Retirement is a week filled with Saturdays and Sundays interrupted only occasionally by a holiday.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Awwwwww...I have such nice blogging friends. Look what Mary has bestowed upon me.
Thank you Mary. I promise to display it proudly.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What Big Eyes You Have...

So I'm back from both the ophthalmologist and the optometrist. After examining, testing and dilating my eyes, the eye M.D. told me he believes my blind spot is not retina related but has more to do with my optic nerve. This apparently is good news...or at least better news.

He's going to schedule me for a more detailed field of vision test and then see me in a year to monitor my condition. He also had the department's photographer shoot some photos of the optic nerve in both eyes as a baseline record. There's nothing like having a photographer continually shoot a camera flash directly into your dilated eyes to give you a rip-roaring headache.

The issue of my age-related deteriorating nearsightedness in my right eye was also a topic of conversation. The bottom line is that I will probably have "cataract" surgery sooner than later and this will "cure" the vision in my right eye. He thinks there's a 50-50 chance I'll call him up and ask for the surgery within the year after I try and adjust to the major prescription differences in the lens of my new eyeglasses. We'll see...I'm pretty tough.

Once done with my HMO, I headed on over to my optometrist's office to pick up my old frames with the new stronger right lens. It turns out the technician got all mixed up and put new right and left lens in my frames. The lens she used were ordered for my new frames which are on backorder. She totally missed the single right lens in the box until it was too late. So now she has to order a new set of lens for my soon-to-arrive new frames. The good news is that I now have two new lens with anti-glare coating in my old frames...something I didn't have before.

Can I see out of these newly fitted eyeglass lens comfortably? It's hard to tell right now because my eyes are still dilated so my vision seems fuzzy and I'm having trouble focusing. I'll wear the glasses tomorrow and then decide whether I need to have the optometrist doublecheck the lens to make sure the prescription is right. Sigh...

All this brings me to something I heard Larry King say today (on a local talk radio show) while I was driving to the eye doctor. He apparently had lunch with former "60 Minutes" correspondent Mike Wallace recently and quoted Mike as saying that the really sad thing about growing old is that you'll never wake up feeling better than yesterday. Oh, you might feel the same but never better. Is that really what we have to look forward to as the years go by?

Just Catching Up...

After Friday's grand Disneyland adventure, it was a fairly quiet weekend. Rick and I used Saturday to recover and, except for going to church in the evening, I never left the house during the day. On Sunday, we went to a Golf Expo which turned out to be bust since there were very few exhibitors. I did manage to buy two pairs of narrow golf shoes at a reasonable price although, when you add in the parking and Expo entrance fees, the discounted price doesn't seem so terrific.

Yesterday I went to work...yes, I'm still working part-time for the Library although it's down to just a few hours a month. I'm on one of the committees formed to help the Library switch to a new computer system next July and all team members were assigned the task of testing the new Borrower database to ensure that the information will migrate properly to the new system. What this all means is that I spent hours yesterday staring at a computer screen checking each field of information on the old and new systems making sure all the info was correct. By the afternoon, my eyes were crossed and my head was spinning. And I'm not finished. Now I have to go back and check the Title database next week followed by the Item database assignment after that.

It's a good thing I'm going to my optometrist this morning to have them put in a new right lens in my old frames to improve my deteriorating vision in that eye. Maybe that will help me next week when I have to stare again at a computer screen for hours. I also ordered new glasses but the sage green frames (yes, green) are on backorder so I will use my old glasses until the new ones arrive.

Today is also the day I visit the HMO ophthalmologist to have my peripheral vision checked. I'm not too worried since I don't notice the blind spot I supposedly have although, according to my optometrist, it could be the result of a small retinal tear. Now that does worry me. Oh well...maybe it will be something minor and nothing to be concerned about. I'll let you know.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Disneyland Extravaganza

Whew…I’m exhausted. Yesterday was a whirlwind of rides and food and walking and smiling and loads of fun.

Rick and I left the house at 6:00AM so we could meet Lynn, Elle, Ten and Elle’s friend at the Disney Resort Paradise Pier Hotel where they were staying. We’d picked up our usual lattes at Starbucks and, with the bagels and cream cheese Lynn provided, we were set for the morning. Off we went to the park which was nicely decorated for Halloween.

