Thursday, January 30, 2020

Eye Trouble

My eyes have been bothering me for a couple of weeks. They itch like crazy, They feel gritty and puffy. They are red. People are wondering if I am depressed because I look like I have been crying all the time.

Since I am in Florida for five month I can't just pop in to see my eye doctor but I did call. I was advised to stop the Alphagan® drops for a week as it is possible to develop an allergic reaction to them over time. If that solves the problem my doctor will perhaps prescribe something else to ease intraocular pressure. If the irritation continues I will have to see an ophthalmologist down here.

And then it is becoming more and more obvious that I am ready for cataract surgery. I put it off until summer because I didn't want to stay in VT through January.

What a bother!

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Oh, Baby

My nephew and his girlfriend are expecting a baby.

I am always happy for the occasion to make a quilt!

I am happy for my nephew too. He will make a wonderful father.

The top 

Cute critters blowing bubbles

The easy part is done, now on to the actual quilting.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

A Craft Show

The activity committee of our homeowners association held a craft fair at the community center recently. It was surprising to see the crafts and some excellent oil paint artists. I set up a display of my craft accumulations. I may not have been the most talented, but I certainly did have the prize for variety.

Knitting, sewing, multi-media collage, watercolor painting, origami, cards and other paper crafts.

I had such a collection of greeting cards that I offered them to people for free. I gave away quite a lot of them. The rest will go to the little shop that the Friends of the Library run at my local library. Some people were selling their wares but I didn't want to. I don't want to make my hobbies into a job at this stage of my life.  And, frankly, if I accounted for the amount of money I spend in craft stores and party sales, no one would be able to afford a simple card made by me. (Slight exaggeration.) One woman really wanted the parrot collage but I like it hanging on my lanai and that is where it will stay for now. My collages are actually paintings that I didn't like so I tear them up and piece pictures out of the confetti  -- one of the most satisfying things I do.

It was fun to see what people are inclined to make and fun to talk to those who came to admire.

Thursday, January 23, 2020


I was thinking about "the major trauma" of my childhood -- a distinct memory of sitting on the sand between my mother and my aunt in their folding beach chairs and being horrified by their feet, two on either side of me.

Okay . . . how charmed a life must one have had to consider feet a major trauma?Yes, I exaggerate. Perhaps I shouldn't, but then how boring would a blog post about feet be? I need some drama!

My attention was drawn by their own complaints: the bunions, the corns, the hammer toes. It really was a horrible sight. I wanted to reach out and touch but pure revulsion stopped me. My mother used to occasion to warn me about always following her advice to wear sensible shoes. I decided I would do whatever it took to avoid getting deformed feet.

  I wonder if black toenails would be permitted for such a special day? *praying* Feet that were not so different from these.
(Google image)

Even though I did inherit my mother's feet in that they are wide and long with long toes, I think I have perfectly lovely tootsies. So far the toes are straight, no corns or calluses, slightest tendency of a bunion.

And by the way, this stuff:

is THE BEST for keeping feet soft and callus free, pure shea butter. (It'll take care of rough skin like a magic sponge on the surface of fiberglass.)

But foot trauma is apparently a tendency that gets passed down through the generations.

My lovely daughter in her oh, so lovely teenage years: "Mom, put some socks on! Right now!"

Me: "Why? My feet aren't cold."

Daughter: "Because your feet are really ugly. They have way too many bones. It's so embarrassing. I don't want my friends to see your feet."

Maybe we spent past lives in China during the era of foot binding? Now that would be trauma!

Monday, January 20, 2020

A Bit of Drudgery

One of the nicest things about being retired for me is that this is no longer a fact of life:

Image result for housework meme

I like to spread out the weekly cleaning tasks over the days. I kind of have a schedule in my head but it's more habit than a strict must-do. On Fridays I try to give a quick brush up through the whole place. It doesn't take long, especially in Florida where everything is blissfully on a single floor. Then I fire up my essential oil diffuser and enjoy the tranquil neatness.

I love my essential oil diffuser but I do not enjoy scents from cleaning products. I also don't enjoy the idea of chemicals on surfaces (including my skin) and in the air.

Does anyone have experience with this product:

I find the concept quite intriguing. Someday I will give it a try no doubt.

