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My Human Eyes

I have had the darnedest changes with regard to my eyes. I have, generally speaking, pretty good eyesight. I didn’t wear any glasses until I was almost 30. Then it was a really light – and the same in both eyes – prescription for near nearsightedness.

For about ten years or so, the prescription changed just a few degrees every year. Just when I was thinking that my eyes were bad enough to be worried about making sure I had a ‘backup’ pair of glasses and my little guy (about age 5) started to wear glasses, the most amazing change happened. At first, I was quite worried and made an urgent appointment with my ‘eye guy’. As I started to explain, he jumped in and made an incorrect assumption that my eyes were much worse.

On the contrary, the big change with my eyes were for the better. And surprisingly, the improvement continued. In fact, for the first time, I could drive without wearing correction, although things were a little fuzzy when it came to reading a lot of words on a sign. This past summer, my optometrist announced that I would no longer need to wear corrective lenses for distance vision. However…

Yes, my days of wearing glasses driving or watching television and (the most important) computer work. But, (and isn’t the ‘but’ always the thing?) I needed some help on really close up work… and I encountered this with my recent resumption of needlework. In this case, cross stitch.

Friendship Pattern Cross StitchThis is the most recent piece I am working on and without adjustment, I can’t see it clearly enough to keep the stitches even and neat.

So, on a recent shopping trip, my last stop was Home Depot. And right at the self checkout, there was a display of ‘reading’ glasses. I picked up a pair and slipped them on and checked out small print. OMG! They were perfect!

IMG_4368No rims to get in the way. Short little lens so I can look over them to watch television, read the computer screen, talk to The Kid. Even more wonderful because I wasn’t looking for this in reading glasses, the ear pieces are flexible and über comfy! To top it all off, they were only about ten dollars! I could have tried to do this in a glasses store and never would have gotten close and probably spend more than a hundred dollars.

I. LOVE. THEM! And the do everything I need them to do. I don’t really even mind having people see me in them! Now the only – and last – challenge is to find at least one more pair just like them. And if I find more than that, they will all become mine! I am bad when it comes to glasses, reading or otherwise, and if I have multiples, I can leave one with the sewing machine, next to the bed for reading, another pair in the kitchen, etc. Hopefully, my eyes will stay this way for a little while!

Have you ever encountered the situation where your eye sight dramatically improved? This is so weird!

MacCupcake

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Gotta Love My Kid!

I was experimenting with a new recipe the other day and made way too much. So, I put half into another baking pan and covered it with foil. I asked The Kid to get a post-it note and write today’s date and some other things on it, so we will know what it is and how long it has been in the freezer.

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And this is what he handed me. Kids!

MacCupcake

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Consistency Was Never My Strong Suit

At least when it comes to writing in this blog, I am really ‘hit or miss’. My other blog gets much, much more attention. But it is much more interesting as well.

I thought I’d write today as something has been on my mind. Isn’t it funny how you can be going along, life being just life, when something from the past sneaks up and throws you a curve?

Well something did just pop up out of nowhere. It actually started some days ago when a name from my past fluttered by in an email. Just an off hand, normal run-of-the-mill email. And suddenly, twenty five years just melted away and I was a young woman head over heels for a blonde haired, blue-eyed Irish boy.

My heart skipped a beat. Maybe two. It was a glorious feeling for someone who has felt so lousy lately. I was definitely looking for something to change my overall disappointing mood at being, once again, in the job hunt. Once again, pinching pennies and watching the dollars. Feeling older every day as the knees creak with every step and the only time I truly feel good is those first few moments in the morning before life comes slamming down.

Anyway, there were a few days there that I was walking a little lighter and feeling better. It is a good feeling.

MacCupcake

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Women in Movies: Unrealistic Portrayals

I am on the mend from a migraine attack which has left me in the dark for the past 24 hours or so. As I recover, not only from the pain but the medication as well – I tend to have the television on, volume low. Something that when I have the strength and clarity, I can watch. I usually stream, how should I put this, movies that I don’t have to think about too hard.

For some reason, today I watched a movie simply because Tom Hanks was in it. I think it was part of a series, the whole Dan Brown set of books about ancient Rome. I didn’t read the books – God knows I have enough backlog of reading material just with my favorite author Stephen King – but I guess I didn’t realize when I started it, it was that series.

