Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pool? What pool?

After 21 years of service, our 24' pool is history. We first put this pool up in the yard of our Victorian home in Richmond, MI (I wish I had a digital photo to insert here, it was a gorgeous old home, built in 1879). When we sold the house 6 years later, the older couple who bought it was not interested in having the pool, so we took it down and moved it to our new home, where we have enjoyed it for 15 more years. 

The side wall was so faded it was almost white (having started out as a blue-ish gray woodgrain) and things were starting to corrode. 

Mike started looking for pools on Craigslist.  Eventually he found a 28' pool for $500 or best offer. It was about 6-7 years old, already taken down, and came with a much better filter/pump than what we had. We ended up getting the pool for $350.00! Considering this brand in this size goes for about $6,000-7,000 new, I think that is a heck of a deal! There are a few things that need to be cleaned up, and we will probably paint the top rails, but how can you beat that price? We'll have to buy a liner, obviously. We are going to dig the middle out to about 6-1/2 to 7' which will be nice, and put in a bottom drain which will make it much easier to keep clean. 

So we started draining the old pool last week, and today we unscrewed a million screws, found lots of wasp/hornet nests under the railings and inside the side posts (as well as many spiders and their nests and webs too) as we dismantled the whole thing. Mike will haul it all off to the scrap metal place and come home with a few bucks.  

We were hoping to get the bigger pool up this fall so we'd be ready to go in the spring, but that probably is not going to happen now. Instead, Mike hopes to at least get the hole dug  and prepared before winter, and we'll put the pool up in May. It will be nice to have a bigger pool, especially at such a bargain price! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Look Ma! No Glasses!

I'm a week into my Orthokeratology, using Paragon CRT lenses while I sleep. It has been a little frustrating at times. Yesterday was a day I was questioning whether or not this was a good idea. I do feel better about it today. 

I have made 5 trips to the eye doctor in 7 days. I have had 4 different CRT lenses for my right eye, and one for my left. I have in my possession a soft contact for my left eye and 3 different ones for my right eye.  So far I have managed to keep them all straight (I think!). While my eyes are in transition, I wear whichever combo gets me through the day until my next appointment. 

I am going for the "monovision" correction, which means my left eye is being corrected for close vision and my right eye for distance. This morning there was a distinct improvement with my "really far" vision, and close up was better than yesterday, though not quite as clear as the first few days. I can definitely tell the lenses are working. Now my brain just needs to bring the two together, because the mid-range is still pretty blurry. So walking around the house is fuzzy, but reading and computer work are pretty clear (no knitting has been going on, but maybe today!) and I may try driving without soft lenses today (but will bring them with me if I feel I need to pull over and give myself some "correction").

The concept is very cool, and hopefully the monovision will eventually make things clear. If I don't think I can handle the monovision, the eye doctor will end up correcting both eyes for distance. This will mean I will probably have to wear reading glasses at times. I guess I can live with that. But I'm hoping I can avoid glasses either altogether, or for a very large portion of my day.

I've had glasses on my face for 43 years (I wore soft lenses for a couple of years, and even then it was off and on, not exclusively). I am ready to be rid of them. I just was too afraid to go for the LASIK. 

So there has been a little hiccup in the progress on my Rhinebeck sweater, but hopefully I will be back in full swing and can still get it done. If not, then being able to see without glasses or contacts (during the day) will be well worth it.

I was able to create a WEBS fund with money I got from eBay auctions that ended over the weekend. I sold off some stuff from my crashed car. Free money! I still can't believe that someone bought the manuals for $47.00! I literally had them in my hand over the trash can before I decided to try to sell them on eBay.  I got $40.00 for my iPod cord (it was different than the one I needed for my new car) People will buy just about anything, I swear! It's all good though... now I have money ($225.00!) for my trip to WEBS and it won't take away from my Rhinebeck fund! Yay!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Never Forget....

I am thinking back to the morning of September 11, seven years ago, and the days that followed. I remember thinking how life would never be the same. I remember feeling "stuck" for weeks. I had a hard time going about my daily tasks. I felt so guilty about being able to do the simplest of things, when so many were suffering and when so many were taken from us in that horrendous act of terror. 

We've all gone back to living our daily lives. Years later the memories are not as clear or as painful. But let us never forget those who were lost, or those who took them from this world. 

This morning people will stop for a moment of silence to honor those whose lives were taken, and we will also mourn the loss of our lives as they were before that tragic morning 7 years ago.

