How I See Things

How I See Things
Cartoon-like drawing in shades of dark to medium purple. Eyes with beautiful eyelashes, looking through a pair of glasses.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Move along

I have struggled for years with what I now know is called “visual memory.”

Recently, I have been looking at homes to move in to. I walk in and notice the floors (hardwood or carpet?) and where the coat closet is. Where the kitchen is. Is there a sliding door to the back yard that is hopefully fenced so my dog can have a space where she is off leash outside ...

Several times recently, I have gotten 10-15 minutes away from seeing the property. And I realize: I cannot remember what the cabinets or kitchen counter look like. 

This is important, because I have such trouble looking at things that aren’t a pattern. Granite, for instance, has got to be the ugliest thing I have ever seen. My current kitchen has a black granite counter top. The bathroom has a horrible beige gray countertop with white and blue veining and spots all over it. Both are, to me; about as ugly as such a thing can be. 

I had a local friend (who has since moved) who used to be a Realtor. I asked her one time what she thought of these 2 granite countertops. She said “they are beautiful! I love them!”

I think I am the odd one out who just thinks granite has got to be the ugliest thing ever. 

So when I am looking for a place to move, I would like to know if it is a kitchen counter I will be able to endure for a number of years, or will I wake up one day and realize I can’t stand it?

My vision therapist has been trying to get me to do something for visual memory. It’s called “geo boards.”

A shape is presented in my packet. I have a peg board that is 5 x 5. I am supposed to recreate this shape on to the peg board. Then. I am supposed to draw it on a write on - wipe off grid with dots. 

I just haven’t made it a priority to remember to do this activity. I did at first, for a while. But let it go over time. I asked my therapist “what is the purpose of this?” And like many other things, she wasn’t forth -coming about it. She likes my brain to take on the puzzle and learn the way a child does - by exploring. 

Yesterday I was at vision therapy and I mentioned the whole thing about moving and hating granite and how I can’t even remember what I see even 5-10 minutes later. As I told her about this, I realized THIS must be what those geoboards are for! 

She said “that’s what the geoboards are for!” And I laughed because seconds before she said it, I had realized that. 

THEN she said That it made sense to her that I wouldn’t have know that those were for helping my vision memory, since I don’t have any vision memory. I didn’t quite understand what she said. I told her that, and she re-explained it. I don’t understand why it made sense to her that I wouldn’t have known it was to help me with Vision memory. But for some reason, it clicked for her. 🤷‍♀️

Well, now I need to make a renewed effort to do those geoboards. I will get a photo of them the next time I pull them out to use them. 

In the meantime, I went on Amazon and did a quick search. I have the purple board at home. Here is a photo of the geoboards from a quick search on Amazon.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Improvement on my Light Sensitivity

I may have mentioned that I have a sensitivity to light. When I first went to Dr. Tod Davis of Virginia Vision Therapy, he diagnosed me (for over an hour) with all kinds of things including suppression, diplopia (this means "double vision"), dissociation, and light sensitivity. He asked me if I keep the house kind of dark. I laughed, because it has long bothered the room mate I have been living with for quite a while. 

Yes. I keep the house dark. I may have mentioned in a previous blog post that I had a declutter expert come, and she uncovered the windows. I believe I talked about the fact that I had windows covered thanks to something that folks who are older (as I am - I am rapidly approaching 50) who dissociate. 

Well, she took down various things from all of my windows. Her whole message for decluttering is to Lighten Up! She likes to let the light in. I thought I did too, but between her decluttering with me, and Dr. Davis teaching me that folks who dissociate cover their windows & like the dark ... it's true. I had covered my windows. One window was covered completely with a 5 rack shelf holding spindly plants. I didn't think about it blocking the light - but it truly was. 

After my declutter expert left, I covered the windows back up with some rather opaque contact paper. Then I got to thinking about it. (I learn things a bit slowly, over time.) 

I bought myself a light therapy lamp for helping with Seasonal Affect Disorder (I am just coming to terms with the fact that I may have this too). My friend Katie of the Fellowship of Former Christian Scientists recommended a lamp to heal with Seasonal Affect Disorder. I mentioned this in a post about Light Therapy

Well, I bought a similar one to hers by the same brand - "Happy Light." I haven't been using it every day, but I use it regularly. Maybe 3-5 days per week for 15+ minutes. I just put the lamp on and do my paperwork or look at the clothes in my closet or play with my dog or something. I would like to think it's helping. 

Well, between that lamp and the Syntonics work I did, I believe I am getting less light sensitive! 

I used to drive down the road at night and be so angry at the headlights blaring at me. They hurt my eyes and I couldn't see a thing. Or I wasn't able to sleep at night if the room wasn't completely dark. I had black blinds up and those were covered by heavy brown curtains. The room still wasn't dark enough. 

