I’m a Kid in a Candy Shop!

I love tax season. Granted, I probably wouldn’t if I owed the IRS, but (knock on wood) that hasn’t happened yet. Every year I file as soon as I get my W2. This year, the IRS started processing returns on January 20th. I filed on the 19th.

I got my refund on Friday, WOOHOO!!!

My first purchase was a new lens for my camera that I’ve been drooling over for the past year. If your new to the blog, you probably don’t know that I’m absolutely in love with my camera. It’s a Nikon D5100, and it was the best money I’ve ever spent.

I love to photograph nature, dragonflies specifically. I don’t know why, but I’m obsessed with getting the clearest images of these little guys that I can, and my camera is amazing, even with the stock lens. But I had to get within inches of the little guys to get close enough images (it’s a 55mm lens). Not all dragonflies are cooperative enough to let me get that close, especially the rare ones. You know, the ones I really want to get shots of like the huge darners that never land.

The lens I finally purchased is a 55mm – 300mm lens, which means I can be four feet away from my dragonflies and still get those incredibly close shots that I want. I received the lens yesterday and of course went right out to play with it.

I started taking shots of flowers, trees and other flora. Continue reading “I’m a Kid in a Candy Shop!”

Blue Dasher Crafts New Year’s Goals for 2015

I purchased this planner from Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler and I LOVE it!
I purchased this planner from Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler and I LOVE it!

I love New Year’s. I get to set new goals, and I get to put my planner together for the year, which is my favorite part. I love picking out new printables and putting together the book that will keep me organized for the year.

This year I put my 2015 planner together with my 2015 blogging planner as well as my 2015 Blue Dasher Crafts planner. I really need to think about getting a bigger binder, things are a bit tight in my favorite pink one!

While I put my planner together, I think about what I want to accomplish during the upcoming year. I came up with quite a few goals for 2015. Here’s what I’m planning for Blue Dasher Crafts this year. Continue reading “Blue Dasher Crafts New Year’s Goals for 2015”

A Statement of Accomplishment

On Thursday, I received an email stating that the Certificate of Completion for my Medical Neuroscience class was available. I was so excited, I immediately clicked the link and downloaded the pdf file. After staring at it for a few minutes, I decided to print it.

It sat on my desk for about 24 hours before I decided what I wanted to do with it. Instead of keeping it safe in a page protector and putting it in my Medical Neuroscience notebook, I decided to frame it. Unfortunately, I didn’t have an extra frame laying around, and since I didn’t have the funds (or a car!) to go out and buy one, I repurposed one that was holding an inspirational word collage.

I wasn’t happy about losing the word collage because like I said, it was inspirational, but I thought in the end, this Certificate of Completion was really a statement of accomplishment and provided more inspiration than the collage ever could. I proceeded to clean the glass, which was filthy (how does the glass of a picture frame get dirty on the inside?), and then put the certificate in the frame. I hung it on the wall above my white board, which sits right next to my desk so that I can look up and remind myself that I took a class from Duke University’s medical school and not only passed, but just missed with distinction by 9.7 points. Pretty inspirational don’t you think? Continue reading “A Statement of Accomplishment”

The Hardest Part About My Day… FTSF Blog Hop

Here we are, another Finish the Sentence Friday. Today’s prompt is “The hardest part of my day is…”

That’s a good question. One I actually had to think about for a bit. But it hit me like a ton of bricks.

The hardest part of my day is…

…staying motivated.

I have issues with motivation. It doesn’t seem to like me enough to stay around for very long.

You’ve all seen my weekly goals, so you know I’m pretty ambitious. But there are days when that ambition barely gets me out of bed in the morning. I admit it. Motivation is not my forte.

My relationship with motivation is so bad, I have a secret Pinterest board with motivational sayings and pictures of things I want in my life. Motivation and I have a love/hate relationship. We both love to hate each other.

However, I have learned a thing or two about motivation in this tortuous affair. I think it’s one of those things that confuses a lot of people (myself included!). Continue reading “The Hardest Part About My Day… FTSF Blog Hop”

The Story of “Lady’s Rose”

Lady and I
Lady and I

In 2001, I adopted a dog, part beagle, part lab whose name was Lady, the day before she was to be euthanized.We adopted her as a friend for our little 8lb dog, Dickens. But Dicken’s story is another blog post.

