Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Look ma, no cavities!


I know that I am not a big fan of going to the dentist, but I also know that I need a good healthy mouth.

But I skipped going for a while.  I'm not going to say how long.  The lack of insurance just made it easier for me to keep putting things off.

I was able to purchase Dental Insurance through the VA system not too long ago.
So I bit the bullet, so to speak and picked up the phone.

The hygienist did not give me a long nasty lecture, and neither did the dentist.

I'm going to stop here a moment and tell you what a small town it is.  My old dentist sold his practice to this wonderful young lady dentist.  I work with my old dentist's brother.

My new dentist's uncle is one of my supervisors....and one of my ridge neighbors works for her!

Long story short, after scraping and working on my mouth, then a full set of x-rays [wow...the new technology is incredible]. Dr. Klum put the x-rays up on the huge flat screen TV in my cleaning 'room'.  She zoomed in with a mouse click and looked at my roots and around my mouth.  
I was declared cavity free once again.

I do have 2 cavities from when I was 18 yrs old.  Let's just say that was 40 yrs ago.

However, since I put getting a check up and cleaning off for much longer than I should have, I will be going back for deep cleaning and yes it is my own fault and I pretty much had that figured out before I stepped into the office.

I had to have it done in 1998 when I actually had an infection in my gums.  

So the good news was ... no cavities.  The not so great news was the deep cleaning.  
And as I said, it was my own fault.  
So listen up, it is wise not to skip going to the dentist, even if it makes you nervous.

Heck, I sweated right through my clothes and the hygienist never hurt me.  Just something about being in that chair I guess.  I need to get it out of my head.


If I recall when I was a child, one of my first experiences was with a dentist in a dark looking room who had nasty looking picks and things.  He pulled one of my baby teeth.  
I am pretty sure that may be a true memory.
Many years ago when I took my sons to their first dental visit it was so much more different and geared to make the experience much better.

Well, there you go.
No cavities, give this old lady a gold star!




Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Topaz Glow, the Newest plug in ... a review


A Fractal made by JWildfire.
I decided to download the trial version of Topaz's new creative plug in called 'Glow'.

I'm all for trying something new and adventurous out.
This plug in intrigued me it is similar to Redfield's Plug in called Fractalius.


This was a very toned back version of the plugin.  I wasn't about to go over the top on it.

However....


I did here.  In fact I used Topaz ReMask to remove the backround and added the moon, clouds, and other effects in the backround.

Original:

Photoshop magic created in PSPX6.

Screen shot of Fractalious:

Screen shot of Topaz's Glow:
Glow is being offered at $49.99 for a limited time and then the price defaults to $69.99

Fractalious is offered at $39.99.  Now I have not tried this program.  Reviews have said it is slow and eats at memory.
I've seen some wonderful work with it though.

That said, I am an avid Topaz plugin person.  I use it quite often.

Here is another quick sample.


I used Simplify first and then reduced the 'Glow' layer slightly for the above piece.

Here is the original:

I have a little more work to do with this plug in to see if I can get some consistent results in turning some of my work into 'illustrations'.

If it all works out, you'll see me paying the price for this plug in.

It works very well with PSPro...Corel.
And this is my new go to program for editing.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Get Crackin'


I've been putting it off and it looks like this is the week to start getting things done.
I have my Christmas 'shopping' to do and I've been really lazy this year.

Hubby has expressed an interest in the brand new Mercedes Benz.  I'm thinking I should just run out and get one for him and stick it next to the Christmas Chair.

I wonder if they still make MatchBox cars?

I saw an ad while watching a program on Hulu for a little blue card that said I should get it so I could 'see the world'.
Yep, that is what I want!

Dang, someone would have to pay for it though right?

Christmas ads are really something.  Since I don't have normal TV and live stream some programs, most of the time we avoid the commercialism of the season.


I pretty much have most of what I want and need.  I got to visit with family this past week and that is a gift that goes beyond any surprise that can be left under a tree.

However I would like the weather to change just a wee bit and it looks like I'll get that wish sometime tonight.

It has been dreary and foggy for 4 days!




The dreary part is going to stay and become rain.  Later rain/sleet/snow-ish mixtures.

That means I'll be confined to the house ... 
so I guess I'd better get working on the calendars for those who wanted them!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Dish Faerie and House Faerie Ran off...

...or they abandoned ship.

Now I know I left them in charge when I left to go visiting family.

The Dish Faerie was paid well, to wash and help take care of the utensils and the dishes.
I wasn't worried about the coffee cups or glasses as I know my dear sweet hubby will just rinse them and use them over and over until they are so cloudy you can't see through the glass...
or the cup becomes the same color as the coffee.  

