Down for the Count

It must have been 20 years ago when I first heard from an orthopedic surgeon that my feet and ankles were toast. As I usually do when I hear news that I don’t actually WANT to hear, I put on my rose colored glasses and plopped my head up in the clouds and just kept trucking.

But, it’s become harder to ignore. If you’ve been here with me for any length of time, then you know I have continued to injure my ankles and feet through-out the years. The last time I did, I just didn’t bounce back. So, the time has come to do something about it. I’ve realized that I can’t do the things I want to do. Like hike some of the the Appalachian Trail. And travel to cool places. And maybe, just maybe run again.

I know that it’s no big deal to anyone who’s not having it done. But to those of us who have it done, well, it’s a pretty big deal. No weight on your feet and ankles for 6 weeks. I can’t drive.


Mustache Cat, my sentiments exactly.

And. Sadly, I CAN’T RIDE A HORSE FOR 6 MONTHS. (Wait, what was that I just heard? Neighing and cheers of joy from the boys in the barn? Merlin! You know you’ll miss me.)

I decided to bite the bullet about month or so ago and scheduled surgery for the 27th of July. I’ve been counting down the days. It has been a month of trying to figure out what all needs to be done and how I’m going to pull it off.

What is a Farmgirl to do??

#1 First thing in my mind was food. I like to eat. And since we’re no longer in the city, take-out is not an option. We are also 30 minutes from a grocery. So I started cooking and freezing. A lot. All my daughter or husband has to do is pick a casserole out of the freezer and pop it in the oven. My daughter was a great help in this project. Here’s her list of the casseroles we made. I’m glad she made it because I’ve lost count. And sure, I had hoped to do a few others, but ran out of time. 18 meals. That’s pretty good.


All of the recipes have meat and veggies that I already cooked, so it’s just a matter of heating them up good and hot.

#2 Then I thought about sleep. I don’t do it well, but I like to and wish I could and am always hopeful that I’ll learn how to again. But what is important is that my bed is on the 2nd floor. I won’t be able to climb stairs for quite some time. So I’ve worked to set up the guest room with everything I’ll need. Clothes, shoes, make-up, personal things, entertainment. Here’s my bedside stash of books.


Please note this one. It is a fantastic book to just open up to any page and be and completely and seriously inspired by MaryJane.


And I’ve added this to my pile of “things to do”:


We’ll see how that goes.

#3 Next I thought about my animals. I cleaned out the chicken house completely so the task of feeding and watering and caring for them would be as pleasant as possible for my husband and daughter. I’m sure the chicks appreciate the fresh hay in their nest boxes.


I also went to the feed store (also quite a distance away) to have extra chicken feed on hand so we wouldn’t run out.

Now, you may not want to see this, but I’m showing you anyway. I’ll make the photo small so you can’t see the true grossness of it. I have it on the steps outside my chicken house. I’m telling you: these fly catchers are unbelievable. I set this one out about 3 weeks ago and look. Can you believe all those “nasty” flies? I say “nasty” flies because never have I ever heard my Mom just say “flies.” She always says “nasty” flies, so therefore….I do. “There’s a nasty fly in my kitchen!” “Get the nasty fly off our picnic!” “I’m going to kill that nasty fly!” You get the idea.

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My horses are more of an issue. There is NO ONE in my household, other than me, that spends any time in the barn. I find complete peace there, shoveling manure, filling the water trough, petting soft muzzles. But I’m the only one here that does. Knowing that was the case, I set out to find some help. And I was lucky, lucky, lucky. A very hard-working and nice high school boy agreed to come and help me take care of the barn and horses. Thank goodness!

I also have a college gal (whom I trust big time) to come and ride my horses. She has been working to train Jesse for me and will work with the other horses as well. (What do you say about that, Merlin?)

#4 Learn to walk on these babies. I am so lucky.


I’ve never had to deal with crutches before. I’ve been practicing and even have a little scooter for getting around. I also have this addition to my bathroom: a shower chair.

IMG_1362I’m feeling a bit elderly. Just a bit.