We immediately headed for the new Finding Nemo ride since we knew it would be a very popular spot as the day wore on. This is the revamped Submarines ride from many years ago and it was lots of fun. I should mention that Ten was in a wheelchair due to a sports injury (a sprained ankle) and this turned out to be most beneficial. Disney gives wheelchair visitors priority entry to most rides so we were saved from waiting in the the long lines for most of the day.

From there, we hopscotched through the park riding on all the major attractions: Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, the Matterhorn, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain. Here's a photo of Big Thunder Mountain taken while we were waiting to board. I think it's a pretty good shot considering all I had was my cell phone camera.

For lunch, we took the Monorail over to Downtown Disney and ate at the Rainforest CafĂ©. We did this last year for both of the kids’ birthdays and they seemed to enjoy it. Elle just loves their Volcano Cake (chocolate cake, vanilla ice cream, chocolate and caramel sauce and loads of whipped cream. Here’s a photo from last year’s lunch!

Done with lunch, we went back to the park and continued the fun. The girls and I had our requisite frozen bananas late in the afternoon while we took a little breather. Around 6:30PM, Rick and I decided it was time to head on home and so we left Lynn and the kids to continue their adventure well into the evening. Remarkably, traffic wasn’t too bad for a Friday rush-hour trip home and we both fell into bed exhausted but with smiles on our faces.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Magic Kingdom Awaits

Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho,
It's off to fun we go,
To Disneyland, it’s always grand,
Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho,

Thursday, October 25, 2007

If Only They Were Real...And I Was Single

Yesterday, Lynne tagged me for a meme. Here’s the very funny explanation of this meme:

“Ten Literary Characters I Would Totally Make Out With If I Were Single and They Were Real But I’m Not, Single I Mean, I Am Real, But I’m Also Happily Married and Want to Stay That Way So Maybe We Should Forget This.”

This took a whole lot of thought but I think I’ve managed to come up with my choices. Here's my list:

1. Joe Morelli from the Janet Evanovich “Stephanie Plum” series (yummy)
2. Ranger from the “Stephanie Plum” books (sexy, sexy, sexy)
3. Mr. Darcy from PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (so proper yet so sexy)
4. Okay…another date with Ranger
5. Captain Blood from Rafael Sabatini’s book (I just love a good swashbuckler)
6. Robin Hood (OK, I had a crush on him when I was a kid)
7. Yet another date with Ranger
8. Sydney Carton from A TALE OF TWO CITIES (I just love a sacrificing hero)
9. I guess, to be fair, I should have a second date with Joe
10. Tom Schulz, policeman husband from the Diane Mott Davidson “Goldy Bear” series (this man can cook!)

I know, I know…that wasn't the required 10 characters, but I just can’t seem to get Ranger and Joe out of my mind. Hmmmmm…who should I tag? How about Lynn and Patti. Have fun with this one.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I Just Love Treats

What a pleasant surprise. Michele at The Rocky Mountain Retreat has been kind enough to bestow upon me the Sweet Treat award. Thank you so much Michele...I feel so honored.

Here's how it works. Once you've been awarded the Sweet Treat Award, you create a post and award it to bloggers who you deem "One Sweet Treat to Read" everyday. Then you make sure you inform those who you've awarded. Finally, you can grab the button and proudly display it in your sidebar for all your blogging friends to see. If you're interested, you can read the history of this award at Trista's blog, The Pumkin Patch.

So...drum roll please. And the "Sweet Treat" award goes to: Linda, Lynne, Mary, Pea, Rosemary and Susie. Your blogs are always a treat to read.

"Hi"...It's Me Again

How sad is this? Yesterday I took Mom to our HMO for yet another visit. After we were done, I drove up to the parking lot booth to pay (yes, our HMO charges for parking) and the parking attendant actually recognized me and let me through for free. Now I know I saved $1.00 but can you say I've made one too many trips there in the past few weeks?!?!?!?!

