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

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

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

2020 Drags On

Sunset to sunrise
Various photos taken
Reflect passing time

Pandemic highlights
Graduation and then white
Coat ceremony

Cook dinner at home
Celebrate 24 years
Steak medium rare

Then to now challenge
Twenty nine years together
Highlight of my life

Carve cat on pumpkin
Veterinary student
Highlights skeleton

Couple canoodles
on overnight camping trip
down the road a bend

Quite a lot has transpired since my last post about our haircut outing. The summer in Phoenix dragged on; what else would one expect in 2020. We broke a record of 100+ degree days – 146! It finally dropped below 100 (barely) last weekend and Shawn talked me into an overnight camping trip to test out the van. Unfortunately because of the hot, dry summer, we could not have a campfire. The van does have a DVD player; so we whiled away the evening watching a movie instead.

I spent most of the hot summer hunkered down in the AC except in August when we took a family road trip to drop Robin off in Corvallis to attend the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine. Then in September we were able to watch the white coat ceremony over zoom. This month Shawn and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary. Shawn bought some filet mignon and learned how to cook it to medium rare; he always preferred steak char-char and that was never my preference. And up in Oregon, Robin has already gone to a pumpkin patch and carved his jack-o-lantern.

Haircuts

During #NaPoWriMo I made myself a guinea pig and let Robin cut my hair. It wasn’t a complete disaster as I was able to get a poem out of it; however, my children did not want to partake in the home cut experience. This morning we ventured out to Great Clips. I have used the check in app for quite a few years. And I have always been amazed at how many clients walk in without using the online check in. When we walked in today, one customer was paying for their cut and we were the next three people. While we were there, three more people walked in who had not checked in, and because of the social distancing guidelines there were only two hairdressers working. Since we were three people, the wait time for each ensuing client kept growing, and they all checked in and sat down to wait!

Take advantage of
online check in so there is
no wait for haircuts

Desert Heats Up (Language)

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WTForecast for Wednesday July 8

Too hot to think straight
Does this verse have any chance
Inspiration wilts

Yesterday my evil twin posted the WTForecast for Buffalo, NY, complaining of the heat. Before I checked it for Arizona I wrote the verse for the #haikuchallenge word chance and then had a good laugh – I think I did describe the hot weather in words. I also told Kati she cannot complain about heat to me; and she returned with, but it’s hot and humid here. Yes, I enjoy my dry heat it is nice to step outside and not have your clothes stick to your body. It’s also nice to not have my knee ache nonstop.

Arizona is going to really heat up this weekend we are on a heat advisory through the weekend which is nothing new for the summertime. Most summers we are able to escape the heat for a little while. Last July we were able to go up to the Grand Canyon.

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Photo by Gretchen Hosking July 2019

Drive along Canyon
Chance encounter with wildlife
Brings cars to a halt

This year we have to wait until August before we can escape the desert heat. Hopefully we’ll have a smooth trip up to Oregon to drop Robin off at school.

The Grand Scheme

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The Colour of Poetry

Good afternoon everyone. I spent my morning playing with the #haikuchallenge on Twitter. I learned yesterday that July is disability pride month as it coincides with when the ADA became law (July 1990). And since most of us have been forced to slow things down thanks to the coronavirus, I thought I’d share my view of things; as I have learned it is best to work slow and steady. It takes me longer to do everyday tasks, but they get done just the same.

One step at a time
Do not fret how long it takes
Picture the grand scheme

My husband was working on a photo this morning and I told him it looks like a corona. Well as it turns out, when you google corona theses days you are inundated with news on the virus, but I finally found the definition for corona and used it for another haiku about Shawn’s photo.

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Corona Areola 2020 Shawn Hosking

Play with color scheme
Irregular pearly glow
Set nipples ablaze

Yes, Shawn has a strange idea about art. And since my blog is still in Facebook jail, I can share this here as no one will see it on Facebook to lodge another complaint about my blog. Also this post is brought to you by the sound of children building their minecraft world. I did have some peace and quiet yesterday since Gretchen accompanied Robin to Liberty Wildlife to play with bunnies. Less than a month we should be off to deliver Robin to Oregon. Apparently the coronavirus has made them move the white coat ceremony to Zoom. 😦 At least we don’t have to figure out how to get back up there in September.

