March 30th, 2018
Yesterday I finally got around to doing something that I have been avoiding for nearly a month. It's not just because I'm lazy, although I certainly can be, but more because it was just something that I knew would be heart breaking to do.
After Hurricane Irma's visit last year, we returned home to piles of tree debris. In fact, there was so much of it that it had to be cleared away before anything else was could be done. We couldn't really see much of the house to check it out until all that foliage rubbish was gone. Once we had finally completed step one, we checked the house out thoroughly and were both surprised and pleased that the house was intact and dry. The no so good surprise came more in the form of what happened to our hibiscus.
Up until Irma blew through, even the roughest and toughest of tropical storms didn't seem to do more than blow a few leaves off the Hibiscus which always grew back immediately. The shrub (or tree, I'm not certain into which category it falls to tell the truth) stood tall and strong at the right corner of the house at the end of hedge like an exclamation point. Because it lives inside the front courtyard, I suspect that the courtyard walls acted as protection from the worst of any weather and assumed that this would always be the case. I could not have been more wrong.
My tall beautiful Hibiscus was now, post hurricane, listing strongly to starboard. The roots were still in the ground but stretched almost but not quite to the breaking point. Oh dear! I found a bit of string and wrapped it around the strongest branches of the Hibiscus and then to the core of the hedge in an effort to stand it upright once again. It worked. Briefly. The next day, apparently the string had stretched and it was once again, nearly laying on the ground. I re-tied it, tighter, and then propped up the base with goodish sized rocks. After a few days the string had once again stretched and the rocks had slide away and the Hibiscus remained standing at roughly a 45 degree angle.
I kept retying and repropping and babied it with natural fertilizers and encouraging speeches. I watered it by hand when the weather was dry and cleared away debris after any storm. I carefully pruned and in general coddled it hoping for the best but nothing changed.
Fortuitously, a few months ago when our lawn guys were here working, their boss was here as well. His name is Sam and he is a very nice man. We chatted about this'n'that and eventually I turned the conversation to my sad little Hibiscus. I asked him if there was anything that could be done. He strongly recommended cutting it back hard, so that only the vertical branches still stood. He suggested that I do this in March. Apparently March is the month for pruning and cutting here. I nodded and thanked him and then realized something, "But March is when the trees and plants begin blooming again. That means there will be buds and blooms all over the Hibiscus! It will kill them!" I protested in earnest. Sam shrugged in response. "It's for the good of the Hibiscus" he said gently but firmly.
So there it was three days before I was going to run out of March. No point in putting it off any longer. I took a deep breath and began to rummage through the utility room looking for implements of destruction (Thank you Arlo Guthrie) It was at this point that I realized that we no longer owned many gardening tools. I must have sold them at the yard sale in Colorado before we moved. Dang. Ok, necessity being what it is, I found alternatives. A small hand saw will work. I carefully sawed away all branches that were not vertical, talking soothingly and encouragingly all the while. "It's for your own good" I said, "You will come back stronger and more beautiful" I told her. But I was still very sad and I felt like a vandal, a cad, a murderer! Eventually though, it was done.
With a heavy heart, I hauled all the branches around to the cut foliage repository on the side of the house and starred balefully at the pile. Then, struck with inspiration, I ran back to the utility room and found a pair of garage grade scissors. I cut all of the buds off the branches. I trimmed them carefully and brought them inside where I rinsed them gently in cool water and trimmed them a second time. I decided to put them in one of my favourite, and least used, vases. At one time it belonged to my Nana. Normally it lives in the display cabinet in the living room with other "pretty things" but as of yesterday, it is holding Hibiscus buds. I'm told that this vase is hobnailed milkglass. If that's true, it's nice to know, but as far as I'm concerned, it's just Nana's pretty vase.
Even as I arranged the buds, I fully expected to walk into the room this morning to find it all wilted, browning and dead. I've tried bringing in blossoming branches of Hydrangea and Lilac in years past with very poor results. I was prepared for the same thing to happen this time. But, I comforted myself, at least I would have known that I tried.
I walked into the room this morning to find this. I think I am forgiven.
March 29th, 2018
Despite the photo above, today's post isn't about cake. Well it is, but that's not the point. The fact of the matter is, that Tim and I are really, REALLY, lucky people.
Like anyone who moves to a new place, we were kind of flying blind. After we decided what town we wanted to live in, we had to choose a house. Working within our budget in the place we decided that we wanted to live, there were multiple options. As anyone would, we checked them all out. We had a list of course. Everyone has a list of requirements. Minimum of two bathrooms and three bedrooms was on the list. Two living spaces, that is, a both a living room and a family room or something that could be used as a family room, that was on the list too. And then there were the things that would be nice but not essential, like a pool (or a backyard big enough to eventually have one put in) and a garage (which turned out to be harder than we thought). The rest of it has to do with how it feels. It's very subjective.
Eventually we narrowed our choices down to two houses. As it so happened, one house was on the south end of the island the other on the north end. Both were about the same age. Neither of them had a garage but fulfilled all the rest of the requirements. And the price tag was about the same on each house. The one on the south end was two blocks from the beach. A straight shot right down the road to a private access beach entrance. Pretty enticing. The house on the north end was a few blocks further from the beach, but only one street away from the Intercoastal Waterway. The south end had fewer mature growth trees but it did have sidewalks. The north end had loads of mature trees and shrubs and gardens but no sidewalks. Both would require some remodeling and a lot of paint. It all came down to how the house and the neighborhood felt. We had nothing else to base our decision on.
I was leaning toward the house on the south end. The allure of just walking down the street, two blocks to the beach was pretty enticing. But Tim felt an equally strong draw to the house on the north end. He campaigned hard for his choice and ultimately, I trusted that his siren call was stronger than mine.
Once we got settled in and the reno began and the painting commenced and the slow familiarity with both our new state, town and neighborhood grew we were ever more certain that we made the correct call. And one of the reasons is our neighbors. We lucked out big time.
Ever single person we have met has been friendly, helpful, interesting and respectful of our desire for privacy. Our neighborhood has a long-standing monthly get-together that they refer to as "drinks on the drive". It's hosted by a different family each time and the host family provides drinks, glasses, napkins, plates and a place, usually the driveway, front yard, courtyard for the gathering. Everyone who attends brings food to share. There is no pressure to attend but everyone is invited. Often it is the only occasion that we spend time with each other. Just a few hours of catching up. It's lovely.
One neighbor is also my pilates instructor. She and her husband live just down the street. Whenever it's raining, she comes and picks me up for class. I never asked for a ride, but she just shows up with a smile and a "Hop in!" She could just say, "Don't be an idiot...drive to class when it rains instead of walking, you moron!" But instead, she goes out of her way. After the hurricane last year, for some reason, she got her power back days ahead of us. And one of the first things she did was to invite us to stay with them. We declined, but it was a sincere offer with no strings. Wow!
The first people we met here live two houses down. They have always generously shared information, tips, hints and suggestions with us. If I have a question, they are always the first people I go to whether it's to identify a plant or ask about Hurricane preparedness or which is the best dry cleaner in town.
Just yesterday I happened to see the lady of the house working in her garden so I popped by to say hello. We chatted for a few minutes and she told me about a wonderful recipe she had found for Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake because she knows how much I love to bake. She had recently made this cake with great results and asked if I wanted the specialty ingredient leftovers. Surprised at the offer, I sputtered for a moment and then she decided for me. "Yes" she decided, "You need to have this. Follow me" So suddenly I was in possession of a wonderful new recipe and most of what I required to make this cake AND a pair of reading glasses. I'm not certain how I ended up with the glasses but they are wonderful and perfect for my new vision so I accepted them with a smile.
Another neighbor has put together a walking group. Every Wednesday at 4 we walk a roughly 3 mile loop and chat the whole time. This same lovely lady has encouraged me to look into working at the art center where she volunteers. I am considering it. The fact that she thinks highly enough of me to suggest that I could be a good fit at the place where she is already established speaks volumes to me. There is no pressure, it's just something I didn't know about, that she thinks perhaps I should looks into. I think I probably will.
I love walking around our neighborhood. It's a pretty area with lots of trees, views of the water, squirrels, bunnies and so many birds of different sorts everywhere we look. The houses are pretty, the yards kept up and best of all, we have wonderful neighbors.
I admit we were a little concerned about this because we had the absolute BEST neighbors in Colorado and thought that could never happen again. That whole lightening striking twice thing. But it did happen again. We hit the jackpot once more in the great neighbor sweepstakes. Oh, and the cake turned out to be delicious too!
March 28th, 2018
This came in the mail yesterday with a pile of ads, a few bills and a few catalogues. It caught my eye so instead of relegating immediately to the trash can which is where most "mail" goes these days, I held it aside to check out later as I was in the midst of a few other tasks.
It was the word "Trivia" that grabbed me. I love trivia. I used to play Trivial Pursuit fairly regularly with friends and the kids. Even loosing was okay because we were all learning things and I do love to learn stuff. I haven't played in a long time, in fact, we do not even own the game anymore. It was sold at the giant yard sale with all of our other games before we moved here. But the idea of it definitely sparked some interest.
While I was finishing up my other chores I wondered who was sponsoring this Trivia Night. A local church maybe? The town? Some Venice Business? Well yeppers on that last guess. When I finally sat down and looked closely at the oversized postcard I saw that this Oh So Fun night of Trivia was sponsored by and held at Farley Funeral Home and Crematory. What?
Well hmmm. Fact is, it is a rare week indeed that I do not receive some unsolicited letter or postcard or invitation regarding funerals, 'final expenses', skilled nursing homes and/or getting myself "right with God". Apparently, age-wise I have crossed some sort of line which triggers this sort of mail. It all goes right into either recycle or, if I'm in a mood, the shredder. I am not offended by it usually but this time I certainly was surprised.
Now I understand that funeral homes, crematories and the like are businesses and as such, they need to advertise, be competitive in the market, get their name out there. Of course they do, just as restaurants and barber shops and dry cleaners do. But there is just something that strikes me a little unsettling about a funeral home holding a Trivia Night (complete with snacks and refreshments according to the invitation)
Bear in mind here that at one time I worked at a Hospice. It was quite some time ago now when the entire concept of Hospice was a new one and a difficult "sell" to the public. Getting out the word on what exactly a Hospice as and how it worked was difficult. It's a topic that must be dealt with gingerly and with great respect. In our culture, death and it's related topics are nearly taboo. We just don't talk about it much. I know people, my age and older, who do not have Wills written because they are so uncomfortable with the idea of their own mortality that they have just avoided it entirely.
It would have been so much easier to introduce the concept of Hospice to the area it served if death, dying and grief were a more comfortable conversation. More people would have been properly cared for, their survivors supported better and the communities as a whole more fully served. Even the Hospice Pastor confided to me one day that the training priests receive regarding caring for the dying and their families was woefully lacking. It took a lot of specialty training to staff the organization and it took even more time to educate the community. So I applaud the effort to being made by this funeral home.
It happens to everyone, eventually, after all. Death is a part of life. The last part, I'll grant you, but still, it shouldn't be a subject that people whisper about in dark corners. There should be honest and open communication and definitely some planning involved.
That said, I'm not sure that holding Trivia Nights at the old funeral home is the way to go about it. I applaud their efforts but I wonder how many people will show up for game night? Maybe I'm wrong. It's not unprecedented after all. Would you be comfortable going to a funeral home for a game night? Just feels a little undignified and there is always an aura of dignity and respect in any funeral home I've ever entered. I think that should be preserved. Just my feeling on the matter.
What do you think?
March 27th, 2018
Hope everyone had a perfectly lovely weekend and a darned good Monday. A good solid Monday kind of sets the tone for the rest of the week. I know you are sick and tired of hearing about this so this will probably be the last post talking about my eyes. My last eye surgery, the left eye, was yesterday which is why I didn't post. So finally, the vision in my eyes match! Woohoo!
Since this was the second time around, I kind of knew the drill. We drove through the darkness and the fog to Sarasota, about a half hour away, for the procedure and showed up a little ahead of our very early check-in time of 6:45. Oddly, both surgeries were very foggy mornings which is especially funny to me now because after the surgeries, I was the foggy one. It oddly made perfect sense.
I cannot say enough positive things about the surgery center. Everyone was very nice, professional but kind, and they have this process down cold. There was a lot of waiting of course dotted with a lot of different tests, each in a different room by a different person. In fact, the only thing there was more of than tests and people were eye drops. One of the staff jokingly told me that they were water-boarding my eye. That is exactly what it felt like. But it also says to me that they get it. They understand how it feels to be a patient going through this process. The center was beautifully appointed and very clean. I even like that they suggested ahead of time that I dress warmly. Done and thank you ;)
Once I was in the prep room, sitting on my nicely padded gurnery and wearing the oh so fashionable green haircap, one person slipped my right arm into a blood pressure cuff while another was going over things with me and asking all the questions they always have to ask (when was the last time you ate? drank?) I was nibbling on the fingernail of the other hand. One of the staff asked if I was nervous. I stopped nibbling and said, "well not nervous really, just remembering the surgery last time. I guess you could say, I'm looking forward to it being over". She paused and said, "You remember it?" I said, "oh yes", and shared some of the things I remembered from the week before. "Hmmmm", she said, "People usually have no memory of it at all. We will up your sedation". She smiled and left.
That's pretty much the last thing I remember from yesterday. But I still vividly remember the previous week. The nice warm blanket that they covered me with, the covering over my face that felt like bubble wrap, the lighted pink marshmallow looking thing that I had no choice but to stare at since my eye was held open by some sort of eye clamp and even the doctor moving my head into postion (repeatedly - I guess I kept moving without realizing it). Vivid memories. No pain at all, but I do remember it. Every bit of it. The first time. The second time? I got nothin' and I think I like it that way.
I spent the rest of yesterday in a fog, napping while "watching" television and drifting through the day exactly as I did the previous week. But today, I feel fine, alert, a lot more energetic and happily more like myself. I am very pleased to not feel unbalanced anymore as I did all of last week and I am thrilled with my distance vision.
Some of the things I have noticed already are: that I can watch television without glasses at all (amazing!), I can read the bathroom scale and any clock in the house without glasses (astounding!), Tim walked into the room a few minutes ago and when I looked up I could see his face, I mean really see it, every single detail, without glasses (incredible!). When I look out a window, I can see every leaf on every tree and read license plates on cars (whoa!).
But the biggest wow I'm experiencing is with light and colour. The different natural lights coming through the window throughout the day is unlike anything I've noticed before, ever. I am just so overwhelmed by it. It's almost mesmerizing to me. I can't stop marveling over it. And no colour looks like I thought it did. None of them. Not a single one. The subtle differences between shades has my brain just scrambled and I love it.
On the other hand, I cannot read anything close up. Nothin'. Not a book, a newspaper, my cell phone, a prescription bottle or my computer screen. Sooooo readers. Okay. I can do that.
In the short term, for the next month, I will be a slave to the various eyedrops I've been assigned and my eyes will continue to improve (for distance! Even more improvement! Will I be able to see things on Mars?) And I'm sure I will adjust and stop being a goofball about light and colour. I mean, yesterday late afternoon, I completely stopped talking in the middle of a sentence to oogle over the backlit bougainvilla I could see out the kitchen window. Eventually I will stop doing that. But I hope I never stop appreciating it because it was stunningly beautiful.
So, that's the biggest thing going on here. I see the doc again today for a follow up appointment. I keep using the drops for a month. I start getting into my normal routine as of today. I get back to Pilates next week (and that will be pathetic after three weeks off) and at some point, I will be very brave and get behind the wheel of the car again.
I promise to talk about something completely different tomorrow! I SWEAR!
March 23rd, 2018
What a pretty photo! That's the picture from one of the puzzles that I got this past Christmas. Tim found a box of 5 (count 'em, five!) puzzles, each 500 pieces which seems very do-able. Each of the puzzles is of a photograph so the subject matter and the colours are very specific, very crisp and clean. There is no doubt about what the puzzle is a picture of. I only say that because I've seen a few that are kind of cartoonish and honestly even when I finished the puzzle I still wasn't certain what it was supposed to be.
I really like puzzles and, as I've mentioned before, we nearly always have one in process on the table in the family room. They are kind of "community' puzzles meaning that anyone who happens to walk past that feels like it can spend as much, or as little, time as they wish working on it. Sometimes, Tim will walk past and put in one piece then walk on. Occasionally, I will spend a half hour or so while eating my lunch working on it. When my sister visits, while we are chatting, once in awhile, we will do so at the puzzle table, talking and fitting pieces for an hour or so. When Hurley and Jessie were just here visiting, they did two puzzles, completely and rather quickly. It was impressive.
My point here is that after all this time, and this being something that I quite enjoy, I should be better at it by now. I opened this most recent puzzle two days ago. It's a process.
First I have to chose which puzzle I want to work on. Then cut open the bag and spill all the pieces on the tabletop. Next is picking up all the ones that fell on the floor. Followed by sorting, edge pieces all go in one pile and all pieces must be right side up. Then by colour. Well usually I would have sorted by colour. I didn't do it this time because the majority of the pieces are some shade of pink so the pink pile would have been enormous. I did not bother to sort by colour this time. "Okay" I said to myself, "Good Job. Done for the day.?" Seriously, that was it for day one.
The second day, after working on it a few minutes at a time throughout the day I finally managed to get the frame completed. I really did work on it for brief moments for an entire day to finish it and that is frankly ridiculous. This is just not that hard! Maybe my concentration is lacking. Maybe I was distracted too much by all of the other things I was also doing. Maybe senility really is finally setting in. Or maybe it's these wonky eyes that aren't right yet. That sounds good. I'm going to blame my eyes.
Monday I go back for my second eye surgery. We are schedule to show up at 6:45 and if it goes as it did last time, we will be back home before 10 am. And I will be goofy from residual medication and my vision will be blurry. I will nap on and off throughout the day between eye drop applications and utterly useless other than perhaps as a paperweight.
I'm looking forward to seeing what my new eyes will see, once they are both corrected and I have the same vision in each eye instead of this unbalanced wonkyvision that I'm strugglikng with this week. I am also eager for this entire experience to be something I remember instead of something I am going through. All things considered I do not anticipate writing a post on Monday but one never knows with me.
Everyone have a lovely weekend please. I will most likely write again on Tuesday!
March 21st, 2018
I saw a video on Facebook that was so funny and adorable (and true!) that I shared it again to my FB page. It was of a kitten watching a scary scene in a movie. You could see on it's little face exactly how he felt about this horror film and it made me laugh a little bit because I felt like a kindred soul. That little kitty watched scary movies precisely the way that I do. I don't know where you stand on the "scary movie" vote, but being the notorious 'scaredy cat' that I am, it will come as no surprise to you that, in general, I am not a fan of scary movies.
I used to be. Well, I used to sometimes be. I loved the old classics. Vincent Price. Bella Lugosi. The old black and white horror films were awesome. And maybe it was the dramatically wonderful over acting or perhaps it's because they were filmed in grainy black and white while we live in a world filled with bright colour, that made it ok for me. The fantasy/reality line never got crossed.
And if a horror film managed to also be a good psychological thriller, not just a blood and guts fest, yeah, I could do that. Like with the first Poltergeist or The Omen. Those films just chilled my bones to the very marrow. But they was also a great twisted stories that kept me perched on the very edge of my seat throughout without making me want to gag..
