Changing Seasons: December Dullness

For the most part, I’ve been MIA  during the month of December.  I wish I had a good story to tell as to why, but sadly I’ve just been totally uninspired.

True, I spent the first half of the month with my arm in a sling and unable to drive myself anywhere.  That’s a usable excuse, I suppose.

And yes, we lost our internet for 3 days, which was an eye-opening experience on how pathetic we are without our devices … but that should have been only a blip in my online presence.

I did start an online photography course before the internet went out.  I got far enough to learn I wasn’t holding my camera properly. Armed with that interesting little piece of information, I’ve since taken an alarming number of photos with a finger or thumb wedged in the corner of the frame.  Apparently I still have a lot to learn.

And then, just as my shoulder was starting to give me some freedom and mobility again – winter arrived with an arctic blast and several dumps of snow.   I was finally ABLE to get out and do things, but was UNWILLING to do so.  My official excuse has been that it’s too slippery –  I have a bone to mend and falling would be a bad idea right now.  That’s a good and reasonable excuse, I suppose.

So this is really just a long way of saying that my uninspired month has been … well, without a decent, blog-worthy story.

Happy December.  Merry Christmas.  Happy Hanukkah.  Happy Holidays.

These are the views of my December.

father-christmas
My Father Christmas collection
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Not my house … discovered on one of my frigid walks.  I love the Cinderella sleigh being pulled by the reindeer.

Before The Snow Arrived

birkdale-creek3
Multiple shades of non-colour
birkdale-creek-2
Fly with the angels, dance with the stars.  A memorial stone found on the Birkdale Creek Trail.

After The Snow Settled In

This post is part of the Changing Seasons series.  It is a monthly photo feature hosted by Cardinal Guzman.  Many thanks to Max for hosting this event for the past 2 years.  I’m already looking forward to year 3!

118 comments

  1. Well, I for one am…er…glad you felt uninspired in December. (Don’t hit me!) I’m so far behind and trying to catch up and all of a sudden it was late December. Hooray! 😀

    Love, love the snow pictures especially the swings. But that’s because I just have to look at it in your photos (usually while sitting around in shorts and thinking about having an icypole).

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  2. That snowfall looks beautiful. I’m glad you are feeling better.
    I highly doubt I hold my camera properly. I laugh because mine is definitely made with a right handed person in mind…my nose being squished against it when I look through the viewfinder with my left eye. Lol

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  3. I’ve probably been more MIA than you Joanne! I’m down in San Diego where the weather has been stormy and unpredictable all week. Last night it sounded like the monsoons had hit!

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    • I hope the weather finally cleared and you had a great holiday. It’s raining here which isn’t a good thing since the temperature is at the freezing mark. Ice is starting to form on everything. Not going anywhere today, that’s for sure!!

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  4. A truly gorgeous post that is anything but uninspired. I get it though – winter can whip you into submission with its cold fingers. But you aren’t letting it – your eye for nature’s beauty proves that!
    My resolution for 2017? Learn how to use my new camera!!

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  5. Oh Jo, you made me laugh with your post about… nothing! Only a true blogger can manage that. And there is nothing dull about your photos, I spy benches!! I even love your collection of Father Christmases – lovely lighting. Then you made me grin when you talked about the photographic course, I am useless when it comes to the techie terms. You know: apertures, f stops, shutter speeds, ISO, I get awfully confused with what is wide and what is narrow and when to use which, and then there are the gradient filters so you can have a blue sky instead of it being over-exposed. AAArgh!! No, it’s no use I’ll never master any of that. Just get a camera with a GOOD auto setting 🙂 I got a little nervous when you started talking about winter sports… NOOOOOO don’t do it, at least not this year, those bl**dy monkeys haven’t gone just yet! I wish you good riddance of 2016 and lots of loveliness in the New Year. Have a great Christmas what ever you do, I can’t help imagining you and your son lounging around whilst poor Giles rushes around serving the G&Ts and canapes in his pinny 😀 😀

    I hope you like Roosters! And I have read that if you are a rooster then the Rooster year is not good. I do hope no-one in your family is a rooster…

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    • Gahhhhh!!! Noooo! Gilles is a Rooster!! I really can’t handle any more ER visits!!

      … but I’m going to remain optimistic. 2017 will be awesome 🙂

      You take such lovely pictures so I was heartened to read that you too are baffled by all the science of picture taking. Filters? What the hell is that?!

