Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Skies - Physical Therapy


Today's high temp was 93° with blue skies and white clouds. Did I mention the humidity was low? It actually felt like 93° and not 100°+.

I'm not sure what I see in the clouds. It looks sorta like something chasing something, but I don't know what. I don't have much imagination today. Sunrises and sunsets from home aren't something I get to see because we are surrounded by trees.

I went for a walk this morning and enjoyed the clouds and the light breeze.

I didn't do anything else this morning except try to help Frank make spaghetti for dinner. I browned the ground beef :-)

I had my physical therapy at 1:15 this afternoon. Well it started about 1:30. My physical therapy takes place next door to where my surgeon practices. Chip is my my therapist. Click on his name to see what he looks like. Why does everyone seem so young to me nowadays?

Chip said I had really good movement. He did my evaluation and did movements that seem to have loosened things a bit. I have a couple of simple exercises to do at home and was told not to overdo. I go back Thursday afternoon. I'm sure I will get worked a bit harder then.

Afterward we went to Home Depot for a little shopping. It didn't take long and we were back home watching The Closer that Frank had recorded. Frank popped a little popcorn to enjoy while watching the program.

I washed the dinner dishes and just have done nothing else but work in my puzzle book and look at email.

I think I'm going for another short walk in a bit.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Laundry -- Basil -- Grasshopper


Around our home it just seems to be a never-ending chore even with just the two of us. I did... and I say this with great pride :-) ... two large loads and one super load of laundry this morning. Yep, folded and almost all put away. It took me longer than usual because it plain hurts to use the left arm much. Lucky me... my right arm is strong!

I am used to putting the laundry into the dryer with my left hand, so I had to think about not doing that. It is hard for me to not do something the way I have done it for years.

Good news! I was stretching my arm today and can now hold it up to shoulder level to the front of me, but can't quite make it that far when I raise it from my side and up towards my shoulder. When I do these slow movements I start thinking about the movie Karate Kid for some odd reason.

I also did a bit of vacuuming. Frank had to finish it up and of course I got scolded. That is okay, payback you know. I scolded him a lot after his surgery in February.

In a normal day this all would be a small accomplishment. This bit of chores has tired me and when asked if I wanted to go to a few stores by Frank I said no.


While walking around the yard today I took a few pictures to share with you.

My mother-in-law gave me three basil plants, each a different variety, a few weeks ago that someone from her church gave her. She said she had no idea what to do with them and thought I might enjoy them. She knows that I have grown basil in the past.

I usually grow this variety, Sweet Basil.

Sweet Basil

I have not researched what these two varieties are.



Basil is an annual herb belonging to the mint family, Lamiaceae (Labiatae). There are over 40 known varieties of basil of which Ocimum basilicum or Sweet Basil is the most commonly known and grown. Ocimum is from a Greek verb that means "to be fragrant." The foliage is easily bruised; just brushing against its foliage releases its pleasing aroma. I sometimes will touch a leaf just to smell the pleasing aroma.

Varieties can grow to a height of 2 1/2 feet and are about as wide. Foliage colors range from pale to deep green, vivid purple and even purple laced with golden yellow foliage. Texture varies from silky and shiny to dull and crinkly. Flowers appear in summer as whorls on the ends of branches and are either white or lavender.

Some of the unusual fragrances and flavors include: cinnamon, lemon and anise. Basil is native to India and Asia having been cultivated there for more than 5,000 years. It is grown there as a perennial in those warm, tropical climates.

I like to use basil fresh in sauces and stews. I like putting it on meat, especially chicken. I have dried it and I have frozen it, but the best is fresh.

Isn't it nice to have someone think of you :-)


As I walked around the house I picked a fallen leaf from the pecan tree out of the hydrangea and disturbed a couple of flies. This grasshopper, at least I think that is what it is, was just sitting there refusing to be disturbed. Doesn't it just blend in among the leaves?


I wanted to get its face a bit better, but could not stoop that low :-)


The house is quiet and I'm enjoying the sound of the window air conditioner whirring away. The clouds come and go. There could be some more thunder storms later.

