Five More Days Until My Birthday

Me at home after cataract surgery

Good afternoon – It’s about a week and a half after my surgery. The vision in my right eye was pretty instantaneous and then they taped it closed. So yes, clear distant was immediate; the close up vision is still working itself out. I have found I can read if I put the screen or book at arm’s length; otherwise, my left eye is doing most of the reading work. I’m thankful the left eye can still see well with glasses because there were a few things no one mentioned until the final pre-op visit. 1) I can no longer drive at night. The surgeon appeared a little hesitant at the pre-op – I don’t want to tell you you are my youngest, but yeah you’re my youngest patient. This was followed by, You can’t drive at night anymore. I laughed, Well since I don’t drive at all that would probably be a good idea. Needless to say this relieved the surgeon because most of his patients have already stopped driving at night and he wasn’t looking forward to telling a 47 year old she can’t drive at night.

The second thing I found out at that visit was I could not bend over for a week. Hello, I have CP and do not have the balance to bend at the knees. I spent an entire week not being able to do anything. I’m still not allowed to do any strenuous activities, which again with CP is very restrictive because I use more energy to do things. I did empty and reload the dishwasher the other day. When Shawn came home he yelled at me; I was like I can bend over now and emptying and reloading a dishwasher isn’t that taxing. I am still not lugging around the vacuum, mop and bucket, or laundry baskets. And yes I’m going a little stir crazy just sitting around the house. Imagine if all these restrictions carried on for a month if I scheduled my left eye two weeks after my right. Since my 48th birthday is after the two week mark of my surgery, I also wanted to be able to celebrate it.

One thing I have been able to do is sit and write haiku so at least I’m not twiddling my thumbs all day.

Do not bend over
Eye needs enough time to heal
Sit and write haiku

Start new fashion trend
Extend usefulness of glasses
Right lens taken out

It’s okay to cry
But be careful not to sneeze
After surgery

Could see right away
But it was not long enough
Eye taped to go home

Stuck on couch all day
Housework falls by the wayside
While I recover

No strenuous work
Leaves almost nothing to do
Boredom rules the day

Two Weeks and Counting

Good afternoon two weeks from today is my cataract surgery, and it seems even Twitter wants to remind me. Yesterday @SpaceLiminalBot posted a photo from an eye test. Back in April I discovered the Liminal Space account on Twitter for a #NaPoWriMo prompt and I followed the page. This was a photo they tweeted yesterday.

@SpaceLiminalBot photo Twitter 10/18/2021

Cataracts cloud lens
My right eye has vision loss
Hard pressed to see house

Today I used the #HaikuChallenge word – press to write a poem about my vision experience. I’ve been doing quite well with the challenge since returning from our trip. Of course I’ve been using photos from the trip as inspiration for my haiku, starting on my actual anniversary.

Just married
25 years pass
What happened?

Weekend getaway
Hotel room mirror selfies
My super hot bod

Celebrate love
Twenty five years of marriage
Does it really show?

Repurpose glass box
Old phone booth experiment
Dial a poem

Anniversary
Soft cries encourage him on
Wine and strawberries

Long four day weekend
Start celebrating early
And carry on late

Press grapes to make juice
Then ferment inside barrels
Enjoy wine tasting

Friday I get to go have more testing done on my right eye so they can make the best artificial lens to fit the eye. They try to get it as close to 20/20 as possible. Three weeks after the surgery I go back to have my eyesight tested and get new glasses. Since I’m not sure how well things will go between the surgery and vision check, I’m pretty sure my computer screen time will be limited. Even if my right eye will be able to see well there is the fact my left eye still needs corrective lenses. So my eyesight will still be catawampus until I get new glasses.

The Return of the Anniversary Limerick

October 12, 1996

There once was a lad named Shawn
Who was looking to be Don Juan
Thoughts full of erotica
He would woo Veronica
Whose soft cries encouraged him on

Good afternoon. Today Shawn and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. Okay in actuality the celebrating began on October 8th when we drove down to Bisbee. We spent a couple nights at the Bisbee Grand Hotel and then drove through Arizona wine country on our way to Tucson where we spent a couple nights at the Hacienda Del Sol and spent Monday at the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun Museum. I figured 25 is a big anniversary and Shawn deserved another limerick, but nothing rhymes with silver. And yes, I know I used a near rhyme with erotica and Veronica but I didn’t like any of the near rhymes for silver. Don Juan DeMarco happens to be one of Shawn and my favorite movies and Don Juan and Shawn rhyme so I went with it. Of course after 25 years of marriage I’m beginning to relate more with Marlon Brando and Faye Dunaway’s characters than with the striking young Johnny Depp Don Juan.

