Tuesday, February 28, 2006

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Spring Flowers I

Spring flowers II

Spring Flowers III
Spring is in the air and with Spring comes renewal. A new season of growth and hope.

This is how I'm feeling now. It's a quite a change from when I first started this blog. Things have improved some for me. I'm not as sick and I have hope things will work out for us. I say us because it's not just me affected by this disease. It is all of us - me, my wife, my parents, my relatives and my friends - anyone who knows and cares about me.

As you can tell from this blog and my web site, I love photography and creating images.
http://photolife.4t.com/ It brings joy to a life that has little to be happy about. My wife, Sue, got me started again when she suggested I get a digital camera. It was my Uncle, "The Mystery Scribe", http://mysteryscribe.blogspot.com/ who recommend I look at the Panasonic Lumix line of cameras. Specifically the DMC FZ-20. I loved it right off. Later I found out they had a newer version with increased capabilities - the FZ-30. I bought one of them too. It's now my main camera of use. All the 'Spring Flowers" were photographed with it. It does a good job on just about everything with it's wide range of focal length. 35mm to 432mm (35mm eqv) I've been very pleased with the results they've given me. It has a Lecia lens that's crystal clear.

Up until now had been using a very inexpensive program to edit and post process my images ( Photo Explosion Deluxe) less than $30 USD. I've finally gotten "Photoshop 7" original cost around $500 USD. It can do much more but, it's much harder to learn everything it can do. lol which is better - ease or capability? You tell me.

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Sleep Sleep Sleep

Outdoor Reflection

I actually had a good nights sleep for a change. I slept until the alarm clock went off ay six this morning.The only problem is I'm still tired. I guess I need several nights like this in a row. Then maybe I'll get caught up on my sleep.

The visit to the surgeon yesterday went well. He said everything looked good and I need to come back in about eight weeks to see him again. By then, the fistula should be ready for use barring any complications.

I've got several things on the agenda for today. First, the therapist is coming early this morning, sometime around 8:30. Second, I need to get a few items from the grocery store. Third, I'd like to go by the cloth store and pick up some black material. I want to use it to set up a shooting box for photographing flowers and other small objects. This should fill up my morning and maybe run into the early afternoon.

I also need to decide what to fix for dinner. I think it's going to be stuffed steak rolls using a new recipe I'm going to make up as I go. No telling how they'll turn out. It's so hard to think up new things to make for dinner. I'm running out of ideas. Last night Sue brought home bar-b-que from JR's. It's going to be hard to top that, it was so good.

Today is sunny and a little warmer than yesterday. tomorrow we're going to have a high around 74 degrees F. It really helps me when it's this nice outside.it's just not as depressing as a week of all day rain and no sunshine. todat I'll need those sunglasses.

photo for the day - reflection of a sunny day.

Monday, February 27, 2006

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Not Your Mother's Cup of Tea

Fall Leaves - Rendered in Oil

A photo for all my Georgia friends - GO DAWGS!!

Just a few photos I liked and wanted to post. I've been up most of the night. I could sleep due to pain and some leg cramps. I took a pill the doctors had given me for pain but, it didn't really help. I hadn't taken one in over three weeks. They used to put me to sleep but, not tonight. it's now a little after 4:30 in the morning and I'm going back to bed and see if I van get a couple hours worth of sleep.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

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Dessert for Sue

A Dessert for Sue
This is the cake I made for Sue It's filled with fresh strawberries and topped with real whipped cream. Others I filled with chocolate and topped the same way. My favorite is filled with canned peaches - you let the juices soak into the cake and then top it with the whipped cream. They were very good!

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A Good Day

An Old Homeplace

Today was a good day for me. I slept well the night before. Sue is home and this morning she made me a ham and cheese omelet and fresh cinnamon rolls for breakfast. It was a great start to the day!

Later this afternoon we took a little ride and I took a few photographs. Mostly trees,flowers and a few old buildings. I was just looking for subjects of opportunity. I didn't see much but, the ride was nice, sunny and clear for a change but, cold. By Tuesday the weather man is saying the highs will be in the low 70's. Spring is on the way. We noticed that some of the redbuds are already in full bloom!
Another Flower

Tomorrow will be a busy day. I've got a follow up appointment with the surgeon who put the fistula in. If things stay on track the fistula should be ready to use in eight more weeks. I guess after that it'll be back to the hospital to remove the access in my neck. Finally, when all that is finished I'll get to take my first whole body shower in three months - no more just parts at a time
Then it's on to dialysis. This will be the first day on my new schedule of Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1 o'clock. I should get back home around 5 pm. Just in time to get ready for dinner.

The photos - A continuation of " The Barns of North Georgia " series - which includes barns and other old structures. Of course, flowers for Sue.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

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Time for Reflection

Lily for Sue

Flower VII

The other day when I was in dialysis a man, I'd seen him a few times before but didn't know him, came up to me. He told me how much better I looked now compared to when he first saw me three weeks ago. Then the staff all came over and started agreeing with him. They were right. Thinking back to my first day there, I must have looked terrible. I couldn't walk at all because I was so weak. I had just gotten out of the hospital after being there for almost three weeks continuously and losing a lot of blood. He said when he first saw me my skin was gray in color.

I've come a long way in the past four weeks. I have gotten stronger and most days I can walk with just a cane. I know I've still got a long way to go to get back to where I was before all this started. The help and support my wife and family have given me has made these improvements possible. I even want to eat again - maybe even a little too much. lol
I'm back to enjoying some things that everyday life has to offer.

Sue took me to my session today. I'm still not quite ready to drive myself. That day isn't really that far away - maybe two or three weeks. It takes so long to get over an episode like this. Everything that happened just compounded upon each other making one giant mess. I think it's all past me now, I just need to get that muscle strength back and everything will fall into place.

Photos for now - flowers for Sue.

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More Sights of Athens

These are some more of Sue's photos from her Athens adventure. She's still wiped out from the flight home. She went to bed at 8 o'clock last night and is still sleeping. I just wanted to pot a few more of her photos before I post some of my own including the requested dessert photo. It's time for me to fix breakfast and write a few bills so I'll go for now.

