I like fast cars…

…and my husband knows this. That is why, for my birthday, Peter gave me a ticket to ride in a NASCAR at the Kentucky Speedway. Sweet!

Taking in the scene and getting excited for my ride.

When I saw that the cars running the track were real, sponsor painted NASCARS, my thought was “boy I hope I don’t end up riding in a Jeff Gordan car or it will really put a damper on this experience.” Thankfully, the cars being used for the ride-a-longs did not include a Jeff Gordan car.

Suited-up (with a helmet at least) and ready to go.

I was a little disappointed that I did not get to suit-up. That is reserved for those having the driving experience. Maybe that will be my next adventure.

Feeling like a NASCAR driver as I enter through the window.

Getting in the car was such a Dukes of Hazzard moment and I LOVED it! After seeing numerous people of all ages and sizes struggle to get in and out of the car, I was determined to enter and exit gracefully.

My driver, who races, just not on the Sprint cup circuit, was a real sweetie. He held my hand while I was buckled in and kept smiling at me, asking if I was nervous and if I was ready for this. “You bet” was my reply. You could tell few women take advantage of this opportunity. 🙂

Three laps around the track hitting 170 mph.

One low lap.
And a high lap.

It was amazing the G-forces exerted on my body. I was trying to imagine driving an entire race with those forces, maneuvering in traffic and not hitting anyone. Incredible athletes, those drivers! I was also smiling like a fool the whole time and getting a nice layer of track grit on me. It was thrilling, exciting and made me want more, as you can plainly see from this smile that Peter caught just after I finished.

Seriously fun!

Thank you Peter for an awesome birthday present!

Summer Fun

This is just a few of the things Peteifer and Pablo have been up to this summer:

In May, we ran the Deckers Creek Half Marathon and brought friends with us this time.

Peter, Jen, Kristin, Jessica, Elissa
All smiles for the camera, even after 13 miles.
The railroad spike for running fast. Go Elissa!

In June, we went skydiving with Mom and Dad Morris and we have pictures to prove it!

Mom practicing and praying
No turning back now
Mom and Dad parachuting
Back on solid ground
I think Dad had a good time, the smile says it all
Peter and I and a tag along

We were all smiles after this adventure. Great job Mom, Dad and Peter on your first jumps! Oh, also, Mom, Peter and I ran in the RJ Corman 5K too. Thanks for capturing the event for us Dad.

Go Peter
Mom and I
The prize winners

Nothing like an action packed weekend!

Our kayaks got some use in July and I found out that you should not take a water loving dog on a kayak trip because he will want to swim the whole time!

Cheddar doing what he does best - swim!
Pablo doing what he does best - avoid the water!

Rob, Annie and Sylva came to visit in August. I had tons of fun cooking with Rob. And we learned that Sylva can run with the big dogs.

Tuna melts - one of the many delicious meals we ate
Sylva warming up with the little dogs
Now running with the big dogs

What a variety of events this summer. Traveling, new adventures, outdoor activities, time with friends and family – life is good!

Another Houdini dog

You might remember a post about Cheddar the Houdini dog. You may also remember that Pablo seems to have some Houdini abilities on occasion. Most recently, Pablo went to bed with a collar around his neck. In the morning, he did not have a collar on. Searching the house up and down, in all of Pablo’s favorite spots, did not yield the collar. I figure he must want to go shopping for something more stylish!

Magistrate, Constable, etc.

In my travels around Kentucky, I have seen plenty of political signs and some have set me thinking. What exactly does a magistrate do? Or a constable? And how about a jailer? I am picturing a western movies at this point.

So, to help myself and maybe even some of you out there, I dug around to find out what these elected positions entail here in Kentucky, since we will be going to the polls later this month to cast our votes in the primary elections. Thanks to Franklin County for the summary of duties of elected officials. Red text = emphasis mine.

The County Judge Executive: Acts as the presiding officer and member of the Fiscal Court and serves as the county’s executive and administrative official.

The Jailer: Has custody of the county jail and all persons committed to the jail.

Magistrates: Serve as members of Fiscal Court and conduct business of the county.

Constables: Charged with and serve various court documents such as summons, civil actions, and warrants.

The Coroner: Investigates certain types of deaths and attempts to determine their cause.

The Property Valuation Administrator (PVA): Assesses or estimates the value of property for taxation purposes. (Has some secret formula you will never see to come up with your property value and subsequent taxes).

The County Attorney: Serves as the legal counsel for county government and represents the county when they are named as parties in legal actions.

The Sheriff: Acts as a law enforcement offical, collects real property taxes, provides court security, performs various other duties.

The County Clerk: Issues licenses, registers voters, and performs other election-related duties, files and stores various legal records and county records, and prepares county tax bills. (Is pleasant and always has a smile on their face).

There you have it folks. Hope you learned something. Remember to vote May 18 and be thankful we have a voice.

PRK Experience

This is my dairy, you might say, of my experience with PRK. Mostly to help me remember when I am asked by someone considering the procedure and to know what is next when I get my second eye done.

First was the consultation, where I saw more eye machines than I thought existed. It took a solid 3 hours to be evaluated and counseled. I experienced my first dilated eyes here. It is crazy how wide the pupils go!

I scheduled surgery for a Thursday in March, the beginning of March Madness. I planned to walk out of surgery looking like a pirate and watch the first round of basketball one eyed. It didn’t quite go down as I had planned, but more on that later. The only pre-surgery instruction was not to wear my contacts three days prior.

