Hello 2015!

I’m considering today my first day of the year.  It’s the first day my hubby goes back to work, and therefore the first day of a regular-ish schedule.  I got up at 7:30.  Thirty minutes later than planned, but hey, I got up!  I figured out how to work the treadmill my parents got.  Took longer than i thought, so my planned 30 minutes for exercise this morning turned into an hour, and my new little iPad lost my internet, so things went different, but hey, I exercised!  And I will exercise more at lunch and in the afternoon!  Yay!

So I guess it’s the time of year for resolutions and goals.  I pretty much failed at all my goals for 2014.  The only one I got close to was exercising daily.  I managed that for three months, about, then fell off the wagon with NaNoWriMo in November.  Oh well.  I did make progress on my stories.  That’s important.  And now I don’t have to work at a job job, so I can use all my days every day for being productive on projects and stuff!

So my big goal/resolution for 2015 is to make every minute count.  To master my self-discipline and be productive every day.  I must write, draw, and do something productive every day, starting from today!  And exercise.  That’d be good too.

I’m also rewriting my webcomic and restarting it sometime this year.  Finishing the “2nd” draft of Ian’s 1st story, rewriting Chook’s story, and planning for the next stories after those.

What are your resolutions and goals this year?

2014 in Review

Let’s see, 2014.  It was a pretty good year.  My hubby graduated, I worked, hubby got a job at my work, then I took a break from working to write.  We had good times with friends.  Lots of ideas were thought of, over fifty-thousand words written, and some doodles were drawn.  I learned a little on how to throw knives, and I’ve learned a lot about H.E.M.A. (Historical European Martial Arts) and wielding a long sword.  I sewed a few things and learned how to do a byzantine chain mail weave.  I attended the two Salt Lake Comic Cons.  We went to visit the hubby’s family back in Kansas.  Much fun was had.

Next year, however, I want to do more.  More I say!  More productivity!  More books written and read!  More fun!  More art drawn!  More blog posts!  Comics done!  Exercise!  Get a belt in the long sword!  So much to do!  I should sit down and make a comprehensive list before 2015 happens.

I won’t give specifics on my goals just yet, but 2015 will be a very productive, fantastic, amazing year!

Things I Need to Remember to Teach My Children – General

Okay, so the other day it dawned on me that I should make a list of things I don’t want to forget to teach my children someday when I have them.  I had a handy list my mom passed out during a Relief Society lesson she taught that covered a bunch of the general stuff.  I figured I post it here so I don’t have to worry about losing the paper.

I’ll be adding posts with these tags to this blog periodically whenever something specific pops up I need to remember to teach my kids.  My husband is very good at pointing them out to me with the random things he does… like he didn’t know how to use a toaster, or how to set a bake time on an oven and super baked the lasagna.  Those are kind of important to know so you don’t set the house on fire.


Okay.  The general stuff.


  • Bible Stories
  • Book of Mormon Stories
  • Church History
  • Faith
  • Prayer
  • Baptism
  • Holy Ghost
  • Sacrament
  • Covenants
  • Temple
  • Reverence
  • Honor
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Morality
  • Modesty
  • Kindness
  • Love
  • Service
  • Testimony
  • Missionary Work
  • Word of Wisdom
  • Tithing
  • Sabbath Observance
  • Patriarchal Blessings
  • The Priesthood
  • Truth
  • Family/Genealogy
  • Repentance


  • Manners
  • Cooking
  • Music
  • Physical Fitness
  • Respect
  • Self-discipline
  • Dealing with Disappointment
  • Dealing with Boredom
  • Dealing with Differences
  • Sacrifice
  • Language
  • Communication
  • Grooming
  • Healthy Eating
  • Art
  • Academics
  • Home Maintenance
  • Personal Finance
  • Laundry
  • Sewing
  • Shopping
  • Budgetting
  • Car Maintenance
  • Travel
  • Other Cultures
  • Government
  • Fun/Entertainment
  • Truth
  • Mental Health
  • Self Reliance

Springtime Wander #3

May 30, 2014.

I went for another wander at work when the wildflowers were blooming bright.  So many flowers!


I like how these flowers come in three colors. White, light purple, and purple.


Box Elder Bugs at various stages of life. We had a ton of these all over. They get inside the building all the time, and you can even find them inside in the middle of winter.


Old rusted farm equipment in the tall grass.


An old barn set piece in the background.


And now one with the mountains in the background. I’m under the shade of some trees.


I think this one’s better. Mountains, clouds, and you can see all of the toothy arm. Much better composition, but not as many flowers.


The farm equipment has some cool shapes.


Lookie, a bee! They’re hard to get decent shots of. They move around too much.


I love the contrast of fresh living flowers next to old rusted unused equipment.


And a little Box Elder Bug. He’s kind of blurry, but it’s a very nice shadow of the flower around him.


Depth of field! And lichen.


More of the same. I like the wheels.


A row of old workers sitting in flowers as they rest.


