May 26, 2015

Western Adventure

Yes, I’ve been noticeably absent for a while. That’s how I roll in the present time. It’s been five months today that Mr. Jim departed and earned his wings. I would expect that he'd be busting his buttons with pride on how well I am doing, summoning courage and getting on with a new life.

Photography travel is a critical part of my plan to emotionally heal and find a new pathway. Last month, I completed my first solo vacation journey, and it was an short car trip away in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Now I have returned from my first solo vacation journey that was long distance – the Grand Teton National Park in western Wyoming.

May 15, 2015

Photography Tips for Streams/Waterfalls

Remember the glorious waterfall featured in my May 4th post? This view was on the other side of the road bridge. The water may appear to be flowing upward in the image, but the view is actually of the water flowing downstream. This photo serves as an important reminder about turning around to discover another composition. The scene looked so magical that one might suspect a woodland fairy was lurking right behind that tree!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

My dear friend, Ms. Vee (A Haven for Vee), kindly asked me to offer some tips on how to photograph streams and waterfalls, like this example. I am happy to oblige. The April workshop was the first time I have ever tried the technique.

May 5, 2015

Boots On

Pardon the quality of this cell phone image. Please focus on the subject matter instead. Do you notice anything different? I took this after I walked a lap with Angel around the villa circle in front of my cottage. Yes, I walked. With hiking boots on!

Just following the doctor’s orders! I got a good report from this morning’s visit. The x-rays show significant healing of the stress fracture in my right foot. I still need to wear the orthopedic boot to promote further recovery, but I can now start wearing regular shoes for short stretches of time. To prepare for my upcoming Wyoming trip, she recommended that I walk a quarter a mile a day and work up to a mile in the next couple of weeks. Hiking boots are the footwear of choice for this exercise.

If I have any pain by the time I leave on my trip, she said to take the orthopedic boot and wear it whenever I can. And, I should use the airport wheelchair services with absolutely no guilt. She also said to have a great time and take some pretty pictures for her to see later. I go back for another follow-up in about five weeks.

Hooray! I’m sure that the prayers and calcium pills paid off big time!

May 4, 2015

Helping Hands

Many of you know first-hand how much I help other bloggers, especially those who have an interest in photography. It’s what I naturally do. I believe in generosity and strive to demonstrate it on a regular basis. I never expect anything in return. Kindness multiplies and the world certainly needs more kindness!

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I was on the receiving end of assistance during my April trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Several photographers stopped what they were doing and insisted on helping me up a 30-foot trail to “get the shot” of a spectacular waterfall. It took time and effort. I admit that I was a little bit scared. But I knew that my newfound friends would take good care of me. The thought of the experience still brings me to tears. It was a tender and loving moment that will stay with me forever.

Once I got up the incline, here is the scene that lay before me. It is so beautiful, that it could very well make you weep too.

Since it was a group effort, you deserved to see the results!

May 2, 2015

Lots of Chores

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina

The above image is the one that made the Smokies workshop instructor say that he was going to break his foot too. Funny guy! I’m pretty critical of my work, but this photo did turn out very nice. Nobody would ever guess that directly below the frame is a road. No hiking was involved! I only had to mosey a couple dozen feet from the parked car, set up my tripod and camera, compose, and snap. Of course, digital editing always helps to bring out the details and contrast too.

It’s been almost two years since my life began to spin out totally out of control, and Jim’s been gone now for over four months. It seems like there is an endless amount of chores that I need to accomplish. I use spiral steno notebooks to maintain daily task lists. It’s been immensely helpful! Very little productive work got done around the house during Jim’s illness. Caregiving and ferrying him back and forth to medical appointments and the hospital took up every bit of my time. So I am faced with a huge backlog of projects, in addition to routine household chores and maintenance. With a solo life and a bum foot, I am slowed down further in trying to dig out of the proverbial hole.