When I want my tubs and showers to really shine I find I really cannot beat these magic eraser sponges.

Mr. Clean or ones from the dollar store.      Magic Sponge Eraser (300 Pack)

They really do take care of soap scum in very short order. I keep one in my shower at all times.

My tub all shiny.
I hardly ever use it.

Thursday, January 16, 2020


I really do try to eat a healthy diet and get exercise. There are times I have been exemplary in that regard and times when one or the other gets put aside. Over the past six months or so, both efforts have kind of fallen by the wayside. Not totally forgotten really, just sliding down on the list of life's priorities. I was beginning to feel it.

In December I dedicated myself to yoga and upped the number of classes. But, hey, it was the holiday month and there were too many opportunities to indulge. It's  the perfect time for comfort food and hearty winter meals after all. And then there are the get togethers and Christmas treats. I was buying my vegetables and finding that I had to throw them out because they were not getting eaten before they spoiled. It was dark early. I was hungry. I wanted to get into my pajamas, not chop vegetables. I just wanted to make sandwiches rather than cook. Easier to have a fat old muffin over making a bowl of oatmeal. I was feeling the lack of smart nutrition and looking it too.

When i got to my Florida happy place for the beginning of a new year, I decided to do better. In addition to yoga, I can get in good walks and long bike rides. I decided to make a fresh start with the whole eating thing. I signed up with a friend to do the Shaklee Prove It challenge. It starts with a cleanse -- loads of fresh vegetables, raw or lightly sauteed, and seven days of green supplements, an herbal laxative, and a probiotic. No coffee, alcohol, grains, nuts, dairy or meat. Lots of water. Fresh fruit allowed but I tend to go more for the veg.

I was flat out exhausted the first two days but I had made the commitment. The third day I woke up full of energy. I won't say I will never have coffee or wine again and I missed nuts big time. However, I really felt much better, more energetic and alert by the end of the cleanse.

LUXEAR Fresh Produce Vegetable Fruit Storage Containers 3Piece Set, BPA-free Fridge Storage Container, Partitioned Salad Container, Fridge Organizers, Used in storing Fruits Vegetables Meat Fresh FishI have produce keepers for the fridge similar to these and I think they are great. It really helps me to have fruits and vegetables prepped and ready to go at meal time. It adds a bit of time to the whole shop and put away routine but it is worth it to me. These type of containers so keep things fresh longer and they cut done on the use of disposable plastic bags.

Dinner of my pre-prepped cauliflower, green beans, green peppers, carrots and onions with a smidge of basil pesto and feta.

I bought those carrot chips already cut like that and they could be my new favorite food.

I know, nothing worse than a born again health nut.

Sunday, January 12, 2020


I went out to a Farmers' Market this morning. When I got back to my development, there was a big bloodmobile parked in front of the community house. There was a big sign urging all the residents to donate blood. A free tee shirt was involved.

Did I feel a little guilty about driving right on by? Maybe just a teeny, tiny bit. But do i really need another tee shirts? Not at all.

I wrote here almost ten years ago about my feelings regarding donating blood. I haven't really changed my mind.

Image result for bloodmobile insidegoogle image

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Failing to Remember

Why do we forget? From forgetting where you left your keys to forgetting to return a phone call, memory failures are an almost daily occurrence. Forgetting is so common that you probably rely on numerous methods to help you remember important information such as jotting down notes in a daily planner or scheduling important events on your phone's calendar.
                                               -The Psychology of Forgetting and Why Memory Fails

I had three major brain farts of forgetting recently. It's very distressing.

First I lost my checkbook just before Christmas. Panic. I was sure I must have dropped it at some store and I had been to many since I was taking my friend who had broken her hip out to do her Christmas shopping. I knew there were only a few checks left in that batch so I put a stop payment on the numbers.

Then, of course, I found the check book. It's not my religion, but I am not above praying to St. Anthony when convenient. Good St. Anthony, please come round. Something's lost that must be found. But then I used one of those checks to pay my neighbors for half of the drain rooting. Haha! Serves them right but I called them the next morning to tell them to rip up that check and I would write another from the new check pack -- but they had already deposited the check at their bank. ("Don't you have overdraft protection? " they ask. Yes, but that is not the issue here.) Anyway my bank understood and lifted the stop payment so I wasn't charged 30 bucks.

