Thursday, July 23, 2015

River Place Nature Trail - The Good Tired

On the 23rd of July, I will turn 51 years young. Toby asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday and hiking was the first thing that came to mind.

I had our hike picked out weeks ago. Even though the temps are expected to be in the low 100's the reviews of the River Place Nature Trail revealed the hike is a shaded one with plenty of swimming holes along the way.

The trail head was situated directly in the middle of a million dollar  neighborhood with beautiful views of the surrounding hills. I have to admit, I lusted a little at such a lifestyle...


The trail is very well marked with a few kiosk, mile markers and a couple of different emergency exits. After hiking the challenging trail, we knew why there were emergency exits.

The first part of the trail was Little Fern Trail. It was a nice portion of the trail with some little waterfalls to stop, cool off and relax...

Small rocks getting lodged in our water shoes are always an issue








The fish liked Toby's feet






We arrived at a fork in the trail and took Canyon Trail. Little did I know what I was getting into.
The wooden stairs were numerous and some were extremely steep. There was A LOT of descending and ascending (mostly ascending) elevation to this hike 890 feet up to the top!

I got to a point where each time I saw a set of  ascending steps I moaned and silently wondered if I would make it before I had a heart attack.




Once I miraculously made it to the top I realized that I had only THOUGHT that I was in shape for an old lady. But, I did make it!!

The view at the top was totally worth it....
 




Getting back down was much easier, but we worked a different set of muscles. My calf muscles are paying the price as I write.

Once we made it back to the main trail head we had the option of checking out another shorter trail called Lower Panther Trail. We debated and decided as tired, hot and hungry as we were, we were curious enough about the last trail to make it our finale to the day.

It was an easy walk along mostly boardwalk that lead to a retention pond full of turtles...






Despite the physical challenges Toby and I really enjoyed this hike. I recommend it to anyone looking for a challenging hike but it's definitely not for those not with health issues or not "in shape"....hence, the reason for the emergency exits.

I don't think I have ever been so tired, but it was a good tired.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Unplugged

Recently, I've minimally disconnected myself from social interactions. Although, I still peruse "Fake" book a couple of times a day,  I stay focused on our business page, my crochet and recipe pages, other neutral pages, and avoid news feeds and "friends" pages like the plague.

I feel more relaxed when I'm not having to involuntarily witness rants about what "god" says about sexual preferences, politics, racism or the confederate flag. I have my own personal opinions on these topics, but I hardly feel voicing them on social media is neither solving the problems we create in our mind and in fact, believe that it only creates social drama. I hate drama. That said, not everyone can be pleased and it's usually the ones with the loudest bark (and the most influence, and money) who win the game. Since I don't have either of those two things, I remain mostly apathetic to social issues and focus on where it counts the most...my own family.

All that said, I'm very introspective and like to get caught up in my own little world of thoughts so disconnecting is a good excuse to hang out with myself  crocheting, reading or taking pictures.

When I crochet I get fixated on particular projects. Lately, it's been kitchen hot pads. I suppose it's because they are easy to work up and I get to play around with color. I LOVE creating color combos...







This is where professional photography would come in handy. I can guarantee you these hot pads are much prettier in person than they are displayed here.

Other random shots from the past couple of weeks...













Sunday, June 28, 2015

That Peaceful Feeling

By nature, I am a nature girl. I have always loved the outdoors and still do. I spend a lot of time meandering around my yard checking out my tree blossoms, pulling the weeds the sneak up, hanging out in my pool, watching the birds fly from tree to tree singing their song, watching sunsets and at night, star gazing.

Each morning as I make my morning pep (coffee), I fling open all my window blinds as to not miss out anything nature has to offer and allow the sun to shine in. While my coffee brews, I walk outside to check out what the day has to offer, whether it's a sunny or cloudy morning, humid or cool, gaze into the greenbelt for feeding deer or rabbits, and check my tomatoes and jalapenos.

Usually, I don't spend too much time out there and head back in to my coffee and computer time. This morning I just couldn't drag myself back inside...even for coffee.

I spent a good 30 minutes walking around my yard, listening to the birds sing, and enjoying the stillness the early morning brings. This practice gave me a sense of calm and peace for the rest of the day. I should include it as part of my routine every morning for sanity measures.

My Turks Cap blooming so pretty....


A blooming rose....


A spider waiting for his prey....


My Crape Myrtle blossom....


A surprise abandoned nest on a low branch in my Crape Myrtle...


More blooms....


On a different note, I got a little gift the other day. My dear husband bought me a replacement wedding ring for my original one. Yes, I know it's a little non traditional, but I'm not very conventional or traditional myself so, of course, I LOVE IT!!

I got Skye to model it for me because her hands are much prettier than my old, tattered ones....


I guess it's safe to assume he plans on keeping me around a while longer.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Buildings and Empty Nest

Yesterday Toby and I were looking for a little something "fun" to do. Since Skye doesn't like to join us on our daily outings much anymore, we chose something close to home. Even though she is old and mature enough to be left home alone, I won't feel totally comfortable going out of town and leaving her until she has a mode of transportation.

Thursday is free admittance day at the Blanton Museum of Art downtown so we headed there. After we toured the museum, we walked around downtown.

As we walked, our conversation gravitated toward sharing memories of Skye when she was younger and the different things she used to enjoy doing while we were downtown. Ironically, we looked forward to the day we could go off by ourselves and do things as husband and wife. Now, we talk about how much fun it used to be when Skye was with us enjoying our activities as a family. Toby asked me if I thought we would get "Empty Nest Syndrome" when she was gone. I thought to myself that it seemed like we already are experiencing it on some level.

All that said, you can't re-create memories. If she would have been with us today she would have been complaining about walking in the heat or being hungry or "tired".

Mostly, I took pictures of buildings on our walk......










Last night's sunset....


I love the Christmas season, so for me,  it's not too early to whip up a couple of angel ornaments...