Thursday, July 12, 2018

Tillie's 4 Week Anniversary!

Tuesday, July 10 was 4 weeks.  Today, July 12 is 1 month.  WOW!  It is amazing to me how fast my recovery progress is going.  Today, I noticed a significant improvement in swelling.  My swelling is down so much that my legs "almost" look like they are the same size.  I say "almost" because I still have a chunky section just to the inside of my incision (but I think that is mostly fat), but overall, the swelling has gone down considerably. 

One thing that is remarkable about this change is the high level of activity I've done in the last 2 days.  Yesterday, I had the most vigorous PT session I've ever had.  Then, I came home and baked a pie and did dishes, then I stood in my kitchen and talked to visitors for a LONG while, then I went out for lunch, then I walked at Inniswood park - probably 2000 steps at least, I would guess.  Today, Hubs and I walked 3600 steps at 2 parks before noon.  I was ready for some ice when I got home, but my swelling is still down even with all that activity!  That's AMAZING!

I am still on a routine of PT at the office on M/W/F and at home every other day.  I see my doc again on July 23.  I think he will be impressed!  My life feels very normal right now. I haven't used my cane at all for probably a week.  I move around my house very comfortably.  I shower, make the bed, cook and do dishes, clean, do laundry, do a few minor things in the yard - all with no problem.  I am not yet to the point where I forget I had surgery because my leg still feels different, but it seldom actually hurts.  I have been putting scar gel on my incision for several days now because all the scabs are gone.  I think that is helping too.  On the advice of my PT, I also massage my incision when I put the gel on. 

I have photos for anyone who asks.  Thanks again for your support of Tillie's adventures!


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Tillie's 3 Week Anniversary

Hello Friends!

It is hard to believe that 3 weeks ago today, I was in the hospital, having had surgery in the morning.  Today, I am moving well on my own without a cane (unless I'm outside), and I even drove myself to the PT office!  During today's workout, I was measured at a 98-degree bend.  This is THRILLING!

Today, the PT also measured Bessie again, and she was at 108.  Our goal is to get Tillie to match up with Bessie at least!  One huge advantage of going to the PT office is the equipment they have.  I have been using the bike to SQUEEEEZE Tillie.  She can't go all the way around on the bike, yet, but I push her as hard as I can going one way, then I reverse the pedal and push her as hard as I can going the other way.  I do that for 6 min.  I really feel like this is one of the most valuable exercises they are having me do. 

They also have me lie on my back on a sliding table with a high bar at the end, and I push myself back on a slide.  I use both feet and 1 foot.  That one is helpful also, but I want them to tighten the tension a little more on that one.  Right now, it feels a little too easy.  I also sit on a stool with a weight-pull around my ankle, and I pull back on it.  Additionally, I am stepping up on a box - forward and sideways, and I am walking across the room sideways and back (strengthening my hips?).

For the most part, I feel like I am back to living my own life, just with the addition of exercise routines 2-3 times a day.  There are many times I almost forget about my knee.  I can walk around the house to do what I need to do - laundry, cooking, dishes, cleaning, etc...  I even walk outside to change the hummingbird water.  I am also sleeping well at night, except my leg feels stiff when I get up after it doesn't move for a few hours. 

I am trying to avoid taking narcotics if I can.  I have taken 1 dose before some of my PT sessions if I have a ride, but when I drive myself, I only take Ibuprofen. 

That's it for my knee update at week 3.  I continue to be amazed at how well and how quickly things are progressing. I never imagined it could be this good! 

Thanks for reading!  I'll talk to you again soonly!


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Tillie's Progress compared to Bessie's


I am now on Day 16 since Tillie's surgery.  I had some time this morning, so I went back through Bessie's Blog Entries to do some comparisons.  I already knew there are huge differences in the speed of my current recovery compared to 5 years ago, but until I actually made a specific list, I didn't realize how many things are different.  Here is a partial list of the big stuff:

