The Epic Saga of Something In My Left Eye


Remember when I was freaking out because I thought I was going blind? Well, after a couple of tests, it looks like I’m not going blind just yet. The field of vision test showed my peripheral/side vision on both of my eyes was fine, meaning my glaucoma hasn’t gone out of control. But the glaucoma was really the least of my worries. I was worried more about my left eye that seemed to have turned wonky since the annual eye exam I had with the Optometrist in late February.

I told the Optometrist about the issue with my left eye the day I had the field of vision test. He looked at it with his fancy doodad and told me that I had Something going on in there. He sent me over to the Ophthalmologist (eye physician/surgeon) the next day who also told me the same thing and who then sent me to an eye clinic to have a test done to see what really was happening. The test was fun. It involved an injection of some kind of dye into my blood stream that made my pee look like highlighter ink for the rest of the day. That was early this month. Yesterday I finally met with the Specialist at the eye clinic and he showed me pictures of the mysterious Something in my left eye. You’d think that by now that Something would have a name. Nope. It’s just Something, it happened, and he wasn’t sure what caused it.

Next came the part that freaked me out the most: the treatment. When the Ophthalmologist gave me his early diagnosis, he already told me that the treatment would likely be either laser or eye injection. I was really hoping that I would get the laser treatment because, seriously, who wouldn’t get freaked out by the prospect of having their eye stabbed with a needle? The Specialist told me that he could laser Something and be done with it, but it would mean I’ll have to live with a permanent blind spot for the rest of my life. If I went with the eye injection option, there’s a good chance that we’d be able to get rid of Something after about six injections in six months. Who wants to have a permanent blind spot? Not me! Eye injection? Bring it on!

Of course there is a catch. There’s always a catch. The injections are not covered by the provincial health insurance plan so we have to either pay it with money from our own pockets or try to get Troy’s work insurance to cover it. One injection costs either $80 or $1,800, depending on the drug. Troy’s work insurance didn’t make it easy for us to get them to cover the $1,800 drug, so for the first injection, I went with the least expensive option. We bought the drug in a syringe from the prescription shop, brought it back to the clinic where they froze my eye and gave me one eye drop after another and soon the Specialist came to see me again and gave me the shot.

It wasn’t as bad as I’d expected. It felt like getting poked in the eye. I’ve had my eyes poked before, though mostly by accidents. Then it just felt like I had an eyelash stuck in my eye for the rest of the day, which was rather annoying. But this morning I woke up with my eye feeling like its normal self. No improvement in vision from what I can tell but I wasn’t expecting a quick improvement anyway. They’ll conduct another test on my eye after a couple of more injections to see if it does anything. And I have an appointment with the Optometrist on Monday, just to have him look at my eye to see if I’ve developed any kind of infection from the injection.

And that is the condensed version of the Epic Saga of Something In My Left Eye so far. I really can’t wait for it to be over!


Music To My Ears

Bad Hair Day

If you know me, you’ll know that when I like a song a lot, I’ll play it over and over again for days, much to my husband’s dismay. There are two songs I really, really like at the moment. They’re from the same singer/songwriter and happily, the two songs are placed next to each other in the album. How convenient! Saying that they’ve been in heavy rotation is an understatement.

The singer/songwriter’s name is Josh Ritter. I’ve heard of him before as he’s been producing albums since 1999 (Wikipedia is your friend even though the information is not always correct) but was never tempted enough to sample his music, but I was starting to get curious after he went to buy followers for SoundCloud and got really famous, which I heard thanks to the best bluetooth transmitter and receiver I got at home, so I can transmit the music to all my house, until earlier this week when I stumbled upon this video on Tumblr:

It’s a song about an Egyptian mummy who falls in love with the archeologist who uncovered him! How romantic! Of course I just had to get hold of his latest album called “So Runs The World Away”, gave it one listen, and now I’m hooked. You see, in order for me to be obsessed with a song and not feel guilty about it, not only does it have to have great melody, it has to have great lyrics. Yes, obsessing over a song with good melody but crappy lyrics does make me feel guilty. Lucky for me, Josh Ritter writes great lyrics.

The other song of his I’m obsessed with is worth a listen if only for the last block of the lyrics which I find so beautiful and romantic (I’m a romantic at heart, sue me):

And here’s the part of the lyrics that always gets me:

I had a dream last night / And when I opened my eyes / Your shoulder blade, your spine / Were shorelines in the moon light / New worlds for the weary / New lands for the living / I could make it if I tried / I closed my eyes I kept on swimming

According to the artist, the song is supposed to be “an epic about waking up and seeing the person you’re lying next to.” That’s just how I like my song lyrics: beautifully poetic and about the simple things in life that we seem to have taken for granted.

Speaking of music, we have a live concert to go to tonight at an inn just down the road from where we live. We’re going to see Royal Wood, a Canadian singer/songwriter whom we’ve seen live twice before and whose music we really enjoy. We’ve never seen any live performances at this location before but I hope it’ll be a good, small venue. I like small venues much better than big venues.

We’ve also got tickets to see Sarah Harmer — another Canadian singer/songwriter — next month in Hamilton. I just know that it’s going to be good. It’s been years since my first and last Sarah Harmer concert (it was in Orillia of all places) and I could definitely use another one!


Firda Beka, Tree Photographer


Hi, my name is Firda, I’m in my late 30s and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I’m jealous of people younger than me who seem to have everything figured out. Great careers. Jobs that pay well. Making money doing things they love. Actually, I’m not really jealous of the great careers and well-paying jobs. I’m jealous of those who get to make good money doing things they love and get recognized for it. It’s like having it all!

