Monday, August 15, 2022

Eye Spy


 As some of you know, I messed up my left eye a number of years ago. No need to go into the grim details here but let this serve as a reminder to always wear eye protection when doing almost anything. My eye looks pretty normal, but what I see when I look out of it is anything but normal. (*1) And no, nothing is going to make it okay again as my cornea was sewn back together and I have copious scar tissue through which to view the world. But it's alright: I've gotten used to it!

Anyway, my regular eye doctor had noticed in the past couple of regular eye exam visits that it was noticeably blurrier. She recommended a laser procedure as a secondary cataract had formed behind my eye. I put it off last year as COVID prevented me from wanting to do a lot of things. But this year, after my exam,I decided to go for it.

Last Friday I had an experience that felt pretty sci-fi. I know that this laser technology has been the medical standard for quite some time now, but I don't undergo procedures often so it was novel. The cornea doctor is very relaxed about this procedure as she's doing it hundreds of times a year but I was a bit unnerved by the odd red light and strange clicking noises and her space-age helmet. It certainly didn't hurt while undergoing the procedure as my eye was numbed and it only took a couple of minutes. Afterward, on the way home, it felt (briefly) like someone had rubbed my eye with sandpaper and then put salt in it. That sensation passed quickly. Although my first application of the steroidal eye drops reinforced the salt-in-wound feeling. It was fine after that...

So two days after the procedure I can report no pain (good), no discomfort in applying the eye drops (also good) but I do have a few big black honking  floaters. You know how floaters are usually translucent and wiggly? There are two of these black spots that look like flies have come into view. I want to swat them! This is supposed to resolve soon... kind of annoying but normal. Other than that, I think that color seems to be a bit brighter but I'm not sure I'm "seeing" any less fogginess. I guess I'll have to wait a few days to really know what's up!(*2)

(*1) If you want to sort of approximate what I see out of my left eye, take a small piece of plastic or plexiglass and sand it. When you hold it up to your eye and close the other eye; it will be weird and foggy. You will still "see" but it will not be clear, distinct or articulate. It is like everything has been "generalized". Yes, you see the book shelf or the computer screen or the dog, but it will be as forms with no specific details. 

(*2) I reiterate: no, I will never see totally normally. Medical science cannot do that. I think the best my doctors and I hope for is less cloudiness. Too early to tell!

 


Friday, July 29, 2022

More Medieval Farm Fun!

 

Isn't it amazing that this lovely, halcyon woodsy vision is on our property? Is it any wonder that our friend the bear chose to stroll through, no doubt enjoying the view? This break in the trees leads to our stream which we are so fortunate have because it's now how we're watering our gardens. As I referenced in an earlier post, our well was presenting with low water pressure and we are being conservative with the hose watering.

Here's Bob down by the stream ready to dip in and fill the buckets. It's really quite pretty here... if one scares the bears (and coyotes and bobcats and probably a few stray mountain lions!) away. (*1) Anyway, this has become a daily event in our modern efforts to re-create how our medieval ancestors lived. Some things never change!

Fill those buckets! Tote that weight! And then we schlepp them up the hill to the awaiting water cart and pour the water into the bigger buckets. Bob is much stronger than me so he carries a couple of buckets at once; I can only manage one. But who's counting? It's all in good, clean medieval fun!

And then we push that cart up the hill (of course it's a hill!) and through the gate and away across the lawn to the various containers and vegetables that need refreshment. But all our hard work is paying off as nothing has died despite the continued drought. In fact the vegetable garden is really productive, serving up a bounty of Swiss chard, okra, lettuce, parsley, squash, peppers and the first tomatoes. (Soon to come: hazel nuts, grapes and beans.)

(This is a picture from earlier this year because I'm too lazy to go out and re-photograph the vegetable garden. It's too hot and I'm hungry. And I guess too honest.)

(*1) Not to mention watching out for ticks and leeches and variously infected mosquitoes... scary world we live in!


Sunday, July 24, 2022

The Bear Went Over the Mountain

 

Or at least across the driveway! Our neighbor Meagan shot this image of a "large"(her word, but is there any other kind??!!?) black bear, spotted ambling across her yard directly to our yard. Yikes! 