I have covered all those infernal lights that electronics all seem to sport these days - those hideous blue lights that burn my pupils. I covered all of them (at the suggestion of a smart friend who knows about such things) with red electrical tape. Every tiny little effort I did, made the room more and more dark. And I still wore a black, silk sleep mask and still suffered from the room that had too much light. Maybe it was a bright moon that night, or maybe the hall light was on, peeping in under the door, who knows. Drove me crazy - FOR YEARS. 

Well, I think all of the efforts I have been making now have had really good results! 

I am now able to sleep with the black blinds on the window, partially open. And I have pretty sheer curtains over instead of the heavy brown curtains. 

I haven't been angry in awhile at cars with their headlights blaring at me at night. Come to think of it, I don't drive at night because I actually have lousy night vision. (I know it's lousy, because my kids can see just fine and I feel completely blind.) I am driving less and less at night, when I can help it. Thankfully, my older son is starting to drive now. So if we need to go somewhere at night, it's likely he can drive us. He drove us to the grocery store last week and to my friend's house to deliver a present, last night!

I don't know how to explain or quantify this, but I can tell I am no longer sensitive to the light the way I once was. I don't know if it's the syntonics that I did or the Happy Light that I am using these days. But it's nice to wake up in the morning and have some light i
n my room so I don't have to figure out how to get a lamp on when I can't see anything. 

My windows aren't nearly as covered up as they have been for so long, either. That's nice too. I like looking out the windows and seeing Mother Nature. I have beautiful trees in my yard and I love looking at them. 

I guess that's it for this week's blog post. 

I have a lot lot lot LOT going on in my life right now and I apologize that I have missed a blog post or two. My focus hasn't quite been on my vision therapy as it once was. 

I only have 3 more sessions to go! Then my son will start. While he has similar challenges to mine (diplopia, lack of 3D), his issues manifest with different symptoms to mine. He walks into furniture a few times a week. I feel sorry for him. I still walk into furniture too, but not nearly as much as I used to. I hope vision therapy will help him with that. I am confident it will, in fact.

I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year! Happy 2021!

Friday, December 25, 2020

Let There Be Peace On Earth

A special post. My family is now spread across the United States. (I also have family spread across Canada, but I haven’t met most of them, sadly. Some day!)

One of my brothers lives on the west coast of the United States. I live on the East Coast of the United States. 

I sent him this music. He played it on his keyboard - piano style. And I listened to his music on my earbuds and played violin. I put them together using iMovie. 

I hope you will enjoy this music. 

I wish you a beautiful and comforting holiday season!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

My son is driving

My older son has just started taking driving lessons. I have been remembering when I was his age, learning to drive. 

I remember being about 16 or so, and I had a babysitter for like a week or two when my parents were out of town. She was a friend of the family. Maybe in her young 20s or so. 

We were driving down a main drag in my large neighborhood, toward a traffic light. And no one was around. So she had me sit in the drivers seat and drive us maybe 1 1/2 blocks to the traffic light. At most, it was 3 blocks. 

I remember getting in the car, having never driven before, and saying “I feel like I am going to hit those cars!” (The ones parked on the right side of the road.) she told me, “you won’t”

And I drove us those miniscule blocks. It was so weird to me. 

Later, in driving class, I learned to gage where cars were to the right of me, by centering them on the hood. Like, if their left side is at the half point of the hood, then I won’t hit them. 

Do you all measure cars this way? I don’t know if I am adapting to my 2D vision by doing this, or if this is how everyone gages where cars are. 

I am not sure if I am in a position to teach my son to drive. Thus - him going to driving school. A gal picks him up and he drives her around. I saw her today and she said, “he needs to practice!” His dad has been driving with him, or rather, our son is driving his dad around in large parking lots. 

My parents didn’t want to teach me to drive, because they didn’t want a ton of arguments with me. That’s what they said at the time anyway. 

But now I am in the position they were in - my oldest is learning to drive. He has normal vision, as far as I know. And I don’t. 

Maybe as he gets better from the school and working with his dad, maybe then I will feel ok going with him. 

Ever since I became a parent, one of my big goals has been to “not screw up my kids.” I don’t want to screw him up by teaching him to drive since I may have things I have adapted to because of my vision, and he doesn’t necessarily. 

I hope everyone has a fantastic last week of December! 

Monday, December 14, 2020


In a week, it's a holiday I celebrate - my biggest holiday of the year, actually - Yule. December 21. The longest night of the year. It is the day the Sun is farthest away from the Northern Hemisphere. 

I just want to share my perspective / the way I see things around this time of year. Thank you for indulging me.

A bunch of years ago, I started re-evaluating my life to see if the way I was living harmonizes with my heart and my intentions. I suppose this is an ongoing thing for me. But one of the things I learned about myself was that I love Mother Earth and Mother Nature. And I did some research on Yule - the Pagan holiday celebrating the Winter Solstice. And I decided it harmonizes with me as a concept. 

