Whatever happened to hibernation?

Forgive me if I am a bit cranky, but that is what the exotics pets said to me. The elder, smart-arsed cat said I am essentially a turnip.

The time is now eighty-two minutes since I emerged from my bedroom the first time, wearing too little clothes to stay warm.

So far I fed two ungrateful pet skunks – twice.  Sort of fed one cranky, finicky, decrepit old cat. Missed the boat in caring for my beloved, lame Newfoundland dog.

Oh… and I dressed – twice. The lovely new Edenpure heater being set too low during the coldest night of the year was the catalyst for all my problems.

Usually, I release the skunks from their den-carriers then shuffle barefooted around the kitchen with my strappy nightgown hanging off one shoulder. The goal being to feed my sweet little princesses in the timely fashion to which they are accustomed.

Rule number one with exotic pets, very old dogs and grandfather-like cats is to never break routine no matter how cold you are or unglamorous you look.

Today, I let them out and poured granola, shivered unnervingly, and went into the bedroom to dress.

Two skunks followed, complaining and eventually digging my bare feet to hurry me along.

“Mama is sure taking her own sweet time today,” Blossom said as I brushed my hair. Lacey shook her head and went back to bed to wait while Blossom continued to hurry  me along.

"What do these two know of time?" asked the twenty-four year old cat.

Snuggies, the twenty-four year old cat, rolled his eyes. “What do these two know of time?”

I was all dressed, loving my soft pink velour pants, the long-sleeved tees, my brown wool sweater and socks. Slid into my slippers to protect toes from Blossom’s skunk digs and off we galloped to the kitchen for her really late breakfast. Milk on my granola to soften. Plated up their lightly scrambled egg, milk and fresh blueberries. Coaxed Lacey back out to eat.

Pet skunk care tip: Mind you, always make sure skunkies are eating when doing anything where you do not want them to assist. Like feeding the dog, which is another story altogether. Also feeding the cat, doing laundry or going outside. I repeat, hyper-energy, super intelligent exotic pets must be eating.

My pet skunks were eating.  So fed the cat on a plate next to them, took dog food to 130-pound Newfoundland dog on doggie sleeping porch. Intent now is simply to go watch skunkies and cat eat while I eat, pick up plates and intervene as needed. Then take dog outside. Then work. Not bad for twenty minutes out of the bed.

You can feel sorry for me anytime here. I used to be a Pollyanna. Today changed me forever. The reason I am cranky.

Was heading in the door to supervise their breakfast, but my snowplow guy showed up three hours early. Good thing I’m dressed then.

The ice mound PlowGuy made on my flowerbeds.

Wade out door through snow I was going to shovel when doggie went out. Am in my soft slippy slippers.

Give my plow guy the garden parameters for the year. “Don’t pile snow on flower beds, please, flowers need spring sunlight, not ice piles with a Newfoundland dog on the ice piles on the flowers.” As we laugh and shake on it, I slide onto my arse under his truck. Unsmashed, I come in with snow in my slippers, cold socks, wet pants. So much for gratitude. At least the snow is clean. Pants will be dry in a few…. hours?

Dog says he is ready to go out. “Wait for plow guy to finish,” I say, knocking snow from slippers. I strip my pants off one frozen leg and peel embedded snow off the hem.

Do I hear the cat upchucking? Are the skunks in his food already?

Oh man, lots of windows. Snowplow guy can see me. I cover my abundant bikini-clad arse with the not-large-enough blue dog bowl. Wade through skunks to get in the door.

Shuffle through the kitchen with a pant leg dragging. No puke. (No no wait for it.) Pick up cat dish he only licked sauce off. New brand for him but the only can in the store last night… we live in the middle of nowhere… really. Not even the skunks wanted this food.

In the bedroom, I take off my lovely soft pink velour pants. Notice cat’s upchuck streaked across the dragging pant leg.

Eh.

Now you can say it.

Back to the kitchen with an armload of pink and white laundry.  From this angle, I see the cat puke in middle of kitchen floor. The sunlight enhances its aura. Drop laundry to go for cleaning bottle and paper towels before skunks track it too. And notice my first tracks of cat puke leading all the way to the bedroom. And back through it.

Step out of my fresh slippers and into more cat puke. Strip off that sock. I clean it all up and scrub the path only to feel through my other sock that I have stepped in it a third… or is it the fourth time.

You can call me a turnip anytime now. Take the second pair of slippers into bathroom to wash then redress. I’m okay. Life is good. Back to kitchen.

Remember, never break stride, never give them a chance, never ever turn your back.

"We were playing in cat puke. Why does that bother you so much?"

Yes, skunks tipped over the can of pukey paper towels they did not want, digging for anything good in the bottom where there was nothing at all. I could have told them that. As far as the upchuck…. they didn’t want the food, didn’t play with the puke when they had the chance. Now they have tracked the mess in a circle. At least they were busy in one place.

I tucked one shocked skunk upside down under my arm, busy with the other getting her hands and paws washed in the sink. It can be done. Dry her, wash and dry the other. Tuck them in the den-carriers and shut the door.

Where is that cat before he barfs again?

The dog has stopped barking at snowplow guy. I go out to admire plow guy’s handiwork. Help my lame old dog to stand by using a towel for a lift. I smell it. I smell it, I smell it. Poor old guy was barking to go out more than at plow guy’s truck. Poor dog pooped in his bed. Washed his hiney, my hands, took the bedding out to freeze since my laundry will go in first.

Then I find cat upchuck on the bottom of the laundry pile I had dropped onto the kitchen floor. I look at the cat.

Lacey would have been grooming Joseph, had she not been on time out.

Now, honestly, the twenty-four year old cat is most of the time quite confused about where you are when you call or feed him, he is pretty much blind, cannot really hear. Definitely cannot smell or taste. We know that because he would never have eaten the sauce or any canned cat food which he spent a quarter-century refusing, preferring instead premium dry food, steak, shrimp and salmon.

Today he looks at me. Yes, he is sitting on the sleeping porch daybed rolling his eyes at me. “Mom,” he says, “Wasn’t it just yesterday you said, with sarcasm, to your sweet husband something about ‘live and learn’?”

"Like I will remember that," said the ancient smart-aleck cat.

“Next time puke in your litter box.”

“Of course, like I will remember that. Just gag me.”

“Living with my great-great-great-grandfather could not be more enlightening,” I said.

I went back inside and let my skunks out of their den carriers.

They charged to the kitchen like they had never been fed.

