Photos available

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hard at Work

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm unable to do the job for which I was educated - nursing.  Before my car wreck, I was working ICU and CVICU.  Not only does that require a brain cell or two, it requires a strong back and some skeletal muscle strength.  I'm a bit short on the strength needed, and I don't really have a desire to set foot back in a critical care unit.. So, for a while, ICU will have to wait.

In the meantime, I was reviewing some photos that I had taken in during my last two trips to Europe.  Some of those were framed and given as gifts to family members and friends.  In the last few weeks, I have also been looking at other people's photos.  The ones I like are fantastically imperfect!  I am going to post some of my favorites.  If you would like some, let me know which one, what size, color or b/w, framed or not framed.

In many cases, I have multiple photos of the same shot from different angles or perspectives.  There are more photos available than I have posted here. All photos posted in this blog are copyrighted.  If you would like to use a digital copy for a screen saver or some other limited personal use, please ask first.

Thanks so much for your friendship and support!

Friday, May 25, 2012

God and Sausage on a Stick

On my facebook page, I told all my friends, acquaintances, and online buddies that I had a dream about what I was going to post.  It goes something like this: Imagine, people are marketing God as if he's the latest sausage on a stick!  Of course, I had fair food in mind.  I like my fair food as much as anyone.  It is a splurge that my friends and I  look forward to from year to year (fried coke, fried beer, funnel cakes, corn dogs, or insert your favorites here).  Walking through the "food" section , smelling the aroma of the delicacies cooking, the lingering scent of pure sugar in the air, and reading the large, "loud" signs used to attract people like me who smell everything and can't tell from where each scent arises, reminds one that Autumn is approaching (or, in Texas, it might be below 100 degrees F or 37.5 degrees C).

Let's give this idea some thought.  The preachers throughout the bible belt are always trying to "return America to its Christian roots," on one hand (In my mind I hear loud, boisterous preaching).  On the other, they're promising, in a very teacher-like tone of voice, that if you behave like a "good little Christian," God will bless your every endeavor, and you're exempt from failure.(The caveat is that if your endeavor doesn't exactly work out, there's a problem with your faith.  The guilt ensues) If one manages to have an epiphany in which they return to their roots while being faithful and dutiful, the AMEN corner will start shouting and all will evangelize the world to their brand of religion.(Translation: Oh, I mean that they'll start a word of mouth advertising campaign.)  What a great marketing tactic!   This simplistic, magical thinking that one could manipulate God into such a  formula is equal to treating the experience of eating a sausage on a stick (a simple pleasure) as equal to the 'abundant blessing of God.'  I think not, but the politicians and TV preachers alike are on the bandwagon to manipulate the hearts and minds of those who will listen,.

photo by David Hayward



Thursday, May 24, 2012

Photo art for sale

winter wonderland  copyright 2011
narnia tree copyright 2011
 Dear friends,

Most of you know that I was in a horrible car wreck on April first.  I spent a few hours unconscious, and I broke my back.  Although I am recovering better than anyone could imagine, I am unable to go back to the kind of work I was doing before this happened. Also, in shopping for prints at the local craft store, I noticed that I love my work more than I like the prints I see for sale.  In addition to the wintery pictures and those taken at Dachau, I have lots of colorful rooftop pictures from Austria and Switzerland.                        
My thought in taking  the photos out the window was this: Dachau was hell for all who entered there in the 30s and 40s.  I wondered what their July days were like.  The day I was there it was completely dreary on the inside, but the outside was gorgeous beyond belief.  What must the prisoners have felt?  Did days like that bring more hope, or did it bring more dread? What did they see? How did they perceive their surroundings?  I hope you all can make this journey with me.

myopia copyright 2009

hell in paradise copyright 201

The wintery photos were taken as a result of the great snow of 2011 (a foot of snow in Texas is a big deal here!). In that fantastic snow, I walked to the park near my house and took the photos.          

The Narnia tree got its name from the point in the movie where Aslan opened the tree for the children to return to England.

I also wondered how the trees were reacting to the snow.  They had probably never seen that much snow in their entire existence!  It was quite shocking to us humans.  Imagine their shock!

If you would like to see most of these the ones in the blog, they are on display (and for sale) at The Pie Place in Burleson, TX. Stop by and enjoy some lunch and their delicious 3.1415....

