Old Age Ain’t for Sisyphus

Pushing the rock up the hill again,  which is what rehab is feeling like.   I rehab-ed this knee after I broke the kneecap and had it surgically reassembled with a set of K-wires and a figure-of-8 cerclage wire and had to do a month in a knee immobilizer and wait for the bone to heal.  Then I rehab-ed it again after I had to have the hardware taken out because one of the K-wires twisted out of position.  Very safe bet that this injury and the subsequent surgeries set up the cartilage loss that led to my replacement surgery.  Now I’m rehabing following total knee replacement.  Hopefully the third time is charmed.   I am making progress.  I’ve gone from 82 degrees of flexion to 114 degrees of flexion (with a straight leg representing 0 degrees).

Monday, I went back to my orthopod and he was pleased with my progress.  Then I went hiking at Wal-Mart, came home, put all my groceries away, crashed and burned.  Was in bed by 8 p.m. While I was at Wal-Mart, I got a 17-oz stainless steel (double walled so it won’t sweat all over the place) water bottle that will fit in my bag. I made sure to get one with a neck big enough to fit ice cubes in.  I tested it today and it worked great.   (iced Peach Mango Crystal Light — Nums!) A high of over 100 F/37.7 C tomorrow and Thursday, which is going to be the first time our high has not been in the 90’s in weeks.  Humidity has been around 35%.  Today I went to therapy and then got my hair trimmed.  I’m trying to get it all one length again and am letting it grow out, but I get split ends so bad I have to have it trimmed regularly.  It’s grown out even more insistently curly than it was before I lost great wads of it from chemo last year.  Apparently, I’m going to be sporting a dandelion clock do until it grows out long enough to put back.  After I got my hair cut, I went to Market Street to get the things Wal-Mart doesn’t have.   (Rosemary olive bread, for one thing. . .)

Last Tuesday, was the appointment that TriWest (VA) got me with an optometrist to have my eyes examined and I got a new prescription for glasses.  Now I’ve got to call the VA and find out the hours the VA’s “optical shop” is open so I can turn in my prescription and get new glasses made.  Manaña.

Old Boss
New Boss

 

 

 

 

 

Here follows the obligatory Who reference.  Depressingly, the lyrics are as relevant today as they were when the song was released in June of 1971.

In the knitting news, I have two finished objects (FO’s)

 

 

 

A sparkly little baby beanie and a pair of baby booties.  They’re not cute or fancy booties, but with the ribbed cuff folded down once, they stay on.

So, after I got home from my errands this afternoon and was changing out of my slacks and into the cotton sleep shirt I wear around the house, I looked down and saw this:

It’s my right leg, and I’ve got bloody scratches as well as a pair of stonking great bruises, and no idea when I done the deed, never mind what deed I dood.  You’d think if I whacked my shin hard enough to raise bruises like that, I’d remember doing it.  No clue.  About a week ago I had this spectacular bruise on my forearm and no idea how it got there, either.  I mean, I’m not in the habit of pinballing off the walls or tripping over the furniture or anything.  Sigh.  Welcome to the wonderful world of blood thinners.

 

