Month: April 2016

Not just a virus

latvia

In this picture, I am looking through the natural ‘window’ from a coastal cave. It was chilly outside, and we quite enjoyed our refuge from the elements.

A couple of days ago I went outside first time after a week in bed. It felt like leaving a cave.

Viruses, the tiny things that are not even technically alive, can cause a lot of trouble. The only criteria for being alive they fit in is that they can evolve over time. It is why we need to get a flu vaccine every year. Basically, a virus is a string of DNA (or RNA) wrapped in a protein coat. It doesn’t respond to any stimuli and doesn’t reproduce. It just is. At this stage it is called a virion. The horror story begins when such virion gets in contact with a cell – human, animal or bacterial. Viruses are parasites, they must have a host. The host cell will produce proteins and do the replication for the virus. Some viruses leave the host cell alive, not using its full capacity. Some viral replications cause all the hosts biochemical processes to stop, and the cell will die after the viral replication is finished.

They say that there is a virus for every organism.

The best we can do after we get struck by a virus, is to drink fluids and stay in bed. And I mean it. Complications of viral infections can cause severe illness and death. As most of you, I didn’t believe that anything bad can happen to me after a simple viral infection, but it did, three times. Only a fool doesn’t learn after getting in trouble three times.

In July 1979 I got a viral infection but didn’t stay at home. I should have known better, because I got a life threatening condition after a flu in 1977, but I just started a new job! I was dragging my body to work a whole week until my growing headache forced me to call an ambulance. Our country hospital was 40km away. By the time the ambulance arrived I was only able to tell my name. I don’t have any memory of my first days in the hospital. I have got a severe viral meningitis.  Unable to stabilize my condition, the doctors decided to transport me to the capital. I heard a nurse arguing and refusing to accompany me. She was motion-sick and she shouted that she didn’t want to be responsible if I die. Off we went. I was all right but we had to stop a few times for the nurse. My stay in the hospital, all the people I met, all the stories I heard, could make a book if I were a writer. If you haven’t read Cancer Ward by Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, give it a try.

I spent three months in the hospital. On some stage, I was immobile and had to learn to walk again. The man I loved abandoned me. A friend came over, just for a couple of hours. She had to change planes three times to get to see me over the weekend. After she left I decided to live.

I was back home in October. After a month, I went to visit my friend, and the 1979 made another attempt to kill me 🙂

There is an anti-viral medicine Rimantadine Hydrochloride, that was patented in 1965 in the USA. At about the same time, a group of scientists from Olainfarm company in Latvia worked with the chemical and came up with a similar drug, but with a slightly different formula, which explains the difference in administration of the drug. This one is fantastic, and the name is Remantadin. Originally it was created to fight tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), but it is great when used in early stages of any viral infection.

And because I mentioned Latvia, there are some photographs for you to look through. Next two blogs are dedicated to Latvia, because I am going on holidays, and I will be busy. I was lucky to spend two months in Latvia in 2013, but some photographs are taken in 2009. If you haven’t been in the Baltic states, I hope these posts will entertain you.

This is Riga, the capital of Latvia, in 2009.

Riga

riga

riga

This is real amber. You can pick it up after the stormy weather. Just like that 🙂

Baltic sea

Seagulls, always hungry.

Baltic sea

A stork! My favorite bird.

stork

Beautiful park in fisherman town of Pavilosta.

latvia

Two pictures from an evening walk in Grobin town. It is the lake surrounding the ruins of a 13th century castle.

latvia

latvia

Hope you take my story about viruses seriously. Stay well!

inesemjphotography Have a wonderful weekend!

Splash of colour

beach

This picture is where I want to be right now. Instead, I am down with flu, and it is the first day since Tuesday that I feel well enough to switch on my computer, but still not well enough to do any work. I will share my almost forgotten project, and go back to bed.

From my previous post I get that none of you was ever afraid of the concept of eternity and the everlasting Universe. It surprises me, because the Cosmos felt like a scary place I didn’t want to think much about when I was very young. There was another thing that bothered me at that age. I only dreamed in colour, but my parents and friends dreamed in black & white.

enchanted forest

I will share some city scenes where a splash of colour is added to the black and white images. It is what we do need sometimes.

splash

splash

Place where girls get a haircut, and guys get a free wi fi 🙂

splash

splash

splash

splash

splash

splash

Hope you are all well. Now I am taking my medicine and going back to bed.

