Wednesday, June 06, 2012
On May 20, 2012, there was an annular eclipse of the sun.
My cousin is one of my most favorite people in the world. He's a computer engineer who has done work on a few artificial hearts that keep people alive, but his passion is photography. He's got a fantastic eye and he makes a little money with his photography, too.
We've been best friends since we were tiny. There's a great meeting of the minds between us and we let each other 'BE' - its always been that way and I feel lucky every time we get the chance to do something together with our families.
My 13yo son is a budding astro-photographer. He's gotten some pretty spectacular shots with the 2nd hand equipment he's managed to obtain.
We started planning for this 18 months in advance. We decided a great place to get some dramatic shots would be at Ship Rock in NM. As you can see, it's only a few minutes off the center 'track' for the eclipse.
My mom called us the Squint Squad, but I'm not really sure what that title is in reference to. She laughed when I said that.
At any rate, the trip to Ship Rock went well - my kids got to see the painted desert among other things. I really had a hard time NOT stopping and scraping up some of the oxide-rich soil. We got a lot of photos, however, and I made a list of the oxides that created each color and that was a lesson for my kids after we returned.
We enjoyed Table Mesa
We thought it would be nifty to get a shot of all the kids with their solar glasses on.
Back to the eclipse. As previously stated, we weren't right on the line (as indicated on the map) where the 'ring of fire' would be perfectly centered. However, we were close enough to get really good shots.
Here's one of the pics my son took through his telescope
Here's a composite my cousin took
Just after the sun set over the rock
After we returned to Tucson, there were two more events! An eclipse of the moon
And Venus transiting the sun.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
LADYROSE 'dug' this up somewhere and posted it previously. It's funny even if it's not true for everyone. It's extra funny to me because IT smacks of TRUTH!!!
My nosey neighbor is south of me - sometimes when I'm hauling dirt into the yard with my wheelbarrow, Nosey is so curious, Nosey goes and does nice things for the neighbor to the east. (Nosey is in this life strictly for Nosey - doesn't do nice things for anyone unless there is something in it for Nosey.) On the way, Nosey cranks their neck so hard trying to get a look in my yard that I'm truly amazed it isn't broken.
Was out in the yard this morning working. The fence on the north side of my yard has been having some troubles and yesterday, I found a big rat's nest outside that part of the yard - he's been sneaking into the yard and doing bad things. My feral cat crew has apparently made friends because he's done his thing unchallenged for a while now.
I flooded his nest til he ran off, then I dug it up, filled it with clay soil that will pack hard and put big 20+lb rocks all over that. Just to obliterate his scent trails, I washed it all down with ammonia.
Well, my comings & goings through that gate on the north side of my fence were just too much for Nosey. Nosey got up on their roof to see what I was doing. Seriously.
I came through the gate with my toothy shovel in hand and saw Nosey. I started laughing almost uncontrollably. Nosey freaked out and FELL OFF the ROOF!
Nosey landed on something hard enough I heard that crash and sorry, but I laughed a little harder. I stopped when Nosey screamed for help. Waited for a minute til I heard someone come out to help.
Apparently, Nosey landed in a big Prickly Pear cactus.
They grow naturally around here and some folks, Nosey included, choose to keep them in their back yard as well as the front yard. We got rid of the cacti and have a more family-friendly back yard.
At any rate, no broken bones, but they'll be picking stickers out of Nosey for weeks to come.
Couldn't have happened to a nicer Nosey.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Three years ago, my mother had cataract surgery. Immediately after the surgery, she noticed that things didn't look right. Since she was an avid reader, her best description of how things looked to her included the page of a book. Take the page, cut it in half lengthwise, then move the right side of the page up about half an inch. THATS how things looked to her. Her doc tried and tried to correct this, but couldn't. She got tired and quit pressing. I had my reservations, but I learned long ago how far forcing my mother to do anything got me. Nowhere, maybe even back a few steps...
Last year, she developed clouding in her vision and it turned out that she needed to have her implanted lenses 'lasered off' - I don't remember the technical name for this procedure right now, but that's basically what they do. It clears the proteins and other organic substances that build up on the lenses.
Immediately after this procedure, she remarked how her vision was markedly different. Not good. Her doc sent her to a specialist and the diagnosis of Macular Degeneration took my breath away.
My mother is a go bug. She is independent. She's stubborn as an old horse and anyone who has tried to physically pull a horse anywhere they really didn't want to go knows how tiring that is! She smokes (gah! I've preached, begged, cajoled, all to no avail... at least she's using the extra filters now...)
This diagnosis hit her like a ton of bricks. She was down and sinking.
Started doing some reading and research. Learned a lot about macular degeneration. Thank God it was the dry one.
Discovered some really interesting things about supplementing for Macular Degeneration. Like many ailments, there are claims that folks have reversed it with nutrition and supplementation. I took those claims with a grain and decided that while I would certainly hope for improvement, my aim was to put my size 11 foot right in the middle of the degeneration and stop that in it's tracks!
My mom is a pretty healthy eater, she just smokes. Smoking depletes some vitamins/minerals. She gets the little filters she puts on the ends of her cigs that prevent her from getting ALL of the garbage from those dang things. I'm just grateful for every tiny bit of trying she does in that aspect because I truly think she just likes to do it.
I made some minor suggestions for her diet and then I bought her a load of vitamins, minerals. Specifically, melatonin, zinc, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin b2, lutein, glutathione and Magnesium. She takes others, but these are specifically for her eyes.
Also talked to her about the power of positive thought - she's not really a negative person, but this got her down. I reminded her about the time she tore her meniscus and the doctor was going to schedule surgery, but she delayed him. By the time she went back to visit him again, it was well. She said she 'thought it well' because she didn't want that surgery. I implored her to employ that again for her eyes..
Last May, her vision was in the 20/200 territory and she'd miss letters right in the middle of each line she was reading. Yesterday, she got 20/50 and, while she did miss the occasional middle letter, she didn't miss all the middle letters.
The word 'phenomenal' was used over and over by the specialist!
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