Start a Resolution

I used to think that New Year’s resolutions were, well, kind of cheesy. Shouldn’t you always be setting goals? Why does turning the page on a calendar matter?  This year, I’m trying to shift my thinking. Trying to see crafting a list of resolutions as a chance to slow down and approach life with some intentionality. It’s cold and miserable outside, I’m sort of cocooning inside, so it seems like a good time for reflection and planning.

One resolution that I have set? More flowers inside!image

My husband picked up a few bunches of cut flowers a few days ago for $4.00. I arranged them very simply in some empty bottles. Not expensive, not fancy, but what a mood brightener. So one of my resolutions? To remember to take the time to treat myself to the joy of a bouquet more often.

What are you planning for yourself in 2016?

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Holly Hill

Sunny day off, snow on the ground, seemed like the perfect opportunity to visit Dawes Arboretum in order to enjoy it in its winter glory.  Well worth the drive.

018Holly Hill houses a huge collection of hollies.  The berries really pop against the snow.

Dawes 003 Dawes 021 Dawes 028  My eyes get quite hungry for color when I’m outside during the winter, so Holly Hill was particularly rewarding.

Dawes 034 020Things have been unrelentingly gray lately. I really appreciated the seeing the bright blue of the sky today!

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If you get a chance to go to Dawes Arboretum in the winter, I highly recommend it!  I’d also recommend parking at the visitor center and hiking back to Holly Hill rather than taking the auto loop.  It was a bit hairy due to the ice on all of the hilly bits.  Our vehicle actually got stuck, but staff very kindly unstuck us with their tractor and a minimum of teasing.

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Beautiful!

 

Yum, yum!

Life has been on the busy side of things lately, so it was an especially lovely treat to have a slow, lazy day at home with my husband today.  He made the yummy goodness above (North Carolina shrimp, cheesy corn grits, biscuits, and eggs) for brunch, we walked the pugs, and I gave myself a mud mask.  I love mud masks.  But I’ll spare you a picture of that!

The icing on the lazy cake?  We are planning to watch what promises to be a festival of badness tonight:  the made-for-t.v. Lifetime Movie Network epic, “Liz & Dick”.  Lindsay Lohan in what looks to be a “Showgirls” for our times –it should be its own version of cheesy goodness.  Intrigued by the proposed drinking game over at Go Fug Yourself:  http://gofugyourself.com/the-official-gfy-liz-dick-drinking-game-11-2012?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+celebuzz%2FKggb+%28GoFugYourself+RSS%29.  I plan to follow along with a big glass of water.  The commercials alone would leave one well and truly blotto, so playing along with water seems like a great way to make sure I’m actually getting in my recommended daily allowance of H2O  instead.  Because it’s important to hydrate. 🙂

Oh, and the sunset tonight was really lovely (albeit too early!).

 

 

Moving Forward

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook this morning:

My FB feed this morning is all over the place, from elation to resigned bitterness. Although I am pleased by the outcome, I am struck by how blessed I am to have such a diverse group of friends & how blessed we are to live in a society that’s free enough to share those feelings. Thank you to all our veterans who signed on to protect that freedom for us.

Although I am pleased with yesterday’s outcome, I’m worried, too.  This election was so ugly and divisive that it’s a little hard to feel like there were really any winners.  I hope that in the coming days and months people and politicians can find a way to come together and meet in the middle instead of calcifying into rigid, angry stances.

Happy Election Day (I hope!)

 

Hooray, Election Day is finally here!

Living in a battleground state,  like I do (Ohio), I can say that election fatigue does set in after a while.  So many annoying phone calls, more flyers in the mail than should be legal, and all manner of hyperbolic rhetoric coming at you non-stop for months.  Wouldn’t it be lovely if we legally shortened our campaign seasons?  Like, 12 weeks and no more?  And personally, I’m sick of having to replace my yard signs because they keep getting stolen.  That just strikes me as extra grotesque:  I mean, the whole point of a democracy is that everyone is entitled to her or his own opinions.  It would never occur to me to steal from someone just because we have different political beliefs.  Yuck.

So this election season has been a bruiser.  It is both a relief and also a whole different kind of horrible tension waiting to see what the outcome will be.  But I did my part, I voted.  I hope everyone eligible to do so did the same!

Farming Like It’s 1889

Last Sunday, I popped out the Slate Run Park with some friends.  We hiked a bit and also visited the Slate Run Living Historical Farm that is part of the park.  I’ve been a few times before and always enjoy it.  This time was no exception! The farm is run by costumed interpreters and everything is done as if it were the 1880’s.  Guests can check out the farmhouse and barn, see all kinds of live demonstrations, hang out with the farm animals, try some period games, and even help with simple tasks (like pumping well water and then watering the veggie garden).

Side view of the farmhouse, and a bit of the veggie/herb garden.

The restored Gothic Revival style farmhouse, from 1865.

Inside the farmhouse–isn’t the trim around the door great?

I also loved this miniature greenhouse they had inside the farmhouse.

The magnificent barn at Slate Run, built by the farm’s 4th owner and later restored by Amish craftsmen.

I can’t remember what kind of sheep this ram was, but look at those extreme horns!  The farm’s livestock consists of heirloom breeds—older breeds that are becoming quite rare due to the rise of factory-style farming.

A rare Slate Turkey (Sometimes called Blue Slate). The Slate Run Living History Farm’s flock of Slate Turkeys accounts for about 18% of the entire population of Slate Turkeys in the world.

The chickens have a gorgeous run and an immaculate coop. If someone were to transport that coop to my backyard, I would love to transform it into an office.

I can’t lie, even though the hog barn was quite lovely and well-kept, the smell was too much for me. The smell in the main barn— a mix of hay, horses, and cows— is one I find nice. But man, pigs really stink.

Maude, a draft horse, was clearly less excited to see me than I was to see her!

A team of draft horses in action, plowing a field. Visitors are following behind, clearing out rocks turned up by the plow.

Next up:  gaming like it’s 1889 and making our own fun with faux-senior portraits!