Healing time…

I recently wrote about my bad ankle tendon. Since that post, we hosted two beautiful weddings on our property. Since I only knew a real active of the first bride, I was able to distance myself, and head back to our house when I could tel my ankle had had enough for the day. The story wasn’t the same for the second wedding.

Since the second bride and her beau wer friends, I wanted her day to be perfect. If I see a gap in planning, I step in to fill it. Take getting ready pictures? I’m on it, even though that meant several trips up and down a long stair case. Fix a table arrangement issue? Got it! No one assigned to prepare the coffee urns and turn them on. Done! The photographer is running late? I’ll get pics of the bride and her father exiting the building. Only the bride was there to put decor on tables? Didn’t even think twice. It was a nice time of visiting! I answered caterer and live band questions, showed everyone where they could find what they may have forgotten. Clean up crew? Doesn’t seem to be one… I think you get the picture.

I left the party before it ended, after being on my feet for 12 hours, the last six of which became progressively more painful with each passing hour. After removing my brace and grabbing the ice pack, I plopped into a chair and put my surprisingly swollen ankle up on the arm to ice it.

I thought the brace would keep my ankle from getting worse. Although that may technically be it’s purpose, my ankle was worse and I could barely walk. After a decent night sleep, I could only cry and beat myself up for not taking care of myself. The pain was worse than it had ever been, and I could not walk without holding furniture. Monday became a stay off my feet and take care of myself day. I put some doTERRA Deep Blue rub on the ankle and heated it for 15 minutes, then iced it for 15 minutes. Then I sat at the table with my foot up and wrote some of the thanksgiving cards we would be sending out to my hubby’s clients soon. Each time I did the heat/ice combo my ankle became less stiff and painful, but the swelling remained. I thought to take a homeopathic remedy called Apis Melfica. I had a friend use it for edema and it worked. That’s the sweet thing about homeopathy. You prescribe based on the symptom, not what caused it. Swelling due to injury or heart disease both can respond to it. Three heat/ice treatments during the day, and I could limp around the house a bit. I doctored my ankle with comfrey ointment and castor oil covered by a wool sock and went to bed.

Wow! My ankle is still swollen, but I could almost walk normal this morning! Thank you God for showing mercy to me! It may feel better, but I have come to the conclusion that it is the time off my feet that is helpful. So today, I am doing the minimum on my feet once again. I have to see the chiropractor, I have to take my car into the auto body shop for a repairs estimate. I am sitting in the coffee shop next door to the chiropractor waiting for my turn. It’s a walk in clinic. When I get home, I will do my second heat/ice treatment for the day and probably drop off for a snooze in that comfy stair after. Work on some more cards, fix dinner, watch a show with my honey while I do my third treatment, take my Apis, then wrap the ankle for bed. I am hoping if I can do this for a few weeks, my ankle will begin to heal. If the weather hadn’t turned wintery, I would still have yard work to deal with, so the timing is good to be home off my feet.

I hope I have learned my lesson. If I don’t take care of myself, I won’t be able to take care of others. I really don’t want to go around this mountain again. And I want to avoid needing surgery. I am asking God to fill me with his Holy Spirit to remind me of this daily. I don’t pretend to know the workings of God. The Bible quotes God as saying “My ways are higher than your ways, my thoughts than your thoughts.” But I do know deep inside that he cares. About my eternal soul first and foremost, but also about the vessel it rides through this life in. I will continue to turn away from doing stupid things, I will continue to ask for his mercy, and thank him for each breath I breathe.


Rear ended…

Yesterday was a busy day to begin with. My honey asked me to help him clean the outside of our shop so it would look nice for two weddings we are hosting this weekend. My schedule was already extraordinarily light for the day, mainly detail work in preparation, and getting to top it off with a grandkids ice cream date after school. I ended up washing all four sliding glass doors as well as four windows and all their screens.

A tent was delivered, and I took pictures of its installation for both brides. Weeds were pulled, a greenhouse spider mite infestation dealt with, wild cat was played with. A bride brought “stuff” over to put in the upper room to await the big day. I’m not a professional photographer, but I love taking “before the wedding” pictures! I offered to help take “getting ready” pictures. The wedding was being run by a wedding coordinator who was doing it for free for this family. She does that once a year as a ministry. Since she was paying for a photographer, she needed help.

