Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"The more things change . . . "

Way back in the Dark Ages when I was in high school, one of my classmates (I think it was Nancy Sue) sometimes sang a little song that went something like this:

They're rioting in Africa
They're starving in Spain
There are hurricanes in Cuba
And China needs rain
The  _____ hate the _____
The _____ hate the Dutch
And I don't like anybody very much.

 I don't remember the other three nationalities, and only remember the Dutch because it rhymes with much.

Now, 50 + years later, they're still rioting and starving in various places, my brother and other kinfolk in Florida are being inundated by a tropical storm, my cousin and other members of our extended family in Colorado I'm sure are keeping a close eye on the wildfires, and I got a robo-call from the county judge-executive on Monday saying that Carlisle County is under a burn ban until we get some rain.

I'm sort of glad my grass is not growing, but some of the weeds seem to thrive on drought. However, this is a farming area, and I know the crops need rain.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Lexi is already very much a reader. She has been read to by several people since she was tiny. She always has a book in progress here at my house, and she and Devin are very familiar with the local library in Metropolis. I wrote a couple of weeks ago about her having the most AR points (gotten by taking tests on the books read).

Since I wasn't around Rose when she was tiny, I'm not sure, but I think she was read to as well. Saturday night, she wanted to read four books. I read two to her and she read two to me. Although I'm sure she's had Goodnight Moon read to her many times, I would say she was actually reading it to me. The other one she read was There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. I think that was a combination of reading and reciting, and singing the "Perhaps she'll die" refrain. On Sunday, she wanted to read one of the other stories, which is printed in a cursive typeface. She said that since she doesn't red cursive yet, she'd read it in Spanish. She proceeded with a bunch of gobblydegook which did at times sound a bit like Spanish. What a ham!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


11 and 6 1/2 are hardly babies, but I had both great-granddaughters here last night. I met Alyssa, Stephen, Lexi and Devin in Paducah for supper, and brought Lexi home with me. Sara brought Rose over to stay here so she and Reggie could go to a party. The girls and I had been in bed for about two hours, when I heard a soft, "Grandmother, it's Sara." The party they were at had wound up joining the one behind my property. She and a couple of other girls had needed a bathroom, so she brought them to use mine. I hope they didn't look at how badly the toilet needed cleaning.

While it was still light, Rose pulled and cut (with the long-handled pruners) some weeds for me. She seemed to enjoy it, and planned to do more today. This morning we went out for a few minutes, but then she started feeling bad. She wound up dozing several times during the day.

Alyssa called this afternoon and told Lexi that her dad's parents wanted her to spend a couple of days with them; her grandfather would come about 6:30 to get her. About 4:30 she went to visit her girlfriend nearby and was going to return about 5:45, so we could have dinner before Bobby got here. She returned by 5:30 with a headache, and only ate about one bite.

When Bobby got here, I asked him if he could start my lawn mower. I have been unable to start it for several weeks (of course, I haven't tried since my first cataract surgery). It started right up for him and he took off mowing the fenced-in area behind the house.  As I watched him, I tried to remember how long it has been since I could walk like that. It took him about half the time it would take me, but then he's close to fifteen years younger than I am.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


That's how I'm seeing with both of my eyes; both Dr Williams and his nurse said they'd trade with me. I will need glasses for distance, but will probably keep them in the car for driving only. I go back in two weeks to get a prescription for them. In the meantime, I'm probably seeing as well as half the other drivers on the road. They have given me two pairs of reading glasses - one is 2.25 strength and the other is 1.50. I think one will stay beside my bed for my regular nighttime reading and the other will be in my purse or my knitting bag. It is really strange to not wear glasses for things I used to wear them for and to put them on for things I used to take them off for - like reading and fixing mistakes in my knitting.

Yesterday I met Mary at the Ice House/Art Guild for knitting, although neither of us knit a stitch while we were there. Someone had brought in a bunch of yarn, stamped cross-stitch things, etc, and a stack at least a foot high of Threads and Fiberarts magazines. Shane told us to take whatever we want and he'd give the rest to the quilting group today. Neither of us was interested in the magazines, but Mary took some of the cross-stitch napkins and an afghan-crochet hook, maybe something else, and I took some yarn. There were several partially-done things that we could not figure out what they were supposed to be. We spend a good bit of time reclaiming yarn from them as we talked.

