Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Jumping Ahead through Life’s Complications

Monday June 29 – Saturday July 4, 2015                                                                                                       Previous Post:
Charlottesville, Virginia                                                                                                     It’s Winnona’s Turn at the Hospital, but first……




One way to catch up on the blog is to have a down week, don’t do much that’s really interesting and then use one post to cover it all.  So hold on to your hat. 

All the pictures in today’s post are from the 4th of July Fireworks at McIntire Park in Charlottesville as I think our friends are tired of having their pictures taken and I don’t tend to take my camera when we are running errands or doing chores.



Monday June 29 – High today 83 degrees



Winnona goes into the hospital today.  We drop her off at 8:30 am.  They say the surgery will take most of the week. 

They say she will be released “hopefully by the end of the week”.  Hmmmm.  I was thinking FOR SURE by the end of the week, not “hopefully”.

Later, I go to the ophthalmologist at UVA for a cataract evaluation and she says I can have both of them removed one week apart beginning July 21.   Now the question is, do I want to do this?

I’ve heard nothing but great reports from people who have had their cataracts removed but these are  my eyes I’m talking about and for a reader and birder and hiker, to mess with the eyes is a VERY serious thing. 

Dr. O wants to know what artificial lenses I want put in.  Do I want both eyes corrected for distance?  If so then I’ll have to wear glasses to read and probably for the computer and to see the dashboard on Winnona.  Goodness that’s more than I wear glasses now. 

I have worn contact lenses for 30 years until the last 3 years when my eyesight couldn’t be corrected enough with them.  With contacts, I was able to do monovision (one eye corrected for distance and one for close up) and could see at all of those distances reasonably well.My brain handled it fine. 

Should I have monovision lenses put in?   But these aren’t switchable lenses, they are permanent. If I have one eye corrected for distance and one for closer vision then what kind of glasses will I need?  My optometrist says that whatever is put in will alter a bit from “perfect” as the eye heals.   What to do is my dilemma.

Well enough of my concerns about this surgery.  I was just really really wishing for once in my life, I would not have to wear glasses at all.  I really hate them.  

If any of you have had this surgery and have tales or wisdom to share, I’d appreciate it very much.  I’m getting very cold feet.






Tuesday June 30 – High Today 88 degrees



I do some yard trim to beat back the bushes and vines.  With all the rain things have grown amazingly.  I find a very vigorous crop of poison ivy. 

I don’t think there is anything that will it that DEAD other than the hated Monsanto Round Up.  If you know of anything else please let me know before I break down and do it.

After I clean up the prunings, and with poison ivy in mind, I go in to wash with the wonderful Octagon soap only to find that the only bar is in Winnona. 

I’m going to run some errands this afternoon and put that on the list.   I hit 3 grocery stores, K-Mart, Walmart,  Martin’s Hardware and CVS.  No one has Octagon.  They have other things like Lava but no Octagon.

When I return home I think I’ll just buy it on line.  When I google it, I find it all right and you can have a bar for $25 or $30.  It seems in their wisdom Colgate Palmolive has stopped making it.   I am dumb founded.  This is THE ONLY thing I have ever found that will get that oil off of your skin and you’ll have no rash, ever.  We wash with it anytime we are anywhere there might have been poison ivy.  Well GREAT!   Is this progress??





Wednesday July 1 – High Today 88 degrees



I take Ruby in this morning because she has had a slow leak in her front tire for some time and I’m tired of having to get out the compressor to top it up. 

Settle Tire is first come first served and even though I am there at 8am, I wait two hours for them to come out and tell me that the tire was so out of alignment it had worn nearly bald on the inside tread that I can’t see.  They show me the tire.  Yes it is a strip of zero tread on the inside.  Well all righty then.  Time for two new front tires and an alignment. 

Of course they don’t have the tires I need but they will have them tomorrow.  So home I go to mow the lawn, do the laundry and make a big pot of soup. 

