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[personal profile] mellymell
First, I want to say that, although I didn't go back and reply to all the comments on my step-mom, I really appreciate everyone's sentiments and well wishes and thoughts and prayers on the matter! It really touched me that people thanked me for the update, showing that our family are not the only ones thinking about it. So thank you guys so much for caring! The procedure is really fascinating and medical science just amazes me. They don't understand what the stem cells are doing or how they do it, but they just know it works at this point and that's sort of amazing in itself.

My ankle: What a difference a week makes! A week ago today, I had woken up with the swelling reduced by half. That same day, my neighbor, who is a physical therapist, had brought me an ankle brace to use. Fan-freaking-tastic! I kept it wrapped for another day or so before finally using the brace. Thursday, the swelling had reduced by half yet again and I was starting to see the bones in the top of my feet again. It seems strange, but it was quite a relief to see that definition reappearing. The bruises at that time were still there. I started wearing the brace on Thursday and holy cow, what a difference! I didn't limp. When I took it off at night, I didn't hurt. When I woke up the following day, it wasn't an excruciating experience, except for the fact that when I stretched, as one does when waking, I flexed my foot just wrong and got something that felt like a charlie horse in my shin muscles all the way up to my knee. Once that subsided and I got the brace on for the day, I was golden. I did stuff around the house all day without feeling the need to rest too much. The brace kept me from making any wrong moves, which I had done a couple of times with just an ace bandage or compression wrap on. I'm still wearing the brace most of the time, but I'm not longer icing or elevating and the swelling is down about 95% from where it was when I did it. There's still a wee bit of swelling around the lateral malleolus (that big knob of a bone on the outside of your ankle), but I'm loads better. As soon as all the swelling is gone, my neighbor said he'll give me some exercises to do to help me strengthen it again. He knows I run (occasionally) and hike (occasionally) and stuff so he knows where I'm coming from when I say I do NOT want to have to deal with weak ankles and recurring injuries. I've never injured my ankles before and I'm really afraid of them becoming a weak point. So physical therapist neighbor FTW!

The weekend: We had our Smial gathering on Friday night and wow was it ever a lovely time. We did not have a formal reading discussion, but Marie did read a passage from "The End of All Things" and we toasted the fall of Sauron for Tolkien Reading Day. The food was all wonderful and for once, I don't think we had too much. It as a nice balance. Really it was just great to get together and catch up. The Smial has not had a gathering since New Year's and that's just too long between gatherings for my taste. :)

Saturday, much to our dismay, we wound up having to make our way to the soccer field, even though we all went to bed late the night before. I was thinking for sure they'd call off the games with all the rain, but I guess they're quicker to close the fields for practices than for games. I seriously checked the site and my email right up until we left the house. I wisely dressed Jonah a little warmer, but did not consider that Chris and I would be out in that cutting wind. I did at least have on long sleeves this time, but could have used a windbreaker for sure. I have to get this drilled into my head: our yard is sheltered from the wind a great deal and though it might not be cold and windy at home, those fields have nothing there to block the wind from whipping through and stealing the warmth. Jonah was in no mood for soccer Saturday morning either. They didn't get to practice Friday because of the weather and there were only four boys that showed up for the game at first (therefore, no subs). About midway through the first half, Jonah just totally checked out and decided he didn't want to play anymore. After talking to him more about it, he was upset that he couldn't score a goal, so he gave up. I tried to give him a few pep talks on the sidelines and got him to at least reenter the field a couple of times, but he was sluggish and wouldn't run after the ball much and would then come back out to me. No one is going to force him to play, even if it means they're down a player for the game, so he sat out the rest of the time and midway through the second half, another player finally showed up to take his place.

Sunday we had another gathering. This time, we invited two sets of neighbors over (both families of four). It was really neat how the kids sort of had their own party and the adults could sit around and talk. I felt a little bad for the older kids, since they were outnumbered by toddlers, but we offered the Wii for them to play with a couple of times and they declined. Chris smoked some chickens and ribs and everyone else brought sides. He had picked up a carrot cake at Costco, too, which was freaking awesome! I highly recommend them, even over my own homemade version (which is also really good, if I say so myself). It's a double layer cake with cream cheese frosting in the middle, but also hidden in that middle is a layer of marmalade or something of that nature. I couldn't put my finger on if it was orange or pineapple I was tasting and I didn't press the matter since mention of pineapple would have made Chris put down his fork immediately. But whatever it was it was delicious and a nice tart contrast to the creamy icing and spicy cake!

[livejournal.com profile] branflake helped me to figure out what my deal has been the past couple of weeks. Mercury goes into retrograde today and it's been "slowing down" for the past couple of weeks. I've automatically gone into "tie up loose ends" mode in preparation for the confusion, frustration and relative slow progress that is bound to occur until the last week of April when it begins to "move forward" again. Even then, there will be a period of a couple of weeks after where things are still getting back to normal. The only issue is that I was tying up loose ends and trying to finish old projects in order to really assert myself in some new ventures. You're not supposed to start any new ventures when Mercury is in retrograde because they'll most likely fail or at the very least, be frustratingly difficult to bring to fruition. But as she said, I'm not about to let some planet in the sky dictate my schedule, so plow forward I will. I'll just have to make sure I don't take on too much, that I'm patient with myself, and that I make lists upon lists upon lists so that nothing gets forgotten in the chaotic shuffle that is bound to be my head for the next 3-4 weeks.