Friday, February 24, 2006

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Sue's Athens Photos

Ancient Theater

The Owl - A Symbol of Athens

frieze - W. Side Parthenon

The Parthenon

After a good night's sleep and some good food Sue is feeling more like herself. She could still use a little more sleep and she'll get that tonight. I'm so happy she's home.

These are a few of the photos sue took on her trip to Athens, Greece. She took about 55 all in all. I downloaded from the camera and processed them for the web. They're ready to exchange with her colleagues now. Hopefully they will send their photos to us. Aren't digital cameras great?

Sue took me to see Dr. Oberman this morning. He set up an appointment to have my stomach scoped in three weeks. He mentioned today that my bleeding ulcers might have been due to me taking the pain reliever "Aleve". He said it causes problems in some people. It could be funny if it hadn't caused such a serious problem. I never used it before but I was told since I had no kidney function left there was no harm in using it. I guess it's live and learn.

Miss Kitty has been like glue. She sleeps on Sue and doesn't let her out of her sight. She missed Sue too.

Today was a really nice day. Sue was home. It was sunny, warm and not raining for the first time in almost a week. We had a good lunch out. Traffic was light both to and from the doctor's office. Things were good!

I'm getting ready to go to the grocery store with Sue to pick up a few items and maybe a winning, Two hundred million dollar, lottery ticket.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

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Home At Last

Small Garden Flower

Yes, Sue has finality made it home. She arrived shortly after 4 pm while I was still at dialysis. By the time I got home, about ten till five, she was already in the shower and almost finished. It's so good to have her home again. As soon as the shower was over it was off to the kitchen for some of that homemade vegetable soup. I ate too. I had leftover country style steak, gravy and rice from the night before.

We talked a lot and caught up on things. Sue told me all about her trip and the sights she saw. She described her hotel and meals - I like hearing all the details foreign travel is interesting to me. I told her about what went on here - my treatments, the mail that came while she was away and things in general. I'm taking the time to write this because Sue is sound asleep. We had gone into the bedroom to watch "Survivor" on TV. I fell asleep before it even came on and when I woke up a little more than an hour later Sue had fallen asleep too. I'm letting her sleep. She needs the rest.

Sue's taking me to the doctor in the morning. It's Dr. Oberman, the gastro guy. He wants to go over my medications. I'm not sure why it requires an office visit to do this. I had called with a question about one of them and the person I talked to said he was out and they would call back with the info I requested. Sure enough, she called back but, without the info. Instead she said I needed to set up an office visit to discuss it with him. To me it seems like a little much for a simple question especially when I have to see him in a couple of more weeks so he can scope my stomach. Oh, it been two weeks and I still have no answer to my original question.

Mom and Dad headed home for the weekend about 4:50 this evening. I called about 9:00 just to make sure they got home alright and with no problems. They were fine. They'll be back Sunday evening; maybe for the last time for awhile. I think I may be strong enough to drive myself to dialysis by the end of next week. We'll just have to wait and see.

It;s getting late here and I have an early and full schedule in the morning so I'm calling it a night for now.

Photo for today - a small flower that was on the edge of our garden this fall.

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Early Morning

My FZ20, Sue used in Greece
Well here I am again. It's 5 am and I'm up writing. I had the worst leg cramps about 1:30 am and that woke me up. I was able to go back to sleep when the cramps subsided. About 4:55 am they returned and here I am. I wish I knew what was causing them. Then maybe I could do something to stop them. The other thing might be the long nap I took this afternoon. I tried loading the disk my Uncle, the mystery's, http://mysteryscribe.blogspot.com/ sent me but, was unable to. I'll have to talk to to see what I'm doing wrong. It'll be nice to getting it working. He has been working on an improved version of the pin hole camera. You can see the results on his blog. He also has converted old polaroid cameras into 6x7 large format cameras with much success. He even offers a CD on how to make the conversion on ebay.

This isn't working right tonight. When I hit the return key my cursor disappears. So now I'm trying to write this in Html format. We'll see what I get when I'm finished. The way this thing is writing this morning is really screwed up. I don't know what's up with it but I'm beginning to tire of it.

I think I'll end this now and maybe start again and hope for better results or just write in word from now on.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

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More Flowers for Sue

Flower IIIa

Violet III

I talked with sue this evening. It was only half past midnight there and she was planning on taking a shower and getting ready to catch a taxi to the airport. She and two of her colleagues are getting the taxi at 3 am to catch their flight that leaves at 5 am. Oh, the joys of international travel. No wonder Sue doesn't look forward to these trips.

I mean, bad food - terrible hours - showers without doors or curtains - small cramped rooms - What's not to enjoy.

I've made her her favorite comfort food to eat after traveling. She loves home made vegetable soup with home made noodles. I also made petite pound cakes to fill with strawberries or chocolate and whipped cream for dessert. I had to do it tonight because I'll be in dialysis until about the time she gets home. I expect her around 5 pm our time.

After her flight lands, she has to maneuver through international customs. That'll take up about 30 minutes or more if they're really busy. Then baggage claim - another 20 minutes. A shuttle to the car about 15 minutes. Finally the drive home. By now it's prime rush hour so another hour to hour and a half. Travel fun never stops!

It's getting late here too. It's after 11 pm. Sue Just boarding for her flight to Amsterdam. There are no direct flights between Atlanta and Athens. I did read in our paper that Delta will start direct service to Athens in May - a little late this time.

I'm wrapping this up for now May not write much this weekend. I plan to spend most of my time with Sue. Maybe I'll get in a little while she naps.

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Just Another Day


It's just another day in limbo. There's not much happening today. My physical therapist has already been here this morning. She gave me a couple of new exercises to work on along with the others. Also learned tecniques for streaching some tight leg muscles. I'm trying to get more flexibility in mt knees. We started on going up the stairs today too.

I'm trying to let Dad know when I take all my medicines so he will not have to ask. doing my exercises so that he sees me too. So far, things seem to be going more smoothly between us.

