{Christmas Blessings}

redheart

If there is righteousness in the heart
If there is righteousness in the heart,
there will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character,
there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home,
there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the world.
So let it be.

~Scottish Blessing ~

I have shared this blessing the last several years on my blog at Christmas time, but I never tire of it. I want to thank you for your love and support since my stroke on July 24, 2014. You have no idea how your words and emails have continued to be a source of strength to me.

As I near the 5 month mark, I am happy to report so many gains. I have leveled at the moment, and my OT/PT will end next week. While I am sad in many ways, I am grateful too! I will miss my therapists and the friendships I have developed at the tiny hospital I frequent twice a week. They are an amazing group of ladies and I shall miss our Tuesday/Thursday banter.

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I do need a rest from it as well. The last 5 months have been a battle to regain as much as mentally and physically possible. I remember my first day there, I arrived in a wheelchair. Now, I can walk with my cane in and out. I am exhausted when I leave each time, but my legs are carrying me.

My Christmas is not going to be a very festive event this year. I have been unable to shop, bake, or wrap gifts. That does make me sad. I shared this with a girlfriend recently, and she said “Your children do not want presents, you are the present because you are STILL HERE to celebrate with them.” It was the words of comfort I needed to hear.

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In January, I plan to visit a local university with my Occupational therapist. We have been asked to speak to students going into the field. I am pretty stoked about this! I never questioned “why” this happened, but knew there would be a path given to me and I will follow.

May the spirit of Christmas bless each and every one of you this season! I am hopeful that 2015 will be a much better year and plan to make it just that!

Merry Christmas!

{Wake Me in December}

hellodecember

Hello My Friends -

Happy December to each of you! Yet again, I cannot believe that November went by in a blink of an eye. I have had some difficulty the past few weeks feeling out of sorts. Usually, I am getting my shop filled for the holiday season and prepping for some event to take place in December, and since I am still recovering that just isn’t happening.

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I have been working on this for several weeks now. Something so simple in the past, requires so much energy now. This is a journal I hope to document my stroke journey/recovery in. I still learn something new about what happened, and want so badly to share with others that maybe they can avoid what I am going through right now.

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I want to SHOUT OUT to the lovely comments and messages again that you continue to send. You have no idea what it means. I love hearing from those that have had similar experiences. Each stroke and recovery is different, the important part is that we are still here fighting.

I had two doctor’s remind me of that last month. They told me how lucky I was to survive where my stroke was because the location (pons/brain stem) they do not see very often, and it controls oxygen and blood pressure in the brain. I thank University of Michigan Hospital for giving me TPA quickly when I arrived. I believe they saved my life.

In the coming weeks I hope to share things from the archives still. My right hand is getting stronger (I can lift 1 lb. weights – soup cans), but I still tire very easily. Maybe in the New Year I will have artwork and a new perspective to share?

Happy December to you!

 

 

{November Winds}

scottishhouse
A pretty Scottish home!

Hello Everyone!
I really thought there would be more art for me to share with you by now, but recovery is still very tiring. I have been working on things…but this is the stage I am at and it has been 3 weeks…

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I want to thank each of you for your kind words and encouragement. It really means so much to me. Just taking a moment to do that makes all the difference on a “bad day”. I still learn something NEW everyday about strokes. It really does hit people of all ages – and that to me is very scary! The brain is a very complex and difficult thing, and the healing after an injury or stroke is also very complex. Each person is totally different in their recovery.

My speech is great, except when I get upset or tired then it can slow down. I still continue to do well with small amount of walking, and I graduated to a regular cane. My right hand/side we are still working on in PT/OT. I don’t feel all of my right hand’s doing but I make it do it anyways! They still say at therapy that I am doing AWESOME so I have to trust what they say…I’ve never done this before.

I have also found a NEW ADDICTION and it is helping me with my motor skills.
Instagram!!! Oh my the eye candy…I love my Pinterest too…but this is a little easier at times. I hope you will consider following me if you Instagram too!

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http://instagram.com/sugarlumpstudios

I hope to get better at visiting your blogs again soon!

{3 Month Marker and Pumpkin,Apples and Bacon}

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I’m still hanging in there. I attend PT/OT twice a week at a local hospital, and they are working on trying to get my motor skills back, walking, crawling, all sorts of things. I will be fitted with an AFO (Ankle Foot Orthosis) this week to help with me right leg/knee. It has been hyper-extending since the stroke, and they fear I will do more damage if we don’t start supporting it.

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My days consist of therapy or doctors appointments still. I have been grateful for a girlfriend that took me to the cider mill and also to the state park yesterday. I don’t/can’t do much still without feeling exhausted in a short amount of time, but it does help so much getting out before the crazy Michigan winter hits. I am dreading that the most (I usually love winter) because I will feel so isolated. Currently, I am trying to come up with excursions to get me out of the house. I *hope* to visit some local universities and speak to them about “Stroke”.

Sharing an “oldie” from the archives…maybe this week I can finally complete a piece!

pumpkin

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Photo from Food Network

I had the most delicious soup with a girlfriend yesterday while dining at Aubree’s in Dexter, Michigan. I searched the internet when I got home and found this recipe:

Pumpkin Soup with Sauteed Apples and Bacon

Ingredients:

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
2 Cups chicken broth
1/2 Cup half and half
1/2 Tsp pumpkin pie spice
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp maple syrup

Enhance Your Dishes with Swanson® Broth

To top-
Bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 Small apple, cored, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp butter

Directions:

Combine pumpkin, chicken broth, half and half, pumpkin pie spice and maple syrup in a medium saucepan and stir to combine. Place over medium heat and allow to simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Taste, adjust seasonings, if needed. If the soup is too thick, add a little more half and half or chicken broth.

For the apples-
Place butter and apple chunks in a small saute pan and cook over medium-low heat until apples are softened, about 5 minutes.

To serve-
Divide soup among the bowls and top with bacon and apples. Serve.