Monday, January 19, 2015

Seaside Monday



 
I had a nice run today down by the ocean.

 
It was peace and calm as far as the eye could see....
 
 
 
Although you can't tell from this picture and you wouldn't know any difference unless you're from here, but the tide seemed especially low today. I wonder if it's because the sea was so calm and serene.
 
 
Laurie
 
 
 
 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Explorations and The Hard Place

We bought our house at the lake for this very purpose....to be closer to Lidia and Sawyer. We live for days like these. From the time they arrive on Fridays after school until they have to go home Sunday evening, they are in adventure and exploration mode. And Cliff is their captain.

Now, to be able to explore you have to have certain gear. Christmas gifts for Lidia and Sawyer (also known as L&S) this Christmas included hiking boots, warm clothing, gloves, toboggans and camping dishes and utensils. Their new camp in the woods at the lake is partially on a huge rock. Their camp's name is The Hard Place. Between a rock and a hard place....get it. Ha! They have a fire pit and a grill to sit on top so they can cook. The usual camp meals are hot dogs and things like that unless Cliff has a stash of squirrel or venison in the freezer.  Last weekend, camp fare was squirrel. My job was to boil the squirrel until tender and then they would cook it over the fire to give it that smoky campfire taste. But first, they had some exploring to do.

Saturday, it was misting rain and so cold that L&S wore their camouflage coveralls over clothes to keep warm. They stayed outside all day long with Cliff, exploring the area around the lake.


During the winter the water level in the lake is lowered so residents can do maintenance on their retaining walls and docks, etc. The lower water level gave them the opportunity to discover hidden treasures.

 
Cliff said, "Found a perfectly good chair left after lake level down three feet".
 
 
 
Artifacts recovered - musselobster, moonshine jug spout, 8th century candle,
Native American headpiece and ancient fossilized driftwood.

Sawyer eating mud ice....because I'm pretty sure Bear Grylls does.
 
Their exploration wasn't limited to the shore line, they went deep into the woods, too.
 
Into the woods.


Erecting a mound of stones as a marker, also known as a cairn.
 

Lidia and Sawyer's signature cairn at Mt. Vegroovious..
 
 
I can't stop laughing at this video. They were obviously thirsty at the end of their day. They look like the babies I remember sucking their bottles. 

 
 
 
Sunday, back at The Hard Place, Cliff prepared the fire for cooking their 'end of adventure' meal. Squirrel. I imagine that one day Cliff will also teach them to hunt squirrels.
 
 
 
 
Lidia with misty rain in her hair and blue nails sitting at The Hard Place eating squirrel.
 
No doubt, L&S are going to be the most outdoors savvy kids by the time their Papi gets through with them. And, Lidia and Sawyer love it. They don't miss television or video games. They never complain about being bored. Their imaginations run free. Oh the memories and stories they're going to be able to tell their kids one day. Adventures and explorations of a lifetime! 
 
Until the next expedition,
Laurie

 






Monday, January 12, 2015

The Epilator Incident


My friend, Pam, loves QVC. She keeps the QVC Channel on her television for background noise like I do the Weather Channel. You remember that my birthday is the week before Christmas, right? Well, for my birthday and Christmas, Pam gave me some Perlier Honey Miel body lotion, hand lotion and body wash, found at QVC. I absolutely love the stuff. I get it every year. She also gave me some Wen Shampoo and a sweater like one of hers that I had admired. I'm telling y'all, girlfriend hooked me up.

So, as we sat oohing and ahhing over our gifts and sharing products and good ideas as we women tend to do, she made me really excited to check out QVC for myself. I shared with Pam that I had wanted to try the Clarisonic cleansing system for your face and I thought that would be a good item to start. I ordered it, and love it. I was bitten by the QVC bug. I couldn't wait to see what else I could find on the Q.


After looking around on the QVC website, I noticed another item that sounded like something to try. I even watched a video about it.

It was an epilator.


