I hurt my back lifting heavy fence posts the first weekend in December and was in pretty excruciating pain for a while. Unfortunately M had just left for Kansas for a week to attend his step-father’s funeral and to help his brother square things away when the pain started. I couldn’t sit down or lie down so there was no sleeping let alone getting into the truck and driving myself to the doctor.
I have a bad habit of grinning and bearing it but after five days of no sleep and constantly shuffling around the house 24 hours a day in a stupor I clenched my teeth, fought back the tears and drove myself to the doctor. I took the prescription meds although I really hate them, but at least they knocked me out enough to sleep an hour at a time before the pain would wake me again. M came home a few days later – thank goodness. He is an excellent caretaker when I am sick or injured and I was even more grateful to have him home than usual.
The timing of my injury and M’s Kansas trip made for a very low key Christmas with regard to “preparations” but surprisingly it turned out to be quite lovely – in fact we both have dubbed it our favorite Christmas together so far. It was also the first day my pain was manageable so I could relax and enjoy it. Thank goodness our larder was full of good things to eat and drink, and since Santa shops early there were still plenty of presents under our makeshift Christmas tree.
Stocking stuffers are our favorites and tend to be food oriented. It’s a good thing since there wasn’t much done in the holiday baking department this year.
With all of the time spent at home recovering but not being able to sit or lie down for very long, I had to find ways to keep myself busy.
I finished a sweater I’ve been picking up and putting down for quite a long time for M. I worked on it while standing at the dining table. The cats decided the sweater needed a little more texture and so did a little “weaving” in of their own every time I walked out of the room.
He cleans up pretty well, doesn’t he?
I knit a couple of hats using leftover yarn from other projects. I leaned against the kitchen counter to knit and read my patterns from my laptop perched on top of the toaster oven. My usual monochromatic tendencies seemed to have been affected by the pain meds…
When M came back from Kansas we made bacon, sausage and braunschweiger
with a very attentive audience
With the Foodsaver Santa brought us I vacuum packed it all and decided to organize the freezer.
I made new spice containers and organized the cabinets.
I started some apple/ginger sauerkraut with my new fermentation kit. I have a large crock I usually do this in but really like having the ability to do small batches in mason jars. This way I can experiment with flavors and not feel obligated to eat 4 gallons of something that turned out to not be my new favorite thing. The large jar contains orange peels, rosemary and vinegar – I’m steeping it for about a month to make my own citrus cleaner concentrate thanks to my new favorite book The Hands On Home written by Erica Strauss (thank you Santa!) who also has a great blog M and I both follow Northwest Edible Life. I HIGHLY recommend both even if you aren’t in the northwest. She is HI-larious and seriously makes home-keeping fun!
Being the bartender in our house and a life-long passion for making “concoctions”, I gave M a gift bag for Christmas with all of the ingredients he needed to make his own tonic water – another great idea from nwedible. It turned out super delicious and well worth doing if you are a Gin & Tonic fan, which we are thanks to a local organic distiller here on the island for turning us into gin fans. One sip at a pork butchery workshop and spirits tasting was all it took to convert us.
M replaced the section of rope the kitties had shredded to pieces on the scratch post he made them when they were kittens about 8 years ago. He also recovered their hideaway with fleece. Siena is quite content to hang out in there and watch the birds eat from the feeder he got them for Christmas.
Despite the painful start to our holiday season, it turned out pretty well in the end. We spent some relaxing time together, made and enjoyed delicious food and libations, as well as checked a bunch of things off of our home “to do” list.