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News, news, and more news.

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. It's been a bad week, and you may not be hearing from me again for awhile.
It all started last week. My hubby was out of town in San Diego for Regional meetings. While he was gone, my week started off badly as my eye swelled shut. It stayed that way for nearly 3 days and I couldn't drive or do anything, since I could only see out of one eye. Then on Friday, once my hubby was home I learned that my Mom possibly has Colon Cancer. The first doctor diagnosed her with stage 4, but didn't do all the necessary tests to confirm it. She went in for a second opinion and now she is being told she has Ovarian Cancer, even though she hasn't had her ovaries since I was born. Granted she was in Mexico, and all this news came from Mexican doctors. While I don't really see how it would be possible for her to have Ovarian Cancer, she does have some form of Cancer. The doctor ran a tumor marker on her blood and it did come back positive. She has excessive amounts of fluid in her abdomen, and needs to have surgery done right away to see what all is going on. I haven't gotten all the news yet, but it looks like they have finally come to their senses and will come back to Las Vegas to allow her insurance to cover her treatments, so we will have to wait and see.
Today, I got an email from my sister in Hawaii who happens to be approximately 32 weeks pregnant, with my nephew Matthew. Since her blood pressure is a little higher than what the OB would like, she will go in tomorrow to have jelly put on her cervix to help it dialate, then on Saturday she will be induced. This will be her second son, so it looks like come Saturday, I will be an Auntie once again.
Then to top it all off, my daughter has been complaining of pain in her mouth. I really didn't put much thought into it, as she has been wishing and waiting for the day for the Tooth Fairy would come to visit. She has complained about this one tooth way before it even began to wiggle slightly. So on Valentine's I look into her mouth and find that right behind her two bottom front teeth, she has teeth that have started to break through the gums. At first we were worried because a second row of teeth would not be good, but upon closer exam I found that her two front teeth are really loose finally, as if she hasbeen willing them to fall out all this time. I've been having her eat an apple every day to help loosen them more and fall out naturally, as I do not want to have to resort to the things my mother did to me to pull my loose teeth out....such as tie a string around the tooth, and the other end to a door knob, and slam the door so hard that to yank it right out. No torturing here, if worse comes to worse, we will go see the dentist and see what he can do with a little novacaine! Not a great picture, but take a look for yourself.



The only word that comes to mind right now, melancholy. My husband has been out of town since Monday, won't be back till Friday. He'll be home for a week or so, then leaves town for another week. It's quiet and lonely around here. Don't get me wrong, Natalie will talk your ear off - and kick the crap out of you while sleeping (she insist upon sleeping in our bed when one of us is gone.) But when you're depressed and alone, melancholy definitely fit the bill.

Then to top it off, I wake up yesterday morning and my eye is practically swollen shut. I iced it all day, and still today it is pretty swollen. I had to call a friend and ask her to take Natalie to school today and bring her home. I'm hoping with a little more ice, I'll be fine come tomorrow.

And it's not like this is the only thing, my drug company decided to drop my Avinza (morphine) from the plan. It's a $365 drug, and now is no longer on our formulary, so now It's a $30 co-pay, instead of $10, and I already pay out the butt for all the meds I take, plus no pharmacies here in town even have any in stock! So I haven't had pain meds since last week and my bones hurt sooooooo freaken bad I feel like if you just accidentally hit my shin, my leg would break. I hurt so much everyfreakenwhere. The Doc's office called today, and they are sending out a new RX for a Morphine generic that will cost a lot less.

I've been trying to do some little projects here and there to lift my spirits, but it's not easy when your heart's not in it all that much. But I need something to take my mind off of other things. Plus I really need to get back into scrapbooking, if I'm going to meet my goals this year and be published. I've also been dabbling in paper crafts and cards. Hopefully I will get on some Design Team or get published somewhere. I need something to get me out of my rut, and find happiness again.


