Saturday, July 31, 2010

Greeting at Our Front Door

Warning!  Creepy crawly pictures follow.

Do you see her?  She has chosen an unfortunate place to build her home.  Each time we open and close the door, her home shakes.  And when we open the door inward, she is hanging over our entry rug, which gives some of us the willies.

She's beautiful, and she made a pretty zipper for her home (see it, under her right front legs?), and we appreciate that she is grabbing bugs that want to crawl and fly in,  but she simply cannot stay there.

I think she is Argiope aurantia. I understand these spiders are not particularly venomous to humans - they seldom bite, and their short fangs may not even pierce skin.  Their venom is weak enough to not be a cause of concern.  Mostly they just sit in their pretty webs waiting for a hapless bug to fly by.  These are about the only spiders I can look at without getting the heebie-jeebies.

Our friendly front-door spider has been relocated.

Friday, July 23, 2010

right 7.0 left 4.75

If the numbers above make sense to you, then you probably wear contact lenses, too. 
Inspiration for this post comes from my friend Science Geek, a fellow lens-wearer. 

I've worn contacts more than half my life.  Now, as I grow further into my era of reading glasses (I own about $7-worth of glasses, all purchased at Dollar Tree.  I also own $2-worth of sunglasses from the same source), I often wear contacts and glasses at the same time.  Remember this picture? We are both wearing contact lenses.

This is the way Earthgirl often sees her parents looking at her. (Note - the sky looked just like that right out of the camera - isn't it lovely?)
I started wearing old-fashioned contact lenses in high school because glasses just bugged me. Let me tell you, you had to be dedicated to wear the original hard, non-gas-permeable contact lenses!  PB switched to contacts in his mid-20's after his glasses got knocked off his face once too often in a basketball game. 

Those old-fashioned hard lenses had one advantage over today's wonderful, gas-permeable, high-moisture lenses: you could pop one out and into your mouth for a quick rinse.  Shhhh, don't tell the eye doc!  He/She will tell you all about eye infections.  I'm sure eye infections happen; I just never had one in 8 years of...well,...spit-polishing.

So, after reading SG's story, I got to thinking  about contact lens-related mishaps.  I've dropped lenses down drains and on the floor, but not as often as you might think.  These absent-minded mistakes happen more often for me:

Polishing glasses while driving.  Not a good idea.  I am used to taking off my sunglasses for a quick shirt-polish on a straight-away, and tend to do the same thing absentmindedly when my contacts are out and  I am wearing my glasses.  This results in everything around me going BLUR. I replace them in a hurry, smears and all. 

Putting both lenses in one eye.  I am blinking, trying to focus my right eye, which is overcorrected, while trying to find the left lens that I think I have dropped.  After 30+ YEARS of contact lens-wearing, I now know to try searching in my right eye for the left lens.

Putting the wrong lens in the wrong eye.  I catch this one pretty quickly, since my right eye is way more blind than my left.  I'm usually blinking my right eye, trying to focus better as I put in the left lens, then as I put in the left lens, everything starts swimming...whoa...that ain't right...  PB's eyes are much closer to each other in nearsightedness, so he often runs around for awhile trying to blink a bit more clarity in before he tries switching the lens...there...that's the ticket...

Putting a lens in flipped inside out.  Blink...ouch...blink...that ain't right...

All that said, I am SO thankful to live in this day when my vision can be corrected to near-20-20.  Sometimes I think about what my life would have been like if I had lived a few hundred years ago.  My world would have been limited to the things very close to me.  My household would have to be well-organized and simple.  I could still hand-sew, if I carefully placed my needle where I could find it.  I would have trouble recognizing friends until they were close.  I would wear a permanent squint, though I'd not see it if I glanced at a mirror.  I might have many more headaches than I have now.  Though I appreciate and even feel nostalgia for the olden days, I think God for all He has given us NOW. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer holiday weekend

It doesn't get any better than this!

Friday, July 2, 2010

What they are reading

Earlier this month I helped during our homeschool group's standardized testing.  (Here in Florida, standardized testing is not required for homeschoolers, but is one option to meet our state's requirement to evaluate our students.  This was Earthgirl's first time going through the testing process.)  Seventy-five 4th-12th graders took the CAT tests in our room. 

Our test coordinator encouraged the students to bring something to read in case they finished a test section before the time limit.  Almost all the students finished every section with time to spare.  I peeked over shoulders to observe what they were reading  during my walk-around.  Here are a few titles:

Twilight - New Moon
Twilight - a different one, I didn't see the name
Chicken Soup for the Soul
The Tale of Despereaux
Blink of an Eye
National Geographic Magazine
Treasure Island
Only You Can Be You
Personal Journal - art and words
Nancy Drew (2)
Banner in the Sky
Graphic novel, wordless cover featuring a teen girl with big, sad-looking eyes
Lord of the Rings

I was surprised that only one or two teens texted when they finished their test sections.  Along with reading, some drew (Earthgirl was fascinated with artwork being drawn by a highschool boy at her table), some wrote, some decorated their namecards, and one quietly made paper airplanes, which, of course, went flying during each break. 
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