Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Happy List, Week 13

Macro Water Droplets

Happy List, Week 13

Tough day yesterday is not inspiring me to be happy. However...

1. Seeing DG in person for the first time since 2008 and getting one of his trademark hugs. (They're the best.)

2. Exploring downtown Fort Worth yesterday. I can't wait to explore it more in the next few days on the breaks.

3. Being able to breathe in comparison to my impersonation of a faucet a few days ago.

4. Time out of the office. I'm still working (in seminars, etc) but it's a refreshing change of pace.

5. Good friends. They know who they are. I'm grateful for their ability to listen and lend a virtual shoulder.

Okay, that's it. Better luck next time.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

12/52 - Photo Project 2014

I had a recent visit to the not quite fully blooming Missouri Botanical Garden and I managed to get a few shots. It was a prep day for most of the gardens and I can't wait to come back and see everything in BLOOM!

I took some succulent pictures and some orchid pictures and everything that was 'blooming' was gorgeous, but I think I have to go symbolically and choose these crocuses to be the picture of the week:

March Mobot

SPRING IS HERE! A fact that I am most painfully aware of because my allergies are in full hell mode. I'm now on day four and feel and sound almost normal. 

Runners up:

March Mobot    March Mobot    

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Happy List, Week 12

Macro Water Droplets

Happy List, Week 12

1. Corned beef and cabbage. I don't have it but once a year but every year I am reminded how much I love that Irish treat.

2. A completely lazy day. On Saturday, I unashamedly did NOTHING all day until my photo meet-up in the evening. It was glorious.

3. Exploring St. Louis. I had only previously driven through this neighborhood and it was wonderful to really explore it on foot.

4. A productive day. Sunday, on the other hand, is where I grocery shopped, made some choices for an exhibition submission, paid bills, baked kale chips and started making a list for my work trip next week.

5. Good staff. I have some really good staff that I'm pleased to have working for me. They know how to handle crises and know when to contact me and loop me in so I can support them in any way I can.

6. My PF friends. I'm glad for the friendships made with this group. They are great people and we get to geek out about photo things. I only wish I saw them more.

7. Sybergs wings. These wings have made it on this list before - hot enough to clear my sinuses but not so hot to alienate my tastebuds. Thank you, LA, for getting me hooked on them and to AD for furthering my addiction.

8. Hint of Spring. Though a touch windy, today was crystal clear and gorgeous. Made a trip to the Botanical Gardens and then dog-napped the Pippin pup for a stroll around Forest Park.

9. Ted Drewes. Not very convenient to me which is why I rarely get the treat - but sometimes the craving is too large. My favorite is Fox Treat - macadamia nuts, raspberry and chocolate. YUMMMMM!

10. Pippin time. She has mellowed out a bit since we lost Tommy but she still thinks I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread and loves me like crazy. She and I had a wonderful afternoon in Forest Park, big sister and little sister!

Second 10-er of the year… let's keep trying, eh?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

11/52 - Photo Project 2014

I wandered around McRee Town/Botanical Heights with Photo Flood last night, and I took photos of lots of buildings, but this one, I liked the most:

McRee Town

A close second was this sunrise that I caught a little too late. If I had been aware of it earlier, I would've gotten some really stunning shots. Alas… the sunrises and sunsets are fleeting. It's about being at the right place at the right time.

Colorful Neighborhood Sunrise

I've got no concrete photo expeditions planned this upcoming week, but I'm hoping this snowstorm today will actually produce something to photograph.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Happy List, Week 11

Macro Water Droplets

Happy List, Week 11

I'm actually writing this on the eve of the publishing date and have had a pretty crummy night. But the whole point of this list is to be happy so…

1) My first solo art show. I have been invited by Third Degree Glass to exhibit during their big October Birthday Bash! More to follow soon.

2) Another exhibition. I have a photo in the upcoming "Shades of Green" exhibition at Soulard Art Market opening this weekend.

3) Ameren. Actually came within a reasonable amount of time when called for power lost at work and restored it fairly quickly as well.

4) Daylight Savings Time. I do have some negative points with this but now it is not dark when I am leaving work, leaving me more photography time during the day, if I desire.

5) Thunderstorms. As long as I don't have to drive in them and they don't knock my power out, I really do love a good thunderstorm.

6) Self-serve frozen yogurt. My roommate did me a favor and picked me up at the Metrolink station and took me to my car, so I bought her frozen yogurt at our local self-serve place with toppings galore.

