Last Photo on the Card

It is funny how one thing leads to another, which leads to another, and so on. I just had one of those experiences so I thought I would share it with you.

As you all know I just completed the A to Z Blogging Change, and during the month of April I found a few great blogs to follow. One of them is Its Still Life. The AI images, photography, and poetry are really quite nice. Today Misky posted “Last Photo on the Card” which caught my eye so I checked out what it was, which lead me to the blog that started it, Bushboys World who asks for the last photo on your phone/camera/SD card. So, here are mine.

For those who followed along with my venture through the alphabet, may recognize this as my photo from the letter P for Prickly Pear. This is from my little Lumix DMC at full zoom.

And the one on the right is from my Motorola One 5G Ace. Every time I finish any art, whether it is a quick sketch or a completed piece, I photograph it. This one I did yesterday following a tutorial on SkillShare. It was a fun exercise.

So, thank you to A to Z, Misky, and Bushboys for the inspiration for today’s post.



Filed under Photography

Reflections on A to Z Challenge

What was it like to post an article everyday (except most Sundays) for an entire month? For me, this year was much easier than when I attempted this in 2018 and 2019 on my writing website, I feel this year it was easier mostly because I kept the doors wide open when it came to my theme.

In 2018 I did a series of posts talking about every aspect of a book I was writing at the time, titled The Manx (I still haven’t finished it). It takes place on the Isle of Man located in the middle of the Irish Sea. What a fun place to research! Now, all I have to do is actually go there. It sounds like an amazing place to spend a few weeks, along with Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

In 2019 I covered everything about short stories. At the time I was just starting to write short stories so by writing 26 articles on the subject I felt I would finish as the number one story teller of the century. Dreams are fantastic. I only completed through the letter R, but I was still stoked that I got as far as I did. That’s what great about this challenge, you can go as far as you want. You want to get all the way through Z, right? This year I did. Yay to me!

I still haven’t gone to the Isle of Man (it’s on my bucket list), nor have I finished the book. My short story library has grown and they are just waiting for that acceptance letter. I’m not sure if my stories are too weird for most publications or if I need an editor. Either way, I’ve had a blast writing them.

So, what happened this year with A to Z? I covered a wide variety of subjects. Did you like them? Want more? Did you hate them? If you said yes, they were awful, you absolutely must explain why. If you don’t all your socks will soon have holes in the big toe. I love comments, and my favorites from the month were from everyone who left them. Thank you. I give you all the blessing of never having an odd sock, ever.

I hope you all stick around and keep reading ArbitraryDustBunnies. You never know what might pop up!

This post brought to you by:

#AtoZChallenge 2023 Reflections

1 Comment

Filed under Arbitrary Thoughts

Zounds! We’re Done!

It has been a month since the beginning of this mad adventure with A to Z Blogging Challenge, and I’m proud to say that I made it!! I hope you have enjoyed reading these daily musings. My goal for this challenge was to get into the habit of writing blogs again.

The last two years have been rough on getting anything done except packing up one house, living in a rental surrounded by boxes for nine months then moving again. It sucked all the fun out of everything else. Happily, we are now settled in our new home and I can get back to some of the things I really enjoy.

So, my plan is to start writing posts about once per week or so. It could turn into just once per month, but the idea is to write about something as often as my creative mind will let me.

I need your help. You have read everything from the April blogging challenge, and I hope you have read some of the others as well. Please leave a comment of what more you would like to read about. What was your favorite subject? Favorite post? Did you stick with me through the entire challenge?

Thank you, to each of you who stopped by this month to leave a comment or a like. It meant a lot to me. ZOUNDS! It’s been a blast!

This post brought to you by the last letter in this challenge, Z and by:

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter Z

Leave a comment

Filed under Arbitrary Thoughts, Writing

Dancing in the Rain

A little girl walks in the rain,
In a yellow raincoat bright and plain,
Her little feet splashing in the puddles,
As she hums a tune and giggles.

