Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Peeps -- 1 Week Later

Yes, I've been a bad blogger.  And no, it's not because I've been out gallivanting for the holidays nor shopping the sales afterward.  I've been doing something better.  S-e-e-i-n-g the world!  It's amazing, just amazing!

It's been 1 week since my LASIK and everything has been very smooth!  I spent the first few days reading other LASIK-doing bloggers' accounts to ensure that I was feeling (and seeing!) the same results they were...which was very reassuring.  In honor of those blogs, I shall *briefly* outline my LASIK Week 1 experience in this blog post. [Revision after previewing: it's not so brief]

Day 1: Surgery Appointment @ 8:00 a.m.

Mr. Fine was perhaps slightly concerned that I wasn't more nervous, but on game day I was ready with only slight jitters.  I had considered that there might be pain during the surgery only the night before.  I had only been focused on the pain afterward and for which the doctor had already prescribed my Valium.  The possibility of surgery pain was what made me nervous.

The nurse did a final check of the shape of my eye to confirm the results in the laser machine and then doped me up with one of my Valium pills.  Soon, I was almost dozing in the chair and was primed for surgery.  The surgery itself was over within about 15 minutes and was relatively pain-free.  First, they taped my eyelids back (not as painful as one would think...perhaps Valium helped?) and then dosed my eyes with numbing drops and some antibiotics.  After that, they put in a corneal ring -- what looked looked like a small rubber ring (and which was the most painful part of the procedure) and which held my eye open.  Then came the pressure/suction.  I could hear the doctor keep asking the nurse if the suction was holding...which it was, because she kept responding suction holding at [enter number].

Then, it was on to the laser.  They cut open a flap and I stared at a dot (easier than I thought!) and then the doctor pulled back the flap so I could look at a bigger star like laser while the laser reshaped my eye.  That's it.  Take the suction off, ring out, swivel the table, and repeat for the other eye.

I was able to walk on my own to the after surgery room where Mr. Fine was waiting, although my eyes were fuzzy and desperately wanted to close (maybe because they'd just been cut into?).  However, I did catch a glimpse of a window and wowsers -- I could see!  Already, within a few minutes of the surgery.  It was blurry but I could clearly make out cars.  Now, for keen sighted folk, this may seem like no big deal.  But for a gal who needed glasses for e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g, blurry cars were bliss!  The doctor put plastic shields on my eyes, gave Mr. Fine (aka Eye Drop Giver) final instructions, and we left.  I remember sitting at the door of the clinic for a few minutes while Mr. Fine went to get the car -- my eyes were not staying open on their own accord anymore and I didn't think I could make it to the parking lot.  Besides, I did have those *cool* "I've had eye surgery" black shades on and was happy to limit the number of people who saw me in them.

I kept asking Mr. Fine where we were while in the car, because I was in pain and wanted to be close to home.  My doctor had told me that the first few hours would be painful -- the man was not kidding.  With Mr. Fine's help I made it into the house and into the bed, where I was to sleep (as instructed by the doctor).  "Sleep off the pain," he'd said.  Problem.  I was whining and moaning and found it hard to sleep.  So Mr. Fine, dear soul that he is (or perhaps because he was tired of my moaning), climbed on the bed and held me for 2 hours while I slept.  When I woke up, I was out of the big pain period and moved to the couch.  I remember this period as pain free, however, Mr. Fine distinctly remembers me saying, "this was a bad idea."  I don't remember that part.  Regardless, by 3 p.m. I was up and around with my shields, getting eye drops every 2 hours.  By dinner, I was at the table, peering through my shields and seeing a clear meal in front of me.

Day 2: Follow Up Appointment @ 8:00 a.m.

The resident took off my shields, handed me a black wand, and had me do the vision chart.  20-20 in one eye.  20-15 in the other.  That eye chart hasn't looked so clear since middle school!  The doctor checked my flaps which were healing smoothly (wrinkles and bubbles are bad) and sent me home with instructions to do drops 4 times a day and to only wear shields at night (important, as I am still waking up in the middle of the night trying to get at my eyes).  My eyes occasionally felt like I had my contacts in (they had always hurt me) but I could see CLEARLY (everything!) and was not in pain.