Just a little more than twenty-four hours before Sue gets home! Mom and Dad sald that they will probably leave Thursday after Sue is home. They are comming back as I have another doctor's appointment Monday. I hopr this will be the last week I have to impose upon them for help. I know they have their own lives and things they want and need to do at home.

I have to get up early tomorrowand go get flowers for Sue. I'll also need to get whatever I'm going to fix for dinner. I'll be in dialysis when Sue gets home. She should be here in the early afternoon if there's no flight delays.

Picture for today is a violet that we've had for some time. It's just started blooming again. I thought I should get a photo while it's in bloom this time.

More flower photos for Sue.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

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From Across The Seas


Mixed Flowers

I got to speak with Sue this evening. She called about 5 o'clock pm our time. It was just after 1 am her time. She was getting ready for bed. She's got meetings at 8 o'clock in the morning. The fun is over It's all business left now.

Yesterday I gave her the Singular overseas number because her new international phone wasn't working> It seems someone here forgot to switch on the service. Kinda a big oversight when you are depending on your phone while in a foreign country. They apologized and will pick up the charges to the hotel for her earlier calls - a nice and welcome gesture.

Sue still has her rash. It's not any better but, not any worse either. She still has no idea what it's from. I still can't wait to see her - about 30 hours till she's home. I'll have fresh flowers for her to welcome her home. Then cook her whatever she's in the mood to eat. That will most likely be after she's had a hot shower, a little nap and some kitty loving. She always seems to follow this routine after a long overseas flight.
She'll get home Thursday afternoon and take Friday off to rest up and visit some.

Mom and Dad will most likely head home for the weekend so they can catch up on things at their home. I don't know if they plan to come back next week or not. I think they might because I've got some doctor's appointments already lined up. Things have gone better but, I think Dad's way of handling this is just not to talk to me unless necessary. Not exactly what I was after but it's a start we can work on and maybe make better.

My Uncle Charles aka "The Mystery Scribe" sent me a new disk for photo processing. I'm going to load and try it sometime tomorrow. His saga of pulp fiction continues on his blog
http://mysteryscribe.blogspot.com/ It's very good, so check out his stories. I noticed he has a new installment up, when I was copying his URL. I'll have to go back and read it.

I feel like I'm in some sort of limbo. Not knowing when or even if I'll get a transplant. I know many people - relatives and friends alike keep me in their prayers. This really means very much to me. I only hope I can do something meaningful if I get this second chance with a transplant. I guess I could go on forever on dialysis but, it's no way to live a life you'd want. I have to admit it keeps me alive but, at a great cost to your freedom and a normal life in all areas.

I think some more flowers tonight. This time straight from the camera ones, not altered.
These are for Sue, my love.

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Altered States

Flower I

Flower II - Daisy

I just wanted to post some abstracted images of flowers from the table.

My dialysis went very well today. All my levels were in the normal range for a change. The hemo seems to be doing the trick.

I'm just taking a little time before dinner to write this. The roasted chicken looks and smells just wonderful. Can't wait to eat! Things seem to be going better with my Dad too. No arguments this afternoon. I hope this trend continues.

It's about time for Sue to call for today. I can't wait to hear her voice and relay the good news about my treatments. I miss her more with each passing day.

All the images were made from photographs I took earlier in the day. They were altered using a program called "Photo Explosion deluxe" an inexpensive program - less than $30 U S
It does a good job: I think for the money.

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Missing You IV

Lonely Old Tree

What's on tap for today? Well, there is always dialysis a three and a half chunks in the middle of my day gone. I have to prepare dinner before I go to dialysis too. It should be O K since it's going to be slow roasted.

I didn't make it very long. I had words this morning with my Dad again. I feel like he's taken over my life. He's always checking on what I've done or telling me what I need to do or should be doing. At the clinic he asks all the questions - I don't even get the chance to because he's already done it. It was like yesterday when they called and wanted to change the days I go to dialysis. First they asked if it was O K with my father - 2nd if it was O K with me. It seemed it was more important to see what he thought than what I had to say about it.

Don't get the wrong idea. My Dad is a really great guy. He would do anything to help me or just about anyone who needed a hand. That's what makes me feel so bad when I get irritated with him. I try hard not to but, sometimes the words just slip out before I can think about what I'm saying.

In some ways he's like his father in that he can't seem to sit still. He's always got to be doing something or going somewhere. He has the habit of removing dishes from the table as soon as he thinks you've finished with them - sometimes even if you haven't. I wish he could just sit, relax and enjoy a meal without getting up between courses to wash the dishes. I mean just wait till we're all finished before jumping up to wash the salad bowls. Then after washing the dishes he puts them in the dishwasher. I've tried to convince him that's what the dishwasher is for. He doesn't need to pre wash everything but, he still does it anyway. I guess it's just in his nature.

Yes, I'm still missing Sue. As the time for her return gets closer, less than 48 hours now, I find I miss her even more. She's still not enjoying her dinner. The food choices just aren't what she likes although she has tried a little of everything. She woke up with some type of rash on her chin and neck. She doesn't know what caused it but she got some benadrill and that seems to have helped. She did have a good day sightseeing yesterday. She and a small group of coworkers hired a local guide to show them around. She said she got a lot of really good pictures. I gave her my panasonic DMC FZ-20 digital camera to take with her so she should have some nice clear shots.

I got some new flowers to photograph yesterday. I need to do that today when the light get good. Maybe I'll be able to post some of the photos later today or tomorrow. I love the colors and textures of flowers. They make a great subject for photography.

Photo for now" Lonely Old Tree" It kind of reflects how I'm feeling now without Sue.

Monday, February 20, 2006

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Missing You - III

Hummingbird 1

Hummingbird 2

My days are just lacking all purpose and enjoyment without you here. Sue, I miss you so much you'll never know. Less than 72 hours until I get to be with you again. I was able to talk with Sue today. She said the food at the dinners so far hasn't been very good. I'll have to fix her something she likes like beef stew when she gets home. The breakfasts and lunches have been better.

