Monthly Archives: November 2014

state of the feet: eight* months

I realized today that it’s been exactly eight* months since I had surgery on both my feet. The fact that I even noted this milestone has very little to do with my stellar significant date recall, and much more to do with the ongoing saga of confirming, communicating, consolidating, and paying off the medical bills with “date of service, 3-19-14” listed at the top of them all.

I’m not even sure that this warrants a post of its own, but I have been thinking about my feet a lot lately – sometimes with great impatience – and maybe it might be helpful for me to put a little more thought into where I was eight months ago, and where I am today.

This week the weather took a pretty serious nosedive towards a winter that’s still over a month away. That, coupled with the number daylight savings time did on my afternoon sunlight reserve, has forced me indoors for physical activity. In past years I’ve ramped down a bit in the winter, letting my body settle more fully into the seasonal changes – hibernating just a bit. But this year I’ve been more reluctant to do that – I spent all of spring unable to walk much at all, my summer was spent in physical therapy teaching my feet and toes to bend again enough to walk without pain, before running again, and my fall was spent chained to a desk full of study materials. So now when I should be settling into a good book and the couch, I just want to stretch and move and run.

We joined a nearby gym / rec center this fall, and for the first time in ten years I’ve had a place to go indoors to workout. I’m grateful for this option, but when I set out to run three miles last night, I quickly realized that was thirty-three laps around the track. Want to know how exciting thirty-three laps are? Slightly more exciting than running in place on a treadmill, but considerably less exciting than actually running on pavement in a park. Considerably less.

Three miles is comfortable to me now. I started running again – in tiny quarter mile stints at first – back in mid-July. It was slow, and I really had to concentrate on my form and do a lot of extra toe exercises to increase my mobility there. I’ve seen the x-rays of my feet – there’s some serious hardware from my big toes all the way down to the center of my feet. I’m sort of amazed that my toes can bend at all. By September I was comfortably doing four to four and a half miles, but after that point my toes would start to complain. And then in October I dropped a table on my right toe, and everything regressed yet again. I developed an infection and started a serious round of antibiotics. I’m also using this really expensive, non-insurance covered nail lacquer that might help save the toenail that changed from purple to black this week. At the very least, I’m trying to keep the toenail in place to act as splint so that a new nail will grow in correctly. The nail bed no longer hurts, which is great, so I’m back to running again. Inside, on a track, round and round and round again.

Eight months ago tonight, I was experiencing the worst physical pain of my life. I’m not excluding childbirth either. Or wisdom teeth extraction. Or the way my scalp feels when I let the little one fix my hair “like Elsa”. Tonight I soaked in the tub and looked at the scars on my feet. They are fading, but still very obvious to me. I remember the way it felt to not be able to walk on my own – even if it was for a short, finite amount of time. I remember what it felt like to not be able to take a shower or soak in the tub for seven straight weeks. I remember how it felt to put on real shoes again after two months, and slide behind the wheel of a car again, and slowly increase from a steady walk to a slow jog on a level path. I’m grateful for so many things this year. Especially these eight month old feet, bruised and battered as they are.

*Updated to correct my math – eight, not nine!

book fair time again

I’m a bit of an impulse shopper when it comes to books. But then there’s this funny little point in time – usually somewhere in early October – where I start to pull back a bit on any purchases. I start stockpiling the mental list of books I’d like to give and receive during the holidays, and then I wait for book fair season to start.

Well, now it’s here, and I’d love to extend the invitation on to you as well. Details for this year’s fair can be found here – you can preorder and pick up later this week in the store, or just stop by sometime this weekend on impulse. I’m completely with you on that.

Here are some books I’ve been (not so) patiently waiting to pick up:

B. J. Novak’s  Book with No Pictures

Oliver Jeffer’s latest book,  Once Upon an Alphabet

The Fat Radish Kitchen Diaries  (My mother- and sister-in-law and I dined there in New York two years ago this month. I’m always looking to expand my vegetarian cookbook collection.)

And another cookbook… Plenty More

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

and especially, Yes Please  I’m ready to laugh out loud.

This is but a small sampling, but not a bad start. I’d love to hear what you are reading, and loving, these days. If you can, stop by the bookstore this weekend – I’ll be there Saturday morning when it opens, with scones!

admiring: kitchen / dining wish list

Before I slowed down the blogging pace for testing, I was trying to post a weekly roundup of little things I heard or saw during the week that I wanted to share. I’d like to bring back the “admiring” posts, but this time around I don’t think I’ll format them in a weekly grab bag – I would rather just post them as I find them, or maybe group a couple of things that are related in some manner.

We also put the addition planning on hiatus while I tested (as well as other ongoing house projects), but now we’re itching to get back at some of those things. The upcoming holidays make it a little tricky to dive head first into all the projects right now, but they are at a slow simmer on the back burner, which is an improvement over the former status of being a dusty pot on a high, unreachable shelf. If you missed the initial addition posts and want to get caught up, they are here, here and here.

Because I’m thinking about the following – Thanksgiving, the addition plan, my holiday cards – I’m also daydreaming about having dedicated (and beautiful) spaces to entertain and be creative. At the same time, I’m really motivated to clean up and clear out a lot of the clutter in our house that has piled up over the past few months (years), and pare things down a bit around the place. I’ve been really focusing on what already have in our kitchen, and how much we use each piece. I’ve also thought about what I might want to have in the new kitchen, and here are a few of those things in that vein that I’m admiring right now.

These gorgeous napkins by Amelie Mancini that she patterns with her own linocuts. We only use cloth napkins in our house, and usually we can keep up with the laundry, but we occasionally run out. I’d love to add to our collection with these.

Amelie-Manicini-linocut-Remodelista Amelie-Manicini-Fern-napkin-Remodelista-2
And while we’re on the subject of linens, the same goes for kitchen towels. I really love these from Fog Linen.


I’m discovering that, like flours, I’m starting to be a salt horder. Right now they are in various plastic containers from the supermarket, but I want a few nice salt cellars in the new kitchen that will make adding a pinch here and there a lot easier (and more beautiful). These olivewood salt cellars from Williams-Sonoma are lovely.

And I was drooling over this image of enamelware in my latest Remodelista email – one of my favorite things in my inbox each week.