On Hiatus

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Thanks for visiting here.  

Moonlight Reflections is on hiatus. 

May God’s Love, Peace, and Blessings be with you always, 

Gail 

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Irksome

Today’s WordPress one-word daily prompt: Irksome

Oh, where to start?  Let’s just make a list, okay?

  • People who block grocery aisles with their carts
  • People who can’t get off their cell phones long enough to shop in the grocery store or who argue on their phones in public or have very loud cell phone conversations.
  • Texting while driving—don’t even get me started on that one!
  • Drivers who drive WAY too fast, especially in the rain
  • Rude and disrespectful people, especially people who are rude to waiters and waitresses and other service providers
  • People who don’t stay home when they’re sick and who don’t cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze
  • People whose main goal in life is to break another person’s spirit.  This has to be the #1 thing that irks me most.  I just never will understand the why of it
  • Telemarketers, especially those who call repeatedly before 8 am or after 9 pm
  • Litterbugs
  • Parents who don’t discipline their unruly children in public and let them run wild
  • Misuse of the words lose and loose.  It amazes me how often these words are used wrong.  You know, sorta like your and you’re and there, their and they’re
  • bullying especially on social media
  • Con artists and scammers
  • People who drop the f-bomb every other word
  • Insincere people

I could go on but I’ll stop here.  We don’t want to appear whiny now do we?

Gail

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Sunday Glory

 

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For an Election

Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers
and privileges: Guide the people of the United States in the election of officials and representatives; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of
all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your
purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.  

From the Book of Common Prayer

 

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For Our Country

Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our
heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove
ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will.
Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and
pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion;
from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend
our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes
brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue
with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust
the authority of government, that there may be justice and
peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we
may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth.
In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness,
and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail;
all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

From the Book of Common Prayer

Gail ♥

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Those Pesky Eye Floaters

I developed eye floaters in my right eye when I was 25 years old and a student in veterinary school.  I was having outpatient surgery (totally unrelated to my eyes) and lying on a hospital cot staring up at a white tiled textured ceiling while waiting for the anesthesiologist to come in when I noticed them.  I thought I was going crazy.  For those of you who don’t know what floaters are or who are lucky enough not to have them, I’ll explain.  The Mayo Clinic gives the following definition of eye floaters:

Eye floaters are spots in your vision. They may look to you like black or gray specks, strings or cobwebs that drift about when you move your eyes and appear to dart away when you try to look at them directly.

My floaters were small black dots with stringy attachments.  My ophthalmologist said they are usually nothing to worry about and are usually age-related.  I was a little on the young side when I developed mine at age 25 as usually they don’t appear until later in life (age 50 and over).

A few weeks ago on a Sunday, I was in heavy housework mode and cleaning my floors (which is a never-ending job especially when you have cats).  So I was doing a lot of bending over that day sweeping, vacuuming, swiffering, and mopping.  At one point, when I raised from a stooped over position, I all of a sudden had a huge floater appear in my right visual field.  This thing was massive and unlike my other floaters which moved and darted around at great speed with eye movement, this thing moved very slow and I could get it to stop in the center of my visual field where I could focus on it.  It was very detailed and V-shaped with black knobs along the V.  Under the V were little cobweb like designs.  Around this large floater were smaller floaters which appeared as squiggly lines.  I could also at times see small dots scattered around the floater. It looked something like this.

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Looking at a computer screen or trying to read was frustrating because I saw gray spots. This all occurred late afternoon on a Sunday and my husband’s parents were coming over for dinner in just a few short hours.  I debated on whether or not I should cancel our dinner and head to the Emergency room since this floater was so large and seemed to just all of a sudden appear out of nowhere. I asked my husband (who is a nurse) if he thought I should go and he said he didn’t know if there would be an ophthalmologist on call.  I wondered the same thing and wasn’t thrilled about going to sit in a hospital ER waiting room for hours only to be told to see my ophthalmologist on Monday.  My husband and I both had early morning appointments with our doctor the following morning for our annual physicals.  I googled floaters and decided that  I was probably okay to wait til morning to get this problem checked out since I wasn’t seeing flashes of light and didn’t have any deficits in my peripheral vision.

