Friday, February 29, 2008

I am going to see John Dee!

YIPPEE!! I woke up this morning excited because Liz and I get to go see my "other brother" John Dee! He is on of the four boy cousins I was raised with when I was with grands - the oldest. We were together every stinkin' moment when we were young - he even lived with us mostly after we moved from grands to my mom and dads.

He tried to protect us from the time we were little, but he was being hurt just as much as we were - in other ways. He would step in and take care of us when the 'stuff' got deep. When I had icky boyfriends he did 'behind the scenes' check ins and they dumped me like hotcakes. When Steve came around, apparently he liked Steve because he backed off and let Steve take care of me. Soon after I found Steve, John Dee moved and settled in his own life. We have kept somewhat in contact, but seldom see each other. It is like we never lost touch when we talk. Last week, when I decided to drive and see him, I called him.

This is how the conversation went: He answered the phone "What?"

I said "I am coming to see you!"
He said, "Why?"
"Because I love you!"
"When?"
"Next weekend! On Friday!"
"Good"
"Is that ok?"
"Yep! But Bunny won't be here."
"Tell her to leave pictures, I am coming to see you!"
"Where?"
"Staying at the Holiday Inn in Commerce"
"Ok-be-careful-love-you-bye!"
*where did we ALL get this way of saying goodbye??*

Told you he was never much of a conversationalist! lol... this is SO HIM! But I could hear excitement in his voice :-)

He is always in pain. He had Rheumatic Fever when we were kids and our moms did not bother giving him antibiotics. The Drs gave it to them, but between his and mine, they would quit the process of giving it to him. Over and over this happened: Someone took him in because he was so ill, Drs gave antibiotics, he got them for a few days, then didn't. For 4 years he had it and it did his heart in. Now his heart is bad, Rheumatoid Arthritis set in when we were kids because of the RF, then a few years back he had a horrible wreck that broke his neck - among other things, and now he cannot get around well at all. I can't wait to see and hug him - gently of course :-)

I feel forgotten. When I first came up here, I got calls and mail from friends and family. Now I don't get calls OR mail, lol. I know everyone has their own lives, but I sure miss everyone. It is time to go home. Steve is subdued. He is working long hours again, and exhausted when he comes in. I know he is concerned about his future and what will happen. Not about loosing his job, just where we go from here. At this point it is all me now. I was going to go home this week, but Liz recently scheduled a crop I would really like to go to next Saturday - knowing I needed to be home by the 11th. *sigh* Been up here an year...

I wake up with a stuffy nose and headache every morning. I wonder what all creepy crawlies are in this room? I hate staying in motels anyway, but I keep thinking about all the crap I have seen at this one since I moved here. It is not pretty. Weird stuff goes on in these rooms. I would never be a housekeeper for one. Really icky stuff people!

What memory? I feel like I am loosing my mind. I have zero short term memory at all. I can be driving and 'wake up' and not have a clue where I am. Thankfully this has happened only a few times, but it is eerie and scary.

I have to think for days about where something I misplaced could be. Steve tries to help me retrace my steps and work through it - he has seen what has happened. But others just don't understand. I was a butt yesterday because I could not find some important pics I needed to take to John Dee. Liz just didn't get that I needed help remembering, kept reassuring me they were not there and she ended up being the brunt of my frustration. I am sorry :-(

It is so terrifying that I just 'don't have a clue' sometimes. The Neurologist said my brain went into severe overload and I might have had a mental breakdown (there, I finally said it) and it might be years - if ever - before it recovers. Thankfully, a CAT scan reassured us I don't have Alzheimer's. That was a real concern for me.

Ok, off to pack for a great weekend! Wish us safe travels and happy memories!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

To Kill a Cat...

JUST KIDDING, OK?


The darned cat has been frantically racing up and down the stairs, over our bed (HARD HOP), into the window, down our bed (HARD HOP), heard of cattle down the stairs, to the window (metal blinds rattling) over the sofa, across the living area, up the stairs (hear cattle again) over our bed... you get the idea - ALL FREAKING NIGHT! WHAT THE HECK? Do you think SHE is bored??


