Some days are better than others here at the Casa de George. Actually, George is thrilled with all the extra people who have been coming and going. We have visitors, the home health aide, the hospice nurses, and yesterday I was treated to music therapy, something offered by our local hospice agency. Music has been proven to relieve pain, both emotional and physical, and although my husband deemed it ‘weird’, he kept coming into the room to listen. It was nice.
I hear from my co-workers every day, although not all of them at one time. ha! I usually hear via a text, or an e-mail, or phone calls, or in my boss’ case, videos of the children saying, “We miss you, Mrs. Young”. These make me laugh and cry at the same time. This is the first time in 15 years that I’m not at the front desk at our school and although I miss it terribly, I also know that I’m where I need to be.
My husband is doing ok. He had four good days in a row, which is pretty extraordinary. And now he’s a little shaky again, and very tired. I spend my days near him, or cleaning something, or planning dinner, or reading, or watching a movie, or organizing some messy spot in the house, or taking photos and editing them. Or freaking out because someone is coming up our driveway at ten o’clock at night with a flashlight. I found out that two of my sisters own guns, and that many of you do as well.
Last night, I spent my time editing photos. I have color and black & white of each. Just because.
I took this over the weekend and prefer it this way because of the iridescent colors in the body, and the colorful tone and bokeh of the background.
Better in color, imho.
Sometimes I have to look up abbreviations like that on the abbreviation website for texting. IMHO, for those who aren’t sure, means ‘in my humble opinion’.
This one isn’t my favorite, and it’s not all that and a bag of chips. But I was bored and wanted to edit something. The composition’s off and I cropped it this way because the second zinnia, the lighter colored one, was completely blown out and horrible.
But I kind of like it in black & white.
The color version.
And the black & white that I like much better.
I totally dislike the color version of this one.
But in black & white – I love it and actually have this one and another framed and on the wall of our school office.
And this is probably my favorite. I love it in both color . . .
. . . and in black & white.
:: :: :: :: ::
And now, because you’ve read this far and you’re still with me listening to all this drivel:
A SECRET GIVEAWAY
Rules: Choose one print above. There are 10 photos here. The top one is #1 and the bottom is #10. Enter your favorite photo in a comment. I will draw one number using the Random Integer at Random.Org and the corresponding commenter will win the print of their choice in 10x12, 12x12, 12x8 (whichever applies).
Giveaway ends Friday afternoon, August 30, at 3 PM. Winner will be announced that evening. Make sure your e-mail is attached to your comment, please, so that I can get in touch with you. Good luck!
I would say that your favorite is my favorite too, in color.
Hospice workers can offer so much in so many different ways. I was hoping you had them coming in to help. The music sounds like an amazing idea, something I never considered.
Sending you my very best...
Love #9, but really, I love all your photos. I'm curious about this music therapy. Is it preselected music that someone else determines is the most beneficial or is it music that you select that you like?
Oh! My favorite is the first one! You are an amazing photographer, Kate.
It sounds as though you have some good support there. So important for everyone at this point.
I thought lol meant lots of love which I send to you. My husband is below 120 lbs. now from cancer treatment he received in 2001. Daily struggle, so I know what you are going through and though so trite, one day at a time meant so much to us. On a different note, where did you go to get a watermark on your photos?
Hummingbirds are so cute. And these shots are great!
Mersad Donko Photography
I love #9 so pretty!
Your pics are beautiful!
I am praying for your family.
I like #9 actually, the one you totally dislike in color. I like the translucence of the wings and the way it appears to be launching up off of the single flower. Hummingbirds were one of my grandmother's favorite birds and I always feel like when I get visited by one, it is her. There was also a hummer who hovered over me the day a beloved brother-in-law died tragically, and I think that might have been him coming to say goodbye. It was the one and only hummer I saw that year, and it lingered much longer than usual. All of your photos are just so incredible that I would be honored to have any of them.
I know your load is heavy but shared loads are lighter...I am here. We all are.
