My days are filled with the usual stuff like working, cleaning house, cooking, building my house (we've been working on it almost two years and it's almost finished, just the kitchen counters and some painting left to do), worrying, sleeping, etc.
Sorry the picture is so horrible!! There is no brown in it. I don't know why it looks like that. It was dark outside so I had to take the picture in our crappy indoor lighting. I promise I will get a new picture in natural light when I share the rest of my art. Disregarding the bad photography, you can get an idea for how far I've come. That's a vast improvement from my first charcoal drawings that I shared on my other blog here (LINK)! Those were only a few months apart. I did it all from watching Youtube videos and a little help from an artist friend of mine (who isn't very familiar with charcoal but can still point out where I need to adjust value or whatever). The funny thing is she helped me through text messages because we couldn't find time to get together. I think I've improved a lot! :D The windmill isn't my best one. I am saving the best one for my next post. :)
Youtube (and Pinterest). I absolutely LOVE Youtube and I can get lost for hours and hours on that stupid site. For someone like me who doesn't have the money to take classes or pay for formal instruction in my many hobbies Youtube is a valuable resource. I use it to research everything from equine yoga, art techniques, clicker training methods and trick ideas, etc. Sometimes I just mindlessly waste my time watching T.V. shows that I LOVED as a kid (who else watched all of the T.G.I.F. shows??). Pinterest is almost as bad. There are so many great recipes, craft ideas, decorating ideas, genius storage ideas and sooooo many animal pictures that are great inspiration for my art. :D Before I started using Pinterest I thought it was so stupid and did not see the point in it at all, but now I'm hooked and I'll actually intentionally avoid going there because I know I'll lose hours.
I love sunsets!
Reading. I still remember the first book I read voluntarily (not for school). I was seven or eight and it was a simple little story but I remember thinking it was the best thing ever (still have that book... I'm starting to sound really sentimental lol). From that day on you could not make me stop reading! I've probably read thousands of books. As a kid I read everything from the classics (Wuthering Heights was actually one of my favorites...), Saddle Club and every single Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey book I could find. I also read stuff like the Cat Who and Aunt Dimity books. Lately I've been into mysteries a lot and I'm LOVING the Anna Pigeon books by Nevada Barr. I also love fantasy books like the Sword of Truth series and the Wheel of Time series. I enjoy series more than stand alone books because I get so attached to the characters hehe. I read constantly! When I'm stressed (during bad weather afraid of tornadoes or in doctor's offices), when I'm bored (sitting at railroad crossings when I wait on trains), at night to go to sleep, when I'm sick, when it's too hot or cold outside... yeah I read all the time. :D
Piano. I started teaching myself to play piano out of lesson books (before I discovered Youtube) when I was a young teenager. I took a year of lessons as a late teen, but my teacher moved (military transfer) and I hated the new teacher so I kind of gave it up. I still play sometimes, but not as much as I should and I'm horribly, horribly out of practice. I still love it though. One of my favorites to play is Fur Elise, but I also LOVE the Disney songs like Beauty and the Beast, A Part of Your World, A Whole New World, etc. I miss playing and I hope I can pick it back up and maybe have lessons again someday when time allows.
Dog Training (clicker training). Anyone who has followed my blogs long knows how much I love dog training and clicker training. I've used clicker training with Chrome, Zep, Storm, Jackal. Jasmine (a goat I use to have), Faran, etc. I still consider Jackal my biggest success. I got him when he was seven weeks old and I started using clicker from day one. I honestly believe he is smarter and has better problem solving skills than most dogs just because of clicker. He knows over forty tricks and he would probably know five times that many if life hadn't gotten in the way. I've been a total slacker on dog and horse training lately. Between building the house and Storm being sick for so long and dying I just haven't had it in me to do anything. Hopefully someday I'll get back to it though because Chrome and Jackal both love it.
Fishing. Going out on the lake in my dad's boat with him and my husband is one of my favorite things ever. I enjoy bank fishing with my husband too, but the boat is icing on the cake. Sadly we haven't had much time for it this summer because of building the house and work schedules. Hopefully next year we will be able to make up for that!! I don't even care if I don't catch a fish. I just love being out in nature, enjoying the company of my family and friends, taking pictures, etc. So relaxing!
LOVE the lake!
Computer Games. I don't like to admit it but I'm a total gamer geek. A lot of the people in my life think gaming is a stupid waste of time, but I can't help it. It's so much fun! I love Nintendo (especially Nintendo 64), Sims on PC, Fable on Xbox, WOW on PC, etc. I'll even admit to playing those dumb little games like Hay Day on my tablet hehe. I guess I'm just a computer addict. :D
Gardening. I love growing my own food, herbs and flowers. Sadly I kind of suck at it. I either over water or under water everything. The longest thing I've kept alive (seven years) is a cactus hehe. It's HUGE now. It started out about four inches tall and now it's so big I can barely pick up the pot. We didn't have time to grow a garden this year because of building the house, but I'm hoping next year we can. I also hope to get all of my flowers in the ground when I know where everything is going to stay in my yard layout (the dog yard has moved several times hehe) and when we don't need room to get big vehicles in for moving appliances, lumber, sheet rock, etc.
Four Wheelers (and mudding). I LOVE riding four wheelers!! My best friend used to race dirt bikes and she got me into four wheelers. I've always loved them and jumped at the change to ride but it wasn't until I met her that I had the opportunity to ride regularly and to try mudding. Considering how prissy and germ phobic I can be you wouldn't think I would like mudding, but it's a total blast!!
Arts and Crafts. I love trying new things. Some of the things I've tried during my life are needlepoint, crocheting, scrapbooking, latchhook, web design, jewelry making, beading, sewing, decoupage, papier mache, stained glass, dreamcatcher making, origami, puzzles (LOVE doing puzzles and I even have some framed and hanging in my house), etc. Out of all of those the ones I liked most were scrapbooking, web design (one of the reasons I change my blogs around all the time... well I used to), puzzles and jewelry making. I think the only one I've done any time recently is the jewelry making. It's been a long time since I've done the others. One of the things I still want to try is pottery making. That looks like fun!
Miscellaneous things I enjoy doing when the opportunity arises includes billiards, chess, basketball, Sudoku, bowling and various card games. Things I still want to try are calligraphy (I am FASCINATED!), rock climbing, dancing, pottery, wood carving, archery, paintball, sailing and kick boxing. I would actually love to try several types of self defense training to see which I prefer, but kick boxing has always been the most fascinating.