Still I was a little on edge.  My sister had been diagnosed with ocular cancer last year.  Her type cancer, which is usually asymptomatic, caused her to have disturbances in her color vision (and later some blurriness).

The following morning, the floater seemed to be smaller but I had more little floaters.  They were more obvious and bothersome in bright light.  I was not bothered by them in dim light.  My physician seemed concerned but told me he was perhaps a little sensitive where eyes were concerned that particular day. Turns out he had received an emergency call the night before from another patient who was having visual problems.  He had sent that patient to the ER as he thought the man was possibly having a stoke or possible TIAs.  That patient ended up having a pretty serious retinal tear.  My doctor didn’t like the “cobweb designs” I was seeing hanging off my floater and wanted me to go be seen that day by my ophthalmologist (he stepped out and had his scheduler call my ophthalmologist to see about getting me seen that day).  The eye clinic told me to come on in.eye-1132531_960_720

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The ophthalmologist explained a little more about floaters.  She said they are usually harmless but it’s always good practice to be seen quickly if you develop a sudden change in your floaters or see an increase in them (or develop really large ones like I did).  She said if you have a history of floaters and see flashes of light or notice problems with your peripheral (side) vision, then you should get to your ophthalmologist immediately as it can be a sign of more serious problems.  She explained that floaters are usually due to a change in the vitreous (the jelly like substance in your eye between the retina and the lens that gives the eyeball its shape).  As we age, the vitreous becomes more liquefied and protein strands develop which cast shadows on the retina. I asked her if floaters could ever get so bad that surgery is required to remove them and she said very, very rarely.  The surgery is apparently not without serious risks to the eye and vision so unless they are just really interfering with vision in a bad way, they prefer to leave them alone.

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She could see the large floater I had seen but suspected since it appeared smaller to me than it had the day before, that it had probably broken up some.  She reported that I had a small hemorrhagic spot on the edge of my optic disc that she would need to re-ck in two weeks to see what it was doing (hopefully going away).  She said sometimes floaters will stick and sag before dropping off and cause irritation and the hemorrhagic spot was more than likely where my floater had been “stuck.”

Two weeks later, I went back for a re-ck.  The hemorrhagic spot was gone.  The floaters were still there but smaller. The ophthalmologist told me what I had already read, that the floaters would get better with time.  I asked her what “getting better” meant…. do they just break up smaller where they’re not as noticeable or will I just get used to them?  She said actually it was a little of both.  She said while floaters won’t ever disappear or go away, they can break down and they tend to settle over time so they’re not as noticeable.  Also, she said your brain seems to be very good at adapting to them over time where they just don’t bother you as much.  I was glad to hear that.  Sometimes my floaters make me jump when they come darting from the side.  They drive me crazy and sometimes I think a fly is buzzing around my head.

Do you have floaters?  How bothersome are they to you?

Gail ♥

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Bludgeon

This post is in response to the WordPress one-word daily prompt: Bludgeon

When looking at the daily prompts, I try to go with the first thing that comes to my mind when seeing the prompt.  Today’s prompt elicited the Ewww response when I saw it but a story quickly came to mind.

Many years ago when my boys were still in elementary school, the county we were in switched to a Modified school calendar.  There was a three-week fall break, a 3 week spring break, and a 6 week summer break.  Later these were changed to 2 weeks in the fall, 2 weeks in spring and 8 weeks off for summer.  During the fall and spring breaks, they offered intercession classes.  Teachers were available to help any students who needed remedial help but there were also fun and educational classes offered.  I remember my boys took a photography class, and an Egyptian history/Hieroglyphics class, a roller skating class,  an arts and crafts class, a softball class, and a karate class, just to name a few.

