Thursday, April 12, 2018

Nature!

Yesterday I saw something I have never witnessed before.

I was driving my parents to another bull sale...

This one was located in the southern center of South Dakota. 
On the way, we became aware of a large number of birds in the fields and pastures along our route.

I, and my parents and my dad's brother that was catching a ride with us had never observed these birds before.  We immediately recognized that they were cranes - sandhill type.

Apparently none of us had ever been at the right place at the right time so see this before.

(Photo from the Nebraska Flyways website)

There were THOUSANDS of them within about a 10 mile area that we drove through.

We regularly see this volume of geese where we live.  Snows, grays and canada geese. But we'd never seen the cranes before.  We live outside of their route.

It was fascinating enough as soon as I got home yesterday to do some research.

What I found that surprised me was...

80% of the population migrate through the river valley every year heading to Northern Canada, Alaska and Siberia.

The flocks will fly from 170 to 450 PER DAY.

The most surprising to me was the lifespan of these birds.  They live 20 - 40 years!
 
We saw them midmorning on the drive.  On the way home, we saw only a few flocks.  The rest had taken off for the next leg of their journey.  
 
I am so glad I got to see this, even tho it was in drive by fashion. 
 
It amazes me what our creator has created.
 
All for now, JULIE




Monday, April 2, 2018

Still looks like winter....

If it was sometime around Christmas, it would be kinda pretty!

But this late in the season, it is just pretty disgusting ;)

So, since my last post, I've been galavanting about.

First the health update.   So far, so good.  Incision is good. Very little discomfort unless I do way more than my as of late normal.  I am trying to remember to do a little muscle work on that leg each day to help build it back up.

As for the galavanting,  my parents and I went to my brothers place south of Calgary.  Funny story, when I dug out my passport for the trip, I found it had expired last fall.   I must use my passport ALOT.... lol. 

Canada let me in, but pointed out that it was expired.  We had great roads for most of the way, altho there was mucho snow all the way there.  More than my parents have ever seen on their trips up at this time of year.  While there, I helped do some cleaning in the barn and other little chores that I could be helpful with - they were preparing for their annual bull sale.  Thus the trip at this time of year :0)

Unfortunately, they were unlucky enough to draw the weather card.  Freezing rain topped with blizzard accumulations meant they had to postpone the sale.  It's coming up next week. 

We came home ( The border guard let me back in - even tho the passport....) We had crappy roads on the way back, so balanced the good luck out with some bad.  I drove most of the way, as I've found that I can't relax at all anymore when my dad drives.  

With that situation, I've come to realize that I am now The Driver.  So now, unless I absolutely can't, I will be taking the parents to dr appointments, funerals, day trips, etc.  Between the two of them, and my plans, I haven't been home much since we got back from the great north.  This week is full of appointments, too.

Last weekend was this....  Leah is getting married in August.  It was time to find a dress. 
I won't say which one she chose, but I think she picked the right one :)




I'll be doing some traveling this summer and fall to go to her home in Colorado to prep and attend the wedding there.

It's quite the drive so I'm going to be using that passport in the airports I think.  

I better get that thing updated!

All for now,
JULIE

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The end?

The Back Yard 

Pretty snow, but I'm getting to the end of my tolerance of the white stuff...

We got a big dump of snow early this week.  
We stayed home for a couple days, the mailman didn't get here until today.
The roads are icky.

I had a Dr appointment today.  Saw the orthopedic surgeon who has done all 5 of my surgeries.
Almost scared to jinx it.  But....

I didn't have to make another appointment! 
All looks good - better than before at the same points in time.

I am off of my antibiotic.  We had planned a 6 week course for good measure, but at about week 3 I started to have side effects that were with my vision.  Floaters and problems with focus.  So doctor said a month of the med was enough and go see an eye doctor to see what's going on in there.

Eye doctor saw a few changes, but he felt it was a temporary situation.  Two weeks after stopping the daily pill, I can tell my focusing is much improved.  Now to get back in shape.  I've been cleared to do whatever I do, just don't over do right away.

So in a way, an end to a chapter.  
Thank goodness :)

It's been so long that I've been dealing with this, I almost don't know where to aim next.

All for now,
JULIE
 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Out of season

I made jelly today.
It's not the season - lots of cold and snow going on.


Last fall I had a booth for my rugs at a vineyard during their Grape Stomp event.

As I was packing up at the end of the event, the owners came around and offered some grapes that hadn't been stomped that were going to go to waste.

I took some, but seriously, I really didn't have time to make jelly right then!

I was packing and selling prior to the sale of the house.
I had other events to haul to.
And I was still dealing with the recurring situation with THE INCISION....

