August 26, 2015

Photo of the Week - Mountain Cloud



Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

The Teton range is famous for its dramatic rise from the landscape, without being obscured by foothills. The Grand Teton peak crests at 13,770 feet, and twelve other peaks exceed 12,000 feet. The range rises up between 5000 and 7000 feet above the valley floor.

With all of those numbers in mind, you now have a bit of an idea of the size of the cloud hovering above the mountains. It was BIG!

I hope that Mr. Jim is enjoying the view from his lofty residence these days, up among the majestic clouds. He should be content with how well I am doing in building a new life without him. Jim died eight months ago today. The pain has not gotten any less. I’m merely learning how to live with it.

August 24, 2015

Changing Vision




As most of my faithful blogging friends know, I thoroughly enjoy wildlife photography. The recent Nashville workshop featured Americana subject matter, so wildlife was in extremely short supply. An unfriendly, resident cat at Cannonsburgh Village in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, was the only critter spotted during that week. I snuck up on him while napping and quickly got off a few shots before he fled the scene.

I had muscle surgery last Friday on my left eye. That makes four eye surgeries in two years. Sigh. I have been seeing significant double vision for well over a year now. The imbalance occurred when I developed a prolapsed lacrimal gland in my right eye, and swelling from surgical correction worsened the degree of strabismus.

August 19, 2015

Photo of the Week - Spring Aspen Along the Snake River



Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Aspen trees in the Grand Teton National Park herald the seasons. The trees were decked out in their spring ensemble during my visit in late May. This landscape outlined a vivid contrast between new foliage and the snow-covered mountain peaks. Fog nestled in the distance. Winds were calm, resulting in a clear reflection in the Snake River. It was a vision of silence, tranquility, and natural beauty.

The scene looks cold, and I can attest that it was! It was around 30 degrees. So I was bundled up in a polartec jacket with hood and wearing gloves. But I gave no mind to the chilly temperature because I was so grateful to witness such grandeur.

August 15, 2015

Need Help to Cut the Cord




One of the big frustrations for a new widow is straightening out various utility services and service contracts. And it seems like these companies today make things extra difficult or choose to treat customers with dishonesty. Two that have given me the most grief are Verizon and Comcast. I believe there is a special place in hell for the executives that run cellular and cable television companies, not just from these two examples. So please don’t advise me to change to XYZ company. They are all terrible in their own unique way.

It took me months of effort to get Verizon straightened out, but they are now behaving nicely. My problems with them started when I cancelled my husband’s cell phone back in late January (basic phone, no contract). By mistake, they disconnected my cell phone.  Three times! To add insult to injury, they kept charging me cancellation and reactivation fees for each erroneous event. I expended a lot of tears and countless hours to get them to fix the messes of their own creation. But I eventually got them to stop all of the nonsense and erase all of the fees.

August 12, 2015

Photo of the Week - Ricky Skaggs Portrait



A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Nashville Celebrations event for His Light Workshops. Ricky Skaggs, of bluegrass music fame, is a personal friend of the workshop leader, Bill Fortney. It is traditional for Mr. Skaggs to tag along a little bit each year, but this year he joined us shooting in the field and learning in the classroom for most of the week. He is quite a soft-spoken, tenderhearted man, and he takes his photography very seriously.

He arranged for us to get into some private places around the Nashville area and chimed in during critique sessions on participant’s photos. We had a studio portrait session with him one afternoon too! Staff at a local camera store prepared a studio setting, including lights, flash controls, and fabric background (which I darkened in editing because it was way too busy for my personal taste). Portrait photography is certainly “not my thing,” and I was a nervous wreck when it came to my turn to snap his picture. Isn't he a handsome man? I pretended that he was a bear and I was doing wildlife photography, haha! As part of the workshop, we were also treated to his musical performance with Kentucky Thunder at the classic Ryman Auditorium. It was awesome!

Mr. Skaggs took the time to give me personal encouragement about my photography and the new direction of my life. I am grateful for his wise counsel and feel blessed to know him.