From gifted garden photographer and commentor Ozark Hillbilly:
Walked out of my house yestermorn and found myself standing in a field of flowers that had bloomed during the 24 degree night temps. They were soon gone with the touch of the suns first rays.Â For those who don’t know, these are called “frost flowers”. From Wikipedia:
“The formation of frost flowers is dependent on a freezing weather condition occurring when the ground is not already frozen. The sap in the stem of the plants will expand (water expands when frozen), causing long, thin cracks to form along the length of the stem. Water is then drawn through these cracks via capillary action and freezes upon contact with the air. As more water is drawn through the cracks it pushes the thin ice layers further from the stem, causing a thin “petal” to form.
“The petals of frost flowers are very delicate and will break when touched. They usually melt or sublimate when exposed to sunlight and are usually visible in the early morning or in shaded areas.”
This is a phenomenon that, as far as I know, occurs only once a year, if at all. The process that forms them seems to destroy the physical structures necessary. I could be wrong. I have seen much more extravagant frost flowers but these are what grew Friday morning.
Thanks, OH! Beauty, however evanescent, strengthens our souls.
What’s going on — if only planning for next spring — in your garden(s) this week?
I’ve never seen those before. Fascinating.
We get these: See post below, because this attempt didn’t work.
Love the pictures???
Those snow flowers are fabulous. They remind me of the snow rollers that appeared in my neighborhood a few winters ago. We live on such a great, amazing planet, with never ceasing wonders, and it is always good to be reminded of that.
In other news, it is three days since my cataract surgery and I hate the correction. It took away my near vision, now I am farsighted. I told him I wanted to keep my near vision, didn’t mind that I couldn’t see far away (been very nearsighted my whole life). I am furious and devastated, though if I close the done eye, I can see see up close with the other eye. No idea what my options are going forward, or if I should keep this doctor (had an eye doctor I loved and trusted but she retired at the beginning of the year).
@opiejeanne: Those are also ‘frost flowers’, much rarer tho in my experience. Of course, it’s all about being in the right place at the right time and maybe I just haven’t more than a time or 2.
Love the photos, OH.
I’m still struggling and starting to think this is my new normal. Anyone else feel like you are in a perpetual state of fight of flight?
Today I’m going to finish up some projects and hopefully get some time in the woods.
How beautiful and so interesting, thanks OzarkHillbilly ?
@Ohio Mom: That sounds awful. It could have been better, he just decided to do what he wanted?
@Ohio Mom: “Most people need glasses, at least some of the time, after cataract surgery. Your doctor will let you know when your eyes have healed enough for you to get a final prescription for eyeglasses. This is usually between one and three months after surgery.”
I’m really sorry about your surgery results. Maybe you can tell to another surgeon?
@Ohio Mom: It’s still too soon too tell what your final prescription might be, so try to hang in there a bit. I assume you had an implant?
Or what raven said.
Yes. Which probably means we’re not deadened, or delusional.
On a micro level, the walk outdoors, and Korra and the family.
Macro? You’re inured to cold Maine weather, and Canada ain’t that far.
Beautiful frost flowers Ozark! I don’t think I ever saw them before, though early morning frost glistening in the rising sun is one of my favorite sights.
@Ohio Mom: Hopeful your near vision will improve, a lot, in coming weeks.
I was amazed to find a friend’s 90-something aunt reading aloud the fine print on a postcard (its design info) without glasses. She’d had cataract surgery years previously.
In the meantime, choose the prettiest or most rad (but also inexpensive) readers, cuz hopefully you won’t be keeping them.
ETA: and tell yourself, it’s the Lord’s way of keeping you from having to read too much “news” about Trumpnado, etc in the meantime.
@MomSense: @Elizabelle: Honestly, I am too. The whole month of November has been in a funk except for my attendance at the wedding, and that distraction came at a pretty high cost. It’s getting a bit better, but only because I’m disengaging from a lot of stuff. One day at a time.
