Happy Birthday! (. . . better early than late . . . .)

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Okay it’s not until tomorrow but why not start celebrating today?

After the week you’ve had you deserve it!

So I dug out a few alpaca pictures for you, I know you like llama’s  and alpacas are pretty close. Also adorable to look at. If all else fails you can run away and start a llama/alpaca farm!

Okay maybe not.

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Also found this picture of a Peruvian mini bar, still makes me chuckle.

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Tomorrow kick back, twist the top of your wine and stuff a straw in it.

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This is no time to worry about being classy. If you can squeeze in a bubble bath do that as well.

Things will get better, I’m just not sure when.

Remember I am available anytime for coffee, lunch, dinner, wine, bitching, complaining, gossiping, pretending that all this crap isn’t happening, whatever you need just call.

Hippos Kissing!

Hippos Kissing

I love the this picture because it looks like the hippos are kissing.

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Although Foggy passed away the Calgary Zoo still has two hippos and they are always amazing to watch. Although after seeing hippos in Africa and hearing them talk to each other I wish these two would talk.

I didn’t know that hippos talked, I don’t think I had ever thought about what hippos sound like before I went Africa, Uganda specifically. They sound kinda like sea lions or my old basset hound. It’s absolutely adorable and is one of my favourite memories from my trip through East Africa. Sitting at a campsite listening to the hippos call to each other. I wonder if these two ever call to each other?

Hump Day

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Still with the zoo theme and here is a camel that knows he’s sexy.

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He was lovely and posed for me. Camel’s are fun for many reasons but mostly because it gives you an excuse to say hump. Can you say it without at least smiling? I always giggle because I have the maturity of a twelve year old.

Penguin Walk

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Photos from the penguin walk at the Calgary Zoo.

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The penguins go for a walk everyday at 11:00am, weather and penguin temperaments permitting. It’s fun to see them waddling along, they seem to know the way and the penguin minders make sure they don’t wander off the designated path.

Note for a friend – Now say penguin out loud and then giggle because I KNOW you still can’t pronounce penguin. Neither can Benedict Cumberbatch, check him out on Graham Norton:

Just Get Through Today

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Look a lion!

The lion’s at the Calgary Zoo were splendid when I went with my Mom last week.

I’m taking a photography course and needed to get some assignments done and instead of shooting around my neighbourhood I decided the zoo would be much more fun. I was right the animals are more fun but also in some ways pose more challenges. Part of what I learnt at the zoo was how much I still need to learn and more importantly practice.

Photography is practice and it took me, I don’t even know how many tries, to get the photo of the lion where the bars disappear. I didn’t even know you could do that before I started the photography course and felt pretty happy with myself when I FINALLY got the result I was looking for. Yes, you can still kinda see where the bars are, it’s not perfect but I’m happy with the result.

This post is for a friend who is going through a hard time with her family. Not her whole family but a daughter who is struggling, which actually in turn does affect the whole family.

I have no advice for how to help the daughter, the family is doing everything they know how to do and are also seeking guidance. I am confidant that there will be a resolution but it won’t happen overnight.

Often when we don’t know what to do or how to do something we take classes, ask for advice and try a ton of different things. This I know she has done and her problem is more complex than my bars and a lion dilemma but through trying and continuing to search for answers I’m sure they will come. The bars will disappear and that will be the best day ever.

Until that day, I’m here , for anything she needs.

This week my posts are for her, just to let her know I’m always thinking of her and hoping that a resolution is around the corner.

Walking

Walking

Last year I bought a fitbit to track my steps and then made a New Year’s resolution this year to do 10,000 steps a day. So far I have kept that resolution except for one day when I was feeling under the weather but I made the steps up the next day.

Still not a habit I want to get into, the goal is to do a minimum of 10,00 steps a day and if I do more GREAT! Otherwise I could see myself getting lazy and trying to make up all 70,000 steps for the week in one day, which would take about nine or ten hours of constant walking.