I took a few pictures of the dress and two floral bouquets, signed rental delivery documents and scurried off to the school to pick up our fourteen year old granddaughter and our twelve year old grandson to take them for ice cream. A regular date time with them that I hope continues for a while longer.

About a mile away from the school, the right hand turning traffic began to slow drivers, so I began to slow, as I dropped to between 15-20 mph, I glanced in my rear view mirror just in time to see a guy barreling towards me. I had just enough time to think he’s going to hit me, when he did. Hard. he was going between 35-45. We had just passed the school when the speed limit drops from 45-35, and many people don’t slow down. So, who knows.

I pulled over a few feet to the shoulder, and thankfully, so did the other driver. I asked the kids if they were ok, both said yes. I got out to exchange insurance information. He had his in his hand, and asked if we were ok. I asked the same. I took some pictures, wondering if I should call the police for a repost. I almost let him leave after that, but thought I should call my insurance company first. Since I got an automated system, I did decide to call the police. Oddly, the other driver was fine with that, even though he would get cited. It didn’t seem like a big deal to him. He even laughed when he said his car (an old Monte Carlo, a beast) would probably be totaled. I wondered if he might be stoned. The damage to my hatch was significant also. I texted my honey and the kids parents to let them know that we were ok, but had been rear ended. The sheriff came, pictures were taken, I was interviewed, the kids were asked if they were ok. I told him we would be visiting a chiropractor, just in case. I know whiplash can be a sneaky thing, sometimes the results don’t show up for months.

We skipped ice cream, and I took them back to school to meet up with dad. He’s a teacher there and hadn’t left yet. I told him I would try to get appointments with a chiropractor for each of us. Once I arrived home I called my insurance company, but bypassed the claims department. They recommended I go get checked by a doctor. I had vaguely remember t that some companies don’t pay for medical unless you are immediately checked out. I met our son at the local urgent care and we did our due diligence.

The next morning found my shoulder area sore and I could feel my pelvis was out of place. I texted our son to ask about the kids. Our fourteen year old granddaughter was very sore in the neck and shoulders, and it was worse when she lifted her arms. She skipped volleyball practice. Our twelve year old grandson said he felt fine. We were able to find a walk in clinic, and walked in. We were placed with a non neck twisting chiropractor, as per my request, who was very thorough and used a gentle technique I was unfamiliar with. Chiropractic is my main source of medical care. After he adjusted our granddaughter and had her walk across the room and back, when she turned to come back she had the biggest smile on her face and said I feel so good!! It was my turn next. He said my pelvis was twisted, probably due to bracing for impact and pushing hard on the brake. And my shoulders, neck were pretty tight, probably the whiplash. After the adjustment I had a similar response.

I purchased a two month package of adjustments, four each month, for less than the standard price of two appointments. My insurance was easy to deal with and said send the bills as they arrive and we will reimburse you as they arrive. my insurance company is the Hartford through AARP. I’ll let them go after the other insurance company to recoup costs.

I took everyone out to lunch after the chiropractor visit in place of ice cream,

Although our grandson still seems to be unfazed, I am going to also get him in this week, just to deal with it, even though there are currently no symptoms.

It was a long Friday, when I added in filing claims and getting appointments for colossi on repair estimates and doctors for everyone to my already busy prepping for two weddings. But… I am grateful that God protected us. I am grateful that I was wearing my ankle brace (on my driving foot) at the time of impact. I am grateful the other driver didn’t run. I am grateful for my girlfriend who called to check on me when I texted her about my accident. I am grateful for so much.

What are you grateful for?


I hate it when people use acronyms when talking. And here I am doing the same.

PTTD stands for Posterior Tibialis Tendon Disfunction. Apparently when you have been flat footed all your life, like I have been, you might develop this. It basically is when the tendon that runs along the inside of your ankle and holds up your arch becomes overly stretched and damaged. Most of my pain was in the morning, after the tendon had time to contract during sleep. My first dozen steps were excruciating as the tendon was stretched out again. At first there wasn’t much pain other than that. Then the pain after a few hours on my feet began. I started limping and limiting my walking.

