Thursday, August 21, 2014

Friday Fragments: Episode #315

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Welcome to the Friday Fragments Challenge, in which we douse ourselves with buckets full of random thoughts in the name of ... um...blogging awareness?
My fragments this week sort of follow an audio/visual theme, by coincidence.
First time fragmenting? Please check out the FF tab above.

Have you taken the ALS ice bucket challenge? I have not, partly because I haven't been nominated, but also because the thought of jarring my upper torso (which includes my slowly healing shoulder) is way too scary.


I've seen a lot of ALS Ice Bucket Challenges, but ALS Ice Bucket Challenge - Uncensored & Sexy? is the only one that made me laugh, cry, and send a donation.


Kendall has a new love.
His name is Ted,
and the feeling is mutual.

Notice her shortish hair in that photo?
Very observant; she donated ten inches of hair to Locks of Love this week.
Here's a better pic of what she looks like now:


Two days ago, I was as sick as a dog, due to pain med issues. I've decided I would rather be in pain all day than be nauseous all day. Thankfully, those issues have been resolved, and I've had two great days in a row. Here's a photo that shows the lovely contraption I must wear 23.5 hours per day for the next four weeks (six total).


As I prepared for rotator cuff surgery, I was told by many to expect to wear button-up shirts for a long time. Fortunately, my niece-in-law Trista saw me mention that on Facebook and messaged me the secret to putting t-shirts/other non-buttoning garments on. I looked on YouTube and didn't see a how-to video on this topic, so I made one myself. It's only one minute long, and I think it'll be helpful to anyone facing shoulder surgery..

I guess that's about it for me, my last fragments before I head back to work next week.
I've enjoyed hanging with you this summer. Congratulations to those of you who are thrilled about school starting; we teachers are happy to tag-team you.
Have a great school year! :)

Link up your Friday Fragments post below [other posts will be deleted]:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fridge Culture Clues

As I've mentioned in the past, my cousin Laura and her family are Mennonites. I don't ask a lot of questions, but I know they are somewhat related to the Amish. Mennonites dress modestly, rely on farming for income, are Christians, and are less conservative than the Amish.
[To learn more about the difference between the Amish and Mennonites click here.]

Anyway, when we arrived for a visit to the farm last week, 
Cousin Laura and her daughter Christina were snapping string beans in preparation for canning. After we fnished snapping the beans, we took them to the kitchen,
where we saw the next step in the process and even got to taste some of Laura's homemade pickles, which tasted fantastic. 
I shared the photos from that visit in Farm Fun, but I saved this shot for a separate post, 
because it's just special. 

It was on the refrigerator, a little drawing from one of Laura's granddaughters. 
I love that it's a small symbol of the family's culture.

This made me look at my own fridge when I got home.

Family photos, a family members' business cards, 
and the Green Bay Packers football season schedule;
I'd say that pretty much pegs me, though our pets are missing.

How about you? What does your fridge say about you?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Checking In

Well, I'm ten days out of surgery and recovering, but very slowly. On Friday, with my surgeon's blessing, I decided to stop taking the narcotics that got me through the first week. It turns out they were helping me more than I'd thought; I had a rough weekend, pain and sleep-wise. Tramadol and extra-strength acetaminophen aren't cutting it; I'm going to have to take a couple of steps back, meds-wise, I'm afraid. As my friend said, "No need to be a hero."

I'm doing my thrice-daily physical therapy exercises religiously and seeing progress, but it's surprising how stiff my shoulder becomes in between sessions. I have a lot of respect for the healing process and the importance of therapy

Keeping one's arm in a sling for days and weeks on end is not easy! I take comfort from the encouragement from others who have survived it; you have my deepest admiration.

I've already gained five pounds since becoming sedentary. I went to YouTube to see if I could find some exercises that would be safe to do that did not involve using a shoulder so that I could maybe stay in shape a little bit, but all I found were tons of people's post-surgery videos. I watched one, and it made me nauseous just thinking about the days after surgery; guess I'll just focus on my shoulder, for now.

I'm sure that being back at work next week (three days of teacher stuff, plus Open House) will be exercise enough! Kendall is home now and will help me get my classroom ready before heading back to school on the 30th.

Speaking of school, I'm going to take advantage of this loose connection to share again that my son Kyle has yet to graduate college but is already making his mark, as evidenced in today's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Ten Milwaukee Startups to Watch. Way to go, Kyle!

On another positive note, especially since I started suffering on Saturday, Milo has been stuck to me like glue. It's sweet, and it helps. Here's a shot of Milo overseeing one of my therapy exercises:

Speaking of dogs, Steve has progressed to not seeing our kitten, Ted, as prey, but that doesn't keep him from taking a nibble now and then.

I'm surprised Ted tolerates such rough play, but he does, and we all appreciate the entertainment.

I'm happy to report that neither Kendall nor Grandma 4444 (both allergic to some cats) appear to allergic to Ted. I'm very happy that we added him to our family; he's affectionate, adorable, and charming, except for one not-so-charming habit--He passes the most noxious gas! Yes; I'm serious. We've tried two different foods and just started switching him to a third (grain-free) kitten food. Fingers crossed on that!

That about covers what's going on over here. How about you? What's new?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Packers Pups

Every day, Milo and Steve play outside, eventually ending up at the end of the in-the-ground dog fence boundary at the end of the driveway. Everyone in the neighborhood enjoys seeing them parked there, looking for action, friendly walkers, or the treat-giving UPS driver. On Saturday, I decided to send them out in their Packers gear. Aren't they adorable?

I'm not sure if I'll get Ted (our kitten) to appreciate Packers gear, 
but it may not be necessary; they won today!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Friday Fragments: Episode #314

Half-Past Kissin' Time

I've been somewhat heavily medicated this week
which is probably why I've been having some very active dreams at night,
waking me up with all kinds of randomness.
Thankfully, I'm not so drugged that I can't fragment here, where randomness rules.
[To learn more about Friday Fragments, please link on the tab above.]


My rotator cuff laproscopic surgery took place one week ago today,
and it has been as rough as rumored.
I'm focusing all of my energy on healing and have been doing my physical therapy exercises.
I'm also taking lots of naps.


The hardest part of recovery has been finding a pain med that works
without making me violently ill and/or holding my digestive system hostage.
My goal is to be weaned completely off narcotics by Monday, if that's realistic.
I see the surgeon tomorrow for followup and to get my stitches out.


I feel so loved and cared for;
many friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors have helped me out this week.
What blessings...I will definitely be paying them forward.


WOOHOO! Just got some great news from Kyle, who just found out that he and his business partners have been awarded a $25,000 grant to help them continue their progress with their startup company, Mesmer! Congratulations, Kyle!!


Kendall's Rocks and Rapids trip was a great success,
and her time as a summer camp counselor is coming to a close.
Here's a shot from her trip:


Although I've appreciated the work of Robin Williams,
I always felt a little uncomfortable when he was doing his especially-hyperactive skits;
he was clearly tormented, to me. 
I suspected that he kept people laughing because it gave 
him control and kept the conversation off of himself.
I've always felt sorry for class clown types; to me, it seems they're hiding pain.
My heart goes out to Robin's family.

Steve, Milo, and Ted have been getting along famously these days.
Sorry I don't have photo for you;
when all three get together there's a lot of motion.
One day, though, I suspect all three will cuddle together.

So, what's new with you? Link up your Friday Fragments post below: