30 April 2010

Sniffing Menth

I said Menth, not Meth! I had a cold last week and over the weekend. As far as colds go it was actually pretty mild. But the worst part was that the junk got in my ears and has stayed there the entire week. Mornings, as you might imagine are the worst, though as the week has gone on it does seem to be lessening and for that I am grateful!

But last Saturday and Sunday my ears were in pain from the pressure. When I'm sick I try very hard not to take any meds because the meds themselves can sometimes just give me other pains (usually of the abdominal variety, if you catch my drift). So I didn't want to take anything like Sudafed (besides, that stuff just makes me feel weird) to drain my ears. But I also knew I needed to do something.

I hopped on Google. No surprise there. I found some home remedy type recipes. I also read in my Coconut Cures book for a remedy for ear aches/infections. In the end I combined two recipes and made a little concoction of coconut oil (melted - as an anti-bacterial), essential peppermint oil (to numb the pain a little), and some garlic oil (also anti-bacterial, I think, which was harder to extract that you might imagine - I kept getting small parts of the garlic in there). We had an unused sterile dropper so I had Mark drop the mixture in my ear. We repeated with the other ear after 20 minutes of letting the first one sit in there and do its thing.

I was hoping for a miracle cure but it didn't come. I was bummed and still in pain.

By Monday the pain was lessening, but it was like I was listening through hands cupped over my ears. Not fun. So I headed to the Chemist and asked for anything that might help that didn't have Sudafed in it. I had them stumped temporarily. Then, the nice lady suggested Menth crystals :)

I was skeptical.

How was breathing menthol diluted in steaming water going to clear my ears? I asked and she said the nose and ears are all connected. Fair enough. And for a £1.70 I didn't have much to lose.

I nearly gagged the first big breath a took. That was STRONG stuff that took my breath away. But I persisted, just not so close to the water. The longer I breathed in nice and deep, the more it got into me. Good stuff. I thought I'd also try letting it seep into my ear so turned my ear towards the steam. I was desperate, folks.

Within the hour my ear that had been clogged for 48 hours finally "popped!" Maybe that stuff actually worked! I repeated again later that night and again the next day. Each time it seemed to help. In fact, now I like the soothing, tingly, relaxing feeling it brings so much I just might start using them for stress relief even when I am not sick.

If they don't sell these Menth Crystals in the U.S. you better believe I'm taking bottles of the stuff back with us. I just hope none of you warn customs :)

24 April 2010

Those Friendly Skies

In the past few days since the Aberdeen Airport has been opened again, I've once again been hearing the whirl of the helicopters fly past our flat as they go to and from the oil rigs offshore. It is a uniquely Aberdeen sound (I should think) and one that I think I might miss. I hadn't realized just how quiet the skies had been without planes and helicopters until I heard them again after not hearing them for 5 days. Strange how that happens sometimes. You forget about something until you see it or hear it again, and then it brings a wave of familiarity and a sense of the world just being right.

20 April 2010

Time's a Tickin'

The days are flying off the calendar and it dawned on me we only have 8 weeks from yesterday left here. I have been trying to soak up the moments. (Except for the moments of snow yesterday and today - those I'm trying to erase from my memory. If only flights were flying regularly [and not messed up due to the volcanic ash] I would have hopped the first one to Nashville. Snow in April is WRONG!)

It's becoming strange to me that soon my "diary" (day planner) will be filled with things happening in another country and not this one.

We'd appreciated your prayers as we look forward to what is to come. Mark doesn't have a job (nor any viable leads at this point) and I hope to pursue my own photography business. We look forward seeing how the Lord leads and provides for us both in work and other ways.

15 April 2010

As Usual....

Well it's same 'ole, same 'ole around here. I've been behind the camera (or editing) in my spare time. Mark's been pluggin' away. And is ready to be done. And I wouldn't mind that either! I am at a loss of words and lacking motivation to write the posts I have been wanting to write. So, as usual, I'll let some photos I've taken the past 4 days do the talking. Did I mention I love photography? :) :) :)

Oh, glorious spring! You do my heart good!

I chased quite a few bumble bees Sunday evening. Miraculously got one in focus in the eyes!

I know how you feel buddy. (What's not to love about children's photography. Seriously!)

Or seniors for that matter. One last lady who couldn't get her photo taken last week.

07 April 2010

All Things Photography

It's been an eventful 24+ hours for me and my photography "business."

First, (and I can't believe I'm saying this!) I've agreed to photograph my first wedding! After 2 weeks of deliberation, prayer, getting Mark and other friends' input, emailing the bride about various things, doing some researching on equipment upgrades I need to make, etc, I finally decided to go for it! I've said repeatedly I'd never shoot a wedding and here I am not very far into my photography career already breaking said vow. Never say never. It'll bite you every time! I'm not exactly sure what made me stop and ponder this request, but ponder it I did. And the biggest shock of it to me, I'm super excited! Nervous, yes, but excited about yet another new challenge! The bride-to-be is a sister of one of my friends who used to live here in Aberdeen, but has returned to the Philly area (where the wedding will also be). July 10th is the big day!

In light of said commitment, I decided it would be advantageous to get some training (however small) from an actual wedding photographer before the big day. I contacted a couple of photographers in the Nashville area to see if anyone would let me shadow for a couple of weddings that they are shooting. So far I've had one lady come back to me and agree! We're still ironing out the details, but hopefully that will work out so I don't have to shoot the wedding blind :)

This afternoon was my afternoon to take portraits of my friends at Cafe Plus (the ministry I referenced a couple weeks ago that is at our church for the 55+ on Wednesday afternoons). God was so gracious to give me an assistant (who it turns out, knew waaaaay more about photography than I did [though that really wouldn't be super hard!] and had much better equipment also [again, not too hard to do!]) and was a huge asset to the 1.5 hours of straight portrait shooting for about 20 individuals/couples. I was so grateful God answered my prayers for sunshine! It was out a good part of our time of shooting making for some nice portraits. After most everyone had left the church building I took some shots to remember our church by. These are shots that I've been plotting in my head (while listening to every word of the sermons!) for a long time now. This was also on my bucket list (see this post if you don't know what I'm talking about).

Without further ado, a few favs of the day....

This actually wasn't a very typical shot, but I did try it on a few ladies I know better.
Grandma, the next time I see you, I want to get one like this of you!

No, thankfully the minister doesn't preach from up there :) I didn't ever put on my wider lens so I have no good shots of the whole of the church. Sorry!

Part of the "In Remembrance" of fallen soldiers from the Aberdeen area. I've always wondered, is this in reference to THE Rober Burns?

A portion of one of the stained glass windows

Centre (ha, make that center) of the rose window at the back of the church

Ever since I've known what shallow depth of field is I've wanted to get this shot! It's the very purple carpet :)

The pilars are oh so nice. I like the purple/gold detailing on them at the top.

More purple and gold detailing that I enjoy looking at.

So you can see where that purple and gold detailing are.