In about an hour, I'm off to Paducah for my regular Wednesday Eucharist service at church, followed by knitting at Panera. Since it is Social Security day for me, I'll stop for a few groceries on the way home.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

What a week - or ten days

Last Saturday (6/9) was Lexi's eleventh birthday. That weekend was also Superman Festival in Metropolis. Sara went over and took the kids 'downtown' to the festival area for a while. Metropolis is not very big (under 6,000 population), but it gets very crowded in the area of the Superman statue on festival weekend. When I went over for Lexi's party, I avoided that area.

 We had a birthday supper, followed by cupcakes
and icecream, and opening of gifts. Then she had three or four friends spend the night (Devin went to his grandmother's).

What with my eye stuff, her birthday sort of crept up on me and I hadn't given much thought for a gift for her. Monday morning I thought of a top she had seen in a knitting magazine two years ago. At the time I reminded her that most of the patterns in the magazine were adult sizes. Her reply, "I know. But you know how to make adjustments." Such faith my great-granddaughters have in me! I searched my house for that magazine, but couldn't find it. I remembered basically what the top looked like, so I grabbed a ball of dishcloth cotton yarn and a size 8 circular needle. I found a cable pattern I liked, did a provisional cast on, and started knitting. I called Alyssa and asked her to give me a chest measurement for Lexi, and knit the cable to that measurement and then wove the ends together into a tube. Then with white, I picked up stitches on one edge and knit down in stockinette stitch for a few inches and ended with a few rows of garter stitch in the multicolor. Next I picked up either seven or nine stitches from the other edge to make a strap, knitting in several buttonholes. I did another strap a few inches from that one, and then sewed buttons on the inside of the back. This took me two days, and it turned out like this:

Not bad, if I do say so myself!

Monday, Sara and I decided that I might as well spend three or four nights at her house, since she would be driving me for my cataract surgery. So that evening I packed a bag and drove to Sedalia. Tuesday morning she drove me into Mayfield for the surgery, and Wednesday morning back there to the ophthalmologists office. I was expecting to be able to see perfectly as soon as the bandage came off, but that wasn't to be. It seem like I was looking through gauze. Dr Williams said that is not unusual, and assured me that things will improve. In addition to the two kinds of eyedrops he gave me with the first one, he gave me two more this time. He also told me to use one of them six times a day instead of four. So - I'm using the pink-capped ones six times a day in the right eye, and the tan-, gray-, and white-capped ones four times a day in that eye, plus, I'm still using the pink-capped ones three times a day in the left eye for three days, twice a day for two days, and then once a day for one day. Are you confused yet? I just hope I'm doing it right. The vision has improved in the right eye. I go back to see Dr Williams tomorrow.

On Thursday, I decided that it would be OK for me to drive, so when Sara left for her obstetrics appointment, I headed home, stopping at the senior center in Mayfield for lunch.

On Friday, Alyssa asked me to pick Lexi up from her grandparents' house after her Gill family birthday party and let her spend the night with me, because her dad didn't want to bring her here. Why he thinks it's better for a 71-year-old woman who has just had cataract surgery to do extra driving than for a 28-year-old, hale-and-hearty man to, I don't know. I think he was just being obstinate!

Saturday morning, Lexi and I headed back to Metropolis, stopping at Books-a-Million in Paducah to get a gift card for Devin for his ninth birthday. He had four or five friends spend Friday night (that's why Lexi was at my house). At about 1pm his grandparents came over and we had pizza and a birthday cookie and icecream, and opened gifts. Then Stephen took the boys and Lexi to Yaya's Island (games and stuff) for a couple of hours. Later Alyssa and I met them there, took Lexi with us, had supper at a Thai restaurant, and went to Rose and Kyra's dance recital.

I don't know why the dance instructor thinks the kids all need to show us everything they know - four hours is simply too long! Both of Rose's dances (with half a dozen other girls) were before the intermission, so I left at intermission and dropped Lexi off at her grandparents' house before coming home. She's spending Father's Day with her dad.

After dropping her off, I was glad to find out that the Dollar General in Fancy Farm is open until 10 pm. I was able to buy some half & half so I could have coffee this morning. I've just had a second cup. I'll probably regret that tonight, but I guess I'll just read longer than usual.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"Where two or three are gathered . . ."