Maybe its nap time...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Rain - Shopping


Much needed rain came this afternoon by way of thunder storms. Our electricity went out for an hour or so. It has blinked off and on since. I hope it stays on. It would be hard getting to sleep with it so warm. How did I ever make it through most of my childhood without air conditioning! I am a spoiled child :-)

I did go with Frank to Wal* Mart this morning. The shopping was not bad. The buggy only squeaked a little. It was not pleasant standing in the checkout line. We were in the 20 items or less lane and of course it was slower than a hound dog in August. While waiting someone did announce that another register was opening up... I think it was #21. We are at register #3. Just not worth the walk over there and be the same number in line. I think it was about 8 am that we were checking out.

The trap was tolerated better today. I made it until 5:30 pm :-) No I will not talk about anything and everything in my blog... just some things :-)

Tomorrow will be laundry day and I'll see how much of it or any of it I can do. I did fold some laundry one-handed the other day. Some things I know I won't be able to fold.

One day I'll do something exciting again... so hang in there with me.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Trap - A Few Photos

I am late getting dressed this morning. Something that happens often. I will sometimes start cleaning the house while I am still in my pajamas. I won't be doing any house cleaning today.

I need to try to wear my bra again. It has been ten days since I've worn one. If I were flat-chested I wouldn't worry about it, but I'm not flat-chested.

It is now 8:40 am and I have my pull-on shorts on. Elastic waist shorts are good sometimes. Now for the bra. I manage to get the strap upon my shoulder. Of course where the strap normally lies is right where one of the incisions is that the surgeon made. The incision is covered with three pieces of tape. It looks like blood is underneath them. The surgeon said Wednesday to wait about a week to remove them. I'll probably do that Tuesday morning.

Here is the bad quality photo of my wounds. Only four incisions plus the slit at my elbow, which is quite a bit uglier and a picture won't be posted here of that. Aren't surgery techniques amazing nowadays.

Since where the normal placement of the strap is where the incision is I try pulling the strap up just a bit higher up... lower and it will be in a place sorer than the incision. A place where I assume a piece of arthritic bone was shaved off. The strap is pulling too much. I need to let the strap out to lengthen it. This of course means I have to take the bra off because the adjustment is on the back of the strap.

I manage to get the contraption off. I have now shortened the word contraption to trap; a confinement... something of the devil it seems.

I find the adjustment and it doesn't seem to want to budge. It has been over a year in the same position and just does not want to move. A bit more yanking and I finally get it to move.

Okay, it is now let out as far as it will go. I struggle and get the trap back on me and pull the strap into a position that isn't as painful as the original. I put on my blouse.

Just like the first training bra I ever wore this trap is going to take some getting used to... a bit of practice.

It is now 8:55 am. My shoulder is burning, but not to quite flaming burning... I am sure it will reach that point any minute.

It is now 9:15 am. I am putting away the dishes that were placed in the drainboard the night before. (That is housework and not housecleaning ;0) I can now lighten Frank's burden a bit) Frank has returned from fishing with his Dad. His Dad caught one small catfish and Frank said he got only one nibble on his lines.

I tell Frank my morning news... that I managed to get my bra on. He wonders why I need one. I tell him I need the practice in case I go with him to Wal*Mart tomorrow and for my physical therapy session next Tuesday. Frank states that I probably won't be able to wear it long. I told him we will see.

It is 10:40 am and I'm uncomfortable.... maybe I'll take it off. The burning has become an ache.

NO! I will keep trying.

I decided to walk around the yard before dinner. I am anticipating the day I can use my other cameras. I'm not that fond of this pocket camera. It's best quality is that it will fit in a pocket.

After walking around the yard I sit at the computer and see how many blurs I got... I got lots. The white and brown moths I found sleeping were a blur and so were the cayenne peppers. Frustration sat in as I edited these photos.

First thing on my walk were these sweet banana peppers.

Sweet Banana Pepper

Then came a bunch of blurry pictures of moths and cayenne peppers.

This tomato photo didn't turn out too bad though.

Tomatoes on the Vine

The colors of the Sony A700 camera are more vibrant than this little pocket camera. I am really missing it.

This is our first squash in the garden. Frank can't get them to grow in this garden spot very well. Usually the bores get them. This year we may get a few squash.