Today, SHE will not sleep one wink - THAT, my friend, is a promise!

Friday, February 22, 2008

I HATE this 'apartment'!


I went out and found something pretty today - pretty in the midst of the cold brown grass and drizzly day.

I was so much better yesterday - was able to get up and move around. I went and got my hair done, but raced home for lunch with Steve after a little scare. Then I slept. Depression has a way of sapping energy like that. I slept. I watched Dr Phil, then slept some more. I walked Lady around in circles. She slept. Cali slept. We are all so depressed, that is all we do is SLEEP! With Steve working long hours, me not being a shopper bee and not having anything else to do, I sleep - and they sleep.

This apartment stays COLD. Really, really cold. There is a slider door here that feels like it is open all the time. Even with the heavy drapes they have over the door, the frigid air seeps under it and around the edges. Today it is 26 outside and feels like it is 36 inside. The fireplace is burning, but the computer is by the slider. Not like a have a huge selection of places to put it, right? So I don't hardly even get on the computer any more. If I look outside, I can tell it has sleeted or snowed some, and I have no initiation to go outside, though I will have to go walk Lady in a bit. Those heavy curtains? They cover up the light of day too. It is dark in the place which I am sure makes my depression worse. I can't win for loosing!

I went to get my hair done yesterday, remember I said that? Well, like I said, I am not a shopper anyway, but I went to get my hair done - I braved the storm and made myself go out. Here in Tulsa, they have a group of individuals that are going around the parking lots terrorizing people by vandalizing them. They steal purses, hit people hard and knock them down and are general dirt bags. I have never been afraid to go out before, but guess what? Yesterday, I was walking out of the place I was getting my hair done (in the biggest mall in T-town) and lo and behold, there was a hysterical woman stumbling towards me crying. She had been attacked RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE FREAKING DOOR! The more I try to get out, the skeeryer it gets. I just don't have the desire to get out alone, so I stay in, scrap a bit, wash clothes as needed cook and do dishes - and since there is nothing else to do - I sleep.

It is time to go home. I am going to make myself stay here for another couple of weeks - then I am going back to Louisiana to see my 'kids' and finish painting the inside of my house. One year is a long time to be on 'vacation'. It is over for me - so over.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Glad it is today, 'cause...

Yesterday was a crummy day! I was the lowest I have been in a long time - depressed to the point of seeing no hope and being distraught. Today, I am much better. In fact, I realized taking Benadryl might have been the problem so I didn't last night. I woke at 5am feeling great, and was at THAT STORE by 6am, trying to get ahead of the crowd. They are predicting an ice storm to come through starting tonight - and not being over until Friday. I wanted food and logs in case we loose electric - which they said to prepare for.

As I was shopping in the store, I am thinking we are total electric and our camping stove is in Louisiana - just another thing we might need that would be 750 miles away. I actually considered buying a stove, but then I decided we would be just fine. I hate not being able to be prepared for the 'maybe's.

Part of feeling better might have been partly due to the fact that Jeremy and Cheyenne bought their plane tickets to New Orleans too! It seems too good to be true - being home with all of our family intact again - all the kids and grandkids hanging out in the back yard around the swing and bbq. Awww... what a wonderful thought...

L asked me to set up a CTMH booth at an all day scrap. I am looking forward to that - even though I had to ask Steve if we would be in Oklahoma the 7-8th of March. He said would would probably go home the week after that, so I am going to do it! Lisa is going to give me some tips to help build my CTMH business. YIPPEE!

Off to nap. It has dropped 20 degrees in 2 hours. Cuddling up on the sofa next to the fireplace is the place to be. :-)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My Caturtle is at it Again :-)

How cute is it that Cali attacks Lady from under her bed? She is so funny! Lady cannot see well, and when she puts her head up, all she sees is Cali's bed but the sneaky litte rat is hiding under it! Lady gets so confused!
Well, almost 2 weeks has passed and we have yet to hear from Steve's Dr about his lab work from his colonoscopy - so no news is good news is my theory. I bet he is just fine.

