The Hardest Part

Tom Petty had it right.

About the waiting. Though Tom was probably waiting on something much different than I am. Even so, it feels like I’ve been waiting forever and a day since I had cataract surgery on my left eye. It’s been less than a week, though. Unfortunately, time won’t hurry up fast enough.

I can’t wait for this waiting to be over just so I can do normal things again like bending over to pick anything up or so I can tie my shoes so I can go out for a walk while the weather is still GORGEOUS! Besides being restricted from bending over, I’m also not allowed to pick up anything that’s over 20 pounds.

That is why I dumped everything out of my purse and onto my bed. I have no doubt it weighed more than allowed (which also made my purse a formidable weapon when need be.) Because I can’t go anywhere without it, though, I decided to lighten up its contents. Who knew I was carrying so much coin in there? And dirt. Where did the dirt come from? I don’t remember carrying any potted plants around in my purse. And the dozens of business cards I had stashed in one of its close-to-bursting pockets — where did they come from? And the 1,001 pens that were in the bottom of my bag? Why did only one write? Well, that’s all gone now, along with slightly used tissues and an assortment of other things that didn’t belong there. My handbag is now considerably lighter and cleaner! Of course, now I want to trade in my trusty leather purse for something more seasonal.

Suddenly, I want a straw bag. 🙂 .

Then there are the eye drops.

Three times a day I have to put what feels like a drop of acid in each eye. They’re antibiotic drops. I was warned that if I didn’t put in the drops as directed, I could really screw up my eyes. Don’t have to tell me twice. All I can say is — scalded eyeballs are so much fun — the burning, the crying, the swearing! Who needs any more drama than that three times a day? And I get the privilege of doing this through May 10! Yay.

I’ve been told artificial tears will help soothe said burning eyeballs. As if that’s going to happen! That’s a hard no for me, thanks! Just because I haven’t been able to see in months, doesn’t mean I haven’t kept up with the news. I’ve heard about the “soothing” eye drops that have blinded users and, in some cases, even caused death. Nothing is going in my eyes except the very expensive antibiotic drops I’m currently required to use.

It’s been well over six months since I’ve been able to see with any accuracy. While I can see much better now, I’ll have to wait until after May 10 until I can get a new prescription for distance vision. I can see up close very well, (ooh, I can start sewing again!) but I have an astigmatism in my left eye that makes things blurry without a corrective lens. Once I have that fixed, I’m sure my vision will be even more amazeballs than it already is!

In the meantime, I’m itching to do stuff.

The question is: what do I want to tackle first once I get past this infernal week of waiting?

Everything in the house could use a solid, deep cleaning. Nothing quite like being able to see ALL OF A SUDDEN when you realize your home is full of dust elephants! It’s past high time to clear out and CLEAN DEEPLY AND COMPLETELY!

It also makes me question why it is that the other three adults who have good vision and also live in this house haven’t swept or vacuumed over the last six months. Hmm. Moving on —

I want to cook deliciousness that screams spring. Any ideas? I’m thinking Pasta Primavera. I’m so excited I can now cut up veggies without cutting myself! It’s the simple things in life I’ve missed so much! I can also now shop at the grocery store without running over small, unattended children with my cart.


I want to read something that stirs my imagination.

Does pouring over a copy of the Voynich Manuscript count as reading? I don’t have a copy — YET — but I hope to have one by the end of this day!

Mostly, though, I want to play with paint. Perhaps, the pictures in the Voynich Manuscript might provide inspiration.

Last February, I got a phone call from someone I hadn’t heard from in years. She called to hire me to paint a couple of canvases. I’d been feeling pretty useless and a burden to my family at the time (I couldn’t see anything except shapes and muted colors by then); so, that phone call was just what I needed to lift my spirits. The idea of playing with paint again (and getting paid to do so) has kept me going over these last several weeks. When she called, it was frustrating to have to say, “Uhm, I’d love to paint something for you, once I can see again!” She was understanding and told me to call her once my vision was restored. Even if this falls through, though, it was very cool of her to think of me.

****Also, I want to explore the outdoors since it’s spring and everything is blooming right now! As I write this, the bluebonnets are in full bloom in Ennis, Texas. They’re supposed to be phenomenal this year! Fingers crossed I get to see them up close and personal before they disappear. ROAD TRIP!

It’s spring so that means — BABIES!

One of the things I’ve already done is shop until I dropped (I’m so out of shape!) when Lauren and I went to get a suitable baby shower gift for one of her oldest childhood friends. EVERYTHING WAS SOOO DARNED CUTE!!!!!! The party was incredibly nice and Lauren’s friend got a ton of stuff for her little one! While they haven’t picked out their soon-to-be baby boy’s full, legal name, yet, they’ve already agreed that his nickname will be Gator! IS THAT NOT THE MOST ADORABLE LITTLE SOUTHERN NICKNAME EVER?!!!! I’m not sure what the story is behind that (neither parent went to the University of Florida nor do they live in Florida), but if I ever find out, I’ll let y’all know.

