Monday, July 15, 2013

What's With My Eyes This Summer?

No redness in those eyes today!  Another blingy cap!
Have your eyes been bothering you this summer?  Mine have been particularly bad this year!  Bob's have been pretty bad too.  I think I have mentioned my annual eye infection before in my blogs but if not here is the deal.  Every spring I seem to get a severe eye infection that practically blinds me.  This has been going on since childhood and it took me many years to figure out that it always starts with irritated eyes.  The cause since I have been living up here has been that dratted cotton that comes off the cottonwood trees each spring. 

When I was young I always blamed it on swimming in lakes and keeping my eyes open underwater--that was probably true back then.  One summer when Darcy was around 10 or 11, he and I drove up to Casper to visit Carla, Jim and the boys.  Apparently the cottonwoods were in full blowing cotton.  I got a terrible infection and could barely open my eyes especially outside in the sunshine.  I wore contacts at the time and didn't have any glasses with me.  We went to the movies one night (I think it was the first Pirates of the Caribbean) and I had to hold my hands over my eyes and peek through the cracks of my fingers!  The next day I went to the Emergency Room at the hospital.  (Don't even get me started on Casper's Urgent Care places that won't take Medicare patients even if they choose to pay for the visit.)  The Dr. prescribed the "magic eye drops" that cure the condition in less than 4 days usually.  He also told me to continue putting allergy eye drops in my eyes as long as allergy season lasted and to do it every year. 

The drops were slow to work and it took all 4 days to get better so Darcy and I got to extend our stay because I could not see to drive!  The sun was just too blinding.  When my eyes got better we had an adventure on our drive home but that is another story. 
This was taken in Lake Charles, LA when Bob, Carla and I went to the casino there in March.  Another story! I couldn't resist posting such a pretty picture taken from our room.
This year has been the worst!  We went to Elko,NV to visit JJ in early June.  The cottonwoods were in full glory and I began to feel my eyes itching but did not heed the Casper Dr.'s orders.  By the time I was driving up to Burlington, WA (a 11-12 hour drive) the infection had hit.  My eyelids were itching, my eyes were all red and mattery and I could hardly keep them open they were so swollen.  At least I was wearing glasses so it wasn't as bad as with contacts.  I got the "magic drops" again and picked up some allergy eye drops in case.  This was a week or so after my first signs of allergy.  I figured Burlington would be done with the cottonwoods ,but no, they were just coming out!  Before we left Marianne's I was putting more "magic  drops " in my eyes to get rid of a second infection.

  By the time we got here a week or 2 later, the infection had returned for a third time due to the cottonwoods now in full glory here!  This has been unheard of for me! It is July for heavens sake!  I certainly hope I have seen the last of this infection.  I am diligently putting allergy eye drops in my eyes every day!  When Bob went to get his driver's license the other day, he could barely see the letters in the eye exam box.  His eyes were all mattered up so I gave him a dose of allergy eye drops and it did clear them up enough to read the letters.

A couple views of  the cleaning apron I designed and made
I have been moving right along with my sewing and embroidery for the craft fair.  I never seem to get everything done I want to but hopefully I will have enough examples of some of the things I do, so that people can order them for me to do later.  I will be on hiatus for the 3 weeks I am in Phoenix but after that I hope to get some serious work done!  The ugly bathroom is still calling to me to get started on it too!

Here is the promised recipe.  Mom used to make these but most of my memories of Pickled Eggs come from our visits to Pennsylvania in the summers up in the Laural Highlands.  My mother's family came from Connellsville, PA at the foot of the mountains.  Several of my aunts and uncles had summer cabins up in the mountains and we spent many wonderful summers visiting there.  One of the favorite places to go eat was a family style restaurant called Mom's.  There were always beautiful red pickled eggs on the table as part of the meal.  They really are wonderful.  I never was too fond of just hard boiled eggs but these are different and delicious. Nowadays They are a summer standard at the Manville cabin.

                    Pickled Eggs and Beets
                A Good Pennsylvania Dutch

1 Cup vinegar-I use apple cider vinegar
1/2 Cup water
1 Cup beet juice
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp pickling spice
15 or so hard boiled eggs, peeled
1 onion sliced
Pinch of salt
2 cans of beets - sliced, quartered or whole-you can also use fresh ones and cook , peel and quarter them. Save the cooking liquid to use in the recipe.

Boil all ingredients together except eggs, onion, and beets for 5 minutes. Layer eggs, beets and onions in a large jar. Pour hot liquid over to cover.  Add more water or beet juice to cover everything. Refrigerate. The longer they wait the better they are!  We usually try to wait a couple days but a week is better.  The color and flavor soaks into the white all the way to the yolk. Very tasty. They keep a long time just like pickles.

Yum!  The eggs and beets are ready!

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