I had just come back in from riding Neko when Bob came down the stairs expressing just how glad he was that I was inside as Meagan had called to warn of the above bear. I'm very pleased that I did not encounter this mid-morning visitor while riding. Neko is a brave and level-headed horse, but I wouldn't want to test her on a bear!

Another shot of our friend, taking his time, out for a stroll while terrorizing the neighborhood. All day long when having to go outside for anything, I was apprehensive and worse, Robin the Good kept sniffing the air sensing something or someone unusual about.

Meagan sent over three shots of the monster. He looks fat and sassy! I am hoping that he was simply on his way from here to there and not thinking, "Gee! What a lovely area! Perfect place to raise a family!" I know they're around but this was a bit too close and in broad day light!! Move along my friend!!

Sunday, July 17, 2022

How Dry I Am

 

Well that's an unattractive picture to start out with! We are in the midst of a drought, which I think snuck up on us. Two weeks ago, our gardens looked pretty great... and then wowser! Everything is shriveled, crackling and dying. 

Bob and I were merrily watering away, keeping plants happy until one morning while I washed dishes and Bob watered the vegetable garden, our water pressure dropped rather alarmingly. We realized that with no rain at all in the forecast and how luxuriously we'd been watering the various containers and shrubs and vegetables all while doing laundry and taking showers the well's water level had probably fallen to new lows. You get the picture: suddenly we realized that we'd better be frugal for a few weeks. 

Things I've never seen wilt are wilting, like the Eupatorium above. We've been saving rinse water from doing dishes and Bob's been schlepping bucketfuls of water from our stream (also low) but it's no substitute for lavish watering or a day of rain. Forget the lawn: it crunches under foot. That I can live with as it's only temporarily dormant. But I feel awful about all those tender little seedlings that we started indoors- only to consign them to the eternal flames of hell. Gotta love Climate Change, right? at least we're not on fire. Yet.

So I just did an even stupider thing. The deer who are usually pretty well-behaved around her, actually consumed some of my daylily buds yesterday. (Ironically, of course, the daylilies were among the few plants that didn't seem to mind the heat and dryness.) So I announced my intention to spray the shade area with our homemade deer spray. I gloved up as it does smell pretty rank and proceeded to a through dousing of all likely deer delicacies- rhododendrons, daylilies, hosta, impatiens; I hit them all.

(The Long Border in better days. Notice green lawn.) When I came back into the house, Bob helpfully points out that I hadn't taken the deer spray after all, but the container marked Poison Ivy Killer. (I should learn to read.) Hahahahahaha!! So I went back out and re-sprayed with deer repellent, thinking maybe it'll dilute the poison ivy spray.  It's actually a mix of salt and vinegar and takes a few applications to actually kill the poison ivy but with my luck, it will kill all my plants in one shot as they're already weakened by the dry weather. 

So... Goodbye Garden 2022!!



Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Toe Jamb

 

Ouch! This posting starts off with a clever pun for a title. While moving barefoot from the bedroom, where I had finished a pleasant yoga session, to the bathroom- a distance of approximately eight feet- I succeeded in ramming that awkward space between my little toe and it's neighbor (ring toe?) into the jamb of the doorway. (*1) Two days later, I'm still limping. It is somewhat better, but my plans to ride my pony were hobbled by my inability to get any pair of boots on my hoof with causing excruciating pain. My old sneakers are the best I can do. I am resigned to sedentary indoor activities.

We do have a new(er) car, however, which is big news and good news! It was shockingly debilitating to be transportation-less and although helpful friends volunteered rides to stores and Insta-Cart-like experiences, we succeeded in locating a likely car rather quickly.

Hooray! We're very happy with our new red rocket, although temporarily I am unable to drive it as my right toe is part of my right foot which is required to depress the gas and brake pedals. That causes pain! But it looks good sitting in the driveway and Bob can drive it. 

In the meantime, I am eagerly awaiting the start of the seventh January 6 Select Committee hearings. It was supposed to be on at 10:00 am but got moved to 1:00 pm. At least this is something I can do while incapacitated by a swollen and painful toe. Lock him up!!!

(*1) I am aware that "toe jam" is a nasty, smelly substance that develops between the toes of unclean individuals. Fortunately, I am not one of these sufferers! And on that note, do you know anyone who admits to toenail fungus? Is this really an epidemic? Because I see all kinds of ads in magazines and on-line that want to cure it!



