Monday, August 24, 2009

First day of School

Went pretty well. Spoke no more than 10 minutes of English per class. It was pretty fun watching them figure it what was going on. Like that. Will continue. Sure, some are lazy or slow and will have trouble catching on...but I think they'll work together enough and figure it out. Most seem eager to learn and that's a treat. It'll be exciting to see how it much they learn from it. :-)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rum White Choc Macadamic Nut Ice Cream

Dad's birthday is tomorrow, and being that he loves ice cream, and white chocolate macadamia nut cookies are his favorite, I figured I'd whip up a recipe. I improvised it from Allrecipes...but the flavor is all me. A little action, for your viewing pleasure:

video

Rum White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup half and half
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk (fat free)
1 capful vanilla
1-2 capfuls rum extract (depending on desired amount of rumminess!)
1 pinch salt
1 (4oz) bar white chocolate, chopped into small squares
1 (2.25 oz) bag of macadamia nuts

Whisk together first 6 ingredients. Pour into spinning ice cream maker, add nuts and chocolate after 20-25 minutes and let spin 5 more minutes. Pack into containers and freeze.I also learned that it is EXTREMELY difficult to lick an ice cream beater. But I prevailed. I may have ice cream drips everywhere from my shoes to my hair, but I prevailed.

Snack Cake Doom

You gotta see this: A Little Debbie Death Match, from Cakespy:Some folks with too much time and too many snack cakes experiment on violent methods of snack cake destruction. Whatever they put into these things to make them "shelf stable" (but oh so far from fresh) makes them pretty tough cookies. (Pun intended, for Megan).

Knee update: Surgeon #2 agrees with Surgeon #1 that I have a plica, but wants to try a special physical therapy to resolve the cause of the injury, rather than just remove the injured tissue. The pain might go away on its own that way, and if it doesn't he'll do the surgery in a month. I'm frustrated about having to do more therapy. It's just annoying to go to all those appointments, especially after 25 chiropractor sessions...but if it's a more permanent option that saves me from hobbling around my classroom on crutches, it's worth trying.

Went back to RHS for the first time and set up my classroom a little bit. I'm ALMOST looking forward to seeing the kids. ;-)

Monday, August 10, 2009

The surgeon says...

I have a plica (see below for explanation). Since I've already been resting and treating the inflammation and pain, without much change, it's probably not going to get better. I can opt for injections, but it won't get me running on a permanent basis. He suggests removing it. If the surgeon tomorrow says the same thing, that's probably what I'll do.

Also, in other news, I bought my first flat iron and straightened my hair. It's fantastic. The back of my head never looked better. :-)

From Answers.com, Plica syndrome:
A tightening of the synovial plica (bands or folds of tissue) that may form in the knee joint. Many people have plicae in three or four places in the knee, with no adverse symptoms. However, when the plicae tighten (for example, as a result of an athletically related knee trauma) they can become hard and damage the knee. A tightened mediopatellar plica (the plica most likely to tighten) behaves like a bowstring, eroding the medial facet of the patella and the medial femoral condyle, causing anteromedial knee pain and a clicking noise as the plica snaps over the end of the femur. The symptoms mimic other knee disorders, so that knee plica is notoriously difficult to diagnose. Rest and ice are the most useful forms of treatment, but sometimes localized steroid injections are used. In cases that do not respond to conservative treatment, the plicae may be removed arthroscopically.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Window Washing and Whole Wheat Bread

As I still have a week before I have to return to work, I figured I should try to be a little more productive (there are only so many CSI reruns!) so I cleaned house and made bread. I got more of the ignored little corners. Hopefully they'll stay clean for a little while. In two weeks all the women of our church are invited to my house for a conference. I'm really looking forward to it, but I always get anxious about getting things ready for guests. I mean...will I be judged on the cleanliness of my microwave?

Plus I tried a recipe for whole wheat bread from King Arthur's Flour blog. It's made in the mixer and only needed to proof for 90 minutes. That's incredibly easy bread. I made two batches, one regular and one in roll/muffin form. All but a few are wrapped up in the freezer. The few...that I ate. LOVE fresh bread. And I can just pop these delights out of the freezer, microwave and enjoy in the future. :-)

Note: please ignore the strange border on my photo. Our camera is on the fritz and I tried to repair a bad photo...and being that I have nothing better than Paint, this is what I got. The bread was still good, I promise.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

the Knee needs advice...

I have developed a growing appreciation for my right knee over the last six months. I mean, when it works, who cares? But when merely sitting in a chair makes it throb...hello knee!

Strangely, just as I've given up on it healing through natural processes....it's better. Seriously. And I'm doing all those things I gave up to protect the crazy knee. The irony is thick.

You see, with nothing to lose...I figured I'd do what what I wanted. So I tried a dance class (Zumba) and it was a little sore. Weight lifting...a couple twinges, but a diminishing number. I even went high-impact and did step aerobics. Knee didn't mind. Now, my calves were debilitatingly sore for two days...but that's allowed.

But there's still Mt. Everest. Running. A couple weeks ago, 30 minutes on the treadmill definitely caused significant soreness, but maybe not anymore. The problem is the human muscular-skeletal system isn't built to endure the kind of pounding running supplies without careful training, hence so many runners get injured (like myself!). So I can't simply go out there and run like I did before the injury to test if it's better. That would brutalize me even if I weren't injured.

So, I have two appointments with surgeons next week...but I'm not sure I really need surgery. I mean, is this a fluke? All that I've been doing differently is going to a new chiropractor who has me doing daily electro-therapy. But the swelling and pain is gone. Going through surgery and two months of recovery sounds like a nightmare, but so is the idea that I can't ever do another marathon. Limitations like that...unpossible.

What should the knee do?