Wow time has gone by so fast, yet again I write, "I can't believe it's been so long since I wrote." I have a goal this fall to be a lot better with blogging. I would love to blog every day. My husband will be busier this fall, I will explain why later, so when he's busy doing his thing, I hope to be blogging and working on some other projects. Before I explain the exciting things my husband will be up to and the projects I hope to be working on, let me fill you in on our summer adventures.
Summer Adventures 2017
Most of the summer was pretty uneventful. It started out with recovery and moving. As many of you know, and might have read in previous post, in May, I suffered a severe infection in my stump. It caused excruciating pain and led to a trip to the ER, where it was determined that surgery was the way to go. My surgeon, Dr. Spencer, opened the incision back up and cleaned out the infection. Infection Disease doctors discovered that there were two infections, Staph in the tissue and Strep strain B was in the bone. I was given high amounts of antibiotics through a PICC line for 6 weeks and then oral antibiotics for about 8 more weeks. Thankfully my last blood work, August 18th, showed no signs of an infection. David and I didn't do much during the first month of recovering from the infection. The antibiotics wore me out, and I spent a lot of time resting on the couch, or going for drives, just to get out of the apartment.
The other thing we did during the first part of the summer was we moved from our house in Plymouth (our lease was up at the end of May, and because Plymouth is a vacation spot, the house became a lot more expensive to live in during the summer) to an apartment/dorm room at a small college in Boston. The pastor of Metrowest Baptist Church and a good friend of mine is the president of Boston Baptist College and the church and college was gracious to let us stay there, rent free, for the summer.
As I started feeling a little better we explored the area a little more. We visited a friend in Gloucester (a town North of Boston), then enjoyed walking around Rockport, a cute fishing town with lots of quaint shops to visit. If you've ever seen the movie "The Proposal" then you've seen parts of Rockport. The town was used as the setting for the town of Sitka, Alaska in the movie. It is one of my favorite little towns of Massachusetts. It's not the most handicap friendly town, most of the small shops are too small for a wheelchair, and/or have a few steps to get up at the front door. There were a couple shops I could get into, like the House of Glass, and Tuck's Candy Factory. Both places were street level and had room to maneuver the wheel chair. Walking down the street, people watching and window shopping made for an enjoyable day even if I couldn't go everywhere with my wheel chair, and I hope that we can return once I can walk and enjoy more.
On July 3rd we watched the Stoughton fireworks from the comfort of our car. The fireworks were shot off over the football field and the parking spot was perfect for enjoying them right in front of us. We had a few doctors' appointments throughout the summer to make sure I was still healing well from the infection and everything looked good.
Later in July, David and I explored a town west of Boston, Worcester. Now many of you want to say War-ces-ter, but it's actually pronounced WUHH-STER. I had to teach David and he still doesn't say it right, but sometimes I think that's just to bug me. While we were in Wuhhster :) we had lunch at "The Fix" a local burger place, with good reviews on google. David loves burgers, and the reviews said this was the best place to get burgers in Worcester. The reviews were accurate, the burgers were yummy; David went as far as to say "Top 5" burger of all time. They had everything, from an original cheeseburger, to a burger with mushrooms mixed into the patty. You could customized your burger with all kinds of cheeses, toppings, and bun selections. They also had really good french fries and a, what looked like, pretty good salad bar. The front of the restaurant has steps to the door, but they have a ramp close by for handicap access and the restaurant was easily maneuverable. The restaurant used to be an old manufacturing facility or factory of some sorts. Worcester is an industrial town, but many of the factories have closed down, so now they are being turned into modern, trendy, condos, shops and restaurants. The brick and old factory façade was balanced well with contemporary furnishings and a modern restaurant style. The atmosphere was warm and comfortable; a slightly upscale burger joint. Overall, David and I had a good time, and great food. A good escape from the boring rest and recovery that was going on most days.
At the end of July, David and I traveled to California and our home in Idaho to visit family and friends. We flew into Boise, ID, stayed the night, and then took our other car, we have at home, and drove to California the next day. We visited my parents, grandparents and a few friends in my hometown. It was so good to be able to see my Dad who I hadn't seen since my surgery, as well as my grandparents and aunt and uncle who have supported us during this time. My brother, his wife and kids, as well as my sister and her boyfriend were all in town for a couple days while we were there. It was so good for my heart to be around family.
The main reason we travelled home to Idaho was for my nephew's adoption ceremony. Micah was my brother and his wife's first foster child and he lived with them for almost two years before legally becoming part of the family; he was part of the family from the first day he came to their house. Micah is a caring, sweet, funny, talkative, teenager and a wonderful part of our family. We were so glad to be able to be there for the ceremony. In May, we missed our other two nephews (Nathan and Isaac) being adopted because of the infection I got in my stump. Such a blessing to be there, with family, for this one.
While we were in Idaho we were able to go to our church, (Stonehill Church). It was so encouraging to see everyone and such a blessing to be there. Later that week we were able to go to a Worship Band practice. David and I were very involved with Stonehill church. David was on the sound team and I played the keyboard in the worship band, so hanging out with these guys at practice and listening to them play was such a joy and lifted my spirit. Our friends at Stonehill Church, a lot of them on the worship team, have been supporting us through this; they raised money for us, pray for us, and love on us so much. We couldn't do this without them.
