Thursday, March 29, 2012

Slow Mowtion

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Yes that ‘w’ in mowtion is intentional.

If you don’t know what you’re looking at in the picture, it’s a robotic lawn mower.

And if you could see me, you’d still be seeing me in kind of robotic slow motion. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please go back to the post Trying to Focus Tuesday. I’m still really bothered by my eyes. I still get occasional light flashes if I move my head too fast (although less now than a few days/nights ago) and the new ‘cloud’ in my left eye is really irritating. I keep wanting to take the glasses off and polish them about every 15 seconds but of course that does not help.

In fact I feel a lot like that machine in the photo, whereever I go just now I seem to be bumping into my own limitations which don’t let me ignore them; and every now and then I withdraw to my “corner”=bed to lie still, close my eyes and reload my batteries.

Luckily I have an interesting audio book going and two more waiting, which should get me through the weekend I hope.

Watching TV also works if I keep to programs where I don’t need to concentrate too much visually. (I tried watching figure-skating but no, no, no, no… )

Also have to limit my computer time as things are just now. However, I read emails and some blogs on my phone (but might not comment as much as usual).

PS. By the way - if you have your blog settings on “show mobile template on mobile devices” that makes it easier for people to check your blog on their iPhones and Androids etc. Just mentioning it, because before I got my own Android phone last summer I never even noticed there was such an option or had any idea what it meant. You’ll find it under Settings - Email & Mobile.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

ABC Wednesday – K for Keys

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▲ Above: Huge symbolical key on the wall in the reception
area of our hospital, which was added in 2004.

▼ Below: Old church keys.

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Historians are unsure where the first lock was invented, but evidence suggests that locks initially developed independently in the Egyptian, Greek, and Roman civilizations. Wooden locks and keys were in use as early as 4,000 years ago in Assyria.

St. Peter is called the guardian of the gates to the Kingdom of Heaven, and the key is his attribute. He has been depicted bearing one or two keys in a wide range of Christian contexts since the 5th century throughout Europe - paintings, reliefs, baptismal fonts, sculptures etc.

Over a door on a church at Forshem, Kinnekulle, Sweden, originally from the 12 th century, there is a stone relief depicting Christ handing the Key to St Peter, and the Scriptures to St Paul.

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Postcard photo of the stone relief at Forshem

The Latin inscription reads: “Ista ecclesia sit in honore Domini nostri Jesu Christi et Sancti Sepulchri” i.e. “This church is consecrated in honour of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Grave” [in Jerusalem]. This seems to indicate a connection with the medeival crusades; or at least so it is assumed by Swedish author and journalist Jan Guillou in The Knight Templar (Crusades trilogy), a series of books about the fictional character of Arn Magnusson.

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My own photo from the church at Forshem, 2002

Read more about old keys and locks at www.historicallocks.com

ABC Wednesday – K

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Trying to Focus Tuesday

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“You can't depend on your eyes when
your imagination is out of focus.”
~ Mark Twain ~

As those who read my post yesterday know, on Monday afternoon I had an ‘emergency’ appointment at the eye clinic, due to another vitreous detachment on Saturday. (The link goes to a post I wrote two years ago after my first experience.)

Two years ago when I was first troubled by a floating grey ‘cloud’ in my right eye, I didn’t know what it was; and didn’t contact the eye clinic until after some weeks had passed, but the cloud in my eye still hadn’t (and still hasn’t).

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This time it was a more sudden experience but  now I recognized what it was when I suddenly started seeing little black spots and then they gathered into another floating cloud – on my other eye. This was in the daytime but it wasn’t until the evening that I got ‘scared’, when turning off the lights to go to bed I kept getting flashes of light in the outer corners of my eyes, especially the left one. I knew from the info I got last time that this is considered an extra warning sign.

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Sunday I took things very calm and wore sunglasses outside (I was wearing those on Saturday too though). During the day no experience of flashes, but again at night.

So Monday morning I phoned the eye clinic and got an appointment the same afternoon. Same procedure as two years ago and same answers. Thankfully no damage to the retina this time either. The ‘clouds’ I’ll just have to live with and hope for the best (i.e. that with time they might settle and appear less disturbing).

I was also told, for the next few weeks in particular, not to do anything physically strenuous. Going for a walk is okay though, the doctor said, and so is reading and watching TV. Computer wasn’t mentioned, but I suppose that’s as with reading and TV: More to do with my experience of it.

I have no intention to quit blogging but I may have to adjust my habits a bit further still - we’ll see.

 

 

 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Under the Sun

“What has been will be again,
   what has been done will be done again;
   there is nothing new under the sun.”
   ~ Ecclesiastes 1:9 ~

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Two years ago I blogged about an eye problem, ‘vitreous detachment’ or PVD. Then it was primarily my right eye. This weekend I had a new attack, now primarily the left eye  and also including  “flashes of light” which I can’t recall having had that first time two years ago. Probably still not serious but I got an appointment at the eye clinic this afternoon for a check-up.

Macro Monday: Pink Geranium

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For Macro Monday, from the Home & Garden Fair.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Weekend Reflections – Home & Garden Fair

From a Home & Garden Fair I visited on Saturday.

