Random 5 for October 9 – Summer ends, restaurants, fall cleanup, chores, dry eye

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s over – We get fresh corn on the cob from a farm stand. They specialize in it, staggering plantings so it starts early and lasts longer than other farms. It closed on Friday. No more corn until the end of next June. Corn is the beloved husband’s favorite vegetable. He is in mourning. Next I have to tell him it’s time to take down the porch awning. That’s never a good day either.

Lunch with friends – I met some girlfriends for lunch this week. We went to what used to be one of my favorite restaurants for Mexican food. Truth is that I found a restaurant that is a whole lot better and the difference is dramatic. Has a really good restaurant affected how you feel about an old favorite?

Dragging my feet – When spring comes, I’m all chipper about planting and opening things up. I don’t mind the work involved. It’s therapy. When it comes to winterizing, I drag my feet. There is a sweet spot to do that work – late enough so you get to enjoy every wonderful day, yet early enough so you aren’t doing it in freezing or (gasp!) snowy weather. After a really bad experience in the cold, I tend to err on the side of early but it is gut wrenching to pull out the annual flowers while they are still beautiful.

Yes but – Despite the paragraph above, I do not miss all the watering I had to do when those beautiful plants were in. Cleaning up the garden and planting areas has freed up my schedule somewhat. Now if I could get the birds to fill their own feeders, live would be golden.

eyeDry eye – Every year around this time, I get a bad attack of dry eye. A normal person would get it during the cold winter when the heating systems dry out the air. Not me. It’s uncomfortable and will last for a few weeks off and on. I know about the hot compresses and massaging the lids but it all gets old. If anyone has some new tips, I’m all ears.

So how was your week?

52 thoughts on “Random 5 for October 9 – Summer ends, restaurants, fall cleanup, chores, dry eye

  1. I’m so interested in your winter garden prep. I honestly didn’t now you actually pulled out the annuals. I’ve never experienced a garden with extreme weather conditions or snow. I pulled out dead zinnias just two weeks ago and they’ve already started to reseed. I have two-inch zinnias all over the garden and I’m needing to pull them like weeds. It’s hard to do! But I need a break, too. With our winter being so dry I will be watering all winter long…I get very tired of it, too!

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  2. I’m sad about the corn show closing, too. Veggies are one of the good things about warm weather. At least here we can keep swings up year round – nice in a sunny spot out of the wind in the winter – No porch, but the abandoned wooden swing posts works
    Husband battles goopey bleary eyes /tear duct/ assort eye issues. He also uses Occulid wipes. One thing you might check into is Tea Tree Oil for cleaning lids (Mayo Clinic recommends it for eye infections, too). Seems to help. So maybe ask Dr if works in your case?

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  3. Hi Kate, I read your blog all the time (though I rarely comment) and we have so much in common is it unbelievable. I too have suffered for years with a chronic dry eye problem. It was at its worst about 10 years ago (I am 66 now) and I tried everything including tear duct plugs and using preservative free eye drops and warm compresses and supplements – you name it I likely tried it! It was so bad at one point that I could not drive safely and took a short leave of absence from work. I know first-hand how depressing and frustrating it can be. I think my issues were “the perfect storm” because menopause played a role and then I ended up with rosacea which meant that applying heat compresses only made things much worse. There is a website called “The Dry Eye Zone” that I found helpful and also I finally got in to see a good opthamologist and she prescribed Restasin (it helps some people with amping up tear production). Over time I gradually got better and am not using Restasin for over 3 years now but am still nowhere near perfect. I do still take Omega 3 supplements (when I remember!) and I have found that I can simply use over the counter drops and have had good luck with Systane Ultra. It seems to work without irritating my eyes but, like you, I forget to use them a lot of the time. Don’t know if this is very helpful but at least you know you’re not alone with this problem. All the best, hope it gets better.

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    • I appreciate your comment. I’ve had it for 20 years (I’m in my late 60s). I was initially on Restasis for 3 years. It stung so badly that I couldn’t get my eyes open to get the drops in so I had to go off. It comes and goes. It’s rarely a problem in our humid summers but come fall it flares up. I can losedays because of the light sensitivity and it’s been years since I’ve been able to wear eye makeup. There are two treatments out IPL and Lipiflow that, while not resolving it completely, provide longer-term relief (compared to eye drops). I am going for an evaluation. If I can get something to get me through the winter, I’ll be golden. I’ve had several eye surgeries and that increases the dry eye issues. I am using a Systane product now but I don’t know if it’s the Ulta. I’ll check that out. I use a gel at night (blurs the vision so not good for daytime). I’m anxious to see what the new doc will say.

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      • Oh my gosh Kate, you mentioned light sensitivity and I had forgotten all about that part. At its worst, I had terrible light sensitivity so I can relate. I can remember going in to grocery stores and feeling like I was in a torture chamber with bright lights; it was excruciatingly uncomfortable to say the least. I too have not be able to wear eye makeup since getting dry eye syndrome (and I’d loved wearing mascara since my young teens). I feel so “plain” without it, but the irritation and the risk of damaging my eyes is too great. Yes, I did also find that the Restasis stings and it put me off continuing it too. I found one of the most disheartening things about having dry eye issues was other people’s complete lack of understanding about this disease. If I had a dollar for every time someone said to me “Yeah I have dry eye too; I use Visine” or “What’s the big deal? Just use some eye drops” I’d be rich. Unless you have personally been through this, you cannot possibly understand how debilitating it can be! Please post an update about this; I’d really like to know if the new doctor can help you. All the best.

