Category: Photos

Blog Withdrawal

Blog Withdrawal

I’ve been going through withdrawal lately (always thought it was spelled “withdrawl” until spell check corrected me). I’m not talking the chemical kind of withdraw’a’l, I’m referring to the emotional and intellectual kind. The blog withdrawal kind. I need a fix.

I try to write but my words seem perfunctory. I blather on, spitting words on the screen like a wet-mouthed close-talker. See, here I go again. I feel like I’ve lost my edge. I want it back, if I ever really had it.

I began this blog to talk about my experiences with depression, hence the sub-title “Then, til Now”. While I suspect one never beats depression, nor is ‘cured’ of it, I do think we adapt and it becomes part of who we are. Anyway I digress.

I was out for a walk today and passed through a tunnel on the way. I took a photo and it’s posted as the feature image above. It made me think my life is sort of like that, in a dramatic sort of way. Part of my life was in a tunnel. Over time I came to the exit and saw a future ahead. The meds help that. They assisted in my exit from the tunnel and perhaps they help me still. I guess I won’t know until, or when, I stop taking them.

I will admit one of the reasons I began writing here was to help vent out some the the thoughts I had, to ‘spill my guts’ as it were. A journal was suggested by my then counselor Gloria but given my geekiness I thought an online blog may be appropriate too. I wrote a bit about that in a previous post Ennui, Now there’s a word.

One of my followers on this blog was a lady named Mary. She had created a number of blogs herself, and had lived an amazing life, one filled with blessing and much pain. I miss Mary. I never knew her in the sense one might be acquainted but we chatted via email a few times and she expressed some of the challenges she had experienced in her life. I won’t cover it here but needless to say she lost her husband, the love of her life, and 2 of her sons, both boys to suicide. I think of Mary and wonder what became of her. I’ve found a number of her blogs but few of them have anything current. She frequently used the name “oldsunbird’ in her blogs, My PoetryMy Journey Through Old AgeOldSunBird are a few I’ve found. I’d dearly like to know what’s become of Mary.

Well I think it’s time for me to go. I’ve rambled enough and responsibilities command. In reality it’s taken me 2 days to write this post and even now I’m not sure it’s completely satisfactory (to me). Mind you I don’t know that they ever have. That my be another symptom of my withdrawal.

St’ehcaytion (Staycation…..)

St’ehcaytion (Staycation…..)

No opportunity for a vacation in the near future, perhaps a one day ‘stay’cation is in order. Seeing as it’s the Canada Day holiday here in Canuck land, and 150th no less, perhaps it would best be called a ‘St’eh’cation. This is obviously my inept attempt at some Canadian humour.

Madden, Mason, and Ivy - hooked on electronicsAs our childcare responsibilities have been frequent it seems that the ‘me’ time or ‘our’ time has been somewhat restricted. We have had the g-kids almost every day and in fact we filled in for the closed daycare on both Thur. and Friday. On Friday we even hung out with our g-nephew Mason, he likes to chum with Madden and Ivy.

Saturday was also a day off, sans children,  so I did take the time to catch up on a couple nagging home tasks. Don’t kid yourself I did relax a titch too. So today (Sun) when the opportunity came to leave town I took the opportunity. Unfortunately my wife is sick again so I had to go solo. It was only a quick trip to Salmon Arm to sit in on a private showing of Despicable Me 3 but I thought the road trip might be nice and it may provide me with the time to take a few photos. I did get a couple, maybe if they meet my high standards I’ll post them.

I’m winding up the afternoon with a beer and some lunch at one of my favourite haunts, Brandt’s Pub. It’s a short walk from my house and I like to come here to write. And if I have a bit too much libation I can stagger home. When I think about it I don’t think any of it really improves my writing but it’s a nice excuse to get away, and have a couple beer, and I can kid myself about my blogging.

Oh, My lil’Buddy

Oh, My lil’Buddy

Oh my lil’Buddy, how my heart aches, for you! You are struggling and we are struggling with you.

Our pain is for my grandson, Madden. He was recently diagnosed with ADHD and was prescribed medication for it. I know nothing about the various drug therapies but of course we all hoped this would be put him well on the way to having a somewhat ‘normal’ life, without the angst and stresses associated with the disease. He showed signs of calmness almost immediately and steadily improved to the point where he was ready for the next step, an increase in his meds. That’s where the train came off the tracks.

While he took his meds easily and without question when it was 1 pill it quickly became a problem when there was 2. The issue wasn’t the swallowing it seemed but more that he just decided he wasn’t going to do it anymore. So, it stopped.