@rikyrah: Morning sweetie ☕☕☕
@satby: Disengaging from fake stuff that’s outlasted its usefulness (news of questionable caliber, even from formerly “trusted” sources) is good. Maybe turn inward to regain strength.
Eventually, we have to turn outward again, but why wallow in what stupidity and fake news (Fox/Rush, etc) has delivered us?
People always get through bad times, although smarter (and luckier!) people are often able to avoid/ameliorate them. Not this year.
@Elizabelle: I’d prefer the Lord smite the New York Times instead.
@Ohio Mom: Did the surgeon say anything about monovision? Because one of the things that is possible for presbyopia is that one eye is corrected for far vision and the other for near, the goal being to get as close to vision that doesn’t need glasses or contacts routinely. We do contacts like that all the time, your brain automatically shifts which eye is dominant for the task you’re doing after a period of adjustment.
But three days is still too soon to know the final outcome, let yourself heal a bit.
I’ve never seen or heard of these before either but they are indeed beautiful and quite elusively esoteric; nature has some incredible feats of fancy that’s always interesting to come upon to study & research. Too bad this phenomenon may soon go the way of the dodo if global warming isn’t given the proper chain choking it so rightfully deserves by the reality-based community and whatever is left of our political allies!
@Baud: Yeah. I compose my “fuck you NY Times letter in my head”, a lot.
Decided to keep the sub for a few more weeks, but cancel it in January. I think editor Dean Baquet and his horrible political team and the moron public editor need firing. I wonder how many subscribers they have lost. I’d guess, a lot.
We’re disengaging from “news”, and hearing anecdotally that others are doing so too. The industry deserves that, and I wonder how long they can survive without actual readers and viewers?
Do you think Trump voters pay to read the NY Times? I think not.
Fuck you, New York Times. If there was a reverse Pulitzer, you earned it this year. Even more than your Judith Miller crap from years back.
@Baud: Right there with you on that, as usual.
I don’t know. Someone here said their subs were the same or higher after the election. WaPo seems to be where it’s at these days.
@Elizabelle: The NYT had a Facebook ad running that was basically begging for subscribers at a sale price of 50% off, touting their “great journalism” . My comment on the ad was that the NYT didn’t do journalism , they did “mean girl high school lunch table” talk. So far it’s gotten a few likes. None of the comments are positive.
Iowa Old Lady
@Ohio Mom: How upsetting! I hope things eventually settle down in a way you can live with.
What beautiful pictures. I’ve never seen frost flowers before–didn’t even know there was such a thing.
@Baud: But I think that was the special promotional offers, geared toward hooking people for the election coverage. 99 cent subscriptions to game the circulation figures. Let’s see how long they keep them.
Do you think people want to read about Trumpnado, day after day, and pay for it? I think not.
Would love to see the circulation numbers, once they’ve settled.
I’d expect WaPost circ to go up. (The free 6-month sub, thrown in for Amazon Prime members. The holiday shopping rush is upon us.)
@satby: I’d love to see that FB ad. Don’t get it, since I’m a current NY Times
It’ll be interesting to see how committed they are to their current management team and political staff if they start hemorrhaging money. Every time I come across a NYT response, they are blaming the reader.
The frost flowers are gorgeous. Thank you to Ozark for the pics.
Have seen those (in Virginia?) and had wondered what they were.
Iowa Old Lady
For your entertainment from last night:
From Alec Baldwin, 20 minutes later:
@Iowa Old Lady: *smack*
@Iowa Old Lady:
What is this crap? SNL airs at 11:30 pm on the east coast.
I just had an eye checkup and my eyes are ready for cataract surgery. I have avoided driving after dark for a long time after an experience driving on rain wet black highway meeting a lot of traffic headlights for about 30 miles. Terrified me. I had no idea my eyes had gotten that bad.