Days 3 - 6:

Mr. Fine and I lived, shopped, and Christmased.  We stayed close to home, however, just in case.  We went to Michael's for some framing and I found myself just standing in the store just gazing.  I hadn't considered that I had gained peripheral vision...something I never got with my glasses.  There is A LOT to look at in stores.  I did notice that my vision would be awesome in the morning but that my eyes would get very tired and I'd need a nap during the day.  My eyes would not want to stay open.  By night, my vision had decreased but it was still better than my glasses.  I also couldn't focus on the computer screen for too long before my eyes got tired.

Day 7: Follow Up Appointment at 12:30 p.m.

My flaps were still healing well and I was put on over-the-counter tear drops instead of my steroid and antibiotic drops.  I can use the tears whenever I want and there's no over using them.  The wetter the eye, the more healing it can do.  On the vision chart, I am 20-20 with a few of the 20-15 line with one eye and 20-15 with the other.

That night, Mr. Fine and I picked up take-out in the dark.  Pre-LASIK I didn't like driving because the headlight stars were terrible.  Now, it's like driving in the daytime.  I can see the road, the headlights are headlights, and I have none of the weird night-vision side effects that other LASIK patients complain of. 

That night, my vision also hadn't deteriorated as badly by days-end and I didn't require any mid-afternoon nap.


The corneal ring bruising is gone from my eye and I can be on the computer for long periods of time without fatigue.  I. Can. See.

My To-Do List?

-figure out what to do with my glasses...
-get a new blogger picture sans glasses...

Happy 2011 friends!

Fine Divider Owl

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Musings

Happy Monday, all!

I'm super excited because Mr. Fine is driving home right now, as I type!!

There is only 1 more day of school and only 3 days until my LASIK...I'm a lot bit nervous about Thursday.

I have zero (you can't believe it, I know) Christmas gifts purchased or even thought of.  Apparently, I have a list of ideas for Mr. Fine somewhere...but I haven't actually done anything about it. 

I took my students ice skating today and have many blisters on my hands -- when will 10 year olds learn how to tie their own skates?  Granted, most of them hung on to the ledge for dear life for most of the hour, but come on?! did not feel good when after crouching on my knees for 25 minutes tying, my knees and legs h-u-r-t.  Ouch -- getting old.

And...should Mr. Fine be reading...I would enjoy seeing this Banana Republic sweater in our closet:

Fine Divider Owl

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday

It's Friday!  So it's that time up with Lauren if you want to play too!

1.  Giving is     nerve-wracking!  Sitting there waiting to see if the recipient will get the "I'm faking my happiness" look on their face or an authentic happiness.  Giving is definitely my favorite part but it makes me nervous!

2.  Receiving is   not necessary.  I really like to downplay gifts at Christmas.  I'm in it more for the food, atmosphere, and time with others.  I am ALL FOR birthdays, though.  I love the day that is all about Mrs. Fine.

3.  The best gift I ever received was      our garage door opener.  Seriously.  Mr. Fine surprised me with one many years ago and it meant I could stay in my cozy car in the blizzard without lifting the door.  It *MADE MY DAY*!

4.  The best gift I ever gave was   the homemade jewelery I handed out last year.  Nerve wracking, of course (see #1), but the recipients loved them (I think) ;-).

5.  Something intangible that I wish I could receive is   more time with Mr. Fine.  He's away a lot and I miss him!  Maybe that's tangible...I can touch Mr. Fine...

6.  Something intangible that I wish I could give is     confidence to my students during tests.  They have major test anxiety and make silly mistakes....eek!

7.  The one gift I always wanted as a child, but never got was    I can't think of anything...I was never really into Christmas gifts.
Happy Weekend, all!

Fine Divider Owl

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I completed the most recent Daring Cooks challenge -- poaching.  I opted to make Eggs Benedict.  It certainly was exciting with sauces bubbling and eggs floating in the kitchen.

