Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Another Doc, No Relief

I had an appointment with a foot and ankle specialist with Group Health today for the continuing problem of persistent plantar fasciitis. I told him the flare up had begun last August, that I did stretches, ices, taped, wore orthotics and supportive shoes, have had two cortisone shots, have used a night splint since January, and had even decided to lose weight. I had another x-ray, and yes I have a heel spur, and yes, it appears to be plantar fasciitis. "Sometimes it takes as much as a year to get rid of it", said Dr. Walker. I know, 'Walker' is a perfect name for an orthopedic foot guy. I liked him very much. But. I got two more stretching exercises to do, and a felted 'doughnut' to wear in my shoe. I have already abandoned the doughnut. Unless it is supposed to work by making my heel hurt so much I won't notice the other pain, I don't think it's going to be a solution. I may try again another day, or look for a commercial gel product. I have three months to dedicate myself to the new stretching exercises. If the problem persists, I will return for another visit. About one out of twenty-five with this problem end up having surgery. I will do that as a last resort. It's all just a big pain. And speaking of pain, which rhymes with rain, I thought if March came in like a lion it was supposed to go out like a lamb. It's not looking very sweet and fluffy out there to me. Baaa!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Forty-two Years

Today Tom and I are marking forty-two years since our wedding March 29, 1969, in Puyallup, WA.
The Puyallup Valley was known for its daffodil bulb fields, and the Daffodil Festival, so for our March wedding daffodils were our flowers and yellow was our color.
My three sisters and two brothers were in the wedding party, along with Tom's brother and two cousins.
The cake looked traditional, but with a fresh flower topper, and CHOCOLATE inside, it was on the cutting edge for the times.
It has been a great forty-two years, and we look forward to many more good years together.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Reconnected and Ready to Go

This is the planter I put together to take to Jake yesterday, to brighten his porch.
I posted last night that we were experiencing trouble with our bundled Comcast service. I was able to use the unshielded wireless service from a neighbor and my little Acer net book to get online for a short time last night.
This morning we went off to our regular Friday morning breakfast gathering, and got home in time to greet the cable guy during the appointed time, 10:00 to 12:00. He arrived about 11:00 and found the problem. We were disconnected from the top of the pole out at the street. Neither he nor we have any idea how that happened.
After about 45 minutes and a trip up a ladder to the top of the pole, we were back in business. Except. We had phone and TV, but no Internet. Tom had to reset the modem, and he forgot how and messed it up. He tried to call Comcast and got lost in the phone menu. About that time Comcast called my cell to check on the service call, so after waiting through the survey I was connected to a PERSON. That person helped Tom get the modem reset correctly.
And so we are back in business. And the sun is still shining. I worked outside for a while, did my exercises, ate lunch, and got caught up on e-mail and Facebook.
Now I need to spend some time on my stationary bike. I just logged my food for the day, including the stadium hot dog, peanuts and popcorn I will probably eat at the Sounders game tonight, and it wasn't good. I am officially down 20 pounds as of this morning, my first target goal, but I have much more to lose, so I've got to go work off that hotdog!
Tomorrow it will be raining. I'll try to catch up on my blog reading then. I'll see you o the Internet!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

'No Signal'

When we came in from working outside this morning - yes, another mild morning- we had no communication! We bundle our services with Comcast, and for some unknown reason we lost all service. That means no phone, no TV, and worst of all, no Internet! I used my cell phone to call Comcast, and since there was no outage in the area, it must be here at the house. We have an appointment with the cable guy here tomorrow morning. We went off this afternoon to see Jake and take him a pot of spring flowers for his porch and a new Sounders rain jacket, which he can wear tomorrow night when we all go again to Qwest Field for another soccer match. Jake promised me that he would take it easy. He is OK, but experiencing a lot of fatigue. On the way back home, it occurred to me that I might be able to make Internet contact using my wireless mini, Suzie,as I call her, and a signal I used to "borrow" from a neighbor before we got a wireless router in our house. Sure enough, I picked up a weak signal downstairs. After dinner I brought Suzie upstairs to our home office and the signal is much stronger. Suzie is slow and harder to read and type on, but at least I'm connected! Now if I just had a way to watch my TV shows tonight. I guess we might have to go rent a movie. I know I'd never stay awake reading.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sunny Days!

