Saturday, November 14, 2009


Today I am pleased to announce that another artist on Etsy chose to feature one of my photos!

The very first photo, of a snow covered lantern is my work. If you have not checked out my photos yet, click on the link to the right of this post that says "Soleil's Photography".

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why I Love Living in Colorado...

I stumbled across an article today that talks about the "happiest" states in the country. Colorado is #4 and I have to agree with their assessment. This study was conducted by the independent company, Gallup. Behind Utah, Hawaii and Wyoming. Not so sure about Utah and Wyoming, but I could see how Hawaii would make you happy!

The link to the article:

The article has its theories about why it is so, but here are my reasons why I love Colorado and Boulder in particular:

1. People in Colorado are generally more committed to physical fitness and health promotion. We routinely place in the top of the "healthiest states" ratings. When you are healthier, you are happier.

2. The weather is wonderful. At least in the Front Range it is not too hot or not too cold. Having lived in both Montana and South Dakota, I appreciate this more than words can possibly express. The fact that I do not have to drive through several feet of snow on a daily basis (feet, plural!) makes me so happy. Plus, if we have a day with bad weather, the odds are that it will be completely different in a day or two. This makes it doubly hard when I return to Montana because I swear that my blood has thinned and I can no longer tolerate cold.

3. The scenery cannot be matched. We have an unbelievable variety of geography in Colorado, from soaring peaks to sandy deserts and expansive prairies. Every time I drive down the hill to get to my home and I see the snow-capped mountains of the front range, and Long's Peak I give thanks that I get to live here!

4. Boulder is fantastically eco-conscious. It has an unbelievable single-stream recycling program. I have cut my waste generation by over 50%. You can recycle just about anything, and if not from your home, there is a drop site for other items. I just recycled a broken hair dryer and some ancient floppy disks. In 2008, Coloradans reduced their trash by 35%.

6. Boulder is just plain fun. There are so many things to do. Some of my favorites: Duchanbe Tea House, Oskar Blues Brewery, Boulder County Open Space, Tokyo Joe's, Glacier Ice Cream, Boulder Creek Path, the Royal Arch hike, and Twin Lakes park. And just plain weird: in no particular order... The Naked Pumpkin Run, Frozen Dead Guy Days, and Pearl Street performers (including zip code guy, glass box guy, juggling fire guy and the woman who rolls her piano around and sings show tunes).

Five Weeks after surgery

Things are still improving in the right eye, I cannot seem to notice much of a change in the left eye. Granted, I am basing this on my own experiment: sitting on my couch and looking across the room into the kitchen at the digital stove clock. Not really that scientific. I go back to see Dr. A on December 3rd.

I got my post-PRK glasses made this week (new lenses put into my old glasses frames) and they really help with driving at night. Night vision is the last thing to improve, and I cannot wait to be able to see! Dryness continues to be a problem, and I am not as good with remembering to put in eye drops as I should be. It could take months before this will go away.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Four weeks after PRK surgery

It has been nearly four weeks since I had my PRK surgery. So far, things are moving right along on schedule. I am still using three different types of eye drops, Pred Forte (steroid), Xibrom (NSAID) and Restasis (for dryness). I need to be really careful to keep the eyes moisturized for the exact reason that I experienced this weekend. When the surface of the eye dries out, it adheres to the eyelid. Then when you blink, it tears away and causes an abrasion. In other words, a sharp pain that takes your breath away! It actually woke me up. The eye doctor could still see that abrasion today, and I really need to be more careful about using the drops.

My right eye is now corrected nearly to 20/20 and continues to improve. The left eye, not so much. Prior to the surgery, that eye had a much higher degree of astigmatism. I knew that it might be more difficult to fix. It is still at about 20/55 but the reason that I am able to see while reading and driving is that the right eye is doing so well.

We are going to reevaluate it in a month, but there is a chance that they might have to go into the left eye again to fix the astigmatism. If the left eye has not improved, it will be necessary. At this point, it is about a 50/50 chance that I will need additional surgery. For the first year after surgery, subsequent "touch up" visits are included. Most people do not need them, but the option is there. In the meantime, to help that eye along, they are making "Post-PRK glasses" for me to use while driving because that is really my biggest issue. I will use my old frames with new lenses. The right lens will be uncorrected and the left will have the current prescription. All in the process of healing, I guess. PRK is not insignificant surgery. It is a much more involved procedure and recovery than I imagined.

However, I am still SO HAPPY that I had this procedure done. The constant dryness and irritation from contacts is gone and I no longer get headaches from wearing my glasses.