Even when I wore contact lenses (nearsighted and astigmatism) I didn’t go the monovision route. Maybe my brain would have adjusted but it gave me a headache just imagining it. After lasik surgery, I did miss seeing tiny details close up, knitting, reading, etc but got used to wearing non-prescription reading glasses. I can still read a lot of finer print, menus, product labels when I’m out and about without taking out reading glasses.
I will probably have cataract surgery in early Feb and will have a consult with the surgeon and talk more about the options. I’ll be talking to friends, etc who have had the surgery about their experiences and what correction route they chose. One thing is that I’d like to avoid is getting costly prescription reading glasses.
@Iowa Old Lady:
Just realized Twitter probably adjusts for local (Iowa) time.
Space-time continuum safe (for now).
I have never heard of frost flowers – thanks for sharing these! Woke up to a thin layer of snow this AM, it may stick as they are predicting cold for this week.
@Ohio Mom: When I had mine done the Dr. gave me one near and one far lense. The way he explained it at the time it made sense but now, 20 years down the road I wish I had both near also. I think it is just annoying but am very sorry it ruined the process for you. I was nearly blind when mine were done so the improvement made me less upset that it isn’t everything I wanted it to be.
@Ohio Mom: So sorry to hear about your situation. That is messed up.
@Iowa Old Lady: Unlike Baldwin, Mark Wahlberg believes celebrities should shut up about politics. Because you lose your freedom of speech when you become a celebrity, I guess.
@OzarkHillbilly: such great photos! I have never seen those here in the Northeast.
And I have a professional advice question for you — I am (finally) getting around to converting an old island cabinet to a proper workbench. The cabinet was hand crafted with nice drawers and doors. Very solid so it will make a great base…. I’m just over 6’2 — how high should my workbench be? If I put a 2″ think top on the island, it will be about 37-38″ high from floor to surface. What’re your thoughts? And thanks ….
@bemused: Our minds are powerful things. It’s all in the power of motivation. I can put in contacts and wear them all day, but my vision isn’t as sharp as with glasses (even with torics). But for me the deal breaker was that the air hitting me in the face without my glasses just bothered me too much. Vanity about my looks wasn’t enough to overcome those negatives (to me).
Lots of people do fine with monovision; my younger sister’s Lasix was designed that way so she could go a bit longer without needing reading glasses. But she’s highly motivated not to wear glasses at all. As are a lot of people, motivation powers their adjustment. Other people never even adjust to bifocals lenses or progressives and prefer to swap glasses for tasks. In my experience, if people expect not to adjust they often don’t; if they’re at least open to whatever may work, they often do.
No judgement BTW, I used to wear contacts, progressive lenses, etc, and now am a glasses swapper because I prefer more room in my lenses for focusing on the computer. So I have ones for distance and ones for the computer, and don’t need anything to read (I’m nearsighted). Someone else will find a different solution for them; past a certain point in the aging process it’s all going to require some compromise on what can be achieved vs what is comfortable.
@MomSense: I am still like that. I woke up again at 3ish last night for a mind-circular obsession fest about Trump. I go from despair to fantasy solution to planning reactions to despair to fantasy solutions, etc. Much of the thinking is around my 15 year old son.
I can’t even.
I’m still waking up, too. This is not normal.
I think a lot of us here are in that boat. I have tried to let it go as the election is past & what is going to happen is going to happen. I have made donations, I have identified projects to work on, I have called my Congressman & Senators and at the moment that is about all I can do so I should be able to move past this phase. But I can’t and I don’t know what to do about that.
My mantra the last couple of weeks is stolen from Gen Grant. When he met with the Eastern Generals upon assuming command of the Army of the Potomac they fretted about what Lee would be doing. Grant got angry ang said “I am tired of hearing what Lee will do, I want to hear what YOU will do!” Maybe if I just say it another million times . . .
@MomSense: I have been wondering about a war. Reinstating the draft? My son is 15 and a geek and could probably do OK. Maybe the Navy like my Dad? But flying drones? OMG? Or do the deferment college route? Will that exist? Where are the people to stop Trump. I just read Trump has skipped almost every one of his daily intelligence briefings
Where the fuck is our Deep State that is supposed to save us in moments like this?