And then what would it matter anyway right?  Coffee is coffee.

But no.  She did not take care of the spoons or utensils.  It was a good thing that I did come home when I did.
Hubby only had one clean butter knife and spoon left.
That would have meant that in another day or so, he might have to rinse one of the utensils off to butter his bagel in the morning.

There was a tidy stack of dirty dishes on the stove.
Well.

Because that is where you put them right?  The sink must be reserved for washing out the paint brush...
For the hound dog box pieces that were brought into the house and put on the clothes drying rack in the living room.
The floor is partially covered in plastic so no paint gets on the carpet.  I think the pieces of plywood and plastic go nicely with the decor.  I'm thinking of putting Christmas lights on them too.  You never know how long this project may last.
Ahem, back to the sink...

you don't really need to get all the paint out of the sink just yet because the paint job isn't done and the Dish Faerie ran out of the house screaming on the second day I was gone.  

Ahhh, where was the House Faerie?  She got smart and ran first.  She saw sweet hubby taking apart the hunting rifle and spreading it across the newly cleaned off table and knew there was no hope for her.  Not with Hoppes gun oil and other yummy things spread across the table.
Or maybe she saw the rugs in the kitchen collect hay chafe and sawdust and decided that she didn't have the strength.

I guess that is okay.  Those housekeeping faeries never seem to be able to stand up to my sweet husband while I am away for a few days.

I must say though it didn't take quite as long as I figured to clean the dishes as I had expected.  However the table is somewhat of a disaster area.  I went to sit down with a cup of coffee and a nice Panerra Bagel this morning and was perplexed as to where I could make room.

Sweet hubby pushed aside the gun cleaning oil and some screw drivers, knife, hammer, steel wool, and made some room so I could sit down.

Oh it is nice to be back home!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Love...

"The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog."  ~M.K. Clinton



Friday, December 05, 2014

A Trip Back to Wildcat Mountain State Park ~ The Ice Cave


Here is a shot of the Ice Cave on Labor Day.  It was quite beautiful and interesting.  But if one doesn't understand the 'ice cave' concept they won't get much out of visiting this area in the summer.

According to some folks, the ice can remain in this rock formation until nearly July depending on the weather of course.

Here is how it looked yesterday.  Keep in mind that the ice was melting because of our above freezing days and late sunshine that shone right into the formation during the late afternoons.


This is looking head on. You can see the pile of ice that has broken off the ice 'falls'.  Chunks were threatening to fall off while I was there.  It is not prudent to get a shot from directly below looking up when this is going on!



I preferred the side view which was much more dramatic.
This will probably be one of my favorite photos for quite a while.

Here is a fun comparison shot:


Billings Creek is right around the corner from the Ice Cave and I thought I'd revisit it also.

Here is another Labor Day shot with Ariel wading under the magnificent rock formations.


And of course I couldn't get out and wade yesterday, but the creek did not disappoint.


The ice formations in the middle of the creek were exotic yet because of the warm sunshine and temperatures they were hard to find.


I then followed our Labor Day route and visited one of the canoe launches on the Kickapoo River, but it was getting late and the parking lot was ice.  I got back in the Subaru and took the Cut Off road.

I did manage to get a shot of a Warner Creek which feeds into the Kickapoo River.


And the view towards the bluff.


Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Staying...un-focused.

I keep hitting snags in the latest book writing adventure.  Actually.

I just lose focus and go off on a tangent.

I delve into Mandelbulb 3D and get entangled in creating something special.


Or I take a daily challenge in JWildfire and work on producing something else....


Oh wait!
I need to take a hike and see what the creek looks like for my 'Creek Photo Project'


Whoops.
Back to writing.
Chapter 4... 
Damn, I've got to edit some photos so they go along with the book!


But wait!
The animals need their stock tanks filled, I need a breath of fresh air.

I walk by my collection of very cool skulls that I've been 'meaning' to do something with for the past few years.
I have an excellent coyote skull.  Nearly perfect except I lost 3 teeth in the cleaning process.

So I stop to read about how to preserve this nice skull.

Next thing I know.

I'm hand painting them.


And then I put them on the Christmas Chair.


One raccoon skull beaded and one the other one just painted.

Someone said I was creepy.  Heck, I like bones.  Skulls are just a reminder that nature goes in cycles.

So...back to the book.
Wait.
Stop.
Hmmm, homemade chicken noodle soup sounds so delicious doesn't it?

So...back to the book...
and back to painting...
or...
wait a minute.

What was I supposed to be doing?

That is me, staying totally un-focused.