Blog Hop – Favorite Kid Photo 7/28/2009

Welcome all you Blog Hoppers to my This Desert Life {in pictures} blog!

I hope that you are enjoying your time in the blogosphere.

If you’re part of the Blog Hop then you already know that this week’s Theme is Favorite Kid Photo.  I have to say it was hard to choose a photograph that I have not already displayed here on my blog.  If you look around a bit, you will see that I love Photography with a capitol P.  You can see some on my work displayed here in this post.

One of my goals with my blog besides sharing my life in the desert is to help others learn how to take better photographs.  Just the other day I wrote a post on Summer Vacation – Telling Your Story.  Here are some other helpful photography tips as well in this post.

Without further delay, may I present one of my favorite photographs.  This is my son CJ and that’s his daddy holding him when he was about 6 weeks old.  We went camping in Joshua Tree National Park for the weekend with my cousin and her family.  Naturally with a baby we we’re the first ones up and I just happened to have my film camera in hand when CJ displayed this wonderful smile no I don’t believe it was gas.

Well I am off to do some Blog Hopping of my own now.  Don’t forget to leave a comment as I will be leaving many a comment for all the other blogs I visit on this week’s Blog Hop.  And if you’re not already part of the fun, there is no better time than now to start having some fun.

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{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.

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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} 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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Purpose

As I was reading through my Subscribed Blogs Reader, I stumbled upon a new blog, one that had a Purpose.  A few moments of quiet as I read and the reflected a while longer.

Just last week I spent some time reflecting on my life as my daughter turned sixteen.  It was a bittersweet moment as it was also a reminder to me that it had been almost sixteen years since her father passed away.  She became my Purpose for living at that moment, more so than when she was born.

A few years ago my Mother gave me a wonderful handmade book entitled “Thoughts to Share with a Wonderful Daughter” and there is a passage I wish to share with you.

Daughter, You are in My Heart Forever

The first time I held you in my arms and you wrapped your tiny hand around my index finger, I felt my heart swell with immeasurable joy and pride.  I knew that my life had been touched in a miraculous way that would transform every dimension of it forever.

From the moment you were born, you became the focal point of my existence.  Your smile was the sunshine in my heart.  Your happiness was the only treasure I sought.

And so began the great paradox of parenthood.  For when your tiny hand touched mine, I knew that I had been chosen to nurture you, love you, and then give you the strength to let go.

Letting go is not easy.  But I look at you now – a beautiful young woman, strong in your convictions and determined to face life on your own terms – and I still feel my heart swell with pride and joy.

My dreams for your life might not always be the same ones you seek.  But one thing remains the same, your happiness will always be my greatest treasure.  I know now that the true miracle of that first touch lies in one simple truth: even though your hand may slip away from mine, we will hold each other in our hearts forever.

Nancy Gilliam

I am blessed to not only have my daughter of sixteen years but also a son who will soon turn six.  My children are my Purpose.

Click on over to GaribaySoup Blog to reader more inspirational stories or to share one of your own

Click on over to the GaribaySoup Blog to reader more inspirational stories or to share one of your own

{POTD} Precious Moments

My friend Jen over at Shutter Sisters is celebrating her son’s eighth birthday today.  Indeed the years do seem to fly by as your kids get older.  One day your baby girl is celebrating her third birthday with new toys and the next she’s old enough to entertain and babysit her younger brother.  And next week she’ll be 16!  In a blink of an eye nothing is the same.  Thank goodness we have the ability to capture those precious moments on film so that the memories can live on a little longer.

Tori celebrates 3

Tori celebrates 3

Indeed those days of childhood do pass quickly.   So what moments in time have you frozen?  If your not already a Shutter Sister, click on over there and give them a try.  I’m positive you’ll find it a rewarding experience.

{POTD} Summer Stock Sunday #5

Time for another Summer Stock Sunday

The days of summer are quickly heating up.  Just over 100 degrees outside right now and its just about 6:21pm here in California.  And summer has just begun.  I think its time for me to find the swim suit and join my son and his friend in the kiddie pool out back.