Yellow Summer Squash

Then I turn around and I found this little anole, which is in its brown coloring instead of its green, seeming to be so cool sitting on the angel's trumpet plant.

Anole Resting in the Shade of the Angel's Trumpet

The angel's trumpet plant looks a bit sickly. Maybe it needs fertilizer.

This shot is a bit blurry. It is a plum. I like plum wine, but can't drink it. I use it in cooking though. There aren't many plums this year, so no wine will be made. Frank eats plums; I don't. When I was a child I ate too many on a very hot summer day and got sick. I cannot bring myself to eat them even after forty something years have passed.


It is 1:45 pm. The pain changed to throbbing. I took some tylenol about 45 minutes ago and it seems to be calming the pain. So I will try longer to keep the trap on.

I had to stop before posting the photos. I was tired of sitting here. So another short walk around the yard was in order.

Our governor proclaimed a week or so ago that Georgia was out of the long drought. As I walk in the yard the grass crunches beneath my feet. The triple digit heat of last week has dried it. Rain is needed again. Even though we use well water and not city water for watering we don't water the grass. We water the garden and flowers. We have embraced " brown is beautiful" for our lawn.

It is almost 3:00 pm. Time for another break from the computer and another walk about the yard.

It is a bit after 5:00 pm now. At about 4:30 I called it quits with the trap. I was within a few minutes of eight hours wearing it... about par for most days for me. I took a relaxing shower. Aaah life is better!

I am doing much better than a week ago... so progress is being made. Not as fast as I wish, but it is happening. One day I might learn patience while being a patient. It just does not come easy to me.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Faithful Fridays With Joy


Faithful Fridays

Please click on the icon above to share in Faithful Fridays with Joy.

I am so thankful for each of your prayers for me and for Frank's family.

I am doing well although today I've been very tired. I just did not sleep well last night. I thought I could skip the phenergan (an anti-nausea med), but it helps me sleep and keeps pain at bay too. So tonight I will make sure I take it. I seem to be able to move my arm a bit better today than yesterday. It is going to be painful to do for a while.

Frank's Uncle Henry came home from the hospital on Monday. He had suffered a stroke. It seems to have affected his legs the most. He will have someone come to his home to give physical therapy. He is on a defibrillator for his heart. Uncle Henry turned 80 years old yesterday. Through faith he has made it through much in life.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Friday Shootout - Colors of the Rainbow

Debby from The Pink Birdhouse chose this weeks theme of Colors of the Rainbow. I'm still for the most part one-handed, so my best cameras are out of the question for me to use right now. So I have for the most part dug into my archives for photos that you haven't seen before.

Barry I am able to type my blog out two-handed, but can't be at it long :-)

This one I did take yesterday with my Sony pocket camera.

Canna Lily
Canna Lily

These next photos are from our trip to and from the west coast last year. Taken with my Sony A700 camera.

Yellowstone National Park - Black Sand Basin - Thermal Pool
Yellowstone National Park - Black Sand Basin - Thermal Pool

Willit California - Sleepy Hollow RV Park - Blue Flower
Willit California - Sleepy Hollow RV Park - Blue Flower

Canon Colorado - Royal Gorge - Bee and ants on cactus
Canon Colorado - Royal Gorge - Bee and ants on cactus

Florence Oregon - Heceta Lighthouse - Bee on a yellow flower
Florence Oregon - Heceta Lighthouse - Bee on a yellow flower

A couple of pictures from Frank.

Ft. Supply Oklahoma - Ft. Supply Campground... a double rainbow.
Ft. Supply Oklahoma - Ft. Supply Campground - One end of the rainbow at Ft. Supply

Ft. Supply Oklahoma - Ft. Supply Campground - One end of the rainbow at Ft. Supply

And of a couple of shots of our local Maryland Fried Chicken Restaurant. Taken with my Sony f717.
Maryland Fried Chicken

Artwork - Maryland Fried Chicken

If you would like to join in go to Friday My Town Shoot Out for more information and a list of participants.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A week since surgery...