Tom and I are stiff and sore and tired after spending most of the last two days outside in the yard. Yesterday we cut off the fronds on all of our sword ferns, shredded the fronds in the chipper/shredder, and put the shredded material down as mulch. This is just one section of the area we have covered in these native ferns. The old fronds will turn brown, so we cut them off before the new fronds start to grow. This morning we had dentist appointments, but then by 11:00 we were back outside. I rebuilt the platforms for the birdbaths, straightening them, and then cleaned and refreshed them. Tom worked through piles of debris from our trees, shredding them and putting down mulch. Then he got the lawn mowed.
I tackled the pots on the patio, checking to see what lived through the winter and what didn't. That 17 degrees temp before Thanksgiving wiped out a lot of stuff. It looks like I'll have to start over on most of the pots.
Last week we got the roses pruned. Stuff is popping out of the ground everywhere.
We have a few blooms here and there.
The first clump of trillium is opening.
There may be rain tomorrow, and that might be a good thing. We need to rest.
But oh, it felt so good to get out and work in the sun.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I Learned Something New Today

I've had my sewing machine/embroidery machine for over five years already, but until now I had not tried applique in the hoop. Today, after watching a tutorial, I finally tried it.
I wanted to do one on a tee shirt for Irene, but first I practiced on a dish towel.
Patterns are available on line. I like Embroidery Library. There I find designs, buy them with a credit card, and download them to my computer, using software that I bought with my machine.
Designs come with instructions , steps in the process, and thread color changes to follow or adapt. I print out the instructions.
I download individual designs from the computer to the sewing machine card.
The card is inserted into the machine, and tells it what to do.
The first step is to run a paper template of the fabric pieces needed. These are stitched on paper with the sewing machine.
I punch these out and use them as patterns to cut the fabrics, which are backed with iron on stabilizer.
The machine provides an outline to place each piece, one at a time, sews it down and then repeats for the next, until the process is complete. I change the thread color as needed, and carefully place the fabric pieces in the outlines.
It is very cool. Now I want to do more.
I did get the design on the shirt.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

First Day of Spring

Last night we viewed the "Super Moon" through a haze, after it was high enough to see through the trees.
And today, Spring began.
This was no day to stay inside. It was partly sunny, dry and not too cold. -
We started at an early spring plant sale in Bellevue, and then went on to the Bellevue Botanical Garden to see if we could find anything blooming.
Flowering shrubs
Hellebores in a wide range of wonderful colors
Trillium ready to pop. This is an exotic red flowering variety.
Daphne odora - can you smell the heavenly fragrance?
Contorted filberts catkins
This is a native shrub, Indian Plum, the first to leaf out and bloom here in our woodlands.
Originally a wine cellar on this property, it now houses whatever you imagine.
Yao Japanese Garden
Skunk cabbage is ready to bloom in the bog.
Leaving the garden we headed west across the I-520 floating bridge. The Olympic Mountains are white with recent snow.
We picked up Jake in Wallingford and took him out to brunch/lunch. He's doing OK, but stays close to home for now. We returned him to his couch and headed for the Fremont Sunday Market.
This is always a fun scene, with a mix of hippies and yuppies ( or the equivalent thereof, if we don't use those terms anymore), with 'repurposed' junk to hand made clothing and jewelry, art, farm produce and ethnic food.
The market is just one street over from the Lake Washington Ship Canal.
WE stopped for coffee and a goody before heading home after a full day of mostly outdoor fun. And I used up my calorie allotment by 4:00. Oh, oh.
They say rain returns tomorrow, but now it will be spring rain. Winter is officially over!