Friday, August 16, 2013

More on the Continuing Saga of My Eyeballs (or How to Improve your Eyesight Like Magic)

Back in March of this year, I wrote a post telling you how my eyesight has been improving ever since I started drinking all these green smoothies. To recap, I went into the optometrist's office this past January because my eyes were bothering me so much; terrible headaches, having a hard time reading, etc. My prescription at the time was -400/-375. I left the office that day with a new prescription of -275/-275! What was the big change? The green smoothies!

Now, let's speed through time a few months. Happy me, happy cool retro glasses, no more headaches. For awhile. Then it started again. I noticed that at a distance, things were doubling up on me, and I just couldn't read with my glasses on at all. With them off, things up close looked crystal clear, and I felt much better. I found myself pulling my glasses off whenever I was at home, even though -275 meant I still tripped on stuff if you left it out there (apologies to my dachshund who blends with the rug). So in June I headed back to the optometrist.

I reminded her I was the smoothie gulper and that I suspected my vision had improved again. Not surprisingly, she was hesitant to believe that was the cause. So we did another full eye exam. Results? -225/-225! Incredible. We were both floored and ended up discussing smoothies while she wrote up a new prescription and I handed over my glasses for replacement lenses. I also told her my "magic" smoothie, the one I'm sure is doing the most of the work on my eyes: 1 banana, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 2 handfuls kale, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, about 2 1/2 cups of water. (This is my breakfast which I gulp while tending to the family zoo. I drink one or two other concoctions a day as well.)

Interesting side note here: I did a bit of research to figure out how to further strengthen my eyes. As I spent less time with glasses on, I noticed my eyesight was quite good close up, but only for short spells. Then they'd get all tired and I could no longer focus well. Figuring my eyes were just unaccustomed to seeing without the help of glasses, I dug around on the Internet for some help. I ran across a Dr. Oz video in which he discusses ways to improve eyesight. (Notice the last and most effective thing he mentions: a green smoothie! One that includes similar elements to what I drink each day: dark leafy greens, seeds high in Omega 3's, etc. And I use the blueberries, which are excellent for eye health.)

Now it's mid August, and guess what? My glasses are bothering me again. I keep pulling them off, and I rarely wear them in the house. I still need glasses in the house, yes, but the prescription I'm using is bothering me. So I stumble around as best I can, although my sight is drastically different than it was a year ago.

I recently got contacted by an online store that sells prescription lenses and would like to send me some glasses to test, so I asked for a -200/-200 pair that I'll be reviewing on dkMommy Spot soon. Because I gotta tell ya, replacing my lenses every couple of months is an expensive side effect!

Will I lose my need for glasses eventually? I don't know. I'd like to think that could happen, because so far there is no plateau in sight. In the meantime, I'm going to continue enjoying my smoothies and see where else this takes me. I'm thinking maybe x-ray vision would be nice. That or bending steel. Or I could be like Samantha on Bewitched! Yeah, I'd totally go for that instead. Wrinkle my nose, have a clean house, and sit around reading the rest of the day. Without glasses.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

News Flash: Vegetable Gardener Openly Weeps Over Blighted Tomatoes

Futile Cucumber Attempt
Perhaps you'll recall my unbridled enthusiasm over my vegetable gardening plans for this year. Per the instructions in a container gardening book, I built several self-watering containers out of big 5-gallon buckets I collected from local delis and bakeries. I drilled them and filled them according to instruction. I coddled seedlings until they were ready to introduce to their new self-watering homes. And I was pleased with the results. There were tomatoes and cucumbers and eggplant; radishes, lettuces, carrots; cooking herbs, too.

At first, things were very promising. Sure it was a big pain in the butt when we had a very cold June, one that required me to cover each and every one of my planters with plastic bags every night for a week while we went through an extraordinarily long frost. But I was sure it would be worth it. 

Eventually, I was able to harvest tomatoes. They were late, but then, everyone's were. Summer wasn't acting very summery, and tomatoes need warmth and sunshine. The pepper plants need lots of heat too, but I could see the beginnings of peppers. We got some jalapenos and some nice Hungarian wax, but things began to take a turn for the worse.

Pathetic Pepper (and a lousy photo, too)
For starters, the tomatillos dropped all their flowers and didn't fruit. Then the tomato plants stopped...tomatoing. Blight! Two of the four varieties aren't all blighty, but they've stopped flowering. The eggplant? Still about four inches tall. Radishes? We ate the first go 'round, and they were nice. But then they just shot straight up and didn't make anything resembling a radish. I also harvested a two-inch carrot which was tasty, but the others did nothing.

We could conjecture about the soil used (different pots have different soils, though) or the lighting (I picked the "perfect" spot according to seed packet instructions and books), watering (again, I followed instructions), etc. But the bottom line is: My vegetables aren't vegetables. They are pots of dirt with twiggy things in them.

A tomato...but no leaves
Here's the kicker: Two days ago I went over to the side of my house; you know, the side where my two large raised vegetable beds are, the ones I didn't use this year because they're so out of the way and I can't watch over my plants. I looked at the neglected beds full of weeds and -- lo and behold -- over a dozen tomato plants had reseeded themselves. They are TOMATOING! There are tomatoes. I did not grow them. I did not plant, water, weed, stake, or care for them. I did nothing. Through late frosts, cold nights, lack of sunshine, then a mean heat streak that had us all melting, the tomatoes thrived. Without my care.

And that, my friends, is why I am an herbalist. I get along great with wild plants. They like me. They hang out near me, they thrive, they grow. If I don't touch them until they are done doing what they need to do. Next year, I'm going to forage.
The Tomatoes that Grew Themselves