Category Archives: Blog

Buying eyeglasses online

I recently got an eye exam and the doctor recommended progressives.  I had tried them years ago and hated them – never could hit that middle sweet spot and they drove me crazy.  He said the technology has improved and suggested I give them another try.  I know why – *after* the insurance benefit, one pair of progressives would have cost just over $400.  My quest began.

After much reading, research and asking friends and co-workers, I ended up trying  (Zenni was recommended as well, but I didn’t really care for their frames as much.)  I read the ordering directions carefully and went back to the eye doctor to get my pupillary distance (“PD”) measured.  You can measure that yourself, but if you have a bifocal or progressives Rx, they recommend you have the eye doctor measure it.  And actually it wasn’t the eye DOCTOR who did it, it was the lady who helps you pick out glasses, and she did it at no charge.

I also measured my current glasses every which way to Sunday.  Note: It’s all in millimeters. The drawback to ordering online is you obviously can’t try on the frames.  They have a tool where you can upload a picture of yourself and “virtually” try on glasses, but it is kinda lame. If you have a pretty good idea of what you like, it’s easy to pick out a decent pair.  You can always try on frames at Costco, Sams, etc.  Take good notes, measure, and you should be all set.

I ordered 3 pairs of glasses on August 17th and got them August 30th.  If you want, you can receive emails at each stage of processing.  The last update will have a tracking # for the shipment.  They arrived via regular mail like this, kinda like boxed checks from the bank:


Each pair comes in a plastic case with a cleaning cloth:


And here’s what mine look like:


I should be able to easily adjust and tweak them myself with a pair of needlenose pliers.  Here are some things I learned:

  • I wanted a pair of bifocal sunglasses so I could read the GPS easier.  At, the frames classified as “sunglasses” are single vision only. What I decided to try was regular frames with bifocal lens and then I added an 80% tint.  Works like a champ.  What I would do differently next time is order slightly bigger lenses.
  • I made a mistake on ordering my regular bifocals.  My original pair was made for close-up on the bifocals section, and then “computer distance” for the rest.  I forgot to put the computer distance numbers in for that pair.  I ended up with reading/bifocal and distance/remainder.  However, I did put in a specific instruction to raise the bifocal line and they did that exactly right.

I got all three pairs for $105 total.  The frames aren’t super fabulous quality, but they are lightweight and look nice.  Plus I typically hang my glasses on my shirt and drop them at least once a day (you’d think I’d learn, lol) so if these get dropped, I really don’t care. What’s nice is since these are inexpensive, you can get some extras without breaking the bank.

I would have to say if you do your research and have a pretty good idea of what you like, it’s a good way to go!

Deep thoughts while picking blueberries

I don’t remember if I wrote this already or just *thought* about writing this.  There are many parallels between life and picking berries.  Sometimes the berries, like opportunities, are just right there in front of you. There really *is* such a thing as “low-hanging fruit.” Sometimes the berries are hiding underneath the leaves. Sometimes the berries aren’t worth picking – they’re overripe, bug-infested or too green.  Sometimes it’s not worth the thorns to get the berries.  Sometimes you have to get up, move away and look at the bush from a different perspective.  And sometimes you just need to go inside and cool off.


Been traveling a lot this year. In fact, I’m on my way to Winnipeg right now. There’s something about solitude while being in the middle of a crowd.

Life in the cast

First observation:  I am grateful.  Grateful that the surgery actually might help and fix the problem.  Hopeful that with any luck I can get out of the cast on time (Dec. 6th).  Grateful for friends and family who have helped me so much. Grateful for the temporary handicapped parking placard I picked up before surgery!  Truly thankful for the cast cover that allows me to take a shower.

Second observation:  This just sucks. I’m sorry, there’s just no getting around it.

Third observation:  Everyone should go through this at least once in their life.

The surgery wasn’t bad, the pain meds made me throw up rather violently (in public, no less, which was humiliating), and everything seems to be healing up okay.  Crutches hurt, at first on the ribs and later on the heels of my hands, and the kneeling scooter I’m borrowing has been a lifesaver.  Did an afternoon in a wheelchair at a crowded venue – let’s just say the view was all ass.

Shopping is challenging, no matter if I’m on the scooter or in one of those motorized things the stores provide. With the holidays, there are piles of crap staged about every 4 feet down the middle of the aisle, which makes navigating them pretty hard.

Public bathroom doors are the heaviest. I learned to shove the door open and quickly use the crutch as a doorstop.  Handrails in the stalls are *awesome*.  The hardest thing of all is getting up off the toilet at home using only one leg – no handrails, so it’s all muscle and effort.  My upper body strength is improving so I’ll have to keep doing pushups after I’m back to using two legs, lol.

The mental game is the worst. I cannot STAND to be dependent on other people and absolutely despise having to ask “Can you get me …?  Would you mind handing me …?” and on and on, for stupid shit that I can normally do for myself in about 3 seconds.  HATE IT. Even just going to lunch with my co-workers – if I crutch into the restaurant, I can’t carry anything to the table.  I don’t think anyone minds helping but I am acutely aware that they are helping, over and over and over.  Would I do it for them?  Sure, in a heartbeat, and wouldn’t think twice about it. The bottom line is it’s harder to receive than give.  And then I feel guilty for all of this because, really, it’s not bad, it’s not permanent, and there are a lot more people way worse off than this. I feel like a complete failure at this and thought I would have a little more character.  What a friggin’ mess.