What is real and what is not

My husband believes that depression is all in one's head, like perhaps mind over matter. I do not fault him for his beliefs, as I have many original ones of my own. However, I do believe that depression is real. I believe it as I live with it everyday, and have seen what it has done to others in my family. I know what it is capable of doing to others, and how it diminishes the soul, I know this first-hand. He sees me day in and day out, yet how can he not see what it has done to me and not understand that this merely is not a case of mind over matter? I often sit alone day after day in my bed not wanting to go downstairs to watch TV, scrapbook in my scrap room (which needs to be packed so it can be remodeled), make dinner, or even be with others. And while I feel this way day after day, thinking horrible, unbearable thoughts at times, I still feel this way despite the anti-depressants I have taken since August.
The first one they had me one made me feel somewhat better, but we learned in December that it was (possibly) the cause of the nightly seizures I experienced. So in late December, they switched me to a different kind of medication called Cymbalta. And while it has been nearly 6 weeks now, I still feel no different. In fact I think I may feel worse, because now I am back to weeping and crying nearly constantly. I find myself feeling more stressed, and having more anxiety than ever. And I find myself asking why, why do I feel like this? Is it because I am pre-disposed to depression due to family history? Was it my brush with Breast Cancer? Or was it because something I never thought possible happened to me….a woman, a close dear friend of mine broke my heart and I haven’t been able to get over it?
In the back of my head, I cannot forget it. But then again, it’s really no different than any other person or event in my life. I have always felt vengeful. I can never forgive and forget. Yet I can’t help thinking about it over and over again. How I have sent cards, promised burnt programs (one that I can no longer find the original for myself) and other acts of kindness, yet to get no reply, no thank you, no nothing. I ask nothing of my friends, nothing more than to be a friend. I don’t care if I often spend more on you than you spend on me. I don’t care about keeping track of who did what, about tracking “points” as you may say. And while I may have brought up a few occurrences to make a point, it wasn’t to throw them in her face or make her think that she was a bad friend – which she accused me of. It was merely to show here how much I cared for her, her family and our nearly 7 year friendship. I had only brought up the subject because while going through chemo I had not seen her or heard from her and had been slightly depressed at the time and needed a friend to talk to, to lean on. Which in turn ended up questioning the whole existence of our so called friendship, and ending it – which hurt me more than you could imagine. I think it hurt even more than the cancer did – when someone you love and consider a friend has no time for you and wants nothing to do with you after 7 years, it does break your heart. It hurt that she spent more time talking to virtual strangers than she EVER did to me – EVEN WHEN I LIVED IN THE SAME DAMN TOWN. She had no time to email or call me, yet had time to post and swap and scrap, when she had a friend out there that needed her in the worst way. And to think I was the fool that introduced her to scrapbooking. My husband keeps trying to remind me it is her loss, and not mine, and to just move on with the REAL friends that I do have – the ones that really make time for me, that call me, email me, invite me to lunch or to the park. He says it’s because of friends like her, that he no longer has any “old” friends.
It’s just hard for me, because as much as I love scrapbooking, I would NEVER value paper, ribbon, stamps, paint or embellishments MORE than the life of a person who you know in real life, and is a friend – one that was at your wedding, your baby showers, all the birthday parties, a person who had always been there for them. I have/had cancer and she couldn’t even call to say hi. I could have died, and all she had to say was maybe I forgot what it was like to work and take care of your family.
So I go from mildly depressed to extremely depressed, and I find myself wondering the cause – cancer or a broken heart? It’s like the question, what comes first, the chicken or the egg?