  • Bessie couldn't lift herself off the bed until day 21!  Tillie could do that when she arrived home on day 2 !  
  • Bessie took 17 days to get to a 90 degree bend.  Tillie hit that on day 10. 
  • Bessie was still relying on the walker on Day 14.  Tillie has been off the walker in the bedroom since Day 5 or 6 and in the house since about Day 7.  I only used the walker for the next 7 days to roll the leg pump contraption around.  
  • Bessie had to wait until Day 17 before the PT told her she could walk outside!  WHAT?  Tillie was walking outside - with a CANE - on Day 11.  Bessie didn't make it outside with a cane until Day 25!  WHAT?  That is just CRAZY!
  • On Day 8, Tillie rode in a car with a friend to the Doc's office, walked into the waiting area using a cane, to get a Rx renewal. On Day 20, Tillie rode with a friend to a meeting at South where she walked into the school with a cane - cafeteria and auditorium. 
The big question is: Why is Tillie's recovery happening so much faster than Bessie's?  Well, I think there are some good reasons:
  1. 5 years ago, when Bessie was operated on, she was in really really bad shape, and so was Tillie.  She had been in almost constant pain for years and had actually "gone out" more than once.  I had not been able to take walks or do much healthy exercise (except water aerobics) for years.  
  2. After Bessie's surgery, I was able to do much more healthy walking.  It has been a regular thing for the last couple of years to walk at the local parks.  I even took walks at school (10 min = 1000 steps!) 
  3. Once Bessie was in good shape, she was able to take some of the load off of Tillie, so Tillie got a lot better herself.  She wasn't in constant pain going into surgery.  In fact, it was just the pain she's had for the last year that led me to decide to have this surgery.  
  4. I spent 2 years losing weight on Weight Watchers, and at the time of Tillie's Big Day, I was down about 50 pounds from Bessie's Big Day.  
  5. I was more prepared for this surgery because I had been exercising both girls by pushing down my knees on the bed at night - exercising my quads.  
  6. I came out of this surgery already having 1 good leg.  Before, neither leg was good, so it was an uphill battle with neither of them helping the other.  
So, there you have it - a little comparison for your reading pleasure!

Thanks for sticking with me!  I know it isn't nearly exciting as last time!  Oh well, you'll just have to find other ways to be excited!

Talk to you soonly!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A Diversion - Book Report


2018's first Summer Read has been completed:  The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve. 

I have always been a huge Shreve fan.  I've read all of her books and so far have only been disappointed by one (Stella Bain - let's not go there).  While this week's read was not the best book on the Shreve shelf, it was enjoyable. 

The basic story is about Grace.  Grace is a young mother of 2 who lives in a small town on the coast of Maine in the late '40s.  As the coastline gets ravaged by a huge wildfire, Grace saves her children while their house burns to the ground.  Meanwhile, her husband is off with other men in the town trying to stop the fire.  Most of the book is about their life after the fire. 

Parts of the plot are sort of predictable, but there is some suspense and some romance (minimal, unfortunately).  While I wouldn't label this book as "gripping", I looked forward to reading it and had no trouble finishing it. 

One thing that is somewhat unique about this book is that it is written in present tense from Grace's perspective.  I am so used to reading fiction in past tense, that this took some getting used to, but once I got used to it, it was fine.  I can see this book making a very good movie as well. 

There you go!  Happy Reading!


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Tillie Takes A Walk

Good Morning!

Welcome to Sunday, June 24, 2018.  Yesterday's big advance was that Bessie and Tillie went for a walk together.... outside... on the sidewalk!  I walked the width of 4 houses/yards back and forth, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.  I plan to do more of that today!  Who knows - maybe I'll go crazy and do the whole block!  I did use my cane, for insurance.  I'm not even using that in the house.

As was the case with Bessie, when Tillie gets achy, the best remedy is to get up and walk.  She hurts less when I am walking and moving around than when I am just sitting.  Really though she isn't hurting all that much.  She does get hurty after exercises, but other than that, it is just more of an awareness.  I can tell something is different, but it doesn't actually "hurt" most of the time.  The incision itches sometimes, and the bandage that is over it sort of pulls on my skin, so that adds another "awareness" factor.  I am continuing to reduce my use of hard-core meds, and rely more on Ibuprofen.

That's about all I have to share right now.  My progress is super fast and fabulous - I am thrilled by how well everything has gone so far!  I am finished now with the Comfort Keeper helpers - they were GREAT - but I can pretty much do everything I want and need to do by myself now. 

Thanks for letting me share with you!  I'll talk to you again soon!


Friday, June 22, 2018

Tillie's Progress Continues to Amaze!

Hello again!

I am writing this on Friday, June 22 - Day 10.  PT Kevin was here today, and with his help, Tillie hit 90 degrees of bend!  I was so excited I almost cried!  In reading back over Bessie's Blog, I see that she didn't hit 90 until Day 17.  It doesn't surprise me that I am a week ahead of where I was before.  I'm thrilled that when I go to my doc's on Monday to have my staples removed, I will get to show him my progress! 