I confess that if you manage to be humorous while being scary, yeah I'll watch that one too. "Amercian Werewolf in London" is a great example of that. Just the fact that they have the supersmooth 1961 version of "Blue Moon" playing in the background during one of the scary scenes was enough for me chuckle while watching it multiple times and enjoy it every single time. There was a enough dry wit throughout that film to balance out the scary bits.
But that's about it as far as scary movies go for me. I am not a fan of the gross out flicks at all. I would prefer the gruesome details be hinted at rather than shoved in my face. It's a delicate line, I understand, but it's one I'm very firm about. I'm not an easily queasy person so it's not the blood and guts of it all. In fact, I'm not certain why it bothers me. I just know that it does and that is sufficient.
I've seen horror films that affected me so strongly that I still get the creeps if I even read the titles of them. "Last House on the Left" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" top that list. Ewwww. Those are two films left me with ultra heavy impact residual. I can honestly say that I wish I had not seen both of those movies.
On the other hand, I can read anything. I mean literally anything. Huge Stephen King fan. Huge. And he doesn't pull any punches. But his work doesn't make me flinch a bit. It does make me keep reading and re-reading and re-re-reading (you get the idea). Maybe it's because when I'm reading it's my own imagination creating the images from his creativity. In other words, I have a little bit of control over the movie in my head that plays while I read. (isn't that what happens when you read? Or is it just me?) Maybe that's what makes it okay.
The TV show, The X-Files had some scary episodes. Mostly it had interesting ones, but every once in awhile, I could feel it reach down into the scardey cat part of me and I would think, "yup...gonna be a tough sleepin' night tonight!". I just loved that show. (and yes I am watching the latest incarnation of it now - of course I am!)
A long time ago it was The Twilight Zone that I watched with delicious terror. Gosh that was a great show. Did you watch the TV show, "The Dead Zone"? Even though it was only "inspired" by Stephen's King's book, I thought the television show did a far better job of interpreting Stephen King than most of his movies did. I always wondered what Stephen King thought about them. I watched The Shining of course, That Jack Nicholson was one scary sonuvagun! But, in the book, it was a gradual transformation from regular guy to scary guy. That was part of what made it scary. But Jack Nicholson was a scary dude right outta the box. So basically he went from scary guy to terrifying guy. Still, I watched it. I don't need to see it again though for lots of reasons.
Perhaps I don't need to watch horror movies anymore because I read so many real life horror stories in the newspaper and hear about it on TV news. Nowadays I am finding real life to be far more scary than any movie or TV show or book ever could be. I no longer need movies to be scared. How 'bout you?
March 21st, 2018
Looks like I won't be needing these guys anymore. Good bye old friends. You served me well. And if that sounds a little dramatic, I won't apologize because the difference really is that huge.
I had my post surgical follow up for the right eye yesterday. I went from barely being able to make out the "E" at the top of the eye chart to 20/30 vision in the right eye and it will only improve over the next few months! Wow! That is astounding. I got such a kick out of reading signs as we drive home from the appointment. Before this, even with my glasses on I couldn't make out street signs until we were nearly past them. I couldn't watch TV without them, or read a bedside clock. I even had trouble recognizing someone from across the room.
I had worn glasses since I was three years old soooo 61 years. Wow! That is a long time. I felt as if, really, my glasses were just part of my face. Never really put a ton of thought into it one way or the other. Putting them on was the first thing I did every day and taking them off, the last thing. So It's strange not wearing them. But I can honestly say that I don't miss them. Which is a surprise. I honestly thought it would be a bigger adjustment.
The weirdness of having close to perfect distance vision in one eye and not the other though, that is taking a little longer to get used to. And is in fact, making me a little unsteady on my feet. There will be no bike riding until this is evened out for sure. And driving is completely off the table for awhile. (not that I did much driving anyway)
However, while I see amazingly at a distance (again with the right eye) I can't do anything close up. That includes my cellphone, the computer, the newspaper, a recipe or a book! ARGH! When I mentioned that to the doc at the follow up, he put a long wear, close vision contact in my left eye to help me out. And he said, if I want to, I can have the left eye corrected to close vision at Monday's left eye cataract surgery. Hmmmm.
So now with this contact, it's interesting. I can see well enough to blog, obviously, I can see well enough to function - sort of - on my cell phone, but I cannot read a book, the newspaper is a struggle and a prescription bottle is impossible without a magnifying glass. So hmmmmm. Not what I would call "normal" whatever normal is. But on the other hand, if they could guarantee me that they could give me much better close vision in that left eye, I probably would do it. Having totally different focal points isn't bothering me, no headaches, not a lot of adjusting, so that part is good. Still I need to be able to see close up as well as far away, one way or another. I have to decide by Friday. Decisions decisions decisions.
I think I should try on a pair of readers with my left eye closed and see how improved my close vision is in the right eye with them. Sound like a good idea? The more information I have the better off I am. Cannot make an informed decision without all of the necessary information.
So today I will put on my sunglasses and take a little walk to the drugstore or the dollar store, whichever comes first, Try out some readers, see if I can figure this out. But if anyone has some suggestions, please do share! Again, the more information I have, the easier this decision will be.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this!
March 19th, 2018
Once we arrived home it was a cycle of eye drops, napping, drifting and drowsing. I ate copious amounts of M&M's which are well known for their curative powers and staggered around the house like a drunk. I still wore my sunglasses inside because even the light peeking around the blinds and from the computer screen or TV was painfully bright. I saw vivid halos around all lights which they told me to expect. They also say that eventually it will fade. I actually don't mind it at all. It's kind of pretty. Otherwise, despite my unsteadiness from having two completely different visions going on, I think I'm doing great.
Tim very thoughtfully popped the right lens out of my glasses so while it looks very odd, helps immensely. As my vision clears up in the right eye, it will not be further distorted by my old prescription. I am slowly seeing better at a distance but boy oh boy, everything else is a total blur. We shall see how much it clears up. I predict "readers' in my near future.
This morning is a follow up appointment where I'm sure they will tell me that all is well. Everything is still really blurry out of the right eye but I know that this too shall pass. So it's just matter of waiting for things to improve which will happen little by little as the week goes by. Or so I assume even though one should never. I'm still wearing sunglasses inside so I guess the pupil dilation still rules. Tim has taken to calling me the Movie Star.
Just a side note: Tim was allowed to observe the procedure and in fact recorded it for me on his phone. It was fascinating to watch. Yeah, I'm creepy that way.
Next Monday I will go through it all over again on the other eye. At least this time I know what to expect so other than the being taped down and having plastic over my face claustrophobia, will be less anxiety producing. Kind of been there, done that. It's all good.
