Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Broken Ankle: Six Months Later

This week marks the six month anniversary of my ankle fracture: 
a trimalleolar fracture that resulted in surgery and metal plates and 
screws being put in my ankle.

If you came across my blog by searching for “broken ankle” because you have just 
experienced this yourself, I’d first like to send you warm and empathetic thoughts.  It 
hurts like hell, doesn’t it?  And it’s a bit traumatic.  But believe me when I say that things 
will get better.

Here’s my first post about my break, then there’s one here and here and here is the 
three month update.

Six months later I am walking pretty well.  I have a slight limp, but my guess is that if you 
do the physical therapy you won’t have a limp at six months.  I didn’t have medical 
insurance, so couldn’t get the physical therapy.  My limp is lessening though so I hope in 
another month or two it will be gone completely.

I used a cane from month four-five.  I don’t use it much now but I keep it around for certain 
things like shopping at the mall with my daughter or anything else when I am going to be 
doing lots of walking on a hard surface.  I’d say I am without it 95% of the time

I still have ankle pain every day - though it is MUCH, much less than the first two months.
My ankle still swells every day.  I’m not sure when that will end.  Some days it is bad enough 
that I put ice on it,  some days it isn’t that bad. My right ankle (the broken one) is still bigger 
than my left ankle.  (See photo above) Maybe it will always be this way.

If you have friends and family to help you, things will be easier for you.  (I couldn’t have 
made it without my 18 year old daughter - Thanks Del! And my dogs were my constant 
companions - Thanks Nosey and Seamus!) 

 If you don’t have much support I’d advise surrounding yourself with your favorite books 
or watching seasons of your favorite tv shows on Netflix.  During my non-weight bearing 
time I watched all of PBS’ Bleak House, Battlestar Gallatica and the first four seasons of 
Rescue Me.  I also read lots of Henning Mankill and Jasper Fforde.

The time I spent with Esther Summerson, WIlliam Adama, Tommy Gavin, Thursday Next and 
Kurt Wallander saved me from a slow death by boredom.

So things do get better.  Keep the faith.  The first three months are the hardest but then things 
look up considerably.  Warm wishes going out to you for an easy recuperation.

Now... if I could just find a job...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Employment Issues on Metafilter

ASKED: How do I prioritize all the tasks that come with being unemployed, 
from getting help to finding a job?

I liked this kindhearted answer:
“Have a plan. Stick to the plan. Keep yourself healthy. Keep perspective. Be 
gentle on yourself and realise that you WILL get a new job. It WILL be a bit 
rough in the meantime. There's a lot you can do to make it LESS rough.

ASKED: “Should I apply for a temp agency to kickstart my stalled career??” 

I found this answer by “Patheral” interesting:

“San Francisco is big enough that you can sign up for several temp agencies 
and get enough work (if you're skilled enough) to make a good living and get 
the experience you need and desire. I did this for many many years in a 
different city/state but for different reasons. Don't just go with one temp 
agency, sign up with two or three - I had my resume in at five and I hardly 
ever wanted for work. Yes, some weeks I made a little above minimum wage 
but others I made a lot more than minimum wage - that was one of the things 
I liked about working temp... that and the variety of work places.” 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Laser Monks No More

A few years I wrote about a monastery company called Laser Monks, that sold 
printer cartridges to fund their monastery and other nonprofit entities.
I raved about them, citing their “900 year tradition of community service 
and outreach.” 

 I  have been ordering from them for years now but my last order, made March 
29th, never came.  I tried to log into their website but it was down for repair - and 
still is.  I finally found a number to call (their other number had been disconnected) 
and received a call back this morning from 303-468-0962, the number of Laser 
Monks Distributors.  He informed me that Laser Monks has liquidated and the only 
way to get my money back is to dispute the charges on my credit card, which I have 

Apparently there are many, many people who had their money taken, and never 
received their orders.

Not what I expected from monks. But I guess being a monk-owned business doesn't
give one sanctuary from the recession.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Whole Wheat Shortbread

I set out to make Ina Garten’s shortbread but had no white flour.  
So I substituted whole wheat flour.  To compensate for the heavier 
flour I double sifted it and changed it from 3 1/2 cups to 3 1/4 cups.  
It was still quite heavy and dense so I added a splash of lowfat milk 
and then everything came together nicely.  It took the whole 25 
minutes to cook them and they turned out  scumptiously well.  
Here’s the recipe - my changes are in italics.

Whole Wheat Shortbread Cookies (adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe)

3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature (3 sticks)
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling (I used colored sugar for the top)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups whole wheat flour, double sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, 
or use a regular hand mixer, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar 
until they are just combined. Add the vanilla.

3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them 
to the butter-and-sugar mixture.

4. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together.

5. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. 
Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and 
cut with a 3 by 1-inch finger-shaped cutter. Place the cookies on an un-
greased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Alternately, roll the dough 
into a long, 2-inch cylinder before refrigerating. Once chilled, slice the 
cylinder into 1/4-inch circles. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking 
sheet and sprinkle with sugar.

6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow 
to cool to room temperature. Makes 20-30 cookies.