I went to the Wednesday noon service at church today as I often do. When I pulled into the parking lot, I thought it looked awfully empty, and wondered if I had missed an announcement that it had been cancelled. But when I went into the church, an altar guild member was setting things up. When Megan (priest) came in with her vestments on, I was still the only one there. She asked if we should continue and I said it seemed sort of like a waste. She said, "Not to me." So she started the service, and a minute or two later, the youth minister joined us. It really seemed strange with only three people.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Second eye surgery

I went back to the eye doctor again this morning. My vision in my left eye is great, and I'm not having any problems, so he will do the other eye next week. So I am on his surgery list for next Tuesday, and I'm pre-registered with the hospital. Now I just need to see who can be my driver this time.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


When something major happens, there are always adjustments to be made. I know cataract removal with artificial lens implantation is considered minor surgery, but the difference is major for someone whose eyeglass prescription was -9.00 in one eye and -9.50 in the other. I can now see 'forever' with the left eye, and am anxious to get the right eye done.

I have two kinds of drops to put in the surgery eye four times a day. I often find myself reaching up to take off my glasses as I shake the first one in preparation of putting them in - then I remember that I'm not wearing glasses.

Wednesday night, as I was getting ready for bed, I looked at my bedside table and thought, "There's no case here to put my glasses in for the night." Next thought, "Silly me, I'm not wearing glasses."

It IS  bit disconcerting to see clearly with one eye and not with the other, but it will only be for a few weeks.

I have moved the monitor back as far as possible on my computer desk. Instead of being about 16 inches from my face, it is about 30. Of course, it's only a yellowish blur with my right eye, but is bright and clear with the left one - and I can even see it fine if I move back halfway across the room!

On the down side - I can now see that my floors are badly in need of vacuuming, and I can no longer use the excuse of "I'm never in there with my glasses on, so I can't see the dirt" if I let my shower stall get dirty.

I drove for the first time yesterday and all went well. We only went into Fancy Farm to the post office for stamps and to mail some bill payments, and to Dollar General.

My helper went home last evening. Alyssa came, bringing Chinese take-out for our supper, and then took Lexi home with her. I think she really missed her daughter for that week she was here. And she said Devin missed his 'almost sister.'

Lexi was a big help while she was here, but she also did a lot of playing on the computer and reading, as well as some crafty stuff. I'm so glad she likes to read.  In the school library, they can take tests online for the books they read to get AR points. This school year, she had the most, either in the fifth grade or in the whole school (I'm not sure which). Alyssa said that at the awards ceremony they had asked people to hold their applause until the end, but that when Lexi's AR point total was announced, they all clapped anyway. She got a bunch of other awards, as well. She said that when she was called up, her teacher told her she was going to be there for a while. I'm sorry I missed that.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Looking through amber

Tuesday I had my first cataract surgery. Wednesday I went back to the ophthalmologist's office for him to check his work. Sara drove me both days. I had Lexi go into the exam room with me, because she is being my helper for a few days, and I wanted her to hear what they had to say. First the nurse took off the shield and patch and went over a few instructions. Then she left and said the doctor would be in shortly. She left the door open so I could see into the hall and the room across the hall. I couldn't believe how clear and bright everything was. I started doing a comparison between the two eyes. With the left one, things were clear and the walls were white; with the right one, things were blurry and the walls were yellowish. The cataracts formed so slowly that I didn't realize that I was looking through amber. Lexi laughed at me and said I was like a little kid who had just discovered something. I thought of the day 62.5 years ago when my first pair of glasses was waiting for me when I got home from school. They were on the kitchen table, along with a note telling my sister and me to go to the Witthuhn's until our parents and younger siblings got home. As we walked across the field of corn stubble, I was amazed at how bright and clear things were. I imagine if I exclaimed about it, Pauline, who is 2.5 years older than I am, just told me to shut up.

Lexi is being quite helpful - reminding me when to use the drops and timing the five minute interval between them, taping the shield over my eye at bedtime, doing a bit of cooking, etc. She also took some pictures of me.
I had to agree with her Tuesday afternoon that I looked silly trying to wear my glasses over the shield.
And I guess this is what I look like now - not myself without the glasses.

I go back to Dr Williams on Monday. Maybe we'll discuss then when the right eye can be done.