Thursday, June 25, 2015

My-Graine

My eyes went wacky today. I was playing pickleball, and noticed that I was seeing what looked like negative afterimages one would see after looking at the sun. But, since I had reached for a high shot, and had been briefly blinded by the sun, I just figured my eyes were taking their time getting back to normal.

Then, as I walked back to the car, I noticed some blurring in my peripheral vision, on the bottom edge of my left eye. I figured my sun glasses were smudged, and I trudged on to the car. However, once I got there, I realized the blurring was actually alive. I was seeing fractured shimmers, with pretty colors. It almost seemed like I was underwater, looking up at the sunlight playing on a windy surface.  Wow! thought I... how strange!

This is kinda what it looked like:

I figured that maybe, just maybe, I was dehydrated. I had just played about six games of pickleball with only one break. I grabbed my bottle of water and began to guzzle it down. The shimmering continued as I began the drive home, then it began to progress across the field of vision of my left eye and only the least bit on the right. The vision on the periphery improved as the fractured shimmers progressed toward the center of my vision in my left eye. As I drove there was a moving, crooked line of color down the center of my vision - enough to blur the white line of the road, but not much more. How annoying! How strange! And...  how (just a tiny bit) frightening.

By the time I walked into the house, about 25 minutes after first noticing this strange effect. It was gone. I hate it when things like this happen. Do I call a doctor about something that is no longer a problem? And next... what doctor do I call? Is it a problem with my brain? Is it simply my eyes? Do I see an MD, or an eye doctor? Do I wait to see if this happens again? Oh, what to do?!
I finally decided to call a local optometrist. We Dreamers had recently decided to switch to a small, local practice, but had yet to make an appointment. I explained what was happening. The receptionist explained that they had no openings until next week, but she put me on hold, and evidently talked to the Optometrist. He would make room for me within the next hour. So, off I went, feeling a bit weird about seeing a doctor while having no symptoms.

I really like the Optometrist. He was very interested in my symptoms. He was very thorough. After listening to my description of the vision impairment, and examining my eyes, he inquired as to whether I had a headache. Nope. Well, maybe just a little. Then he explained that I had experienced an ocular migraine. I had a migraine aura, without the headache. It can be brought on my bright lights and dehydration. Hmmm.... spot on! I consider myself lucky. If I must have a migraine, I'd much rather have it my way!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Today's Post is Brought to you by the Color Purple


Storm moving in...

Ominous, purple clouds...

Baby's nursery with a purple mountain valence 
made by a happy Grandma....

Purple gardens...


Purple makes me smile.


 What about you?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Emphasis on Breakfast

My son, daughter-in-law and their new baby live in a San Francisco-style condominium. Small. Their place is so small that before baby arrived, they hired a planner who specializes in helping people utilize their space more efficiently. Suffice it to say, unless we want to be very cozy with the new family, we can't stay there! 
Sadly, lodging in San Francisco is not convenient to my son's home, nor cheap. Heck, even the Travelodge advertised as a "cheap" hotel is $170/night! So, as hard as it is, we bite the bullet and stay at a delightful Bed and Breakfast establishment about a quarter mile from the new family. The bed part is nice. The rooms are lovely, with beautiful antiques and bric a brac, in a beautiful victorian San Francisco home. But it is the breakfasts that won me over...

The large round table in the dining room can seat up to 10 guests.


Each morning, the table is set with beautiful hand-made china.
A bowl of yummy berries, hot coffee or tea, and juice awaits.


When you finish your berries,
the breakfast arrives.


 Each day it is different.
Here are our breakfasts from our most recent trip:

Poached eggs on Black Forest ham
over a fresh Brioche from a local bakery.
Spinach & mushroom quiche, sausage
and Tartine's sour dough bread.
Asparagus and cheese bread pudding,
spinach salad and more yummy bread.
Goat cheese shuffle, home made croissant
and... sour dough bread.
Sour dough waffles (using the starter that originally belonged to the
proprietor's father) with fresh fruit, whipped cream and bacon.
Yeah....
the diet begins tomorrow.