I love, love, love #1. Your photographs show your love and patience.
Take care of yourself, you have a lot of folks wishing all of you peace and comfort.
Sincerely, Lee Anna
I love #1 - always a fan of iridescence.
Been keeping you and your husband in my thoughts and prayers. Peace.
I think they're all quite lovely but for me, hummingbirds belong in colour... though I can see how #8 really pops in B&W. I'll exclude myself from this contest since I have so little wall space in my new place. Plus I'm hoping to get a decent hummingbird shot or two of my own sometime soonish. :)
My, you are an amazing photographer and a master editor! :) After I read through your whole blog the other night when I discovered it, I found myself looking back over and over at your photos...they are stunning.
I want to thank you for your book recommendation. I ordered it right away. I need some objectivity on what to do and how to handle all my feelings. Writing it in my blog helps but then the pain sets back in.
I do hope your husband has many more good days. I will keep both of you in my heart and in my prayers. xo
btw, I love #1
I have to say I love number 9 and 10, but I'm leaning toward 9 as I love the color that hummers have. I'm so sorry to hear that things have gotten more difficult and I keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I think it's so sweet that your co-workers, the boss and the kids send you messages. Big Hugs!!
Number 6. Looks like it's reaching out for a hug. Which is what I send to you, over the internet, every single day. xo
I love color whenever photos deal with birds and flowers--your favorite is mine, too.
Hummers are migrating now and their numbers build everyday--I can't get enough of watching them.
Rarely comment, but have read your blog a long time --
Keeping you and your family in my thoughts.
I really like #8.
Lynda in Michigan
Wow. Tough choice! I think I like #8 - even though I really love the colours these beauties display. What a generous offer! You're a sweetie. I'm glad to hear you have lots of help up there on the hill and that you're both settling into something of a routine.
A Glowing Ember
Be thankful for good days, and wade through the bad ones ... one day at a time. If that's too much, aim for half a day ... etc., etc., etc. I'm holding you in my thoughts, sweet Kate.
I love #9, too. The composition with the zinnia and the intent look on the hummer's face makes me smile. This reminds me ... I have to make some hummingbird sap to refill the feeder later today.
So glad you're getting lot's of help and support Kate. Hospice home care helped me so much when I needed them. There's no easy way to get through a time like this but the coming and goings of the home care nurse and home support workers was like having my hand held through it all...a great comfort.
My favourite is the same as yours...the colour version...but they're all so lovely. Birds are such an inspiration to me and a truly beautiful gift in life.
Now you're just showing off (and rightly so)! I like them all, but 9 is my favorite too. When things get too overwhelming, just remember your sister's advice and calm down, woman!
My favorite is #9. They are all beatiful but that is my very favorite.
Hard to choose, but I do like #9 the most.
Great photography. Love all the shots.
I'm glad your husband is having some good days. I think about both of you all the time.
I love #3. The color in the flower and the hummingbird are both amazing. Thanks for sharing and I hope all is well with you.
I think the first photograph is my favourite because of its simplicity.
Good to hear of your four good days in a row and also to hear of your leave of absence from school so that you can be home all of the time. From one who knows - you will look back on your good days together and thank God for them.
I like them all very much, but #8 is my favorite. I am partial to B&W.
Yup, #10 in black and white.....it speaks to me......
Hi Kate, so sorry I missed your last post...how scary! Glad it all turned out ok. I read somewhere to keep your car keys nearby, in addition to your phone and whatever else, and hit the panic button on your keys if you think someone is outside your home. And a friend of mine who was a police officer said that if you don't want to have a gun in the house, keep oven spray by your bed, or wasp spray.
Ok, back to your current post! I am so happy that the music therapy went well, and that your husband had several good days...I hope he has more this week! I know they must miss you like crazy at school. Because I already own one of your beautiful images...it's hanging not far from where I sit right now...I won't enter the contest, but I do love #8! :)
Music helps the soul. At least I think it does.
