Thursday, September 1, 2016

Managing Through a Tough Summer - It Wasn't All Bad

I'm never sorry to see summer come to an end. It's not all bad but it's mostly bad. The heat, humidity, relentlessly long daylight, and the constant battle with the weeds - I'm just not a fan. Before we move into the wonders of fall and the holidays let's take a look back at the summer that was.

Summer favorites

While I've always liked the idea of having a cookie jar, I've never actually found one that I liked. That all changed in July when I happened upon this brightly colored gem at World Market. It has been a fun addition to the kitchen.

The other thing that caught my eye this summer was a show on Amazon called The Next Steps. At first I thought it was an Amazon original series but it also has air dates listed with each episode so it might have come from some other source. Anyway, you can stream it on Amazon Prime if you are a member. This show has two things going for it. One, each episode is only about 5 minutes in length. Two, these short vignettes of episodes take a comical look at dating. I didn't like all of the episodes but there were several that were very funny.

Summer Successes
I picked up a green pepper plant on a lark this past spring. To my delighted surprise some actually developed into usable food. I will do this again next year.

After years of being frustrated by the inconsistency of store bought bread, I took up bread making this summer. Obviously, kneading bread would trigger a fibro flare so I thought I would need a bread maker (did you catch the pun?). Then my mom pointed out that my Kitchenaid mixer would knead the bread for me and I figured, with the additional aid of my oven's proof setting, I could manage making it by hand. I gave it a try and the bread actually turned out fairly good.

A few simple ingredients and bam!! 4.5 hours later I had bread (I say sarcastically). It wasn't hard or anything, it just took a lot of fuss over a very long period of time. If I was going to cut the cord with store bread I was going to have to get a bread maker. Thankfully I had a birthday and received one as a gift from my mom.

I have not yet perfected my bread making but mostly because I hurt my feet and have not been able to do much standing. In the coming months I hope to change that.

Summer Failures
Well the biggest failure of this summer has certainly been the damage done to my feet. I spent most of the summer ignoring my sore feet until early August when my right foot became extremely painful. Now, with my metatarsals thoroughly inflamed, swollen and wrapped in pain, I've had to make some big changes in an effort to heal and then prevent future trouble. The doc says it might take a couple months or longer to heal but since I've seen no improvement in the first 3 weeks I'm beginning to think it may take longer.

Summer Highlights
For me, simply being able to watch so much gymnastics on T.V. was a real highlight. The only sports I like to watch are gymnastics and America Ninja Warrior. ANW is on every summer but gymnastics is very infrequent. This being an Olympic year I got to see the P&G championships, then Olympic trials and then the actual Olympics. What a treat!

The other highlight of this summer was the wildlife in our backyard. Despite hearing rumors of turkeys in the area, we hadn't actually seen one until this summer. This cute little guy spent a couple afternoons foraging for food out back.

We also saw this doe and her two fawns a few times over the summer. I could watch them all day.

Summer Lowlights
The lowlight of the summer has simply been having to cope with the added pain and complications of my sore back and the foot pain. All of this while I'm also still trying to figure things out with my endometriosis. I still feel a fair amount of doctor fatigue so all this extra time with doctors and tests is unpalatable but necessary. Struggling.

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