Thursday, May 31, 2012

Big Ol' Weekend

Well, Memorial Day weekend came and went in a hurry.  It's pretty much all a blur.  (Literally...haha).  But most of it revolved around Daphne's sixth birthday party.  Readers of this blog know that I really get into birthday parties.  And this time, in spite of my eye, it was no different.  I did keep it smaller this year - only five kids were invited - which made things so much easier.  Another thing that made it easy was that the kids were really GOOD and didn't require as much supervision. Six is gonna be a good age.

Daphne, after listening to some country music in the car with Kev one day, decided she wanted a Texas/Cowgirl theme.  This was REALLY easy to DIY because we already had a lot of stuff we could use around the house, and the rest I ordered from Oriental Trading.  Kev and Mister Tim provided the music, we had hot dogs and pulled pork for the food, and s'mores pie (link to recipe) and root beer floats for dessert.  Easy.

The kids were awesome and so cute.  At one point, they spontaneously began to parade around the house chanting "I LOVE BACON...I LOVE BACON..."  They got tattoos, had a sack race, tossed bean bags, and danced.  I took lots of pictures, and the best ones are here if you're interested.  I am declaring it a success.  Daphne was happy.

In sadder news, Kev's 1985 BMW finally died.  For good.  And we have to say goodbye.  It's time.  But it's still sad.

We drove off from our wedding in this car:

We took this car to New Orleans on our honeymoon.  We brought Daphne home from the hospital in this car.  It's been pretty good to us.  But, for the last few years, Kev has been driving it in the summer with no AC, in the winter with no heat, and all the time with the brights coming on whenever they want causing road rage among other drivers. 

So, the part of the weekend that wasn't about the birthday party was all about car shopping.  Not the most fun thing ever.  But it had to be done.  Stay tuned for new car news when we have it.  For the moment, though, Kev is driving my car and I am hoofing it.  Good thing we live close to the places I need to go.  Today, I walked to 2 different banks, stopped at the deli for lunch, and went to the Ben Franklin to get a birthday gift for a party Daphne is going to on Sunday.  All this walking is fine when the weather is nice, like today, but it's about to be summer.  And that means hot.  And that means I like to stay in the house as much as possible until mid-September.

OK...another big weekend is already upon us.  This one includes a cancer fundraiser, the aforementioned birthday party, and a knitting field trip for me!  And probably more car shopping.  Then, we begin the last week of Kindergarten.  I thought I was ready, but I don't think I am.  I'm starting to panic a little.  And also next week, there is Daphne's actual birthday, field day at school (I'm volunteering), and I go back to my retina doctor to see how my eye is doing.  I will most definitely receive another eyeball injection, most probably be shot up with dye again, and most hopefully receive good news that this is all working.  Wish me luck.  If I only had a clone!

Monday, May 21, 2012


Out for a Thursday Walk
Daphne and I took a long walk on Thursday after school.  I took lots of pictures, but the one above is my favorite.  Kind of represents my current visual world.  The weather was beautiful all last week and over the weekend.  We ate every meal on the porch on Saturday.  I attempted to recreate last week's Saturday brunch at Kramerbooks in DC:

Saturday Ham, Eggs, Grits, and Coffee
Food tastes better outside. I don't know why. And this was a great breakfast. There really should be more grits in our lives.

My world is still wavy. I think there might possibly be some slight improvement, but it's hard to say. I discovered how to make the text size on my Kindle HUGE, so I can now read without my sticker. And I can drive OK around town. I can get to Wegman's, which is great. But I can't get on any roads with merging, so taking Daphne to DC on my own this summer is still out of the question unless things change. I am getting a ton of support from my friends and family, which I appreciate more than anyone can know.

Blogger is giving me trouble, so I'm off to clean something for now.  Hope you had a good weekend!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Daphne made me a book at school for Mother's Day.  This is one of the pages.  I love it because it is sweet, but I especially love her attention to detail.  In the picture, I am wearing my "Mommy Uniform" - my housepants with the purple Christmas trees, a blue t-shirt, and my brown slippers.  And I'm standing next to my red chair.  And on the table, is my green computer, cords hanging down and all.  She must have colored this picture before I started wearing eyeglasses with pumpkin stickers.

