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.

Dream World

Get the look: beach towel by Kohls, oversize lifeguard hat by Peter Grimm, pvc drying contraption by Sami, pool noodle organization by Suzette.

I was out early this morning to beat the mid-day heat. In Florida, “mid-day” means 10 am.

My days are are turning out just as I imagined they’d be. I go out to the patio as soon as I get up – 6:30ish most days – and putter around with the flower pots, do a bit of sweeping or watering, then sit in the shade and drink coffee. On weekends or days that I don’t have a crack of dawn meeting, I swim in clear aqua water while surrounded by perfect order on the patio. The only difference between my dream then and my reality now is that I imagined I would be more attractive and less sweaty.

This speaker is half a corgi tall.

Here’s a thing I am very impressed with: a waterproof Bluetooth speaker. I have to confess that the radio station selections in the Jacksonville area stink on ice. I have a radio that I’ve been using outside just for background noise and the faint hope of occasionally hearing something that I actually like. Then I thought about the accounts I have with Spotify and Pandora and the regular downloads of the many podcasts I can’t live without. So I went looking for a poolside speaker and man, this one is a real humdinger.

I have an affinity for things that are described  as rose gold and that is always my default selection. Then less whimsical people come around and talk me out of it by making the argument that rose gold is “too girly”*. So I ordered this in a sensible dark gray, which I enjoyed for about 1 full day, regretted for 2 more days and then sent back to get the rose gold version. I figured my choices were (1.) I could swap it out and take a loss on the free shipping or (2.) I could complain about it every day for the next three years. So I switched it and now I’m totally happy. Still sweaty, but happy nonetheless.

*Hello? Have you met me?


[Edited to add: You probably are mildly interested in the performance of the speaker itself. It’s great!  For a $30 thing with a main characteristic of water resistance, the sound is fantastic. Surround sound, no less. Very clear, lots of base and loud enough to annoy the neighbors. It got here on June 12, I charged it that day, played it for at least 3 hours a day ever since and it’s still running on the same charge with no sign of flagging. Recommended! I’d write an Amazon review but I’m not the type.]



Current State

“It feels like spring here”, she said cautiously. Is Florida winter over now? I hope so because I’m desperate to get into the pool again.

I went to the doctor yesterday for an annual exam and he told me that I need to get more exercise. Which would mean more than the zero exercise I get now. Well, technically, the random relocations throughout the day from the bed to the bathroom to the office  to the sofa would count for approximately 1/4 on a scale of 0 to 100.   But I no longer walk the dog outside and I realize I only shop at places that have those scooters with a basket on the front. So pretty pathetic.

But in just a few short weeks (please Jesus), I’ll be able to swim again. Not swim so much as exercise in a way I can’t on dry land and then reward myself with floating around listening to the radio. I didn’t want to spoil the perfect design of my pool area but it had to be done. We invested in a pool blanket (which is a giant sheet of bubble wrap) which is going to extend the swim season by several weeks on each end. Now we have a reel and a cover for the reel when the blanket is rolled up. It looks like hell but when it’s spread out the blanket collects solar rays and passively heats the pool water and when we use the heater, it keeps the heat in overnight and minimizes evaporation. All this means that as long as the air temp is reasonable, we can get in the pool and be comfortable. And move like regular people do  on land.


Anyway, time to relocate to the sofa. That should be worth about 20-25 calories


YouTube obsession of the week:  Australian Soldiers in World War II singing Waltzing Matilda