“Mama sure took her own sweet time getting us up today,” Blossom complained to Lacey.

I gave each of them a spoonful of my soggy granola.


Skunk Medicine: There’s A Skunk In the House! and other Tail-raising Stories –pet skunk memoirs  —  On Amazon in paperback

A Breath Floats By Paperback —Novel with three pet skunks and two Newfoundland dogs in story Amazon.com paperback, Amazon Kindle version, or as an ESSA Books e book for $8.

Visit Women’s Fiction Blog – more short stories – quite often about skunks, dogs, cats. Plus myths, dense observations and the lies we are told – written by a woman.  Need I say more.

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Frankly, the telephone call at one in the morning should have tipped me off that my day or dentist appointment would hold a glitch.  Yes, one after midnight calling from a restricted number.

If the call to my cell had not been from a restricted number, I might have thought twice about answering.

If the young lady had not sounded so very professional when saying the words ‘to confirm your appointment’ I might not have listened further.

If I did not have an appointment that had not yet been confirmed, the one at eight in the morning for my dental work, I might not have listened.

If the message had not been so well timed with the punch line toward the end of the professional notice, I might not have listened.

If the message was about anything other than an appointment verification for dog poo clearing, I might not have laughed later.  The Dog Poo Company confirming a three in the afternoon schedule to clean up all the dog poo in my yard.

If I had thought it was at all funny in the moment, I might not have dialed in her ear. Next time I will use my megaphone siren.

So I lost sleep, then had to get up and go to the dentist appointment.

Wrong day, right time.

If I had not skipped the Renee Zellweger movie after the holiday dinner the night before in order to get to sleep early enough.

If the appointment did not require rising at four thirty in the morning on the fourth to the shortest day of the year.

If it had not been snowing little icy flakes for three days.

If I had not chosen the wrong door for my drop off and had to cross the icy parking lot to the right building.

If Hubby had not gone on many errands so I had to await his return.

If the staff scheduler, who was willing to work me in the dentist’s schedule, had not said it would take one to three hours to maybe get me in a chair.

If only one person in that waiting room had empathy with my predicament.  You know how it is when a herd of cows are grazing and one falls over dead? Well, maybe you don’t.  The rest of the herd just keeps doing what they were doing even though they lived their entire lives with the now deceased cow. That is how detached a waiting room of patients can act when someone just might get in front of them in schedule, especially if the intruder is there on the wrong day.

If I had not skipped my coffee and breakfast and had to sit there for an hour. 

If I had not arranged my entire day to spend the wrong morning with the dentist.

If hubby were not on three to eleven shift.

If we did not have to do this again the next morning…..

Then perhaps acceptance would be easier to come by.  Right?

My daughter was discussing acceptance with me a few days ago. Just accepting that, for example, the eggs are over hard instead of over easy when over easy and dippy was the way I ordered them. Enjoy and really accept over hard eggs with no runny yolk. Fake it until you make it.

But if one has enough days like this one of being on time for the dentist on the wrong day – and has been served dozens and dozens of over hard eggs in their life, then acceptance is an elusive, difficult choice. Especially when age fifty-three and rising.

Now, my daughter is wise.  But because she is less than half my age she is also still wide-eyed as she teaches me to accept just like I tried to teach her to accept life. I taught her that this too shall pass, that keep it simple silly was the best thing she could do, that when one door closes then another one opens. I taught her that acceptance is a key to all life’s problems.

So now that I am buggered with irritation and racked with should’ve, would’ve, could haves… now she will remind me.  Then one day, when she has had enough over hard eggs with no runny yolk for her toast, and when finally I, on the other hand, have given up entirely in trying to get anything to be my way – especially my eggs – then I will remind her of the ease of a life with complete and total acceptance.

I will remember then the sunshine that does come out of days like this.

If I had not had a morning of being on time for a dentist appointment I did not have then I would not have had a wonderful breakfast with Hubby and his sister, she who rescued me from the dentist office. I would never have had time for five cups of holiday coffee or to enjoy her Christmas tree with all the unique ornaments.

I know I have probably said this far too often, but once again, this blog would not have been so easy to write, if I had been at the dentist on the right day.

Essa Adams is the author of ‘A Breath Floats By‘ a.k.a. penname Thayne Hudson. She writes Women’s Fiction Blog, Pet Skunk Medicine and authors ESSA Natural.

The Fake Ladybug in My Window

Freezing winter short story by the Women’s Fiction blog.

Feel good winter humor, really….A feel-good holiday story. Sort of....

Fake ladybugs are not to be confused with holiday ornaments either.

Did it move just now? The fake ladybug in my office window behind the plastic film? The thing is right in line with my view of the winter snow garden. Really bugging me.

One of those fake ladybugs.  An imported Asian lady beetle, orange-red with nineteen black dots on its back. The kind that pinches hard.  Pees in your mouth vile liquorish poison that makes you wail and spit for ten minutes.

How do they get in your mouth? They drink from water glasses. Crawl into salads, mixing with grape tomatoes quite nicely.

See how they would fit right in?

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My office has wonderful walls of windows, so we purchased an EdenPure Heater, just to keep me warm.  Now our pets sleep in baskets by me where I spin them like rotisserie chickens.

Ask the ladybugs.  Winters are rough in the Great Lakes region. So hubby applied lovely plastic film to the windows to give them one more layer of insulation. Since I refuse to use drapes or blinds because I don’t want to lose my view of the winter garden, the film is a compromise.

The problem with this bug-thing staring in at me is that hubby is very protective of the plastic film. The technique is in the airlock. He spends the winter accusing me of pushing stacks of books, the lamp shade, and my purse into the film but these do leave dents. I cannot deny evidence.

One must understand the dynamics of our relationship, of him bringing me sustenance of coffee, c ocoa and soup while I create my prose in the frozen office. Autumn onward, I would don gloves, many sweaters with hoods, scarves, jackets, then coats and boots, frozen fingers typing numbly.

Stubborn me with my walls of vintage windows on my vintage office-porch I would not change for the world, freezing to death.  Like the bug.

Fake ladybugs are not to be confused with holiday ornaments either.

What a lovely winter garden though. Birds, wildlife, a tiny lacy cedar tree tipped in ice beads dancing beneath the grey skeleton of the high bush cranberry. I love my trees. My blue wind chimes.

Hubby loves me. So he contours the film, trims the edges within a sixteenth of an inch from the two-sided tape so I never know it is there. Then he uses hair dryer heat to coax the film to completely disappear as it spreads tighter and tighter.