After seeing my father’s limp (bad knee) improve dramatically with some physical therapy, I decided to go that route also. My therapist was amazingly patient with me, encouraging and gentle. After several weeks of treatment and faithfully doing the exercises, I was feeling much better. Until…

Five hours on my feet, in a small kitchen, bailing out the mother of a bride who got married in our barn. The ankle swelled, pain increased tremendously all day, and the exercises hurt. My physical therapist recommended I see a doctor for the injury. I had never seen an MD for the issue. A podiatrist recently told me I needed new orthotics, which only he knew how to make properly. An orthopedic guy told me to get different orthotics and stretch my calf muscles. Another guy said it was just a matter of time before I would need surgery. I made an appointment to see the doctor she recommended.

Two days later, I had the most thorough exam of my foot in my lifetime. My condition was explained to me in terms I could easily understand, I was shown my X-rays and they were compared to my healthy ankle. Wow. I so appreciated that doctor. He recommended I get and AFO, or Ankle Foot Orthosis. It’s basically a plastic, removable cast that immobilizes the ankle in hopes that the tendon can heal. Thankfully, he recommended I see the same person who worked on the current orthotics I was wearing. A compassionate, encouraging person. I already had an appointment that same day for an orthotic adjustment. Half hour later, I was casted for fit, and the process began. They even asked me if I wanted a pattern or flowers or something. I sent a picture I liked and told them anything in those colored or style would make wearing it a happy experience.

The AFO turned out adorable! His co-worker told him it was the cutest one he’d made in 20 years! It was the exact picture I sent him!! I have worn it for 12 days now, and I can tell it is helping. Along with some home heat/cold therapy I started doing daily. Which I currently doing, thus the time to blog. I still have to be careful not to overdo it on my feet. I am learning to say “No, I can’t help.” That’s hard for someone who’s love language is acts of service. But, if I want to heal, I need to learn.

I am praying that it heals well, and that using it for heavy “on my feet days” will keep me from re-injuring it. I have hope again. I hope that you have hope in your heart for tomorrow.

Happy feet…

When Statler, our black cat starts winding around my feet, I know he’s wanting some love. Some “mommy pick me up and cuddle” time. As soon as I do, his paws start opening wide, then closing right. I call this his “happy feet”.

Happy, happy feet!

This week, I also have happy feet, for the first time in years. I was born with my right foot twisted in towards my left. It was corrected with braces before my memories begin. Over the years, I had to wear “corrective” shoes. They were ugly, expensive and invariably made my long flat feet look even bigger than life. For a few years in my early twenties, I tried wearing ballet style shoes, and heels. That didn’t last long, as the pronation caused ankle pain. To a podiatrist I went and I have worn orthotic inserts ever since. They would relive the pain for a few years. When the pain returned, I would try a different style of orthotics. Sports shoes were my life, but I wanted to wear sandals during the summer with dresses. I took a few summers wearing sandals, and seemed to do OK. It’s probably good we have short summers here.

Anyway, over the last three or four years, I noticed a bone had shifted in my arch area. I began had a three month episode of crushing pain at the end of the day that would cause me to limp horribly. Not good for the back or hips or knees. I could no longer wear my Birkenstock’s, as that dropped bone hit the arch area hard, and it was downright painful. The pain in the inner ankle continued to increase, making walking uncomfortable. I began to limit my activity around the house and property, and stopped walking with friends. I went through several sets of orthotics during that time, each set working for a while, but the pain eventually returning. Soon, I began experiencing unbearable pain with my first dozen steps each morning. After a bit of research, I decided to sleep in a plantar fasciitis brace. It keeps your foot flexed at a bit over 90 degrees. I figured if the tendon was shrinking at night being relaxed, and the pain was from re-stretching it, then keeping it in a semi stretched position would help. It did. No more pain in the morning. The daily pain continued to increase. I went to one foot doctor who listened to my symptoms, looked at my X-rays, but never touched my foot, only to tell me that it was just a matter of time before I would need surgery. No compassion, no intermediate options presented. The other day, I went to another foot doctor, basically to be told that I just needed better orthotics, and he could sell them to me because the ones I was wearing were crap. I asked about options, specifically if physical therapy could help. He pooo-pooed it and said it was structural, better orthotics would fix everything.

