Are We All Irish on St. Patrick’s Day?

It has been reported that by 1840, nearly half of all entering immigrants into the United States came from Ireland. As a result, it is easy to understand why so many people say, “We are all Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.”  If we trace our roots back, there is a good chance that is true year-round for many Americans. Even if you don’t have a drop of Irish heritage, St. Patrick’s Day is a great time to honor and celebrate an evangelist who is often credited with playing an important part in escalating the rapid spread of Christianity.

In an effort to get us all a “wee bit” excited about March 17th, St. Patrick‘s Day, photoremedy.me offers this colorful look at the West Central Coast of the Emerald Isle. The historic region, from Limerick to Galway, features a number of stunning seaside wonders and the majestic Cliffs of Moher. To view the photoremedy video slide show below in high definition, just click the play button. Hover over the video, then click on the sprocket icon to the left of the clock and select 1080p. HD.

Note: Photoremedy.me is published as a labor of love. Please feel free to share the site, or any of our posts, with others. Our Home Page always features an option for our readers to sign up to immediately receive new material as an email. We hope you will become a part of our photoremedy network. 

Love in the Palm of Our Hands

BigBow-1 (1 of 1)Our second grandchild, little Isabella Ann, made her much-anticipated world premiere on February fourth. We are happy to report that Mom and baby are doing exceptionally well, and that Isabella is (predictably) proving to be an incredibly reliable source of photoremedy for this grandpa.

People keep asking, “Who does she look like?” Is it wrong to answer, “She looks like a young Mother Teresa to me?”LooksLikeMthrTeresa-1 (1 of 1)

We can see some of both her mom and dad in her, but she also favors many of our Kansas relatives.SunflowerSleep-1 (1 of 1)

She has displayed a theatrical side already during her short time on earth.

WithBow&Flowers-1 (1 of 1)

We think she just wants to be one of the gang.

BabyThrowGangSigns-1 (1 of 1)

We’d like to keep her just as she is – tiny, innocent, and so full of promise. Nevertheless, we recognize she will grow up before we know it and she will eventually emerge as a (gulp) teenager.WildChild-1 (1 of 1)

For now, we will just focus on the present. But, Mary and I promise to never forget what it felt like when each of our children and grand children were simply ‘love in the palm of our hands.’WithGrandpaG-2 (1 of 1)

“A ray of hope flickers in the sky. A tiny star lights up way up high. All across the land dawns a brand new morn. This comes to pass when a child is born.” – From When a Child is Born (sung most successfully by Johnny Mathis in 1976, and, more recently, Andrea Bocelli)

Andrea Bocelli – YouTube; Johnny Mathis – YouTube

Tripping Over An Epiphany

I am still a bit in recovery and adaptation mode, following the implantation of 32 electrodes and two neurotransmitters in my back and neck on November 27, 2012. I am feeling better by the day, but I’m being forced to learn do old things in new ways.

Receiving fairly stout electrical impulses inside your body 24/7 has a way of altering one’s FinchCloseUp-1a (1 of 1) sense of normal. Imagine sticking your finger in a portable, live electrical outlet and trying to talk, walk, be attentive to others, or attempting fine finger movements. I’m still very much in the re-learning phase with activities that are part of my daily routine.

Sometimes the impulses are paralyzing, and sometimes they are wonderful. If you happen to see me frozen in an odd position–like Ralph Macchio’s awkward stork stance in the Karate Kid movie–it is probably because I found a position where the electrical pulses feel SO good. Conversely, I’ve struggled even more than before with what should be relatively simple tasks like typing and getting a fork to my mouth (not sure that’s a bad thing). I can turn the power down to more effectively do specific tasks, but then I tend to open the flood gates to the kind of pain that caused me to undergo what can easily be labeled as “drastic measures.”

As a result, the post-surgery opportunities to self-administer healthy doses of photoremedy have been limited to what I can do fairly close to home. I’m dropping so many things these days that I’m forced to make sure I safeguard the camera by keeping the strap around my neck – even when I’m searching for material in my own backyard. West Texas born and bred poet Christian Wiman has eloquently stated, “Nature poets can’t walk across the backyard without tripping over an epiphany.”  I believe the same is true for photographers. Opportunities exist wherever we are planted, wherever we attempt to focus.

So, what are some of my post-surgical photoremedy epiphanies and insights?

Friends tend to stick around longer if you give them something good to drink (our hummingbirds did not migrate south as expected this year).

Finch&Hummer-2 (1 of 1)

It isn’t always pretty, however, when they drink too much.

