February 24, 2012

Week 8 Photos and pain update

Thank you all for the prayers and well wishes. They are working, so please keep them coming. The antibiotic (every 6 hours for 40 doses) finally seems to be having an effect and the swelling has gone down significantly, though not completely).
I'm still not able to open my mouth and trying to eat a small meal yesterday from a fork rewared me with about 5 hours of pain that the meds couldn't over come (had to double dose). Still trying to stretch my jaw muscles, gently, as much as I can. As soon as I can get my mouth open, they can proceed with the full dental exam and determine what surgery is needed.
I'm still eating with a straw at this point and still needing the muscle relaxers and pain meds to keep my jaw from cramping closed. But at least the infection is finally starting to go away so that's progress.
I have all activities cancelled and I pulled my entry in the obedience show at QC next month. I've been living on the couch and sleeping there because my sleep schedule is SO messed up. With the pills on different schedules (some every 6 hrs, some every 4 hrs), I have something to take every 2-4 hours.
In spite of that, I did get a couple photos taken for the 52 weeks challenges from my spot on the couch and uploaded them with very little editing.
Dazzle has been SO good!  But the restricted activity is really wearing on him and today he went out in the yard and just ran several laps at full speed. We have been making use of the doggie treadmill quite a bit, but it's just not the same as flat out running after the chuck-it ball.  He won't play that game with my husband because he wants to keep coming in to check on me.
"Longing to go out and play"


February 21, 2012

Pain update

Not sure if I'll be taking/posting photos this week.

Still in pain, still can't open my jaw and lightheaded because I'm not eating (can only eat through a straw and I'm REALLY sick of broth). 
I did see the dentist yesterday. They prescribed clindamycin (antibiotic) that I'm taking every 6 hours and some pain meds that are just barely taking the edge off the pain. I'm using an ice pack frequently too.
The swelling seems *slightly* reduced, but I still can't open my mouth. I'm supposed to go back tomorrow for a full exam, but I'm not sure how they plan to do that when I can't open my mouth (can still barely squeeze the pills between my teeth and trying to open my mouth is very painful).
It feels like the muscle that is used to close my jaw on the right hand side is cramped and refuses to stretch, but it could also still be the swelling in that joint area causing the hinderance. I haven't been able to open my mouth since Saturday (even using my fingers to try to pry my teeth apart in spite of the pain).

February 17, 2012

Week 7 - week of pain

I had big plans this week to do a fancy Valentine's photo and get it posted on the 14th.  But I didn't get the photo till today. 

Warning: health rant
Most of monday, all of monday night and most of tuesday I was having charlie horse cramps about every 5 minutes.  I didn't get any sleep all night.  I tired regular pain killers and they didn't make a dent.  I also tried calcium, potassium and magnesium along with lots of water. Finally gave in around mid day tuesday and took some strong pain meds that knock me out.  That gave me 8 hours of coma like sleep and when I woke up, the cramps had changed to normal muscle cramps and were much more bearable.  They were also not as frequent as they had been previously. I got a little bit of sleep Tuesday night and by Wednesday, the muscles were just really sore and only cramping if I tried to use them.

I thought the worst of it was over, but Thursday morning there was no doubt I now had an infected tooth.  I HATE tooth pain and found myself wishing to go back to the charlie horse cramps. So now I'm on antibiotics and have a dental appointment for next week.  Hopefully my insides will be back to more normal by then and I sure hope the antibiotics will take away the pain in my jaw.

Good news is that my eye exam last week let me know my eyes are normal and nothing out of the ordinary to worry about. But I got a perscription for "readers" and found out that, when needed, I can get a pair that has zones for the computer monitor and the keyboard.

-End of health rant-

I managed to take a few minutes today to get the following photos for this week.  Did a crappy job on the post processing, but they are what they are and will have to do.

Dazzle was so patient with me through several shots with him holding the rose.  What a dog has to do to get a ball :-)

This one I had to use the tripod and timer and it was the only one in which the camera focused on Dazzle and not my hands.

Hopefully next week will be better

February 10, 2012

Week 6 and visit to Conservatory

This week the challenge I gave myself was to find an interesting point of view.  I think I out did myself because I had a really hard time choosing!

Monday was the only day with sun this week (though Tuesday and Thursday were supposed to have sun) and I headed out early to get some photos. This first photo was an angle I tried and found I liked. I like this point of view, but I didn't like the lighting from the sun being so low.  So I decided to give this one another shot later in the week (when I thought it was going to be sunny).