Who would mess with the airlock? Not me. I’m not even touching it.

But the poor fake ladybug got caught between the windows and the plastic film.

Day before yesterday, the bug was lively. Being the coldest day of the year, I felt sorry for it, doubting its survival for more than a few more hours.  I know, I am a heartless fake ladybug hater. That evening when I turned out the lights, I do not remember noticing Fake Ladybug. She had probably frozen to death quite painlessly… right?

She? Yes, she. Aren’t all ladybugs feminine in fairytales?

Yesterday was more spring-like. Fake Ladybug was not flying around but she was still there, behind the plastic, mulling how to escape her winter wonderland aquarium. Then she disappeared for several hours. Before I turned off the lights, I checked for Fakie and she was not between the windows, not in cracks as far as I could see.

Fakie? Yes, Fakie. Just as Gracie is a cutesy name for Grace. Fakie. Using ‘ladybug’ in her name is too good for her.

Gracie, still as a nailhead on the iced windowsill.

Today I come in here to work, five essays exploding in my mind. There is Fakie, still as a nailhead on the white windowsill, staring at me through the plastic film. Eh.

I’m trying to work. And she is either dead or dying.

To my defense, these fake ladybugs can live through the winter. They hide in our insulated homes – all of us – between the drywall and outside wall, then come out in droves in the spring.

Summers they spend in alfalfa fields and when that is harvested, they fly into communities like yours to bite  – or pinch – you and your children, stick in your fresh deck stain, pee on your windows, until they settle down and crawl into your house to stink and hibernate – those that are not rolled into the bales to be fed to the poor cows. I wonder if the cows can taste that poisonous vile they spray. Uck.

To my defense, some environmentalist from some agricultural improvement agency decided the United States farmers would be better off with these cold-weather resistant Asian lady beetles instead of old tried-and-true, gentle North American ladybugs who die off in the winter, it seems, and were a bit more sluggish in cold summers ( huh? ) when they were supposed to be eating aphids, I guess, and they say our native ladybugs were not as aggressive on the aphids.

Please. Have you ever seen the close-up images of what North American ladybugs do to a smorgasbord of aphids?

To my defense, once upon a time I always scooped them up to take them outside and make a nice plot of leaves and stones for them to live under far from the house, just like I do for the mice.

To my defense, I used to take my hanging lamps apart to get the fake ladybugs out before they fried their little feet on the bulbs. And when they fry they stink too.

Then one day, hubby got out the shop vac. Who would win? Me, the defender, or him, the warrior?

But too many times the nasty creatures got in my salad.

Sagie, I should have video taped him after he ate the fake ladybug.

Once my pet skunk  tried to eat one and vomited around the house ten times over, me following with paper towels and the vinegar spray bottle while he squeaked and spit and gagged all over the hardwood floors. You laugh, but it could well be your dogs and cats eating them.

Oh!! Then I drank one of those poisonous devil bugs, so drank ipecac as a chaser to get it out of me.

I let hubby shop vac a gallon of them a week from there on out.

I couldn’t watch, couldn’t stand to hear their little screams as they were suctioned at high power into blackness like a tornado before one is in the center. Could not imagine their little faces when they were left in the stillness of the contractor strength garbage bag he dumped them into everyday.

But within a few weeks of hubby shop vacuuming fake Asian ladybugs, we had no more. And spring after spring our droves were lessened until we gave a sigh.

But now I am staring at Gracie…. I mean Fakie. And I think she was in a different position a few minutes ago. She could still be alive in there.

Not to be confused with iced berries.

But where would I keep her? What could I possibly do with her? A pet? Humor me. But fake ladybugs are not pet material.

Reminds me of when my daughter kept a slew of horned tomato worms from my garden for pets. But that is another story. Or is it? She, too, named them. Wouldn’t let me toss them in the coffee can of turpentine. Yes, that is what old-time gardeners did with tomato worms, we didn’t want to squish them… it was too gross. Couldn’t let them loose in the woods… they would fly back as a moth and recycle. Tough I should have because they reincarnate as good moths that pollinate vegetable plants.  But what is more vicious to tomato plants than horned worms, I ask?  as I transgress…..

So how do I explain the hole in the plastic film to hubby? Took him hours to contour the film to the window so I would forget it was there.

I can’t stand it. I can tape the hole with clear duct tape. If you don’t know it yet, clear duct tape and plastic wireties really are a woman’s best friend. If you take nothing from this blog, that is what I bestow on you and your life from here on out. May you be blessed with an abundance of clear duct tape and your plastic wireties be all sizes and colours.

Fakie is so still.

I just took out the tiny knife I use for graphics. Sliced a tiny opening, like surgery on Grey’s Anatomy. Put the end of the knife through the narrow hole to pull Fakie out.

And she took off running the other way.

I sliced the hole larger to stop her, but she has quite a bit of life left even if she gave up flying.

I wanted to slice the entire bottom edge of the film along the sill to stop her. I wanted to. But that would be a lot of explaining to do.

I know you wanted me to save her. But get a grip, will you. This is not Tinker Bell. We’re talking Fakie, the fake Asian lady beetle that pees in your mouth when you try to eat her, bites you when you mow the lawn, stinks up the insulation between your walls. Has no natural predators in North America. Apparently not even the freezing winters of the Great Lakes.

So just get a grip.

Gracie freezing in the shade.

There she is. Hiding around the corner of the window, a little alcove only Fakie can fit into. I feel bad now. At least before I bothered her, Fakie was sunning herself on the windowsill. Now she is plastered to a piece of metal in the shade.

Okay, I need advice here. What would you do? And don’t tell me to spray bug poison through the hole to put her out of her misery. Really, what would you do?

Hours later… Fakie is on the move…. waddles past the slice in the film, to the other side of my window. I try to pull the plastic loose on the other side of the window but hubby has it down to a science, there is no place for leverage without cutting in.

Wait, Fakie comes back by the hole. Thinking fast, I stick the curved end of my bifocals through and scoop her out the hole. She falls on her back on my open journal. Did I mention they spray that noxious poison too and stink up your stuff and hands and when you are trying to get them out of your hair, they spray so you need to shampoo three times? I forgot they do this. My journal, windowsill and bifocals now need washed.

