Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday Stroke Survival: Adapting Using YouTube

As I've said, I've become a YouTube junkie since my strokes. Most videos are short and to the point. Some offer in depth details on how to accomplish certain things. There are also a pile of videos on anything you can imagine. For many, this is a untapped resource.

Now I don't think everyone that makes a video is an expert on what they are showing. Far from it. A lot of YouTube creators are novices just like me. Me, I'm Abby Normal so I enjoy quirky creativity. Otherwise known as thinking outside the box. If there was only one way to do things, let's face it as a stroke survivor, we'd be up the creek without a paddle.

I like options. I guess that's my saving Grace. I don't like things to be the same. I honestly like change as long as its for the better. I know life is about adapting to change. Otherwise, I feel like a smelly, stagnating pond yearning for a refreshing input of clean water.A chance to rejuvenate into something more. That's not to mean I welcomed my strokes. I would be certifiably nuts to want that. But still, being paralyzed, recovering, the spasticity battles, and everything else has been a challenge to overcome. I've never faced a challenge without giving the old college try of beating it. This was has been daunting. But I still haven't given up.

I watch assorted YouTube channels and think, "How can I do that?" If I reach a decision that it's impossible right now, I watch several others and see how that creator did it. If I watch enough ideas, I eventually figure out a way to do it or not. Somethings even with adaptation isn't possible without help.
sweet potatoes
Last week, I harvested sweet potatoes and left them to dry. It being Sunday, homesteaders never have a day off, it was either process them or start to losing them. I wasn't going to allow that. They weren't huge, but enough that two would make a nice side dish. We are still amending our soil for better harvests. Next year, will be better.

I wanted to leave the nicer ones whole and store them in a box for fresh baking. I do love baked sweet potatoes. I could make a whole meal with them. Meanwhile there was a slew of them which were misshapen and sliced by my shovel that had to be canned. I've never frozen sweet potatoes before so I didn't even consider it.

left whole for storage, >than 1/2 the harvest
Now as a person with one usable hand, I have extreme difficulty peeling vegetables. Most times I leave the skin on and just scrub them. But sweet potatoes have to be skinned before canning. I asked Mel to peel them and she was disinclined.  I placed them in my big 23-qt water bath canner and boiled them for 5 minutes to soften the skins. I was hoping to loosen the skins enough too peel them with my fingers. It worked. I sat by my jars and peeled, sliced, and filled my jars. After about an hour, I had filled five pints jars this way. Mel took pity on me and peeled the rest with a paring knife. Soon, my pressure canner was full of 18 pint jars of sweet potatoes. It took Mel an hour to peel all the rest. It was so much faster with her helping. Not that I couldn't have done it myself, I was getting it done. I did adapt, but allowed for expediency.

Today, it's on to the corn. I saw a YouTube video on how to make a cut corn off the cob easily with a drill and thought, I can do that.
Of course my buckets were larger than my corn device so it took so adaption for me to do it one handed. Although I could have built it.  I left it to Mel to build. Up until now, I froze the corn whole in its shuck, but now I have corn kernels and creamed corn canned too!

With YouTube I've relearned how to garden, knit, spin wool, cook, and assorted other skills I thought were lost to me forever since my strokes.

So if you've ever sat in wonder of how I do all that I do living post stroke, now you have the answer.

Nothing is impossible.


  1. I used to can and freeze food years ago when I had two good hands so I am blown away that you have found ways to do it one-handed.

  2. Rebecca, You still can one handed. By hooking freezer bags over quart jars or better yet a seal-a-meal for the freezer. Makes it easier to load the bags. As far as the canners go, put the pots on the stove empty and fill them with water. After you pull the jars out, empty the canner the same way.

  3. You never fail to amaze me, Jo! {{{{hugs}}}}


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