Hobbies, My New Pastime

Since graduating nursing school and my short-lived time at a hospital, I’ve been on a 9a-5p schedule since February. It’s amazing. I had seven years of 2nd and 3rd shifts, a ton of weekends and generally being unavailable when the rest of the world was off work. I had forgotten what it was like to have a relatively set schedule that falls in line with day light hours. I still must work the majority of Saturdays but it’s really a small price to pay for a consistent schedule. Now I can plan things with reasonable assurance I’ll be able to do without requesting time off. It’s freeing.

I started a photography class, a continuing ed type, at a local community college back in February. It was my Christmas present to myself. I really loved it. I enjoy school, the learning aspect anyway, and I enjoy it even more when there aren’t grades. I decided to take the next level of photography class this spring. As I was looking through the classes I noticed I wanted to take them all! There was a craft beer class, wine tasting, cooking, ceramics, and language classes.

It feels as if there’s been a shift in my focus. For so long I was focused on getting through school, working full time and generally just trying to keep my head above water. Now I get to slow down and have some fun. I want to do All The Hobbies!!

Of course, that’s not totally practical, at least not to do them all at once. The joy is the possibility. Sure, I have all the normal life adult crap to deal with and home renovation projects to complete but I also have the opportunity to do some stuff just because it’s enjoyable. And to do it without the guilt of knowing I should be doing something else. It’s a good change.

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Home Renovations continue

I have, very slowly, been working on updating my house. While I was in nursing school, yes, like the entire time, we finished our guest room. Before nursing school I painted my office and at that point decided I hated the previous owners. Like a lot. At some point I need to put up some photos of the finished products. After I finished it, my office became my favorite place in the house. I swear it gets the best light and it just turned out so pretty. But I digress.

We have a third bedroom downstairs that was sort of functioning as our junk room. Everything we didn’t have a place for sort of just ended up in there. The carpet is terrible because it’s also the room where we housed a kitten during her first arrival and she tore it up at the doorway. Also, it’s the room where our ceiling leaked which had clearly happened before. We did have all of our books in there on cheap bookshelves we got from Target. Now we are repainting, pulling up the carpet, finishing the floor, and setting it up as a library.

The room had the stupidest chair rail ever. It was stuck out a good 1/2 inch from the wall which didn’t allow for anything to sit flush against it.

I removed it with glee! There was quite the paint story behind it too. I’m going to have sooo much spackling to do.

Wow, look at that orange sherbet color!

There quite an ice storm in lower Michigan today so the plan is to turn on a podcast, rip up some carpet and spackle my little heart out. Wish me luck!

#michaelschallenge

Have you heard about the Hobby Lobby challenge where people were going in to create portraits that didn’t look like they were taken in a craft store? I thought it sounded fun and super cool. But apparently Hobby Lobby employees complained. Michael’s Craft store, seeing an opportunity, jumped in to say do the challenge here. I read this article a little while ago and decided I wanted in on the fun at Michael’s since they were welcoming the challenge and free advertising.

One of my friends decided she was willing to be my victim model. Here’s a few of what we came up with.

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Doing her best “Zoolander” face!

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It’s hard to make a serious face when you’re friend has just shoved into piles of fake flowers.

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There’s a few price tags showing but I like it. I’d like to do some Photoshop with this one but I haven’t started playing with that yet. 

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A very cute older customer was watching us and getting a kick out of this posing 

We had a blast and were laughing the whole time. We did put back everything we used! And Michael’s didn’t care at all. I also found a couple cute Easter decorations on sale. Bonus!!

My next goal is to start learning Photoshop to see what else I can do. Suggestions welcome!

Quick Change and New Orleans Vacation

After some time, okay only seven months, I’m changing jobs again. I’m switching for a more normal schedule which means no more night shifts or twelve hour days. While I didn’t particularly enjoy the hospital schedule I was working it did allow for some days off and sometimes in a row. So, with my last chunk of random free time during the week I grabbed my friend with excess vacation time and took a quick trip. I used google maps to scroll around and find a cheaper flight to someplace warm. Michigan is deep in the snowy season and getting out sounded great. New Orleans, LA was the winner. The flight was probably cheaper because it was just before Mardi Gras. But that was perfect for us, as neither of us wanted the craziness or expense of Mardi Gras. New Orleans also offered 70 degree weather! And sunshine! Plus I’ve been dying to put my new camera to use and New Orleans seems like the perfect place.

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With Mardi Gras coming up soon there were beads everywhere!

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In a cemetery 

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I made my travel buddy get up for the sunrise. Unfortunately it was very cloudy but I got some fun photos anyway.

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New Orleans style coffee & donuts. Yes, I had them all three days I was there.

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Bourbon Street around 7:00pm. The night was just getting started

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The iconic shot of New Orleans

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A loom shop that had some special sales cats

It was a fun quick three day trip. Boy, did I get a bunch of photos too. Some turned out well and, some, not so much. There’s a bit of a learning curve with the new camera.

 

With the start of my new job and normal schedule I’ll be on vacation freeze for six months. That makes me really happy that I fit in a quick trip. With the advantage of a normal schedule I’ll actually get to spend some weekends with my significant other and have other adventures.

New Camera = New Hobby

As I mentioned, I’m looking to pick up some new hobbies this year. I purchased a really fancy camera…well, fancy for me. In the great realm of cameras it is on the “beginners” side but I still find it pretty darn fancy. Later this month I’m taking a class at a local community college to learn how to use it. In the meantime I’ve been playing with it and thought I’d show off some results. You’ll have to excuse the multiple cat photos. They are the most willing available subjects.

Checking out the new things

My Dad's dog during Christmas. There's bacon cooking in the background. She's a happy puppy!

My Dad’s dog during Christmas. There’s bacon cooking in the background.

Out on Belle Isle Conservatory in Detroit

 

 

My sister’s dog. Also during Christmas. Also, quite happy. There were treats.

Also, at the Belle Isle Conservatory

A park behind my house. I was playing with different lens. 

I’m excited for the class to learn about all the functions of the camera. There are so many options that I don’t know how to use yet. I’d like to get outside some more but it’s been so cold around here that there’s just no way I’m torturing myself like that. Brrr.

Impatience

I think of myself as a relatively patient person. I worked with kids for years then I moved on to traumatic brain injury patients. Both jobs relied on keeping cool and being patient with whatever situation arises. Even now, on a regular nursing floor, I understand the importance of being patient even though there are ten million other tasks to complete.

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I rarely have road rage. (Unless someone cuts me off.) I can make a (usually) unbroken cheesecake which requires so much waiting and patience for a properly finished product. I just don’t get riled up easily.

BUT, then there are times when I’m extremely impatient. Waiting in long busy noisy lines gets me. I’m impatient when other people are running late and I’m meeting them. It drives me crazy.  And once I’ve made a decision, I just want it to happen.

This is also the case with New Year’s Resolutions. I just want them to happen. Unfortunately they are all things that take time. As I mentioned, I’m job hunting, and, probably, driving everyone crazy because I’m talking about it so much. I just want to know what that next step is going to be. Now. I want to know now and I want to begin down that path now! However, everything moves slowly in the healthcare world. So I just have to be patient and wait.

I’m a whole 2 days into trying to lose weight…with no results yet. Obviously.

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I’m realistic. Really. But it still tests my patience. I’m trying, so what do you mean I have to wait for results?! How many times do I have to go to the gym and not eat fries before I start seeing results?!?! (I do understand the reality of it all, honestly.)

I’ve got some long roads to go down, I get that. And I’m trying really hard to be patient.

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