Final Chapter

In the Fall of 2011, we started this little blog with the goal of sharing what photography has meant to me as I battle chronic pain associated with a failed back and psoriatic arthritis that has camped out in as many as 43 of my joints.PhotoremedyBlogBkgrndPhoto

I wanted to share that the creative pleasure, and frequent thrill, associated with photography and photo-based digital arts has been a near inconceivable tool for helping me to move my mind and focus away from the pain. My overriding goal has been for photoremedy.me to help those in comparable circumstances. Who doesn’t want to help others climbing similar mountains?

Hero Duck 3fapj (1 of 1)Along my blogging way, I have found that I also enjoy sharing my art with others.

Unfortunately, 2015 was a rough year for my pain levels and the medical procedures and testing have temporarily wore me down a bit. Compounding this, I’ve found that typing and editing posts like this are particularly brutal for my cervical and lumbar areas. As a result, I’m changing things up. I’m going to keep taking and developing (what I hope are) interesting photos, but this will be –for now– the final official chapter for photoremedy.me. As this effort winds down, I’m happy to report that a new pursuit begins.Home Page Photoj

My Grandpa Dude will be an electronic gallery of sorts for both my new and classic photography-based art efforts. I’m not planning on doing any of the writing that has caused me –and probably more than a few photoremedy.me readers– excessive pain. It’s simply designed to be a creative outlet, while serving as an example of where the pursuit of photoremedy might lead others. Where does the name come from? Check out my full explanation at http://mygrandpadude.com/about. Here’s a short bit of it:About photo

While My Grandpa Dude will consume more of my time, I plan on working with WordPress to hopefully change the current photoremedy.me site from one that begins with the “Blog Background and Initial Post” and follows with posts in the order they were created. I hope to make it read more like a book, while continuing to make it a resource for people looking for new ways to win their own battles with health challenges. And, hopefully, it will help communicate (in a small way) that people can gain new abilities as previous attributes fade away.

Photoremedy.me has been incredibly enjoyable for me. Thank you to all of my awesome family Greg1jmembers who have helped bring life to this blog and thank you to all who have encouraged me in my blogging and even suggested I had something valuable to share. God bless you; I hope to see you regularly on MyGrandpaDude.com!

– Greg (a.k.a. Grandpa Dude)

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Photoremedy Photo of the Year: 2012 Poll

It’s time again for our annual Photoremedy Photo of the Year poll. As with last year, we are ‘focusing’ on making this a lot of fun. This means we will again strictly adhere to our Chicago-style approach to voting; we encourage everyone to ‘vote early and vote often.’ If you love a photo, follow the poll progress results and don’t be afraid to come back to photoremedy.me to register a couple of extra votes for good measure.

2011 Photo of the Year - Verde Canyon RR

2011 Photo of the Year – Verde Canyon RR

To get us to the final dozen pictures, we listened to comments via Facebook and on Photoremedy. We also took in email input, and sought a few “expert’s” opinions. The final list features a little of wine country, quite a bit of Kansas, a lot of Ireland, and even our favorite grandson shot. All of the pics were taken while pursuing photoremedy. If you still don’t know what photoremedy is, click on the ‘Background and Initial Post’ tab above.

So, let’s get to it. Check out the options below, and then select the photograph that you feel is worthy of being crowned ‘Photoremedy Photo of the Year.’ The polling mechanism is offered at the bottom of this post. Here are the finalists, obviously in no particular order.

1.  Bunratty Living History The famous Bunratty Castle is a beloved Limerick-area attraction. The historic site also features a first-class living history museum. This picture was taken while enjoying a sunset tour of the property, prior to participating in a most enjoyable dinner at the castle.

Bunratty Living History

2. Dingle Harbor Ireland’s breathtaking Dingle Peninsula was reportedly once cited by National Geographic as being “the most beautiful place on earth” and has been voted among the top 100 destinations in the world by Trip Advisor. The Dingle Harbor is a must see stop on the peninsula.

Dingle Harbor

3. Dingle Town Our tour of the peninsula also allowed for us to spend a bit of time sampling Dingle Town. Okay, our motor coach tour stopped here, and Mary and I had a couple of beers. But, first, I was able to take several memorable photographs. To me, it looked like the bird in this photo was the only one trying to get somewhere in a hurry.

Dingle Town

4. Fields of Kerry Our tours of both the Dingle Peninsula and the famous Ring of Kerry departed from Killarney. If you plan a similar journey, make sure you allow time to take in the countryside. Rural County Kerry is both peaceful and breathtaking.

Fields of Kerry

5. Journey Home Mary and I spent a lot of time back in our home state of Kansas this year. Mary’s beloved mother passed away in January; so, we had a funeral trip and, later, a trip for the estate sale. Fortunately, I was able to get in a bit of photoremedy during both visits. This photograph, from the Catholic cemetery in tiny St. Joseph, helped put things in perspective for me. God is the Alpha and the Omega. When we are born, we come from our Creator. And, when we pass, we pray that the road will lead us back.Journey Home

6. Lance’s Cross One of my dearest friends lost his brother this past year at the tender age of 40. Because of their Scottish and Irish heritage, the Celtic Cross means a lot to the family. I took this photo (near Lisdoonvarna, Ireland) for them as a reminder that, no matter our age, the hope is that we will leave our broken down bodies and go to the light.

