2016 in Review – with pictures!

Let’s see, I didn’t manage to post lots last year, so I’ll do my best to sum most of it up in one post.

The year started and moved along smooth enough. Not much exciting happened until May 3rd, which is when I started updating my webcomic Fur & Fangs! I managed a steady two pages for a couple months, and then I auditioned to Hiveworks¬†in June. They rejected my audition, but hey, I did it! I didn’t manage my time well in the process, though, and got myself messed up on my update schedule. It didn’t help that I had two consecutive visits from the in-laws and then my parents coming about a month after the audition, so looming stress and my lack of time-management skills had me falling off the productivity wagon and I developed some situational depression. I focused on writing instead of my comics and am only now getting myself back into the swing of things with Fur & Fangs. Updates will be resuming shortly! They may be irregular for a while, but they’ll happen!

Mother’s day isn’t a super big deal to me yet since I don’t have kids, but my church always does something for it. Often they give all the women in the ward a gift of some kind, sometimes music or chocolate, but usually it’s a flower. This year they handed out carnations. Waltz LOVES green plant stuff, and gave me a hard time wanting to chew on the flower. I looked it up to see if it was safe for him, but it turns out that carnations are toxic for cats. However, instead of throwing it away, my hubby figured out a way to keep my flower safe from my “bee.” Since Waltz had already broken the stem down to its shortest length, the flower fit perfectly in a jar. I was able to keep it on my desk for weeks. ūüôā I like flowers, so that brought a little extra happiness into my life.

Another thing that happened in 2016 was Pok√©mon Go! I downloaded it as soon as I possibly could, which turned out to be with everyone else in the USA even though I was in Canada since I have an American phone and an American phone plan. It got me out exercising and I love it! It’s my first ever Pok√©mon game. I picked Bulbasaur as my starter and named it Tulip. I’ve decided on a plant-theme for my names. After several exchanges of named pok√©mon for new ones with higher CPs, I stopped naming them right away. My hubby has snuck in and named some while I wasn’t looking, so for a while my Nidorans were Rick Rolling me. Just yesterday I caught my first Vulpix and hit 100 pok√©mon registered in my pok√©dex! Since winter hit I majorly slowed down in my leveling, so I’m barely¬†level 23 now. I don’t like walking in the cold. Oh, and I picked team Red.

Late July and early August was taken up by visits from family. With the in-laws we explored Montréal and a nearby ski resort. With my parents we went to Thousand Islands, Sacred Grove and other nearby Church history sites, Niagara Falls, and also wandered Montréal. I took lots of pictures, so those will each get their own posts.

It took me about a month after that to surface from the situational depression, and from then until the end of the year I didn’t manage much more than writing. I did poke at my comic, but didn’t make much progress. I found myself despairing. Somehow I’d managed earlier in the year to write and comic, but I couldn’t figure out how. How had ¬†done it? Should I still try? Should I give up? Was it worth it? What did I want from my life? I made decisions a couple times, but after each decision I found myself falling back into the same unproductive pattern. About half-way into December a friend told me something about themselves that hit a lightbulb for me. I learned something about myself that made it so I could move forward and be productive again. It gave me ambition! I was going to accomplish things! And then it was Christmas break and I did nothing but play games and watch TV. ūüėõ

So now that I have that information I’m making great strides in becoming a professional from-home worker. I still have a long way to go, but I’m finally moving forward again!

That’s about it for 2016. It was a rough year in more ways that one. I learned things about myself and made about as much backwards progress as I did forwards, but I think I still managed to come out a little bit ahead. Onwards I now head to 2017 with a positive attitude and determination!

Spring Hike 2014 – Timpanogous Cave and Alpine Loop

On May 31, 2014 I went on a hike with my father and husband to Timpanogous Cave. ¬†It was a very nice little spring morning on the shady side of the mountain, which was good since we’re all (except my hubby I guess) kind of out of shape and going up an incline is hard. ¬†We stopped for a lot of breathers. ¬†Taking pictures is a good excuse to stop and breathe, so I took lots of them. ¬†Have a look at some!

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Some kind of plant growing out the side of the rock wall.

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Bird in a tree!

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Some yellow flowers.

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It’s a tiny tunnel.

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A pretty purple-pink flower.