I cannot wait for it all to be over and my vision to be the new normal in both eyes. I'm excited to see what the difference is, how much it's all improved. In the meantime, I appreciate all your good luck wishes and kind thoughts. Thank you from the "movie star". Remember that old song about wearing sunglasses at night? I get it now. Cataract surgery obviously.
March 18th, 2018
Hope your last week was a really great one! Ours was. We got to spend it with these two. Youngest son, Hurley, and his wife, Jessie. They had been on a cruise and docked in Miami. We were very fortunate that they were then willing to, instead of just going on home, come to spend some time with us! Yay!
Tim and I drove down to Miami the day before. We took our time, stopping here and there and therefore were fairly relaxed when we arrived in Miami which is a good thing because Miami is kind of crazy! Lots of big buildings, lots of people, lots of traffic and poorly marked roads and more than anything, construction which plays havoc with a nav system. But we arrived at our hotel, eventually. It was very nice, We had a lovely water view and in fact we could see Port Miami and the cruise ships sailing in and out, from our window. Cool. We checked out Miami Beach too. Once you get past the rows and rows and rows of rentable lounge chairs and cabanas, the beach was beautiful. Very clean. And once I looked past the endlessly circling airplanes towing advertising banners (and the boat acting as a billboard!!!) the water was beautiful too. While we were walking and driving around we saw no less than a half dozen Rolls Royce's, more than a dozen Lamborghini's and too many Ferrari's to count. I won't even try to enumerate the yachts. And I don't mean boats, I mean yachts. Yowza. It was definitely a different sort of place.
The good news is that the next morning, we met the kids at the boat and headed out after a nice walk around and a lovely al fresco brunch a wonderful Brazillian place. I think it was called Maya's. And next door was a Cuban Coffee shop that Jessie and Tim loved. However if you have good news there is often also bad news for balance. The bad news is that the weather was totally uncooperative.
Cloudy, gloomy, windy, a little rainy and much much cooler than anyone would normally expect for this time of year. I am sure that Hurley and Jessie were expecting to have a good deal of beach time here. Well, the beaches haven't gone anywhere but it was too chilly to enjoy it in the clothes that they brought. So the first order of business was buying some warmer clothes. Hurley bought some shoes (as opposed to the flipflops he was wearing). Jessie found a pair of long pants. And she and I both bought sweatshirts and were so glad we did!
The kids really wanted to chill, to relax more than anything and Venice is a good place for that. We talked and laughed and ate a lot and did two puzzles. We looked at a different batch of old photographs, watched a movie, toured a few model homes (yes they enjoy that sort of thing too) and did a lot of on-line quizzes. Oh yeah and we talked a lot. Did I say that we talked a lot? It was wonderful. Probably one of my favourite parts.
A wonderful surprise. They found a coffee place here that we never heard about. A real coffee shop. Where they roast the beans themselves. Of course we had to go there and it smelled wonderful. We thought it was so funny that our guests had to come here from New York to show us a store we will now enjoy in our own town.
Of course we went to the beach despite the weather. Gotta do that. But, in the kind of weather we were having, you also have to be prepared to either bundle up or get wet or both!
One day we all went to the Ringling museum complex. Everyone enjoyed practicing their circus skills, even Tim. Jessie fit the best in the Clown Car and Hurley could traverse the "high wire" both frontwards and backwards. They had tremendous poise on horseback and who wouldn't love to be a clown. These two have mad talent!
Since we all love to eat, there were a lot of restaurants visited. Surprisingly, one of their favourites was The Soda Foundtain. It's certainly not fancy but it's quality, old fashioned, good food. Jessie made taco's for us one night, woohoo! That girl can cook! And another night I made a very simple meal that everyone seemed to enjoy (especially the biscuits). Before the kids came, naturally, I did a bit of baking and we all dug in to a cake and a large batch of cookies. Naturally! I think our family motto should be something about sandwiches and cake.
The last morning, we all went out to breakfast at our favourite breakfast place, Flapjacks (better known in this house as Flappy's) before heading to the airport. It's always so sad to say goodbye, but we did have a wonderful visit. Even though the weather was exactly wrong everything else was exactly right. And we are so very glad that Hurley and Jessie came to visit.
Just a Note: I've actually written today's blog on Sunday (although I plan to post it Monday) My first eye surgery is scheduled for early Monday morning so in all likelihood, other than hitting the "post" button on this blog when we get back from surgery (and I have no idea what time that will be) that will pretty much be it for me that day. And of course, never having experienced this procedure, I have no idea how I'll be seeing on Tuesday. My PLAN is to be back to a regular posting schedule on Tuesday, but we shall see. Please bear with me if I'm not back on deck as usual.
Again, I hope each of you had a fabulous week and I look forward to hearing all about it! Hugs all 'round.
March 08th, 2018
Well, Joy and I went hiking again this week. Shocker! (not) Look at these two happy people. We try to get out in one of the parks and preserves once a week to hike, talk and take photos. This was just another opportunity to do just that. The difference was, first of all, we went somewhere that Joy had never been before but I had. That almost never happens. Secondly, we got some great photos some of which were things neither of us had photographed before. And lastly, it will be a few weeks before we get to hike again this season so it was a biggie.
We went to Spanish Point which is just two towns up from here, maybe a 20 minute drive. It looks like just a building on the side of the road. But when you drive around back, park and check in, there's loads of awesome stuff. An old church, historic sights, winding paths, the remnants of an old aquaduct, the ocean of course, a cemetery from the late 1800's and early 1900's, a teensy museum, one of those historically preserved homes and a butterfly garden just to name a few of the reasons to go there.
It was a gorgeous day, sunny but not hot, a gentle little breeze, absolutely perfect. There were a few other people visiting, but not massive crowds, with the exception of a few school groups that we managed to avoid. We love children but not when we are seeking a peaceful hike in a beautiful place y'know?
Everything was wonderful and beautiful and interesting and photo worthy but I think I can safely say that our favourite spot was the butterfly garden. The colours of both the butterflies and the flowers were so vibrant and the fragrance is almost heady. The longer we looked around, the more we saw. It is not a place to walk through quickly. Gorgeous flowers, statuary, bird baths, pergolas covered in vines and of course butterflies, bees, dragon flies and birds. They were everywhere. And yet, I didn't manage to capture a single butterfly photo. Those little buggers are sneaky. Got a lot of pretty flower pictures though, and as it turned out, one bee. Oh and one Chrysalis! How awesome is that? I suspect that the bee photo was a happy accident but still it counts.
And then there was the biggest surprise. Something I have only seen one other time in my life and it was probably 15 years ago. A sun halo. Have you ever seen one? It looks like a rainbow circle around the sun. Very wow. It only happens in very specific atmospheric conditions something about ice crystals at 22 degrees (?) and I guess Wednesday was the day for it. My camera does not do it justice but you may get the general idea.