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The exhibition hall was originally an engine shed.

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At the back of the building there is now a restaurant overlooking a river and an artificial waterfall.

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The entrance hall, with a queue to buy tickets.

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Linking to Weekend Reflections.

More photos from this fair will be coming up in other posts.

Lunch With Madame Butterfly

Today – sorry, yesterday, because I intend to pre-schedule this post for tomorrow (that made everything so much clearer, didn’t it?) – I had the pleasure of being able to eat my lunch outside in the sun on my balcony. I’m not sure I’ve ever done that as early as in March before (but one forgets easily).

Moreover, I had the delightful company of Madame Butterfly. Well, it might possibly have been Monsieur Butterfly, I’m not 100% sure. But let’s stick with Madame for literary purposes.

While I had Mango Chicken (and forgot to take photos of the mangos before I started cooking!), Madame Butterfly munched away at my pansies. I was so glad to see her that I decided not to disturb her during lunch by going inside to get the camera. So we just enjoyed the sunshine and our food.

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Eventually, though, I had to go inside for a bit, and it seemed I scared her, because she fluttered away. However, when I got back out, she was back too; having decided to stay for tea. Knowing that she must be really hungry after her long winter sleep, and that there aren’t a lot of flowers about yet, I kept my distance for a good while longer, sitting in my chair, just zooming her in.

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Hello, what’s this? A fly! Not sure I like that!
These are my flowers! I saw them first!

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Yes, this is my flowerbox, and I don’t really want to share!
(Can you spot the rival lurking behind the box, to the left?)

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Now I’m invisible – I think.

Eventually, I dared try a few proper macros up close:

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The sun is sooo lovely, and the flowers sooo yummy…
I could just stay here for hours and hours…
Oops, perhaps I already have!

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All right, I guess I can let the human come a little closer with that thing, she seems harmless enough…

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Hey! That’s close enough though!

And the next time I turned my back, she vanished.

But I think that had more to do with the sun going down, than with me and my camera. (I wonder where she spends the night?)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Here Comes the Sun

Here comes the sun (doo doo doo doo)
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right

Listen to the Beatles singing it at YouTube

Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right

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Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right

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Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

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                                   Please notice the hoverfly!  

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear

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Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right
It's all right

---

Yesterday we had the first really warm and sunny spring day of the kind when in the afternoon you see some people still in their winter coats, and others wearing tank tops!!!

But no matter what they’re wearing, Everyone is OUT THERE, turning their faces to the sun.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Two Jars and a Jug (ABC Wednesday–J)

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I really must try and get myself “out and about” again soon. 
Desperately searching the kitchen cabinets for J’s…

These were either my grandmother’s or her sister’s. The labels say “sugar” and “potato flour”. Not keeping anything in them now; they’re in a top cabinet which I can’t reach without a ladder.

There’s not much room in my kitchen to have things like these “on display” since the cabinets go all the way up to the ceiling. In my previous kitchen I had a free space on top of the cabinets below the ceiling where I kept some things like these. Not good from cleaning point of view, though…

My compromise in my present kitchen is to have one “show” cabinet and sometimes leave that open.

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ABC Wednesday - J

Monday, March 19, 2012

Macro Monday: Raindrops on Daffodils

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For Macro Monday

Feeling kind of narcissistic lately… (supposed to be a joke!)

Monday Update
Actually I spent most of the weekend “doing nothing”; well not staring at my own face as Narcissus, but rather at the ceiling (or the inside of my eyelids), just listening to audio books; getting up for some stretching exercises every now and then. Glad to say it helped. While on Saturday I wasn’t able to lift my left hand to my face (as in holding a glass of water and drink from it), I’m more or less back to normal today. In that respect, anyway!

Macro photos from my balcony, Sunday morning.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Saturday Update

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The first mini daffodil opened out on my balcony 3 days ago.
Since then the sun has gone back into hiding though.

The sciatica is better but now instead I’ve got “tennis elbow” problems (not from tennis!). Of course it is my (otherwise) “good arm” while on the other I have arthrosis in the shoulder.

Won’t be out and about much in either of my worlds this weekend. Luckily I have some audiobooks waiting and dvd’s.

Also have a training program for tennis elbow since before so will try to be a good girl and do those exercises and hope for the best.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I for Irritated Invalid

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“I can believe anything provided it is incredible.”
~ Oscar Wilde ~

So will you believe that two nights ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with an out-of-the-blue attack of sciatica down my hip and leg, apparently just from turning over in bed?!

Have you ever heard of a more idiotic injury? Actually I’ve had a few more of those in my day, like concussion from banging my head into a bookshelf, and chronic neck pain from acting unconscious in a CPR exercise. I know it’s a dangerous world out there! But until now I’ve optimistically been thinking I should at least be relatively safe in my own bed.

Anyway, also having had a rather bad spell of the other set of pains lately, it seems I have little choice but to try and slow down even further; even if it feels like giving a speeding ticket to a snail.