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        • There is dry eye and there is dry eye disease. I can tell if people have the disease by their response. I worked with a guy whose wife had it worse than I do. This was back in the 60s or 70s and there wasn’t much help for it. She wouldn’t even consider a beach vacation. It’s not terminal but it can limit what you do. PS: As soon as I get in my husband’s car I close the roof window shade and pull down the shade on the front window. I wouldn’t even consider a ride in a convertible!

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  4. Q1: Has a really good restaurant affected how you feel about an old favorite?
    A1: Yes. And the same has held true about beverages. I think I love a certain beer or coffee, then find a new one that puts the previous one to shame. It’s all about adapting.
    Q2: If anyone has some new tips [about dry eye], I’m all ears.
    A2: My life revolves around this problem. My advice is get to an eye doc who’ll give you a prescription of Alrex, an eye drop that you use as needed. Wonderful, life-changing product. Really.

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  5. You’re all ears about a solution for your eyes? There’s a joke in there somewhere. 🙂 Try washing your eyelids with baby shampoo (do it in the shower — easier). That’s always worked for me based on a suggestion from an optometrist I once had.

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  6. Yes to your question about restaurants. We had a favorite Chinese restaurant in Chesterfield, MO when we lived there and we ate there three times a week… seriously. We have been gone from there since 2001 but think nothing of driving 2 hours to eat there. Lately it has been disappointing in several ways. We found a new Chinese restaurant a year ago and it is definitely an upgrade… Happy! Kills me to take in the Under the Oaks sitting chairs and table for wine time… it’s coming up 😦

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  7. The nice thing about the changing seasons is that there’s always something to look forward to, even it’s just not having to water until next summer. I actually like standing out in the late afternoon with my hose–once I get out there. And yet, I always drag my feet. Now I’m enjoying the bright colors of fall and the long shadows and golden tinge to afternoon light. But, oh, I hate losing the long, long days when you can still take a walk at 8 o’clock in the evening.

    Don’t you love the newer Mexican restaurants that make fresh guacamole to your specifications at your table and let you watch them made fresh tortillas? Chinese cuisine has changed so much over the years. When I was a kid, I used to like the hometown restaurant that served chop suey, chow mein, and egg foo yung. I’ve gone through quite a few upgrades since then.

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    • We don’t have one that makes guac at the table yet but we had one where you could watch this little Mexican lady make tortillas. Unfortunately it closed. My Chinese has had a few upgrades too. It’s getting dark before 7 here. Way too early.

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  8. I’m with you. Now I know why people retire to Florida. The chill, even today, is too much for me.

    Do you know, I’ve never really had Mexican food…a quesadilla on a film set…but never in a real restaurant. I’ve been do sheltered.

    I love when you write about your yard and its charms. Makes me think of Connecticut…my grandmother’s hydrangeas she called snowballs….the freshly cut grass. And of course, I LOVE your pond stories.

    Yes, cold is coming big time, but spring will return before you can say, I’ll have a taco please…make it two. 🙂

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  9. Have you tried adding more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet to relieve the symptoms of dry eyes? This fat is known to reduce inflammation in the body. For some it helps to relieve dry eyes by reducing eye inflammation and allowing for more tear production. It could be worth a try. Good luck!
    Donna

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    • Thanks for the suggestion. I took flaxseed oil tablets for years until my GI doctor said to stop them. They can cause IBS symptoms. I’ve tried adding fish but I don’t eat it all that often. That’s an area I can concentrate on.

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  10. While we don’t have to winterize our garden where we live, pretty soon I should cover our deck furniture. Even that simple task makes me sad. But, we are still experiencing summer-like weather so I can put it off a while longer.

    I get dry eye too, but several eye drops a day (I think it may be a special kind) seems to keep it under control for me.

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    • Eye drops are so temporary for me. I get involved in stuff and unless I’m having a flare up and it’s bothering me, I forget. There are a few treatments that I want to look into that offer longer lasting results. I was hoping a reader could offer advice on that but so far nada.

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  11. I’m the same way about restaurants. Sometimes I go back to my old stomping grounds and am disappointed. Then I wonder if the restaurant has gone downhill or if my tastebuds got spoiled by better food. I’m never sure!

    I’m jealous of your winterizing. It’s been 85 here. I want fall now!

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  12. I kept meaning to try that corn this year…never made it over there. Too bad. On another note, I put out a bird feeder. I even put a trail of seeds on the ground leading to the feeder. I have had 3 birds in a month come to it! And no squirrels at all. It makes me sad. 😦 Besides being nice to the birds, I thought it would be entertainment for the cats too!

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    • It takes a while for them to find it. Is the seed black oil sunflower (that’s the best). Some of the mixes includes seeds that aren’t favorites. I wouldn’t give up. I have 4 feeders — 3 sunflower seeds and 1 niger and they are all full most of the time.

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