Fire in the pie hole, that is. Initially, I stopped blogging for a while because I have a crazy sibling who stalks my every move here at my blog, and after discovering her footprints all over the place here (such as, seeing her key word searches that she used- which were disturbing, to say the least) – I just really grew disgusted at the notion that she poured over my every word, and it really just creeped me out, altogether. I began feeling like my posts were going directly to her, rather than feeling liberated and being able to express myself freely. (She has a long history as a stalker, and I’m betting she’s changed very little in the past 5 years.)
Alas, I can’t live my life based on other people.- especially her. So I’ll pick up where I left off and simply do what I’ve always done: document my life in words and pictures so that my children and others will have a digital “life album” that they can access, both now and in the future. Apart from that, blogging is really healthy, and sometimes, getting those feelings out through writing is the only way to move past them. So, I’m going to try and blog every day again, and the purpose is not to entertain others; if I wanted to do that I’d just be a You Tuber instead. I don’t really care if I’m blogging about peas, just as long as I keep writing. I’ll only be able to free up emotional space if I’ve made room for new things. So, if you’re here and reading this, be warned- you may eventually be reading about peas.
Since switching to a plant-based diet, Josh and I have considered our options where “meat” is concerned. We’ve been researching meat alternatives, and came across a protein-rich, wheat-based, gluten-heavy protein called tempeh. Basically, tempeh is fermented soy beans that have been fried into small “cakes”. It’s packed with gluten, because gluten is the part of wheat that’s thick and sticky and keeps the bread together. Tempeh is a concentration of the sticky parts, so if you’re eating Tofurkey– which is a vegan meat substitute- you’re eating a gluten-bomb.
I thought I’d be o.k. eating it, because I’ve never had signs of being gluten-sensitive before and have eaten wheat all of my life. But almost immediately after making spaghetti with Tofurkey, my tongue began to burn on its underside. At first, it felt like I’d been burned, and then it progressed into a full-scale attack in which the top of the bottom (of my tongue) felt and looked like it was split open. It clearly had swollen and split apart and appeared to be growing in both size and intensity. Before long, my right ear felt pressurized and my right eye began to burn as well. Within 12 hours, I couldn’t talk and it hurt so badly it took my breath away. When I woke up this morning, I was in excruciating pain and could barely chew my food.
It’s been almost 24 hours now and the pain hasn’t let up at all. I’m guessing I’m gluten-sensitive! Josh got some Orajel for me and it’s helped relieve some of the pain. So, I’ll be adding that to the list as well:
Thank God for Almond milk ice cream! Adopting a (mostly) vegan diet doesn’t mean food has to be boring. I’ve been making my own cashew milk too. It’s amazing! Josh discovered that almond milk has the nutrition of only 28 almonds, so we found a great cashew milk recipe that’s simple as well as wholesome and delicious. None of the pulp is thrown out, so nothing goes to waste. It’s actually tastier than cow’s milk. Lately, cow’s milk had begun to taste like water, so it’s nice to have a creamy milk that is rich in flavour and nutrients.
I’m taking the day off and resting in bed. I can’t believe January is almost gone! One month left of the cold and then the spring will be here again. ❤
Lewis and Clark’s cabin- overlooking the Ohio River
-Click on print to purchase-
I can hardly believe it’s been five months since I’ve been away. Where has the time gone?!
I’d like to say that I’ve been off doing great and honourable things since graduating from college back in May, alas; I’ve merely caught up on 300 crime shows and have picked up a nasty sugar addiction. I’m talking- waxing 3 bags of bubble gum in 4 hours- no kidding. SHAMEFUL.
But let’s not focus on that. 😉
Today is Christmas, and Josh and I are pulling another all-nighter. He’s at his computer station, and I at mine. He’s gaming, and I’m working on editing some pics for my new Etsy shop. I’ve wanted to open an Etsy shop for almost ten years now. At first, I didn’t have enough inventory, and quite frankly, I wasn’t up to the standard of photography that I was utterly pleased with- not enough to sell my work. (But that was 10 years ago.) And then “school happened”. Now, more than 20,000 pics are held hostage on more than 5 disk drives. I could dig through the heap and salvage years of work, or, I could start all over and create a whole new body of work: I’ve chosen to do the latter.
It might seem crazy to want to start all over- especially having spent the last decade developing my personal style and techniques, but for me, my art does more than mark a time in my life. My pics/images tell stories. (You artists and photogs out there know what I mean.) I want the stories to reflect who I am at that time. I’m not the same person I was even five years ago. So, I want to start over. I feel like I’ve grown as a person and an artist, and so I want my pics to reflect that.
