Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Eye Doctor

I had my annual check up with my ophthalmologist this morning
I thought I knew the drill.  read the chart, number one or number two?, obnoxious drops to dilate the eyes, annoying touching of my eye balls and then the pronouncement, "your eyes are healthy and cataract surgery is a long way off -- see you next year."

But DAMN!  There are consequences of turning 70 in spite of my denial efforts.  So cataract surgery is not critical, but it is an option.  Also there has been a huge change in my cup measurement, whatever that is, and I have to go for more tests next month.

Well, I did not care for this news at all.  "You are not following the script!" My doctor told me to stop being such a drama queen.  I told him that if I had any thing that might require having needles put in my eye, I was seriously going to consider suicide.  Is that being a drama queen?  Well, guilty then.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

More on Grandson's Visit

Lake Monsters

By Source, Fair use,

Dane and I took in a baseball game.  The Lake Monsters are a minor league team that have their home games in Burlington.  There was a sold out stadium on Wednesday night when we went to see the game.  Unfortunately, out team lost (9 to 0), but for $5 admission and the price of a hotdog it's good entertainment.

Discussion about money

Dane asked me how i got money since I am retired and not going to work everyday.  I explained about the good old three-legged stool I learned about when I first started teaching -- paying social security, paying into the teacher retirement system, and personal saving and investment (simplified version).
"Will you run out of money then?"
"Not until I am 99 years old."  (Let's hope!)
"But then what will happen?  I really worry about this."

Ha! He did once tell me he planned to take care of me when he turned 57.  Since I will be 116 by then, does leave a bit of a gap. Perhaps I should worry too.

Mozart Festival at Shelburne Farms

We had a picnic lunch and relaxed at the beach at Lake Iroquois on Friday.  We'd had such a busy day meeting his second cousin the day before that floating around with a noodle was a perfect way to spend a hot day for me.  Dane was more active swimming around like a fish.

I had made a shepherd's pie to pop in the oven for our dinner which was a lucky thing since I saw a piece in the paper about kid's having free admittance to that night's Mozart Festival concert at Shelburne Farms.  The concert was in the Coach House.  We drove past the Farm Barn and the Inn on the way.  Dane pronounced it all very posh.  There was only one other kid there.  While he is more likely to listen to rap or some kind of electronic dance music, he was game for exposure to classical music and I enjoyed the concert immensely.

My phone battery died as I went to take pictures of this gorgeous spot, but you can check out the virtual tour by clicking the link above.

Rainbow clouds

I have managed to live my entire life without ever having even heard of rainbow clouds and I most likely would have missed them today as I was driving over the Lake Champlain Bridge if Dane had not spotted them and pointed them out to me.

We had to google this.  I of course was quite taken with the spiritual significance as described HERE. Dane was more inclined toward a scientific explanation.  In any event, seeing this was way cool.

Fort Ticonderoga

We had our final outing for this visit at Fort Ticonderoga.  There was a Revolutionary War re-enactment going on for the weekend so there really was a great deal to see.  Dane had been here on a school trip as a fourth grader but he really enjoyed seeing and talking to the re-enactors in their encampments after the battle.  As an educator, it does my heart good to see him engaged in learning new things.

Learning about washing clothes in colonial days.

An encampment of re-enactors

Return from the battle.

Officer quarters

After a lot of exploring the fort, we took the short ferry ride across Lake Champlain where Amy was waiting to pick him up and take him home.  His parting words: "I love you.  When can I visit you again?" So sweet.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Grandson Visits

Dane is visiting his granny this week.  We have a basketball.  There's a hoop set up on what used to be the tennis court.  He brought his penny board and a scooter.  There's an exercise path behind the local elementary school.  He rides around that about three times to my twice.

We found a pogo stick for $3.00 at the Habitat for Humanity store.  He has been practicing with that while I fix dinner and can watch him out the window. He said he wanted the pogo stick because he wants to be "cool." (Oh, honey, you have a hard life ahead of you.)

And then there is the lake.   He loves to swim. I am pretty sure if we did nothing else but stayed in the water for his entire visit, he would not have any complaints.

Yesterday, my sister came over with her grandson who is visiting from California this week.  We thought it would be good to get the two rather socially awkward young men together.  (That's my thought, not my sister's -- although if I asked her she would probably agree.)  Dane is 11.  Cy is 12 and a good foot taller than Dane.  We took them to play mini golf, then out to lunch, then down to the lakefront bikeway with board and scooter.  They wore themselves out while my sister and I had a nice walk and talk.

After they left, Dane and I went for a swim and then had a movie night.

The temps are supposed to go back into the 90's today so I am thinking a lake day is on the agenda.

Being retired means I can sleep all next week.  My sister is still working.  I don't know how she copes.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018


I invited my son Kevin for dinner Monday evening.  He and I both enjoy Indian food and I was toying with the idea of preparing Butter Chicken but then I changed my mind and decided to do Asian cuisine instead.

I swear, who ever does the cooking in moat of Asia must have no other jobs but that.  The chopping and chopping and chopping.  The actual cooking took very little time.  The preparation took me most of the afternoon. That doesn't count my trip to the grocery store in the morning.  I needed hoisin sauce, some red pepper flakes and an orange.  I picked up some gluten free soy sauce as well.

I made Vietnamese spring rolls with peanut sauce.  That involved picking basil from my garden pot, shredding carrots, cucumbers, green onion, washing lettuce leaves, and slicing shrimp.  Then there is the softening of the bean threads and the rice wrappers and putting them together.  I wrapped them individually in plastic wrap because I made then a couple hours ahead of time.