Not just any epilator. It was an Emoji eRase Pro 60-Disc Epilator. Again, I watched the video and read the reviews. Anything that promises to prolong shaving your legs for 4-6 weeks had to be in my arsenal. Now, this epilator uses 60 tweezers to remove the hair from the root. It was designed for comfort and efficiency, with the description saying that the first time you use it, you may feel a pricking sensation. Pam has one. Well, ok then. I had to try it.


The epilator came the other day and sat in the box until I worked up the courage to try it....tonight.  I plugged that bad boy up and started sweeping the thing up and down my leg. 

O.M.G!!!

Do y'all remember Jerry Clower? Do you remember that holler he used to do when he was talking about coon hunting. Well Jerry Clower didn't have anything on me when I commenced to using that epilator.

Hawwwwwwwwww!

Pricking sensation my foot! I broke out into a sweat and felt my face get hot. I was sure I had steam coming out of my nose and I was afraid to look down because I just knew that the 60-Disc tweezers had just eaten my leg up. Everyone of those 60-discs were working on me....yanking out leg hair after leg hair. But as painful as it was, I couldn't stop. Because, how was I going to let one leg go 4-6 weeks in between shavings and the other one...every other day. No, I had to keep going. Y'all! It took me 30 minutes to epilate both legs.

Hawwwwwwwwwww!

Painful, yes. But in the end, I now have nice smooth legs. I can't stop rubbing them. Ha! And thank the Lord that Pam hooked me up with the Honey Miel. I'm super soothed now and going to bed. That was an exhausting experience.

I've got a yoga class in the morning. I'm going to need it.

Talk soon,
Laurie

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Just Get Some Real Shoes



When does old age start? Anyone know? I think it might be at my back door. Why? Well......why else would I be falling and such? Or...could Cliff be right? 'It's all about the shoes'.

On the trail run at Huntington the other day, I twisted an ankle. It wasn't bad, but enough to make me acutely aware of every step I took. Twisting an ankle on a trail run is probably par for the course. You know, because of the terrain and all....roots and holes covered by pine straw. I'm not the only one to ever twist an ankle on a trail run. Again, it was not bad. It doesn't even hurt. But, when you start adding up all the little incidents like that, one might start wondering. Am I getting old and feeble? Is this how it starts?

Just last night, Cliff had taken Lidia and Sawyer to the indoor pool at Lakewood and I decided to walk down there a little later. My "acute awareness of every step I take" was still on high alert. I had a few steps to walk down in the dark and it had been raining, so the steps were damp, if not slippery. Again, I was acutely aware of this. So I started traversing the steps slowly. I got to the bottom and the whole earth just dropped out from beneath me or so it felt. I had missed the last step and couldn't feel where to put my foot. I caught myself falling forward and quickly grabbed for the rail and lunged backwards. When I did, my legs bent into a very deep squat and I twisted my right knee, fell on my bum and scraped the heck out of my arm on the rail. And, the tips of my fingers grabbed something so fiercely that it has left them partially numb. I came inside and pulled myself together. Nurse Emily, our daughter, checked me out and nothing was broken. So I stood and everything was working properly. Once again, even more acutely aware of my surroundings, I left for the pool again.

This time, I turned the porch light on. Ha!

See?

The mind might be going, too. Why didn't I do that in the first place? Million dollar question!

Anyway, with the light on, I could see where to step and I took off down the pitch black road with dips and water puddles from the rain. I was so alert, by this time, that I saw every stick and pebble. 

When I got to the pool, I told Cliff about me falling and after checking to see that I was alright, the first thing out of his mouth was, "Well, if you would wear real shoes....".

Men!

So the rest of the conversation went like this:

Me: It was not the shoes, I missed a whole step.

Cliff: But still, your shoes are like high heels. Start wearing something that the heel is wider than your foot.

Me: I walk just fine in these shoes.

Cliff: If you're starting to fall, I'm going to have to put you in a wheelchair.

