Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day 364 of 365

An amazing thing happened yesterday. Something that might appear commonplace to everyone else was big for me.

I took a shower in the morning.

For all the years and years I worked, I always took my showers in the morning. Then when I hurt my back at work I spiraled into the pain-filled life. Then the arthritis got worse, the knee had to be replaced, and both shoulders had to be repaired. For all that time - over two and a half years now - the pain and stiffness consumed my mornings. It was debilitating enough that I couldn't get myself showered. I resigned myself to only showering in the late morning when the joints warmed up or in the evening before bed.

But not yesterday. I got myself in that shower. For the first time since 2009 my body let me take a shower in the morning.

I wanted to jump for joy. I wanted to laugh. I want to cry. I wanted to run around the house saying I took a shower out loud. I did none of those things. I kept it inside. I went to work, knowing that I had accomplished something I never thought I would ever get to do again.

It's amazing how I took life for granted. I didn't know how good I had it before I got hurt. Taking a shower in the morning. Such an inconsequential thing to most made my day.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to do it again today. After sitting in meetings for nine straight hours yesterday, my body isn't happy. But that's okay. I got yesterday.

And today I got a picture of something that, unfortunately, survived winter. Hubby's kale.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Apricot Shortbread Cookies Recipe - Day 363 of 365, Tutorial Tuesday

Today's tutorial was born out of necessity.

Hubby wanted dessert. Usually his first choice is a pie but we had no frozen pies, no cherry pie filling, and he wasn't interested in turning the red delicious apples into a pie or our frozen peaches into a crisp. We've had a cake mix in the cabinet for months now, but cakes typically don't tickle his fancy.

Which left cookies. While he enjoys eating the rejects when I make sugar cookies, they're not his favorite. I went through the whole list of backup alternatives - peanut butter, snickerdoodles, gingersnaps, oatmeal, chocolate chip. And with only one egg left in the house (yeah, grocery shopping is looming over my head again) the choices were limited.

Shortbread cookies, a recipe that requires no eggs, won out. Shortbread cookies with the leftover dried apricots. He loved them (yay), but once I dipped them in melted chocolate they became one of the best darn cookies we've ever eaten.

Unfortunately, the dipping in chocolate part didn't make it into the tutorial. But you've seen me do enough chocolate to know how that part works.
Click on the video below to see how they're made:

Monday, February 27, 2012

Day 362 of 365

It's getting closer, except...

I didn't count on there being a February 29th this year. That means to complete a full year I need 366 days. All these days - all 362 of them - I've been claiming "Day ___ of 365".

So that leaves a quandry. Do I celebrate on Day 365 or make it an official year at Day 366? Do I celebrate for two days? Do I celebrate on Day 365, take Day 366 off (like a bonus day), then start on Year Two the following day?

Decisions, decisions!

At least it's a cheery decision, cheery like the yellow crocus blooming in my front flower bed.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Day 361 of 365

On this Sunday last year I was living at my daughter's. Two months out from shoulder surgery, I was still in my sling and could only use one arm. My daughter was at work and I was doing what I usually did when I was at her place. I was sitting where I slept - in the recliner - and flipping through the local channels (no cable).

I came across the Daytona 500. I rarely ever watched car races, but knowing I was heading home the following week and would need something to talk to my husband about when I returned, I chose the car race. When I got home, I did talk to him about it.

That conversation started our NASCAR routine. Our weekends from March - November began to revolve around race time. And here it is, Daytona 500 day again. Our schedule was going to revolve around the race today, but it was postponed due to rain.

I wish my car was getting that Florida rain. After driving in snow and rain and then a couple days of huge windstorms blowing dirt from the farmers' fields around, my car, even though it has been under the carport, is a mess.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day 360 of 365

I hesitate to say it. I'm afraid if I say it, it won't really come true. It's almost too impossible to believe.

I think this new medication I started after last week's visit to the rheumatologist is working. I think the pain is decreasing.

I first noticed it these past couple days. Over the past several years, stiffness in my joints has prevented me from getting dressed in the morning. The excruciating pain has kept me from doing anything for a few hours until the joints get warmed up. During this entire school year I've had to be up several hours before work time so I could ease into everything. Lots of wincing occurred every morning.

But these last couple days the wincing has subsided. While the stiffness remains, the pain associated with it appears to be diminishing. Not gone, but lessened. I want to be optimistic, thinking I'm going to head into my 365th day feeling unlike I've felt before. (At least unlike I've felt in 10 years or so.) I want to be excited, but I need to wait and see.

I can't even imagine what path my life would take without pain.

I don't know what to think about it. I do know what to think about the blackberry buckle. Yum.