Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda…

I logged in here yesterday and today, to catch up on new posts from my bloggy pals, and found a host of replies, comments, etc. and started working through those, while formulating a title/update for my feed, because….

Well…. Jacked Meself Up!

(Which was the the original post title, but I stopped writing yesterday, because I wanted to ponder upon the week’s events, more…)

Sigh – I managed to injure the same knee in the same way, as I did in May of 2016.

Not as badly, mind you – I realized it, as soon as I did it, and put away the last bit of my tools, buttoned up outside work and waited to see ‘just how badly’ I had messed up while I lifted something heavy, twisted on my feet/back to ‘throw it from here, to this spot over there” –

I KNOW Better!

But, well, things took longer than I thought they would, as they always do! When I wake up and realize,

“Free day to do what I want AND I’m ready and rarin’ to go! Today I will do…..(long list)”.

I always plan for doing more, than time/my energy allotted will actually allow for –

Town water pipe delivery infrastructure is going on in front of my house and during deep digs, mysterious extra pipes showed up that may/may not be connected to my house/outdoor hydrants, and a lot of stop what I’m doing, wait for signal to turn on this hydrant, or that, and house faucets, to see if mystery pipe is connected to anything, ensued.

Wait for Public Works Director to show up, so I could give the water meter, main, house and hydrant back story to him, best as I knew it…. Wait while he contacts the guy who installed my extra hydrant in 2015…..

I don’t begrudge any of this – Our town water system infrastructure is getting a long overdue upgrade! Yahoo!

I also got to chat with a fresh out of college, with BA in Civil Engineering young man who got me informed and up to speed on how his life is turning out thus far, and what he is learning on the job that his time in college didn’t hint at.

After Troubleshooting & Social Time was over….

I then realized, the roots on the bare root plants to be placed in the ground, were longer than I thought, so instead of getting the post-hole diggers (which use my arms/chest/back muscles)….

Nope, I grab the already out, short shovel, I use to load the wheelbarrow with light, easy to move from pile to conveyance, wood chip mulch, and….

Switching feet, as need be, I stomp on the plates for feet, of the wrong tool I should be using, with abrupt, hard, weird angle for my outta shape legs, to get dug deeper than the slow build up of sheet mulching over the years, has managed to aerate the ground. (along with severe drought….)

Thus, putting more strain on my knees, than I had already done that day on kneeling and squatting activities, that, I do not have all the robust strength of major muscles in my legs to support my knees in their complex and intertwined tendons, ligaments, joints I was engaging in, just then…

(I hate doing squats for fun/exercise in the winter time, I surely do….

If such things need to be done, via work activities (paid and volunteer)?

No problem……but to do, just to do, to be in shape for future to-doing?

Nope – hate doing squats for the sake of doing squats – and now that I don’t work at library and local food bank where I volunteered at has long been closed down – um…come wintertime?

It’s doing squats or paying the piper of consequences come gardening season – 🙂

I KNOW Better! Oh, wait….I already said that….

Knowing, remembering you know and applying that knowledge, are rather different things, really –

Just knowing isn’t enough….

In other news, in my true fashion of, “Well, that’s not THAT important, it can wait a day”, (know it, but not applying what I know, to the to-do list….) fronts….

I’ve also been without hot water since Monday.

The microbursts of wind, that sometimes show up, also, sometimes, manage to hit just the right angle of wind, to put the pilot light out in my water heater…..

via the ‘carry the CO2 out of the house, spout that runs from the roof, to the heater, which is in the cellar….

….a cellar, which is accessed by steep, old fashioned, concrete stairs and the first step down, has cinder block sitting on hard pan earth, because, the cellar was first located outside of the original built abode, then they put in a porch area/then enclosed the porch and various layers of flooring were added over the years…meaning….

By the time I ‘came home’ to my lil house on the prarie? When the original one to three room abode built, was nearing it’s 100th anniversary?

One end of my kitchen has an enormous sized, in the floor, storm cellar door, that is flat, but as big as the one in Wizard of Oz – AND…..

Watch out! That first step is a doozy!

And, the blocks added in, to halve that first step down, are fairly…well….sorta…kinda, stable and solid….

Suffice to say, best to have your wits and balance about ya, before taking that first step.