But that wasn’t what I started writing this post about. I really didn’t have the energy or concentration power to follow the story, the big thing that caught my attention is the three primary women characters in the movie. By the way, this is an action-thriller movie, just in case you didn’t know.

The three women, from beginning to end, run around and drive motorcycles and Über cars and climb stone walls and swim in a cistern while wearing tight and unrealistic clothing and heels. And not one inch heels, but teetering type heels. One character battles with a man in chest high water and never manages to lose even a single shoe nor mess her hairstyle. She essentially saves the world and never smudges her makeup.

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Heels 2Why do directors do this? Even while the woman in the show is saving the world – or her lover or her children or government (read ‘House of Cards’) that look perfect. And I don’t mean because they save the world they look perfect, but rather while saving the world there isn’t a single hair out of place and she never wears tennis shoes and jeans or something more realistic.

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Heels 1The men get dirty, rumpled, scratched, bloodied and bruised but that apparently isn’t allowed for the women characters. And they can run and crawl and falls down and get wet (and almost drowned) but they still come up looking perfect.

And the hair. I have long hair, and I know just how often it can get in the way. I wear it in a ponytail or braid almost all the time… but these women don’t. I don’t even see them tuck their hair behind their ears!

HAIRWhy does Hollywood insist on doing this? And why can’t I stop seeing this and just enjoy the movie?

MacCupcake

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Following Up A Rough Week with Another Rough Week

Sometimes I think that someone in the universe has it out for me. Just about the time I get past the ‘blues’ and start feeling better mentally, then I get sick physically.

This all started with having eaten something bad, I think. You know what goes along with food poisoning and I won’t go it the gory details, you’ve probably all been there/done that. So, two days down with the works, followed by a very intense migraine with (now two) days of recovery. I call the days following a traditional migraine a “medication hangover”. I am hoping that by tomorrow, I should be well on the road to recovery and feeling more like myself.

Upside of this food poisoning is that I think I lost about 8 pounds! Gah. Yuck.

At least its almost Friday and the beginning of a long weekend. Not that I ever go anywhere on these long weekends; the crowds of people trying to do everything in those three days usually accompanied by too much alcohol and stress of trying to “relax” while still trying to do it all is just results in too much danger to be on the road. The Kid and I still wanted to try and hit Yellowstone National Park, but the weather app indicates that it is still only in the forties and they’re expecting snow today and possibly tomorrow.Yellowstone National Park sign at the North Entrance; Jim Peaco; October 1992

So maybe the weekend after next. Everyone will be safely back at work and the weather might creep up just enough to not be miserable. Just a few days away from this craziness I have been dealing with – job hunting, migraines and planning for the future – and just enjoy Mother Nature.YNP.jpegMaybe just kick back and hike a bit and get physically tired instead of so mentally exhausted all the time. And I get The Kid’s company, which I couldn’t ask for better.

Anyway, had a few minutes and thought I’d jot down a few notes. The dollhouse interior is about 99% and only have a few things to finish on the exterior before taking photos and putting it away. That project has been a long time overdue, that’s for sure. I think my Dad originally built it before The Kid was born, and I’d estimate that it was more than just one or two years… so overall, probably about 25 years or so, ago. Of course in my defense, he had in it Iowa and I was in California, so it originally went to my oldest sister for quite some time. Thankfully, she really didn’t do anything to the house – other than collect some furniture and pieces, so everything that has been done was my doing.

Yep, when my sister decided to move to Colorado, she “gave” the house back to my Dad and then finally, my parents drove to California with their van which gave them enough room to bring the house with them. And of course, I didn’t really do anything to the house either, other than, much like my sister, collect “stuff” for the house. And now that its almost finished, there is so much left over that I could probably furnish another house about the same size!!

So, if weather holds here in K.C., I want to take photos of the house this weekend. Sometime I want to put plexiglass doors across the back, which I hope helps keep it dust free and any little fingers from exploring. Maybe if I get really ambitious, I have been thinking about adding a “basement” and some landscaping. We’ll see. 🙂

Thanks for dropping by!

