Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Long and Slow Recovery

It has been a long and painful recovery since I had my shoulder surgery. And what made matters worse was that I also had another unrelated health problem that cropped up after my surgery which caused me to be bedridden for about a month. So the first four weeks, I was camped out in the bedroom. My two little 'boyz' were always eager to visit me, but when I wasn't up to having them playing on top of the bed, they were resigned to watching me from the doorway, where I had a baby gate placed to keep them out.
Kim Nugent came over to visit me many times during the course of my recovery. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful friend.
She even brought me some cool gifts while I was recuperating. I got a nice assortment of found objects, including odd dental items she scored during one of her rummaging excursions.
Over Labor Day weekend, I felt well enough to go to Valley Ridge Art Studio, where I had signed up for a soldering workshop with Thomas Mann. I knew I was going to be unable to do any sawing or pounding, but I was keeping my fingers crossed that I would at least be able to attempt a little soldering. At that time, I was still wearing that huge sling that I came home from the hospital with, but I took it off when I tried to solder.

Tom was great, and had metal pieces sawed out for me ahead of time, since he was aware that I would be unable to do it myself. I tried very hard to solder the little pieces together like everyone else in the class, but my shoulder just couldn't handle it. So Tom cut out and formed a much simpler "handicapped" version for me to do.

I managed to get half of it soldered, but that was it. My shoulder was too weak and terribly painful, so I reluctantly had to give up. And that was sooo difficult for me, because I wanted so badly to be able to fully participate in the class. The tears were in my eyes many times when I couldn't do what everyone else was doing, and I became quite frustrated at my inability to do something that I was looking forward to for months.

Fortunately, I have signed up for several other workshops in October and November that I am looking forward to. I am still somewhat limited in what I will be able to do, but I am in much better shape than I was a month ago.

A few weeks ago, I stopped at a rummage sale on the way to a doctor's appointment. It was an assemblage artist's dream-come-true! Junk, junk, and more junk!!! Three big hay wagons heaped with knobs, antique tools, old castors, and gadgets galore! Karl, an old antique collector/dealer that I knew from years ago along with a friend of his, had set up this array of goodies behind Karl's barn. I hadn't seen Karl in years, so he was tickled to see me. There was sooo much to see, but I was pressed for time. I quickly scanned over each wagon, and picked out a few things I wanted. Karl told me not to worry, he would set my stuff aside, and I could come back later when I had more time to look.

When I got home from my appointment, I immediately called up Kim, the rummage 'queen,' to see if she wanted to go back to the sale with me. She didn't have to think twice, and before I knew it, she was already at my house, ready to go. We had sooo much fun there. Karl is quite a character!
Kim was thrilled to find a box filled with old castors. She's been using them in some projects recently.

Karl took us on a special tour of his 'war room,' where he has a collection of old memorabilia from world war II and the Korean war.

Finally, it was time to pay for our purchased and say goodbye to Karl. I came home with a bunch of treasures, but Kim found even more stuff than I did! We both almost peed our pants laughing when we realized that we were there for 2 hours!!!