The details of the surgery can be found and watched online, I won’t get into the specifics here, but will tell you what I felt and thought through the process.

The aspect I was most nervous about was smelling my eye burning during the laser work. Jeff, my brother, had LASIK done and told me details of his experience and the only part that made my stomach turn was the burning smell. How would I manage? With Valium! I got my first dose of those relaxing pills prior to surgery. Standard procedure from what I could tell. After about 15 to 20 minutes for the pills to take effect and pulling my hair back in a hair net, I was called into the surgery room.

For the next paragraph my words and thoughts will be in red while what is happening around me is in black:

The doctor introduced himself. Nice to meet you too, although I can’t really see you. I don’t have my contacts in remember? He asked what I did for a living. “I am an engineer.” “What kind?” asked the doctor. “A structural engineer.” He then began to tell me about a house he recently built in Montana, as the assistants were guiding me to the bench to lay on, making sure I was properly placed on the bench, gave me a long stuffed animal fish and told me to push the head of the fish up under my chin to keep my head back and hug the body – a stuffed fish, wonder how they settled on a stuffed fish – numbed and securely opened my eye – this is not as bad as I had heard, it is weird not to blink though – all in what felt like 30 seconds. I want to hear more about the house. I asked the doctor something about the house. The lights in the room were turned off and I remember practicing looking at a green light and a red light. My eye always seemed to be getting some sort of drops or solution in it. I remember squeezing the fish tight. The assistants would count out the number of drops or seconds a solution was in my eye as the doctor talked about that Montana house. I remember the cornea cut – oh, I just saw the cut and the removal, cool. I then remember looking at the red and green lights again – oh wait, that is smoke, wow, we are to this point already, oh, I smell burning. I remember letting out a deep breath and the laser portion was over before I really recognized what was happening. I was told I did well, whatever that meant. Then more solutions in the eye. I squeezed the fish again and let out a deep breath again. Boy, that light is bright, I want to blink. Oh, all I want to do is blink. Hurry up with the solutions, the lights are way too bright. The slowest part for me was the cleansing afterward. I was ready to be done. After my eye was thoroughly rinsed, a clear contact was placed on my eye as a band-aid while my cornea grew back. The process was finished and when I could blink again, I sat up and looked at the doctor. Ooooh, you are clear. “I can see you.” “Yes,” says the doctor, “but don’t test your eye today, go home and take a nap.” He told me other things that I honestly can’t quite remember, I was too excited that I could see already. The whole thing took about 10 minutes according to Peter. Amazing. I was then taken to another room to get instructions on eye drops and restrictions.

The eye drop schedule was explained to us. It was so much information and I thought how crazy fast the lady was explaining things. She assured us it was all laid out on this one piece of paper. Thankfully it was – one set of drops when I wake up and when I go to bed, another set of drops every 4 hours with an additional set 3 minutes after the first, pain pills every four hours for the first day and then as needed, but no more than the maximum stated on the bottle. Seriously, what person with Valium in their system can comprehend all of that? I was given these awesome bug goggles to wear the rest of the day and then at night. Keep my eyes closed, both of them, for the rest of the day, take a nap or naps. I am so thankful for my ability to nap. It came in quite handy.

Bug goggles.

I took all the drops and pills on schedule the first day and felt no pain or discomfort. When I wasn’t napping, I was listening to March Madness on sports radio. Not a bad way to take in the games.

I did not drive on Friday, or spend much time on any one thing. I did not wear the goggles, put lots of drops in, took half the pain medication and got my first glimpse of really great sight. Although I was told this would only last a couple days and then my vision would tank as the cornea grew back. I did not have much discomfort Friday. I wondered why people didn’t have both eyes done at once, so far this seemed like a breeze.

Saturday was more eye drops. On my restrictions list, it said I could shower today, so I did, trying not to get water or soap in my eye. I took a pain pill in the evening when my eyes started to feel quite scratchy. Sunday I experienced the tank of my vision. Things got really cloudy and blurry and I began to realize why one eye was done at once. Again, my eye started to feel scratchy at the end of the day.

Monday was my follow-up appointment. My cornea was still growing back, so the clear contact remained in. My vision was tested and I think I was at 20/50, but a really cloudy 20/50. With the contact and amount of drops in my eye, things were definitely clouded up. The scratchiness stopped about Tuesday night. I figured it meant my cornea was doing its thing healing.

The rest of the week consisted of drops by the schedule and having a blurry, cloudy spot in the middle of my vision. I went back to the doctor on Friday, one week and a day after surgery. Apparently my cornea was so close to completely healing over, just a pinhole was still open. The clear contact was removed though. It felt like an eye lash was in my eye, but I was determined to keep the band-aid off. Friday was a bit uncomfortable, like I said, kind of felt like an eye lash was in my eye when I looked and blinked a certain way. My eye was quite watery too. By Saturday, my eye was feeling much better, and even better on Sunday. I kept at the drop schedule until Sunday, one week and three days after surgery, and then cut back to only one drop four times a day. By Sunday, I noticed improvement in my vision. It was not clear, but I can see improvement. And the “eye lash” feeling was gone. I have noticed a sensitivity to light. After the clear contact was taken off, I feel like I am more sensitive than before. I also have an odd sensation like my eye is bulging. That is the best way for me to describe it. I feel like when I blink or look a certain way my eye feels big. Maybe swollen? I have no idea. I do know it feels different from my other eye. Not uncomfortable, but different.

Here I am one week and five days after surgery and hoping for an end goal of 20/15!