2016 – Challenge.

Years ago I spent a lot of money on a DSLR camera. Since that purchase, I have used the camera enough times to warrant the purchase, but I have not moved forward in pursuit of bettering my photography skills. This year, I hope to fix that. Granted, these photos are mediocre, but I’m hoping throughout the year I will improve.

I’ll be posting probably once a week, even though I’ll be taking the pictures daily. Maybe if I’m feeling particularly adventurous, I’ll post the pictures after I take them. I wouldn’t recommend holding your breath for that one though.

The challenge is called Capture Your 365, and I’ll be tagging it as such despite the fact that this year will have 366 days in it.

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Catching Up With Pictures

Monday marked the beginning of Photo 101, a course put on by WordPress that I happened to be very excited about. If you are following my blog, then you have probably noticed that I have yet to participate in any of the daily challenges so far. Yes, it’s already day three and I am behind.

That is because Monday also marked the beginning of a new position at work.

This week I started my subbing position as a SEA; that stands for Special Ed Assistant. With no training at all, I was thrown into a classroom with kids ages six to ten that have special needs. At the beginning of the day I thought it would be no problem, I conveniently forgot about my lack of experience. Children were screaming in my ear and I had no idea how to calm them down, and I didn’t know the ways or rules of the classroom in order to figure out a solution. It was a mess. These children are great; the staff, however, could spare a bit of time to make sure their subs are better prepared for what is about to happen. So day one was not so great, but day two was thankfully a bit better. It just goes to show that a small amount of experience can go a long way.

Though, I’m not making this post to talk about my work life. This blog was started so I could take a breather from school and work. Rather, this post is about me playing a game of catch up of the last two days. So here is day one and day two for Photo 101.

Day 1 - Home

Day One. Home.

Day 2 - Overcast

Day 2. Street

Mouse Jumps

And Mouse, just because.

The weather was a little dreary today, I’m just lucky it wasn’t raining when I went out to take my photos. All pictures were taken with a Nikon D5100 DSLR camera using a 35mm lens.

Hopefully during the rest of the course I am a bit more on top of things.

~ J. Spade.

Toast to You

Exploring the mighty blogosphere can be as scary as it is enlightening. It’s a massive place that houses millions of different blogs, with different writers, styles, and preferences; and that’s wonderful. Maybe you’re wondering how I can find something that is so amazing to be even the slightest bit scary.

The answer to that is easy.


Maybe the answer isn’t as easy as I originally thought. It’s not that I am scared of talent, per se. The thing that scares me is the lingering fear that I will not match up to aforementioned talent. As often as I have been told not to compare myself to others, it’s one of those ‘old habits’ kicks and their death is hard.

But this post isn’t about me. Shocking, I know. This post is about you, those of you who will and who won’t read this post. It’s meant for you, I’m just the messenger here.

Yesterday I spent a good chunk of the day browsing unknown blogs and discovering new people to be in awe over. Photography blogs, poetry blogs, blogs with cats, music, and food. All different types of blogs passed in front of my eyes, and I gobbled it all up like the proverbial turkey it was.

Come the end of my perusing, I felt empty. The fact of the matter remained that as much as I took from the posts and people I had just seen, I had given nothing back. Rather selfish if you ask me. Then it occurred to me that I could at least let the blogger know that I enjoyed their post, a small price to pay for devouring the glimpse they had given me into their life.

So I commented. I liked. And I followed. I handed them out like candy to Trick-or-Treater’s and I regret nothing. In fact, I plan to do it again. It’s a fulfilling task that makes me and the recipients feel better, and I like that feeling.

We could all do a little better to put a smile on the face of those we admire. A simple ‘like’ can do that, and all it takes is a click of a button.

Plus, looking at other blogs is a learning experience. I, for one, learned that my blog needs work. Not that I already didn’t know that, but a certain blogger helped me to realize I needed more cats on my blog. Because cats. For that I can’t thank her enough for the unintentional insight she gave me.

And now, cats.

DSC_0289Mouse posing for the camera.
Louis objecting to having his picture taken.

 ~J. Spade


Blogging is like the balm to the soul. It allows an individual a platform in which they can talk about the things they are passionate about, and it gives readers the opportunity to find others with interests similar to them. There is a community feel to blogging, a family in a way. It is a helpful tool to everyone, both writer and reader, that participates in a blogging forum.

Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?

I am an avid writer; from journaling or storytelling, I’ve tried it all. My 2014 New Year’s resolution consisted of journaling every day for a year, and I’ve kept that up so far, but as I was writing in my personal journal I found that I had things I wanted to share. There are so many opinions residing within me, and I felt that maybe someone else could gain positive insights through my personal experiences. I began my public blog in hopes that whatever I post, be it creative works or opinion pieces, will inspire someone in whatever avenue they so choose.

What topics do you think you’ll write about?

Since I do not have one hobby, I can already see that my blog will be quite the eclectic mesh. I will be writing reviews in regards to the books I read and shows/movies I watch. Certain posts might deal with strong opinions I have and would like to discuss. There will even be creative pieces that I simply want to share with people that get posted here. I’m not going to limit myself on my blog, because I don’t limit myself in my life.

Who would you love to connect with via your blog?

I want to connect with everyone. People from all different backgrounds, with varying interests. I want to see new things, hear their opinions about things, and just experience as much as I can. Since I do not have the money or the means to travel all over, one way to do it is through the experience of others. Maybe it will be the fuel I need to start a fire to my dreams of travel.

If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

There is nothing more that I hope to achieve through the success of having a year long blog than a feeling of personal growth. During this new adventure I hope to make new friends and learn new things. Perhaps I’ll even expand upon my hobbies. Since I have such a passion for writing, I am hoping that I will become even better at it during this journey. If there is one growth that sticks with me during this experience, I hope that it is confidence in my voice as an author and a blogger.


~Johana Spade