It’s 2016 already?!?

I remembered joining WordPress’ Blogging 101 early this year on a whim and I did not regret it one single bit. It opened me to a whole new “blogosphere” universe, learned a lot of techie blog stuff, met tons of awesome bloggers (yes, YOU know who you are!!!), got inspired some more and improved my blogging skills. I realized I am not alone after all!

And then came Blogging 102 and then Photography 101… which all helped me be the blogger I am today. Not that I am internet famous, haha, far from it, but looking back at when I wrote my very first post inspired by our Iceland trip and because a friend kept on egging me to start writing a blog, I have definitely come a looong way!

The year end brings about a lot of retrospection and introspection for most of us. Whether we like it or not, whether we try to avoid and hide all the painful memories, they are there and are a part of who we are today.

Though blogging is sometimes merely just a pastime for some, for others it is their lives, an extension of themselves, their livelihood. So we also have had some major downs in our blog life as well. My blog has seen lots of ups and downs, but mostly for its tremendous growth, I would have to thank the WordPress community for that. A rise in stats when I publish a post, lots of likes and comments make for me a happy blogger. Be honest, you want your work to be appreciated and positive feedback is even better. Interacting with your readers and fellow bloggers I look forward to the most. Granting you write for yourself first and foremost but unless you intend for your blog to be a personal and private journal then why publish online in the first place. On hindsight, we all blog for different reasons anyway.

I also realized I have to make a few changes to my blog, possibly change my header (new look!) and tweak out something here and there. The biggest change however would have to be removing the “Music” category. Didn’t get a lot of hits out of that one. This blog has never been about music in the first place, I just added that there before because certain songs reminded me of the state of mind I was in. I am no longer THERE as I have moved on so to keep up with the New Year, I need a fresh new look. As for when I will do that, hmm…. it’ll happen soon.

It also amazes me looking at my stats again that people from different parts of the world have visited my blog. I did a quick scan of the countries and three of them stood out: Guernsey, Isle of Man and Uzbekistan. First of all, I have never heard of Guernsey in my life before (have you?) so I googled it and turns out, it is an island of the British crown dependency located in the English Channel. Very interesting.

A warm hello to the reader from Guernsey!!!

Here’s where it gets more interesting. Isle of Man I have sorta heard of it but never knew where it was so I googled again. It is another island of the British crown dependency in between Ireland and England. Do you think this is the same person from Guernsey?

Another cheerful hello to the reader from Isle of Man!!!

And lastly, Uzbekistan. Any country ending in “stan” I figured comes from the former Soviet Republic. But really, somebody from Uzbekistan bothered to read my blog? Maybe not read read, but came across by accident or skimmed through probably researching for something. Still, I am utterly in awe.

A sunshiny hello from Florida to the reader from Uzbekistan!!!

The world has gotten smaller indeed.

Meanwhile, if you are still reading this very long post, and you have nothing else to do, from the Stats section, I have compiled my ten most visited posts since I first started blogging.

  1. About Me (Home) page
  2. My 12 Hours as a Night Shift Nurse
  3. Who is That Traveling Nurse (same as the About Me page)
  4. Why I Fell in Love with the Dominican Treehouse Village
  5. A Haiku on Symmetry
  6. We Cry Sometimes Too
  7. Rural Road Trippin’: Tabuelan, Philippines
  8. A Haiku on Scale
  9. A Haiku on Depth
  10. The Versatile Blogger Award

Happy Blogging and a HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU!!!

IMG_3892.jpg

 

‘Twas a Triumphant Day Indeed!

Photo 101 class is wrapping up and I have learned so much from it. From the start, I tried my very best to take daily photos with the assignments on hand but towards the end, I faltered and wavered, I ran out of ideas and time to do my daily shooting. I dipped into my archives every now and then to keep up.

Take for instance today, Triumph and Contrast, I figured in order to achieve something for it to be considered a victory, there has to be some sort of effort or process involved with it which cannot just be captured in a few hours of receiving this assignment.

Of course, I can always take a selfie to show that I am proud to have lasted this long in this class. What an accomplishment, right? Well then, we can all celebrate together this weekend.