She became the big sister to Dickens. They were inseparable. Dickens’ wasn’t the most tolerant dog, and she’d sometimes argue with Lady, but Lady would argue with her too. Everyone argues. But they were best friends.

Lady became my familiar (spiritual companion) and there was a bond between us that was indescribable. As long as Lady was there, I knew everything was going to be just fine.

Lady was there for me during my divorce, always knowing exactly when I needed a puppy kiss and some cuddling.

She was always happy, and loved to run. Her favorite game was tug-of-war with a squeaky toy. She was a very playful dog. Vocal too.

She was also a  very gentile-natured  and tolerant dog. When we saved two kittens from under a saw grass bush on our property, she tolerated it. She didn’t really like the cats, but you’d catch her cuddling with them on occasion. She may not have liked the cats, but the cats loved her, especially Odin.

The Catalpa Tree Lady is Buried Under
The Catalpa Tree Lady is Buried Under

She wasn’t aggressive, but she’d let you know if she didn’t like what you were doing. I let Lady teach Sam how to be around dogs. I trusted her implicitly. I knew she’d never hurt Sam, but she’d gently let her know not to pull her tail, or hurt her.

Lady was the kind of dog that if she saw Sam getting into something she shouldn’t, she’d make a huge racket and let you know and she’d also try to stop Sam if she sensed danger. She also watched over Sam when she was napping. Surprisingly, when we adopted her, we were told she really disliked kids! But, I know Lady loved Sam.

Things started to go downhill when Lady turned 9. She developed diabetes, and required insulin shots twice a day. She developed cataracts because she was such a brittle diabetic, we couldn’t keep her blood sugar under control. She went blind.

She slowly deteriorated until her kidneys finally shut down. She died in 2010, a year after her diagnosis. She was 10 years old. She died at home, in my arms. I was heartbroken.

We buried her in the backyard under her favorite tree the large leafed Catalpa.

This is only half of the rose bush. The rest of it is actually taller than I am!
This is only half of the rose bush. The rest of it is actually taller than I am!

The day after we buried Lady, I went out to visit her. I found this little plant straight across from her grave near our neighbor’s fence. It was very small, and when I got a closer look, I found it had thorns on it. I had no idea where it came from. The one rose bush we had died during the winter of 2007.

I decided to try and move the plant, so I dug it up at the roots, and replanted it on top of Lady’s grave. It died. About a week later, the plant was back in the same spot it started in!

About a month later, our neighbor decided to mow part of our yard near his fence, and ran over the little plant. It grew back, but winter was coming. We had a freeze, down into the teens, but it didn’t even phase the rose.

This rose bush has been growing ever since.

Lady's Rose
Lady’s Rose

This is why I call it Lady’s Rose. It has endured through several traumas, and is thriving. I think it was Lady’s way of reminding me that everything will always be okay. Even if she’s not here physically, she’ll always be with me spiritually.

It’s ironic that these roses are pink. Pink roses have always been my favorite.

This rose bush has given me some of the most beautiful shots I have ever taken. I have so many pictures of this bush in just about every different kind of lighting and angles. But the water effects have been my favorite.

We Love You Lady!
We Love You Lady!

Lady is sorely missed, but this rose bush serves as a reminder of her, and all the memories she gave us.

If at First You Don’t Suceed… Fail Epically

I was inspired by Julie DeNeen and her recent post Go Big or Go Home to write this, mainly because I wrote some really great quotes in my comment. 😀 No, seriously, her post was actually quite inspirational.

“People are too afraid to push themselves beyond what they perceive as their potential.”

That was my first awesome quote.

But why is that? Why do we have a set “potential?” Why do parents stunt their child’s development by telling them to “reach their full potential?” We should all desire to push past, WAY past, that potential. What’s wrong with being a society full of overachievers? We’d have every disease known to man cured, world peace (or domination, whatever) and we’d be a very different human race.

“If you don’t fail, you can’t succeed, and if you’re going to fail, you might as well fail epically!” Continue reading “If at First You Don’t Suceed… Fail Epically”