It’s been pretty easy, the winter has been mild so weather hasn’t been a factor but even on cold days I just head to the mall and wander around until the 10,000 steps are done. Once I’ve done them I always feel so much better for having gotten off my ass to do something.

Walking is also my favourite time to think. If I have a problem or am working out a plan of action I find walking helps me straighten things out, brings me clarity, often brings me insight into a situation once I’ve taken the time to relax and mull over whatever problem I’m trying to sort out. It calms me down and the fresh air always makes me feel better.

I also like walking because I don’t need any special gear, I just throw on my hikers or in the summer my sandals and head out the door. For 10,000 steps you need comfy shoes but not anything heavy duty. If I’m planning on 20,000 steps or more then I find socks, correct support and such becomes much more of a factor.

Walking is also nice because I can take a cup of tea or pick up a coffee to drink while I walk. In the summer it’s nice to walk and feel the sun and I’m looking forward to the weather warming up when I can go farther distances and make an afternoon of it. Taking my camera along to document the world around me. After Kingsley (my basset hound who passed away last October) passed away I wasn’t making the effort to get out and walk. With him around I had to get up and get out because he required, demanded, that we go out.

There was once a quote that said “Walk the dog everyday, even if you don’t have one”.

Or something like that, I’ve probably butchered the original quote, my apologies….

I’ll buy into that, walking does your mind and body good. If you’re like me and work well with validation try getting a pedometer like a fitbit, since I’ve gotten it I haven’t needed to search for the motivation and the thought of missing a day of statistics on my tracker causes me anxiety. Seeing how far I’ve walked and collecting the badges keeps me motivated.

Whatever works for you get up and get out there. Happy walking everyone!

Night Photo

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Taking a photography course makes you get out and try things you wouldn’t normally do. With two assignments a week the course has forced me to get out and use my camera and slowly we are becoming friends.

One assignment was a night shot at a slow shutter speed to show movement. I was pretty happy when this FINALLY turned out. So glad I am taking up this hobby in the digital age. I can’t imagine the frustration with a camera that uses film. Being able to see your photos right away is helpful and frustrating. When it does work though it’s a great feeling.

I’m also taking a writing course and that one we are only on week one. So far not much writing, some reading to do and writing a short introduction of myself for the class. Which is fine but the course is only five weeks and if the whole course moves this slow I’m a little worried about how much I’ll get out of it. It is getting me back to thinking about writing which is good and I’ll give it another week or so before I make a decision.

Also have an interview tomorrow, which I hopes turns out well. I’d like to get back to a routine. A friend and I were talking about it on the weekend about how when you have a lot going on it seems easier to get more stuff done and when you have a bunch of time it’s like everything stretches out. Not as much seems to fit into a day and suddenly getting up seems like the big chore for the day.

I remember working, taking classes, making it to yoga, walking to and from work, meeting up with friends and now that just doesn’t seem possible. I know it is and I hope to get back to that place.

Since the New Year I’ve been getting better at doing more. Lists are magical things for getting stuff done, I love lists and the satisfaction that comes with marking off all of the items on a “To Do” list. Maybe I should get myself some gold stars to boost my motivation, I work well with validation. That’s why the fitbit works so well for me, I can see my progress and it rewards me with badges everyday and also ones for larger milestones. I need a fitbit for life tasks, then I’d get everything done.

Lion In The Sun

Lion In The Sun

He looks like he’s relaxing, remembering to breathe.

Which is what I’ve been doing this week as I do my assignments for the photography course I’m taking. Trying to get the camera to do what I want it to do has been frustrating. With practice though I did manage to get my assignment done and my new camera and I are slowly getting to know each other.

Taking the course is certainly giving me a new appreciation for photographers who are able to get the camera to do what they want and get that amazing shot. Also kinda makes me miss the point and shoot a bit but the photos that I have gotten to work out have made it all worth it.

Fumble with the controls, swear at the camera, try again and after a few tries when the photo actually turns out the way you wanted it to, great sense of accomplishment!

Another class tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it. The frustration of learning I know will be worth it in the end and like the Lion above I need to remember to occasionally take a time out and just breathe.