Thursday, January 9, 2020

Hello 2020! I blinked and I missed 2019!!

I just realized that I didn't have one single post in 2019! I still had adventures, because life is an adventure, (right?) but I didn't manage to post anything! How was your 2019? Mine didn't turn out in any way, shape or form, how I expected it to. Isn't that how life goes though?

The beginning of the year was great! We even did something we've never done before-went on a 5 day cruise to the Bahamas! I quickly learned that I'm more of a road trip girl, than a cruise girl. I was able to explore the ship from top to bottom and side to side and even explored the ports where we stopped, but it still wasn't my cup of tea. It wasn't awful, just not something I'm in a hurry to do again. There is so much land in our great nation to explore first!

We spent some time at the end of June, beginning of July with family in the U.P. and then a week after we got back and had just gotten settled in at work again, I was preparing to be a vendor at our local high school's annual summer flea market. I spent a few days pulling things out, cleaning them up and pricing them for the flea market. Then I wrapped all the glassware and got it all into bins ready to go for the following weekend. When I finished with all of that on Sunday night, I jokingly said to Mr, "my back is going to be screaming tomorrow!"

It hurt, but it wasn't any worse than anything I'd dealt with for the past two years when I hurt it right before my son's wedding while playing sand volleyball. (I fell and jammed up the whole right side and felt I broke my tailbone, but my Dr didn't want to x-ray it 'because there's nothing to be done for it'. )

The next morning-it hurt when I got out of bed, but I pushed on and got in the shower. I sneezed while I was in there and oh, man, did it hurt! I still kept pushing myself, thinking it would get better if I kept moving. I dried my hair, and got ready. It took a ton of extra time and still, I wasn't thinking anything serious was wrong. when I got to my socks and shoes...I couldn't bend! I was miserable!

I texted someone at work and said I was going to be late, then texted later to say I could 't make it in. I thought if I took some pain meds and layed flat, it would eventually go away (like it had a couple of times before). That turned into 2 trips to the Emergency Department, 3 days and 2 nights in the hospital, tons of tests, x-rays, ctscan, and MRI to show I had a severely ruptured disc! I spent 7 weeks flat on my back with the bathroom being my only goal for the day, and even that was excruciating, before my surgery. A surgery I put all my hopes in to get me pain free and quickly back to living.

That surgery was almost 5 months ago, and I am no where near pain free (still tons of nerve pain in my right foot and toes and from being flat for so long, and it's taking a lonnnnngggg time to regain strength and stamina!

Through all of that pain, surgery and struggle, I was able to see God move mountains! It was incredible to see Him go before me and bring something good right behind something bad, every single time!

I quit my job of almost 20 years and now I'm at home focusing on my relationship with God, my family, getting stronger and having more stamina and I started selling off some of my collection hoard of vintage tablecloths and vintage Pyrex on Etsy and Marketplace. I have had an absolute BLAST! I'm limited in how long I can sit, stand, bend, measure, etc., but I have time to breathe now, and not be constantly focusing on work or the stress of work! Plus, every package I send is a great opportunity to pray for the buyer and their family!!

Internally, I have so much more peace, despite the disappointment of not being where I want to be, I keep reminding myself that I am night and day better than I was in July when this happened. I am way better than I was in August, September, and October, and even better now than I was in November! Every day I am seeing tiny, small improvements, and I am so grateful that God is continuing to heal me and help me get stronger!

I hope to be posting more in 2020. My adventures will probably look different than they used to, because I'm not out hunting treasures to resell, I'm downsizing (I have to keep reminding myself of this), but I do still plan to explore every;where I go and I'll take lots of pics to share so you can go too!

My last big adventure of 2019 was to drive my mom from her home in the U.P. to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. It's about 8.5 hours through the upper peninsula by car and my dad had a knee replacement on December 10, so he wasn't up for the trip. Had I still been working, I might not have been able to help her that way, so I am so thankful that I was available. We had a fun time, well, I think I had more fun than she did, until the ride home!

She had appointments all day the Friday after Christmas and one on Tuesday. With the clinic being closed on the weekends, that meant we'd have to stay and find something to do until her Tuesday appointment. Believe it or not, we were able to get her appointment changed to Friday and were all pumped about leaving Saturday morning to head back to her house in Michigan.

The last appointment of the day kind of nixed that, because it came with orders for more tests and another specialist appointment on Monday. So, we decided to go on an adventure while we waited for Monday. Saturday was icy and snowy, but it was mostly to the north around Minneapolis, so I suggested we head south. Before we left, I had mapped out a bunch of things for us to do, (most of which was hunting for treasures) all over within about 2-2.5 hours of Rochester.

Because there was such bad weather and so many accidents reported to the north, we never got to Oronoco, Burnsville, Hopkins, St. Paul, Stillwater, New Brighton, Robbinsdale, Golden Valley, Jordan, Northfield, Winona, and Harmony. We did get to Stewartville, Red Wing and Austin, and on Sunday, made a brave trip to Minneapolis since the traffic reports were showing better road conditions.

Our first stop was Old River Valley Antiques in Stewartville. I loved this little shop, mostly because the owners were so kind and friendly! I would visit this place every week if I lived closer! Here are some pics of what I saw as I walked around.

This pennant is the only thing that come home with me. It was for Auntie for her collection.

