Wednesday 31 July 2013

No Weight Bearing- *Warning* Graphic Photo

Due to unforeseen circumstances that have kept us in Tauranga over winter & as mentioned in this blog post I decided to have some surgery done on my feet. In fact originally it was just going to be the one foot but 6 days before the due date I decided I might as well have both feet done & get it all over and done with in one foul swoop. I knew in a year or so I'd need to have the other one done anyway & either way it was going to be a 3 month recovery with six weeks no weight bearing so having both done together made a lot of sense. Luckily the surgeon was in agreement & was able to fit me in & doing it this way also saved a lot on the cost too.

I was a little nervous beforehand as I've never had a general or been in hospital but it all went smoothly & I don't remember a thing! Both bunions were removed (sawn off!), my big toes cut in two & realigned & two toes on my right foot where the arthritis had started to take hold shortened & repositioned too. The cuts are done diagonally through the toe and then some of the inside area is shaved off & the toe slides back together with a pin to join & for support.

Such is the life of the female population, apparently it is very rare for men to have this type of surgery, & most often it is hereditary, passed from generation to generation. My grandmother & mother along with two aunties have all suffered to varying degrees. Two of my sister-in-laws & a girlfriend have also had similar surgery.

I had heard a lot of horror stories about this type of surgery but I can honestly say the pain hasn't been too bad, a good supply of painkillers took care of that & keeping my feet raised has helped reduce the swelling. David has pulled out all stops in looking after me, bringing me breakfast, lunch & dinner on a tray & copious amounts of tea & coffee. He also helps wrap my lower legs in plastic bags (I look like a modern day yeti) so I can shower without getting them wet. We have had a little practice at this though; seven years ago I broke an ankle and was in plaster for 6 weeks with no weight bearing either.

For the first week I could hardly hobble on my crutches to the loo but now it's not too bad and I can shuffle around for a short while in my fashionable black strappy sandals with the support of my crutches. The bruising has gone down and two days ago the stiches were removed which as it turned out has been the most painful part!

The arrows are in case the surgeon forgets what he is doing :)
I've had & still have plenty to keep me occupied; folders & folders of photos that have been waiting to be processed & sorted on my laptop, boxes of recipes I've been slowly going through, choosing to keep the simpler ones & ones that will suit our new lifestyle on the road. I've also got a couple of large boxes of NZ travel articles & photography magazines to sort into some sort of order so I can have easy access to when required.

So three weeks down & three to go before I can start to move about in flat comfy shoes. Then another three months before I'll be getting back to anything like normal. Hopefully it won't be too restrictive as by then we should be down South somewhere and keen to do some tramping. The whole reason why I had to have my feet done in the first place. And we can't wait!

Paparazzi-ed by Maddie
Using her Mum's phone our 4yo granddaughter Maddie decided she wanted to take a photo of Nana in bed.
And then add some processing to it!
"You're not sick are you Nana, you're just sore" as she galloped off on my shortened crutches.

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Quarter Acre Pot

We purchased a Quarter Acre Pot at last year's Covi Motorhome Caravan & Outdoor Show which is held at the Epsom show grounds in Auckland. So far I haven't tried it out so I thought while we're parked up at home I'd trial it along side cooking the same dish in the oven.

Quarter Acre Pots are thermal cookers that require no power, a bit like a slow cooker that doesn't need to be plugged in. Because we'll be off the grid a lot of the time I'm hoping it'll be an ideal way to prepare a meal. I also like the fact that you can prepare the meal in the morning before you leave for the day & it'll be ready to eat when you get back or to when you pull into another site after a day of driving which is when you least feel like cooking dinner.

Here's the blurb from the link above-
The Quarter Acre Pot is a simple to use non-electrical multifunctional appliance that can be used as a Thermo Cooker, Cooler, Bain-Marie, Rice Cooker and Yoghurt Maker. Take your Quarter Acre Pot Camping, in the Caravan or Motor Home, Picnics & Outdoor Events .
I found a recipe in amongst a pile I was sorting & thought it would be perfect to trial in the Pot & to compare, in a casserole in the oven. I was hoping to include it here but I've now gone & misplaced it.

So in case you're wondering what it is, it was called a "Chicken, Chorizo & Butter Bean Bake"

Basically there are two "billies", a large one that fits inside the outer thermo container & a half size one that fits inside the bigger billy. After water is brought to the boil in the outer billy, the smaller one with the food ready to go is placed inside that. It sits in the top half of the bigger container above the boiled water. The lid is fitted & the outer thermo lid is closed and then the whole container is popped into the carry bag & put somewhere safe & secure to work it's magic. The boiling water transfers it's heat to the thermo outer & slowly the food is cooked. And that is that. Meats, casseroles, soups, desserts & cakes can all be cooked in Quarter Acre Pot.

And the verdict? I left it cooking for 8 hours & I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. It was definitely tastier than the same casserole done in the oven, much more flavour and the chicken readily fell off the bone. Now I'm looking forward to trying it out on other recipes, maybe some of the less likely "slow cooker" ones. I'll let you know how they go.