Monday, December 31, 2012

Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz Life Through a Lens is a wonderful documentary.  I remember when her pictures were all over Rolling Stone magazine.  Here's a little YouTube teaser.

You can get the video at Amazon  here

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy Winter

We had our first frost last night.  It must be winter.  Winter season lasts from frost till February 14th here in Portland, though not everyone agrees with my definition.

My pineapple sage is still blooming even though it got down to 30 last night.

Happy winter!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Afternoon tea meal 12/29/2012

Afternoon tea is one of the seven meals hobbits eat.  Since we started eating an afternoon meal of vegetables, we decided to call it Afternoon Tea, in the hobbit tradition.  This was our afternoon tea today.

Danish squash aka acorn squash

juiced celery and cilantro...refreshing

I also made turmeric tea this afternoon.  We haven't been able to buy fresh turmeric since last summer and I'd almost forgotten what a treat turmeric tea is.  I posted about how I make turmeric tea here.

When we can't get fresh turmeric, we take curcumin capsules, the active ingredient in turmeric. Curcumin fights inflammation, which is the root of most chronic diseases.

Bette Midler Beast of Burden

I love Bette Midler... this is so funny.

Friday, December 28, 2012

My cast is OFF

Yesterday I got my cast off and I can type with both hands now, though not without a little pain.  My wrist is still swollen and stiff.  It also has a weird bump which I hope will go away.  My fingers tingled some in the night.  I hope this is temporary and not the start of carpal tunnel.  It is awfully nice to have my old friend back even in its somewhat banged up condition.

some parts are shrunken and some parts are swollen

the bump
Update:  Its been three nights and my arm hurts at night.  It aches all the way from my shoulder down through my thumb.  Sometimes my fingers tingle.  I hate things that interrupt my sleep.  On the plus side, my arm and hand really are very usable though my wrist is stiff, especially in the bump area.  I hope it is mostly the swelling and will get better as the swelling subsides.  Yes, I am doing exercises for range of motion and strength.  It is so very nice to use it fairly normally.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house

Our Christmas celebrations are pretty small these days compared to years gone by.  We mostly have enough stuff.  When I was younger, I used to feel a bit sorry for older folks who didn't celebrate so much.  But now I understand.  I could celebrate more if I wanted but I don't want to anymore.  I am happy with some nice food and a few decorations and some candles.  Tomorrow I get my cast off.  I am much more excited about that than I am about Christmas.  And my eye is pretty darn close to normal.

John with Pippin

Hummer at the back feeder
Hummer at the side feeder

John working on the cabinets

Viburnum bodnentense starting to bloom (with moss covered branches)

Afternoon tea

We've taken to eating a mid afternoon meal of vegetables.. it makes our evening meal smaller and easier.  Here we have roasted broccoli and a nice salad.   Mmmm, good.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cat Cave

the cat cave

Pippin in the cat cave and annoyed by the flash

Pippin has had a cold and  wants to spend all his time in warm places.  So I draped a blanket over the radiator and made a cozy cat cave for him.  He loves it!  We don't get to see much of him... but we know where he is.

Update Ozy curled up in the cat cave for a while when Pippin was out.  Pippin discovered him in there. He looked from all angles and didn't know what to do.  He was quite perturbed.  Finally I offered Ozy some treats and Ozy came out of the cat cave.  Pippin ran right in and he is still there some hours later.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December views from my windows

from my end of the sofa

with the curtain pulled back and the neighborhood cat who drives Harpo crazy

kitchen window
Orchid on kitchen windowsill

General Tsao's Chicken

I think the ability to use a knife is at the top of the list of things I miss with a broken wrist.  I do have at least some use of my opposable thumb now so I can dress, put in my barrette (awkwardly), tie my shoes and zip my coat....I couldn't do any of those things the first few weeks.   I still can't use a knife and I really miss that... can't cut up an apple, can't cut a piece of bread.    ...can't do dishes either but I don't miss that so much.

When you can't use a knife, it means cooking is pretty limited.  so...  John has been doing almost all of the cooking.  He is a great cook and I have been very well fed!  Here he is in action making general tsao's chicken.


making magic

Sink Cabinets

John has been working on the sink cabinets though my broken wrist has slowed progress quite a bit.  he just about has the three uppers built.  Here are some photos from his workshop.

day trip to the coast

John took me for a drive to the coast.  We stopped to see Dave and Nancy in Nehalem, had a walk on the beach and stopped at Hug Point

the drive out

John with Dave and Nancy

John at Hug Point

Hug Point

The beach served as Oregon roads for a long time.  Hug Point is only water free at low tide (my photos are about an hour before low tide) so they had to wait for low tide to drive past Hug Point.  You can read about it here.

This guy has a great photo when the tide is high.  at

my new cast

my cast was driving me felt like my skin was rubbed off in lots of places.  i wanted them to just take it off but i settled for a new cast instead.

while the cast was off, it was nice to see my arm, touch my arm, wash my arm. some skin is rubbed off but not as bad as it felt.  that was reassuring.

the new cast is much more comfortable for several reasons.  it fits closer to my arm. my thumb has more room  my fingers can move better because this cast is not as low on the back of my hand.  all that makes a big difference.  this one feels like a cocoon.  the old one felt like the iron maiden.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Columbia Gorge outing

Yesterday John drove my neighbor, Joy, and me for an outing in the Columbia Gorge.  Joy and I both one armed, me from my wrist fracture and her from carpal tunnel we needed an outing.  First we had lunch in Hood River, which is about 60 miles from Portland.  We ate at Doppio.  They have good sandwiches and salads, great coffee and even Moonstruck chocolates.

