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5 am Bagel

I’m heading over to your house now he texted. It’s 5 am, nobody is awake I said. But you have bagels and I don’t he exclaimed. 5 minutes later the dogs are barking, the toaster is toasting and bodies are in motion. It’s still dark, it’s still not past 6 am. No school today. A day off work. Why oh why and am I awake?

Time to take the dogs out for the morning when they were perfectly content sleeping in. These little pups have no clue why they were jostled but they go with the flow. They bend and flex. They are loyal to the core whether it’s 5 am or 5 pm. We should model a dog’s resilience and adaptability more times than not.

Days like the one above may seem annoying in the moment, but today it seems like just what the doctor ordered. Nobody really likes a quiet house. They like a lived in house. That means people, laughing, chaos, and so on. This morning was a good example of such.

When I think back to my younger days I had siblings around most days but as the youngest those days thinned out. Less people. Less laughter. Less chaos. I never really thought about those days from my mom’s view until I myself had the shift in my own life.

Days dwindle. The kids go off on their own. College. Marriage. The teen who is always out engrossed in activities. Sometimes it’s just me and the dogs. Idle minds wander. As I reflect on the random visits for laundry, the 5 am pit stop for a bagel, the hi, what’s for dinner tonight randomness is part of what makes a house a home. Unpredictable times.

The family. The community. The chaos. One day this will be gone In the blink of an eye. However, we can all appreciate a reminder to live in today. Appreciate what is front of you. Even if it’s 5 am, the connection of people or sense of community is really what it’s about.

On a recent trip, I was the 6am girl. Are you making coffee I said to my neighbor. She replied yes. Can I come over? She replied yes. I enjoyed my early morning community. I think she did too but was she thinking omg why are you calling me at 6am? I don’t know. I didn’t even think about it then. 5 am, 6 am, 7 am are just time stamps. Open yourself up to the unexpected. Foster community with whomever needs it. You never know when opportunities like this will fade. Seize the moment. Make the coffee. Enjoy the memories.

As I go through phases in life, I see the same things differently. Some days I’m appreciative. Some days I’m annoyed or frustrated. A lot of days I’m tired and overwhelmed. However days like today? I’m thankful that I have life in front of me. As chaotic as some days get, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I’m not homeless, but many are. I’m not jobless, but some are. I’m not hungry, but some are. Today I shift a little from my normal routine to spoil some around me. Spend time with cherished family members. Live in today, because I can. I’m making that choice. I’m taking that time. There is a spontaneous part of life that we can easily miss with so many have tos on our plate. 

I can’t ever get time back thus I must use my time wisely. 24 hours each day. You choose the path. Work? Family? Friends? Memories? Fitness? The beauty of today’s time is all mine. How I choose to share my hours and minutes is all on me. I plan to make spontaneous choices at random intervals over this year to ensure I am staying true to opportunities even if they appear at 5am.

challenges

Food Pong

Most people have heard, observed, or played beer pong at some point in their lives. Some may remember more details than others. I’m also sure there is a kids version of pong but today’s twist is food pong.

Same red solo cups. Same instructions. Only instead of beer there is a mystery snack or something that may have been liquid but is now frozen or jelled. Such a scary game to play when you don’t know what’s in the solo cup. Will you like it? Will you puke? Only time will tell.

First up I got Wickle Pickles. I had to eat a couple of these, but they had a nice zing of spice that lingered. Then came the nacho kale chips that were supposed to taste like Doritos but I’d say it was closer chalky dirt. Up next was vodka-soaked gummies which were pretty self-explanatory but not a good accent to the other items.

A little alcohol-infused gummies didn’t settle my tummy for what was next. Birthday cake flavored peeps. So much sugar sitting in my stomach on top of the mess already loaded in there. If I wasn’t already to quit, out came the wasabi peas. I don’t even eat wasabi with my sushi, making this a hard one to stomach.

Now that I have played food pong or pantry pong, I think I would recommend beer pong every time. It seems more logical to choose the simplicity of beer and get a hangover vs feeling like you want to vomit for the next few hours.

in the end, this was fun, gross, and adventurous all at once. Stay tuned for my next adventure post to see what kind of trouble will lurk on the months and weeks ahead. 

nature

Snowy Sunday

All we heard all week on the tv, online, at work, and on the radio: the upcoming cold front that would include snow and ice or a mix of whatever would arrive and cripple the roadways. Be prepared for Snowmageddon because we rarely get snow. The grocery store was out of most good items by Thursday. No hamburger or chicken. Milk and eggs were scarce, too. As folks prepared to buckle down, life still went on for me and my crew.

It was about 10pm on Saturday night as our evening wore down. At the same time the crisp air began to get a little extra chilly. We hunkered down for the night. The wind was the first thing to wake me early early Sunday morning. The trees were swaying with wind gusts up to 60mph according to news reports. I sat and ate my breakfast by the window just watching with a hot cup of tea. The homemade version of medicine ball tea from Starbucks. A few branches broke. A tall but thin pine leaned over but was caught by another. The limbs were looking so heavy yet the sight was beautiful.

