Pure Relief

Mom came out of her surgery with flying colours yesterday afternoon. After a Maise procedure and the replacement of one valve which is a pig valve ( I’ll have to take her out to look for truffles) she is doing great and is off the breathing tube and got to visit for a short time with Chuck last night. I got back to my truck after the surgery and I was assured everything was going well. Now the next phase of rehab starts and soon she will hopefully be back to her old self.
Thanks for all the well wishes, I’ve save them and will read them to her when I can get to call her in her room and she is lucid.
On my side of the drama curve, today is wipe windows 8 from my laptop and re-install windows 7 and hopefully that will fix my laptop problems, also the guy at the computer rehab store has a device that can turn the hard drive from my broken Toshiba into an external hard drive and I should be able to recover most of the stuff from the Toshiba including my vast I-Tunes library…:-)
I hope to get back to posting pics soon, I have a buttload of new ones, the spring flowers and tree blooms are really popping down south..:-)

A Bit of Fun…Maybe

What do you get when you combine the shows “Lost”, “Jurrasic Park” and “Stargate”? The new or not so new show “Terra Nova” on Fox. I just watched the pilot episode and it was fun but a bit annoying with a predictable plotline. New colonists travel back 85 million years in to the past from a dying world ” Earth in the 22nd century” to populate a clean earth with dinosaurs and lots of jungle. Security forces lead by the same commander who was the bad marine in “Avatar” are covering up some corporate conspiracy and the true reason for the new colony, and of course there is the main family who has to make do in this strange land and survive with 3 kids, and there are the mysterious 6ers who are the rebel colonists, o.k the more I write this it also sounds like a ripoff of “Lost in Space” too. Its really not that bad when you think about all the other unreality shows and competition shows that grace our t.v.’s nightly, luckily I don’t watch t.v and only get to catch shows on Hulu on the laptop. All in all I’ll watch the next few episodes before making a descision on this show, after all ZFox is the channel that brings us “FamilyGuy” and “The Simpsons” right?

An Unexpected Surprise

Grab a cup of tea or coffee and excuse a few typos its 2 a.m. and I’m on an offramp in Indiana typing this.
On my last day in Illinois I decided to take the morning before meeting my dad for lunch and try one last run in Busey woods for a few bug and amphibian shots. It was overcast and it had just finished raining but it was cool and I kept the camera covered between the raindrops that still fell here and there. I made my way around the area set aside for the prairie reclimation project with lots of grasses and wildflowers and then I decided to head into the woods for a bit of bird/bug shots, after crossing the river I turned to the first trail, an undeveloped trail that heads into the deeper side of the woods and not 10 ft onto the trail I saw them, just a flash of brown in the emerald green of the woods, 3 deer. I’ve been playing in these woods for 35 years and I never saw more than one deer and that was a long time ago, so this was something special for me. I froze in place not wanting to spook them as they foraged in the woods for tasty morsels. I stood transfixed at they saw me but did’nt seem to care. I watched for a while judging the light and cloudcover trying to set the camera for the dark woods. My camera is not dark friendly so I had to make alot of adjustments on the fly, but I finally got the settings right. It was like I was in a dream, one big buck and two does. Then out of the corner of my eye 2 more does and a young buck crossed the trail right in front of me not 20 feet away, they gave me the wary look and kept going to join the rest, it was too cool!

So after watching the herd for a while I decided to leave them alone and continue my hike, besides the mosquitos were eating me alive! I crossed over to the north side of the woods and followed the boardwalk trail to a side trail which leads to a small bridge where I get alot of good dragonfly pics when I see a doe staring right at me not 30 feet off the trail, I just shot about 150 pics of deer so I did’nt bother her and continued to the side trail. I got there and decided to set the tripod down and take a break and turned my hear to the left and was staring right at 2 fawns in the underbrush not 10 feet away! My heart stopped, I froze, not wanting to spook them I moved very slowly but the one just looked right at me and continued to chew something and I think he/she was more intrigued by me than I was of it. I turned the camera and just started taking pics, its sibling did’nt even turn to look at me. I spent a few minutes and moved on beacuse I did’nt want to draw attention to them from other hikers and loud kids.