There will also be mourning of a different kind today at my daughter's high school. A student was killed in an accident yesterday on the way to school. She was a senior, at the beginning of a school year that brings so many special moments. Her classmates are going to have a rough day today, dealing with her death, realizing how fragile life really is. Kaitlyn has known her since middle school. I can't imagine what her parents and close friends are going through this morning, especially the 4 other students who were involved in the accident. 

Please drive safely. People are in such a hurry, or talking on cell phones, or texting, or just being careless. I have been hypersensitive to these things since my own accident 3 weeks ago. Slow down, people.... stop for that yellow light instead of running the red light. Make sure there is no one coming before pulling away from a stop sign. Pull over to use your cell phone. Don't drive down the freeway typing text messages. Seriously... is it worth losing your life or taking someone else's? Just slow down and be careful! 

~Chelsea Pascoe~ rest in peace. 

~America~ pray for peace.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Tonight, 6 of my SILs and I are going to see Journey, Heart and Cheap Trick in concert. We have been waiting for this night for months! We have seats in the 7th row, and plan to have ourselves quite an evening. I am blasting Journey right now to get myself in the mood (not that my mood needs much convincing, really). I will probably listen to Journey all day today. 

My friend Deb lent me a DVD of a recent concert, and I have to say, it's a little weird to hear/see someone other than Steve Perry singing. But I'll give "the new guy" a chance and I'm sure I'll enjoy the concert nonetheless. He sounds very much like Steve.

(I am pretty sure that the first concert I ever went to was Journey, in the late 70s. I distinctly remember paying $6.95 for the ticket. Tonight's ticket cost roughly 20 times that amount. Luckily I am not paying for it. What is up with ticket prices these days? SHEESH! Even the nose-bleed seats are ridiculous!)

The weekend: I met my new grand-nephew on Saturday. Wouldn't you know it, I didn't have my camera. Let me just say, Charlie is a real sweetie, and so darned cute. I loved holding him and sniffing his little baby head. I wish he didn't live so far away. He's going to grow up so much in between visits. Darn. 

In other news...

Rhinebeck is quickly approaching. That means I have very few days left in my 40s! The big 5-0 is looming right up there in front of me. It's all good though. What better way to turn 50 than in the company of fiber-loving friends at Rhinebeck? I finally bought my tickets so it's official...I'm going to Rhinebeck! 

AND!!! It looks like there will be a trip to WEBS squeezed in on Thursday when I arrive. I'm flying into Hartford and my lovely hostess informed me that WEBS is about 45 minutes away and if I only have a carry-on (this may be an issue, but I will work around it!) we can zip over there for a short time before she has to be back home. WEBS! I'm going to WEBS! Thanks Christine! Big excitement even before the big weekend at Rhinebeck! 

There will be several friends there to help me transition into my 50s. Friends who I know here in Michigan, and friends I have known only online. I am finally meeting Christine (and hopefully Mary Beth) who I have known online for 11+ years. We have been part of an email loop which has seen members drop out over the years but there are still 11 of us who have kept in touch. Thousands and thousands of emails have been sent and read by all of us over the years. I have met some of them, and hopefully will someday meet them all. (HI loopies!)

Jane will come from GA, and I will also be meeting her for the first time, after knowing her online for quite a few years too. Jane has been so helpful to me as a test knitter for my patterns, and I have enjoyed our friendship so much as it has grown. I can't wait to see her in person! 

My friend Tamara will be driving from MI (hopefully Linda will still be able to join her!). Frankie used to be in our knitting group but she moved to NYC several years ago. She will be joining us as well.  

Now that the event is getting closer, I finally decided to get my butt in gear and have been knitting furiously these past few days on my Rhinebeck sweater. I am almost done with the back now, and that is only the first piece. Luckily sleeves and fronts are smaller, but that is 4 more pieces. Yikes. I am focused though, and hopefully will have it done in time. But, I just know that if I do finish it, temps will probably be in the 80s that weekend. And if I don't, well it will probably snow or something. So I'll work on getting it done so the weather will be picture-perfect for everyone who will be there.... never mind showing off the sweater, huh?

So that's the excitement around here. I'm off to make an appointment at the eye doctor to check out Corneal Refractive Therapy. It's a great alternative to LASIK for chickens like me who are afraid of the lasers, but still want to see without going through their day wearing glasses or contact lenses. If anyone has experience with this please leave me a comment!

I also need to call my doctor to make an appointment to get the results of all the tests from the past few weeks. Here's hoping they all say I'm normal! (not that I believe for a minute that I really am normal, but I'd like my test results to say I am!)