#5 You might wonder what’s happening on a Christmas Tree Farm this time of year, late July? What responsibilities do I have to deal with there? None! One reason I picked this time of year to have this surgery is that the timing is good. The only things going on right now is weeding and tagging Christmas Trees. I don’t deal with either of those things. #6 I’m also thinking about gardening chores. Those just aren’t going to get done while I’m recovering. Oh well. There is one that I must take care of. I purchased a fig bush this past spring that I’ve needed to plant. I didn’t know it until a few years ago, but I LOVE figs! My gosh, they are so sweet and delicious. And the ones you buy in the grocery store are just awful. So, I finally found a fig that is supposed to be able to weather our winters here. I’ve wondered about where to plant it, wanted to get just the right spot. Changed my mind so many times about where to place it.

And now, I can’t wait any longer. I’m popping it in a hole made by a big rock we dug up. It will have to work.

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#7 Vacay. I am so stressed out. I knew I needed to get away. My daughter and I met my parents and my sister at a cabin in North Georgia for some relaxation and fun. We played games. Walked around (and yes, caught Pokemons). Ate delicious food. Visited. Sang camp songs. Sat in rocking chairs on the back porch. It was a wonderful, relaxing, peaceful time. Every minute spent with my parents is a treasure. They are such positive, happy people. A beautiful couple who will be married 60 years in a couple of months. I don’t mean to brag, but my parents are the dream parents that everyone wishes they had. Being with them means pure joy.IMG_1071

And while we were in North Georgia, we visited the Foxfire Museum. Finally! I’ve wanted to for years.


And then I headed to the beach. I hadn’t seen the ocean in many years, since I did the Shrimp and Grits race at Jeckyll Island, like 10 years ago. This trip was soooooooooo needed. I sat and stared at the ocean. I played in the waves. I ate seafood. I laughed. I didn’t get sunburned. Success! AND. It just happened to be the full moon while I was there. Meaningful. I took these photos from the balcony. The storm blew in, raged all night, and then blew out my 6 am. And yep, that’s the moon in the 3rd photo.


So the preparation is finished. Now I just have to do it.

And get it behind me.

And look forward to the adventures that lie ahead.

Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, The City Farmgirl in the Country, Rebekah

PS He’s my pal now! Follows me everywhere and gets in front of my feet so I’ll lean down pet him. Cute, handsome boy.

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  1. Nan Roberts says:

    Is that Mustache Cat the one you coaxed in to the house, who wouldn’t talk to anybody at first? and now he follows you around. I’m sure he’ll sit on you while you recuperate.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      YES! He loves touch. Craves it. But nope, he hasn’t sat in anyone’s lap yet. And I can’t pick him up. He’ll sit on the sofa behind me, though. In these hot days of summer, he’s in the house more than he’s out. Isn’t he handsome!

  2. Ruth Yarbrough says:

    Praying for all to go well with your surgery, and for a quick, uneventful recovery! Sounds like you have all bases covered :)!
    Love that sweet kitty of yours – I know you worked very long and hard to get him where he is today – he will be your buddy while you recover!

  3. Oh, Rebekah! I’m so sorry you have to do this, but thank goodness the treatment is available! I hope your surgery is uneventful and successful. Good healing to you! Rest! Move and exercise as much as you can afterwards! Keep your eye on that light at the end of the tunnel – think how GOOD you’ll feel then!

    Wow, that’s a lot of exclamation points. I guess I really want you to be okay. I have missed seeing your posts. My fingers are crossed for you!

  4. Wendy Curling says:

    Hugs and kisses
    And lots of well wishes!
    You won’t have to clean
    Or do any dishes!

    Just kick right back
    Enjoy a nice nap,
    Read those great books
    With a cat on your lap!

    Don’t worry ’bout nuthin’
    While you’re on the mend,
    Soon you’ll be good as new
    My farmgirl friend!

  5. Dori Troutman says:

    I’ll be thinking of you on the 27th Rebekah! I’m sure it will all go well and I really, really hope you will look at the 6 weeks as a vacation from life stuff. Do you do any hand sewing at all? I guess that is what I would be doing. Because I’m kind of weird that way!

    I love what you said about your parents. I have the exact same thing in my parents. They also will be married 60 years soon. My parents are ranchers in New Mexico and I only see them about twice a year now and I hate that. We are lucky to have parents we love and want to be around aren’t we?

    Good luck to you…. sending warm hugs!

    – Dori –

  6. Diane Van Horn says:

    Prayers and healing thoughts coming your way. It won’t be easy to not walk for 6 weeks, but it will be so worth it in the end. Mustache Cat will make a good companion while you recover from your surgery. Isn’t crazy all the stuff that a woman takes care of! Sometimes you don’t even realize it until you are making a plan for when you can’t do it. I was hoping to see the barn quilt all finished and hanging but I guess I will just have to wait. Try and enjoy your down time.