We’ve also welcomed a new baby girl (our newest great grandbaby) into our family this past week. Mother and baby are doing well! That little one has a name I’d never heard before — Layken, which is why I looked her name up. I’m not sure that her name means what her parents think it means — and I’m not going to tell them what Google said, but little Layken is precious! Anyway, I didn’t get to visit her in the hospital because I was sick, but David and Lauren took pictures. She is so little and sweet and adorable! I can’t wait to meet her in person.

The one for sure thing I expected I’d want to do MOST once I got my sight back is write.

I fully expected I’d hit the ol’ keyboard hot and heavy. Finish my damned book I’ve been working on for years now. Know what? My desire to write anything is lukewarm at present. It’s been difficult just settling down long enough to write this post. I’ve been slogging along, though. At some point, I know Penny (my muse) will show up and the thoughts, words and sentences will start flowing again.

A friend has booked a VRBO for a short retreat for our writers group in early June. Who knows how much anyone will actually write during our stay — but that’s the goal. If nothing else, there should be some serious drinking that ensues!

What projects, plans, vacations,  etc. are you looking forward to this spring or summer? Are there certain meals or food, rituals or music you associate with spring? Any recommendations and/or recipes you’re willing to share? It feels so good to be back on Wayward Sparkles!


And now — Music!


and, of course,



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19 thoughts on “The Hardest Part”

  1. If this shows up then obviously I’m getting through. But, I still can’t “like” your page – what’s up with that? But, welcome back and yay to being able to see again!

    • Hey, Barbara! You are asking the wrong person about anything technological! For instance, I just found out Instagram has suspended my account. I have no idea why either. It’s not like I’ve used it in over a year. *sigh* So I’m not at all surprised to hear that my “like” button is on the blink. Does that sound as naughty as I think it does? Regardless, I’ll consider your comment as a “like” even if it’s a frustrated one. Sorry about that! No one likes a like button that doesn’t actually like. Oh, and also, did you ever try those expensive sugar-free chocolates we discussed forever and a day ago? Did you like them? Were they worth the cost? Also, how the hell have you been, my friend? It’s great to hear from you! What’s happening with you in 2023? Hugs, Mona

      • Yes the ChocZero were very tasty, but not worth a re-buy due to cost. As tasty as they were, they could have been creamier, and while probably better for you (health-wise), if I’m going down the road to ‘ruin’, I’m going the whole way. There are some really tasty ‘no sugar added’ chocolates (Russell Stover’s even) but they’re still going to get you! My go-to are always mini M&M’s because they’re sort of portion controlled (hahahahaha).
        2023 so far has been boarder line for me. I have a 16 year old cat who is starting to look like dollar (US) signs when she walks pasts me, and much of my body is asking me why it hurts and how come I’m not seeing doctors. Our weather is wacko (much like the rest of the US), but all in all, I’m keeping sane and that’s a very big plus for me.
        I’m wondering why you are on such strict health limitations though – my late husband had cataracts in both his eyes and with each surgery was only limited to about 7-10 days. Why is it a month for you? Be very good to yourself because we miss your absences! Barbara

        • Barbara,
          Good to know about the ChocZero. I’ve been wondering what your take was on them. I haven’t found them, though, shopping hasn’t been my strong suit over the last several months. Frankly, whenever I need a chocolate fix, I have one of those no sugar added fudgecicles (I think you recommended them — thank you for that) and that does it for me! I’m sorry to hear your kitty is starting to have difficulties. I hope your aches and pains are minor, but you’re definitely asking yourself some good questions. I know you’ll do what you need to do to take care of yourself, including going to the doctor. If I can offer you some added encouragement, please accept this as such. I guess the best news is that you are keeping sane. Never underestimate sanity!

          My limitations are the same (I think) that most who have gone through cataract surgery go through. No bending over or straining for a full week after surgery and no lifting anything heavier than 20 lbs for the same amount of time. Why this seems like it’s been so long is because there was a 3 week interval between my two eye surgeries. I think most only have to wait for two weeks. However, this doesn’t have anything to do with my health, it’s been an insurance/doctor thing. Crazy is what it really is! While I was able to get some things done on week two after the first surgery, I found that any time I made sudden moves, I’d become nauseous. I got intense headaches as well. I started keeping my left eye shut, which helped some, but wasn’t very practical. I was told that it had to do with having very different vision in my eyes. Things seem to be better now that I’ve had both eyes fixed; however, I want to just jump back in and get things done. I have to remind myself that I’m not supposed to bend over. I can’t lift heavy grocery bags. Ugh! That’s okay, though. It’s almost over. I should be able to do stuff starting tomorrow! I just feel very, very behind and there’s a ton of things I want to do that I haven’t been able to do in so long. THE WAIT IS SO STRESSFUL! Also, I was told that I shouldn’t get new glasses until a full month after my last surgery. So my left eye remains blurry but at least I’m not seeing things through a dirty haze anymore! I was told to use the antibiotic drops in my right eye through April 20 and drops in my left eye through May 10. Also, Barbara, I will do my best to not be as absent as I’ve been. Losing my ability to see was very isolating and I’m so glad it’s been restored. I’ve missed you and the rest of my wayward friends bunches!

