Thursday, February 18, 2010

Life without glasses

So far, this year has been the worst New Year of my life. Out of the 49 days since 2010 began, exactly five of them have been what I would call "okay". The rest have sucked. Trying to stumble around with my lopsided eyes for the last 44 days has presented me with the worst bucket of no fun I've ever received. My grizzly bear tendencies are taking over my life. Of course, Hampton and Elly always thought that was true, but even I'm beginning to believe it now. If I don't get my new glasses, like SOON, I'm going on a murder spree. First on the "to-go" list is the ophthalmologist, who assured me this would all be a walk in the park. Next comes the optometrist who's taking his sweet time making my new glasses. Then, I'll visit the place where glasses are made and light my own special fire under their asses. After that, nothing remains except to sit down, shut up, have another drink, and hope this totally shitty episode of my life ends before my mind walks.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Who says animals don't mourn?

Elvis is a different cat since the passing of his best friend, Dmitri, a couple of weeks ago. The two of them were practically inseparable - always hanging together, awake or asleep, with Dmitri being the dominant cat. Dmitri spent hours grooming the other cats - washing their heads, chewing at their necks, reaming out their ears - but he focused the bulk of his attention on Elvis, to the extent that we nicknamed Elvis "Mr. Bad Hair Day" because his fur was always sticking out in all directions thanks to Dmitri's constantly licking his head. Now, with Dmitri gone, all Elvis does is sleep. He doesn't play with the other cats, no longer bullies or beats anyone up, won't play with the track toy or any other toys... just lies around and mopes. We've been trying to give him lots of strokes and attention, which he seems to enjoy at the time, but afterward he just curls up and zones out again. The vet says he'll come out of it eventually, but it's so very sad to watch, and only exacerbates our own sadness over Dmitri's passing.
Here they are in happier times...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Arachnophobia vs. Arachnomania

Spiders fascinate me. At the same time they revolt me. Sometimes they scare me, and, other times, they just plain give me the heebie-jeebies. I am completely ambivalent about them. I try my best never to kill them because most of them are "good" bugs, as in they eat lots of "bad" bugs, for which I'm thankful. If I find one in my house I ignore it if it's not within reach. If it is within reach, I do my best to capture it, then take it outside and release it. The only exception to this treatment is Black Widows. Inside or outside, I smash them to a pulp without an ounce of conscience. When we first moved into our house 26 years ago, I was convinced our entire development was built directly on top of the world's largest Black Widow community. For the first month we lived here, I murdered a half dozen a day, and, some evenings was afraid to go to bed. I was almost ready to sell the house and move away as far as I could get. Fortunately, the situation smoothed out, and the beasts gradually gave up and went away. I'm still wary of them, though... never poke around in the garage or under cabinets without wearing gloves, and stay diligent while working in the garden.

I'm totally enchanted by the beauty of spider webs. I delight in finding one in my garden... IF I see it before I walk into it. That's happened a couple of times, and I'm a basket case for hours afterward... even have been known to have nightmares about the experience. On the other hand, unlike my mother and others I've known, I don't destroy webs when I find them. I adopt a live and let live attitude and leave the web alone. Sometimes I'm rewarded by seeing the owner of web, and sometimes even have the pleasure of watching a fly meet its inglorious end.

To me, the most amazing thing about spider webs is their strength. It's almost as amazing as the spider's tenacity in rebuilding a web that's been destroyed. The other morning, after a nasty storm, I was rewarded by this sight, which, considering the ferocity of the storm, I considered nothing short of a miracle.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Our beautiful, special little boy left us on January 13.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Whine. Whimper. Grouse. Grumble. Groan. Moan. Kvetch. Snivel. Complain. Bitch. Bitch. Bitch. etc..

Over four weeks since cataract surgery and my "new" eye is driving me bonkers. The major problem is I don't have glasses that work for my new vision. The old eye is fine with distance and fuzzy with close-ups, while the new eye is great with close-ups and fuzzy with distance. Light is so much more intense to the new eye, that light from outside coming in the windows is dazzling to the point of being painful. It's a beautiful, sunny day, but I'm constrained to having the curtains and shades half closed to keep the house dim enough so I don't get a headache from the glare - a problem which has heretofore gone unnoticed, since we've had nothing but rain and clouds and gloom for the past month.

I can't sew, I can't read, working at the computer is a total drag, driving in daylight is dicey; at night, hair-raising, working in the garden is out of the question (never mind the rain). The doctor sez he's pleased with the way the healing process is going, but I'm not. It's going too damned slowly. My chiropractor sez the problem is due to my being so pumped up with steroids from asthma medications, and steroids, apparently impede healing. My eye itches, burns, tears constantly, and forever feels like there's some kind of dirt or crap in it. Eye drops help, but not enough. I'll be getting my new glasses in a couple of weeks, and, at this point, I'm becoming homicidal waiting for them. I'm glad I decided to put off the surgery for the left eye until next year. If I had to endure another six weeks of this weirdness I'd be ready to be hauled off to Napa State Hospital.