It is not cancer!!!
Loki's biopsy is back. The abnormal cells seen under the microscope were caused by an abscess that resulted from a foreign object that burrowed under his skin. This could have been a bee stinger, or small piece of glass, wood, or metal. Whatever it was it had to small, because he never had a bleeding injury in that area. When I first saw the lump I thought maybe a wasp got him. He is still at the vet getting care. He is on stronger antibiotics to treat the infection and tranquilizer to keep him still during this part of his recovery.
Loki had a tumor on his leg that was removed last week. He is seven months old and already has a tumor. He has sutures and staples, and is not healing well at all.
This puppy is on four different medications twice a day. Two of which have sedative effects. However, the sedatives are not making him sleep through the healing process. They are slowing him down, but he is just loopy and confused when he's medicated. His wound is still bleeding and we are about to make our second vet trip this week; our fourth in two weeks.
I'm at my wits end. Training has come almost to a complete halt, he cries often because he doesn't know why he has to stay in his crate only to be let out to drink or to go outside. The good thing is, well maybe it's a bad thing and the cause of the slow healing, the wound doesn't bother him. He's more concerned about the cone and being locked up to keep him as still as possible.
We are struggling. No socializing, no exercise, no play. No long training sessions, and no time with his brother Thor or the other dogs in the house. Please send good thoughts and prayers his way so we can move on and continue our adventure together.
Big Life Changes
She did it! It was a close call too. She had a decent GPA, but one state standardized test almost ruined it all. Almost. The day before she was to walk to receive a "Certificate of Completion" instead of a Diploma we found out she passed the state test she was having trouble with.
My husband and I cried that day we found out, we cried the day she walked. She moved out when school ended for seniors, and we were crying then. It is so hard to let go and say "Go! Hope you do well." You kinda still want to be around to save the day. Now the house feels off. It's down to three of us. In four years it will be just my husband and I.
It's been so long since it was just the two of us. I wonder if we know how to "couple" anymore. Will it be weird? Will it be sad? Will be OK? I'm sure new routines will set in, I just hope we don't end up staring at each other wondering what to do with ourselves. I hope we explore and grow. I want to travel. I think it will be unsettling at first, but I think we will do alright.
I ended up hurting my leg a couple of days ago. It's not serious, but it's just enough to give me several days off my feet. I'd love to say I was doing a 5k or jet skiing, or something cool. Nope, just rushing to my car. Listen, I'm pushing forty and I'm a little overweight. Cut me a break.
So, I won't have any new works for a while, but that's ok. I could use the rest in this already crazy month. My daughter is completing school, the hubby is turning 40 and the boy is getting deeper in the teen years at 14. All this month. So I will be busy, and I will be shooting some I hope.
Experiment and have an adventure.
I've finally have been working on ideas that pop in my head instead of them sitting on the back burner as usual. I've been following through with ideas for Loki and I've had this tent for two years and finally got it out for the first time! A good friend and I have talked about doing this for a long while so we got to it. The little girl was a doll! She was excited and willing to follow direction as well as come up with her own ideas. During the editing process I decided to try out fireflies. The worse that could happen is that it would look cheesy and overly edited. It ended up working out.
I get ideas or someone inspires me and it just lays there in the back of my mind with a "one day" mentality. I don't want to do that anymore. I want to explore and experiment and just get on with it. My idea or inspired shoot will either be great....or it won't. The tent with a little girl in a flowy dress has been done. This shoot was inspired. I wanted to imitate and explore my way of shooting with someone else's vision. Most of the tent or teepee shoots I see, not all, are shot in natural light, are airy and with a light feeling. That's not my style at all. I do it on occasion, but it's not me.
Loki's "It" inspired shoot was a snowball. What happened was I am in a photography group called jpeg2raw, and every month there is a contest. The month of April is "Open" theme. I thought April showers bring may flowers and immediately bought a rain coat for Loki with no real idea in mind. Well, I was talking to my friend and she said "You have to do Georgie from It!" YES! I thought, and then I started planning out the shoot. I then decided that Pennywise would also have to make an appearance in the shoot.
So I went back online and ordered a cheap renaissance style collar and cuff set. I didn't need an actual clown, just hints of him. I read the book years ago, and it's the type of book where scenes sort of "stick out" and they aren't soon forgotten. So I had my own image of Pennywise the Dancing Clown and the spider-like alien form. I didn't use that form in this shoot neither did I use the werewolf or anything else. The clown is the most known form and I wanted to keep that. This also wasn't a shoot I wanted to spend a lot of money on either. I wanted it simple and it worked for me. I am very pleased with what I've been doing.
Not everything is a hit. The salt container idea wasn't super fantastic, but I did get to work on my composite skills and get the most out of the IT shoot. Photography is an art, but it's also an adventure. Even if part of that adventure is sitting at my computer.