Mandatory Fine Print: Jenn and Jill have challenged The Daring Cooks to learn to perfect the technique of poaching an egg. They chose Eggs Benedict recipe from Alton Brown, Oeufs en Meurette from Cooking with Wine by Anne Willan, and Homemade Sundried Tomato & Pine Nut Seitan Sausages (poached) courtesy of Trudy of Veggie num num.

I opted to make homemade biscuits instead of English Muffins (mainly because I was too lazy to go to the store to buy English Muffins) and although Mr. Fine smiled and nodded at the Eggs Benedict effort, he opted to use leftover Thanksgiving cheese sauce instead of the mustard sauce on his second serving.

Eggs Poaching in a Frying pan of water

The Final Product!
Has anyone else ever made Eggs Benedict at home?  I'd love to hear how it went for you!

Happy Cooking!

Fine Divider Owl

Monday, December 13, 2010

Wishes DO come true.

Silly to wish for snow days...but you know the kids are definitely wishing for them.  It's 9:45 a.m. Monday - I'm still in my pajamas on the couch blogging and watching FaLaLaLa Lifetime.  We got a snow day!

I look out the window and I see:

My plans are:

-finish some grading
-finish a necklace I'm working on
-drink lots of the new Peppermint Hot Chocolate I get on Saturday at Trader Joe's

May not seem that exciting to some...but absolute bliss right now for me!

What plans do you have for the day?

Fine Divider Owl

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday

Thankfully it's Friday!!!!!  Aside from the sigh of relief that I'm currently exhaling, I'm participating again in Lauren's Fill in the Blank Friday:

1.   I wish  I had the energy to bake on school nights.  I l-o-v-e baking!  I find baking so relaxing...but lately I've been way too exhausted to do anything at night.

2.  Yesterday I  saw the fruits of my labor in action as the math night I organized at school had hundreds of people come.

3.  Today I will   go to a basketball game field trip with my students and have a great time watching them in an outside of school environment.

4.  Tomorrow I will   sleep (see #2 and #3).  ;-)

5.  Maybe     I will make snicker filled cookies from here if I can get up the energy and willingness to ingest that many calories in one (eh plus) cookie.

6.  Someday    I want to be able to surf well and play the guitar properly (We've avoided buying me a guitar in case it becomes a forgotten fad in the closet...a bit like the heaps of scrapbooking supplies I have).

7.  I love   reading in bed on the weekend with no pressure to get out of the bed.

What great plans do you have for the weekend?

Fine Divider Owl

Friday, December 3, 2010

A week's filling in the blanks

Tonight I spent a girls night out with a friend doing dinner and then a craft show.  I tended to stay away from the cozy Christmas booths but got some fantastic pottery mugs and some jewelery from a woman I've bought from for the past 3 years.  She recognized me (is that scary?) and knew exactly what size of neck cord I wanted for my pendants!  Given the Christmas nature of my evening, it seemed that this week's Fill in the Blanks was fitting.

1.   Holiday spirit   is the part of Christmas I love best.  I like the happy cozy feeling I get in evenings with the lights on the tree and candles burning on the kitchen table.

2.  The holidays are incomplete without   a night for trimming the tree and a night for baking...all with the Christmas carol radio station playing in the background.

3.  My favorite things to do around the holidays is   spend time with Mr. Fine and a cup of decaf, wrap presents (my high school employment as a wrapper tends to mean that ALL gifts are wrapped by yours truly), and bake!

4.  A holiday tradition my family and I have is   getting a new Christmas ornament from my Mom each year.

5.  Holiday music is    totally cheesy but totally addictive, perfect for the 2 weeks before Christmas but completely unnecessary immediately after Thanksgiving, and the seemingly fall back music for any Lifetime Movie shown during the Month of December.

6.  This year, I'll be spending the holidays    seeing with my new vision...after my Christmas present of LASIK!!  I am totally psyched about waking up on Christmas morning and actually seeing the alarm clock.

7.  Holiday wish list     time with Mr. Fine and sight.  You know, nothing major!;-)
What great holiday plans do you have?
Fine Divider Owl

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


-was the Thanksgiving break?  [It feels like weeks ago...]

-will I stop eating pumpkin pie?