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Books Read in 2019

107. Good Omens, Pratchett, Terry and Gaiman, Neil (re-read
106. *The Lightning Struck Heart, Klune, T. J.
105. *Today I Am Carey, Shoemaker, Martin L.
104. *The Corinthian, Heyer, Georgette
103. *Wanted, A Gentleman, Charles, K. J.
102. Tales From Outer Suburbia, Tan, Shaun
101. *The Man With Two Left Feet And Other Stories, Wodehouse, P. G.
100. The Arrival, Tan, Shaun (graphic novel)
99. *Hell or High Water, Cochet, Charlie
98. *Manners and Mutiny, Carriger, Gail
97. *Waistcoats and Weaponry, Carriger, Gail
96. *Curtsies and Conspiracies, Carriger, Gail
95. *Salt Magic, Skin Magic, Welch, Lee
94. *Enemies with Benefits, Martin, Annika and Chambers, Joanna
93. *Lark and Wren, Lackey, Mercedes
92. *Tribute Act, Chambers, Joanna
91. *Brat Farrar, Tey, Josephine
90. Fortune’s Favor, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (novella)
89. *The Soldier’s Scoundrel, Sebastian, Cat
88. *The Lawrence Browne Affair, Sebastian, Cat
87. *The Ruin of a Rake, Sebastian, Cat
86. Shout of Honor, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (novella)
85. The Little Paris Bookshop, George, Nina
84. *Brilliant Devices, Adina, Shelly
83. *Magnificent Devices, Adina, Shelly
82. *Her Own Devices, Adina, Shelly
81. *Lady of Devices, Adina, Shelly
80. *Romancing the Inventor, Carriger, Gail
79. *Cast In Honor, Sagara, Michelle
78. *Cast In Flame, Sagara, Michelle
77. *Cast In Sorrow, Sagara, Michelle
76. *A Gentleman Never Keeps Score, Sebastian, Cat
75. *Cast In Peril, Sagara, Michelle
74. *Cast In Ruin, Sagara, Michelle
73. *The Damnation Affair, Saintcrow, Lillith
72. *The Ripper Affair, Saintcrow, Lillith
71 *The Red Plague Affair, Saintcrow, Lillith
70. *The Iron Wyrm Affair, Saintcrow, Lillith
69. *The Underwater Ballroom Society, Burgis, Stephanie, editor
68. *Cast in Chaos, Sagara, Michelle
67. *It Takes Two to Tumble, Sebastian, Cat
66. *Cast in Silence, Sagara, Michelle
65. *Unnatural, Chambers, Joanna (re-read)
64. *Seasons Pass, Chambers, Joanna (reread)
63. *Enlightened, Chambers, Joanna (re-read)
62. *Beguiled, Chambers, Joanna (re-read)
61. *Provoked, Chambers, Joanna (re-read)
60. *Merry and Bright, Chambers, Joanna
59. *The Ruin of Gabriel Ashley, Chambers, Joanna
58. *Once Burned, Frost, Jeaniene
57. *Night Shift, Harris, Charlaine
56. *Day Shift, Harris, Charlaine
55. *Midnight Crossroad, Harris, Charlaine
55. *Cast in Fury, Sagara, Michelle
54. *Any Old Diamonds, Charles, K. J.
53. *Tea With the Black Dragon, MacAvoy, R. A.
52. *The Omega Objection, Carriger, G. L. (re-read)
51. *Summage Solution, Carriger, G. L. (re-read)
50. *Marine Biology, Carriger, G. L. (re-read)
49. *Threshold, Hawk, Jordan L.
48. *Widdershins, Hawk, Jordan L.
47. *Band Sinister, Charles, K. J.
46. *The Hollow of Fear, Thomas, Sherry
45. *A Conspiracy in Belgravia, Thomas, Sherry
44. *A Study in Scarlet Women, Thomas, Sherry
43. *Poison or Protect, Carriger, Gail
42. *Cast in Secret, Sagara, Michelle
41. *Cast in Moonlight, Sagara, Michelle
40. *Think of England, Charles, K. J.
39 *A Case of Possession, Charles, K. J.(reread)
38. *The Magpie Lord, Charles, K. J. (reread)
37. *A Gentleman’s Position, Charles, K. J.
36. *A Seditious Affair, Charles, K. J.
35. *Cast in Courtlight, Sagara, Michelle
34. *Cast in Shadow, Sagara, Michelle
33. *Inside Job, Willis, Connie
32. *The Tea Master and the Detective, de Bodard, Aliette
31. *Waiting on a Bright Moon, Yang, Jy.
30. *A Fashionable Indulgence, Charles, K. J.
29. *The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn’t, Carriger, Gail (reread)
28. *The Parasol Protectorate: Timeless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
27. *The Parasol Protectorate: Heartless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
26. *The Parasol Protectorate: Changeless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
25. *The Parasol Protectorate: Blameless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
24. *The Parasol Protectorate: Soulless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
23. *How To Marry A Werewolf, Carriger, Gail (reread)
22. *Romancing the Werewolf, Carriger, Gail (reread)
21. *Competence (The Custard Protocol, Book 3), Carriger, Gail
20. *Imprudence (The Custard Protocol, Book 2), Carriger, Gail (reread)
19. *Prudence (The Custard Protocol, Book 1), Carriger, Gail (reread)
18. *An Unnatural Heir, Charles, K. J.
17. *His Consort, Calmes, Mary
16. *An Unnatural Vice, Charles, K. J.
15. *An Unseen Attraction, Charles, K. J.
14. Chanur’s Legacy, Cherry, C. J. (re-re-read)
13. *An Enlightenment Story: Unnatural, Chambers, Joanna
12: *An Enlightenment Story: Seasons Pass, Chambers, Joanna
11. *Enlightenment Series: Enlightened, Chambers, Joanna
10. *Enlightenment Series: Beguiled, Chambers, Joanna
9. *Enlightenment Series: Provoked, Chambers, Joanna
8. Chanur’s Homecoming, Cherryhh, C. J. (re-re-reread)
7. Chanur’s Venture, Cherryh, C. J. (re-re-reread)
6. The Kif Strike Back, Cherryh, C. J. (re-re-reread)
5. The Pride of Chanur, Cherryh, C. J. (re-re-reread)
4. Alliance Rising, Cherryh, C. J.
3. *Introducing Mr. Winterbourne, Chambers, Joanna
2. *Mr. Winterbourne’s Christmas, Chambers, Joanna
1. Merchanter’s Luck, Cherryh, C. J. (re-reread)