I finally got to "The Oak Store" and purchased four new kitchen chairs. They're solid oak of course. They are a Windsor Paddleback design and match the design of our barstools. All four were only$234 a good buy for chairs. Similar chairs in most mainstream furniture stores go for around $200 a piece and are not even put together as well as these.

The dialysis center called today and wanted to Change the days and time I go for my treatments. My new days are now Monday, Wedesday and Friday at 1 o'clock. I think I'll like this better because it leaves my weekends free.

The phyiscal therapist cane by today for our regular meeting. She added two more exercises to my routine. Some deep knee bends and glute streaches. This is in attain to the leg lifts, back kicks and side leg lifts. Next time we're going to take on stairs. I hope I'll be able to do them: it'll be hard.

I seemed to have gotten along a little better with my Dad today I've still got a lot of room to improve and will keep trying to do so. It's a two way street and I think he's really trying too.

We had spaghetti for dinner tonight, Sue would be jealous, if she knew that. I think tomorrow I;m going to make some slow roasted chicken and vegetables. Mostly new little potatoes, green peppers, onions, garlic, celery and carrots roasted under the pieces of chicken. Then I'll deglaze the pan with some chicken broth. This will make a great glaze with the chicken drippings and vegetable juices flavoring the glaze. I can almost taste it now. Sue want miss this. She hates chicken in any form.

I really need to get out and take some more photos. Either that or find my old negatives so I can scan some to make some new images. I really need to do both. Next week I need to update some of the photos I posted on my web site.
http://photolife.4t.com/ It may be harder than I thought to keep it updated. I've tried to add a weather and news section to my site but, so far the codes haven't worked. I'll keep at it and maybe, just maybe I'll get it working. I'm trying to put my site in a web ring for arts. I'm hoping this will bring more visitors to my site.

Photo for tonight - something I hope to be seeing soon as spring arrives - My hummingbirds. They're great to watch and photograph. I even plan to add more feeders this year.

Sue, still missing you!

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Ice - The original

I can't sleep again so, it's time to write some. At least the weather is going to be better today with highs in the low 50's F and only a small chance of rain. Maybe it want be so depressing to me today. Yesterday was just the pits.

I been working on my web site some. I finally got a counter add to it. I've been working on adding a message corkboard and a link to the current weather information. So far, they're not working but, I'll just keep trying. It's a good learning experience for me anyway.

I was thinking about my dialysis today. It's a subject that's nevier far from my mind. I realized that I never explained exactly what a fistula was. What the surgeon did is take a vein in my left arm and connected to an artery. Then it was moved closer to the surface of my arm. This way when I go to dialysis they just place two inch and a half needles into the fistula for the access.

They say there's less chance for infections with this method and after a while you don't even feel the needles when they connect you. I find that hard to belief now but, you never know maybe they're right.

My dad just came in and wants me to go back to bed and try to sleep. I know he is trying to help me and has my best interest at heart, but he just doesn't understand. When I woke at 3;30 this morning I tried to sleep some more but, couldn't. I just end up flopping around in the bed still not sleeping. This is why I come out here and write.

He sees it as so simple - if I go lie down I'll go to sleep. It works for him so, it should work for me, right? It doesn't! No matter how I try to explain it he just doesn't get it. Yes, I know the sleep would be good for me too but, it just does come when others are asleep. Sometimes I end up taking a nap. I get the sleep when I can at least when my body will allow it.

This and other subjects have caused some tension between us. He sees so many things as being black and white. Lie down - you'll go to sleep. Take your medicine and you'll get well. Do everything the doctors say and you'll get better. I do take all my medications but, still get infections. I've followed all my doctor's advice but, still end up in the hospital. This doesn't mean I'll stop doing either but it shows things are not always so easy and don't go as planned.

It's a little after 5 am now. I'm still not the least bit sleepy but I'll go lie down and flop just to make him happy and ease the tension between us. I love him and my Mom dearly and I really want to get along with them. Sometimes it's just hard for me to do. We are much alike with strong personalities. We both want things done our way - ie the right way.

The photo for today - The original for "Fire and Ice" - Ice

Sue, I love and miss you greatly.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

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Missing You - II

Old Lamp - Original
It doesn't help matters that it's a very cold and rainy day here. It just makes me miss Sue even more. I was able to speak with her when she called today. She had some good news about her keys. Her jacket has double pockets in that you can reach through the outside pocket and get to your shirt or pants pockets. Because of this design a space between the lining is open. Her keys fell into that space. She was, of course, relieved to find them.

The weather was just to nasty to go out for the chairs today store about thirty miles north of here where the weather is even worse. Not a good day to take a trip. Basically I've been stuck inside on a gloomy dreary sunless day.

I've been trying to clean up and reorganize some files on this computer. I put most of my photographs onto disk today so I could delete them from my hard drive. This will speed up working time since they were taking up so much space. I've already noticed a big difference.

I just put dinner into the oven to cook. I made a pork chop and potato casserole. It has to bake for about an hour - time enough for me to blog a little.

Got out bid on several ebay items today. I can't seem to keep up with the time left and then someone comes in with only a few seconds left and out bids me. The only good thing about it is that it saves me money. lol I did miss out on a couple of nice pieces of flatware for Sue though.
I'll have to keep trying.

I put on a photo challenge at the Porter's message board site. This weeks was to photograph an object in your office - home or work. The challenge is to try to bring out the objects artistic qualities. Or to see it in a different way - it's lines, shape or colors not just for it's intended purpose. So far, the response to the first three challenges has been very good with a lot of creativity being shown. I have fun with this and it's one way to entertain myself.

My thoughts keep returning to Sue. I hope she is having a good time. The weather for her has been little better. It's raining in Athens and quite cool (40F) there too. She is going out for a bit tomorrow to take some photos. Some of me must have rubbed off on her. When she gets back, I'll process and post a few of them.

I meant to post the original of "Old Lamp" yesterday so you could see what post processing was done on it. This is what I meant by creating an image as opposed to posting a photograph. That will be the photo for now. As you can see it was cropped, color balance was shifted, gamma radiation was reduced by 20% and the contrast increased by 60% to achieve the final image. Quite a difference from the out of the camera photo. I find the process to be fun and the image to be more interesting.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

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Artistic Images From Photographs

Old Lamp - Highly altered Image

Fire and Ice - an Altered Image

Just two more examples of turning regular photographs into what I call artistic images.