Sweet dreams, all in colour 🙂

umbrellas

inesemjphotographyHave a great Sunday tomorrow!

 

“Speak to the earth”

waterlilly

One of the most poetic books in Old Testament is the Book of Job. Basically, the book is about a man asking the same questions many of you have asked: What have I done to deserve this? Why good people suffer? Is there a God of justice at all?

I am not going to try to answer these questions, but I do want to challenge you to ask yourself some other questions also found in the Book.

Job knows that somewhere in the Universe there is God, the Creator. How can we know that? By learning, of course:

Job 12: 7  But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee.

heron

quail

Indeed, studying the physical aspect of life, from a cell to an organism, from chemistry to physiology, one can discover that God reveals Himself in many ways. Is evolution consistent with creation? It definitely is! Life evolves, the Universe evolves, and the human spirit evolves. There is a whole eternity for that.

Job 12: 8  Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.

estuary

searock

Speak to the earth, and listen.

Job knew the obvious, but still he had his Why? questions. Aren’t we all like that?

God didn’t answer Job’s questions. Instead, He demanded that Job answer His questions about the phenomena of Nature, and how the laws of Nature operate. Four chapters of Nature-related questions! “I will question you, and you shall answer me…”

“Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail… Out whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven? “

greenland

“Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds that abundance of water may cover thee?”

cabin

woodstock_beach

He asks about asses and unicorns, peacocks and ostriches, horses and grasshoppers.

grasshopper

What an amazing world we have been blessed with! What an opportunity to learn and explore! Speak to the earth, and learn about your place and purpose in life. All the answers are there, and all the ideas we might need.

swans

At times some of us feel lonely, bitter, angry, frustrated, confused. Some of us are facing grief and tragedies. What can we do?

beach


The best we can do is to live day after day facing whatever is coming toward us, and knowing where we stand.


bridge


What have you ever learned from Nature? Does the concept of eternity scare you?

Hope you are having a good week! I am resting my eyes and reading paper books instead of my Kindle … 😉 No drawing or editing! Thank you for all the good wishes, my wonderful friends!


 

And now, some awards

Please, don’t feel obliged to answer: it is my way to say Thank You! for sharing your beautiful photographs and entertaining writings! 

Canadian prairie blogger Genevieve has nominated my blog for the Creative Blogger Award. Thank you so much, Genevieve! Please visit Genevieve’s  fantastic blog – you will learn so many interesting and useful things –  you have no idea!  🙂

Here are my nominees for the Creative Blogger Award, with many thanks :

https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/,   http://strassenfotografien.wordpress.com/,   https://sonofabeach96.wordpress.com/, https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/,   https://graffitiluxandmurals.com/,   https://michellemaya2005.wordpress.com/, https://sydspix.wordpress.com/,  http://crumblecult.com/,  https://aquileana.wordpress.com/,  http://inesepogagallery.wordpress.com/

David from Chape  nominated my blog  for the Sunshine Award. Thank you so much, David! 🙂

David is a personal trainer, and I encourage you to read his blog.

Here are my nominees for the Sunshine Award, with many thanks:

https://hopedog.wordpress.com/, https://midihideaways.wordpress.com/, https://brushespapers.wordpress.com/, https://secretartexpedition.wordpress.com/, https://west517photos.wordpress.com/

Mythology expert and a brilliant blogger Aquileana has nominated my blog for the Best Blog Award. You are too kind, Aquileana,  thank you for believing in me 🙂 !!! Please, visit Aquileana’s charming blog and immerse yourself in the world of Gods and ancient wisdom.

Here are my nominees for the best Blog Award, with many thanks:

https://teagansbooks.wordpress.com/, https://bobbushell.wordpress.com/, https://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/, http://dalocollis.com/, https://equinoxio21.wordpress.com/, http://mythsofthemirror.com/ ,  https://milliethom.wordpress.com/, https://jeteliot.wordpress.com/, https://tropicalfloweringzone.wordpress.com/, https://twobrownfeet.com/

Thank you for who you are and what you are doing!

inesemjphotography  Have a great weekend!

