Winter with a knew knee!

Today’s post comes from Ben.

Boy, If I was gonna pick a week to stay inside, last week was the week to choose. Although 5 months ago when we set this up, I wasn’t expecting this weather yet. I think there’s some record of the second week of February being historically the coldest. I do remember February 1996. Daughter was born in 1995 and that February she was in the NICU with a bad cold. Kelly spent nights there with her. I was still milking cows and doing chores and it was -42° one morning. That’s the coldest I remember. An owl spent the night in the garage it was so cold. And some yahoo went 4-wheeling with his truck in one of our fields and got stuck and came into the barn looking for help. I wasn’t very nice to him, but I did pull him out. Eventually.

This cold weather is also a helpful remind that I didn’t turn all the heat on in the house this fall when it first got cold. Because we have electric heat, all the rooms have thermostats and individual breakers. I turn them all off in the summer. When it started getting chilly, I turned on some of them. They’re not all labeled, so I only turned on what I thought were the important ones.

Then later we started saying ‘It sure is cold in the living room’ forgetting that I hadn’t turned everything on. Until last week. I managed to get my knew knee (I know that’s wrong, I just enjoy the alliteration) down to the basement for several things, including going in to check that breaker panel and oh. Yea. Only about half are on. We don’t use the basement for much, so I set those all to about 50° and turned on all the heaters. Boy, there’s nothing like the smell of dust burning off a heater.

Got my grade for Meteorology class. ‘A’. I don’t take classes spring semester; too much other stuff going on.

The ducks are spending all their time in the pond with this cold weather. Maybe to stay warm, maybe to keep it from freezing. It has shrunk up a little bit as the stream of water coming into it is pretty light. We seem to have picked up a couple stray ducks. One flies away when Kelly approaches, but there’s still an extra in the pond too. Alumni? Possible. And the chickens don’t have much interest in coming out of the coop either. Kelly opens the doors and throws out corn for them. But no Thanks. We’re fine. They do have water, corn, and egg layer ration in the pens. No reason to come out if they don’t want too. The guineas come out a bit further, but even they don’t go far.

I’m getting around pretty well on the knee. Better than I would have expected at this point. It’s still uncomfortable due to some swelling, and it’s still all sorts of colors. I get a little stiff in the shin and calf. Takes a few steps to get the muscles and tendons loose and moving. Using a cane 50% of the time and walker 25% and nothing 25%.

I’ve hit the BDDT phase of recovery. ‘bored, discouraged, depressed, and tired’. Hard to sleep at night just cause I have a hard time getting comfortable. And eventually, lack of sleep just makes me grumpy. But I’m surviving!

Did you know there is drone racing on TV?? On NBC! With fancy lighting. And drones, which I don’t care so much for, but the lighting is cool. Found a lot of old B&W movies on these new TV channels (new to us. Something called ‘Pluto TV’ which I haven’t quite got all figured out). Jack Lemmon in ‘Operation Mad Ball’. Spencer Tracey in ‘The Last Hurrah’ (with Basil Rathbone and John Carradine. Man, what a long face he has! And he sure could scowl!) ’12 Angry Men’ and things like ‘The Professional’, and several versions of Pink Panther movies. Plus, ‘St. Vincent’ on Netflix. Highly recommended.

Kelly continues to be my rock star. Not only doing all her work, but my work too. She really has never liked cold weather, so extra accolades on her for getting up early and going out to collect eggs and feed everybody. The day she spilled water into her boot I thought she’d quit. But she’s almost starting to enjoy driving the tractor and plowing snow. Almost.


36 thoughts on “Winter with a knew knee!”