Fakie is playing dead. I forgot they do this too. With no natural predators, one would think that they would not need to play dead here in North America. Do you suppose it will take a few more generations, or could they be thousands of years here before they lose the natural instinct to play dead? I do know they will become even more cold resistant. Good to know for managing winter happy aphids in the winter garden here in the Great Lakes region.

What to do with her? I never did decide. No, I’m not keeping her in a jar until Spring. Get a grip.

I let her fall onto a soft tissue, then tuck her into an old envelope from my office trash basket, fold the envelope securely so she will not get out. Put her into the trash right on top so I can think about what to do with her. Don’t worry, I won’t leave her there. She wanted to hibernate in peace and warmth anyway. While I think where she will hibernate, I will write my next essay.

Obnoxious little fake ladybug.

Read Gracie’s Freezing Little Sister next. Oh yes, and hubby’s response to the airlock issue.

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Essa Adams is the author of a spiritual fiction romance novel.   A Breath Floats By: An Illusion for the Soul. Penname Thayne Hudson.  “What would you do if you realized you married your best friend’s soulmate?”   Yes, attitude and all, she is a writer of spirituality, really. Excerpts and Chapter One are at ESSA Books.

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She also writes essays on her pet skunks and other fur children, both in blogs and her book, Skunk Medicine: There’s A Skunk In the House! and Other Tail-raising Stories. Pet skunks and Newfoundland dog excerpts are at ESSA Books.

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This blog is entitled ” Women’s Fiction ” because it is about life as a woman. ‘Write what you know.’  ‘Make sure you have suffered enough first.’ Myths, dense observations and the lies we have been told.

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© Copyright December 2008.

Contact author for details on permission to reprint.

ESSA Books

Turquoise Autumn

November 9, 2009

autumnThe startling turquoise of the sky behind russet and golden leaves made me think of my mother the moment I opened my eyes this morning.

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Mom has been gone for over a decade but the colours of autumn always bring the best of memories.  These colours were of the favorite dress I ever had.  She sewed the dresses like crazy to be done for holiday, one for her, one for me, one for my sister.  The material was crisp, medium plaid with azure and turquoise running with rust, bark, golds, maple, wheat colours.  I think she thought that plaid the loveliest material ever too.

Autumn means to me, Mom at her finest.  She was a vivacious, wild card, yet Martha Stewart-type.  A wild card, period.  Ask the family.  But she was down-to-earth.  The farmer heritage ran through-and-through.

She never stopped harvesting.  Rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, apples, grapes.  The vegetable garden, her gardens.  I think an acre with everything consolidated.thruautumn

The best ever, I think, was Mom stealing walnuts from the farmer.  Well, the tree did stand by the road.  The walnuts did fall in the middle of the road.  They did stay there for days on end after they fell.

But every year we stole them.  She rushed in with the back of the car right by those walnuts.  Hurry Hurry.  Out we would jump, us two girls, sometimes our cousins or a friend.  We would throw the walnuts into a box in the trunk and she sped us away.  Us innocent children fearing arrest.

Did I say she was a wild card?  She was a light.  In those moments, she was a light.

Every year we dumped walnuts from the farmer’s tree on our driveway.  She would drive over and over them, crushing off the shells.  Then she wore gloves as she cracked them with a hammer and brick, and we dug the walnut meats out with darning needles.  Glass jars of walnuts were on our shelf all winter.

You know what that meant.  The first batch was chocolate walnut fudge and buttered popcorn.  The beginning of the holiday spree.   Like I said, a wild Martha Stewart, never-ending of baking and decorating.  Those were Mom’s good days.

Rake and pumpkins laying on wine barrelTurquoise autumn sky.  Dad hauling huge pumpkins to the front yard that she had milk-fed.  Time to deal with the chickens before winter.  Pruning grapes, digging bulbs.  She could wear long sleeves again, she hated short sleeves anyway.  The last chance to get out and see some friends before winter snows kept her in the county.

But mostly, it was all about that dress.

Essa Adams

Essayist, writer, novelist.

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A Breath Floats By: An Illusion for the Soul

Mature women in women's fiction.

I HAD SWINE FLU BEFORE THEY CALLED IT

I take this very seriously though I am a tongue-in-cheek communicator.

In early February 2009, I got sick.  We are talking really really not well.

swine-flu-freezing-fever-swollen-glandsIt started as tired.  I remember thinking, ‘Why am I so tired every morning?’  I could not think of getting up before ten or eleven even though hubby was home on vacation.  Then my body started to fill with fluid and I wondered if I had congestive heart failure.

Then the Swine Flu permeated my body so I could no longer stay in denial.  I did not know it was H1N1 until long after recovery.  Which was a long way off.  I am pretty convinced it came to me through a Chicago connection who works with hundreds of people each day.  Now that we hear what people experience with the H1N1 virus, I am certain I encountered this way back then.  It was unlike any other flu and I am fifty-two.

FLU PERSONALITIES

Each flu virus is different.  Then, in each person it takes a new approach.  The same but different.  Fever, chills, aches, nausea, loss of appetite.

Yes, intestinal aggravations and vomiting can be a complication of the flu.  But the intestinal symptoms on their own are not really flu because the way I see it….  flu is about a raging infection of the very glands whose job it is to grab the infection and fight it…. with copious discharge of the glands, ultimate bronchial congestion, endless cough to dislodge infectious phlegm from body, consequent breathing difficulty, and even fluid in the lungs.

That is why intestinal complications are referred to as ‘intestinal flu’.  And these are serious as they can cause dehydration and that is most serious of all.  Dehydration is when the body dries up and the infection rages higher.

MY FLU PERSONALITY

My Swine Flu was all about the throat.  Like strep only without the crown-to-the-floor-nailing headache I always used to get with strep before I kicked it for good using my own special home remedy. Perhaps I did not feel the other symptoms at first, except the tired part, because of my natural remedies, I don’t know, can’t call it.  For me, it was the throat.

With this flu, February 2009, my throat was on fire, I could not begin to want to drink water but I forced myself.

THEN THE PHLEGM AND COUGH

Then came the phlegm drainage of the swollen glands in my neck which brought the constant cough.  I wanted to not cough but the cough was never-ending, day and night.  And coughing is to protect us from taking the phlegm into our bodies even deeper, coughing purpose is to get it out.  So I tried to never take anything to stop the cough.  In short, I worked with it.  Drank as much as water as possible to keep the bronchial loose and phlegm thin so I could cough it out.

Not pretty, but the phlegm and undulating infection is what the plague was all about.   If they got through that, the pneumonia was next.

