It’s another day – it’s Halloween

Silo
Silo

I took this picture two weeks ago when I wasn’t out looking for more wall art. I don’t believe I had ever been down this road before. Normally you see silos in an open area or beside a barn. I believe that the farmer had landscaped around his silo.

***

I have an update on my mother’s condition. She slept for sixteen hours after my sister gave her some medication that the hospital doctor had prescribed. When I talked to her on the phone today she was lucid. She said, however that she thought that the hospital (I won’t use her term for that facility) had caused her problems. She is forgetting, or perhaps never realized, that she was already hallucinating before she went to the hospital.

While it was a relief that she seemed to be back to almost normal, I am still going to look into finding a doctor locally and a nursing home in this area. I wouldn’t want my sister to try to take care of mom if she is going to keep slipping into a hallucinatory state. That wouldn’t be fair to anyone.

***

Tomorrow is the beginning of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). If you aren’t aware of what NaNoWriMo is, and I wasn’t until I was asked if I was participating, it is a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. I have decided to try my hand. That means I will, on average, need to churn out around 1,700 words of eloquent prose per day. I hope the words will be eloquent because why do something if you don’t do it right.

One side effect of this project will be cutting further back on posts to Classical Gasbag. Why take a chance on there being only a finite number of words in my creative bag? I do plan on posting a monochrome image each week as a submission to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness. Forgoing that is not in my plans. I enjoy doing it too much.

***

A quote about writing

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”
– Jack Kerouac

P.S. Have a Happy Halloween!

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Yesterday was a bad day

Wall art #3
Wall art #3

This is another mural from  the near downtown area of Lafayette. It isn’t a happy picture; at least I don’t think it is. It matches my mood from yesterday.

***

I’ve written about my mom’s hallucinations recently. When she was taken to the hospital they were cleared up by using IV antibiotics to knock out a Urinary Tract Infection. Well, the hallucinations have come roaring back sans the infection. She has been back in the hospital being tested. There have been CAT scans, MRI’s, multiple vials of blood have been taken, as well as urine samples. They couldn’t find any cause for the hallucinations, so they sent her home with my sister saying that it was dementia. I drove up yesterday to visit and to talk with my sister about future plans.

I’ve had fun, in the past, relating some of my mother’s quirks, such as talking over the television because she isn’t interested in the program and that no one else should be either. Or the fact that she tries to hide it that she can’t really hear what you say to her. After yesterday, those things don’t seem as humorous.

When I walked into the house I was shocked at how bad she looked. The first thing my sister said was, “Twenty-nine hours and counting.” That’s how long my mom had been awake, and she didn’t sleep while I was there.

I think she might have recognized me for fifteen or twenty seconds, but I was lost to her after that. Oh, she talked about me, but it was to some invisible person sitting on the other side of her. She addressed me once, but she was looking at my brother-in-law when she did it, and the sentence trailed off without completion. The one time that she looked at me and asked a question she called me Mrs. Thorton. For the most part however, she was watching things and people who only she saw. Her hands were almost always moving, grasping at things that weren’t there. When I looked at her hands it appeared that her arthritis had caused her hands to become even more gnarled.

She eventually decided to go to bed, but she didn’t sleep. We, in the living room, could hear her singing, and then talking to my niece. But my niece was in the living room with us.

Our next step is to get my mom into a care facility because she needs constant care. We are going to try to get her moved into someplace local to where I live.

***

Ten or fifteen minutes after I left my sister’s home, I stopped to get a sandwich. While I was in the fast food parking lot, I received an email from Cindy that a friend of ours, Dr. Paul Kitley, had died. He was one of the nicest, kindest, men I have ever known.

He not only officiated at our wedding, but had been the person we went to for pre-marital counseling. He always gave me the impression that he was almost always siding with me rather than Cindy. I don’t know what he told Cindy in private, but she pretended to go along with it. I told you he was nice. Some years back he counseled me through a bad patch in my life.

We have had him over for dinner at our house, but not often enough. He is leaving a hole in our life as well as in the community.

***

A quote about a bad day

“You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocket ship underpants don’t help.”
– Bill Watterson

Intrusive thoughts

Peaceful day
Peaceful day

It has been two weeks since I took this picture. I almost overlooked it when I started concentrating on the wall art photos. I took the picture to show that the leaves were turning. By now I would guess that these trees have no more green leaves, and that most of the leaves have hit the ground.

***

It was an early morning for me today. I woke up around 2 a.m., as many older men are wont to do. Instead of falling back asleep after my trip to relieve myself I made the mistake of looking at my smart phone and saw that there were a number of new emails. One of them was from a young woman in India who liked the photos I had taken of the cornfield over the growing and harvest season. I thought she might since she thought the series of photos was a good idea after my first posting last spring. She now suggested that I should put together a year’s worth of photos of the corn field as a form of slow time-lapse images. Rather than sleeping, I spent the next few hours thinking about that suggestion. What follows is my thought process early this morning.

I can’t use the pictures that I already took because they are all of the same field but I didn’t take the pictures from the same place and at the same angle. I would need to pick a point, such as the twelfth fence post from the southern edge of the field, and point the camera due west, which means that I would need to take a compass…no wait, I have a compass app on my smart phone so I could use that, but do I want to only take pictures on sunny days or overcast days to offer a greater sense of continuity. Wow, this reminds me of the Midsomer Mystery episode that involved a photography club where the first murder victim had been taking pictures of one tree over the period of years and another of the members had set up his camera on the sidewalk to take the same picture of the street in front of his shop every day for decades…what was the name of that episode? Would a series of pictures of a tree be more interesting than a corn field? Would one picture a month be the right number? Maybe I should do one or two shots a week; then I could print hard copies of the pictures and put them together in book form so that you could riffle the pages and have the illusion of a moving picture. What do they call those books? Riffle books doesn’t sound right…Tijuana Bibles? NO, DEFINITELY NOT TIJUANA BIBLES…flip books, yes flip books! And then I could print one and send it off to India. 