I was asked a few times to teach a Pet Care class.  I taught two groups of students.  In the mornings, I taught kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders and in the afternoons I taught 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. I taught basic pet care for dogs and cats but also touched on pocket pets and exotic pets too.  On the last day, with their parents permission, the students could bring in their own pets.  I feared that day and thought it might be too chaotic, but it worked beautifully and we ended up having a nice variety of animals.  We discussed the importance of preventative care and I educated them on what a veterinarian does.  I brought surgical caps, masks, gowns, and gloves to let the kids try on and had an assortment of veterinary instruments for them to look at.  I brought a dog one day for the purpose of demonstrating a physical exam.  The kids got to listen to the dog’s heartbeat with a stethoscope, and see how a veterinarian uses an otoscope and ophthalmoscope, etc.  This was a very well-behaved and cooperative dog who loved children in case you’re wondering.  We read books out loud on what veterinarians do, played some animal games and did some role-playing while learning all about dog bite prevention.  I brought a cat to class one day (my own— he was less than thrilled).  Another day we had a chameleon (the kids were absolutely mesmerized with its rolling eyes and its ability to change colors) and another day a parakeet (which happened to be the day the school decided to have a blasted fire drill).  Let’s just say that fire drills and parakeets do not mix and poor Tweety the parakeet did NOT have a good day that day.  A friend of mine who is a bat rehabilitator brought 2 Little Brown bats for a special treat on the last day.  It’s not every day you can say you touched a bat!

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I’ve taught enough of these classes to know that the more visual aids I use, the more the children seem to process and grasp.  Visual aids help them to see and to understand the information I am presenting to them. The more visual aids, the more they seem to enjoy the class.  So I trudged into that pet care class, with live animals, instruments a veterinarian would use, heartworms, a jar of roundworms and a jar of tapeworms, an assortment of bladder stones, a rather large hairball, and X-rays.  I brought human as well as animal X-rays and the children enjoyed seeing the differences.

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stethoscope

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An otoscope for looking in ears

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Examining a kitten’s eyes with an ophthalmoscope

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surgical instruments

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Fractured front leg (radius and ulna) of a dog

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X-ray of human hand

I went to the State Animal Health Diagnostic Lab and met with the State Veterinarian who was SO very nice and helpful to give me some excellent animal specimens to show the kids. There were various animal organs like brains, livers, kidneys, eyeballs, a dissected heart showing heartworms, a brain with tumors present, etc.  The kids loved all of this.

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heartworms in a dog heart

I was also given a specimen bag that contained several bludgeoned pig brains.   I started to decline taking these brains as I didn’t want to traumatize any small children and thought perhaps this might just be a little too much gore.  The state veterinarian assured me they would be a big hit.  He suggested using them to show how important it is to wear bicycle helmets.  The story he told me about these brains was that the pigs had contracted some incurable illness (in all honesty, I have forgotten what it was).  Long story short, the pig farmer could not afford to have a veterinarian come out to humanely euthanize the pigs, so he took it upon himself to take care of business himself.  He proceeded to get a hammer (yes, a hammer!) and bludgeon the poor piggies to their deaths.  Their brains were obviously swollen, bruised and hemorrhagic.  I had a normal pig brain for comparison and believe me, the difference was quite striking even to the eyes of a seven or eight year old.  And for those of you who are wondering, I forewarned the children on all the preserved specimens what I was about to show and told them if they had sensitive bellies or it bothered any of them, they didn’t have to stay in the room but could step outside.  None of them did and none showed any signs of squeamishness.  On the contrary they were curious and inquisitive.   In all honesty I adapted the story somewhat and left the part out about the hammer-swinging farmer.  I had to chuckle and had some explaining to do though when one child went home and told his mom that I had brought the bloody brain of a child in to the classroom who had crashed on a bicycle and was killed.  And then there was the other kid who went home and told his mom that I showed the brain of a pig who had somehow ridden a bicycle and who crashed and died due to brain damage, all because he didn’t have a bicycle helmet on.  I sure would have loved to have seen the look on that mom’s face during that story.

I’m willing to bet that every single child in that room who saw those bludgeoned pig brains never EVER forgot to put their bicycle helmets on.  My kids sure never forgot.

Gail ♥

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Copycat

Today’s post is in response to the WordPress one-word daily prompt: Copycat

When I was in the 8th grade, we had mini schools and rotated around to different teachers. I sorta liked the change and since each teacher had different teaching methods and different personalities, it broke up the monotony.

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photo credit: http://www.ifurn.com

I remember report card day was always a big day.  They were always handed out at the end of the day.  Each subject had its own card and the cards were stacked together in a tabbed manila envelope.  Sometimes the teacher would recommend that you not open your card until you got home.  I remember opening mine up on this particular day while on the school bus.  I usually made pretty good grades so I wasn’t too worried.  I was a very shy student and there was just about always some comment on the conduct side of the card about my shyness.  I was usually more concerned about those comments than my actual grades.  I came to the science report card and to my surprise I had received some conduct check marks by various behaviors.  My science teacher had also written the following:

 Gail tends to copy from others rather than doing her own work.  She needs to learn to think for herself!