AFTER FLU WATCH FOR PNEUMONIA – THE KILLER KIND

Me, I could not breathe at one point, but we are not there yet. I was at the point of pneumonia when I called the doctor though.

I went to a stupid doctor who could get me in before the weekend.  What is it with me and doctors anyway?  He told me I had a cold.  If I had strep, he did not test.  Just gave me antibiotics which I did not take.  Could he not see I was grey as cement, no air, no oxygen, no nothing left to give to this flu fight.

Recovery

I left the stupid doctor’s office and went to the natural health store.  Should have gone there first, I realize.   Got more blackberry syrup as an effective phlegm expectorant.  Some cranberry concentrate for the bronchial and breathing, and that helped some but I was in rought shape by then.  Got some teas for nutrition.  Some homeopathics to continue to follow my other symptoms.  Home to try to live.  But I really was having a hard time breathing.

That night during a snowstorm while hubby was at work on midnight shift – yes, he should not have gone that night, we know – I could not breathe well.  I realized the suck-the-life-out-of-me energy going into the cough was taking my air, it was closing in, I was getting less and less air every time, coughing more sporadically.  Asthma like.

I was ready to call an ambulance.  Found a bottle of homeopathic remedy for asthma in my ‘cold and asthma’ tupperware box, thank goodness for organization.  Took four pellets and the cough stopped in twenty seconds.  Done, gone.  Breathing normal.

My throat still hurt like hell.  But I could breathe.  Because now is was all about the oxygen.

I had to use the asthma homeopathic remedy a few more times.  This was a combination I had purchased four years before on a whim, even though I do not clinically have asthma.

RECOVERY – OR NOT

Then it was all about the recovery.  I was wrung out like an old washrag.

Sage 6 mo

Could not walk across the house without gasping.  Dishes wore me out, I was exhausted.  I continued to sleep lengthy hours, forced myself to shower, it was so hard.  That’s what walking pneumonia can do.  I didn’t even have that.

Sage two days after rescue  snooorrreeeee  (6 mo)

The men from hubby’s work got this too, said they could not walk half a block without sitting down, it was the most debilitating they ever experienced.  It was the most extreme I ever experienced too.

.

Hubby, not so much.  He got it and with the homeopathics he used he was able to not feel so much, stay strong and think he was infallible.  When he went in to work with it the guys tried to kill him.

SELF SHIELD – SELF PRESERVE – SELF RESPONSIBILITY

There are many ways to protect yourself from flu, any flu.  I wish I had started earlier, not been wondering so long what was wrong.

1) Colloidal silver – look up Natural Health Solutions Nanosilver and others.  Colloidal silver smothers the bad bacteria, leaving the good bacteria to fight for you.

2) Homeopathic choices are another way, they make the symptoms more subtle while the virus passes through the system… they do not make you well, just stronger.  Get a good homeopath ahead of time.  Homeopathic choices can be given prior to being exposed too, and at first onset if that is what is called for.  Every person is a different candidate for a different choice, homeopaths understand.

3) Keep hydrated.

4)  Do not dry up your cough either.

5) Keep a good asthmatic combination on hand for emergency.  These are available at health stores and online shops.

FLU SHOT

Nope, I did not say do not get a flu shot.  I absolutely will not say that.  Though I will say I would rather go through what I did than risk a flu shot or the new vaccine that is untested.  I did not say do not go to a medical practitioner.  Though I would say I wish my very own practitioner had been around that week.  I will never say what you can take, as I am not a medical practitioner.  I will say this – plan ahead.

Yes, I am just saying….

Be prepared.

Have a plan prior.

Self shield.

Godspeed.

Stay strong.

WOMEN’S FICTION OR MYTH — We must never use dog poop to take out our frustrations on anyone.

A LADY-LIKE ESSAY

ladylike-essay-on-dog-poopFirst, what to do with the neighbor’s dog poop?

  1. Recycle coffee cans for neighborly gifts.   Fill them with dog poop destined for the dump where it acts as compost heat. Of course, when the sun beats down on a coffee can with a plastic lid, the ripeness is overwhelming and you might want to think twice about that lid ever coming off while in your yard.  Deliver it to proper owner.
  2. Keep composted cans for our hydrangeas, mix with coffee grinds and cottonseed meal.  Wear an oxygen mask.  Cover fertilizer with decorative gravel or woodchips.
  3. Wing dog pile at side of neighbor’s garage. When it sticks you know they might get the idea.

An explanation may be in order. I will try to advocate this fine idea without giving away my brother’s identity.

  • When the dog poop does not belong to your dog – that means we can all recognize what comes out of our dog and we find a dog pile in our yard that is not like the other.  This usually happens in a pattern. Neighbor’s dog visits, does business, goes home. Neighbor does not wonder why his dog is constipated. They know full well dog is fine, they can see piles over the fence rotting in your backyard.
  • But that’s okay, the neighbors know it will all come back to them. That is because when you go out and scoop your own dog piles you throw their dog piles back over the fence. You used to gingerly drop them over the side into a polite little mountain. But then you just started winging the pile to randomly fall where they may, after all that is the way you find them. One day you have had enough shit and give it a whirl off the shovel. Splat. On the side of the garage it sticks. Oops.
  • What would you do? Scrape it off with a long stick? Use your power washer? Leave it? My brother smeared it with the stick, not intentionally, he did feel badly. Then he left it there all summer, seems the neighbors never came to that side of the garage to notice, never missed that pile at all. Finally, I want to belive with all my heart, that my sister-in-law, dear long-suffering woman, wearied of looking at it every evening when she retired to an iced tea on the patio.  Perhaps she hosed it off.  Perhaps bro did.

Garth and SusannaWhat to do with your own dog’s poop?