The wind I suspect being guilty for the outage, blew like a banshee on Sunday – my dishes were all but caught up….and didn’t really have need of loads of hot water, so I didn’t notice.


I took a shower and realized, hmm…water is refreshingly warm and I haven’t even opened up the cold water faucet yet…bet the pilot blew out yesterday…

Monday was busy work day, some off-site, and not many dishes to do and well – I’ll get ‘er done when I need it – I can always heat water in a jiffy need be…


Another busy day, again, with computer work, and a quick sandwich, beef jerky or some oatmeal doesn’t dirty many dishes…..I’ll get to it –


Woot! Woot! Out in the garden – no drop-bys from clients/community folks in need, as the street is dug up for water project and I’ve warned folks not to drop-in….and slow day on biz front requests –

Cloudy Cool day, light breeze, perfect working outside weather….

Look at how much I’m getting done! Man, I’m just killing it! Look! I’ve worked nearly 5 hours and don’t feel rushed, pushed and I’m still GOING! TA-DA! My strength and stamina are returning!

Now, just gonna finish up this last thing, move this thing from here to there and……oh – shit!!!


Walk carefully, put away all the tools – carry in what can be planted later….cover last 3 bare root plants with the moist soil sitting in wheelbarrow.

Durnit! Why didn’t I ‘think’ for a moment before doing that? Now!???

I injured myself and…(gripe, chide, curse, frownie face over my own inattention and clumsiness, ensues….as I make my way indoors….)

Homestyle Self-First-Aid


In the house, I hobble to cupboard, for small condiment cup, fill 2/3s full with jojoba oil – realizing I should use a blend of carrier oils, but the various oils that come to mind are stored in different places, jojoba is handy to grab and the increasing sharp pains in my knee alert me to the fact I’d best be getting off my feet, sooner than later….

Dribble in peppermint, ginger and clove essential oils- who cares if I’m mixing in too many drops? I can do higher ratio for a while – as long as it doesn’t burn my skin (stir and test on inside of my elbow – no burning – I’m good to go)

Add in some Lavender, cuz I always do, it’s so robust and versatile, some geranium for circulation because I thought of it, and it smells better than it usually does to my nose, (to …um…flowery? eww! girly stuff, save for medicinal needs/perfume rollers for others….)

Geranium smells so much better than usual, guess my body wants that, too and I don’t count those drops either….

*Disclaimer – Just because I tell the truth about practicing medicine on myself, doesn’t mean I’m an expert or you should try it on yourself – if you do? You’re on your own – which is also why I save a lot of dollars each year, because I’m not required to spend money on malpractice insurance or attorney retainers- Can you just see me suing myself?? 😀

Acupressure & TCM

Hobble to recliner – rub the oil in – find the points in my wrist to put pressure on that I know work fast, when you bang the livin’ hell out of your knee against sharp 1950s metal desk edge you got assigned to at work –

I learned that lil fun first aid factoid circa 2003….

Hobble to bedroom to get laptop – hobble back – look up knee injuries and acupressure & TCM acupuncture points for such things – that I can reach.

Try the ones I can reach – some are tender, but mainly, ‘nothing’ so figure, I overdid/overtaxed, rather than severe ripping/tearing of vital inner working parts….

Extra Support Supplies, if needed

Text mom to see if her pal she is playing Scrabble with, has an ace bandage I could borrow. It’s likely.

Mom’s friend had five athletic children and is married to the ‘coach’ of 30 years or more, at my local school (until he retired)

Those kind of folks? Probably have a CRATE full of use, wash, use again, supplies!

Why don’t I have one in the house?

Because you put off buying a replacement until ‘you needed it’ –

Me reminding myself….

I sent all the knee support stuff with my son when he moved out, long ago – I hadn’t used such things for awhile and he frequently needed such things, in his job duties –

Catch up on News Feeds, since I can’t do much else now

I find relief through acupressure and oil rub and realize, I’ve got my laptop handy – I could actually catch up on PBS newshour shows – who cares I missed the live broadcast/streaming episode?

I can catch up on the news now, instead of staying up late like I usually do, when physically worn out, and struggling to keep awake while watching/reading….

See? Nothing lost/wasted…..


Planned trip to town with friend, to carpool for supplies trip, rescheduled to next week –

Knee doesn’t hurt as bad as yesterday, but hoofin’ it around an acre of super stores to pick up 3 things, that are located at each of three external walls enclosing the complex, doesn’t seem the best option for ‘healing’ .

