Getting Better

While Patrick was here we enjoyed not only Marla’s gift of Four Pillars from the Australia distillery but Chemist from here in North Carolina. The tonic has made all the difference. Not to mention the cucumber…so thank you to the Aussies who put me on the right track.

I am enjoying one right now after an afternoon nap.

Here is my garage now on the side I will have the things I think I might need. Still some tossing to do but I did say goodbye to my drill press and old Dyson vacuum, shelves, working stool from the studio, and garage refrigerator. Now all off to Patrick’s and Amy’s.

It was a fast four days and very productive. Of course I thought I would just go into the garage and finish it off on Monday. Here it is Saturday and not the energy for it yet. Maybe this next week.

It took a bit over two weeks for my taste to return. The thing that jump-started my taste and smell was the dozen eggs a friend brought me. Totally thick and orange yolks! The kind we are served constantly in Australia. So rich and delicious! I only have two left. When Patrick went to the store to get more, he found they were priced close to $10 per dozen and settled for some free range eggs at about half that price. I see it as six very good meals per dozen eggs. And am using the other ones he picked out for cooking.

I had a taste for bonetsy, an eastern European cheese dish that an older sister’s mother-in-law taught us as kids to make from scratch. It started with a day of making phyllo dough by hand and then capturing air and butter in the pockets filled with a cheese filling. The kitchen was a mess of butter going everywhere.

When talking to Amy on the family call last week, she said she had my adapted recipe. It seems I sent her a book of favorite recipes when she went off to college. Smart mother! Clever daughter to hang on to it. By then we could buy phyllo in frozen sheets, so it was much easier.

After making several with just the cheese mixture of cottage, feta and parmesan with egg, I made more adding in cut up ham and spinach. Both have been a quick and easy meal when not eating eggs.

The same elderly mother-in-law, Mom Slodinski, taught us how to make her version of perogis, a homemade noodle-type dough that held two large pitted sweet black cherries before being sealed tight and boiled. Then dried and fried in butter (of course) before being slathered in sour cream.  Anyway I have put some of the bonetsy in the freezer for later.

Now all I can think of is how much I would love a taco salad! It will be one of the first things I order to bring home when I start driving again. For now I am lucky to get to the corner to spend time listening to the guys. I only made it once this past week and it took all the energy I had. But I am getting better!

My physical therapist said I could probably stop with his visits to put me through my paces after this week. I do every exercise on the sheet to strengthen knees and legs and then hit a balloon back and forth with him making sure I can keep my balance. I could go back to the gym next week but likely only to do a shortened time on the bike. He said my body will tell me when to stop. Now I am taking a couple of naps a day and at least eight to ten hours of sleep each night.

The cats never leave my side.

Neighbors still checking on me and offering help. I am very lucky to live here.

So that is all the news…wish it was more exciting. I have not been drawing or writing which feels sad, but I will get back to it soon.

Til later….

Back to Hospital, Physical Therapy, Garage Makeover, Gin from Australia

Home for two days and then back to hospital with bad abdominal pain. A hematoma-type lump due to blood thinner medication.  Pneumonia cleared up but now a slow subsiding of the small lump in lower stomach. I am so grateful for a doctor who will stay with me and remind me that, “this will pass”. In the meantime my neighbor/doctor brought me a heating pad and other things she thought might help. Her husband is from the home care office giving assistance and exercises to build back up my strength. And Patrick has arrived to fix meals, drinks and rework the garage.

First up, Turmeric Old Fashioned.

Lots of fireworks across the street the weekend after the fourth.

Patrick hung the neighbor’s gift of windchimes and the weather stick I found among packed bits from old studio. I never hung it before because I doubted its claim to fame. Now after seeing it change from the upward swing (dry weather) to a tilt downward (dampness), I am thoroughly enjoying this weather predictor.

Patrick is busy in the garage now.

More storage cabinets will be here tomorrow at the latest. For now, I rally enough to just say, “throw it!” He will be taking lots of things home with him. Marla will get a slew of paint brushes, etc.

