Grey-Haired Coed

Friday, June 30, 2006


I thought I should explain about the connection that existed between me and my mother. During times that one of us was very ill, the other knew about it. I'm talking about times when we were separated by many, many miles....
Here are a couple of examples:
When my husband and I were stationed at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, I had a feeling something was wrong with my mother. This was in the early 1970's... no cell phones...and the Base phones were only for local calls. The feeling wouldn't go away, and I knew I HAD to contact her (or my father) to see what was wrong.
My husband checked around, and found out that there was a ham radio operater on the Base, and he could connect with another ham operater in the States. That guy could then connect by phone to my parent's phone. I could speak, then say 'over' and the two operaters would click their switches so mom or dad could then speak to me.
After about 20 minutes, the connection was set up. The ham operater in the States had explained how it worked when my Dad answered the phone.
I began by saying, "Hi, Dad. This is Sharon. How is Mom? Over."
After a brief pause, I heard my Dad say, "She's doing fine now. The operation was a success, and it wasn't cancer after all. Over."
Apparently, at that point, I fainted. My husband grabbed me before I hit the floor, and he finished the conversation with my Dad...
It wasn't till we were back in the States visiting them a couple years later that Dad said something like, "It was sure nice of Paster Coffey to get the Red Cross to contact you that time your Mom was so sick."
I just looked at him..."Dad, no one contacted us! I just knew something was wrong!"

Then, several years later, Dale and I were living in California. His ship was out on maneuvers, and my son and I were alone for a month. I became very ill. Another Navy wife came to check on me often and even took my son to her house for a couple days.
One night I got really bad...fever... aching...coughing... I remember lying on the couch feeling so very sorry for myself. I started crying and actually was calling out for Mom! I wanted to call her, just to hear her voice, but it was only 5 am in Minnesota, and I didn't want to wake her up. So I just lay there, crying and saying, "Mom, mom, mom." About ten minutes later, the phone rang, and it was Mom!
I was so surprised! "Oh, Mom. How did you know I needed to talk to you?" I asked her.
"Sharon," she said, "You just woke me up out of a sound sleep! I had to convince your Dad that I needed to call you! What's the matter?"

Call it ESP or whatever... It happened over and over again.
So I guess that's why I woke up yesterday calling for her...

Thursday, June 29, 2006



Do not be desirous of having things done quickly.
Do not look at small advantages.
Desire to have things done quickly
prevents their being done thoroughly.
Looking at small advantages
prevents great affairs from being accomplished.

- Confucius

But I want the pain in my knee to be gone NOW!!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!! I woke my 63 year old self up a little while ago - - - crying and calling out for my mother!!! (she passed away two years ago)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Walk in the Grocery Store...

Well, the grocery store walk yesterday probably wasn't such a good idea... knee so sore and stiff today... had to use the crutches to navigate this morning... Sooo... took it easier today, some laundry, dish washing, etc. Then did my exercises and iced the knee for a while.
Darn it! I want to heal up! I want to work in my flower beds again! I want to be able to shop for groceries!

Sorry, just had to vent a little...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A First Today...

This morning I made my first trip in to town since my surgery. I've been doing all my exercises, and I felt that the knee would bend properly, so off I went to the grocery store. It felt good to be driving again!
As I maneuvered my way through the store (leaning on the cart!) I felt pretty good that I could manage this 'normal' activity again. By the time I reached the check-out, the knee was pretty sore, and I was glad to be able to sit down in the car once again. My son was home when I returned, and carried the bags into the house for me and up the stairs.
With this activity under my belt, I felt bold enough to give one of our dogs a bath this afternoon! It was just a bath and fluff dry, tomorrow I will do her haircut. (poodles, you know...) Normally, I can do both in one session, but need to sit down and rest the leg...
Soooo..... healing is happening, not as quickly as I would like, but it is happening!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Weather Vane...

My son putting up the new weather vane on the garage. It was a Father's Day present for my husband.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Things To Do When You Are Healing After Surgery...