I have now also cut my meds at least in half if not more.  That's huge too.  I sort of felt like I was over-medicated, so I just started cutting.  Instead of 2 pills at once, I started taking 1, and I also lengthened the time between them especially on the hard stuff.  I also try to plan taking them around my therapy sessions. 

One thing Kevin is doing that I think is most helpful is he actually squeezes Tillie, and his having control over that is much more successful than my pulling on her.  I don't stop squeezing because of pain, I just stop when she won't go any farther.  He sits on the edge of the bed, and I put my foot on his shoulder with my knee bent, and he pushes.  He moves very slowly and holds for probably at least 10 sec before he backs off.  He pushes until I start wincing, but that is what is getting me to 90 degrees.  I wouldn't be there on my own. 

The swelling above my knee seems worse.  Part of it is that I have fat legs, but the swelling seems to be accentuated right above the crease in my knee and toward the inside.  Today he told me that to reduce swelling I need to do more toes over nose.  That means me lying on my back with my head low (1 pillow), and my leg up on 3 pillows and angled so that I can wiggle my toes and push my knee down.  I should also have ice packs on my knee and do all this for 20 min.  This is probably the most uncomfortable thing I have to do.  When the 20 min alarm goes off, I am DONE!

Today, Kevin had me step onto and off of a 6" box.  (Last time he brought a 4" box.)  Stepping up on the box is hard, and I wouldn't be able to do it without holding on to the kitchen counter.  He also had me balance on a foam pad today.  That was also challenging, but my balance has never been great anyway.  He is also having me march in place, do heal-to-toe lines walking along the counter, do side raises and then tip-toe and rock back on heel. 

The other thing he is having me do is use a black Theraband. I close it in the bedroom door, and then put it around my knee and pull back on it until I am tight and hold for 10 sec.  He remains impressed with my progress.  I told him this is my full-time job right now - it is my life. I don't understand the people who have surgery and then don't exercise.  What's up with that?  What a waste! 

I have Kevin coming to the house M-W-F next week then I will start going to the office.  I'll let you know how the staple-pulling goes on Monday!

Have a great weekend and thanks for sticking with me!


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tillie's Adventures Continue - 1 week down!

This is day 6 after surgery.  The differences between where I am in my progress now vs. where I was at Day 6 with Bessie are remarkable.  I have a great deal more control and range of motion with Tillie than I did with Bessie.  Tillie is stronger and much more stable.  I am still using a walker all the time, but I can do a lot more without help.  I have been able to get on and off of the bed without help for a couple of days with Tillie.  I can actually lift her off the bed - up straight into the air - I could NOT do that with Bessie. 

My PT has me doing very simple exercises so far - basically stretching moves.  For example, I have Tillie up on the footstool with a foam lifter under my heal, then I push my knee down and hold for 5 sec.  I do that repeatedly for 3 min.  Then I just let Tillie hang there and be pulled down by gravity for about 5 min.  Another move is that while sitting up in a chair, I use Bessie to push Tillie back as far as she can go, then I keep her there for about 5 seconds.  I do that repeatedly.  I am excited to learn how much range of motion I have gained from doing this.  When the PT (Kevin) was here on Thurs, he measured me at 78 degrees of bend and -11 degrees on Straight.  That feels like very advanced progress!  I can’t wait to hear those numbers are better tomorrow when he is here!  

Fast-forward….  It is now Tuesday.  1 week since surgery.  Yesterday, PT Kevin graduated me from my walker to my cane, at least for in the house.  I can also tell you that I don’t even need the cane, especially in the bedroom/bathroom.  I don’t move fast, and I make sure I am within range of something to hold on to, but I really don’t need the walker or the cane anymore because Tillie doesn’t give out when I put weight on her.  The biggest thing I need to use the walker for is that it holds the power box for my inflatable leg massagers, so that needs to go with me as I move from one place to the next. 

Yesterday, Kevin gave me several more advanced exercises to do.  He measured me at 82 degrees bend and -1 flat - that is a BIG improvement.  I was a little surprised that the bend wasn’t more, but the change from -11 to -1 in flat is HUGE!   Just out of curiosity, I also had him measure Bessie.  She was at 0 fortunately, but she was only at 96 degrees.  I thought she was over 100 before.  I know she never made it to the goal of 110-115, but I thought she was over 100, so I don’t know if she has regressed or if she was just being lazy!  Methinks the girls now need to compete! 