We also got to spend some time with some of our friends we've missed so much. I had coffee with my good friend Christine. She's my coffee friend, once or twice a month, you will find us at our table at the Starbucks on Eagle Rd. We have missed our coffee time together since I've been gone and both look forward to starting that back up when I get back home to Idaho. I was also able to have lunch with some of the women in our small group at Stonehill, and one of the guys took David out to lunch. It was so good to see them and fellowship. They are some of our biggest cheer leaders and supporters and we couldn't do this without them.
We were able to get together with a few more friends in the short time we were there, but, as usual, the time went by to fast. We headed back to Boston to get back to work on getting better and learning to walk again. Our summer was hard at first but very encouraging, at the end, to be with friends and family once again.
It's crazy to me that it is already the middle of September. We've already done lots of things since we've been back. At the beginning of September, we moved back into our home in Plymouth. After talking with the landlord this summer, she offered to rent the house back to us starting in September and because we knew we were going to be here a while longer we signed the lease. This house in Plymouth, that we lived in for 5 months before, has become our home away from home. We love it, it's comfortable, easy to get around and now holds lots of good memories for us.
I said at the beginning of the blog post that David will be busier starting in the Fall, and some of you may have already seen thing on Facebook and Instagram. After a lot of prayer and talking, David and I decided that he would enroll in college, to finish his Bachelor's degree in Information Technology. It is something that David is very excited about and we believe will help him get a better job once he has the degree. David found Western Governor's University's bachelor's program; which allows you to go at your own pace. He officially started on September 1st and has already completed 1 whole class and just took and passed his final exam on his second class. About 3 weeks for two classes; which the school allows 6 weeks for each class. The school charges per, six-month long, semester, and you are allowed to do as much as you can during each semester. David also was able to get financial aid to cover this whole year. The program should take two years, but at this pace he might be able to finish way early. He will need to get a part time job soon, but when he does, he will be able adjust how much school he does. He's doing great, I'm so proud of him.
While David's busy with school, I hope to be able to be more diligent with my blog. I also have some projects I'm working on. As many of you know I love scarves, wearing them and making them. The past few years I have made and sold my scarves and this year I'm doing it again. Right now, I'm working on getting them posted to my web site so you can see all the beautiful fabrics I have. We have over 25 different colors/patterns to choose from. Lots of plaid, but also herringbone, and others. I'm also working on some home décor items I will be selling with my scarves. One lucky person will receive one of my hand made pieces of art from my collection. The winner of last month's give-away will be announced later this week, so stay tuned. I love creating and being creative, so I'm very happy to be setting up my store and sharing my creations with you.
A few more adventures happened so far this month. At the beginning of the month we had the opportunity to visit my brother and family, who just moved to Washington DC. I love being an Aunt and am so excited that my nephews are only 8 hours away. Yes, it would be only 2 hours flying, but a little more expensive, and we don't mind driving, we've done so much of it in the last year, we're pros. Plus it's good to have our car when we're visiting, we don't have to spend money on a renal and we have the freedom to go and do our own things, especially during nap time. My sister-in-law, Cally, got a new job at the Bureau of Land Management. Her office is in the Department of Interior just down the street from the white house. They took us to her office while we were there, and then we walked (I rode in my wheelchair) down to the Washington Monument, the World War II monument and to the Lincoln Memorial (although I didn't get to see it because the elevator was broken, not cool). David and I also spent one afternoon exploring the Gardens at the Smithsonian. One of my favorite things we did was go for a "hike" in Huntley Meadows Park in Virginia. The trail was handicap friendly and I loved seeing my two littlest nephews get excited about, running through the forest, looking for frogs and fish in the marsh waters, and riding on my lap as David pushed us on the trail. Spending time with my family is so important to me. It was one of the reasons, five or so years ago, I left Boston (my home for 11 years) and moved to Idaho (where my brother lived). Now that my brother and family is closer it makes living here a lot easier. Now if only I can get the rest of my family to move east, and my church, and all my friends... (ha ha ha).
On our way back from Washington DC, we stopped in Hershey, Pennsylvania and visited the Hershey Chocolate World. They offer a free 10 min ride that explains the process of chocolate making. It's a little bit cheesy and childish, but it's free, and they can accommodate wheelchairs. Here are a few pictures from Hershey and our time in Washington DC. Get ready for lots of cuteness from my three nephews.
Last thing to report on is our recent adventure in being healthier. Last week David and I stopped eating refined sugar and processed food and are trying to eat healthier. We are eating lots of veggies, fruits, nuts, meats and some grass-fed milk and cheese. We started about five days ago and after a couple of rough days (detox from sugar), I am feeling great. I have also started swimming. It is strange swimming with one leg, but I think I've got the hang of it and am feeling more comfortable in the water. I'm hoping that the healthy eating and swimming will help as I start physical therapy again, and start the process to get my prosthetic leg made and learn to walk again begins soon.
Thanks for all your support and prayers. Hope to be on here more. Don't forget to subscribe to my blog to get email updates.
"I can do all things through him who gives me strength."