      … and you have me laughing at the thought of Gilles in a frilly pinafore. I wonder if it’s too late to find one before Sunday? 😉

      Merry Christmas and lots of good cheer!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Well, we all hit a funk some time or times in our life. At least you can write about it. I think an occasional funk is an interesting read. It allows us to see how other people deal with it and it humanizes the writer…no more super human overshadowing. You’re a real person and your bones break, too! Still, your broken bones are way more interesting than mine. 😉 So, you’ve got character too. 😀

    Love your Father Christmas collection…the lighting makes it interesting. When I read about your online photo lesson, I thought…hey, maybe I should try it. But then your comment about thumbs and pictures in the frame made me realize…I already know how to do that! 😀 😀

    So…the year is almost over and you get a chance to create a new series of goals and memories. Let them be grand ones that wash away the losses and defeats of this past one. The year of the rat is almost over (yay!), soon it will be the year of the rooster and hopefully it will bring you much good fortune and industry.

    Happy Holidays, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I laughed out loud at your comment about fingers and thumbs!! Sadly, that was one mistake I wasn’t making before!! I’m just shrugging my shoulders and thinking that sometimes a project requires you to take a few steps backwards before forward progress can be made 😀

      Last year at this time I had so many exciting plans for the new year and virtually none of them were realized. This year I’m feeling significantly more wary without a plan in sight. In some ways I feel like I’m about to start a journey without any luggage or even an idea of which direction I’m heading in. If my goal in life is to live on the edge of my comfort level, I’m certainly achieving that now – although for all the wrong reasons 😉

      Happy Holidays to you too!! I hope joy and laughter find you everyday 🙂

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  7. Wow, that’s a lot of snow! Beautiful, but I can see why you’d be reluctant to go out in it. (By the time I got all bundled up, I’d probably forget what I was going to do.) Sometimes the periods of absent inspiration means we just need a break.

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  8. Your way of blogging about nothin being bloggity sure was blogriffic and quite pretty! Lovely photos! I like your Fathers Christmas by candlelight 🙂
    I hold my pen wrong, and I write well and prettily, so I think you should ignore the photography teacher. You’re internet famous for photos and falls, so I think if you hold your camera ‘wrong’ it should be labeled as “Joanne’s uncoventional grip” and “Unusual methods stemming from courage” — that sorta thing.
    Winter blahs are sure gettin around this month… :/

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    • Thanks for the re-enforcement … I was starting to remind myself that just because something is ‘different’, it doesn’t make it ‘wrong’.
      btw – I’m right-handed, but I do many things with my left hand. Writing is not one of them.
      I’ve been trying to ‘exercise my creativity’ by colouring with my left hand. I’m not doing badly … but I hold a pencil very differently with my left compared to the right. It just goes to prove that one size does not fit all!

      It DOES seem like winter blahs have settled in with a lot of people. Is it just me, or does it seem to be early this year?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I alternated between smiling and feeling sad as I read. Hopefully the new year will bring better days AND tomorrow it starts getting light longer as I mentioned elsewhere. That’s a good thing! I love the wise men and I love both your snow and ours, although the latter may be melted by Christmas Day.

    Ah, yes, our dependence on the internet. I carry my phone with me everywhere, mostly for possible photos, but it’s so easy to be on it for other things. If I think I’ll be waiting somewhere for awhile, such as the doctor’s, I take a book (Yes, a real book!!) and try to be mindful about not being on my phone too much. Easy to slip, though. And I’ve been blogging every day for almost five years and still haven’t gathered the strength to miss a few days as a break. I even blog on vacation, but I don’t spend much other time online then.

    Happy Tuesday and have a wonderful Wednesday!

    janet

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    • Technology is a wonderful thing – it’s we humans who use it excessively, inappropriately, as a crutch, as a weapon, …
      I’ve recently discovered the joys of having Kindle on my phone which allows me to synch with whatever I’m reading on my iPad. It’s been wonderful when waiting for appointments and riding transit.
      I often wondered how people could read a book on such a tiny screen … it’s actually really easy!!

      Best wishes as you count down to the holidays 🙂

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  10. I am so happy to hear that your shoulder is on the mend, Joanne. No–no falling allowed! Ever. Your Father Christmas collection is such a beautiful photo. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you! Bring on 2017–I am ready!

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    • I’m ready too!! I don’t know exactly what I’m ready for – yet – but as my dad always used to say, at least we’re still on the right side of the grass … a little dark humour there 😉

      Merry Christmas and be extra good to yourself this holiday 🙂

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  11. Very pretty photos, Joanne! I hope January is a bit more inspiring for you. I understand your plight. Winter will do that to you, plus the frigid cold only inspires me to hide under the blankets.