The raindrops fall upon her hair,
And down her face without a care,
But she keeps on walking with a smile,
Forgetting all her worries for a while.

The world around her turns to grey,
But she sees the beauty in the day,
As she skips and dances through the mist,
She feels like nothing can resist.

She twirls and spins with glee,
As the rain pours down so heavily,
Her yellow raincoat shining bright,
In the midst of the darkest night.

With each step, she becomes more brave,
As she faces the stormy waves,
For she knows that after every storm,
A rainbow comes to greet the morn.

So, she walks on with head held high,
As the rain pours down from the sky,
For she knows that in this moment,
She is strong, she is resilient.

Written by: ChatGPT

This post brought to you by ChatGBT, the letter Y, and:

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter Y

Leave a comment

Filed under poetry, Writing

X is Art

X is Art
Image (C) Kathie Scrimgeour

Leave a comment

Filed under Art

Watercolor – How hard can it be?

About a year ago, my creative interests turned to the visual arts. In my never ending pile of stuff-that-should-be-donated, I came across some of my old sketch books. To share them here would be embarrassing, but just know that my artistic expression has faced challenges along the way.

One medium I never touched on much was watercolor. I watched high speed videos on Instagram and the way the color flowed across the paper had me mesmerized.

How hard can it be?

I soon found that watercolor painting can be both easy and challenging. While watercolor is often regarded as a more difficult medium due to its transparency and fluidity, I also found it to be easier to work with in some ways, such as its portability and ease of cleanup. I can paint anywhere as long as I have a little bit of water.

As a beginner I found watercolor to be a great medium to start with because it is relatively inexpensive and requires fewer materials than other mediums. However, it can also be a bit unforgiving, as mistakes can be difficult to correct once the paint has dried. BUT, a little mistake is just an opportunity to turn a smudge into a flower.

One of the challenges that I have with watercolor is its transparency, which makes it more difficult to achieve vibrant, opaque colors. It also requires a different approach to brushwork and layering compared to other mediums, such as acrylic or oil painting. My background is in oil painting so I have had to visualize paintings very differently.

That being said, I keep the mantra that, with practice and patience, anyone can learn to work with watercolor and achieve stunning results, so I keep plugging along. There are many resources available, such as online tutorials, workshops, and classes, that can help you improve your skills and develop your own unique style. I found YouTube to be filled with how-to videos, but the best place is SkillShare. This is a subscription based app, but the instruction is very detailed.

Ultimately, the level of difficulty in watercolor painting will depend on your individual experience, skill level, and artistic goals. As I have progressed through my sketchbook I can see the improvements from start through today. There is a long way to go, but like any new skill, practice and patience are the keys to success.

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter W and:

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter W


Filed under Art

A Story by Jasper

Yesterday, I posted a story written by ChatGPT and, as promised, today the writer is Jasper. This AI tool is much more robust than ChatGPT and where ChatGPT is free, Jasper is not. I set myself up on their 5 day free trail just so I could stick my toe in to see how dangerous the waters were.

What did I find? I gave Jasper a similar writing prompt as ChatGPT with the added ability to give the story a voice (I wrote “dark”). Right off, I will say that Jasper is, in general, a more creative writing tool, but it doesn’t go too far beyond that. I think this will be a great way to generate ideas more so than trying to write a novel.

Here is the prompt:

Write a short story using the words, vinegar, vice, vibrant, Vickie, volume, and vulture

Vickie had been walking for days. The desolate desert air was thick and heavy, leaving an acrid taste in her mouth like vinegar. With no water or food to sustain her, she trudged along aimlessly as the sun beat down from above. Every step seemed heavier than the last and all she wanted was to find shelter from the heat.

Just when she thought all hope was lost, Vickie spotted something on the horizon – a vibrant oasis shimmering in the distance, beckoning her forward with its promise of respite from this arid wasteland. Never before had anything looked so beautiful and inviting; it almost felt too good to be true! She quickened her steps but soon heard a loud cawing sound echoing across the sky above – two vultures circling overhead like a sign of impending doom. A feeling of dread came over Vickie and she began running towards what appeared to be salvation at any cost… until suddenly there it was right in front of her: a large wooden door with old iron hinges creaking open at an alarming volume.

