Monday, October 31, 2011

Working through the pain

I haven't stitched much in several months.  Why?  Because I've been struggling with "tennis elbow," or tendinitis since July.

Since I don't like going to the Dr., the diagnosis came from the resident PTA, who can't legally diagnosis.  But, I'm pretty sure he's safe from me suing him since I have intimate knowledge of his financial status, and I already have everything he owns.

The "Tennis Elbow" in my case should be called "Shifting Elbow"...or maybe "Moving-too-many-damn-books Elbow."  I'm guessing it's a repetitive stress injury from 20+ years of moving lots and lots of heavy books.  This summer, for example, I handled approximately 20,000 books.  All of them were picked up, 4 at a time, by me.  All within a 3 week time period.  Using the same arm...which led to the injury. 

It's one of those hidden aspects of librarianship.  I knew I was at risk for Carpel Tunnel, I was warned of that 20+ years ago.  And the primary culprit of Carpel Tunnel?  Shifting books.  No one told me I could also get Tennis Elbow.  Not that it would have changed a thing, because I have this tendency to think "that won't happen to me."  (Thinking that tends to get me into sooooo much trouble...) 

So, my elbow hurts.  It hurts when I lift anything with that one hand.  It hurts when I hyper-extend that arm.  It hurts to drive, it hurts to reach and grab things.  It hurts to put stuff up on a tall shelf.  It hurts to get things down from a tall shelf.  It even hurts to stitch.  The usual prescribed treatment?  To rest the elbow.  To not use it. 


My personal therapist also told me to ice it and to do some electronic stimulation on it.  We have a e-stim machine at home.  I've used it twice.  Ice?  Haven't done it.  Rest the elbow?  ...well...why don't you give that a try and see if you are better at it than I am!

I've just been dealing with it, and trying to not do anything that would make it hurt.  Not successfully, but I try.  Which means I've stopped doing a couple of things that would aggravate it, like shooting my bow and stitching.

So, I'm not bow hunting this year.  And I haven't been stitching.  Even though some special little girls have needed their gifts.  They are five months old and I had a goal of getting them their gifts much sooner than now.  BUT...this weekend, I finished up their project.  It's in the mail, and will arrive at their house tomorrow...

Here's a sneak peek...

I hope the girls, and their Mama enjoy them!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The first and final harvest of 2011

We've been expecting a freeze any day now, so on Sunday, Kev and I decided we'd better put the garden to bed...what garden there was.  With the excessive heat and the drought this summer, our garden lacked a lot.  We got a few potatoes, a very few onions and once the heat ended, we hoped we'd get to harvest something...anything!  So, we ventured out Sunday afternoon and harvested. 

I planted pole beans this year and bought a variety that grows purple beans.  They turn green when you cook them.  I chose these because I hoped they would be easier to pick than green beans.  However, the leaves have enough of a purple cast that the beans weren't any easier to find on the vines.  We picked over a 5 gallon bucket full of beans.  They are now sitting in the freezer, waiting for me to have time to can them.

This is a shot of most of our tomato crop.  We finally got a few tomatoes to eat, and quite a few cherry tomatoes, but not enough to can.  However, we have gotten enough to enjoy a few BLT sandwiches!
A new crop for us this year was peanuts.  Kev loves to snack on roasted peanuts throughout the winter, so I wanted to see if we could grow some.  Grandma B. grew them one year, so I was pretty sure we could.  Unfortunately, we have a resident mole.  Who ate most of my seed.  I had two plants left.  And we got a very few peanuts.  Not sure if we got enough to roast.  If not, we'll save them and plant them again next spring...if it rains...
 Mr. Mole also harvested most of my carrots for me.
 This one was a prime example of his work.  He ate from the bottom up and left the tops.  So, when we pulled the carrots, we'd find these...
Crazy, isn't it!

So, this year, we didn't grow enough food to live on for the next year.  Fortunately, I still have plenty of  products that I canned last year.  I'm saving  seeds for next year and we'll try again... 

If it rains...and if Mr. Mole moves away.

Friday, October 07, 2011

The living room...before...

The stair project is presently stalled.

Boy, do I know how things work at my house, don't I! 

Kev found someone local who owns a sawmill.  This person also thinks they have enough pine around to cut treads for us.  However, it's been 2 weeks, and we haven't heard from him, and we won't for another week.  He'll get back to us after next week...  Which is fine. 

I suppose.

Kev and I did run to Hutch last weekend to visit our closest Lowe's store (a two hour drive.)  We went to buy a curtain rod for the bay window.  We also window shopped for "stair items" and kitchen ideas and tile...remember, Hardware/Home Improvement stores are one of my favorite places to shop!

We got some ideas, normal...this project is started, but not progressing...

And...I thought that maybe I should post some photos of the "before." Or should that be photos of the "during?"

 This is the current stair layout.  The wall they follow is the center of the house.  (Our house is a modular, so this wall is a supporting wall.)  So, in essence, Kev wants to remove that half wall which would move the couch back to the supporting wall.
 Just a view of the fireplace.  Note how nice and clean everything is...Oh, but we've also discussed replacing the fireplace surround and rock this entire angled wall of the fireplace.  Our house is just chock full of angled walls, like this one.  (And, doesn't everyone take pictures of what is on TV?)  But, you can see that there's not much space between the couch and the outside wall (that's the wall with the DVD player and the corner of the bay window.)  It measures approximately 5' 6" across there.  So, it's tight.  And that's the space that Kev wants to open up with this project.  He wants to be able to lay on the floor, in front of the fireplace and stretch out.  That is what  started this entire process.
 I took this view while sitting on the window seat of the bay windows.  Just to show how close everything is...and how dirty my couch is!  sigh...
Now this is the corner where the new stairs will be.  This is the main angled wall--the outside wall.  The door will be gone.  We'll have to take it out.  Which is fine, we never use it.   But, that means new sheetrock, and painting and flooring and...well, you know.  The stairs will be where this couch is.  Which also happens to be my favorite spot to sit and stitch...  (Can you tell which couch is used the most? too.)

So, this is what my living room--upstairs looks like now...stay tuned for the next episode of...The Stair saga...