August 16, 2013

Mid-August Ruminations & Cogitations

vintage light fixture, Camas Creek Yarn shop, Kalispell, Montana

Well, I’m on the other side of some of life’s difficulties, and I’m now seeing the light once again. How do you like the beautiful stained glass shown above? When we explored the downtown area of Kalispell last year, we found a delightful knit shop in a restored building. The colors and textures surrounding us were a feast for the eyes. Though the yarns and creative displays begged for my constant attention, I remembered to look up. And I was glad that I did! Once again, I was reminded that an observant photographer could find stunning subject matter in the most unexpected places.

August is now halfway complete and it has been one big blur. But I will try to reconstruct it and provide you with a a recap and status report.

Mr. Jim finished up his second cycle of chemo. A CAT scan is scheduled for this coming Monday to determine how well the chemo affected his lymph nodes and cancers. After test completion, he’ll head over to his surgeon’s office to go over the scan results and determine the next treatment step. At this point, we are hoping that he can proceed with surgery for removal and reconstruction. Meanwhile, Mr. Jim is dealing with an uncooperative pancreas that is spiking up his blood sugar levels. He’s working diligently with an internist to get the levels back down with the assistance of insulin shots. There hasn’t been much positive progress in the past couple of weeks. Please continue to keep Mr. Jim in your prayers.

I went through a second round of antibiotics for a sinus infection. It worked slowly, but it finally worked. I have residual pain around my ear on that side, and application of some eardrops is the prescribed treatment.

My second cataract surgery was completed this week and I am on the mend from it. I can now see without the assistance of contact lenses or eyeglasses that resemble the bottom of coke bottles! It is quite a miracle to be able to wake up and actually see clearly! I wore contacts for about 45 years and wore glasses about five years before that. I’m also adjusting to seeing things much brighter and without a heavy brown film. My non-dominant eye was purposely under-corrected so that I could see nearby objects clearly. I may still need some assistance with reading glasses. It just depends on whether I can successfully tune out my dominant eye enough. The daily regimen of eye drops continues, and I get another checkup by the eye doctor next week.

My Mac computer finally got back from its second trip the Apple Store for repairs. I must have flat worn it out in the past two years because they pretty much had to reconstruct it. But at least I didn’t have to pay for the repairs! My precious files on the hard drive were all successfully recovered via the Time Machine function set up to an external hard drive. All the Apple applications were also recovered. Unfortunately, the non-Apple applications had to completely reinstalled. Ugh. I spent over eight hours reconstructing the software, with some of that time on marathon phone calls with software providers to resolve uploading and installation errors. There is still some more cleanup work to do, and hopefully I will get it all behind me this weekend. I am more convinced than ever now to secure a cloud storage service that can give me access to files during computer failures and also provide a mirror copy of my entire hard drive, including all applications.

I’m slowly digging out of the blogging hole. I’m madly catching up with blogging friends. I should also be able to post more often now that I have been reunited with my Mac and I have restored it to its former glory.

Though I was plagued with computer woes, I was relieved that the August photo challenge event was managed without a hitch. The participants did a superb job, once again! Yesterday, I issued an announcement for the September theme: windows and doors. If you’ve never participated in the photo challenge, then please consider that the next one is a great opportunity! If you want to know if the participants are having fun AND learning about how to take better photos for their blogs and personal use, don’t take my word for it – ask them! And if the September theme doesn’t rouse your interest level, then the October subject matter may hit home: food photography. If you plan to feature holiday recipes on your blog this year, you’ll want to find out some easy and inexpensive tricks to showcasing your culinary talents. What are you waiting for? Go check out my other blog, A Personal Photo Challenge!

Onward, my friends! I’m moving onward. Thank you for all of your behind-the-scenes e-mails, mailed and electronic get-well cards, and continued comments on my little blog here. We appreciate the good cheer! You guys are the best!


  1. glad your 2nd cataract surgery is over, too! hope jim can balance his health!!!

  2. what a shot and I agree, we should always think to look up, I'm so glad you are seeing better, nothing worse than not seeing, that was a nasty sinus infection, glad its gone, take care and continued good health!!

  3. Love the photo and glad your cataract surgery went well.

    Still praying here.

  4. So glad your second surgery went well. Still praying for Mr. Jim and for you! Looking forward to checking in with you more often.

  5. Such good news today, Donna. Praying for continued healing and strength for Jim as he battles cancer. How wonderful for you to be able to see more clearly now! Did you have an extended warranty on your Mac to get free service? I don't know if we do or not but I sure wouldn't want to have problems with mine to find out. It will be a year old in September and I use it a lot. The photo of the stained glass light fixture is gorgeous. Take care. Hugs, Pam

  6. Wishing you both better days to come! So glad your eyesight is improved and hope Mr. Jim's health improves soon.

  7. Hi Donna, I have been thinking/wondering/praying for you and Mr Jim. My cataract surgery begins Sept 17th...I can't wait to have it done. My eyes have been bothering me so. It is good to read of your good outcome!Kathleen from North Dakota

  8. So very much going on with you both. Glad that so much is behind you and I am certainly praying for good things going forward. Definitely praying for the blood sugar to come back under control.