We can all see the days getting shorter, the nights getting longer. Many people buy a sun lamp (I got one this year too, for the first time!). It helps to combat "Seasonal affect disorder." That's a time when people feel less happy than usual because they don't have the big amount of sun in their lives.

So my kids and I have come up with some ways to celebrate Yule that resonate with us. It's a simple and nature-forward inspired holiday. I can't speak for how others celebrate it. But I can share how we have celebrated it for the last 5 years, and you can see if you would like to do this next week, too!

First off, I love pinecones. I collect them year round and put them in various places around my front yard. They are my pinecone collection. I love the way they look after it has rained - all their colors come out and they are extra beautiful. 

For Yule, there are usually pinecones under some Virginia Pines on a path not too far from our home. So I pick up a few pinecones. Then, on December 21, my boys and I go out and watch the sunset. Just acknowledging that the shortest day has just happened, and the longest night is straight ahead of us. 

As the sun sets, we think about things we would like more of for the upcoming year, and things we would like to let go of for the upcoming year. We write these thoughts on tracing paper scraps. Then we roll up the papers and tuck them into the pinecones. 

Also during the sunset, I have done smoke cleansing of my boys and they do it for me. Taking a dried sage bundle and light the tip of it on fire. Then we "wash" off the essence of whatever is old and needs cleansing from us. Wash us in smoke. 

After that, we head home and start our Yule fire. We put our pinecones in to help start the fire, and we watch the papers burn. Then, we settle in for a nice family evening. The fire burns, we get warm apple cider with cinnamon (yum!) and my boys each open a few gifts. Every year, I give them a sketchbook. They love this and look forward to it every year. They use their sketchbooks all year long. I have always encouraged them to do art and I am grateful to say that they love it. 

Then, I have one other gift that is nature-themed for my boys. This year, it will be handmade pottery mugs made by a local artisan. So many artisans this past year had their fairs and shows cancelled and they couldn't make a living. So I looked for several months at different offerings offered by local artisans. I found some beautiful earthen ware mugs. One for each of us. 

You can see the mugs at this site, in case you would like to also support crafters and get something beautiful for your morning tea or coffee or hot chocolate. Or your hot cider on Yule!

So, I just thought I would share the way I see things around the holiday season. This year I am hitting the reset button on Christmas too. I haven't celebrated Christmas in a few years, though I grew up with it. We will see how it goes this year! 

I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday season - no matter what you celebrate!

Blessed Yuletide Season from me to you and your household. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Syntonics - On Another Blog

Just wanting to share another blog's post about Syntonics. I happened to come across this post today and it's very good. It is from Brain World Magazine.

I hope everyone has a lovely Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving this week!

My boys and I will be having nachos* and watching (I hope) a rerun of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. If that's not on, then we will watch the black and white version of "Miracle on 34th Street" because the parade opens that movie. 

*After cooking huge holiday meals for decades and staying in the kitchen while all my family (that I never got to see any other time) would socialize with each other .... I have stopped making huge holiday meals. It's my holiday too. One year I came up with Nachos and enjoyed the parade followed by the Annual Dog Show, and it's such a much more nice, relaxing day for me and my boys look forward to it, too. 

Monday, November 16, 2020

Crepe Myrtle Tree

There is a crepe Myrtle tree outside my vision therapist’s office. One time after a particularly good vision therapy session, I sat in my car to recover. (I often need to sit in my car to recover after vision therapy.)

I looked at this crepe Myrtle tree and saw the trees behind it, across the parking lot, as far away from the crepe Myrtle tree. 

What this means is: I was seeing the tree in 3D! I could see it popping closer to me, as if I was in a 3D movie, wearing those glasses that make things come out at you in the theater. 

It was so nice! This is something I am still learning, still becoming familiar with it. Learning what to do with my eyes to make 3D vision appear. 

I have almost 50 years of bad habits with my eyes to overcome. And I am now unlearning the bad habit and learning the good habit. 

It’s called “convergence.” I have to bring my eyes closer to the center. They drift outwards and that’s my relaxed / normal way to look at the world. But I can’t see 3D when I am doing that. 

So I have to mentally pay attention and bring my right eye closer to the center, then almost pull in my left eye beyond what I have had to do with my right eye. Then I have to look and focus carefully to see if I am seeing in 3D. 

I don’t do it perfectly yet. But I am getting there. I definitely notice a difference!

This crepe Myrtle tree, I love seeing it when I park at my vision therapy place. I use it as an exercise before I go in to my appointment and also when I come back out after the appointment. 

This flat photo doesn’t show the tree popping out. So that shows more like how I USED to see it. 😅 But in real life, I see it popping out towards me, away from the trees in the background. 

Flickering Eyesight

So, I have known for a long time that my eyes don’t work together. It has taken me almost 50 years to be able to describe what I see to peop...