Introduction to my Photography

MyPhotography

It took me far too long to realize that I have been sitting on all of my Horticultural photography without organizing or showcasing it! You may have seen some of my older work posted on an old Flickr account that I no longer have access to, but since I no longer have access to that account I’ve decided to start a new Flickr account with that old work and my new work.

Once upon a time, I attended Brooks Institute of Photography and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Journalism. After graduating, I toiled away a year in a pet shop doing absolutely nothing I had gone to college to learn. I just felt….uninspired. There’s only so much you can teach an artist about technique and form, then you need to let their unique sense of creativity bring something new to the table. Brooks was very good at teaching technique and form, however when a student tried to bring something new to the table, often times the own personal taste of a professor would give them a less than admirable grade. I saw many students, frustrated in their own loss of unique style, quit Brooks without that sought after degree. I adapted and graduated but I didn’t feel passionate about art anymore for years.

For almost ten years now I’ve worked as an Office Assistant/Photographer for an Author/Professor/Nursery Owner who is a self taught photographer himself and I feel extremely lucky to have a job relating to my degree. Along with my office duties, I photograph plants for the nursery and clients’ purposes. My work consists mostly of close ups of the flora we grow and landscapes, but I branch out into other fields as they present themselves.

I’m excited to get back out there again and stop by my Flickr and show some love!

Abutilon palmeri
Aloe polyphylla
Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition'
Dudleya pulverenta
Fremontodendron 'California Glory'

Happy Birthday Stephen King!

stephen-kingToday one of my favorite authors, Stephen King, turns 69 and I’d like to celebrate this birthday and the next by attempting to read all of his fictional novels within a year!

If my research is correct, I believe this is about 66 books including the 11 collections, and each collection ranges between 4 to 24 stories.

Can this be done? Has anyone done this before?

I could feel daunted by the sheer number of books and their length, but one of the things I love about Stephen King is the flow of his work and how easy it is to become completely invested in the story. I really couldn’t help myself and already began reading on September 1st, thusfar I’ve finished Carrie, ‘Salem’s Lot and  The Shining. I’m feeling really positive about finishing before his next birthday!

  • Carrie
  • ‘Salem’s Lot
  • The Shining
  • The Stand
  • The Dead Zone
  • Firestarter
  • Cujo
  • The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger
  • Christine
  • Pet Sematary
  • Cycle of the Werewolf
  • The Talisman Written with Peter Straub;
  • Thinner Published under pseudonym Richard Bachman
  • It
  • The Eyes of the Dragon
  • The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three
  • Misery
  • The Tommyknockers
  • The Dark Half
  • The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands
  • Needful Things
  • Gerald’s Game
  • Dolores Claiborne
  • Insomnia
  • Rose Madder
  • The Green Mile
  • Desperation
  • The Regulators Published under pseudonym Richard Bachman
  • The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass
  • Bag of Bones
  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
  • Dreamcatcher
  • Black House Sequel to The Talisman;Written with Peter Straub
  • From a Buick 8
  • The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla
  • The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah
  • The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower Grant
  • The Colorado Kid
  • Cell
  • Lisey’s Story
  • Blaze Published under pseudonym Richard Bachman
  • Duma Key
  • Under the Dome
  • 11/22/63
  • The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole
  • Joyland
  • Doctor Sleep
  • Mr. Mercedes
  • Revival
  • Finders Keepers Second novel in the Bill Hodges Trilogy.
  • End of Watch Third novel in the Bill Hodges Trilogy.

Collections

  • Night Shift
  • Different Seasons
  • Skeleton Crew
  • The Bachman Books (Rage, Long Walk, Roadwork, Running Man)
  • Four Past Midnight
  • Nightmares & Dreamscapes
  • Hearts in Atlantis
  • Everything’s Eventual
  • Just After Sunset
  • Full Dark, No Stars
  • The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

30 Day Yoga Challenge Results

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The 30 days in my 30 Day Yoga Challenge are up and as you can see, I did not complete the challenge completely. Bummer!

I was able to practice Yoga 26 of the 30 days and I am satisfied with that. I feel more relaxed and more limber than before, but less so than when I’ve practiced yoga in the past. I believe this may be due to cutting down on my sugar intake during these past 30 days too, and the effect that has had on my body as I detox has not been enjoyable. In fact, some of the days I didn’t practice I was feeling extreme fatigue and/or suffering from headaches.

Moving forward, I do feel confident that I’ve broken in a new habit. I fully intend to keep practicing yoga at least 3 to 4 days a week! Who’s with me!?

Yoga Challenge Update

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Alright, I am about halfway through my 30 Day Yoga Challenge and I decided to check in and let y’all know how I’m doing…

I missed a day…blargh! It was a Saturday. The day went by and before I knew it I was crawling into bed, dozing off and jolting awake when I realized I’d neglected my yoga! Part of me feels terrible, but I do realize I want to create a lasting habit out of this challenge and some days will be missed. I didn’t use it as an excuse to give up and I won’t give up!

Giving up energy drinks and sodas

Growing up, I remember when fast food was a treat we were bought every other week or so and I remember when I wasn’t allowed to drink any soda with caffeine in it, not to mention energy drinks. If I was allowed soda at all, it had to be something caffeine free.

