It’s A Miracle!

It’s a miracle of modern technology and medicine.  See the picture below.

Selfie-eyes

This is me.  I now look like this all day while I’m awake.  Please notice that I am not wearing glasses.  For the first time in 63 years, I can see the world without Coke-bottle glasses, and that’s a miracle in my book.

I have had cataracts for many years, and they got worse within the last two years.  I had to start taking my glasses off to read, about a year ago.  I started having trouble reading my computer screen at work, which was very annoying.  So I made an appointment with the ophthalmologist at my local clinic.  We discussed what my options were, and I decided to have cataract surgery, and get implanted lenses, which would correct for both of my problems (nearsightedness and astigmatism).  This would be expensive, but that’s what I have savings for.

Last Tuesday morning, I had the first of two surgeries, on the left eye, which is the worst. I arrived at the clinic around 8AM, and there was an extensive pre-op routine where they put what seemed like a liter of various eye-drops in my eye, and inserted a Luer-lock port in my hand to allow IV sedation during the surgery.  That was the only painful part, and it wasn’t very painful.  Around 9AM, they wheeled me into the OR, and I introduced myself to the doctor and nurses.  The anesthesiologist injected the sedative, and I was draped with sterile drapes, and my face was cleaned with old-fashioned Betadine.  I got more eye-drops, and the surgery itself began.  You may not believe this, but I actually enjoyed the surgery while it was going in.  I was awake, and it looked to me like a light-show of various colored shapes.  I remember thinking that if I were an artist, I would like to paint what I saw. [I apologize if this gives you the willies].

The operation took about 15 minutes, and I was wheeled back into the Recovery area.  After about a half-hour of recovery, and finally being able to drink something (no food or drinks after midnight the night before is standard), hubby brought the car around, and we went home.  I could already see that the surgery was a success.  I could see things out of the left eye, like the clock display in the car, that were a blur to the right eye.  I had a feeling that this would be life-changing for me.  We got home, and I finally had breakfast.  I went home with three different eye drops, which I had to use every two hours while awake for the first two days.  What a pain!  After breakfast, I decided to just go back to bed, and I slept about four hours.  When I got up, I started getting used to my new vision.  For the first day, it looked like there was a gauzy curtain over the world, but that dissipated by Tuesday night.

I discovered that the human brain doesn’t take long to compensate for the different vision-capabilities in the two eyes.  When looking at distant objects, everything is clear, even though one eye is still uncorrected.  It is really remarkable when I cover my right eye and only look through the left.  I can see!!!!  I see my bedside clock without having to squint.

The next day, Wednesday, Hubby drove me to an 8AM post-op appointment at the clinic.  The nurse tested my vision, and my left eye, which was 20/200, tested at 20/25!  It’s not perfect, but it really is an earth-shaking improvement.  I don’t have the superlatives to describe how wonderful it is to be able to see without glasses.  That evening, I had my second wonderful experience.  I took a shower, and was able to see everything in the bathtub!  I will never again lose the sponge if I drop it on the floor.  I can see where the drips are, and wipe them off.

I went back to work on Thursday, and it was an adventure.  No more washing my glasses when they get dusty.  I can see my computer monitors without squinting, and unfortunately I can see clearly all the emails in my inbox! [I have limited backup in my department, so every little issue has to wait for me to return if I’m out]  I was pleased when two of my coworkers said I looked ten years younger.  After work, I had another new experience.  I had a haircut, and I could actually see what the hairdresser was doing while she worked!  In the past, I had to remove my glasses, and just trust that she was doing what I wanted, and now I can watch.  This is heaven!

The “intra-ocular lens” technology has been around for a while, but it’s only fairly recently that it became advanced enough to correct astigmatism.  I have always been in awe of the things human ingenuity has been able to accomplish, and I never take any of it for granted.  As the population of most countries ages, this kind of surgery is becoming more common, and eye surgeons do thousands every month.  It is minimally-invasive, ambulatory surgery, and has become almost commonplace in most advanced countries.  Medicare and most insurance plans cover it, so if it is recommended, there should be few if any obstacles to a person being able to get back nearly-perfect vision.

I am looking forward to getting the right eye done in two weeks.  I am also looking eagerly forward to joining the ranks of people who keep losing their sunglasses!  I can now go out and shop for fashion non-prescription sunglasses to take on our cruise to Hawaii in July.  The doctor said I might also need reading glasses for close work, so I can shop for those too, and become a member of the “left their reading-glasses somewhere” tribe.  It is fortunate that Costco sells them in packs of four!  I am going to be enjoying this miracle of good vision without glasses, for a very long time.  It’s a miracle!