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Missing You

The Altered and Colorized Image

The Original B&W photograph - Minolta X-700 135mm macro

I'm feeling very lonely tonight. I didn't have my normal dinner conversation with Sue this evening and I miss that. Yes, Mom and Dad are here but, it's just not the same.

Sue had some trouble at the airport today. Her keys fell out her jacket pocket and they were lost. She had to fly to Greece without them. Hopefully someone will find them and turn them in. If not I'll have to go take her the extra set of car keys and have new house and work keys made. It's not the way she wanted to start a trip but, you can't let it get to you.

I've got a slight temperature after having dialysis today. I hope it passes and is not some type of infection. I really can't/don't to deal with that kind of thing right now. It just seems that when I make a little progress I get kicked back down two steps. It's really beginning to get old!

Been on ebay again looking for old sterling flatware for Sue. I found some forks tonight and won the bid on them all four for less than $20 - not a bad deal. I need to get out everything we have and really determine what else we need to have a serviceable set.

In the morning I think we'll have some country ham biscuits That'll be a real treat for me. I don't get ham biscuits very often maybe three or four times a year. Mom really makes great biscuits too. My mouth is already beginning to water just thinking about them.

I may go get the kitchen chairs tomorrow if the store is open on Sunday. I can't remember if it is or not. I'll have to call to check - just another thing to add to the list.

It's going to be so hard to sleep tonight. Sue being gone is one thing and this low grade fever just doesn't help matters either. I took some Tyelnol earlier and it lessened the temperature some. It's still at 99 degrees and I feel warm.

I got into a discussion atnthe Porter's member's message board about the artistic value of an image as compared to a techically perfect photograph. I think what I was trying to say may have been misunderstood by some members. Here's an excerpt I didn't mean to step on any toes. I was just saying I am not as technical in my approach and don't have as much knowledge and background as you and other members do in that area. Therefore I could not be as helpful in that aspect as other nembers might be. I do however feel I can make justified comments concerning content, composition and impact. The artistic values that an image might project. This is my background. I've always used photography as a tool to produce an artistic image. While a technically perfect photo is the ultimate goal of all photographers a slightly less than perfect photo can still be used to produce an acceptable if not excellent artistic image. Would the image be better with the technically correct photo as a base? Perhaps - Yes but not always The artistic approach lends itself to some element of trial and error or experimentation rather than strict guidelines. I hope this explains my views to everyone. I not saying that a technically superior photograph cannot be artistic in its own rights but you can also have a superior photograph that is uninteresting and of little visual impact too. So, I strive for a balance of the two, hoping to produce the most technically correct and visually stimulating image possible.

And More:
Everyone takes the vision of what they see. it's what the camera does for us. On some photos I do nothing more than crop and resize for posting too. On others I heavily process them changing them from photos into what I would call artistic images. One is not better than the other. It's just diffrent. I like to explore both avenues to aquire a final result. One that I like and hopefully others may too.

I'm sure you've seen examples of both avenues from me on this blog and at my web site.
http://photolife.4t.com/ .

So, which type photo or image, maybe one that shows both. Which is better? My answer - Both appeal to me, just in diffrent ways I don't see one as superior or better, just diffrent. Everyone ho looks sees something diffrent too. Some may no like either. Some will like both. still others may like one over the other for their own reasons. It's a process with no rules, rights, or wrongs as I see it. Thanks for reading - let me know what you think about the matter. Comment or e-mail me.

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Wasted Time


I have to ask myself - Is writing this blog just a waste of time? Does anyone ever read it or care what I have to say? I guess it doesn't matter because it's a form of therapy for me. Therefore, it in itself is worthwhile and helpful.

It's very early Saturday morning. I've been up since about 3:40 this morning. I woke up and could not go back to sleep. This is what happens when you don't take the pain medication but I still think this is the right course of action.

Mom and Dad will be returning later today to make sure I get to dialysis since sue will be out of town. They will have to leave their home early today, around 7:00 am to get here in time to take me. I hate they have to leave so early.

I'm still searching ebay for mixed sterling flatware for Sue's collection. She wants mixed place settings rather than a matching set. She thinks that is more interesting and I tend to agree with that too. I also plan to buy some new kitchen chairs this week. We really have been needing some foe a while.

I got caught up on some e-mails to old friends this morning. I wish I were better at keeping in touch but, I've never been a quick or very good typist. It's a struggle for me as I hunt and peck on the keyboard. Thank God for word programs and computers my task would be next to impossible without them. Even writing this blog would not really be possible.

No matter what anybody says, Computers have greatly aided most people in their everyday lives by making many chores easier. I know that to be true in my case. Each day I use one I learn more and more. They are a conection to the world we live in. I get information, directions and make purchases that wouldn't be possible without one.

It's getting close to time for breakfast again, so I need to wrap this up soon. I'll be fixing my own breakfast this morning. I think some hot tea, grits and raisin toast will be on the menu for me this morning. I'll fix Sue something when she gets up. I'll let her sleep as late as she wants to this morning since she has to travel and I know she doesn't sleep well on the plane.

The photo for today is for Sue. The lily is her favorite flower - mine too.

Friday, February 17, 2006

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A Temporary separation

Sue at History Day in sepia

Sue has been out buying some items for her trip to Greece tomorrow. She needed some walking shoes and a small supply of treats to snack on when she doesn't like the local fare. I hope she'll enjoy this trip. I know it's business but she will have some time to sight see too. Right now it's fairly cold there. The high today was in the low 40's and lows in the 30's. It should warm up later to have highs in the upper 50's to lower 60's. Much better for looking around.

As I sit here I realize just hoe much I'm going to miss her while she's gone. She really is my best friend that I share everything with. I'm glad she's getting to go. She needs a break from all the troubles I have caused in her life with my illness. She has been here for me through everything and had worried about me excessively. I often try to reassure her but, she still worries. She loves me so much and I love equally as much. We really do fit together meshing on almost every level.
We can often finish each others thoughts or know what the other is thinking just by a glance.
I am truly a lucky to have her as my wife and partner.