Then we drove the short distance to Mosier and walked about a mile on the Mosier tunnels hike, which is described here.  With my broken wrist, I am not attempting uneven terrain and so this hike was perfect.

We had a great time.  Thank you John.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dolley Madison

i had no idea dolley madison was such an important figure in american history!  i used netflix instant play to watch it but i see that pbs also provides online viewing.

Dolley Madison . American Experience . WGBH | PBS

Sunday, December 2, 2012

the chiropractor

My husband has been getting regular chiropractic care for more than 25 years.  When he was in his early twenties, he hurt his back bad enough to do some permanent damage to a disc.  Getting an adjustment once a month keeps  him in good working order.   But if he doesn't get regular care, he really suffers.

I, on the other hand do not go to the chiropractor.  In fact, until very recently, I hadn't been in about twenty years.  I am going since my fall.  Boy can he make me feel better!  I am very glad of that.

Not so lucky... the good the bad and the ugly

Well, it's been two and a half weeks since my lfall.

the good... the orthopedist and the chiropractor both say I am healing very well, which speaks to my good health.  The orthopedist is 90% sure my fracture will heal with just a cast.  I don't have a lot of pain in the fracture site which i understand is unusual.  My eye is looking much better.  i am managing to mostly entertain myself.  i am well taken care of and have been touched by the kindness of my husband, friends, and even strangers.

the bad... although the fracture site doesn't hurt much, lots of other things thumb, my hand, my arm, my shoulder, my knee and my back all have pain sometimes and, at any one time, usually at least one of those places is hurting.  But the cast is the worst and drives me crazy.  i find myself wanting to tear it off.  especially when it feels like it is lined with fiberglass insulation.  i hate that i can't tie my shoes, open most containers, cook, open a can of cat food, use scissors, shower myself, zip my coat, write my name.  i can dress and type a little but it is very awkward and slow.   i walk a couple of times a day but am afraid of falling and of someone bumping into me.  it has slowed our kitchen project to a crawl because not only can i not do my part for the household, but my husband has to do so much for me.  i have worked some but sitting for more than fifteen minutes is really hard on my body.  there is so much i cannot do and it already it feels like it has been forever.  while all that is true, somehow it paints it worse than it feels.  I can read, walk, use the internet some and it gets better every day.

the ugly...  health insurance sucks.   western medicine is way too expensive, mostly for reasons that do not benefit my health.  The cast protects the bone,  but the cast and immobility are bad for the muscles, tendons and ligaments; that makes me worry about how my arm will be when the cast comes off.  Most wrist fractures take six months to a year to heal; that seems like a long time.  It is possible my wrist may never be the same again... I think it WILL be okay, but it scares me to think of it being impaired.  My body has always been so reliable.  I like it that way.

It was a very hard fall.  I've been told I am lucky my injuries weren't much worse.  I didn't injure my eye or break any teeth.  I could have really hurt my head.  I could have had worse bone breakage....  etc, etc.  And that is all true.  Having it be worse would be unlucky.  Not falling.... that would be lucky.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Countdown to D-Day

I was on a Tom Selleck jag and I took a chance on this movie about Eisenhower preparing fo D-Day in WWII... I am not much of a war movie fan but I liked this one.   The war is not really the topic.  Instead it is about making difficult decisions and handling big egos.  I think Tom Selleck plays it very well.

Countdown to D-Day on Amazon

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chinese Donuts

I love sesame balls which I call chinese donuts.  My kind neighbor drove to the Jade Teahouse and got me three... I ate one immediately and then took the photo.

My broken wrist is keeping me from so many activities.  One of the things I've been keeping myself busy with is researching how I can improve my diet.  I think my diet is already pretty good but it has room for improvement.

It's  a good thing that Jade Teahouse is not close to me because I like their sesame balls way too much.  These babies are definitely not on anybody's healthy foods list, so I feel a little guilty.  I am sure their glycemic load is very high and that they are high in calories and low in nutrition.

They are a special treat for me.  Thank you, Jack.

Monday, November 26, 2012

nasty fall

A few weeks ago I tripped on a sidewalk in my neighborhood that has a big ridge.  I broke my wrist on my dominant hand and hit my head which broke my glasses and caused a couple gashes in my eyebrow.

where i tripped

ridge is over an inch high
 My eye looked the worst but it really wasn't painful... it was just that a lot of blood pooled there.  I think the concrete may have shaved part of my eyebrow right off.   I don't recommend it as a hair removal method.

I also bruised my knee and my shoulder.  Those didn't bother me at first, not until after a couple of days went by,  which took me by surprise.

right after it happened
two days later
four days after it happened

twelve days after it happened

i think it looked worst here.

The wrist has been the worst to deal with because I am in a cast.  I am amazed at how hard it is to do most anything.  Typing is hard, writing impossible.   Eating is difficult.  Sewing impossible.  Reading a book is hard but my brother in law helped me out with Kindle books.  Ironically, I can still walk so I do a lot of that.

Please keep your sidewalks in good repair.  And if you don't, and you live where I walk, I will turn you in to the city.  Yes, I've become A Sidewalk Policeman.

My wrist is healing okay and I won't need pins.  Glad about that.  I am not a fan of western medicine so this has been hard for me.  Gotta stop now...too difficult to type.

See you soon....

Update... added photo of  my cast, by request.  It was hard to get a good picture.

Update 2:  I have gotten a lot of support from friends and neighbors and also from a kitchen forum I participate in.  The kitchen forum is a great place to get help on kitchen questions but also was very informative as well as supportive for my injury.

kitchen forum thread