was that little bit EXTRA for Cookie. Nana called Cookie her little Cottelina (“Little Caroline). Happy birthday, Cookie. I love you!

Birthdays for 3 special people all on 1 day. A great way to remember them, huh?

It’s a beautiful day today – you have a beautiful day.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to swim in.

So, here I was, sitting in the recliner looking at emails and looking out the window (rain and wind and yucky) when I heard this water running somewhere.

Norm was in the bathroom, shaving (no, not his whole beard, just the bare spots) and I thought the water was him, but then I happened to glance at Guy Noir, my velvet red betta and saw him starting to quickly sink lower and lower in his bowl.

I hollered at Norm to come quickly and I grabbed his little holding tank to scoop him out. Norm reached for the bowl and the top split from the bottom, rather cleanly, but Norm sliced his finger on the separation!

And then there was blood everywhere!

So a gallon of water spilled out of the bowl onto the coffee table and floor. And Norm headed into the bathroom where he and I managed to get the bleeding stopped and a bandage on the finger.

I sat in a chair and carefully picked out the half-marbles that had decorated the bottom of his bowl and then cleaned the coffee table up.

Guy Noir is in his holding tank. I need to fill a gallon glass pickle jar with water for him and put him in that temporarily. And then need to find something for him to live in that is really pretty. And more sturdy than the last one. I would have sworn it was sturdy – the jar / container has been with me for many many years, holding sugar, macaroni, fish, etc. Can’t figure out why it broke. I wasn’t that careless, I don’t think, when I washed his tank out this morning, but must have dropped the marbles too hard and caused the crack.

Thank goodness I was here, otherwise poor Guy Noir would be gasping his last breath or even been dead if I had been gone when that happened.



Guy Noir in his lately deceased bowl

So, it’s a wet day inside and out. But I’m grateful to still have Guy Noir, so it’s a beautiful day, none-the-less. You have a beautiful day!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My daughters

Last weekend, while we were in New Ulm, our youngest daughter, Jill, flew into Fargo with our youngest son-in-law, Eric, and our grandpuppy, Remy. We had been invited up to stay at Eric’s folks’ cabin but couldn’t make it.

Because of scheduling on our part (New Ulm for the weekend, therapy on Monday, Doctor’s appointment on Tuesday), I was afraid we wouldn’t see them. But Jill, bless her heart, drove DOWN the four hours on Monday to see us. She stopped at noon to see her cousin Cookie for lunch before getting here in the afternoon.

I invited Candy and Wayne over for supper so they could see her, as well. With Norm’s help I got supper started and with everyone’s help, got it on the table. Jill and Candy took over the asparagus that Norm had gotten at the store that morning – I’m not an asparagus aficionado (and Jill can PRONOUNCE that word where I stumble over it every time) – so they discussed the best way to fix it. This combination of skills had a dish that even I enjoyed!

(This is steamed asparagus with a little olive oil and lemon juice drizzled on and salt and pepper sprinkled on – I had two small servings!)

But I don’t talk much about Jill, do I? Mostly because she is working (outside the home) so doesn’t have the time that Joy does to talk to me. But because I don’t talk about Jill doesn’t mean I’m not proud of her. She is my BABY …. My delight!

We don’t see her as often as we would like because of location and work schedules. So every time I see her, I stuff in as much quality time as I can. We share many passions – music, books, dogs being some of them. We can talk about just about anything and Jill constantly amazes me with her intelligence and knowledge. I am not much on politics so I can turn to Jill to explain a lot of what is going on in the world.

Joy and I share passions for fiber but Jill has no interest in anything having to do with fiber. I gave her a sewing kit for Christmas the first year she and Eric were married. I wonder if she’s used it even once?? But just because that part of my life is not of interest to her doesn’t mean she doesn’t understand it and can still show approval for what I make.

Jill has grown into a very serious young woman with a silly side that sneaks out once in a while. Just this weekend, brother-in-law Wayne was complaining about some of his operations and surgeries so that I couldn’t take center stage. Jill mentioned, in all seriousness, that she had suffered a hangnail just the other week! Cracked Wayne up!

I take great pride in the two girls that I raised – rather haphazardly – I didn’t really know what I was doing, despite being trained as an elementary teacher and having child psychology classes stuffed down my throat in college. But I raised them with LOVE and I guess that made all the difference. And they both have forgiven (hopefully) all the mistakes I made because I did make them out of love.

