Saturday, January 20, 2018


On January 11th, the day of Terry's knee surgery, the temps around here were in the high 50s. The next day they reached 60+ with lots of rain. That changed quickly as the temps dropped with the rain on the night of the 12th. We ended with about 1/4 inch of ice covered by about six inches of snow that fell from Friday night through the day Saturday. Luckily, Terry was home already so there was no need to go rushing up to Corning Hospital for visiting. Instead, I spent three hours Sunday using the snowblower to clear the driveway. The ice stayed. And the temperatures remained below freezing for nearly a week.

During that week, we also had another snowfall broken into two three inch episodes--with a visiting therapists sandwiched in between. Of course, I had to shovel the first three inches to clear the drive for the PT. Three hours done by hand left my hobbling almost as badly as Terry! The next day, I went out and shoveled the second three inches--also by hand. So, all in all, I spent nine hours over four days in single to barely double digit temps shoveling snow that was, thankfully, light and fluffy.

Yesterday, Friday, the sun came out and started to melt some of the snow on the roof and deck. Today, it's also sunny with temps into the mid 40s. The driveway still has a thick layer of ice that even a little salt and a lot of ashes haven't helped melt but the predicted warm temps (more 40s) and rain may eventually make a dent in that ice.

Terry has been hobbling around the house with the help of a walker and is progressing nicely after having had a partial replacement of her left knee. She's taken over the first floor bedroom (our normally "cat free zone") with easy access to her sewing room and the bathroom. Julie cat won't let her go anywhere without her--including the "cat free" bedroom. She (Julie wants to cuddle and cleave to her mommy to the point that she will miss a meal if need be.

Terry has 24 staples along the main incision into her left knee and another four each at holes above and below that; holes that must have been made for the assisting robot to hold her leg in position. All 32 staples will be removed on Tuesday over in Wellsboro. The visiting PT has given her exercises to do and has monitored her activity around the house twice now and she also is impressed with Terry's progress. Still, Terry is complaining that the staples are limiting her motion as they pull when she bends her leg doing exercises.

I'm trying to remember what my own progress was like back in 2013, but our situations aren't very similar. I had both knees totally replaced and then spent four days in the old Corning Hospital before being moved over to St. Joe's in Elmira for rehab and introductory PT. Terry was in on Thursday and sent home on Friday having had only two sessions with a therapist to give her an idea of the exercises she should do at home.

Meanwhile, on top of my snow shoveling duties, I'm doing all the cooking and cleaning with plenty of verbal assistance either from the sewing room, bedroom or directly over my shoulder. (Cooking has been relatively easy. Terry roasted a turkey on Wednesday before her surgery so we had two-three days of left overs before I froze the rest of the bird. Spaghetti, venison steak, salmon fillet, scallops...nothing super fancy and most of it done easily enough in a frying pan on the stove top.)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

January 10th. Winter. BAH! Humbug!


Almost a month since my last post. Christmas has come and gone. New Year's, too. We've had one--count it, ONE--snowfall that required shoveling. But we have had many, many days where the high temperature was under 20 degrees F and the low was below 0 degrees.

I continue to feed three outdoor cats as well as the six indoor kitties. I've built two insulated shelters for the outdoor girls and on the real cold nights at least two of them make use of those shelters. Where the third goes, I have only have a few ideas--under the shed, under the hunting camp 150 yards down hill, or, perhaps, there's a hidden den on the hill somewhere among the branches and grape vines I've piled up.

I've also been feeding the fireplace during the cold weather. I may actually burn all the firewood I've had stacked behind the garage--some of which has been there for three years. That's a good thing as some of it is starting to get a little punky. Mostly the softer poplar. It's also okay because I've some wood left from the crew that cleaned the powerline right of way to harvest as well as several birch, ash and maple trees I want to fell. As soon as the wind drops and the weather warms a bit.

We didn't go into New Jersey on Christmas Eve because of weather forecasts of several inches of snow that we would have had to drive through on the way home. (That "storm" turned into a dud producing only an inch of snow at the Aerie.) We DID manage to get into NJ on January 7th for my grandniece's first birthday. NJ, of course, had a heck of a lot more snow than we did having just suffered the snowmagedon of the year.

Tiadaghton Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count took place on January 1st. While the temperature was hovering between 5 and 6 degrees most of the morning, we did have very little wind and mostly sunny skies. We also got to see quite a few more birds than last year. Las year we may have spotted 15 BIRDS. This year we spotted 15 species and 270 birds. We did our birding from the car and covered 78 miles of back roads in central Tioga County--the southern edge of our club's circle. The club had a total of 52 species and 3670 birds within our circle.

Terry and I have decided upon--and booked--a cruise of the lower Mississippi for May. We'll be on the Mississippi Queen, a paddlewheeler of the American Cruise Lines. The boat leaves New Orleans on April 28 sailing up the Mississippi to Vicksburg and then returns to New Orleans on May 5th so we'll be on the water for Terry's birthday (May 3rd). We've also decided to drive down and back so as to add a possible side trip to either Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri (to see Doug and Lucille) or to Columbia, SC (to see Jim and Pat). At almost $900 per person round trip for a flight out of Philly to New Orleans, we may actually save money driving!

Terry will be getting a partial knee replacement tomorrow at the Corning Hospital. She's bone on bone and in significant pain that shots have not helped alleviate. She has the same doctor doing her knee as I had replace both my knees. This time, however, he'll be supervising a robot that will do the surgery. Maybe she'll have less leg bruising than I did. Both my legs were balck and blue after surgery.

Well, I guess that pretty much sums up the last month or so.