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Showing posts from 2024

Floaters (No, Not the Up-In-the-Air Kind) - Both Eyes

I'm a photographer and a writer. My eyes are really important to me. Visual acuity is important to me. Not seeing things that aren't there is also important to me. Rewind back to Christmas Eve 2022. I wasn't feeling well (it turns out I had the flu and was in the hotel room all day instead of hanging out with my husband's family) but I just thought I was tired at the time. I started seeing flashes of light in my peripheral vision of my left eye. I sometimes have visual migraines, so I thought it had to do with that, even though this wasn't what typically happens to me with a migraine. I took some ibuprofen and tried to rest - and not worry. After a while, when my anxiety started ramping up about what was going on, I did some online research (after all, it was Christmas Eve… no doctors) to make sure it wasn't something I needed to deal with immediately. Thankfully, it wasn't.  Then I noticed the floaters. I didn't think too much about them at first. I'

No Longer Afraid... A Follow-up

As always, I can't ever believe it when I once again get back to this blog, months have passed. I need to get past the need to apologize, but it's a compulsion.  So, I'm sorry it's been so long. And, like I always say, I'll try harder to post more consistently. (But both you know and I know that this won't happen.😏) If you aren't a regular reader of this blog, go back and look up my "No Longer Afraid" posts. There are four parts: part 1, part 2, part 3a and part 3b. You'll need that background to understand what I'm writing here. Okay... so it's been over a year since I wrote those posts, sharing what happened in the hardest time of my life and admitting/confessing what I did to cause it all.  I finished the first post of that series with these words: "I'm finally free." I'm still free, but I'm still human. The anxiety/fear still rears its ugly head on a regular basis. There are a lot of issues where I still have

Tips for Living in a Tiny Space (NOT a Tiny Home), Part 2 - The Tips

See "Tips for Living in a Tiny Space (NOT a Tiny Home), Part 1 - The Backstory" for the backstory.  Now... drum roll please... Here are the actual tips. ******************************************************************************** Organization is one of the keys. I have gotten multiple sizes and shapes of containers through the years. I ramped that up with a lot of  Dollar Tree and Amazon shopping to find specific items needed to make the best use of every available space I have. Having two incomes didn’t mean I wasn’t going to try to save money every way I could so I buy sodas in bulk when they are on sale. However, I needed places to keep them. One day I realized I had a little bit of space (about a foot) to the left of the fridge where I kept TV trays. They were rarely used, so I found a shelf that could hold soda 12-packs. I used paper trays on two shelves to put paper plates and bowls and included a basket on the top for chips. -          It’s imperative to lower expe

Tips for Living in a Tiny Space (NOT a Tiny Home), Part 1 - The Backstory

First - the backstory.  Even though tiny homes are gaining popularity, the current housing trend seems to be “bigger is better.” Though I could go on to talk about that idea – and how it feeds materialism due to having to fill up a big house – I’m going on a more personal route. Why is this post on a blog called “Spotlight on Stigma,” you might ask. Well… I’ll tell you. It’s a stigma because living in a tiny space, not the trendy “tiny home,” is looked down upon. There are two big differences between the two.  A person must be very deliberate in choosing a tiny home as a housing option. Not being able to afford something large goes with being poor and unsuccessful. Plus, a tiny home is made to have the maximum storage possible. Most have a full-service kitchen, even though it's small, as well as every other basic amenity that typical homes include. I live in a tiny space. About 8 ½ years ago I lost my job (which you can read about in my other posts). One day my mom and I ta

Chronic Pain Interferes with Life AGAIN

I'm sitting in the media's "deadline" room (for the writers/reporters - there's a separate photographers' room) for the Talladega Superspeedway in central Alabama. Most would think that's amazing to be able to do - and I agree. But I'm still disappointed. You see, I'm supposed to be out beside the track taking photos of this NASCAR Cup race.  I'm both a writer/reporter and photographer. My plan for this weekend was to be a writer/reporter (being involved in the press conferences and the "bullpen" - where a person can ask a specific driver questions in small groups) on Friday and Saturday and being a photographer today. I've tried to take it easy as much as possible for the weekend, especially this morning. I got out and did one thing that I needed to do as a reporter but, other than that, I've mostly sat and worked on my laptop. Though I knew my back was hurting, when it came time for the cars to line up for the race, I though

Success When You Feel Like a Failure

Maybe it's because I have perfectionist tendencies. Maybe it's because I'm a people-pleaser at heart. Maybe it's because nothing but being #1 is good enough. But I feel like a failure a lot of the time. This is contrary to what others see about me. I am actually pretty accomplished. Not counting this blog (which, to date, has over 150 posts), I have had over 250 distinct articles published from 1-4 times each. I have literally had close to or more than 1,000 photos published. My stories are published in three books.  I have interviewed and/or taken photos of some big names such as Darcy Lynn, America's Got Talent winner; Ginger Duggar Vuolo of 19 Kids and Counting; Michael Jr, headlining comedian; Francine Rivers, best-selling author; and Jon Erwin, producer/director of American Underdog as well as many other high-grossing movies. I've covered major events like the K-Love Fan Awards weekend; major and minor sports leagues; IndyCar and NASCAR; and the 2019 Southe

Floaters (No, Not the Up-In-the-Air Kind)

If you read this blog at all, you know that I'm a photographer and a writer. My eyes are really important to me. Visual acuity is important to me. Not seeing things that aren't there is also important to me. Rewind back to Christmas Eve 2022. I wasn't feeling well (it turns out I had the flu and was in the hotel room all day instead of hanging out with my husband's family for Christmas), but I just thought I was tired at the time. I started seeing flashes of light in my peripheral vision of my left eye. I sometimes have visual migraines so I thought it had to do with that, even though this wasn't what happens to me typically. I took some ibuprofen and tried to rest - and not worry. After a while, when my anxiety started ramping up about what was going on, I did some online research (after all, it was Christmas Eve - no doctors) to make sure it wasn't something I had to deal with immediately. Thankfully, it wasn't.  Then I noticed the floaters. I didn't t

Once Again, I'm Ba-ack!

 If you've read this blog any length of time at all, you know that as much as my desire to be consistent is, my life doesn't allow for much consistency. I'm not saying this as an excuse... it's just the way it is. When you deal with (summarized)... - multiple physical and mental health issues, - getting married at 54 years old to someone who was never married... and only being a little over a year into that marriage, - a grown daughter with multiple physical and mental health issues,  - a struggling freelance business that, though it makes money, never seems to allow me to get ahead, and - living with my elderly parents and helping them out... ... you don't have much left for things that aren't necessary. This time it was almost a three-month-long illness (complications from surgery) that ended with my dad's death. I was at the hospital the vast majority of the days, often getting there around 7am.  At first, I tried to work while I was there. In fact, anyth