Now most people ask “well, how does he get to decide?”, and they are correct, In a way. When you have a child with a strong will though, as he certainly does, you don’t just easily tell him what to do. If he decides he doesn’t want to take the pill(s) there is little you can do. You can’t really force it down his throat, you can’t hold him and put it in his mouth. You can try to mix with food or drink etc. but due to the slow release nature of this medication you can’t crush or otherwise change the form of the pill. In essence you are stuck. And striking or spanking is not a solution.

This has of course caused, or contributed to, a significant deterioration of his behaviour. Where he was much calmer before and relating to other kids he has now become somewhat aggressive and is frequently bouncing off the walls. His relationship to his parents, to me, and even to his Gram is strained, and his Gram has always been someone who has always been in his court unwaveringly. She now struggles against (what seems to her) to be the giving up of all those around Madden. While we haven’t given up we all have our limits, and mine in particular has been breached.

It has gotten to the point where even at daycare he is becoming unwelcome. Sally, the daycare provider, has also been one of his staunch supporters and even she is reaching her limits. The other day he was given a time-out due to his actions, so he sat there alone while other kids were being taken home. If I had to guess I’d say it was not only embarrassing but perhaps even humiliating, but then I know nothing of a 5 year old’s psyche.

Oh, my lil’buddy! My heart aches.

Build It, They will Come

Build It, They will Come

I can’t explain it, and maybe it’s foolhardy to try. Can it be so simple as to ‘Build it and they will come’?

The quote is a derivation of the famous quote from the movie “Field of Dreams” and in the show the “it” they are referring to is a baseball field. Kevin Costner, as the central character, builds a baseball diamond in the middle of a corn field, in order that dead baseball heroes come back from the hereafter to play.

Field of my dreams
Field of my dreams

The quote used here, in this context, doesn’t relate to any out of world sport. What I’m thinking of here is this blog, these posts. The same posts and blog that often surprise me with readership, and followers. Now not to look a gift horse in the mouth as it were, but I wonder ‘why’?

Call me a cynic but I’m surprised if it’s my exhilarating wordsmithing, or the subject matter. I would like to think (optimistically) that it’s my writing, my style or patter. The whole exercise just makes me go ‘hmmm’ that’s all.

Again being the cynic, the perpetual doubter, I’m drawn to the theory that a number of these followers have a somewhat ulterior motive, perhaps that of drawing attention to their own posts. This technique is oft touted as one to be used to garner more traffic. You know, I will ‘like’ your posts if you ‘like’ mine. Sort of a digital ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’.

And this may often work, just not generally for me. Not at this time anyway. I’m quite sure there are tons of great, even superb, posts out there, many written by my followers, but it’s unlikely I’ll see them as I’m so wrapped up in my own sh** that I have no time nor little energy to read them. Just look at my posting frequency. That’s likely my loss.

So I’ll continue to build my field and if the readers come out of the corn to read and follow then I count my lucky stars. If I build it, will they will come?

What Does a New Subaru Have to Do With Flowers?

What Does a New Subaru Have to Do With Flowers?

A friend of mine bought a new car. A Subaru Forester to be exact. What’s the point you wonder? Well, here ’tis.

After I dropped him off at the dealership and he picked up his wheels we decided to hit the local greenhouse. Mistake you say? I think not. He came away empty handed and I bought a Helleborus.

A Helleborus, also known as "Winter Rose"
A Helleborus, also known as “Winter Rose”

Pretty, don’t you think?

I Love Mornings

I Love Mornings

I love this time of day, the cool mornings where all is fresh and the ground is oft covered with dew. I venture forth for my walk and while the last week I have been taking a shorter route I still drop in for my morning joe.

I hesitated this morning however. It’s not that I didn’t want a fix, cuz I did, more so that I’m try to consider my costs. Being on a fixed income I should question that $3 a day for coffee. That’s if I only have but one. And truth be known I had coffee at home before I left.

This AM I stopped at Common Grounds, one of our few ‘real’ coffee shops. Not that Starbucks or Tim Hortons are not real, they just aren’t of the mom’n pop variety. I had my usual Americano, double-shot.

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I think I actually prefer Common Grounds. The coffee is more flavourful, certainly has more crema. You get it in a real mug too, and even though it seems to cool faster it’s also more like really having coffee. Know what I mean?

Well my joe is done, time to move on. My morning walk will take me along a nice, quiet, picturesque route. Perhaps a couple photos are in my future.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Colour

Weekly Photo Challenge: Colour

My most recent experience with colour is on a trip last weekend to Portland, Oregon, for the Portland Swap meet.  We traveled down the Columbia River valley through and area known as “The Columbia River Gorge”, or by some just “the gorge”. It was a beautiful trip and while the the weather was spotty with rain and cloud on those occasions where the sun peaked out it was breathtaking.