Today, Nursey Lisa will be here to change my dressing.  (Btw, if anyone wants to see my incision, let me know, and I’ll send it on my phone.)  Today is going to be a busy week.  I have several friends who have reserved time on my social calendar for this week.  YAY!  Between that and keeping up with exercises 3x/day, I will be a busy girl.  I am also starting to adjust my med schedule to drag things out.  I want to start weaning off of the hard stuff as soon as possible. 

That’s all for now.  Thanks for following my progress!  I’ll talk to y’all again soonly!


Saturday, June 16, 2018

Tillie’s Adventure Begins

Hello Friends!  

My right knee, Tillie, has been replaced and is now on the mend.  My surgery was on Tuesday, June 12.  I was lucky enough to be the first one on my doctor’s schedule, but that meant I had to be at the New Albany orthopedic hospital by 5:00 am, and then I was in my room before 10 am.  YAY!  Surgery went very well.  I didn’t open my eyes in the recovery room, but I did say the word “pain” a couple of times.  I felt myself being moved to my room - the bed rollers on the floor and the elevator.  Once I got to the room, my 2 friends were there, and I gave them thumbs up.  Over the next hour I started to wake up more and open my eyes.  By 11, I was able to get up and walk about 6’ from the bed and back.  Then around 4 pm, I walked about 30’, from the bed to the sink and back.  After this walk, I was able to get my legs in the bed on my own.

I drank a lot of water and took all the meds I was given.  My pain was very low once I started taking meds.  I was on a clear liquids diet, so I got Jello and a sherbert called “Ice”.  Finally, for my final meal, I also ordered chicken broth hoping it would do a better job of satisfying my hunger.  (It sort of did.)

The nurses gave me long stretches of quiet silence during the night which I really appreciated.  The IV machine made whiney noises, which sort of kept me awake, but overall my night was peaceful.  

About 5:30 or 6 am on Wednesday morning,  the nurses came in to take vitals,  pull the catheter and check my dressing.  They cut off the ACE bandage, but didn’t remove the actual bandage on my incision because it wasn’t all bloody.  Shortly after they were in, my doc’s partner and 2 other docs came in to talk to me and look at the bandage.  They were impressed.  They said the actual bandage wouldn’t be changed until it was closer to my checking out because they want me leaving with a clean bandage.   

After that, I was able to order real food from the breakfast menu!  I was so excited to learn that they had Egg Beaters!  They made me scrambled eggs!  I got turkey sausage which wasn’t very good, and English muffin which was tasty with strawberry jam.  

After breakfast, things moved very fast.  My Physical Therapist came in and took me for a walk down the hall.  She did some exercises on the bed with me and was impressed by how much strength and range of motion I had.  She measured the bend in my leg at 70 degrees and was impressed, and she said I was at -11 degrees of straightness which is excellent!  She was impressed enough that she released me from PT.  Step one in getting to go home!

The rest of the day until I actually left was a whirlwind of activity.  The pharmacy person came in to give me my take-home meds, but she needed payment, so I had to wait until Hubby came with my wallet.  Then someone came in to give me my leg pumps, and my case manager had to come in with information about home care.  WHEW!  All the while, my nurse was coming in for meds and vitals, and I was trying to coordinate my ride home with my friend and Hubs.  Goodness gracious it was a busy and hectic few hours.

Then there was THE BIG ISSUE!  Pee!  Not only did I have to pee and be measured, but then my bladder had to be scanned to show that it was virtually empty, or they wouldn’t let me leave.  I made the mistake of going after the PT took me for my walk, and my nurse didn’t get back to check for an hour - and that was too late to check my bladder, so I had to go again when I could get scanned.  SHEESH!  Seriously? 

Anyway, I finally got home around 2 pm.  I felt strong and awake and was in a very good mood with almost no pain.  

Thanks for reading - stay tuned for more!


Saturday, June 2, 2018

A New Year and New Hobby

Hello Friends!
Wow!  It is hard to believe that it has been almost a year since I posted last.  Where does the time go?  Most of my regular followers probably already know that I will be, once again, having a total knee replacement in about a week, so I am firing up this blog again to report on that adventure.  In the meantime, however, I'm also going to catch you up on some of the other things going on in my world.

