An Excellent Day!

But first! I have other things to share with you. My blog life is somewhat divided. I have this blog, and then I have my quilting blog. But sometimes things overlap. I have been working for the past month on a big event. I was invited to teach my quilted embroidery and be the “guest artist” at Quilting in the Garden, which is held at one of my favorite nurseries, Alden Lane. I wrote about the event over on my quilting blog, in case any of you want to see more. It was a wonderful experience. Getting to share 40 of my quilts with the hundreds of people who came through was really special.


Here is part of my quilt display in their greenhouse:

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My sister came over to the quilt show and brought me two huge boxes of velvets and silks. When I got home, I went through them and divided them into 4 piles: for me, for my BF Robin, for the thrift store, and for the garbage. The garbage pile got thrown on the floor, and Sophie claimed it. “My treasure,” she says. This is what she does when anything new and even semi-soft lands on the floor. She sat on that pile for hours, until I finally picked it up and put it in the garbage. Don’t feel sorry for her, there are only about six dog beds that she can choose from to sleep in.


Chloe was Robin’s favorite when she visited. And so I started sending her a morning snapshot of Chloe, especially because I won’t let her get in my lap in the morning, and she does her best to get as close as possible–she must be touching me.




Okay, so today…. The day started out bright and early at 7am when Kevin arrived (MLG) to help with some chores. My neighbor (who’s been my neighbor for 29 years) is moving, and so she offered me some furniture. I don’t really have that much room, but I like this pine chest. It will be nice to have a place to display a few things without them needing to be dusted all the time.


And this green leather chair with wood carving–her parents brought it from Italy! Its so beautiful, I couldn’t resist. I’m not a huge fan of green, but its not a bad green. I had to move some furniture around yesterday to get these things to fit in my house.


Then it was on to other chores. My neighbor also gave me a LOT of oak wood for my wood stove. Kevin measured it at one and three-quarters cords! I am all set for winter this year! While Kevin was working on that, I decided that this was the day to clean out the chicken house. It didn’t actually smell bad (when it gets wet is when it smells bad) but I wanted to clean it out before the rains come. It was a big job, and I was exhausted when I was done. But it looked so nice with fresh shavings on the floor. Later in the afternoon I ran out to see if the chickens were enjoying their clean house. This is what I saw–they kept coming in and out the door and staring at the floor. I texted Shelley a picture and she came up with the perfect caption: “THE FLOOR IS LAVA!!” Silly chickens.


And then I turned around and looked at my nest boxes again. I WAS SO EXCITED when I realized that one of my chickens laid her first egg. I had just been telling Kevin that two of them were early egg layers and might start at four months (which is exactly how old they are now.)


Its such a nice little egg.


And then I came back inside and pretty much did nothing for the rest of the afternoon 🙂



Well, I went out in the afternoon hoping to get some good chicken photos. They are hard enough to photograph, with their constant movement, but the afternoon shadows did not help. Next time I’ll try earlier in the day.

After I found a home for the first two roosters, this guy appointed himself king. He is smaller and so his crow is higher. As long as he behaves himself, I might let him stay.


This is one of my French Maran hens. I say hen with great optimism. She has a pretty pronounced red comb and wattles, but I googled Maran hens, and some of them look like this. Fingers crossed she never crows!


The little king better watch out. These two boys are a lot bigger.



Baby continues to do well. She is an eating machine! Trying to make up for lost time, I suppose. I still think she is one of my prettiest chicks. I love her soft silver color.



This is baby’s big sister. She is a darker blue color. Very pretty also.


Buddy likes to stand quite close to me. See how his comb is different than most chickens? That is called a rose comb.


And just another of the cochin hens. This week I changed over from baby feed to layer feed. High hopes that a few eggs will be coming soon 🙂


All the chickens like to take turns standing on these pots that I left in the coop. Its really interesting to watch the feather development on the roosters. If only they didn’t crow and fight and want you-know-what all the time, I would love having roosters.


I am still really enjoying  being a chicken “farmer.” I just love watching them, and I even enjoy cleaning up their house a bit and doing those farmery things.

The Long and Winding Road

Recovery–I’m finding its a long and winding road, with lots of unexpected twists and turns in it. My knee hurts… haha. I guess that’s how its supposed to be. But with those amazing pain meds, I was deceived into thinking that I ALONE was going to have THE MOST AMAZING PAIN-FREE RECOVERY from knee replacement surgery.

Anyway, here’s some of the unexpected things I’ve discovered along the way. One day a few weeks ago, my knee started hurting. So I touched it. It was WARM! My other knee was cool to the touch. I went a whole night tossing and turning, thinking there was an infection starting. In the morning I consulted Dr. Google. Oh. That’s how its supposed to be–the red cells are in there working to repair everything. As a nurse, I probably should have known this. And I am still wondering–was that the first time I touched my knee????

Here’s another weird, but good side effect. My tastes are changing. I don’t like my coffee as strong, so I started using the thrift store Mr. Coffee to make my morning coffee–just right. And I don’t want coffee in the afternoon at all anymore. Along with that, I don’t like the taste of my protein bars any more. This is good, because its a habit I’ve been trying to break for a while. I found this old recipe for Banana Split Bars, and I do love it–all natural foods. If I’m really hungry in the afternoon, I’ll have one. I also like them for breakfast. I follow the recipe exactly (I know, unusual for me.) But I can see how it would be easy to vary the add-ins. I do cut them into 12 bars instead of 16, which makes them 190 calories.

I went back to physical therapy, to a different therapist. What a difference! And they are giving me quite a workout. Although I only have to do the exercises once a day, instead of three times a day. I was having trouble with what I thought might be my hamstrings. When I went for my check-up, the doctor called it tendonitis, and said to just wait, it might resolve of its own accord. When I went back to physical therapy, I talked to him about this. I had started to have an inkling that it might be more related to my back problems. He agreed with me, and he altered some of the exercises to be easier on my back.

After the surgery I had to take a big aspirin for 40 days to prevent blood clots. And during those 40 days I couldn’t take my meloxicam, which really seems to work for my arthritis. A week ago I got to start taking my meloxicam again, and it really does help with so many of my aches and pains. Even my back has calmed down a bit.

Then one day over a week ago, my heel started hurting. I mean, REALLY HURTING. I had plantar fasciitis 26 years ago, and it was MISERABLE, and I was afraid that this is what had happened to my heel. My heel still hurts, but I don’t think its plantar fasciitis (thank goodness!) and my PT agrees with me. But if I stepped on a rock and bruised my bone, it will take a while to get over. (Oh, and have I complained about how long it takes anything to heal at my age??) Its my right heel, so that makes walking just hunky dory with my knee and my heel hurting on the same side.

Another thing that’s different? I feel like I am doing remedial exercise. When I think about what I used to do before the surgery, and what I do now? Its just pitiful. But on the other hand, I am doing those darn knee exercises every single day, and adding in a short walk, or going to the gym to get on the bike (no resistance) for 10 minutes, and getting in the pool for 10-15 minutes. I am still doing my same upper body weight machine exercises.

You can see why I was avoiding talking about my knee and recovery. This is just one long complaint-fest. But maybe it’ll help someone else who has had or is contemplating knee surgery.