But I want to share this story with you because this was a true triumph for me and the boys…

Once upon a time in Alaska, there were three Floridians who dreamed of fishing for salmon. They talked and planned about it for a long time. Finally, they get to the famed Russian River in the Kenai Peninsula where they get to experience first hand combat fishing. A whole day and a half they spent there, they only caught one fish, a Dolly Varden (not even salmon). One fish! The boys went home tired and disappointed.

IMG_5440 DSC07720

Moving along to the little town of Hope, they decided to fish again. This time at Resurrection Creek. This little body of water was no Russian River by any means. Family friendly, kids playing and fishing along with the big boys, it looked like a relaxing spot to fish. No pressure, no combat fishing here.IMG_5480

And then, suddenly, their luck changed. Fish after fish, snagging one after the other on their hooks. Fish on, fish on! We were all so excited. Now, we can have dinner.

After just a few hours on the water, they caught a total of nine pink salmon, three each per person as allowed by Alaskan fishing laws. Nine fresh, squirming salmon! You can see my hubby’s huge smile here, never mind the cold and wet. It was so worth it in the end.

Now, the story does not end there. After our Alaska trip, I submitted some photos to an Alaska photo contest. Although I did not win (it was a popularity contest where the photo with the most votes wins), my photo got picked to go in their travel magazine! How cool is that!!!

Life’s simple joys. 

1000561_10151722259198166_1227472737_n

The Edgy Edge

IMG_3346

Our chess set from Mexico calls for some edgy edges for this Photo 101 assignment. Intricately designed and carved, I attempted to do a somewhat abstract leading line edge with the chess board.

I hope that is straight enough though as I too am very particular specially when it comes to horizons. It. Has.To. Be. Straight. It drives my inner OCD nuts when I see a photo with a slightly leaning/sloping horizon.

But, wait, where is my horizon picture? You can see them here and here. All’s good. Just felt like doing something out of the box today. Until next time!

“I See You”

IMG_9201
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Driving through the Smoky Mountains is always breathtaking. The trees, fresh mountain air and the occasional wildlife crossing is an experience I always enjoy.

Here, we joyride on our friend’s convertible as we soak in the beauty of nature. The hubby is obviously mesmerized in his own little world unmindful of my camera. I see him either dozing off or gazing up at the canopy of trees overhead.

So I got lazy (again) on this Photo 101 assignment, stealing from my archives. Boo! Hopefully, next time, inspiration strikes.

Close Up Treasures

I have to admit I got sick and tired of Photo 101 this weekend. I was behind on my assignments, I had a visiting friend from out of town and I have tons of laundry to do!

In short, life happened.

But like everything else in life, you get up and move on. You can either chose to do it or don’t. Be happy or depressed. Have a good attitude or not. Your choice.

So, I decided to do it. In my own sweet time, no pressure, no rush. Hey, there are no deadlines here!

Here are my treasures… My passions… Up close and personal.

IMG_3335

My classmate, ex-boyfriend, nursing buddy, travel partner, co-conspirator. My hubby. He is my number one treasure. This is our wedding album and this represents all the happy memories in our ten years of marriage.

IMG_3152

This is a close up of a globe. The geography represented here is random, it merely suggests our dreams of traveling the world. My hubby and I love to travel. Since we work full time, we cannot travel non-stop (as much as I secretly would want to) so we travel in bits and pieces wherever and whenever our paths may take us.

IMG_3338

I love to read. I am passionate about books (the REAL ones). Barnes and Noble is my sanctuary and when we cannot travel, I do so through my books.

IMG_3336

My art. Next to travel and books, I also dabble in painting. I love the colors that you can create by combining different hues. When I hold my brush, I get lost in time transported to a different world where beauty is everywhere. In the broad strokes. In the finest details.

What are YOUR passions?

Life’s a Beach!

IMG_3329
Cocoa Beach, Florida

Had a busy weekend. A very good friend came to visit so I had to play tour guide and show her around.

This photo was taken just a few hours ago while we were having lunch at one of the restaurants overlooking the beach and the ocean. It was a pretty busy beach day alright! We had to literally fight for parking space. Yes, it was that bad.

Landscape shot and cropping done. Now, on to the next Photo 101 assignment.