Tuesday, August 30, 2016

city life vs country life...

Life in the country... how we all think we would like it. But having 
been brought up in the city of New Orleans, the only time I spent in the country was at my uncle's farm in Mississippi when I was a kid. Every summer for a few years,  I got to spend a week at their place. I loved it! Horses, cows, chickens, etc! Since I loved animals, it was heaven for me. I also got to swim in a creek, plant crops in a field, and ride horses! These were not things ordinarily done in the city. 

When I was growing up, we lived right off of Canal Street in N.O. and had access to St. Anthony's School and Church, a corner grocery right next store, and a street car line just 2 blocks away. The street car took us to downtown shopping as well as the French Quarter and the Mississippi River. It was convenient... but not the country.

Now my daughter and her family have a few acres in the Hill Country of Texas. They also have horses, no cows at the moment, dogs, cats, alpaca at one time, and chickens. But last week she called to tell me that they found a bat inside the house on the staircase one morning and 2 goats of unknown origin in their vegetable garden. So... life in the country does have it's oddities.

Here in Texas DH and I live in a subdivision outside of the city of Dallas. It offers a bit of the country life (just a bit) by being on a creek and greenback - which  we are privileged to share with Texas wild-life. While some in the area would do without even this, we consider it a benefit. It does require a little patience and kindness... and some compromise, but we think it's worth it. 

And there's a horse stables a few blocks down where our daughter used to board her horse when she was younger. AND...  down the road there are cows and several community gardens. So we have what you might call a pseudo-country life style.

If I had my druthers (and unlimited income) I'd spend my winters in Texas (winters are generally mild and short) and my summers around Damariscotta, Maine where I'd have access to Audubon's private beach in the area. I'd also visit Oregon's beaches and Vancouver Island, and see the New England in the Fall, and perhaps visit Quebec, Canada. But life is short (and getting shorter all the time), so I don't really need a bucket list. I'm happy as things are... and consider it a boon when something good unexpectedly happens. 

My oldest son called the other day to check on how I was doing after my cataract surgery, daughter called this morning to tell me she thinks one of their horses is lame, and youngest son and his family went to dinner with us last night for his wife's birthday. We came home for dessert - connolis from Carlo's Bakery ("The Cake Boss Guy"). They are so-oo good.

Ordinary things... ordinary life. Am I grateful? Definitely yes!  And 
I enjoy sharing it with those of you who may be reading. Just as I enjoy reading about your lives... some ordinary, some not so much. 
Even if I don't get to see or do some things, I get to share the experiences through your pictures and words.
How great is that!!

Oh, and Tux says Hi! 

not really...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Cataract surgery update

Saw this on Pinterest. It said why throw cataract eye patches away
 when they can be useful..
(gross, but funny)

Just a quick update. Had my cataract surgery done Monday. It went fine... despite the fact that I was terribly anxious (just because it was my EYES). When the doctor checked me Tuesday morning, everything was fine. My eyesight without glasses in my left eye is 20/20 and very bright and clear. I did have to wear a clear patch protector over my eye the first day and at night for the first week. 

The only thing that bothers me and is something that will gradually adjust is that with my left eye 20/20 without glasses and my right eye needing glasses, it makes me feel "off"... not dizzy, but oddly unsettled. We did punch out the left lens from my glasses, so that with that eye being good and the lens remaining in the right side, it should help... and does. But it's still "off". Once the right eye has it's surgery (which may be in a few weeks), this should no longer be a problem. 

And the one other thing that bothers me is that there is a fluttering in the far corner of the surgery lens... kind of like I can see the edge of the lens. The doctor told me that it's just the lens getting settled in my eye. Hope so.

It's only the 3rd day. So I guess my eyes are still adjusting. They say it actually takes 6 weeks to heal.  It is astonishing how bright and clear everything is through my left eye.

Anyway, for now I'm wearing my "modified Rx glasses" and some "drugstore reading glasses" around my neck to compensate. 

Those of you who have had cataract surgery and are familiar with all this, please feel free to give advice.

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

a quiet weekend...

Saturday Julie decided to join me in the bath. As you can see, she is fascinated with the water. She hears the tub running and makes a b-line for the master bath.

Contemplating the water...

                                     Testing the water...

                                                                                        Letting me know if it's alright...

 Yes, she is a funny cat. But we love her...

