Saturday, March 18, 2017

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON A RAINY DAY

MY FRIEND IS A GIFTED PIANIST.  She used to play for the church we attended, for local high school theater productions, and has given piano lessons to children and adults for decades.  Me included.  I took lessons at the same time as Son Two when he was very young, just to get him started.  I absolutely love piano music and have a passion for listening and watching others play.  I wanted to learn.  Well.  Just like the current president and his surprise about the complications of delivering health care to the masses, I had no idea playing the piano could be so complicated!  To do it well you actually have to use BOTH hands!  Nine months of struggle was enough for me, so I went back to appreciating the talents of others.  As for my friend, arthritis has slowed her a bit, but one wouldn't know it.  I could listen to her for hours....and am.  Today.  I have two of her CDs and they are exquisite.  Perfect for a gray, rainy afternoon and a pot of hot tea.
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I AM "ON VACATION" THIS WEEK.  I have days spread before me, tabla rosa.  Well, not exactly a blank slate, I guess.  Tomorrow I'm taking my daughter-in-law to a  Seattle "multi-media" production of  "A Woman's World" ("the inspiring stories of women and girls who are transforming our world") to honor her completion of her Master's in Business Degree.  Then Monday I do my foster care program volunteer gig before going to a League of Women Voters forum on a local political issue.  Tuesday I go to Seattle with a friend for lunch and art museum gazing.  Wednesday morning I have my volunteer time in my granddaughter's 1st grade classroom.  But in and around those events and all day Thursday and all day Friday I will be able to tackle long-postponed projects, including perhaps beginning the process of turning this and my other yoga blog into books!   There are companies that do such things and it's been on my "to do" list for a long time.  I want a "hard copy" to keep and maybe share with family members.  If the grid crashes, all these stories of my life will be lost!  (These are the thoughts insomnia is born of).
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YESTERDAY WAS HUB'S BIRTHDAY.  I started dating him 2 months shy of his 18th birthday.  Nearly 50 years ago...unbelievable.  We've grown, changed, lived lifetimes together as we look back and marvel that we are still here, still loving each other, wondering what comes next.  I asked him what 67 feels like (I'll know in December, but I wanted a heads up.)  He said it feels a lot like 66.  He notes that maybe he gets a bit tired more easily in recent years -- like he used to do 8 hours of yard and garden work, but now is ready to quit after 4 (which was probably more reasonable anyway -- our sons have un-fond memories of indentured servitude to this big piece of property and its raking, weeding, and mowing demands.)

His knee has been bothering him -- old football injury come back to haunt him -- and he fears that sooner rather than later a knee replacement may be on the horizon, which could interfere with his fearless and obsessive snowboarding schedule.  Not one for groomed runs, he loves the deep powder of the glades, making fresh tracks through the trees, but which is also more challenging physically.  But in almost every other way he is as fit (maybe more so) than that 18 year old kid I went out with in high school.  He certainly is more sensitive, self-aware, patient, kind, and compassionate than back then, when gender roles and goal-driven tasks and projects -- personal,  educational, and professional -- occupied his time and focus.

The whole family was here to celebrate over dinner last night.  We are so blessed by our sons and who they've grown to be, by the women they've brought into our lives, and the grandchildren we cherish.  So, keep those birthdays coming, I guess.  We are holding the alternative at bay wth much to appreciate still present for us.
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THE STATE OF THE UNION CONTINUES TO DETERIORATE.  There is a "before" November 8th and an "after".  I am still trying to adjust to the reality of what is happening.  It's well-documented, so I won't list the litany of horrors 45* continues to visit upon our great nation.  (I call him 45 for he is the 45th President, but *elected by a minority of the popular vote.) Suffice to say, we are 100% immersed in "the Resistance" but it does take a psychic toll.  Sometimes I long to have my life back from the constant barrage of information and calls to action.

We spent all day in our state capitol on Tuesday attending a policy training and public hearing on a climate change bill that the Republicans will ensure won't see the light of day.  You do what is right anyway and just keep fighting.

We've reconnected with Physicians for Social Responsibility, a fabulous organization, a chapter of which we and others organized in our county. It feels good to be "back", but sad that so many issues now need to be revisited with even more urgency.

There are dozens of grassroots groups forming and it's hard to keep up and know which to ally with and which to ignore.  Many seem redundant and are splintering the finite number of people who can populate them.  I assume over time they will merge.  Forming, storming, and norming, as groups do.

I make my calls to legislators, send my emails, and post cards and watch the Media/Press do what they do so well -- dig, dig, dig.  In spite of 45*'s derisive name calling of them, his maneuvering to only include and speak to those conservative "alt-right" outlets that worship him, the tried and true and reliable news sources are doing their jobs.  It does my heart good.  I've always felt the Press is the bulwark of our democracy.  They are doing it again.  Rachel Maddow and her relentless tracking of the Russia connection, along with investigative reporting from the NY Times, Washington Post, the New Yorker and others may just bring the house down.  Waiting impatiently.
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ENOUGH.  The piano CD has ended and the teapot is empty.  The Outlander soundtrack has begun again on repeat and I need to plan which reruns of the TV show I will watch tonight.  So all ye lads and lassies, I bid you beannachd leat.

At least, that's the view from here...©


Sunday, March 12, 2017

WRINKLES IN THE BLUR

I think my failing eyesight is causing my wrinkles.  Seriously.  I never had horizontal wrinkles across the top of my nose before, but I've noticed them recently and I'm stunned.  How the hell does one get wrinkles on one's friggin' nose?!?

I think it coincides with my almost constant squinting lately.  My eyes are messed up.  And I'm annoyed by that because it's like Karmic "gotcha" in that I've been a bit braggy about my eyesight since having Lasik surgery in 2002.   I chose to do "mono vision" where one eye is corrected for distance and one for near vision (reading, etc).  I crowed about it being the best decision I ever made and was very "ooh la la" about my ability to read tiny print without glasses!  It really was quite wonderful for many years.

Full disclosure -- not so wonderful was realizing that in low light conditions --movie theaters, dimly lit restaurants, super cloudy days, night driving -- my near vision eye for some reason became dominant and I couldn't see a thing without glasses to correct for distance!  But I put up with that because of the fabulous super power ability to read without reading glasses.  I saved a ton of money on "readers" (always losing or breaking them) and reading was not only my passion but integral to my profession.

But in recent months, it seems I can see neither near nor far.  I complained about this at my last eye exam, and was given a prescription for bifocals, but they don't seem to be helping.  I can see distance fine in the mornings (best with glasses on -- so much for that Lasik eye), but if I do extended near work -- reading, computer, coloring -- my eyes go blurry both while I'm trying to see up close and even when I put the close work down and just want to see distance.  Even with glasses on,  everything is a blur for quite some time.  So, I have to be careful about how much reading I do before driving!  I spend my days squinting and trying to find the "sweet spot" where I can see best.  WTH?

So, this is becoming quite annoying and my eye doc is going to hear about it again this year at my exam.  Because not only can I not see, but all this squinting is wrecking havoc on the "youthful looking" bridge of my nose.  Don't misunderstand.  I'm not blind; I see things heading south, but I thought that one area might remain the last bastion against the effects of age, gravity, and sun exposure that seems to have caught up with my face.  But, alas, I guess not.  UNLESS!  I really don't have wrinkles but my blurry eyesight makes it look like I do!  Happy delusions!

Well, also on the health front, I've been reading, again, about how important it is to stay hydrated, so I've upped my water intake (today, anyway) and maybe that will smooth things out on my face.  I know my Fitbit is happy with all the extra steps to the bathroom.

At least, that's the view from  here...©