January’s Over And I Dunno How

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Yup, I’m still trying to figure how that happened too. But 31 days have passed with the blink of an eye and we’re fully stuck in 2019.

It’s been an interesting month, that’s for sure.

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We welcomed the New Year the proper way: getting two big bags of popcorn and watching Lord Of The Rings.

I got to go on a retreat- and that was pretty relaxing. Fun. Peaceful. Plus I got to photograph the stars. 😀

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School started and we all collectively died.

Started working on secret project that’s pretty fun/death inducing.

The Long End aired and I DIED. BUCK- JULES- THE MELTSNERS- SKINT- WOW. Like wow. Mindblown. Mom wondered why I was screaming after the first part aired.

Started reading through the New Testament- and I’m in 1 Corinthians now! I think. Ish. Wait, maybe that was another translation.. huh..

Speaking of the New Testament, really enjoyed having Bible studies over videochat. 😉

A couple times I was sitting down to write posts but ending up watching something with my family instead. The posts can wait. But not my family, Incredibles 2, The Last Jedi, Antman & The Wasp, or Black Panther. Incredibles 2 was AWESOME. Also, if you haven’t checked out the short Bao DO IT. *dies* It’s so good. I’m watching that whenever I can, it’s just really really nice to have some non-stereotypical representation you know? 😀

There were 2 gigantic snowstorms and thus, two snow days. Which means freezing cold and beautiful pictures.

It also means getting to go sledding… even though.. uh… technically..

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I’m pretty sure that sign’s décor. Right? I mean, you can’t be a Canadian and not sled. Sorry. No can do. It’s like taking away Tim Hortons. As a citizen of this fine country, I was exercising my right-

Okay. Okay. Still, it was fun though. Hanging on for dear life as the elements attack you? *thumbs up*

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Had a bunch of people ask me why I was wandering around the premises in the dead of winter, wind blowing, camera out, in a skirt (as if that’s a bad thing) no less, taking random pictures. I guess I did look kinda weird- but honestly, I’m past caring. XD besides, I got good pictures. B)

Interviewed a bunch of kids and failed dramatically.

Released a new audio drama! 😀 Which you can check out on the Audiosmiths page here.

I guess this month has been about finding a balance. Some stability. I’ve had a hard time figuring out school, and as you know, blogging has been random, and there’s just been so much to process and sometimes, taking that one step is tricky. Y’know?

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But I think I’m getting there. Over time. 🙂

Anyway, it’s February now. Also the month I started blogging. *hollers and shrieks* how has it been one year since I started into this vast and crazy and wonderful and strange thing called blogging? I don’t know.

So I’m looking forward to that. As well as secret project 1 and secret project 2. And yes I have two. And no, I’m not telling you what they are. Yet. 😛

I think this post is done.

Oh wait, I still have to pick faves. Right. XD

Favorite Book

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I borrowed this way back in December and only now got around to reading it. smh I wish I read it sooner- it’s an sweet story about a girl who has OCD, and honestly, I really connected with her, even though we couldn’t be anymore different. I’d love to write this kind of book one day. 😀

 

 

Favorite Song

Do I honestly have to pick? You know as well as I do that I caaaaan’t XD- I actually have three.

Rend Collective’s Life Is Beautiful is beautiful. I think after like, the 20th time listening to it, I got my brother to use it for praise & worship- it’s that good.

And uh…. this is mushy, but I really liked Falling Slowly from Once the musical..

and  38 Planes/Somewhere In The Middle Of Nowhere from another musical, Come From Away. But I’m not linking that, too much mush for the day. XD (Actually, you probably shouldn’t check out anything from either of these musicals except The North Strand from Once. That one’s catchy. XD)

Favorite Quote

I think I like musicals more than I care to admit. XD

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Now this post is done. XD Seeya on the next one!

Life is a highway,

Jo

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I Got Lost On A Retreat (But I survived! :D) And I Have Pictures To Tell The Tale

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Well, this is gonna be a random typical post with a random typical person and random typical pictures, glad you could stop by! 😀 Heya everyone! Happy Monday and the start of a long painful slow death.