I’ve added a new TAB at the top of my page ^up there^- it’s my ETSY tab. Clicking on the pic there will go directly to my ETSY site where I’m offering my prints for sale. In the past, I wanted to sell prints for the generalized reason of “simply wanting to”. Now it’s a matter of being able to return to school or not. My school is withholding my transcript until I pay down the current balance, which is just under $1,300. I don’t have many options, and so I’ve decided to finally open my ETSY shop so that I can sell my work and pay down my school balance. I’m hoping to be able to do this by May of 2017 (4 months from now). That’s a pretty tall order, and once again, I’m racing against the clock. If I don’t do this now, I’ll have to take another 6 months to do it (which means I’d have to wait until January 2018 to return to school), but I really can’t afford to do that.
Once my transcript is released, I’ll be able to apply to Fort Hays University, where I’ll be working on my Master’s degree in Educational Psychology. A lot is riding on this! So, I have a heck of a motivator to get out and get some fresh shots 3 times per week. I’m aiming to add 300 pics or so to my ETSY collection over the next few months. In short, I’m going to be pretty busy. 😉
I’m looking forward to popping in to everyone’s place and seeing what you all have been up to. Sure have missed everyone and I hope everyone has a WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS! ♥
Josh is really sick. I’m feeding him garlic capsules, multivitamins, a nip of a Phenergan, acidophilus, milk thistle and lemon & ginger tea with fresh squeezed lemon. He woke up this morning feeling like crap, burning up with a fever. This is his second bout of sickness in less than a month. Luckily, I haven’t been sick in years; I attribute that to the many herbal supplements I take regularly.
I’m ecstatic because I have all next week off for fall break. Doesn’t make much sense that we get an entire week off for “fall break” with only three weeks left to go. And while I’m at it, it really sucks that most professors decide to make students do twice the work the week before fall break! Yes, double the workload in every class. This is really quite unfair to the student because it renders fall break utterly meaningless as a result. Still, I’m pretty happy that I’m only two assignments away from having an entire week off from school. I can finally clean my house! I pretty much bombed my 15 page research project (final paper) in Research Methods for Experimental Psychology, but by no small miracle, I’m at 92% still (after bombing the paper) which is still an A. (How I pulled that off, I haven’t a clue.) So, if I do well on my PowerPoint presentation, conference poster, research exam and then my final- I can come out of this thing with an A still. I don’t even care about making the Dean’s List any more. I would love to, sure, but things are in their proper places now and my priorities have shifted dramatically. My identity as a student is being squeezed out by the artist in me who is not taking all of this lying down for another minute! I feel alive again. And I’m happy again. 🙂 I’m going to get to do what I want. Take pictures.
I’ve just finished up a 10 part PowerPoint assignment and so I’ve only got my multimedia conference poster to finish along with a research exam and then I’m home free! After fall break, I’ll have my finals and a few odd assignments and I’ll be finished. I really can’t wait to start building an entirely new body of work (photography/art) after the semester’s out! it’s all I think about anymore and it’s most definitely where my heart is. Off to make more tea and get to cracking on my PP conference poster. Ta-ra!
Helios 44-2 film lens/ISO 100/f/2.0
Josh is sleeping beside me. Brianna would kill him if she knew he was using her Care Bear shirt to cover his eyes. It’s 5:00 a.m. and I’m not up early- I’m up late. The snow is gently falling and I have an over-sized mug of hot chocolate next to me. Heaven! I can finally relax after a hectic evening with “the paper”. Instead of my experimental psychology research report being 10 pages long, it was 15. Just as I was tying up some loose ends around 9 (again, it was due by midnight), a transformer blew and half the city lost its electricity.
We scampered out into the truck and hightailed it over to Mickey Dees to scarf up some of their Wifi. After settling down with a couple of hot chocolates, we were unable to connect. An employer clued us in that they hadn’t had internet in a week. Oh boy…
So then, we decided to finish what we could there and pray like mad that by the time we got home, our services would be restored and I could possibly make my deadline. I inducted Josh into my writing club and we got to work. Almost 3 hours later, we finished up the last of it and raced home. I missed my deadline by 6 minutes. My professor had already disabled the link (they don’t play around at IU East!) and so I was able to attach it in a message so that I could at least show her that I had indeed finished on time.
