Nevertheless, She Persisted

My surgery affected my left side. In the beginning both sides showed weakness, but over time the right has really pulled ahead to the point I believe the strength and control is pretty close to what it was pre-surgery.

The same cannot be said of my left side. It’s an area of continuous focus in my workouts, although to myself I’ve had the hard recognition that it may always be much weaker.

Something my trainers constantly work with me on is not hyperextending my left knee. Much, MUCH easier said than done. It’s very frustrating to think something but then not be able to have your body do it.

The thing about me is I’m VERY stubborn. Yesterday during one of my sessions my trainer Matt says “I can see how hard you’re trying to make your knee not hyperextend.” Then, in our last 10 minutes, I started stepping with a bend in my left leg. Not every step. But, as Matt said, “it’s starting.”

The point of sharing this story. Never quit. Never give up. It’s almost FOUR years since my surgery. Yet I persisted and FINALLY saw a glimmer of what I was resigned couldn’t happen.

An Ode to London, and the Queen

I deeply love the UK. I of course have been very clued in on all that’s currently going on relating to the Queen’s passing, have so many opinions and will gladly share them.

That being said I’m not going to just write them and make people read them. I thought instead I’d do a little walk down memory lane and analysis of my love affair with Britain.

I was very intrigued by London, and first was on UK soil when I studied there my fall semester of sophomore year, 2007.

I went back in May 2010 at the end of a college trip; my friend I went with had family friends working at the US Embassy who we stayed with!

In 2013 I went, the friend mentioned above lived there for…5 years?

Then came 2015 when I got to live and work in London for 6 months. Life changing. I don’t think I can say anything more impactful.

I quickly went back in 2016.

And then in 2017.

I was in Dublin twice in 2018 for work and both times flew over to London for a weekend!

I’m very hopeful to be able to get back there one day!

Show Recommendations

A few fun show recommendations!

First is This Show Means Death on HBO Max. This 10 episode show, each about 30-35 minutes, is filled with hilarity, actually based a lot on historical events and has many fantastic actors. The main character leaves his aristocratic life to become a pirate, The Gentleman Pirate. A secod season comes out next year!

The other is JT and Chad Go Deep on Netflix. So SO funny and short (6 20-minute episodes) this was a lot of fun to watch.

Ravinia Festival

Hello! I took an unexpected break because WordPress has been not letting me upload my images. I’m dubious that it’s permanently fixed but it is ok today so let’s go!

For years and years, I’ve been going to events at Ravinia. It’s a summer staple, honestly.

A few weeks ago, I went with my parents and Kevin to an Alan Menken (a huge Disney composer) themed Chicago Symphony Orchestra performance. We sat on the lawn, brought drinks and a yummy meal and just got to enjoy a fabulous performance.

Ravinia also has an indoor space; it puts on wonderful shows throughout the winter and spring months!

Ludington, Michigan

Last week I went to Kevin’s annual family reunion in Ludington, Michigan! It’s a whole week at a resort where everyone has their own units, there’s a communal pool and everyone hangs out in one area for dinner, etc. each night. It was a great week to relax; we sunned, read and got to soak in quality family time.

Two highlights:

North Breakwater Lighthouse

About a half mile walk out a pier in a lovely lighthouse. We had a gorgeous day; not too hot, clear and a beautiful breeze.

Ludington Bay Brewing Company

This place has a lovely patio. They offer a fun beer flight, and have a very unique, good crab rangoon pizza!

A Proper High Tea, Part 2

I’m continuing my notes on a tea!

My favorite by far part of a high tea is by far the sandwiches. I think it’s easy to wrongly get intimidated that somehow tea sandwiches are a ton more work. They’re not. Two things can turn any sandwich into a tea sandwich: cut off the crust and make it a small size.

Either cut your sandwiches into squares, diagonal or get a little fancy and use a circular cookie cutter!

My go to is cucumber; my tip is use Boursin, then just cucumber and dill. I also love smoked salmon; I used marble rye and then cream cheese and smoked salmon. And finally I found this recipe. The trio was an excellent mix!

I also made the cucumber and chicken salad sandwiches on keto bread from Aldi; I liked saving some calories without sacrificing flavor!

As I mentioned before, I’m not a big sweets person. I therefore have no desire to bake. It’s also a thought to serve smaller sized desserts. I’m a big fan of the dessert selection at Trader Joe’s; there’s so much to choose from and most of it’s the ideal smaller size!

Throwing a tea is definitely more work and requires a bit of planning, but it’s a special and memorable thing!

Jazzin’ at the Shedd

A few weeks ago I was downtown and Kevin and I went to the Shedd Aquarium. During the summer, they are open each Wednesday night and have live jazz played inside and out. There’s cash bars and fireworks.

It was VERY crowded; we walked outside early and saw it was packed. We decided not to fight for a spot and just enjoy the exhibits. Plus we have a membership so can/will go back and make sure we go out on their patio!

An early on highlight was a small girl ran over and was so interested by my rollator, touching the front basket and seat handle. The mom was embarrassed but I totally didn’t mind and told her that. Actually I loved it; everything about my disability doesn’t have to be serious!

Other highlights were seeing a rockhopper penguin hop across the exhibit, spending time watching the dolphins and sitting by the Caribbean Reef listening to jazz. And we took a break by the empty otter tank; when we stood up to leave one came out, made one loop then went away.

It was such a fun night out!