I just make it look easy
People keep telling me how good I'm doing with him. That I'm dedicated and how good it is I'm willing to put in the time. The problem is, most of the time they see the good moments, because that's what I share to the world. For the last couple of weeks I've been able to get a full 6-7 hour sleep; which has helped so much. Potty training, however, feels like it's going no where. He was doing great for a while ringing his bell for number two. Now it's hit or miss. We are back to square one in that department. He seems to only ring the bell to go out and play now.
Then there's the rock obsession. I feel like some days my hands are in his mouth fishing out rocks more often than they aren't. I can't get rid of the rocks, they are under the sand as part of our septic system and the rain has scattered the ones that have come up through the Florida sugar sand.
I have days where I think I made a mistake getting a puppy. I often feel like I'm just not up for it. That's not his fault though. I made the decision, I was the only one in the house who initiated and followed through with getting him. No one else asked for this. The household pitches in when I'm not around, but ultimately he's my responsibility.
To be honest, I don't regret getting him. Not all moments or days are frustrating and I'm sure the cloudy patches will pass by and we can have a better bond, and a better understanding on what's expected of each other. I hope, soon, to have more days of joy with my puppy and less days of wanting to tear my hair out.
So, I got this puppy. I wasn't looking for another dog, it just happened and I fell in love.
Nine years ago we lost our German Shepherd mix. We also had two girls, a black mouth curr mix and a chihuahua when he passed. They were both puppies. They are still with us just a little older, greyer, and maybe a little heavier.
The second week after I got him was a very hard week. Nothing really to do with him. Problems were hitting me at all sides, but all my focus was on training this puppy.
In one way that was good. I couldn't dwell on things I couldn't fix at the moment. However, I also couldn't deal with the problems being thrown my way.
Since I was so focused on him I have discovered that puppies are sponges. He can sit, stay, lay down, wait for permission to eat, and now is learning to ring a bell to go potty. I've only had this guy for about 3 weeks!
I still have to get up in the middle of the night to let him out to potty and I still have to watch him like a hawk when he's awake. Still, this is a good experience at this time in my life. My first kid is about to leave the nest, and things will be changing around here. I hope to stay on a good track with this boy, and I hope he helps fill the hole that Bourbon left when he passed away. He's looking like he's going to be a very good boy.
New hobby and resolutions
Happy Belated New Year! Life is good, work is good, and adding a new hobby and resolutions this year. This year I vowed to read a minimum of 10 pages a night, refrain from buying any new bags or purses, and to get out of my photo rut. Ok, we can throw in the losing weight part too...
So far, I'm pretty successful this year on the reading challenge. I got a head start to build momentum. Since the middle of December I have read 9 books and on my 10th:
Before he kills
Creatures of Appetite
Where we went wrong
The Silent Child
The Good Daughter
Summer of Night
A Winter Haunting
A Good Marriage (current)
I decided to buy a Kindle Fire HD 10 and a Kindle Paperwhite. I bought the paperwhite because I found my tablet was heavy and cumbersome to carry around. These have become great motivators. Book size doesn't matter, and I don't have to find a home for a book I'm not going to re-read. Kindle versions are often cheaper than their paperback and hard cover counterparts, my husband has Prime reading on his account I can use, and the library lends out e-books as well. All these are incentives to keep plugging along.
Also, something exciting, some friends and I have started a book club. I couldn't find a local one, at least not with the genre I'm interested it. My friends also read thrillers and mysteries as well. I wanted some accountability to read at least one book a month this year.
I LOVE purses and camera bags. Before the end of the year a close friend of mine went to Dillard's with me and helped pick up a gorgeous new purse. I went with The Sak brand and got a cute backpack/messenger combo. Gorgeous. I did see another that I was in love with, but the size was too big.
Due to internet ads popping up everywhere that bag popped up....in a smaller size. I grabbed the link and told my husband, who had already gotten me a canvas shoulder/sling bag for Christmas, that I wanted this purse for my birthday, and he GOT IT!
So, I decided to get rid of all purses except the Saks and the canvas bag. I promised to stick to these three bags all year long. I also took an extra step and said I would not be buying any camera bags either.
Saying all this, I do have a cute Kindle tote bag on my wish list that would be perfect for a work bag...
I have been in a photography rut!!!! I was going out nearly every Saturday morning, and sometimes afternoon to shoot wildlife. Which is great, and I'm not going to stop, however, I wasn't shooting much of anything else. A fellow photographer I know, who happens to be amazing, she has a couple of books out with her work (Debra Rothenberg), shared her experience with Shutterstock. I have several images just sitting on hard drives and decided "why not?".
I accidentally submitted one image instead of the allowable ten to get qualified. Well, they took it. So I have been thinking and searching of what to shoot and how. I feel like the creative fog is about to lift.
As far as the weight loss goal...I'm waiting until February before I show up at the gym. The January crowd should thin out a little by then.
