Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunday Stroke Survival: Winter and a Rant

Even though winter doesn't official begin until December 21st, it sure doesn't feel like it to me with my way southern roots. It's down in the 20s at night. The daytime temperatures aren't too bad fluctuating between highs in the 40s to 50s. No snow, but every morning I have to crunch through the frost and break the ice barriers which form on the waterers, and tend to our rabbits and chickens. I found a length of 1" PVC works wonders for this task. I used to use my heel and end up with a soaked leg misjudging the thickness of the ice. The song about Jack Frost nipping at your nose (Merry Christmas to You or the Christmas Song) rings true. But even still, my thick cardigan keeps my body warm enough.

I do wear a glove on my left hand most mornings. (Just griping here) My right hand is snuggled in my sweater sleeve.  Since it doesn't move, this works great, but have you ever tried buying one glove? It almost seems wasteful to buy a pair when only one will be used.   Plus, having a small hand, I often unable to find small sized gloves. I wear the pig leather work gloves almost exclusively now. They are flexible for fine work and sturdy enough for the tough stuff. And of course, there is a definite left and right hand. Unlike the tube socks I wear over my old lady compression socks. Gloves, or should I say a glove, are fun to put one handed. It's a repeated rubbing motion of the glove against my pants leg to get it on, and resorting to my teeth pulling them off.

The advantages of dropping almost 40+ lbs since I've been here, all my last winter's clothes are too big. Larger sized clothes have several advantages living post stroke, #1 they're easier to get off and on, or up and down as the case may be; and #2 I can layer dress for warmth easily. I was taught how to dress in layers at a very young age living in Nebraska. Wearing one of my summer time tank tops under T-shirts hold my body heat against my body where it's needed, or a combination under a flannel shirt enables me to stay out on the porch stacking firewood or tending to the animals without bulkier outer garments. I know the time for these are coming soon. Mel is seriously cold-natured and she is already in a heavy coat. After all, winter is still a few days away.

That brings me to Christmas approaching. I've definitely got a "Bah Humbug" attitude towards this holiday and have for several years. It's not a religious reason of it not being Christ's actual birth, nor the date was picked because of paganism. Even though over the decades, I've tried to keep the true meaning of Christmas alive (not what you buy vs what you give from the heart) the joy has slowly ebbed away especially this year. I won't be going home for Christmas, instead I'm opting to stay on the homestead partially because of our financial situation and the other part is not wanting to infect others with the "Bah Humbugs."

Let me stress that this is not depression. I'm thinking of me also. The drive home is almost 6 hours one way. I was just home for Thanksgiving. At my advancing age and health issues, the trip is hard on my body. The threat of my Triple A still hangs like a sword over my head. Not that I'm seriously worried about it. Also each trip takes longer to recover from. Next year, I'll do it in reverse...maybe. It's hard planning some things in advance.

But all that being said, I feel blessed in our little hollow. Money is tight but what's truly new with that? Our bills are being met that's the important part. Yes, it would have been easier to sell my old home and pocket the cash. But still we are warm, safe, and comfortable. Our wants won't kill us. The needs are taken care of. God is good and faithful to us lowly children. I'm excited about our future plans.

As always ...
Nothing is impossible


  1. I also have to pay money for a glove for my hemiplegic hand. However, having gloves when it really gets cold means I am not house bound. I finally realized that by buying regular gloves I am sticking it to the expense rehab companies who charge high prices for adaptive equipment.

  2. I know what you mean Rebecca. Adaptive equipment is just another word for expensive.

  3. Hi Jo - I'm just glad you're being practical about the whole thing - makes life easier for so many ... just quietly getting on with life. Nothing is impossible - and a smile is free ... while being home will be reassuring .. take care and be at peace - Hilary

  4. {{{{{hugs}}}}} Just know that I'm here and cheering you on in whatever path you choose.

  5. Can you use your own wool to knit mittens? If you knit a pair, you'll have the equivalent of two one-handed pairs. Also, I find that a mitten goes on my affected hand very easily, which means I don't have to keep it in my coat pocket, which is awkward sometimes (putting on my seatbelt, for example.

    Merry, merry Christmas to you, you old Scrooge! You'll enjoy yourself with Mel, anyway, right?

  6. Zan Marie, you're my #1 cheerleader!

    Barb, I could knit some mittens, but I'd destroy them working in them. Yes, we'll have a quiet Christmas.

  7. Happy to see you staying excited for the future J.L. If you're too tired to go out all the time then delegate. I'm glad you're thinking of your health along with family and finances. That is both essential and smart. Merry Christmas!


I love to hear from you! Agree, Disagree, matter. Even if it's to say you were here.