It’s been a pretty good Christmas this year.

The ankle seemed to have plateaued for a time around Thanksgiving, which I found frustrating, but it began steadily improving again, to the point where I can seriously think about taking some reasonably short hikes. I’m already doing my two mile daily walk around the neighborhood. The ankle still looks somewhat swollen, but the foot is looking nearly normal, is no longer red, and the hair is growing back. (Yes, all the hair fell out after the injury. I know; odd.)

We had a nice service at church, where I sing in the baritone section of the choir, then Cindy and the kids took loaves of homemade bread to some neighbors and Cindy and I took bread to a different set of neighbors. (The car does not comfortably hold the whole family any more.)

We had a decent Christmas dinner. Kira is on a restricted diet, due to her interstitial cystitis, but I found a ham at the local organic co-op that was uncured and had nothing in it she could not eat. It turned out to be a surprisingly excellent ham. There was also cheesecake (though not for me, because diabetes) and various snackums in our stockings. Sugar-free candy and peanuts for me; chocolate-free candy for Kira; the good stuff for the boys and Cindy. I spotted a bar of candy at the co-op that I thought Kira could eat, but I had misread “cacao” as “carob” for some reason, and she can’t have cacao, which is basically powdered chocolate. I don’t know who will end up eating it. (It’s got too much honey for me to eat in any but the smallest doses.)

The kittens got a kitty condo.

That’s Stormy, a.k.a. Bear, a.k.a. Stupid. (The last is Kira’s name for her.)

Zoe, a.k.a. Monkey Kitty, liked it too.

Sharing may be a problem.

“Set phasers on kill!!”

Sakura and Angel were “meh” but Sparty was very intrigued by that mouse up there, trying to figure out the easiest way to get at it.

Some earth treasures in my stocking. A very nice magnetite sample:


I cannot decide if the ammonite is authentic. It may be a forgery carved out of very fine calciferous sandstone by enterprising Moroccan Arabs. The coral is real enough, and the polishing has nicely brought out the individual cups of the colony, but that does not mean it is authentically Devonian as labeled. For what I can pay for fossils, you have to just take your chances.

These gifts from Cindy were downright touching:

New cell phone. The old one bricked on me shortly after I wrecked my ankle.

This one is not terribly rich in features, but it is almost indestructible.

“Tactical footwear”:

Been breaking these in by taking my daily walks in them. They do wonderfully support the ankles, and are steel-toed, which could be useful if I drop a big rock on my toes.

And most touching and surprising of all:

This is more or less Cindy’s way of giving me permission to hike again, as long as I’m careful.

Which I intend to be. Breaking an ankle on the trail was a very sobering experience. Reflecting back on some of the back country hikes I’ve taken by myself, I kind of shake my head now. I will likely look for hiking partners for anything that isn’t along a well-marked and -used trail. Still.

And a Merry Christmas to you all.

This article has 5 comments

    • Kent G. Budge Reply

      Good to hear from you, Kevin. Fortunately, the ankle is healing well and the diabetes has been under tight control for several years now. The hiking helps (like all exercise.)

      The scariest thing about the ankle was worrying that my inability to take my usual walks would let the diabetes spiral out of control. I needn’t have worried: Crutches are very hard work.

  1. Kent G. Budge Reply

    Turns out the ammonite is almost certainly authentic; it finally occurred to me to examine it under high magnification, and it’s definitely not something that was carved.

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