I like to read lists, so thought I'd make one about what happens after knee surgery. Bear with me. These are some of the things I am doing during my 'healing time':

1. Use the crutches. When I don't, the pain is much worse.
2. Let the people who love me do things for me, even though it makes me feel useless.
3. Apply the ice pack after doing the required exercises, or I will pay later!
4. Use a pillow (or two) to elevate the knee when sleeping.
5. Take naps.
6. Find 'sit-down' things to do: balancing checkbook, write out bills, work on computer, sew, type for 'Seeing Hands', do anachrostic word puzzles (my passion).
7. Watch TV while doing any of the above.
8. Try not to eat too much.
9. Do everything much slower than I'm used to: showering, dressing, walking, sitting down...
10. Hang on to something sturdy when rising from a sitting position.
11. Start for the bathroom at the first feeling I may need to go... otherwise.... well, you get the idea.
12. When my little dog wants to jump in my lap, catch her quickly before her toenails dig into the incisions on my knee.
13. Let my husband and son cook. They do it so well anyway!
14. Wash the dishes, but sit down often while doing so.
15. Try not to smoke too much.
16. Drink lots of water. (See #11)
17. Count the days when I will be back to 'normal', whatever that is!
18. Thank husband and son often for all they do to help me!
19. Read blogs.
20. Wonder if surgery will really make knee better/less painful/more mobile.

Friday, June 23, 2006

A New Day...

First day of summer... What a glorious beginning!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I'm Good To Go!....

My son drove me to Park Rapids this morning to see the orthopedic surgeon. His nurse removed the dressing and took out the stitches. Then she applied 'steri-strips'. Dr. said everything looked good, to continue my exercises, and call if I have any problems. I asked him if I could drive yet, and he said 'yes'. So I asked him to let my son know so he wouldn't think I was pushing it...
Bless his heart, he has hauled me to drs. twice this week with absolutely no complaint!
The knee is still stiff, and it will be some time before I walk without the crutches or cane, but I know that that time will come soon!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Back From the Dr....

Well... I got scolded... by my dr.!!! Doing too much, too soon. And I thought I'd been really careful! Anyway... his nurse soaked the whole mess with saline, then cut and peeled it off... yueck...
Then the dr. examined it and said one incision is just taking a while to heal over. He rebandaged everything, and told me how to change the dressing myself tomorrow.
So when I go back to the surgeon on Thursday, I won't be able to drive after all. Have to rely on my son again. He drove me in today. He says he doesn't mind, but oh, how I hate to bother anyone!!!!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

A Little Bump in the Road to Recovery...

I've really been doing well since the surgery. I've had much less pain than I expected, can move around a lot better than I thought I would, sleeping well... But... the wound/incision/stitches whatever, is still bleeding! Not gushing or anything, but seeping through the surgical bandage, the gauze, and the ACE wrap!!! So tomorrow morning, my son is taking me into the clinic to have my dr. look it over. Maybe I accidentally pulled a stitch or something... I don't know. I just want it to stop!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Getting Better and Better...

Feeling MUCH better today... Remember that line from 'Night Court'? Harry's long, lost stepfather is released from a mental instutition. His classic line is, "But I'm feeling MUCH better now!" Don't know why, but that always cracked me up.

I've been using the ice cuff thing and doing the exercises. I quit the strong pain killers. Made me want to throw up! So just over the counter Tylenol for Arthritis.

My husband finished the mowing this morning, did some laundry and made supper! I'm feeling spoiled! Our son did the dishes (twice), and helped me several times.

I'm getting pretty bored, however. I'm used to being busy all day... but yesterday in the mail was the latest package of books from Seeing Hands. I do typing for them. I type out the book, then email it to them. They then take the file I send and put it through a program that prints it out in Braille. They re-assemble the books with a page of regular print next to a Braille page. They are designed for blind children who have seeing parents who can read along with them. Neat idea! I've been typing books for them for about 3 years now. Makes me feel like I'm helping a little bit...

Typing is something I can do even with a gimpy leg!

Send Loralee some good wishes. She is out of commission and can't use her computer at all!!! She has a dear friend who is posting for her during the hiatus.

And we need some rain!!! Yesterday on the way to the hospital (35 miles west of here) we drove through a downpour. However, none of it dropped over our place at all! Things are getting too dry! When you live in the middle of a forest, you don't want things dry, believe me!

Tomorrow is Father's Day. If you are fortunate to have a father near by, give him a big hug! Mine has been gone for 24 years now, and I still miss him very much...

Friday, June 16, 2006

And now the pain...

Surgery over. Dr. 'cleaned up' the knee joint, removed bits of cartilage, polished something, fixed tendon...
Now learning how to use crutches, trying to remember to take pain medication on time, icing and elevating the knee...
It's going to be a long night...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Knee Surgery Tomorrow...

Tomorrow morning at 9:30, I will have arthoscopic surgery on my right knee. Dr. Johnson from Headwaters Orthopedics will be my surgeon.

He told me it would take about 3 hours, then I go home with crutches, a prescription for pain medication, and exercises to do. Can't drive for a week... at least. Total recovery takes from 4 to 6 weeks.

