“I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas….”

December 11, 2012 | My Jottings

On Saturday evening and all day Sunday, we finally got the nice big snowstorm we were hoping for, and I thought I’d post a photo of the greenery and large blue and silver ornaments Sara recently arranged in our flower boxes. I was waiting for snow since I thought they would look extra pretty adorned in white.

As weary as we get from our insanely long winters, we Minnesotans love our snow! Today I heard many people talking about how beautiful it is, and how wonderful a white Christmas will be.

I think you can click on the photo above to enlarge it, so you can see the ornaments up close, although the silver ones are hard to pick out.

I guess it’s time to stop talking about the ornaments. People might think I’m obsessed or something.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Ornaments and Greenery

December 7, 2012 | My Jottings

A couple of days ago I shared how I’m not really an Outdoor Christmas Decoration Person. I so enjoy looking at everyone else’s lights and reindeer and nativity scenes, but have never decorated outside when Christmas season comes around. I love to decorate inside, though.

For your blog-reading accompaniment, one of my favorite songs to play at Christmas time is called “Orchard House,” from the soundtrack CD to the movie Little Women, and you just have to hear it while you’re scrolling. The whole CD gets deep into my soul. It’s playing in our house right now, as a matter of fact. Click here.

Well, we still don’t have fancy lights or displays outside, but we do have something, and I thought you might like to see! This new house has three good-sized flower boxes on the front of the deck, which is at the front of the house, and if you didn’t see how Sara planted them the week we moved in, you can look here.

Those same flower boxes are just perfect for lots and lots of greenery in the winter, and last weekend Sara filled them up with pine, fir and spruce boughs, twigs and magnolia leaves, and everything just sort of pours over the edges of the boxes and I love them.

I think they’ll look especially nice when a fluffy blanket of snow falls on everything, including the huge dark blue and silver ornaments Sara worked into the arrangements.

It was a damp day, foggy and chill, and the little bit of snow we had was slowly melting. Sara decided to do the arrangements in the driveway where she had lots of space. You can click on the photos to enlarge them if you like.

I waited for a sunny day to take these pictures below, because I hoped you could see the three different finishes on the ornaments: very shiny, sort of cloudy, and glittery.  🙂

The balls are larger than a softball, just smaller than a volleyball…


These are the two planters on the left…I love how wild and (here we go again) asymmetrical they look.

Can’t you just picture how beautiful a blanket of snow will look on the branches and ornaments? If our forecast is correct, we could have 6-10 inches by the end of the weekend!

Because I enjoy alliteration, I almost titled this post Balls and Boughs. Then thought better of it.

And lastly, this greets anyone who comes to the steps that lead to our front door:

God’s blessings on you today, friends and family!

Kidquips 10

December 5, 2012 | My Jottings

 Louisa (age five months) is saying:

“I can’t wait to see my Grandma Julie again! Just thinking about going to her house puts a skip in my step! I feel like twirling and dancing when she smiles and sings to me! I wonder if she’s thinking about me right now, just like I’m thinking about her!”

It is such a marvelous thing how grandmas can read the thoughts and interpret the expressions of their infant grandchildren!

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A Swiftly Tilting Tibia

December 3, 2012 | My Jottings

If you are a Madeleine L’Engle fan, you know the word play I’m attempting with the title of this post. If you aren’t familiar with her books, you can click here to see where my brain immediately went when I was trying to think up a title for this post about my tibia.

I’ve known for quite a while that the surgical trimming of my right knee’s meniscus (the C-shaped cushion in the joint) about seven years ago was leading to a bit of arthritis. The orthopedic surgeon warned me about it, but my choices at the time were limited:  1) have the surgery so I could resume walking, or 2) leave the impinged, torn meniscus in there and begin life in a wheelchair, or at the very least, life on crutches.

Gradually my right knee has become stiff and swollen, and in the last year it has become so achy that it wakes me up at night. It used to just hurt after a long day of walking and working; now it hurts all the time, even if I’m sitting or lying down. Going up and down stairs is a slow process. I limp a lot now.

I also noticed a few months ago that my right lower leg had started to tilt outward slightly, away from the knee joint. When I’m lying in bed or on the floor and lift both my legs up straight over me, knees together, the left leg is very straight, and the right lower leg tilts out in a deformed manner, so the ankles don’t meet anymore. Bleh.

So I decided recently to make a doctor’s appointment to see what was going on in there. I knew the x-ray would reveal some arthritic changes, but I had no idea that it would reveal a bone-on-bone situation that my doctor calls “severe,” and would call for eventual knee replacement surgery. Gah. I’m 55, so am too young for a total knee replacement. Apparently it’s not a good idea to do a “total knee” on a person my age, because the fake joint usually lasts only 10-15 years, and a second replacement doesn’t always have good results. So putting off a knee replacement until you’re in your sixties or seventies is what’s often recommended.

This is an x-ray of my right knee. You can see that I have plenty of space between my femur (thigh-bone) and tibia (largest calf-bone) on the inside of my leg, but on the outside of my leg, the bones are in there grinding away. That’s exactly where my nice little meniscus was shaved away. And that’s why my lower leg has begun to deform.

Alas, I have a Swiftly Tilting Tibia.

I will begin physical therapy next week, in hopes that strengthening my leg muscles will help. I can tell that my quadriceps are weak in the right leg because I’ve babied that side due to the pain.

I also recently learned that wonderful things are being done with hemi-arthroplasty, which is a partial knee replacement. It’s supposed to be a much easier surgery and might be a good choice for a person my age. Here’s a drawing of what a partial knee replacement looks like compared to a total knee.

Anyway, if you tuned in here today for something deep to ponder, or for a chuckleworthy anecdote about a grandchild, you’re obviously coming up shorthanded. I’m sorry about that, I really am.

Whether or not surgery will be in my immediate future is still uncertain. Heck, I’m still recovering from my wart-ectomy!

One thing at a time, one thing at a time….