  7. Kimberly Diener says:

    I will pray for your surgeon and pray for you for speedy recovery and for your family. That was a good idea making all those meals a head of time. Great to see you and Mustache Cat are such good friends, maybe he will keep you company.

  8. Cindy says:

    So sorry to hear your feet and ankle problems but it sounds like your going to be on the end soon!!! Hangin there !! Prayers for your swift recovery!i too have horses! Chickens and a farm of animals ! I know how much work to keep it all going! Glad you got help ! Hang in there! Speedy recovery for you and successful surgery !!Cindy

  9. Lin says:

    Prayers and happy thoughts Rebekah!! Thank you for your wonderful stories and I just know you’ll bounce back quickly! Love your kitty! Cats are soooo smart and endearing.

  10. Denise Ross says:

    Loved the photos, Rebekah. Praying all will go well with your surgery and you recover quickly too. Just a thought with your crutches, I’ve had to use them in several occasions due to my own injuries and I wanted to let you know to fit some sponge or something padded around the underarm parts of your crutches. You’ll end up very sore under your arms if you don’t very quickly. I just used a semi thick square of sponge and tied around the top of the crutches where they fit under your arms. It worked a treat and I wasn’t sore at all with the extra padding.
    Gosh you’ve done a lot of preparation for this layoff time. Well done to you. Love to hear how you go with your mandolin lessons. I love the sound of them, so beautiful.
    I can sympathise with you on the wanting to run again and dream of the possibility. I’m nursing another injury myself which is frustrating when I’m in training for a team marathon event in two months. The only thing though is to treat ourselves with same kindness we would someone else, of which I’m terrible at and rest it and wait. Ugh!
    Take care of yourself and enjoy your reading time. We are always here if you need to let of some of the frustration of laying low too ling when you’re a goer in life.
    Love how mustache cat is progressing. Quite incredible the way he’s relaxing more and more around you. I’m sure the day will come when you will have him curled up on your lap. How sweet.
    Take care of you and many blessings to you and yours

  11. Cindy says:

    Hi Rebekah, I have missed you! I’m so sorry about you having to go through foot surgery. I remember when you hurt your ankle and I kept trying to talk you into x-Rays. My husband had surgery on one foot two years ago and had the other one scheduled for today actually, but had to post pone it because he had a hernia the size of a baseball and he was in a lot of pain. So his hernia (unplanned) surgery took the place of foot. It’s rescheduled for September. One thing you might put in your room is a laptop so you can chat with us when the mood strikes. And there’s always salad and sandwiches for meals too. I’ll be thinking about you.
    Cindy Bee

    • Cindy says:

      And ps. I’m lucky when it comes to parents too. And even luckier they only live 15 minutes away. They are 80 and 81. For moms 80th she wanted to go on The Pickled Peddler in downtown Indy ( I blogged about it last year or its online) and Dad wanted a game night with his family (also blogged). Just great fun. I hope I’m like them if I reach their age.

  12. Carol D says:

    Oh my, Rebekah. Wishing you a speedy recovery and peaceful down time. It’s so hard to sit! But you have a good ‘to do’ list. I LOV(ED) my SIGNED Mary Jane book that I gave away (??) to a precious teenager years ago. Thankfully she loves it too.

    We are visiting friends waaaay down south. They live on a lovely lake with dripping cyprus trees, a fabulous dock with all the water toys, and as I was checking out everything alone early the first morning, a monster alligator was lurking around right there at the dock. Our hosts freaked out, and needless to say, we’ve had a major change of activity plans! Anyway, they have two huge loaded fig trees, and at yesterday’s lunch we had delicious warm figs sautéed in butter and brown sugar with a little bit of port, served over ice cream. it was heavenly!

    Prayers for the 27th!!

  13. Krista says:

    Good luck with your surgery and recovery. May everything go smoothly! I’m happy to hear you have everything in order to make life a bit easier and was able to enjoy a nice vacation to relax from all your stress! Good luck with everything. Your cat is super handsome!

  14. Phyllis Parrish says:

    I’m praying for you and a fast recovery. Be blessed.