Wednesday, 17th of June we arrived at the surgical center a few minutes before my scheduled arrival time of 6:30 am. A few minutes later and I'm in my cap and gown. Roger is on my left side asking me if I'm right handed and starts putting a band of rubber around my left arm. As he does so I tell him it doesn't matter, the doctor is operating on my left shoulder. Roger quickly goes over to my right side and puts the band around that arm. The newbie gal to the surgical unit says okay, I get it... he is operating on the left, so the IV and cuff go on the right. I reassure myself that I have the best shoulder surgeon in the area... just joshing; they were good at their jobs.

Roger thinks he has found a vein that will work. I have drank extra fluids for a week so my veins might be easily found. Evidently I could drink a waterfall of water and it would not help. The IV was not to be in that vein. Another vein will have to be found. Roger tells me that maybe I should move my hand around a bit this time... he is used to putting in IVs while in the back of a moving ambulance. I give him a half-hearted smile.

I thought Roger was a nurse, but he is an EMT? It's early and I have a right to be confused.

Roger finds another vein in a place I really hate for IVs to be placed... the back of my wrist. It turned out not to be too bad though.

Roger places the blood pressure cuff upon my right arm. He then places the heart monitor on. He leaves and someone brings Frank into the cubicle.

We have just a few minutes together and the surgeon comes in to talk with us. He decided to send me home with a pain med pump. I will have to have the IV tube left in for a couple of days.

The doctor leaves and the anesthesiologist enters. He appears to be a teenager. He tells me that he is going to give me something to relax. Thus, I am asleep by the time he gets the words out of his mouth. While I am asleep he puts blocks in my surgery areas to prevent pain. Thankfully, I am asleep and Frank is in the waiting room. We both saw the four big syringes and the very big needles.

Then everything is foggy and distant as I try to awaken. It took me a while to come to this point... longer to come out of the sleep than it should have.

Nurse Amy propped me up just a little and leaves my bedside. I see the doctor leaving and wave and he waves back. Nurse Amy is propped against a counter writing in a chart. I wonder if she is writing in my chart. Nurse Amy looks towards my way at the machine keeping tabs on my vital signs.

I started to hear different beeps coming from the machine as I started to feel hot. The machine made more strange beeps as I became sweaty. The nurse quickly put the chart down and ran over and laid me flat and started pushing buttons on the machine. She said in a loud voice that my blood pressure was crashing. My blood pressure had dropped from 158/90 to 70/30.

The newbie gal came over to help. She was asked to test my blood sugar. It was okay. My blood pressure went back up. Nurse Amy sat me up some again. I tell her that I really have to pee. She said I'm not allowed to get up yet and will have to use a bedpan. I don't like bedpans. It seemed like forever before the bedpan arrives. Nurse Amy says that me having to pee so badly might have been why I had the episode.

I feel much better having an empty bladder. Nurse Amy tells me she is going out to tell my husband that I am fine. The newbie gal tells me that I was looking better than a few minutes ago when I had so little color she could not see my lips.

Nurse Amy is now talking with someone about photography. She was just beyond the curtain and I had nothing better to do than eavesdrop. When Nurse Amy came back to my bedside checking the vitals machine I told her that I too liked photography. She told me that she rented some really nice lenses when she went to New York City and got some great photos. Umm... I had never thought about renting a lens.

Nurse Amy takes a phone call and goes to the parking lot for just a minute and comes back in with golf clubs and shoes. I thought she said they were for her ten year old son, but the clubs and shoes seemed too large. She tells me of a picture that she took of her son on the golf course... one that I'm sure he finds embarrassing.

It has been a while since the episode... I don't know how much time has passed for no clocks are to be found. Nurse Amy places the shoulder pad on my shoulder that ice water will be pumped through later and tells me she is taking me to a chair. After I get up from the bed and take a few steps I tell her that I need to go to the restroom again. She said that I had gone through three bags of the IV fluids.... so my bladder was filling up fast. She said I was not allowed to walk down the hallway to the restroom, but they had a wheelchair....whee no bedpan!

I come back to a hard recliner covered with a bed sheet and get to sip on Diet Coke. Someone goes and gets Frank and he sits with me. Nurse Amy gets me some saltines to nibble on. Nurse Tammy came in to hook up the pain med pump to my IV tube and explain how it works.... then another episode happens. I get hot sweaty then nauseous and lose the saltines and Diet Coke. I'm surrounded by several people and now have a cool wet washcloth on the back of my neck and one over my eyes. Nurse Amy is writing down blood pressure after blood pressure reading on the bed sheet. Frank stepped behind the curtain so I could be taken care of. This episode passes. Frank, Nurses Amy and Tammy are there.

