Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas week 2014

And the sky turns to fire, December 22, 2014 sunset, out my front door

Christmas was very low key around here, and thankfully it is over.  I got really sad the few days
leading up to Christmas.  December 24th is/was my parents wedding anniversary.  It was a sad day for all of us, Mom especially.  But, she consoled her kidlets like she always has, and with a few tears and lots of happy, laughing memories, we made it through.

We've had a few days of really chilly weather, for Texas anyhow.  Rain, wind and dark days.  Hubby and I spent the week-end hunkered down in the house, reading and watching a few bowl games and a movie or two. Just being cozy.  Today it was starting to look like we might be getting low on food supplies, so we trekked out in the rain this morning to replenish the larder and get ready for the onslaught of more bowl games this coming week.

Christmas week also brought me an introduction to my new orthopedist, 2 cortisone injections, and a schedule for physical therapy.   Yikes! I found out I have bursitis in both hips and osteoarthritis in both knees.  The knee that had been hurting the worst was actually in better shape than the other one. Well of course I knew something was wrong, so the diagnosis was not really a surprise, more a shock since my Dr. in the past had always told me I showed no signs of arthritis.  Up to now that is... Well, some of it can be fixed or at least alleviated. He says the physical therapy will help my hips.  The knee...well, when he explained how the cushioning cartilage was gone...he said "the train has left the station, the horse is out of the barn, that bridge has burned, that ship has sailed, etc. etc.  Yes, he did, and a lot more of those that I can't remember.  He told me he will give me cortisone shots as often as is allowed, but that in a couple of years I would be begging him for a knee replacement. ????   I start physical therapy tomorrow, no time will be wasted.

Did I ever show you or tell you about the cute little garland I made a few years ago, using candy papers? These are the paper cups from the Ferrero Rocher candies.  I always save them, they make me laugh, and have such possibilities. The gold paper wrapping is nice to recycle too.  Fortunately, I did not buy any of those candies this year, I like them too much.  I did hang a wreath on the front door and put up a tiny table tree, but that was the extent of decorating around here.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice yesterday, the shortest day of the year.  It's been grey/gray for several days. I was thinking of something, I don't know why I spell it grey, I just like it better than gray. I think I may have seen it spelled grey on a Martha Stewart paint chip...or some other paint chip at some point in time. I had to do a little research and found out, gray is the American way, and grey is the English way.  When I say "a little research"...I mean very little, just ask Google. Ha Ha

Anyhow, here is me yesterday, sitting on the porch with a cuppa joe, when the temperature was 54 and the sky was oh so grey.  Grey nails, grey clothes, grey day, grey mood.  My ensemble was not planned, just happened that way. These were in my stack of what I call "throw on clothes".
And I really had the blues, which I can't seem to shake, and it's more than the holiday blues.  Feeling physically worn out doesn't help.
Tomorrow I'm off to see the orthopedist for x-rays and evaluation of my hips and knees, which have been bothering me off and on for several months. I hope to get some news of things that can be done, other than knee replacement.  It seems, from what I've been told, that most Drs. take that approach pretty rapidly. So will see what comes of it.  My regular physician moved so I had to find a new one.  All my blood tests for everything they could test me for came back as normal range.  When I mentioned my joint and muscle pain, she said I just needed to lose weight and dismissed the issue.  So I decided to try and get some answers besides, "just lose weight". That wouldn't hurt of course, and I know that, but I'm pretty sure there is something else going on. The entire visit with this particular physician was really disappointing.  For every issue I brought up, she was ready to write another prescription. This was before any blood work at all.  I left with NO prescriptions, as I declined them all.   So she was probably as disappointed with me as a patient as I am with her as a Dr.  So I am still on a quest for answers, and I don't believe they lie within traditional medicine entirely. I'm very interested in integrative medicine, even alternatives, but the problem with that is, no insurance company will cover any of that.  So we are on our own in seeking any choice other than the traditional.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

It's Coming on Christmas

Well, here I am again, same time, same channel...Bah Humbug.  Listening to the only Christmas song I like to hear, River, by Joni Mitchell. It's drab and sad, and some of it doesn't even apply to me, but it matches my mood regarding Christmas.  I wish I had a river I could skate away on.  In addition to the blues I feel regarding the holidays anyhow, this year it is coupled with the fact that last Christmas and New Years we spent with my parents.  This will be the first holiday without my father, and that is hard in itself.