* Ebook

Independence Day

I was reflecting on the fact that yesterday was “Independence Day” and, in view of the current political climate, I thought this was apropos.   We’ve needed a day of reckoning for way too long on way too many scores.

I’m in pursuit of my own personal independence day in my quest to return to full mobility after my total knee replacement surgery.  The VA finally got its rear in gear and I had my “induction visit” for outpatient physical therapy Wednesday — only three weeks late.  Fortunately, it turned out that the facility I wanted was in TriWest’s network so I get to go to the one that’s literally right around the corner instead of to a facility that’s way over on one side of town, or one that’s way over on the other side of town.

I like it.  The therapist is not only professional but nice.  I was pleased to note that I did not lose all that much ground in the three weeks I twiddled my thumbs waiting for Godot. . .  I actually did gain some ground.  I went from 82 degrees of flexion at 18 days postop after a week in-home PT (which is really good, BTW) to 102 degrees of flexion at 6 weeks postop, which is past 90 degrees (a measurement of how far I can bend my knee, assuming a straight leg is zero degrees, and remembering that the furthest I can bend my good leg is 125 degrees because I’m a real woman with a real woman’s thunder thighs!, not some anorexic stick-figure of a fashion model, so there. )  Starting next Wednesday, I will have two sessions a week of PT for 7 weeks.

All since the surgery, I’ve been having intermittent nerve pain as part of the healing process — as nerves heal and reconnect, they yell at my brain, “Can you hear me now?!”  It’s like being savagely stabbed six or eight times with an electrified fork, suddenly and without warning.  Sometimes the jolt is so strong my foot even jumps.  Then it stops.  Not everybody gets this, but apparently I do, and it’s totally on the curve of a normal healing process.  Remember, I’ve done this whole thing, surgery and all, on nothing but a local nerve block for immediate post surgical pain, Tylenol and Aleve, that’s it.   Of course, I had no choice in the matter, because I’m allergic to practically everything else, but still.   I stopped taking anything for pain over two weeks ago.

The reverse osmosis water guy was out Wednesday afternoon for the 6-month filter change on my under-sink unit, and ever since, when I’ve turned the regular sink tap on, I get the spits and splutters of air in the line.  I let the water run for a good minute that first time, and that should have taken care of it, but when I ran water a couple of hours later, it spit and spluttered again.  It’s happening consistently.  I’ve got to try calling them in the morning and have the guy back out because something is out of kilter.   Bother.

For weeks now, high temps have been in the 90’s F(32-37 C) with lows in the low 70’s F (21-24 C).   Thankfully, I haven’t had to go out in it much.  We’ve been having thunderboomers intermittently.  Afternoon and late evening storm moves in, with a lot of thunder and lightening.  It rains torrentially for about half an hour with pea to marble size hail more often than not, then it quits.   Then for a couple days afterward we get 60%-70% humidity (stop laughing, you east Texans!) which is really high for us (39% to 49% is average).  (Where I live up in the flatlands is considered “semi-arid” with average rainfall of 16-17 inches/40-43 cm a year.)

