40. It’s so much better when…


Karine and Ezra and I did some “melty-bead” artwork on Monday.  You can see in the picture that I didn’t get very far.  I tried using only my left hand and tried my right, too.  Talk about fine motor skills!  It’s hard getting those beads to stand upright even if you’re unimpaired.  But Karine helped me and explained, “It’s easier for me to do it since my hands are smaller.”

In other fine motor skill news I’ve been practicing painting my nails for months now.  I never wore polish on my nails in my old life, but since I’m not typing all day anymore it lasts longer.  It also helps because cutting my nails is an extreme chore for me now (I use a baby clipper to help) and wearing polish helps me go longer without having to cut them.  If my nails are bare the growth drives me nuts so that I need to trim them twice a week.  And let’s be frank – I also think the polish is pretty.  Since I can’t wear rings right now I favor dark colors I would never have chosen a couple of years ago, but that I can’t get enough of these days.

Nail painting is difficult for me, especially when I have to hold the brush in my left hand and paint my right one.  This summer the brush would sometimes go flying across the counter because of my tremor, but I haven’t dropped it in a while, so that’s good.  I’m getting better, but let me just say that it’s so much nicer when J (my favorite Nail Tech) does it.  I’ll see her soon for a proper manicure, but in the meantime I’ll keep on schlepping the paint on, especially since Pool Therapy wreaks havoc on my nails (soaking in hot water for an hour is bad for polish, and they keep the Rehab Pool warmer than regular pools).

There are some things I just can’t replicate and that are inarguably superior when a highly skilled person does them.  Example:  PT6 used to stretch my left leg out when the pain got worse.  When my leg acts up I try to arrange my legs in that stretch with the left one extended backwards so I can feel better enough to fall asleep.  It was better when he did the stretching.

Another example:  My friend J from school used to send me texts every time she tried my Mom’s scone recipe.  It’s still a work in progress, I think.  I used to make those scones all the time in OR.  I added cocoa powder and made chocolate/strawberry/cranberry scones (with whole-wheat flour and buttermilk).  I was scared to grate the butter in like Mommy does, so I used my Ninja to chop the butter up into teeny tiny pieces.  I added a bit of the flour so it came out like how a piecrust does before you add the cold water.  I thought the Ninja was a good idea in that is saved me the anxiety of scraping my fingers, but when Mom would visit and leave scones in my freezer every reheated bite reminded me that it was definitely better when Baker Smurf made them.

I emailed a recipe for “trashy peppermint hot cocoa” to my sister while I was in OR and I specified that you had to stir it vigorously once the milk was hot and you had to make “that sound that Mom makes with the spoon.”  Ai Ai knew exactly what I was talking about.  I observe closely whenever Mom makes Tanpo a cup of Milo or Horlicks but I still can’t replicate the sound.  If you’d like to try making that stirring noise (use your imagination), here’s the recipe:

Trashy but Yummy Peppermint Hot Cocoa

  1. Put a couple squares of good dark chocolate in a mug
  2. Fill with milk – I like Trader Joe’s Unsweetened Vanilla Almond
  3. Microwave until hot – ca. 2 minutes
  4. Stir vigorously
  5. Drop in a starlight mint.  (Stop laughing.  I’m serious about the mint.)
  6. Stir some more
  7. Enjoy!