Nurse Amy is thinking I may have to go to the hospital for the night. She steps out and calls the doctor and he tells her to keep me another hour and if nothing happens I can go home. Of course another trip to the restroom was needed. I did well for the next hour.

Nurse Amy gave instructions on my care when I go home and tells us if another episode happens to go to the hospital. I was released at about 2:30 pm. Nothing exciting happened after we got home... lots of trips to the bathroom. I felt a little queasy and took some Phenergan and along with the pain med pump and my regular meds I slept a few hours... got up for a bathroom visit and the process repeats itself each night. The really bad part is that Frank has to unhook the ice machine each time I have to get up.

The IV tube started holding blood on Friday morning, so the nursing service came and the pain med pump and IV tube were removed. The ice pack, Tylenol and Phenergan along with my normal doses of Lyrica and Zanaflex the pain is very tolerable. Tolerable; until I try and move my arm which is in a sling. The sling does not keep my brain from trying to move my arm.

I am doing well. Frank detaches me from the ice pack machine and I take brief walks around the outside the house. It is so hot outside that the walks have to be brief.

I have a personal chef aka Frank. He has prepared me delicious and nutritious meals. Yesterday it was takeout from the WalMart deli... the cook needs a break sometimes.

I have a personal assistant aka Frank. He has helped me bathe and dress. He has given me my medications and kept track of when I've taken them. He has kept my family and closest friend informed of how I am doing. He has dialed the phone for me, brought me cool beverages and plugged and unplugged the ice pack machine.

Frank has encouraged me and told me many times that we will get through this.... and we will.

This has been written over a couple of days. It is now Wednesday, 24th of June. This morning we visited my surgeon. I am doing well and only need to leave the sling on for comfort. I am to try and stretch my arm in positions to get the stiffness out. The progress is good in this short time. I think I will be able to shower today without Frank's assistance. I am hoping to actually sleep in our bed tonight, but we'll have to see on that.

I go back to the doctor in three weeks. I start physical therapy next Tuesday. I will go twice a week until I'm good as new... which I'm sure won't be long.

It is a sure sign you have been to a place too many times when they get to know you by name. That is the way it is with the physical therapy group we are using. Unfortunately the therapist that worked so well with me has moved on to another job. I'm sure I will do well with whoever I get.

I appreciate everyone's prayers. I am on to a speedy recovery and Frank's Uncle Henry was suppose to come home from the hospital on Monday. Frank will call later to verify that he has.

It will take me a while to catch up with your blogs. I hope to start by tomorrow. It is nice to be back to almost normal.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Prayer



O God, the source of all health.
Fill my heart with faith.
Be near me in times of weakness and pain. Although I know You are in control, I am apprehensive about what faces me. You made me, loved me, and have provided my surgeon with needed skill to perform a miracle in my behalf. Sustain me by Your grace that my strength and courage may not fail; Heal me according to Your will.

My dearest friend, Didi, sent me this prayer. Good Friends always seem to know the right thing to do and say :-)

I have to be at the surgical center at 6:30 in the morning. It will be the one morning I will want to sleep in :-) It always seems to work that way... the day I need to be up and going I will be wanting to sleep.

We bought a futon from Sam's Club the other day. I will have to sleep in my recliner a few days and so Frank can be nearby and comfortable we bought the futon. The directions were not the easiest to follow. The illustrations were not clear. Somehow the two of us got it put together. I didn't do a lot, but a little is a lot sometimes :-)

There was help in moving the old sofa out of the house aka known as Tom (Frank's brother) and Dustin (Tom's son). I can remember when it wouldn't be much of a problem for me to help move the sofa. I used to move the furniture around the living room every few months by myself... driving Frank a bit nuts :-)

Of course I had to clean behind the sofa... lots of dust bunnies were hiding there and a dead roach too. The rainy weather we had seemed to have brought the disgusting critters indoors.