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Take a Guided Tour, Through my Beautiful Pacific Northwest

I think I live in the most beautiful part of the USA, the Pacific Northwest.  Within one or two hours’ drive, you can be at the ocean, the lake, the mountains, or the desert.  Let’s start right close to my home, in Everett, Washington, just north of Seattle.

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This is Silver Lake, about a half-mile south of my house.  You can rent a little sailboat at Silver Lake Park in the summer, or have a drink on the deck at Emory’s Restaurant.

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Just a bit farther north, you can walk in the tulip fields of the Skagit Valley in April.

Mount Baker, seen from San Juan Ferry
Mount Baker, seen from San Juan Ferry, Puget Sound, WA

You can take a Washington State Ferry through the San Juan Islands at the northwest corner of the state.

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Liberty Bell Mountain

Turning east, you can drive over the North Cascades Highway, and see Liberty Bell Mountain.

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Or you can go east over the Cascades to Yakima, and drive down the shrub-steppe terrain along the winding Yakima River.

And if you’re a city kid, you can spend a pleasant afternoon at the Seattle Japanese Garden.

Seattle Japanese Garden with Pagoda
Seattle Japanese Garden with Pagoda

I hope you’ve enjoyed your tour of my beautiful Pacific Northwest.   Come visit sometime.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/tour-guide/

 

Photo Challenge……Beloved

I was reminded again this afternoon of how beloved our little cat is in our household.  She needed to have some teeth removed, so I took her to the vet yesterday afternoon (and she meowed plaintively all the way), and picked her back up this afternoon.  The vet said she was a “model patient” and didn’t give any trouble.  I knew she wasn’t herself on the trip home, when she was mostly silent.  I sure missed her at home last night.  Herewith, some of my favorite photos of the owner of our household, The Lady Kikyo.

Warm Cat
Kikyo, keeping me warm while I read

TwoCats

I don’t think she knows that the vase is supposed to be a cat.  This is a high plant shelf in our living room.

Kikyo, on her window perch
Our cat, Kikyo, on her window perch

Kikyo, our aristo-cat

Aristo-Cat.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/beloved/

 

Vindicated!! RushBabe’s Staying off Facebook and Twitter was the Right Decision

Vindicated!!  RushBabe’s Staying off Facebook and Twitter was the Right Decision

Just lately, there have been a number of stories in various media of huge tech companies having their discriminatory policies toward users with conservative viewpoints exposed to public view.

Just lately, the big story has been that Twitter staff have, behind the scenes, “shadow-banned” conservatives by making their tweets essentially invisible to their followers.  Current and former Twitter employees were caught on tape bragging about having made tweets by conservatives not available to their followers.

Earlier, a big story was how YouTube, owned by Google, banned PragerU from its service, comparing it to “white supremacists”.  Google is the Big Kahuna of the Internet, and its algorithm changes can prompt uproars from various “harmed” groups.  And then, there’s the recent case of Google engineer James Damore, who was fired for posting an internal essay regarding the internal culture of the company, which would put conservative employees “on trial” and shun them; many stories of disturbing content on internal Google message boards have come out recently.

Facebook, that other Big Kahuna, has also been accused by multiple parties of censoring its “news feed” to eliminate stories by and about conservatives.  It has also been called out for censoring user posts that show conservative views.

Gee, this seems to make me sound prescient for simply staying off Facebook and Twitter. So far, nobody has tried to censor RushBabe49’s conservative posts and viewpoint.  And I thank all my loyal followers for their support, even though it’s mostly silent.

Weathered, Creations of Man, and of Nature

This building was originally built in the twelfth century, in England.  The Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds.  Much of it has weathered away, with the help of the local people, who often used the fallen stones for new buildings.  But even the ruins are beautiful.

Bury St. Edmunds
Abbey ruins, Bury St. Edmunds

This spectacular example of Nature’s Creation, weathered, is Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.

Natural Bridge, Bryce
“Natural Bridge”, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

 

Funny, that natural arch almost looks like it could have been carved by men.  But no, we mimic nature, or try to.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/weathered/

 

…On the Other Hand… 2017 Wrap-up

…On the Other Hand… 2017 Wrap-up

2017 was an “on the other hand” year for RushBabe49.  For every great thing that happened, there was something disgusting in return.  No good thing goes un-punished, and 2017 was a great example.  Starting in January with the inauguration of duly-elected President Donald Trump.  Election night in 2016 was the most fun I had had in years, spending hours on the live chat on Ricochet.  Many members’ comments were priceless, and when we went to bed that night (some stayed up until the wee hours of the next morning) we were elated.  But the Left’s tantrums at having been defeated were not terribly unexpected, but they were more violent than we thought.  The “Resistance” was immediate and loud, and we have been putting up with it for the entire year.

