How I Learned To Relax And Love the UV Index

Oops, did I forget to mention that I’ve been diagnosed with malignant melanoma? Blah blah blah closely monitored by great doctors blah blah blah que será será. I’m adjusted to the idea and realize that I have been in need of a mortality wake-up call but there are a couple of things that vex me about this situation:

  • The irony Apparently, I was cultivating this enemy within from my time in NJ. When I was in 4-seasonville, I sought out the shade wherever I was and never let the sun shine on me to the best extent that I could. I did this mostly for the sweat factor. I just don’t like the sun shining on me/making me sweat. Now here I am in the Sunshine State with the swimming pool and the beach and so forth and I cannot enjoy the great outdoors without looking like a freak.
  • The wardrobe
    • I cut up an old tube sock to make a driving gauntlet. I laugh about it and call it a fashion accessory but truthfully I don’t mind wearing it because I get nervous when the southern sun shines through the car window right onto the spot where the primary site was. I also don’t mind wearing it because it cost me $0 compared to the $Many for a commercial UV blocking sleeve, and they are all tight compression sleeves anyway. A big deal to get on and off.
    • gtlThis one kills me though. The swimwear. Not only do I wear a wide-brimmed hat and a long sleeved SPF-50 shirt in the pool, lately I’ve added a pair of full length seersucker drawstring pants. That’s for the benefit of my head more than my skin because I’m sure they are SPF-zero. My legs are starting to look tanned. Anyway – freakshow, but a color coordinated one. I might have to rearrange my morning schedule, which right now is as follows:
      • 7:00 am – Arise
      • 7:05 am – Make Coffee
      • 7:12 am to 10:00 am – Sit on patio drinking coffee, reading the internet on my iPad and making fresh mouth remarks on Twitter. Concurrently, pretend that some kind of outdoor work task is about to commence. Nah, maybe another cup. Oh, look – 10 o’clock and it’s too hot to work outside now.  I’ll go out after 6pm when it’s not so sunny and humid.
      • 10:00 – 1:00  – FlexTime. May include meals, indoor internet reading, feeling guilty over lack of accomplishments.
      • 1:00 pm to 4:00pm – Pool time.
      • 4:00 – 6:00 pm – Nap.
      • 6:00pm to Open End – cocktails/hors d’oeuvres/ TV. (Why should I go outside to do work NOW? Maybe tomorrow morning.)
      • 10:00 pm Bedtime
      • note – Occasionally, I will throw in a trip to Walmart or some laundry management. I’m not a complete sloth.

A little weather add-on that I have on my Chrome browser gives the basic temp/sunrise/weather of the day but if you click on the day –  and I just found this out – will reveal more and hourly- specific detail, including the UV index. I’ve been doing this all wrong.hd.JPG

My timing needs adjusting. I guess mad dogs and Englishmen instinctively know enough to stay out of the mid-day sun – too bad Florida retirees with skin cancer didn’t. I’ll have to work on rearranging the schedule . Perhaps cut out the self-delusion that outdoor work is going to start and just jump in the pool at 8am. Maybe again at 5pm. Both are times that the UV Index is 1-3 and the pool is in shade any way.

sfOn the positive side, I’ve discovered that Neutrogena Sport Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF 70+  makes a marvelous moisturizer. It’s the only thing I wear now, pool time or otherwise.

I Don’t Know What I’m So Happy About

I now we’re supposed to be all worked up into a snit about cyber privacy invasion but  things have recently happened that make me ridiculously happy.

  • Last week: Google Maps finally updated thier drone shot of my house, specifcally the backyard,  so that it’s not just post-pool construction debris and what passes for dirt here in Florida. I’m not sure why this was so satisfying to me until I realized that it now it looks like a suburban backyard in Westchester, NY 1964  minus the acreage. Without even consciously acknowledging  that I even had life goals*, one of my early yearnings has been realized.

*I’m not kidding. Who has life goals, really, except Meghan Markle? Pretty much I did things that were supposed to happen, like go to school or get a job, or things happened to me and I either just waited them out if they were bad or worked the hell out of them if they were good. Now I’m retired and I set 2 goals** for myself and I feel burdened by the self-imposed pressure of acheiving them and I don’t like it at all.

**Bread baking (which isn’t working out) and daily sketching (which I don’t have time for). I hesitate to reveal that I have a 3rd unstated goal of driving around Florida on day trips just to see how the scenery changes. So far, that has only been realized by visiting 9 different Walmarts in 2 counties.

  •  Today: I have discovered that Google Maps has finally finally finally produced a STREET VIEW of my house. It happened within the last few days because I frequently activate the Google Maps little yellow man that then shows the places where street view is available and I did that just 2 or 3 days ago. This is good because I feel like a powerful major entity recognizes that this address is deserving of a street view, thus I am not consigned to the sticks.  I am worthy. Looking at the street view does make me a little nostalgic though because the American flag fluttering from our mailbox post is still there. Now there’s just a spot where the bracket used to be when the lawn service guy got the end of his riding mower tangled in the flag and ripped it down.

So anyway, now I’m Google Map certified and I couldnt be happier about it.

In Which I Flatter Myself

I like to think that I look younger than my years. It’s a harmless, pleasant fantasy that keeps me in a good mood. But every now and then, something comes along to shatter the delicate shell I keep around my ego. You wouldn’t do that , would you?