Here we are, cooking together.  Daphne is on her stool.  It looks like we are cooking popcorn.  Or maybe cheering for it.  I am in my same uniform, and I am very wide.  But I still love this picture.  Don't we have a lot of cabinets?!

These are the things that make me happy.

Last night I began to feel sorry for myself because of my new life in the Wavy World.  I don't mind visiting it, but I don't want to stay here.  And I'm really afraid I might.  There are no guarantees with this treatment.  So, I got really sad last night, because I may never be able to comfortably do things like read, knit, watch TV, take pictures, etc. any more.  And the very worst thing will be if I can't take Daphne places.  I had a lot of Big Summer Plans for trips to DC, visits to Scout's house, and various other things that I won't be able to do if I can't drive beyond the one lane streets of the town of Leesburg.  I don't want to spend the whole summer just walking around.  It's a nice town, but there isn't a whole summer's worth of things to DO.  So, maybe by NEXT summer, I'll be back to normal.  But what if I'm not?  What if this is how things will be forever?  What if I can never take my own kid anywhere ever again?  It's a possibility that I have to accept.  But it's really upsetting.  It's not lions.  It's not cancer.  It's not even blindness.  But it's still upsetting.

Today I cleaned up a lot of clutter in my house and I am feeling a little better.  I have new orange shoes.  I have Kev and Daphne, awesome friends (old and new), and my family, thank goodness, is nearby.  I'm making a giant pot of tomato sauce this afternoon, so my house is about to smell really good.  And I have these drawings from my funny little kid.  I can get by on all that for now.

Time to make-a the sauce!

Monday, May 14, 2012

It Was All About the Food

Chicken Tikka Masala - Rasika
Kev and I spent the weekend in Washington DC.  He had a head cold.  I had crazy wavy eye.  But we still managed to have a good time, go to museums, do some shopping, and eat a LOT of good food. 

Ham, Eggs, GRITS with CHEESE, and Biscuits - Kramerbooks and Afterwords
Me, happy with coffee - Kramerbooks and Afterwords
Kev, happy with Ommegang Witte - St. Arnold's Mussel Bar
Mussels Scampi  (and frites)- St. Arnold's Mussel Bar
Setas al ajillo con La Serena - Jaleo
Flamenquines - Jaleo
I didn't even take pictures of the Palak Chaat appetizer at Rasika, or the Belgian waffle with Nutella at St. Arnolds, or the chocolate hazelnut cake at Jaleo.  I was too busy eating it all.  Every one of these things we ate"delicious" doesn't seem like the right word.  After this weekend, I have decided that my next kitchen experiments are going to be purees and mussels.  Not together, of course.

The good news is, you don't have to have perfect vision to enjoy excellent food. Progress is excruciatingly slow with my eye, but I am still hopeful I will be back to normal eventually.  I discovered that I could put a sticker on my glasses to block out the "bad spot."  This helps me read and type and watch TV more comfortably.  But it also makes me look sort of insane.

Above is my original experimental sticker.  I am at the mercy of Daphne's sticker collection, hence the pumpkin.  Last night, I used a smiley face sticker, and then I found an adhesive googley-eye, which I layered on top of it.  Daphne said, " look kinda creepy, Mom."  So, today, I'm back to just a sticker.  I guess looking insane is better than looking creepy, and both are better than Wavy World.  All of you normal seeing people out there - please don't take your vision for granted!  Go outside, look at some stuff, and appreciate it.

OK, more on DC and Mother's Day soon, but I am off to figure out dinner now.  Alas, it will not be Chicken Tikka Masala, or Mussels Scampi, but it will probably be better than cereal, which is what I had last night.  Thanks to my friend Jill who took me to Super Target today so I could get some actual food.  I forgot a couple of key ingredients, though, so I think a walk to Safeway is in order.

I hope you all had a good weekend!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

When the World Went All Wavy (Not for the Squeamish)

 The weekend started off good.  We went to First Friday.  We left Daphne with our teenager neighbor on Saturday and rode our bikes to a local winery.

