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.

This Is A True Story

I was gearing up to make a new post here and for some reason got lost down the rabbit hole of reading my own blog posts from years back. Now that 111/2  year old Stedman is undeniably “not the dog he used to be”, this one about old Bob the Actual Corgi in his decline made me sad.



Its Suzette (8:34:31 PM): teddy?

Its Suzette(8:34:36 PM): you there?

Its Suzette(8:34:44 PM): i have something to tell you.

Its Suzette(8:34:55 PM): bob plunged into the creek today.

Its Suzette(8:35:15 PM): daddy left the little gate at the back of the yard open. and then he sent the dog out and told nora to bring him in later.

Its Suzette(8:35:34 PM): she was taking a shower and she heard him furiously barking, so she threw her clothes on and went to find him

Its Suzette(8:35:47 PM): he was wandering in the creek way over behind angelo’s pool

Its Suzette(8:36:00 PM): the creek bank is very steep now from the erosion

Its Suzette(8:36:21 PM): he must have been walking on  the spot where the grass clippings get dumped and just stepped too far and boom!  he went straight down

Its Suzette(8:36:29 PM): its a good 14 ft plunge

Its Suzette(8:36:36 PM): even nora had trouble getting down.

Its Suzette(8:36:50 PM): she had to jump down into the water, just like indiana jones

Its Suzette(8:37:29 PM): and she saw him and started calling him but you know he can’t hear now

Its Suzette(8:37:57 PM): he was just standing there all covered with mud barking and barking

Its Suzette(8:38:12 PM): and then he caught a glimpse of her and started barking in a different way

Its Suzette(8:38:20 PM): so she had to go down there and pick him up to carry back

Its Suzette(8:38:45 PM): and then she faced that steep wall of dirt, so she parked him on a dirt shelf while she scrambled up the side

Its Suzette(8:39:08 PM): and then put him farther up, etc

Its Suzette(8:39:18 PM): and when they got up to the yard, he was all muddy

Its Suzette(8:39:27 PM): so she had to squirt him with the hose

Its Suzette(8:39:44 PM): and then he pepped up and started running around trying to get away from her.

Its Suzette(8:39:54 PM): so she had to give him an outdoor bath

Its Suzette(8:40:00 PM): with apple-scented shampoo

Its Suzette(8:40:12 PM): and chase him with the hose again

Its Suzette(8:40:26 PM): but this time, he was sort of collapsing when he was trying to get away from her

Its Suzette(8:41:03 PM): like those cartoons where the feet are furiously moving , but no forward progress is made. bongos playing.

Its Suzette(8:41:30 PM): his back feet were moving but he was falling on his face

Its Suzette(8:42:06 PM): daddy is trying to act tough like he doesn’t care, but  he came to supper with his pockets full of biscuits to give to the dog while we ate, and later we saw him making a taco for the dog.

Its Suzette(8:42:51 PM): the dog seems to be ok

Its Suzette(8:42:59 PM): a bloodshot eye and a limp, but he had the limp before

Its Suzette(8:43:11 PM): you there?

Its Suzette(8:43:22 PM): ted?


I used to have the best commenters in the world back then. Some of the links too their own blogsites are still active but lead to a 404 page now. I miss them but am grateful for the brave few here now who leave their mark.

I do believe that I am maudlin now. Time to get up and do something else.

Continue to dig around in the flower bed? No – too lazy.

Go shopping? No – too smelly.

Go to the library? No – see above.

Float around in the pool and listen to podcasts? Ok – that’s a plan.