I don’t know if you guys like travel posts, but I sure do! So, here goes before my brother finds our DVDs and I have to start school. XD

Anyway, last weekend was a pretty amazing weekend, one being that it was the weekend and two being that I got to go on my church’s youth winter retreat, which is a big deal considering there’s only like 10 of us and the last retreat was way back in 2008. And I fell hard for the whole thing.

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The world was quiet there. Still. Cold. Welcoming. The roads just stretched on and on and if I had the wheel, I wouldn’t have stopped driving. I also woulda crashed. 😛 But thankfully, neither happened. What did happen was a staying up late Bible study wherein we talked about the Rapture (still trying to figure out why), pizza, worship, and goofing around. Oh, and playing cards past 2. And than sharing our testimonies til 3.

I dunno, it was weird, but it was nice, too. 🙂

But forget that- that’s not the best part. XD

I’ve been trying for weeks now to practice shooting in manual- which is so stinkin’ hard at night- and when we came there I immediately let everyone know I wasn’t gonna follow lights out because the stars were there and who needs sleep when you have the stars?

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So while everyone was playing cards, I walked around the place. Quiet. Still. Semi-creepy. I like to think I got better at night photography.

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As for the stars themselves… I TRIED KAY. I tried.

Also, it’s humanly impossible to rewrite the stars friends. They’re too far up.

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That was… pathetic.

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Also pathetic. I can’t believe I took this at a shutter speed of 30 seconds, and this was all I got. *facesmacks* Someone give me tips or something please.

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Slightly better.

I was so excited when I took these photos though- I actually laid on the ground and raised my camera up- remind me to bring a tripod next time. XD I’m pretty sure I left tons of room for improvement- but hey, I walked around in the cold air by myself and had my lens fogged up. It was worth it. 🙂

And then I did the same thing again after like.. 4 hours of sleep because I was busy muttering Galatians at 3 and insomnia wasn’t a friendly, but it was morning, the sun was coming up, and there’s a part where Gale convinces her mom to let her stay up early to shoot the sunrise.

I wasn’t gonna let the opportunity slip by my window!

I even got two very groggy friends to come with me at 7:14 AM. And we set out in jammies.

No sun.

Nothing. Nada.

Rats!

Again, though, it was worth it- no regrets here. 😀

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There’s a lot of good memories.

Jogging to the lodge for breakfast and covertly sneaking bacon.

Feeling silly because we had to sing  really upbeat version of Jesus Loves Me.

Spending the morning reading the Word.

Scrambling to the gym and playing volleyball. Losing. I can’t serve- my dumb fist can take a punch, but not a spike. -_-

Playing ball hockey with a friend (also dude, thanks for not rubbing it in my face that I’m bad at it)

Trying to reach a ridiculously high curl up bar.

Giving up and heading outside where it was quiet and still and peaceful.

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Laughing at the poor unfortunates who trapped themselves in the cycle of fear that was the see-saw, and vowing to post their reactions online. I didn’t because I’m nice.

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Walking to the tiny lake and skipping rocks over the frozen surface. It made a satisfying thud sound.

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Scaling a tree and staying there while everyone was busy trying to throw a rock to the other side. And failing. I have a lot of blackmail to use now.

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Walking around, laughing with friends, forgetting that I’m not 10 and school starts day after tomorrow and so much is depending on me not messing up. Enjoying fresh air and being goofy. (Well, I’m always goofy but you know what I mean)

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Eating lunch and not caring about the lack of internet or that I didn’t bring my laptop, because who needs a screen when there a people around you and you’re here, aren’t you? 🙂

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Getting lost and just taking picture after picture because finally, manual works, hooray! I also really like these pictures. I got something really close to a sunflare. 😀

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Just enjoying being alone and happy because I could walk wherever I wanted and not worry about my parents being worried I’d be kidnapped and taken to Budapest to work for the FBI. XD When you’re close to the city, everything’s gotta be worried about.

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Hammering out tunes on the old piano in the corner.

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Driving away and just staring at all the farms and barns and horses and honestly, the scene reminds me of Just Come Home and now I really wanna finish that book XD Who knew two hours of fields was the push I needed? Not me.

