Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Back in the Saddle Again

 It happened!

Just a mere 15 days shy of a full calendar year since I last covered this kind of an event, I am finally back in the dance competition world again.  💛

**Whew!  Thank goodness!**

Not only did I start this past weekend, but I am currently booked out every weekend now through at least mid-May with events (pending cancellations and postponements).  This makes me incredibly happy!

My first weekend back was in Louisville, Kentucky covering the Nexstar Talent Competition.  I'd photographed their events in the past, but hadn't been with them for a couple of years.  I'm now contracting with a company who has Nexstar as one of their many clients.  The upside is that last weekend's regional director is someone I'd worked with a LOT in the past, so it was like seeing an old friend.  In addition to that, the videographer sent for this Louisville event was also someone I had worked with a lot prior... so, in all honesty, part of the weekend felt like a little 'ol reunion!

It is going to take some adjustment to get back into the rhythm of these weekends again.  I rediscovered muscles I forgot I had... vitamin I(buprofen) helps.  It was odd being away all weekend again (Aaron said the same, waking up without me there for the first time in a very long time).  But I am working with a wonderful organization, reconnecting with people I used to see all the time, and in an industry that I love.

I only hope now that all of this holds steady.  

***Oh, and I can share these a little more freely now.  😄***

Wednesday, February 3, 2021


“Not everyone’s life is like a house that belongs to him and that he can go on decorating ever more richly with the furniture of his memory. Some people live in hotels, in many hotels. The years close behind them like hotel doors— and the only thing that remains is a little courage and no regrets.”
― Erich Maria Remarque

North Shore, Lake Superior
Minnesota, USA

Available here: https://yellocoyotephoto.com/monochromatic

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

North Shore

“To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly, to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart, to bear all cheerfully, to all bravely await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual unbidden and unconscious grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony.” ― William Henry Channing

North Shore - Lake Superior
Northeast Minnesota, USA

Available: https://yellocoyotephoto.com/palebluedot

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Animas Forks

“Going to the mountains is like going home” ~John Muir

Looking forward to the time when I can get back to the mountains. I'm so thankful that my path took me there last year, regardless of life's chaos.

Animas Forks
Silverton, Colorado, USA

Available: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/animas-forks-jayme-spoolstra.html

Thursday, January 21, 2021

The $2 Dilemma

I often spend time on YouTube, streaming video, or on Zoom participating in some form of dance class, pointework, or barre.  All for exercise, to retain technique, build strength, and keep connections to my own dance studio, of which I hope to return to.  I do this in an area of my house that is the most spacious, but yet, the farthest away from the router - so wi-fi is incredibly sparse.  I can occasionally scrape enough signal together for a YouTube video viewing... but if it's something live, I find that using my phone as a hotspot is the better option.

I went to Amazon to buy a wi-fi antenna for my laptop, to make that reach more reliable without aid of my phone.  With the item researched and in my cart, I saw that I needed only slightly more than $2.00 to qualify for free shipping and to save the $8.00+ in charges.

$2.00 and some change was all.

And yet it took me a ridiculous amount of time to decide what that item should be.

This made me remember... how, just a few years ago, this task would have been so easy.  Because, really... who doesn't need another shirt, or pair of pants, or some decor, or electronics, or sticker for my Jeep or for the laptop, or this... that... or the other thing?  Things that I would convince myself that I 'needed,' while potentially doubling the total in my cart.

The fact that this $2.00+ chore took, quite literally, hours last night brought me to realize how much my shopping and spending habits have changed over the years since developing a more minimalistic lifestyle.  Not only does it reflect how much stuff I already have (or have gotten rid of, at this point), but it has made me hyper-selective of the things I buy and how much I've cut spending on non-necessary items.

This sort of reflection and realization is super-cool sometimes.  It shows just how far I've come in a few years, and that I'm still on the right path.

Then... while reviewing my RSS feed this afternoon, I read a short post by minimalist, Joshua Becker.  His article struck the right chord - it's here, if you'd like to read it for yourself.

Lightbulbs Always Need Changing by Joshua Becker

These couple of bits, specifically, said all the right things:

"This is why I chose minimalism as a lifestyle in the first place. Rather than being frustrated at a lightbulb that needs to be changed, I should find some joy in the fact that I need to change less of them than ever before."

"Being freed from the unquenchable desire for more, bigger, and better is a wonderful feeling. As is, being separated from constantly comparing my things to others."

I concur, Joshua.  I concur.

Oh, and for the record... I did find a few dollars worth of shipping envelopes to add to my order.  You know, for the inevitable next time that I sell more of what currently I own.  😄