I didn’t think so. And that makes The Incident this week all the more annoying. Here’s a tip: If you want me to buy magazines from your 50 year old ass, do not take a quick look at me for the first time ever and then refer to me as your mother. This really happened. Sometimes I think you don’t believe the things I’m telling you here , so lucky for you that my Ring doorbell camera captured it.

You could tell this is going to be an event just from that knock, right? There’s a part 2 to this encounter where the solicitor and I get into an argument about whether or not he should be soliciting in a non-soliciting neighborhood but I’ll spare you that one.* That’s another tip: if you want someone to buy something from you, don’t get into a fight with them.

*Now that I’m thinking about it, I actually did sort of act like his mother when he was trying to give me the baloney how he had permission and I refused to let him wriggle away, point by point,  by calling him out on his bullshit. Apparently, I’m highly the suggestable type. I hope someone comes to the door today to tell me I look like a lottery winner.

Life in the suburbs can be rough if you are a hermit that wants to be the boss of their own time but mostly just wants to avoid being annoyed.  Also, I get all the magazines I want for free by taking quizzes about recycling at recyclebank.com 

A Napping House, Where Everyone Is Sleeping

nap
ZZZZZ  A quiet corner between the hose reel and the herb garden seems like a good place to set up an outdoor napping area.

Before we get started here, I would like the record to show that I have been seriously nap-deficient for the last 20 or so years. I intend to change that starting now. That’s a joke. I already started. FYI – the chair pictured here is the infamous scratched one that precipitated the delivery of two free chaises.  I always meant to get rid of it but I never could do it. It’s been living in hallways and spare bedrooms all this time. Now it runs free and wild in the dappled sunshine, next to a freshly spray-painted Walmart table.

Where is the time going? I’m busy all the time now , doing what I can’t tell you but I don’t have enough hours in the day to do it.  I’m enjoying the little domestic activities that were, while I was still working, just a source of annoyance to me if I did them, or a source of embarrassment if I didn’t. Things like straightening out a closet or reorganizing a desk drawer. I do confess that more than a few drawers around here would provide a surprise much like a joke snake leaping from a can of peanuts for whoever opened them. I’m still haunting the kitchen producing loaves of bread of variable but still substandard quality and very, very good marmalades. Little bit sick of the washing up, though.

And crocheting dishcloths.

I hope you didn’t just laugh. I feel embarrassed that I like the act of doing this and that I like the end result. Me. A respected expert in my speciality field, a high powered executive business woman. Who is retired.  I guess I’m not those things anymore. Now I’m a maker of dishcloths.

scrubBut look at it: my lovely double sided scrub mitt. There’s satisfaction in this, at least for the moment. At least until I get this out of my system.  At least until the rain stops today and I can get back outside. That chaise lounge is not the only thing yearning to run free .

Book Report

Now that my days are no longer consumed by “The Company”, I thought that I’d be able to return to my old of obsessively reading books from cover to cover as quickly as possible. I have some weighty presidential biographies that I’ve been waiting to dig into and I’ve got A Confederation of Dunces on my radar, which I think I should read because it’s “considered a canonical work of modern literature of the Southern United States.” Now that I’m Southern – what with the successful biscuit making and the blooming of the birds of paradise and all – I believe it is my duty to become familiar with that one.

As you know, I prefer a hardcover book in my hand to any other reading format. As much as I like talk radio and podcasts, I cannot abide books on tape or on an electronic reader. I buy hardcover books whenever they are available in the titles I want at a great discount from Abebooks.com. Discount meaning less than $5 total including shipping, sometimes $3. This is possible because I don’t traffic in recent works or the middling taste of the petite bourgeoisie. checkedSome of these are library books that come with the warning that they may have written notes or highlighter on the pages, but I’ve never seen that. In fact, most of the library books that I’ve purchased this way are in pristine condition, some with the library cards showing only one or two checkouts. Sad.

Here’s my current stack of to be reads. The top two are in progress; the rest haven’t been touched.

stack

I’m telling you all this now because I recently sought out the nearest branch of the county library. I usually find Google maps very helpful when I go someplace for the first time, not only for driving directions but to check out what the place looks like and some surrounding landmarks in case I overshoot. I swear to God this is the Google street view for the library , and it is accurate.

l

After a little back and forthing on a Florida backroad and peering through every clearing in the scrubby forest primeval , I did finally come face to face with the Jacksonville branch of  Florida State college which consists of two buildings. This branch of the county library is housed inside a poorly marked college building and takes up all of 500 sq ft.

Five. Hundred. Square. Feet.

But lo and behold, in the local newspaper not two days later was an article about how the library’s lease with the college is up in June and rather than pay increased fees for an insufficient space and so the library commission has identified an available 6,000 Sq ft space for potential relocation about a mile and a half from where I live!

Now back to my books. I don’t save them  but pass them on to others but my taste is sometimes so esoteric that not many share my ideas of what is a good read. Once the library is settled in the new space, I’m sure they’ll be open for donations to help fill the shelves. Here’s my scheme: my next purchases are from a single author and when I’m done with them, I look forward to the happy day that I can walk into the Yulee branch of the Nassau County library and donate the complete works of Kitty Kelley. Pretty sure this will be the only branch in the county that will be able to make that claim.

Author’s note: You must have a lot of time on your hands because you just read 600 boring words so that I could occupy myself with a mildly amusing daydream. I’m telling you, retirement is great.