The rest of the hike to the bridge and pond was a bust, the dragonflies just were not there, bummer, but the deer made it all worth the trip, until I had to take a leak in the woods, BIG mistake, ever get a mosquito bite on your privates? Not fun.. Well I hope ya’ll enjoyed this long post, probably the longest one I have ever done. Have a great weekend..:-)))

Teatime Tuesday

Good Mornin’ Well its Tuesday and I’m on day 3 of my off time which I’m spending in Illinois visiting my Dad and my teaching my niece photography 101 so she can use my D50 on a couple of trips she is taking this summer. So far she is catching on to the the basics very nicely and she has started her own photography blog (AliyaKaye’s Blog) Look for it on my blogroll. So far its been great conversations with my dad over tea and treats and alot of walking through the Busey woods and Meadowbrook Park looking for interesting shots, today will be the Illini gardens which should be a bee and butterfly bonanza. The heat has been miserable so the days have been short and then I run back to the hotel room and soak up the A/C.
Now onto the reason for this post, my dad brought me a new tea that I had first heard about from my bud Lisa at Laughing Orca Rsmch. Its called Lapsong Souchong and when brewed smells and tastes like a smokey campfire due to the fact that the leaves are dried/smoked over bamboo. Its an interesting taste, I tried it straight up and almost gaged, then with some sugar, a bit better, then with milk and sugar, and its not too bad, still very smokey but palatable. Its not a 3 times a day tea but I could get into it once in awhile. I did get to go the the tea store in Champaign yesterday an picked up a couple new teas to try and an old favorite that I’m enjoying as I write/type this its an Irish Breakfast blend from Harrisons&Crosfield..Very good tea! Well I’m off to breakfast with my dad then off to chase butterflies and watch my niece emerse herself in photography, she really has a talent for it..:-) Later…..Ed

Guess what I did Yesterday?

O.k. I’m in love with horseback riding, even if it was just trail riding on broke trail horses who are used to fat tourists and obnoxious kids riding them. I was’nt going to do this but I was going to visit the Tuckaleechee Caverns and saw the riding stables and saw an opprotunity to get some horse pics and pasture shots, well after talking to the guides who were busy getting ready for the day and meeting Pepper who took an interest in me and my camera I decided to go out for a 30 minute ride and it just felt natural and I can’t wait till I get back there again..:-)))

Just a note, I opted to not wear a helmet but I was offered one and next time I go I’m taking the 1.5 hour ride and wearing long pants..:-)))

Pain or Pleasure?

Well this is what my life has become, sticking myself twice a day to check my blood sugar and starting to like it..
I’ve been trying to eat better and have dropped some of my bad habits like candy, energy drinks, white bread and potatoes. But on the good side thanks to my mom I now like spinach, bell peppers and grapefruit. My blood sugar levels are getting pretty good 105-120 in the morning and 140-150 after meals then back down so I’m doing something right. My weight is down and I’ve lost 2 pant sizes and a shirt size so thats pretty cool too. Its hard to say no to my favorite snacks and now enjoy popcorn, pork skins and no sugar added fruit cups..OhBoy! And I’m also taking longer walks with my camera but not so much this week, its been raining where I have been driving for the last 6 days, I hope its better when I get home next Monday for my next checkup and a visit with the folks for more gardening and a trip to town, I can’t wait..:-)

Yep thats my finger and my blood..:-)

One of my favorite places..

Lil’ Porgy’s BBQ!!! Since 1981 this has been my favorite place for sliced pork sandwiches in the U.S. I remember when I was a teenager one of my best friends worked there and I was totally jealous. Even to this day I get homesick for this place where I grew up in Urbana Illinois and can’t wait to eat there and shotgun a cup of mix sauce for old times, meaning, yes I drink a cup of mix sauce straight. In my mind Lil’ Porgy’s isn’t about the meat, its all in the sauce..:-)))

Wednesday after the storm

The storm is over, kinda. I tried to move yesterday and only made it 10 miles before realizing it was a mistake so I stopped in a small town and watched the winds whip the snow all day. Now at 7p.m. the snow has tapered off and the winds have died down and the fridgid cold is coming, that I can deal with, so I’m heading to Lima Ohio then east to Warren Ohio for tomorrow morning. Ya’ll stay warm out there..:-)

A shameless plug for the Gorillapod

I have to plug this cool accessory for all cameras, I needed a portable platform for stable shots and tried out the Joby Gorillapod and totally fell in love with it. You can wrap it around just about anything and my mini has magnetic feet so I can attach it to any metal surface, the SLR heavy duty pod can support my Nikon with short lenses. Its a really cool product, check them out at http://www.joby.com