Tonight is the full moon.  I heard from several folks in other places that it was beautiful but I wasn’t able to see it here.  The sky was totally cloudy.  Darn!





Thursday July 2 – High today 78 degrees and rain




Took Ruby in for her new tires.  Waited another 2 hours for those to be mounted and balanced only to be told that they couldn’t do the alignment today.  Too many cars already in line for it.  He suggests forgetting about Friday and coming back on Monday.  SIGH…..

Andy, the guy in charge of the body work on Winnona, called late yesterday and says that the paint has to dry and she’ll be ready to go tomorrow BUT, the boss has just given everyone the day off at the last moment to celebrate the 4th of July.   So the shop will be closed.

Now the plan to pick up Winnona gets pushed back to Monday too.








Friday  July 3 – High Today 77 degrees and rain


Not one thing of any note to report today except that I’m reading a very interesting book entitled Something Must Be Done about Prince Edward County by Kristen Green.  It’s the story of the massive resistance in Virginia to integrating the schools in the 1950’s. 

Prince Edward County was the epicenter of resistance in this state.  As I understand it they were the first to coin and demonstrate the term “massive resistance”.  Well aren’t we proud.

They closed all their public schools for 5 years.  A “white academy” was opened in the county seat of Farmville which is just South of Charlottesville across the James River.  The black children had no school and thus no education for all 5 years unless they left their homes and families to go north to live with relatives. 

The books is excellent!  I knew that this very thing had happened in Charlottesville 20 years before I moved to Virginia and the seriously struggling Rock Hill Academy in Charlottesville was still a private school when we first came here.  The school went out of business within a year or two.  But I had no idea of the full story of the viciousness of the resistance so close to home. 

One of my favorite things about being back in my home town is that I can use my library card to get books much newer than I ever find on the road and at a price I’m willing to pay.   Libraries really are one of the only things in life that are still FREE.





Saturday July 4  - High today 82 degrees



Today is America’s Birthday and I celebrate with 15,625 steps.  First I walk a mile or so to the city market and back.  I’ve done several posts over the years of my trips to the wonderful Charlottesville City Market.  Today don’t take my camera although I should have with all the beautiful foods and pottery for sale.   They make great luscious pictures.

In the evening, I walk down to the fireworks held about a mile or so from Mason Lane where Winnona stays during her visits to Charlottesville.  I’m sure she’d rather be there now than in Cosner’s Parking lot.

People stream in to McIntire Park.  The parking lots are full and the streets a mile back are parallel parked bumper to bumper.

There has been a carnival and a BBQ here this afternoon.  People are sitting everywhere on blankets and chairs.  At about 9:15 it all begins and for a small town, they do a fine job.   I haven’t figured out how to do fireworks on my Canon SX50.  Previous cameras all had a “fireworks” setting and they seemed to turn out a lot better than these.  Guess I should have broken down and actually read the manual.  I think I’ve said that before.


We’re getting pretty tired of being in Charlottesville.  We’ve caught up with all our friends and done most of the chores we’re going to do.

We have been really lucky with the weather.  It was in the mid and upper 90’s the week before we came but so far during our stay they have had a relatively nice break.  The worst it has been is 88.  But with the humidity 88 feels like the 90’s. Temps back into the full blown 90’s are predicted for next week so we are anxious to go back up onto the mountain.


But…..we have to pick up Winnona on Monday,  I have a pre-op appointment with my doctor on Tuesday for the eye surgery which will be in later July and David of course has his regular cancer clinic visit on Wednesday so it will be another FOUR days before we can head up.  That seems like forever.

Still all these chores needed to be done and our home town, where we know the body shop, the tire place, the optometrist and the hospital. seems like the best place to get em’ all done.   I’m just not used to being in Virginia during the summer.  Haven’t done that for  5 years.



  1. A complicated week.... but beautiful fireworks to make up for it!

  2. It was nice to see you even if so briefly! And, these fireworks pictures are great - I don't think I saw any live ones now that I am thinking back... Hope it's cool up on the mountain - feeling the heat and humidity here!!