Wishing everyone a scent-sational Sunday!

Boys playing in pool

Close up of CJ

Close up of CJ

Tyler splashes

Tyler splashes

{POTD} My strong Little Man

Ok so a few people have noticed by commenting on some of the pictures I have been posting the last few days.  I must confess that I found a digital scrapbooking site that I am totally lovin’.  No mess to clean up and so many design ideas are available at the click of a mouse.  Speaking of mice, I still have two trips to Disneyland and some scrapbooking to do of those trips before we go again here next month.  While I go dig out my actual scpbooking supplies, please enjoy this page I created of my son CJ.  Wishing you a scent-sational weekend!

VGNO – How I Met the Love of my Life

Ah, Friday nights!  Once upon a time we would get all fancied up and head out for a Girls Night Out.   That’s not always possible so in today’s technological world of wonders we have Virtual Girls Night Out of VGNO for short.  This is my first night attending a VGNO and at the moment all is quiet here on the home front so this is a perfect time to enjoy some girl time.

Ann {who is celebrating a Anniversary today {Congrats} asked if we had met the Love of our Lives yet?  And if so, how did you meet.  Well the story of how Chris and I met is definitely an interesting one.  It all started back in the summer of 2000…

Forget about dating services and bar hopping, its the beginning of the Internet age so I place a personal ad on Excite.com {remember that website}.  That’s how Chris and I first connected with one another.  Two lonely young widows looking for love outside the boundaries of their ordinary lives.  I in the steam hot desert of Southern California, him, the cooler climate of the forests in Northern California.  Immediately there was a connection, mainly because we had both been widowed before the age of 30.  We spent many hours chatting with one another and passing emails back and forth.  After a month of so we progressed to talking on the phone.

Then in October of 2000, he traveled south to Hesperia to visit family and a chance to meet face to face.  Even though we had gotten to know each other pretty well in the previous months, I was still a little weary of a face to face meeting.  So I arranged for us to meet one day on my hour lunch break at a nice little eatery near work.  I made a point of telling my boss at the time where I was going and whom I was meeting, just in case I didn’t return from lunch.  BTW, I worked for the Sheriff’s Dept so I had plenty of reliable back up.  I snuck in the back door and surprised Chris who ws nervously witing by the front door for me.

The lunch date went well.  Funny I was rather calm during the whole time while he was so nervous he barely touched his lunch.  We easily picked up where our online chatting had ended.  After lunch we walked to his car where he had a bouquet of flowers waiting for me.  Then he walked me back to my car.  Our first date eneded with a simple kiss.  The next night I drove to Hesperia for our second date.  We met at his brother’s house.  Which was awkward because most of the night I kept looking at his brother’s girlfriend like I knew her from some place but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

Flsh forward to a few months later and Chris decided to leave what was left of his life up north and moved back to Southern California.  He joined one afternoon for a family gathering to celebrate my cousin turning 30.  We were in the back room watching football when in walks this older lady with 2 children.  They see Chris and immediately come running up to him for hugs.  Remember his brothers girlfriend, turns out she was my cousin via my step-dad’s side of the family.  We had only seen each other a few times over the years so we didn’t really remember each other all that well.  Obviously!

The pictures below are from his brother’s and my cousin’s wedding in 2003.  I was actually about 5 months pregnant and miserable when this photo was taken.  Chris and I have been together for 9 years come October.  And the funny thing is we will probably finally get married in October and when we do, his mother and I will share the same name.  Patricia Knight.  Its been a strange journey from the beginning and expect it to continue to be a strange and interesting adventure for the rest of our lives.

Thank you to all the VGNO for stopping by my blog and reading my stroy.  I hope you will look around and see what else I have been up to.  Wishing you all a scent-sational VGNO!  And now I will go read all of your blogs.

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