  1. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    Like Ben’s ducks, I have not left my pond much over the past week. On two days that were snowy, way below zero or both conditions, I happily worked from home. Finally, FINALLY, I am having creative thoughts and urges again. During the social isolation of the pandemic, I could not summon anything creative. I have some mixed media ideas (textile and polymer clay in a larger format) that I want to try—a combination of something I did when I was much younger with polymer embellishments. Should I have another week inside, that is what I will do.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’ve wondered why it takes so long to get that spark of creativity back when something has happened to extinguish it. I’m glad to hear it’s coming back for you, Jacque! Creativity really helps me when I start to feel oppressed, depressed, not enough garbage expressed, and so on.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. PS, Ben, your mobility is returning fast, I think. The stairs, using what I call the one-legged gerschlump, overuses the good leg, so proceed carefully. I overused my left leg and had a mild case of sciatica on the left side. Now that my right side is stronger it has passed, but this was not a happy development.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My friend Pam was up and down her stairs immediately. She didn’t want to sleep in the recliner in the living room and her bed is upstairs. She also immediately toted her rented Nice ice machine up with her and back down in the morning. I loaned her a walker which she used part of the time, like you are, Ben. She barely used the cane. She would get up and do things as needed, then back in the recliner with the ice machine which she used at least 5 times per day and left on all night for the full month. That’s to keep the swelling down. She went to PT and let the therapist bend her knee. She said the stiffness and pain were awful but you really want to do it as much as possible as the swelling goes down. She was back to 100 percent after 5 weeks. Her knee had gotten so bad that it had bowed out and her gait, back and feet were all affected. Her surgeon shaved bone away to correct the bowed out leg and added bone cement around the knee when he put her back together. She stands taller now and moves around much better than she did for the past few years. She needs less pain medication for her back. She really had a successful recovery. I recommended Vitamin E oil for the scar after all the healing was done. Due to the risk of infection, you can’t do this right away. You have to wait until your surgeon gives you the green light for it and I think for her it was about 5 weeks. But her scar is already disappearing. It has totally disappeared on the bottom end of the scar and is vanishing across the top of her knee. Amazing success story. Great surgeon and great orthopedic clinic in Eden Prairie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My doc and the PT were both rather hesitant about the ice machine. Ice packs yes, but the doc said something to the effect of “there’s no science behind it“ and they were very hesitant to encourage me to use it much. Definitely not at night they said. And true, the cold slows the healing process, so you have to find a medium in there somewhere.
        I do use it morning and evenings but didn’t use it at night much because I was up every two hours and it was just cumbersome.
        Steps aren’t a problem, I’m pretty much without the cane nowadays. Looking forward to getting the staples out.
        All that said, I would highly recommend this Nice brand ice machine.
        And yes, I’ve got a good range of motion going. And I was bowlegged as well. We laughed; I should be an inch taller now. Cheers to Pam!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s interesting to hear that, Ben. Pam was given much different information and guidance with regard to using the ice machine. It really helped her a lot. It reduced swelling and allowed the tissues to heal without having to deal with the swelling. I’m glad you’re doing well. I really think that much of it has to do with your overall health prior to surgery.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. That ‘one-legged gershlump’ (What a great word!) is very familiar to me. Clear back in 1977 I was doing that when I hurt my leg. And then most of last summer i was doing it. So far, right leg holding up OK.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I have Pluto for TV Mission: Impossible, Star Trek (Original, Next Generation, Deep Space 9), Dr. Who, Johnny Carson. The advertising is extremely repetitive. You’ll hate it.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I admit to feeling isolated and slightly depressed this Christmas. I have one brother who has stopped talking to my other brother and I. He hasn’t explained why and it bothers me. My other brother and I are great buddies and we helped my mom as she traveled through her dementia. I helped with her physical needs and Kurt helped with her financial and legal needs. We always got along and worked together. I suspect Eric felt left out. I wish he had said something. The only thing he ever said was that he didn’t have time. I shared every decision I made for our mom with both brothers and even our aunt, Mom’s sister. So I’ve been trying to work through my feelings about that. I don’t know a way to resolve something that is so unfinished. Eric won’t talk about it and I feel like he owes me an explanation.

    The weather impacted every single thing I planned to do over the holiday season, so instead of getting out and seeing people who are dear to me, I stayed home with the fireplace and the dog and a large pile of yarn, crochet hooks and books. I tried to drive over to Judson (south of Nicollet, southeast of New Ulm) to sing carols with some old music friends, but the roads were terrible. I got to Eagle Lake and turned around and headed home. I miss my friends but it just wasn’t worth the dangerous drive. Then the brutal cold and wind hit and I gave up on going to any Christmas gathering. Everything closed and I sat at home until yesterday. I went out snowshoeing at the Carleton Arb yesterday and it really felt good to get out. It was beautiful. I’m going to try again today.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m glad you opted to not travel in dangerous conditions. A lot of people have more stubbornness than good sense, which makes jobs difficult for emergency workers.

      I’m sorry you’re having the family discord. Hope it heals with time.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. We have had lots of down time with our storms over the past three weeks. It was good for Christmas preparations. Husband has worked on sourdough breads, making two today. Kyrill is at the vet today getting neutered. SincevDaughter isn’t here, I decided to spend part of this week at home and part at work writing reports. I won’t see clients for testing or therapy. I need a respite from that.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I think if I had an unbroken week I’d probably fall back on jigsaw puzzles and audiobooks/music, and maybe make soup and chocolate bread pudding. Aromatic things to make the house smell nice. I don’t have any streaming services, but I suppose I could sign up for a free trial of something if I got bored.

