Monday, October 5, 2015

My Make Your Own Glass Flower

5 October 2015

The glass flower that I made on Wednesday arrived today.

Coincidentally, this is also what my eye looks like right now.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Driving Home with 1.5 Eyes

4 October 2015

Healing from a corneal abrasion is very slow at first.  Then things seem to improve by the hour. After that it's another week of slowly fading edema.

I've been through this enough times to know exactly where I am on the curve. Today's drive home happened during the rapid improvement phase.  I wouldn't have attempted the trip otherwise.

We listened to music and podcasts, and I stopped every hour and a half or so to walk around and reset my vision.  We took a long lunch break at a restaurant off one of the PA highways (we went through so many I lost track). When we reached Route 78, I was in home territory, and the last hour flew by.

Tomorrow I see my eye doctor.  She'll remove the contact patch and check my vision.  Until I get my left eye back, I'm not going to be on the bike.  I need my left peripheral vision for my rear-view mirror. I'm optimistic that by Saturday I'll be fine.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Stairways and Waterfalls

Top of the Gorge Trail, Watkins Glen, NY

3 October 2015

Watkins Glen, at the bottom of Seneca Lake, was on my list of things I wanted to do. Taking a page from Tom's book of Check the Radar and Do It Anyway, I checked the radar and did it anyway.  We had a window before the chance of rain went up, so I put on my darkest sunglasses and dragged Jack, and my eye and a half, up the 1.5-mile long trail.

The Gorge Trail isn't a trail in the purest sense, because it's all flat rock and built stairways.  On the other hand, there are over 800 stairs from start to finish.  This is a trail that can be done in jeans and sneakers. There were all sorts of people on the trail, none dressed like a hiker.  That's the kind of trail this is.

At the halfway point, the difference in fitness between me and Jack started to show itself. I  was hopped up on naproxen and caffeine, and focusing on the middle distance doesn't make my eyes tired, so I was happy to be moving.  Jack said he was awaiting death's sweet embrace. I supposed I'd have been more winded without a bloodstream full of drugs.

The intermittent drizzle at the bottom of the trail had changed to real rain at the top.  We paid a small fee to take a shuttle bus back to the trail head. The driver peppered the short ride with facts and sightseeing, including an elk farm (shed antlers fetch a pretty penny).  When we got back, I went into the gift shop and bought Jack a stuffed moose for being a good sport.

Now, the pictures.  I can't focus well today without my reading glasses, so I apologize in advance if the photos aren't up to my usual snuff:

These are not grapes:

The view from the top:

After lunch, the rain was coming down as hard as it had been when we got here.  We went to another winery because it was there and the website promised tours.

Glendora Winery is huge and has its own hotel.  It wasn't on Jack's list of good wineries, and they don't give tours after all. Being a rainy Saturday afternoon, the huge tasting room was crowded with more than just middle-aged heterosexuals. We saw our first minority outside of the museum/state park bubble.  The wine wasn't very good; Jack didn't buy any.

I took pictures of Seneca Lake from inside the tasting room:

We drove home and I took a nap.  My condition is much improved since yesterday, but I'm far from healed. I can only hope (because I can't do much more) that by 10:00 a.m. tomorrow the swelling will have gone down enough that driving for more than half an hour doesn't make me sleepy.  To combat that, I plan to have two mugs of Wagener Estate Bed and Breakfast's coffee at my side for the trip, and for Jack to poke at my leg at regular intervals all the way to New Jersey.

Hey!  I did this whole blog post without resting my face!  Improvement!

Friday, October 2, 2015

No Grapes Today

Somewhere Between Canandaigua and Penn Yan

2 October 2015

This will be a short post because the combination of edema and the contact patch is making focusing on the screen for more than half a minute impossible.

For Dale and Jim, cow:

We found lunch in Penn Yan and wandered around the town.  We found two bookstores and a penny candy shop, so the afternoon wasn't wasted after all.

Then we went back to the house, where I took two naps.  When your cornea is scratched, all you want to do is sleep.  Cheryl can back me up on this.

In the evening, we went back to the Outlet Trail because moving was easier for me than reading. We started about half a mile beyond where we stopped yesterday and walked for a mile or so before turning back.  We got to the car at sunset.



The Outlet stream:

An abandoned thing;

A closed bridge on a cross street:


Dinner was at a wine bar along the Outlet in Penn Yan.  Jack had gone the whole day without sampling any wine until dinner.  I've gone the whole day without caffeine.  That's not helping with the wanting to do nothing but sleep thing.

Now we're back at the house.  I think we'll watch more Daily Show and Nightly Show episodes tonight.  Focusing for those isn't important.

Depending on my condition tomorrow, we might get to Watkins Glen.

Yay Me! Corneal Abrasion #5!

2 October 2015

Big, big, BIG corneal abrasion! 6 mm x 3 mm this time.

Jack and I drove half an hour northest to Canandaigua, to the University of Rochester Eye Care Center.

