Friday, September 25, 2009

Piano Lessons

The other day we received a beginners' piano book for the boy. He's gonna follow in his father and sister's footsteps and learn to play - hopefully. He does have an ear for it - he enjoys grading his sister and father on their piano playing "B+" he might say after a song, or "Only 5 mistakes"...

I've always wanted to play the piano - but can't read music and have no inclination to learn - so my piano playing will be vicariously. Next best thing to playing the piano yourself, is having everyone else in your family playing it.

While in the basement I heard a lot of piano playing and foot pounding...turns out the boy asked the girl to teach him to play and the past couple of days she's been teaching him. The foot pounding is the boy's frustration when he messes up...

The girl has learned a lot in the past was about a yr ago at this time that we bought a keyboard and she learned to read music. I think it was in December when we bought the piano. She can play (select) hymns well enough for our family to sing along to and has been working on "Think of Me" from "Phantom of the Opera".

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More Root Canal Fun

This afternoon I had my February root canal redone by an endodontist.

I've had problems with the tooth since the root canal was done - but it's taken me this long to have it redone (well redone by someone other than the original dr. who actually "redid" it a couple of times)...b/c I hate having dental work done and I was hoping it would just clear up. I also didn't know if I wanted to have it redone since online sources say a redo isn't very successful (though this endo. said 99.9 % successful if "he" did it) I didn't know if I wanted to put another $1200 into something that might end up needing to be pulled (hmmm no wonder the grave robbers would sometimes pull teeth tooth, is probably worth about $3000...unfortunately it's only worth that to me).

I was in the chair for a long 2 hours - but unlike my February root canal I did not feel any pain (unless you count the pain/discomfort of having your mouth open wide for approx. 1 1/2 hours).

I think things are still numb b/c I have not yet experienced the "more pain before it gets better" that the dr. said would probably happen, over the next couple of days.

I'm on antibiotics (again!)...the dr. said he'd give me a RX for narcotics if need be - but I'm hoping it won't be needed. I can't take ibuprofen (my painkiller of choice) b/c of the RX I am on for my ankle - so we'll see how it goes with Tylenol.

Boy with all these RX and pain pills I'm starting to sound like an old granny!

Monday, September 21, 2009


On Saturday we attended the airshow at Scott Airforce Base.

The show was great, the weather wonderful and the noise - LOUD!

This was our first year attending the event and we had underestimated how BIG it would be.

There were all types of aircraft that you could get up close to and in some cases, climb around inside. It is amazing to see how ginormous some of the aircraft are and to think that they are able to fly. A great educational event - especially for our military fanatic son.

Then there was the air show favorite was probably the Tora, Tora, Tora - ""Tora, Tora, Tora" is the Commemorative Air Force's recreation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that signaled the beginning of the American involvement in World War II. Designed as a living history lesson, "Tora, Tora, Tora" is intended as a memorial to all the soldiers on both sides who gave their lives for their countries."

We brought earplugs along as recommended - but they sure didn't work for the kids. I think the earplugs we had were just too large and kept falling out - so there was some diminished interest for the kids, once the noise level drastically increased.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Gjetost Cheese - Norway

The girl wanted to run into the global food store when we were out and about today...she was having a craving for some Tapioca Pearls and Red Beans in Coconut Milk - a treat we tried back in February.

We found her treat, which was right across from the cheese section - and as the girl and I both love cheese - I found something for us to try.

Ski Queen Gjetost Cheese from Norway.

When I unwrapped the cheese I was somewhat surprised to see that it looked like a big hunk of fudge. The cheese was soft and sweet!

I like sweet stuff and I like cheese - but I don't like them combined.

The girl liked the cheese.

Later I read about the process for making this cheese and it said "... made by boiling a mixture of milk, cream, and whey carefully for several hours so that the water evaporates. The heat turns the milk sugar into caramel which gives the cheese its characteristic taste."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A One Track Mind...

I was doing language studies with the boy this morning and used the word "chaff" as an example of a word with a double consonant.

"Ha!" Says the boy gleefully. "I bet you don't even know what that word means."

He proceeds to explain about chaff and airplanes and blocking heat seeking missiles.

I of course was thinking of chaff in regards to grain and mentioned that to the boy...but the boy and I obviously think differently.

So we went to look up chaff on the internet - "I know that's what it is and that's how it is spelled!" the boy insists.