We went to the SPAM Museum in Austin! Sounds like fun, right?!? It WAS! It's a free museum with tons of interactive fun things for kids and families to see and do, and a giant kiosk recipe book/computer screen where you can look up recipes (by picture) and email them to yourself! We laughed and spent some time in the gift shop buying some of the many flavors of SPAM to bring home.

After that, we headed to Red Wing to tour the boot factory museum. Unfortunately, we never really found it. The place we did find was closed and not scheduled to open for a couple more hours and we really didn't want to wait, so we kept moving.
 We saw this giant cow at the entrance to the fairgrounds.

Then we had an amazing lunch at Mexico 1910! Highly, highly recommend a visit if you are in the area-the food was very tasty and fresh! We stopped at a couple other, out in the middle of nowhere antique shops that were such fun to walk through!

While we were in Red Wing, we stopped at the Pottery City Antique Mall. What a fun, drool-worthy adventure! We got there Sunday morning around 10, because the hours online said they were open on Sunday at 10. When we walked in, everything but the cafe on the second floor was closed up tight, lights turned off, and not open. As we were standing outside of the antique shop looking in, one of the workers came by and said she'd open up early for us!

What came after was WOW after WOW as we walked through the aisles! I have never, ever seen so much vintage kitchenware in one place EVER!!! It was awesome and overwhelming all that the same time!!
 It wasn't slippery, but was super foggy! Some places all I could see what the white line on the road.
I LOVE covered bridges! I had to pull off into a roadside part to snap a pic of this one!

See what I mean? I bet you drooled a little too!!!

Then we headed toward Minneapolis! Mom and Dad's pastor and family recently moved there for his continued seminary education, and she really missed them, so part of our plan was to visit them. The other places we visited were the spoon & cherry bridge in the sculpture park, Trader Joe's, World Market, and Turquoise Vintage Antiques.

Man, do they know how to stock antique stores with all the vintage treasures I love in Minnesota!

I LOVED this place as well! So    much   vintage   kitchenware   to   see!!! Right after that we stopped for a late lunch at the Howe.

It was really discombobulated when we first arrived. The host was really struggling to know what was going on and it was kind of painful to watch him flounder. It wasn't even crazy busy. There was one family in front of us , then us then as we were waiting for him to figure things out (there were enough empty tables to seat us all immediately), another couple came in. Eventually, we got seated, but were told by our server that they were switching over from brunch to lunch and we'd have to wait 15 minutes to place an order while they switched the kitchen over because they have a lot of stairs to go up and down.

We looked at each other and were tempted to just leave, but we decided to wait, and we are really glad we did. Had we not done so much driving to get there and had it not been almost 2:00, we would have left. The portions were huge and everything was very tasty! I hope they do some training so they don't lose business for little things like this. The staff was all super friendly when we left, our server, not so much, but everyone else was.

Then we visited mom's friends for a while and then went to the sculpture park, Trader Joe's and World Market before heading back to Rochester to our hotel. If you ever need to go to Mayo, stay at the 5th Avenue Inn and Suites. They are super close to the clinic, (we walked across 2 small parking lots and across a street and were able to enter and walk about a block inside, out of the cold weather at the subway level.

Through the sunroof!

Mary Tyler Moore statue!

5th Avenue Inn and Suites-all indoor entrances.

Mayo Clinic is HUGE!! It is actually several buildings all connected, and highly organized for each specialist and each type of test you need. The pictures below are of the waiting area for one of the testing areas for blood and urine. It was HUGE. It was all facing the wall and a several doors where they came out and called out on a loud speaker, name after name, after name.

It was gorgeous in the building, very opulent.

It looked more like a hotel front desk than a doctor's office

This is the cafeteria area

Reclining chairs in the waiting room!

That first day was grueling! We left the hotel at 6:20 am and didn't return until around 5:30 pm. We ran from one appointment to the next the entire time! The next appointments on Monday had a break in the  middle of the day so we were able to go back to the hotel and relax a little.

I enjoyed working on this puzzle while in one of the waiting rooms, I found a lot of pieces!

That night, we got freezing rain and about 3-4" of snow on top of the ice.

It was blowing and soooo cold! Look at this tiny perfectly formed leaf stuck in the ice on my window!

The roads driving back to her house were the worst roads I've driven on for such a long period. It took us almost 12 hours to drive the 8.5 hour trip because they were so bad. The next morning, my son was chomping at the bit to get to our house, 4.5 hours south. He loaded the car, heated my seat, and loaded me and the puppers in the car and took off for home!

My back wasn't happy with me for all that driving and sitting and it took a few days for me to get back to my new normal. I've had a couple of PT visits this week and next week I get to see the pain specialist doctor to see if there's anything else that can be done, and to see if I can get a MRI of my neck and upper back  to see what's going on there.

Today, I photographed and measured 20+ tablecloths to list on Etsy. I still have 32 more to go! Once I get them all listed, I'll start listing vintage Pyrex. If you want check out my shop, it's myvintagefascination. Right now it's only linens, as I build my courage with shipping! :)

My goals for 2020...
1. Draw closer to God
2. Love well (love God/love others)
3. Continue to strengthen my back and legs

I can't promise I'll be posting every week, but I've already posted more than I did all last year, so that's a good start-right?!?

Happy New Year!
I hope you have a great year, filled with LOTS of laughter, love and great memories!!!

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