Beak&Butt

There can be photographic gold at the end of a rainbow.

Rainbow&Cactus-1

Putting up walls can make others feel like prisoners.

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And, finally, one need not travel very far to be reminded that there’s always a guiding light.

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Note: Photoremedy.me is published as a labor of love. Please feel free to share the site, or any of our posts, with others. Our Home Page always features an option for our readers to sign up to immediately receive new material as an email. We hope you will become a part of our photoremedy network. 

We Have a Winner

With over 1,000 votes coming in this year, our 2012 Photoremedy Photo of the Year has been selected. And the winner is the photograph labeled “Anthem Veterans Memorial,” which was taken as a 2012 summer storm seamlessly merged with the kind of spectacular sunset Arizonans have come to expect in the colorful Sonoran Desert.

Veterans Memorial - Anthem, Arizona

Veterans Memorial – Anthem, Arizona

Although this timely image was in the lead for most of the polling period, it was running a close race with our Journey Home and Dingle Town photographs (see December 23, 2012 post for all of the finalists) up until the final few hours of voting. A late surge pushed the winner to close with 37 percent of the vote.

Interestingly enough, the Veterans Memorial shot almost didn’t make our top twelve list. Many of the other photos had their own appeal and most were more technically sound, but my son and computer graphics adviser Will made a last minute appeal. He simply said, “I don’t think you want to leave this one out. People are really going to like it.”

So, thanks to everyone who voted in our poll (I call it a passion poll because our “vote early, vote often” approach allows photoremedy readers who feel strongly about a picture to make a bigger difference in the outcome). And special thanks to Will for having the intuition to know that we are all winners when we pay special tribute to the men and women who have put their lives on the line for this great nation.

Cheers to our veterans, and cheers to a blessed 2013.

– Greg

Photoremedy Photo of the Year: 2012 First Cut

We are preparing for our second annual photoremedy.me Photo of the Year contest, and we need your input before we narrow the list down to the top 10-12 photographs that will be featured in our year end vote.

The video slide show featured above offers the first cut of the photos that we feel are worthy of being the 2012 Photoremedy.me Photo of the Year. Our readers are encouraged to view the video above (remember to click on the sprocket and select HD) and to then comment on their favorite photos from this list.  Please make note of the watermarked extensions featured on each slide, such as – ab or – h4, and then refer to the extension when registering your comments at the bottom of this blog post in the ‘Leave a Reply’ box. If you are one of my Facebook friends, you can also register comments on my Facebook page.

We’ll take comments up until noon on 12/21/12. After the comment period ends, 10-12 final photos will be featured here on photoremedy.me, along with a voting mechanism. We’ll also give a little background on each photo. Thank you in advance for your help in narrowing down the list.

An Irish Wedding

As I put this post together, I’m happy to report that I am on the mend. I’m still struggling with typing and working at the computer, but that was expected.

aWedding-24 (1 of 1)

Since I knew it may difficult to continue posting for a while, I put together a slide show video before my surgery that features another one the highlights of our Ireland trip this past summer – Dustin and Joann’s beautiful wedding in the North Cork countryside of Southern Ireland.

Ballyvolane House - County Cork,

Ballyvolane House – County Cork,

We were so fortunate to join the families–we have been friends with Dustin’s family for decades now–for a wonderful two-day stay at an authentic classical Georgian home built in 1728. The Ballyvolane House was then modified in 1848 in Italianate style.

Ballyvolane House turned out to be an incredible place for a wedding and all of the events and meals that were part of the stay there. Let me know what you think when you see the video. To view the photoremedy video slide show below in high definition, just click the play button. Hover over the video, then click on the sprocket icon to the left of the clock and select 1080p HD.

Special thanks to the lovely Noriana Kennedy, who was so kind as to perform Dustin and Joann’s wedding music and who has allowed us to use a couple of her songs in our Ireland slide show videos. If you would like to read more about Noriana, or buy her music, you can visit her website at http://norianakennedy.com/home.cfm.

As Dustin and Joann head into their first Christmas together as spouses, I thought it would be appropriate to share one of my favorite short Irish blessings with them and their families.

May joy and peace surround you,
Contentment latch your door,
And happiness be with you now,
And bless you evermore.

Photoart by Greg

Photoart by Greg

Note: Photoremedy.me is published as a labor of love. Please feel free to share the site, or any of our posts, with others. Our Home Page always features an option for our readers to sign up to immediately receive new material as an email. We hope you will become a part of our photoremedy network. 

Ballyvolane House

Ballyvolane House