Me: HaHa! Or just get me one of those walkers with the tennis balls on the bottom.

Cliff: Just get yourself some real shoes!

 

Old or not, real shoes or not.......
 
I'll be back soon,
Laurie





Friday, January 2, 2015

A Trail In The Sand By The Sea


I didn't write a post yesterday, the first day of 2015. It was just Cliff and I....the kids have all gone home. I didn't feel well so I didn't do much of anything except cook our usual New Year's Day lunch....black eye peas and collard greens with cornbread. 

However, today, I wanted to run or ride the bike or something. So......after a late breakfast, Cliff and I decided to go on a trail run at Huntington Beach State Park. This particular run was threefold. The first was a trail through the woods, the second on the beach and the third on the jetties.

Part 1:
The wooded trail......


The trail was sandy, covered in spots with pine straw and had it's fair share of roots. I only twisted my ankle once and got stuck in the foot by a stick, once.

It even had some hills.

 
There were some pretty vistas. The path parallels a long pond. It's hard to see here, but ducks were plentiful. And if Cliff goes back there in the morning to duck hunt, I may need to start a fund for his bail money.

This is an oak, believe it or not.

Cliff thinks he may move in and build a house among it's branches.

I love running on boardwalks. We crossed two or three. Plus a major one that leads to the beach.
 
 
Part 2:
The beach trail.....

The major one.

The beach.


Do you see that thin black line in the middle of this picture? That's the jetties at Murrells Inlet and our destination.
 
Getting closer......
 
 
Part 3:
The jetty trail...

The destination.
 
The sea was so calm today.

Not much splashing on the rocks.
 
On the way back, Cliff caught crabs....
 
 
A crab, I mean, a crab. A horseshoe crab. LOL!!
 
 And, I thought I heard Cliff singing....
 
I got my toes in the water, toes in the sand
Not a worry in the world, a crab in my hand
Life is good today, life is good today
 
......under his breath.

Although, Zac Brown might want to slap him for monking with his song.
 
Just saying...

 

Well, this out and back run was nearly 6 miles. We had a great time and got some much needed exercise, as well. If I can keep Cliff out of the slammer and Zac off his back, we might take the bikes back tomorrow and ride them on the hard sand near the water's edge back to the jetties.
 
Til then,
Laurie



Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Low Down

 
I totally intended to make my last post of 2014 "A Year In Review", but as luck would have it, I left my life planner at home this morning. So, instead of a year in review, I'm going to give you the low down on Christmas this year. It has been one of the best I can remember in a long time, except for being slack in picture taking. I got some pictures Christmas morning with my regular camera and that was it.

Let me back up just a bit. I normally do everything at the last minute when it comes to Christmas. Shopping, baking, decorating...you name it. This year, however, I planned it just right. I started shopping around Thanksgiving. The week after, my decorations were up. And then it was time to start baking. I like to give homemade gifts and for the past few years, it has been food. This year I made chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, crack bark (OMG, you almost need to enter a 12-step program after eating this deliciousness), cinnamon rolls and pimento cheese. And it was all GOOD! I even pre-made my usual casseroles and brown rice that I would be taking to Mama's on Christmas Eve and to Cliff's sister's on Christmas Day. I had so much time on my hands that I even made some crocheted scarves for gifts.

Jason came home a week ahead of Whitney so that he and Cliff could duck and squirrel hunt. Jason needed a vacation because he starts nursing school full time, next week. He is working towards a career as a nurse practitioner. Emily, Lidia and Sawyer arrived on Tuesday. Whitney arrived on Christmas Eve morning. I was a happy mama. All my children and grandchildren were home for the holidays. Christmas Eve night, we all loaded up and headed to Mama's. All of my siblings and their children and grandchildren were there. It's been a year or so since we've all been there at the same time. It was very nice. The food, as always, was abundant and delicious. True to her word, Mama cooked her famous collard greens. I was a happy child.

