Friday, May 28, 2010

Oh, no !!!!

I seem to be having problems with my comments app.  I got an e-mail from one of my followers telling me of this.  I tried to fix it but am still not getting any comments after my posts.  If you try to leave a comment and have a problem please leave an e-mail and list as the subject "comment".  You can use either of my e-mail addresses-
or click on my e-mail address on the right hand side of my blog under contact me at.
      Thanks Johnina

Wow, I just love serendipity!

While I was taking picture while sitting on my walker I was using a mister on the flowers and got my lens with it and decided to go ahead and take some pictures.  The camera focused on the drops instead of the flower and I got an intriguing photo but nothing great.  Since I had it and it was unusual  I played with it to see what I might be able to make of it.  First I cropped it in half,  Then In Picasa 3, it has a button label something like do you feel lucky and I pushed it an wow the blue showed up.  OK this was certainly encouraging.  Then I turn up the shadows and saturation a smidge.  Then a little glow and I loved it. I then added a frame in picnik to pull it together. I was amazed, a case of a "happy accident" or serendipity.  I just love love it when that happens.  I find the more positive my attitude the more trust and faith I show, the more this happens; I am guided sometimes by what at first seems like an accident or misfortune into something wonderful.
I edited another photo which turned out to have a very different look.  Enjoy

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I never thought that .....

I would be excited about getting a walker.  Not only am I excited but I feel really blessed and thankful.  I've had a regular walker for several years and even when I should use it I usually don't.  The Doctor's even tried to convince me a couple of years ago to get a scooter because they were afraid I would fall an injure myself badly and permanently; since surgery for me is so dangerous for me at this point I have to live with injuries.  Even if I could have surgery I have taken corticosteroids for so long now that my tendons and ligaments tend to stretch out and the surgery would leave me in worse shape after the tendons stretched out again. As it turned out I did not qualify for the scooter with the insurance.  I fought it also because I HATE to think of myself as handicapped.  In fact for the longest time after I got my handicapped parking I only used it on really bad days even though I certainly qualified to use it.  Anyway the Doctor's were right and I did fall and hurt myself and tests are still being run to see the extent of the damage.  I may qualify for the scooter after all. 
This walker is wonderful especially in comparison to a standard walker.  For the first time in a loooong time I don't feel like I have to fight to keep my balance.  It was exhausting.  I can walk a straight line; hey no more walking into walls or doorjambs.  I recently found out this is because there are nerves in your tendons in your ankle that help you balance and since mine are damaged...well ...    Good thing I'm a good driver cuz if I ever got pulled over by a cop there's no way I walk a straight line; and I don't even know what alcoholic drinks taste like; never had one.
As you saw in the first photo this walker allows me to sit down to weed my garden but also to take close-ups of my flowers and do much more experimenting with different angles and techniques.  I took many different angles of that bud from the other side then I was able to shot from the this side which turned out to make for more interesting photos but I was only able to do that because I didn't have to squat down to photograph them.  Remember my blog about using photography for exercising because of all the deep knee bends.  Well deep knees bends are no longer a good idea as I have probably torn ligaments in my knee (I go for an MRI next week).  One thing the walker is making possible without extreme pain and sweat from the extreme effort it was.
  This walker also allows me to walk over dirt and grass.  I got to go out back into the woods and take this photo of forest wild flowers.  Tom has been telling me about them for days.  He sees them when he walks the dog but I haven't felt steady enough to go out back and look; much less take pictures.  Today I was able to do that and they were real pretty white yin-yang flowers. That's what what Tom calls them because they are mirror images of each other.  Next time I'll bring some clippers and gloves cuz this walker has a basket to carry things in (oh, so nice).
After all the extra I did cuz I felt like I could because of the walker I still had to go to Physical Therapy and for whatever reason the skies were a brilliant blue with these wonderful, beautiful, majestic cloud formation.  It made for a delightful ride home, a little distracting, but beautiful.
I never thought that having this walker would make such an improvement in my life; not just physically but emotionally.  I expected some physical help but the old walker was almost more of a nuisance than it was worth and emotionally it frustrated me and brought out and reminded me of just how handicapped I truly am.  Now I am blessed with one that helps makes me feel secure when I walk and increases my independence.  Hooray for my new walker.

I did it !