So... wish me luck! (can you tell I'm nervous? scared? worried?)

My Sewing Went to Washington, D.C.!!!

Mert's Crew and Congressman James Oberstar.

Mert Lego and his daughters and niece have cooked a spring barbecue for area legislators for many years. This spring they were invited to go to Washington, D.C. to cook there. His daughter, Gina Moore, asked me to make special chef's aprons for the event.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Flower Garden...

Couldn't resist this shot. You can see the last of some of the irises, the beginnings of the day lilies, and the hardy shrub roses showing off! Some of the sedum that crawls all over the rocks are starting to bloom, also. I love the sedum. It grows almost anywhere, doesn't need much care at all, and looks great blooming or not.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bonnets Done!!!

No directions... playing by ear on these, but they turned out! Made the ribbons from the left-overs of the dress - cut two-inch wide strips, then folded inward twice and sewed.

Christening Dresses Finished!!!!

Now I need to find ribbon to match the satin to put on the bonnets...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Christening Dresses...

One of the satin 'underskirts'. Next step was to serge side seams then hem bottom.

Tulle 'overskirts'. I appliqued two lace inserts that were on sleeves of original wedding dress on to the front of each overskirt. Then basted the overskirts to the underskirts.

Six little sleeves waiting to be inserted...

Man, I need a break!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Lawn Mower Man...

My hubby, the 'Lawn Mower Man' keeping the yard absolutely beautiful!

Fun Project...

One of my customers asked me to make a set of six 'bean bags' for a game board someone made for her. They are 7 inches square. I made inner bags of cotton to hold the beans securely, then the outer bags are nylon so they will slide properly on the board. For the nylon bags, I serged the seams to prevent fraying.
Although she didn't ask for lettering, I thought it really added something to the finished project.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

And Two More...

Here are two more pictures of the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth. I can't help it...they are so fun to watch, and a challenge to photograph! I know as soon as the lilacs are done blooming, they will be gone, so pardon me for enjoying this SO much!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Lovely Lilacs...

I've always loved lilacs. We have had several bushes of French lilacs on the west side of our yard for years. They bloom very little, probably because there is not enough sun there. So a few years ago, we bought a 'Korean' lilac bush and planted it beside the house. It is now about 10 feet tall and at least 8 feet wide. It is blooming right now, and the blossoms cover the bush from ground to the top of the bush! The sweet fragrance is overwhelming!
The hummingbirds, butterflies, and moths just love this bush! They are drinking their fill every day that the bush is in bloom!
Two little visitors had me looking on the internet for more information. They looked like very tiny (2 inch) hummingbirds, but they had antennae(see one in the top picture).. turns out they are 'Hummingbird Clear Wing' moths!

Second picture is of an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. (I had to look that one up, too!)
Third picture is of a Monarch butterfly. Last picture is of the Hummingbird Clear Wing moth again, but you have to really look for him!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Gonna Be A Bear...

Friday, June 02, 2006

Wild Rain!!!

Last night was awesome! Clouds built up slowly during the early evening. Temperatures began to cool down. The birds were especially busy, gathering bits and pieces for their evening meals...
Then nothing.
I had hoped for some rain. The grass was getting dry, I was tired of pulling the hose around to water my flower beds...
Went to bed about 11:00 and knee kept me awake. I watched lightning flash through my bedroom windows, and the thunder began to be closer and louder. Maybe... I thought.
Then about midnight it came. Great large drops hitting the roof, lightning flashing, and almost at the same time thunder crashing! I got up to sit at the table in the living room so I could watch the storm through the picture window. Sony followed me, and wanted me to hold her. I guess the noise makes her nervous.
The rain was wonderful! The earth seemed to just soak it up like a sponge! This morning, as the sun came out and was shining on the garage roof, steam rose up from the roof! It looked almost like the garage was on fire!
Today everything looks about twice as green as it did yesterday! The pine and birch pollen that has covered EVERYTHING was washed away.
Wow, it was wonderful!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Officially Summer???

I always think of June 1st as the start of summer. Maybe it's from over 30 years of teaching, and school was usually out by this time.

So with my bunged up knee, my activity level is lower than usual... (not that I was a speed demon before)... still managed to get a couple loads of laundry done (wishing my washer and dryer were not in the basement!!!), weeded in my flower bed a little, drove to town for a couple errands, washed some dishes... Man, the level of excitement is overwhelming to say the least! Oh, and I took a nap for an hour, too.

My son hung up another hummingbird feeder and a suet feeder for me today. He put them on opposite ends of my screen porch so I can watch any bird activity in the comfort of that little haven!