I’m feeling deliriously giddy knowing that the worst is over! I know my overall efforts weren’t my best, but considering I was prepared to drop out entirely (before Josh saved me from the fire), only a few weeks ago, I’m content. I had a strong A/97% going in, so even if I wrote the worst paper in the history of the class, I would still come out with a low B, or, worst case scenario, a high C. But I don’t think that’ll happen.
I’m a winter person and can’t wait to get out and about with my camera and play in the snow. I hopped out a few minutes ago to grab a few of my first snow shots for the season. I had to slow shutter it due to the lack of lighting, but that makes for better contrast in the long run, so I didn’t mind terribly. I love that it was pitch dark outside, but because it was a long exposure, I was able to make it appear to be daytime in the first two pics.
It’s 7:39 a.m. and I’ve been up all night again. I usually am these days. I noticed that I prefer working through the night- in dark, quiet solitude, rather than during the day. I’m making tea and getting ready to start on my literature review: I’ve completed my Methods and Results Drafts. The literature review is usually the part of the scientific paper that introduces the hypothesis; which is why it’s also called the Introduction (section). All in all, it’ll be 10 pages or so, and so I’ve been working for weeks on drafts. I’ve never been more tempted to quit! There’s roughly 5 weeks to go still before the semester ends. I messed up by going out and getting a batch of fresh shots. I forgot how fun it was!
This is a collage I made from fresh leaves found in my back yard two days ago.
Helios 44-2 film lens/Canon Rebel XSI/natural sunlight
Available for purchase here
Time to get cracking!
So I’ve been sitting here doing homework for the past (30 hours with a sleep break) few hours, and have decided to do the self-challenge that I’ve wanted to do for years: I’m going to leave my camera in monochrome for a whole year. After my next birthday, I’ll take my first coloured photograph. The majority of everything looks better to me in black and white anyway, and when I compose a shot in monochrome- as opposed to colour- it always tells a story.
I can twist the lighting any way I want and distort and change my image: pancakes become mountains- the syrrup the sea- and the edge of the syrup-filled pancake looks like a gashed-open knee. I love the way the light fades off into the syrrupy-darkness.
Clearly, I’ve done too much schoolwork and am creating little worlds now in my plate of food.
Back to the schoolwork.
I’m supposed to be house cleaning. I cut a deal with Josh- he would clean the back part of the house and I’ll clean the kitchen, etc. He’s living up to his half- no wait- I hear metal clinking outside around his moped area. Hmm…I may have been outfoxed.
We’re going to go on a photo walk today in downtown Old Louisville (Kentucky), home of the Kentucky Derby. It’s an interesting place- a mixing pot. Old, young, poor, wealthy, strange artists (my favourite kinds of people ever), and an array of collective and colourful personalities. We’re going to park in Indiana and walk over the bridge, into Kentucky, have a beer, grab a bite- shoot some people.
With the camera, of course. 🙂
Damn. I’m really going to have to stop with the smilies. It’s ruining my tougher than nails image.
lounging about cleaning the house at the moment. Josh starts school soon too. Back when he was here before and we were having major problems, I sort of…smashed his computer. It’s shameful, I know. I was raging at the time and livid about what he was doing online. (As if smashing the computer would help.)
Now, he’s starting school and desperately needs a computer. Although we’ve settled our financial differences and have squared things up, he’s still without a computer so, I did what I had to do and sold my Lensbaby. Ouch. That hurts just typing that. I also sold my swap kit- which was an additional 4 lens set. There’s just no way I could feel good about having my luxurious toys while he suffered. So, I don’t regret it at all- it was the right thing to do. I still have my 18 MP. DSLR and my 50 MM 1.8 (my personal fave). It’s enough.
I feel good knowing that I’ve made retribution and have given Josh enough money to be able to get his computer and book access code. I think I’ve learned a pretty good lesson in all of this. Leave the man alone! Let him breathe and be a person apart from me, even if that means doing something that I deem “bad”. For me, that’s huge.
We went out for drive yesterday to Lexington, Indiana and had a really good time. We took a turn down a long country road and followed a sign that announced “fresh strawberries”. It was like a wild Utopia. The clouds were semi-overcast and casting a cool, grey glow over everything. Almost like golden hour lighting- that pre-storm lighting, which to me is the best ever, and the best for HDRs.