I didn't think I captured a picture of the Mockingbird as it dive bombed the Vulture, but as I as i was going through my photos today there it was.  Proof!  That big old bad guy was really sitting there tolerating this pesky little bird.  I think I could make a small inspirational collage with story or quote with these pics.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I'm a big, old, scary guy

This photo was taken before the one on yesterdays post.  The little bird (a mockingbird) had been dive bombing him and he spread out his wings and flapped them a couple of times to try and intimidate that little mockingbird but it didn't work so he settled down and tolerated the cheeky little thing.  As I have looked at them and shown them to others a realization has been made at how this little story and the pictures makes a good parable for my life right now.  I'm that feisty little mockingbird facing down that big, old, scary Vulture; the trails of my lifeMost of the time by attacking the problem or facing it no matter that it appears to be many times my size my trials remain relatively calm and I am able to handle it, HOWEVER sometimes like the Vulture my trials spread out their wings and get to looking as big as they possibly can.  That's when I can get to feeling overwhelmed  and wish I could run away like the mockingbird.  Today was one such day.  I went to church but it didn't take long with sitting on the chairs there for my back pain to get to the point where tears were hard to hold back.  On top of that my arm hurt from a trapped ulnar nerve (funny bone).  Plus a migraine started complete with nausea because when I cry I quite often end up with a migraine, a case of injury on top of injury.  A totally crawl in a hole and pull the hole in after kind of day.  What saved the day was the love shown to me by my brothers and sisters in the gospel.  Chairs were offered and vacated or brought to me; many offers of is there anything I can do?  those around me just seemed to know what a bad day I was having.  Comfort was given in the form of a blessing and three of our church leaders pulled me aside to talk with me and gave me advice and assurances of God's love for me.  A day of very mixed emotions.
Even though the edit on todays photo was done last night I think it really turned out to represent my day today.  With the distinct bird stretched out so plainly in the front and the crazy colors in the back that remind me of my migraine, I think it worked out real well to represent how I feel today.  ( It is the first time I've been able to combine layers on any of the programs that I've tried it on.  Yeah me.)
This little Mockingbird- Vulture parable does have a good ending; after several more attempts at dive bombing and sitting on a branch talking the Vulture did fly away, leaving the the Mockingbird triumphantly sitting in the tree.   I look at these picture now with hope for me and a reminder that it was little the Mockingbird won over great odds by persistance and courage.
I am going to print up the photo of the Vulture with the Mockingbird to put on my wall to remind me to keep up my courage, but first I'm going to find a good quote to go with it.  Suggestions for the quote would be appreciated.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Couldn't believe my eyes

I was sure glad I had my camera. I was on my way to the library when I spotted this big old turkey vulture sitting up in this big old snag tree that I pass all the time.  I quickly checked my mirror and pulled over ( I've got to get caution signs for the back of my car) and sarted taking photos and this little bird started dive bombing the vulture, silly thing, and I was hoping against hope that I could capture that action.  To my surprise this little bird sat down on a limb next to the vulture and started squawking at him.  The vulture pretty well just kind of tolerated the little bully and I got a lot of good photos of the vulture but no real good ones of the dive bombing.  Sigh!
In spite of the tone of the last post; photos and experiences like this will always be a part of my blog because they are a big part of my life. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Still a beautiful world

It's been a while since I have written a blog especially one where I express myself.  Lately my blogs have been kind of superficial and that is not what I wanted when I started.  I realize that blogs evolve and change but sometimes they have to have a course correction back to where thy were intended to go in the first place.  When I first started I wanted to use my photographs to illustrate my life but I wanted the blog to be about my life and how I cope with my disabilities without it becoming a poor old me (POM) blog.   This blog has become more about the photographs and less about me so I started another blog which will be about the photos and how I did them.  I'm going back to using the photos here to illustrate my life and since photography plays such an important part of my life there will still be plenty of photos.

The change in my blog came about gradually but really started when my husband who reads it faithfully and has learned a lot about me and we have had some wonderful conversations started because of this blog, but he told me at one point that my blog was becoming a POM blog.  Well maybe it was but at the time I was dealing with a LOT of pain and the blog was telling the truth of my situation.  However I take my husbands opinions to heart and from then on the blog slowly became more impersonal, more about the photos, and further apart.  This blog has been so helpful to me and hopefully entertaining and helpful to others and I miss what it was.  When I was in high school I had a history teacher who taught us first and foremost that history and the truth of it depended on what was told and how it was told but also it depended on what was left out.  Lately I have been leaving out a lot of my truth and if at times this becomes a POM blog than please remember that in spite of the pain in my life I still believe there is much beauty in this world. 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mom's Day garden 2010


Every year my family plants a flower garden for me by the front door.  This year it got planted early and I have flowers blooming for Mother's Day.  Every time I come home and see my flowers blooming it makes my heart light.  It's a wonderful greeting upon coming home and always reminds me that my family loves me.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Silly dogs