-will today's snow stop?

-get myself in gear to write a real blog post?

Any answers?

Fine Divider Owl

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekend of Victories

As I was watching a rather demoralizing football game yesterday, I kept thinking that despite the losing score, it was a fine victory that we still were able to score could have been worse.

{source: we heart it}

And so, I have chronicled my weekend as a series of small victories:

1.  I am lesson planned for 2 weeks in advance.
2.  I created a kick-ass differentiated multiplication board game for my kiddos to use in a few weeks.
3.  I bought lots of goodies at the bead store and have made a cute glass bead bracelet and have started a knotted stone bead necklace.
4.  I spontaneously hit up a local church craft sale after dropping off my library books and scored some very cool mittens in the shape and color of footballs.
5.  I have kept the house clean and tidy, exactly one week after my swiffer toxin episode.
6.  I made homemade potato corn soup in the crock pot today and have enough for school lunches for a few days.
7.  I watched a few good movies on my free HBO trial this weekend.
8.  I'm really digging Lady Gaga as my workout music right now.

What a great weekend!  What small victories did you have?
Fine Divider Owl

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Power of a Swiffer and scented candles

Apologies for my absenteeism.  Report cards and conferences.  Enough said.

I've had the luxury of having a few days off work. After the obligatory (!) days on the couch with laptop in hand reading blogs, I got down to it 'real person' style.

Isn't it amazing the effect that a swiffer can have on a person's outlook?  I spent a few hours cleaning and scrubbing (because I admittedly no longer adhere to the weekly cleaning schedule that I maintained in university) and ended with a wet swiffer of the kitchen floor and a pumpkin candle burning on the kitchen table. 

Now, I don't know what they put in swiffers and scented candles but I've been high on life and relaxing over the past few days.  I'm wondering if it's the toxins in said swiffer and candle that are responsible for such a euphoric celebration of life?  I've purchased groceries, reduced piles, and made great plans to make this scarf from the Just Sew Sassy website:

We'll have to see how long the euphoria lasts after I'm back to school tomorrow.  No matter - now I know that should I need an outlook life, I simply need to open the wet swiffer box and breathe deeply.  Should you need to partake in a similar uplifting experience, my recommendation is the Lavendar Vanilla Comfort scent.

As an aside, having a few days off has also seen an increase in my soap opera consumption.  All My Children.  I only needed 3 days and I think I understand every story line.  There's got to be a lesson plan about story writing somewhere in that observation.  And who names their daughter Greenlee?

Happy Hump Day my friends,
Fine Divider Owl

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sunday Scavenger Hunt 10.31.10

I'm scuttling by at the last minute (although I do wish it were Sunday) for last week's scavenger hunt.

Here are my photos!

My Town

In keeping with Mrs. Fine's anonymity, I post a photo of my favorite town: London.


 I caught this great fence this past weekend and had fun using a SLR to capture it.

Tilt Shift

This is a shot I took this past weekend during a G-R-E-A-T weekend with Mr. Fine.  I had FUN with the tilt-maker website...definitely a site I will keep uploading photos to! :-)

In Disguise

I caught this butterfly earlier this week catching a few last minutes of sunshine before Autumn really set in and our impatiens totally bit the dust.


After learning how to use the Macro button on my camera last week, I experimented some more with it for my chocolate shot.  Who doesn't spend minutes taking close up shots of chocolate chips in a bowl...and then eating said bowl?  Mr. Fine and I did make brownies this weekend and I was going to shoot those...but they were dug into (admittedly by me) before I got the camera out.

It's a crazy busy week for me but I want to be back sooner rather than later because Mr. Fine and I had a great weekend away and I want to share, share, share!

See you soon!
Fine Divider Owl

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Nuts for doughnuts!

I awoke Sunday morning determined to complete at least 1 of my Daring Kitchen challenges.  Given the fatty nature of deep fried doughnuts and the fact that I'd likely end up eating all of them myself, I opted to bake my doughnuts.  The result?  Delicious pumpkin doughnuts that tasted like sweet pumpkin bread!  They may not look as nice as other Daring Bakers' glazed confectionery delights...but I was able to eat half a batch in one sitting with relatively no guilt. 