I also have beautiful, colorful, shots of various landscape in Europe.  They are mostly rooftop shots, landscape shots, and some photos of great art works.  If you have questions or would like to purchase any items I have, please call, email, comment on the blog, facebook (RedSoprano's Musings is my public page) or tweet (@oneredsoprano) me.  Thanks for your love, support, and word-of-mouth referrals!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Blind Contessa's New Machine

I just read The Blind Contessa's New Machine for pleasure rather than for information.  It is a first novel for author Carey Wallace.  Her writing style is for me is delightful.  I found myself turning pages rapidly, and reading as quickly as I could.  However, the end of the story seemed abrupt. Also, the epilogue left me wondering about the intervening years between the end of the story and the deaths of Turri and the Contessa.  I guess I compare it to the epilogue at the end of the last Harry Potter novel.  In that epilogue, I can fill in the details of the characters' lives and know that after a difficult number of years, they all got the lives they wanted.  In the story of the Contessa, I don't have any idea how she reconciled living the rest of her life and how Turri would have felt about receiving his machine back.  On the other hand, I have the opportunity to fill in a large portion of the story.



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Biology of Belief

I finished reading Bruce Lipton's Biology of Belief last night when we got back from our road trip.  I'm anxiously awaiting the group discussion to follow.  So, I'll give it a little plug here.  First, I should warn anyone intrigued by the title.  Lipton is a scientist who taught biology to medical students.  The book is filled with lessons on cell biology.  Next, I should tell you that cells are cool.  We have a few trillion of them that make up who we are.  Finally, there's a little quantum physics involved.  You all studied Einstein's theory of relativity and subatomic particles in some kind of high school chemistry class.  Evidently those subatomic particles aren't actual matter, they just suggest matter (or something like that).

The science that is utterly cool can also be a little tedious.  There are examples of the actions of cell membranes using a sandwich made of a slab of butter with olives embedded in it for those of us who haven't taken a science class in 20 or more years.  There are also pictures of subatomic particles; the Newtonian view and the "modern" view.  Those would have been better had I read an actual book rather than an e-book.

I found the science fascinating. According to Lipton, Darwin's idea of the survival of the fittest is not correct.  People, animals, and even cell groups live in community with each other to ensure survival of the community.  He lays a foundation of cell biology to explain to readers how fatalistic it is to believe that life is decided mostly by our genetic makeup (good news for most of us).  Cells, people, animals, and all things interact with the environment.  It is this interaction that decides most of who we are. 
The idea of cell memory reminds me of the concept of muscle memory. Muscle memory enables me to type at a reasonable speed without looking at the keyboard.

After studying cell biology and quantum physics, Lipton concluded that he is no longer an agnostic scientist but a "believer."  Spirit, energy, emotion, and God are part of our cellular makeup and are part of who we are. 

I look forward to a lively, more detailed discussion of the book in my online group!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Extra Virgin Margaritas

This morning was a regular morning; a regular "good" morning.  Mom announced that we must do something with the bag of limes.  Since I can't drink alcohol at the present time, I suggested limeade. She peeled and got the seeds out of the limes, and she put them in the blender. I started thinking about Margaritas.  I intervened at that point and added agave. The thought of a margarita was looming.  An indeterminate amount of water, ice, and a bit of orange juice was then added.  The result is a frozen, on the rocks, extra virgin margaritas!

Help, I'm crying, and I just can't stop!

Read the title again.  It's a play on the 1980s commercial for lifeline; the old lady in the commercial shouts, "Help, I've fallen, and I can't get up!"  Well, yesterday was just one of those days.  I didn't fall, but I started crying and just couldn't stop.  Those of you who know me are aware that I am a little on the emotional side by nature anyway.  There have been a couple of occasions recently where my feelings have been hurt.  On both occasions, my normal self would have addressed the situations with a healthy dose of snark, but the post April 1st self cried and couldn't stop.  Well, I couldn't stop quickly or easily.  It's not very fun.  It's not until later that those tears started to feel  like "cleansing" tears.

It makes me wonder that why, after our toddler years, we like to hide and stuff our emotions.  I know that public displays of emotion are not always appropriate (For heaven's sake, if you see someone weeping in the grocery store, it would just be uncomfortable, right?). Sobbing in public is reserved for emergency rooms, intensive care units, and funerals.  I'm not saying that we should "let it all hang out," but I think there should be a little more space and comfort given for those moments when the emotion rises.

Viele Grüße!