Breakfast will not be much of an eye opener around here!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Who Knows Best?

I separate Malachi (the bony pony) from the herd to feed him. He is such a sweet, gentle horse that he lets anyone steal his food. I've gotten to the point where I don't tie Malachi any more. Once he has finished his meal, he has the opportunity to wander around in my back yard (which is fenced) until I have the inclination to put him back with the herd.


We Dreamers noticed that Malachi likes eating the weeds growing on the gravel driveway.  Knowing that there are many poisonous plants (to horses) in he world, I checked up on what he was finding so tasty. He was eating the Redstem Fillaree. 


After a little research I discovered that Redstem Fillaree has the highest percentage of non-structural carbohydrates of all weeds generally found in the Rocky Mountain area. It has higher levels of sugar than grasses. So, does Malachi instinctively know that the Fillaree will give him the biggest bang for the bite? 
Further reading yielded information linking Fillaree with laminitis. I had little concern for that, given Malachi's slim build. But, a suggestion that Fillaree might cause issues in digestion in the "hind gut", causing colic, and that nitrates found in Fillaree at some points during the growing season, can be toxic to equines, had me stepping out to put Malachi back with his buddies in a hurry!


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Baby of Mine

I never would have thought that being a grandparent is as wonderful as all of my friends claim it to be.

Nope. 

Never would have thought that at all. But then... I found myself in the elevator at the hospital, heading up to the Maternity floor, where I would soon hold my first grand baby. Oh, my! Emotional overload!

Dreaming with Alexis @ 1 day of age

My sweet Alexis, daughter of my son, was born on June 9 at 7:13 PM. She chose to arrive a bit late, being due on May 29. She also resisted coming into this world, deciding to let mom labor for a looonnngggg time! Sweet Alexis complicated matters by turning the wrong way, and with reluctance, turned around so she could slip through the birth canal. One wonders if Alexis will always be the sort to be a bit late to events, and stubborn about going where others want her to go!

We are so happy she is here. She is healthy. She's practicing all those things that babies must figure out. She sucks her fist. She kicks her feet. She works on building her lung capacity. We are all smitten!


Mother & Daughter
Proud Papa - looking a bit scruffy after three days without a razor.
The other Grandmother... "How hard can it be?!"
Grand-pop
A Daddy-Daughter moment
Sleep my child and peace attend thee...






Monday, June 8, 2015

Bunny in the Well

I went down to the basement to finish the quilting on my latest project. This is a "sampler" quilt created from strips of 20 different coordinating fabrics (available as a roll at quilt shops). All I have left to do is the hand sewing on the binding.... oh, and painstakingly picking off tiny pieces of fluff from the batting that seem to have found their way all over the quilt.


As I began to work, I heard a funny sound. At first I thought it was more hail. But, the sun was shining. The sound stopped. Then it began again.

I walked over to the window and saw a darling bunny in the well. Poor thing. He probably fell in there trying to outrace the rain... or Tucker!


Although the bunnies are a nuisance, I couldn't stand by and let him starve. So, the rescue mission began. Mr. Dreamy came down to help. First, he tried enticing the bunny into a 5 gallon bucket.


The nimble, scared-out-of-his-mind bunny was pretty fast and eluded the stick and the bucket. Had it not been for the screen, he would have been living in our basement!


I created a make-shift net and was able to snare him. I lifted him out of the well, and before I could get a picture, he scampered off to live another day... and partake in the goodies in my garden!


Dreaming puts pencil to paper to see what she can draw...
Collage from collage.com


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Sunny Sunday

At least it began that way!


Lovely poppies and iris, some that were mangled by Friday's hail

I love having horses here and heading down to the barn in the morning, even before my brain is in gear and my body has fully awoken. The birds' songs cheer me and make me smile.

I fill Malachi's tub; a scoop of oat bran, a scoop of Sr. feed, two measures of weight stuff, one measure of digestive stuff and a bit more beet pulp than yesterday.

