Monday, August 26, 2013

Personal Progress, Gardening Successes and More

We’ve had some terrific weather during the last week. The nights have been around 50 degrees and the days topping out at 80 degrees. There’s been very little rain and the breezes make things even more pleasant. It’s nice to sit out on the deck and watch the hummingbirds fight over whose turn it is to be at the feeder. There are three of them now. That may be the result of a successful fledgling of a youngster. There were only two earlier in the year. The female seems more tolerant of the other female/fledgling but the male simply does not want to share. Sometimes he chases the other two around the yard and they buzz about like miniature fighter planes.


Today, my knees are six weeks old. They still hurt and probably will for a long time, but there’s been tremendous progress made. I’m comfortably walking quarter miles on the flat surface of the deck. (Thirty feet—ten yards—from end to end. Forty-four round trips equals 440 yards. Sure, it gets a little boring but there are moments. Like when there’s a bald eagle soaring overhead, an indigo bunting flitting around the edge of the yard, or a pileated woodpecker flying back and forth. Or the day a military transport(?) flew over the mountain from the southwest j-u-s-t high enough to clear the windmills, low enough to almost see the pilot’s face, and then seemed to drop even lower as it flew north over the valley. Probably heading to Fort Drum.)

In addition to walking/pacing twice a day, I’m doing my exercises at home at least once a day. I wear 2.5 pound weights on each ankle while doing leg lifts and what I call line dance (forward, back, side, and cross-over steps for each leg). Then there’s step-ups (forward and side), mini-squats and lunges. Finally there are the heel slides. (Lay on your back. Put a strap on your foot. Pull the heel back toward your butt as far as you can and hold it there for a count of ten.) It takes about half an hour to do the exercises.

I’ve been going downtown to Elite Therapy three times a week for two+ hour sessions under their watchful eye and on their machines. That will switch this week as I will be reduced to just two sessions a week for a while. They are putting me in the pool for one of those sessions.

I’m still taking stairs one leg at a time. Good leg leads up and bad leg leads down. I’m this close to going up in a normal fashion, but down…. That’s going to be a little longer. Walking uneven surfaces like the lawn or the woods is doable, but slow. 

Terry has been my designated driver. Until she left for Poland, that is. Luckily, the physician and my right leg have agreed that I'm okay to drive the Tundra on my own. It's got an automatic transmission so the fact that my left knee/leg is what I consider my 'bad" leg has little affect on my driving ability.


Terry, her sister and their mother are in Poland. They landed there late Saturday afternoon following a long flight from JFK. They will visit family and tour parts of the country until next Sunday. Then it’s back to the US of A.


The garden has been winding down as to be expected as August turns into September. 

The squash vine borer has done its thing and all the zucchini and winter squash have died off—thank goodness. Terry put several quart bags of shredded zucchini in the freezer. (Takes up less space than breads in that form.) She also sliced several yellow squash and froze them. We also have half dozen acorn and butternut squash from four plants Joe gave us. The stringbeans have stopped producing--or we've just stopped picking--and we’ve enjoyed them and snow peas for several months while still putting some into the freezer for the future. I dug up the onions the other day. Virtually every set I put in yielded an onion 3-4 inches in diameter. That means ¼ bushel of yellow and ¼ bushel of white onions for the winter stews and soups. A small number of beet plants are still growing. They're the second planting and, if they survive, we should get a couple of nice meals out of them.

 The surprise this summer has been the tomatoes. Four cherry tomato plants and two Rutgers plants have yielded and yielded and yielded. Right now I can harvest a quart of cherry tomatoes every two days. Terry turned some into spaghetti sauce, we’ve eaten tons in salads and given several quarts away and still they ripen. While they taste like candy, there’s only so many you can eat at a time! And the Rutgers have been almost as prolific. Sliced they make a great BLT sandwich. Quartered, salted and peppered they are a nice side dish or snack. I’ve got to figure a way to preserve some more before I get completely inundated. The output is nice, but I’m about ready to say. “Enough is enough!” The previous two years we got very little out of the tomatoes. The blight took the plants just as the bulk of the fruit was about to ripen. This year I fertilized the plants with Miracle Gro with calcium. That seems to have kept the blight in check.

Two quarts of cherry tomatoes plus a passel of Rutgers. Care to try some?

That's about all for now, but I promise I'll be writing more soon. I've been looking at the upcoming college football schedule and realize it starts this Thursday. I'll be posting more on the Top 25 teams and their games in the next day or two.


threecollie said...

Glad to hear that the knee is coming along so well. Going to be able to hunt this fall?

joated said...

One of my goals, threecollie. The therapists have one exercise called resistance walking. Basically you drag someone across the floor. Should be able to drag a deer far enough to get to with the ATV or tractor. Now, I just have to get to my sitting spot. (Climbing a tree stand might be iffy!)

Rev. Paul said...

Sounds like you're making great progress, although I'm sure you want it to be even faster/stronger/better.