Inside were row upon row of shelves filled with every kind of vice imaginable – alcohol, cigarettes, drugs…even weapons! It seemed that whatever one desired could be found within these walls – yet despite being surrounded by such temptation, Vickie only felt fear coursing through her veins as she backed away slowly from this place where sin ran rampant… until finally reaching safety once more outside under bright blue skies where not even vultures dared follow.

This post brought to you by the letter V and:

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter V

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

A Story by ChatGPT

Recently I have been hearing a lot about the AI trends and what they mean to writers and artists. I dabble in both so I have been experimenting a little bit with them. Today i was on ChatGPT and gave it this prompt:

Write a story using the words: Uncle, understand, umbrella, underground, and unfortunate.

Before we get to the story that was written, I want to say right off the bat that if this is the type of output writers are concerned about then I’m no longer worried. I haven’t fully tested any other platforms, but I do plan to check out Jasper with the same prompt (I’ll let you know how it works).

So, without further adieu I give you, “Jack and the Rainy Day”

Once upon a time, there was a man named Jack who was visiting his uncle in the city. Jack had always lived in a small town and was fascinated by the fast-paced lifestyle of the city. His uncle, who was always busy with work, had arranged a tour of the city for Jack.

As they were walking down the street, Jack noticed that the sky was getting darker and the clouds were gathering above. His uncle, noticing Jack’s concern, brought out an umbrella and offered it to Jack. Jack was surprised that his uncle had thought ahead and brought the umbrella with him.

The tour continued, and Jack was amazed by the hustle and bustle of the city. They walked through different neighborhoods, and Jack was surprised to see how different life was in the city than in his small town. After walking for a while, Jack’s uncle led him to a subway station. Jack had never been on the underground before and was excited to experience it.

Unfortunately, as they were standing on the platform waiting for the train, Jack realized that he had left his jacket behind on the bench they were sitting on earlier. As they rushed back to retrieve it, they missed the train. Jack was disappointed, but his uncle assured him that they would catch the next one.

While waiting for the next train, Jack’s uncle explained to him that life in the city can be unpredictable and that one should always be prepared for unexpected situations. Jack understood the importance of being well prepared and was grateful to his uncle for teaching him this valuable lesson.

As they rode the train back to his uncle’s apartment, Jack reflected on the day’s events and realized how fortunate he was to have such a wise and caring uncle. He realized that even in unfortunate situations, there is always something to be learned.

From that day onwards, Jack always carried an umbrella and was more aware of his surroundings. He grew to understand and appreciate the fast-paced lifestyle of the city and made sure to visit his uncle often to learn more.

This post brought to you by the letter U and:

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter U

1 Comment

Filed under Arbitrary Thoughts

Why Get a Tattoo?

After I turned 60 and survived breast cancer, I decided to get a tattoo. I never had one, but I always wanted one. With the help of my daughter (who has several) I found a great artist and together we designed a tattoo for my wrist.

For many, getting a tattoo is a deeply personal decision. But beyond aesthetic reasons, many people opt to get inked as a way of expressing their identity or undergoing personal transformation. For me it was a lifelong desire, but for others? There are a number of reasons.

A form of self-expression

For many people, tattoos are a way of expressing who they are or what they believe in. Whether it’s a quote from a favorite book, a symbol of faith, or an homage to a loved one, tattoos can be a way of communicating your values and identity to the world. This is particularly true for people who feel like they don’t fit into societal norms and want to show their individuality.

A means of empowerment

Tattoos have long been associated with outlaws, rebels, and other countercultural groups. But in recent years, tattoos have become more mainstream, and getting inked is now seen as an act of empowerment for many people. From survivors of abuse to people in recovery from addiction, tattoos can be a symbol of overcoming challenges and reclaiming control over one’s body and life.