  1. Pick up before the lawn crew arrives. We only have the giant-sized to worry about.  Nice tidy poop from eating highly digestible dog food.  We always tred to get every bit, especially before the lawn crew comes to mow.  Still, there was once a pile missed and the youngest guy mowed it.  He’s mowing with a potentially deadly machine, for crying out loud.  How can he miss a rock?  Would he mow a rock?  A Newfie dogpile is not boulder-size, but definitely noticeable.  The lawn crew owner complained because his tractor and trailer and inside his truck was tracked up with dog poop.  Don’t look at me.  I wouldn’t have done it.  If the kid had mowed a rock, he would have worse problems than smeary dog poop.   Now we mow our own lawn.
  2. Install a second septic system just for the dogs. This is for townspeople with Newfoundland-sized dogs.
  3. Little plastic baggies, turn wrong side out, pick up stuff, turn right side out and zip closed. This is for city dwellers who walk dogs in the street while wearing their career threads.  Biodegradeable plastic is environmentally-correct.
  4. Country dwellers. Some fill wheelbarrows and actually use their dog poop on the compost piles that feed the fruit trees. I wouldn’t want it on my vegetable garden, but this is ponderable use of fine energy, at the very least.  Very eco-friendly.   farm
  5. Country dwellers. Throw it onto the farmer’s field at the roadside without the plastic holding bag.  Extremely eco-friendly.  But the farmer might have an opinion.
  6. Wait until it freezes then rake it into piles and pick up.  Beginning of September is when it starts at our house.  Hubby tried it a few times.   Oh yes.  The one in charge of these piles is usually identifiable as a husband or teenage son-in-training to be a husband.  Picker-upper must have unfailing hope anda positive attitude.  a)  Must hope for no rain.  stars mom and daughterb)  Must hope for no leaves on the piles of poop so the unaware woman of the house will not skate through the poop.  c)  Must hope for no leaves on the piles so the woman’s young children will not dive into the leaves and dog poop.  No, we would not want that.  d)  Finally, the person in charge of the piles who decided to let them freeze before scooping must hope for a very short autumn to pull this off.    This only works once a decade really.  Once the visualization of the wife skating free-form through a pile of wet leaves over a few piles of dog poop, well there is no getting that out of your mind.   So the person in charge keeps seeing it happen and there is no hope of it never happening again.  Even in this rare form, it is still the power of attraction.  The Law of Victimization.  The Power of Humour.  Or whatever you want to call it, it’s still your ass.

Essa Adams is a publisher and writer, her latest novel … with two Newfoundland dogs and a second septic for the house …  is published under the penname Thayne Hudson.   A Breath Floats By is available from Amazon, with more information at ESSA Books.   She is author of pet memoirs,  Skunk Medicine: There’s a Skunk in the House! and Other Tail-Raising Stories.  She publishes the Women’s Fiction Blog and Pet Skunk Medicine blog where one will find excerpts, short pet stories, a bright array of essays and rants.

The toll booth –

What was it our parents always said about having quarters for phone calls? Well, you know where this going. 

Right up there with the problems in the United States economy is the unmanned tollbooth. I do not like them, they too are eating away at our economy, just like computerized checkouts. I will not use an unmanned anything. Give me a person with a job.

Let’s talk how insane this is on the personal level, really.

My story — Driving from Wisconsin along the west side of Chicago, alongside suburbia-something is all I know. An icy evening, dark at four o’clock…… 

Speed passage lanes – confusing as they are – pull me off the speedway and get me lost. Keep me from paying my tolls.  Bad enough there was construction and narrow winding lanes along cement walls for forty miles. By the fourth toll booth, I had it figured out, just keep driving, pay later. I wanted to go home.

But I knew that because I missed tollbooth number one so I stopped at the second tollbooth, paid for that toll and said, “I missed a toll back there.” He wouldn’t take my extra fare. Simple enough arrangement, but no, I was given a pink slip with instructions to pay online. I played dumb. “What does pay online mean? Put my credit card out there online?” His eyes rolled. No way, he wasn’t taking the money.

I have to pay online. So I try but the form wants to know what tollbooth. I don’t know. There were three, no less. Maybe five. It was a long happy retreat, I was tired and snowed upon and cold. Hungry, homesick, and confused. The night was dark. So I do not know nor can I figure out using the map just where I missed those tolls.

Besides, the state in question wants my license plate number and driver’s license number and social security and credit card information. I’m afraid to go back to Illinois. Hell, I’m afraid to drive around Indiana, it’s too close to Chicago. And I’m afraid to drive in my home state of Michigan because they know how to find me here. I have become a recluse because I missed three or five tolls for what?? Fifty cents each in Illinois. But you know what I am more afraid to do, that’s send my social security and credit card and address and date of birth and driver’s license number and license plate number over the internet to pay Illinois a couple bucks in tolls.

Gets worse! I get off at a toll booth in Indiana to visit my brother.

pines-blog

The scenery on the tollbooth exit tonight. Not so romantic.

I have always loved the toll booth scenery there because it is like landing from the speedway into the silent pine forest. I remember just a few months ago telling the man that he had a lovely quiet job there in the middle of nowhere.

I remember thinking how he could sit and read or sing all day, play his guitar between semis and cars stopping to pay.

And I remember thinking how desolate he was there in the pine forest right off the edge of insanity with civilization howling past. Thinking how I wouldn’t want his job for anything.

Anyway…… I get off the speedway to go to my brother’s home, a not-so-late black-out evening, a halfway point over-nighter on my way home.

The toll booth was closed. Except I still have to pay. The nice man is gone? I think this is not cool. Was he on vacation, laid off?

A computer was doing his job. Gate is down and this time I must pay.

I am expected to pay seventy-five cents into a jackpot slot. I was going to give the nice man a dollar bill. The single dollar bills were in my wallet, the ones I had been attempting to use to pay the Illinois tolls.

But the computer only accepted nickels, dimes, quarters, or credit cards.

My purse is in the back.

My credit card is not a credit card, it is a debit card anyway. And would the computer confiscate it because I had no other money to pay?

Really, I had no other money to pay. Just my dollar bills, a fifty or two, no coins of silver. I dig through my wallet and find a nickel and a dime with many pennies, then drag my purse to the front and dig out two more silver coins.  Still need fifty-five cents. But I’m getting somewhere.

You know what though?  I’m scared. I am really scared. And ticked off. This dilemma was a perfect enraging spice of energy for an otherwise perfect day.

I am somewhere between a college campus with no people and a prison five miles away.  Where would an escapee head to get the heck out of Dodge but the nearest tollbooth where someone has to stop thus can be carjacked or even killed for the car. That is not a question.

Then there are the speedway people who pull up behind me, like the one who did. It’s him and me. Him waiting, me trying to get my money in the slot and go. Me with my window down watching all sides of my vehicle. Please don’t get out and try to help me, mister, I will definitely crack the gate off with my Denali, don’t think I can’t. But he waited. A nice man I am sure, but I was scared.

I dig through the pockets of my coat and find a quarter. I dig through the dark recesses of the cup holders filled with pennies and finally find silver, one looks Canadian.