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So yesterday I spent most of the day in bed. On top of all I also had to deal with the inconvenience of another day (8 am to 4 pm) without running water (because of repairs going on) – but just did not feel up to going out except for a short limping walk in the late afternoon. (That was nice though. Even got a few photos that might show up in my Picture Book this weekend.)

This morning the hip/leg was feeling better, and I was able to go to the rehab pool as usual. Coming home, I needed to do the washing I had had to reschedule from yesterday. This is where Irritation comes in, if not before.

Coming down to the laundry room I was Not Amused to find Someone Else’s washing still spinning in the washing machine, on my time. I decided, however, to leave it to finish the program. When I came back down some 20-30 minutes later, it was done, but still not collected. So I had to take that wet washing out first to be able to put mine in. Grinding my teeth, I put it nicely in the basket under the sink. I also had to clean up a bit after Someone. (Because mysteriously, while detergent used IN a machine cleans things, OUTSIDE the machines it becomes a dirty mess! Explain it if you can!)

When I next came down to move my washing into the drier, what do you think I found? Yes, that’s right. Meanwhile, Someone Else had been down there and put their wet laundry into the drier. So once again I had to remove their laundry (now dry) to that basket under the sink.

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When two hours later I came down to collect the last of my own things, Someone Else’s things were still there. I suspect he or she did not dare come back for it until after my shift was over.

I have to confess: There are few things in this world that put me in a worse mood than having to take care of Anonymous Laundry left behind by someone consciously infringing on My Time. Once may be a mistake but twice during the same shift is not. And on a day when I hardly even feel able to cope with my own, it’s even worse. I did leave a note behind: “Please next time show respect for other people’s time.” In my mind though I was writing an essay of about 20 pages, with illustrations… (Had they come down while I was there they’d have found me in neck brace and wrist supports and still slightly limping.)

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Clipart images from http://etc.usf.edu and http://clipartheaven.com/

Monday, March 12, 2012

Macro Monday: Butterfly Courtship, 12 March

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“The butterfly counts not months
but moments, and has time enough.”
   ~ Rabindranath Tagore ~

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Small Tortoiseshell – Aglais Urticae – Nässelfjäril, 12.03.2012

Whether it’s true that butterflies feel no stress, I’m not sure. These two seemed to go straight from winter hibernation to courtship, on the very first day the sun was warm enough to wake them up. ;) 

Today was the first day after winter that I went for a walk bareheaded; and it was also the first day this side of winter that I came across butterflies on my stroll about the neighbourhood.

I always wonder with the first ones that wake up, what they find to eat (and with these two, if there’s anywhere to lay eggs yet!)

So my next stop was the garden centre to buy some spring flowers for my balcony. Tiny blue pansies and daffodils (not yet in bloom).

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Spring has officially sprung!

Macro Monday

Sunday, March 11, 2012

In the Right Direction

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Thursday, 8 March – relapse into winter

There is nothing wrong with change,
if it is in the right direction.”
~ Winston Churchill ~

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Sunday, 11 March – Snow gone, and first snowdrop sighted!

I’ve been finding it hard to keep up with the rapid weather changes over the past week, being thrown back into full winter for a couple of days… But now we seem to be on the right track again! Spotting the first spring flowers today cheered me up!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

BTT: Sequel

Booking Through Thursday question from Ted  (via Deb):

Which non-series book would you most like to read the sequel to?
Do you have any wishes for what might happen in it?

This is one of those questions that I think maybe I found it easier to answer when I was young. I was probably more prone back then to rewrite endings in my head if I did not like the one given. Now I usually don’t speculate that much unless perhaps when I know there is to be a sequel. But the only ‘serious’ (not all that serious) speculations of that kind that I’ve been involved in was probably while waiting for the end to the Harry Potter story.

Back in my early teens I know I wished for a  sequel/ different ending to the Diary of Anne Frank, but at the same time well aware that since Anne really died in concentration camp, this was not going to happen.

That’s probably also the kind of story that may still make me wish for different endings or impossible sequels. Come to think of it, that’s what I did between the last Harry Potter books as well: Trying to find ways to bring back characters who had been killed! (A wish, by the way, that the author also dealt with in those books, but in a different way.)

As far as I can recall, I don’t think I ever yet tried to read any of those fake sequels that sometimes pop up, like one author writing a sequel to someone else’s original story.

Thursday Thoughts: Oh No–More Snow!

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Oh, why?! (we all know it’s no use asking, and still we do…)

We were doing so well… All the snow and ice was gone… We were able to stretch our legs in long strides outdoors again and turn our faces to the spring sun…

This morning however I woke towards 6:30 to the sound of the “thing” above… (zoomed in through the window)

Yes it had started snowing a little when I went to bed last night but only tiny little flakes and I was still hoping it might not come to as much as the forecast said. But for once they were right!

Usually on a Thursday morning before nine I’m off to the rehab pool at the hospital across town, but today I phoned to cancel. (Luckily they have voicemail for that.) Think I was better off this morning with just a hot shower at home and staying in!

Hopefully by next week this lot of white will be melted again.
Which is why it feels so unnecessary; which is what makes one want to argue with Someone about it…

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Getting over that though, I guess a better approach might be to be thankful that I’m able to stay in and don’t really have to go out.

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