Mr. & Mrs Shawn Hosking October, 11 2021

World Cerebral Palsy Day

Welcome to world cerebral palsy day! I reminded Gretchen this morning to wear green and she loves her mother and went off to school donning green. Shawn, on the other hand… “I am wearing green, black is the presence of all colors”. So yeah, I said some not so nice things about his sense of humor and then I told him he better go to work to earn the money to pay for his wife’s acute late-stage cerebral palsy eye surgery. In less than a month (November 2), I’m scheduled for cataract surgery. Back at the end of May, early June, I noticed I couldn’t see out of my right eye. Of course I put off going to the eye doctor until August. He was quite surprised when he saw I had cataracts, telling me I’m 15-20 years too young for this to be age related. Thanks – I’m pretty sure it’s the lovely premature aging they say comes with cerebral palsy. Of course after watching The Sum of All Fears anything CP related is now referred to as my acute late-stage cerebral palsy. And I told Shawn this was going to bite us in the wallet. He went to the consultation visit with me and yeah the price tag gave him sticker shock. I also learned there is cataracts developing in my left eye as well and they wanted to do surgery two weeks after the right eye. But we’re holding off on that one – 1) because the surgery would be on my birthday and I don’t want to have surgery then and 2) they can correct the vision in my left eye to 20/20 with glasses so I don’t see doubling the price tag to see again when we don’t have to. I’m also curious as to how effective artificial lenses will be. Right now everything I see in my right eye is either a big white blur or a big black blur, depending on the ambient lighting.

Wear green to support
Cerebral palsy research
Help make lives better

Accentuate the Positive

Twenty Years Ago

Twenty years ago Shawn worked 6am-2pm so he woke up and left for work before anyone else started to stir. Then I was awoken to the phone ringing, Shawn called to tell me to turn on the TV a plane crashed into one of the twin towers in NYC. I watched in disbelief, working on autopilot. I woke up Robin and Gretchen, got Robin dressed and fed and ready for preschool and off we went. In the classroom several moms came up to me asking if I was alright and did I know anyone. I smiled and said, I’m fine I didn’t know anyone who worked in the city. My mom was born and raised outside New York City (in Pompton Plains New Jersey), and eleven years after 9-11 Robin asked my Uncle Jim to take us into the city for his 8th grade promotion. We flew to Buffalo and drove over to my other aunt and uncle’s in Warwick, NY before driving into the city for a couple days.

I’m not sure if Robin’s apple print he made in preschool all those years ago was still hanging on our front door. I do know it decorated the door for years because the teachers wrote the date on it and I did not have the heart to take it down. Despite the number of years it was up, I had a hard time finding a picture of the print on the door. This was the best I could do.

Robin’s 9-11 apple print

Preschool apple print
Masterpiece made years ago
Decorates front door

Summer Disappearing

Robin finished his first year at the Carlson School of Veterinary Medicine in June. We had a small staycation over at the Talking Stick Resort and the Arizona Boardwalk. We had a lovely time seeing the butterflies and the aquarium.

At the beginning of July, I reconnected with an old friend. She is selling color street dry nail polish and had a few patriotic sets. I asked if she could be my manicurist if I bought a set. It’s a little difficult for me to do my own nails. Of course she agreed, we had a nice time catching up while I got my nails done. Then I actually took a photo of my left hand to show it off.

4th of July nails with engagement wedding rings next to my new 25th wedding anniversary band.

After I had my nails done, Gretchen asked to see my wedding rings. Well the engagement ring came off without a problem, but the wedding band was a different story had to enlist Shawn to help me get it off. I thought since our 25th wedding anniversary is coming up a new ring would be nice. I saw the infinity knot on glityjewels.com not that long after writing a haiku for the haiku challenge.

Recall our first date
Young man in search of prom date
Finds forever ♾ love 

I think Shawn likes my new band. He did acknowledge it fits better. There is no mystery there; when I saw how tight my wedding band was I ordered a bigger ring size. This past April, Shawn and I had our first date anniversary. We have been an official couple for thirty years now. Then we got engaged in April 1992 since I was still a senior in high school, we had a long engagement while I finished high school and college. Of course I wrote about it during #NaPoWriMo.

After our staycation and while Robin was on vacation up in Yellowstone with a friend, Shawn and I were planning our 25th wedding anniversary trip in October. And so my haiku challenge tweets have been focused on us.

Before our first date
Watch him run around the track
Surreptitiously

Young couple in love
Settle into married life
Twenty five years pass

Out My West Valley Window

The city of Goodyear had a call for a virtual exhibit – Out My West Valley Window. I took that literally and it was helpful I snap pictures out the bedroom windows almost daily. Both my submissions were included in the exhibit. Two more poems I happened to write this month.

