I heard Mandy. I replied with Candy. Upon arrival I read Barbie. I may have giggled a bit at that point. What am I even talking about?
For those of you who know me I like to use an alias. I especially like to use an alias when I drive through to get a cup of coffee. Sometimes my name is is Penelope. That one gets a giggle when I am immediately asked to spell it. Sometimes I’m Felicia. Hay name is awesome to hear back when the person at the window say bye Felicia….then realizing what they did. Makes my day every time.
Sometimes it’s Frances. An old timer name but it’s my mother’s middle name so I use it for good reason or as a virtual cheers/toast to her. But today it was Candy. Maybe it was what I thought of the day after Halloween. Maybe it was because it rhymed with Mandy. Either way I giggled at myself. Sometimes you need to just giggle at yourself to lighten the load of the day.
As I drive around to the window I’m giggling to myself knowing that when the person sees my app scanned they will see my real name. But it’s okay as her real name was Barbie so I didn’t even hear her correctly. MandyCandyBarbie. They all sound good together.
As I enjoy my first sip feeling of my hot cup of coffee on this fall evening, I smile and think to myself how I can just add a little joy to my day with my imaginary names or alter ego and a warm cup of coffee. Simple things make me smile when the rest of the world seems crazy.
I also saw a ton of Barbie costumes this Halloween which made the Barbie name tag extra funny today. Halloween was a little lame this year but my day after made up for it.
Wonder what name I will be on my next visit? I guess it depends on my mood. Maybe once a year I use my real name. Funny nobody working ever questions my silly names.
I never thought candle wisdom was a thing until I started getting candles with wise words or wise ass sayings on them. I never really wrote about this but it’s been on my mind thus I’ll give a shout out to some candle makers who have made my day, my week, my season and so much more.
We shall start with the Evil Queen brand. This company does it right! Baddassery, flair and scents that freshen up the stinkiest of rooms. My newest scent received in a gift bag was pretty awesome (shown above), but I can’t forget the new fall scent that makes giggle and smile as I illuminate my living room with freshness (see below). The fresh apple scent is just the right amount of fall flavor to warm the room.
Sitting right next to the coffee maker in the kitchen you will find this beauty. The perfect reminder for the day. Exhale the bullshit! We all need to put that on repeat. Well I do each time I light that sucker up. These candles are such conversational pieces.
The list can go on and on but this company does it right. From clever sayings to seasonal scents to dog mom status. I do believe I’m fond of the boss lady candles as well. I may keep those as power scents for the office. I just adore them all. Way to go evil queen!
I may have just shared my favorite candle wisdom brand however there are others out their taking their shot at the big time or even local small time gigs. I get some nice scents at the local farmer markets and I seem to always get candles in my gift bags. The most recent gift exchange yielded this beauty:
I keep this bad boy on my night stand. This way I burn away the shit of the day just before I retire for the evening. Now this wise woman said: go get you some candles with style, sass and then some. I promise you will giggle every time you look at them. You might even get a full belly laugh when you light it up.
We are in year 10 or 11 of my daughter playing lacrosse. From the little kid beginner leagues to top-tier national tournaments in front of college scouts, she has competed at nearly every level. Many of our summers have been organized around lacrosse travel. It has taken us from the New York to Colorado and many states in between. We have had joy and laughter and lots of learning. Extended car trips have given us loads of time to connect.
She is a great lacrosse player. She may not score a ton of goals, but she excels at her position which often helps set her team up for success. She is a leader.
At some point in the last year, she decided that playing competitive lacrosse in college was probably not her path. She has had opportunities and offers, but never really followed through on them. She likes to play a lot of different sports and doesn’t want to eat, breathe, and live lacrosse in college.
It has taken me time to get my own ego out of the way and listen to what she is telling me. She highlighted this revelation in her college essay. Stepping back from all-lacrosse-all-the-time has helped her appreciate both lacrosse and other parts of life like travel and other sports she enjoys. Stepping back doesn’t make her any less of an athlete. It just means she knows what she wants and the life of a division-level athlete isn’t it. She has her heart set on our amazing state school, and we are waiting to hear if she gets in. In the mean time, we both know this may be her last go around with lacrosse, and as a senior it is definitely a farewell year with many of the girls who have shared her path along the way.
One of her wishes for this fall was to play a couple of “fun” tournaments with her friends. They are all amazing athletes and naturally want to win, but for this, winning wasn’t really the main goal. They didn’t really want to practice. They wanted silly outfits and giggles. They wanted to coach themselves. They just wanted to pick up and play the sport they love. So my job became to make that dream happen.