I was horrified by this statement!  I had never copied from another student and always did my own work.  I couldn’t imagine why the teacher would write something like that.  I sat on that bus bewildered as I could be.  I was shocked, offended and hurt.  The teacher had branded me a copycat and I wasn’t.

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By that evening, when it was time to show my report card to my parents, my feelings of bewilderment had turned to anger.  I was angry because what the teacher had written was absolutely not true.  At the same time, I worried my parents would think I HAD been copying and cheating.  I remember showing the card to my mother and her mouth flying open when she read the comment.  I remember her looking at me while shaking her head and saying “Shame, shame, shame” as I was trying to explain.  I thought she was going to cry.  I told her I was baffled by the untrue remark the teacher had written.  After listening to me, my mother believed me and she said she would have a talk with the teacher and write him a note (oh how my mother loved to write notes to teachers).  She would get to the bottom of this!   I told her if it was okay with her, I wanted to handle this by myself.

The next day I approached the teacher, put the card on his desk and calmly yet firmly, while pointing to his hurtful quote, told him I had no idea where his statement had come from because I had never copied or cheated off of another student in his classroom.  As hard as I fought it, I felt hot salty tears welling up in my eyes as I spoke.  My voice cracked.  I politely demanded an explanation of his accusatory statement.  I’ll never forget the funny and awkward look he got on his face.  He looked genuinely embarrassed. He reached up and rubbed his forehead and then asked me to step out in the hallway.  It was there that he told me he owed me an apology and that yes, he knew I was not a copycat.  Then I was even more baffled.  Why had he written that about me?   My brow was furrowed and my heart was pounding.  He explained to me that it was the “other Gail” in the class who copied.  You see, there were two Gails in the classroom.  I was Gail B. and she was Gail G. We sat fairly close to one another.  She had blonde hair.  I had blonde hair.  He had simply confused us in his mind when he was making out the report cards.   I could tell he felt genuinely bad about his mistake.  He told me not to worry, that he would “clear the air” with my parents.

To my great relief, he contacted my mother and explained his error and offered his sincerest apology.  I learned in the 8th grade that I did not like being called a copycat.

Have you ever been accused of something you didn’t do?  How did you handle it?

Gail ♥

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Transformation

This post is in response to the WordPress one-word daily prompt: Transformation

The first thing that literally came to mind when I saw this prompt was the Beast Wars™ Transformers my two sons used to play with when they were little.  Oh. My. Goodness. These things were always lying around our house and if you stepped on one with your bare feet?  Well, let’s just say it made stepping on a Lego feel like a foot massage.  For those who don’t know what a Beast Wars™ Transformer is, it was an animal (beast) with jointed moving parts that transformed into something else, usually some robotic looking creature. I never understood them much myself but my kids loved ’em.  Maybe it’s a boy thing.  I just know down in my basement somewhere is a very large Rubbermaid box filled with these transformers.  If these things are worth anything, I may be sitting on a goldmine.  Each Beast Wars™ came with instructions and cut-out cards to save which gave information on each beast.  There were about 757 steps to transform each one (okay maybe I’m exaggerating but not by much). My kids could swish, swish, swoosh— and they were transformed. I think there was a Beast Wars transformer TV series too if I’m  not mistaken.

 

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This is Cheetor (we had this one). Photo credit: transformers.wikia.com 

 

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I’m pretty sure we had this one too.  Photo credit:  www.tf-toy.com

The other image that came to my mind when I saw the word transformation was a beautiful maple tree that had been transformed into its full autumn glory.  I saw this tree 3 years ago when I was visiting my sons in college.  We had gone to Walmart (I think) and this tree was in the parking lot.  You just could NOT miss it!  You’ve heard the saying, “Stop and smell the flowers?”  Well, I just had to get out and take a picture of this beautiful tree.  I got a few odd stares but I didn’t care.  Isn’t it wonderful how God blesses us with the beauty of his creation?

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A gorgeous fall maple tree.  Transformation at its best.

Gail ♥

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