Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

Thanksgiving post. Probably every blog writer and his dog are going to punish the readers with a sappy thankful turkey day missive today, and I am no exception.

Sort of.

You already know I'm thankful surviving my crash and remaining alive and able to be a productive member of society. 

I have been reflecting a bit on the past, and came up with a few things....

  • if I had to have a divorce, I'm thankful that it was amicable and she was generous enough to let me keep the house and all of my stuff. 
  • I've got a few good friends that (maybe they don't know it) have stimulated my creativity and helped me to be a better woodworker 
  • I like pie
Everyone has a holiday tradition, right? Some sit home alone moping and resentful. Some that are alone make the best of it, and do something to ensure they're not alone for the holiday. Some overdo everything, causing themselves and everyone around them so much stress and anxiety....trying to make everything perfect, trying to do everything just right, just like the way they have always done it. 

And there's some comfort in that. I wish I could go to Grandma's on Christmas eve to eat chili and marvel at the greasy milk with lumps of snot ("oyster stew"). I miss Grandpa asking every time I'd see him the last week of June and until his birthday "did you get it yet?". 

But life changes, and circumstances change, and therefore traditions change. The last few years I've spent several holidays alone. Home alone, just George and I. 

So I created a new tradition. On holidays I find something I want to make and I make it. One year on Independence day, I made a pallet flag. I thought I had made a post about that, but I can't find it. I took step by step pics with the intention. 
Yes, I know, it only has 48 stars. 

Just this last New Years day I made a shelf for my kitchen. I can't find the pic, come visit. 

Today, thanks to Kelly for the inspiration: 
 Susie painted and took home these next 2:
 and here's mine. Instead of just painting on eyes, nose, buttons and mouth, I cut slices of wood to give it depth, texture, excitement. Those that know me well may recognize the scarf as one of the striped shirts that I wore often, but reluctantly. Often in hopes of wearing it out, reluctantly because fat guys shouldn't wear horizontal stripes according to the experts. I don't think the shirt was ever going to wear out, so I cut it up so I could quit wearing it.
The wood came from the Stewartville brush dump, in March. It's been laying next to my driveway since then, and is getting a little rotten. I like the colours of the maple, even though it's not traditional for a snowman. Of course, it's not traditional for a snowman to be made from wood. 

Why does a snowman have buttons? I think I'm going to add some arms.

Friends, be thankful for what you have, and make the best of it. If you don't have what you want, do what you need to do to get it. If you don't know what you need to do, ask me for advice. 

edit: I'm thankful for being able to realize my limitations. Some friends have sent pics of things they want, and I'm able to make those things. I'd never have thought to make these things without the inspiration. I guess what I'm saying and started to say above: I'm thankful for the friends that provide the inspiration, the challenges. And I'm thankful for the ability to figure out how to make these things. To gauge size by a pic, etc. And being able to get over the lack of initial creativity. 

If you look closely, you can see that the snowman has 3d eyes, nose, mouth and buttons. I added arms, but not symmetrical arms. Don't judge.....LOL

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

10 weeks recovery

Yes, I know today is Wednesday, and 10 weeks since the crash was on Sunday. But guess what? On Sunday afternoon, I was busy gathering wood for a project.

 On Sunday evening, I was busy watching the moon rise. 
On Monday I was at my community ed class. Tuesday night uhhhhhhhhhhhhh I don't remember what I did; I think I celebrated my printer working, by printing a huge file. Don't worry, nothing has changed....

Last Tuesday, election day I went to see my doctor, for a couple things. Mainly to talk about the victoza. She had reviewed my file from UWMadison and says I'm doing more great than any of you think. I told her it's because I'm from Iowa, but she didn't seem impressed. I went in search of the file, and found it, read some of the CTscan notes. Friends....I am a lucky dude. I think my head bled more than I initially thought. Kinda reads like it bled on 2 sides. And I punctured a kidney, but never had any blood in the pee.....that I could see. 

I had a little dizzy spell on Sunday after watching the moon. I notice a somewhat sharp pain in my abdomen when I sneeze. I'll do a little ab massage, and have George focus his purrs. LOL

I know you're wondering what class I'm taking. Or did I already mention it? I can't remember. Seems like I hardly ever remember what I post here...and it used to be that I'd always remember what I'd write...but that was when I was taking notes in high school. 

If I recall, the doc said that most people would be just now peeling themselves out of the recliner. I said I was back to work at 2 weeks.  Do most people have more tolerance for sitting around? Am I not smart enough to take it easy and rest to recover? I dunno.....I'm pretty sure that I only overdid things a couple times and not too severely. I don't think those times set me back at all....except on the Jenga project. But I finally got it done.

I built this for my community ed class projects. That was some hard wire....but I think I should have made the base just a bit larger.

What else can I tell you? My elbow does not like being used as a "kickstand" (can't prop myself on it). Recovery complete? 