The cats are with me whenever I go to lay down and catch my breath, also called napping.

they are so sympathetic.

And today, Marla’s gift of Australian gin arrived. Patrick will head to the store to find Fevertree Tonic and cucumber to complete the drink as advised by Aussie gin drinkers.

That is about it for now. I need a nap and another go at my exercises.

I miss seeing the guys each morning but do not have the strength to make it in….maybe next week.

Til later….



A Stay in the Hospital

A week ago today I was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia/bronchitis/whatever resulting in an elevated heart rate. My doctor and close friend spent the day here with me and then made the decision to take me to the hospital. I am now home as of Wednesday and recovering with medications that make food taste terrible.  But one of my first meals was this shoe-leather chicken with beans and rice. I loved the canned green beans and swore I would now be buying canned beans! I will see how that goes when I actually am faced with pulling them off the shelf!

The staff at the hospital was superb. I even got to work out in their gym before being released.

I have never had such supportive neighbors as I do here. Flowers, cards, and rides back home.

The one thing I wanted to do more than anything when I got home was vacuum. So I did it three times that first day. Such a good feeling to suck up cat hair! I am sleeping much better at home without all the constant interruptions of tests. My doctor stopped by yesterday to listen for shortness of breath. I am fine. She says to listen to my body and enjoy my happy hour. But the wine tastes like it has gone off, so may try gin and tonic.

Anyway, I am fine. And having a good lunch.

Tomorrow I might get back to drawing but for now will find a mindless movie on the TV and sit with my cats.

Til later…

Going Out With Friends/Wondering What Happened to Good Craft

We went to the opening of The Elf School. I was hoping to see some good art/craft. The best part is that the owner of this place is offering free housing and studio space for artists. A very generous thing to do. I hope some of those displaying their work there will consider the offer and work at improving on what they are making. Does that sound harsh? Yes it does.

Years ago when I was involved with the Standards Committee for the Southern Highlands Guild, almost all who applied were interested in putting work out there with a high standard of quality, work they were proud to have their name on. We studied others work to see what made it so refined, so distinctive, so worth purchasing….and then we got to work making ours better. We did not take workshops to copy the instructors’ work. We did not just crank out product to have something to sell. We worked very hard to make our pieces meet not only the standards set by the craft guild, but having to meet a standard we set for ourselves. I think maybe we have lowered our expectations too much. And maybe we should make an effort to get to high end galleries, like Penland, Arrowmont, and several in Asheville like Blue Spiral, Grovewood Gallery (not the gift gallery attached to the Inn). Good quality is out there and really needs to be sought out and aspired to. BUT if your audience is within a smaller crowd like church benefits, local craft fairs, etc., then maybe a lower expectation is okay for the maker, but the buyers might just be expecting better and willing to pay for it.

So off for an old fashioned, which it turns out is one of the few drinks that wants to muddle all the fruits added. After a few sips, this one seemed passable. We had to settle for substitutes in the making because the owner seemed to forget it was Saturday and let his inventory slip to the point of amusement.

And directly across the road, this caught my eye. Something about that boat getting there early when told to “come”.

And then here at home. I have come down with allergies to all that is floating in this thick hot air.  Nights of coughing and sniffling. Not enough sleep and no energy. So I sit and paint wildflowers in my six way book. There are twenty-one blank pages left in this section which is only one of six books in one. The good news is that thirty-two have been completed. The book opposite this one should be mushrooms and funguses.

I need to keep at it so when I am gone, the kids can have a good look at what an old mother spent her time on.

Still fluffing my nest here. Now this bird cage sits on the pile of rocks and lights.

My framer finished off the white line print using Australian soil watercolors. Then she cut the glass and put one of my last stitched woodblock prints together for me.

And this photo out my front door and looking over the roof tops seems like something from a story book.

Not much else new…still writing…still drawing….still fitting into my new space…still enjoying the company of old men and my neighbors…and the last few days just being still….

Til later…