Scheme for alone time
Everyone stuck at home
My solitude lost

#NaPoWriMo Homemade Gifts

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Living Room Shelf

Homemade gifts like the ones children make in school. Throughout the years both Robin and Gretchen would come home and give me something they made in school. I still have the horseshoe Robin used to display miniature ceramic horses he made for the art show at The Art Institute of Phoenix, winning in the most creative category.

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Program from Art Show

This morning on Facebook one of the varied ceramic pieces Gretchen has made over the years popped up in my memories, and I realized a number of them are displayed on the shelf in our living room. Before our world was turned upside down, she was taking a ceramics class this semester. She’s still in it but since everything has moved online the focus of the class has changed not many students have a pottery wheel sitting in their backyard. Just one of the numerous items my husband has acquired over the years.

Look over my shelves
at vast collection of stuff
homemade ceramics

 

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today, in gratitude for making it to Day 20, our (optional) prompt asks you to write a poem about a handmade or homemade gift that you have received. It could be a friendship bracelet made for you by a grade-school classmate, an itchy sweater from your Aunt Louisa, a plateful of cinnamon toast from your grandmother, a mix-tape from an old girlfriend. And whatever gift you choose, we wish you happy writing!

Good morning readers and welcome to day twenty of napowrimo. I was having a difficult time deciding on a homemade gift. At first I thought, Whoever has given me a homemade gift? Then I realized my husband has painted pictures for me throughout the years and has written me poetry (I’m still waiting for a new poem this year) and the poetry made me think of all the poems Gretchen has sent me. Then I went on Facebook and one of the ceramic pieces she made in high school popped up in my memories. I realized there are homemade gifts a plenty in this house and I took a picture of a shelf where three of Gretchen’s pieces are displayed. As my dad’s 79th birthday was yesterday I like the fact the photo of him and my mom are also there on the shelf.

Today’s #haikuchallenge word is stuff so I used it in my poem. One person’s stuff is another person’s junk. When I asked Shawn where he got his latest item now in the backyard, he told me, I made more space. Just because the backyard has been cleaned up and rearranged doesn’t mean you can collect more junk. He obviously disagrees.

#NaPoWriMo Poetic Inspiration

Merry Go Round

In search of poetic inspiration, I found
A hexameter line has six feet to spellbound
Will readers climb onboard this strange merry go round
Or am I just a fool to think my words are sound?

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today’s optional prompt asks you, like Alice Notley, to think about your own inspirations and forebears (whether literary or otherwise). Specifically, I challenge you today to write a poem that deals with the poems, poets, and other people who inspired you to write poems. These could be poems/poets/poepl that you strive to be like, or even poems, poets, and people that you strive not to be like. There are as many ways to go with this prompt as there are ways to be inspired.

Good morning readers and welcome to day fourteen of NaPoWriMo where we contemplate the inspiration that convinced us to take this thirty day journey. Mine began back in 2010 but I skipped 2011 between working as a poetry editor and flying back to Buffalo that April, it seemed to be a stretch to also write my own poetry. But after that one year break, I did pretty well on the napowrimo front. And in 2013 I actually started submitting my own work to be published.

Then last year inspiration started to wane. When I posted my poem yesterday, WordPress informed me I made my 500 post! Wow I started this blog back in the summer of 2013; it only took close to 7 years to make the 500th post. Most days when I feel uninspired, I go on twitter and see what the #haikuchallenge word is until napowrimo started up this year I haven’t even kept up my haiku tweets. Today’s word is hello so I wrote this –

When you say hello
keep at least six feet away
a hexameter

And then I thought, well since I looked up hexameter to see what the poetic term for six feet is, I might as well try to write something in a hexameter. Don’t blame me if you think it’s a disaster; I put words down on the screen and that’s what counts.

Wax poetically
A single word or person
Sparks inspiration