Mark life transitions

For some people, getting a tattoo is a way of marking a major life event or transition. This could be a wedding or a birth, or it could be a milestone birthday or the loss of a loved one. By getting a tattoo, people can commemorate these significant moments in a way that feels meaningful and lasting.

Creative expression

Tattoos are a form of art, and for some people, getting inked is an opportunity to express their creativity and showcase their individual style. From intricate designs to colorful murals, tattoos can be a form of self-expression that is both beautiful and personal.

A few things to keep in mind before taking the plunge

The day I got my tattoo…

If you’re considering getting a tattoo, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you end up with something you’re happy with.

Do your research:

Before you commit to getting a tattoo, it’s important to research tattoo artists in your area. Check out their portfolios and read reviews from previous clients. This will give you an idea of their style and skill level and help you choose an artist that matches your interests and preferences.

7 years later.

Think about the design:

Take your time choosing a design that you love. Tattoo artists can help you with the design, but it’s important to come up with a concept that resonates with you. Think about the significance behind the tattoo and consider how it will look on your body over time. As you can see from the photos that mine looks so beautifully detailed initially. The ink has slowly bled into the surrounding skin and lost some of the details. My artist informed me that this would happen so I’m not surprised by the changes.

Be prepared for the pain:

Tattoos can be painful, so be prepared for some discomfort. Different areas of the body are more sensitive than others, so consider the location of your tattoo. If you’re concerned about the pain, talk to your artist beforehand and ask about any numbing creams or other options that might be available. For me, I did not have any numbing and boy did it hurt! The wrist is one of the more sensitive areas to get inked and I am so glad that it wasn’t an extensive design. The artist will be able to guide you to the least painful places.

Follow aftercare instructions:

Once your tattoo is complete, it’s important to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your artist. This typically involves keeping the area clean and moisturized while it heals. Be prepared for some itching and scabbing, but resist the urge to scratch or pick at the tattoo. Keep the area moisturized (I used Aquaphor Ointment), and if you have any concerns during the healing process, don’t hesitate to reach out to your artist for advice.

Embrace the experience:

Getting a tattoo is a unique and personal experience, and it can be an opportunity for self-expression and creativity. Embrace the process and enjoy the experience of working with a talented artist to create a beautiful piece of art that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Getting a tattoo can be a wonderful way to express yourself and create a beautiful, lasting piece of art. With some research, preparation, and aftercare, you can ensure that your tattoo experience is positive and rewarding. Remember to take your time (a tattoo cannot be easily erased), choose a design that speaks to you, and enjoy the experience of creating something that reflects your personality and interests. I have not regretted mine for a single day and am thinking about the next one (hopefully before I’m 90!).

This post brought to you by the letter T and:

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter T

Leave a comment

Filed under Arbitrary Thoughts

Sabino Canyon, Arizona

Here is another area near Tucson to hike, Sabino Canyon. There is an extensive trail system here that are the full range of difficulty from easy to challenging. We went here recently with my sister-in-law and her husband and we enjoyed every bit of our hike.

Sabino Canyon is part of the Pusch Ridge Wilderness Area in the Santa Catalina Mountains. This particular area is very popular so the crowds can be quite heavy especially late winter into spring. There are enough trails that once you get away from the visitor’s center the crowds spread out and you’ll sometimes find yourself alone.

My last hike there took us along Phoneline Trail and Rattlesnake Canyon Trail, but you can choose your own path. We did this hike in early March and to be honest, I didn’t keep track of exactly where we parked to access the trail. There are a ton of places to park so just pull off into a designated area and start hiking.

We hiked just over 4 miles and it was easy to moderate. We did end up at some lovely waterfalls and had many photographic opportunities. Here are just a few:

Sabino Canyon is east of Tucson and is easily found by taking Ina Rd east. It will turn into Sunrise then follow the signs to the entrance. There is an entrance fee. Take note that no dogs are allowed in the park so Fido has to take the day off.

Happy Hiking!!

This post brought to you by the letter S and:

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter S


Filed under Travel