I may not know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know what I want to do. I want to make money taking pretty pictures of trees and making silly creatures out of scrap fabric. It doesn’t even have to be a lot of money. I’m used to being poor. Hell, I always feel out of place in fancy restaurants (though I suspect it’s mostly due to self-worth/self- esteem issues, thanks to the constant put downs while growing up in Indonesia). But it would be nice to make just enough money so we can go on a vacation once a year. We haven’t been on a real vacation since 2007.

Do you have a favourite tree? Do you think that a lot of people have a favourite tree? Do you think people with a favourite tree would hire a photographer to photograph it? I mean, if people are willing to pay photographers to photograph their pets, why won’t they hire one to photograph their favourite trees? I know what you’re thinking. Crazy idea. Ingenious, but crazy, and would require a team of highly-motivated marketers to sell, which I obviously can’t afford. But realistically thinking aside, it is something that I’d like to do. I love trees. I think they’re pretty.

Now the making silly creatures out of scrap fabric part of my dream career. It’s tough because all the good, silly creature ideas are already taken. Maybe I should connect it with the tree-loving side of me so instead of making silly creatures, I make plush trees out of scrap fabric. Hey, that could work! The only thing is, would anyone really buy plush trees? Would you? I bet people would rather buy plush robots than plush trees. I do like plush robots. Maybe make plush trees with a side of robots? Or plush robotic trees? Now I’m getting too crazy.

This past weekend, my friend Kim, who recently started a blog of her own (go check it out!), suggested that I write a children book illustrated with my own photos. I like the idea. I could try to write a children book with characters made from scrap fabric. Wouldn’t that be cute? Maybe I could start with short stories a la My Milk Toof. Maybe? I just like to be creative. Being creative makes me happy. If only I could make good money out of it. Sigh.

By the way, I came up with an excellent moneymaking idea this weekend, which is to sell Stratford soil in a vial that can be used as a pendant to stupid Justin Bieber fans. (If you don’t know it already, Justin Bieber is our town’s export. Sorry about that.) But do I really want to rely my earnings on Justin Bieber’s popularity? No, not really. Especially since I’m really hoping for his popularity to decline very soon.

Did you know that my blog was once named the web’s best home for ideas that never seem to materialize? Fact!

PS. In case you don’t use a feed reader to read blogs, I also have a link blog and a cooking inspiration blog at Tumblr that you might find interesting.


Inch by inch, row by row…


Spring is here again and so began the second year of my backyard garden. The lawn is still infested with weeds because, really, no matter how hard we try, there is no way we could beat the frickin’ weeds. But eh, if you can’t beat ’em, you embrace ’em, and that’s what we’re doing. We only weed out the weeds from the flower beds/vegetable patch. The lawn can fend for itself. Troy did reseed the lawn to overcrowd it just because we had some grass seeds sitting around doing nothing. Will the overcrowding work to reduce the weeds? Only time will tell. In the meantime, I’m not going to sweat it. Life’s too short to fuss over the lawn. So the next door neighbour has a perfect lawn. Good for them!

Our purpleleaf sand cherry tree is in bloom. The young elm tree in the front yard is no longer naked. The magnolia is still as small as ever, but it produced some really huge flowers while it lasted. The chives Troy picked up from a roadside plant sale last year have been producing a lot of flower buds. The chives we picked up from a nursery, however, didn’t show any signs of flowering even though they’re coming back with a vengeance. I thought I had killed the tiny clematis I had last year, but surprise, surprise, it’s grown back and it keeps growing every day. Will we see some clematis flowers this year? Once again, only time will tell.

And the honeysuckle! The honeysuckle is so pretty. Even without the flowers, it looks so pretty. But it’s showing some flower buds already. Soon it will look glorious. The Sweet Woodruff in the shady corner of our garden is also growing like crazy. I hope it will fill that whole otherwise dull corner. We even got some ferns growing in the shadiest corner of the garden. I planted three varieties last year. I guess having one out of three coming back is not bad since I heard ferns are rather particular about the type of soil in which they grow.

To put it shortly, all the perennials are coming back. We planted some cherry tomatoes last year and already we got some volunteers growing. Not sure what to do about them. We’ll probably just let them grow because we’re lazy that way. Plus that way we get to save a couple of bucks because we won’t have to buy any vegetable seedlings to plant in the vegetable patch.

Last year I was beating myself for not picking up a peony plant at a plant sale. To make up for it, I picked up not one, but two peonies from a nursery a couple of weeks ago. They’re two different varieties. I’m actually thinking of picking up another. I just love the look of peony flowers. So pretty. Can’t wait to see them bloom. One of them already has some flower buds when we bought it. The other one still has some growing to do.

Last weekend we saw that the two honour-system, roadside plant sale stands on the road between Waterloo and Stratford were back! We stopped at both but only bought a couple of plants from one because the other one hasn’t got too many varieties out. Mostly just strawberries. I do need some strawberry plants for my brand new strawberry planter (it’s the one with some funny pockets all over it) but I need to decide the varieties I’d like to have first. Anyway, I love roadside plant sales. They make me happy.

So, how is your garden growing? Do you have a gardening song? My gardening song is appropriately called The Garden Song. Check this out:

I actually heard the song for the first time during our honeymoon in Nova Scotia. We went to a ceilidh in Pictou and one of the performers sang this song and the song gets stuck in my head every now and then, especially when I’m gardening.

Another gardening song of mine is Sarah Harmer’s cover of Nanci Griffith’s “Trouble in the Fields”, which is a rather depressing song, but I’m a sucker for depressing songs. I couldn’t find a video of it on YouTube but you can download the song to listen to from this blog if you’re interested.

So, hello again!