As I grew up I was given more allowances and I was allowed to start making my own decisions. I was introduced to caffeinated soda and still maintained a healthy distance.

As an adult I’ve started an office job that is relatively stressful, but not painfully so. I started buying caffeinated sodas and eventually graduated to energy drinks to “treat” or “reward” myself during the work day, but it’s become too frequent. I can feel the negative effects of the sugar and caffeine in these drinks on my mind and body, but I still crave them anyway! As we plan on starting a family I think it’s time to find some healthier “treat”  or “reward” options and get back to my healthier habits. As of last Friday, I’ve stopped drinking sodas and energy drinks. It’s definitely rough while my body is figuring out how to cope without all the sugar and caffeine, but it’ll pass!

30 Days of Meditation

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Yesterday I posted a challenge to myself to complete 30 Days of Yoga; no excuses, no exceptions. Today i’d also like to throw some more fuel on that fire and give myself another challenge to complete 30 days of meditation.

Sometimes I think about things a little too intently and I build up a lot of pent up anxiety about a wide variety of mostly meaningless topics. I think taking the time to clear my head and focusing myself each day will do a lot of good in my life.

To get myself started, I downloaded the Stop, Breathe, and Think app on my iPhone/iPad which provides different focuses of meditation based on how you’re feeling. You can either complete their self assessment exercise and they will recommend meditations for you or you can select your own without the assessment.

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30 Day Yoga Challenge

YogaApp.pngOnce, long ago, I was in the habit of practicing yoga every day. During that time, I felt better physically and mentally than I had in a long time prior. I miss that feeling and I want it back. The problem is, I’m lazy. I start again for a few days, then get bored or make excuses and fall off track.

So here it is, I’m going to do 30 days of yoga; no breaks, no excuses.

I use an application on my iPad called Yoga Studio.

Yoga Studio provides several “classes” per competency level, lasting different lengths and focusing on different goals. Just as an example, I can take a class for beginner strength lasting 30 minutes or mix 15 minutes of beginner combination with 15 minutes of beginner flexibility, depending on my attention span and how I feel.

Individually each of these practices are powerful in their own right and each serves a particular purpose. When practiced with intention and consistency, they develop stamina, strength, energy, flexibility and inner peace. Yoga has numerous health benefits including improvements in cardiovascular, musculo–skeletal and mental health.

At the end of my 30 day challenge, I will have (hopefully) created a good habit and continue practicing yoga without the need to create a challenge like this.

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My Favorite E3 Announcments

Once upon a time, when I worked briefly as Jesse Cox’s assistant, I attended E3 for the first and only time. It was a fantastic experience for a starry-eyed gamer such as myself. Here were all of these brand new video game teasers and demos to preview, free memorabilia to collect and kindred spirits to experience it all with! Sadly I haven’t attended since, and I’m not sure if I ever will again, but I was able to follow along from home and here are the games I’m the most excited about:

Mass Effect Andromeda – March 2017

The Last Guardian – October 25th, 2016

Dishonored 2 – November 11th, 2016

Pyre – 2017

Telltale’s Batman – Summer 2016

Telltale The Walking Dead: Season 3 – Fall 2016

Skyrim Remastered

Other games that caught my attention:

Horizon: Zero Dawn – February 28th, 2017

Detroit: Become Human

There was a huge push for Virtual Reality this year, and while I would love to step into a game experience, I’m a little wary about purchasing one when they release. I’d like to see how others are feeling in regards to quality of system and the first games released before I take the leap.

We went camping!?

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Cameron and I went camping with his family at Lopez Lake this weekend! It was the first time we’ve been camping together and the first time I’ve been camping since my Girl Scout days in high school and before, and boy, was I out of practice!

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As much as I’ve always loved nature, I’ve grown close to technology and haven’t really thought about how much I’ve come to rely on it. Cameron’s parents and his brother’s family own campers, so it was an easier transition after all these years to have them nearby with electricity and running water (including toilets and showers)! Cameron and I opted to sleep in a tent and while the padding underneath us was comfortable and the sleeping bags were warm, I did not sleep as well as I hoped.

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I dragged my sleepy self out of bag on Saturday morning and after a hearty breakfast, we all went for a walk with the dogs. The scenery was just as beautiful as I remembered, but it really broke my heart, and put the drought into perspective, when I saw just how low the water has sunk. We were walking on a dried out bed of sand and brush that used to be completely under water with the banks high above us and it was incredibly humbling.

When we returned to camp there was some free time and even though I brought my iPhone, iPad and Nintendo 3DS along with me, I ultimately found myself wanting to read whenever we weren’t socializing. We talked, we laughed, we ate a lot of tasty food and celebrated our Nephew’s birthday, it was a good weekend!

2016 Game Progress

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One of the new year’s resolutions I gave myself this year is to play and complete 16 video games within this year of 2016. So far I’ve played and completed 7 games and I’m currently playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt which is a mammoth of a game, believe me!

Other games I’ve completed are:

  • Lara Croft Go
  • Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
  • Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4
  • Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power
  • Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake
  • Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End