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

The batter was gooey but easy enough to work with once I decided to forgo the mixer and opted instead for solid arm wrestling with the dough.

I obtained a circular shape by using a zip lock bag as my piping bag, cutting the corner off of the bag, and squeezing out the dough from the tip of the bag.  It worked marvelously but was gooey on the last doughnut and difficult to get the last bit of dough out.  As you can see, I simply make squiggly messes for the last bit of dough.

After 10 minutes in the oven, I enjoyed delicious baked (and relatively healthy) pumpkin doughnuts with my morning coffee.  A wonderful Sunday morning, it was indeed!

Fine Divider Owl

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Scavenger Hunt Sunday 10.24.10

The weather has (mostly) cooperated this weekend and allowed me to get jobs done outside and not feel too overwhelmed by the impending cold weather.  I spent a bit of time taking shots for this week's scavenger hunt.  Fair warning, however, these shots are all SOOC and from my point and shoot!

The 5 Senses

This weekend I made some homemade goodies and my 5 senses were definitely working as I was kneading the dough, seeing the goop all over my fingers, inhaling the wonderful pumpkin aroma in the kitchen, listening to the snap of the oven as the goodies baked, and of course, enjoying the taste of the freshly baked pumpkin goods when they emerged from the oven.


This old playground equipment in a local park is the lonely child who's no longer wanted in the group.  Instead, children opt for the new plastic equipment while this lonely child sits being tagged by the older children.


I dug into my Daring Kitchen archives for this photo because admittedly, my dining has not been quite up to snuff this week...unless you count the Mexican take-out I got yesterday?  This photo is of an Indian dish I made with homemade nut butter...a recipe that I've replicated for dinner a few times because it is sooo good.


Nothing says night like a 24-hour coffee shop.


Taken just as the rain was rolling in and I was running for cover.

And now, it's off to finish my lesson plans and eat some more goodies (did I say that out loud?)...

Have a wonderful Monday!
Fine Divider Owl

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday

Thank you Friday!  After this week I am looking forward to a weekend of my new pumpkin spice coffee, down time, a hunt for this week's scavenger hunt photos, 2 daring kitchen challenges, and a few many hours of yard work exercise getting the summer pots away.  And despite trying to block it out, I have a ton of assessment data to forge my way through in order to plan interventions.  Eegatz...that's a lot I seem to have planned!

Thanks to Lauren for this week's Fill in the Blank Friday:

{photo by Photos Day! via We Heart It}

1.   I am  incredibly happy that it's the weekend!

2.  I wish  the temperature was still warm and I didn't have to scrape the car windows each morning .

3.  I like  chocolate, anytime with Mr. Fine, a good trashy romance novel, a solidly successful trip to an outlet mall, and mexican salads with cilantro dressing .

4.  I can   sit on the couch and eat 3 cookies in a row -- seriously, just did it.

5.  I hope    I am able to continue living life to its fullest for Mr. Fine and I -- keeping my priorities straight and leaving lots of time for me.

6.  I think  a lot right now -- all of which is in a jumble of Friday nightness.

7.  I was   totally psyched to watch The Vampire Diaries last night and think that I'm officially hooked!

What does everyone else have planned for the weekend?

Fine Divider Owl

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lessons of the Day

So we had a lock down at school today.  For real.  For 5 hours. Have you ever experienced one?  No?  Here's what I learned:

1.  Even after sleeping for 11 hours, one is not prepared for a 5 hour lock down at school.

2.  Students do not enjoy being entertained for 5 hours without learning (this is what I tell myself).  Had I been in our own classroom, I could have continued teaching with minimal disruptions...perhaps with only the occasional whine that bathroom breaks were necessary (and unavailable, I might add).  I Students were getting very agitated after a few hours.

3.  Carpeted classroom floors are much quieter -- I was cringing within minutes in the other room with no carpet.

4.  It seems lock downs don't apply to administrators who need to have their afternoon smoke break.  Classic.

My students happened to be out of our classroom when the lock down began...which meant that they couldn't leave that space until lock down ended (at dismissal 5 hours later).  Two hours into the lock down I was 'escorted' to my students and was told to entertain them in another classroom (without the materials and carpet in my room) -- tough, let me tell you!

