Saturday, November 25, 2006

Red Was the Theme of the Day

Hubby had to go to Natchitoches last Saturday for work and my youngest daughter and I tagged along. The downtown area was crowded with folks coming in to watch the "Flipping of the Switch" ceremony that evening. Natchitoches is known for their Festival of Lights. We did not stay for the lighting ceremony but I hope to return and see all the lights sometime before Christmas.

Daughter and I took a carriage ride around the town.

Everywhere we went, we saw evidence of this woman's wedding. First we saw her riding alone in a white carriage, later we saw her riding with her groom (after the wedding, apparently). Here she is at the church with part of her wedding party. They certainly made a day of it. As we were leaving, the girls were loaded up in the carriage to take a ride, but the horse was skiddish so the girls had to be taken out. And the horse was taken back to the barn because they could not figure out what his problem was.

And of course, Santas were everywhere. I could have at least changed my angle of view so this one would not be stuck with a tree growing out of his head! I was inside an old hardware store and I was not sure they would appreciate me taking photos so I was snapping quickly.

This guy looks like he is rubbing his old tired knee.

My parents had an old (putrid) green Dodge that had fins like this '57 Chevy. I think there are still parts of it left in the woods out by my uncle's house in rural Lousisiana. By the time they were done driving the car there was a hole rusting out in the floorboard of the back seat area.

Finally, I like this one, even though the red is not as obvious as some of the other photos. You can see the reflections of me and my daughter on each side of the red plate (I am the shorter one!). The name of the store, the sentiment expressed, Merci Beaucoup, means thank you very much, or many thanks. For a long while my attitude of Merci Beaucoup was in very short supply. I want to remember to be grateful for the blessings of life. An "attitude of gratitude" really does make a difference, and I believe one can always find something to be grateful for.

This is Different (and Boring)

Perhaps a little more introspective than some of the things I usually post, but here it is.


I rarely see current photos of myself that I like. It's been a little bit of a personal challenge to force myself to take more photos of me and to find some that I can at least look at without wishing I were not so horribly exposed (to be able to look at myself without self-condemnation, to be able to look at myself with acceptance). I started out doing reflective and obscured views. Occasionally I will take one of my face that I do not absolutely hate, which is not to say that I love it, only that I can look at it without groaning inwardly about how badly I look. This face is not beautiful, but it is mine, and there is a loveliness there, hidden beneath the apparent harshness. (And this photo is not a completely honest rendition of my face, I erased a very deep "frown line" from my forehead, right between my eyes. Frown line, that is what my mother calls it. I prefer to think of it as my "thinking line", the line that is a visible tribute to all that time I spend pondering the wonders and fallacies of the universe!)

Am I angry?
Am I tired?
Am I sad?
The phsychiatrist advises,
"Have someone who knows you well look at your eyes."

I like this one a lot.
I should have paid more attention to my surroundings.
I was just playing around
(the story of my life, where would I be
had I not spent so much time playing around?).

I love this one.
I think
I have nailed the essence of "me" here,
in this photo,
always safely hidden behind obscuring layers.
The sun is setting behind me.
and all I have to do is turn around
to see the real thing, but I am content
to study the reflection in the window.
(Or am I afraid to see the setting sun?)

I'm forever playing around with the filters in Photoshop, trying to make photos look more like paintings and less like photos. I kind of like this one too.


And now for a tiny moment of complaining:

Since I have been home, I have been falling apart in a million tiny ways...It all began with a visit to the gynecologist where they declared my blood pressure was too high and that I had a terrible yeast infection which was probably due to high sugar levels. Took medicine home for the infection (two "overnight" pills and a tube of gunk).

Next up was the dermatologist checkup. I thought he was going to thoroughly check the rest of me for suspicious moles. He checked the incision and decided to biopsy and remove a black mole that was near the incision sight. I asked him about a couple of moles on my back, but the one that was bothering me must have been hidden under my bra strap. When I got back to work, I kept feeling like something was pricking me on my back. When I got home, my daughter looked and the mole was bleeding. So I had to return the next day to the durn dermatologist, where he froze the sucker off and declared it to be totally harmless, but absolutely annoying, especially when located under a bra strap or at a waist line.

So, with that done, I went to the family doctor, who said he never put much credence into blood pressure readings done at the gynecologist's office and found my blood pressure to be within normal range. But tomorrow I'll go do blood work to find out about the sugar, and also to check the thyroid because yeast infections sometimes indicate thyroid problems (and maybe thyroid problems are behind my case of the "gloomies" I have been experiencing lately, or maybe thyroid problems are behind the lethargy I have been experiencing lately, or maybe thyroid problems are behind the lack of creativity I have been experiencing lately, or maybe thyroid problems are the reason I have not won the lottery lately. Ha! Nope! I am normally somewhat melancholic and lazy! And you have to buy a ticket to win the lottery.) Oh yeah, he also discovered an ear infection (which I knew was brewing), so I am now taking an antibiotic and a decongestant.

