My webpage (inc. awards, upcoming events, etc.)

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Birding Surprise, Etc.

As mentioned in a previous post, I saw an adult male blue grosbeak at our feeder a while back, which is completely unusual for this time of year. Subsequently, I saw something that I first thought was a female indigo bunting (which also would have been unusual.) Today I was finally able to get a zoomed shot of the mystery visitor. After further research (& to my delight,) it has turned out to be either an adult female or a juvenile blue grosbeak.
In other news, I've learned that healing is more of a process than it was when I was younger. My first day back at work was an 8 hour shift, after which I felt totally horrible; nauseous & in a lot of pain. It's to be expected, of course. I still look forward to being completely back in the swing of things, even if it's going to take a while.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Art, Birds & More (2 Updates)

Inspired by STAA's upcoming "Put a Little Heart in Your Art" show, I completed a little painting last night;

Love Rain Down
10x8" acrylic on canvasboard
(Update, Dec. 2009; I painted thin washes over this to create "Alienation.")

Today I saw what looked much like a female indigo bunting out back. Like the blue grosbeak of the other day, this isn't a bird we typically see this time of year. I'm wondering if these might be Fall migrants, returning to Wintering grounds. It seems a bit early to me. In a similar but different vein, yesterday & today seem cooler than normal. I wonder if we're in for a cooler Winter (overall,) than last year. (Update, 8/27/09; After getting pictures of the suspected bunting & further investigation, it has turned out to be an immature male blue grosbeak--something never seen in our back yard until now.)
In other news, Charles had another book published recently; Writing in Psychology, which he co-authored with 2 others.
In yet other news, I return to work tomorrow for the first time since my surgery. Speaking of which, it turns out that I had some pre-cancerous stuff going on, so I'm glad I was finally able to have the procedure I needed. Unfortunately the U.S. (anti-)healthcare system let things go farther than they should have. Back in Canada everything would have been taken care of without question when the issues first appeared over 2 years ago. At any rate, I'm glad to be getting back to work. I'm beyond desperate for money right now & have missed my coworkers & our patrons.
I've had another couple of photos printed on the front page of the St. Tammany News. One of flowers in the sand on Aug. 19th and one of a juvenile bald eagle on Aug. 21st.
Many thanks to Chrissy for these two, lovely awards. Please do stop by her blog. She's a talented artist & crafter & an all around great gal!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Salute the Canon

I'm saddened to report the death of my beloved Canon PowerShot A570IS. A little internet research revealed that a design flaw in the early PowerShots was never corrected. Canon was originally willing to fix cameras with this problem at no expense, but have quietly backed away from even acknowledging the design flaw some time ago. I still have my Canon EOS Rebel 50D, but I liked the flexibility of leaving the 300mm lens on that for distant shots, while keeping the PowerShot in my pocket for "normal" shooting. It was that configuration that allowed me to get such shots as that of my great white egret. Had I needed to change lenses when the opportunity presented itself, I would have missed it. Unfortunately, that's where I stand now.
The PowerShot was my first digital camera, a wedding present from a dear friend about a year & 10 months ago. Freed of the constraints of film & development, I immediately fell in love. In retrospect, the camera certainly wasn't perfect, but it did a good job during its run. Now there are better cameras available at half the price of an A570IS. Unfortunately my recent health concerns have completely depleted my bank account, so I won't be replacing the PowerShot any time soon. On the other hand, it's still too hot to go out yet, so perhaps the weather & my bank account will meet up at precisely the right moment. Meanwhile, I will tremble in the corner, like an addict desperately in need of a fix.

(BTW, this photo wasn't taken with either of my digitals but rather an 18 year old Asahi Pentax.)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Brief Update (Updated)

This afternoon I saw a male blue grosbeak at our feeders. This is surprising, as they're typically seen very briefly during their migration through our area in April. They're not typically summer residents in our area, so it'll be interesting to see if today's will stick around.
Last night I inadvertantly picked up a Google Hijack Virus just by visiting a blog directory website. Fortunately I'm a CNA with now-obsolete Netscape on my computer (in addition to IE,) so I was able to work it out, but it took about 7 hours. I'd recommend downloading Malwarebyte's free trial of AntiMalware in advance of ending up with this problem. (Update in response to some comments; Only my use of Google in IE was a problem, so you won't get any virus from me or my sites. I recommend downloading AntiMalware because the site I got the virus from seemed legit & req'd no download. In addition, neither Norton Anti-Virus nor Ad-Aware ever detected it, even after reinstalls & updating (& the first thing this virus does is disable Norton.) The only other option I found if you're NOT intimately familiar with the deepest workings of your computer is a complete System Restore. If you don't want to start from scratch, take the few seconds it takes to download AntiMalware. Better safe than sorry!)
My continuing recovery is going very well. A couple of days ago I seemed to really turn a corner & started feeling human again. I've even made a few, brief forays out of the house. My follow up appointment is early this coming week, so I hope to get the OK to return to work. Charles has continued to be wonderfully caring and helpful. I'm a very lucky lady.
There are still some days left in the MSNBC "It's a Snap" contest, but my entry is so far behind I don't expect to win. I appreciate the input & support I received, nevertheless! (Update, 8/17/09; I didn't get enough votes to get out of the lowest rungs of entries.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Another Contest Finalist

I got an e-mail from MSNBC this morning, notifying me that my photo of a golden orb weaver made it to the finals for this week's "It's a Snap" photo contest. I'm already behind by 600 votes or more, so I don't expect to win in this case, but there are no prizes involved, anyway. Nice enough to have the exposure. If anyone's interested, I have a glossy, 11x14" print of this for sale. (Updated, 8/17/09; I didn't receive enough votes to get out of the bottom of the heap, but I appreciate those who did take the time to vote.)

In other news, my recovery continues to be a slow, steady process. I just wish I was all better NOW already.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Home, Recovering

Just wanted to let everyone know I'm home now & recovering. Fortunately when I woke after the surgery yesterday I didn't feel as bad as I'd expected to & of course I feel even better today. I should be back to normal in no time. Thanks for all of the good wishes!
More thanks than mere words can ever express to my wonderful husband, Charles, for his unwavering kindness, caring, help & consideration. He is a true gem that I treasure always.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I haven't been "vocal" about it here, but I'm going under the knife tomorrow morning. Without going into gory details, I'll say that it's a standard procedure being done laproscopically, so I'll be back soon.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

New Painting

"Down Louisiana Way"
11x14" acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas
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