Friday, October 19, 2007

A Stab for Health

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen…it’s that time of the year when young children and senior citizens roll up their sleeves and get pricked by the Flu Shot Fairy. Now, for as many years as I can remember, my doctor has tried to talk me into getting a flu shot. At the beginning, her reasoning was that I worked in a public library exposed to all the nasty germs shared by patrons. Then, when I retired, her tactic changed and now I was over the age of 50 which somehow made me suddenly susceptible to the flu bug. Through all the nagging, I managed to avoid getting the shot. What can I say…I’m injection phobic.

Anyway, yesterday I took my mom to our HMO for her flu shot. After suffering through my 3 week virus siege in September, I’d been toying with the idea of finally allowing myself to be vaccinated against this year’s supposed strain of influenza germ. What can I say…I seem to catch every little bug that makes the rounds these days. So, with my mom there to comfort me (I always cried when getting an injection as a kid), I finally went ahead and let them jab me with their syringe. Phew…that wasn’t so bad.

Now for the amazing part of the story. When I got home from the HMO, Rick suddenly decided maybe he too should get his first flu shot ever. I’m not sure why he suddenly decided to relent. Maybe he was feeling left out since I’ve been telling him how our niece and nephew have already gotten their shots and Lynn and her hubby were scheduled to get flu vaccinated soon. And now I’d gone ahead and joined the group. Whatever the reason, he and I went over to the HMO this afternoon and now he too is a member of our flu safe family.

So…have you gotten your flu shot yet?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It Must Be Awards Season

This has been an amazing week for me. I've been honored not once but twice by wonderful blogging friends.

Thanks to my new blogging friend Mary at Mary's Writing Nook who graciously awarded me an Amazing Woman award. I certainly don't feel "amazing" but I'm grateful that Mary feels that somehow I deserve this honor. If you haven't had the pleasure of visiting Mary's blog, please take the time to drop on over and say "hi."

The second award is one that I find a bit scary since it involves Christmas and I'm not quite ready to admit that Christmas is less than 3 months away. Thanks to Lynn for honoring me with the "Spirit of Christmas" award.

According to Lynn who got her award from Patti and Michele: This award originated at Santa's Community Blog and can be passed on to as many other bloggers as I'd like. According to Santa, the Spirit of Christmas Award:"Quite simply it is those that have a generous and giving nature. Those who care about others. Those who have a kind word to say or a broad shoulder to lean on in the times that others need that. Those who display the "Spirit of Christmas".

Unlike the game telephone, the spirit of this award seems to be intact. Since so many of you have already been honored with this award, I would like to honor all those who have yet to be recognized. Santa has asked that you pick up the code and instructions here at this post: Santa Claus The Spirit Of Christmas Award. So...congratulations to you all, and may the spirit of the upcoming season fill your lives with joy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Eyes Have It

This has been a tough day and I’m feeling a bit depressed. Rick and I went to our longtime optometrist this afternoon for our annual exams and my news was not particularly happy.

First off, I’ve been nearsighted since I was in elementary school. I can still remember how excited I was when I got my first pair of blue sparkly glasses in 5th grade. I thought they made me look so much older and smarter. Little did I know what a pain they’d become particularly when I finally needed progressive lens a few years ago when I reached that magic middle-aged number. In between, I did wear contact lens for a while but gave them up when my allergies made it impossible to wear them.

Anyway, I’ve known for some time now that the vision in my right eye was deteriorating. It was always my problem eye (twice as bad as my left) and, within the last few years, the nearsighted vision has become worse and worse. Even so, I was taken aback when the doctor told me today that my right eye can no longer be corrected to 20/20 with glasses….only 20/25. I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal but I’m afraid that the vision will continue to worsen to a point where it will become difficult to focus and see clearly even with my glasses.

According to Dr. A, the bad news is that I’m not a candidate for Lasix surgery. The good news (I guess) is that eventually I will be a candidate for intraocular lens replacement. Basically (very much like cataract surgery) they will surgically replace my deteriorating lens with a brand new man-made one which should give me perfect vision. Yep…that will mean no more glasses so I guess that’s a positive thing even though I’m a little nervous about having someone cutting into my eyes at some point. Still…it’s not going to happen for quite some time so I guess I shouldn’t worry about it now.