Sunday, November 06, 2016

recovery, 9 weeks

For the last hour, I've been sitting here berating myself for being so out of shape. Then I listed what I accomplished, and I don't feel too bad about it. I worked in the basement for a few hours this morning, had a nap and lunch, then went out to do a few things outside. 

I didn't tell you the last 2 weeks, but the last two Sundays, I didn't go outside at all. 

And I wonder that I'm out of shape? LOL. After lunch, I cleaned my gutters. Always best to plan it when there's no plans to give anyone a massage, because it makes my hands smell bad for a day or so. Yes, I wash. The gutters were clear full, as usual, and the locust and elm tree are still covered with leaves. I may get to do it again! Yay!. One gutter to downspout connection needed repair, so that was fixed.

While the ladder is out, I better trim the tree from scraping the roof of the garage. That fiberglass pole saw has come in very handy over the years. Actually the saw sucks, but the small branch lopper is great. Just hook it over the branch and pull the rope. Do it too much tho and you'll have a sore chest.  Don't ask me how I know. LOL BTW, it helps a lot to lube pivot points of the mechanism.

Mow the lawn. Remember I mowed the flat section on week 2, and it hasn't been mowed since. Lucky it's been dry, I guess. It was much easier to start the mower today than that day, too. Maybe recovery helping. Wearing shoes also helps, can you imagine? Not going to trim....not even tempted. 

Sweep patio, haul freshly trimmed branches to the firepit. 2 wheelbarrow loads of leaves and twigs. Should be interesting, I'll put the 2 buckets of sawdust over the leaves, and then burn my bucket of scraps. Not sure when. Do you want to come over for the fire? Could make smores......last time I did that: built the fire on top of a pile of sawdust, the sawdust smoldered for about 3 days till it finally burned itself out, despite watering it before I went to bed. I've emptied the scrap bucket 3 times this year, it's a 32 gallon trash can...and the scraps are all short.

Put hose into new hose reel and store in garage. I don't like how it looked when it wrapped up, looks like the hose kinked. Normally I like kinks, but not in this application of the hose.

I guess all of that only took 2 hours. Driving a bus all day every day isn't good for me....but I hate the idea of giving up my shop time to exercise. Seems like shop time is (should be) exercise! 

Two years ago on Thanksgiving, a friend dropped off a whiskey barrel that he used as a rain barrel for a number of years, and it's been sitting on my patio ever since....I can't think of what to do with the pieces. It's rather weathered oak....and when I moved it today, the ungrateful fucker stuck a splinter into my index finger under the nail.  I understand very well why that was used as torture. 

Recovery. I had something I was going to tell you, thought of it last week. It was pretty good, too. Oh's gone now. Can I still blame the concussion?

Got the hospital bill, and it's not as much as expected. However. If I pay $100/month, it'll take 70 years.....and I don't plan to live for 70 years. So that pic thingy you've seen on FB: I'm scheduled to work up till noon on the day of my funeral....that's me. Bill indicates that insurance hasn't contributed anything. Guess I'll have to call them. But....who? the hospital or the insurance company? Maybe send the bill to oBama....since he has made it so affordable, and whatever.

Maybe I was going to comment on my sleeping? I recall complaining about it once. Sleep is good. When the bed is not hard, I always sleep well. Well, that one time in February a couple years ago I didn't sleep very well for a while. But we're not talking about that.  Used to be (since the crash) that I'd have a dizzy spell when I'd lay down in bed, but that has pretty much gone away.  I've not had occasion to assume that weird bend to the left and turn the head to look up position for a while. 

Actually. Maybe I sort of did today, when I kinda washed the basement windows. I say kinda because all I did was take a wet cloth and wash the dirt off of them. And I also wiped the screen on the other windows. (that makes a lot of difference....if you're washing your windows, try washing your screens too). It'll be nice to have a little more light in the basement. But I don't remember being dizzy today when doing that. Hmmmmmmmmmmm

Everything else, though, seems ok. I feel a slight irritation/discomfort when putting a left sock on the right foot. J/K. somehow the sock (short/crew) somehow irritates that area that was rashed? I don't know, can't be bothered to look at it.  Rashy area continue to look better and less red, Hmmmm. want a pic? Ribs? what ribs. I don't notice anything. The back pain/discomfort went away when that weird pain in front went away.  Toes continue to improve very slowly. I still only notice then when I wriggle them.  My shoes, however, continue to come apart. I'm glad again it's been a dry autumn. 

Remember how I rode the motorcycle around the neighborhood on week 6. Well, I had to go to the post office on Nov 1 or 2, so I rode it over. And then I rode to work on Friday. Felt good to ride again, friends. I might ride again this week, depends on forecast. Riding can be therapeutic, too.

Unless you crash. Thanks for caring.