But I am so turned off by the crazed consumerism that goes on this time of year, that I just choose not to participate at all.   Very few gifts are purchased, and if need be, we use the ubiquitous gift card. Hubby and I usually make gifts for each other, but we haven't even managed that this year.  At least I have not, and I have not seen any evidence that he has been working on anything. It's okay though, we may find something at the Armadillo bazaar next week. If we do, at least it will be handmade. If we don't that's okay too, as we are running out of room for anymore artwork of any kind.

We have only had to go to one Christmas party, it was work related and also a charity event.  This was held in traditional fashion, keeping with Texas tradition anyhow, at this famous local place.  Not being a native Texan, I still struggle at times with the fascination with B-B-Q.  I did not partake of the ribs, brisket and sausage, but managed to work my way through a pretty big helping of delicious smoked turkey. Was hoping for pecan pie for dessert, but they gave us all a cup of their also famous vanilla ice cream. It was pretty darn good. It was the proper size serving, but Hub said, is this all we get?  I told him it was not like what he calls serving size at home, which probably equals 4 scoops.

If wondering what the weird looking hand in the photo is, it's the Hook 'em Horns sign for the Texas Longhorn football team.
Here at home, the soup making marathon continues.  I am not getting tired of it, and don't know if hubby is or not. I made corn chowder earlier in the week.  Yesterday my friend Pat came over with cream of broccoli and tomato soup from her work, and we had the tomato for lunch.  It was delicious.  I do fear, however, that we are consuming a bit more "cream" than anyone should have.  There has been no attempt to make these soups low calorie, I can assure you.  I have never made tomato soup from scratch, but plan to look online for a recipe and do that pretty soon.  I have never liked canned tomato soup, but homemade now that's a different story.
Having a slow relaxing week-end here, where it is dark and drizzly, just the perfect kind of soup weather.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Make up your mind

Dear Mother Nature, please make up your mind.  I leave the house at 8 a.m. and it is 62 degrees, then two hours later it is 35 and the wind has blown the remaining leaves off the trees, and there I am in a sweater that the wind blows through!  Enough.  I know how the weather is in Texas, but doggone it, I still wish it would get cold and stay cold. I have gotten the boots out, and scarves and gloves and I want to wear them more than one day a week for 3 hours.  The past few weeks that is what we have had, several days in the high 60s then a huge cold front and its almost freezing. First part of the week, it was soup making time.  All the Thanksgiving leftovers were gone and we had no food in the house.  Hubby had a cold he picked up somewhere before Thanksgiving, and I was just tired (as usual it seems), so neither of us felt like going to the grocery.  So we scraped together what we had, he chopped and I sautéed and made a big pot of split pea soup.  Oh, it was so tasty and that's pretty much all we had for dinner.  I had forgotten we had some ham so it is just plain, no meat.  We were so hungry I even forgot to put out bread, but sprinkled croutons on top. Nothing like a big pot of soup on a cold night, plus the comfort of knowing there will be enough for a few more meals.  I have this quirk, of really wanting a beer when I have split pea soup. But we had none so I settled for a small glass of wine.  It was a passable substitute and the soup was just as yummy.  Hubby drinks milk with everything, just as good a combo.

It's back up to almost 70 today and supposed to stay through the week end and into next week.  I'm seeing Christmas lights already on some of the neighbors houses, but it's a little too soon for me. I like to leave my tree up till New Years, so I can wait another week to put it up.