Sunday, September 23, 2018

It's opposite of what you think, after the awful damage from Florence...

Several entries ago, I posted this picture of a street in Oxford, MD (taken days before Hurricane Florence came ashore) which had been inundated by local recent heavy rain: 

Hurricane Florence was expected to make a southern andfall, but little did everyone know that the hurricane would decide to almost completely miss our area on its trip inland.  The picture below was taken at the same corner, just shortly after the remains blew out to sea.

Now, I hear on the telly that a piece of Florence may have survived.  It could be circling around in the Atlantic Ocean and intensifying...and might even send some more rain into the Carolinas....definitely not needed!  Let's pray that those folks aren't dealt further rain issues!


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Nail issues...again

Remember from earlier this year, that I had issues with two nails on the same foot?   One discolored and another cracked from being bumped?  The good news is that the discolored one has resolved itself, but not so much the cracked one.

However, the cracked one broke again, and a significant piece of it came off in my hand.  I promptly trotted myself to the doctor,  who said there was no infection, and I could go to a podiatrist who would take off the broken third of the nail all the way down to the "root" (or perhaps the whole nail, the podiatrist's decision) and I can wait for it to "hopefully" grow back, perhaps smooth enough that it is even with the remaining two thirds of the nail.  Or he may decide to remove the whole nail in hopes that it will eventually grow back in one piece.  Or, a third option: just leave it and it eventually should grow back on its own, though perhaps somewhat lumpy and bumpy.

I inquired if there was a medical necessity for podiatrist intervention, or if perhaps continuing what I've done at the nail salon for the past year would be OK, as long as there is no infection.  That approach would maintain the appearance of an intact nail.  He was fine with the nail salon option, which may or may not result in a smooth natural nail underneath.  Since the nail may or may not grow out right, even with the podiatrist treating it, it's a gamble, and I decided go with the nail salon option.   My wife is OK with that, knowing I will be getting regular pedicures and wearing nail polish for some time to come.

So I trotted off to the nail salon.   And they took care of the issue...too bad insurance doesn't cover it!  But my wife is right: the thought of a missing nail (or part of one) just isn't very appetizing even if only for "a number of months." Especially if there is a satisfactory "cure."


Thursday, September 13, 2018

And Hurricane Florence hasn't even arrived yet...

This was taken Tuesday morning, in a small town on a tributary of Chesapeake Bay.  (No, NOT my town, and NOT my residence.)   In the first picture, you can see by the stop sign, that a road and yard are flooded.   This is the result of what my rain gauge says was about 3-1/2 inches of rain over the previous 3 nights.  (Note, the area is very close to sea level.  There are likely many areas prone to flooding like this.)


Following is someone's yard.  Really cute house...I hope it doesn't get flooded out during whatever they receive from Hurricane Florence.   

Interesting note, a building lot is for sale in the area, for a price in the mid-$80k range.  Any house I'd even consider building there would have to be on very tall stilts, which likely wouldn't be approved for a building permit...given the historic nature of the area.

More updates to follow...if the rain gets here, which recent forecasts show as less likely...

Saturday, September 8, 2018


Several weeks ago, I was waiting for my wife who was at the dentist in a distant town, and I needed to make a stop at the bank and pharmacy.  Dressed in capris, a women's polo top, pantyhose and flats, with my other "identifiers," in both places I was addressed as "Ma'am."  Neither clerk knew me.  So, that's always good to hear!  But a recent experience gets the "big award" for 2018.

Recently I visited a diagnostic center (where I am not known personally, but they have full access to my records) for some non-invasive testing which required two visits.   I wore my new bold pattern blouse pictured in previous posts, my 3" inseam white shorts, bare shaved legs, white slide sandals and most of my other traditional "identifiers."    For the day, I put on only light makeup, with lip balm instead of lipstick, and no earrings.  I was addressed by the receptionist who checked me in as "Ma'am."  And when done, she had me sit "over there" to wait my turn for the tech.

Though I wasn't seated closely enough to hear details, the girl who ushers people to exam rooms was talking with the receptionist.  I could make out a few words, such as "female," "she," "Ma'am," "first name" and so on.  I suspected I might have been the subject of that discussion, though couldn't hear enough to confirm it.    A few minutes later, the girl making the inquiry opened the door, and said "Step right this way, Mrs. Sherman."

You could have knocked me over with a feather.  There's "very little chance" they were unaware of my gender, with records in front of them when I checked in.  When I took my blouse off for the obligatory stethoscope check, the hair on my chest (significantly less than most males due to laser treatment years ago) hadn't been shaved in several weeks.  Oops...I forgot to do bad.  Yet that nurse, and the rest of the staff, addressed me as female.  

My interpretation of this:  they were being "politically correct."  Addressing someone wearing what appears to be a female outfit as "Sir," could (at the very least) sound incongruous to innocent bystanders (who were seated nearby, paying no attention to me, and may not have noticed anything unusual).  It might even lead to a PR issue.  What if I were a somewhat masculine woman and staff hadn't checked, guessing "M" incorrectly?   Most likely, genetic women dislike being mis-gendered, too!!   The safe course apparently was chosen:  "if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, call it a duck."   And I'm fine with that.

For my second visit, I wore the same top, with different 3" inseam shorts, and my flats instead of sandals.  Same drill again - exclusively female forms of address.

Regardless of the reason, I could learn to like this - a lot!


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Hungry Heron...

I had a chance to stop by one of my favorite little inlets not far from the bay the other day.  When I got there, I noticed a pretty heron standing at attention in the water.  The bird looked hungry, and as I watched (from a close vantage point - closer than I figured it would let me get), a fish appeared and the heron had Sunday brunch.  (I got a couple of other pics, with the bird playing with its meal before swallowing the fish whole, but won't post them.)