Late Wednesday night, after things cooled down some, I baked three potatoes in the oven.  The way I do my baking taters (wash potatoes, rub them with olive oil while still damp, cook at 360º for 1 hour) makes the skin tender and thin.  I had some of those Birdseye steam in the microwave packages of broccoli and cauliflower mix veggies which I nuked, and some thick cut deli chicken, and a green onion, and some Sargento sprinkle cheese to load my tater with.  I got one tater left.  That’ll be lunch mañana.

I thought I’d leave you with this little vault over the language barrier from a restroom in Japan (?).  Words to live by.

 

Books Read in 2019

99. *Hell or High Water, Cochet, Charlie
98. *Manners and Mutiny, Carriger, Gail
97. *Waistcoats and Weaponry, Carriger, Gail
96. *Curtsies and Conspiracies, Carriger, Gail
95. *Salt Magic, Skin Magic, Welch, Lee
94. *Enemies with Benefits, Martin, Annika and Chambers, Joanna
93. *Lark and Wren, Lackey, Mercedes
92. *Tribute Act, Chambers, Joanna
91. *Brat Farrar, Tey, Josephine
90. Fortune’s Favor, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (novella)
89. *The Soldier’s Scoundrel, Sebastian, Cat
88. *The Lawrence Browne Affair, Sebastian, Cat
87. *The Ruin of a Rake, Sebastian, Cat
86. Shout of Honor, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve (novella)
85. The Little Paris Bookshop, George, Nina
84. *Brilliant Devices, Adina, Shelly
83. *Magnificent Devices, Adina, Shelly
82. *Her Own Devices, Adina, Shelly
81. *Lady of Devices, Adina, Shelly
80. *Romancing the Inventor, Carriger, Gail
79. *Cast In Honor, Sagara, Michelle
78. *Cast In Flame, Sagara, Michelle
77. *Cast In Sorrow, Sagara, Michelle
76. *A Gentleman Never Keeps Score, Sebastian, Cat
75. *Cast In Peril, Sagara, Michelle
74. *Cast In Ruin, Sagara, Michelle
73. *The Damnation Affair, Saintcrow, Lillith
72. *The Ripper Affair, Saintcrow, Lillith
71 *The Red Plague Affair, Saintcrow, Lillith
70. *The Iron Wyrm Affair, Saintcrow, Lillith
69. *The Underwater Ballroom Society, Burgis, Stephanie, editor
68. *Cast in Chaos, Sagara, Michelle
67. *It Takes Two to Tumble, Sebastian, Cat
66. *Cast in Silence, Sagara, Michelle
65. *Unnatural, Chambers, Joanna (re-read)
64. *Seasons Pass, Chambers, Joanna (reread)
63. *Enlightened, Chambers, Joanna (re-read)
62. *Beguiled, Chambers, Joanna (re-read)
61. *Provoked, Chambers, Joanna (re-read)
60. *Merry and Bright, Chambers, Joanna
59. *The Ruin of Gabriel Ashley, Chambers, Joanna
58. *Once Burned, Frost, Jeaniene
57. *Night Shift, Harris, Charlaine
56. *Day Shift, Harris, Charlaine
55. *Midnight Crossroad, Harris, Charlaine
55. *Cast in Fury, Sagara, Michelle
54. *Any Old Diamonds, Charles, K. J.
53. *Tea With the Black Dragon, MacAvoy, R. A.
52. *The Omega Objection, Carriger, G. L. (re-read)
51. *Summage Solution, Carriger, G. L. (re-read)
50. *Marine Biology, Carriger, G. L. (re-read)
49. *Threshold, Hawk, Jordan L.
48. *Widdershins, Hawk, Jordan L.
47. *Band Sinister, Charles, K. J.
46. *The Hollow of Fear, Thomas, Sherry
45. *A Conspiracy in Belgravia, Thomas, Sherry
44. *A Study in Scarlet Women, Thomas, Sherry
43. *Poison or Protect, Carriger, Gail
42. *Cast in Secret, Sagara, Michelle
41. *Cast in Moonlight, Sagara, Michelle
40. *Think of England, Charles, K. J.
39 *A Case of Possession, Charles, K. J.(reread)
38. *The Magpie Lord, Charles, K. J. (reread)
37. *A Gentleman’s Position, Charles, K. J.
36. *A Seditious Affair, Charles, K. J.
35. *Cast in Courtlight, Sagara, Michelle
34. *Cast in Shadow, Sagara, Michelle
33. *Inside Job, Willis, Connie
32. *The Tea Master and the Detective, de Bodard, Aliette
31. *Waiting on a Bright Moon, Yang, Jy.
30. *A Fashionable Indulgence, Charles, K. J.
29. *The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn’t, Carriger, Gail (reread)
28. *The Parasol Protectorate: Timeless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
27. *The Parasol Protectorate: Heartless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
26. *The Parasol Protectorate: Changeless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
25. *The Parasol Protectorate: Blameless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
24. *The Parasol Protectorate: Soulless, Carriger, Gail (reread)
23. *How To Marry A Werewolf, Carriger, Gail (reread)
22. *Romancing the Werewolf, Carriger, Gail (reread)
21. *Competence (The Custard Protocol, Book 3), Carriger, Gail
20. *Imprudence (The Custard Protocol, Book 2), Carriger, Gail (reread)
19. *Prudence (The Custard Protocol, Book 1), Carriger, Gail (reread)
18. *An Unnatural Heir, Charles, K. J.
17. *His Consort, Calmes, Mary
16. *An Unnatural Vice, Charles, K. J.
15. *An Unseen Attraction, Charles, K. J.
14. Chanur’s Legacy, Cherry, C. J. (re-re-read)
13. *An Enlightenment Story: Unnatural, Chambers, Joanna
12: *An Enlightenment Story: Seasons Pass, Chambers, Joanna
11. *Enlightenment Series: Enlightened, Chambers, Joanna
10. *Enlightenment Series: Beguiled, Chambers, Joanna
9. *Enlightenment Series: Provoked, Chambers, Joanna
8. Chanur’s Homecoming, Cherryhh, C. J. (re-re-reread)
7. Chanur’s Venture, Cherryh, C. J. (re-re-reread)
6. The Kif Strike Back, Cherryh, C. J. (re-re-reread)
5. The Pride of Chanur, Cherryh, C. J. (re-re-reread)
4. Alliance Rising, Cherryh, C. J.
3. *Introducing Mr. Winterbourne, Chambers, Joanna
2. *Mr. Winterbourne’s Christmas, Chambers, Joanna
1. Merchanter’s Luck, Cherryh, C. J. (re-reread)