Hobble out to check moisture of soil covering those last 3 plants – it’s good to go.

Forgot to take camera or phone with me, and not doing trip again, just to take pictures ……

Friday? Oh, that’s today!

Well, one more day of frequent self-care and resting the injured areas it seems..

Left knee nearly pain free – still a little stiff if left in one position for too long.

I’m walking more normal, even the occasional pings aren’t that bad – one more day and I’ve got plenty of computer work/writing/creative stuff I can be doing, that allows healing time/support for both my knees….

…And my back….

Because…welll, after the one knee quit screaming/sounding the air raid siren at me, I noticed my other knee was slightly groaning and not that happy, either, and my lower back was raising it’s hand once in a while, asking,

“Ummm do you think you could give us some attention??”

Old Habits Die Hard….

Sigh – my ‘old self’ would have torn into ‘doing/get ‘er done’ things, today – I’m ACTIVELY working to restrain myself, and stick to oil rubs, changes of bent/straight position while tackling various computer stuff I laid out as ‘what to do today…”

I tell ya, it’s hard to change habits of a life time

On Priorities, Goals and Perspectives front…

My mom, bless her heart, is so worried about me being without hot water – asks if she can go down and light it….

Yeah, sure, like I’m sending my octogenarian mother down those stairs! Perish the thought! What kind of daughter would do that????

NOT this one, I’m telling ya!

She struggles to understand that….

I’m truly laid back and not suffering over it, at all –

She grew up with such conditions, and no indoor bathroom. She doesn’t ever want to go back to that life. She worked hard to build a life and gain resources so she NEVER has to live that way again!

I don’t blame her. She grew up in hard times.

My desire to downsize, and create a life that is full of ‘simple options, I know how to build, can repair/maintain, make do, to meet life needs, if conveniences fail or my body fail, means, for her, a regression to hard times.

And, perhaps, on some level, for her? Feels to her as if she has somehow failed me, her offspring, in some way, that my desired life, tends to have things in it that look eerily similar to the life she worked so hard to escape from.

I’ve found myself trapped in the life she prefers

I’m not certain, even now, if she fully grasps the goals I set for myself and how hard I have worked, to build a life/wants/needs list that is very adaptable and affordable, should layoffs, lack of income or other things change due to external forces…

I’ve been ‘trapped’ in a life that required 80-120 hours a week of external employer needs, just to keep things sorta together, and create the illusion of a lifestyle/home that met with ‘the approval of others’.

A life that was unkind and unforgiving to me and mine’s survival, should I wish for time/space to care for those in need of the care only I could affordably provide them, as they wished for, on family/housekeeping / food & friend fronts.

I have worked hard to escape that ‘successful (or labeled as such…) life…

The minute I left that marriage/work life?

My goal was, “Never Again shall I be trapped by such things”

I can heat a pan of water on induction cook top, if I need to –

-no electricity? ? Well, I have a propane BBQ grill if I need hot water….

No propane in tank? No problemo, I have a space, pre-approved by Asst Fire chief, surrounded by pea gravel and bags of dirt, and 2 feet from hydrant, with spark destroying perks built into the the tiny rocket stove made out of concrete blocks stacked (i would have to re-stack the blocks, but still….) and a small pile of pruned twigs/small branches to feed into it.

I also have a Zippo lighter, value sized can of lighter fluid, spare flints, and somewhere? I have the magnesium thinggee that is sold as way to start a fire with a rock and I have a maginifying glass, too….)

(I bought those things, for a graduation gift, to go in the gifted, military grade, backpack, for a future civil engineer who was spending his summer before college hoofing it into the wilds of some South American country to a remote village, to help them with infrastructure that worked better for them and the ecosystem, and made them less dependent upon external resources – Sounded so handy, I ordered those tools, for myself, too – they are in my ‘oh crap! time to go lo-tech’ bag of tools)

Spark destroying wood fire chimney??? No WAy!

But yes, it’s true – all you need is high enough exit chimney portion to be able to layer and intersperse the exit portion of the J design rocket stove, with criss-crossed, fine mesh, hardware cloth -to keep any sparks from making it all the way to the top to fly around and catch something on fire.