I think I’ve rambled on long enough- but I’ll finish with saying that I’m grateful I got to go. I was planning to grumble about it to myself, but I guess God changed my heart because I have so much to be grateful for about that. For bacon, duh. For wandering. For the woods. For that guy who believed I could jump a fence if I tried hard enough. For friends. For family. For being challenged to love the Bible more.

What did I just say about rambling XD

Alright. Get to work guys- have a great Monday!

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Hopes, Dreams, and Unrealistic Aspirations

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WARNING LONG POST AHEAD PROCEED AT OWN CAUTION

Hi again, lovely people of the internet!

By the time you read this (since I was waay too verbose last time) it’ll be January. 1. 2019.

*screams*

“I wasn’t prepared for this. We can’t let them know anything.”- Kira

Truer words have never been spoken, Kira. But I *am* letting you know some things… not quite sure why.

Ohhh, right! Because I thought it would be a good idea! *facesmacks* It doesn’t seem too bad right now, so… uh…here goes. 🙂

2019 Goals

Life Goals

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  • Get a job. Somehow, someway, I’d really really like to work and save money for even more future stuff- if that’s what God wants. But even not, doing some thing that’s a little more serious than a fandom. 😛
  • Wake up early and get stuff DONE. For Christmas break, my gift to myself was slacking off on everything. Including important, essential things like devotions. And I don’t want to admit that, but I have to. Because starting now, I want to change that, and start being productive.
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With my feet propped up, a’course!
  • Read the whole New Testament and get into Bible Bee’s Summer Study. Last year (which feels like yesterday, probably because it was) I was so blessed by digging deeper into God’s word, and I don’t think I can explain that. It’s so awesome to study the Bible not because anyone says you have to, but because you want to. So I’m looking forward to this!
  • School. Crush it. Defeat the boss villain, move to next level. ‘Nuff said. Oh, and start seriously learning French. And look at ops around.
  • Train.  And by train I mean exercise. Because I’d love to get stronger in that area.
  • Learn as many life skills as I can at this age. They’re life skills. I’ll need them. Some of em are fun!
  • Go to a buskerfest. And get a buskering permit. I doubt I’ll crush this goal, but it won’t be for lack of trying. *grabs hammer*
  • Get offscreen for more than I am on. As much as I love Pinterest, I won’t let it take away time I could use to use other worthy things. Besides, I don’t want to be that kid that never sticks her head out to see the sky.
  • Develop my photography. Compared to my first picture here, I’d glad to say that I’ve grown a tad in the mastery of the lens. But I have a long way to go. So I’d really like to learn to use manual. XD
  • MORE ANDREW PETERSON MUSIC YES BOIII

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Wordy Goals

  • read 100 books. I’m really, really looking forward to this! And I’m counting books of the Bible so technically, I’ve already read four of the hundred I have to read! 😀 But yup, 100 books. Some of which may include War and Peace (HA!) some YA, and alphas. I really love the alpha part XD
  • finish, edit and rewrite Just Come Home. Ahhh, my wittle baby WIP is a year old already! *sighs* It’s gonna take some work, but I’m so doing this. You can’t stop me. It’s not your funeral, after all.
  • look into publishing. O_O WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT DID I SAY WHAT. I hve no clue where to start, I mean, it’s almost 100% sure I’m self-publishing, because honestly, who would take that? But again, if this doesn’t happen, it won’t be because I didn’t try!
  • write at least 500 words a day. I wish I could be meta and go for 1k1day, but I need to LIVE XD so I’m gonna set a reasonable amount for myself. I don’t know what I’ll write, but I’m looking forward to it! (fanfic, short stories, and poems, most likely *cough cough*) (maybe a novel or two) (I haven’t forgotten you Mirages)
  • actually respond to pen pals. 
  • join NaNo. Crush NaNo. Die in NaNo. 
  • Fill up my old notebooks. I have a bunch of old, good notebooks that wouldn’t be used. But I’m gonna take them. And write. Probably drek like on this blog. But it’ll be better than mindlessly scrolling through the web, right?
  • write in this lovely!

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The cover the cover da coverrrrr yay!

I can’t wait to write in it!

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Blogging Goals

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“Awwww yay!” you cry. “The actually fun stuff!”