* Ebook

If You Can’t Say Something Nice . . .

We all know how that line finishes, which is why the VA is only obliquely mentioned in this post.  Also, this is a family friendly blog and my mom doesn’t know I know that kind of language. . .

Of the Steri-Strips that were placed over the incision on my knee after the stitches were taken out on the 10th, only about four remain.  The incision looks very frankensteinish*, but it will settle down.  This is the third time that poor knee has been operated on. (Each time they do surgery, they excise the old scar.)  Perhaps, third time is charmed.

Quote of the day:   “The muse in charge of fantasy wears good, sensible shoes.” – Lloyd Alexander

I’ve got another linguistic clanger to add to the collection.  It’s a new one I’ve just noticed.   First it was “in the meanwhile” which is a mishmash that hits my linguistic ear like a speed bump at 40 mph — It’s either “in the meantime,” or “meanwhile.”  Then, all of a sudden, and for no apparent reason, extinction went from being a state of being to a destination.  Species used to become extinct.  Now they go there.  Whatever.   The new one is “step foot” as in “He was a teetotaler and had never stepped foot in a bar in his life.”  I can see the logic of feet stepping, but as anyone who has ever read anything that was written before the school system went to hell in a hand basket, it’s “set foot,”  as in “A virgin forest is where the hand of man has never set foot.” (Be alert.)   It’s so annoying to be reading along and have someone bungle the verbiage.  They use a word that doesn’t mean what they think it means.  They mangle the grammar.  It’s bad enough that the author has done it, but what makes it worse is that at least one editor whose supposed to know better has let them get away with it.

My recovery from knee surgery was going great guns until guess who dropped the ball.  I’ve been hanging fire for two weeks now for  an authorization from a certain organization  to go to physical therapy, and all the momentum I had going on my recovery has now stalled out.  All I can do is keep doing the little exercises the home health people gave me, but I’m neither gaining strength and endurance nor getting rid of the swelling like I would have been if I could have progressed to the recumbent bike and other physical therapy equipment in a timely manner.  (*expletives, scatology and pejoratives deleted.* )

I did wander around the grocery store Friday morning .  As I mentioned, I have not regained much in the way of endurance.  That little 45 minute foray wore me out.  I was so exhausted after I got home that after I put my groceries away, I didn’t even bother with lunch.  I just went into the bedroom and took a nap.  Til about 6 pm. Which means my days and nights are mixed up again.  Bother.  I should walk outside up and down the sidewalk but I hesitate to do it by myself.  I have this dread of falling and lying there hurt. It’s called “having a reasonable fear to an unreasonable degree.”  Besides, I’d have to go out early in the morning to avoid the heat (and humidity!) and the mosquitoes would eat me alive.  (Insert video here of piranhas stripping some hapless animal to bones in 2.5 seconds.)

