Callaghan and I went to the optometrist on Saturday, about a year overdue for eye exams. On my part, I’d been procrastinating because I knew I could no longer get away without hearing the word “bifocals.” Because in the last year and a half, my reliance on reading glasses ruined it for my distance glasses. My distance vision is now better without my current prescription, and that shocking realization finally landed me in the optometrist’s chair of bifocal doom.

My exam was uneventful. Callaghan was in the room, as I’d been in the room for his exam, and the optometrist joyfully shared her findings with him as she scrutinized my eyeballs.

“Look! She has a scar on this iris, an old one, probably from a chemical burn,” she said to him, thus divulging my unfortunate run-in with some caustic liquid in the Army motor pool of my first permanent party post in Germany back in 1988. I don’t remember what the liquid was. I just remember being rushed to the infirmary to get my eye rinsed out.

Callaghan stepped over to view my chemical burn eye scar through the microscope thing eye optometrists use to peer into your soul plus all of your past lives.

“Oh yeah,” he said. “It looks like a slug.”

Great. My husband saw a slug permanently etched onto my eyeball. Is nothing sacred? Thanks, optometrist lady.

But really, we loved her. She was awesome and hilarious, though she did, indeed, say “bifocals” to me. To us. Callaghan needs them, too! Haha!

Then we had the whole discussion about our options.

Bifocals are visible glasses within glasses. “Bifocals” is a euphemism for THE WEARER IS OLD.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a wuss about aging. I have nothing against being old enough to need bifocals. That word, though. Bifocals.

We also had an option to get “progressives,” which is a euphemism for THE WEARER IS OLD AND IN DENIAL. It’s where the eyeglass lens is invisibly sectioned off, with each section differing according to where you look. Multiple prescriptions can merge to create one-stop-shopping lenses that look like regular glasses.

The optometrist explained that with progressives, you get vision correction for distance, mid-range, and near. So does that make them trifocals, then? (Let’s not answer that.)

I’d mostly heard about progressives from people whose attempts to wear them met with failure. The glasses caused a headache, the glasses made them dizzy, and the glasses never behaved according to their programming. The wearer basically couldn’t see and felt crappy because of them. So the wearer gives up and either settles on bifocals, or uses two different pairs of glasses, as we’ve been doing.

Granted, I probably know many people who wear progressives successfully. I just never hear about those, thanks to the human tendency to enjoy telling negative stories more than positive ones. It’s hard to get something sensational out of good news.


Has a more enticing ring to it than:


Our progressive glasses are on order, and we should be receiving them within two weeks. My beloved reading glasses are about to get much less use.


Reading glasses

Reading glasses


Now read this post again while listening to Queen’s “Bicycle Race.” When Freddie sings, “I want to ride my bicycle/I want to ride my bike,” hear it as “I want to wear my bifocals/I want to have six eyes.”

Nounours had dental work.

Three weeks ago, the fur-kids went to the vet for check-ups and vaccinations, and two things came of it: Nounours had to have dental work, and he had to go on a diet. We’d known he needed to lose a few pounds, so that part wasn’t a surprise. We’d suspected that he was due for a teeth-cleaning, so that wasn’t much of a surprise, either. We were fully surprised, though, to learn that he needed to have at least one tooth extracted. Pauvre Nounours!

We got home and entered the house with Nenette thrilled that we brought her back with us (she has residual abandonment issues, poor little thing), Nounours happily unaware that he was scheduled for major dental work in the next few days, and Callaghan and I feeling like the most terrible, negligent cat parents in the world. How could we not have known that he had a mangled tooth rotting in his mouth? He must have been in pain or at least uncomfortable for a while, and we could have helped him a lot sooner. But we finally took him in, and he had his dental work. The doctor ended up having to extract two teeth, but the operation went well, and the rest of his teeth “cleaned up beautifully.”

Nounours had dental work, and he’s on a diet.


Dieting Nounours minus two teeth.

Dieting Nounours minus two teeth.


Nounours had dental work, and the cops are always at the downtown Tempe CVS.


Nounours had dental work, and he and Nenette will now occupy the kitty chairs at the same time in tacit acceptance of each other’s presence.


Mine. Yours. ~Nenette Whatever. I'm sleeping. ~Nounours

Mine. Yours. ~Nenette
Whatever. I’m sleeping. ~Nounours


Nounours had dental work, and by 5:30pm last Friday, a stack of fake IDs had already been confiscated at the place where we met with work friends.

That’s a lot of fake IDs so early in the evening.


Nounours had dental work, and there are parrots in the trees on campus.

He almost blends in!


Nounours had dental work, and Mommy got new reading glasses from Fry’s Electronics, of all places.


Nounours had dental work, and now he bears some resemblance to the Dos Equis Guy.