Ha. Well, what do we have here…

  • have a blogsiversary.  >:) *laughs evilly* I’ve been blogging for practically a whole year, how?? But I know what I’m doing to “celebrate”. And it will be fun. 😉
  • start writing quality posts. I’m the lord of the random, and everything on this blog and this blog itself, is a result of that. So I wanna up the ante and make it a tad more purposeful.
  • enter a few contests and challenges. Like BIBPC. Ohhh and speaking of, Megan, I GET TEN EXTRA POINTS BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAH Because this is my picture for Category 4!

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I couldn’t change the file name.. but THAT IS A DONKEY. And I’ve saved that just for you since March! 😛 HA! HA! HA! *is so happy right now*

Ahem. Moving on.

  • Design some blogs. If you’re interested, I put up a Services page, so if you want to redesign your blog or need a new button, header, signoff, widgets, or whatever, I’d love to work with ya! And Rebekah’s helping me out too, so I won’t mess anything up! 🙂
  • Keep things running at Welcome To Odyssey. As you know, AIO is my fandom and my fandom is AIO, so I love ranting about everything under the sun that even remotely has something to do with AIO, so I’m looking forward to this!
  • figure out my YT channel. It’s pathetic.

 

B9EF66FA-B504-491B-A2BD-B0E1A3ECDE3BRandom Fun Goals (we’re almost over, hang in there :P)

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  • record more songs and make more audio dramas as part of the Audiosmiths. As bad as my voice is, I love singing.. and I love acting, so win-win! XD
  • beat someone, ANYONE, at checkers! My good friend Denise gave me this awesome set for my birthday, and then proceeded to beat me at checkers.

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WAH.  But ahem. Learning, and playing more offscreen games in general is a plus I’m looking forward to. 🙂

  • go outside more. 
  • dream. 
  • try to keep a thankfulness journal. 
  • eat bacon.
  • make someone smile. 

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Yesterday, I got this framed from a friend.

And I think that’s gonna be my… quote of the year, or whatever.

Call to Me and I will answer you. And show you great and mighty things which you do not know. -Jeremiah 33:3

From the looks of everything, I have it all under control (HA!) But the truth is, I don’t know just what’s going to happen. But God does.

I’m looking forward to the great and might things He has for me, and until then, I’m gonna trust Him and keep driving this hard drive. It has some awesome views along the way.

May the roads be as bumpy as you can handle, that you’ll find rest, and you’ll be fueled up for a hard- but joyful drive. 🙂

 

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The Things You Learn At An Ice Rink

Hewwo people! Carol of the day (yes, I know I’m behind but whatever, I won’t die :P) is up, so if you wanna give that a listen while you read this post, be my guest! 🙂

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(None of the images are related to skating, my bad. I couldn’t take pictures and skate at the same time!)

If you pop in at the arena I go to every Saturday from 2:15 to 3:00, you won’t find much. Gleaming, shiny, smooth, cold, beautiful ice, yes. Random pop music playing on the radio. A water fountain. And that’s it. That and just a few people going round and round in circles.. and yet I’ve learned a bunch from them and skating with them.

Weird, I know. But it’s true.

You learn to look out for others other than yourself. See, the great thing about indoor rinks and early free skates is that practically nobody shows up. Which is good for us people who don’t want to be smacking into someone every other second. But it also means you can see more people fall. Especially little kids. And I guess what you do from then is up to you. You can just keep skating, or you can call out an “Are you okay?” as you skate. I prefer the latter, and apparently a bunch of other kids do. It’s actually how I’ve gotten to know some people at the rink. Most of the time you hear a “yeah, I’m good!” from those plucky kids with the little bit too loose skates, but occasionally you’ll get the “you know my brother? Yeah, that guy? Don’t trust him! Believe me, that’s worth it.  And then you have the tiny babies who’re learning to walk on ice and you have to stop to watch them toddle and it’s. so. adorable. you. can’t. even. my. heart. So yeah, you notice other people. Mostly so you don’t hit them.

There’s plenty of room for improvement.  Every time, there are these guys. You know the type. The awfully amazing speed skater/hockey player/ice dancers who are seriously so good everyone’s left in the ice shavings their skates make. You think you’re doing good, then whoosh! There’s some guy going at the speed of light right past you! If you’re me, you either a. groan b. skate faster to try to keep up with these guys. And half the time, they’re nice and don’t mention it. They might even give you a few tips, like this one helpful fellow last Saturday. And I mean, everyone falls here, so no prides to worry about offending. Which is great.