The abrasion is away from my iris this time, which explains why my vision is nearly normal and I'm not light-sensitive. That threw me, so I'm glad I sought a doctor.

I'm wearing a soft "contact patch," a clear lens that covers most of the cut and keeps my eyelid off it, which will help it heal more quickly. It'll come out on Monday when I see my regular doctor.

So we've pretty much lost a day of vacation. Jack's OK with that.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Off-Dry, Fruit-Forward

Shaw Vineyards

1 October, 2015

No cows today, just grapes and lakes.

We started off at Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyards on the western bank of Seneca Lake.  I suppose it's OK to drink wine before noon if one is at a tasting.  By the end of the fifth sample, though, Jack was spitting out the wine.  One is expected to do that at a tasting. Who knew?  I've been spitting out wine for years.

I can now swallow wine made from Riesling or Gewurztraminer grapes. In the Finger Lakes, those two are everywhere. I'm unable, however, even with concerted effort, to finish a glass of wine, even over the course of a full meal. Tasting pours are much smaller than that, but I never asked for my own glass.  When I'd had my sip or two and Jack moved on to yuckier things, I'd wander off for pictures.

We were one of a handful of people at the winery.  Everyone who came in was a middle-aged, heterosexual couple.  Save for one Princeton-thin (you know what I mean) woman, all the rest were of a certain roundness that I am, as of yet, not.  Keep climbing those hills, OLPH, or you'll be one of them.  The Princeton-skinny woman was with a round little man who was loudly, pretentiously, effusive in his superlatives.  This is upstate New York wine; I knew he had to be wrong.

I asked if we could walk the gravel driveway through the vineyards.  Our server said we could, but that we should look out for wildlife, and for Rufus, the winery cat: "Scratch him behind his ears and he's your friend for life."

The clouds were thinning.  The light was metallic.  My pictures were overexposed.


When we got within ten feet of him, he stopped, dropped, and rolled.  After that it was a good five minutes of tummy rubs, head-slams, cuddles, and full-on purring.  Then we put him down so that he could return to his appointed rounds.

Next we went down the road to Shaw Vineyards.  It was here that I realized I'd heard the descriptor "fruit-forward" everywhere we'd been.  I took it to mean that the wine tastes like fruit at first, and that the Finger Lakes wineries have figured out which of their grapes will make wine that doesn't taste like it's from New Jersey.  I tried some more Riesling and Gwrrrrrrrrrrrrtz and trundled off again.

Now we were hungry. We found lunch at the (I'm not making this up) Himrod Eagle, where the waitress described the Eye-Talian dressing. The accent up here is North Midlands.  Think Ohio and Michigan.  Also, Jack and I have seen, outside of the Corning Museum of Glass, not a single non-white person since we arrived here Tuesday evening.

Next up, Ravines, on Keuka Lake.  I hopped out of the car once on the way:

The roads here, by the way, are crying out for a cycling road trip.  The terrain is open and rolling, with wide shoulders.  There are hills aplenty.  None is killer steep, but we drove on many that go on for miles.  One near our B&B goes on for 5 miles with about 1000 feet of elevation gain.  A ride around Keuka Lake, though, is under 50 miles and under 2000 feet of elevation gain.  We've done most of this by car by now.   The hills are on the opposite side of the lake from the road.

Anyway, after hearing "fruit-forward" a dozen more times, I took some more pictures:

We'd been around most of Keuka (pronounced Q-Kah), so we decided to finish the loop.  I did more hopping out of the car:

Our final vineyard was Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellar.  Fruit-forward, dry, blah, blah, blah.  I had heartburn, and I doubt I had more than half a glass over the course of the entire day.

Keuka Lake State Park was on the way home. We detoured into it to get close to the lake.  I'm not used to being near water with my hearing aids in.  "It sounds a lot more wet," I told Jack.

Keuka Lake and Seneca Lake are connected by a tiny outflow.  Next to it is a path that starts in Penn Yan and goes for seven miles. We started near the beginning of it, but sunset was closing in, so we didn't get far.

This pussycat didn't show us his tummy.

Now this is a fun boat!

"What do you suppose that is?"

Jack answered, "Pumpkin spice something."


Oh, geez. We'd better turn around!  We might see a squirrel!

I've been checking email periodically.  Tonight my boss informed me that I'll be going to Paris for a week or two, "soonish,"  to learn a technique that, until 8:00 p.m., he'd sworn over and over again for years that I'm not the person for.  Then, while putting something in the car in the dark, the top of the door grazed my left eye.  Fortunately, my eye was closed when it happened, but it's swollen, sore, and kinda stinging. I don't think I scratched it this time. Fortunately, I never travel without my cornea meds, so I'm gooped up.

My gears are stripped at the moment.

Tomorrow we'll take a look at the waterfalls at Watkins Glen and maybe taste more off-forward, fruit-dry Gweezlings.