  3. You are quite the amazing puller together-er of a complicated week, Sherry. More power to you. At least the fireworks were pretty and the pictures do look good even if you think they didn't have the right setting. Hope by now you are out of the heat and on higher ground.

  4. We love searching out new libraries in our travels. We've found a few gems, Grand Lake, CO and Durango, CO, come to mind. There are some benefits to having a home town!

  5. I never wore glasses until my late forties, and then only for reading. Time marches on, and I now wear them all the time. I hate it too. I suppose I'll need cataract surgery eventually also, and at this time my thinking is I would go with the distance lenses. That's what I miss the most. Using glasses for reading wouldn't bother me.

    My mother, on the other hand always wore glasses, and after her cataract surgery she couldn't get used to not wearing glasses even though she didn't need them. So she went back to wearing them. Go figure!

  6. I have a fear of hospitals and docs, hope all goes well in your eye correction. I have only heard good reports from older family members who needed that operation. Great pics.

  7. I've been in some sort of corrective eyewear since I was 5 years old, and contacts for the last 35 years. I'm very near sighted. This last visit to doc says I've got 2 different types of cataracts, geez. I'm looking forward to the surgery someday because I'm tired of not being able to see. I feel for you!

  8. I worked in ophthalmology for 30 years and can assure you that cataract surgery is one of the easiest (on the patient) and most successful of any type of surgery. Since you are comfortable with monovision contact lenses, doing monovision with implants would be very similar as long as they get the Rx correct.
    When the time comes for me to have my cataracts removed I will opt for distance correction and just continue using reading glasses

  9. I wore glasses for distance correction since I was a teenager, I never needed reading glasses until a year before the surgery. I got the monovision lenses and I don't need glasses at all now.

  10. Love the pictures! Good luck with your surgery.

  11. Thanks...you answered all my questions;o))) I have no advice about the eye surgery. Hope you are back up the hill by now!!!

  12. I have been pleased with my cataract surgery......2 years now. I had the procedure giving me both distance and close. I had been doing that with my contacts for at least 20 years, so it was an easy transition. Don't be afraid of the surgery..... it is a "walk in the park"

  13. I had my cataracts removed one year apart. The first was so easy, the 2nd was a little more difficult but I was also having other issues with my vision. When I wore contacts I had monovision and didn't need glasses at all, except if I wanted sunglasses. That was the best my vision has ever been! After the cataracts I needed cornea transplants, and my left eye is still the problem. But the worst is the onset of macular degeneration, and though I haven't asked the chiropractor about that yet, I'm hoping there is something that can be done. After all, the spinal and nerve systems control everything, including vision.

  14. Eric had cataract surgery on both eyes (one year apart) and chose lenses for distance vision. He's very happy with the results, even though he now can't read without reading glasses. He's been nearsighted since he was a child, and his vision is now 20/20. Cataract surgery truly is one of the miracles of modern medicine. You'll be fine. :-)

  15. I have had both my eyes done too the last just a few months ago. Of course I need to wear readers still.
    I haven't seen fire works in years your pictures were fun to see

  16. I had cataract surgery on both eyes, years apart and both doing well... Had congenital cataracts, born with them... they never got any worse throughout the years BUT my eyes did with them there, so they had to come out, boy what a difference, that I did not know about my whole life!!!! BUT still in glasses :( ah well, so used to them by now, no biggy....
    take Care

  17. I had cataract surgery in January and February. The surgery was very easy and no problems. I had worn tri-focals that got dark in the sun for about 25 years. After surgery I was using my husband's readers and bought some sun glasses. It didn't take me long to get tired of looking for glasses. I decided to get my old glasses fixed to be able to read with and they get dark in the sun. They also correct a little for distance. I can see most things on the computer without glasses. I find myself going off and leaving my glasses on my desk and don't notice until I need to read something.