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Skating is therapeutic. At least for me. There’s been so many times when I’m down or stressed (like I am all the time)  or mad or have way to much energy, and skating helps a lot with that. Gliding on ice, going faster, laps, skating backward, hey even falling helps! 😛

Finding a balance is important. Once in a while you get those mini panic attacks that happen when you lean just a bit too much and you flail your arms and shift your skates and hope to the Zamboni you don’t fall over, and that, my nonexistent dear, is where balance comes in. Focusing on not toppling over, focusing on your balance is seriously important stuff. For life too. But mostly skating.

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When you fall, get back up. The first thing I learned when I was first learning how to skate was to fall. I was five. Falling was my expertise. I fell a whole lot, and usually my skate time would be worrying about if I’d fall. And the second thing I learned was to get back up. It’s okay to fall, but it’s even better if you get back up and do it again. And again. And again. Don’t give up. it’s hard, but it’s pretty simple. Get back up. Boy, you won’t believe how easy it is to get up when you see a kid half your size sprawl over and immediately pop back up and dash on the ice, crowing, “skating is fun!” while a whole hockey team is telling the little guy to slow down, for goodness’ sake! Cause if that kid can do it, so can you. Unless it’s fit into a tiny hole. Then you can’t do it even if the kid can.

Okay, I’m done here. I need to go stretch. XD But point: you’re gonna learn things you don’t expect to in the most unexpected places. Make the most of it. 🙂

Seeya!

 

Sa Wakas! (Or, In English, At Last!!!) (Random Photography+ Summer Recap+ Boring Plans Nobody Wants To Read)

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First off, I am really, really, reaaaaly glad my pictures are visible again.

Also, second off, if it seems I’m using a lot of Tagalog phrases, there’s a good reason for that. One of my charries is a second generation Filipino, which I’ve been wanting to write for a while.

Anyway, how are you world?

Not very good, I know, I know. But you’re still spinning and coping, and inching away from summer all the same. Take a break, why don’t you?

(Actually no keep spinning, we’d be in huge trouble if you didn’t!)

Summer’s officially over.

And I– don’t mind?

How odd.

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It’s been a great summer. A hard one, but a great one nonetheless.

Let’s see..

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May was a happy month. May was when my sister flew back home, we drove to Buffalo, the cherry blossoms bloomed, and I started working on Mirages. May was a giant birthday prank, with lots of secret texting and emailing. May was joining Bible Bee, not realizing how much it would change my life. May was when summer warmed up, May was when it was all okay, May was the calm before the calm before the storm.  (That’s intentional)

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June was a whopper.

Lemme just say that.

In June, I got to fly out and see family. Family. And my folks’ definition of family extends to the inlaws’ inlaws. Somehow we all fit and it’s awesome. I got to hang out with cousins I haven’t seen in 4 years. And steal donuts. June was heavy plotting month. PLOT PLOT PLOT. It was fun. June was when I first met my Camp NaNo cabinmates, some of whom I’d just met and quickly became close friends.

And June was when I got my DSLR and life through these lens has never been clearer.

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July was HARD.

Yet somehow it wasn’t quite the storm.

Still, it was HARD.

July was Camp NaNo. July was Niagara Falls and Royal Ontario Museum and deep downtown Toronto and fireworks and late-into-the-night-discussions.  *gulps* July was typing away for dear life, blasting music at 100% at 1 AM, July was gulping all the bacon crumbles, July was all the “nobody asked you to join Camp NaNo” and the “you spend too much time writing” and the “do something more productive with your time” and the “go read a book” and pushing and failing and giving up and not giving up.

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July was cabinmates who were really friends who knew me too well and yelled at me not to give up. July was a caring, interested person who thought I was a hard worker and treated me like an equal. July was a sticky hot summer day spent under the shade of a tree. July was a surgery, anxious waiting. July was all the accusations fired and finding solace in the Word.  July was dreams refusing to be dashed.

July was no sleepy month.