I'm a proud new owner of a brand new lens for my camera

I've been eyeing the extra lenses available for my new Sony Cybershot DSC-H1 for quite some time now. Actually, I think since we bought it over Thanksgiving (my gift for being in the hospital and having my tissue expander removed). I totaly LOVE this camera - I was told it is the best new camera on the market and beats out the new Canon Powershot S2 IS (which is what I HAD wanted). This has the 35mm equivalentcy of 36mm - 432mm, 12x optical zoom, 12x digital zoom, and at 5.1 MP it takes crystal clear amazing pictures! The only thing is that 2 of the lenses I want are $150 each, and the close up lens is $80! It's really frustrating when the extras are so damn expensive and you have already spent over $700 on the camera by time you get a 1 Gig SD Card, a carrying case, and of course tax! But since my birthday and anniversary just passed, I was owed some money - although I have already spent close to my limit on scrap supplies, plus the $600 to remodel the room, $200 in storage containers, and another $200 on ribbon boxes and vertical paper holders. But last night in an effort to stop my lusting, my hubby told me to just go ahead and get the damn thing. So I can have one this month, and one next month....then we'll see if I really want the close up lense or not. I had found some off brands on Ebay at much cheaper prices, but learned from the ONLY camera shop here in town that although they claim to fit my camera and the threads are the correct size, they don't actually work with my current lens and compensate for the adapter ring I have to put on to use them. So no matter what, I HAVE to purchase the original Sony equipment....bummer! So last night in an effort to find OEM lenses at a cheaper price, I searched the internet till my fingers were numb and blue! I finally found an outstanding deal on Amazon. $40 off the price of the lens AND free shipping! Check out my new goodies. Can't wait till it get's here, better yet, can't wait till next month to buy the other lens!
My new lens:

VCL-DH1758 58mm High Grade 1.7X Telephoto Conversion Lens
1.7X magnification for zoom shots that get you right into the action
Designed for 58mm lens Cyber-shot® digital cameras
High grade, 3 group, 5 element design for clear, distortion-free optics

My new camera:
Cyber-shot® DSC-H1 Digital CameraDSC-H1

Get closer than ever with the optically stabilized 12X zoom lens on the Cyber-shot® DSC-H1 digital camera from Sony.
5.1 Megapixel (2592 x 1944 Pixels)
12X optical zoom lens
2.5" LCD monitor1
Super SteadyShot® Optical Image Stabilization
32MB flash memory built-in.
Ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction
by J.D. Power and Associates.*

Get closer than ever with the Cyber-shot® DSC-H1 digital camera from Sony. With its incredible 12X optical zoom lens combined with Super SteadyShot® optical image stabilization system you can capture stunning long-distance images with minimized blurring, even during longer exposures. It is conversion lens compatible so you can easily add optional telephoto and wide-angle lenses for even greater optical range.

The DSC-H1 features Sony’s precision 1/2.4" Super HAD™ CCD imager which, combined with the Real Imaging Processor™ and 14-bit DXP processor, gives you amazingly detailed 5.1 Megapixel digital images with accurate colors and contrast. Its comfortable SLR body design, 2.5 inch LCD screen1, and live histogram display allow you to quickly and easily compose perfectly framed shots.