Cleaning one thing leads to another. I had all ready cleaned out a storage cabinet in the computer room... shouldn't I call it an office? Then I cleaned the table off that I use as a desk. I have some more papers to file, but they are neatly stacked and ready for my attention when I have the notion to get back to them.

Today I've vacuumed and mopped the floors... finding dead rolly-pollys during the process. I have done laundry and washed dishes too. Leftovers were the fare for dinner. I have house plants to prune and water... then I'm going to sit down with a cup of dark chocolate pudding and relax.

Mama came by after her appointment with her orthopedist. Mama is to get an injection in her back on Thursday for her back pain. The doctor said if that didn't work he would put some temporary implants for pain into her back. Mama has aged so much since December. Hopefully her pain will be soon eased and she can start doing some of the things she likes to do again.

My oldest brother is having low back surgery on Thursday. It is in the same place he had surgery done in 1993... the same as I did (does that make him a copycat?) He will be in the hospital for a few days.

Frank's Dad called this morning. Frank's Uncle Henry, who lives in Mississippi, has blood on his brain and is in intensive care. The doctor thinks medication will relieve it. Other family members in Mississippi are not doing well... Uncle Raymond, Aunt Oralee and Aunt Sue.

Could I ask each of you to say a prayer for Frank's family and for my family... and me? It would be appreciated. Thank you.

Someone asked if Frank would keep y'all posted on how I was doing. The answer is no. He doesn't know how to post a message and doesn't want to know how . He does seem to enjoy reading your blogs :-) I'll post a message as how I'm doing as soon as I can.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Free Chocolate

Y'all know I have a love for chocolate... remember I did a series, Chocolate on the Brain :-) M & Ms sent me an email asking me if I wanted free chocolate. Something Free and Chocolate... a no-brainer! So I signed up and received this in snail mail a couple of weeks later. It is large postcard. Those M & Ms sure are cute.

On the other side of the postcard is this:

A coupon for a free one serving size of chocolate. What would I choose? I like Snickers, Milkyway, 3 Musketeers, Twix, Dove bars and M & Ms . Since I had not had a 3 Musketeers bar in a while I chose it.

I was evil and ate it soon after we got home and it tasted soooo good! Sometimes Often I treat myself to something that is really bad for me.

I have lost ten pounds (sometimes the scales tilt to twelve pounds lost) in the last three months. I don't deprive myself. I eat what I like and keep the servings small and eat frequent meals... about every two to three hours I eat something when possible. Remember; I have the stomach that doesn't empty the way it is suppose to... so eating frequently was prescribed.

I get so upset with hubby sometimes. He can lose ten pounds in a week! Why is it so easy for men to lose weight and us ladies it is so hard!

The web site said I could get free chocolate in four days and something or was that four weeks and something... umm... I need to recheck :-) Sign up if you want free chocolate. Sometimes it is good to be evil :-)

Maybe I should have titled this post Chocolate on the Brain IV :-)


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Gladiola -- Apron

After we got home Thursday morning from our trip to Reed Bingham State Park Frank went out the front gate. He looked to his right; which is where the flower bulb garden is and said: "we have a gladiola blooming". Me: "a gladiola? I didn't know we had any gladiolas". I looked and sho'nuff there was a beautiful gladiola bloom. It was laying over on the neighboring iris's green stalks. The plant ain't much to look at, but the blooms are beautiful. Yesterday there was another stalk of blooms opening, so I cut them and brought them in the house to enjoy.



Frank said that years back that he planted some gladiolas, but they never did anything. Maybe this one will prosper and we will enjoy their blooms for years to come.


Judy at Daily Yarns 'n More sewed me an apron. Isn't it beautiful! Thank you so much, Judy!

Me Sporting My New Apron

I should have brushed my hair and put on makeup (one of these years my left droopy eye will droop enough for insurance to pay for it to be fixed). We had just come in from visiting Frank's folks and shopping at Sam's Club... so a little tired. I had my hair whacked off a week and a half ago so with the surgery I can take care of my hair one-handed a lot easier. I don't usually ask for my picture to be taken, but I wanted to show off my beautiful apron to the world!