    Have a wonderful Christmas holiday and cheers to a healthy New Year for your entire family.

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    • Thanks Mary. As I was stomping around in the snow, it occurred to me that perhaps I needed to embrace a winter activity. Winter is too long to spend it moping that it’s cold and snowy. I was thinking I should take up skating, or skiing, or winter cycling on a fat bike.
      … then sanity prevailed. I decided this MIGHT not be the best winter to engage in a new sport where falling is highly probable :/

      I guess it’s back to the computer to finish those online courses. At least I shouldn’t be able to hurt myself taking photos. Right?

      Merry Christmas MJ!! Hope your holiday is filled with everything you love ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  12. The snow looks wonderful to me sitting here in two layers of clothes, and the heater going. 🙂 I love your Father Christmas collection, and the snow covered bench and swings images.

    I’m glad to hear you have high hopes for your shoulder healing finally!

    Merry Christmas to you and the family!

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  13. This was a great way to sum up a challenging month, as well as an eventful year with the monkey’s tricks abounding. Meanwhile, Joanne, calm days don’t mean boring ones! 😉
    I love red or orange details with white snow, especially a playground!

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    • That’s the one thing about monochrome landscapes … any little bit of colour stands out! Catching the red flashes of cardinals flying about always make me smile at this time of year.

      Merry Christmas and hope your holidays are full of happy moments!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, how I love cardinals and other brighter birds during winter gray days or against pretty white snow! It was a fun and busy Christmas, Joanne. Happy New Year to you and yours! It has to be better than the past which held some disasters but there were happy, bright spots in your year, too. 🙂

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  14. Even in “sunny” Southern California, December has been a bit of a bummer. A house project that is taking too long and costing too much, and nasty colds for us both that have curtailed our Christmas jollies. Bah Humbug! I’m interested in hearing about your online photography course… has it been beneficial (I didn’t see any thumbs in your pictures!) and useful? I’ve considered a few, but I’m just not sure online is the way to go – as opposed to in-person, but much more expensive.

    I really like your Father Christmas collection!

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    • I’ve looked at many in-class photography courses, but in the end decided it start with the basics online. I had taken 2 in-class courses already and STILL didn’t really grasp aperture, shutter speed, and when to use what. I really do have a mental block about any principle that smells like physics.
      I was literally still in the beginning of a beginner’s course when we lost the internet, and I haven’t had a chance to get back to it yet.
      I’m taking courses with CreativeLive.com. I was impressed with the hour I managed to squeeze in so you might want to take a look at what they’ve got.

      Well, we’re in the home stretch and this dull month is almost done. Let’s look forward to happier and more interesting things ahead!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I bah-humbug about snow all the time, but honestly, at this time of year, it is pretty.
      My one regret is that I never really embraced any outdoor winter sports that might have helped me love winter. I think it might be a really bad idea to pick up downhill skiing at this point 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Glad to hear your shoulder is mending. I’m sure you will be inspired again soon. We all have ‘dry spells’. LOVE your Father Christmas collection. ….and all the other photos as well.

    Merry Christmas 🎅🏻🎄

    Liked by 1 person

    • Because I feel well, my challenge is to NOT do things I would normally do … even while emptying the dishwasher. However, the first x-ray looked good and I’m confident that THIS TIME will be magic 🙂

      Thanks for your good wishes. Merry Christmas to you and yours too! I hope your holidays are full of everything that makes you smile 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  16. December has been a slow slog for me, too. Not much sunlight, wet + gray, with the uneasy specter of Trump hanging over every conversation. I like your photos which do a good job of showing the change of seasons. I think you’re learning more from your photography class than you think you are! Happy Holidays!

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  17. From a quick speed read I’m getting ‘sling’, ‘no net’ ‘on line photography course’ (had to double check that bit) and ‘snow’ which leaves me to conclude this is an exciting post about a grizzly bear hunt. 😉 Great photo’s, Joanne even without the Bears and not a finger or thumb in sight 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes … I could see how you could reach that conclusion. Very ample imagination required 😉
      Sorry, no grizzlies in these parts. Black bears however are a different story. I’m just as happy that (1) they would all be hibernating at this time of year, (2) all my encounters in the past have been while I was safely ensconced in a vehicle.

      My sister once suggested I get out of the car and retrieve my camera from the trunk so I could take pictures of the nearby bear.
      I’ve been suspicious of her ever since ….