Other key features include a pop-up flash, 32 Megabytes of internal memory2, and MPEG Movie VX video capture capabilities. It is PictBridge™ compatible so you can easily print photographs directly from the camera onto compatible photo printers without the need of a personal computer.
• 1/2.5" 5.1 Megapixel Super HAD™ CCD
Super HAD (Hole Accumulation Diode) CCDs provide excellent image quality by allowing more light to pass to each pixel, increasing sensitivity and reducing noise.
• 12X Optical/2X Digital/24X Total Zoom
Optical zoom helps you fill the frame with your subject for better pictures. And Sony’s Precision Digital Zoom helps bring your subject closer with an extra 2X magnification.
• 0 – 48X Smart Zoom™ Feature (at VGA Resolution)
The Smart Zoom feature intelligently uses the full CCD to let you zoom into the portion of interest by cropping the image size–thus avoiding the image degradation of Digital Zooms.
• Super SteadyShot® Optical Image Stabilization
Super SteadyShot® Optical Image Stabilization fights motion blur, even during longer exposures at full zoom.
• Real Imaging Processor™ Technology
The innovative Real Imaging Processor in the DSC-H1 not only improves picture quality and clarity but also improves camera response time, decreases shutter lag and improves battery stamina.
• 2.5" LCD Monitor1
The 2.5" 115K LCD Monitor1 makes framing shots and reviewing pictures easy.
• Live Histogram Display
Available in capture and playback the Live Histogram Displays the concentration of pixels at each luminosity value making it easy to evaluate correct exposure.
• 14-Bit DXP A/D Conversion
Sony’s 14-bit Digital EXtended Processor captures the range between highlight and shadow with up to 16,384 values, for extended dynamic contrast and detail.
• 3 Area Multi-Point Auto Focus
By evaluating 3 separate focus areas of the frame, Sony’s Multi-Point AF system can intelligently focus on the subject and avoid mistakenly focusing on the background.
• Manual Exposure Mode
Manual Exposure Mode provides extended control with 46-step adjustable Shutter speed (30 – 1/1000 sec.), and Aperture control (F2.8 – F8.0).
• AF (Auto Focus) Illuminator
Briefly illuminating the subject, in low–or no-light conditions, the AF Illuminator helps establish a positive focus lock.
• Selectable Focus Mode
Monitoring AF (Auto Focus) helps you anticipate the action by focusing even before you press the shutter release.
• Multi-Pattern Measuring
Independently light-metering 49 points of the frame, Multi-Pattern Measuring establishes the optimum exposure, even when highlight and shadow isn’t centered in the frame.
• Scene Selection Mode
With 7 Scene Modes, parameters can be matched to the shooting conditions. Choose from one of the following: Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Portrait, Landscape, Beach, High-speed shutter and Candle.
• Pre-Flash Metering
With a momentary pre-flash, the camera illuminates the subject and sets exposure through the lens for accurate flash metering. Adjustable flash level and red-eye reduction ensure great flash shots.
• Slow Shutter Noise Reduction
During long exposures, Slow Shutter NR captures the scene, and then the CCD noise pattern with a dark frame exposure. By subtracting the two, even long exposures can be clear.
• Memory Stick® Media and Memory Stick PRO™ Media
Digital. Powerful. Transportable.™ Memory Stick® media is compact, portable and rugged—connecting a variety of hardware and software applications.
• 32 MB Internal Memory Included2
Shoot without a flash memory card with 32 MB internal memory2; Slot for optional Memory Stick®, Memory Stick PRO™ media. Full 32 MB of internal memory can be copied to optional Memory Stick® media.
• 9 Shot Burst Mode
Capture up to 9 5MP shots (fine) or 100 shots VGA (standard) at 0.7 frame/sec. Perfect for high speed subjects or fast moving action such as sports or small children.
• Multi-Burst Mode
Captures 16 320 x 240 frames as part of a single 1280 x 960 image which plays back sequentially in the camera. Selectable 1/7.5, 1/15, 1/30 second.
• MPEG Movie VX Standard/Fine Mode with Audio
Captures VGA (640 x 480) high frame rate (up to 30 frames per second) audio/video clips with length limited only by the capacity of the media. Video mail mode captures smaller file sizes suitable for email.
• Conversion Lens Compatible
You can add tele-photo or wide-angle conversion lenses for greater magnification or wider field of view, as well as protective and special effect filters.
• PictBridge™ Compatibility
Connect to any PictBridge™ compatible printer with the supplied USB cable and print directly from the camera. Images can be viewed and selected for printing right on the camera’s LCD, with menus for print quantity, date and index print.

