Monday, October 31, 2022
Sunday, October 30, 2022
Friday, October 28, 2022
I want to thank everyone who offered their kindness about Mark's and my health problems. It's a bit overwhelming but we are doing ok with it.
I want to clarify my own issue. This is something I've been coping with for over two years. It actually started in 2019 but I didn't think much about it then. Just aching and fatigue in my legs which then became lower back pain but nothing that stopped me from doing things. Over the past couple of years it has become worse. I have been seeking medical attention. Initially it was thought I had spinal stenosis, which I don't. I've been through physical therapy and pain management. Frankly, I started to give up. Then Mark's diagnosis happened. I was sinking further into fatalism, then somehow I snapped out of it.
I realize I need to push more. I'm an older, overweight woman who presents with pain. I'm told to exercise more, lose weight, do stretching, etc. There has been no testing for a medical condition, other than the initial spinal stenosis thought. Then I'm told to take pain medication. Mark wants to be with me on this visit because he has come to understand women get ignored. He wants to advocate for me and I've decided to let him. There are many conditions with my symptoms but none of them are being addressed. I went, over the course of a couple of years, from an active person caring for a lot of horses, a large house and property to someone who can barely cross a room. I tend toward stoicism so perhaps I'm not adequately expressing myself. I'm also fairly accomplished at pushing things aside and feeling all will be fine if I only do "this". None of "this" is working.
Anyway, I appreciate being able to express these things here and I appreciate the kindness I receive. I have to wait a couple of weeks for the appointment but this time I expect more.
Thursday, October 27, 2022
We are on a medical mystery tour. Mark had a biopsy on several areas of the prostate and four of the five are cancerous. He has a bone scan scheduled for next week as bone cancer is common with prostate cancer. We have a consult appointment with the urologist the following week. He saw the dermatologist yesterday and a cancerous area that was removed on his arm looks concerning to him so he has referred Mark to another clinic that can do imaging testing on it. Mark has always been fit and healthy. This is a shock for both of us.
Now my part of the medical mystery tour. I am regressing physically. I now need a cane to walk, it's no longer just added support. I wear out and become out of breath quickly. I had just mopped about ten square feet of the living room floor and had to quit. So I decided while I rested I'd write about the problems. After the news with Mark I didn't want to deal with my own health but today I decided not to wait and made an appointment for myself. It's time this gets treated like something serious.
So, that's the story. The old fogies are falling apart before their very eyes. Well, I'm visibly falling apart. Mark still looks ten years younger than he actually is. People are going to start thinking I'm his mother.
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Bill plans to fix my wood pellet stove on Saturday. That will mean all of my heating options should be good to go before the long winter sets in. Then we just need to pick up a pallet of pellets. We have waited just incase it doesn't work.
I roasted a pie pumpkin yesterday for future pumpkin pie. It's been several years since I have made a pie. I tend toward galettes these days, so much easier. I also roasted a sheet pan of tomatoes that were getting soft, the last from the garden. That roasting turned into dinner with sausage and kalamata olives. Dinner took the time it takes for pasta to cook. Can't beat that!
Monday, October 24, 2022
Sunday, October 23, 2022
Saturday, October 22, 2022
Friday, October 21, 2022
Thursday, October 20, 2022
I seem to have recovered from the shock of buying an unexpected new furnace. I had a whopper of a headache yesterday. The body does not like stress.
The son's brother-in-law got the results from the Mayo. They aren't good. Inclusion Body Myositis. I was interested because what was relayed to me about his symptoms and a lack of diagnosis is very much like my own. I hope I don't have this because it is progressive, thought to be an autoimmune disorder. I do have something to present to my doctor, which is good and I don't need to go to Mayo to have the tests done. It's someplace to turn, other than take acetaminophen and try to walk more.
It's a nice day with filtered sunshine. Mark needed to go to a client in the northern suburbs of the twin cities this morning. He said he and the bookkeeper stood outside in the sun being Chatty Cathy. She is a new grandmother and is over the moon. Her positivity made him feel good.
On the home life side of things, I have a stock simmering for smoked ham, white bean and fennel soup. Misfits Market finally had fennel. They have a much better price than the local market so I wait for it to be available. Of course tomorrow will be in the upper 60s F and the weekend in the 70s, but it's still autumn and that makes it soup weather, no matter the temperature. Mark has been fussing over eggplant I haven't used so I will be roasting it and onions and tomatoes for another soup. I cut the stems with the fronds from the fennel and processed it as I do basil; in the food processor with olive oil, then in an ice cube tray and frozen. Store in the freezer in a bag. Waste not, want not. The never ending excitement of the mostly homebound.
That's about it from my little patch of this earth. May life be good to you.
Wednesday, October 19, 2022
It's bad news on the furnace. It has to be replaced. The phrase "they don't make them like they used to" certainly applies. The furnace is 12 years old. The one it replaced was 25 years old. He ordered the new one and will put it in on Tuesday. Fortunately it's warming up so it will be ok. Like it or not, we live in a very cold climate and must have a furnace. It's a good thing I preserved all those tomatoes.