      Liked by 2 people

      • How do the Grizzlies know to stay away from your neck of the woods? I guess they’ve heard you’re a demon with your ‘sling’.
        Oh sisters! I bet there’s not many days go by when you’re not kicking yourself for not grabbing that photo opportunity with, if not both hands, one hand and the car jack. Or perhaps not. 🙂

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        • Oh, I knew what was happening. That cute little baby bear on the side of the road was being used as bait by mama bear hiding in the trees.
          I’m sure that as soon as I stepped out of the car, mama would be pouncing in a flash, and the family would be eating well that night 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  18. Great pics Joanne. I can’t even blame the weather for feeling uninspired and a bit meh! I’m glad your shoulder is healing and I hope the holiday season brings you much joy and renewed energy. Best wishes to you and your family. Su.

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    • For me, I think it’s been too much of doing nothing. The less I do, the less I want to do. Ugh.

      Best wishes to you and your family too. I’m not feeling even a little bit Christmas-y. I hope it kicks in soon!!

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  19. If I hadn’t already read the text of your post and scrolled down to the image with the “Thin Ice” sign I would have sworn you might have had a Road Runner / Wyle E. Coyotee type story complete with the “Acme Safe Company” 🙂 Thank god I read the text first. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family Joanne and I’ll talk to you next year my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Nice set of images. You did well even though the light wasn’t often at its best. It is the same here: very cold with snow on the ground and I have taken the camera out in over a month. Luckily for me I have lots of pictures in the archives. (Suzanne)

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    • I’ve only recently discovered that taking photos in the flat winter light is really challenging. It seems to smoosh everything into a flat 2-D image even before you take the photo.
      Rather than fighting it, I decided to try and capture it 🙂

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    • I agree that the sidewalks are pretty treacherous. I’ve been doing virtually all of my walking in a local park which I’ve discovered has many miles of trails. It’s actually easier to walk on a snow covered surface, although shady areas have to be treated with caution.
      Last week we went out just after the big snowfall and had to break trail in several inches of snow. THAT was really hard work!!

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  21. I totally get it – call it winter blues, winter blahs, December dullness – it’s that first reality that winter has arrived and you think you will be spending more days indoors. That’s why Spring is my favorite season, you have the promise of warmer days and outdoor adventures. The snow is beautiful though, and the holiday season usually brings on the smiles. Wishing you a healing body and lots of outdoor fun, cold or not. Happy Holidays to you Joanne!

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    • For me, it’s the lack of light. Winter would be so much easier to bear if the days were long and sunny. The days of flat, grey winter light are the worst. It seems to suck the life out of my soul.

      Merry Christmas and very happy holiday! Joanne

      Liked by 1 person

  22. We lost power our internet for a day when the first snowstorm hit. It frightened me to see how much I depend on the internet. Look at me now. I sit in front of my computer, with a bowl of soup and have a quick lunch. I love your Father Christmas collection. I hope your shoulder is healing well.

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    • I wish I had a dollar for every morning cup of coffee and quick lunch I’ve had in front of my computer screen!! This is certainly not something any one of us could have imagined in our youth!!

      My shoulder is doing well, thank you. The challenge I have is continuing to ‘do nothing’ when I otherwise feel well.

      btw – I finished the book A Man Named Ove. I LOVED it!! Thank you for suggesting it. Apparently I really like dark humour.
      There were many parts I found laugh-out-loud funny.
      I enjoyed it so much, I’m ready to read more from this author. I just picked up his book My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises. I can hardly wait to dive into it.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Uninspirational months, that happens to all of us from time to time. I lost my internet for 30 minutes ehre the other day and it nearly drove me insane.
    I like your gallery and the “Multiple shades of non-colour” reminds me of Oslo. We have no snow here yet (luckily I must add, because I prefer when I can go ice skating).

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    • It is a little bit frightening how plugged-in we’ve become. Three consecutive days, for three separate reasons … clearly the work of an evil little monkey 😉

      Your video of ice skating the other day made me wish to skate too. You have such a treasure there!!
      I knew it was too much to expect that we’d have a 2nd winter of virtually no snow. Oh well :/

      Liked by 1 person

    • As it was for me too!! I really wanted to use a photo from that day, but sadly they were all worse than awful. You will however see a door or two pop up in the future 🙂

      Merry Christmas to you and all of yours! I’m sure you are so excited about more grandbaby time! Enjoy each precious minute ❤

      Like

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