I love the prints, colors and the pattern... the pockets! The edges are scalloped and gives it a really nice look... a girly look that this tomboy doesn't do enough. I love it! Frank likes it too. He said a lot of work went into it and that I got the better end of the deal.

A few weeks ago Judy posted a photo of a quilt she had made. I told her that I had some quilt books and all I was asking for them was shipping cost. She said she would love to have the books. Judy offered to make me an apron. How could I turn that down! Judy is a very busy lady and I don't know where she found the time. Yes, Judy I will think of you every time I wear the apron and every time I see the apron. I will find a place to hang it in my kitchen... where it will be handy.

Judy, you didn't have to pay for the shipping of the books. The apron is enough payment. I will give the cash to a charity.


Catching Up - Award - Giveaway

Isn't it hard to catch up on things after being gone a few days? I've caught up on the laundry, but it will be back tomorrow :-) I've weeded a flower bed and dead-headed a few plants. I'm going through my messy table that I use as a desk and filing and throwing away things. I've got a soup.. maybe more of a stew going. The veggies are chunky. It will last us a couple of days and some will probably be frozen.

Frank prepared the veggies for the stew. He dug potatoes from the garden yesterday and some are in the pot. He harvested onions from the garden too and they are in the pot. I've added carrots and green beans to the pot along with chicken that Frank cooked yesterday and chopped up. Don't I have the best husband... I think so :-)

Frank also washed the travel trailer today. That is a job! The sun has finally showed its head and there is a slight breeze so it shouldn't take long for the awnings to dry.


Tammy at Creative Thoughts was kind enough to give me this One Lovely Blog award. Thank you, Tammy! Tammy is into scrap booking and has an adorable blog. I can never pick who to share awards with... since I think all of your blogs that I read are Lovely please feel free to grab the award.

One Lovely Blog Award

The giveaway is from Michelle at Chocolate Marmalade and Tea . She has an adorable blog too. If you want to participate in her great Summer Giveaway just reply to her post, Summer Giveaway . The deadline is June 15th.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fishing Trip News and Friday Shoot-Out-Letter M

Fishing Trip

We went to Reed Bingham State Park near Adel Georgia. We got our trailer set up Sunday morning and then we drove over to Valdosta to visit with our son, David, and his wife, Tish. David is a master of the grill and grilled pork chops to perfection along with a few sausage. He said if you going to light the grill you may as well throw on a few sausage :-) It was really a wonderful visit.

Our fishing consisted of me catching one itty-bitty brim that was so small that it fell off the hook and back into the water before I could get my hand wrapped around the little thing. If it had stayed long enough for the camera I would have had a photo of a minnow... I would have called it a minnow for the Shoot-Out! Frank caught one small catfish. It was big enough to eat, but not enough to mess with unless more were caught, so it was released to grow bigger.

Nibbles on the line and looking at water wasn't a bad fishing trip. It was great to relax and break up the routine a bit.

On Tuesday we checked our home answering machine. A message to call the orthopedist's office was on there. So on Wednesday we called back and set up the date of my shoulder surgery for the 2nd of July. A few seconds after the phone was hung up Cindy called back and said there was a cancellation... would the 17th of June be all right? Yep, next Wednesday is the date. Yesterday afternoon I saw my surgeon's partner and the blood work, EKG, chest x-ray and paper signing was done. I signed about a dozen papers.

So, yesterday was a full day. We were coming home anyway. It took us an hour and seventeen minutes to come home and only an hour and ten minutes to go to Reed Bingham State Park. Why is the trip home always longer? Not that we were in any hurry, I didn't have to be at the doctor's office until two. It was fun taking snap shots coming home for the shoot-out and the trip didn't seem to take that long... except when we got behind three tractors... each taking up more than one lane and they were difficult to pass.

Friday Shoot-Out

A very proud grandmother, Sara Lulu, chose the letter "M" for this week's Friday Shoot-Out in honor of her newest grandchild, Matilda Margaret.


Moi? Monsieur Maurice

Did I mention in my previous post that Shutter Speed was important? If I had had the shutter speed a bit faster there would be no motion blur in this photo. I like the motion blur. It gives the sense that MAURICE has just turned towards me and is surprised to see me... which is what happened :-)

MOTHER Goose Flamingo

Mother Flamingo

From a distance I thought she was Mother Goose, but when I got closer I could tell it was she was a Flamingo. She is so colorful and quite the MODEL.