We also had a strange visitor outside Friday in the pouring rain. This little guy just jaunted on up and made himself at home eating the rain-filled plates of what once had been dry cat food. DH and I watched him from inside hoping he wouldn't stay too long. And the feral cats who were keeping out of the rain on our back porch watched him carefully from their vantage points.  No one ventured out and luckily he didn't venture any closer. 

We had a pretty good video of him (or her) walking about and eating, but for whatever reason couldn't seem to get the video downloaded to my computer from my iPhone. So this pic was taken off the video and isn't terribly clear. We don't see skunks very often (thankfully).

I'm cooking some farm-raised Scottish salmon this weekend. It's my favorite. I try to experiment and eat different kinds of Salmon from Central Market, but this one works best for me. DH doesn't like Salmon. He'll eat catfish or Halibut, shrimp, crayfish, and oysters, but no Salmon. So he'll have some hatch chili sausages for supper. (I'm not much on sausages myself... don't mind some cut up as seasoning in red beans, etc. but not just straight sausages.) 

And it is Hatch Chili Pepper Time at Central Market! We bought Hatch Sauce, Hatch fresh peppers, Hatch roasted peppers, Hatch cheese, and Hatch tortillas. And I made the best all-fresh Hatch Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas the other night. I'm going to make another batch this week while the Hatch peppers are still available and freeze it for later.

And it must be getting close to Fall, as I'm craving me some red beans and rice...

I have to mention this here as I was thinking about it a little while ago. One of the blogs I read (Musings) asked if one was allowed to go back 500 years into the past or 500 years into the future, which would one choose? Found this difficult to answer. Not sure I'd want to go either way. Now perhaps it would be intriguing to go back, but not quite so far. I would have liked to have known my great great grandparents and their families. As for the future... I don't know. I guess it could be interesting to know how the world will be 500 years in the future, but with all the Armageddon scenarios, I'm a bit hesitant.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

just Tuesday in Texas

Boy, Baton Rouge, Louisiana is really hit hard! I heard originally that they had 20 inches or rain, later 31 or something unbelievable like that. DH's brother and his wife and adult kids all live in the Baton Rouge area. Some of them have had to be evacuated. But luckily they are all OK. We spoke to them yesterday. 

And I called family and friends in New Orleans and the surrounding area. They are fine too. I was told that Baton Rouge took the hit. It's hard to believe this... as having grown up in the area, it's New Orleans that gets the flooding because it is so much below sea level. Baton Rouge has had it's problems in the past with hurricanes causing some flooding, but this was basically just rain (continuous rain). I remember it flooding on the LSUBR campus when DH and I were in college. But nothing like this...

Please pray for them. This much damage is hard for an area to recover from... 

Let's see. What else is going on? Of course there's politics, but I won't go there. 

I did go to my pre-surgery appointment this morning. They poked and prodded, took an EKG,... and (what seemed like) a ton of blood. Hopefully all is well enough for me to go on with my cataract surgery. My bp was 110/78 - which is good, but surprising low for a doctor's appt. Don't like doctor's appts so usually my bp goes up a bit the day of the appt. I was expecting more of 130/80 or more. However, I took it again when I came home to double check and then it was 98/51... so I guess its just low today. 

I can do this...

Nothing else of any interest going on. DH bought me some goggles at Home Depot. These are to keep me from rubbing my eyes (a habit with me) after cataract surgery. They should work as they're pretty big and bulky... but they do fit snug where I can't get my fingers underneath. 

Oh, and when searching pinterest for pictures, I came across this one and had to laugh. 

I'm sure this is probably a true pose for most cats... but not our Julie! She loves water! Likes to hang her head under the faucet and let the water pour over it. She also loves it when I take a bath... she hangs over the tub, passing her paws through the water, dipping her head in, and almost literally falling in. She also loves it when my hands are all wet from washing dishes... for me to wipe them all over her and get her soaked.  She is a strange one.

Well, enough for a Tuesday post. Enjoy your week!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

sleepless night...

It's 1:30 and I'm awake - one of those nights where my monkey mind won't stop thinking about 'things going on'.  I did sleep for a few hours, but then woke up thinking again. 

Several things are going on that have me - I won't say worried, but concerned. So I spend part of the night thinking about what I could do, praying, and generally allowing my mind to jump from one thing to another - so sleep doesn't come... except in spurts. Sooner or later, I end up either in the computer room (like now) or sitting in the den with the cats having a cup of tea and watching old 'I Love Lucy' reruns.