A mother does not, and cannot, have favorites, but I have to admit that Jill is my favorite – my favorite baby girl. Joy is my favorite “big” girl. I could not choose between the two of them if I was forced to do. Eric once described me exactly. When Joy lived in Florida and Jill just moved to Washington, my family (and heart) was split by distance. Eric said I would find a spot in the house that made me exactly even as far as distance between them and be stuck there. “If I move east, I’ll be closer to Joy but further from Jill. If I move the other way, I will be closer to Jill and further from Joy!” He was right – I don’t do that physically, but emotionally, I do think of the distances often.

After Jill came, I asked her (without trying to whine) if she could travel with us to Sioux Falls for my doctor’s appointment. She found out that her friend who lives in Sioux Falls (who was at the cabin for the weekend) had the day off. So she and I traveled in her mother-in-law’s car (in which she had driven down) while Norm followed in our van. Jill and Gretchen met us after the doctor’s appointment and we had a lovely LONG lunch. Gretchen’s husband came to join us so that we could meet him.

Then I said goodbye to my baby and we headed home. Jill spent a little more time with Gretchen and headed back to the cabin from there. It’s a shorter distance from Sioux Falls to the cabin that from here!

It was a great time, with not enough time, but still enough so I could see her, talk to her, share stories and thoughts. Jill even showed me some tricks to teach Peanut.

Girls, I love you both. I am so proud to be your mother and so proud of all that both of you do. You couldn’t make me happier (probably even less) if you became president or queen of the world! Keep being such wonderful young women and keep making me proud!

And the rest of you – have a beautiful day and treasure the ones you love.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another great weekend!

This past weekend was the New Ulm Trade Fair. Or, as I like to call it, “The Great Minnesota Sleepover!”

Friends, traders, vendors, demonstrators and buyers come from all over the area each March. This is the first “rendezvous” of the season, so everyone is pretty anxious to get out of the home and gather together to see how the winter has treated others.

Norm and I demonstrate here – I’ve been there since 2001 and Norm started a couple of years later. Vendors and traders have to pay for their tables, demonstrators have a different fee because they are demonstrating but are also allowed to sell their wares.

I was hesitant to go this year because of my knee. We normally take mattresses and sleep on the floor, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to get up or down on a mattress on the floor. But Norm packed the bed frame so that I wouldn’t have to crawl (fall) down or crawl (???) up each night / morning. This also meant that if we found a secret corner, I could sleep during the day if need be. (I am still spending most of my day on the recliner and cannot stay “up” too long.)

When we got there on Friday afternoon, we discovered that our corner where we normally sleep had a curtain. This corner is normally a bar if they have dances or meetings downstairs. The manager had remembered that we slept there and kept the curtain up! So I had my secret nap-place!

Lots of friends showed up but some (like mother/daughter, Marie and Kelly from South Dakota) didn’t so that part was sad. The rest that came were fun to re-connect with.

Tom and Kitty LatenĂ© from Pepin, Wisconsin, came for their first weekend and “dragged” friends over – most of them had never heard of the Trade Fair, so came to check it out.

I had a nap on Saturday but just rested on the bed on Sunday, as it was a shorter day and also because a dear friend, Sherri, sat and talked to me while I was lying down.

There were also friends Deanna, Patience, Harley, Catie J, Kevin and Julie who are regular visitors.

The reason I call it a sleepover is because a lot of the vendors / demonstrators bring mattresses, cots, pads, sleeping bags, whatever, to sleep. You can sleep anywhere that you won’t get stepped on. It’s more crowded upstairs but there are getting to be more sleeping downstairs, too. In the morning, the bedding is tucked away somewhere out of the way and it’s business as usual. There are card games, conversations and small parties until lights-out at 10:00 each night. We have a security guard walking around but I never saw him this weekend. I do sometimes see him walking around if I’m awake at the “right” time.

Peanut, as usual, was there, also. She spent most of her time in her crate. Because of my difficulty with stairs, Norm was nominated to take her outside when necessary, but she didn’t have to go out much. The few people who saw her were thrilled. She makes a great poster child for dachshunds!

The weather was great – got up to the high 50s by Sunday, so many people were out enjoying the weather, which made great crowds. We got home by suppertime on Sunday night, tired but thrilled to see everyone.