You are doing the hard part now. I wish I could stop by just to chit chat and get your mind off of things.
Your photos are marvelous like they always are. I like some of your black and whites as I think it gives more detail to the birds.
I won't be entering your contest though since I've won before.
Pet George from me and the girls,
JC and Jodie Belle and Maddy Jean
My favorite is #9. I must admit that I actually love all of your photos in their colored versions; number 7 especially - to me - the color really jumps out at you which I adore.
Keeping you and your husband in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs to you my friend! :)
I love that 5 makes me feel like I want to touch him, but think 9 is my favorite.
Words are 'oft so rich and full capable of capturing for the giving exactly what a heart holds and wishes to say to another.
Words are not strong enough, not deep enough, nor sufficiently expansive to hold and carry the hearts message.
This is one of those moments when I find the latter is true Kate. The thoughts I wish I could capture to send to you amid the consonants and vowels resist and overwhelm the capability of words....
Without question you are where you need to be - tho being where you belong is a dual edged sword held close to each beat of your heart.
I know (as many here) the curious conflicted emotion of joy and sadness thru each "good" day. None the less each good day is a gift. Some good days are meant to be treasured as they unfold. Others seem meant to be moments designed to be tucked away, to be recalled at later times.
Each of your images is remarkable and choosing one as favorite is nearly impossible :-) but it's number 6 that whispers to me...
Thinking of you both, as always K
Hummingbirds are such amazing little creatures. I really love the first photo.
You are in my thoughts and prayers.
I think all your photos are fantastic ! I love the music of nature . There are lovely CD'S you can by of nature Papa and I listen to them often I do not know if you can get them there this is the website . http://www.solitudes.com/Shopping/EditorialDisplay.aspx?contentID=HOME&brandID=SOLITUDES if you love sounds of nature you will love these ! Luv to all from us here . Have a good day !
I really love #1, the Bokeh and colors are great!
I love that music is a part of hospice.. I think the arts are so healing... as you have found with your photography!
I love #9. I love the texture, softness.... All of it. Thank you for sharing.
They're all beautiful, but I do love the color in #1. Keeping you and your family in my prayers.
because I already have several of your prints, I will not enter this time... spread the wealth is what I say. However, I must tell you that they are beautiful captures, and when I saw the first, I thought.. oh, you can't take away the irridescent colors!... and you felt the same :-)
I'm glad things are peaceful at home -
Maybe #4? I am using b&w or grey in my bedroom to tone down the bright blue I picked for the walls!! LOL
You are so sweet to be doing this right now.
Music can definitely be soothing!!
I love #9. Peace be with you. Love Stella Ann
Number five. Yes, the color version. I love it.
I've always believed in music. I "forced" my kids to listen to nature sounds on CDs and classical music when they were babies and toddlers, and I believe it made a difference. There's a soothing, calming quality to it. Just like candles, a fire, flowers, etc. Anything that is pleasing and calming to the senses is healing in its own way, however subtle.
I love them all - but #9 is my fave!
I know it's really hard to be a caregiver......I hope you are caring for yourself too! And I hope your hubby has more good days!
Thinking of you both!
Adore hummingbird. You got amazing shots of this female Ruby Throated hummingbird, beautiful photos.
Hard choice but I'll say 9.
It is so kind of you to offer this giveaway with all you are experiencing lately. Blessings of peace to your husband. I think I like the last shot best! In pink!
Thank you for the chance.
#9 is my face, too, but hard to choose.
I'm glad you have such a good support system and I wish you and your husband only the best.
I guess I can't pick all.... So i'll say #1.
I don't pack heat by the way.... Freaks me out a little to be near guns....
They have music therapy in the NICU (neonatal unit) where I work..... Very peaceful.....
I love you (and George of course :)
I adore all your bird images - very hard to choose a favourite! But seeing as how you have been kind enough to play along at my place, I shall return the favour and say: #6.
I love the eye peeping over the busy wing, and the balance created by the feeder in the corner...
Sending smiles and love your way.