He is starting to weird me out some, he came home late tonight from work and started talking about life insurance for after he retires. Planning is a good thing, but he has quit smoking, cut considerably back on his drinking and now he is talking retiring, insurance and what to do after he retires... how odd to hear him voicing all of this. I wonder what is going on - or if this is all normal...

Today was a lonely day. Not a bad day, just lonely. Lady and I kept each other company - she sits at my feet no matter how often I move. She is feeling better, but I too think she is as ready and Cali and I are to get back home so we can all get outside. Every time I mention going home, Steve says thank you for being here. Man does he know how to guilt me ;-)
I am excited about one thing something, WHOO HOOO! I called John Dee and asked him if I could come see him in two weeks - he was excited! I cannot wait to see him! We have not been together for years and only for a short time then. Wow, are we going to be able to catch up! I am booking a room at the hotel down the road from him for one night and Liz and I will go together to see him. It will be fun to visit. I cannot believe how lives can go so seperate that a 'brother' gets lost in the midst of every day things. When I called, he answered the phone with "Why?" I said "Because I love you!" He said, "When?" I said "in two weeks!" He said "HUH?" roflmao!

They are predicting ice on Wednesday. Unfortunately, that will slow Steve's progress on setting up his unit to test. He is leaving tomorrow at 5:45 for work. Today he left at 6:30am and came in at 9:30pm. His days are long with work, mine are long with boredom. He had already eaten when he came in so we didn't even do that together. When he crawled into bed he was snoring in 3 minutes flat...

Maybe I will go out tomorrow. There is a picture I would like to take - wish there was someone to go with me. I get the heeby jeebies going out alone. Too many women are getting robbed in parking lots here. Maybe I will stay 'home'... rofl...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

 
Lady is feeling awful today. She has not drank any milk (a couple of tablespoons from my cereal she faithfully waits for each morning) and last night she didn't want any food. She finally did eat it - but reluctantly. Today, I took her out walking and we sat on a bench in the sun for about 30 minutes. She just didn't even act interested. 
 
She is laying at my feet now, with big pitiful eyes looking at me. I have checked her teeth (to see if she might have a sore tooth) but they are fine. I have checked her stool (EWE!) but it is normal. I watch for her to pee, she is doing that too. She just feels awful - I can tell by her lack of interest in doing anything but sleeping. She is 14 or 15 and I keep thinking she is just old and tired. A cold front is coming our way and maybe she feels it. I don't know, but I love her and I want her home if anything ever happens to her.
 
I hope everyone has a Happy Valentine's Day! Cheyenne - I hope you have a wonderful birthday too! What a great day to be born on! If I had chose any day in the world to be born on, this one would be the perfect day :-) Celebrating it every year with those you love... we love you girl - have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Too freaking COLD to click!

It has been entirely too cold to take pictures. I did find a place I would love to snap, but that will have to wait. It did warm up today, but I had already given up and gone to Okmulgee to see my sister and brother. How odd that sounds. Both in the same town. One of the nice things about being here in Tulsa.
I have an attaboy for me. I have used my car this much: I filled up in Hugo Oklahoma on the way up here in early January. I drove 2.5 hours here, and only in the last week have I bought another tank of gas. Geez. I must have made a record or something! Less than one tank of gas on over a MONTH!
We still have not heard anything about where or if we will be going anywhere, but someday that will come. Until then, I am 'dealing' with the facts: I am here, you are there - and it is what it is.
I wish I had it in me to see this as an adventure. Do other people that are away from home for over a year think of THIS is an adventure??

Every stinkin' time I go to scrap, what I need is THERE. When I go to take pictures, it is too darned cold - and I have no where to go anyway. If there is a place here - I don't feel safe going alone. This is adventure. k...
I am not whining - just stating facts. Life is not nearly as fun... alone.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Asking for prayers please...

Steve went for a routine colonoscopy yesterday and they removed two polyps - one small one and one fairly decent sized one. The Dr said he felt like everything would be fine, but he has had surprises before - he would call with the results within a week.

I guess I need backups, so I am asking you for prayers for good results on the tests. I am sure everything is fine, but extra support would be wonderful.