I also made chicken in an orange sauce. Korean steak with peppers and onion in a garlic sauce, steamed broccoli, and fried brown rice.  I sliced the last of fresh local strawberries for dessert.

Probably all those dishes do not add up to the calorie count of Buttered Chicken.  But it did involve a whole lot more chopping.

Labor intensive, but delicious and well received.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The last of the series of watercolor painting lessons I had signed up fo was held this past Tuesday.

This particular class was about watercolor techniques and making patterned papers using salt on wet paint or crumpled plastic wrap on wet paint.  The results were then used for backgrounds or for ripping up to use in collages.  We were also encouraged to go through old paintings that we deemed not successful with the idea that these could be used for collage as well

In fact, it is possible to gesso over unsuccessful painting and use the  paper again for a new painting.  Watercolor painting paper can be expensive.  When I am in practice mode I use both sides.  I have also soaked old painting to wash off old paint and then reused the somewhat dingy surface again.  But, hey, I have enough throw away art to use in collage.

I think I am more of a traditional kind of person, but it was a fun class all the same.

So this is fruit on a table with a napkin and I like it so I may even hang it up in my kitchen.

Monday, July 9, 2018


I went to a combination retirement and 70th birthday party this past weekend.  Since I just had a 70th birthday myself, my friend suggested that I enjoy the festivities kind of like coat tailing.  I think she was sorry that I did not do anything major to celebrate a big O birthday, but my response was, "Why?"

I have been thinking about that since then because the "Why?" really came from a place of denying that I could possibly be as old as 70.  My father was 72 when he died.  I thought at the time that was pretty old.  I was thirty-five at the time.  My grandparents both passed away in their early 70s.  I thought that was ancient.  I was a teenager then.  Mike was a month short of his 70th birthday.  I thought that was too soon, but I was 65 then.  I thought of my own 70th birthday as a long way off even while dealing with the pain of too soon.  Then my 70th came and it was . . . nothing, really.

I retired early.  I think I wonder if I might have been feeling old if I just retired this year, although that certainly was not the case for my friend.  I look at her and see youthful vigor and she's had knee replacements.

I was out on a scooter keeping pace with my grandson on his skateboard just after my birthday.  How's that for denial? Or is it recklessness?

My weeks are filled with creative endeavors, exercise, family,  socializing with circles of friends, and my spiritual practices.  I have much to hold in gratitude.

Friday, July 6, 2018


For the past few months I have been getting emails along the lines of this one:

                                Welcome toKETO TonewX

There is a helpful link noted at the bottom -- to unsubscribe click here.

Well, why do I have to UN subscribe to something I never subscribed to in the first place.
Just plain annoying!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Tiger Balm

I Googled Tiger Balm:

What is Tiger Balm? Menthol is either manmade or made from the extracts of mint oil. ... Tiger Balm (for the skin) is a combination medicine used to relieve minor muscle or joint pain. This medicine may also be used as a chest rub to soothe chest congestion and relieve cough caused by the flu or common cold.

Camphor 11%, Menthol 10%, Cajuput Oil 7%, Dementholised Mint Oil 6%, Clove Oil 5%. Dementholised Mint Oil 16%, Cajuput Oil 13%, Camphor 11%, Menthol 8%, Clove Oil 1.5%. Inactive ingredients: Hard paraffin, Yellow soft paraffin. Tiger Balm Red also contains: Cinnamon oil.

Sore throat and colds - There are a lot of symptoms you can experience when sick. By rubbing Tiger Balm on your chest and throat, you can help get rid of some of the issues you're experiencing. The product acts like vapor rub so it helps your nose while easing soreness.

It is kind of like Vick's VapoRub on steroids so I was not so far off to think it might be relieving.

HOWEVER, there can be side effects:

  • severe burning, stinging, or irritation after using this medicine; or
  • breathing problems after using this medicine on the chest or throat.
I have not experienced any of these side effects but I am not going to  recommend it  to those who have more sensitivities or allergies.

Like I said, I am not a doctor.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018


I am going with an allergic reaction.  For one thing, I walked out the door today and immediately started sneezing and sneezing.  My nose has been running and my eyes started itching.

I  have allergic symptoms sometimes.  It's not consistent, like always in the spring during pollen season.  I think I have a sensitivity that requires a critical amount of irritating stuff in the air.

I bought some Clariton, non-drowsy.  That's what it said, non-drowsy.  So I took one.  I woke up four hours later -- groggy but my sinuses seemed dried up all right.

The most annoying symptom is a dry, hacking, non-productive cough.  It leaves my chest burning and my throat dry and scratchy.  I now what to do about that.  Tiger Balm.

I know it is supposed to be for achy muscles but I rub this stuff on my chest and feel the warmth all the way down to my bones.  I rub some on my throat and the pain lessens considerably.  I do have to be careful to wash my hands before I touch anywhere near my face.  My cough stops.

Note:  I am not a doctor but I often watch them on T

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Summer Scent

The temperature on my car dash actually registered at 100 degrees for a few seconds today.  It was a good day for a grocery shopping trip since the store is air conditioned all the time.

It was also a good time to harvest a bunch of basil that was getting ready to bolt and stay inside making pesto. I used sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts, which I love.  I just did not have the time to go to the bank and take out a loan to purchase pine nuts.  My place smells like basil.  I find it quite pleasant.  Essential oil of basil is supposed to have a calming effect.

Basil is also supposed to be good for the common cold.  I am not sure if I have a cold or if I am experiencing irritation from the ridiculous amount of  mold that has appeared on all the tree trunks around here.  I am hoping sniffing the smell of basil will help whatever it is.
Image result for basil, images