The Greatest Gift

Ever since high school I’ve loved the idea of being a photographer, having one of those fancy camera’s with the removable lenses.  Day dreams of traveling the world while taking pictures of waterfalls and capturing something worth a thousand words peppered my thoughts throughout the years.

Finally, at the age of 43 fate has found favor on me and now I can take all the pictures I want.  Thanks to a co-workers wife who was willing to part with her first DSLR, a Nikon D5100.  She gave me a few tips and has been advising me on things I may need and what to look for as I embark into this new world of photography.

our first outing, we came along some wild turkeys

She suggested I get a 150-300 lens, because it’s the most used and versatile and good for a starter.  Work my way up? nah, that’s too logical, I wanted get the big zoom, the super-duper zoom. Thankfully she talked me out of getting an 800 mm manual, eeeeks, but I just couldn’t let go of getting that zoom… and Mitch my love helped me to achieve it! So now I have a 150-600 mm with auto focus and I don’t know what the heck I am doing. There is so much to learn, and it’s overwhelming, frustrating and intimidating. I know learning it will take time, but to be honest with you I’m impatient when it comes to the time it takes to learn this, I want to just know it, for it to miraculously happen, I mean can’t I just be a “natural” at it? So far, all the things I’ve read and watched are not sticking…nothing.. big fat blank brain. Ok, I exaggerate, I do know there’s ISO, aperture, ..and another one, but still I can’t understand what they do and I even watched a video about water being the light and the measurement of it. It just seems too science like, the text book world of stuff I just don’t get.

It brings me back to when I was a child and wanted to learn how to crochet from my mom. I only wanted to learn when I was sick and stuck on the couch, because I couldn’t go outside and play.  I would try, and try and after what seemed like forever, without any real success, I would  breakdown crying from frustration. The next time I wanted to learn was….yep, when I was sick and stuck on the couch. My mom finally taught me how to crochet when I was in my 20’s, her breast cancer had returned and we knew it was now or never. I stood behind her with a video camera, she crocheted with her left hand while I taped her teaching me and she got me a book for left handed people. Then it finally clicked.

Today, Christmas eve 2017,  Mitch took me with him to deliver some packages, and it was try number two with my new lens.  It was a beautiful freezing day and the hawks were out ready for me to capture some great pictures.

Maybe I should start with my tripod because capturing them in the sky, not as easy as it looks. Shoot, even when they’re sitting on the post, the pictures are a bit fuzzy.

So of course, I managed my frustration in all the child like ways I did when I was trying to learn how to crochet, I pouted, I complained, I had a little pity party for myself making a sad comment about how dreams are meant to stay that way because the reality of them sucks! and then of course I topped it off with tears. After my ten minute fit, I thanked Mitch for just listening, letting me vent and we decided to stop by the Veterans Cemetery to take a few pictures.

I swapped out the monster lens for a little fella and as we pulled up near where we had the service for Pops I felt a surge of sad.  I miss my dad, and it’s my first Christmas without him.  As I looked around at the sparkling beauty of the day, I realized that each of the headstones have a wreath.

What a special tribute to our veterans, the stoic uniformity of loved ones passed, adorned with a holiday remembrance. I felt compelled to capture that moment, so I took a few photos.

As I was walking back to the car, I looked at my last photo and instantly I knew my dad was saying,” hi baby girl, I love you!”

The one name that is legible right out front is “RAYMOND”  papa’s name!

What a great gift he gave me, to envelope me with the his unconditional love,  giving me a sign, just when I needed it most.  I thank the good Lord for always knowing my heart, and making sure I see what really matters in life.

Its Christmas time

 stuff is swell


God is GREAT !

Thank you for

your greatest gift,

your son!

Happy Birthday Jesus!



Ugh Is An Understatement

Not even two days after pops had passed away; Mitch was sick as a dog, body aches, fever and just miserable.  I felt for him and I tried my best to give him attention and care, but honestly I was in a such a daze of my own I wasn’t much help. I was taking care of all the things one must do after a death and was just trying to come to terms with losing pops.

Pops service was super special, just like him

Two days later and I was experiencing first hand the misery of Mitch’s sickness!  The aches were awful, the fever and chills, just debilitating!  It was horrible and all I wanted to do was sleep, but I figured I’d just take some Tylenol, pull up my boots and go to work.  Three days later and I still wasn’t feeling any better.  Mitch was on the mend after day three, so I figured I needed to just wait it out. Finally after 5 days of having a fever I gave in and decided I needed to go to the doctor.  The reason for having a fever for so long, an ear infection and probably some kind of virus, maybe the flu.  They wouldn’t be able to know for sure if it was the flu unless they did a flu test, and asked if I wanted to be tested.  I said, “sure why not, I’d like to know if we really did have the flu.”  The doctor said, “well, you’re probably not going to like the test though, they need to swab your nose.”  I thought to myself, ok, no big deal, I’ve put q-tips in my nose before; and then he came in with it.  It was thin, and long… way too long for just going up my nose, and they had to put it waaaaayy up there, like 5 inches up my nose!  I asked if he could just do one nostril and that was a big fat no, it had to be both. I decided to take one for the team and just go for it.  He had me tip my head back, and ugh, the burning and stinging and instant pain was shocking, and then he was done with one.  Phew, ok I can do this… I shake off the feeling and get ready for the other side, it wasn’t as bad, maybe because I knew what was coming, but eeeekkks the burning in the back of my head.  Wow, it seriously sucked!  Thankfully it was over and we were going to be on our way to get antibiotics and the doctor said they’d call if the results came back as the flu.   Suddenly I felt warm, really warm, then super hot, burning up, so I take off my sweater and I think I might get sick, oh wait everything is getting dark and muffled in my ears. Mitch looks at me and says, “are you ok? you look so pale? are you going to pass out?” my whole body leans to the left and I can’t shake the feeling, I …am….about….to…….faint. So I let go and just melt onto Mitch while I try to come back into reality.   Finally, things begin returning to focus and I need water, water, I need water.  I go over to the sink, put my head under the faucet and drink as if I’d been walking in the desert for days.  Phew, now that was crazy.  I almost pass out from getting a flu test. ha! I’m such a silly girl.

all turned upside down

I got a call the next morning from the doctor and yes, it was the flu.

There’s a name for our experience, it’s called “the let-down effect”, and basically once you make it through a really stressful time in life your body comes down from all the stress and pressure and then you get sick. There are studies about this phenomenon but I think the good Lord knows that during hard times its just too much to get sick, so he helps you wait till you have time and can handle it.

Then I got this weird circle spot on my chin!

I put PRID on it, and it stopped the itching and seemed to help it heal

First I thought it was a spider bite, then someone said maybe it’s from the stress, someone else thought it could be from my ear infection or an allergic reaction….but when someone mentioned it could be the possibility of RING WORM, it was time to go back to the doctor.  She said my ear infection was gone and it’s not ring worm, she thinks it was probably a spider bite. So now it’s been three weeks, we both still have a cough, but everyday we are getting a little better, physically and emotionally. Healing takes time, and we aren’t rushing ourselves to be better. We’re just learning to live again, so we go into each day with love and acceptance of life as it is now.