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Millipede!

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My dad taking pictures.

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Look at the contrast of the shadow side of the canyon versus the sunny side!

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I liked how this broken-off branch stump looks like a cloven hoof.

We hiked all the way up to the cave. ¬†It’s kinda up there. ¬†The cave was pretty cool. ¬†Too dark for pictures inside, but beautiful and fun and we had a fantastic tour guide. ¬†Something I found extra cool about this cave was that it had a door! ¬†There was a door in the mountain!

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It looks so cool! I want a story with a door in a mountain now.

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Close-up of the door.

We took long enough in the cave that the sun had moved over the mountain and we walked in the sun on the way down.  Lots of animals ran around and I had fun getting pictures of them.

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Lizard!

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I like the shape of this tree.

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The other side of the cool tree, with my hubby in the background taking pictures of something.

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Some pretty little yellow flowers.

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White flowers.

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Pretty red flowers.

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The red and white flowers together.

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Dangling flowers.

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There were a bunch of humming birds, but they’re hard to see sometimes. I hear them humming and buzzing around and then they zip by so fast. This is the best picture I was able to get of one. We stopped and stood and watched the humming birds for a while, and this little guy came and drank from flowers only three feet away from us. It was pretty cool.

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Chipmunk!

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I am so pleased with my chipmunk pictures! He sat still for a very long time chewing away on his grass seeds.

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Om nom nom.

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They’re so cute. ūüôā

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Yummy nummy grass!

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And then there was a squirrel!

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He was really close the the trail, so I was able to get some nice detail shots for reference.

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Tree roots get everywhere.

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Lichen! Did you know that lichen is made of a fungus with algae living in it? It’s a combination of two different kinds of life.

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More lichen. It looks so cool! I love the colors and patterns and textures.

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Sedum.

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Moss!

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My dad taking a picture of me.

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A thing in the ground.

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I love her outfit!

After the hike my dad drove us around the alpine loop.  Back in the day when he and my mom dated he would drive her around this highway on a Sunday afternoon.  It was really pretty.  Here!  Have some pictures:

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Backside of Timpanogous, I think.

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I liked the composition of this. I noticed this while I rested my arm on the ledge with my camera on.

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Simple mountain road up in the mountain tops.

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Lots of pretty pretty aspen trees!

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Even more pretty aspen trees!

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More pretty trees!

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And some meadows!

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I love mountaintop meadows.

Ta-da! ¬†That was my pretty weekend hike and drive with my Dad and Hubby. ¬†I would do it again. ¬†I must hike more this year! ¬†It’s the only hike we managed in 2014.

Flower Trauma

Saturday I spent the whole day rearranging my mom’s front flower bed. ¬†By the time I finished, I’d moved maybe 1/3-1/2 of the plants and they were all droopy. I traumatized them so bad I still don’t think they’ve recovered all the way. ¬†ūüėõ I made fun of them by standing in the middle and crying, “Traumaaaaaaaaaa!” and also telling them to straighten up and quit being such pansies.

I also handled a centipede, large black beetle, and a honey bee with a broken wing. ¬†It was my first time with a bee. ¬†She was so focused on trying to fix her torn wing she didn’t seem to notice my fingers above her. ¬†She crawled onto my gloved hand, then later crawled up my arm, which made me nervous (it gave me goosebumps on my legs), so I scooped her onto my naked hand before putting her back on my glove. ¬†Then I put her back where I found her when I had to leave.

Exciting times this weekend.

And I’m making a new version of my rice bag dragon. ¬†This time from a pattern I made. ¬†We’ll see how they work out!

Springtime Wander

Ok! ¬†Let’s have another review post! ¬†This past spring I wandered around at work and took a bunch of pictures of the flowers and fruit trees. ¬†So many pretty flowers! ¬†Here, I’ll share some with you. ¬†I took this walk on April, 8¬†2014.

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Apple blossoms! I think.

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More blossoms.

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There’s a bee in this one.

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I like the funny shape of this shelf fungus on the tiny branch.

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Some cool lichen on a branch. I want to take a picture like this and paint something like a fairy in it sometime.

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Baby plants peeking up through the soil.

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Sproutling from another angle.

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And a pretty purple flower. These are grape hyacinths.