          • They were available on-line – no ‘shopping’ involved. Lazy me only shops on-line these days! ( The Monk Fruit didn’t make it weird at all.

          • For some reason I found myself back here – and ta-da! The like button recognized me and put up my icon. I haven’t the foggiest notion of what changed, but there I am!

  2. So glad you are back at it, Mona! Congratulations on the arrival of little Layken and God bless you all. I’m sure Penny is lurking – waiting to strike. Also…dust elephants…awesome!

    • Hey Roger! Thanks! Last night I saw one cute little baby boy in a stroller named Anderson on your blog. He is adorable!

      Penny comes. Penny gets pissed off and leaves me. Penny returns when she gets good and ready. She’s like that.

      I wish those damned elephants, though I guess wooly or is it woolly? mammoth is a better description were only the size of bunnies. I got most of them two weeks ago. I hope the vacuum cleaner still works. The last time I used it (a week ago Sunday), it started smoking and I yelled out to David who gave me a look because he thinks I might have broken it. Anyway, it’s had a week to calm itself down. I’ll know for sure whether it’s done for or not by Wednesday, though. Of course, David’s my fix-it guy when it comes to most things that go awry in this house. Hopefully, the vacuum cleaner still works because there are areas I haven’t been able to get to yet! I’m hoping the majority (if not all) of the dust, dirt and grime will be gone by the end of this week. See you on your blog, my friend! Mona

  3. Same about the dust elephants now that I can see, too. What do elephants travel in… a herd? a gaggle? a stomp? I feel like the entire world needs a scrub and a new coat of paint. I hear you also about the eye drops. I am on my third last day… Anyway glad to have you back and look forward to your musings and music, Mona.

    • Sherry,
      Isn’t it great to be able to see again?!!!! My guess would be a herd, but they sure have multiplied like bunnies! And I fully understand how you feel about EVERYTHING needing a new coat of paint and a good scrubbing. Maybe when you take over the world you can make that happen! More than anything, it’s good to be able to read your posts again! What you write makes my heart happy! Hugs, Mona

  4. Welcome back, Mona! Yes, I too would wonder how things got to be a tad dusty around the house with other able bodies available to keep that dust at bay. No worries. I always tell Mrs. Chess if we just let dust form a complete layer it looks a lot better. Here’s hoping the vision continues to improve!

    • Hey Bruce! You gave me a good chuckle! Trust me, though, things don’t look better under a layer of dust. Actually, it’s slightly terrifying now that I can see what’s become of our home. That’s okay. My family is about to find out just exactly what terrifying truly is once I start kicking butt. If they think I’m cleaning everything by myself, they’re under quite the delusion. One more day to go, then it’s all hands on deck around here! And they can call me Captain Bly. I won’t mind one bit. Hugs, Mona

  5. It sounds like all the words that have been pent up just came spilling out all at once, which is a wonderful thing. And I think I’m looking forward to your full recovery almost as much as you are. I understand that after cataract surgery most people find they see colors much more intensely. Here’s hoping that happens to you and that it happens while there are still plenty of blooms. It ought to result in some amazing paintings too.
    Also isn’t it weird that “astigmatism” is called that? It sound like it’s indistinguishable from THE stigmatism.
    Anyway I’m so glad everything’s coming up roses and every other kind of bloom for you!

    • Hey, Chris! IKR? Astigmatism is one weird word! 😳 It’s too much like stigmata (and you know those two words have to be kissing cousins coming from whatever language they stem from, but how is the real headscratcher.) Thankfully, I definitely don’t have that! And thanks for the encouragement, my friend! You have no idea just how long it took me to write this post — much longer than it ever should have. Once I get the wooly mammoths 🦣 under control and out of our home, I’ll be able to smell and see all the blooms! Also, can’t wait to play with paint again! I’m definitely craving color! And the open road! And space! And light! (Okay, I’ll stop now.) Hugs, Mona

  6. yay! You can see enough to type this post. This is a huge improvement…I hope it continues on!
    I hope you got to see the Bluebonnets; they’re the most beautiful thing ever!
    I didn’t know there were some eye drops being recalled; since my laser vision surgery, I keep those companies in business. I looked and the ones I get from Costco are all good. *sigh*

    Congratulation on the new great grand baby! That’s awesome news.


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