My Mom and Dad will be coming back to spend time with me while Sue is away. They have been very helpful during this time. I know they want to do whatever they can to help but I feel bad that they have to spend so much time away from their own home. I am thankful for their help. I may not have always shown it though. I sometimes raise my voice to them because I become irritated with them. This especially true with my dad. It may be because we're so much alike -we both have our own ideas of how to do things and what the right way to do them is. I'll keep working to get along better and not become irritated with them.

My physical therapist came today. She gave me three exercises to do three times a day every day. Most of today, however, was spent on paperwork. Lots of forms and authorizations to fill out. She'll be coming twice a week for the next three weeks and then once a week for a while.
I need someone to force me to get off my butt and exercise.

I've really gotten hooked reading my Uncle's blog http://mysteryscribe.blogspot.com/ His fictional stories are truly entertaining. I've found myself checking his site two or three times a day for the newest installment of his current story. We used to have a photo challenge the "Great Photo Shootout" but we both have been busy with our own little projects. I hope in the near future to start back with it. It was a lot of fun.

well it's about time for the news here and time for bed too. It's the last night I'll get to sleep with Sue until she returns from Greece. I find after twenty years it's really hard to sleep without her by my side.

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Transplantation - Thoughts

Church At Dusk

This whole transplant thing gives one reason to reflect. You ask yourself many questions, most have no concrete answers. Since this transplant will be from a cadaver someone else must die in order for me to live.

I have a hard time with this. I don't feel it's right to pray for a transplant knowing that it means someone else 's life will end so that mine might continue. I find myself asking - Am I worthy of this second chance? What have I done with my life so far? Have I made any positive contributions towards anything. Could I have done more, been a better person or strived for a higher purpose?

All good questions but, without real answers. All I know is that it's in God's hands and he knows best. I will try to be a better person and continue to improve myself, learn more and be more understanding with others.

This whole ordeal has reinforced the concept of family and friends. Both have been great support for me. I could not have survived this without their help. Life has become more precious Every sunrise and sunset more beautiful. Each bite of food taste more intense. Everyday things are more important to me now. You begin to see things differently with a new appreciation.

I miss some of the simple things I used to be able to do. Like go for a walk in the woods or go swimming. Go surf fishing at the beach or work in the darkroom. It's all little things you never really gave a second thought to before. Now you miss being able to do them so much it hurts deeply into your very soul.

I do not know how things will end up. I can only hope for the best that I can do. So that's where I am. I hope you don't mind my rambling on but, it's my blog so I can.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

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More Time - Careful What You Ask For

Well, I did get most everything I set out to do today done. The physical therapist is comming tomorrow between 11:30 and noon. If they can find the address, I madeball my other doctor's appointments and I went to dialysis too.

The dialysis was a bit of a disappointment in that they had to increase my time on the machine by twenty minutes or so. My numbers were good. All with in range except ny BUN was slightly higher than what they want, so the extra time. Daniel said that once I started being able to use the fistula he would be able to reduce the time some. It seems the fistula by design is more effecient.

Other than that things are getting better. I walked a short distance outside without a cane or walker today. Bear in mind here were talking just a few feet, maybe 50 or so - noyhing to get excited about but, a start.
I guess it's going tobe a fall theme with the photos - here's another one.

I'm trying to not use my walker because it's a more natural gait using just the cane. This is the first step in getting back to walking without assistance devices.

On another note, my web site is coming along nicely. I'm almost ready to list it on several search engines. I'm hoping to get some traffic that way. For a one month listing it'll cost me about $12. I have to see if it's worthwhile to spend the money or not. I hope it is.

My blog site is getting some traffic but, I'd like to increase it too. Just have to find a way. Any ideas? Please let me know.

I noticed today that a few people have found my web site. I am amazed considering the sheer number out there that anyone could find anything at all.

It's Friday, I didn't get this post finished yesterday. I did manage to sleep all night last night. It felt good to do so.

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A beattiful Fall Tree in North Georgia

I've finally made a web site. It contains some of my photography and I hope to update it with new photos every few weeks. This is my first attempt at a web site so please bear with me as I work out the bugs. If you have any suggestions about it please let me know. I need all the help I can get with it. The address is: http://photolife.4t.com/

It's early again. I'm still having trouble sleeping the entire night through. they had given me some pain medication after the surgery and when I was taking it I slept more soundly. I didn't take it last night because I wasn't in that much pain but, now I didn't get as much sleep. So do I take it even though I don't really need it for pain control just to get a better nights sleep? No , I don't think so. I dont want to become dependant on pain medication of any kind.

My appetite has improved some. Last night I was able to eat my entire dinner including a sirloin steak. It's the first time I felt like doing that. This recovery has been the slowest I have ever had to go through. I've still got much more to go too.

The people who handle the physical therapy finially got in touch with me yesterday. They're going to start this Friday or that's what they told me. We'll have to wait and see if that comes true, you never know with their track record if they'll even show up but, I'm giving the benefit of the doubt for now.

Yesterday I did get all my doctor's appointments made. I still, however, need to work on the bills today. The time just slips by and I find I haven't completed all the things I need to do each day.

I need to contact my transplant coordinator too and give her an update on my situation and recent hospitalizations. She has to keep a record of this information current in case I'm called for a transplant. That day is still a most likely a couple of years away. I just hope I can hold out that long. It's been more than a year so far and it's been a very rough ride. I'm not sure how much more of this I can take but, God willing I'll make it.

It's almost time to stop for breakfast again and I want to upload some photos this morning so I'll end it here for now.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

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I Slept!!

Fall Leaves
I slept through the night for the first time in I don't when. maybe this will be the beginning of a trend. I can only hope. It's a little after 6:30 in the morning here and I thought I'd write some before breakfast.

I thought today I might go for a ride and look for some barns to photograph or anything of interest. I do need to photograph some flowers that I bought for Valentine's Day and get a shot of my bookshelves for the challenge at Porter's. Also I need to set down and pay a few bills today.