Lance's Cross

7. Passing the Baton In track and field’s four-person relay races, a common strategy is to have each runner pass the baton to an even faster runner. In a four-person relay race, the fastest runner is the one who receives the baton last (or most recently). When it comes to the best parents, I believe each one hopes that happiness and/or success will come much more quickly for their children than it did for them. I felt like this picture of my oldest son, and my first grandchild, illustrated the “passing the baton” life parenting concept far more eloquently than my mere words could express.

Passing the Baton

8. Past Meets Present During an early January morning photoremedy drive, I came across this wonderful illustration of how our nation’s past and present are exploding into one on the plains of Kansas.

Past Meets Present

9. Country Store The past and the present  may be coming together, but I’m always thankful for those times when I come across simple treasures that leave me slowly shaking my head and saying aloud, “That is so cool! I’m so glad that hasn’t gone away.”

Country Store

10. Nothing Could be Finer The good news is wine is timeless. It has been a part of my past, I am committed to making it a part of my future! One of my favorite destinations for wine-related touring and photoremedy is Temecula, California. The red wines produced here are often excellent, and, as this photo suggests, the curb appeal often far exceeds that of much better known areas.Nothing Could Be Finer

11. Torc Waterfall When Mary and I decided to visit Ireland this year, I knew I had to include a trip to see the famous Torc Waterfall. Why? It is, perhaps, the best known attraction in Killarney National Park. And, as detailed in our Being Amanda in Europe book, it is where our daughter Amanda displayed typical Gilstrap coordination by slipping and falling into the water up to her chest. LOL!Torc Waterfall

12. Anthem Veterans Memorial The community park where we live in Anthem, Arizona is always filled with photoremedy opportunities. On a warm 2012 summer’s evening, I could see we were in for a special for a special sunset as storm clouds were rolling in from the high country just to the north of us. I grabbed my camera, and this was the first shot I captured that evening. I like to think perpetual light and eternal peace are in store for those brave Americans who have given their all – for all of us.

Veterans Memorial - Anthem, Arizona

Veterans Memorial – Anthem, Arizona

Please take advantage of the opportunity–in the poll below–to rank our Best of 2012.  This was a lot of fun last year, as votes kept coming in right up to the deadline. Please invite others to join in on this clearly un-scientific poll. We hope you had a great 2012, and pray that you are looking forward to an even better 2013.  Our poll will be open until noon on December 31, 2012. I hope to post results by New Year’s Day. Of course, that depends on how much Temecula wine I sample on New Year’s Eve.

– 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. 

It’s a Long Way to Tipperary

To view the photoremedy video slide show above 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.

According to my sister, Julie, who traveled with my mother to Ireland more than a decade ago, my mom’s mother’s family was from County Limerick and her father’s was from County Donegal. I do not recall Mom singing about either of those areas, but I have fond memories of her waltzing through the house–often joyfully pantomiming a tuba player–belting out “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary.”

Click here to hear an a capella version of the song.

More than 40 years after I first heard Mom intoning the famous 1912 Jack Judge World War I song, I finally made it to Tipperary. Mary and I combined it with an enticing sample of neighboring County Kilkenny when we traveled to Ireland this summer. Our all-too-brief two-county tour featured incredible photoremedy in colorful cities like Kilkenny and Cashel.

Kilkenny City – County Kilkenny, Ireland

Rock of Cashel – County Tipperary, Ireland

There was photoremedy to be found among the castles…

Kilkenny Castle – Kilkenny City

great restaurants, taverns, food, and nightlife…

Kilkenny City

beautiful, historic churches…

St. John the Baptist Parish Church – Cashel

and, our favorite: St. Patrick’s Well near Clonmel. According to Holy Well, “As you approach it, the waters from the well flow into a large and shallow pond with an ancient Irish stone cross set upon a small island in the middle. It is thought that this cross dates to the fifth century. For such a large, holy well and surrounding site, it is amazing just how little is actually known about this area, but it is thought that Saint Patrick passed through here and may have used this place to bathe or to baptize.”

St. Patrick’s Well – County Tipperary

Mary and I found this nearly hidden gem–recommended to us by our friends the Murphys–to be one of the most peaceful places we have ever experienced. With the well bubbling up and feeding the lake, and the lake tumbling into a picturesque stream, we felt a silent whisper, “This is holy ground.”

Yes, it was a long way to Tipperary (and Kilkenny). But, it was more than worth the wait. I just hope it doesn’t take too long for us to make it back. 

Ireland’s Glorious Ring of Kerry

As the video above illustrates, Ireland’s Ring of Kerry is a multifaceted cannot miss attraction for visitors to the Emerald Isle.

For the Irish people, it is a National Treasure.

Killarney National Park

And for those of us in need of a little photoremedy that takes us to a better place, there are few places that offer such a diverse menu of peaceful gems.

The video slide show at the top of this post, edited to Willie Nelson’s version of ‘Danny Boy,’ is designed to illustrate just how diverse the Ring of Kerry is and why the destination is much loved.The photos in the video take you on a tour that begins in the Old Killarney Village. It then offers the gorgeous vistas of the Irish coast, Killarney National Park, historic Muckross House and Gardens, and the spectacular Torc Waterfall.

We continue to appreciate the great feedback on our ‘Irish samples.’ If you missed one of our earlier video slide shows, just click below to take you to:

The Dingle Peninsula or The Balleyheigue Area