Monday, June 27, 2011


On the Road Again!
If you think 'yours truly' has much rank in this family of three (husband (H), myself-NitWit1, Luckie-4 legged prima donna) then these two photos should be able to prove I am #3 back seat driver. However, in one photo it looks like Luckie may be checking H's driving skills, too.

She best remember who is in charge of filling the food and water bowls! Further she doesn't follow back seat instructions any better than H. I might as well same my limited oxygen capacity for my own survival.

This was a Saturday morning road trip to the big box stores to survey stepping stones for a path. We left AC on for Luckie while we quickly perused the selection. I found it profound that 4 different stores, 3 of which I consider box stores and 1, a farm store, had identical merchandise priced with 1 cent, yes, a penny, of each other for the same pattern and size. We skipped nursery and landscape centers as we knew it was out of our price range.

In the process I saw some Burford Holly that struck my fancy as a relatively maintenance free shrub to consider. I have to look up its hardiness, as I have discovered the dirt on my lot and at least one adjoining lot has a soil fungus deterimental to dogwoods, japonicas, lilacs and a list of about 20 other plants. There is no treatment for the ground, or the plant. That was after I lost a very high priced red dogwood I planted 2 years ago.
Landscape Crew

This post is a mixture of photos I've had little time to editor touch on a Duke's mixture of subjects, too.
The landscape renovation continues with the local crew of next-door neighbor, neighbor-behind-us son, and husband. The purpose, as previously stated, is to make the front yard as viewable from the street, maintenance free as possible. We are barely able to do the amount of yard work we both once did. Bad backs and knees are major culprits, but other deteriorating, aging factors such as COPD, heart, etc. are beginning to rear their uninvited heads.
Once a benign neglected bed overflowing with coneflowers,
 black-eyed susans plus roses, overgrown English ivy and
tall weeds, it is simple now. A few additions may be added.
One area of our front yard now total renovated once was a benign neglected flower bed of beautiful cone flowers, roses, english ivy, and black-eyed susans. This then faded patriot yard cement plaque was hidden among the ever heaven-reaching weeds. The plaque was renovated and repainted by moi. Since this photo, a solar light is placed by each side of the plaque. A small hedge plant was moved from another location by the plaque.
My paint job up close
Behind the plaque bed is two whiskey barrels with Knock out pink and yellow roses which  make small trees and known for their hardiness and little need for attention. A path is being built along an handicap ramp to a gate and spigot.

I expect to plant some kind of slow growing foundation plant like burford holly or similar plant--no maintenance will be the key on every decision and purpose.

Luckie surveying H's driving skills
I have several other areas to review photographs, and of course we are not finished. I also plan a few monuments in certain areas, but no fountains or bird baths which require some attention. My neighbor has a bird bath; I can watch and probably photograph them from my shady covered deck, especially if Christmas brings a newer lense and/or camera, so I can really get up close from that distance.

My new eyes are getting better and better. It is a weird feeling to look through the viewfinder of a camera without squinting through eyeglasses! I'm sure it will become
normal but I have to stop and think NO! I did not forget my glasses. Whether I end up with reading or computer glasses is still in the mix.

Even driving (or riding) is weird. Since the third grade I have never left the house without a pair of glasses.

This week I have another visit to opthamologist, a dreaded visit to the gynocologist, and I am going to have to see the Advanced Nurse Practitioner. My barefoot encounter with a melting ice cube, resulting in a hard fall backward is now 4 weeks old and I am still in considerable pain. Thank goodness, no broken bones or stress factors. PLUS I AM BREAKING IN A NEW HOUSEKEEPER, A story for another time, maybe.

[Tonight blogger speller has decided I am in no need of typing/spelling corrections. It is not working. Apologies. I know there are plenty.]