And on and on.
@Immanentize: Ideal ht for assembly work is app waist high or a little lower. At 5-9 my waist is at 36″ and my ideal workbench ht is 32″. 36″ is standard ht for counter tops and over time most people become comfortable working at that ht.
@Schlemazel: I love that quote.
@Schlemazel: I love that quote. Thank you. I have some good plans and action projects. I am very lucky like that — but even in the action area it feels like too much must be done so too much will be neglected.
But I can’t shake the Lady of Shalott feeling — “The curse is come upon me!”
@OzarkHillbilly: Thank you!
@Elizabelle: it *is* the Lord’s way of keeping from the news because I get most of the news through my phone and now I have to close the surgery eye to see the screen. Which is hard to do for extend time.
Thanks for all the commiserating and well wishes. I know my sight will continue to evolve and that this is a first world problem. I’ve never liked any of the bifocals I’ve had, guess I might be joining Satby in the multi-glasses approach.
@satby: I went the same route when my trifocals started giving me headaches. I have “office glasses” for work, “long vision” for just walking around, and nothing to read.
i’ve been near sighted all my life….until cataract surgery. i got the “long” vision option and love it. carrying reading glasses around is annoying but i’d still rather have the distance vision. ymmv
The deep state has fallen just like our media. I’ve got two are of fighting age right now. My middle son was being recruited by DOD because he is wicked smaht about climate change and the DOD is actually worried about it- for the next 7 weeks anyway. So now he is scrambling to figure out what is going to happen in terms of the Paris Agreement, funding, etc. Lately he has said we should start a farm in the mountains, build a solar house, and buy a bunch of firearms.
@bemused: I will say it’s a fun surgery. Watching all the swirling colors make different patterns was very enjoyable.
@tybee: Honestly, I’m hoping for cataract surgery to let me lose the distance glasses too, reading glasses wouldn’t bother me since I’ve worn them for 52 years. But I barely have a cataract in one eye, I’m many years away from needing the surgery. ?
@MomSense: I see we are on the same page.
Agreed. Part of my lingering mood is that all of the planning is useless. I did the same stuff when Boy Blunder was granted the office and at the moment can’t remember a single victory we won (his decision to touch the third rail was his loss not our win), If I had to vote this afternoon between 4 years of the rancid mango and W I would walk over broken glass to pull the lever for W.
I have no faith that the Dems in DC will stick together and display some spine. I have no faith the media will show America what is being done to them and I have no faith that the majority of Americans will notice until it is too late. At which time the media will have convinced them it is the Dems fault. So the rage/fantasy solution bipolar disorder continues.
@MomSense: It’s tough for us because we are people who recognize the benefits of good governments, and that’s where we’ve focused a lot of our time and efforts. We’ll now have to spend the next four years building up non-governmental institutions, while trying to claw back into an electoral majority in off-year and midterm elections, with the big prize being 2020 (a redistricting year).
@Schlemazel: I didn’t know they were doing that one eye near, one eye far thing so many years ago. I thought it was a more recent technique.My old eye doctor warned against doing that, as did the new ophthalmologist and surgeon.
Now the hot new way of giving you both types of vision are bifocal implants. Which the insurance doesn’t cover but I imagine the docs make more money off of because of the higher markup.
@Ohio Mom: I got a Kindle Fire from my kids a few years ago and now the tablet is my main interface to the outside world. Does everything my laptop does, I watch Netflix on it, email, manage my Etsy store, and surf as well as read the blogs. The print is a more normal book size too, so that may help. I love it so much I just bought a new one, the prices are much lower now and the battery life longer.
@Schlemazel: The full quote: “Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do. Some of you always seem to think he is suddenly going to turn a double somersault, and land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. Go back to your command, and try to think what are we going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do.”