7) Paying it forward. I had the opportunity to not only buy my roommate a tasty frozen yogurt treat but for the cop that stopped by. It's nice to do something for a stranger. Bonus points because it was a cop and our cops here in the part of St. Louis that I live in are quite nice.

As exciting as #1 and #2 are, I just don't have that much else to be wickedly excited about. Better luck next week, maybe.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

10/52 - Photo Project 2014

On Monday, when the snow melted, I went for a little drive to Hyde Park. A friend had featured a building on his blog which was beautiful photographically and depressing in reality. On my way to said building, I saw many sights, including this one. On the way back, I found this:

Hyde Park

It's a double-win for me - ghost signs and windows. How much more could I love it?

Didn't get a chance to pick up the camera much this week - I tried to get some hazy, creepy photos at Bellefontaine but the haze wasn't cooperating and the cloud cover was to the point where everything was turning out darker than I wanted.

Here's to a Flood next Saturday to help a gal out. I was originally going to miss this one but when it was rescheduled due to sleet/ice, it worked out in my favor.

Until next week!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Happy List, Week 10

Macro Water Droplets

Happy List, Week 10

1. Pedometer. This handy tool allowed me to track the fact that I walked over a half marathon's worth of steps in a matter of two days. While I try to get somewhere around 4 miles a day (10,000), I don't always succeed. So when I go above and beyond, it pleases me.

2. Minivan. Mom graciously swapped cars with me for an evening to help some friends move. We got so much moved in so little time - it was worth doubling the car length I'm used to.

3. Early morning grocery shopping. Early morning is the best time to shop at the grocery store. Less crowds, especially with an impending storm.

4. My new bed. It takes a little time to settle into a new mattress. Already I'm not regretting plunking down that money, I am surely getting better sleep. The remaining sleep issues are no longer bed-related.

5. Time with Friends. With my busy schedule and others' busy schedules, it's often hard to coordinate. I've been trying to make a better effort with others and am enjoying the payoffs.

6. Early rising. Not always happy about my inability to sleep in, especially on days off… however, sometimes it pays off when you get all the 'necessary' accomplished early in the day.

7. Crossing things off. I crossed off a Life List item on Sunday. I did my own taxes for the first time in my life (with the help of TurboTax). My taxes have always been highly complex due to my previous career. For the first time, it has been relatively simple. HOORAY!

8. Comfort food. Mashed potatoes is a favorite comfort food and after many failed attempts (the potatoes went bad before I could make them), I finally made it last night. YUM!

9. Lesser than expected forecast. I love winter and snow and all that… but it's almost spring - my truly favorite season. When this last storm was less than expected, it was rather nice!

10. Good news. Good news comes to those who wait. I should have something to announce soon!

I do believe that's my first 10-er of the year… only took me 10 weeks...

Monday, March 3, 2014


Money  - 2/2

27. Learn how to do my own taxes.

Taxes are the big scary to me… they are complex, and if you do them wrong, you could get audited. Math and I do not really get along so that makes them especially daunting.

For a majority of my professional life, I have worked in multiple states, as many as five in a year. Not all of that work would be on a W-2, in fact, most was on a 1099. None of these items make tax-time easy.

Once I was employed by a single company in a single state, I knew that my taxes would be easier. I still had some slightly quirky things, so last year I gave in and went to H&R Block just to make sure all was a-okay but it was pricey.

So this year, I felt well-armed and once I had all the paperwork in, I worked with TurboTax and successfully completed my taxes yesterday! It was relatively painless and I'm very proud of myself.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

9/52 - Photo Project 2014

I'm not going to lie… I didn't pick up my camera all week until Saturday, and only "under duress". And I really didn't even have "it's crazy at work" as a good excuse. I just didn't want to. That aside, I DID pick up the camera and played around with the macro lens and crayons and this was the result:

Crayon Macros

Is it as exciting as past choices? No. Did I really want to get out and photograph some urban decay or Missouri Botanical Garden? Yes, but no. Sometimes time constraints breed 'desperate' measures. Plus confining oneself to items and objects around the home encourages one to see things in a different manner...

It's snowing/sleeting right now as I type, but it's not making for very interesting pictures. Photographically, I wanted trees encased in ice but the rest of me is satisfied that the roads are drivable but not ideal.

Perhaps I will venture out later today and start this week off with a better attempt at promising pictures!