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Old Miniature Roses Climbing
Through the Rails of Our
Handicap Ramp -This Bed
Has Been Renovated
Since I slightly missed Father's Day,  I decided to tie a tribute to him in with our current yard projects.  Dad or Daddy as I called him, was in charge of the yard, whatever that was at any given time. I once remember we took creeping sprigs of carpet grass from a neighbor's yard to nearly cover our own yard in Texas. There are several varieties, all coarse, dense and weed deterrent growth; I loved it, especially since grass burrs did not creep in, so barefooted days were a delight. It required lots of water, but its weed deterrent properties and bug/fungus repellent properties made the watering worth while.

We lived on a corner lot with a lot of hedges, trimming of which was my Dad's duties on weekends. Occasionally, he still found time to take us fishing, pony rides, fishing, etc. As my brother became a teenager he became adept at some of the yard work for which he received more allowance.
We rarely missed church unless we visited relatives, most of which were 60 mi. away. During WWII years I remember many flat tires on those trips. With 3 grumpy siblings trapped in the back seat, we, the flats, and Texas heat certainly tried his patience. There were no spare tires, just inner tubes and patches. I was fascinated by the patches which reminded me of patchwork quilts, as the patches proliferated on the inner tubes.

He was my confidante, because discussion of difficult matters did not become emotional. I am not a teary, emotional person as my Mother was. I liked to get to the heart of the matter, no matter how hard, and move on. Almost all consults with Mother ended in her crying; whether happy or sad; she could not help it. It just translated as all sad to me. Other members of my family are the same way.
Disregard Blue Flats:
This Wide Angle Somewhat
Shows Our Simplifications;
Left and Right Front Beds.
We have added solar lights.
Both were the best parents they knew how to be. Dad was from a family of 8; Mother was an only child raised by a grandmother and two old maid aunts. They believed in the hierarchy of the traditional family and strict discipline. Did they make mistakes? they both admitted they did. There is no handbook of parenthood that is approved, as far as I know.

Changing subjects, I have previously alluded to our on-going attempts to make our yard less maintenance intensive.  I'll have some pictures, too. The purpose of the expense of renovating our landscape was self-maintenance.
Again disregard blue flats. View to to
Left facing house. Hope to Have Better
Photos Later.
We first hired a lawn specialist who advised we "start from scratch" with several variable sized beds already in place. After swallowing my pride in losing long self-seeding and low maintenance flowers, I agreed. I had no choice. My prosthetic knees are no longer conducive to kneeling and crawling on ground, nor is my osteoarthritic, osteoporosic spine.
The beds were dug and dirt clods broken up and raked near level; the weeds, flowers and debris were haul to a refuse area to be burned. I stayed inside so as not to witness the destruction. Then a black landscape material which allows drainage and weed deterent for about 5 years was laid followed by 3" of enhanced soil and 3" of mulch were layered on top of the cloth. We bought a weed deterrent mulch for most of the work. All the mulch will have to be renewed in a year.
We kept several shrubs including forsynthia,  miniature roses, some climbing roses we inherited with the property purchase, and small foundation shrubbery.  In addition we saved 5 nandinas in whiskey barrels for future plantings. They will recover in the barrels for a season. I have two Japanese red maples maturing in whiskey barrels, too.
The Right Bed near Street has 5 Whiskey
Barrels with Transplanted Nandinas in them.
The Windmill and Barrels have Solar lights in
or around Them.
After three beds my husband and neighbor felt confident they had the methodology learned so we hired a neighbor's 16 yr. old son. He has turned out be an excellent worker. He is saving his money to buy a bicycle and open a bank account. I personally am impressed he is aiming for a bicycle, not a his age!!!

The street view is virtually completed as soon as I decide we have enough landscape lights. Some would think I am a little overdone on the lights.

Now we are working around areas not necessarily in street view, but still messy like around the Hidey Hole storm shelter.