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This response shows the level of culture of the majority of leftists.  They immediately start with the worst curse words they can come up with.  Too bad, President Trump remained in office.  The resistance was also widespread within the bureaucracy in DC, and every one of the new president’s appointments was drawn-out and fought tooth and nail by the “deep state”.  I remember being on a trip in February, and being regaled by all the crap thrown at Michael Flynn, who was forced out of his position for communicating with the Russian ambassador, which was part of his job!

The Deep State and the Democrat Senate Losers tried their best, but they could not stop the nomination and confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, one of President Trump’s most important achievements in his first year in office.  President Trump has also had confirmed twelve new federal Circuit Court judges, a victory for Constitutionalism.

On the other hand, 2017 was marked by numerous murders of police officers, many in ambush situations, all over the United States.  By July, the total of police officers killed in the line of duty had risen nearly 20% from 2016.  The Ferguson Effect, where community members not only do not help the police solve local crimes, but positively hinder them, was much in evidence.  The murder rate in cities like Chicago and Baltimore skyrocketed, as gang members felt more comfortable carrying on their wars in many neighborhoods.

The employment situation in the US improved in 2017, as companies brought jobs back from overseas and opened new factories.  About 1.7 million new jobs were created in Donald Trump’s economy, and the stock markets reached new record-highs multiple times throughout the year.  Locally, tech companies have been on hiring sprees, with software engineers and systems analysts able to field multiple job offers and basically write their own tickets.

On the other hand, the cost of living in many big cities has also gone up so high as to price non-techies out of the housing market.  Landlords raise rents, and ordinary working stiffs have to leave town to find places they can afford to live.  Those of us who own our homes already just face increasing property taxes and utility fees, but we can remain in our homes.

On the other hand, we saw huge data-breaches that exposed the personal information of hundreds of millions of Americans, who had NO choice of where their data were stored.  The big breach at the credit-reporting giant Equifax brought it home to Americans how fragile their hold is on their privacy.  The subject of cyber-security was a big one in 2017, and promises to remain so in the new year, and for the foreseeable future.

President Donald Trump’s 2017 economy also brought the opening up of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines and the opening up of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in places to oil exploration to increase America’s energy independence.  And the best news of all, the most consequential tax reform of recent history was passed in December, ensuring that the majority of Americans will see the government confiscating less of their hard-earned money.  The tax bill repealed the individual mandate of ObamaCare, so many young people will not be required to purchase unaffordable health “insurance” or pay a huge fine/tax.  Since their employers will also be paying less to Uncle Sam, employees may get another benefit from the new tax laws.  Many big companies have already announced special bonuses for their employees (including those sleazy liberal TV commentators who swore the bill was horrible for the country).

President Trump’s foreign policies have also borne fruit, with ISIS being deprived of most of the territory they held, the UN de-funded of $285 million, and Jerusalem being declared the Capital of the State of Israel.  We have now brought the Israelis back as our friends, when the Obama administration had denigrated them and sided with the anti-Semites in Europe.

On the other hand, 2017 has brought increasing conflict (mostly words so far on our part) with the madman at the head of North Korea, and the mullahs who still rule in Iran.  But President Trump is doing his best to unravel the one-sided Iran nuclear “deal” which was a terrible bargain for the US.  2018 is bound to bring more tensions on those fronts, but America will now be dealing from a position of Greatness, not leading from behind.

Illegal immigration to the United States has gone down dramatically since Donald Trump was elected, and that is in the absence of the border wall!  This shows that even the expectation of action can affect the behavior of those who might be affected by the action.  On the other hand, the “deep state” judiciary has continued to throw obstacles in the way of the President’s legitimate power to allow or not allow anyone to enter the US.  This makes me very angry, and so far every one of the “bans of bans” that makes it to the Supreme Court gets overturned.  I hope that in the New Year the Supreme Court will be able to finally rule that the Executive Branch is solely in charge of immigration policy.

Personally, my own situation has remained very good in 2017 and going into the new year.  Hubby and I are still gainfully-employed, mostly healthy, and comfortable in our home, with our owner, Kikyo the black cat.  I again played the full-length Messiah the day after Christmas, and was just transported by the wonderful singing of the choir; an excellent end to the season.

I extend my best wishes to all my readers and followers at Calling-All-RushBabes for a very Happy New Year of 2018.

Oh, yes, here are my two last photos of 2017, taken on a shopping trip this afternoon.

Winter tree 1

Winter tree 2