This was on another tree only about 15 minutes after the shot above. I love the color of the sky, but I don't like Dazzle's pose (front legs too far under him) and I don't think it's as dramatic a point of view as some of the others. 

This is the shot I had in mind when I headed out on Monday.  It's really two shots.  Dazzle on the tree was turned sideways and layered over the background.  I think it's a cool shot, but after seeing it finished, I didn't like it as much as I thought I would. I also accidently took the background in landscape instead of portrait, so I couldn't get as much of the tree in as I wanted (to make it look like Dazzle was way up high on the side of the tree)

While at the park, I played around with some other shots and saw his shadow on the pavement.  Decided to try to capture that. I like how it came out!

Back at home on Monday. I promised Dazzle I would throw the ball if he would hold his pose on the tree, so I had to hold up my end of the promise.

 Doesn't it look like he would trip over his legs?

Tuesday was supposed to be sunny, but instead it was overcast all day.  I went back to the park anyway to try the 1st shot again, but the sky was too bright and white. I tried this shot instead and I like this.

 Wednesday, the weather was supposed to be bad and they were correct.  But even Thursday morning they were still saying it was going to be sunny, and instead it was cold and overcast all day.  Once again, I tried the shot again.  I like this point of view, but would really prefer the pretty blue sky.  So I'm tableing this shot till the right day (and maybe some greenery) comes along. Dazzle is about 8' off the ground in this shot. The tree is at ground level on the right hand side, so that is how he got up there.
Since the day was so cold and dreary (and supposed to get even colder with snow this weekend), I decided to take a break from the weather and visit the "Early Spring" exhibit at the Krohn Conservatory.  It was a much needed break, but I didn't want to leave and go back into the cold! Wonder if they would let me put a cot in there where I could stay till spring?

Still trying for interesting points of view, I had Dazzle sit on a bench so I could hold the camera low and use a big palm as the backdrop. I don't like the drastic light/shadows in this one. 

Another point of view shot I like

Not an unusual point of view, but I LOVE the light on his face and in his eye on this shot!

This is the point of view I ended up going with for the Flickr group. I like the colors and lighting and how the path dissapears.  And the cacti provide an unusual background with the light colored path helping Dazzle to really stand out.

 But I didn't take only dog shots.  I did get a few photos of the residents of the conservatory too :-) This the waterfall in the main room (tropical).

Large palm plant base

They have an amazing orchid display that I think is permanent.  I took lots of orchid photos.  Here are a few of them.

 This was a drainage grate that caught my eye. I like the pattern

Dogwood flowering in the Early Spring display

Very large succulent of some sort in the desert section

Aloe Vera plant

There was also a very lovely Bonsai display that I don't think was permanent.

An enjoyable visit for sure!  I'm looking forward to when spring hits for real around here.

To see more photos, visit my Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/scoutdogs/

February 05, 2012

Week 5 and cemetery visit

The Week 5 Flicker group included the challenge to use three things in the photo:
   A scarf
   Something red
   Something made of paper

Once the challenge was posted, I did a scavenger hunt of the house and found that I owned more scarves than I thought :-)  I also noticed my book case full of books (made of paper) and it gave me the idea for the set-up I chose.  I did have to buy the glasses and the blanket, but I needed new reading glasses anyway and the blanket was only $3.

I loaded up my backpack and headed out to scout out some locations.  I started in the local park and was happy with those shots, so I didn't try to get any at the other locations that I thought might have worked (that ended up not working for one reason or another).

Issue was, that I didn't realise my camera wouldn't over ride previous ISO settings when I put it in Auto mode. So my shots that day all came out grainy. 

Here is my fav from that day that was my "back-up" in case the re-shoot didn't work out.

This was the last photo in this location because Dazzle just saw a SQUIRREL!!  And his comprehension of the word stay dropped to zero. :-)

 This is the closest I got to getting him to look at the book, but I like the relaxed look better.

Dazzle was pretty happy with his paycheck for putting up with my silliness

After I got home and saw the photos on my computer screen, I decided I would try again the next day (Wednesday) since the 60 degree temps and sun were going to continue.  I got the table all set up, then got dazzle into position and got several shots, but the sun was so bright that the shadows were really harsh and I wasn't happy with how they turned out.  I was starting to pack up when I noticed the sun was about to go behind a big cloud.  So we waited and I got dazzle back into position and got several more shots before the sun came back out.  This was the best of the bunch and the one I submitted for the challenge.

After our photo session on Tuesday, I had gone to Metamora and taken several photos.  But because they turned out grainy I ended up making them aged and noir shots.

