On Christmas evening, David and Elizabeth invited us over to their house to have a late Christmas dinner with his family and Elizabeth’s parents. That was very nice, and we enjoyed the evening very much. As we were driving home, Will noticed headlights coming down the driveway behind us. Will’s grandson, Drew, who he had never met, had called earlier, and said he would like to come up for a visit. Earlier that day, he’d flown from Illinois, where he was visiting his mother and siblings. Then, he drove from St. Paul, where he is going to college, up to our place, a four-hour drive. Yep, it was Drew. And earlier than we had figured he’d make it. After all, that’s a long haul from St. Paul.

ill and his grandson, Drew had a great visit.

He was able to stay until Wednesday night and we all had a great visit. He has been researching his family tree and Grandpa was able to fill in quite a few blanks for him. I got to cook for him, which I always enjoy. And, of course, I also sent him home with a few goodies like cookies, salsa, and jam. Now that he’s living closer, not in Alaska or Illinois, we’re hoping to see much more of him.

Gee, I felt short, next to Drew!
Will was able to fill in some blanks in Drew’s family tree and they both had a good time talking about family.

After all the Holiday excitement, I’ve got to get back to normal. There’s that leftover ham to can, bean soup to make and can plus a turkey that can be roasted, eaten, and also canned. All before my knee surgery on the ninth of January. Ugh! I am not looking forward to being totally useless for a week or more! And I hope that knee turns out better than the last one. (That bugger is still swelling and painful.)

The sun is out today, and it is so nice to see it for a change. We have had rain, cloudy, or overcast days for it seems like ever! But still no snow on the ground and the frost is even out of the ground. Just like spring! That’s so weird! At least the winter is going to be much shorter this year. Last year, it started early and left late.

I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year’s Day. Make a resolution to plant more food! — Jackie


  1. Jackie,
    My sister has had two knee replacements and she is 72 years old. The doctor tested her and found out that she may have an allergy to the metal in the knee replacements. I think they have some nickel in them. That’s what they usually mix with gold in gold jewelry. So before surgery he ordered the replacement in titanium. I’m not sure if there is another metal in it. But maybe that’s why you have so much swelling. She is completely healed and walking every morning for about an hour. She couldn’t walk much at all before surgery. Bone on bone. That doctor in Tennessee really did a great job on her. I hope you do better the next time. Blessing and happy new year.

    • Thank you Barbara. I guess we’ll see how the next one goes. Hopefully I’m not allergic to the metal in the knee replacement. As far as I know, I’m not allergic to anything. Yet.
      You have a wonderful New Year!

  2. Jackie, I hope your knee surgery is successful. I am having a total knee replacement first of March. I had my right knee done 2 years ago.

    • Thanks so much. This is my second and I’m hoping this one goes better; I still have pain in the first. I think it’s because I’d fallen before the surgery and hurt some ligaments and muscles when I did.

  3. Hi Jackie,
    Blessings for the New Year to you! It started already with Drew’s visit.

    Please allow yourself plenty of recovery time. Don’t want to undo the surgery you had done. I know it’s hard to sit…but “it” will keep.

    • I agree. I’ll try to be good. That’s why I scheduled it for the less busy time of the year, so I’ll have less to worry about not doing.

    • “It” will keep – especially dust, so true. Perhaps one of your circle can stop by and you can tag team seed orders. If nothing else, you can map out 2024 garden planting. I’m sure Mittens and/or Buffy will help out.
      You *must* rest, elevate, and ice #2 knee replacement. We all know climate change is here to stay. So use your down time to plan. I always have what I call “chair work” to do. Tasks that can be done from the comfort of my chair (or in your case, elevated knee while in bed). There are times when one should spend more time thinking/planning than doing. And this is one of them.

  4. SO glad that Drew was able to come see you!

    I’m going to echo SandyA’s comment above. You’ve GOT to give that knee time to heal before you start diving into garden work! PT, yes. Ice and elevation, yes. Garden stuff, no. Standing for hours at the stove, no. That’s why you’re doing this in the offseason! Been there, done that with both knees and eventually having one completely replaced again and a new disk replaced in the other. You know we all love ya and are nagging you because of that, you old hard head! :D

    Here’s to a safe, healthy, peaceful and prosperous 2024 for all of us.

    • Hey, I did PT, did, and still do my exercises, iced it but had trouble elevating it as I’ve broken both hips long ago and can’t like sit in a recliner or kayak or even on the floor. Elevating it, unless I’m lying down, makes my hips scream. I went from January surgery till June planting before I hit the garden. I did try, guys…. I’m hoping the next one will go better. (I hadn’t fallen and hurt the left one so I’m hoping so.)
      Thanks Chris! Happy New Year!!

  5. Please, please, please have BHM let us know the surgery went well. Last time, it was weeks, and I was so worried.

    • I promise, even if I have to dictate. So sorry I worried you. Sitting at the computer made my new surgery knee hurt like heck.

  6. Now your family is “fuller”, Jackie! I’m so glad for y’all and grandson. About the knee surgery, my husband had a partial done on one knee, and says it’s a difficult recovery, let alone a whole knee, or two! And he was in his fifties! Jackie, thank you so very much for the continued reminder to plant more garden. Will do, with the Lord’s help!!!

    • We’re always so happy to have more family around us!! I’m not looking forward to having the knee surgery but am hoping this one goes better!
      Yep, we’re planting more garden, despite having a fully pantry. I’m not liking the world situation, let alone our economy.

  7. I posted my question last time but you missed it, understandable with all that’s going on. Our hopi squash shell has turned white, is that normal and are they still good? Thanks Bev

    • Sometimes they will get very pale pink, or nearly white. That’s okay, but I’d use that one fairly soon as it’s signaling you that it’s very mature. Sorry to have missed your last post.