I first witnessed such a build in summer of 2008, on larger scale, at privately owned land, used for ‘camping’ when a friend, concerned about my grief after losing my oldest son to meningitis, whisked me away to her family’s mountain retreat for a weekend when my youngest son was visiting grandparents.

Her dad had built the more traditional brick stove/chimney, with some modifications to mimic the rocket stove J design AND include the hardwared cloth/steel mesh in the chimney portion.

I never saw a single spark come out of that chimney and you can bet, as a native and one who lived in the mountains near many Colorado Fire areas? I was WATCHING, cuz I was cynical and pessimistic over the ‘promises’ made.

I tell you, her dad sure knew how to build a fire place in country that you don’t want camp fire’s escaping in AND he also knew how to build a top of the line, moveable, prime A#1 outhouse too!

I have fine mesh hardware cloth on hand if I should be called to do hot water activities lo-tech ways. It’s for bottom layer of raised beds, to keep burrowing rodents out of my veggie areas, but if needed for other duties… 😀

All I don’t have yet? Is rain collection storage in case town water dries up – that’s next on the list of ‘to-dos’ –

I repeat…. I just don’t need scalding hot water, in great quantities, that badly yet –

Cool, quick showers, as soon as I feel stable enough to climb over the tub side, to actually get in the shower? is fine…

Until then? A basin of water, with some epsom salts, vinegar and essential oils in it is a quick, refreshing way to clean myself, and I have dry shampoo made up, too, if my hair needs it….

I Am Celebrating my Freedom!

I am Free to adjust my schedule to work on various other projects, in ways that allow my body time to rest and heal.

I am Free to make to do, and not suffer much from the various things that showed up this week….

This is what I am celebrating while other’s around me ‘worry’ about me. And who sometimes label my laid back approach, shake their heads over various stacks of supplies around my place (either purchased when on sale, or gained when someone else was going to throw away, unless I wanted them…)

We all have our perspectives…. 🙂

I am also very Grateful and Circumspect

Grateful that I live a life of such freedom to adjust, that I have family and friends who are willing to be flexible and adaptable to schedules and such, when they change because I was clumsy or overdid.

Who truly support me heart-side, when I explain, “I’d really like to take the time to heal. And thanks, but nope, I don’t need anything….Yes, I’ll be sure to call if I do…”

But mainly, as I view this week’s events, as I type out this update for here, I am pondering all the steps/paths along the way, that led to this day….

God Bless the Broken Road that led me too….

  • the years I spent married to and trying to keep up the lifestyle they wanted, that wasn’t really the one I wanted
  • The years spent working for many others, and being pushed, always, well or not, to go ‘do’ things, better & faster, and cheaper…
  • The health challenges that have popped up over my life time, many diagnoses of ‘chronic’ this, or ‘lifetime of medicine’ that, which, in fact, if given natural support, care, and time, actually healed and came back stronger than they were before sans modern medicine advice (yes, I will go seek care if need be, it’s just often, for me, time, support and things ya can do at home, work just as well, if not better…)
  • All the times I added too much of this or that while practicing medicine on myself, and made notes to ‘remember’ – enough is as good as a feast! Start small, repeat or add a bit, until relief is gained.
  • The times when others didn’t keep their side of the bargain struck, or banks, investments, my ability to work any job, no matter how menial/low-paying, were all stripped from ‘choices list’ and I thought of things I could do, or make do with and kept an eye out for how to be more resilient on things that weren’t so easy to come up with solution for this time around….
  • But mostly? My commitment, each setback, to say, “Well, okay, but I ain’t gonna get caught with my pants flapping in the wind THIS badly, should something like this happen in the future, again…”
  • And, with each setback? I learn something new – or a new way of doing things that is kinder to my body, better utilizes resources, not as dependent upon only one avenue of answers/or solutions.

The Moral of the Story? For Me?

Thank God for the Broken Road I’ve traveled – it led to this, a less stressful week, for me, overall – than it would’ve been even just 6 short years ago (that’s the last time I did this to my knees! :D)

I perused my own post of Just in Case, yesterday – from May of 2016 – that carries the pictorial evidence, for my mom, that no, my knee is not as swollen or injured as badly as ‘the last time I did it”.