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August was a downpour.

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August was me wrestling with a lot of questions, hoping to find the truth. August was rest from Camp NaNo. August was bonding with friends I didn’t know cared. August was baseball, and the smell of leather.

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August was the crickets chirping late at night, August was reading past nonexistent bedtimes, August was re-reading my stories and making new ones. August was silent stares, and earphones on almost perpetually. August was being up at 7 am washing dishes and belting out songs that surprisingly didn’t wake anyone up. August was watching the sunrise. August was intense Bible study that I loved and memorization and Greek words and the joy of knowing God more than I ever did before. August was teaching an eager girl how to secretly take pictures, and helping kids climb and swing from bars and block punches. Don’t ask. August was music, and words, and pictures. August was trying to find a safe place.

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It still is.

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It’s only at the end of summer we’re grateful for it, why is that? 😛

And that’s been my summer.

Before I’d be griping that we couldn’t go camping or to an amusement park or hiking or to the fair, or any of the other things I saw other kids doing, and I wanted to but never did.

This summer I wanted to take every opportunity that came my way. I wanted to take it, no matter what.

And I did.

And for that, I am grateful.

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And now September’s coming and the recap is done and I’m left asking myself something.

Now what?

I know I wanna continue growing in the Lord. I know I wanna write my stories.

But I don’t know much else.

I don’t know how I’m gonna commute to my first job, if I get one next year. I don’t know if my stories will ever be good enough. I don’t know how I’m gonna handle school. I don’t know what will happen during Christmas break. I don’t know how the year will end, or the next year begin. I don’t know and all these speculations are filling my head too much.

I know God does.

And that’s enough for me.

All the intricate details of my life, I can leave in His hands.

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But I do know that writing is gonna level up. I love my stories, and maybe they’re worth being told.

Maybe after I finish Mirages, I can finish What Goes On In A Small Town, and polish those. Maybe I can start Remember Me, and maybe I can write Skirt Girl And The Hockey Rink.

I can’t wait.

So goodbye summer. I won’t forget you anytime soon.

 

 

 

 

Scribble Scrabble Again!

 

Today,I choose tobe happy!

Greetings and salutations! I hope you all are having a lovely Sunday!  (And yes, I changed my theme again don’t ask my blog is going through an identity crisis ok?)

This past weekend I have had so many things I wanted to tell you about, but they were too little to put into individual posts, hence, Scribble Scrabble! Ok, let’s go, because I’m stuffed with Sour Patch Kids and I’m on a sugar high!

Happy Mother’s Day!

 As you all are aware of, today is Mother’s Day. Make sure you greet your moms and hug them and give em a break today!

My mom is a master of multi-tasking. She can cook, clean, homeschool, and take a call all at the same time. I have trouble just doing one of those things! (Happy Mother’s Day Mom! I love you!)

A Walk Through The Cherry Blossoms

Yesterday my family drove to a park to see the cherry blossoms! We passed by the lake to get to the park. *sighs*  The water’s edge is so peaceful.

 

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A charming little house by the lake.

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We got to the trees, some of which, sadly, were knocked down by the fierce winds we’ve had lately. The blooms were still up to admire, though!

(And no I didn’t edit any of the pictures because that’s too much time I’d rather spend blogging so don’t blame me if it’s too grey.)

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There were other flowers that were equally lovely to see!

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(Except that this is a cool- looking dried up fountain not a flower.)

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Back to the blossoms this time!

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I spotted this really cool but really scary – is it a hawk, or an osprey? I can never tell from where I am.

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More cherry blossoms! And I felt sorry for these poor cherry blossom petals that were tossed to the side so I had to take a picture of them.

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There were lots of birds out there, including this orange-shouldered oriole. The bird kept lifting his head up exactly when I was about to take a picture of it! Very vain, photogenic bird.

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The road less taken.

 

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On our way to the car I saw this squirrel perched on a high tree branch, not moving a muscle. That one was very determined..

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 Thus concludes what is known as Scribble Scrabble. I hope you’ve enjoyed, and whatever you do always, always, ALWAYS stretch before playing a rigorous game of basketball or any kind!

ALWAYS.

Your muscles will thank you very much for it.

Thanks for reading!