This little batch of purple flowers had some fuchsia to it.


The little fake well.


An even darker purple.


Another almost decent picture of a bee. There were a couple little bumbles with red stripes, but I could never catch them with the camera.


Wild carpet rose.


Another blossom on the wild carpet rose. This plant guards the way to my favorite deer trail on the property.


On that hidden deer trail there are these plants with gigantic leaves. My foot is hiding in the bottom of the picture for size comparison.


I think these flowers are related to the white and purple one, but they’re droopy and pink instead of perky and purple. Slightly different, but still pretty.


Deer tracks by tire tracks on the gravel part of the parking lot.


Close up of a deer track.


Partial Solar Eclipse – Oct. 23, 2014

Oh!  Dudes!  I totally forgot about making a solar eclipse post!  Well, I took pictures, so I gotta post about it.

October 23rd was an ordinary day until one of my coworkers mentioned there would be a partial solar eclipse that afternoon.  I got all excited.  I’ve had the chance to witness a couple partial solar eclipses in my life, but never had the proper equipment to do it with.  Sure, when I was younger we did the box with a paper and pinhole, but in my opinion it didn’t work.  I didn’t know how we would manage to see this one, until that same coworker mentioned going to the prop shop and borrowing the dark glass out of the welder’s helmets.  It protects their eyes from white hot flame, so it should work for the sun, right?

We ran over to the shop and grabbed two pieces of the glass.  Other people had the same idea and had almost wiped the guy out of his stock of them, but there was enough left for us.  We checked the sun at that point to make sure we weren’t missing anything since the timing was ambiguous on the internet sites we checked earlier.  Nothing had happened yet, so we were good.

When the time arrived, about 3:30, we gathered the guys in the main VFX room and all went out to get a look at the solar eclipse.


Here’s a bunch of us at work gathered around looking through the welder’s glass.  My hubby’s the one in front holding the glass.


Selfie of me looking at the sun.

We could see the eclipse fantastically with those welder’s shields.  In fact, we could see it so well some of the guys started trying to take pictures of it with their phones through the glass and their cameras.  Most of them weren’t terribly successful, but they inspired me to run grab my camera and do the same.



Here’s what it looked like with the auto settings. Doesn’t look like much.


Here it is at the manual settings with speed 1/200. Much better!

Well, eclipses aren’t speedy things, so we wandered back inside for a while.  I came back out later when the eclipse was at its peak and took more pictures.


This is what it looked like at about 4:24.


I didn’t like the glow and realized I could up my speed even further on my camera, so I tried again. This is speed 1/1,250. And hey, what’s that dark thing we see? I zoomed in all the way for another picture.


Hey look! Sunspots! How cool is that? I love my camera.

I have now decided that no eclipse should go unseen in my life, and I need some of that welder’s glass for myself.  My children and friends will get to see eclipses in style!


Winter Wander #2 – January 30, 2014

It was snowing that day, so I wanted to get pics of fresh powder.  So I wandered out of work with my camera.  🙂


The random teeter-totter at work.


Snow, berries, and branches. I like the colors in this one.


Trying to be a bit more abstract. Could use some editing.


My footprint! At this point the snow in the forest was borderline, trying to decide whether to be snow or slush. With each step I applied some friction to help it choose.


It’s like a mini cave!


I tried to get lots of reference and texture pictures of the tree back. The dampness brought out the colors in a pleasing fashion.


It’s like a ghost of a leaf.


One of the steps leading to a building on the set. I like the composition.


It’s trapped!


A sign for the inn in Kirtland on the set.


Snow! It’s falling from the sky!


It’s almost like being in a Little House on the Prairie story.


Mandatory foot picture.


Peeking through branches. I suppose this could use some cropping.


A hidden gravestone prop.


NaNoWriMo’s creeping up on me

But I’m ahead of it this time!  For once.

I’ve poked at doing NaNoWriMo a few times now, and “failed” each time except the first time.  June of 2012 I managed more than the required 50,000 words and have a lovely first draft of a novel that now needs 75% rewritten.  Then in July of this year I tried again, but was madly overwhelmed by everything else going on in my life, so I only managed about 15,000 words.  While that may seem sad, it did propel me to the end of my novel within the month after.  There was a big happy dance after that.

Then I realized I skipped a big portion in the middle.  So now I’m writing that for draft two.

So what to do for NaNo this November?  More story to improve that draft two!  I think for NaNo I will write the story going on behind the story.  The part we get to see in glimpses but never get to know.  It’s mega important and will influence the story in major ways, so I need to know what’s going on there.  AND I’ll get to play with my most favorite character ever.  *evil grin*  I’ve been missing him.

Now to plan things out so I can whip it out all this November.  It will be awesome.

Springtime Wander #2 – May 2, 2014

Here, have some more pictures from when I wandered around work in the spring time:


Ah-ha! Caught you, little bee! They almost never sit still long enough for me to snag a decent pic.


I love the contrast of the rusting old farm equipment by brilliant new flowers.