I  would like to pave driveway, but am waiting for a concrete or asphalt gypsy deals. Besides drainage have to be determined and done expertly, or the surface will soon deteriorate.
A Different View of Coffee Can Begonias
We dec9ded to try to Keep Hanging Baskets,
Whiskey Barrel Plantings, etc. for Color;
I can still Prepare Most of these Items
Each Spring.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011



I saw the light, I saw the light.
No more darkness; no more night.
Now I'm so happy no sorrow in sight.
Praise the Lord, I saw the light.
                                     --words, music by Hank Williams, Sr.

Today I had my second cataract surgery and lens implantation. I think the right eye (today's target) may have had the worst cataract. Two weeks ago the left eye was certainly a great improvement and I needed to wear sunglasses outside only few days, but in the house things were mainly normal, except I noticed the new lens showed colors decidedly different in color and intensity than the old lens--a 2-week psychedelic experience, sans drugs.

Well today was a decidedly different experience; I walked out, rather was wheeled out of the surgical unit in to blinding white light, even with dark sunglasses over my normal eyeglasses. Now my regular glasses also turn dark in light. I rode home with my eyes barely slit; thank God I was not driving.

I thought to myself as soon a I got in the house things would be comfortable, as the previous experience.  NOT! I turned on the fluorescent overhead lights and was blinded again. I almost wondered if I was going to have a Saul of Tarsus experience!

Tonight I am going out to check if some solar yard lights are working. I spent hours cleaning and renovating some old ones with new NiCad solar batteries. Most seemed likely to work. Hope the moon is not full or I may need my darkest shades again!

I'll be sure to let you know. The eye is dilated to the maximum and it takes almost 24 hours to return to normal. Brown-eyed persons have larger pupils which are opened somewhat larger normally than other colored eyes. My husband and neighbor, both brown-eyed, complained about this blinding light and still complain, so we are destined to look like three blind mice forever.

My left eye is coming around nicely in focusing, even with the brightness.

My opthamologist will call about 9 p.m. tonight to see how I am doing.  I may tell him I thought I was having a miraculous religious experience.

Truthfully, the power of the body to accommodate the changes in the health of whatever part of our body is not functioning in peak condition, has always amazed me. We can live without a kidney, one or no thyroid gland, ditto parathyroid glands, one lung, both eyes, both ears, tonsils, gall bladder, appendix, amputated arms/legs, male/female organs or body parts, even with some severe adjustments a pancreas, plus compromised livers, , lungs, brain, heart.

The Psalmist wrote, I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well."—Ps 139:14 All I can add is AMEN!!!

In that melee of the preceding paragraphs is a word that is built into us both physically mentally, and specifically the eye: the phrase is :power of accommodation.

However, read through the definitions of accommodation . The word, adaptation comes to mind. Currently, I am functioning fairly normal for a near 75 year old woman, without, one kidney, one thyroid gland, female organs, appendix, tonsils,  gall bladder, slight hearing and eyesight loss, and my liver is not lobulated since the right lobe was resected. [The liver is the only organ that regenerates itself .] Our brain is integrated into adaptation, but we all adapt to some extent. You gotta wanna!!!

So I leave you with the Hank Williams Song, "I saw the light!" He is not my favorite country singer. In fact I am not into the older type country music. I would have to say this hymn was one of his better works.

I chose Vestal Goodman's version. We saw her last performance with Gaither Homecoming in December a number of years back. Her husband had died and she followed in his footsteps shortly the Christmas that same year we saw the show in Little Rock. I believe Vestal trained to be an operatic or dramatic performer, before hearing a inner voice calling; she used some of the trappings of her training in her performance: hence an item of her dramatic attire like THE HANDKERCHIEF.  Enjoy a marvelous voice that was joyfully led by an inner calling!

Sunday, June 12, 2011


This is to notify those who cruise through, and those whom I follow I am having great difficulty in comments. This morning I had trouble logging into my own blog. I had to change fore Internet Explorer 8-64 bit, to Internet Explorer 7- 32bit.

Blogger must be intent on driving us all NUTZ! NUTZ! NUTZ!