Large thistles grew out of thick stalks in the ground on either side of the road. Although they were deep purple and quite beautiful, I found them even lovelier in black and white:
I have an abundance of shots taken from yesterday but haven’t had time to get to them. I’ve discovered the beauty of shooting in RAW again. Makes a big difference with image quality.
Josh just pulled up on his sugar-cycle. (I’ve renamed his moped- he does store runs late at night because we’re sugar freaks and consume large amounts of candy while watching Locked Up Abroad late into the night like we did last night.)
And now I have to get back to cleaning. We’re off on a photo walk soon and my regret is that I don’t have a super-wide to shoot with. All of those old architectural jewels in downtown Louisville and I only have my 50 MM. UGH. (Must get a 10-20 soon.)
50 MM/shot in monochrome/manual
(The strawberries were delicious, by the way.)
Lensbaby Composer/Double Glass
f/2.8 -natural lighting/ISO 100
sh. sp. – 1/4000/Falls of the Ohio
I may or may not be showing several of my water pieces in a “water exhibit” soon. (More on that later.) For now, it’s hush-hush.
I went out today down to the Falls of the Ohio (which I actually named “Fossil Rock” when I was a child, 30+ years ago) and grabbed some water shots with the Lensbaby. Although I’m not exactly a novice with this particular lens, I’d be a fool to be so comfortable to think that I don’t have much room to improve. And, truth be told, the more I learn in photography, the more I feel that I need to learn. I’m always restless and, artistically, never satisfied- always pushing to grow and learn new things. Years ago, I had considered going to art school. I’m glad I chose to study Behavioral Sciences instead. With art (and photography in particular), the world is my teacher, the camera is my canvas, and lighting is my brush.
Josh and I are headed back out to the dam area. The (possible) exhibit allows only 3 pieces to show. It’s a juried exhibition- I’m excited. (But again, more on that later. It’s not quite “in the bag”.) I can rap off 500 shots in under an hour, and I do that frequently. Selecting only three pieces from a day’s shoot of thousands of pics is like trying to find a flea on a mountain.
I’ve also been invited to show several pieces in a Berlin exhibition. (Yeah- that Berlin!)
Again, it’s a juried exhibition and I want to do it, but I have to be selected first: it’s a bit if a waiting game. I’m still pretty behind in some of my classes and I’ll really need to put my nose to the grind because the exhibition deadlines are within the next week. Time to set my alarm to 6:00 a.m. every morning!
Off and running…
“You’re seriously not going to go out there like that, right?” I asked my daughter, Brianna.
“Of course,” she said.
“Um…with that…Illuminati symbol? Seriously?”
She smiled. I laughed. And then I left her alone.
This is Southern Indiana; it may as well be the deep South. Rednecks and hillbillies are thick around here. I quickly put things into proper perspective: she has every right to wear whatever she wants on her face, head, or any other body part. The fact that I disagree is really not the point: I need to respect her choices.
So we headed out to the Home Depot, and short of being lynched, publicly, it went well! There are lots of pot-bellied guys in suspenders there- “good ole boys” who like traditional things and people that just don’t push envelopes or stretch boundaries. Ha. My little family is exceptionally good at that and I’m so proud of my kids.
The looks she got by “the good ole boys” at the Home Depot were shocking (and, hilarious). Brianna walked straight forward with a dedicated gait and didn’t flinch. She didn’t look to see what others thought or if they even looked at her. I gained a new respect for her that day. I still don’t like the Illumnati symbol (at all) but certainly appreciate a person who stands his or her ground and challenges others to bend their perspectives- to break out of their stagnant mindsets and breathe new air- even if that air is foreign and seemingly “threatening”.
I remember well what one of my best friends (of 8 or so years) said to me once over the IM. I’m a Christian- he’s an Athiest- and we were alright to “go there” with each other. Not always- but we didn’t shy away from the subject ever. We liked to know what made the other tick and why we chose to believe what we did, so we often prodded and poked, respectfully.
“Well, you, being an unbeliever…da da da…” I said, foolishly.
“I’m not an unbeliever,” he said. “I just don’t believe the same things you do.”
To this day, that’s one of the most riveting things anybody has ever said to me. Profound even. For six years or so, he and I were so very close. I think of him often and love him dearly. He remains an Athiest and I remain a Christian- but we had a unique understanding and respect for one another. He remains one of my favourite people ever.
It’s too late to be rambling on about the Illuminati and Home Depot and rednecks and stuff. I have to be up early in the morning. I need to go
do loads of schoolwork watch Dual Survivor while I eat roasted chicken.