In the end the little computer booth doesn’t want the last two coins, it must have taken me too long and my time expired. I was bashing the front of the machine with my hand to get the coins to make a difference in its silver-consumed little computer brain. Several bashes and it worked. The gate went up. I went on.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels sold the Indiana Tollway to a consortium, the firms Cintra of Spain and Macquarie of Australia, which gave Indiana $3.8 billion. Funds the state uses for roads.  Funds that impress the state voters to reelect him for his audacious ability to keep the state in the black.  He is getting a copy of this experience. Online, in print and through every congressperson and council person he has working with him.

One speed pass lane on a speedway is enough, we are supposed to conserve fuel, driving faster is not cutting it. Autos do not need to thrust through at six and ten lanes wide.

A tollbooth needs a toll person.  A security guard would be a nice touch. Two or more jobs right there, depending on location and time of night.

People need the jobs. Travelers need the people.

If you read Gracie – the Fake Christmas Ladybug last December, you may wonder what happened to her now that she would becoming out of hibernation.  Well, Gracie, it seems, dehydrated while in the tissue-lined envelope in my desk drawer.  I don’t know what those fake lady bugs drink whey are stuck in the wall sleeping all winter, but they must depend on some sustenance.

I don’t mean to sound callous, though I know I do.  But I tried to save her.  I nearly ruined my marriage saving her.  The duct tape is still there to remind me.  And yes, the plastic film is still on all these windows.  Here where we live the plastic is needed to break the freezing wind gusts from the lake until the end of April.  We do uncover some key windows for listening to spring bids in the garden and letting a breeze through the house on warmer days.

And yes, there are many of Gracie’s little sisters trapped in the plastic, some died already.  I feel terrible, really I do.  But if there were any real lady bugs in there – the kind with only five or less spots, I would get them out and take them to a brush pile in the garden, really I would.

Gracie’s story link is on the right menu if you are inclined to know the whole terrible scene.

Omg – I love when the muse is rockin’ when i wake up in the morning and i have to kick it all out before i get to do anything at all. Especially after only three hours sleep. Loosens me up.

This is an original post for my women’s fiction short stories and essays blog – a blog that includes the lies we are told as women in the American culture, for the most part. But I have readers worldwide, so you tell me, do you get the same cruppie as we?toadstool1

You know the cruppie lies and misconceptions where we feel like we are gorgeous peaches then find out we are considered toadstools, poisonous mushrooms, somehow defective.

Did you hear the one about the peaches and oranges? I love Paulo Coelho’s mind and heart. He has many parables on his Amazon blog. See his book page for The Alchemist, scroll down to the blog.

Anyway, he told the one about the lovely fruit.

raspberries-ripe-fruitAn old man sold fruit on the side of the road, beautiful expensive fruit that he praised. He made a fine living enjoying selling peaches and oranges to travelers.

His educated son came from the city and said, father, don’t you realize times are tough and people cannot buy this expensive fruit now. The man was not able to read, so no, he had not known the economy was down. I guess no one was complaining.

He bought cheaper fruit, reduced his prices and promotional efforts, didn’t feel he could praise the new fruit. Times got tough for him too.

Ladies, I’ve got to bring it on home.

Did you hear the one about the plush girl who just reached puberty?  A budding young woman with clouds of curls, clear blue eyes, and sun-kissed cameo skin, treasuring a figure she moved gracefully.

She was fourteen years old and lived in the country. Her parents, grandparents, great-grandparents were all plush, soft people who worked hard on their hobby farm with organic gardens. plush girl farmShe sold fruit and vegetables to their community. They treasured their free time, went biking, canoeing, and played backgammon instead of owning a television. Seldom went to the city, then only museums or to visit plush city cousins. A saving grace… an American woodworking journal was their main magazine.

The plush girl’s cousin was one year younger. She visited every summer. This visit the cousin brought a one year subscription of an American teenager magazine. Three magazines from her friend’s older sister’s pile. And a magazine from the friend’s mother’s women issues collection.

They spent two weeks reading at bedtime – weight, body image, self acceptance, diet, food choices, health. Stop eating that junk or you will die of high cholesterol and diabetes, you must eat this and be thin to be safe from fat diseases. Fear-factors in health and mental disorders if one did not have self acceptance. Frizzy hair? Tame those curls. Are your legs too knobby or too fat – if so here is how to dress. Do you think your nose is too big, it’s never too big, love yourself. Do you worry you are different from other teens – just love yourself and embrace their differences too and if you are fat take the obesity challenge together and you will all be so much happier. Will he like you even when you look like that – if not here is how to convince him. If he does not like you don’t waste the cute just be the best you can and be yourself and be sure to be thin and move on. The ultimate question. The pretty, slender girl’s photograph over the hornet-target, confidence-zinger, self-doubt-builder caption, “Do you think you are fat?”

toadstool1And the plush girl wilted.

We know the ropes.

But I cannot in fair conscience leave the plush girl wilted.

After all, we have naïve young women in their teens reading this blog about the lies we are told. We must tell them the truth. Help me out with other scenarios. Your comments are safe, I moderate all comments on my blogs so the haters and fearful ones cannot sting you.

Scenario #1 Plush girl turned skinny/plush/skinny/extraplush/ almost skinny/extraextraplush as a woman. Struggled, fought, kicked, cried and screamed her self-hatred all the way up to three hundred pounds in every effort to chisel svelte from her plush body. Then she got mad. Quit dieting. Embraced her normal food desires, normal exercise of canoeing and biking, gardening and walking. She ended up at an extra-plush two hundred twenty-five pound. The extra fifty pounds she carried now are because she dieted, so it is pretty much a given that her metabolism is screwed for a few more years at least. Oh, and she gave birth to three lovely children so that usually changes everything, except for some women with those-kind-of-genes who remain svelte after birthing their third child twenty-two years ago.

Scenario #2 Someone told her that she was lovelier to them than any of the slender girls in the magazines. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. She bought it and lived happily ever after.

Scenario #3 Plush lush girl had the stamina of an ox and verve of a warrior goddess. She woke up the next morning with resolve that she would not allow these freaking insane publishers and writers change her life. She looked in the mirror and could see her nose was a little big, it matched her plush face just fine. Her knees were a little cushiony but they held up her lush body and made for sturdy walking and ladder climbing. bbw-bicyclingShe could dance the rump off a cow, canoe a wild river, bike up a mountain. Her frizzy hair, when spirited with H2O, regrouped into the halo of curls framing her round shoulders to give her the beauty and balance every portrait artist dreams they will paint.plush-girl-peachHer bosom was ripe like the fruit in the orchard… she read that somewhere in one of her plush great-grandfather’s poetry books.

