Well, it’s day 6 of sitting and staring at the walls (and some lovely flowers given to me yesterday by my unit). I went to the doctor on Monday and I have been given 30 days off work. Oh boy. It’s going to be a long month. And although I’m still in a ton of pain, my main concern is becoming the amount of wear on my bum! And despite plenty of entertainment from novels, letters (Ben sends them weekly…more on that in tomorrow’s post), television (oh Glee cast…I’m so happy you’re back!), and work on my university courses, I find I’m going stir crazy. Rapidly.
My parents arrived on Monday to take over the duty of my care and I felt overwhelmingly happy to see them. Why is it that we always crave our parents when we’re hurting, adult or not? I’m also so grateful to have the parents that I do. Dad has a way of making me feel that everything will be okay and Mom has a way of making the world laugh and feel at ease. They are genuinely lovely people who are still madly in love with each other.
However, as usual, they instantly went into parent mode. Dad immediately hired some drywall guys to repair my ceiling. Mom is scrubbing at carpet stains and complaining about my lack of dusting. As we speak, Dad has his head stuck under my kitchen sink and is grumbling, “Why does she have grass seed under here? Who needs ice melter in the middle of the summer?” I’m resisting all urges to scream out that I leave them there because I CAN! It’s easy! I’m a grown up! And it’s MY house!!!
Here’s the thing about my parents and perhaps arguably all parents: Sometimes they forget that I’ve lived alone, relatively successfully, since I was 18. Then again, perhaps I’ve forgotten how nice it feels to be looked after. And in reality, it’s my own frustration that is putting me slightly on edge. And all this sitting has given me itchy feet. I crave walking, skipping, standing and best of all…DANCING. Alas, those days are a ways ahead of me.
So here I sat today, admittedly getting a little whiney because of pain and then I had a bit of a revelation. I may be in pain. I may miss Ben. I may never get better. But there are so many people out there who have it so much worse. So many of my military comrades are now missing their limbs and will never walk again. I might be in pain but I WILL walk again. So many never will.
That thought alone was enough to instantly make me feel a bit better.
Can you believe it — it’s Second Cup’s 35 anniversary. In honour of the milestone, Alex and I went to a tasting session called a “cupping” held by Second Cup’s coffee expert Patrick Russell. To say we learned a lot would be an understatement…. turns out we’ve don’t know beans about the bean! Here are some of our mistakes….
We kept coffee in the fridge
Wrong, wrong wrong. Ground coffee is very porous so keeping it in the fridge infuses it with leftover chicken curry or whatever else it sits beside. Keeping coffee in the freezer is even worse – all the moisture is drawn out, which dries the coffee out. (I now store my coffee in an airtight, lightproof canister.
We bought in bulk.
Once ground coffee only stays at its fresh for about a week. Russell recommends only buying as much ground coffee as you need for the week, or ideally, grinding as you go.
We used tap water, left overnight in a pre-programmed machine, to brew our coffee.
Eeek. Not good. Russell advises using fresh, filtered water to do your beans justice. Fresh, filtered water contains more oxygen, which means more flavour.
(Don’t judge) We’d never cleaned our coffee machines.
Drops of oil on the surface of brewed coffee can be caused by residue build-up inside the coffee machine. We had washed the different components separately but it’s important to run the machine once a week with one part vinegar and four parts water and then again with plain water.
Expand your coffee repertoire and stop by a Second Cup location tomorrow, September 30, where they will be offering their new coffee, Blend 35, for a very special price in celebration of their 35th anniversary. Visit secondcup.com for more info.
And enter to win an amazing Second Cup gift pack: a French bodum coffee press, a $20 gift card and a pound of Second Cup’s limited edition Blend 35 coffee. Leave a comment below letting us know how much a cup of Blend 35 costs at all Second Cup locations on Thursday September 30. Winner will be announced on Monday October 4.
Well…the good news is I woke up after surgery. The bad news is, I have a “thnee”. It’s just thigh flesh right into knee flesh, Readers. No definition whatsoever. Just flesh, bulge, swelling and stitches. Oh yeah…and a mother load of PAIN.