Okay... I'm pushing it a bit :-)

Maybe I shouldn't have posted my best photos last week. You will expect too much from me. I flub up photos a lot... a WHOLE LOT.

Did I mention that one thing you need to do is know your camera and lenses for good photos? I don't know my camera and lenses very well... my learning gets interrupted by daily life.

One thing I want to know better about my camera is the white balance. Auto doesn't work well all the time and then I forget to change it to daylight, shade or whatever from one picture to the next. I want to learn how to do the white balance with a gray card. I know it takes time, but I think in my next photo's case it would have helped.

The sun was to the right of the MARTINS' home and it was also a bit hazy. The photo came out more of a silhoutte. It was also a bit grainy. I was experimenting with the sports setting on my camera. I don't think I would have done any better with my little knowledge of manual settings.

You won't see the photo as the camera saw it, because it was very, very bad. Instead you will see my poor artistic rendering of it through filters in my photo editing program :-)


Purple Martins

It might make a nice card or postcard. It is a much better rendering of what I saw than what the camera captured.



Did I mention lighting was an important part of a good photo? The light was so nice upon these small mushrooms... or is it fungi ;-) I just had to get down on my knees and take a photo. Getting down on my knees isn't too pleasant these day, but it was worth it for this photo.

In the next photo the blossom was nicely contrast, but the leaves were very dark when I used one lens and when I used the other... a longer lens... the blossom lost its detail with the same settings. I should have taken the time to bracket the photos (basically using different settings) for both lenses to get a photo that had better exposure. I took the darker photo... the one that had more detail in the blossom petals and edited it. The leaves looked almost black in the original photo.


Magnolia Blossom

Natural framing is nice too. Did you notice how the leaves frame the blossom? The front leaf on the right bothers me just a little, but is acceptable.

Did I mention shadows can make for a good photo? This photo would be very uninteresting if it was all light or all dark. The shadows make it interesting... well, at least to me :-)

Reed Bingham State Park near Adel Georgia
(where all of the above photos were taken)
Monument Reed Bingham State Park

The rest of these photos were taken on our way home through our truck's windows... most of the time while moving. They are what I call snapshots. Snapshots are great story tellers :-)

The first town on our way home... we didn't stop, except for stop lights and stop signs. We are making a right turn, but we are not going to Tifton.


MOULTRIE Technical College Sign
The electronic sign had writing flashing, but I missed the writing in my photo. Taking a couple of close together photos is a good idea when motion is involved, such as a sign. I did get one photo with the writing, but the building was not composed correctly for the background. I could have taken the sign from the other photo and place it within this photo... blending the two photos. The college building is off to the right... I don't know what the building is pictured behind the sign. It is a new building and unoccupied. I didn't see a sign stating what it was... I guess it could be part of the college.

Moultrie Technical College

The melons, watermelons and cantaloupes, were probably brought up from Florida. Georgia's watermelon season doesn't get into full swing until around the 4th of July.


MOBLEY Gin Company
Doerun Georgia

Mobley Cotton Gin

They gin cotton. I wanted to get a photo of the whole bin, but we couldn't stop. The combined length of our travel trailer and truck is 54 feet, so not easy to find a place to pull over on the shoulder of the road.

Albany Georgia

Mellow Mushroom Pizza Sign

Taken while going about 60 mph on the bypass. Frank spotted this sign as I was sipping my cola. I had to quickly grab the camera before the sign photo op disappeared as many other M pictures had done.

MANN'S Self Storage
Albany Georgia

Mann's Moving and Storage

Slappey Blvd. Albany Georgia

McDonalds and Motel 8

A slower speed, but still moving. Getting the camera to focus... even on auto... is difficult while moving.


I wasn't going to go into my archives... but :-)


Got Milk?

An old bottle that is part of Frank's collection of MILK bottles.

I hope y'all enjoyed my M finds.

For a list of more participants in this challenge go to Friday Shoot-Outs . The list is located over on the right-hand side. Patty has done a blog to explain the rules at Friday "My Town" Shoot-Out and tells how it all started. Y'all come join in on the fun!