I left his office in tears feeling without any hope for a pain free future. I decided to make an appointment with a physical therapist any way to ask if it could help my condition. While we talked, the therapist worked my foot, twisting it, pushing on bones, etc. She said it was definitely a good fit and recommended an exercise and dry needling (acupuncture) to relax the muscle the tendon was attached to. I said I would do anything. By the time my first session was done, the dropped bone was up again, not to its original position, but definitely better. The muscle in my calf felt beat up, and I had a tight piece of tape around my foot, which was uncomfortable. She said that because I have always had a structural issue, we probably couldn’t get it back to 100%, but could get it at least 50-75% better. I couldn’t stop the tears of joy. The best thing I left with that day was hope.

Yep! That’s one of my long, size 12, narrow feet.

Twenty four hours later, the tape has relaxed and doesn’t hurt anymore, my calf feels great, and I walked up the stairs on my toes again, not flat footed like I have had to for the last few months. Monday I get my current orthotics adjusted for my new foot structure, and I have happy feet too! The pain has been minimal today, and I have hope. My attitude has changed, I am not consumed with worry about whether I will be able to walk next year, and I feel like a weight has been lifted from me. My soul is at peace. I even slept better last night.

Hope is a powerful thing. I pray that you can find hope for whatever it is that you are worried about, and that your soul can find peace in hope, and that you can have Happy Feet today!

What’s on my mind…

As I am reclined on the couch with my ankle resting on the back wrapped in an ice pack, my mind is wandering. It is hard to shut it off. I really want to read my Bible and drift off for a nap, but, am having a hard time shifting into low gear.

One cat is curled up at my un-iced foot, the other is snoring on the ground somewhere behind me.

We recently added two bedrooms in the loft above our shop event room. I need to get the rest of the base/door trim installed soon so the painter ca. Come and caulk and do touch up. But, I really should make the time to caulk, so we can save a few bucks. I am pretty good at getting a smooth caulk line.

We are looking into the cost to landscape a formal garden with our tax return money. How much can we do ourselves? Is it worth the chiropractic visits that might ensue? I need to follow up with the concrete guy about patio costs. And I need to touch bases with the stone guy about getting the estimate doe the stone wall and the outdoor fireplace. Since both my honey and I have been involved in the real estate industry for years, we are always thinking of resale value. Our barn is more of an event center, and should city water and sewer make it down this way, we could use it as such. We really should have an outdoor space for events.

Trying to figure out how to keep kids from plucking up entire rose bushes when we have large group gatherings. the last gathering we hosted for Purim found two of my fathers rose bushes broken off at the root. Since I found one entire bush in one of our playhouses, I can only assume it was broke. Off by a child in full run, or broken off to use for some sword play. We are talking about putting a large play set out in the yard, but where is the best location? We will probably shift my food garden space to behind our greenhouse, and put the playset out just past the lawn where the parents (who aren’t watching their kids) can see it. Then fence the food garden in so they can’t destroy it when it is planted later in the season.

If I fence the food garden, I can do it myself with T-posts and cattle panels, but the cost of those materials is similar to the cost of the materials I really want for a 6’ black cyclone fence. However, I can’t I stall that myself. The difference in price would be about $10,000 in the two fences. I think I need to lower my expectations and just put up the one I can by myself this year and be happy. But without a permanent fence, I’m not sure what to plant my grapevines on. Decisions, decisions.

I should probably put some of the physical therapists suggestions for my dad to use in my life to avoid what I have seen him struggle with in old age. Limps throwing backs out, etc. He saw a VA physical therapist for the first time last week. The hope was that they could help strengthen his back and legs so he could stop using a cane, which he has been using since his slip on the ice. After just one visit, he is walking like he used to six months ago, well before his fall. She retrained him how to put his socks on, how to walk with his cane properly, how to get in and out of a car to best avoid falls, and so much more. The transformation is amazing! He has been good about following her instructions and doing his exercises. That takes a lot of stress of my shoulders, figuratively and literally.

How can I self treat my ankle pain if I don’t know what is causing it? I have been told that an MRI is the next step to seeing what’s wrong, by a doctor who has a horrible bedside manor. His nurse took X-rays. He walked into the room, introduced himself and told me “Well, your on the path to needing surgery on that ankle tendon. It’s just a matter of time. Put more arch support in your orthotics, and call me when you’re ready for the MRI”. Yea, NO, I won’t be calling you, I will find someone with a little more compassion, who will maybe do a bit more thorough investigation of what could be happening. I realize that an MRI may still be necessary to find out if it is damaged or infected, since each would require a different form of treatment. But I don’t want to spend a thousand bucks (or more) for one, and have to go through the process of getting that reimbursed through my medical sharing insurance thing. But, I should probably do it sooner than later to avoid causing any further damage.