  18. I've had both eyes done, you know the problems I had with the first one, the second went like a breeze. 20/15 vision now, but need reading glasses. I am happy with that, after wearing glasses for some 50 years, it's nice to be able to wear plain sunglasses and swim with no eye wear at all. To me the trade off was well worth it.

  19. About ten years ago I had both eyes done. I've worn glasses all my life. After the first eye was done I couldn't believe the clarity of sight I had! I spent my day's closing one eye and viewing something white then closing the other to see how dingy it was....just amazing! After both eyes were done I did have to wear reading glasses. But for two years only reading glasses. I can still see quite far off but for traveling and and reading road signs I broke down and went back to bifocals. Definitely worth doing. Just discuss with your doctor your concerns and you'll work something out for your vision

  20. I think I have the exact same issue as you do and am interested in which lenses you choose. I also wear one contact for reading and one for distance (although I think I need a stronger lens for distance)

    I never wore glasses or contacts until I was in my mid forties and have not been able to learn to adjust to bifocals. I would love my distance vision to be good again, but I don't want to have to go back to where I was before I discovered the wonders of mono vision contacts and have to put on my reading glasses to look at a menu or a price tag.

    Am I correct that you can't get a lens implant for both distance and closeup??

    Please let us know what you decide. My time is coming, I'm sure.

    I'm wondering, if you choose distance vision in both eyes, could you wear a close up reading contact in one eye???

  21. Having worked at an ophthalmology office that specialized in cataracts and glaucoma I can say with confidence that you should have no hesitation in getting the surgery. If you want to wear glasses less often then get the monovision implants. You may need readers occasionally, especially as the years go on but that is no different than what you are used to already. As I'm sure you've experienced over the years with monovision contacts nothing is perfect after the age of 50 and you may have to have multiple solutions on hand for different situations especially if you spend a lot of time reading or on the computer. But the vision with the cataracts removed will be unbelievable, you've gotten used to it gradually over time, when they are removed you will be amazed at how much they interfere with truly good vision, with cataracts glasses can only correct so much. The surgery is quick and easy as is the healing time, every patient left the office the day after surgery with big smiles once the bandage was removed and they could see. My dad just had both eyes done last month but I haven't talked to him to hear his glowing reports yet. ;) I hate the idea of surgery, but this is one surgery that I will be champing at the bit to get when the time comes.

  22. No surgery advice from me but looks like you got a lot of good stuff here from others :-) So glad they found the bad tire before it was a real problem on the mountain. We will be back in the hometown in November for Bill's oldest son's wedding. The list of appointments (dentist, dr, CW) is already growing so it looks like a two week stay now!

  23. Wow - I had no idea so many people had this surgery - from reading the comments, I think you have some helpful advice. I like the firework pictures that accompany this "newsy" blog. I can tell you had to 'practice patience' with the vehicles, especially give impromtu holidays! 15,000 plus steps! Way to go!!

  24. I did the lasix surgery and chose to just do one eye. One is now for distance and the other is for reading. It has worked perfectly for me for 10 years. Libraries are the best. We love using the overdrive app on the road to check out e books.

  25. My eye guy has told me that I have a baby cataract, but he said when if the time comes it is an easy fix and even explained the scary sounding details. It is a very quick procedure with good outcomes. So, that is all I know except that I know a number of people that have ad it done and say it was indeed easy.

  26. I'm impressed you could do monovision. My brain handled it fine but I couldn't see mid-range. What a treat it would be not to wear glasses after 55 years. Hadn't heard they could put in a new lens with cataract surgery, but I'm not due for a while. If this surgery is as wonderful as the comments say they why do those with poor vision have to wait so long?

    Somehow I find life smoother when I'm on the road than home. And holidays, I don't even care to celebrate, get in the way. Yet I do agree about libraries.

    Thanks for the excellent fireworks as I haven't seen any in many years.


Your comments are the best part of this blog for me.
I LOVE hearing from you!