Do you get the impression I am not overly fond of my condo neighbors?

Then, in spite of a number of flashing lights related to keys going off in my brain, I left my Florida house keys and car key in Vermont. The realization hit me as I was eating my sandwich in the Chicago airport. I never think to pack a lunch, but for some reason I did that day. Apparently the sandwich thought ran major interference with the keys thought. Fortunately, the neighbor who watches the house in my absence was home and she went to unlock before my arrival. I have a spare set of keys.

I thought I had fully recovered from the trip and the plumbing trauma by resting all new Year's Day. I went shopping on  2nd. When I went to unload my cart, I could not find my car key. I took everything out of my purse -- twice. My mind went to disaster mode for a while, but I started praying again -- St Anthony, all the gods, all the saints, all the angels, the universe in general. I took a deep cleansing breath and went back to the checkout counter. The clerk was just closing down his register. He hadn't seen my keys but he did look around and found the key under the counter. I think I asked him to marry me.

So that's three things. There's a law about threes, right?

Image result for Cant remember memes

I would be more worried about all this what with being old and all except I have always been this forgetful and somewhat lacking in focus.

My lovely daughter once said to me (as a teenager of course), "Mom, you are a real key slut."

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Another Flood

Last year there was a leak in my dining room ceiling that came right out of the ceiling light fixture.  It was December 12th and I had just returned from Florida because I was schedule for a deviated septum correction procedure in Boston.
Don had picked me up and was taking a quick shower the next morning when it happened so we thought that the bathtub drain was the culprit.

However, when Don cut a hole in the ceiling the pipes were dry. I filled the tub and let it drain and there was no leak. I concluded that my condo was haunted by an evil spirit. Don concluded that the leak must be coming from the condo next door. Six months went by and no more leak so he patched the ceiling and another six months went by with no leak.

All that saging drove away the evil spirit? No . . . because on December 26th the neighbors had a clogged toilet. I was at my daughter's but cut that short worried about what I was going to go home to.  Fortunately, Don was able to get there to stop the neighbors' son from continuing to plunge since he was just pumping sewage into their tub as well as along the floor joists so that it was coming out my ceiling. And then he started cleaning.


The man gets major points for this.

The neighbors had a company come to vacuum up the water and remove their toilet to do an industrial strength snaking out of the drain pipes. Then they came over to demand that I pay half of that bill. They did not make any points. My insurance company said the neighbors should be paying me. 

I left for Florida on December 31st, leaving Don in charge of getting the ceiling situated. Like I said, the man is racking up the points with me.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Happy Place

I took a picture of the Burlington (VT) airport while waiting for boarding. I'd upload it here except I deleted it since it just looked like a mistake (is there such a thing as a butt click?) because it was all shades of gray -- not even fifty to make it interesting, just maybe six or seven shades of gray.

It was a drizzly, icy start to the morning. My friend had already called me like three times to let me know there was no way I was getting out of Vermont because of the weather. She hates when I go to Florida.

The plane was 20 minutes late with take-off (scheduled for 7:30 a.m.) but then the pilot made that up on the way to Chicago (I was on the zigzag route). The plane was pretty filled with  young children and babies. Visits to grandparents were over and families were headed home.

I had what I was thinking would be a two hour layover in O'Hare, but of course it was really three hours because I had forgotten about the time zone change. I would rather have time to get to my gate then sit and read as opposed to a mad dash to make a connection.

It gave me time to realize that I had forgotten my keys to the Florida place. I called the woman who checks the house in my absence and she went to unlock for me. I do have a set of keys here. Now I have a third set in a little magnetic box hidden outside. A momentary panic followed by sincere prayer (answered) that I would reach Anne.

There were no children or even that many young people of the flight from Chicago to Sarasota. In fact, boarding took a very long time because of all the wheelchair passengers. Okay, I had the right plane for sure, headed for the land of the retired.

Other than the key glitch, it was an uneventful trip and I was home by five. It was still light outside! Sun! It was warm!

I am in my happy place.

It was a little jarring to see all the Christmas decorations. I had taken mine down of course so naturally I thought of Christmas as OVER.