Malachi humming, "Should I Stay or Should I Go Now"

I check on the progress of the baby pigeons whose mom chose to use the feed bin in the stall we use for storage as her nest. Lord knows, we don't need more, but they are God's creatures, too!

May 30 - just hatched

This morning - 8 days old


I have to bring Malachi out of the paddock, away from his herd. 

The herd, looking longingly at Malachi's food.

I don't tie Malachi anymore. When he has licked his tub clean he wanders off and works on mowing our yard. Until our spate of afternoon storms came I had been working on cleaning out the garage end of the barn while Malachi ate. But now, the truck is wedged in there to keep it safe from hail - and I'm too lazy to move it out and move it back. It seems like a good excuse not to tackle the mess in the garage!

We have been having wicked storms in the afternoon. On Friday I received four alerts on my cell phone about tornado warnings, suggesting I seek shelter immediately. The sirens from the town north of us wailed on and off most of the afternoon. I was sewing in the basement. I was sheltered. Gypsy sought to comfort me by burrowing under my feet. The pounding of the rain and hail was unsettling.

Hail from the first storm on Friday afternoon


Our reward after the storms were over.
Why is it that the pot of gold is never in our yard?!

Oh, wait...
it must be here somewhere.
Life is good!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Meet Malachi

Malachi gives my mornings new purpose. He has learned to whinny when I come out of the door. I'd like to think he is greeting me, but I know that what he is really looking for is food, and I can't help but fulfill his wishes! Isn't he cute?!


Malachi belongs to my friend, who sometimes house sits for me. She adopted some needy horses and conducts a faith-based program using equines in her ministry. Sometimes her 'herd' comes to visit me for a vacation. My friend's pasture can't sustain 6 horses. Recently, with all of our rain, her pasture, paddock and run-ins have turned into quagmires. So... she brought the herd to visit.

I hadn't met Malachi before. He is a recent acquisition, and he needs a lot of extra TLC. He is in sad shape; a bag of bones.


My friend has had the vet check him out. Other than being 20+ years old and having come from an abusive situation, the vet can't find any reason for him to lose condition. So, I start and end my day making Malachi very happy!


Gypsy is happy, too. She is a chow hound, for sure. She loves licking up the drips and dribbles. However, one day her herding instincts kicked in and she decided the food was hers, and Malachi needed to leave. She snapped and tried to drive him away. She nipped his nose! Poor guy! Poor Gypsy - she is now relegated to the house during feeding time!


Sew, What Have You Been Doing Recently?

Sew... I worked a deal with my son and ended up with a new-to-me Bernina sewing machine that does just about everything, all by itself. My rekindled interest in sewing began just before Christmas when I quilted a jacket for my DIL's mother. I enjoyed the challenge. I enjoyed playing with beautiful fabrics, and finding just the right patterns and colors.

Sew... not knowing much about quilting (although my mother was a fabulous quilter, and I inherited her stash),  I took a class at a nearby quilting/fabric shop.

Sew... we made a runner. I learned a lot. Mostly I learned:

Sew in haste...
Rip out at leisure!


As the clock ticked closer to the end of the class, I began sewing faster. When I completed my runner, and held it up, it closely resembled the letter "C". It was a cockeyed mess. 

Sew... I pulled out the seams, 'squared' the blocks, and more carefully pieced them together, being sure to keep my 1/4" seam allowance. My second attempt looked much better than the first! I was proud to give this to my Mother-in-Law when I saw her in May. 


Sew... one day I was at a fabric shop and my eye was caught by a bolt of cloth with a lovely pattern of warm colors. My colors. 

Sew... I found a quilt pattern (an "easy" quilt pattern) and went shopping for fabrics that complemented that which caught my eye, and made a table cloth. 

Sew... after going through numerous spools of thread, and lots of time sewing in "the dungeon",  on the new super machine... I completed  another project. What fun!


Sew... I wonder what I should make next?!!

Almost Home

When we left California it seemed that our trek across country would never end. Now, as we approach our final destination in southern Florid...