    Now that I have a work from home job, though “stuck inside” doesn’t necessarily translate to “not working”.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. i’d kill for a week inside
    i just wear extra layers and deal with it
    it’s up to 20 today and feels like april

    i’d love to paint and write
    lay out some of my start up ideas on paper for step by step biz plan stuff
    i know what needs to be done and in what order but sitting behind the wheel doesn’t translate into progress

    old movies are my thing i can watch 40’s and 50’s stuff all day forever

    turner classic is the favorite but elsewhere reaps some good stuff too
    old tv shows are so easy to enjoy

    car stuff

    guitar stuff

    glad you’re coming along ben
    hope it’s all good
    sounds like you’re on track

    this is a great week to chill
    the whole world is on hold


    Liked by 4 people

  8. Yesterday’s question was about spending Christmas alone, and I don’t really have an experience to relate. I was always close enough to spend Christmas at my mother’s place, or my sister’s when she took it over.

    This past weekend might have been a good choice for breaking the streak, though. After a couple of years of careful pandemic precautions, apparently now it’s “What pandemic?” My older niece and her husband came, both of them sick, and neither masked at any time.

    My niece is pregnant, and expected to be induced the day after tomorrow if the baby isn’t born by then. She didn’t want to be tested for COVID-19, because if she tested positive, the hospital would want to test her husband, and if he’s positive, they won’t want him to be there for the delivery. So her story is that she isn’t really sick, she’s just BEEN sick and it’s now a sinus infection. Her husband is denying that he’s sick, but was coughing and sneezing and did acknowledge that he was taking Dayquil every day and Nyquil at night. Their little one has the sniffles, too, but he’s got perpetual sniffles, so that doesn’t mean anything.

    I wasn’t expecting all of this, and I suppose leaving would have been an option for me, but that would have caused all kinds of drama and ruined everyone’s Christmas. If I had known before I got there, I could have concocted a story and said I had a positive COVID test and thought I should just stay home. I kinda feel like I might be getting a sore throat, but not sure yet. Also wondering about my cousin who was a guest and is diabetic and in his early 70’s.

    Life was simpler, once.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find it really hard to excuse such inconsiderate and downright stupid behavior by anyone, let alone a relative. Sorry Linda, I hope you dodged that bullet. I hope the hospital will insist on testing her, and bars him from the delivery room is she’s positive. What on earth are they thinking?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I believe what you have in those last photos are Puddle Ducks, Ben! I fondly remember reading B. Potter’s Tale of Jemima Puddle Duck back in the day…

    This week I’m trying to catch up on things like washing shower curtains, some major dusting, see people I’ve been not able to see because I’m too busy… It was strange to look at an open calendar week – I finally realized I needed to Schedule Something so I have that to work around.

    I am making Kringla today or tomorrow, and some Thai Carrot Soup. We’re watching several DVDs from the library – just saw Mrs. Doubtfire again, it never stops being funny! And there’s a new Christmas Kittens puzzle on the table – I know it’s a bit late, but it’s only a 500-piecer.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. The bitter windchill and the anxiety surrounding Daughter’s travels have left me exhausted. I have been napping today while Kyrill is being “tutored”. We pick him up in about an hour. The mail finally arrived today, with five newspapers to get through.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Newspapers that are several days old are no longer “news” but “history.” Feel free to discard them, or save them for later perusal. Sometimes we need to take a breather from the blow by blow reports about how everything is going to hell in a handbasket. ❤


      1. We used to share the newspaper with our neighbors and sometimes when I was busy, there would be a weeks worth to get through. It was always interesting how often that top story on Monday, was old news, or lost, or not ever really news at all by Friday. But sometimes, it was interesting to follow the developments. Or to know as I read Monday’s on Friday, that I already knew how this was going to turn out! It’s like a serial!


        1. When I was working in Greenland, our newspapers were fresh only twice a week, and living so remotely, we were largely unaffected by whatever was going on in the world. It was amazing to me how differently most of seemed to respond to this lack of news. Much more relaxed. Of course, we were also a lot younger. I doubt there was anyone there over sixty.

          Liked by 3 people

  11. I think most hospitals do insist on a covid test before undergoing a “procedure.” I don’t know if childbirth is considered a “procedure,” but I’ll bet they test her. If she’s positive for covid, she’ll be isolated and husband won’t be allowed in. That’s too bad. Some people seem to be almost going out of their way to downplay covid concerns.


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