I’m doing exercises three times a day, plus using the leg flexing machine, icing my leg, and going to rehab three times a week so even though I’m not busy with seeds and canning, I am very busy. In between naps! But, slowly, the flexing of the knee and pain are getting better daily. Will got the final steps done on mailing our new catalogs today. So, they should ship out tomorrow — hopefully. (If anyone doesn’t get a catalog in a week or so, please let me know at jackieclay2007@yahoo.com.)

With the warmth, the snow is sliding off the storage barn and greenhouse roofs nicely.

Our weather’s been very nice lately, in the thirties and even forties a day ago. Wow! That’s a sweet gift in February! Will’s been shoveling snow off of our house roof to stave off the formation of ice dams along the eves. Water is running off the south side of the house like a fire hose. The snow remaining won’t last long at that rate.

Here’s some hope for spring!

David’s been working on his cabin like mad. He’d like them to get moved into it this month, but I’m thinking he might be a little optimistic. The wiring and plumbing is done but there’s still sheet rock taping and mudding to go and that’s a process, for sure. We all hate it! He does have the bathroom tiled and the vanity in place, as well as the shower finished. So, it’s coming along. But it’s hard with him working and driving 1½ hours one way to get back home to his family in Grand Rapids. He’s been staying at the cabin some nights so he can work on it, as much as possible, though. We’d all like spring to come soon!

It won’t be long now, folks…

— Jackie


  1. Hope you are continuing to improve.
    I meant to comment on a post you made weeks ago, and now that problem has hit a lot closer to home. You mentioned that you were going to start growing/making your own lifestock feed including for the chickens. Although, I don’t own any livestock or chickens, yet, it’s a topic of interest. Now that there’s a pet food shortage, I’m especially interested in providing for my cats. So, when you are up to it, I’d love to hear you expand on that project.

    • We plan on growing several “extra” crops for our chickens, including corn, wheat and squash. When feed together (not mixed), they will provide a good diet for the birds. In the summer and fall, we also always give them extra garden scraps, weeds and table scraps. Year around, they also get extra milk, skim milk and whey from cheese making. Cats are another thing, having different dietary needs. To provide good nutrition, I’m not going to try to improve on bags of good quality dry cat food, but, instead, stock up on several to see our kitties through in case of shortages.

  2. so happy to hear the recuperating is progressing so well( not fast. but progresses!! is wonderful)
    thanks for the tip of onion seeds!!! was just trying to decide when to start mine.- am heading out to the green house as we are about 3/4 weeks earlier than up your wy.
    continue with your healthy attitude. God Bless you!

    • Thank you Mary. I’m continuing to see improvement. Today at rehab, I was able to gain 100 degrees of flex on my knee without severe pain. Getting there…..

  3. Watching Shawn James on yt makes my heart cry for the lifestyle you and he live. I keep telling myself, that if my husband and I ever get there, it will be HARD (and in our sixties now). Sometimes I seem to languish because we don’t live off the land right now, I long so much for it. It’s wonderful to see your example and the reality of being self-reliant (and on God, too) and that it can be done! Got my seed. Thanks so much.

    • Don’t beat yourself up – every little bit you can do lessen reliance on the grid, grocery store, repairs/builds etc. means you’re ahead of the game. We’ll likely never live off grid/off the land. But we can garden, forage, repair/build as much as we can/choose to. For the rest, local sources for food and good circle of people who can do what we can’t. Remember most of us have it far better than most so we should count our blessings.

    • Selena has some very good points. Nobody is ever totally self-reliant as it’s a path rather a goal. If we keep walking that path, it will definitely improve our lives. God helps us out when we struggle.

  4. Hi Jackie, so glad to read that you are recovering well and things are improving day by day. It seems like such a slow process but it will take time. You are about 2 weeks ahead of me as I had my knee replaced Jan. 31. I’ve had a few surgeries over the years but this one takes the cake for level of pain. I’m so glad I have a very high pain tolerance. I go to the torture chamber (otherwise known as physiotherapy) twice a week and man do they push!! I get my staples out on Tuesday so maybe that will help. I’m 71 and my husband is 87 so not as spry as we’d like to be but our wonderful DIL has been staying with us for the last 2 weeks and I couldn’t have got on without her. She’s an angel in disguise. (She went out with a friend for supper last night and she saved a mans life by using the heimlich maneuver on him as he was choking!!!!) I love the pictures of your gardens as I look out at the snow. Take care.

    • Yep, I, too, have a high pain tolerance, but some days I live on ice packs!! My stitches are out, and the incision looks great.
      Holy cow, that guy was lucky your Daughter-in-law was there!! Wow. I’m so happy she was able to save his life.

  5. And how goes it with Hondo, Sarge, Mittens, and Buffy? I’m not rehabbing from anything and every day I have the “you’re gonna get stepped on” moments!

    • They’re all fine, although they don’t know what to do about Mom being in the downstairs bedroom and hobbling around on a walker all day! I get lots of kisses, talking to and love from the all.

  6. I’m so glad to hear you’re recovering, Jackie! Hang in there and know you have lots of fans praying for you. I’m looking forward to getting my seeds started soon – can’t wait to grow some new varieties that I bought from you! Hope to see you sometime this summer.

  7. Jackie I’m so glad your recovery is going good. Yes it’s hard to be patient. I’ve had 3 major hip surgeries in the last 6 months. I’m ready to be back to normal. Whatever that means. Lol. But through it all God has been faithful. I’m ready for spring. Renewal.

    • Oh yes! I look at photos of the garden and just about drool. I can’t wait to get around better and get doing!

  8. The pictures of your garden are beautiful. I understand about the work that is required to get your knee in working order. Keep up the HARD work. Bette

    • It is hard work. But I see improvement nearly every single day. So, hopefully things are healing like they should. Yea!!

