Getting Away

Sometimes one just has to get away from things for a couple of days or even just a couple of hours. I believe it’s a necessity for everyone to de-stress in a completely different environment from time to time.

Sometimes it’s work, for others it may be bills or family issues. Some may have more serious things going on. At any rate, if at all possible, getting out of your normal environment can do wonders to boost the morale. My daughter and I had a chance to get out into the country for a couple of days and it was so nice to get out of the city, away from the stress. The drive was great. We drove with the windows down and the music blasting. Just relaxing and enjoying the scenery. I love the city, but it does get to be too much at times. Being in the countryside means getting away from the noise and lights.

Without the city lights the stars were so bright. The silence so much more complete without the constant dull roar of traffic and city noise. It was just the sound of crickets and the breeze rustling through the trees. Where I live, there’s alway some lights. Maybe not in my immediate area but definitely from the major roads and businesses close by. Out there in the countryside, it seemed even darker. Maybe  it just seemed that much darker when it was completed with the absence of city noises also.

Did you know that you can actually see spiders at night? Heh, I was told to take a flashlight and shine it across the yard. Mind you, I was standing in the middle of said yard at the time of this “said experiment”…  Anyway, I shone the flashlight across the yard. They were telling me to look for the shining diamond-like dots. I looked and saw all sorts of white things floating in the air. Pollen, dust and such. Okay, fine. so I see them. No biggie.

“No, no… You’re not looking at the right things.” I was told. “Look on the ground. There are glittering white dots all across the ground, not the pollen and such floating in the air.”

Again, I took the flashlight and really focused on the ground. I found them, hundreds of glittering, pin-pricks of white lights. Some were constant while others blinked on and off. “Okay, I see them,” I said. “What are they?”

“Spiders.”

Uh…. what??? Here I am standing in the middle of the yard and you’re telling me these pin-pricks of lights are spiders?? Not cool at all. “Seriously? or are you just trying to creep me out?”

To prove it, they took me over to the closest diamond glittering light and shone the light directly on the ground. Yep, sure enough there was a spider there. Apparently their eyes reflect the light if you shine it right on them. Once I saw exactly what those glittering lights represented, being out in the middle of the field didn’t seem so enticing anymore. I was quite ready to head inside. They thought it was amusing to see my daughter and mine’s reaction to this, that’s fine. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a city girl. Just get me away from these spiders. I was still fascinated by the whole picking them out just by shining a light at them only I prefer to do it from inside or some other safer spot rather than standing right there in the field among them.

The next day we spent some time among the chickens. They were the cutest things. My daughter fell in love with them. There was a rooster and his harem of chickens. I was so amused just watching them in the yard. The rooster really does watch over his ladies. He crows an awful lot though. Seriously, if I had to live with that every single day, I’d be so annoyed with him. I don’t though. So, I can actually enjoy watching him and his constant crowing.

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You can see him here, crowing away…

And if you mess with his ladies, he gets quite upset. It was absolutely hilarious to watch. We were warned that he can be quite aggressive. That if he feels that you are messing around with his harem. Yes, I like to call it his harem because it just feels right to me. Here you have a lone male surrounded by a bunch of females. He protects them and warns them of what he feels may be impending danger. The funniest part was when he decided to chase my daughter. She was warned that he could get aggressive. “Okay fine” was her answer. It didn’t stop her from going out and trying to catch one of the chickens. Well, he had enough of her messing with his ladies and decided to give her a little charge. She skipped away and he stopped. Eh, she thought, no biggie. She didn’t view him as much of a threat. And headed back in among the chickens again. He charged her again. She started trotting away from him. This time he kept coming. We were standing over on the edge of the yard yelling at her to run and run faster. She looked behind her and he was actually gaining on her. I saw her kick her running up a notch. She still didn’t look too worried. But the rooster was determined and was absolutely not stopping. I could see that he was right on her heels and she knew it for she could feel him behind her as she ran. He was just waiting for that right moment when he could lift up with his wings and attack her with his spurs. I think at this moment she really took him seriously and began sprinting.  She was also yelling for help at this point. I have to say I was a horrible mother at that moment because I couldn’t stop laughing. It was so comical to see a creature significantly smaller than an adult sized person actually get so bold and aggressive. The only thing that saved her was the fact that she reached me and we had a dog on a leash with us. That rooster wasn’t going to mess around with a dog. At any rate, she’s got a little more respect for him now.

