Monday, October 15, 2012


This picture is of a web that is being spun by an orb-weaver spider who resides just outside our front door -- actually, in the eaves, I think.  It's not the most beautiful web I've ever seen, but it certainly is the biggest.  She's been working on it for almost a week now and it grows daily.  The picture below is of the front of our apartment and the area within the square is about how big it is, and the dark line extending to the right shows her latest addition - a line that runs over to the bougainvillea bush.  So far it is all above our heads, but I think maybe a 6'4" person walking onto our porch without stooping would end up with a scarf of spider web draping down around his head and shoulders.

This is a fitting time of year for her to do this.  She's not the prettiest thing in the world, but she surely does fit the bill of a scary Halloween spider:

I had a visit with the eye doctor this morning - a regular 6-month followup visit due to glaucoma, a family trait.  I had high ocular pressure for a long time; finally the time came when I needed to put 1 drop of levobunolol in each eye once a day.  That's where it stands now and it has caused no damage.  I did learn today, however, that I have the beginnings of cataracts.  This is not surprising at my age and since I have not been bothered by any clouding or fuzziness, I admit to being a little surprised.
But when I got home and read the report the eye doc handed me, this new medical condition was reported as "Senile cataracts!"  Now I am totally insulted!  Senile, schmeenile!  Call it old-age cataracts, or if it has to have a more medical- sounding name I'd call it "Presby-cataracts."  (Presbyopia is the medical word for "old eyes.")  Anyway, it's just a good thing I wasn't still in her office when I read that form.  I know it isn't her fault, but I don't like the sound of senile anything!
Jerry and I had a big surprise at our last meeting of the Friends of the Library group we volunteer for.  The librarian reported that according to the County Board of Supervisors (our library is a county facility), all volunteers, both present and future, must now be fingerprinted and have background checks before we can continue to volunteer.  The kicker here is the word "ALL." All volunteers.  Not only the ones who tell stories to the children, but the ones who repair the damaged books in the work room; not only the parents who help out on the Wednesday afternoon monthly movie shown in the community room but all the high schoolers who come in to serve as helpers and pages among the stacks. 
The finger-printing must be done by a single company of the Board's choosing, at their facility.  Forms must be filled out containing certain information about us that will enable them to research our background, and then we are obligated to pay $42 for this "service."  If we prove worthy, we may continue to volunteer.
Jerry and I limit our volunteering to one FOL meeting per month (all adults) and two hours of working at the monthly fund-raising book sale.  We sit at a table and take the money.
I have a virginal white background, with nothing to hide.  And  I don't think this is a "Big Brother is watching you" type of thing; I don't like to see plots where there are none.  But I am not a happy camper.  Even the $42 is not the issue.  Of course I do think that we should take every kind of caution around children, but this is just too much. 
Last week I was driving down Van Buren heading in to Riverside when I noticed a big new billboard had gone up about one-half mile north of Limonite Road.  On it, the world's biggest Big Mac was sitting in front of some Golden Arches.  The wording was simple: 
As I whizzed by I laughed, because MacDonalds is LEFT on Limonite. 
This morning I drove that way again.  There is no MacDonalds billboard now.  OOPS!  Someone made a BIG mistake.
In the last year I have developed some cardiac palpitations, of which my doctors are aware.  No one except me seems to get excited about them.  And my own doctor says his grandpa (also a doctor) had them until he died at 94.  My friend Fran has kept me sane through these times, showing me by the fact that she is still alive and kicking that it is possible to ignore them and go on about your own business. 
Nevertheless, there are palpitations and then there are
the latter of which I think best decribe mine.  I've been thinking of how to let the doctors know that I am serious about how they feel.  And I've decided what best illustrates them:  when I have the bad ones, it feels like three junior high school boys have been turned loose in the percussion section of an orchestra and told to make as much noise as they want.  So they do, in my chest.
It's not fun, docs!

1 comment:

Olga said...

Finger printing was a matter of routine after a while for those of us working in schools.
We had a spider web in our window. I was so amazed at how incredibly strong those fibers were. I have also seen webs mounted on black backgrounds and framed at craft fairs for sale for far more money than I ever cared to spend.