On the technology sucks front, technology doesn't suck quite so badly anymore. I'm slowly making my way through a long list of things I wanted to install and making concessions where necessary that I'm going to have to migrate to new applications in some cases or just do without in others. This week, I fixed my mic and my webcam, so W00T on that. But, after trying several different things, I found out there was a fix for my sound issue (4.1 sound not working on my particular Lenovo laptop, only 2 speakers supported). The fix apparently worked beautifully in Ubuntu 10.04. But guess what? I'm running Ubuntu 10.10 and guess what else, the same fix bloody kills ALL sound under 10.10. *sigh* Ah, Linux. It's a good thing I love you. I have come to accept the fact that pretty much nothing works very well under Wine, so I'm going to have to find a new LJ client because Semagic is completely unusable in it, constantly crashing and such. But I have to say, it's remarkably easy, even for a technology idiot like me, to find solutions to my problems and I'm able to fix most of the things I run across that don't work quite right. I just miss my subwoofer is all. :/

Today, the guy is here to look at our dysfunctional gutters which are separating from the house in places and tell us we probably need to replace a ton of stuff and spend thousands of dollars. On the plus side, he's a really cool guy and lives in the neighborhood so we know where he lives and can egg his house if he rips us off... or something. To use the vernacular of his trade, I believe he is on the level. ;)

One last thing, whomever flipped the switch from spring back to winter is totally on my shit list! A couple of days of chilly weather, I can understand. It is March after all and to be somewhat expected. But we've had a solid week of November now after several weeks of late May. Lousy Smarch weather!

on 2011-03-30 07:42 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] padawansguide.livejournal.com
I'm glad your ankle is better!

Yes, please don't let a planet dictate your schedule! I promise Mercury's perceived motion won't affect it! Ok, I'll put my astrophysicist hat away now.

Lousy smarch weather indeed! I've been saying it all week!

on 2011-03-30 08:47 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] mellymell.livejournal.com
Me too!

Heh, yes, logic gets the best of me when it comes down to it. "But Mercury isn't even really moving backwards!" and "planets can't possibly influence me like that" I say to myself. But I can not deny the fact that since late Sunday night, my head feels in a fog and I can't focus on anything, nor can I slow the rate at which my head jumps from one train of thought to the next. But I'm just going to go with it and like I said, be patient with myself. Even though it's highly unlikely that it's planetary influence, it's something I'll just have to work around for now.

The only thing good about it is that I get to use that quote regularly!

on 2011-03-30 09:03 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] padawansguide.livejournal.com
I don't deny the way you feel! But if you want to read more, I'll give you a link and leave it at that!

http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/astrology.html

I guess we only have a few more days of Smarch and then it's over for another year. Gotta use it while we can! :-)

on 2011-03-30 09:24 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] mellymell.livejournal.com
Shhh! I'm trying to blame my general flightiness on a planet! You're harshing my buzz, man. ;)

I also always think, "Do not touch Willie. Good advice!"

on 2011-03-31 06:23 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] padawansguide.livejournal.com
LOL

Yes, that is good advice!

(Next up, charging the fire extinguishers. Note this is a free service.... NAY!!!)

on 2011-03-30 08:44 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] belluthien.livejournal.com
Glad you're feeling better!

I remember the cold factor when it came to soccer games. We had the same situation. It would be warm at home, but freezing on the field.

And I'm with you on wanting spring back!
y

on 2011-03-30 08:54 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] mellymell.livejournal.com
Me too! Thanks.

Fall season was much nicer. I think it was only the final game of the season that was chilly. They warned me when we signed up for fall that the weather would be lousy for spring. I'll just have to remember and bundle up, even if it's comfortable in our own backyard. :/

We had a little taste yesterday with a mid-60s high and some sun. But today is nasty after a string of thunderstorms went through last night! Things are looking up for the weekend, but I'm impatient. ;)

on 2011-03-30 11:36 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] amaz0n-princess.livejournal.com
Yeah seriously WINTER CAN GO AWAY NOW.

So glad your ankle is healing.

What is Smial? A Tolkien thing I'm assuming... :)

on 2011-03-31 02:15 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] mellymell.livejournal.com
We hates it, precious!

Thanks! Me too! I was seriously worried I tore something those first couple of days.

Yep, a Tolkien thing. ;) In this case, a local group associated with The Tolkien Society. Each group is generally referred to as a Smial (after what the hobbits called their individual holes). Our local Smial is called Lomelindi (Quenya for "dusk singers," I believe). It's a fun group! Rebecca (Neume/[livejournal.com profile] sailingwest) is in it as well. She's the one who introduced me to the group.

on 2011-03-31 02:16 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] oropher-777.livejournal.com
You have NO idea how much I envy you the Smial. You lucky dogs!

I'm glad your ankle is getting better. PTs are pretty awesome, aren't they!

on 2011-03-31 03:00 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] mellymell.livejournal.com
No really, I do! When we were in Huntsville, I was a lone wolf in that respect. I would follow the LOTR costuming yahoo list and pine woefully for a group of people I could do LOTR-related outings with. I really feel so very fortunate to live in a place with a group like this and particularly one that's actually active!

Thanks, me too! They really are! Particularly those who can be bribed with beer in exchange for their free services. ;)

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