• Imaging Device: 1/2.5" 5.1 Megapixel Super HAD™ CCD
• Recording Media: 32MB internal flash memory1, Memory Stick® Media, Memory
• Stick PRO™ Media
• Lens Construction: 11 Elements in 9 Groups. Includes 1 ED Glass Element and 1 Aspheric Element)
• Zoom: 12X Optical Zoom
• Smart Zoom® Feature: 0 – 48.0X (at VGA Resolution)
• Digital Zoom: Precision, 0 – 2.0X Range, 24X Total
• Filter Diameter: 58mm (with adapter ring)
• Focal Length: 6 - 72mm
• Aperture: f2.8 - f3.7
• 35mm Equivalent: 36 - 432mm
• Auto Focus:3 Area Multi-Point AF, Center AF, 3-Step Manual
• Macro Mode: 3/4" (2 cm)
• Shutter Speed: 1/8 – 1/2000 sec. (Auto), 2 – 1/2000 sec (Program Auto), 30 – 1/1000 sec (Manual)
• Exposure Compensation: +/- 2.0 EV, 1/3 EV Steps
• Color LCD: 2.5" 115K Pixel TFT LCD Screen2
• Flash Modes: Auto/Forced On/Forced Off/Slow Synchro
• Red-Eye Reduction: On/Off
• White Balance: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Flash and One Push
• Burst Mode: 9 Shot 5MP (JPEG fine), 100 Shot VGA (JPEG std.), 0.7fps
• Picture Effects: Sepia, Black & White
• ISO: Auto, 64, 100, 200, 400
• Scene Modes: Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Portrait, Landscape, Beach, High-speed shutter, Candle
• Self-Timer: Yes, 10 Seconds
• Audio/Video Output: Yes, NTSC/PAL Selectable
• Still Image Modes: Normal (JPEG Fine/Standard), Burst, Multi-Burst, Auto Bracketing
• MPEG Movie Modes: MPEG VX Fine with Audio (640 x 480 at 30fps), (MPEG VX Fine requires Memory Stick PRO™ media) MPEG VX Standard with Audio (640 x 480 at 16fps), Video Mail (160 x 112 at 8fps) with Audio
• Microphone /Speaker: Yes / Yes
• USB Terminal: Yes, Supports USB 2.03
• Memory Stick PRO™ Media Compatibility: Tested to support up to 2GB media capacity4; does not support Access Control security function
• Compatible Battery: "AA" NiMH or "AA" Alkaline
• Supplied Software: Picture Package™ for Sony v1.6 (Windows), Pixela™ ImageMixer VCD2 (Macintosh), USB Driver, Cyber-shot Life tutorial (Windows)
• OS Compatibility: Microsoft®Windows®98/98SE/Me/ 2000/XP Home/XP Pro; Macintosh®OS 9.1/9.2/OS X (10.0 - 10.3)
• Supplied Accessories:NH-AA-DA Rechargeable AA Batteries, BC-CS2 Battery Charger and Cord, A/V and USB Cables, Shoulder Strap, Lens Cap, Lens Cap Strap, Lens Adapter Ring, Lens Hood and Software CD-ROM
• Dimensions (W x H x D): 4 1/4" x 3 1/4" x 3 19/32" (107.8 x 18.4 x 91.2mm)
• Weight: 1 lb., 5 oz. (591g) with Battery, Media and Neck Strap


Western Week

This week to coincide with Cowboy Poetry, the school has been sponsoring Western Week. It's a time when the kids where their cute little cowboy boots and hats to school. At least we'll get some wear out of those $50 Durango pink boots we bought in Vegas! We missed it Monday....I totally forgot and sent her to school in her Raider's jersey and jeans. But I remembered yesterday and as we headed out to school, we stopped down near the end of the road where there are some beautiful horses. I didn't mean for her to get close to them - ya know, in case they weren't nice. But I got some wonderful pictures of her with the horses. She petted them and they nuzzled her neck. Once she got near the fence, they just flocked over to her for some attention. They are amazing creatures. Take a look for yourself. I'll also be posting LOTS of new pix on Flickr too.

I think today after school we may stop and feed the ducks, we'll see. It all depends on what the weather is like.