Found myself comparing various pics posted in it, to what things look like in the outdoor areas, now – so many areas have ‘lost’ things I wanted/was so tickled over, (started to berate myself over how I failed to keep those things going) and other areas still not built (when will I get that done? chiding myself over having too many irons in the fire, and none of them being shaped properly), but oh, so many other areas and bounties have been gifted to me since then, with little to no action/pushing/demanding/interference, from me.

Tomorrow is (tentatively) the Day!

I’m planning on carefully venturing back out tomorrow – Mom and I have scheduled a ‘work morning’ tomorrow – here’s the agenda:

  • She will stand by, to call for help, if I get stuck in the cellar or fall down the stairs, while re-lighting the hot water heater…. She extracted promise from me on Monday afternoon I would NOT go down there unless she is here.
    • (texting when I go down, then come back up, check in, was not a viable compromise for her – she’s a mom, through and through and I refrained from hurting her feelings by saying, “And how do you think I managed when you were in Wyoming and Nathan was off at college/living far away???” – 😀 )
  • Then if I’m careful, non-clumsy doing the heater thingee, I will mow that last little section of mowing to be done, while she brushes teak oil on the wooden bench my brother and I gifted her for Mother’s Day in 2002, and we hauled to my place when she moved from the ranch in 2016 to a small house on my brother’s farm. It hurts her heart to see how I’ve failed to oil it well these past two years.
    • (In 2017, I traded my resources available, to have the local woodworker, strip off the peeling/degraded, marine style poly-seal on it, to restore it to wood to be oiled/maintained. He passed away during the COVID times – I surely do miss him. I think of him each time I use the butcher block, wooden spoons, bowls or rolling pins he made that reside in my kitchen).
  • If neither of us suffering from overextending ourselves (she had a busy, go, go, going with friends week, this past week!) we’ll work together to get the last chokecherries in the ground
  • IF we still are good to go? We’ll plant the tire tops with Catnip, Agastache and Marvelous Mint Mixes
    • (yeah, they shoulda been in the dirt before this past Tuesday, if I’m gonna stick to ‘trying’ to plant by Moon Phases, but I’m gonna ask Mother Nature to do me a solid, if she feels up to it – – )
  • Still good to go? We’ll get the store onions and garlic sprouting green tops into the future dry bed area that will, for this season, at least, be reseeded with poppies, and native flower mix, deep watered regularly to re-establish and restore it’s diversity and health.
  • AND, if all that goes smooth? I will remember to walk around and take some pics for ‘comparison’ to the 2016 “Just in Case” post and you can see the setbacks, successes(?) and failures, via a Pic post tomorrow or Sunday (why rush things??)
  • And, if we still are wanting to do physical things? Well, guess we’ll do the dishes, and maybe, MAYBE, mop the kitchen floor, too – but seriously, I can do that stuff any ole time…..

A Facebook pal recently posted a t-shirt ad, that carried the phrase:

I Feel like I should Clean the House, so I’m going to my Garden to play until the feeling passes.

I can relate – although, I don’t feel the need to buy a t-shirt to express myself to the world…. That’s money that could buy more plants and seeds! 😀

Until my next ‘update’ from Bally Bin Doings?

May your days and weeks ahead be filled with met needs, adaptable wants and abundance of freedom to rest, heal, survive, thrive – as the day calls to your heart for….

Note – Bless your lil pea pickin’ heart! You made it all the way to the end of this long winded post! Aren’t you a peach! ❤

5 thoughts on “Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda…”

    1. 😀 It started as 1267 words, then I thought, “Oh, don’t forget to include that funny portion, or that ‘wtf?’ and pretty soon? I was catching up on journaling, and yet, all week? I’ve read the daily posts/challenges etc., so I was sorta caught up on ‘what’s doing with y’all?’ and well – I just gave my daily update in an end of the week digest. Given world events, current events in my country, etc.? I believe it more important than ever to connect with others on the lil gifts and challenges of everyday life – the portions where we often can find solidarity in or same core values on – – – 😀


    1. 😀 My dad consistently shared phrases, stories and demonstrated through his life the whole of the saying, “Enjoy the journey more than the destination” – But I tell ya, sometimes? I look at a side detour/scenic byway, or ‘loop around downtown’ cloverleaf or roundabout I got ONTO, but never seem in the right lane to exit off of, and I think to meself, “Um….I don’t think we are in Kansas any more, hell! I can’t even SEE Kansas from here!” – 😀 😀 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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