{POTD} Wordless Wednesday

Walking about the neighborhood some time back, I came upon this empty lot and my eyes were drawn to the “Keep Out” posted on the joshua tree.  My first thought was that there was nothing there to go in to.  And then it dawned on me that the birds who call that joshua tree home must have posted it.  So there you have it, my Wordless Wednesday, complete with about 100 words or so.

If you would like to see more Wordless Wednesday, click on over to the home of Wordless Wednesday.

Today’s post here on the “This Desert Life {in pictures}” blog has been brought to you by:

{POTD} The Star Flower

If you read my blog regularly you should be a subscriber, then you know I took part of Scott Kelby’s 2nd Annual World Wide Photo Walk this past Saturday.  For those who are not familiar with Scott Kelby, he is a Photographer as well as a Master of Photoshop.  I hope to learn many things from his website over the next 30 days as I was granted Free Access for a month to the many tutorials he offers.

I took 154 images in about an hours time.  When I got home Saturday morning, I quickly organized them and picked out my favorite for submission for the contest.  Monday, once I had had some sleep, I began to go through the photographs again and found more jewels hidden within the digital files.  When I saw this one particular photograph, I was drawn into the image by the vibrant reds and thought how wonderful it would be to debut this photograph on Ruby Red Tuesday.  This flower really stands out from all the others in the background.  Definitely the Star Flower in this picture show.  I hope my audience finds this digital photograph pleasing to the eye.

Now I invite you to click on over to the home of Ruby Red Tuesday at Work of a Poet and view the other amazing photographs bloggers have submitted and don’t forget to leave some comment love.  And if you enter, we’ll be kind and love you too with our comments.

Patient’s Mother Goes Postal on Healthcare System

That is going to be the headline associated with my name in the news.  This is my rant about a healthcare system here in the desert.

This afternoon I ran into town to pick up a prescription for my daughter that I called into the pharmacy last Wednesday.  Four business days ago in the healthcare world.  The kind lady behind the counter tells me that they faxed it over once on the 16th but have not heard back from anyone.  “Would I like them to try again"? she asks.  What do you think, I called this in just for the fun of it!  Of course I want the prescription.

So as I am lingering in the store because they have good air conditioning and its 105 degrees outside, I call up the doctors office.  Once I finally get someone who can help me, I discover that the doctor denied the refilling of the prescription without seeing the patient first.  Now it would have been helpful had the doctor told us that an appointment is necessary to get prescriptions refilled. 

Fortunately for us, we already have an appointment scheduled for this coming Wednesday for a separate issue, even though my daughter needed the prescription yesterday and we now have new issues developing because she will not be taking her medication for a few days.  The nurse did kindly let me know that they are having similar issues with said doctor and that I should bring this up with the doctor on Wednesday.  Think I won’t!

All of this is just the latest of issues I have been experiencing with healthcare in the desert.  I too see a physician on a regular basis for two issues.  Asthma and Insomnia.   Recently I had been experiencing major issues with not being able to sleep, despite being prescribed some good medications.  One afternoon I waited in the “waiting room” for over two hours. I was not alone, I estimate there was at least a dozen patients and their families waiting as well.  And while we are all waiting, I notice a steady stream of pharmacy reps coming and going.  One representative even brought in lunch for the office employees.  Yet, no patients were coming and going from the examination rooms.  Two hours after my scheduled appointment I finally got called back in to an examining room where I waited another 30 minutes to be seen by the doctor for all of 5 minutes. 

Yes, I have nothing better to do than sit around a physicians office playing Solitaire on my cell phone for the better part of the afternoon.  With as much time as I have spent in waiting rooms the past twelve months, I think I could make a career out of being a patient minus the healthcare benefits.  I think $10 an hour is good pay for being a Professional Waiting Patient.  I said past twelve months because last summer was another healthcare nightmare in itself. 

About a week before school got out for the summer, my daughter caught sick, took her to the peditrition and she was prescribed antibiotics for strep throat.  A few days pass and she is better and still taking the medications.  About four weeks later she starts getting sick again.  Took her back to the physician, they do another throat culture and more antibiotics.  A few days my daughter is no better.  The lymph nodes in her necking were noticeably bulging and she could barely get anything down.  Back to the doctors we go.  He starts talking about Epstein Barr Virus and orders blood work. 

Of course it takes a day or so to get the blood results back.  In the meantime, I am researching Epstein Barr Virus and Mono, and even spend time talking to a friend who’s daughter got extremely sick from EBV a few years earlier.   Back to the doctors office again.  Yes she is positive for EBV and switches her antibiotics to something strong.  I bring up my research, mention Mono and reference a study where steroids like Prednisone were used in conjunction with antibiotics and patients recovered in a shorter period of time versus just antibiotics alone.  He doesn’t believe in using steroids such as Prednisone.

Two days later, my daughter can not even swallow her own saliva.  Neither one of us has slept in days.  Fed up, I take her to the emergency room.  They immediately hook her up to an IV because she was so dehydrated and got her some antibiotics and Prednisone.  We slept in the ER for 6 hours till the next morning to call the physician to get her admitted.  He never calls back.  The ER doctor calls another physician on call and we get her admitted without hesitation.  Because she was so sick and dehydrated, she spent 4 days in the hospital, all because her former doctor did not believe in using steroids.  But the steroids did work.  In fact, my daughter received a clean bill of health two weeks later.  Most patients with Mono are down and out for six weeks or more.

I know there are many people out there with similar stories.  Like the mother and daughter I briefly met this weekend while photographing a Fundraiser Event at my salon.  The daughter had been seriously injured this past December in a car accident.  One of her injuries was brain damage.  In fact she was in a coma twice.  And all though she has made a remarkable recovery, she is still in need of further medical attention to fully regain her life.  And unfortunate for her, her parents medical insurance won’t pay for that care.  The event I volunteered for was to help raise money so the family could pay out of their pocket, the care their daughter needs.  A most worthy cause in my opinion.