Out My West Valley Window

The exhibit will be open through June 30, 2021. I took the guided tour and have actually kept the window open because I find their music accompaniment relaxing.

#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Thirty

National Poetry Month Poster 2018

Write Your Way Through April

Watch rhyme and meter
Count syllables carefully
April poems sprout

Write every day
Poems will accumulate
As we say farewell

Write daily poems
Another poetry month
Ends until next year

How did we get here
Sweat, blood and perseverance
Last day of April

NaPoWriMo PromptAnd now for our final (still optional!) prompt. Today’s prompt is based on a prompt written by Jacqueline Saphra, and featured in this group of prompts published back in 2015 by The Poetry Society of the U.K. This prompt challenges you to write a poem in the form of a series of directions describing how a person should get to a particular place. It could be a real place, like your local park, or an imaginary or unreal place, like “the bottom of your heart,” or “where missing socks go.” Fill your poem with sensory details, and make them as wild or intimate as you like.

Good morning and welcome to day thirty – the final day of #NaPoWriMo 2021. Hopefully I gave you the recipe for a successful NaPoWriMo. When I wrote the post about my past participation, I realized in March of 2014 I posted previous napowrimo poems as a count down to April because they were not on this blog. On the last day of March 2014 I posted the first poem and the last poem I wrote in April 2012. I hope everyone feels they had a successful April 2021. I actually wrote at least one poem a day this year, something I have not succeeded at the last couple years; I considered that a success. I also had a haiku featured in the 100th episode of the poetry pea podcast. And a pleasant surprise, the haiku I submitted to the Poetry Illuminated project was included in the ebook the City of Goodyear put together. I’m still amazed they only received a total of twenty submissions.

All this was accomplished while going out and purchasing a new fridge; having the fridge delivered; finally convincing Shawn a corner breakfast nook table would be perfect in our kitchen (said table will be delivered today); getting my second Covid vaccine shot and the misery that ensued. I do feel my rewrite of Row, Row, Row Your Boat was kind of a cop-out as it’s only two lines, but I’m also impressed I was able to create anything in that delirium. And yes a minimal amount of housework was also done. Now we bid a fond farewell to this April. I hope to keep up my poetry writing the rest of the year – not on a daily basis but at least a few times a month. Last year I did not write too much poetry past April at all.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by my blog on a daily basis this month. I appreciate you reading and liking my posts. For some reason the post of The ASU class of 2020 I wrote last April has been my most popular one. Maybe because graduation season has rolled around again? But why would people be interested in a graduate from last year. And what would seem apropos for the last of April, today is the last day for the spring semester at ASU, and Gretchen has to complete and hand in her poetry portfolio today – the last assignment for her term. Yesterday Robin got his first Covid vaccine now that classes have wrapped up for Gretchen, we need to get her pokes scheduled.

#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Twenty Nine

My mom in silhouette

Through Kitchen Window

Drop by childhood home
Mom in kitchen, drinking tea
Her cigarettes close

Peek through back window
Mom sits at counter reading
Permanent fixture

NaPoWriMo Prompt And now, for our prompt (optional, as always). This one is called “in the window.” Imagine a window looking into a place or onto a particular scene. It could be your childhood neighbor’s workshop, or a window looking into an alien spaceship. Maybe a window looking into a witch’s gingerbread cottage, or Lord Nelson’s cabin aboard the H.M.S. Victory. What do you see? What’s going on?

Good morning and welcome to day twenty nine of #NaPoWriMo where I’m looking in a window instead of looking out of one. I did go back to my childhood, but I dropped into my own home, and knew I had a picture of my mom sitting at “her spot” at the kitchen counter. I used the #haikuchallenge word – drop for the first part of the poem.

Portrait of Motherhood

#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Twenty Eight

My Nightstand

I Question Living with Cats

What can be found on my nightstand
Why must the cats walk across it
in the middle of the night; then
wake me up, jumping on my head
Do they enjoy prowling at night
interrupting my beauty sleep
Why am I tired all day as cats
sleep soundly anywhere they lay
How do they accomplish the same
feat night after night and deftly
keep everything on my nightstand

NaPoWriMo Prompt Our prompt today (optional, as always), is to write a poem that poses a series of questions. The questions could be a mix of the serious (“What is the meaning of life?”) and humorous (“What’s the deal with cats knocking things off tables?”), the interruptive (“Could you repeat that?”) and the conversational (“Are those peanuts? Can I have some?”). You can choose to answer them – or just let the questions keep building up, creating a poem that asks the reader to come up with their own answer(s).

Good afternoon and welcome to day twenty eight of #NaPoWriMo where I question living with cats. They woke Shawn and I up before 6am this morning. I’m a little tired today. Two more poems to go before another poetry month is in the books.