My mom took the grapes home and extracted the juice and stuck it in the freezer.

Today I decided to clear up some space in said freezer, and now I have pints of grape jelly!

It is yummy!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Looks like winter



Winter has finally arrived in force here in my neck of the woods.  We've had a bit of snow, and of course plenty of cold this winter, but not a lot all at once or even that stuck around completely.

Last Tuesday I was to drive to my orthopedic surgeon for a recheck, but the weather told me "nope".  Blizzard type weather meant I didn't want to drive 160ish miles by myself early in the morning.

I had another appointment in the same facility with my infectious disease doctor on Friday. My mother also scheduled her procedure to upgrade/replace her pacemaker that same day.  Soooo.... the plan was to go down the day before to be there on time.  Thing is, on Thursday, we 'had to' go to a bull sale at my uncles place before we could leave.  Consequently, we didn't get headed south until after 3 PM.

Of course there was weather again.  Ugly weather.  We made it, but the last stretch that usually takes an hour, took a good two hours.  Heavy snow, dark, fluffy whiteout conditions.   Fun!  LOL

We got home Friday evening, and today my dad and I went to another bull sale about 45 miles from here.  By the time we headed home, the next batch of snow had settled in.  I think we have gotten about 9 -10 inches so far and it's not letting up.  I don't think this was forcast for that much!

The turkeys kind of struggle with the deep fluffy stuff, but at least it's not blowing like crazy - which would be normal around here.






I'm thinking my brother may just have to push some snow after this lets up, even tho he doesn't believe in doing so.  Says it goes away eventually anyway!  HAHA


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Pain in the buttocks....

I had a recheck today on my incision site this morning.  It sure is a pain to reschedule my recheck of the "buttocks", but this happened...

It started snowing yesterday and I decided I didn't want to fight 160 miles of this at 6 am this morning.  There was freezing rain yesterday between here and there, too, so I was like, nuh-uh!

Recovery from January 10 surgery is going well - hate to almost say it as I don't want to jinx the process.  Staples out, the site is calming down.  About half way thru a 6 week course of antibiotics.

My infectious disease doctor was able to identify an oral course that is not resistant to the Staph that I have/had in there- instead of twice daily iv thru a picc line.... thank goodness.  Drug was pricey, did a price check at local drug stores and price was 2100-2600$  PER WEEK.  Doctor helped me apply for a program through the drug company and I was approved for free drugs.  I'm pretty sure my medical response will be shared to help with getting this newish drug approved for more applications. Helps alot!

You know,  I'm thankful that I was not able to afford to get the available health insurance.  The positives are that I have paid less out of pocket by NOT HAVING INSURANCE.  My doctors and I also did not have to get preapproval for any of the treatments that we felt were needed, we just went ahead and did it.  

I feel I had MORE access to health care without insurance!  There are all kinds of programs and different ways to get help for paying bills if you truly have financial inability to pay.  You just have to ask and search them out.  The biggest irritation is that there is absolutely no way to find out costs prior to any visit or procedure.  I've also had basically the same procedure four times in 7 months, and the prices have changed each bill. 

So my advice is this.  Get done what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and be insistent on finding financial assistance.  Go the extra mile, keep records, and check your bills for errors.  You wouldn't believe how many I have found and had corrected.  And don't forget to ask for a discount.


It sure is pretty, but I'm ready for spring! 

If only I had a studio space, it's a perfect day to be weaving.

All for now,

Julie

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Never give up.


Some days it is a struggle.

For the most part, I still have a positive attitude this will get better.

This path that I'm on this year has been quite the deal...  The MRI showed a pocket of something down by the bone.  I was sent to an infectious disease specialist and between her, the surgeon, and me, we decided to go ahead again with another clean out of the area.

So last week I had revision #4 of the hamstring repair incision.  They attempted to remove all repair materials and cleaned and cleaned and cleaned the area down by the bone and tendon. 

The repair was very solid - good news- but we weren't able to get to all the plugs/metal without undoing the repair. 

Cultures are currently being worked on - including bone samples.  The cultures will be challenged with different antibiotics to see what works against what is in there.  Then most likely I will be on a long term regimen of antibiotics - possibly even IV delivery. 

This go 'round is more uncomfortable.  Bone pain and a new experience - they used staples to close instead of sutures.  I'm still fighting nausea from the pain meds, some swelling,  and am very tired and puny feeling.

At least it's winter - I'm not looking outdoors at green grass and nice weather :)

I'd like to think I will start working on something creative, but I'm not feeling it yet.

My pup Cooper is a good companion, he likes to snuggle...

All for now, JULIE