Country roads

I went to visit my family this weekend. I grew up in the country, and when I go back on beautiful, sunny weekends like this one, it makes me realize how much I miss it! I love my appartment and my life in the city, but summer-like days just beg to be spent outside, with no hum of traffic, by the water, with a nice cold drink.

I am very much like my mom in a lot of ways. We both love old things. Houses, books, barns, family history. On Sunday, I wanted to go out and take some pictures, so my mom and I drove around on some country roads (which are just called roads, at home) for a couple of hours. Here’s what came out of it.

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It was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon with my momma!

Snow yoga

Dear snow,

I’m sorry I complained about you last week. To make up for it, I shared with you one of the most important things to me. Yoga.

I was very excited about this photo shoot. I went out to the park, then hid somewhere on the path so all the skiers wouldn’t see me posing in front of my tripod. I thought I was all awesome-photographer, now that I’ve got a fancy new camera and I’m taking a photography class. Not quite. My photos didn’t turn out exactly like I wanted, but they’re still pretty cool.

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It was quite slippery on the snow, so my alignment is a little off. I even have a yoga blooper! Love the look on my face as my feet were slipping.

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All that being said, Snow, please don’t visit again until next year!

Challenge me

I like challenges. I’ve done two 30-day yoga challenges, one no-spending month and Dressember since I started blogging last March. I’ve also done the photo-a-day challenge last February and May. I tried again in July, but my summers always lack structure, so it didn’t get very far!

Here is the list for February. I thought about participating, especially since I got a new camera and am taking a photography class, but I don’t know. The first prompt is really not inspiring me.

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I’ve been looking for a challenge for February, because it works as motivation. I know I can challenge myself to go to yoga everyday, but it’s not the same. I need more. There are some crazy challenges out there. Here are a few I found:

– No-chocolate February (Why? Really, why?)

– Flexible February (Stretch every day. I’m guessing yoga counts?)

– Fat Free February (I get it, but I don’t want to do it.)

– February Anime Challenge (I wouldn’t even know where to start with this one. Also, this has never interested me. So, no.)

– February in Russia reading challenge (I have never made it through Anna Karenina.)

None of these really appeal to me. I loved the fashion apsect of Dressember, but it’s very cold now, so a fashion challenge would be, well, challenging. This one looks like fun, but like I said, Canadian winter/ice/snow/cold/wind up my skirt here.

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A challenge works best if it’s something I love, like yoga, dresses and photos. I also love blogging, so I think I’ll challenge myself to post every day. I need something to blog about, so maybe this will motivate me practice yoga, even when it’s cold and I’m tired, take lots of pictures and wear dresses (under my snow suit).

Are you participating in any interesting challenges this month?

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Winter cottage life

You know you live in Canada when you say “It’s only minus 18 degrees outside, let’s go for a walk!” (For my American readers, minus 18 degrees celcius is 0 degrees Fahrenheit.) It was cold all week. And I mean cold, even for Canadians. The temperature was around minus 25 all week, with a wind chill making it feel like minus 30, and colder! Like most people, I spent a lot of time indoors.

I had a weird neck issue all week, so I couldn’t even do yoga. I finally went to see a massage therapist on Saturday, and I am happy to announce that I can now turn my head from side to side without making an “ow, this hurts” face. I felt like a robot all week, turning my whole body to talk to people. I don’t think the cold helped my neck at all.

I had planned to go to a yoga class this morning, then out to brunch with a friend, but decided yesterday to cancel, fearing that my neck might not be ready. I was right. I have mobility, but I feel like I got run over by a truck.

So, yesterday, after deciding to go yet another two days without yoga, I went to visit some friends at their cottage. I was planning on staying for dinner, then coming home, but since I had canceled my yoga date, I stayed overnight.

We had homemade pizza and apple pie, then played a game of “Name the country’s capital” (Yes, we are dorks.) It was hard. I’m not as smart as I thought I was.

This morning we went for a walk, since it was so mild out. (And by mild, I am referring to the -18.) I had my new camera with me and I was on the lookout for photogenic trees, as my assignment for my photography class was to take a picture of a tree. I wanted a picture where the tree was in focus, but the backround was blurry. This one is my favourite.

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I was on the roof when I took this picture. It was nice and sunny, so we hung out for a while.

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I’m also really happy with this picture. It’s pretty and it looks the way I wanted it too! I love that I’m starting to figure this out.

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All in all, it was the perfect winter weekend, even with my sore neck and cold weather. There’s always fun to be had, pictures to take and people to laugh with. Winter’s meant to be enjoyed. Next up, skating and snowboarding!

You don’t take a photograph, you make it

I enjoy taking pictures. I’ve never called it photography, because I know there’s more to it than pointing and clicking. Sometimes, my snapshots look good, and usually, they capture the moment, which is what I’m after. Sometimes though, I know what I want the picture to look like, and I can’t do it. I can see the picture in my mind, but it doesn’t come out the way I want it to.

I’ve been wanting to learn how to take good pictures for a while now. It’s number 47 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. Writing this blog has made me want to take a photography class even more, since I don’t think a blog post is complete without photos. So I did it. I signed up for an 8 week photography class and the first one was tonight.

I’m not sure if I learned anything new tonight, because it was pretty basic stuff, but it was interesting. Oh, I did learn something. Out of the millions pf people who buy cameras, only about 4% will take a class to figure out how to use their camera properly.

Speaking of new cameras, I bought myself a treat. After Christmas, there were amazing, a-million-percent-off sales, and I got a new toy. It’s a Canon Rebel T3. I’m still not sure exactly what that means, but several people had the same one as me in the class tonight.

Isn’t it lovely?

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It has all kinds of fancy buttons and it can do pretty much anything, like stop time and levitate. Ok, so maybe not, but that’s what it feels like now, because I don’t know how it works.

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I guess it’s a good thing I’m taking a class.

I bought it a few weeks ago, and I didn’t want to wait until class started to learn how to use some of the fancy functions, so I went to see my cousin Annie, who is a photographer. She gave me a crash course and I tried to take pictures where the backround is blurry. It made sense when I was there. Now, well, I think I forgot part of it. Maybe I can go to my weekly class and also have private lessons.

This is my favourite photo taken with my new camera, so far.

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I also like this one. I didn’t take it. (Obviously. I’m in it.) Annie did. I love how the big kids are interested in the gum from my purse, while the little one is all about the wallet!

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I’m looking forward to playing with my new toy and sharing some lovely photos! My assignment for next week is to take a picture of a tree. Humm. I wonder if tree pose counts?

Every day is the best day of the year

This past year has been filled with so many wonderful experiences and memories. I’ve started this blog and tried new things. I’ve met new people, lost good people and held many babies. I’ve played in the snow, the ocean and the forest. I have tried, although it was not always easy, to enjoy each and every moment life has given me. Here is my year in photos.

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I was inspired by this week’s photo challenge, which was “My 2012 in photos”. The suggestion was to use one photo per month, but that was impossible! There were so many wonderful moments to share, 12 photos would never have been enough. Even with all these pictures, I feel like there are important moments missing. It’s just a snapshot of my life. I’m happy I take so many pictures!