Speaking of videos, I was watching a video on YouTube about debutantes in England in 1939, and this was the theme song.  The song dates from back in the late Oleaginous** period when people knew how to write lyrics and compose pleasant melodies.   (The 9th Duke of Wellington in his youth looked a lot like the late Robert Addie in his.)  Show them how it’s done, Bing.

* While we're on the subject of grammar,  when a proper noun is used as a noun, it's capitalized (because it's a proper noun!), but it's not capitalized when it's used as an adjective, so Frankenstein (because it's somebody's surname) and Frankenstein's monster,  but frankensteinish.  (Do kids even know what an adjective is any more?)

** The late Oleaginous -- Just after sliced bread was invented (in 1928).

Resistance Is Futile

My bank has an app for PC that had a function where I could pay my rent by electronic funds transfer directly to my landlady’s account in about 45 seconds.  It was just great.   So Friday, the 31st,  I went to the app to pay my rent and promptly discovered that I couldn’t.  They’d changed the app so you can’t do the “People Pay” bit from the PC app any more, and it was apparently too much trouble for them to bother telling anybody they were going to do it.  Now you have to use the phone app to do it.  I spent most of the morning going round and round about it with my bank. (Like I really needed one more thing to sort out. . . .)

It was presumptive and high-handed of them to make changes out of hand and without warning, and I didn’t hesitate to mention that in the three separate phone calls I made to three different people trying to find out what in the Sam Hill was going on and how I’m going to get my rent money to my landlady in a timely fashion.

“Well, now that everybody has smart phones we’ve gone to this new app.  All your landlady has to do is download it and . . .”  Excuse me, but my landlady does not have a smart phone, doesn’t want a smart phone, is not about to fork over that kind of dough to get one, and wouldn’t know what to do with it if she had one.

“Well, you can drive down to the bank and set up an automatic funds transfer in person . . .”  Darling, I just had my left knee replaced, and I’m not driving anywhere for at least 10 days, never mind negotiating my way in and out using a walker, and my landlady would like her rent money now.

“You can mail her a check.”  My landlady has an invalid husband and doesn’t have time to be driving off to the bank to deposit the dang check, and doesn’t have a smart phone to do a mobile deposit.  See above.

I swear sometimes I feel like I’m channeling  John Cleese in the Dead Parrot sketch.

Anyway, I think I have it sorted now. Either I can mail a check to my landlady, or the bank can mail her one, which she still has to deposit.  So much for progress.  It’s been over a week now since I went round and round with the bank.  Not only is resistance futile, it’s bootless.   I’ve had time to simmer down now and I’m gradually lapsing into resignation.

Technology has brought me one nice thing, though.  My grocery store now delivers — for a $10/£8/€9 fee, of course.  You shop on line, pay on line and pick the best available delivery time for you (2-hour windows).  Two nice men in bermudas brought my order by this morning and even brought it in the house and put it on my dining table.  It was worth a 10-spot not to have to traipse around in a grocery store on a leg which still hasn’t forgiven me for what I put it through on the 24th.

I am walking around the house without a walker OR cane, trying to walk as naturally as I can.  I’m working on flexion and doing the exercises the home PT people showed me.   Don’t know exactly when I’ll start outpatient physical therapy — the VA makes you jump through so many durn bureaucratic hoops to do anything — but it will be soon.

I go to the VA tomorrow for blood test and checkup — I expect I’ll be retailing the tale of the knee for the edification of my VA medical data base.

In the meantime, I’ve gotten back into knitting.  One of the couples whose YouTube channel I follow* is expecting their first child.  It’s been a while since I knitted baby booties.  I remembered that Arne and Carlos did a tutorial demonstrating a variant of short-row heel without holes  and I decided to try their method, which works beautifully.  I call them booties, but they’re really more like baby bobbie socks.  The people I’ve given this style of booties to say they really like them because the fold-down ribbed cuff makes them harder for the baby to kick off.