So that's the news. Scott asked about my greyhounds and Howard. Mark commented on Scott's remembering them. Scott said he's been here a lot over the past twenty years. True.
If I had anything more to say it's been lost in the maze of my muddled-from-surprise brain. I think I need a glass (or three) of wine.
Tuesday, October 18, 2022
I got a call from the hvaq guy asking if I would do him a big favor. Could he come tomorrow? Yes, of course. It's not warm in here by any means but we are probably better off than most people calling him right now.
Mark had the biopsy, he said it was relatively painless and quick. He should have the results in a week. So, the wait isn't over yet.
I made a tomato sauce this morning with some of the remaining fresh tomatoes and lots of garlic; we can have garlic again now the biopsy is done. Hurrah!! I also made meatballs which are now simmering in the sauce. I don't cook the meatballs first, I simmer them in the sauce, I really do prefer the texture. I also don't use egg as a binding agent, I use milk. The meatballs are delicious clouds when made this way.
It was 55 F in the kitchen this morning. It was 21 F outside, so no surprise there. It's supposed the reach 40. My coffee goes cold fast, so does the food. I won't say we are roughing it, though. That would be ridiculous. But, it's still chilly.
Monday, October 17, 2022
Sunday, October 16, 2022
Saturday, October 15, 2022
I think Keetah is lamenting being stuck in the middle again. Mark also has his very own cat, Miss Jiggs. She adores him and shows utter disdain for me. Frieda adores her comfy throw on the ottoman.
It's a cold sunshiney day. We are entering the long winter season and that's alright with me.
Friday, October 14, 2022
Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Today I've made green tomato salsa verde with unripened Romas. The tomatoes were a very light green so the end result isn't vibrant in color but it is good in flavor. I got a jar for the refrigerator and three containers for the way over-packed freezer. If I squeeze these in there won't be room for a toothpick in there. There is another version of salsa verde other than the Mexican. There's an Italian salsa verde which is made with capers. It's apples and oranges.
I also made Pesto Rosso with the Romas and Pesto d'Oro with the yellow plums I dehydrated yesterday. Two jars for the refrigerator and two for the freezer. Read the above state of the freezer.
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
Monday, October 10, 2022
Not to sound like a broken record, but, another quiet day on the farm. We took a trip to Edina for my lab work this morning. It's a longish drive but otherwise uneventful. The young man got into my difficult vein without drama.
Mark called Neighbor Bill after lunch. We have been invited to visit at 2:30 this afternoon. Bill is tired but I think doing ok. It will be good to visit.
I wanted to do a brief update since a few people have expressed concern for Bill. I'll know more later today. Now I'm going to place an Aldi order for pick up tomorrow. This is the extent of my eventless life at the moment! Eventless isn't necessarily a bad thing, I know.
Saturday, October 8, 2022
Thursday, October 6, 2022
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Back to basics.
I made a blueberry clafoutis yesterday. I haven't baked in a couple of years, other than bread. The custardy bit looks anemic because I needed to use all the berries, which was five cups. Normally it's three cups, but it is good and blueberry abundant!
Tuesday, October 4, 2022
Frieda was sitting on her piano, the upright sitting position, in profile. She has a pretty profile. I saw the lovely light and the lovely kitty and decided to take a photograph. I messed around with the framing of it too long, when I finally got around to taking that photo, Frieda had left the picture. No tortoiseshell but the light is pretty. The rocking horse belonged to my son, my husband at the time knew someone who made them. I am fond of it.
Monday, October 3, 2022
We have stayed in contact with our immediate neighbor from Saint Paul these almost thirty years. Mark has continued to do his taxes. He drives out here twice a year and it's such a pleasure to see him, even though he is a dyed-in-the-wool trumper. We work at avoiding that topic. We like him and he likes us, so we just push that difference to the side. Which is easy when you see one another about two hours a year.
Lately, I need something to prod me into action. Jack's coming today is the prod. He and his wife, Carolyn, always knew me as an organized person with a clean house. HA!!! I don't want to shock Jack's system. Carolyn told me one time that my house looked like no one lived in it. I'm afraid that kind of organization is no longer in the cards, and that is a good thing. I am not such a tight-ass anymore.
I need company more often. The house could be crumbling around us and Mark wouldn't notice. That man spends a lot of his time somewhere else, even when he's standing right in front of me. I never have to worry about a nagging husband, so it's not really a complaint, just a wonder how two people can be so opposite. In our case it works well. I can't be told what to do and he doesn't care what I do as long as he eats!
Onto another story: Mark just brought in the herbs I'm going to, once again, try to overwinter. The sage and rosemary did make it last year. The sage look bedraggled, it needs some water and also, I gave it a very short haircut a week or so ago.
The ferns got huge. When I bought them in June the fronds didn't cover the pot. One will hang in front of the kitchen window and one will sit on a tall stool in the sunroom. I just gave them a drink.
I have never had luck with basil over the winter, but I'll try again. I haven't brought parsley in but I'm thinking it will do fine.