The greens of the many types of moss, and the baby green on the trees or the early green of the hillside grasses caused me to gawk out the window the whole trip. I will apologize in advance, some of the photos were taken out the window of the moving car. We were under time constraints to get to the swap meet in a timely fashion.

Back to the Normal

Back to the Normal

Today is the first day back to whatever we call ‘normal’, at least our normal. Our Easter guests have returned home and the house is finally quiet after 4 days.

It is also the first day my wife has returned to work, after an absence of about 5 months. And, as a result, it is the first day I will be left to my own devices and alone in the house for the day.

I have chosen to begin the adventure with a walk, my wife dropped me off a ways from home and I will walk back. Of course one of the first stops will be Starbucks for a morning cup of joe. I deferred my normal coffee at home and thought coffee’ing’ out would be a nice way to begin my day.

The sun was up when I began my stroll but not too far over the horizon. Far enough though to cast some shadows and create some interest in the texture of the land. I like this time of day and you’ve likely heard me say that before.

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As my wife’s cousin once said:

“It’s a good life we lead, isn’t it”

Yes Emory, it is. And it also feels great to be back to the normal.

I’m Spent, Like the Last Dollar in my Pocket

I’m Spent, Like the Last Dollar in my Pocket

I’m spent, physically and perhaps emotionally, and only because the day was gorgeous and I wanted to spend every moment I could outside.

It’s not like it’s totally unusual. Long days out and about in the yard are pretty common once the days lengthen and the sun warms the ground. I feed off that warmth, soaking it up like a sponge, like those little flower buds we yearn to see.

We have company coming on Good Friday, family and not the least of which is my grandson (daughter too of course). I’m sure I’ll have a picture or two to share after the weekend completes, even earlier if I can find a quiet moment and I have the energy and oomph to take on a new post. Time will tell.

I did find enough time yesterday to get out with my camera, for a few shots at least. It was on a return trip from running errands, but the timing is not important, the fact I took the time to take the shots is. I had wanted to get back to a rushing creek location I had photographed a week prior. On that trip, the earlier visit, I had played with shutter speed to try and get that ‘look’ to the water where it’s almost like foam, where the longer exposure allows the movement of the rushing water to blur and become somewhat surreal. I didn’t quite accomplish it on my first visit. It was my first attempt and I only went as low as 1/10 of a second. See below.

Hanna Creek, rushing water, blurring
Hanna Creek

Now I know that this type of picture is not new, it’s probably been done a million times, but for me it was a first. I had never tried this type of shot before.

So on my second trip to the same creek (slightly different composition) I lowered the exposure to 1 second. Unfortunately, or not, the original shot of the photo below came out overexposed. I did not, or my camera did not, allow me to use a longer shutter speed at my lowest ISO (100). Obviously something I need to research. In post development I had to tweak the brightness and contrast to get what you see below. It has a somewhat surreal look itself. The water does look a bit more blurred too, which is what I was going for.

Hanna Creek, Trail,
Hanna Creek

Now when I took this next shot, after the one above, I again didn’t realize my exposure was off (neglecting to look at the shots after taking) and I dropped the shutter to 2 seconds. This one is totally over exposed, but I liked the look of it anyway, kinda ghostly.

What do you think??

ghostly, Hanna Creek, over exposure
Ghostly Hanna Creek

Totally washed out, but neat too.

Comments?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense

Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense

Looks like I totally missed the last Weekly Photo Challenge “Lunchtime”, in fact somehow I’ve missed the whole week. When I look back I can’t believe it’s been as long as it has since I last posted. I had such high hopes that I would put out at least a couple posts. Anyway, there I go again, sounding suspiciously like a confession.

You can read about the challenge here, and again we are asked to do a Phoneography submission where the snap was taken with one of our devices, in my case an iPhone 5.

At any rate here’s one of my submissions toward this week’s topic “Future Tense”. My photo was taken of some Snowdrops standing perkily in my garden. They have just recently poked their heads above the snow (there was snow, honest) and brought the future prospect of Spring.

snowdrops, spring flowers
Spring Snowdrops

I had to sneak into the backyard to get this and while the iPhone takes a decent shot it is lacking in some of the finer adjustments you might find on a better standalone camera. For that reason I’ve taken the liberty of adding another, similar, shot taken while there was snow showing.

snow, Snowdrops, spring
Snowdrops in Snow

Enjoy, and as always….please don’t hesitate to comment.
Cheers