It was somehow fitting that our last hike for awhile was such an especially good one. We were happy hikers for sure! We hike very well together. Our pace is similar. We are both very patient waiting for the other one to take a photo. We point out things to each other. And carry on a quiet conversation the entire time that circles and dips and figure 8's and zigzags just like the butterfly paths and yet we can follow it with no map. Cool.
Next week Tim and I have guests so I will not be blogging but I'm sure I will be gathering photos and ideas for future blog posts aplenty! And then the following week, on Monday, is the first of my cataract surgeries. Since I have no idea what my vision will be like immediately afterward, I'm not certain when I'll be back online and able to see what the heck I'm doing.
But I will return, eventually. In the meantime, have fun, be safe, be happy! I will be posting again, one day soon.
Hugs all 'round.
March 08th, 2018
Well my friends, I am red-faced with embarrassment. But as I like to believe that I am, if nothing else, an honourable person, I have to be brave, cowboy up and face the music. In two separate cases recently, I wrote as fact, things that, as it turns out, were not.
These were not intentional lies but more a lack of proper research on my part which is probably just as bad. I'm not sure why I didn't slow down, wait and do my due diligence, but clearly I did not. Shame on me! So here I am trying to make it right with a sort of Blog retraction or perhaps just a blog correction.
Earlier this week I wrote about the fire at a beach access park here in Venice. That particular park is called Service Club Park because various area service clubs are the ones who raised the money to build this lovely little park. Sunday it caught fire and the board walk to the beach and parts of the picnic areas were destroyed. This is what it looks like now:
The original reports indicated that the fire was set intentionally. That is the information that I worked from. I should have waited for the fire marshall's final report because now it is being reported that the fire was an accident. It was apparently a "warming fire" that got out of control. So while the destruction caused by that fire is very real, the reason behind the fire is different. I blogged about it as an intentional fire (again as per the first reports) and that was incorrect. I should have waited until I had more information and I was calmer but instead reacted in a knee-jerk angry manner. I am truly sorry.
For anyone who is interested, this is what it looked like before the fire. It really was such a nice little park:
Ok the second correction is equally embarrassing. I should have known better and not only done more research but also used my brain and thought long and hard before writing. It was a different day, I believe it was late last week. I wrote a thing about a recent discovery in the waters off Venice Island where very very VERY old skeletons were found. Again the original report was that they were estimated as being millions of years old. Well that is just insane. What is wrong with me? How did I not realize that was incorrect? They are Not millions of years old. Thousands of years yes, millions no. What an idiot I am! I got so excited about the archeological marvel that I left my good sense in a pocket somewhere. The correct estimated age of these skeletons is roughly 7,000 + years which is still impressive and pretty dang old. It's still a wonderful find, still a wonder and I still wish they would just honour the wishes of the Seminole Indians and leave the remains alone out there where they were buried.
So there you have it folks. In the interest of keeping my good name and reputation of being honest intact, I hang my head in shame and leave you with these two corrections! I apologize and promise to do a far better job in the future with accuracy and better research. To the best of my knowledge these are the only two times I have made errors in the roughly 18 months that I've been writing this blog, so maybe, just maybe, you can find it in your hearts to forgive me.
March 06th, 2018
Yesterday was an exceptionally good day. I can't even really say why because I don't know. We didn't win the lottery. I didn't find a quarter on the sidewalk. Nobody gave me a surprise compliment. We didn't even have any unexpected guests. It was just a feel-good sort of day. Let's see if I can figure out why this was such an extra special day:
I started out my morning by going to Pilates class. That is always a good way to begin. I always feel so virtuous afterwards and I like that feeling. But I confess, there are days when, as I am walking to class, I'm thinking about what I'd rather be doing. Yesterday, I was thinking about how much I was looking forward to Pilates. That is a lovely way to start class.
Tim was able to take a noon walk break and I was able to take it with him. So we enjoyed a very nice 3-mile walk together. It's nice loop that takes us down some very pretty streets and, of course, to the beach. There were a lot of people at the beach and a lot of sailboats on the water. It was a gorgeous day and a nice way to spend part of it, walking and talking with my sweetie.
Somehow I was in a cleaning sort of mood which always should be taken advantage of. I ended up cleaning the oddest things. Like taking a broom to all of the windows and screens and overhangs of the outside of the house! Made a big difference too. I also did a lot of cleaning behind things and book case shelves and the edges of doors and around light switches. The house fairly gleams.
I also decided yesterday that I would treat myself to something new. I don't often do this. It just felt like a day that would be good for shopping AND as a bonus, I was comfortable with both my shape/size and spending a few dollars. It is very unusual for me to have all of those things happen on the same day. I found not only two very cute tops and a pair of shorts but all of them were on the clearance rack too! So not only an outlet store, but an outlet store clearance rack. Woohoo! Few things put a smile on my face like a great sale.
I happened to notice a lot of tree schmeg and pollen on Tim's car and since it was so pretty out, it seemed like a perfect day to wash the car. Sometimes, washing a car is downright fun. It's really just kind of playing in the water. Brings out the kid in me. After I was done, it was getting a little too late in the day to wash my car so I'll do it another day, but Tim's car looks snazzy all cleaned up. You be the judge. Before:
What a funny photo of me! I look like a Sam and a half! LOLOLOL
Then it was time to turn my attention to dinner. Such a nice weather day calls for marinated chicken cooked on the grill and steamed asparagus. Dinner even looked pretty when it was done. Smelled good and tasted good too! I was able to light the grill first try (that doesn't always happen) and I timed everything so that both parts were done at the same time (that doesn't always happen every time either) Tim is far to polite to say so, but I am sure that was a nice surprise for him :) He often ends up eating in what we call "courses" but is, in actually, spectacularly poorly timed meals.
As I was cleaning up from dinner I found myself dancing a little in the kitchen to a song in my head. It was one I hadn't thought of in a long time and I even remembered all of the words. That was a particularly nice surprise.
And then the sun set, the darkness closed in, and there was the scent of rain in the air. We needed the rain and knowing it was coming also made me smile. I love the sound of the rain on the roof, I love the smell of spring rain in particular and I love how it perks up the yard and the gardens.
So you see, there was nothing grand that happened. Nothing spectacular came about. But it was a singularly good day anyway. My question is, is my good mood the result of having had such a terrific day? Or did I have such a terrific day because I was in a good mood?
Either way, it was awesome. I wish each of you a particularly awesome, ordinary day!
