February Read: “Nikon D3300 for Dummies”

I have had good luck with the “For Dummies” book series when I need a general, basic introduction to random subjects. Maybe their “Nikon D3300 for Dummies” will be an appropriate place to get acquainted with my Christmas present? I have no idea what white balance is, and don’t know the difference between aperture control and depth of field.

I am familiar with what an F Stop is, that’s a subway stop on Boston’s Charlie, right?  lol…

I’m going for basics, here, obviously.

All of my favorite photos are a result of being in the right place at the right time- totally luck. Sometimes they turn out fabulously, where I wouldn’t change a thing:

Tidepools along the 17 Mile Drive, Monterey, CA
Tidepools along the 17 Mile Drive, Monterey, CA

But sometimes you can see that if armed with a better camera and a little knowledge, what is simply a neat-o photo could have been quite fabulous. Maybe both spiders could have been visible? Could the lighting/focus/depth have been adjusted to really make these beautiful contrasts pop?

A green garden spider on red coleus. provides striking contrast.
A green garden spider on red coleus provides striking contrast.

Maybe by the end of the month I can learn the techniques of how to take much less sucky photos of foods, too! Housework be damned today, I’m off to read and snap some pics.

January Book and Project Wrap Up

I’ve been so focused on daily business that I rarely have done or tried anything new or challenged myself in what felt like YEARS. Bottom line is, running a blog about trying something new daily has become my way to get over the freezing effects of anxiety, to force myself to make decisions and not be afraid to try new things.

After only one month I’ve learned:

  • Trying to coordinate with extended family to attend a theatrical performance is even harder than trying to coordinate an appointment with my son’s ortho and dentist.
  • it is not easy to make Indian food, actually ANY food look good in a photo. Maybe February’s project will help?
  • Family is totally fun to mess with by dragging them into this project!

January’s Project has been to learn how to use WordPress, and although there are a few things I’d still like to figure out (how the heck do I hook up the Twitter and Facebook feeds in the Widget bar? How do I link a “featured image” to its original site? Dianne Parks has beautiful artwork that she graciously allowed me to feature but maybe feature images don’t allow it), at least I have learned the following-

  • How to upload my photos
  • How to link up within a post the web pages to my photos or to those that should be connected to an original site- like the Comic Pearls embedded in my post here.
  • inserting links wasn’t that hard, either,  like this!
  • The tech support chat really does work!
  • I love that I picked a layout for my blog titled “2015,” reminding me of the blog’s overall goal.

January’s Book of the Month, The Happiness Project,” by Gretchen Rubin… I get a kick out of statistics and studies, I’m weird like that, so I’ve enjoyed reading her summary of literature and philosophies, as well as the 12 months of tasks that she chose to explore.

These are a few of the great lines and quotes I found in the book-

  • “I’d often wondered why anger, along with pride, greed, gluttony, lust, sloth, and envy- were the seven deadly sins, because they didn’t seem as deadly as lots of other sins. It turns out that they’re deadly sins not because of their gravity but because of their power to generate other, worse sins. They’re gateway sins to the big sins” p. 47 (italics and bold are mine)
  • Oscar Wilde observed one is not always happy when one is good, but one is always good when one is happy.” p. 54
  • “Like grief has five stages, …happiness has four stages. To eke out the most happiness from an experience, we must anticipate it, savor it as it unfolds, express happiness and recall a happy memory.” p. 108

…and many, many more favorite passages could be listed, because I enjoyed this book tremendously. I definitely recommend “The Happiness Project” to anyone.

In one month I’ve banked two really enjoyable experiences- a new read and and a new skill. Here’s to the anticipating eleven more of each to come!

January Read: “The Happiness Project”

Along with a new project every month, a new book sounds like a great idea!

Both my husband and I picked up a few books while shopping for Christmas, 2013. NEITHER of us read those books. I don’t think I finished an entire book during the entire year of 2014, and in the past I was a voracious reader. What happened? Can I just blame this on Pinterest and Tumblr being so DARN interesting? No? I didn’t think so…

All right then, no more excuses.

The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin
The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin Click the photo to a link to Amazon

This month’s read is “The Happiness Project,” by Gretchen Rubin. I love the alternate title even more: “Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sin in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun”

Got any great reads you’d like to suggest? Please share, I love hearing what others are reading.