Below, a lovely little picture from day two of recovery after I finally released the Tensor bandage and made bets about how big it would get. No makeup. No sense of decorum. Just medicated and full of Orange Julius that Joe blessedly provided.
Now, if you were to ask me how the surgery went, I wouldn’t really be able to tell you because no one told me! Ha. I walked out of there with no clue of if there was even a modicum of success. Judging by the pain, I’d say they found lots of goodies to excise, cut, chop and grind. I’ll find out more in 6 weeks when I go back for my checkup!
In the meantime, oh the glorious friends I’ve had to surround myself with! Kristen, who saved me the day of surgery by keeping me laughing and from getting nervous. She’s moving to the U.S. next week after getting an awesome job and there I was, soaking up one of her last days with her boyfriend, but she was there without complaint. She even brought me a stuffed penguin roughly the size of Duncan (I love penguins!). She was absolutely wonderful.
And then there’s Joe. Oh Joe, my basic training buddy who would win the award for most patient person ever as I begged for more water! More meds! More food! No more food…my tummy hurts! More magazines! He obliged everything, even a few things he went out of his way for…flowers, Gatorade (to ease the belly), chocolate bars, movies and even went out to bring me an Orange Julius. I’ve mentioned several times to several potentially willing men that if you want me to marry you…all you have to do is put a ring on the straw of an Orange Julius…I love it that much. Thank goodness, that’s not what my marriage proposal came down to but I digress. Furthermore, after Joe fed me cup after cup of tea, he never once complained when he had to help me upstairs for the 15th time that day so I could pee. Yes, Joe was my saviour. He looked after me and prevented me from peeing my pants. If that isn’t the ultimate in friendship, I don’t know what is.
And I know that more than anything, Ben wants to be here, helping me and making me feel better too. I know that not being able to help me is killing him. This has become our reality. We have to cope with things separately in order to make things function. I know it’s hard, Ben. I know.
Another damper on the healing parade was missing the Kingston Writer’s Festival, in which I had tickets to see Lisa Moore speak. I just finished clipping her latest article out of Chatelaine magazine and I pretty much adore anything she writes. Without sounding corny, she is my idol. And I missed her. Luckily, I bargained with my friend Chris to get my copy of “February” signed in exchange for my tickets. He obliged and I’ll cherish that book like it’s paper gold. Because in reality, every good book is. I’m reading her book “Alligator” right now, which I always do when I need to feel better…it makes me feel comforted. And then I wonder if she reads this and realizes that her writing touches people and gives them an escape from their pain. And then I wonder if my writing does that for people too.
So for now, I have my friend Chantal on the Kelly shift today and have had several visits from others. Everyone has been wonderful and I feel so aware of how lucky I am to be surrounded by such friendship. So with the help of my army of comrades, I feel that I’ll survive these next few weeks of healing. I may go crazy, but I’ll survive.
Fall is synonymous with apple picking for a lot of Canadians. Now is the time we start to see Canadian apple varieties creeping into grocery stores all across the country. Our terrific new intern, Miranda, has a serious love for farms, and she went north of the city this weekend to a local apple orchard (Albion Orchards) to learn about apples. She brought us a bag of the most delicious, crisp Macintosh apples and shared some interesting apple facts. Here’s her report:
Did you know that apples last a whole year in storage? This means that a lot of apples in stores right now are in fact from a whole year ago.
Farmer Scott explained that apple trees are like people, they thrive when they are younger and yield far more apples then older trees. As trees get older, they produce less apples than their younger counterparts.
Apple trees can continue to produce apples well into their 40th year! The trees at Albion Orchards ranged from 2 years to 40 years old!
A lot of apple orchards have pick-your-own orchards – and this means that a lot of apples get knocked off the trees in the process of picking. These apples are still delicious and often get made into apple cider – yum!
Apple picking tips: twist the apple in one direction until it comes off the tree – don’t pull! If you pull the apples you can damage the branch that it grows on and prevent new apples from growing in that spot next year. Also, pulling apples causes more apples from the top of the tree to fall of, leaving more apples on the ground.