At some point, this past winter, Hubs and I refreshed our old dormant interest in completing jigsaw puzzles.  We did them in college - in fact, it was one of the first things we did together when we met in the fall of 1979 (along with other mutual friends).  We also did some in the early years of our marriage (early '80s).  However, it had been years since we'd done one until the fall of 2017. Then we got each other some puzzles over the holidays, and the interest has sort of taken off!  Since then, we've done quite a few.  Enjoy some photos of our adventures in jigsaw land:

We have a system.  We always do the border first, and we put all the pieces on cookie sheets and other baking pans.  Sometimes, we sort by color or font style and sometimes not.  
We make the puzzle on a card table so we can move it around.  The bigger ones usually take us 2-3 days.  We usually work for 2-3 hours at a session.  We listen to music and get up and walk around.  Sometimes we switch seats to get a different perspective.  

This colored pencil puzzle actually had a couple of pieces missing at the top of the orange pencil.  Ironically, there were pieces missing from that same brand on one we did back in the '80s.  

(Sorry - I don't know why I can't get these next few turned correctly!)

The kitty's back leg proved very challenging on this one! 

I think this next one might be our favorite so far:

One of the puzzles that Hubs gave me as a gift over the holidays was one that was custom made from a photo he had taken of me at the zoo with the giraffes.  Here is that one:

It proved to be a little more challenging than we anticipated because of the sea of purple that is my shirt, and the excess of brown ground through the fence.  There was also a lot of plain sky that was a little challenging to do.  

If you notice the pattern of most of these, there are many individual divided items to work on.  We both find that to be the most fun type of design.  They are called "collage" puzzles.  So far our favorite brand is White Mountain Puzzles - they have a lot of collage puzzles, and label them as "intermediate" in difficulty.  Most of the ones we do are 1000 pieces but that has varied somewhat.  We do have a couple that are 1500 pieces.  

We are amassing quite a collection.  We might need to get a shed for the backyard to keep them all in!  I wonder how long we can wait to do one a second time, and will they be easier the second time around?  

Stay tuned!  I can assure you there will be more jigsawing happening in the months ahead!  

Are you now in the mood to do a puzzle?  Have at it and enjoy!  

Thanks for reading.  There will be more blogging happening here in the next 2 months.  Talk to you soonly!


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Vermont Adventures Days 7 & 8

Wednesday, June 28 was a day that I looked forward to since sometime in the winter when I was planning this trip.  It was Llama Trek Day!

When I was doing my trip planning, I did a Google search for Llamas Vermont, and I found the
Northern Vermont Llama Company.  When I learned that they actually take people on walks with llamas, I was IN!

Cousin and I were both looking forward to this, and it might have ended up being our favorite event of the entire vacation!  We watched the weather forecast every day with fingers crossed!  We probably would have gone unless it was storming.  We did get rained on a little at the end.  As you can see in these photos, there were nasty storm clouds aloft, but we lucked out and the sun was out for most of our trek.  Here are the 5 llamas and 1 alpaca that were to be our pack animals for the next 3 hours:

The event starts from the parking lot at the Smuggler's Notch Resort.  Getting to the resort was interesting - we had to follow Rt. 108 north past the Gondola ride at the base of Mt. Mansfield, uphill and around a lot of twists of a  narrow road - appropriately called "the notch".  Parts are so narrow there are no lines down the middle, and it isn't wide enough for 2 vehicles, and it is hard to tell if there is another vehicle coming around the next bend.  I would NOT want to do it in the winter when the pavement is slippery!  My cousin was a brave driver and got us there safely!  

When we arrived, Lindsay was starting the process of getting the saddles and packs on each animal.  She was incredibly organized!  It was obvious she'd done this before!  Between loading things on the animals, she was also welcoming the other hikers and getting paperwork completed.  

I selected Riley to be our llama guide.  This is Riley:

Cousin and I took turns leading him - sort of like walking a dog on a leash.  Before we started out, Lindsay gave us some instructions:

  • Only pet their necks and don't touch their heads or butts.  
  • Try to be calm and quiet around them - no yelling or rowdy behavior.
  • Don't let the animals snack on the way - just pull them away from whatever munchies they are heading towards  (Riley loved to grab low hanging tree branches as we walked!)
Lindsay led us past the resort and up a hill into the woods.  The path was rocky and muddy in places.  There had been quite a bit of rain in the few days before this trek.  In retrospect, if I had known how steep the trail was going to be in places I would have declined to go because I would not have thought I could do it, but once I was in the middle of it, I couldn't back out, so I persevered.   It was rough and I was exhausted at times, but I survived.  Now I remember it as being a unique and rewarding experience, and the strenuous climb isn't what stands out in my mind.