The short news is right eye cataract surgery Tuesday. Looking forward to my both eyes seeing the same colors

Saturday, June 04, 2011


Neighbor, Myself, Husband

         Three blind mice. Three blind mice.

See how they run. See how they run.
They all ran after the farmer's wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a sight in your life,
As three blind mice?
(Lyrics usually sung to the tune of the Old Gray Mare)  

Aren't we cute little mice? This  is a photo of our good neighbor (N), myself and my husband(H)  with the our dark sunshades given us by our opthamologist after cataract surgery. I had my left eye lens replaced May 31. The Day after when the above photo was shot, sunlight is really hurting my eye through those dark shades. My Husband (H) had his cataracts about a year ago and our neighbor had his cataracts removed sometime in between the two of us.

The surgery is nothing like the horrendous procedures our parents and grandparents endured. The procedure itself is less than 30 minutes. You are given VerSed and Fentanyl (at Ozark Eye Clinic) to put you in a suspended state of la-la land, but not general anesthesia (same general classes of drugs given during a colonoscopy or endoscopy).

The eye clinic I use performs the procedure on its premises in a special surgery ward, especially equipped specifically for the procedure. A normal day is about 18 procedures for my opthomologist.You don't even change to a hospital gown!

Riding home, the double yellow stripes marking the center of the highway were bright orange in the left eye, and yellow with the right eye. Ever so often the orange lines wandered off to the right; I had two sets of double lines, yellow and orange. I told my husband I won't be driving if this continued!

The day after surgery the physician examed his work and a refraction test is performed. I aced them both. My left eye was still quite blurred but I could read the refraction letters and numbers as well as if I had my glasses on. They expect these readings to improve.

More importantly the road markings had returned to normal overnight. I drove home. That is even more shocking! I remember in days gone by, cataract removal required a chauffeur for a month or so.

The first day was an Alice in Wonderland experience. Besides the yellow/orange highway markngs, the white calendar sheets and even my white computer screen windows are white with the new lens and distinctly yellow with the right eye lens. I thought the paper had always been white. Something is messing with my mind. In fact every thing white, but especially paper, looks like it had been exposed to the elements for some time from my right eye's view point, and brand spanking new, blinding white from the left  eye's view.

Then I decided to have a Weight Watcher novelty bar, called Strawberry Smoothie Bar, which is pale pink with new lens but an aged yellow with my right eye lens. (The Wal-Mart link shows the correct(?) color, or does it?

The most inconvenient requirement is 3 different eye drops in the eye 4 times a day for 15 days, in addition to my glaucoma drops. Actually about the 10th day you stop one eye drop and continue the others for 5 more days.

It seems as if  I am spending my waking hours glaring at eye drop bottles. It really is going to get hairy when I have the other eye done June 14 and the same regimen is required. The two regimens will be overlapping. YIKES!

The second day vision improved, but the color descrepancies remain to this day. I'll be glad to get the right eye fixed, as one might go mad with two different colors for each eyes, astigmatism, etc. The color descrepancies seem to be more pronounced with  pinkish, or white objects.

One Variety of Hens & Chicks
[I think]
For those who have experienced perfect eye sight, and no glasses, I will not be so lucky, as I have astigmatism in each eye. But being able to distinguish  subtle differences in color will make my photography editing more pleasant, and perhaps focusing a bit easier. My Nikon is not equiped with image stablilization (compensation for camera movement such as hands with tremors), although I am considering a new one---maybe Christmas.

The photos in this post were all taken with my little point-n-shoot Canon PowerShot A1000IS which has autofocusing and image stablization.

A neighbor's son used the camera to take the first picture. I took the remaining 3 pictures.

Below are some photos of a variety of Hens and Chicks I've been told. These semi-arid plants bloom occasionally. Below is a variety I have a lot of.  Don't ask me if the color is right. The photos were taken past full bloom, but I think the tiny flowers were pink with bright yellow centers. But today I really would not bank on my own description!!!

Hens & Chicks [I Think]

Hens & Chicks [I Think]