Actually I think this post should be called poor Felicity. Even though she was not feeling well it was so hard not to laugh.  I got up the other morning and Tom had been working outside already and when I sat down to eat I noticed this red on the carpet and thought "sigh" that the good ol' red Georgia clay had been tracked in. It's a nuisance and hard to clean.  Then I realized that the color was not quite right and on looking closer noticed there was no dirt just red so I went in search of who was bleeding.  Found Felicity and she had broken a nail, BAD.  I stopped the bleeding and started cleaning the mess, called the vet get Jeremy up to help with her, she is over a hundred pounds and doesn't like getting in the car.  By the time we got to the vet she had taken off the bandages and completely chewed off the rest of the nail all the way off and into the paw.  It had to have hurt.  If I think about it to much it kind of makes me a tad ill.  But the vet fixed her up and put on one of those wonderful Victorian collars.  Poor Felicity didn't know what to do as it was wider than she was and when she tried to go down the hall or into a doorway she would hit something with that collar.  We had to help guide her around.  And when she finally settled down she was afraid of putting her head down, so she was laying down while holding up her head up.  I know it sounds like we should have pitied her and we did but it was still so funny to watch her.  And we laughed, quite often.  She did eventually get used to it and could relax and lay down and she healed real fast thanks to that collar so it was worth guiding the silly dog around.  I did make me think about how some times we laugh when things go wrong and need to show sympathy instead.  Why is that?  Think of how popular Funniest Home Videos is.  Personally I've never liked the show, but on the few occasions I've watched I have to admit I would sometimes laugh at some of the accidents.  What makes us do this?  I have no answer.
I have taken to having my camera with me even when I walk the dog in the morning.  The morning sun shining down through the trees is so pretty as I walk by the woods.  I was also feeling like I was missing shots of the birds and the squirrels; I'm still missing getting the photos of the little critters, but I am getting some real good shots of the lights and shadows in the woods.  Rascal is not so happy about it, judging from the look on his face.  Kind of like he's annoyed about having his morning constitutional interrupted.
On the way in he shows a rather peculiar infinity for my sunflowers.  I have to drag him past the pot and as you can see he occasionally chews on it as I get the door open.  I had no idea that sunflower was doggy catnip.  Silly dog.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

An Atlanta Tour

This is one of the first pictures I took and because of the mist, it had such an old fashioned look that I decided to make it look like an old-fashioned postcard.  I don't know what buildings these are or when they where built but they just seemed to fit into the scene.  
 All the photos were taken on I-75 or Ga 400 and in this case the MARTA rail is just on the right.  The gate you see open leads onto the MARTA tracks and seems just a little dangerous to me.  I wonder if I should report it.  I really liked this composition especially the buildings disappearing into the clouds, except in the original everything was gray and misty except for the trees in the foreground.  They were bright green.  I tried every edit I could think of even just going down the lists of editing options on some of my programs.  Some I kept some I deleted, aren't modern electronics just so cool  until I had the photo almost where I wanted it and then I saw  a button I had never pushed before and WOW just what I wanted.  It looks like a night scene but still has enough contrast to look nice.  This key was to make it into a negative and normally I don't like doing that in my editing, but I really like the way it looks here.  NOTE: Just because a program has the same name on it's edit doesn't mean it will look the same on all programs, such was the case here.
 On the north side of Atlanta sits two buildings the King and the Queen.  This is the King, with his square crown- the Queen has a rounded crown.  It refused to rain on the King although you can see the reflection of a raindrop from my windshield.  I was absolutely amazed at this photo and how clear it is.  We were on the highway going at a more than adequate speed, I was using a camera that the manufacturer considers obsolete and will not update the software so I can download from the camera, I have to download from the memory card and yet the photo is clear enough to see the railings on the porches and the lights on the inside of the building.  Amazing.
 On the way back I got a view of Lenox Square Mall and as you can see there was so much water on the windshield that that is what the camera focused on.  I just thought that it made for a neat shot all by itself so I only did basic editing.  Another thing that amazed me was the fact that the windshield wipers showed up on so few photos, even though they were going the whole time.
My ghostly picture
On the way back this building, which is the same one as on the first photo, was wrapped in clouds.  It's not often that I have really looked at a building like that.  It had an other-worldly look to it, so to add to that I added a reflection.  I think maybe this turned out to be my favorite.  There is one thing that I learn from photography and I keep learning it over and over is that there is beauty to be found in everything even in what in past days I would have considered a rainy, wet, NASTY day. 
I hope you enjoyed my tour of Atlanta.