Bell's Palsy Update - Week 22 Begins

This just in! Woman takes a Big Bite out of a Whole Sandwich! Film at 11:00!

Yes, dear friends. It has finally happened. At the approach of the end of five months with this nightmare called Bell's Palsy, I have finally, finally been able to order a club sandwich (the fabulous Orange-Cranberry Club from McAlister's Deli...:) and EAT THE WHOLE THING without having to dismantle it because of its height. Hurrah!

While I still have some paralysis in my lower lip on left of mid-line and I continue to seek benefits from twice-weekly speech therapy sessions, I know The End is in sight. Dawn is coming, and this nightmare will be over. Even if I must keep writing updates and taking Documentation Photos until the sixth-month anniversary (sigh), I will cross the Finish Line...collect my medal...and be thrilled to be through with it. Period. And the really good news? I'm a lot closer to The Finish Line than to The Starting Line!!

I'm happy to also announce my return to My Life. This past week was the Annual Meeting of Guilford Master Gardeners out at the Extension Center, and I eagerly prepared my Winter Fruits Salad with Lemon-Marmalade Poppyseed Dressing (recipe below) to add to the buffet table.

It was so good to be back in the fold...and to begin to feel like my life has meaning and purpose again! And even though I have stepped aside from any leadership roles for the coming year, I can still contribute through Media Outreach (writing articles)...and eventually as a speaker again through Speakers Bureau (yes, I've agreed to my comeback gig in's that for confidence in recovery?). I also chatted with a couple of folks about the Education component in relation to the Demonstration Garden...great possibilities for outreach and using what I can offer there.

OK. Must close. We are tiling our kitchen backsplash today, and I need to get to work. I know, I know...I specifically said I would NOT do this Thanksgiving Week. Ah well, needs must, as the Brits say. Mr. T couldn't take any vacation days off before this next week, and this is definitely a two-person job. I am too short...or, more to the point, my arms are too manage good placement and proper alignment of the tiles in the far corners, under the cabinets. I'll post pics when we are done.

Meanwhile, I'll leave you with Doc Photos, taken yesterday, as Week 21 was ending. Not a lot of visible difference, so you'll have to trust me that things are improving. Snail's pace, true. But improvement nonetheless.

(BTW...Recipes below the photos...:~\)

Documentation Photos, Day #147


Big smile!!


Winter Fruits Salad

• 1-2 containers Earthbound Farm Organic Heirloom lettuce leaves, depending on number to be served (or 8-10 cups lettuce leaves)
• 8-10 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
• 1-2 crisp apples like Honeycrisp
• 2-4 pears, not hard but not overly ripe either, such as Starkrimson (red) and/or D'Anjou (green)
• 1 cup dried cranberries
• 1 cup glazed pecans (such as Diamond's), broken in quarters
• A citrus-sweet or Asian-inspired dressing such as Lemon-Marmalade Poppyseed (below)

1. Remove any tough ends from any lettuce leaves. Tear leaves into bite-size. Put in a large salad bowl for serving. Chill.

2. Grate the Gruyere cheese, using large-hole side of grater or disc.

3. Wash the apples and pears under cold running water. Cut each in half then into quarters. Cut away and discard the core from each quarter. Slice them into 1/8-inch thin slices. If serving a large crowd, you may wish to continue slicing into 'match-sticks.' (If preparing ahead, place the sliced fruit in an airtight bowl, pouring some of the citrus dressing on the slices to prevent browning.) Seal and chill.

4. To assemble, sprinkle the lettuce in the salad bowl liberally with the grated Gruyere. Arrange the apple and pear slices in a pleasing pattern on top of the cheese. Sprinkle the dried cranberries and the glazed pecans over the top. Serve immediately, with dressing on the side. (Note: you can toss the dressing with the lettuce, but wait until the last minute as the salad may get soggy.)

Lemon-Marmalade Poppyseed Salad Dressing

1/2 cup sugar
2 T orange marmalade
3/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 T Dijon mustard
2 tsp finely diced onion
1 T candied ginger, chopped
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
2/3 cup oil
2 tsp poppyseeds


1. Purée in blender the sugar, marmalade, lemon juice, mustard, onion, ginger, and salt.
2. While still running, add the oil to the blender in a steady stream, and continue blending until thick. Add poppyseeds at the very end of the blending process.
3. Store in refrigerator in glass jar until 1/2 hour before serving. Let dressing sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Give the jar a good shake before using.
4. Enjoy on Winter Fruits Salad...or as a tasty marinade for grilled chicken.


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