Camera Critters #249: Snow Dog

I’m still buried, so here’s Uschi in the snow because, well, that face:

Uschi lying in the snow, her nose heavily covered with snow and ice crystals

And if that’s not enough adorable to sate you, check out Camera Critters.

Best of 2012

Uschi framed by the lights of an enormous holiday tree

I was actually really torn when it came to picking the absolute best photo I took last year. I’m still very much a novice when it comes to photography and I’m very much in the learning process with my new camera. But one of the reasons I upgraded to a DSLR was the ability to create bokeh and have that lovely dreamy effect with the lights from a Christmas tree. Sometime later this year I hope to invest in some new, more powerful lenses than the standard kit one I currently have, but I’m still immensely proud of and pleased with this photo. [Read more…]

The First

If ever there was a busier day to try and cram in three new daily habits it would be today, but with this here post I have officially completed all three. I won’t say I’m entirely satisfied with how any of these played out, but this isn’t about achieving the best results. Maybe later on in the year once I’ve accomplished the habit-building I can start being more critical. For now I’m proud to say that I crammed each of these things in despite many other priorities for the day.

I thought I had a pretty solid system for maintaining myself in terms of accountability what with announcing my intentions yesterday, blogging about my progress, and participating in some challenges related to these activities. But this morning I discovered one other source that I hadn’t expected: Uschi. She observed me while I prepped my usual spot and went through my 40-some-minute routine. And she was very deliberate about it, too, stopping her relentless bone-gnawing anytime she noticed me shifting position. At one point I thought she’d wandered out of the room only to cause her to rustle her collar as I tilted my head to peer into the dining room where she was sprawled out under the table. Her extreme attentiveness actually concerned me as I fully expected her to pounce on me when I was through, but I’m thrilled and relieved to say she is still keeping her good post-yoga behavior. Sometimes she really surprises me with how much she’s matured . . . And then she flings herself at me and stands on her head, so you know, it’s all relative.

Yesterday Brooke texted me, wondering if Uschi had yet destroyed her new toys and I was pleasantly shocked to admit that all were still basically intact. So, of course, hours later she tore into one of the plush toys, dug out its squeaker (which she’d already broken), chewed it to bits and ripped out most of its stuffing. We’ll see how long before the rest face a similar fate.

In totally other news, there is still waiting going on, but it might be coming to an end soon. You cannot imagine my relief. Well, unless you’ve been texting with me for the last few weeks and then you’re probably more aware of how neurotic I am than you actually cared. I have really patient and awesome friends, by the way.

Anyway . . . Happy New Year!

Non-Resolutions for 2013

I don’t really believe in the idea of New Year’s resolutions. Goal-setting and self-evaluation don’t need to be limited by a calendar date and just stating your intentions of doing something isn’t really actively changing anything. However, like prior years I do have some things I plan for the coming year. Specifically I have three things I am going to attempt to do each day:

  1. Practice yoga for roughly an hour.
  2. Post on this blog and/or write something.
  3. Take a photograph.

I will confess that I don’t intend to force myself through any of those because that just might be crazy. My goal is to have a habit of doing each of these and both being accountable for and the actual act of daily repetition will hopefully work towards doing that.

All of these things are important to me in different ways and to varying degrees I’ve let all of them fall by the wayside. I’m striving to be more comfortable about my abilities as a photographer and get more creative with things that I would like to shoot, which has been something I’ve already started working on but not to the frequency I’m proposing. My writing has taken a supreme backseat to lots of other things over the last year and thinking about it the last time I really felt like writing was when I was blogging daily throughout 2011. Of course, the issue with that was I had less desire to blog, so I’m incorporating the two together and we’ll see where it goes. The yoga is the most disconcerting of this list because I was actually doing really well with practicing daily. I managed to spend a week at my father’s even and not miss a day and yet throughout this past month I’ve been very sporadic and lazy about it. Considering it’s the only thing that’s been of any help with my pain issues this is something that is totally unacceptable.

As luck would have it, there are a few relevant challenges to help kick start my 2013 plans. I’ll natter on those more specifically if/when I decide to officially participate, though I have already confirmed one I plan to partake in that isn’t specific to the things listed here. I am very intrigued by all of the challenges because essentially it’s providing a support system and by extension another layer of accountability. However, there’s been a few events over the last several days that have dampened my enthusiasm for one specific challenge I was thinking about and I’m feeling more than a little conflicted about participating.

In any case, 2013 is looking to be an interesting year!

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

I had already planned to do a photo recap post before seeing this week’s photo challenge as I’d done something similar last year. Except that I didn’t exclusively use my personal photographs last time since I went a few months with little or no pictures taken. (And, let’s face it, that one of Uschi standing on her head had to be on the list!) Anyway, let’s get on to a smattering of my favorite photos from the last year:

The last year was much the same in terms of photographic activity, though, the last few months I have been striving to be more proactive with my camera. I won’t go so far as to boast about my skills as a photographer because I still very much think of myself as a beginner. However, I do admit that there have been more than a handful I’ve taken over the last year that I am not only quite fond of but actually have some pride in and I have learned a great deal more about the technical aspects of taking photos. I’m still debating which specifically I think is the absolute best photo to submit to BorrowLenses’ Best of 2012 project.

In any case, I expect I’ll be nattering on about photography more in the new year as I work my way through some projects I intend to participate in and learn more about that shiny red camera pictured above.