Same attitude. Same eyebrows. Same bottle of Dos Equis.

Happy Friday, All!

What I’m Digging Right Now – May Favorites

May was a long month that brought a slew of healthy challenges. (If there isn’t already a book called The Introvert’s Guide to Surviving a Month of Houseguests, I might write one.) May was also fun, satisfyingly busy, and rife with “little things” that provoked delight. I actually had to decide which ones to feature here! I doubled some up, so the 10-item list below really contains 13 things. Let’s start with…

1). New reading glasses.


Animal print reading glasses in the shadows

Animal print reading glasses in the shadows


Before we went to California for Memorial Day weekend, I went shopping for a summer hat for Mom and ended up walking out of Steinmart with two hats for her and these reading glasses for myself, because seriously, who am I to pass on a pair of animal print reading glasses?

It’s great knowing my prescription, by the way. This purchase was a no-brainer, and in fact, I was hardly responsible… the display of animal print glasses pulled me toward it, and all I had to do was find the ones marked +1.25.  I actually needed a pair, though (my rickety old ones fall off my face when I look down).


2). Snapea Crisps Harvest Snaps.


Snapea Crisps! SO GOOD.

Snapea Crisps! SO GOOD.


Snapea Crisps are an old favorite of mine I re-discovered when we got back to the States. At some point during the month of May, they became a staple in our kitchen. They’re as satisfying as potato chips, but they’re baked rather than fried (0 trans fats, 0 cholesterol), and they carry nutritional value… one lightly-salted serving gives you 5g protein, 4g fiber, 230 mg potassium, 6% calcium and 8% iron. I always count out an exact serving of 22 pieces, because if I don’t, I’d probably consume the whole bag in one sitting.

Nutritional density notwithstanding, I know it’s unhealthy to snack on crispy, salty little things in front of the T.V. – we are aware, and we do try to keep it to a minimum. But… you know. Some things just go together beautifully. Rock stars and models.  Desert and rain. Snapea Crisps and Mad Men.


3). Artichokes and cherries.


It so happens that two of my favorite varieties of edible flora come into season in May!

When I bring home artichokes, I keep it simple, boiling them with a bit of olive oil and salt and eating them with grape-seed oil Veganaise. Prepared in this manner, the artichoke becomes a glorious magic carpet that carries me off into a cloud of gustatory euphoria. Forget food porn. The artichoke is nature’s Demerol. We’re still indulging, as they’re having a long season this year.

As for the cherries, they ripened earlier than usual this year in the California orchards… they’re technically more a June fruit than May. Dad took us cherry-picking when we were there with Callaghan’s father, though, so they made it onto the list. We brought home heaps of lovely Brooks and Rainer cherries. Like the Snapea Crisps, I have to ration them out when I start eating them, because I will OD on them (if you’ve ever OD’d on cherries, you’ll know what I mean when I say it’s not pretty).


4). Clif Mojo Dark Almond Cherry Trail Mix bar and Cascadian Farms Organic Peanut Protein Bar.


My new favorite energy and protein bars... and a weird fruit that seems to be a mutant kumquat.

My new favorite energy and protein bars… and a weird fruit that seems to be a mutant kumquat.


Yet more food!

You know I’m always on the hunt for perfect energy and protein bars, “perfect” meaning simple, delicious and balanced. In May, I discovered the Clif Mojo Dark Almond Cherry Trail Mix bar and the Cascadian Farms Organic Peanut Protein bar, and they are fantabulous both pre- and post-workout. Anytime, in fact.


Now, let’s talk skincare products…

5). Olay Total Effects 7 in One Anti-Aging Eye Treatment.


Olay Total Effects 7 in One Anti-Aging Eye Treatment

Olay Total Effects 7 in One Anti-Aging Eye Treatment


I ran out of eye cream in May, so I thought I’d get one I hadn’t tried yet. I picked up the Olay Total Effects 7 in One Anti-Aging Eye Treatment, and it quickly became a favorite. It appears to have a tint of color, but it doesn’t… it’s slightly brightening, and it actually reminds me a lot of Clinique’s All About Eyes (it’s similar in color, and it has the same light, velvety texture and feel on the skin). I put it on twice a day, in the morning and at night. I’m definitely going to re-purchase it once this one’s finished!


6). Garnier Clean Nourishing Cleansing Oil (for dry skin).


Garnier Clean Nourishing Cleansing Oil

Garnier Clean Nourishing Cleansing Oil


I used to use olive oil on my face at night, so when I came across this new cleansing oil from Garnier last month, I thought I’d try it out. The verdict? Love it. It’s light yet rich with jojoba and macadamia nut oils, it smells nice, and it just feels good when I work it into my skin. Now, that part of my nighttime routine is less about removing my makeup and more about my face getting massage therapy. I rinse the oil off with water and follow it up with my normal nighttime cleanser (I’m currently using one by Simple).