So then I fought off the urge to get out of bed and go to the computer in order to respond to the suggestion. I realized that any response I sent would have to be in the form of a post rather than a mere response. Besides, I don’t know if I will give in to the compulsion to take on that project, because should I start now or wait until January, and…Stop those intrusive thoughts!

Instead, I turned the lights back on, found my notebook and pen, and started jotting down ideas for this post. I had planned on writing something else today. Maybe tomorrow.

***

A quote about compulsion

Only work which is the product of inner compulsion can have spiritual meaning.

– Walter Gropius

Light one candle

One candle, two holders
One candle, two holders

I have five different versions (four manipulated) of this picture, and I like them all. If you can’t tell, It is a small candle that came in a class jar that I set in a larger glass holder. I lit the candle in a dark room, before sunrise, and used my smart phone camera to take the picture. Then I emailed the photo to our PC where I manipulated the original, making it black and white, and using the clone tool painted out the other items in the background. As I said, I like all of the iterations. The original photo is now the wallpaper on my smart phone.

This picture is my submission to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness this week. If you haven’t visited Leanne’s site yet, do yourself a favor and check it out. She, and all of the photographers that she features, are worth the mild effort required.

***

A quote about photography

“There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.”
– Abraham Lincoln

How long will it last?

Wall art #2
Wall art #2

Here is another wall mural that I came across in the near downtown area of Lafayette. The artist has made an interesting comment that made me think about the transience of modes of communication in today’s society. No, I’m not making a statement on the relative worth of different forms of communication.

***

In a semi-related topic, on CBS Sunday Morning today, there was a segment on what happens to our on-line presence when we die. I will admit that I have given some thought to that topic in the past year or so. I’ve come to no conclusions as to what I would like to happen to all of the photographs I have on Flickr, or to all of the words and pictures I have on WordPress. There are still remnants, I’m sure, from my days on Facebook, and I still have an active, if seldom used, Twitter account. Do I really care what happens to all of that when I’m dead and gone (is dead and gone that a redundant phrase?).

I wonder if people will be reading blogs in ten years. Will there be enough people around who have the patience to read a thought that is more than 140 characters in length? The pessimist in me says. “no”, but the optimist in me says “of course”. I’m pretty sure that people will still look at murals.

***

 A quote about communication

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
– George Bernard Shaw

Perspective

Harvested
Harvested

I have been going back to this field at least twice a week for about a month now, just waiting to get a picture of the harvested field. If you’ve been reading Classical Gasbag this year, you know that I started taking pictures of this field in the early spring, shortly after the corn started growing. I’ve gone back to the field roughly once a month since then to document the growth. The field was finally harvested this week.

I started to wonder if they were ever going to harvest this field. The corn pickers had finished in  most of the fields in this area a week or two ago. I had been out to this field so often in the preceding month that I believe the local farmers were wondering why I kept driving there; not often enough to live there, but too often for any other honest reason.

I wasn’t the only odd person in the area, at least by my standards. More than a couple of times I observed a woman in a pickup truck, just down the road, who was pulled off the side of the road, next to a field where cattle were grazing. That in itself wasn’t odd, but she appeared to be leaning out of the truck window and was talking to one steer that had its head stuck through the fence, grazing outside of the field. Was she telling the steer that the grass only appeared to be greener outside the fence?  I do know that each time I passed her, she swiveled her head from the steer and stared at me as I drove by. To her, I was the strange one. It is a matter of perspective.

***

A quote about perspective

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
Abraham Lincoln

 

Art, commercials, and a Bob Dylan song

Wall art #1
Wall art #1

This is one of a collection of paintings that I found near the center of Lafayette. I think these pieces must be fairly new because there are so many that I can’t believe I missed seeing them before. This isn’t my favorite, but I do like it. I do have one question, does anyone have an idea why the head of a blue-faced woman would be painted on the side f a building? I suppose that question shows how much I don’t understand about art and artists.

***

I don’t pay attention to many commercials on television. Most of them are not worth my time, but I occasionally watch them. For instance, this morning I was paying attention to a local politician’s campaign commercial, only because I favor this particular person. I continued to watch as the next ad featured a woman being led around a city by her animated bladder. It was a drug company’s effort to sell a drug that controlled “urges” to urinate. At least I think that is what it is supposed to do. I stopped paying attention after a couple of sentences.

On the other end of the spectrum are the commercials for Geico Insurance. Don’t get me wrong, insurance companies are not my favorite businesses. This company, however, has clever commercials. This one is my newest favorite. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWv-dIUP9oc.

***

 As I sat here at the keyboard, wondering what to say next, I started paying attention to the music that was playing. Why it was a cover of an early Bob Dylan tune, Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFrFHKgWacA. Susan Tedeschi proves that some songs don’t get old. Of course I am prejudiced, being a fan of both early Dylan songs and Susan Tedeschi. When I first listened to one of her albums I thought of Bonnie Raitt. There are similarities beyond being women. I recommend her (either her) music to you. Those are my unpaid endorsements for today.