Having several friends who already just this year have lost their spouse to cancer, I just feel so badly that both of you have to suffer through this. I depend on my husband so much---in so many ways---I can't even think of being without him after 47 years. I guess, more than anything, for just knowing he is always here for me. Oh yes, we have our spats and even days we'd like to forget, but having that special one that you know has your back when it comes down to it, means the world, doesn't it? I know your husband may not be able to tell you, but I'm sure he feels this way about you!! Knowing you're there---has got to mean all the world to him. This journey is life, I know--I just hope, if I am the one who must remain, that somehow I can face it with the strength that you show me here in your posts, Kate. Sending prayers up for your whole family. God bless you all.
Oops--had to tell you--like so many others--I love #9, too!
I greatly admire your courage - I do read your blog regularly and keep you and yours in my prayers.
I like all of your beautiful photos, but 9 is a favorite-
Any photo of a hummingbird is breathtaking but I LOOOOOVE #1. Just outside my classroom on spring, we had a nest. My 3rd grade students were so watchful, respectful and eager. Another thought, our media tech had a bird nest collection for students to study, isn't that a grand thing? One year a science project has my students learning about adaptations and marveling at how birds made their nests. Well, their homework assignment was to "build a bird nest themselves". They could use any "found" object. I think the ones that cracked me up the most were 1) made of dog fur and 2) made of lint from the dryer. Kids are such a hoot! It was a very interesting lesson.
Please know that you and yours are in my prayers every day!
egad, forgive the typos above! @#$%^&*
It is a tough time you are going through. And I am sure my prayers and hugs are only a wisp of the breezes of prayers coming your way.
Your photos are all so lovely -- there are a few that I love. If I had to pick one, the one right now is #8. Thank you.
Your photographs are all so lovely, but I cannot get past #9. So soft and peaceful. I am sending prayers for you, your husband and family.
Your photographs are beautiful but my favorite is no.#9.....You are very generous....
I love the idea of music being played. It always calms my spirit...
Love #10 in color.
I am with the majority. I love #9.
I check your blog everyday. I find so much peace there. I wish I could offer you something.
Lovelovelove #10! I was going to say that in my comment even without the contest! IMHO, I think the hummingbird photos need color. They are so iridescent, and beautiful. Pray for you often, and glad your husband had some good days.
your favourite is mine...in colour, although i love them all.
i would have been terrified by the lights in the drive....especially if i was in your position when the whole world feels like it is shifting under my feet. glad that it was nothing bad, as of course it usually isnt.
i was shocked to find so many people have or advocate guns. well, thankfully here in the UK we dont have guns at home and even though we sometimes get freaked out by strange lights, we just do exactly what you did.
thinking of you very often, glad there are lots of people coming by and bringing music. k xxxxxx
Nine, oh yes, #9!
We get a huge kick out of the singing hospice volunteer that visits the nursing home I work at...there's nothing like a sweet soprano belting out "Bad Bad Leroy Brown" IMHO. (and yes she can make us bawl our eyes out with the more lovey songs.)
Keep Calm and Carry a Big Flashlight :)
Stay strong, my lovely blogging friend.
Hello. Like many before me, your favorite is also mine. I prefer color w/hummingbirds. Your photos are beautiful. Thank you for your generosity. Hope all goes well for you and your family. I'm not sure how to attach my email address. Oh well, If I win, pass it on to the next one.
I love your blog, your photos just blow me away. It's magical to me to catch a hummingbird with the kind of clarity that you can. Breathtaking.
I wish for you much peace and strength as you maneuver this part of life's journey. Lean on others to help you it can always be paid forward later.
Love all of them.. but then again I always do. Your work is amazing. Hope you know that WE all love you. Sorry I haven't checked in more. Please know that you and yours have lots of love and support in blogland too ♥ -Tammy
Oh my, these are all so beautiful. Sending hugs and wishes for more good days. Xoxo
IMO #5 was the best .. too late oh well bummer
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