Plush lush girl exhaled. Then she smiled at the truth in the mirror.

MIRRORS

From Paulo Coelho’s Blog: “Mirrors are the attribute of vanity, and represent the narcissistic solitude of the vain. On the other hand, they can also represent the knowledge of oneself, the truth of oneself.”

“Paulo Coelho is a firm believer of Internet as a new media and is the first Best-selling author to actively support online free distribution. See http://piratecoelho.wordpress.com .”

Essa Adams at Women’s Fiction Blog https://essaadams.wordpress.com supports the use of copy from this blog, just link it back to the blog. I am not a bestseller yet, need all the friends and link support you will give. Appreciated! Peace to you and yours.

bbw girl books300 Free Novels — Show me the connection and I will send you a free ebook, A Breath Floats By. Author Thayne Hudson. I am giving way 300 each month in 2009 to anyone who connects this blog to a promotional source like their Facebook, twitter, del.icio.us, myspace, RSS my Amazon.com blog to somewhere out there, and more. Go for it. Then show me where by using a comment. I moderate comments and remove the link so you stay anonymous. Want a free ebook? Link away.

Hate my innovative eyeglasses….

“You kidding me – only THREE words?”

That’s the title and six words story for speed readers and busy writers. Let your imagination carry you away. See 2008 reviews on 5 women’s fiction novels.

Expounding…..eye strain and reading glasses.

UPDATED – The eyeglasses were returned and remade, not once but three times.  The final return now awaits a refund.  But my eyes stopped hurting and turning red.  Even a second prescription reading did not show that I needed any changes though.

But — this is all about the progressive eyeglasses.

Customer opinionated rant ahead.

Ever noticed a person reading and their head is loose? They wobble on their chair like reacting to quick-shooting sensations?

I thought it was a muscular disease. I have been there and back.  I empathized. But perhaps I am at the bottom of it. Stay with me now.progressive multifocal lenses vision

Three weeks ago I ordered new bifocals. They told me about a new-fangled reading glasses combo. Progressive mutli-focals. These have a bifocal definition on the bottom of the lens for the arm-length distance computer screen or store shelf. The half-lens above is for driving, watching birds, seeing individual snowflakes in the garden.

I loved both those focals, loved them.

Then it was time to read.

This is where the reading corridor is used, the tiny hourglass shape in the center of the entire lens.

large print books reading eyestrainI am an author. I read all day. Books. Computer screen a foot from my face with bifocals on to see clearly. Much eyestrain. A real neck cramp, but I do it. That is why I was excited about the new-fangled reading hourglass in the center of my new multifocal glasses. Just in time for the twenty book reading spree research before my next novel on Lindsay, Gooee, and Heather Laurel’s story behind Jesus and the Essenes. omgoodness! I was so happy.

Open book to read. There is no focus. All blurred.

What did they tell me? You gotta point your nose at what you want to see.

Hmmm…..

Fifteen minutes of pointing my nose like a Brittany spaniel and I figure it out.

I am able to see three words in large text. Five words in small text. All I can read at a time in new-fangled lenses. The rest is distorted, not just blurred. Distorted. Page is like a wave of paper if I don’t move my head. I say to me, these are good for reading with Amazon Kindle books or my ebooks for Blackberry. Not book books.amazon-kindle-books-spirituality

I call optometrist’s office. They again mention this might take a few weeks to adjust. I don’t have a few weeks. I am cramming. Well, come back tomorrow and maybe the lenses can be tilted.

I try all day to do it right anyway. Had been so excited, you know. Headaches, neck ache, nausea would fade with new glasses. Now I am tense. Neck pain. Now I walk like Johnny Dep on Pirates of the Caribbean. Feel drunk too. And carsick.

Tomorrow comes. Office manager explains that she is on her fifth pair of new-fangled before finding an improved, less distorted patent that works for her. She put me in THE ONE that works for her to spare me.

Me: I am not spared. Show me again what it is like to read in these things.

And she reads down the page of a book, head shaking all the way.

hate-my-new-eyeglassesMe: So you are not kidding. I will only be able to read three words on one line at a time with these. I cannot rotate my eyes alone to read the line above or line below. I have to move my head up and down. And I have to move my head left and right to see the left of the line and the right. Reading a wide-page will be rocking fun. Whee, large print novels, fun!

She: Yes, that’s the way they are. Like we told you, they take getting used to. You have to point your nose at what you want to read.

Me: Point your nose at it! What that means to me is point your nose at the BOOK! Point your nose at the cereal box. Point your nose at the up-close computer monitor. Not the three words you want to read.

She: Point your nose at the words.

Me: I just want to be certain we aren’t missing something here. I will never be able to read more than three to five words on one line again without shaking my head side-to-side as I propel my head up and down over the page for as long as I shall live? Right?

She: Ninety-eight percent of our patients order the progressive lenses. They adjust and like them.

Me: That’s bull. No one likes this.

She: There are several manufacturers. These have been around twenty-five years. They are much improved.

Me: I cannot imagine. Some things are better off left unimproved and this was obviously one.

I further assured the office they needed to be more specific with their patients about what their noses needed to point at. Three words means three words. That no one wanted to live like this and I would not. That the 30-day return policy with no refund on the new-fangled lenses was not acceptable. That I wanted bifocals, so re-measure me anyway. Right, you read it right. My insurance company paid $145, I paid $105 for the new-fangled progressive-type multi-focals at a discount. But I sent them back for regular bifocals and will not be refunded. They are doing me a favor for giving me the thirty-day option to adjust and return. Their deception on an inadequate product, I pay. They? The techs, office manager, optometrist, lens manufacturers, and patent holders get paid. Do you want to guess where these patents were developed? I’m not saying it.

I am reading with bifocalsNow I ask you, the readers, oh, and the writers of books — we who have our head in words all the live long day. What do you suppose we will look like when we are ten or twenty years into this new-fangled phase of living in our new-fangled reading lenses? Our heads shaking loose on our necks whether we are reading or not. Our entire bodies with this swivel-bob motion. Going…. Uummmmm…… where is that word again? What line was I on? Like… like… well like wobbly elderly people who sometimes lose their stability and have earned that wobble. Only we will be thirty and fifty years old and wonder why.

Now the newer version – the multizone bifocal – is supposed to be superior, studies say.

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