And, to add insult to injury, what made this day even worse was that I, once again, failed the field of vision test which detects problems with peripheral vision. Apparently my right eye has a blind spot when I look to the right and now I have to make an appointment with my HMO ophthalmologist to have it looked at. And, when I called my HMO to make an appointment when I got home, the receptionist told me I have to wait to make an appointment until my non-HMO optometrist faxes a referral to them even though I was seen in the Ophthalmology department a few years ago for another problem. Can you say “GRRRRRR…?”

Friday, October 12, 2007

I'll Have That Look Please

So yesterday I took Mom to New Hairdresser #2 for our monthly haircuts. That's right...#2. For those of you who might need to catch up, you can read all about my longtime hairdresser firing here and here. Then, if you remember, Mom and I went to my friend's hairdresser for several appointments only to be disappointed with her cutting and styling techniques. I knew it was time for yet another change.

Since I was offline while I was ill, I failed to mention that I tried yet another hairdresser (we'll call her New Hairdresser #2) during September. I was desperate for a haircut since my August one was so dreadful and we were scheduled to go on a golf vacation (the one that eventually got cancelled because of my virus). Anyway, this new hairdresser had been recommended by a woman at the YMCA so I took a chance and made an appointment. I wasn't sure what style I wanted so it was a little vague but I liked her technique and I could tell she was a potential winner in the New Hairdresser search.

Back to yesterday. So Mom and I went to Hairdresser #2's salon (she's the owner) and had our hair cut and blow-dried (is that a word?). While waiting for her to finish with her previous client, I kept looking at this customer's style. The woman was probably in her late 70's with odd looking red hair but what attracted me to her look was the wedge cut she was given. Mind you...for most of the past 10 years, I've worn my hair in a short wedge but I was getting bored with it so I've been keeping the length a little longer lately. Anyway, I kept staring and staring and then cogitating and cogitating until it was my turn in the chair. Faced with that crucial decision of what to tell her to do, I took a deep breath and told Hairdresser #2, "Make me look like that older woman." And that's exactly what she did...minus the red hair and added years.

Am I happy...yep! Did Mom get a nice cut...absolutely. Is Hairdresser #2 the chosen stylist...I'm thinking "yes." Am I relieved that the search is bet!!!

Oh...and if you're wondering where's the photo of my new haircut, you'll have to blame Lynn. She took photos of us yesterday when I dropped off Mom and she promised to email them to me last night. I guess she got busy and forgot because I have no photos to share. But that's OK with me...I really hate seeing myself in front of the camera.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Sunday, Sunday...

So...did I spend Sunday actually cleaning out my closet? Ha ha ha ha...that would be a resounding "no." Somehow Rick convinced me to go to the YMCA to do a little exercise in the morning. It was the first time in a month and this morning I can barely lift my arms over my head and I'm walking all hunched over like a little old woman. And they call this "healthy" living????

After the Y, we went to our favorite deli and I ordered an egg white omelet with jack cheese, spinach and mushrooms. How's that for hypocrisy? I guess I could have done without the cheese but where's the fun in that? Anyway, I'm sure I managed to earn back all the calories (and then some) I walked off on the treadmill.

After stuffing ourselves, we drove on over to our favorite BigBox Warehouse. I thought we were in trouble when Rick told me to expect to spend a lot of money. While I had visions of walking out with some monstrous big screen TV or some other super expensive electronic "thing," it turned out our purchases were actually necessary and not that costly. Let's see...we bought a package of razor blades (to the tune of $40), a bag of Starbucks coffee, salmon and asparagus for dinner, 3 bags of Halloween candy (that's a whole other post I need to write) and then a 65-piece set of stainless steel flatware.

Why did we need the flatware? I don't know about your home but, in our kitchen, knives, forks and spoons seem to just disappear. Years ago we started with a "service for 12" set of some very nice flatware. For some unknown reason, over the years our flatware collection has seemed to shrink mysteriously. I think we were down to 5 forks, 6 soup spoons, 5 teaspoons and 5 knives before we finally bought the new set yesterday. Where did all those missing pieces go? I swear the garbage disposal did not eat them (we're very careful about checking before we run the grinder); I don't think we accidently threw them away (but you never know); and I can't imagine any thief coming into our home to steal our not-very-expensive flatware one piece at a time. Lynn tells me her flatware set seems to be shrinking too so now I'm wondering whether there's some very hungry flatware gremlin who comes in the middle of the night and eats knives, forks and spoons. So tell me...has the gremlin been at your house lately?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Practically Empty-Handed

So here's my report on our shopping spree yesterday.