  8. What a joy for you and Will to meet his grandson! The smiles say it all:) Tracing family history is so very interesting and I’m sure Drew was thrilled Will could fill in some blanks for him. Sounds like you may be burning some midnight oil to get your canning projects done before your surgery. I sincerely hope your pain control is better this time and the swelling is much less. I have been planning my garden and am excited for spring. I really hope this growing season is better than last for me. Prayers for a blessed week.

    • Thanks Marilyn! I learned a bunch about my tolerance to pain meds. I MUST eat when taking them or I get sick to my stomach. Not nice!! I’ve bought an ice machine that my brother-in-law used when he had his shoulder surgery, and it works VERY well as compared to my little ice pack from WalMart. I’m hoping that will help a lot. Anyone interested, it’s a Polar Products unit and there are packs for knees, shoulders and back. They told me to get the back one, as it wraps all around the knee, not just over the top. So that’s what I did.
      Happy New Year!!

    • We both thought so too! We were so tickled to have him come so we could get to know him. Thanks for your good wishes. Have a Happy New Year!!

  9. Jackie…..checkout http://www.thepeopleschemist.com
    He has Joint FX that will kill your knee pain and make things easier for you as you recuperate. I’ve not had knee replacements as I take the joint fx which works great for me so perhaps it’ll kill your pain after surgery while recovering. It’s all natural. Shane is a medicinal chemist, used to work for the FDA until he found out just what was going on there quit and worked hard to bring safe products to peope that are not harmful to them. I’ve used it for 7 yrs and suffer no pain unless I forget to take them.
    You got nothing to lose!

    • Thanks Judie, I’ll check it out. (I do take joint supplements now but have bone on bone, which glucosamine/MSM don’t address for me.)

  10. I’m finally recovered from my second knee surgery! Please give yourself time to heal!!! I can finally kneel but it’s taken several years. Did anyone have a White Christmas? Happy New Year!

    • I’m glad to hear your knees took awhile to get better. I was feeling kind of hopeless with the first one. Thanks!! Happy New Year. No white here!

  11. What a terrific surprise for Will and you! We will be watching for an update on your next surgery. Wishing you a most happy new year!

    • We were so tickled to finally meet Drew! I’m sure he’ll be back up for more homestead food and visits with us.
      Happy New Year!!

  12. What a wonderful surprise! Glad he got come for a visit! A strapping young man, maybe he can come help occasionally when he’s able. Christmas here was small but good. No snow, just ice fog. What snow we have is melting and then freezing at night into lumps of ice. I’m awaiting all of the plant /seed catalogs to arrive, especially y’all’s! Have a great new year!

    • Our weather is crap. Today we had freezing rain. That made chores slow as I moved very carefully!! Ugh. Our catalog is on the way to you. (If you don’t get it very soon, let me know as some always get lost in the mail.) Happy New Year!!

  13. Knee replacement-I’ve been there and done that as you have previously. I’m nearly normal now-whatever that is. Seeing family is fun. You can see the resemblance of Will and Drew in the pictures. Happy New Year and prayers for your good health.

    • Thanks Everett! I’m glad to hear your knee replacement went well. My first one isn’t so hot; still swells and hurts worse than the one I’m getting done on the 9th. But several folks have said theirs took a long time, too and my doctor says it WILL get there. (I was thinking “liar, liar, pants on fire” at the time). But, hey, he’s the doctor, right?
      Have a very Happy New Year!!

  14. Hope you can keep up with your exercises with the second knee. Do whatever it takes to keep the swelling down. I KNOW you have things to do…oh, boy, don’t you. Just turn your energy to yourself for the 4 weeks it takes for soft tissue to heal. Write another book…update your recipes…post bunches of blogs (from your bed or chair) with knee elevated AND iced. I cannot imagine how hard it is on you to ‘watch’ and not do. Give yourself time. It sure worked for me. Blessings, ‘friend’, as you heal.

    • I will do my exercises and ice the new knee, as I know it’s necessary. I’ve planned so I can have a month plus of “down time”. I’ve found though, that sitting seems to make my new knee hurt worse, especially if I sit for over 15 minutes. But, hopefully, this one will go better so I CAN sit and blog, write, etc. Thank you and Happy New Year!!

  15. That first photo of Will, beaming, is the most I have seen him smile…
    The visit genuinely struck a chord with him. Bravo…………

  16. All I can say is the leaves we put on the garden area are definitely leaching nutrients into the soil. Heck, I’ll not be surprised if not much left of them come spring. We too got wet heavy, stick to grassy areas and decks/steps today. Which went to sleety type rain. Perhaps it foretells of a good morel season?
    If you feed him, he will come, especially since you sent food home with him lol. Will looks very happy in the picture, as do you.
    I’ll be thinking about you on the 9th – sibling and I have started going to medical appointments with Dad. Get to hear it first hand and I’ve got bit of a bone to pick with his PCP (which is not on the 9th). I have no issue with Rx but this take this pill (when his specialist said he could go off it) that required not one but TWO other pills to deal with the side effects is just plain nuts. His PCP has taken good care of him (and mom before she passed) but I think she’s having a hard time dealing with Dad’s younger specialists.
    Will be watching for my seed catalog. Friday March 29 (Good Friday) *might* be pushing it for tater planting.

    • With this crazy weather, I don’t think we can figure on ANYTHING being normal!! Good luck getting your dad’s meds straightened out. It is hard when doctors don’t agree.
      We had freezing rain today. Boy was that nasty!! The car doors even froze shut. Not to mention how dangerous it was to walk around. (Yes, I have ice cleats for my shoes, but still…)
      You have a very Happy New Year!!

Comments are closed.