March 06th, 2018
I believe I have mentioned before that for a small island, there are a crazygood number of parks here. And some of the best parks also have beach access which is awesome. One of them is a doggie park with it's own doggie beach ...way cool! Another one has great pavilions of even large groups of people to have cookouts. Yet another has an adorable boardwalk with little branches off of it with covered picnic tables. Or at least it used to.
Early in the morning, this past Sunday, in the wee hours, before the sun came up, somebody set fire to that particular park. With all the greenery abounding, the fire quickly spread destroying not only living green stuff but also park of the boardwalk and picnic areas. Fortunately, it was quickly discovered and our rockstar fire department quickly got hold of the situation and ultimately resolved it. Still, currently, this park is unusuable. There is no safe beach access, the area is scorched and smelly, the wood that remains is blackened and whatever little creatures lived there, hopefully, were able to scurry away safely. Looking at it is heart breaking.
I am incensed. An accidental fire is one thing. It's always a tragedy but it happens. By accident. Whatever damage was wrought, whatever injuries occurred, people shake their heads and say, "what a shame" and "I'm so sorry" with genuine care and concern. Because it was an accident. We don't call them intentionals, we call them accidents for a reason.
This particular area is Florida is an especially lighting heavy area. Lightening occasionally strikes one of many crazytall palm trees in the area and well that fire, nobody saw coming. We have absolutely no control over that one. Lightening happens and sometimes, as a result, fires happen too.
But this one was intentional and I am incensed. How dare they. How dare they come to MY town, this lovely island, a paradise that attracts visitors from all over the world and intentionally set a fire ruining a lovely park. And if our crackerjack fire department had not been as on their toes as they are, who knows how far it could have spread, how much damage could have been done? I am furious.
I just don't understand some people. Like the ones who somehow think it is perfectly acceptable to steal. Okey dokey to kick their dog. And hey if they say they are sorry afterwards, it's completely fine to smack around their wife or kids. how does anyone's brain work that way?
I feel guilty if I neglect to hold the door for the person behind me coming out of the grocery store and other people sleep like innocent babies when they lie and cheat and steal as a way of life.
It is disheartening to read stories in the newspaper about all the horrible things that happen in the world. It makes me unbearably sad and I have been known to weep while watching the evening news. But here I felt fairly safe. Living here on the island is like existing in this perfect little bubble. I can walk anywhere here without fear, any time of day, alone and nod hello to total strangers who smile and nod back. I bike to these lovely parks and I walk to the beach and it's pristine and beautiful and fills my heart with joy every time.
And now it's tainted a bit. Oh I know that the trees and the shrubs will grow back, the birds and other critters will return and at some point the boardwalk and picnic areas will be repaired. But I will never forget what someone did to it this past weekend. And that is what makes the difference.
March 05th, 2018
It is said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Do you suppose it follows then that windows are the peek into the soul of a house?
We have spent a little time touring some of the Parade of Homes the past few weekends and I've noticed that we very quickly know if we are going to like a house or not. One of the big things for me is natural light. I seem to need a lot of windows. A Lot. Like a Bank of windows. Walls of windows. Stacks of windows. The more natural light the better as far as I'm concerned. I know there are loads of folks who really enjoy the cozy, darkness of a room with little to no natural light. I am not any of those people. I could never live in one of those underground houses. I have to be able to not only see outside but have the light from outside come in as well.
In Colorado I remember watching the rectangles of sun through the windows move across the floor of the family room as the day went by. There was always a cat in that rectangle soaking up the sunlight. As the sun moved, so did the cat. You never saw her actually get up and move but whenever I walked by she was still in the sunspot. It was as if the sun dragged her along as moved.
In California, my sister and I once had an argument through the window of the house. She was outside, I was inside. She had the garden hose in her hand and ended the argument by spraying me with that hose, right through the window. Hah! Funny the things you remember.
When the boys were small I remember them lining their window sills with treasures. An interesting rock perhaps, a pretty autumn leaf, maybe a small toy or favourite book. It was a very old house, built in the 1700's, and the windows were rather low to the ground. The lower window panes always had finger prints on them and doggy nose prints. In Connecticut it seemed that there was always a cat in the window, balanced in the window sill, surveying their domain in that regal way that cats have.
I need the light for sure, but whenever possible, I also need fresh air. I need the outside, in. Right now the weather is perfect. Sunny, 70's as a high and the windows are flung wide open. The air inside and out is filled with freshness and fragrance and birdsong. It's glorious and I love it. I know it's short lived. All too soon, the thermometer will cross that threshold form 79 to 80 and the windows will be slammed shut and the AC will kick in. This is partly for Tim's comfort level but even more for the bank of temperature persnickety computers in his office. So I'll enjoy it while I have it.
It's also nice to have a view out the windows. I mean of something other than the brick building next door which often happens in a city. The best views are ones that change periodically. In Colorado we had a view out our back window of the eastern Ridgeline which meant the sunrise. It was magnificent and different every single day. At my grandmother's house in Maine the view was of the Atlantic ocean. Cannot beat that one.
But it's not just about the view out but also the view in. Anyone who steps into our courtyard can see in our front windows which gives a view of not only our kitchen but also the living room and family room and right out the back windows. They smile and wave when they see me. I kind of don't need a doorbell. It's a pretty enough view into our house. It's tidy and cozy and homey looking but certainly not fancy.
The fanciest part of our house are the prism generated rainbows that shine on the walls at specific times of day. In the back of the house it's around mid morning. In the front of the house it means it's time for me to start thinking about fixing dinner. The light streams in the different window at different times and creates these lovely rainbows. I look forward to it every day
Ever drive through a neighborhood at night? When it's dark outside and people have their inside lights on, for a split second, we are privy to a small part of their lives. It's just the tiniest glimpse. Enough to perhaps note that the family is all gathered together watching a TV show, or eating dinner. I'm not casing the place for heaven's sakes, it's just something I cannot help but notice. It's the people inside that shine in the light and make it a home. The outside is just a building, a structure, the house. And in the darkness, it's barely even noticed.
With the windows open right now, I'm actually a wee bit chilly, but iId rather put on a sweater than close the windows. I just heard a garbage truck lumber by and the warning horn on the north bridge telling cars that the bridge is about to go up to let another boat through. There are a variety of various birds chirruping madly and I can smell the honeysuckle that grows on the fence between our house and the one next door. Very shortly I will hear the church bells from the Catholic Church down the road chime once for each hour.
I love every kind of light that shines through my windows. I even like seeing the dust motes dance in the beams that wend their way through the windows in late afternoon. Okay, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe windows don't show everyone the soul of the home, but they are important to the health of both my home and my heart.