I wish I had the magical answer for the issues plaguing healthcare in the desert and all over the world for that matter. 

{POTD} All Photographs are Monochrome {Weekly}

Since the beginning of Photography, photographs have been recorded in black and white.  Originally, a photographer would open the lens and expose the film to light.  The film would simply record areas of light and areas of no light.  It wasn’t until the recorded image was processed in the darkroom that color would be introduced onto the photograph.   This still holds true for digital cameras today.  The sensor inside your digital camera, like traditional film, is also sensitive to light.  When you press the button on your digital camera, the shutter opens and exposes your pixels on your sensor to light.  The sensor then assigns a value (1-256) to each pixel to indicate the brightness of the scene captured through the lens. 

 

Understanding how my camera records what I see has helped me to better understand how to photograph a good black and white photograph.  Through my new found knowledge, I am looking at scenes through my lens in a whole new light (pun intended.)  Just this past week we had some monsoon storms pass through the desert and weather is always an eye catching image to photograph, at least for me anyways.  Here is one of the photographs I composed for my submission to Monochrome WeeklyTell me what you think.

 

 

To view more Monochrome Weekly photographs, click on over and check them out.  And if you would like to submit your black and white photographs, then add your link to Mr Linky on Ailene’s site as well.

 

{POTD} from Scott Kelby’s 2nd Annual World Wide Photo Walk

Desert Greetings one and all.  Today I had the privilege of participating in the World Wide Photo Walk and met a collection of wonderful people.  We gathered as the sun rose in Palm Desert, California at 6am.  The temperatures were already in the upper 80’s and steadily climbing.  We finished our first half of the Photo Walk just after 7am and the sweat was already taking over.  Next stop on the Photo Walk, Starbucks – just 4 blocks up the road by motor vehicle.  Yes we wimped out and sought the cooling comforts of air conditioning.

Once inside we took over a hallway on the way to the facilities.  Seven of us sat down with coffee and got to know one another.  Amongst us we had a lawyer from Santa Monica and her mother from Palm Desert.  A grandfather from Sun City.  A writer from the LA Times.  A student (sorry I didn’t catch where she was from.)  And once again I was reminded of how small of a world we sometimes live in, a teacher from Yucca Valley (where I currently call home).  I say its a small world because this teacher taught my daughter six years ago while in Elementary school. 

I enjoyed getting to know this collection of people who share my passion for photography.  I am looking forward to seeing the works of art they captured on our brief walk.  And looking forward to getting together soon for one of our own Photo Walks once the temperatures become tolerable again, perhaps in October.

Now it is time for me to seek some rest as I have been up since 2am and have a Photo Shoot this evening for a Fundraiser Event in Cathedral City.  But before I go, I will leave you with this photograph I captured.

 

Fix It Friday #20

I heart Friday’s because over at i heart faces they challenge us readers to take a photograph submitted by a reader and put our photo editing skills to work.  This weeks photo comes from Lindsay and is titled, “Little Miss”.  Here is the original.

 

 

As for editing, I agree with others that the background is a little distracting.  So I decided to try my mouse pen at some selective coloring in Photoshop Elements 7.  Once I had the digital photograph open in my editor, I created a background copy layer.  I converted this layer to black and white, leaving the original layer in color.  Grabbed my mouse pen and outlined this adorable looking “Little Miss”.  Then I deleted her.  Yep got rid of the black and white image of her so that the color version could shine right through that black and white layer.  I then added a matted frame over the picture to further bring out the color in her sundress.  And here you have my final edit.

If you would like to try your hand at editing this photograph, then click on over to i heart faces and show us your skills.  Now its time to go check out the other reader submissions.

 FacesFixIt

{POTD} Sky watch Friday #53

This past weekend I had the opportunity to practice my skills at Night Photography.  An almost full moon was just coming over the horizon in the distance as I looked out my front door before going to bed.  What I saw inspired me to grab my camera and delay crawling into slumberland. 

This is one of the better shots I was able to capture.  The clouds helped make for a more interesting photograph.  You can see movement in the clouds since I had the shutter set to 30 seconds in order to allow enough light in to capture the photograph.  I have to say I had lots of fun practicing Night Photography.  I think I will have to venture into Joshua Tree National Park sometime soon so I can get a way from town and cars passing by.

 

 

 

To see more photographs from Sky Watch Friday participants or to submit your photograph, just click on over with the banner here    AG00090_

{POTD} Thursday’s Thirteen

This week seems to be moving along rather quickly.  And the temperatures keep climbing this week as well.  First thing Wednesday morning, I turned on my computer, programs started self-loading and suddenly I hear a clap of thunder.  My weather center was telling me there was an alert for my area.  Yep, more hot weather was settling over the western deserts.  No surprise there.

On Tuesday, my son and I ventured to the local water park {with camera in hand} and here are a few favorites {thirteen of them actually}.

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Map picture

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{POTD} Ruby Red Tuesday Style

Sitting at my computer late Monday afternoon, I’m reading blogs via Google Subscriber and I start reading blogs about Ruby Tuesday.  Oh snap!  People are blogging about Tuesday and I haven’t even given a thought to Monday nights dinner let alone take something o of the freezer.

As I rummage through my pantry, the first thing I see are canned goods.  Dark red kidney beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes.  Do you see a theme building here.  I’ve got all the makings for some Taco Soup.  Normally I opt for the no cooking options during the summer when its 103 degrees outside, but my family loves this recipe so Taco Soup it is!

Slow Cooker Taco Soup ready to cook

Slow Cooker Taco Soup ready to cook


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