When It Rains ….

The rains came to Northern California. Much needed rain. After years of drought, and mild dry winters I am not out with my CTT group shooting. Instead I planned on using this time for editing, blogging, and organizing. Perfect way to start 2017. Thinking and organizing.

Then the other shoe dropped. One week into the new year and my mother falls into an abyss of her mind. Despite my effort to help my mother through the grief of loosing my father in September, she hasn’t accepted this concept. And after the past 3 weeks I am coming to understand that she will never remember this life changing event. Her dementia/Alzheimer disease escalated dramatically. Change is hard for most people, especially older individuals. Loss of a soul mate of 69 years is hard to overcome. Mom’s search for Dad, and her frightening screams were too much for others around her, and on a Sunday January 8th I got a call from assisted living that my Mom was in the ER for 3 hours all by herself. Imagine being strapped in a guerney and sent out. There was NO reason for her to be alone. 

The spiral continued with more changes. Medicine changes and adjustments, more trips to the ER, and more changes to her living arrangement. From assisted living to memory care is frequently the path in the larger corporate places. I went looking for a smaller, more personal approach at what they call a 6 bed Board and Care. I hope that there will be consistency. 

Still learning and trying to understand the world of dementia. Mom went back and forth three times to the ER in 2 weeks. Disappointed that my brothers did not step up. I felt exhausted. No surprise that despite the flu shot my body gave up. Went home with a pounding headache, and ended up with Trump Flu. It started on Friday as Trump took office. Symptoms included a high fever (101-102), pounding headache, chills, aches,and a cough for 4 days. Looking at any kind of screen hurt my head. My body and mind were in complete sync. Guess there is no preparing for the shit storm of life. Country be very, very afraid. Left helpless on the couch I drifted in and out for days. I couldn’t participate in any the the weekend Women’s Marches. I couldn’t be with my mother as she moves into her new place. I couldn’t even think.

So the sun came out this Tuesday morning, and my fever is gone. Legs still very wobbly. Able to get on the phone and speak with Mom. She was so sweet and said she should have come and taken care of me. Told her I needed a couple more days and I would be visiting.  I know that this disease is complicated. The Kaiser Memory Care Clinic told me that being a Holocaust survivor makes it even more so. Who knows what memories come back. 

Got busy completing arrangements to move all of Mom’s stuff out of the place she shared with my Dad. Moving day is Thursday, and tomorrow is the day to get organized. I’m running on about 50% energy, and I know I can’t go a whole day. So I will do the best I can and let the chips fall where they may.

Sleep clock all crazy so tomorrow is today. And another day starts and maybe I can try and hold back the tide.




Rain Leads to Post Processing Photos

When the weather turns soggy I make soup. Get my pot of Butternut Squash with Apple Soup going, and add a grilled ham and Swiss cheese sandwich for the perfect dinner. Finish it up with a chocolate chip cookie fresh from the oven. I didn’t actually bake from scratch this time. My granddaughter’s fundraiser was frozen Famous Amos cookies that I have in the freezer for just such times. Perfect.

My laundry is in the garage. Not fun to do when the weather is too hot or too cold. Task done. House cleaned enough not to be embarrassed by unexpected company.

Now I can sit down and review my photographs. My new laptop is slowly becoming fully functional. Lightroom and Photoshop CC installed easy enough. Added Topaz filters, Nik software, and Photomatrix Pro 4. Today I installed my calibration software, Spyder Pro 4.

Have not figured out how to work in Lightroom on one computer, export the catalog and then import the catalog on the other computer. For the second night I was not successful. I will look at another tutorial. Must be missing something.

Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to using Lightroom CC. When I first started using LR, I thought of it as an organizing tool. This fit in with my library experience and my system works for me. Keyboarding, rating my photos and creating Smart Collections lead to an easy system to organize my library.  LR developed into a powerful editing program. Today I learned how to use Masking when working with LR Detail tab. This helps to select the area to be sharpened. I also learned how to use some of the key strokes to make the editing process faster.

While visiting Port Costa, Ca. last week this friendly, beautiful Maine Coon cat followed me around. I used some of the techniques to improve this  photo.

Looking for a friend (or a free meal) in Port Costa

The rain has past, and the next two days will be busy. Shopped for my Dad, and will visit parents tomorrow after a visit to my doctor. (Just a tune-up) LOL.