  15. Thinking of you today and picturing you skipping down a trail somewhere. Soon! Love you.

  16. denise says:

    Well wishes today for a quick and peaceful recovery!!
    Please tell me the variety of fig tree you decided on. I live on Long Island, NY and would love to grow a fig tree also,
    Thank you,

  17. Dianne says:

    Rebekah: I wish you much success for your surgery and that you can relax and recuperate. Now is a time for you to care for yourself. As a busy farmgirl it will be difficult, but a much needed rest will make for an easier recovery. God Bless Huggs

  18. Tracey H says:

    Thinking of you while you go on this journey. I’m sure you will be happy once this is over. Take care!

  19. Vicki Campbell says:

    I’m a 58 year old who over the last couple of years had, a knee replacement, ankle replacement and foot surgery… still have another ankle replacement and foot surgery and hip replacement ahead of me. I feel your pain. Mine have been great so far…the surgeries have been pain free and I love the new ankle…. it’s getting harder looking forward to the next surgeries just because of the no weight bearing for the 8 weeks 🙁 that… is the hardest part…and not being able to clean my own home and so forth. Good luck, it does end up being behind you eventually 🙂

  20. Victoria says:

    Dear Rebekah, You are a true country girl! Planning is always a part of a country girl’s life. Planning for each season, each day, and each hour. Planning for each outcome with an A,B, and C. That is how our ancestors survived and flourished. So you’ve planned and now it’s time to let others take the reins while YOU recouperate! Your doctor has done his planning and you are in good hands so let your family play caretakers now. 🙂

  21. Robin in New Jersey says:

    I imagine your surgery is over by now and you are in recovery. Praying that all went well and for a speedy recovery. Six weeks will go by fast and you will be up and around again. My daughter is getting married in six weeks and moving away, so I want it to go slowly, but alas, time flies!

  22. Claudia says:

    Your in my thoughts and prayers! Soak up this time because as soon as you heal you will be going a mile a minute and enjoying every second!

  23. Renee Fisher says:

    Happy to see my friend, Patti Digh’s, book in your stack! I would also like to suggest Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert if it hasn’t yet found its way into your hands. Speedy recovery!!

  24. Bonnie B says:

    Hi Rebekah, Wishing you a quick recovery. I’ve been trying to figure out if you are having both feet and both ankles operated on at the same time (which would make the recovery time better – not having to go through it another time). Anyway I hope the 6 weeks goes fast and pleasently for you. You have prepared well.
    A side note about your kitty. We adoped a feral cat from the neighborhood who had just had a litter of kittens. We were fortunate in the fact that our daughter worked at a vet’s and found homes for the kittens. Then Miss Kitty came in the house to stay after being spayed. She liked being petted and fed and didn’t ever try to get out, but would not sit on a lap either. By the way, she is a black and white tuxedo cat also. It took about a year for her to make that transition. Now it’s a nightly ritual with her. And sometimes if I sit down during the day for any length of time. So, I’m sure there will come a day when your kitty will become a lap cat, too. Maybe during your recovery. Hugs to you.

  25. Bonnie ellis says:

    Rebekah, I sympathize with you. I have had 5 shoulder surgeries, two knee surgeries, two heart surgeries plus others. You will learn patience, even if it is is the hard way. But on the plus side, take your resting for a chance to count your blessings including being forced to rest. Maybe this the chance to do some embroidery or find new recipes or be creative or connect with others in need. Good luck and God bless. Bonnie

  26. Marilyn says:

    Hi Rebekah,
    Hope everything went well with your surgery. Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Just look at it as a time to catch up on your reading and doing things you would never have the time to do. Hope the time goes fast in your recuperation. Good luck with the fig tree.

  27. DJ Varon says:

    Rebekah: Well today was the day, hope all went well. I will give you two bits of advice. I know you’ve probably heard enough. Luckily for me I have only had to deal with one foot at a time but have been through it twice. When the Dr. says stay off or no pressure on the feet – listen the first time. I did not and I was down for the count a lot longer. The second time I got creative. I used a backpack everywhere I went with everything I needed/wanted. I was in a wheelchair for a while also. In some areas of the house it was easier. Crutches, do not rest those guys under your armpits. Ouch.

    Wishing you the best and I know you will have lots of time to think and write. I look forward to your thoughts always. Take good care.