The snow accumulated as the day passed. Some sleet hit. Back to fluffy snow again. The dogs had their coats on and had some play time. I opted for no snowman this year. It’s not often we see snow therefore it was a fun play date for the dogs and equally fun to watch. The power flickered. We lost power for a short time but it was daylight so all was good. 

A few movies were played and the internet was blazing until we heard a boom. About 4:49 the loud sound hit. With the boom came a flicker. After the flicker the power was gone. I’m sure a transformer was blown. As the dark settles in for night, we hunker down with blankets and extra layers for a new storm experience. A candle is burning in each room for light. The pups are napping as is my crew.

While all is quiet I wrote away on my phone. The light shining while I still have battery juice to entertain me. A few texts here and there. A check on the power website for updates. A cookie to snack on. Oh how the silence can be golden but how you hear different sounds you may miss on a day with sounds galore. I’m also enjoying the scents of my candles as they float through each room. Another level of calm as the chill sets in the house air.

The road is idle due to weather leaving no sounds there. The kids that once played outside are now tucked inside, hopefully still dry and warm. I do hear a mouth breather napping and I also hear a snore here and there. A few creatures lick their chops now and again or let out a big stretch.

Maybe it’s time to crank up the generator or have an impromptu night in the camper. My snowy Sunday is a powerless one or has been for a few hours now. Off to put my hat on (inside) and prep for dinner which seems like it will require me to go outside to use the grill to cook. Baby it’s cold outside.

adventure, fitness and nutrition

Taco Time

Let’s talk about tacos for a minute. I’m not a super huge taco fan girl but I do eat them when it’s Taco Tuesday night at home or when my pals want to eat some tacos for a get together. On these occasions I am pretty simple. ground beef or chicken and maybe a sprinkle of cheese and some simple adorns like avocado or onion. Rarely am I ever a shrimp, fish or steak taco girl.

This leads me to an interesting decision. I opted for tacos for lunch on a recent trip. It was a simple choice. Bartaco noted above or street tacos per Yelp were close, within budget and rated high. I opted for Bartaco just because it won on the number of high reviews.

Enter the posh indoor/outdoor venue. A unique set up to start and the flair was added upon seating. You scanned the menu and ordered at will. Meaning if you ordered a steak taco that came out to table. If you ordered a drink that arrived. If you ordered guacamole and chips that arrived. If you ordered off the kids menu that was okay, too. All hit the table in the order each order was placed. For us we had some street corn, some guacamole and chips, a kids taco and then a bowl loaded with all our favorites. I opted for chicken and shrimp. My partner opened for chicken, fish and mushrooms. All were flavored well and had a zesty zing.

All was served on metal trays for added flair. The bill was electronic just like the menu. No real waiting on the check or the service. You decided the speed of service. For us we were limited for time this we ordered a bunch to share and packed up a nice size to-go bag/box. I must also take a moment to explain the to-go setup as I favored it!

I received a bowl and plastic lid for the leftover rice bowl. I received a small box that had an insert to stand up a taco as well as hold a street corn in place. For the added special touch the young lady provided a sleeve of hard shell tacos. The crunch! She packed the crunch to go! For anyone who appreciates a crunch this is such a winning move to elevates one’s to-go image. The crunch is packed separately not to get soggy or lose its appeal. This was confirmation I picked the winning lunch spot.

Not to mention, I had over ordered so now I have an early dinner all ready to go which helps immensely when traveling. Not sure if this is a local spot or a chain but if you are ever in Chapel Hill, North Carolina I recommend Bartaco. The pic below shows that the guacamole bowl was basically licked clean. The crunch I mentioned is the oversized shell below, half eaten. The trays for style points. The corn is obviously flavored well. Need I say more?

author moments, dare to be different

Island Life

I am not on a tropical island in the Caribbean but I am on an island off the eastern coast of the United States. Just a short drive over a long bridge gets you to this quaint little area. A peaceful spot surrounded by water and simple beauty. Island time is the best time no matter what island you are playing on.

My perch where I write this post is simply amazing. An old house converted into a coffee shop with sweets, desserts and of course custard. But it’s not just what they sell it’s the ambience they supply. An outdoor area with tables / chairs / umbrellas for those who want a little shade. The fire pit for those who want to socialize in a small group by the warmth of the fire. A nice play space with corn hole and shuffle board for a little entertainment. And who could forget the kiddie castle. Yes a two story castle with a rock wall, slide and other neat spots for kids to stay occupied while their adult humans enjoy this unique spot in their own way. So many details.

Palm trees. Sandy beaches. Shady spots. Local dining spots with individual flair. Beach bikes galore. An easier pace of life. The dinner spots open at 5pm while local shops close up early in the evening. Warm days and cool nights this time of year. A perfect escape not too far for me to get a taste of island life.

For now I must go to find the perfect spot to catch the sun setting on this gorgeous evening. Tonight I’m walking to each spot I visit. Partly to get my steps in but also to make sure I don’t miss any of the fine details in and around my new island destination.

I hope you enjoyed my short island life post to help you mentally escape from whatever crazy you are in the midst of.