    Yes! I love the challenges even if I have gone back to "auto." LOL

  9. Good to catch up here Donna, and thanks for popping over to my blog too. You have had quite a month, both of you. So glad your sinus and eyes are on the mend now. Will be thinking of you both!

  10. Glad to hear you have the worst of your health woes are behind you. Prayers for Mr. Jim and YOU. Yes, I am loving the photo challenge but I keep forgetting stuff and have to go back to the manual.
    What part of growing old gracefully am I missing!!

  11. Hi Donna, I know you are thrilled to be getting through this month so far. BUT--you are on the way UP... Glad you are feeling better and glad your surgeries both went well. Glad also that you got your laptop back. We have EVERYTHING (all programs --Apple and non-Apple) are on Time Machine. But--it still might be nice having things in the 'cloud' too.... We can't ever be too careful when it comes to our 'stuff'....

    I will continue to pray for Jim... Bless his heart. Blood sugar problems are so hard to control... Is the cancer in his pancreas?

    Prayers for him --and for you, my friend.

  12. Wow you've been working hard! I will definitely continue to keep Mr. Jim and yourself in my prayers, remember to breathe and breathe to force the stress out of your tissues. (my theory) Big hugs to my friend. (((Donna)))

  13. It is such good news to hear that you're seeing the light again! Oh, it is hard to trudge through those dark I'm glad that your current one has some light.

    So you have challenged me to join the challenge! I am already thinking about doors and windows, and how I'm going to do this. Hmmm...

    Continuing to pray for you both...and that whether the path is light or dim, that it is clear before you.

  14. Stunning stained glass colors for seeing life in a new light- is a wonderful thing.
    So glad your on the non-blurry side of life once again, Donna.

    I wish you and Jim wellness and a blessed day :)

  15. Even though you've had all the eye problems your photography has continued to be Gorgeous Miz Donna!!
    Am continuing to send prayers for Jim! God Bless his little heart! I know it's tough on the both of you....<3
    Oh...and Marty enjoyed his stay at my house....:O)

  16. Of course we've 'talked' a lot lately so I'm familiar with all you and Mr. Jim have been facing head-on and winning, yeah!!! You are one of the nicest, most helpful, and positive thinking ladies I've met here in dear old blogland Donna.......thank you for everything you do and share with us.

    Tell Mr. Jim how our hearts and minds are full of get well wishes and much positive thinking for his success in the road race ahead. Not easy we know - we've done it - however with you at his side we are certain he'll cross the tape at the finish line feeling as good as new! Hope the news tomorrow will be good - hugs Mr. Jim.

    Glad your surgery has given you such a clearer view of Donna, your photos will be even better now, if that's possible!

    Best wishes from Bob - love and thanks from me.

  17. Goodness, you have had more that your share of problems, anyone of which would send a person into crazy mode! Cancers, eyes, and computers oh my! I hope all works out with your hubby and he can get good news and back on track. Thank you for your great advise on photographing a store window, wow, that is quite a challenge. I am going to look into the polarizing lens. Wishing you a better fall! Oh, it is not exactly what you are dealing with, but I got one contact to read, so one eye sees near and one sees far. At first I thought "This is crazy" but, my brain worked it out in 6-8 weeks and now I don't even notice


  18. Hi Donna, I popped over here after meeting Marty (your blog greeter) on Donna [Staas'] blog. I will certainly pray for you and Mr Jim that things go up and forward for you now. Blessings, Jo (Tanzania, East Africa)

  19. Hi, I come from Donna. You are an amazing photographer! I adore this stained glass light picture! I am so sorry to hear abut your husband, my husband also had cancer. Where do you live, what state? Goodness, I see several of my friends here commenting, and I only now have seen you.

  20. Came over from Donna's blog, and you have definitely had a rough summer...God bless you both! Love the stained glass. Hope your hubby recovers well. I'll remember you both in my prayers.

  21. Onward and upward, my friend. I am glad your eyes are better and please God, let every last vestige of that nasty sinus infection leave you forever! I think the stress of what Mr. Jim is going through may have weakened your immune system. All these computer problems could not have helped either. The stained glass window is glorious. I'm so glad you looked up at the yarn shop in Kalispell. Prayers and love to you, my dear buddy. xoxo


Marty, here! Donna loves comments, and I faithfully pass them on to her. Thank you so much for visiting!