Metering Backlight

WHOOO HOOOO! I was right on target with my 'blown exposure' deduction! Art looked at the pictures and had actually forgotten he had given that homework to us. He did say I had it right though - so YIPPEE! I am actually learning!

The assignment today was to learn to meter to backlights. Here are my results:



I metered just to the light in the first one. The second picture I metered to the top of Matilda's head. The last one, I metered to her face. LOOK AT THE DIFFERENCE IT MADE! 
 

I am so happy I am catching on! What a great feeling :-)
Check out this website: www.photonhead.com

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Adding another picture to my portfolio



I am supposed to have one more picture to add to my portfolio by tomorrow. I decided this one would be the one I would add. I really like this picture. I wonder if it will be good enough?

Lesson on Shutter Speeds



My lesson:

Take 2 pictures:
1. f/2, 1/30 s shutter speed, and ISO 100
2. f/2, 8" shutter speed, and ISO 100

Ok, my Nikon D-50 does not have a low f/2 stop, nor does it have an ISO of 100. So I did the lowest I had on both settings. I used an f/5.6 with an ISO of 200 and the above shutter speeds.

Next, answer the question "What would the new exposure be?"
The answer I would give: A 'blown' exposure - or an exposure that is too bright.

One thing Art has said from day 1 is that shadows can almost always be altered in Photoshop, but 'blown' exposures (too bright) means the data is lost forever. It can never be recovered.

Tomorrow I shall see if this is the correct answer. What do you think?

My Portfolio Beginnings

These three pictures were my first ones I added to my portfolio. When I showed them to Art he complimented the change in position on the first two - one with the white flowers, and when I knelt down, I got the same picture with the yellow ones. He noted they were both very good photos and both perfect examples of what 2 feet from a different direction will do - in this case kneeling. 
 
The picture of Liz was complimented as well. "Great framing. Great picture."
Lastly, he said good job on the first 3 choices as pictures.

Homework for the night? 
 
Take 2 pictures:
The first: f/2 with 1/30th of a second shutter speed and 100 ISO

The second: same settings except 8" (8 second) shutter speed

Then answer this question: What would the new exposure be?


Monday, February 4, 2008

Depression, classes and life...


What a pitiful little snow girl, but Steve started her and I finished her. We had a soggy, sloppy 3" of snow last Thursday. When I went out to do something outisde, I got whapped in the head with a snowball. The fight was ON! Steve and I were so loud, Daniel came out to check on us and helped me out. I was losing horribly, but I didn't fare so bad once Daniel jumped in. Over an hour later, most snow smashed on walls instead of the ground, we scraped enough to get this little gal built. That is the best laugh I have had in years.
 
Depression is a difficult thing to fight. After a year of being here, I still miss home so horribly it hurts. I have no life, no friends, and nothing to do for days on end. Laundry takes just a bit of time with 3 washers. The biggest problem is 3 flights of stairs WITH the laundry. 
 
I am taking photography classes and I could go take pictures, but do you know what it is like alone? Even the photography classes have a sad side. I do not understand his lessons and do not have anyone to work with to figure them out. Even the classes are lonely. We started with 20 people, and are down to 19. The girl at my table came to the first class and never came back - so even there I am working alone. I KNOW I can take good pictures and I would love for him to see that, but I don't even care now. My initiative is gone. I am disheartened by the class - he has said some brash things about a few of my pictures, so I am shutting down - I feel it happening. I look at what I considered to be my better pictures and in my head, I can hear him and his snipey remarks.
 
I KNOW I should be reveling in my life. I am where I thought I wanted to be, alone with my hubby, and have his almost undivided attention (I split it with Schlumberger, Mr Lucky and Dallas every day), and taking photography classes. Sounds perfect doesn't it? Why am I so depressed??
 
Even Raelee has her own life, she doesn't even call any more. Life is twirling around outside, everyone living their own lives and it is going on while I sit and wait... just like Steve asked me to do. Does it ever get to be my turn? WHEN can it be my turn. How do I turn this depression around?

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