And on Sunday, we decided to go over to Brunswick, Maryland to check out a coffee shop we heard about for Sunday Jazz Brunch. Beans in the Belfry.  Really cool place.  It's in an old church in the middle of town, and it's like a giant living room full of nice people and good food and good music.  And very kid friendly.  Here is Daphne (and Flat Stanley) up in the choir loft:

But as I was driving to Maryland, the world went all wavy.  The lines on the road started to move.  I had to pull over and let Kev drive.  Earlier in the week, I had noticed some lines on my computer jumping a little, but it was temporary, and I thought it was computer fatigue.  By Sunday night, though, it was obvious that something was really wrong.  I couldn't drive, or read, or look at anything comfortably.  It's kind of like being in a groovy 1960's hippie video, but it doesn't stop.  I noticed that if I covered my left eye, everything looked normal.  But if I covered my right eye, I had a pretty significant blind spot, which was surrounded by these waves that were making everything look distorted.  Not good.

Let's look at something happy for a minute:

New Eggs for Atticus and Veronica

Root Beer Floats on the Porch
OK, so anyway I made an emergency appointment with my eye doctor on Monday, and she sent me to a retina specialist on Tuesday, where there was MUCH unpleasantness.  Here comes the gross part.  Scroll on down to the video now if you are squeamish.

After some initial photos, the doctor verified that there was indeed some swelling on my retina, which is what was suspected at the Monday appointment.  So, in order to diagnose it, they had to shoot me up with some glowing yellow dye and take more pictures to watch the blood flow.  They found that my blood vessels were leaking, which caused the swelling, which caused the blind spot, which caused the world to go all wavy.  And, here comes the worst part of all.  The treatment is INJECTIONS in the EYE.  That's right.  So, what could I do?  I didn't have a choice.  I had to do it.  So, yesterday, I got a shot.  In my eye.  And all things considered, I'd have to say I was pretty brave about it.  The really super worst part is, I have to repeat the procedure monthly for the foreseeable future.And hopefully, eventually, the leaking will stop, the swelling will go down, and I will go back to the regular non-wavy world.  But it's going to take time.  And I will have to adjust to living in a groovy 1960's hippie video for now.  At the moment, I am typing this whilst wearing an eye patch.  AAARRGHH.  Ahoy there, matey!

OK...Listen, shhhhhhh....let's shake off the ickiness of the previous paragraph now with some groovy 60's video comic relief:

So funny.  "It's not too late...NOOOOoooo."
It's like a Mozart symphony.   Heeheehee.  I love it.

Anyway, I am going to try to go about my normal business and hope for the best with this treatment.  I am very thankful that it isn't worse.  And I am thankful to Kev for taking care of me the last two days.  It was sort of worse for him I think.  He is VERY squeamish, but he never left my side.

And then there's Daphne, or as she'd like to be known this morning, "Super-Dog."  Last night, she felt so sorry for me that she offered to cook dinner.  Cereal.  It was so sweet.

OK, if y'all get lucky, maybe I'll post a picture of me with my eye patch.  I think it needs a little bling first, though.  I wonder if there are any fashion eye patch ideas on Pinterest...

Friday, May 04, 2012

Thursday, May 03, 2012


This is the Command Center. My domain. I spend a LOT of time here.

It's in the kitchen by the back door where we come in and out of the house.  We don't have a mud room or a coat closet, so it all goes here...coats, shoes, boots, keys, whatever.  It's really bad in winter when there are also scarves and hats and boots.  It's out of control.


This table below is where I sit to eat breakfast (IF I sit...I usually stand at the counter), drink my coffee, work on Girl Scout stuff, plan the meals, make the grocery lists, check and send email, surf the internet,etc. ( the computer is usually on the table, but last night Kev was using it in the living room).  So, this morning, since the computer wasn't on the table, I actually had a place to PUT my breakfast when I sat down (and I did sit today) to eat.  I liked sitting down to eat.  So my plan is to get the table cleaned off, clean up the coat and shoe area (as much as possible), and put the computer upstairs in the office on my desk, which is logically where the computer should be.  Then I will have a nice place to sit in the mornings.  But this will be an experiment.  I think it will be a good way to decrease my computer time-wasting.  However, I won't be able to listen to Pandora while I cook, which is something I really love.  So, we'll see.  I'll let you know how it goes, and I'll post some "after" pictures when I get things cleaned up.

In the meantime, here is something nice to look at to help you forget about the stressful cluttered images above:

 Aaaaaaah! Our first Peony has bloomed!  Many many more to come.