Take a Hike

I have many hobbies. Most of them I have cultivated as a means to keep myself entertained in the middle of the night. I have been a night nurse for at least a decade now. I’m usually more active at night than I am in the daytime. Unfortunately, the rest of the normal world is not. Business hours for normal people equates to sleep time for me. In other words, not a whole lot of brick and mortar stores are open during MY waking hours. Therefore, I don’t have a lot of places to go and things to do when I’m awake at night.

Most of my hobbies, then, involve being indoors: scrapbooking, making cards, knitting, crocheting, sewing, making bead jewelry. If you notice, these are activities that, depending on the tools being used, produce as little noise as possible. My cohabitants do not share my circadian rhythm so I need to be as quiet as I can. If I had to do something that would involve making a racket, I usually do those during the early evening or after breakfast time. Notice, too, that these are indoor activities (not including occasional trips to the craft store for supplies). That being said, I don’t go out much, if at all.

All this changed in March of this year. One of my co workers is an avid hiker. She goes traipsing about up and down mountains and hills at least every week. She loves the outdoors and considers it part of her weekly routine. Whenever she has her several nights off in a row, she goes backpacking alone or with friends. At one point, she invited me to come along with her. She took me on an 8-mile out and back hike up to Annette Lake in the North Bend area of the I-90 corridor. I had bought a pair of hiking shoes on a whim a few weeks prior and was excitedly telling her about it at work one night, which eventually led to this invitation. It was the first time in my whole entire life that I have ever gone hiking. My newbie legs were pushed to their limits despite using a pair of loaner trekking poles. I trudged through slippery snow, looking down the slope below me and trying my best not to let my knees turn to jello. You see, I’m afraid of heights. I had visions of me slipping off the frosted slopes and tumbling down to my miserable and painful end. When we reached the lake, I was so impressed by all the nature around me that I did not even notice my aching calves and my sore feet. It was an experience worth remembering. I had a sense of peace and a newer appreciation of the world around me that I carried with me all the way back down to the trail head, and even as I drove home through afternoon traffic afterwards. I have to say, on March 17, 2015 at a summit lake named Annette, a monster was born.

Ever since that day, I yearned to be out more. I began looking up hiking groups to go venturing with. I even tried to recruit my husband to go with me. I’ve gone on a few hikes since then, although not as many as I would have liked. I still check out trails on the wta.org website and make plans for when I’m off for a few days. I’ve even gone up and successfully reached the summit of Mt. Si on my third hike ever. It took me the better part of the late morning and the rest of the afternoon to get up there and back but considering I was (and still is) quite the nature noob, I think that earned me bragging rights to some degree. I’m planning on going up there every year from now on. I have even added a new item on my bucket list: to summit Mt. Rainier before I hit the big four-oh. Right now, I’m slowly amassing gear and nurturing a motivation to get out there and conquer mountains.

So I guess you can add that to my growing list of hobbies. At least I will have one that involves being outside. Even if it’s past my “normal” bedtime.

Diving Headfirst into Programming

As you have probably garnered from exploring my little webdigs, I’m trying my hand at computer programming. For now, it’s mainly designing web pages and learning how to make my page more automated and interactive. On my main page, I’m still trying to figure out how to make the 3 most recent blog posts autopopulate the “blog” section. I figured I would need some knowledge of php and MySQL to do this. I found this book called “Head First PHP & MySQL” published by Oreilly.

This would be the third Head First book I have read so far. I like how they present the content in a fun, “learn as you follow along” way. I enjoy following along with the examples and the feeling of achievement when the examples I follow actually work. And if things don’t go the way they should, I get to look back, compare with the correct code, and see what I did wrong. Somehow, this makes it easier for me to figure out how and why things work.

Anyway, so far, I have a few ideas on how I can make my “blog” section autopopulate. For those who are waaaaay ahead of me in programming skills, go ahead and roll your eyes and call me noob. Just don’t tell me how to do it. I really want to learn to write proper code and do it myself. If all else fails, there’s always the stackoverflow forums and my butt-kicking big brother who speaks several computer languages AND could probably program circles around most of you guys. With these resources in my tool belt, I’m sure I can get this figured out in no time. Until then, wish me luck.

 

PS: I’m doing a little database expirement as part of the exercises in the Head First book. It involves a fictional guy (Owen) looking for his fictional dog (Fang) who apparently got kidnapped by aliens. Play along with me so I can populate my database. click here. If the page is gone, that means I have completed the exercise and have deleted the page from my server. Thanks!!!

