>Crazy Eyes: Part 2

>I quit.

I think I mean it this time. Part of the reason my blogging has been light is I’ve been trying out and trying to adjust to contacts. Bifocal contacts.

No big deal, right? Well, this old dog can’t seem to learn this new trick.

I had four different options to test out. The first group was a set of three variations on the new cool bifocal theme: concentric rings. Sounds high tech and gee whiz wow: concentric rings of near and far distance and the eye adjusts the image in your brain to bring it all into one coherent sharp edged picture. Yeah, right.

In actuality however, it is much more like those old cartoons where a character gets hypnotized and their eyes start to spin in a psychedelic swirl, around and around. Like this.
Courtesy of squidoo.com/optical-illusion videos

So the sets I was given had one with far distance in the center, one with one eye with center far and one eye center near, and one set with the different centers but different magnification. And then, just to make sure I had enough choices, I had a monovision lens to test out. Kind of the same theory of different eyes, different magnifications, one sharp image in the brain.

So, you would think out of all these wonderful, extensive choices, I would find the perfect set of contacts. I might have, except for the bumping into things. Ok, not really. But close. The monovision made me tippy. Not tipsy (sheesh!) but tippy, kind of off kilter. So those had to go. The others seemed ok. The far was fantastic. And the near, reading…well, I tried. I squinted, I reached my arms as far as they would go, I popped ibuprofens as my head ached…..because it was just a matter of time, right?

Yeah, exactly. Until I grabbed my glasses when I had my contacts in and thought “ah, see there ya go, NOW I can see.” Hmmm, I don’t think it’s supposed to work that way.

The last straw was when I was trying once again to swap lens and test out another version, give it a second try. Last Saturday. I grabbed an old contact lens case (because I couldn’t see, my eyes were blurry from the strain and it was morning, ok?) and put in the lenses. Then after oh, 15 minutes, I took them out because they were killing me. I figured I must have scratched my eye as I popped the lenses in, in my typical clumsy fashion. I asked husband and son if they saw anything in my eye, I looked for a lash – nothing. So I put in some drops and went on about my day.

I waited for my eye to stop hurting. It didn’t. Finally, late that night, my eye was getting swollen and goopy. And finally, after closer inspection -with I had my glasses on I found a contact lens, ripped in half(!), under my lid! No wonder my eye hurt! No, I still don’t know how that happened (and yes, you could make a strong argument that if I am that inept I have no business trying contacts, I know). Happy to have that resolved, I went to bed. Ahhhh.

I woke up a cyborg.

My eye was closed shut with yuk and swollen almost shut even after it was, um, degunked. It was red and miserable. Blurry.

I was going blind, I knew it.

It took four days to stop hurting and get back to normal. It still has one small spot of red just for old times sake, but it is fine. My husband is adamant – I am not cut out for contacts, please please stop.

I think he might be right. So I quit. I will keep my glasses, get some prescription shades and resign myself to having same glasses flung off my face with the enthusiastic hugs and play of my sweet toddler. I will accept the encroaching middle age and appreciate the magic vision of spectacles.

I will give up this folly, this pursuit for contacts, once and for all.

I think.

>Feast Days!

>It’s a big weekend around here for feast days. Kind of snuck up on us, it’s been a hectic week.

First we had St. Christopher’s Feast Day, yesterday (Friday, July 25). Now officially, it was the feast day of St. James the Greater. And while I am quite sure he is an awesome guy, I mean, he’s a saint and all, we don’t have a James in our bunch and we are not all that familiar with him – despite him being the first apostle to be martyred (which again, lends itself to the awesome holy guy factor).

St. Christopher, Cologne Cathedral, Germany

But, used to be, yesterday was also St. Christopher’s feast day, until he got booted off the official saint feast calendar. And despite Sister Mary Martha really not being keen on St. Christopher (due to his dubious status), we are kind of fond of him around here. She makes a valid point that he is suspected to be legendary, lived well before tidy historical records, and thus was dropped off the formal calendar of the Church. [She explains it all well, go read.] And that is probably a good thing, as we all want the Church to be as careful as can be about the whole saint thing, making sure T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted and all; and the calendar was way too crowded and so the Church didn’t want any saints on it that couldn’t be historically traced and proven….because the whole communion of saints thing is too terrific to mess up.

But, that being said, we don’t much care if he is legendary or if he existed. I mean, c’mon, I got my graduate degree in Folklore and Folklife from U Penn, I love oral tradition and history and how it traces and carries cultures over eons (and maybe is another reason I talk and type so much…but I digress)! We love the story of this saint and he is the patron of my Buddybug, and his name means “Christ-bearer” and I think that right there is just beautiful….and very apt for my son. He is all too often the Christ-bearer in this house, bringing kindness and gentleness to our home. So, we think that while it might not be traceable that St. Christopher actually was a living man and saint, we think it is not improbable and so we will celebrate St Christopher and the concept of being a Christ-bearer. That is worth a bit of thought and attention on any given day and yesterday was the day to do it in our house.

Saints Joachim and Anne, at the Church Saint Pantaléon, France.

And tomorrow, Sunday, is the feast day of St’s Joachim and Anne. It’s another patron of one of my kidletts: Bannas. These two are considered to be the grandparents of Jesus during His life here on earth, Mary’s mother and father. Anne is also the patron of all christian mothers and Joachim, of christian fathers. And while we don’t know so much about these two, we can presume they were typical grandparents, crazy in love with their grandson and proud of their daughter and her husband (I mean, they are saints, not petty grouchy old folks like some, and no I”m not pointing any fingers). So, tomorrow we will ask them for a few extra prayers on behalf of our sweet girl and for our family – as well as for all the orphans who are waiting for new families across the world.

Some might think it’s nuts or strange to think about saints and feast days, much less have a bit more prayer and/or celebration, but well the communion of saints is the coolest thing. I love having a big old extended family to hit up for prayers and support, whether they are here walking the earth or have moved beyond this world. I have had so many stop me and ask, “what do you mean, asking ‘a saint’ to pray for you….that’s wrong, you should just ‘pray to Jesus.” Well, yeah, I do. And will. But I also tend to ask my close friends and family for prayers, heck I’ve been known to call them up and beg! And it is no different asking a saint for prayers, except that they are closer to God, in the Beatific Vision itself, and no longer all smudged up by our natural tendencies toward selfishness and concupiscence. So, heck yeah, I’ll hit up a saint for prayers, I’ll take all the help I can get.

As for feast days, it’s always nice to remember family on their important days, whether or not they are still with us here. It adds a richness to our lives; it helps us move out of the immediate craziness and think about a bigger time frame, the eternal one. So, we like feast days around here, especially those of our patrons. So we’ll remember them and their lives, look to them for good example and ask for a prayer or two; if we are lucky we can celebrate with a traditional tasty dessert! Life is hard, why not have a bit more fun and enjoyment, another layer of richness woven in, when you can? It works for us!

So, for all those parents, grandparents, and families out there: St’s Joachim and Anne, pray for us!