Weeks of planning. Most of these girls have played together at the same school across a number of years, but a few extras helped round out the roster…a couple of freshmen who were looking for a team, a friend who had moved to another district. After the roster, we started on the details….a cheeky, punny team name: “Halloweeners.” Goofy custom tie-dye shirts with unlikely numbers on the back (how does the ref call 911? 8008? Infinity? Pi?) Silly socks. Then the girls added funny face paint and onesies / costumes / tutus and we were the merriest band of misfits taking the field that Saturday. Even the refs smiled at our names and could see how much fun they were having.
I got to be the adult on the sideline, but I wouldn’t know how to coach them really. They took care of all that. They laughed, they complimented each other, they pointed out things to work on. They fought like hell during the games and laughed like hell during the breaks. It was pretty awesome to witness the level of positivity these girls shared with one another. They trusted each other and gave their best. Every single girl had moments of brilliance. After four wins they lost to a respectable team playing high level lacrosse in semi-finals. No one hung their heads. They had a great day.
As we got in the car to head home, I asked my daughter if she had gotten her wish? She said yes. It was fun. It was friends. It was laughter and low-pressure. Since she knows she is not committing to college lacrosse, this is her time and her group to enjoy the sport she loves.
We’ve talked about life being lifey lately. In addition it’s just been a busy, hectic time. Sports leagues, long days at work, volunteer commitments, owning businesses and all that goes with it…it’s just kinda out of control these days.
My county had a true fall break this year for the first time. A glorious five-day weekend in the middle of my favorite time of year, the fall. When I saw this coming on the calendar, I imagined a quick trip to the coast for some salt and sand therapy. Or maybe a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway to see the leaves change. A long hike in the great outdoors or laughs at Dollywood. I dreamed of a getaway.
Life being what it is, enough little commitments popped up that a getaway wasn’t in the cards this year. Just too much going on and the lure of catching up mixed in with a few poorly-timed “have tos” would keep me at home.
As I scrolled through the posts of colleagues and local friends who had hightailed it out of town to Disney or even Napa Valley, I had to reframe my mindset. Instead of being stuck at home pouting, how could I find those moments of vacation in my days?
Coffee Break: I love my coffee in the morning, but it’s generally on a timer. I have my two cups then I’m out the door. I decided to reframe my mind to think of an extra cup of coffee at a leisurely pace as a morning getaway. Even just a slower pace can be a helpful break.
Day trip: I went to a town I had never been to for a few hours to hang out / support / cheer on friends. I ate at a local bagel shop. I saw some new places and things to wonder about. It was less than two hours from home, but just taking that little trip made me feel refreshed from my day-to-day.
Appreciate nature: I had some things to take care of at the farm this weekend. Although I had work to do, I tried to remind myself to stop and appreciate the beauty of the dahlias and fresh fall air. I ate lunch outside on the porch. I took a few extra moments to breathe it all in and notice it.
Maybe noticing is the secret to finding those moments of vacation in daily life. Slower coffee, looking around a new place, taking a moment to observe and appreciate the nature that I often speed by on my way from task to task.
I do still feel that pull to take a trip, but for now these little vacation moments will tide me over. They are always there if I take the time to slow down for a minute and notice them. Yet another instance of how we can choose daily.
Today was a full day in nature. When I’m out and about in nature I like to snap photos to remember my time away. The time reflecting in nature. As I have aged I find these simpler times to be peaceful and worth capturing.
These stairs were a fun climb on this day. They were not evenly spaced. They were steep steps. They were winding and sometimes rocky. There were some sticks poking out at times as well. This picture is a cool memory of the climb after the wonderful view of the waterfall below.
This bridge was the halfway point on my recent hike. It was a wider than most bridges you pass on a hike but it was a great photo spot. Each side had different water views with varied rock formations. We definitely took some group photos in this spot, but I also enjoyed snapping the naked photo of just the bridge. The still moment without people was a good memory for me.
Now the bridge also also had a side that spilled over or filled the lower level and small falls. You could not have imagined from this view how breathtaking the pooled water would have been below. The blue coloring and surrounding rocks were super cool. The flow of the spillage was just right to create a small water fall.
The fork in the road. Which path is the better choice? For me we went down one way but came back the other way. This way nothing was missed. Traveling to new places is fun. You just go with the flow and embrace what path you end up on. Wonder how many could embrace that philosophy in life?
This water fall was so amazing to visit. It was cool to be here on a day with heavy rain. Mist and fog in the air. Raging water coming over the edge causing a spray like no other. It was refreshing to say the least. As you can see in the picture I enjoyed my climb to get close to the water for the full experience.
If you are unable to get into nature I hope that these pictures give you the virtual experience through my eyes. Opting outside is one of my favorite pastimes. I also love exploring with others. Just hanging out or hugging a tree.