I remember it differently from Ken Burns’ “The Civil War”, it starting with, “Bobby Lee, Bobby Lee, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Bobby Lee is going to do….” but I suppose that is because several people were present for the dressing down and each remembered it slightly differently.
I think that sums it up. You really should be the PEOTUS instead.
@MomSense: The list of people who should be PEOTUS rather than the PEOTUS is a long one, and includes several dead people.
ETA: And not a small number of farm animals.
I unsubscribed more than 10 years ago when I was unemployed. I’ve received 50% off offers practically every other month since then via snail mail. It’s not that special.
@Iowa Old Lady:
I saw that this morning. He tweeted as soon as the skit was over. Sad!
Trump is so predictable, I think we could figure out very easily how to make his head explode.
Yup, I shortened it a lot. But that is the nature of many historical quotes, the get mangled by the people who hear them and by those who repeat them.
I understand there are at least 5 different versions of the Gettysburg Address, all handwritten by Lincoln & none exactly match. This is familiar to me as I often give speeches from outlines and could only approximate what I said if someone asked for a copy after. But it does allow for a lot of leeway when done for history
Cool! Entertainment during surgery.
@tybee: Easier to see them red’s tailn!
Well, we got a jackass so why would we eliminate other farm animals?
No such thing as an ideal height for short people, I guess. When I bake, I put the mixing bowl in the sink. Before I came up with that trick, mixing and all was a lot more difficult.
from todays political cartoons:
I suppose Medicare doesn’t cover that either. Busy with holiday prep but I need to read up on Medicare cataract surgery coverage soon.
@Schlemazel: Found this at that sight:
“If I owned Texas and Hell, I’d rent out Texas and live in Hell.” – Phillip H. Sheridan
I’d never heard that before but I heartily concur. ;-)
Amazing pictures. I had no idea such things even existed. Of course, the first time I saw a double rainbow, I didn’t even know such a thing existed. Had I known, I might have known to look to see if it really was a triple rainbow. There should be a course in high school, “Amazing Shit in Nature.”
We were friends of a couple, she was a little person. Their kitchen had a couple of regular cabinets and the rest were custom made to her height. It looked like a toy kitchen but it allowed her to be a great cook & we spent many happy hours with me at the tall counter & her at the low. She taught me many things.
I’ve learned that the aging brain becomes less efficient at blending information from both eyes into single visual images. Where before I was right-eye dominant, I now see double. It’s like the brain steps back and says you two guys fight it out yourselves. This aging stuff really sucks.
Love that quote too. I don’t know if it was the times or the people but there are so many great, colorful quotes from the era.
@debbie: There is no one ideal ht for anyone. It depends not just on ht, but leg length, torso length, arm’s ratio (upper to lower) etc etc. While there are rules of anatomy that more or less define how all these body parts relate, the individual variations are such that there is no universal formula.
Fun fact: one’s arm spread, from tip of fingers to tip of fingers, is the same as one’s height (more or less of course)
I don’t have problems with chopping, etcc. at counter height, but if I need to cream butter and sugar, I guess the lower height helps with arm strength.
Glaukopis in Ohio
i was naturally far-sighted in one eye and near-sighted in the other and I found it tiring and confusing. I had cataract surgery 3 years ago and had the enhancement that fixed my astigmatism (though I had to pay out of pocket for the enhancement). I had excellent far-vision afterwards but still required reading glasses for any close work or reading. It was amazing to see individual leaves on trees again. Another thing you gain is better color vision. You realize after the first one is done how yellowish everything was. For anyone who does art or craft work that’s important.
@Schlemazel: Sullivan Ballou’s letter to his wife Sarah is a treasure for all time.
Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on with all these chains to the battlefield.
The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when God willing, we might still have lived and loved together and seen our sons grow up to honorable manhood around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me – perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar — that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name.
Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have oftentimes been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the spirit land and hover near you, while you buffet the storms with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience till we meet to part no more.
But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and in the darkest night — amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours – always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.
Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.