Now I have some first-hand insight into what might help someone on crutches or in a wheelchair.  The first thing is to just listen – see what *they* say would help. Sometimes people want to help so much they just plow right over you.  And for you teenagers, get the hell out of the way and move over!  (I swear to god they are oblivious.) Hold a door open, grab an item from the top shelf at the grocery store for someone.  It is literally about “lending a hand.”


If you have one of these ….


find someone who can loan you one of these (thanks, Sue!):

because it makes attending a seminar with hallways like this much, MUCH easier:

That was just halfway.  Turn left, and you still have to make it to the door:

P.S. I have a whole new appreciation for these:

And a renewed appreciation for family and friends.  And walking.

Trying to embrace fall

I don’t really like fall. It’s all turning brown, things have stopped growing, and it’s getting darker.  However, in an effort to improve my crappy attitude about this season, I present the following photos.  Here is a rather unremarkable bush that’s outside by my greenhouse:

However, when you put it under a macro lens, things change:

My Summer Vacation

We went to the beach for a week – long, long overdue.  Here’s a brief synopsis told in pictures.  (I will, however, omit the picture of C.’s horrendous case of poison ivy gone bad that earned him a trip to the ER the night before we left. Yeah, it was like that.)

First, here is my official t-shirt to kick off vacation.  It was a very heartfelt message, heh.

Here is the view from our condo on the 16th floor:

Here’s where I learned what a circular polarizing filter can really do (cut the glare and make the colors pop):

We saw this game being played on the beach but had no idea what it is.  It looks like they are throwing short sections of lumber.  ?  Update: I Googled “yard game throw sticks” and it returned “kubb.”  I think that’s it.

The beach at the peak of the afternoon:

Went shopping and tried this stuff.  Although it sounds very weird, it’s amazingly good and has a decent kick to it:

So does this:

And this is nothing short of brilliant:

We went for a walk along the main street near where we were staying.  First I saw this in a real estate office window – it’s all foreclosure sales:

Then we went into what appeared to be an old-timey barber shop.  C. was in search of the classic hot towel + straight razor shave treatment, but alas, they do not do that any more. I went back later with my camera and asked the gentleman if I could photograph his shop. He was very nice and said no problem. (His customer was a hoot as well.)  He’s been cutting hair for 62 years.

We went to the Flying Fish Public Market and they had this cool mobile:

They also had these.  !!

Later on, I took a ride on the Skywheel:

That was the smoothest ride ever! What’s cool is each compartment is glass-enclosed and completely air-conditioned, ha ha!  I noticed a reflection during one of the revolutions and got this:

My photography buddy, K., kept bugging me to set up my tripod, at sunset, with a long exposure, maybe do some time lapse, but I just wasn’t feelin’ it.  I did snap this one, though.  P.S.  All of these are SOOC (straight out of camera) except the barber shop – maybe I’ll do a little post-processing later on the rest, but you get the idea.  😉

Well, it’s about time.

This Thanksgiving, I seemed to hit a new low. I was just hating the fact that once again, another holiday would pass where I wouldn’t get to see my own family. (Didn’t matter that logistically it’s challenging, not to mention damn expensive, for my own family to get together, given that my nearest relative is about 1,000 miles away.) The worst moment came when I realized I’m not sure if I can remember what my parents sounded like. After all, they have been gone for 14 years.

I don’t really care for this holiday. I can pretty much take or leave the traditional Thanksgiving food, and it just seemed like a burden to have to endure yet another holiday meal, table loaded down with food I don’t really like, while missing my own nutty family all the while. I just couldn’t take it, and I was teary-eyed a lot. The thought of another holiday hot on our heels wasn’t too thrilling either, since there are no surprises and it’s really rather lame.

Wah, wah, wah. I just felt like a complete failure. Really?! 14 years and still having trouble coping? What the hell. I felt like an ungrateful, whiny bitch and couldn’t seem to pull myself out of it. I’m not sure when the pivotal moment came, but somewhere in all that wallowing around in self-pity, I realized I could either be miserable or be happy.

I choose happy.

I’m still not sure how I’m going to pull it off, but the grey miserable shit seemed to lift. This year, when I put up the tree, it will be for me. I like my collection of little wooden German-style ornaments, and I’ve always liked the mini lights. This year, when I buy all the gifts, I will give them gladly without any expectations. It’s time to stop feeling all put-upon – to just stop.

Peace on earth begins with peace in our souls, so I say let’s go.

PRP update

Went for the PRP injection today – it all went well, was at most uncomfortable, and is now achy but not bad at all. I will have to take it very easy for the next couple of days – oh darn! 😉

Am hoping it gets this hamstring tear to *mend.*

Details: A small amount of blood was taken from my arm and put into the centrifuge to separate the plasma. The doctor then numbed the back of my leg with Lidocaine, and used an ultrasound machine to figure out where to aim the injection. Once the needle was in, he kinda poked around in several places along the tear. The idea is to kick the area into “recovery mode,” then flood it with the platelet-rich plasma for better healing. All in all, it was not very painful – I think at worst it was maybe a 3-4 on a scale from 1-10. Took about 5 minutes total with the needle. Post-injection instructions are to take it VERY easy for the next 2-3 days, then cut my total walking in half for the following 5 days. No yoga for 10 days, and no jogging/running for 3 weeks. Follow-up visit in mid-December.