7). Victoria’s Secret VS Fantasies fragrances in Sensual Blush and Amber Romance.


Victoria’s Secret VS Fantasies fragrances in Sensual Blush and Amber Romance

Victoria’s Secret VS Fantasies fragrances in Sensual Blush and Amber Romance


May brought warmer weather that I interpreted as an excuse to get a new fragrance. Walking by a Victoria’s Secret one day, I impulsively went in and tested every scent in their VS Fantasies collection on every available square inch of skin on both my arms until I couldn’t smell anything anymore. In the end, I decided to go with Sensual Blush (I got both the fragrance mist and the ultra-hydrating hand and body cream) and Amber Romance (the eau de toilette). I layer them, and the combination is sensational!


8). Chihuly in the Garden

When I realized that artist Dale Chihuly had returned to the Desert Botanical Gardens to show his work again – I’d gone with a friend to see his exhibit there a few years back – I had to seize the opportunity, and it was an excellent circumstance that one of our houseguests was with us at the time. Chihuly in the Garden was quite an unusual treat for a visitor from France! Spring in the desert is magnificent as it is, with all the cactuses in bloom… add the installation of Chihuly’s colorful glass sculptures amongst the desert flora, and you find yourself in a place of sheer alien beauty. It’s like springtime on another planet.



9). Chef (film)




We loved, loved, loved this movie! We loved everything about it… the story, the writing, the cast, the humor. It’s a comedy, and it’s incredibly well-done. I’m not in the business of writing film reviews, so all I’ll say about Chef is GO SEE IT!


10).  Evernote




Ooh, online organizational tools!!

Yeah, I know. But what can I say. I had to start using it for work, and now I’m a card-carrying Evernote nerd with a paid subscription for a personal account (in addition to my work account). Two Evernote accounts! Yikes.

I still maintain my beloved Franklin-Covey agenda, though. Paper forever!

That about wraps it up for May. We’re only two days into June and I’ve already noted two things for my June Favorites post, so it looks like another fun month ahead. =)


Yesterday was my optometrist appointment at the V.A.


My eyes en route to the V.A. eye doctor.

My eyes en route to the V.A. eye doctor.


First, the doctor consulted my chart to check my age. Then looked at me suspiciously, but smiling.

“I have to ask you this,” he prefaced carefully. “Do you ever notice that you have a hard time seeing close print when you’re wearing your glasses for distance?”

“Sometimes, yes,” I answered truthfully, giggling. I knew where he was going, and I couldn’t contain my mirth. At last! I’ll be 45 in two months, and I’ve finally reached the crossroads of life with “BIFOCALS” pointing one way and “READING GLASSES” the other. SO EXCITED.

I’m not even being sarcastic. This might sound weird, but I’ve been eagerly anticipating aging-related far-sightedness since my 30’s, when I started noticing reading glasses in interesting, artsy styles and colors displayed in the drugstores. Before Callaghan and I left France, I made sure to pick up a couple of pairs so when the time came I’d be all set with some cute French ones.


Reading glasses from the Pharmacie du Vercors in Bourg-de-Péage, one of the villages close to where we lived in France.

Reading glasses from the Pharmacie du Vercors in Bourg-de-Péage, one of the villages close to where we lived in France.


I keep the black pair on my desk, and the hot pink and black ones in my purse. Recently, I’ve actually had occasion to bust them out to read the ultra-fine-print on food packaging ingredients lists at the store. (I read the ingredients on absolutely everything. Funny how food manufacturers often make it deliberately difficult with their microscopic fonts.)

“We’ll find out in a minute,” he reassured me as he slid over to the equipment. At the end of the exam, he was still grinning. We’d whiled away the time bantering about this and that, and he’d dilated my eyes and pronounced them healthy.

“Okay,” he said. “Now we have a little decision to make!” He explained that I could get bifocals if I wanted to, but I don’t really need them right now, and once you get bifocals, you can never go back, and that might be a good reason for me to wait another year. If I wait another year, I could easily deal with the mild far-sightedness I’ve got going on at the moment. I don’t wear my glasses all the time, anyway. My prescription is very light.

“In any case, I’d say you can get away with another year,” he concluded. “But it’s really up to you, since you’re so borderline. You can get bifocals when you’re 46….” He paused. I was cracking up.

“We make them without lines now.”

“I think I’ll pass on the bifocals this year. I have some cute reading glasses from France that I want to use.”

“Do you have them with you? Let me see these French reading glasses!”

I extracted the glasses from my bag and put them on.

“Oh they ARE cute!” the doctor said.

I left after ordering a pair of normal glasses with tortoiseshell frames in a modified cat-eye. The V.A. has quite an impressive selection! They look nothing like BCGs.