Tugging on my Heartstrings

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Two posts in one day! I’m certainly making up for lost time. Now that I have my new website up and running, I can’t wait to fill it up with content. I do have a few pages I haven’t shared yet and even more pictures to scrap. This one is for a sketch challenge over at Scrapbook Circle. It was made right before I started taking notes on which supplies I use on each page. Also, I have some bits and pieces from kits that I don’t have the packaging for so I can’t remember which brands they are. More than likely, it’s either from Studio Calico or from one of Scrapbook Circle’s many gorgeous monthly kits. I subscribe to both of them and enjoy getting my monthly pizza boxes. There is actually a pile of them atop my craft cabinet. I’m still contemplating what to do with them. I don’t want to throw them away just yet since I think I will be able to repurpose them for something wonderful. Suggestions are welcome and encouraged.

These photos were taken when I last went to visit family in the Philipines, almost 3 years ago to the day. Nothing lightens up the mood during a 12+ hour commute like that grin and the squealing laughter. It almost makes you forget you’re in a tightly packed van with at least 12 other family members (grumbling, pouty tweener included). This little one is now a a rambunctious little toddler, and the tweener will soon be an official teen. Oh how they grow up so fast. I’m very thankful that I have these memories of his adorable face to keep and look back on. Also, it would make for some fun throwback Thursdays in the future.

Stop and Enjoy the View

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Every now and then we get caught up with the everyday stress of life: work, bills, dysfunctional relationships. We often forget to stop and take stock of things. We get so preoccupied with what is happening in our little bubble that we start to think the world is coming to an end.

It helps to look outside ourselves and our little bubble once in a while. We start to see the world in a different perspective. We notice the bigger picture. This was what I realized one morning when, as I was making my way home from yet another grueling night at work, I looked out of the window of our building’s sky bridge and saw this tree. I have walked past this tree many times before and have only been vaguely aware of its existence until that morning. I saw the beautiful blossoms on its branches that reminded me that no matter what happened today, spring will come and life will continue.

Since that morning, I have reminded myself often to pause and look out the window. I encourage you to do the same. The view will surprise you if you stop long enough to see what is outside.

Supplies: Patterned Paper (American Crafts Mayberry Collection, Echo Park Note To Self Collection), Alphas (Studio Calico, My Mind’s Eye Now and Then), Embellishments (Chickaniddy Crafts, Studio Calico, Elle’s Studio Cienna Veneers, Simple Stories DIY Journal layers), Inks (Mister Huey Color Mist: Ocean, Ranger Black Archival Ink)

Hello World… Again!!!

the kitty says hello

There should be confetti and joyous clapping but alas, I have not mastered that web skill just yet. For now, “kitty says hello” will have to suffice. Phew! What a journey it has been. I put my blog on hiatus for a few months so I could work on my website. It was a rather interesting adventure. Starting out as a total noob to the wonderful world of web design, a few books later, here we are. How do you like my main page? I came pretty close to giving up and taking the slacker’s way out with the slideshow. I could’ve just used a premade slideshow plugin and be done with it but then that would defeat the purpose of this whole endeavor. I wanted to learn how to do it and I wanted to figure out how it worked. I guess you could say that at this very moment, that little slideshow is my crowning achievement. What do you think?

Also, this blog theme is another semi DIY. I wanted it to mesh with the rest of the site so I played around with parent themes, edited stuff here and there, and even accidentally deleted my blog’s database at least twice… that I know of. I had to reinstall wordpress from scratch twice, tweak my stylesheet again and again so I can get it juuuuust so!

Oh, and check out the logo up top!!! Cute? I also love that the header stays in place when you scroll up and down. That way, if you do get lost along the way, finding your way back is super easy.

I’ve just tested the website out on my iphone and so far, it’s still a work in progress. It would be uber lovely to have quite the responsive webpage so I won’t have to lug around a laptop just to view it. Mayhaps, a bit more research…

Anyway, feel free to look around. There’s not much to see at the moment but I do have plenty of goodies in store. There will be crafty stuff, pretty pictures, artwork, and even a library of nursey things that my fellow nurses might find useful.

I will be updating the website and the blog every now and then so don’t be surprised if it happens to look a bit askew every now and then. That’s just me testing things.

Well, I still have quite the to-do list so I better get on my way. See you again soon!!!

PS: feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you think of the new “webdigs”.