  9. I’m glad to hear about the progress with the knee. It’s always encouraging when you “turn corners” during the rehab process even though they might be small ones. Take every victory with a smile! Has this whole experience made you rethink the time table on having the second one done? Sometimes people ask me if I’d ever thought about having both knees done at once and it’s obvious they’d never “been there”. I was too chicken for that and had them done one year apart. :)

    Raising my coffee mug to your progress and persistence!

    • As it’s taking so long to rehab, I probably won’t have the other done in 6 weeks. We’re sliding into planting time and if I didn’t recover faster than this one, it would be tough. My doctor wouldn’t do both of them at once and I can see his point. Double the rehab exercises would have worn me out!

  10. I’m glad you’re doing well Jackie! Keep up with your exercises and be careful!
    I fell and broke my hip in early November. Ten days in the hospital and 17 days in a rehabilitation care center seemed like an eternity. After one of those atmospheric river storms here in CA, we had beautiful blue skies and days in the 50’s. I was thrilled to go outside to my garden and while pulling a clump of grass from a potted plant, I fell again. Fortunately nothing more broke but this fall set me back 2 months.
    I’m looking forward to receiving your seed catalog and planning what I’ll plant in my raised beds. Being patient while healing is so hard to do when there’s so much outside drawing me away from my bed and chair!

    • Boy, I hear you Helen! I broke both of my hips long ago in a horse wreck, along with my back, etc. But I was young and healed very quickly. Not so fast, now that I’m old. But we just keep chugging along.

  11. Sounds like you are making incredible progress! Looking forward to receiving my catalog. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  12. Dear Jackie,
    I wish you could really know how much your pictures, stories and blog means to us. Thank you so much for sharing and teaching us things. I love the gardening stories, canning tips, and the spring pictures. It is good to use our down time to plan things out. There is always something to do and plan and some of my best ideas have come while I was in bed recovering from foot surgeries. So prop that knee up and put on your thinking cap! Saying prayers for your full recovery.

    • Thanks so much! I am working on our garden planning, right from bed, with my leg propped up and ice packs on the knee. With extra planning it should be terrific this year. Right???

    • Boy, that’s for sure. But, day by day, I’m seeing improvement. Except when I overdo things a bit….

  13. Yep, we’re sure going to get more. But that’s okay. Will plows snow over our flower beds and that keeps them from blooming too early or the deer eating them down to the roots.

  14. Jackie, this reminds me of this quote:

    “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.

    And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”
    Albert Camus

    You will heal quickly, and thanks for sharing the summer pics, it sure won’t be long now till you are better than new! The Six Million Dollar Jackie!

  15. Those summer pics are a breath of fresh air. Thanks so much for sharing them! It’s good to hear the hard work is paying off. It’s not fun for sure but hang in there. Pyro

  16. So glad you are on the mend canning chicken soup from your recipe.glad David’s moving back home in his own cabin hard to believe he’s got a family now where the time goes.spring is coming i think 28 days?

    • Ha, that’s a lie made up back east somewhere!! Maybe we’ll see melting in April. Maybe. David’s working on tiling the bathroom today, even though he has a bad cold.

  17. Glad you are having some warmer weather. It makes everything a bit more bearable. I am happy to hear things are improving with the knee. Knee replacement is probably the most painful joint replacement there is, and not being able to tolerate the pain meds sure doesn’t help. It will get better, just stay with it. Prayers for a great week and continued healing.

    • I’m working every day on getting better and more flexible, knowing spring is just around the corner. Thanks for the prayers!!

  18. When you get impatient, look at those Spring pictures as incentive to take it slow now so you can enjoy that season fully healed.

    Excited to hear David is making good progress on the cabin.

    blessings to you all.

    • I do love looking back on my pictures, knowing spring will come again soon. The pictures encourage me.

  19. It’s so wonderful to see David with his own family. Seems like yesterday he was a little boy. You take it as easy as possible and HEAL

    • I know what you mean, Those darned kids grow up so fast, don’t they? I’m working on healing every day.

  20. The picture of your green house with the flowers around looks like a magazine picture. It’s beautiful. Sure made me smile.

    I look forward to your posts. God bless as you rehabilitate.

  21. Healing must take time as I am learning. Just had sinus surgery 1 1/2 weeks ago and the pain can sure be discouraging. I think I am not a patient person. I have always been active, so trying to do things that take sitting down.

    • I hear you. But it is hard as I feel better and better, lying down in bed bores me to tears. I just try to figure out what I’ll be planting in various gardens to make it bearable.

  22. Always Glad for your
    Updates. Slow and
    Steady and fewer set
    Backs when the Body
    Says Slow Down. It’s
    Always Good when the
    Pain is less each day.
    Looking forward to the
    New catalog

  23. Glad your on the mend. It is tempting to overdo it – somewhat like the first days of working outside in the spring. We all know better yet we still push ourselves a bit too much. Then our body says “I told you so”.
    We have a gutter “heater” which we run when needed. Our electric bill (yeah, we’re on the grid) is always higher in the winter than the summer. Roof damage is far more expensive than the increase in the electric bill. Plus providing water for wildlife pays off as they consume bugs and ticks. Plus wildlife is needed for the balance of nature IMHO.
    Ugh, taping and mudding – not a fast process so I too think he’s being optimistic. It isn’t easy finishing/remodeling with small children, even if you clean up before they get home.
    Our weather (excluding today’s rain/slush/snow) has been decent temperature wise. Moisture is always welcome. The garlic and perennials have had a nice blanket of snow and now it is melting nice and slow. But I know we’re in for at least two more rounds of bad (read measurable snow). Just a matter of when.

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