Should we start letting the cats out during the day to get the mice in the lawn/garden space? Would they hunt them? Would they wander the neighborhood, something we don’t want. Are they big enough that the hawks won’t go after them? How in the world can I supervise them when I am outside to work, not supervise? Last summer we let them come outside with us in the evenings when we sat on the porch to watch the sunset. They mostly stayed close to the house. Until, I calmly said, “Okay boys, it’s time to go inside”. The black one let me pick him up and put him in the house. Waldo the Wild and Weird on the other hand decided a run towards the neighbors field would be the appropriate course of action. What a butthead! Needless to say, I am not looking forward to trying to train him to stay close. But, it needs to be done this summer. We don’t want to let them out all day and night, since we have many stray cats in the fields and they are scrappy fighters. I spent our first summer here helping our neighbor heal up her cat’s fighting wounds. I don’t want that with our boys.

There. Now that all those thoughts are out of my brain, maybe I can relax and read and nap. As long as the cats don’t start WrestleMania on me again.

Hope you have a great day!!


Watching an aging parent struggle is hard. My fiercely independent 84 year father recently slipped on some ice and pulled a groin muscle and bone bruised his back end. Within hours, the pain and stiffness was so great he had to use a walker to get around. It broke my heart to see him struggling to get around, and sit down. He couldn’t get his own socks on, couldn’t balance to do his regular chores around the house. And worst of all, was confined to sitting in his living room without being able to get out of the house.

He’s been a great patient though. Mostly because he will do anything to regain his independence. He iced the sore spots, regularly took the homeopathy regimen we planned out for him, and didn’t overdo it. After 5 days, he took his first shower, alone. After 8 days, he graduated himself to using a cane instead of the walker. On the 9th day, he went down the two steps required to get in and out of the house and we walked in the sunshine on the patio for a change of scenery and fresh air. Today, day 11, he wanted to try to get in and out of a vehicle (as a passenger). He was able to take this next step towards independence, but it was hard for him. And hard for me to watch.

He had already slowed down this past year. He is even slower now. I walked holding his uncaned arm. Partly for him, partly for me. It reminds me to slow down for him, and makes me feel like I might be able to help should he lose his balance. Although, honestly, I might end up going down with him if that ever happens. Although he is healing very quickly compared with other 80+ year olds, the progress is still slow going. He hopes to be driving himself again in the next week, but I am cautious about that, and have already cleared my schedule for his various appointments done the next month.

I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for the resources he has given for natural healing, and for wisdom on how to use them. Homeopathy has been a huge resource that I have utilized again and again in the past four years. Below is a link to the website that started me on my healing journey. I hope you enjoy it also. https://joettecalabrese.com

Using homeopathy, our family has dealt with hemorrhoids that we’re requiring surgery, explosive diarrhea, IBS, hot flashes, tendon/ligament injuries, shock, pain, rashes due to food intolerances, UTIs, fever, hormone headaches, sinus infections, and more. We believe there is a place for doctors, but that many health issues can be dealt with safely, and in expensively with homeopathy.


Ahhhhh. That’s the sound that escaped my lips as I sat on the couch and kicked my feet up to talk to my daughter. It had been a very long day and my dogs were tired. I can tell by the pain that I am already feeling that I will need to take some of my Rhus Tox (a homeopathic remedy for stiffness that is better with motion) so that I can walk in the middle of the night. Maybe it will help my sore shoulder too. I have always had flat feet, and working all day long on them is very hard.

We are in the homestretch on finishing the shop. My worker texted this morning and said he could come by at 11. I wasn’t expecting him until tomorrow so I told him anytime today is bonus time for me. I told him the painters were finished and the paint was dry, the electricians are electricianing, and it is a beautiful day in my neighborhood (a nod to Mr. Rogers there). I felt a great sense of joy this morning knowing that we only have some final touches to do to be finished.