In the meantime, I also went to the dentist, got a tooth pulled to make way for a bridge and was assured that my problems could be fixed, thus allaying my fears of having to wear dentures. Sheesh. It will cost as much as small bathroom redo (or another cruise!), but I will at least be chewing with my own choppers for a while longer (and the dentist will let us pay our portion out. Good thing he is young, I imagine it is going to take the rest of our lives to pay my chopper repair bill alone!).

The gyencologist assures me it is all maintenance work. All I know is that for about seven weeks in a row, I have various doctor visits scheduled and I don't like it. And I really shouldn't complain, for I am relatively healthy.

And grateful.

(Small update: Thyroid is normal, blood pressure is not a concern at this moment, but the bad cholesterol is high and the good is low. I have this plan to eat walnuts and oatmeal everyday! I have three months to turn things around, otherwise I guess I'll have to start taking cholesterol medicine. The sugar is slightly elevated, not enough for the doctor to call me a diabetic, but still, another good reason for me to start watching my diet and to get a little exercise going.)

People Pics

Ok, in all honesty, I really was not brave enough to get too many butt shots. I was too afraid of people catching on to what I was doing and maybe throwing me overboard for participating in such a tasteless endeavor!

And to be fair to this woman that may be a bathing suit we see and not visible panty lines.

The woman in the red dress, the blue dress, the lime green dress and the woman on the sitting on the bench in the hot pink dress all bought their dresses on the island of St. Maarten for $4.99. We were all out on the deck, watching our departure from the port, making sure the captain of the ship was doing things right.

It is my opinion that this tattoo is a little too much of a good thing.

I love to watch people when they pose for the camera.

Here we have the winner of the "Whitest Legs on the Cruise Ship" contest.

This is what makes digital photography so much fun, the ability to immediately see the picture one has captured, and the opportunity for "do-overs" if you've messed up the first picture.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


I have not totally abandoned this space. I just don't know where my time goes and I have not had much to say. I tweaked the blog template today. Please let me know if anything looks wonky. I think I did things correctly. And by the way, if you have not switched to Blogger Beta, I can't figure out how to comment on your blogs.

This was supposed to be a nice fallish Thanksgiving collage but it morphed into something a little bit different. (I know it's weird, but I have been in some weird moods lately.)

Enjoy your Thanksgiving celebrations.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Oh Dear Me

I've switched to Blogger Beta, downloaded Google's software pack (Firefox is really awesome), and somehow managed to delete a pretty major portion of my 15 year old's photos. They were in my Picasa file and I thought I was just removing them from my file, and not the hard drive itself. Ooopsie. My bad (as she might say). I have not yet broken the news to her, think I will wait until after church before I say anything.

Now I see that I can customize the template and change colors all around to suit my current fancy but I am afraid to do anything more!

I was feeling rather proud of myself but now my old photography teacher's words are ringing in my ears -- Technologically challenged.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Scenes From St. Lucia

I think these are all from St. Lucia. I thought I had a foolproof (and lazy) way to keep myself organized on what was what in my photos, but my system turned out to be somewhat flawed. Nevertheless, the scenery was gorgeous.

It is hard to imagine just how massive this ship was.

It was huge. I believe this is the "butt end", aft, they call it, of the ship. It took a day or two for me to learn my aft from my forward end. That was important to know because our room was on the aft end. What does it say that I would rather see where I have been than where I am going?

I'm going to write more eventually. And I have a few potentially humorous and entertaining shots. It is just that I am in a slump right now for some reason and even blogging does not seem much like fun.

I'll be around. . .

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Walking into our room for the first time, we were already a bit apprehensive about sailing on the open sea. It did not exactly inspire my greatest confidence to see these two life vests on the bed.
One might say I was immediately inspired to hide my eyes and pray (or to run back to the gangplank, wherever it was, and demand to be released immediately back to firm ground)! They had a different towel creature every night. The bunny and the monkey were my favorites.
In the end, we managed to get our life vests on and make our way down for the muster drill, where they explain exactly what to do in case of a real emergency. It was required by international maritime law that all passengers attend this drill. I think they call it a muster drill because you have to muster up the courage to go out in public wearing that ridiculous looking puffy orange vest.

Don't we look lovely? Kind of like a modern version of that old painting, American Gothic??

(My computer is still not acting exactly right. It took forever to post these photos. In fact, I got two of them posted and had to try for several days before I could get the others to post. I am getting ready to make the switch to the Beta Blogger thing and in the process, I may upload the whole Google software package so that I can use Picasa to upload my photos.)