March 02nd, 2018
Here is an example of some of the madness that goes on in my demented little brain. I have to start out with cold hard facts. See this picture of the beautiful gulf waters of Venice Florida? Well there have been a lot of news stories lately about an amazing archaeological find somewhere out in those very waters. Divers have discovered a prehistoric burial ground. Prehistoric people! Pre-history! This is not hundreds of years ago, or even thousands but millions of years ago! Wow!
That long ago the coast line was different, the oceans have definitely risen so this burial site was then not underwater. The skeletons, they believe there are at least six of them, are fairly well preserved, after resting in the silt that forms on the sea bottom for multiple millions of years. It's very exciting! There are only two other remotely similar finds. One in Israel and one in Denmark. This is The Only one remotely like this in either North or South America. Wow again!
Ok now I must digress a little bit. Venice Florida has only been touched by 3 hurricanes in the past 55 years and even then, with very minor damage. Amazingly and incredibly fortunate, for sure. The locals say the legends of the Calusa Indians who lived here long ago believed that this area was protected by those who had lived here before even them. So let's get this straight. The Calusa Indians who disappeared from this area mysteriously more then 12 thousand years ago (thousand not million) ...they believed that people who lived here before them (!) those spirits protected this area.
Well, (and here is the Sam's demented mind part) what if it's the spirits of those six people that have been protecting us? Sure they were found buried under 30 feet of water now but that used to be just an area near the shoreline. I'm serious, what if those are the ones protecting this area? I know that sounds ridiculous and superstitious but what if I'm right? I say, do NOT disturb them. Allow them to rest in peace where they are. I was especially concerned because I know that scientists, being scientists, really wanted to dig in (literally) and learn more. Most of the time I am firmly in their camp. 99.9% of the time I say, "Learn things". Learning things is almost always a good thing. But this time, I'm getting a creepy crawly feeling about it. This time I vote no. Leave them alone. I may get my wish. In fact, I read this morning that the Seminole Indian Tribe has requested that no further testing be done and it appears that their wishes may, eventually, be honoured. Whew!
Now why would I, a reasonably intelligent, well read, educated person for one minute believe such nonsense. Ancient spirits protecting us indeed. Humph. It sounds like fiddlefaddle, superstitious, ignorant nonsense. And I'm sure it is. But I have to be honest with myself, and therefore you. This time around I don't care how ridiculous I sound. I want those people allowed to remain, unmolested, exactly where they are. I'm going with my instincts instead of my head on this one.
Of course I am also the person who, this morning at Pilates class, fell into a giggle fit that took me far too long to recover from. Picture this. Here we are, an entire class of people balancing carefully on our butts, arms and legs up and out in a Vee-shape. At our beloved instructors direction, we curl up into a ball and the release back into that vee postion over and over. The instructor says, curl and release, curl.....and......release. Curl............release. The last time she said release, in my head I heard Liam Neeson say, "Release the Kracken!" and I lost it. teeheehee
Ok I hope whatever ancient spirits are protecting you and your loved ones, stay on their toes and continue to do so. And that nobody is releasing any Kracken nearby.
Have a wonderful weekend
March 01st, 2018
This is half of a set of my favourite non-sandal shoes. Believe it or not, there are days here when I do not wear sandals. When I'm hiking, for example, I generally wear sneakers which this shoe isn't exactly, but sort of. Or on a day that is a tad coolish, I might prefer to wear a closed toe shoe, which this is for sure. For a dressy occasion I would wear a dressier shoe, which this is absolutely not.
I like these shoes. I wear them often. they are navy blue which goes with almost everything I own. It has a nice lean shape and doesn't make my foot look wide. My foot is not wide, but it is almost completely flat so some shoes shapes seem to make my feet look wide. The best part? This shoe is made out of some waterproof material so I can (and do!) wear them to the beach. And they are comfortable. They look good with shorts, with capri's and even jeans. An excellent shoe choice. Most of the time.
This week has been a wee bit coolish in the morning and that is when I make my clothing and shoe choices. Generally once I'm dressed for the day, that's it. I do not change again. And that is exactly what happened this week. Monday, I had a number of errands. I walked to the library, to the post office and to the beach. I wore these shoes. And all was well.
Tuesday, I did a lot of things at home and then set out to run other errands. I was gone for a several hours. While I wore different clothes, I wore the same shoes. Finally, as I was heading home, packages in hand, and purse over shoulder I noticed that my right foot was hurting. I decided to ignore it. As I walked it began to hurt more. I decided to ignore it harder. The left foot began to join in. I choose to try to ignore it as well. Usually the ignore thing works. I'm not the princess from the story of "The Princess and the Pea" after all! I'm a proud descendant of generation upon generation of tough, sturdy peasants!
The right foot began to really become in-ignorable. I sat on a bench about a half mile from home, removed the right shoe and sonofagun there it was, a blister. Not just a regular blister mind you but a popped blister that was starting to bleed. Dang.
It wasn't even on the heel of my foot, which is a normal blister spot but on the side by the baby toe .How weird is that? Hmm. Well I still had to get home so I put the shoe back on and limped awkwardly for about a half a block. I gritted my teeth, determined to just deal with it but after a very short time I stopped and leaning up against the wall of the post office, removed the right shoe again. This foot absolutely was way worse than the left. I wrapped a tissue from my purse around the side of my foot and delicately put the shoe back on.
I managed to get another half a block. Now the bottom of my foot was yelling at me too. I leaned up against a big tree in front of the Catholic church and removed the shoe again. The tissue was wet with blister goo and a little blood and was starting to disintegrate already. Yuck. I wadded it up and shoved it in my pocket. I ran my thumb over the bottom of my foot and yup, several more blisters. Dang again. Ok no shoe.
I finished my walk home with my right shoe in my hand, limping off both feet trying desperately to levitate, which didn't work by the way. Once home, I soaked my poor tortured feet, plied them with antibiotic ointment and bandages, put on socks and sneakers and tried to stay off them as much as possible. Wednesday, I changed my original plans (which involved a lot of walking) and again, babying the footsies, did housey stuff instead. While they are not 100%, both feet are much better today and are healing nicely.
I have no idea what happened. How did a shoe that I wear often and has never been a problem, suddenly become a problem? My sister suggests that perhaps some sand from the beach walk was slowly irritating my feet as walked. So the same way that sand over many years can wear done a rock was much more quickly wearing out the dermis of my feet. Interesting. Plausible. And in fact, it seems like the most reasonable explanation.
Another lesson learned! Be far more diligent about removing the beach from my shoes from this point forward. Maybe I really am the princess from" The Princess and the Pea." Huh! Who knew?
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.