The more I think about what I need to do today The more things come to mind. I still need to call abouy my phisical therapy. I haven't been able to actually talk to the person I need to. We;ve been playing phone tag for a couple of weeks now. It's becoming very frustrating. By the time I get it set up I'm not going to need it much.

I need to make several follow up doctors appointments too. One with the surgeon, one with my kidney doctor, one with the gastroinolgist and another with my diabetes specalist. Quite a list for one day and one person but, this is my world. I grow so tired of this. I have to learn at accept it because it's never going to change for me. The frequency might lessen a bit during good periods but, it's always going to be with me now.

I'm going to finish up on my web site today too if I find the time. boy, I've got much to do today! I also wanted to experiment with scanning some negatives, Both color and black and white. That might have to be another day. I just don't know where all the time goes. I need more!

Mom and Dad are going to stay with me while sue is in Greece. That's nice because I still need a little help doing every day things. Also because I dno longer like being alone for many days at a time. Used to I didn't mind the time alone I actually enjoyed it. Things have changed and now I seem to get lonely much more easily. I'm not sure why this is so but, it is.

There are now two post that are much alike. Sorry for the confusion but the missing one suddenly reappeared this morning. I had already written one to replace it but couldn't remember what all the first one contained. Therefore, I'm going to leve them both on here because there are some differences. Sorry for the double posting of the "Tunnel" photo but it's too hard to remove just a photo by itself so it stays.

As you know I have been working on a web site that somewhat mirrors this blog. It's not quite finished yet but, I'm going to give you it's address now so you can take a look if you want to.
It's: http://photolife.4t.com/ I hope to have it finished very soon. I'm still learning about all this and it's taking me some time to get it right or close to right. lol

I guess I need to finish this up now. I've got a lot of calls to make and things to do this morning' Before I go I must tell you I am making some progress. I gone from having to use a walker in the house to carefully using just a cane to walk with inside. Not ready for the stairs yet. I still have some difficulty lifting my legs high enough to get up the stairs but, I'm working on it.

I think maybe a Fall photo today.

Monday, February 13, 2006

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Missing Post Found

TUNNEL -An Atlanta street scene

This has not been a good day. It's been a 1 step forward fall 2 steps backward type of day for me. It seems that everything I've tried to do today something has gone wrong. Early this morning, about 5:20 am, I composed a rather lengthy blog post and published it. At least, that's what this site told me. Later, when I came back to view this entry it was gone. No trace even existed This really hurts me since I'm such a slow at typing.

Now I can not remember what all I had written about this morning. It was about my breakfast of eggs and rasin toast. Also about our Vice President shooting his hunting paretner accidently and the flack he would receive from the anti-hunting, anti-gun and liberal media. News story already started with VP Dick Cheny shoots man. Not that it was a hunting accident but that the Vice President shoots a man. Where or what has really happened is left out, makes for a better grabber sound bite.

Yesterday was in some aspects a bad day and a good day for me all rolled together. Yes, bad for me in that I had to spend another night in the hospital. Yet, good for me that this visit was a planned one and the surgery seems to have gone well.

They were able to find a good vein and create a fistula in my left upper arm. In about three months this will be my new access for the hemodialysis.

I had mentioned that Sue wouldn't be with us for dinner tonight because she had some shopping to do for her trip to Greece this Saturday. We did a little shopping Sunday but all we purchased was a couple of books from B Dalton for me. Sue did look at some furniture but hasn't found just the right thing yet. We have decided to get some new kitchen chairs from the "Oak Store". That's where we bought our bar stools from and we've been very happy with them. The're solid oak and were a great price too.

I am suffering mood swings. Sometimes I get really depressed. I really feel like I've no control in my life now. Other times I feel like there is real hope and better things are just around the corner. It just goes back and forth without ant real rhyme or reason. It makes me feel so tired I just want to lie down and sleep forever. As you know by now sleep doesn't come easily for me.

I had included a couple of images that i liked and had asked for feedback on them. That still holds true. I would really like for some of you to leave comments or e-mail me with your feedback on my images. Thank you.

I've still got some e-mails I need to return and bill I need to write. I did call the doctor's office today but, was unable to talk with the person I need to. So after three calles there today I'm no further along on getting my physical therpy than I was two weeks ago. I keep trying but, those damn backwards steps keep getting in my way. Aeter awhile you just get wopn down by the process.

This whole thing is like a marathon swim in the sea. I'm barely keeping my head above water and I know I might go under for the last time at any second now. I can't tread water forever either.

Well, this time it's not breskfast but dinner. So it's time to wrap this up for now so until later, goodbye.

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Morning Shadows

TUNNEL - Atlanta's Fast Lane

Just a couple of images I thought were interesting. Please, let me know what you think.

I'm just sitting at the computer this morning. It's 5:46 AM and I really didn't mean to be up this long. Yeah, I got up to use the bathroom about 4:00 AM and just didn't go back to bed. I'm sure I'll pay for this later today.

Sue is going shopping today for some items she'll need for her trip to Greece this Saturday. So she'll not be home for dinner after work. This means it'll be chicken for the rest of us tonight. Sue does not like chicken so I have when she's not going to be here for dinner.

We went out shopping for a little while today too. I got a couple of books from B. Dalton and Sue looked at some chairs for the living room. Still searching for the right thing to put in there. We have an idea but, just haven't seen the one we want yet. I think we're going to get 4 new kitchen chairs. Most likely they will come from the Oak Store and will be sin\milar to our bar stools from there.

I need to finish up working on my photo web site soon and start promoting it. It's almost finished except the last two pages. I just seem to run out of time or other things (hospital visits, surgeries) seem to get in the way. I need to sit down and pay some bills too. Looks like my day is planned out for me today.

I had hoped maybe to take a few photos today but that might have to wait. I've also got a couple of e-mail I need to answer that I've been putting off.

I've been trying to get Sue some antique sterling silver dinnerware from diffrent ebay auctions. So far I've had a little luck but not much. She would like a diffrent setting for each place at the table rather than one matching set. Very ecclectic of her but I think it would be more interesting too.