MacCupcake

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This Is Turning Out to be a Rough Week…

I guess if I were to be absolutely honest, this has been a tough year so far. I kept the job hunting just far enough back in my head that all the failed interviews, telephone calls and a myriad of emails didn’t directly affect my day-to-day mood, but now that my unemployment has run out, everything seems to be right there. No getting around the fact that even though the unemployment check wasn’t bupkis in the grand scheme of things, the lack of it has been weighing heavily on my mind.

And having that hanging there has made my mood a bit darker and I get frustrated more easily. Not to mention that in the time that I have been off, I have gained like 30 pounds. And it wasn’t like I was skinny to begin with. This past year since the knee replacement surgeries, I seem to have become more and more sedentary. I think I have finally arrived at a place where I need to shit or get off the pot. The Kid and I walked around the neighborhood a little and I know I shouldn’t be, but was surprised to find that walking was stressing me. Not only were my knees screaming, I was winded making the final climb back to the house! This is so sad!

I made a promise on not starting any new projects until every project that I have started is completed. At the very least, I have to put a real dent in my unfinished projects. I have been working on the dollhouse that my Dad built me forever ago and am rounding the corner on completion. The Kid has been installing all the doors and their trim for me… its not joke, but working in such a small scale, is hard! The scale is 1:12, which mean for every foot in real life is equal to 1 inch for the dollhouse. So, if a room had a 9 foot ceiling, then in the dollhouse, the room would be 9 inches. And when you get down to things being six inches in real life – like a pencil – it is a half inch for the dollhouse. You gotta get crafty to make some of the stuff if you don’t want to buy it all done for you. Buying these miniatures can be costly too! The “leather” sofa and chair cost $75 and although you can’t actually by a real sofa and chair for that, it is a nice little spend when you know you’re never really going to be able to sit in it!

IMG_4081Anyway, while I wait for The Kid to do the doors, I can’t really start anything new, since I know if I do, the dollhouse will never get finished and it will sit quietly screaming that it is but one more unfinished project. I should have this thing done by the end of the week, I think. Of course I still have blog posts and pictures to do as well, but I am staying pretty much on top of that. Pretty much. 🙂

I seem to be sleeping a lot lately too. Sometimes I think that sleeping is just about the greatest invention ever. I got a great custom mattress while I was working the last job, and it is like sleeping on a cloud! Sometimes I want to figure out how to sleep more… that’s how much I enjoy it.

I suppose that’s it for today. Its funny though, whenever I feel a little bit down and I come out here and write for this post (and the other) I do seem to feel a little bit better. At this point, it could be that I am just tired and I know soon I will be asleep, but who knows.

Thanks for stopping by,

MacCupcake

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Arches National Park (Moab, Utah) Part II

Today’s post is really just a continuation from yesterday… I hadn’t gotten The Kid’s photos and he took quite a few. It is interesting to see the difference between our perspectives and interests.

So the less said, the better. I will just allow you to enjoy the photos:

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We’re busy figuring out where to head next. If you have any suggestions, please comment!

MacCupcake

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Arches National Park (Moab, Utah)

So, The Kid and I got back about a week ago from a trip to Utah. Originally when we moved from California to Missouri, our plan was for the two of us to take a week to make the trek. But at the last moment, it was deemed that I needed to be in Kansas City the next Monday (it was Thursday). If we did a lot of driving each day, we could make it in time.

So, recently, I decided we needed to see some more of America, I opted for those gorgeous lands that we passed through doing seventy miles an hour. On an almost whim, we packed some bags and a cooler and headed west. It was an early Saturday morning and as we punched the button to open the garage door, we were met with a heavy snowfall! As it was just a few days from spring (and just a few days before we had to kick on the A/C), this was surprising to say the least. A quick check of the weather of our destination (high 60’s / low 70’s) and we were off.

(I have to mention that I loved driving through Kansas, as much of the freeways had an 80 mph speed limit!)IMG_4030

Words cannot describe the sheer awe that this place inspires. When you think about the time and process that created this space. My words won’t help either. I think, rather, I will leave you with photos and videos that we took (although I might add some facts as you scroll through them).

