Wednesday, 25 June 2014

GRITS!!! - Southern Home Comfort

Piping hot American Grits with a nice pat of butter.  Yummmm.

When I was a week away from my foot operation my BFF in Atlanta, Jae, asked if she could do anything ... send a book, call, anything.  The very best I could think of, which I'd been craving since the weather turned cooler here, was a nice bag of southern Grits.  So she sent me a big bag, bless her.  It took forever to arrive - about 5 or 6 weeks.  I was convinced the Australian authorities had confiscated it wondering what matter of food stuff this white meal could actually be.

If you haven't tasted the glorious warmth of a bowl of grits or, like most of Australians, have never heard of them let me fill you in on why they're so special.  First of all when you come from the southern states of the USA grits are THE breakfast food.  Hot and steamy on a cold winter's morning they're sure to fill you up and keep you going well into the day.  Grits are just a hot corn mush - much like polenta.  Not only do Southerners eat grits for breakfast with eggs or bacon or with grated cheese ... I had a bowl of cheese grits this morning, lovely! ... but they also have them as a side dish with shrimp or ham or really, you name it.

Unfortunately, like porridge, one has to be raised on grits from an early age to truly "get" the deliciousness.  Here in this house George and I have a battle for our own "ethinic" foods.  He LOVES his porridge.  I HATE porridge.  To me it taste like slime, no matter what you add to it to hide the taste.  George in equal measure HATES grits.  The one time I browbeat him into just trying it he bolted out the back door and spit it out.  Which means breakfast during the week is a solitary affair. 

Thank you Jae for the big bag of Southern Comfort!  I'm loving it.

In other news the foot is healing very slowly and very painfully.  When I had the stitches out I expected to go into a boot for another 5 weeks and be able to walk a bit.  But the doctor disappointed me by putting my foot in another cast for 5 weeks!  The cast means I'm very immobile with the exception of the knee walker - great invention.   The time is passing slowly.  I've already read 2 books and watched a good bit of pay TV movies.  I can't stand daytime TV .. it is mind numbing.

George has been good to get me out of the house as much as possible.  Last weekend was a hoot.  I knew he was getting desperate to get on the boat so we decided to take Southern Belle along side at the yacht club and have dinner there on Friday night with our friends Peter and Sue.  Getting on the boat from the marina dock was tricky - and at one point as I was struggling off Peter asked if it was worth it!  But we had a good time with good friends and it was wonderful to be out of the house.

Me on the knee scooter headed down the long deck at the yacht club to our boat.
George and Molly way ahead of me.  Our boat was tied up at the very end of this arm and even with the knee scooter it was a long trip down to the end!

Then on Sunday we went to the Sydney Fish Market to grab some seafood for a few night's dinner.  The crowd there made getting around a bit challenging but it was worth it.  You can really see from the pictures that Australia is very much a part of Asia.    The Fish Market is always a good morning out for coffee, people watching and buying some spectacular fish!

The view from the café while waiting for our coffee.
Just one of the many stacks of fresh seafood.
George not too happy about having his picture taken!
And a run in a Harbour side park for Molly before heading home.
Life is good.

This week has been slow.  The weather which has been unseasonably warm and sunny turned very cold and windy yesterday which means Molly and I spend our house bound hours in front of the fire with multiple cups of tea and a good book.  George has been working most mornings but makes it back home around lunch time to take Molly out for her run. 

I'm looking for a day when George has an all day job for my friend and hairdresser, Robin, to come over.  She's offered to take Molly for a walk and I'm looking forward to sharing some champagne and good conversation.  I've also got lunch with Jenny on Friday.  So all in all this foot repair is not too bad.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Back on that familiar road - To Recovery

The road pictured here isn't exactly the road to recovery mentioned in the heading, it just happens to be a better picture to start out with than one of my leg in a cast - again.   I took this photo almost a month ago and hoped to get a good shot of the flaming amber tree in its full red and yellow glory.  It didn't come out like I'd hoped but you can use your imagination to recreate how spectacular it looked against the deep blue of the sky!

This is more what my current road to recovery surroundings look like.....

The accoutrements of major foot surgery ... knee scooter (fabulous invention!), bag of pills, book, Foxtel cable TV, glasses, phones, and loyal dog. 

Oh, and the syringe container and loaded needles are the yellow bits on the table as well.  They represented the biggest shock of my hospital discharge!  As I was getting ready to leave the hospital - George had been phoned and was on the way to pick me up -  this lovely young nurse with an even younger trainee nurse in tow came in to my room and asked me to sit down on the bed.  She had a tray with her, and I could see a needle in it - cue ominous thoughts. 

With a smile on her face she began by saying, "I understand your doctor has informed you that you will need to administer an injection into your stomach every morning for the next 2 weeks".

"WHAT??  No, sorry no one told me about this and I can't give myself a shot in my stomach!  Can't someone else do it or can I just take a pill?"

Both were looking a little surprised and a bit rattled .. and then she replied, "Oh, I'm sorry no one told you but the doctor has prescribed it to prevent blood clots and you'll have to do it - or get someone else at home to administer for you."

Suddenly I pictured George sitting beside me in our Sea Safety and First Aid course practicing giving an injection to an orange.  Instead of a steady even approach he gleefully stabbed at it with force.  That picture in my mind convinced me if it had to be done then it was going to have to be me.  So far I've managed.  9:30 am every morning I get myself ready and get it done but I still haven't gotten over the sense of dread before the deed.  Eck.  

Now, almost a year to the date I'm home with my foot immobile again.  My foot is encased in a three quarter back slab cast with lots of gauzy wrapping tight .. all the way up to my knee.  The surgery was pretty major, and I won't even get a look at the foot until June 11 when I go to get the stitches out.  There hasn't been too much pain but my foot and leg feel really weird ... sort of a half feeling and half tingling ... like its swelling inside the cast with no where to go.

Tomorrow it will have been a week since the operation.  I was told no weight bearing for 6 weeks and now - as of tomorrow - that's one week down and 5 more to go.  I'm grateful for the doctor and the hospital ... so far it seems like they did a good job.  But day to day I'm very very grateful for the friends who've called, Facebooked (is that a word?), sent texts and come to see me.  And most importantly for my lovely George.  He's being an excellent care giver!  And for Molly who is with me constantly, wherever I go she's there making sure I get from one place to the other and then just laying down near me to keep watch.  I'm a blessed woman.