Dum spiro spero

memento mori

My first year in university was a tough one. The course of veterinary gross anatomy had us all running like a maniac between the lecture theater and dissection lab from early morning until dark. Lab humor, only understandable to those who have actually ‘been there’, helped me maintain a healthy perspective on life no matter what. The Latin language course was compulsory, but we were expected to memorize not only the names of all the organs, but also the names describing all the specific features on an individual bone. Our teachers were experts in Latin language, and from them we learned many phrases, both useful and useless. We even sang four verses of Gaudeamus igitur at the ceremony in the beginning and in the end of academic year. On the last verse, our professors would  stand up and respectfully nod to us all.

Vivat academia,
Vivant professores,
Vivat membrum quodlibet,
Vivat membra quaelibet;
Semper sint in flore!

Which in English is

Long live the university,
Long live the teachers,
Long live each male student,
Long live each female student;
May they always flourish!

I knew a good few Latin phrases before, from a handbook I found in my grandmother’s attic. One of my favorites was Memento mori – it sounded very mysterious and somewhat sad to a ten years old curious and life-loving girl. As an antidote to that one, there was Dum spiro spero – While I breathe, I hope.

tramore_boat_wreck

This winter was very stormy, and three shipwrecks have become exposed on Tramore beach, Co Waterford, uncovered from sand in February. It happens from time to time. When I finally went to see them ( time, tides and weather didn’t want to cooperate for me), the other two were almost gone, and this big one was half buried in sand once again. Another couple of months, and it will be immersed in the sand until the next bad storm.

I was alone in the whole strand. It was shortly after the midday (the lowest tide), and I quickly took photographs and went back to the car. The rain was getting stronger. I was sitting there, eating my sandwich, and it is when all these University memories came back flooding, must be because of the ribs of that old boat, sticking out of the sand like a skeleton of a long dead animal.

Imagine a very young girl with very little experience who finds a book in the attic of an old house, and learns that there is a strange, haunting language in the world, that no one else probably knows! It is what I thought 🙂

If you read the List of Latin phrases, you will realise that this language is still quite alive and widely used.

Since I have long ago grown out of the age when little girls pretend to be smarter and more sophisticated than they actually are, I don’t use Latin phrases without a very good reason, and don’t overuse any quotes altogether. While I breathe, I hope that my own intuition and common sense will help me out. Not that I totally avoid the internet when I look for advice. Some people’s quotes can be very valuable.

quote

I totally agree with this one 🙂 That Slievenamon climb during which I took the picture, was not easy for me.  On the summit, there is a huge pile of stones, a possible entrance to the Celtic underworld… Some people, in hope for a good luck, bring a rock and add to the pile. I hope for a good luck always, but if I want to breathe and stay alive while climbing Slievenamon, I have to forget about taking any rocks up there with me…

estuary

On my way home, the rain eased off and I went for a walk around the Tramore Back Strand estuary. At low tide, the place is all mud and myriads of lugworm castings. Cautious birds gather in the center of the mudflat, and I only saw two Little egrets, and these four geese. I also heard a lark, invisible in the clouds. I always think of my Grandmother’s home when I hear a lark.

I came across a family of Field horsetails – their spore bearing stems come out early, and I love their sturdy look. These plants have been around millions years before the dinosaurs came in the picture. My grandmother used the green stems as a brush to clean her saucepans, and she also said that all the parts of the plant are edible and good for skin and bones.

horsetail

My eyesight went down in the last two weeks. I am so sorry that I don’t visit your blogs as often these days. I will catch up when I get better, and I am working on that. The eyesight problems related to unstable blood sugar are nasty and difficult to fight. There is a natural remedy that my grandmother used – bilberry leaves, flowers, and of course berries. Look forward to Summer Solstice, the best time for gathering most of herbs. While I breathe I hope.

inesemjphotography Have a wonderful weekend!