The only downside for the park started the second day we were there. For the next nine months (or more) are going to be replacing all the roads in the park. Literature given to us, indicates that the original roads where built between 1958 and 1962 and was designed for about 100,000 to 150,000 visitors annually, where today’s count is closer to 1.5 million!

This means that the park closes each evening at 7:00 pm and stays closed until 7:00 am, although the park is open around the clock starting Friday evenings and remains that way until Monday evening. The other thing to consider is that the only in-park campground is completely closed for the time being – I think they expect at least through the remainder of 2017.

As we stayed through Thursday, the early closing (I think) resulted in less people in the park. We were able to take photos without strangers and spend a lot of time investigating areas that might have been much too crowded before.

The Kid was instrumental on persuading me to walk many of the trails, I think I did them all with the exception of any labeled “strenuous” or “difficult”. I expected my knees to be screaming each day, but really only felt pain on the final day of hiking. Icing my knees helped with that.

So, without further ado:IMG_4050Its difficult to judge the size of these stones… but this might help.

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IMG_4055It was very green, due to the snow melt. Loads of cacti and scrub trees and brush.IMG_4054

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IMG_4061This is my favorite “sculpture” called “The Three Gossips” as it resembles three women walking together.

I’m having some difficulty getting videos off my phone. I also have yet to receive The Kid’s photos and videos, so I may write another post with those.

This is absolutely worth visiting. The Kid and I have decided that we’re going to try and visit more of them. Gives me an excuse to spend quality time with him before he deigns to be ‘too cool’ to hang out with his Mom.MacCupcake

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The ‘Dumbing Down’ of America

I suppose that this probably puts me squarely in the “old lady” category, but I have to tell you this story. It is one of those ‘shaking your head’ in disbelief kind of stories and me and The Kid laughed about it solidly for like four hours on the day it happened and sporadically since it occurred.

My house is a computer connected sort of house. Routers – both wired and wireless -and computers and smart devices abound. I invested in a Nest thermostat about a year ago and have seen great reductions in the amount of heating and cooling we use in that time. I really like that I can make changes to the schedule and the temperature setting in the house without having to go to the hallway (where the thermostat resides) and can do it in the middle of the night with ease.

I had heard about some of the other devices being developed, so I opted to try another. I set me sights on the Nest Cam Outdoor, with installation at the front door. This is so that I can see who is there before having to try to get to the front door from my sewing room or bathroom or wherever I may be. You know, getting up and moving still takes a minute or two to get rolling ever since the bi-lateral knee surgeries.

While on one of my many trips for supplies, The Kid and I found ourselves at Home Depot. And they just happen to have a display for all of the Nest devices. Quite convenient if I do say so myself. So we take one of the purchase cards from the display and along with our other items, we head to check out.

img_3923Now, as you can read, you are supposed to take the card to the service desk and they ring it up and you pay for it… then they get the camera for you.

Well, this particular young lady took the card (and paint and glue etc) and rang the purchases. As she completes the sale via credit card, she places all the items a bag and hands it to us along with the receipt.

Let me reiterate: she places this 6 1/2″ piece of fiber board with some printing on it into a Home Depot bag and hands us it and a receipt that clearly shows that we bought a $200 camera. And then she turns to the next customer.

I’m not usually known for being tongue tied or at a loss for words, but this particular interaction caused me to be able to grasp exactly what she did. I am looking in the bag and then to my son and back again, trying to fit the pieces together in order that something makes sense!

I have to reach into the bag to retrieve the card and then assert myself back into a conversation with her. I have to have the look of befuddlement on my face as I hand her the card back to her and ask “…and you’re now going to actually give me the camera I bought, right?”.

Well, now it is her turn to be confused. She is looking at the card and then to me and back again. I ask her “you don’t think I just paid two hundred bucks for this piece of cardboard, do you?”.

I am shaking my head in disbelief. She tries to hand the card back to me. Even the generally-won’t-say-shit-even-if-he-had-a-mouthful quiet and shy young man looks at her and shaking his head says to her that she needs to get an actual box containing a camera. She turns to another clerk and holds out the card. I have no idea what she is thinking or how the hell she came to be standing behind a cash register in a store where tens of thousands of dollars must go through that store every day.