Cabinets need to be installed, and the plumbing fixtures put in, then we are ready to fire up the boiler for the in floor heat. The stair railing‘s go in next week, and I am in process getting carpeting arranged for the stairs and upper room. It is exciting, but it has been a long run. I am ready for it to be over.

I have things around the house I need to get done once I am finished building the shop. My new windshield is whistling and they need to inspect it, the cats need their nails clipped, I have a box of mending that is waiting it’s turn, and so much more.

Today I filled the diesel gas can, refilled both diesel heaters (my least favorite job), helped install a wood beam, went to the home improvement store to pick out a fan and light fixture for the bathroom, and ran a few other errands to prepare for a Hanukkah gathering. I found a beautiful, large fan for the balcony space. It looks like an old windmill that came out of an old barn. Some might say I happened on it by chance. I prefer to think that Yahweh my God led me to it to bless my honey.

Although my feet feel good being up on the couch, my day is not over. I have some sabbath preparation to start, and I told my honey I would go to a clients house with him in about a half hour. Time to power through.


A staple in the finger due to numb fingers.

A wallop to the top of the head when I didn’t see the board above my head in the rafters.

A bruised shin when I missed the last step off the ladder.

A perfectly round bruise on the top of a finger. Still not sure how that got there.

Stiff hands from hours of pulling, holding and hammering.

Chronic shoulder pain from hours of having my arms over my head and moving ladders.

Bi-monthly massages help. The periodic epsom salt and essential oil bath do too, when I can find the time. And the hugs from my honey do too.

That said… I woke up today. I can walk, see, hear, and function. It is a great day and I am grateful to be alive. I won’t be working this hard forever.

Now I understand…

A few month back, we had a round of inspections with the shop and house we are building. One inspection was to make sure our electrical panel was ready to energize. The inspector was friendly and helpful with suggestions. At one point, he asked me “so, you’re going to pull the wire?” I answered in the affirmative, and he repeated the question. I laughed and repeated my answer. At the time, I found it funny. Apparently I must look like I would not be capable of “pulling” wire.

Fast forward to this morning. The sun had just risen around 7:00am, but was hidden behind heavy clouds. It was light but cold, around 32 degrees. I headed to the property and met up with a friend who is coaching me through the project. We decided to take on the big project of pulling the main power wires between the master panel and the sub panel. We needed to run the wire approximately 225 feet. When I say wire, it turned out we were pulling three huge 1″ around, wires and one small through the underground conduit. At the same time.


Five hours later, the three of us, plus his wife who came a bit later, and a car finally finished the job. I pulled for a while, then shoved the wire into the conduit. I was so cold that I didn’t notice how sore I was getting. We went through one and a half bottles of wire lubricant. By the time we were done, my gloves were so slimy, I couldn’t hold anything. But, now I understand the inspectors repeated question. I could not have done that alone, and am humbled that our friend and his two older children took an entire day to help with the monumental task. And, his wife and other children also came out to help for a couple hours.

After we finally finished that task, we all took time to refill the carb load for energy, and went inside to run more wire and drill holes to help the process. When I say inside, it’s not like it was warmer inside. There are still open soffits, open walls into the garage, and a couple windows missing (they were broken when they arrived). Every now and then I would remove my gloves to shove my hands into my pockets to warm them.

When I finally returned home at 4:00pm, I took time to fix a warm, protein recovery drink before hopping into a hot, epsom salt and essential oil bath. It was while I was soaking that I noticed the dark purple bruise at the base of my thumb, and the slight swelling on the top of my other hand. I can only guess the bruise was from the sheer pressure of working the large wires. The top of the hand was when I was drilling a hole and hit a knot and the drill locked and threw and twisted my hand at the wrist and the top of my hand was slammed into a stud. One hip hurts, probably from bracing my body during the pull. Hopefully that is all, but we will have to see what the morning holds.

It feels good to have that big project out of the way. The rest should feel like a piece of cake comparably. I must admit, I feel confident now with working with the electrical. I feel satisfied to be able to say “I did that”. And I have enjoyed most of the process. Stripping wire and stapling is a fairly mindless job, which helps me relax. As long as I’m not shivering too much. I plan to take it easy physically tomorrow. I have some purchases to make, sub contractors to meet with and errands to run. Hopefully my hands won’t hurt too much to put in a full day of work on Tuesday.