It was a beautiful weekend. You have a beautiful day!







Thursday, March 12, 2009

Holy Eye Patch, Batman!

Yup, children – I have been wearing an eye patch. At least at night, which will continue for a few more nights, but I also had to wear it for 24 hours after my surgery.

So, I had my eye surgery on Tuesday morning. We were worried about the weather – it was supposed to be nasty and we didn’t know if we could make it in time (had to be there at 6:30). We also worried that the doctor couldn’t make it from Sioux Falls that morning.

However, the weather held off, sort of – it wasn’t fun going to town with freezing drizzle and coming home with wet snow and wind, but it was not impossible to travel.

We got there and I was taken directly into a room where they prepped me for surgery while anxiously waiting to hear that Dr. West HAD made it there. I had an IV put in – the tech who did it promised to make only 1 “stick” (as all others have promised). And, can you believe it? It only took 1 try and she was in the vein! That means only 1 bruise on my arm! Can you believe it? I still can’t!! I look at my arm and say “holy buckets!”

The nurse put eye drops in my eye – in fact she put in 3 separate drops in, 3 separate times. This, on top of eye drops all day on Monday and then again Tuesday morning.

By this time, I was pretty hungry – and it was funny because I normally don’t eat until about 10:00. However, my knee was in pretty bad straits and we struggled to find a way for it to be comfortable. I was in a recliner on wheels that was rolled into the operation room (brother, was that a cold place), but they put extra blankets on to keep me warm.

The assistants then put blue gauze or paper on my face and taped around my left eye. Dr. West asked how I was doing and then the anesthesiologist put me out. I woke up soon after (as was “promised”) as Dr. West was working on my eye.

I asked him if I could go back to “sleep” but Dr. said he needed me awake – if I was asleep, I might dream and jerk my head. However, the little bit of time that I was out was enough to numb my eye and put something (don’t know what) around it to keep it open. I think they clamped my eyelid to my eyebrow.

I could see light and a little bit of blue shadow and could hear noise. I even carried on a conversation with Dr. West about why he became an eye doctor and he kept telling me what he was doing.

He used some ultrasound (which is NOT quiet) to break up the cataract, as he said it was very thick and hard to work on. I could here the brrrrrr, brrrrrr, brrrrrrrrr, just like a drill which was the ultrasound machine breaking up the cataract.

Then he said it was all out and told me he was popping the lens in. This lens is like a contact, only fits INSIDE the eyeball and is permanent. Soon he was taking the paper / gauze off my face so I could see out of my right eye, put his hand over the right eye and asked if I could see him. YES, I COULD!!!! No haze! A clear, smiley face!

I had an eye patch put on and was rolled into another room where I sat and recovered – was given some orange juice and some banana bread. Once I felt better, I got dressed and was sent home.

I napped all the way home, then crawled into my recliner, cuddled Peanut and went back to sleep.

And that was Tuesday – wearing an eye patch, but still having to have eye drops, so Norm would take the patch off, give me the eye drops and then put the patch on, and me go back to sleep.

Wednesday morning we went back to town to see Dr. West, again. I had been able to take the eye patch off when I got out of bed, after the eye drops, again. The nurse handed me a plastic frame that hid my right eye. I could not only see Norm with my left eye, but could see individual beard hairs on his chin!

Then talked to Dr. West again, who checked me out, told me what to do in the near future and sent me home. He told me I had 20/25 vision, which is fantastic.

So, instead of seeing road signs that were blurry or nearly non-existent, I could READ the road signs!

I can sit here and see birds in the trees with my left eye, not just with my right eye!

So, here I am!! A new knee, a new eye and another new eye in just a few weeks. Bionic Woman I am – hear me roar!!!

Is this too much information for you? I hope not!


And you have a beautiful day!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Another picture

Here is a better picture of all three orchids. And, people, if *I* can make one bloom, you can too. Candy is an orchid lover and says they really are easier to raise than you would think.

Try one, you'll like it!
And have a beautiful day!


Saturday, March 07, 2009

And then there were three!

When Norm’s orchid showed promises of blooming, we had six little buds on the stem – three on each side. The ones on the side closest to the wall started to shrivel but the ones on the furthest side continued to thrive and begin to get bigger.