I’ve also started one of Marianna’s baby tops in 6-month size.    They knit up fast.  Instead of binding off the sleeves, I put them on some scrap yarn and will make a long sleeved version.  I probably could have finished it today, but I got side-tracked reading blogs and watching videos on YouTube.

One of the things I’ve been trying is “knitting backwards” to do stockinette stitch.  In this method, the purl row is done by knitting backwards. It’s kind of the Columbus method (Going east by sailing west. . .) for doing stockinette, but that little top has five inches of stockinette at the bottom, which means you’re purling 130 stitches every other row. . . .  ugh!

Two things I wanted to mention.  If you use double pointed needles (DPNs) for things like knitting socks or hats or baby things, check these out.  When you put your knitting aside, you put all five needles into the case and snap the snaps.  The little case keeps your work from sliding off the needles, as well as keeping that fifth needle corralled so it doesn’t go missing.  (Somebody had their thinking cap on!)  The other thing is The Sock Ruler.  If you knit socks, you need one of these!

I’ve been gestating an idea for a knitted messy bun hat using one of those hair elastics for ponytails (of which I have a number).   It’s on the back burner for now, but stay tuned.   That’s all I got for now.

*On the linked video starting at about 6:24, you can see a very pregnant lady driving a backhoe.  We've come a long way, baby.

I’m Back In My Burrow Again

And it’s been so great.  I came home Thursday, so this is the third day I’ve been home.  I’ve been able to get some sleep and that, more than anything, has helped ‘knit up the raveled sleeves of care’ — to go all Shakespearean and English major-y on you.   The hardest part of my day so far, wounded knee not withstanding, has been positioning the pedestal fan to blow on me while I’m at the computer.

The physical therapy guy  came on Friday.  He helped me double check the house for “booby traps.”  He did end up switching my couch and my armchair in the living room so that my TV- watching seat is now the armchair rather than the couch.  (The couch was so hard for me to get up out of.)  One big point that he made was that my new knee is mine.  I can put my full weight on it and walk around on it right now without worrying about screwing up the implant.  I’m good to go.

What pain I’m having is 80% from the incision — which is over 12 inches long and has whacking great sutures in it, so duh!  — and 20% from postoperative swelling. The reason I’m having to use the walker is because of the swelling, which limits my flexibility and that messes with my balance; once the swelling goes down, I won’t need it.  I’m not pain free by any means, but what pain I do have is controlled by a couple of Tylenol (ibuprofen).  He says it’s very likely I won’t need the walker after about 10 days, and that it is entirely possible that I will be driving myself to outpatient physical therapy, which will start after I see my orthopedist on the 10th.  The risky bit is not the driving itself — my car has an automatic transmission — but getting in and out of the car! (In the US, the driver’s side is on the left, so the left leg is the major weight-bearing leg.)

We’re having a thunderboomer at the moment.  Line of thunderstorms moving across the city.   Rumbly, bumbly, rain.

When I sat down at the computer, I noticed this — it’s a collection of note cards that feature the art of Rima Staines.  I love the art so much that I put a loop of tape on the back of them and stuck them to some black posterboard and put them in an el cheapo poster frame.  It’s hanging on the wall behind my computer table so I can look at them whenever I wanted to.  It’s going to drive me crazy until I am able to get to where I can lift the frame down and fix it.  Sigh.

Last night I had one of those dreams that leaves you thinking, “Wow! Where did that come from?”  Part of it was about the Handel aria “Lascia Ch’io Pianga,”  A lot of Handel’s music, and 17th and 18th century music in general, that is now only sung by women (sopranos and contraltos) was originally written for the male castrati, and the only men who can sing it now are countertenors.  In my dream, though, there were two women singing it together in harmony — but Handel never wrote it as a duet!    One of my favorite versions is sung by Sarah Brightman, and I love music sung in harmony, so I guess my weird brain just dreamed up a harmony part and stuck it on.  It’s a shame I couldn’t remember the harmony part when I woke up, but I couldn’t have written it down if I had as I don’t write music, only sing it.  I’ve had the original version stuck in my head all day, though.   As earworms go, I’ve had far worse.