Looking for brunch:


This is another picture of the new top I picked up for a song recently at the thrift shop. Since I was enroute to visit Mom, I couldn't wear a skirt.  But these white shorts with the 3" inseam often have the desired effect.  I stopped at the grocery store, and didn't arouse any suspicion, being addressed as "Ma'am" by the checkout clerk and the manager.

It's always a new adventure...


Monday, September 3, 2018

New blouse...

In life there are many fake things.  For instance, fake Rolex watches for a "mere fraction of the cost of the real ones", fake nails (yours truly has a set of those), fake money (to pay for that fake Rolex), and most recently, according to Washington, "fake news."  But there's one everybody has missed...

On my recent excursion into Pennsylvania on back roads, not far south of Harrisburg, I did a double take as I passed this sign, and went back for a second look.  Yes - it was a real road name sign, with a couple of houses down the street.  I'll never know the meaning of the name....whether it's a demonstration of someone's political philosophy, or maybe there's some other explanation.   But there WAS a real road under my wheels...and it wasn't fake, even if it was Fake Road!

Following is a picture of the new blouse I got for a song at a thrift shop, which still had the "new" tag.    I've worn it a couple times while the wife has been traveling,  mentioned it casually to her, and plan to just put it into circulation.  We'll see what happens from there...

This little outfit works very well...except for one minor problem: with my skirt:  as you can see below, whichever side my purse is carried on, the skirt tends to ride up more than it does with others.  Yet I love the has pockets!   Maybe a different purse would work better...but for now, maybe I'll wash it and put it away till I figure out how to fix that.   Or maybe I'll just decide to keep tugging the hem down...I see girls in short skirts doing that to the hems on their skirts quite often!

I like the overall appearance - especially with the feminine double V neckline on the blouse.

Or maybe it's time for a new purse instead???  I'll have to check the thrift shop for one of those...LOL!


Saturday, September 1, 2018

Finally...the rest of the story!

You got a sneak preview of the following with a previous's the rest of the story:

I had planned to take one of my typical week-long-plus trips in August, while my wife visited her sister in Chicago.  After she left, I got a mani and pedi.  My pedi was unremarkable...just "more of the same" because I hadn't planned to wear sandals on my trip.  But I wondered when the tech began removing all the acrylic from my fingernails.   At one point, another female tech helped by working on the other hand.  That's always fun...two techs, one working on each hand.  Such luxury!

They both told me that my nails were very strong, and my regular tech said she was going to give me a full set of gel nails.  I asked if they could make the nails very short, and make them look longer by painting white at the tips.  She liked that idea and ran with it, so here is what they created for me:

I love these nails!   My white tips and hand-painted designs are both gel, instead of polish.  It was a  surprise to  watch my tech embed them under a clear gel blue-light-cured top coat.   Then the girls reminded me that they will make any changes when I go back for a fill.  I've worn nail art before, but they were always applied at a different salon, with polish on top of my acrylic.  Thus, I "could" remove the color by myself if necessary.   "It's not do-it-yourself anymore,"  they said.  So, I guessed that my pretty nails would be on display till my next fill...

Yes, it was quite a lot of fun to watch her make flowers appear on my nails.  Those girls are so steady and talented!   And they make it look easy...  I guess I can be glad they chose blue, which is much less noticeable than the orange or red flowers they originally considered. 

The major difference I can see in wearing my new nails is that they're much thinner and more natural-looking than acrylics.  I can pick things up, and type, more easily.  Sliding that penny across the floor in order to pick it up was necessary with acrylics.  (Wearing them, you soon learn not to drop things so you don't have to pick them up.)  And acrylics were rigid, didn't "give".

As info, here are the color and design applied to my acrylics for my previous big trip:

One thing I've noticed so far is that if you bump gel nails the wrong way, you can feel the nail bend slightly - the gel (so far at least) hasn't cracked.  It's a different sensation than I'm used to.  With acrylics, either you feel the pain when you accidentally bump your nail the wrong way, or you feel and hear the acrylic crack.    Neither is a pleasant experience, but if I keep them short, I can tolerate it...

By the time you read this, I'll have had my next fill, with the pretty French manicure replaced by something else, minus nail art.  My wife would not be happy with these nails, so I'll ask for less austentatious decoration, and maybe end up with plain translucent pink.  We'll find out when it happens!  They tell me their curing lights are LED instead of UV, and that is one big relief...UV radiation can cause skin cancer, just like too much sun.   (But I probably will use sunscreen on my skin "just in case.")   In any event, it looks like I may be a "gel nails girl" now...

Unfortunately that trip west which I had long anticipated, "fell completely apart" at the last minute, due to (among many other issues) "smoke."  You may recall that the western US has been experiencing grass/forest fires lately.  They produce lots of smoke.   (One of those fires was along a road I had been planning to travel.)  Guess where a lot of that smoke (and from other fires as well) had drifted?   If one is going west to sightsee in the mountains, a smoky sky simply does nothing to enhance the experience.   So I cancelled at the last minute, and was fortunate to be able to do so without significant cost.

I've saved my maps and to-do list....and that trip will hopefully resurface next year!   Meanwhile, I'm still sporting pretty my home town...with no problems.  The first few days, I was somewhat self-conscious, constantly looking at my fingers and keeping them as hidden as possible.  Now, I just go about my business, talk with my hands as usual,  and don't worry about my nails.  The neighbors haven't seen them, but I've gotten a few compliments in daily travels. 

I had to point them out to my mother, who formerly was getting her nails done at the nursing home.  But she recently quit, for some reason.  I suggested she start again, since "you don't want your kid to be wearing prettier nails than you!"  We'll see what happens, but I think I already know....