As usual, I managed to spend Lynn's money without any problems. She bought a shirt and 4 skirts and, let me tell you, those skirts were an incredible bargain. They were marked down to $9.99 each PLUS they were having a "Buy One, Get One Free" sale so the 4 totaled a whopping $19.98. Do we know how to shop or what?

Although the prime motivation for this shopping excursion was to buy Elle a skirt and some nice black pants, she (now being a teen) just wasn't in the mood to like herself in anything but jeans and a sweatshirt so she came away empty-handed although I did buy her a black sweatshirt as a belated birthday gift.

Me? The practical side of me kicked in and so I decided to wait until I've lost some more weight before indulging in a new wardrobe. will give me more time to go through that jam-packed closet of mine and dispose of all those articles of clothing I haven't worn in years. Doesn't that sound like a fun way to spend a glorious Sunday afternoon?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Another Round of Spending

Oh sister Lynn, niece Elle and I will be meeting for another shopping spree at one of our local malls. Last Saturday (on my first real day of activity after being sick for so long), the three of us met at the very same mall and I helped the two of them spend some money on really nice outfits. If you're at all interested, you can read about it here at Lynn's blog. Anyway, last week I was too weak to try anything on. This week I'm feeling a heck of a lot better so maybe I'll come away today with some shopping bags filled with new clothes. The only thing is that, if you look at my sidebar, you might notice that I'm still plugging along trying to lose some more weight. I really want to buy new outfits that might be too large for me in a few months??? Decisions, decisions...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Oh Boy…It’s Squeeze Box Time

Today was one of those days when you know you’re doing the right thing even though it means suffering through a wee bit of pain. For a few years now, I’ve managed to avoid my annual mammogram. Yes…I know it was foolish and potentially life threatening but I just couldn’t seem to motivate myself to make that all important call for an appointment. Even my self-examinations were sporadic at best and the constant badgering of Hubby did nothing to prompt a phone call for an appointment. Mind you…all this hesitation had nothing to do with the pain experienced during a mammogram. I have an extremely high tolerance of pain and have never been bothered by the momentary discomfort of having breast tissue squeezed between two X-ray plates. So…why did I wait so long to schedule a mammogram? I just don’t know.

Anyway…not too long ago, my HMO sent me a letter reminding me that I was long overdue for a mammogram. Did that finally spur me to action…nope! Then they sent me a second letter. Did I respond…nope again. But then I read Empress Bee’s blog revealing her discovery of breast cancer and suddenly I realized how stupid I’ve been about this. So I finally went ahead and made my appointment. I did have to reschedule once (thanks to my 3 week virus) but finally today arrived and I picked myself up, drove on over to the Breast Center and let them do their thing with that very expensive squeeze box.

So now I wait for my results. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate Empress Bee’s willingness to reveal her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. It was truly the motivating factor in my decision to finally get that long overdue mammogram. So thanks Empress Bee for your candor and encouragement to all women about the importance of annual mammograms. I owe you big time.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Siege is Over…Finally

It’s been a long road to recovery but I’m finally out of bed and beginning to return to my normal life and activities (which includes blogging, of course). The little orphan virus I managed to catch was obviously happy to live in my body for more than three weeks before it decided to move on to greener pastures. I kept thinking that I’d feel better after 7-10 days (at least that’s what the doctor promised) but obviously my virus was one stubborn group of germs. Anyway, I know it will take a while to regain my strength (I continue to feel easily fatigued and afternoon naps are still a part of my recovery) but at least I now know that the sun does shine and it feels wonderful to finally leave the house and enjoy this warm autumn weather.

I know I have a lot of catch-up to do in terms of your lives and blogs. I felt totally cut off from the real world while I was sick but I just couldn’t seem to find the energy to turn on my computer to read your posts. So now I have lots of reading to do as I return to BlogLand with a vengeance. Please be patient as I read through all your posts and then comment on what’s been happening. And most of all…thanks for all your well wishes while I was “gone.” I truly feel blessed to have such wonderful friends.