We've had a couple of surgeries in the family recently. And even though they are all doing well - these are on my mind - as well as other family matters regarding kids and grandkids. Families are wonderful things. I love them all dearly, but you never stop worrying about them. We pay for all those wonderful moments of joy with... the occasional dark night of the soul. I've always believed in 'you do what you can, and leave the rest to God'. But sometimes... it's hard to hand over the burden. 

OK, enough of that. I also had my pre-surgery appointment this week where my Eye Specialist went over all the details and info needed before scheduling my cataract surgery. They measured my eyes and discussed the type of lens I will be needing. I've known the last few years that I would have to have cataract surgery eventually and have been putting it off. However, it seems that my cataracts may now be encroaching on my narrow angles and my doctor believes that I shouldn't put it off any longer. So... we are scheduled to do it at the end of this month (sigh). And although I'm fully aware that it's not a serious surgery and is done everyday, I still hate the thought of someone working on my eyes

...and it also means my pottery (because of the clay dust) and my exercise (aerobic/yoga) will have to be curtailed for the month of September (sigh again). But what can you do? These things happen as we age... and we deal with it, yes? 

I did learn something though.  Apparently I have astigmatism in both eyes. Didn't know that. One is not enough to do anything about, but the other will require a special lens. Reading about astigmatisms (yes, I googled it), I learned that when you have these, it may cause headaches if too much time is spent reading. I read every day and definitely every night at bedtime and frequently wake up with a headache. Another thing I didn't know. It always amazes me how I could live to be this old (71) and yet never heard of this. Guess it's like they say, you never stop learning.

OK, on to another subject: You know from previous pictures that we have quite a few black feral cats that come and go in our back. Well, we also have one black and white (half grown) and 2 very young Siamese kittens.

This half-grown kitten is watching a blue jay in the tree above him

This Siamese kitten's mother has 2 black and 2 Siamese kittens with beautiful blue eyes

Sorry the first picture is not clear, but I take them through my french door windows and the raccoons keep the windows all smudged with their little paws.  This Siamese kitten was playing with the yellow ball between his paws. (You might have to enlarge the pic to see it) Our inside cats share their toys with the outside ferals (believe me, they have plenty enough to share). But occasionally some toy will turn up outside that we don't recognize and we wonder where they found it and who brought it into our yard. Once we found a small stuffed animal that we'd never seen before. We suspect there's a toy thief amongst us...

raccoons smudging windows

young raccoons beating the heat in feral cats' water bowl

all trying to fit into water bowl

We have to change the water several times during the day due to the raccoons bathing in it. But we don't mind. It was 107 F yesterday and although we haven't looked,  most likely the creek out back is dried up. At one time we put out a small plastic kiddie pool for the outside critters during the heat, but they still seem to prefer the water bowl...

I told DH last night that if we ever down-sized or moved, one thing I would insist on would be a window over my kitchen sink so that I could continue to look out on all the critters that make life so entertaining.

Happy Weekend to All!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Sunday thoughts...

This may be a strange topic for a blog, but I know that some people collect crosses. I don't, but I know those who do. Well, I was going through  some things we inherited recently 
and among those things were 2 crosses.  

This first one here is not one of the two inherited ones, but it is one that I found a few years back at either an estate or garage sale. Something about it fascinated me. And it has writing on the back.

These other two are the ones that we inherited.

This is a Lenox ceramic cross

and this next one I think is a stained glass one that was possibly hand-made.

Don't know why this would actually interest anyone, but since I was thinking of these today, I just thought I'd share.

As I said, I don't collect crosses, but I do collect rocks.  I have quite a few around the house, so...

I will show you my 3 favorites: 

The one on the right that has Sea Wall Beach written on it I picked up at my all time favorite beach in Maine in the summer of 2000. The black one on the left is from Dingle, Ireland (they had a huge number of flat black rocks on that beach in 1998). I had a smaller one too, but can't find it at the moment. And as for the one in the center I have no idea where it came from. But it's the best rock to hold in your hand and rub between your fingers... almost waxy. 

And that's my post for the day! Almost supper time...

I did make a batch of chocolate chip/peanut butter cookies for DH this morning... and am about to go fix us some sliders for a quick Saturday night supper. 

chocolate chip/peanut butter cookies

and I'll close with a pic of Tux/Smudge and Julie snuggling together on the bed this afternoon...

Julie in front, Tux in back