Safety was of course, my number one priority, but seriously, at the end of 5 hours?

Photo Credit
The up side?  The teachers got to leave right at dismissal and I took a swing by the stores because I had extra time and found pumpkin spice coffee for home!  Looks like a weekend treat for the Fines! :-)

And, let's not forget that The Vampire Diaries are on tonight and I may just *have* to watch them. ;)

Fine Divider Owl

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sunday Scavenger Hunt 10.17.10

Mr. Fine and I had a wonderful weekend!!!  I had finished this week's lesson plans last Wednesday so I was for sure rockin' the weekend 'real person' style.  What better way to finish up the weekend than a photo scavenger hunt?  My photos for this week's challenge are sights we caught together this past weekend:

[click on photos for larger versions]

Side Lighting

Jack O'Lantern

Faces Formed In Nature



Hope you had a great weekend, too!  What sights did you take in?

Fine Divider Owl

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday

Woo hoo!  Today brings us not only the end of the week, the beginning of the weekend...but also to Fill in the Blank Friday.

I will say that I was waiting anxiously last night to see what Lauren would think up for us to share.  Well, maybe the anxiety was because I was spending more time actually watching The Vampire Diaries on the television than watching my laptop and all of the work on it.  Does anyone else watch that show?  Last night was my first night...and I'm a bit worried that I may just like it?!  But nevertheless, I was excited to see what new goodies I could share with my blog readers this week.

And so...

1.   Blogging is  a way for me to act like a real person instead of a teacher obsessed laminating game making crazy all of the time.

2.  A current fashion trend I wish I was brave enough to wear is  hats -- totally hats!  I can only pull off a ball cap when I'm cutting the lawn or playing sports...anything else (including a rugged, old-look GAP ball cap) I just don't have the umph to pull off.  But oh, do I wish I could wear hats like Lux on Life Unexpected.

3.  My greatest accomplishment in life thus far is  who knows?  I'm constantly changing what I deem as a great feet.  This morning?  It was getting out of bed, as I think I've got the dreaded cold.  Soon, I fear it may be having children?

4.  If I had to choose between a mountain or a beach vacation I'd choose    mountain because I looooove skiing with Mr. Fine.  But...the race would be awfully close if there was an all you can eat buffet and a scuba diving day included in the beach vacation.

5.  A talent I wish I had is    playing the guitar...when I was young it was to be cool like my camp counselors.  Now, I want to play the guitar to be cool for myself.

6.  A talent I do have is  teaching kids and loving it .

7.  This week  is ending with a great weekend with Mr. Fine who's been away!!

Have a wonderful weekend -- I'm hoping to enjoy the weather and finish up my shots for the Sunday Scavenger Hunt. :-)  What great plans do you have?

Fine Divider Owl

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Scavenger Hunt Sunday 10.10.10

Does the date seem a little weird to you?  It did to me just a little as I typed that!

Today, I'm posting some photos as part of the Sunday Scavenger Hunt at Ramblings and Photos.  I am not a photographer -- I leave that to Mr. Fine.  But I'm trying.  With only my point and shoot available, I enjoyed looking all week for shots that would meet the criteria.  Here's what I came up with:

This cute flower has managed to stay alive amidst the now near to death vegetation around it in our backyard.

I was reading outside this evening savoring the wonderful weather we've had when this leaf floated downwards and landed ever so gently on my book.  Obviously, my photo opportunity had arrived! ;)

Fall Colors
 I'm really enjoying the trees change color.  There were better shots that I saw this week...but I was driving each time and didn't really want to be that person that stops traffic to get a shot.

I didn't even pose this leaf -- it was meant to be!

The glowing flame of the pumpkin scented candle that has been making our kitchen smell divine this week!

And so, you can see that I was going more for "what did the theme/ideas mean to me" rather than photographic genius.  I'm looking forward to next week!

Fine Divider Owl
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