28 April 2016

Heights House 12: Enjoying A Walk In Our Yard

One of the things I've most enjoyed since being able to start walking is to be outside a little more and to talk walks around our yard and neighborhood. So good  for the soul after a long winter!

One of the big adjustments of moving from coastal California to the high desert is definitely climate. Say goodbye to the green grass, hibiscus, plumeria, citrus trees and bougainvillea everywhere. But there is so much beauty to enjoy here that I am learning to appreciate as well.

Taking my first walk around the yard since late last fall, it was fun to take photos that tell stories about what has been happening in the yard over the winter. I came across all these stools who seemed to be having some sort of gathering against the front wall of the house. Ha. Had to snap that colorful shot!

Much of the cactus is gone after many backbreaking hours of work by The Man. He has removed hundreds of pounds of cactus using a wide variety of tools especially the shovels. I think he's broken a few on that chore. While cactus can be pretty, it is also a nightmare when you have a kid and a dog adventuring around the yard. I can't tell you how many hours have been sent removing cactus spines from family members and the dog -- especially the dog...with a headlamp, magnifying glass and tweezers. Not to mention a vet visit to remove infected ones. So we will enjoy cactus in our neighbors' yards from a distance. 

The extent of my involvement in the development of the yard has been minimal, but The Man has put in probably hundreds of hours at this point. The property was definitely suffering from a lack of TLC over the past few years. With a new wall of trees on the north and east sides of the property we now have even more privacy and the yard feels more our own.

I wandered down to the very back corners of the property for the first time on the very narrow deer trail that winds down both sides of the house to the bottom of lot. It is pretty narrow and was not the easiest jaunt for my first day on my feet without my cast but I did it with only one yucca stabbing to my ankles. It seems like that stuff will jump out and stab you no matter how hard you try to avoid it. Thankfully it didn't sting for a long time like it usually does...like for hours.

The brick pile on the side of the yard reminded me of our adventures filling in the planters and removing the brick flooring from the laundry room last fall. Boy was that a massive job. The brick pile also reminds me that we still have a long, long way to go. Early one morning this week I pulled out a few decor items from my wall of stored lamps, boxes, trays, candles and more and tried to decorate a few small areas in the living room including the small bookshelves and for lack of a better term, the mantle -- which is actually the top of an open wall above our fireplace. Still works in progress for sure, but at least it's a little progress.

I keep reminding The Man that there is no deadline and no "finished" when it comes to a house. We have time and we have certainly faced some interesting challenges to getting settled. There is no due date we have to meet, so we can take it as it comes. Life lesson in a million ways!

Last Sunday I spent a good hour or more in the backyard watering plants with the spray hose. It was therapeutic and the flowers definitely needed it. I realized that some of the tulips, daffodils and irises did not bloom for lack of water. I also noticed that grass is overtaking several of the flowerbeds and there is a creeping vine of some sort that is overtaking some other flower beds. So as soon as I can I need to get out there on my knees with a hand trowel and start fighting back the overgrowing invaders. On Monday the sprinkler guys came and checked out all the drip irrigation around the yard and I've seen the water running in the mornings and evenings so hopefully the yard is getting watered a little better now.

The trees are mostly filled in with leaves now and even the late leafing vines are starting to come in. Things we thought might be dead have come back to life so that is encouraging. We have quite an interesting assortment of plants in the yard and we are learning how they develop and grow throughout the seasons. I was so thrilled to have a small hydrangea bush growing on edge of the patio and then over the winter it was dead right down to the soil. I thought that was a little weird and that perhaps it was too small to survive the cold season. But a few weeks ago I saw a few sprigs poking up out of the ground and now the bush is about two feet tall and noticeably taller every week. Looking forward to hydrangeas later this summer.

We are still having our windy season here in New Mexico...strong winds at least several days a week during the spring. Looking forward to that ending. Without the wind the weather is fantastic. It comes and goes in waves. I think living in the hills we get an extra dose of the wind perhaps. Everyone seems to be at their wits end about the springtime winds now, here's hoping that season ends soon.

Hope you friends are doing well and enjoying the most of the seasons wherever you are. Next post I'm working on is all about shoes for summer.

25 April 2016

Broken Foot, The Final Step: Two Shoes

In what will be one of the last big recovery steps from the five fractures in my foot, I'm wearing two shoes as of Saturday morning. Happily this was not as challenging as going from no weight to walking in the cast - which was basically learning to walk all over again. At first I thought it was not even hurting and then after five minutes my foot was pretty grumpy, I immediately went in and took some pain meds and despite the meds it is pretty painful. But it's moving, working and I'm walking so this is great.

I'm being reminded again that one has to take thing slowly. I'd love to just run off into the sunset now but after just a couple of hours on my feet it was pretty obvious that this is going to require lots of ice, ibuprofen and patience. I'm not just going to be on the go-go all day on my feet right off the bat.

Gosh I'm impatient. Maybe it's just because so much of my life has been on hold for the better part of five months now. But I have to say, I made it! I got through 12 weeks of non-weight-bearing, learned to walk again, suffered through a LOT of pain, slept with my foot up on four pillows for over 100 nights, sat and watched people do things I wanted to be doing, fell hard on my crutches once and had one crash on my scooter, shed a few tears along the way and continued to smile and laugh my way through difficult times.

The gifts I received along the way were lessons in patience, enduring pain and suffering and learning to improvise in a million ways so that I could make things less painful and less difficult. I learned to ask for what I needed. I learned to let other people help me, I learned to receive service gracefully and I learned that there are good people everywhere who will see you and reach out to help if you let them. I probably said "thank you" at least a million times in the past few months.

One thing that is weird is now I'm not the girl in the cast anymore. I became known to so many people at my local stores where we shop, downtown where I work. You can imagine the first thing that started just about every conversation I've had over the past few months was either "what happened?" or "how is it going with that leg?" I had so many strangers asking me when I was going to get out of that cast. Now I'm just back to a regular person who just walks a little oddly. It's strange how much that cast, and the crutches and scooter became part of my identity. It's a little weird to feel like I need to reinvent myself a bit or rediscover who I am now after thousands of conversations about my foot seeming to dominate every human interaction I've had in 2016. As weird as that sounds it really is true.

I have a list of rehab exercises I need to start doing and I am trying to talk walks as much as possible now. I think I will start swimming again because I feel like that would be a great workout for not only my foot but my entire body. I may start out wearing fins. A swim teacher I had once taught us to use our fins sometimes because it helped create a fluid rhythm to our strokes. I think it would help both take some of the pressure off my foot and at the same time really help with it's flexibility and strength.

I am still learning to take it slowly and not over do it. That seems to be one lesson I started to learn this past few months but still have a lot way to go at. I like to move fast, do lots of things and stay busy. Somehow I have a feeling the universe will keep giving me experiences to work on that skill. That's how it seems to work. Haha.

I'm going to go take a little rest off my feet right now. Seems like the right thing to do. I'm working on a few posts that I will share with you soon, one from our yard on my first adventure out, a little shoe shopping inspiration and I'm working on a wrap up of all the good things I learned from my broken foot. I found other's articles on that topic to be invaluable to me, so I definitely want to pay it forward and share some life hacks and survival techniques I learned. I also have some musings on home decor to share. Sending you my best wishes. Thanks for coming by!


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