As most (some? few?) of you know, you cannot move an orchid in bloom, you cannot touch the buds and you cannot touch the flowers. Any of these actions will cause the plant to cease blooming and the buds and / or flowers will shrivel.

We got one bloom to open and I was holding my breath for the other two buds.


So I was careful to warn anyone who got close to the plant that they needed to be extremely careful and DON’T TOUCH THE ORCHID!!!!

LeAnn and husband Art came to visit a while ago and she sat in the chair that is the closest to the orchid and I had to warn her. At that time, the second bloom had opened, but there was still the third to (hopefully).


At the party last Saturday, Fritzie sat in the “famous” chair and I had to warn her. Fritzie was admiring the two blooms we had as well as the third bud. Fritzie began to talk about a mutual friend who had given Fritzie a man-made orchid that looked amazingly real. LeAnn then decided that MY orchid had to be man-made and I was teasing her about being careful!

So, LeAnn, here’s the picture of orchid number three! And Fritzie, this is also for you – to show that MY orchid is better than YOUR orchid (at least at blooming time) because I end up with real ones.

Also, this is for Bitty and Bubba, as Joy was teasing THEM about her touching the bud that was promising to open. You see, several years ago we had a bud promising to open and Bitty touched it. So the girls were both very upset that Mom might be causing THIS bud to shrivel.

And this is also for the rest of you – orchids are breathtakingly beautiful, don’t you think?

So, you all have a beautiful day and dream about outside flowers blooming in this breathtaking beauty.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Moving day for the Mouse

City Mouse / Country Mouse has moved to another spot. It seems as if he's about to move out of the city, completely, and will be country, completely, by Spring! How exciting!

He has named his home "Small Pines." I will keep his origianl link up for awhile but will put a new link for his "Small Pines" home.

So, my question is this: do we still call you "Mouse" or will you have a new name?

Congratulations on your move - keep us posted!

Monday, March 02, 2009


Finally got the slide show working! Here are the pictures of the day. With three "day after" pictures.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

What a day!

Actually it will end up being “what a weekend!” Today, March first, is Norm’s birthday – he is now sixty-five.

Joy wanted to have a surprise birthday party for him, so we talked about menu and all that good stuff while she was still in the Cities. Then she planned on coming down on Friday to surprise him (which she did). Joy said that Ken was not going to be able to come down, but HE surprised ME by showing up. They arrived here in time for supper Friday night.

Saturday morning the girls helped Joy and I get ready for the party. We had nibbles for people to eat (meatballs in barbeque sauce, “baby hotdogs” in teriyaki sauce, chips and dip, etc), so had to get them ready.

We told Norm that we were starting to get a fancy lunch ready, so he had no hint that someone might show up!

Right about one, Wayne showed up, which was a semi-surprise, but not, because Norm figured Wayne came over to see Joy and family. After that, people kept coming, one right after the next. Norm hasn’t stopped grinning, even now! They brought nibbles, cards and gifts.

Most everyone stayed until after five – which showed, to me, that they were really enjoying themselves. The group separated (of course) into men and women – the women came into the living room where I could visit with them and still stay in the recliner.

The fascinating thing about my side-of-the-house-visiting was that everyone who came was neighbors, except for Fritzie – who lives in town. But she has been around long enough to know everyone. LeAnn and her sister-in-law grew up in this area and they both played here in this very house as children (now, how fascinating is that?). So they were able to tell me what the house looked like before all the modern additions were put on. I also learned more about the people who had lived in the house prior to our purchasing it.

Norm said on his side (in the kitchen, closest to the food), the men talked farming and / or hunting. Wayne and close friend Lavern (LeAnn’s brother) went up to the studio to have a private talk – we threatened to go through their pockets to see if they had taken any of my things from up there.

Before they left, LeAnn grabbed everyone and they sang “Happy Birthday” to Norm.

Joy grabbed my camera and took pictures of the party and I took a few of the “morning after” – so I have the slideshow to let you see our guests.

t was a beautiful day, made special by so many friends and neighbors coming to celebrate a special day for a special guy. Thank you, Joy for your idea. Thank you, Ken, Bitty and Bubba for helping make it work out. They are beautiful people, all of them! You have a beautiful day!

PS - Trouble with slide show - will put it up as soon as I figure out how to fix the problem!