So we typed in - "chaff" "airplanes" and "heat seeking".

And the boy was correct.

Maybe if I read the stack of books below, that the boy checked out of the library a couple of days ago and finished the next day - I might be a little more "up" on how to avoid a heat-seeking missile.

I'm glad the boy is diversifying his interests to include airplanes (albeit military airplanes)...and that he is learning something...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cranberry Cornbread

Yesterday the girl made this recipe for Cranberry Cornbread.

It was wonderful!

No pictures because we were too busy eating to stop and fetch the camera...

It was sweeter and more cake-like than the cornbread we normally make - but that didn't stop us from eating almost all of it last night. We were happy to finish off the left-overs for breakfast.

So if you like cornbread and you like cranberries - you need to try this recipe!

The only alterations were fat-free milk with some vinegar added, in place of buttermilk and we used a 9x13 casserole dish instead of the 9-in square pan recommended (on the website there was a complaint that the 9-in sq pan made the bread too tall). Though the recipe didn't specify yellow or white cornmeal - we used white (b/c that's all I had on hand).

Monday, September 14, 2009

Putting the CLAY into CLAYton

On Saturday we spend a bit of time out in Clayton, MO at the St. Louis Art Fair.

We enjoyed just walking around the booths and seeing all the art...and the kids enjoyed the childrens' activities such as decorating a giant paper bag hat and filling a container with colored sand to make some "sand art".

The girl got to have a "hands-on" try at the pottery wheel which she really enjoyed.

We parked near the Brown Shoe Company so we had to take a photo of the kids in front of the giant shoe sculpture :)

How would you like to walk around in that shoe all day? Youch!

Speaking of walking around - my ankle/foot has been hurting a lot more the past couple of days - but I have been walking more too...

Yesterday I began the journey back into a daily (hopefully) exercise routine...I walked for approx. 30 min - and it hurt with every step... This morning I tried the Nordic Trak and quite painful as well. I started lifting weights again (minus the squat) and that went OK. Just moving back into things pretty slowly...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ankle Update

Saw the orthopedic surgeon yesterday.

He didn't like how swollen my ankle was/is.

Got a RX for Meloxicam - generally used for people with arthritis.

I haven't started taking it yet - thought I'd give it a couple of days to see if there is any change, as I hate taking RX drugs...especially after I read all the potential side effects etc. Hmmm would I rather have a swollen ankle or a bleeding ulcer, or a heart attack...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First "official" Day of School

Today marks the official start of the new school year - 6th grade for the girl and 2nd grade for the boy.

School began promptly at 8:01 AM... Most of the schoolwork was finished by noon this first day, so after lunch - a trip to the library and then off for an afternoon swim made the day seem to go by quickly...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Driving, Swimming & Swelling

This morning my ankle felt a bit more flexible and the kids asked about going swimming. I didn't think I could walk to the park (though before the accident I could easily walk there in 10 min or less) and wasn't so sure I could drive.

Called my dr. to make sure I could go swimming - I hadn't thought to ask yesterday because I thought I was far from doing anything like that yet - and he said "yes - but be careful"...

So then I tried my hand at driving - more accurately tried my FOOT at driving and it was possible. My main concern was switching quickly between the gas and break if need be - but it worked out fine - at least just driving around town. If I was at a long light - I'd just move my left foot onto the break pedal.

The kids and I ate lunch at the park and then went swimming. It felt good to finally be able to take the kids somewhere during these beautiful summer days we've been having for the past month.

As a result of all the above, my ankle has been quite swollen - but mostly pain-free. I've iced and elevated it a couple of times and will continue on.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Own Two Feet

Just got back from the orthopedic surgeon and he said my ankle looks GREAT -"you can't even tell it was ever broken" he said.

He said I could get out of the boot and into my shoes - and begin driving - hooray!

Twice a day for 30 min I need to do some "physical therapy" - flexing my foot up and down and side ways - also need to soak it in warm water with epsom salt. I go back to see the doc in one week.

Felt totally bizarre when I started walking - not hurting but odd...kind of like I was dizzy too. I think it will take awhile to learn to walk "normally" again. Trying to walk down the stairs caused a little scream of pain to come forth - I think that will be harder than just walking.

I'm thankful to God for this healing - and that I'm out of the boot even sooner than I thought.