Here are some of his ladies…

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My favorite… bouffant lady

This one was the matriarch of the chickens. She seemed to be the head female of the bunch

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There were horses also

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Don’t let things overwhelm you. When it gets difficult, try to find a way to get out. Go someplace different. Get into a new frame of mind. Something that will take you away from problems or aggravations to relax. This may seem silly to some but for me being around the chickens kind of took my mind off of everyday issues. Watching them run around the yard and interacting with each other was a way to escape. There were also three chicks and seeing how they had three chickens assigned to take care of each of those three chicks was precious. They would stay on the ground and close to the coop with them rather than up on the perch or out in the yard with the rest of them was just so amazing to watch.

I’m good now, more relaxed and ready to face the week ahead.

 

 

Nothing like a good run

After weeks, months of getting sidetracked from my running schedule, I went for a long one today and it felt great. Granted, it was more of a walk peppered with short running bursts, but the main thing is getting out there. The release of endorphins in my brain always makes me feel more positive and energetic. There are several different routes that I like to take when I get out there to run. They’re based on the time I have for running and my mood. This one is one of the longer ones that I like to take on the weekends if I don’t have other pressing things to do. It takes me out for a good hour and by the time I get home, I’m tired, sore and exhausted but I always feel great mentally. It’s a beautiful route. almost zen-like if you can just lose yourself in the surroundings.

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Quiet, lots of shade and just beautiful.

When I don’t run or do some type of exercise, I usually start feeling frustrated and negative about things. That’s probably why I keep going back to running. It just takes away the negative energy and clears my head. If any of you read my last post, you’ll see that I was really at a point where little things were bothering me. I know so many negative people. All they see around them is the negative aspects of things. In reality everything has negative and positive aspects to them. It’s all in what or how you choose to look at them. When I’m not feeling good about myself, not making time for exercise then I can easily fall into that trap also. Without preaching, I’ve tried to share my feelings about exercising on a regular basis and typically the response I get is that they don’t like to get sweaty and dirty. Okay, that’s their choice and I respect that. For me, an hour of sweating in the heat and pushing through discomfort really pays off in feeling good the rest of the day.

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How can one not enjoy being out in this beauty?

Some people are able to set up a schedule for themselves and adhere to it. I find it impossible with an elderly parent and a teenage daughter. Too many unexpected things come up. That’s why I really need to push through being too tired on some days and take full advantage of every day that I can possibly get running in. The other stuff I can’t help.

I’d join a running club if I could. It would probably give me that extra motivation to be around others who enjoy the same thing. And to have a running partner who is counting on me to show up at a certain time for our run. Maybe someday when life settles down a bit more for me.

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To all you runners out there – see you tomorrow out on the trails…

Life is Beautiful…

I’m around some people who don’t see beauty around them. It makes me sad when I hear them talk about suicide or being depressed. I’m not bipolar but I have had very close experiences with people who are and it’s really tough to see them go through these extreme lows.

Please, if anyone out there is interested. It’s such a precious place we live in. There’s so much beauty surrounding us. It may not be right next door but it’s definitely on our planet. Use your imagination…dream… let your mind go places that you may not be able to go physically at this moment.

I believe in the power of positive thinking. I think that when you feel that things are possible. They really can be. There’s no limitations except what you place on yourself.

I, myself, plan on traveling. I just have to wait a couple of years for my daughter to graduate school. Then I can just pick up and go. Possessions are nothing. Life, love and experiences are everything.

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A perfect rose…

 

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Skiing at midnight…

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Kayaking through the mangroves…

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A beautiful Autumn sky…

I don’t even have money to travel but yet, I can have these experiences. So if I can convince anyone that life is beautiful around the corner….I’ll be happy.

 

 

It was a dark and stormy night…

I love storms. The sight of dark clouds building and racing toward you. Lightening streaking across the skies and thunder sending vibrations across the ground. There’s just nothing else that’s as awe-inspiring as the weather. When it gets like that, I love curling up on my huge armchair and watching the rain pelt against the window.