Rusty old stuff is cool.


Perspective? What are the toothy things for, anyway?


Nature will eat your civilization!


Grass and spokes.


Flower photobomb.


Hey look, there’s mountains in the distance.


I like that rusty bar. That’s a very nice rusty bar. And you can see more of the Kirtland/Navoo set in this one.


Some kind of little pink flower. Makes me think of chives or onions. Anyone know what this is?

Winter Wander & Clouds

January 10, 2014. It snows in Utah.  I went for a walk to use my new camera.  This is the wander I lost my lens cover on.


A little black-capped chickadee in a tree.


Drainage pipe. Half-covered by the chain-link fence. This is a stream during the summer.


A bend in the dry stream bed.


Leaf in snow.


The Provo River.


Paper wasp nest!


I like how the log made a little cave in the snow.


I like the pattern the branches and leaves make in the snow.


Winter selfie. I’d lost my lens cover by this point, but somehow didn’t notice when I took this picture.




Red berries and a fake well. What a pretty composition.

After that last picture I realized I’d lost my lens cover and spent an hour tromping back and forth over my tracks to find it.  Which I did.  Phew.


Now these next pictures come from Jan. 27 as my husband drove us down to Provo in the morning for work and school.  I liked how the smoggy atmosphere was messing with the light.


So much atmospheric perspective. Thank you pollution.  (bleargh.)




More haze.


A big sky full of little clouds.


Glowing texture in the sky!


A river bed in the sky.


And then on the other side of the valley, we have the little flat, smudge tool clouds. Worn-out circles of moisture.


And the factory belches.

Student Academy Awards 2014 – June 7

Hey!  So this year my hubby graduated from college in animation at BYU.  He worked hard on the senior short film project called “Owned” and the students submitted it to a lot of different animation competitions.  Around graduation time we learned that “Owned” got first place at the Student Emmys, but my husband chose to be home and do the graduation thing with all the family instead of going to that event.  Later we found out that “Owned” got chosen to win a Student Academy Award.  He wanted to go to that one, and he took me along to Hollywood with him.  We drove down in one day, missed a turn thanks to the new Google Maps setup, and almost ended up in Mexico, but I figured it out and read the map to get us back on track.

Woke up the next morning and found a place to eat.  I wanted yummy food since I felt a little cranky, so I made sure to pick a place with good reviews.  We got lost on the streets again due to some hidden steps in the Google Maps setup and had to go back and find out what they were.  (Maybe we should get smart phones one of these days.)  After that we found the place okay.  The restaurant I chose is called the Larchmont Bungalow.  It did have some yummy food, and was very popular.


This is where we ate breakfast.


It was nice and cozy on the inside with tons of seating outside.


And they were nice and efficient and had buzzers! You sat down at the table and they found you to give you your food via your buzzer.


I got the pancakes and french toast with fruit. SO TASTY. It was one of the few breakfast things that did not include alcohol seeped fruits. They had lots of alcohol things on the menu, but this was clean.


Pretty and yummy fruits on my breakfast! I’d never had blackberries with a breakfast thing before. So good.

After breakfast at almost lunch-time, we then went to wander the Hollywood Boulevard walk of the stars.  It’s hard to find parking, but we managed to find a meter.


I’d never seen a parking meter with a credit card slot before.


Hey look, it’s Dr. Seuss! I took pictures of the stars I knew/related with, but I figured I’d post the one of Dr. Seuss since he relates to both of the fields I work in, writing and art.

After getting accosted by many tour guides for van tours, we wandered back to the hotel via the local Kroger grocer.  It’s called Ralph’s there.  It felt small and dark compared to the ones I’m used to in Kansas and Utah.  Tightly packed.  I bought food for breakfast and the ride home on Sunday.  I need breakfast.

Then we hung out for an hour or so more before wandering off to Director’s Guild of America building to wait for the event.


My hubby thought it was so cool that we got to park in this exclusive special parking garage. He had to take a picture.


Waiting for the awards to start. They had a cool animation thing saying the name looping over and over. I snagged a pic of the complete title.

It was a pretty cool event.  Lots of nice clothes.  Lots of awesome films.  All those kids worked super hard.  Then they made an announcement… BYU got first place!  They got an Oscar!  Yay!


They did it! They got first place in the animation category!


Dan Clark and Wesley Tippets on stage getting their Oscars.


Wesley and Dan took turns giving the acceptance speech.


See? Now it’s Dan’s turn.


And here we are standing in front of one of the Oscar statues! Doesn’t he look so proud? I’m proud of him. 🙂

After the event we visited one of the other animation student’s who had an internship in the area and hung out and ate pizza.  We played Cards Against Humanity.  My first time playing it, and I have to say that I personally didn’t like it, but they had a blast.  If you’re going to play that game, you should do it with animation majors.  They are zany.

Went home after church the next day.  Overall a very eventful trip, even if my description might be a little boring.  *shrug*  But hey, pictures!  And they won!  Yaaaaay!