@debbie: Yes, much easier to get more downward pressure if you can get your shoulders behind the effort.
@Baud: NYT has claimed their online subscriptions are up after election. Too lazy to find link (saw it on Twitter). I’m so with you on this.
Tenar Arha (same Tenar, more Nameless Ones)
@Iowa Old Lady: @debbie: You may appreciate this long-ish Twitter rant.
@Ohio Mom: I’m so sorry to hear about the results of your surgery. I hope you can find a solution.
@Kathleen: Thanks, I think I will adjust, especially after reading about everyone here’s experiences. Those stories were helpful in giving me perspective. I still have the other eye to go, and maybe that will allow some adjustment. Thinking I might to have to get a bigger purse so I can follow satby’s lead and carry around reading gasses and a Kindle.
I’m reminded that you rarely know what aches, pains and other annoyances other people put up with on a daily basis, most people just get on with life. They make it look easy when it often is not.
J R in WV
From research I’ve done, there are three levels of cataract lens implant support. Standard Operating Procedure is what Medicare will fund. This allows you to see well again without the haze the cataracts cause, but many patients will need correction with contacts or glasses. This replacement lens is called monofocal, and can provide either near vision or far vision in either eye.
It is common to do one eye of each type of vision. My wife’s eyes are naturally like this, one is nearsighted and one is farsighted, sometimes she wears glasses and sometimes she doesn’t, especially around the house.
Getting presbyopia repaired with a more advanced lens costs more, and this improved lens is NOT covered by Medicare as medically necessary. This is a second stage of advanced care and costs more. From that link:
The third level of corrective lens is toric-correction, like the contact lenses which correct for astigmatism…
My father spent nearly all day in the surgeon’s office, being interviewed and examined with hi-tech equipment that I have never seen before. They had a room full of implant lenses the size of a kitchen.
I’ve had glasses since before I entered public school, as my dad’s 20/650 vision wasn’t discovered until he was in high school, due to a silly mistake. I say this to point out that I’ve spent a lot of time in opthalmalogists’ offices.
Anyway, after his cataract surgery, my Dad did need Rite-aide reading glasses, but otherwise saw well for getting around and driving without glasses for the first time in his life, he was delighted. The first thing he did was buy a nice pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses that weren’t prescription and heavy. I never did get used to seeing him routinely without his glasses.
@Tenar Arha (same Tenar, more Nameless Ones):
Nice! I’m surprised she got so much out without being blocked.
@J R in WV: that is a great explanation. Leaves me wondering why the eye doctor is not as organized in his presentation of the options…
I also have worn glasses since childhood, when my nearsightedness first started developing. I actually like wearing them. If I was rich, I’d have lots of different pairs in different styles to match my mood and outfit of the day. So I definitely get your dad’s glee in his Ray-Bans.
I’m just having a time coming to terms with the idea my very sharp near vision might be gone for good. Now I see it was a luxury to take off my glasses and be able to see everything that could be placed three inches in front of my nose in perfect detail.
File under, You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. Which may also apply to lots about the U.S., come to think of it,
J R in WV
Unfortunately, my nearsighted eyes also have astigmatism, and so I need major magnification to really see small stuff up close. I collect rocks, minerals and fossils, and have a variety of loupes to see details with and without glasses.
I researched this procedure not long ago, my eye MD tells me I’m too nearsighted for laser surgery, would be high risk, but after seeing my Dad’s vision improve, I thought about just going for the lens replacement early, as I do have detectable changes in my lens clarity already at 65.
One problem is the impossibility of getting a price quote for a complex medical procedure in advance that you can hold anyone to. They change prices on variables every day it seems, so a price is only good for 36 hours. Hard to plan.
If they tear up Medicare we’ll all be hosed, the pharma folks are out of control. I use an ointment for foot fungus, $5 copay, cash price $229/oz. Unbelievable! Wrong! Profiteering on people’s misery. My doctor tells me the ointment I use is prescribed because it is relatively inexpensive!!!