I saw today where our Vice President shot someone while quail hunting. Don't you know the anti hunting lobby is going to have a field day with this. The antigunners will be out too to jump on this. I must say I know it was an accident but it's the hunter who must be careful when firing his weapon to keep this kind of thing from happening. I just feel bad for him because the press will blow this way out of proportion.

I've been reading some short fiction stories my uncle, Mysterscribe, has written. The're really interesting. you should give them a try, I think they would have a broad appeal. I guess what I find interesting is taht while fiction many incidents are based on his real life experiences. The're just blended in with the fiction. See them at:http://mysteryscribe.blogspot.com

Well, Sue just walked by with Miss Kitty to feed her this morning so I guess I should wrap this up for now and go fix myself some breakfast too. I think maybe some eggs and rasin toast for this morning. Yes, that sounds good and some hot tea too. Goodbye for now.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

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HOT - Just an interesting image.

I guess I wanted to belive what they said but, in my mind I really knew better. The doctor who was going to do this surgery - his people called me Thursday night around 7:00 PM and told me my surgery would be at 9:00 AM Friday morning. I was told nothing to eat or drink after midnight of course. Oh, you need to be at the hospital by BY 6:00 AM to check in and have lab work done.

This early time meant getting up at 4:30 AM and leaving the house by 5:00 AM to make it all the way down GA 400 to the hospital. This is par for the course. The hospital had called the day before and I answered questions for about 15 minutes over the phone. I was assured that by doing this I wouldn't have to fill out all those forms the next morning.

We get to the hospital about five till six am. I go to registration and give them my number I was given over the phone the day before. I get a blank stare and a ream of paper with all kinds of questions mostly the same ones I had answered over the phone. I was told they didn't know anything about a phone call but I WOULD have to fill out all the papers before I could go to the lab for testing.

So, I did and after a short wait was called to the lab waiting room. I sat there for some time. Later a nurse came out and toid me she was sorry but she had to take these other people back ahead of me since I was so early and my surgery wasn't until 1:00 PM. Of course, I said there must be some mistake. The doctor's office had called last night and told me to be here by 6:00AM and my surgery was at 9:00 AM. She checked and came back with the 1:00 time.

Later she told me they were going to get me in at 11:30. Not bad, I guess only 2 1/2 hours later than what I was told. They finally came for me at around 2:20 that afternoon only5 and a half hours later than what I was told. This was just for prep and x-rays. The surgery didn't start until about 4:30.

When I made it out of recovery They said now I would have to stay overnight because I got finished so late they hadn't had enough time to observe me properly.

Oh yes, the other thing. The local that everybody told me would be used turned into a general so off to sleep put I was.

The surgeon came by a little before 8:00 this morning and looked me over. He said everything looked fine and he was releasing me to go home. The nurse finally got the paper work finished about 10:45. Transportation was called and after 25 minutes and no one had shown up Sue went to get a wheelchair to carry me out. She was intercepted by the nurse who took pitty on me and took me out herself.

I got home just in time to grab a small bite and head out for my dialysis treatment at 12:45. I really ended up getting home about 4:20 PM this afternoon. Boy, what an adventure day surgery can be.

All in all though things seem to have gone well. They were able to use one of my veins for the fistula - it should be ready for use in three months and thid thing in ny neck can finnaly come out. Talk about a pain in the neck! lol

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

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I just returned from the mapping ultrasound at the surgeon's office. The surgery is slated for this Friday around 9:00 AM. I have to be at the hospital by 6:00 AM to check in and have lab work done. Of course, there's no eating after midnight on Thursday.

The're going to both remove the PD access and put in the fistula at the same time. I'm hoping this will be the last proceedure I have to have done until it's time for my transplant.

I am growing increasingly tired of hospital visits and doctors. I know this is all for my own good but, I just want it all to stop. I feel like I'll never be close to normal ever again.

I'm still working on my new web site. Things are comming together; It's just a little slow going right now. I've decided to offer prints of my inages for sale on the site, I know I most likely won't sell anything but, who knows stranger things have happened.

I'm still working on uploading photographs to the site. I am just about finished with that task. I still need to include some form of payment information. I plan to use PayPal and take personal checka too. We'll see how this goes.

I need to think of some way to get the site noticed by mant people. I'm still working on that part. If you have any ideas, please let me know. You can leave a comment or e-mail me. At least this is going to keep me busy for some time.

I guess I should give you the web site address - Here it is:http://photolife.4t.com/ Just remember it's still under construction. I hope you'll enjoy the photographs.

It's been a really long day for me. I didn'tsleep verymuch last night - no surprises there!
It's almost dinner time here and I am starved so I'll sign off until later. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

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It's Almost Time

RAINBOW - I never knew you could go in so many colors! Something I found while riding around in North Georgia.


That's right it's almost time for me to return to the hofpital.Ii can't believe it myself. I'm just beginning to get over my last stay and now I'm going back. This time it should only be an over night thing if all goes well. They are set to remove my PD access and install a fistula in my arm as a more permanent access point for the hemodialysis.

It will be at St, Joseph's again. This is the hospital of choice because there one of the few that offer dialysis on site. As I've said before it's a good place. All the doctors and staff seem very concerned about your comfort and well being. It truly beats many other hospitals I've been in.

Along with this blog, I'm working on a web site. It will mainly serve as a forum to display my photographs ih a more organized manner. When it's complete I will link it with this page.
I hope you'll take a lookat it when it's ready.

Sue just got home so I'm stopping for dinner. We're having tacos tonight a little treat tonight.

{'m still looking on ebay for some land deals but so far haven't found any. Or at least nothing we could realistically could afford. Most of the land offered out West is a good price. It just doesn't have any water, electricty or phone services near by, They almost require a well to be dug and power supplird by solsr or generator. Most utilize cellular phone services. these are very expensive items to install but necessary to build a real home on your property. So, I guess I'll keep looking for that"just right" piece of land.

Some mixed are on tap for tonight. Hope you enjoy them.