Monthly Archives: December 2017

surgery anxiety

So my surgery is exactly one week away. I am SUPER nervous since I have never had any surgery other than my wisdom teeth taken out.

I joined an online discussion group for people who have had the procedure. A good and bad thing. Lots of good tips like the boot shower cover so you can shower during that loooong 2 week period with stitches. But also concerning posts about surgeries being cancelled close to surgery date because insurance is no longer covering the procedure.

The discussion group has given me pictures of what my toe will look like. Yikes!

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Also the posts about recovery time were all over the place. Weight bearing after day 2 to 2 months of no driving… and everything in between. I have told myself that there are a lot of variables that contribute to recovery, and that I am on the younger and healthier end of the spectrum.

My sweet husband got me a back support and a grabber. Plus a stand for me to prop up my laptop while I am stuck on the couch.

I am trying to come to terms with the fact that I will be off my feet and totally dependent on others for everything for 2 weeks. This will be super hard for me. I do not sit well. But from all that I have read, those first 2 weeks are critical in the healing process. Those who rush it have long term swelling.

I have a knitting kit and will be making LOTS of toboggans while watching LOTS of Netflix. Wish me luck!



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the final decision on water therapy

Water therapy has been a huge topic at our house over the spring and summer. The debate was between a lake house or a half acre pond in our front woods. I did A LOT of research on lake houses at Lake Gaston, Badin Lake, and Lake Royale. We even found a place at Lake Royale that we were considering making an offer on. The trick with this property is that it is not a single family house… it is a camper converted into a cottage. This was not a deal breaker for us, but as we got to the financing phase we ran into some issues. The property did not meet any of the traditional rules for lending. It is not mobile b/c the camper has been built over, but there is also not a foundation on the entire house.

Around this same time, our kiddos’ school changed the tuition model. This change caused a lot of parents to be very upset, mainly because of how the changes were relayed to parents and made with zero input from parents. The changes started with a 10% increase in tuition for families who can afford the full tuition for next year. This was after a 10% increase this school year. After the initial backlash, a revised model was sent to parents. A 5.5% increase next year and 9% the following year.  15% is more than 10% any way you slice it. Keep in mind that 30% of the rising 9th graders chose an alternative school for high school this year. The school was able to make up for this loss since 9th grade is a natural year for kids to switch to a new learning setting. I am pretty sure based on the reactions of parents that we will see a similar level of loss across grade levels next year. I know of many families already moving or researching other schools for their kiddos. But like Rahul reminded me, unless we move we have no other option. I will NOT send my kids to their public school which has been dubbed The Heroin High School.  Plus we only have 5 more years before that glorious Duke college tuition benefit kicks in. College is pretty much for free for us.

So this brought us back to the pond in the woods idea. The 2 companies that I reached out to in the spring and summer tried to sell me $30,000 water features. I don’t want a water feature with goldfish. I want a REAL pond. I gave it one more chance with a builder recommended by the landscaper we use from time to time. This guy was awesome and got what I was looking for. After surveying our property, he said he could build a 40×60 pond with a damn to help funnel the water into the pond vs the excess run off we have that leaves standing water next to our fence. To put 40×60 into context, it would be a pond double the size of our pool. The builder said he could even put in a small dock for me to put a bench on to sit and enjoy the view. The pond on Wild Azalea Lane will look something like this (minus the structure in the back).

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We can stock it with catfish and bass, and it will be deep enough to paddle around in or jump in (if you so desire).

This feels like the right decision for our family right now. We can always revisit a lake home once we are closer to retirement and do not have the expense or stress of ever increasing private school tuition. Our focus right now needs to be making sure that our kids finish high school and have all the college opportunities they deserve.

The pond can be completed in a week… yes a week. Then an additional 2 weeks for the pond to fill from run off. So here’s hoping for a wet winter so water therapy will be on Wild Azalea Lane soon!


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