Her co-worker sort of shrugs and giggles at her and then looks at us and says that they will be right with us. They disappear behind a wall and I can her Clerk2 explaining to Clerk1 that she needs to find the box that corresponds with the code on the card. They are back there a while and I am thinking that they don’t have what we ordered and next comes that hassle that the charge she just rang up will take three days before the credit is applied when they come around the corner with the box.

And yes, I checked it and double checked the code on the box to make sure it is the right one and proceed to slice through the sticker to open the box… I want to make sure there actually is one inside! For some unexplained reason, I wasn’t sure that they didn’t know that there is actually supposed to be a product in exchange for the two hundred bucks and change! Clerk2 is watching me do this and does another sort of chortle kind of sound and make this gesture with her eyes to say ‘Clerk1 is kind of ditzy in a honest sort of way’.

Frankly, I am still shaking my head that this actually transpired! I mean, this isn’t a revolutionary new process for safeguarding expensive small items from sticky fingers… this is a time tested process. Any clue that Clerk1 now understands this is conspicuously absent from her face, but The Kid and I take the box and our bag and head towards the door. I look to my son and say, “Did that really just take place?”. He laughs.

We’re still laughing about it. It is steadfastly becoming part of our personal interaction – a “you had to be there” kind of inside joke. I’ve been wanting to write this story, but I had to go back and get one of those cards so I could take a photo for the post. This post. I’ pretty sure this will be one of those jokes that we keep between us for a long time. 🙂img_3922So, to end this post on a positive note, I wanted to show you my violets. I became the defacto owner of this plant when I took over a desk vacated by someone way  back in my job history. It has done so well that I had to separate it into two pots. The blooms this year are absolutely amazing… in this planter. The other one is barren so far.img_3921

MacCupcake

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Dare I Say It? (“Good ‘Ol Days”)

I’ve finally gotten around to getting my personal network set up for optimum viewing. Cables have been dropped into my sewing room, my son’s bedroom and into my master suite. It is absolute heaven not having to rely on wireless services anymore (although I do still have it for the remainder of the house for phone use).

So, I’ve been watching a lot of movies, such that I have figuratively run out of new movies to watch. So when I am sewing, I re-watch movies I haven’t seen in the past couple of years. Even some I haven’t seen in decades.

thegraduateToday’s movie was “The Graduate”. Dustin Hoffman is about twenty years old and I had forgotten just how handsome he was (I have always thought he was handsome, but there is just something so insanely adorable about that twenty year old face).graduate-dustin-hoffman-1967

And the movie is set in its own history, that is, it was contemporary when it came out. So, the clothing and the cars and the settings are as they were during that timeframe – mid- to late sixties. I don’t really remember those particular days, as I was just a toddler-ish, maybe five or six. But everything seems so clean (and this is Los Angeles) and fresh and green with plants. And just clean… like no graffiti and trash or congestion or smog.

And the music score is just as just as refreshing. In case you’re not familiar or have forgotten (as I had) is songs by Simon and Garfunkel. Peaceful, tranquil and calming, much as southern California can seem. Seem back then, anyway.

(There was just a scene where the male borders in the house where Hoffman’s character is living and some other residents appear… including a very very young Richard Dreyfus!)richard-dreyfuss-young-76408b40f2a229b21f90f607f8944d83

Anyway, it just struck me as I was talking along (or talking to) with the characters, just how differently people were. I mean, when the characters were angry with each other, the strongest language used were words like “filth” and “scum” and “degenerate”. And the two rooming house “managers” are about the ‘cleanest’ people you could ever know!

But what really strikes me are the “sex scenes”. Not only are there not really any (seems like the lights have to go out to suggest sex is occurring) but the talk about it, the harshest language was sex being referred to as “a piece” and then followed up with laughter and then “…of wedding cake!” was added.  Heck, I don’t even think there was any moaning or heavy breathing; even the kisses were rare. I think that this particular scene was the most risqué:risqueI’m not sure if it was better than now, but it certainly was more civil. And gentler. At least by this movie’s standards. I was trying to imagine what this movie would be like if it was remade to today’s standards. I don’t think it could.

Good or bad. I don’t know… I guess we live with what we have. Although I could use a little less vulgarity and profanity in my life.

MacCupcake

 

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