I'm another year older, and I have goals. I wonder how many I'll reach.
Holy crap! It's been a while.
I know, I'm terrible at the blogging thing. I want to say I'm sorry, but I've been exploring, and doing things, and I can't apologize for that.
I mentioned a while ago that I picked up a little Olympus OM-D EM10 and 25mm 1.7. It's an entry level micro 4/3 camera. Last month I bought a cheap flash and trigger and decided to see what I could do with this small set up.
The answer is, the same thing I can do with my Nikon and Yongnuo speed light set up, for the most part. There are some challenges, but some benefits. The sensor is small and is not as sensitive to light, and the lens is not as quick to focus in low light as my 1.4 lenses. However, due to the 3 axis in camera stabilization capabilities and lighter weight of the equipment, I can get a sharper image at a lower shutter speed than with my heavier gear.
I've been playing off on comparing my results with the two camera set ups for over a month. Not to see if one's better than the other, but to see if I could get acceptable images that would please both a photographer's eye as well as someone who knows nothing about photography. Some of my so-called tests were to try and get the same results while others were using the same settings to see what the differences were. Below the color images were shot with the same settings to see what the differences were obviously present. You can see the depth of field is more shallow in the Nikon shot. I'm not going to compare the distance of him in the frame because I didn't use a tripod. I know I didn't get up and move, but I am aware that I probably shifted while I switched bodies, and probably cropped and straightened the shots. With the lack of using a tripod, I was really trying to look at DoF and exposure differences so that I can play with the next shot. In the black and white comparison I was trying to get similar results using different settings. I didn't quite nail that, but both are acceptable to hang on my wall.
Back to the speed light set up. Again, I do these "tests" to see what I can do, not to prove anything, or to educate, I'm not really qualified for that. I just know how to make them work for me. Focusing was difficult in the dark on both cameras, but seemed easier with the Nikon and 50mm 1.4. I did use a flashlight to lock focus when using both of my cameras.
Olympus and 25mm Left Nikon and 50mm Right
Anyways, both did well for my personal use. I still use my Nikons a lot, but I feel good about my Olympus entry level camera as well. I know they say "it's not the gear, it's the photographer". Yes and no. Your gear has limits, the lower the level the gear the more limited you can be. However, if you use your entry level camera with in IT'S ability you can really get some great stuff because of your knowledge behind the camera.
Never be afraid to be curious. I may look stupid to some photographers with my lack of technical knowledge, poor posing abilities, and lighting choices, but I'm not afraid to learn, and to try. I'm not afraid to make a mistake. If I learn something it's no longer a mistake...it is then called a lesson.
I get so bored sometimes. I get bored in my day to day, my work, my craft...Boredom doesn't mean ungrateful, it just means "blah". I have a very good life, healthy kids, a good job, wonderful husband, and a cool hobby. I took these fisheye shots out of boredom. I wanted shoot, but I was too tired to go out and find something. I knew I wanted to create. Even if it was just a simple set up in my living room.
This is nothing original or spectacular, but I share it just the same. Just a little "Hi, this is what I'm up to today." We share pictures of our kids, our selfies, even our nicely plated lunch. If you really think about it, only a small percentage of our social media friends and followers actually care to see these photos and updates in our lives. By care, I don't mean clicking the "like" or "favorite" button. I mean genuinely seeking out our pages to see what we are up to. Just because our posts show up in a newsfeed doesn't mean someone actually wanted to see it.
So why do we share the most mundane parts of our lives mixed in with what's important in the moment? I think we share these things to feel connected, to prove to others we are doing something, or to remind people that we are here sharing this planet. Ok, maybe we're not going in to such deep thoughts when we post when we share that awesome colorful salad at that new trendy restaurant on social media. It's easy. We snap, swipe and tap around on our screens and POOF that thing we are doing right then and there is shared with dozens, hundreds, or thousands of other people right in moment.
Sometimes, when no one is clicking that like or favorite button we may think "What the heck?? This is a great photo, thought, shared post." Photographers like to do "like ladders" with each other in our little groups, people like to follow everyone they can on Instagram for the chance of a follow back. Why? To feel validated, wanted, maybe to feel important. As if our posts matter to the masses, when in reality only your husband or wife may appreciate that awesome dinner you just cooked and put on a plate like a master chef.
Times have changed. Our world got a whole lot bigger when social media popped up. You know what, though? Even though only a small percentage of my friends and followers are actually interested in what I'm posting...I enjoy it. I feel like I get to be apart of that big world.
We get and share information lightening fast. We get that feeling of validation with every thumbs up and heart that pops up in our notifications, and that's OK. Share on, and be safe about it. With that big world comes a whole lot of shady people. Some just want to spam you with their agenda, and some can be dangerous. We tell our kids not to add random people to our social media followers or friends' lists. We adults should do the same. So, stay safe, and don't forget to like and share.