It’s Friday night and I’m free, on my way home from work. I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things, just one more errand that just has to be done before I can crash and enjoy the weekend looking at me in the face. When I went inside, the day was ok, overcast as it had been most of the day…rather blah, nothing dramatic. I was in the store just long enough to pick up some munchies, wine, along with some necessities like toilet paper, laundry detergent, etc… It took maybe 20 minutes to a half hour at the most. When I exited the store, all I saw was black, rolling clouds. Streaks of lightening and wind whipping across the parking lot.

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I stood there just outside the door for a few moments just looking at the beauty of it. Then I realized that a lot of that blackness I was looking at was actually a sheet of rain, really hard, drenching rain from the looks of it. Then my eyes scoped out where my car was and my brain kicked into gear trying to determine if I had a chance of reaching the car before the rain did. This storm was obviously moving fast judging from the fact that it was nowhere in sight when I entered and the length of time I had been in the store.

I knew I didn’t want to spend my first few hours of freedom standing under the protective canopy of the grocery store waiting on the rain to stop, so I immediately hightailed it toward my car. The storm marched toward me. My hair started whipping around my face and I could feel a few huge wet drops hitting me. When I got to the car, I practically threw everything in the trunk, taking special care with my wine bottles. Don’t want to mess around with those on a Friday night. I made it though. I even took the time to run over to the special cart places where you leave your shopping carts. I’ve seen shopping carts rolling willy-nilly in parking lots when storms move in. They can do some damage to cars and I don’t want to be responsible for scratching someone’s prized car. Anyway as soon as I jumped into my car, the rain started pelting the windshield.

I still needed to get home and into the house. Seeing as I live in the opposite direction of where the storm was coming from, I figured if I drive quickly (very quickly) I might have a chance to beat the storm. So I took off. I actually did get ahead of the storm and the mad race began again. This time taking all the bags out of the trunk and throwing them just inside the house, again taking special care with the wine bottles. I no sooner got everything inside and closed the trunk of the car before the raindrops started pelting me. Fate was working in my favor tonight.

The brunt of the storm has moved through, but it’s still raining. Cool sweetness of the earth soaking up the water from the heavens. Perfect time for this…

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Happy Friday everyone, hope your evening is as relaxing and sweet as mine is right now.

The Perfect Rain

Ever feel like that? When you’re out and the rain comes, but it’s perfect. It fits the day, the mood and just lends fresh, clean feeling to everything.

I went out running this evening after work. It wasn’t easy for me to get started. I was tired, feeling sluggish and lazy. One of those days when I just had to push through my desire to vegetate on the sofa and get out there. It’s Monday and I was feeling sore still from my run over the weekend. Work is always heavier on Mondays. Then on top of all that, I needed to make a couple of stops on my way home after work to pick up a few things. It was hot and muggy. I felt sticky and dirty. Need I go on?? I just did not want to get out there today.

For me, when I get like that, I just need to keep moving. Do one thing after another, methodically get myself prepared to go. Didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about it, but I also couldn’t allow myself to sit down because the sofa has a tendency to wrap itself around me and just keep me cocooned in its soft comfort. Anyway, I finally ran out of excuses and headed out the door.

It had been raining off and on the whole day mingled with sunshine and that usually creates a hot, steamy, sticky mess. So the heat immediately hit me in the face as I walked out the door. I willed myself to clear my mind of all discomfort and focus just in the moment and started walking. Then I started trotting, slowly, but I was moving. Without really noticing it, some clouds had moved in and a nice little breeze was kicking up.

Then the rain came…gentle and soft. Caressing my skin. Cooling it. Not enough to soak my clothes or even really get them wet but just enough to dampen my skin with fresh, cool moisture. Replacing the stickiness from the earlier heat of the day. Giving me energy to pick up my feet and break into a run. I could see the soft gray clouds drifting surrounded by blue skies.

I’ve had several instances in the past month where I went running and came back home soaked because a storm moved in. My clothes would literally have to be wrung out and my running shoes would be unwearable for a few days as they needed to dry out. While getting caught in a storm isn’t a bad thing, in fact sometimes it can be fun…it’s definitely not so much fun if the lightening decides to come out.

Today’s rain was perfect though.