We took breaks on the way up.  There was a break where the animals could snack, and another break where the animals could relieve themselves.  (There was actually a small area where they all did their business, off of the trail.)  We took another break for people to use the restroom.  Eventually, we did a lunch break.  We came to a small clearing along a stream.   Lindsay unloaded all the animals, and moved them to a side area where they got tied to trees.  Then Lindsay opened up all the packs and set up lunch.  She had a portable table which she covered with a nice cloth and some lace.  She even had a llama napkin holder!  Then she brought out food: a variety of fruits, cookies and muffins, beverages, and she closed with little Ben & Jerry ice cream cups.  What a treat!  I would guess that our lunch break was about 20-30 min maybe.  

Once she packed up and started back, she told us that 90% of the hike was before lunch and was mostly uphill.  After lunch was only about 10% of the actual hiking and was mostly downhill.  
We returned to the parking lot in just under 3 hours and said goodbye to our new animal friends and Lindsay.  She gave us each little baggies of fiber from our llama companions.  Over all, the experience was rewarding, and we both listed it high on our favorite activities list. 

That must be it for Day 7, you say!  Oh Goodness, NO!  We drove back to the lodge where I hurried to change my clothes and get cleaned up so I could go on adventure #2!

I had signed up to take a pastry class at the Austrian Tea and Tap Room, just down the road from the lodge.  This is one of the many Lodge Activities that guests can sign up for.  I turned myself around in less than 30 min and took the lodge shuttle van to the Tea Room.  WHEW!

This small restaurant used to be the house of Johannes, Lynne, Kristina and Sam von Trapp.  The kitchen is responsible for many of the pastries offered at all the von Trapp restaurants.  If I had to work in that kitchen, I think I would spend a lot of my time gazing out of the huge windows looking at the amazing view.  

This restaurant itself is just a sort of sandwich shop and bakery for small meals.  Cousin and I ate there one day for lunch.  

There were 9 of us signed up for this class taught by 2 young women who are professional pastry chefs.  When we arrived, we each picked a station where were found a black apron and a mixing bowl filled with some yummy ingredients.  We were also given a packet containing 3 recipes.  

For the next 2.5 hours, we were guided and instructed in the creations of 3 pastries.  It was a little confusing because we would do 1 task for one item and then while that was chilling or baking, we would work on a task for another item.  It was sort of hard to keep track of what went with what.  Looking back on it, it makes sense, but at the time it was a little confusing.  

There was also an item that we watched the chef prepare because it involved cooking and then mixing some dough, but there weren't 9 burners and 9 mixers for all of us, so we watched her, and when the dough was ready, she divided it among all of us.  (I think that was the Cream Puff dough.)

  • Galette Dough - a fancy name for a tart.  We made 4 small pastries and filled two with fruit and made 2 savory (I filled mine with cheese, spinach, asparagus and roasted cauliflower).  
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Bars - a 5x7 foil pan with a base crumble of oats, flour, brown sugar and butter, a layer of fruit (you could use just about any fruit), and then a crumble layer on top
  • Cream Puffs - small, one bite - we filled them with lemon filling or chocolate.  

I went home with a bag of yummy treats that I was able to share with all my cousins!  I truly enjoyed this experience. I learned how to use pastry bags and learned some tricks about rolling out dough.  Did you know you should always roll from the center out, and then turn the dough and roll from center out?  If you try rolling the entire piece of dough from one side to the other, "it confuses the dough".  Seriously?  Wow - who knew!  

We had dinner that night at The Bistro at 10 Acres which was the closest restaurant to the lodge that wasn't part of the 2500 acre von Trapp farm.  I enjoyed a lovely salad that included craisins, pumpkin seeds and pickled veggies, and a delicious chicken entree.  I skipped the decadent dessert this night and went back and ate my own pastries!  

WHEW! Over 11,000 steps for this day!  I slept VERY well!  

Thursday, June 29, Cousin and I checked out of our magical vacation oasis and headed back to New Hampshire.  On the way home, we stopped once again in Quechee to go to a huge antique mall that is right off the highway.  In addition to the antique mall, we got to shop in a llama/alpaca shop, and eat lunch in a cool diner filled with antique radios.  

What an amazing trip this was.  I will enjoy my memories of this forever, and I KNOW I will be going back to Vermont sometime.  I really want to visit there during the peak tree-color season of October - something to look forward to when I retire.  

Thanks for reading about my adventures and looking at my photos!  

:) Amy