Monday, July 4, 2022

Remembrance of Trusty

 

This tribute is several days overdue. There is an empty spot in the driveway and in our hearts. Trusty the Accord is no more. 

Trusty was a trooper. My sister Beatrice who, with her partner John, bequeathed us Trusty several years ago, always maintained the Trusty had the quietest, most dependable engine of any car she'd known.  He always started, he ran smoothly and comfortably and had provided them with years of reliable transportation. They, in turn, took good care of Trusty and kept him running like the proverbial top. His only downfall was the inconvenient fact that people seemed to like backing into him, leaving Trusty with a curiously dented driver's side. His passenger side was unblemished. You will remark on the steel straps holding Trusty's headlight in place; Bob rigged this after we inherited him. I think Trusty viewed it sort of like an eye patch: it lent him a rakish, devil-may-care air.

 


(Oh and someone stole my WTF sticker off his bumper. Really!!?? Of all the nerve!) Trusty came to us and seemed to enjoy the change. He experienced new adventures he could never have dreamed of: transporting artwork and hay bales and an amazing assortment of plants. He always performed whatever automotive task was asked of him with good grace and humor. He did have a surprisingly impish sense of fun and was quite the joker. Beatrice had warned me that the radio was "unpredictable" and that his doors locked and unlocked with a random impertinence. He continued this practice until the day he departed.

Despite being warned by Beatrice and John's mechanic to, "Not drive to Atlantic City" (I guess he meant don't gamble or take chances...) we drove Trusty for almost four years, with only minor troubles. We recently took Trusty to Massachusetts to a friend's memorial and he performed beautifully, humming along the highway as if he'd rolled off the Honda production line yesterday. Many mechanics and auto parts salespeople attempted to buy him, remarking on just what great cars these older Accords were. But put a price on Trusty... never!

But time caught up with Trusty and his timing belt proved to be his down fall. He got us home, rolling into the driveway, delivering us safely before expiring in a billow of black smoke. As I laid a hand on his front fender one last time, I bowed my head and whispered, "Farewell Trusty! You were a good car!"




Monday, June 27, 2022

A Diversionary Post

 

Picture of me, above partially minus my head (*1), astride, as a diversion. And I may well be posting as Neko and I are at the trot- a gait to which one posts (*2). And I'm posting a post to my blog so let's discuss how confusing the English language is. Or not!

Okay, so I've established my attempts to divert my own mind away from what's seriously on it: the (not-so) supreme court. All I am going to say is I am so out of my mind in wonder and anger that the conservative majority has proven to be so radically out of step with the average American and has imposed their Draconian religious views on all of us. Did that sentence even make sense???!?! You get my point... I'm truly pissed off.

Whether it's relaxing concealed carry laws (a day after Congress passed the first (modest) efforts at gun control in a decade) or it's reversal of Roe vs Wade (a day after the fourth January 6th hearing showing The Orange Menace and CO attempts to subvert the Justice Department), the supreme court has basically affirmed Clarence Thomas' view that the people's voices just don't count.

I'm with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in saying that several justices should be impeached for lying under oath to the Senate. No one is above the law. Or so we can hope!

So there is now steam spewing from my ears and I'm probably red in the face. But I had a lovely ride and Neko and I are making fine progress together. My trainer (hello Maiya!) who took the above picture, is challenging me and helping me become a better rider. So some things in life are pleasant despite my ongoing consternation about the State of the Nation. And seeing as how our car died (*3), I may need to ride my pony into town to do the shopping.


(*1) But in riding, who needs a head? A useful equestrian adage about the proper position of a rider on a horse, "Shoulders of a queen, hands of a lady, hips of a whore". Hahhahahaha! No mention of your head!

(*2) Posting to you non-equestrians out there is the act of rising and resitting when the horse trots. You rise when the outside leg of your mount is forward and you sit when the inside leg is forward. It prevents bouncing and is easier on the horse's back. And to further complicate matters, you CAN sit the trot. Utilizing your core muscles, you can learn to absorb the bounce. Advanced dressage requires that you sit the trot but I'm not there yet!!

(*3) Yes, Trusty died. More on that in an upcoming post!