  28. Joan says:

    Praying for you, your family and all the Dr’s and health care people. May you heal quickly and completely. Love Mustache. Yes you are blessed to have wonderful parents and I am glad you recognize how great it is. Now about the crutches — I know – too much advice but my sister had to be on crutches for 8 months – she had a therapist adjust hers – she made them so they didn’t fit tight up under her arm and told her to not lean on her underarms as much as she did her hands – yes it was tough at first on her hands but I massaged them every night – real hard to massage underarms – well all the prayers will help you through this. God bless

  29. Denise says:

    I wish you the very best in your recovery! I just had toe surgery and it seems a lot of people don’t think its a very big deal but I am just at 6 weeks and my doctor wants me to continue to wear the boot for 2 more weeks. but the scooter was made of gold and so was the shower chair and I swapped out my shower head for a hand held and that was gold too!! that scooter is the best invention ever!! I slept on my couch for 4 weeks before making it back to my high bed. but I moved anything I could think of to my coffee table and end tables so it would be in handy reach. I froze food like you and thankfully I had a lot of friends bring food by too and I’m sure you will have that also. it will surprise you and you will feel very loved! but I am glad I finally gave in and did it even if people think I should be up and back to normal a week or two after surgery. People just don’t understand how serious surgery on your feet/ankles can be, so once again I wish you the best of luck with your recovery!

  30. Gaye Durst says:

    I hope sugery has gone well and you have a good recovery!
    How smart you are to have prepared so well, and in ways people don’t often think of. I’ll remember this if it is ever happens to me, and it is advice I will now be giving!

  31. Sylvia Jacobus says:

    Speedy recovery for you. Your handsome pal will probably cuddle with you and finally become a lap kitty. He’ll know your pain…..

  32. sherri says:

    Oh my goodness – loved this post, but so sorry to hear about your surgery! Hope all went well. Your lil mustache cat makes my heart sing – such a great story. . . .

  33. Sandi King says:

    Rebekah, will be praying for complete and speedy recovery and no boring times at all. I love your Mustache cat. I have a cat also with the mustache and a beard and she is female. Is there some way I could send you a picture of her electronically? But only if you would like to see her. She was an outdoor cat and kind of wild when we got her. Her owners were never home much to care for her so we took her in with their permission. Now she is lazy and comfortable except when it storms. They freak her out. We never let them out where they could get run over or chased by dogs. We have three cats and 2 dogs. Hopefully by next year we will have a place built for them to run around in outdoors where they won’t be in any danger. My parents both passed away years ago and they had been married 65 years when my dad died. Mom died 2 years later. Be well soon and God bless you, your parents, family and of course all your critters including Mustache cat.

  34. Becky Lee says:

    Good luck with your surgery and recovery. Take it nice and slow. Use your meds when you need them, and let hubby & daughter spoil you for a while. The time will pass and your body will heal. Sending prayers your way.
    From another Rebecca

  35. Vivian Monroe says:

    Rebekah, I pray your surgery went fine. I. love figs too we always had them growing up and i did not appreciate them like I should have. I finally got a tree to grow and is actually full of figs this year. After several failed attempts, my mom told me to plant on the south side of a wall or the house so i planted on the back of my chicken coop , and voila i now have a huge tree. Good luck with yours and a speedy recovery.

  36. Vivian Monroe says:

    p.s. my favorite thing is to toast a piece of bread with some melted mozzarella, and saute a fig cut in half in butter and put on toast.

  37. Nicole Christensen says:

    Okay, so I think I could use a fly catcher. They have been really bad this year in our area. Nasty or not, that was a great idea, and um, seems to work well!

    As for your recovery, one of my best friends just went through this same thing this year. I helped her out by taking her meals and taking her to the doctor. The best thing you can do is to not over do yourself. She made a full recovery and even went to Disneyworld as soon as her doctor cleared. We farmgirls are a busy bunch, but we also need to know when to slow down and take care of US. Prayers and wishes for a quick, easy recovery!

    Farmgirl Hugs,
    Nicole (Surburban Farmgirl)

  38. Rebekah Teal says:

    Thank you all so much for the prayers and thoughts and blessings. I treasure them. Surgery went well. I’m laid up now, but looking forward to when this is behind me. ~R

  39. Rowena Philbeck says:

    Good luck with your surgery and I think by now you have had it. I’m sure you will heal great as you are young and it will be lots faster. Love all that you did preparing you for it and the food etc. Can’t wait till your next post. Take Care and Prayers!!

  40. cheryl says:

    i’d love your recipe in the jar to get rid of those “nasty” flies!

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Cheryl, I didn’t make the concoction for those nasty flies. I bought it at the local farm store. It worked GREAT. Made a dent in the fly population around my farm.

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