Sunday, May 31, 2009

time goes slowly by

My normal life is full of housework, paying bills, caring for the garden, cooking, laundry, meeting the needs of my family, and etc. That all changed suddenly when I broke my leg and can not move freely within the house, let alone down stairs or outside. There are some things I can still do, like bills, communications (telephone, on-line, and by the web), and suduko. The rest has to be picked up by others, primarily by Richard. He brings me a pan of warm water to wash with each morning, cleans up after me, gets my clean cloths, and helps me to the living room. Then he gives me coffee and cereal for breakfast, makes sure the lap-top and phone are within my reach. At noon he gets me a bite to eat (unless someone brings lunch). Folks from church have provided lunch and some dinners for all but 5 days since I have been home. It has really helped.

When I had to leave the house for my Dr appointment Eric and Sean guy next door) helped me get down the stairs and into the car. When I returned, Dianna and Sean helped me back inside. I am getting stronger though. I can manage to get to the bathroom and bed using Richard's walker. Karen is going to bring another walker so he can have his back. He really needs it himself. Richard has been so very tired from digging out plants to make room for the great wall that he can hardly move.

Diana has been helpful in ways that Richard would have trouble and in overlapping chores. She does the laundry and brings it upstairs for him to fold. She has been taking out the trash and takes care of the watering too. Dianna also heats up leftovers or prepares dinner for us. We are very grateful that she is here.

What does not seem to be getting done is the housework. Floors and dusting are not something Richard can realistically do, Shelley has been out of town and needs to catch up on her own work, and Dianna is just too bushed from working all day and the added chores around here. The place looks like a warehouse due to furniture having to be shuffled to accommodate the door construction. Rick will be down the first weekend after he gets back (about 2 weeks), maybe he will be willing to take that on. In the mean time it is what it is.

My days are becoming a sub-routine of sorts. Time goes so slowly by, but I am in very little pain unless I try to do something foolish. The upside is that I am getting a lot of rest, unfortunately it only adds to the work load of others. I am sooo very sorry for that. But it does make me even more grateful for all those abilities I have taken for granted in the past. It is all quite humbling.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Two 1/2 weeks ago I failed to plant my foot properly on a front stair and down I went. I broke my tibia quite badly and hit my head on a landscape rock. The good news is that I have a hard head. Even though there was a lot of blood and stitches were required, no serious damage was sustained. My leg, however is immobile, non-weight bearing for 3 full months. That is a whole month longer than I was originally given to believe. Beyond that, I will require a full knee replacement around the first of the year.

Richard has been so very good to me. He has catered to all my needs (I do mean all) ever since I came home. This has meant a lot of lost sleep and even more fetch & carry on his part. Finally on Thursday. with the help of the physical therapist, I mastered getting myself into bed. This will Allow him to sleep through the night, he soooo needs it. The physical and an occupational therapist come once a week and an aid comes twice a week to help me shower. I can't tell you how good a shower felt after the first week.

A friend from church and his son spent a full and parts of several other days replacing a window in our entryway with a wide door. This will open onto an elaborate 4 foot wide wheelchair ramp due to be installed by Interfaith Services on Monday. Too late for my Dr's appointment last Thursday, but it will get a lot of use in the future. In addition to caring for me, Richard has been busy digging up landscape plants and a brick walk. Paul & a couple other friends helped move these. Today a volunteer came to do some prep work for the ramp and Richard is still moving stuff. The ramp will be U-shaped and about 35 or 40 foot long. I'm considering calling it the Great Wall because it will look similar from the perspective of the top. It will have hand rails on both sides and a total of 3 level platforms. One where it connects to the house and two where the ramp changes direction. All in all, the house will have a whole new look. Large rhodies will fill the area between the long legs of the U and there will be block or brick form an access patio to the ramp from the front walk.

Thank you for all the assistance and most of all for you prayers on our behalf. The Lord is providing even if my original orthopedic surgeon made things more or less an insurance nightmare. No, I will not go into that on-line. I have new Dr. She is great on so many levels. I see her again on the 11Th. Until later, Nancy

Monday, May 11, 2009

Schwetzingen Castle & Gardens

Formal gardens spred out from the palace. I can't imagine the effort it takes to prune and manage these geometric shaped hedges. The alley of tree lined lawn frames the main structure.

The main structure was built in 1350. It is flanked by two "Circle Houses" forming a disconnected semi-circle. These were constructed in the mid 1700s. There are many fountains, statuary, and iconic structures dedicated to ancient civilizations (ie. Greek, Roman, Turkish, Oriental).
Just outside the gates, white asparagus (a German favorite) was being offered for 15 Euros a bunch. What a rip-off. You can get it in the local markets for around 2 Euros. Anything for that tourist cash.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Wall

I saw this and thought of you, Paul. This wall is constructed of wirw and coke can. I know your drink of choice is Coke. This wall therefore, was specially made for you. Wasn't that thoughtful?

Nother spot of color in the shade of linden trees. Anyone have a cold glass of lemonade?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Vacation Home in Holland

This cluster of vacation homes in Holland (The Netherlands) is only a few miles from Keurkenhauf and in the midst of 100s of acres of blossoms. As you can see by photos of the main floor, it was modern and well equipped. There was a 1/2 bath on this floor and a full bath upstairs (steep stairs). The 3 bedrooms could accommodate 7 adults (bedding included). It was quite comfortable.

From here we took day trips to the flower gardens, an art exhibition in The Haag, and drove along the sunny shoreline of the North Sea.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Show stopper

This is the windmill located on the Keurkenhauf grounds. Nicole & I climbed to the deck and took pictures. Richard took pictures of us. As you can see, the weather was amazing. The photo below is one of many beautiful displays of flowers found within several pavilions.

We also visited an art show featuring Esher. This was held in a palace at the Haag. His works are intriguing as most of them either tend to through your sense of balance off or use forms from nature that morph from one pattern to another. A simple example of this idea is shown here.
Today I am trying to get myself and the house in order. It really got set back with me having such a head cold and fever for several days. No, it was not the swine flu. I had no other symptoms besides headache and fever. No aching muscles, no chest conjestion or intestinal distress, not even a sore throat. But it has certainly taken a toll on my energy level. I need to get with it and get everything ready to be gone for a month. Richard & I will be taking care of Preston while Rick flies off to Europe. This will be his first trip abroad and plans are in the works for him to visit Paris, Germany, and Cyprus. We are soooo excited for him. Since school is not yet out, Preston could not go along, but then he had a trip to Disney with his dad just last month. Maybe I can relax in Seattle? One can only hope.