Christmas morning started the same as usual. Santa Claus had delivered and was ooohed and aaahed over. The rest of the gifts were opened and everyone was happy and appreciative. Do you remember a couple of years ago that I really wanted to go on a Woman's Bike Tour? I never went because I started training for some running races, in particular a half-marathon. Well, 4 half-marathons under my belt now and no plans for a full anytime soon, I now have time to train for one of those tours. And, it's a good thing because that's just what Cliff gave me for Christmas this year. I am so excited! Woman's Tours and the Teton Valley.....here I come. After training, of course. In light of this new development, my posts this year will most likely be heavy on my training and progress. OMG, I can't wait. I'm pure giddy!

Monday, Cliff and I decided to do something a little differently. We roasted oysters.... just the kids and us....oh and Cliff's mama came over, too. This may be a new tradition. Time will tell.

Sadly, Emily and Matt had to go home yesterday for work. I'll see them and Lidia and Sawyer again this weekend. But even more sadly, Whitney and Jason had to go back home to Colorado, today. I won't get to see them for awhile. A total BUMMER!

This was such a great Christmas....one I'll remember for a long time. I just hope it's enough to hold me over until all my children and grandchildren are here with us again. As 2014 quickly comes to an end, so does the busyness we experienced this year. I hope 2015 brings us as many blessings, if not more. I'm certainly thankful for each and everyone of them. I look forward to a year full of exercising and continued good health, new adventures and I can't wait to tell you about some exciting family news. But not just yet, you'll just have to wait a while longer.

Until then......

Happy New Year,
Laurie


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Perfect Gift



Christmas 2014
 
I remember as a child the anticipation I felt waiting for Christmas and Santa. I didn't worry about shopping for that perfect gift for anyone. The beginning of the Christmas season was not marked with sales and shopping at the mall. Nope....for me it was the night that a Charlie Brown Christmas came on TV.  From then until Christmas Eve, I marveled in the lights and sounds and smells of the season. As children, we were wrapped in the knowledge of our Savior's birth. I had such warm feelings in my heart.  Today, I believe that feeling to be the love of Christ and the feeling of goodwill.

Some years ago, I wrote a newsletter for our Sunday school class. And as I sat here this morning, looking at my Christmas tree, I remembered a short article I wrote for one of those newsletters pondering the same thoughts and feelings.

From the Agape News, December 1995:

CHRISTMAS
 
The mere utterance of the word conjures up memories of the sights,
Christmas goodies and turkeys roasting in the oven.
The clatter and clanging of the malls.
The hustling and bustling to buy that perfect gift.
But as good as the memories may be
and as we prepare and anticipate another Christmas season,
ponder these questions for a moment.
What does Christmas and the Christmas spirit really mean to you?
Is it really all of the above?
Or, could it be that the true spirit of Christmas,
the way you feel at Christmastime, good will toward others,
is the way God's Spirit really is?
We hope that as you celebrate this holiday season,
you truly understand the real meaning of Christmas.
And that your homes are full of love for your families
and for the Wonder and Awe of our Lord and Savior's Birth.
 
THE PERFECT GIFT!
 
**********
 
 
I have so many reasons to be happy this Christmas and I will wallow in them all. My children and grandchildren are on the way home to spend Christmas with Cliff and me. I can't wait to wrap my arms around Lidia and Sawyer.
 
Last night, Mama and I were discussing the menu for Christmas Eve. She said that she was thinking about not cooking collards this year, which is her specialty. I nearly went into convulsions! She then told me that she thought better of it and that she would add them to the menu. I exclaimed, "Good, because no collards at Christmas would just be blasphemy"! She giggled and we hung up. Well, I just got a call from her and she said, "I just want you to know that there will be no blasphemy at my house on Christmas Eve, I just finished cooking the collards".  Ha!  She so gets me!
 
Well, wrapping up, I just want to wish you all a Christmas full of peace and joy, love and goodwill. And, I hope that your new year will be filled with abundant blessings.
 
Merry Christmas,
Laurie