This house is actually pink, so it seems funny to change it so drastically

After the photo session on Wednesday, I didn't go back to Metamora, but i did take another drive and got some interesting photos with the proper camera settings

At the park, I sat and watched the ducks for a bit (Dazzle in the van nearby). The ducks were practically attacking people that had bread bags or crackers and each time a person would arrive, they left the water to swarm them.  When finished, they went back to the water.  So i was able to get some in flight shots I'm really happy about.

Duck soup:

But Dazzle didn't miss out on fun. I took him to the tall grass prairie to let him play fetch.  Have I mentioned how much I love my new camera for action shots?!

 I used this shot for this week's submission to the Facebook group for active dogs.

And when I stopped at the historic brick church pictured above, I took him in.  He likes checking out the "portals to other worlds"

I entered my sunset silhouette photo in the "High Quality Dog Photos" group contest "Best of 2011" and it got 5th place!  I was kind of surprized because there were so many REALLY great shots! So now it gets featured on the group's home page for this month.

On Friday, I spent the day at the massive Spring Grove Cemetery.  It is an amazing place and also an arboretum with record setting state and national champion trees.  It is one of only 5 cemeteries to hold the title of National Historic Landmark.

The original 220 acres were dedicated on Aug 28, 1845 with the first interment 4 days later. Today, it is the second largest cemetery in the U.S. It encompasses 733 acres of which 400 acres are beautifully landscaped and maintained along with 44 miles of roads and 15 lakes.  There are 40 Union Civil War Generals and 1 Confederate General who died while a prisoner of war. Abraham Lincoln visited in 1855 for a tour and many other persons of interest have done the same.

Currently, there are 8 Medal of Honor recipients in the cemetery along with many notable families from all walks of life including senators, congressmen, inventors and well known industry leaders. 

Andrew Erkenbrecher was the founder of the Cincinnati zoo and he had a starch factory and grain mill.  He imported sparrows and other birds to rid the city of the caterpiller plague. The zoo opened in 1875 with his bird collection as it's prize exhibit. The tablet translates: "Though death ends well all life's distress, Yet life still shudders at death's approach/ Life only sees Death's dusky hand, And not the shining cup it bears." These are lines from a German poem by Freidrich Ruckert.

Charles West was the cofounder of the Cincinnati Art Museum and a flour mill operator. This large monument with a statue of Mr. West seated in a Victorian chair has 4 caryatids representing: painting, music, archetecture and sculpture on the corners of the base. This is huge!  Dazzle would only come about up to the hands of the caryatids if they were on the ground, but there is additional "base" under them.

This is actually a private famly mausoleum.  Julius and Edmund Dexter made KY bouron. This is the only known funary monument with flying buttresses in Ohio and possibly the U.S. The Gothic Revival mausoleum/chapel was built for $100,000 (would cost over $1.3 million today) by Joseph Foster and designed by James Keys Wilson. It was constructed around 1866 and has 12 catacombs on the lower level and a chapel above measuring 12' x 30' with a 34' ceiling. It was never finished due to financial issues and the sandstone is currently deteriorating. There used to be a large spire in the center of the roof that fell off during a storm and is believed to be in the nearby lake. The family does not have the funds for the extensive repairs that would be needed to save it. :-(

Do you see the ghost in the window?
 (It's actually just the window on the other side)

George Washington McAlpin is one of many area department store magnates buried in Spring Grove. He was also director of Spring Grove from 1879 to 1890. Monument is by The Douglas Granite Works in Cumminsville. 

Also known as "The Sentinal" or "Soldier of the Line," this bronze statue was cast in Bavaria. It was the prototype for statues throughout America. It was shipped from NY and placed in 1866.

Don't know the story on this one, but it's sad.

I like this woman's smile

The following is on the 1st floor of the Cedars of Lebanon Chapel (2nd floor wasn't open) near the main entrance of Spring Grove Cemetery.

This Chapel/Mausoleum was built in 1963. A magnificent piece of archetecture it features stained glass windows, veined and matched marble, bas relief, mosaics and wood carvings. It is the permanent residence of 5,000+ remains.

The stained glass windows were created by two world renown artisans Dr. Henry Lee Willet (who did almost all of them) and Jean Barillet (who did the "Ceremonial Oak").

The interiors are finished with 40 different kinds of marble that reflects the stained glass colors in an amazing way.

"King David dreams of the Temple his son Solomon will build to the glory of God." The windows portray the harvesting of the Cedars of Lebanon. I Kings 5:6

Reflections on the smooth granite