adventure

Staycation

I had a staycation this spring break. It was amazing. I didn’t need an expensive beach trip. I didn’t need the crowds of Disney. I didn’t need to figure out travel restrictions from state to state.

Instead I opted for easy. Simple. No frills. Just a local staycation. I stayed and played. Lunch dates sitting outside enjoying the sunshine and company. Outdoor activities with friends and family. From bike rides to hikes to just playing fetch with the dog in the yard.

A little catch-up on the home to do list. A little planting. A little too much shopping. Some driveway car washing. Home cooked meals some which were good and some not so good. That is funny in itself.

Slept in a few days because I could not that I should. A little mix up in the routine and mundane. Let the laundry sit in the dryer an extra day. Spent some time visiting on the spur of the moment. A little thing I missed during the pandemic.

No rules. No have tos. No timelines. Come and go as I please. Something as simple as camping in your own yard or toasting marshmallows over a fire pit can seem like a vacation. Whether you stay or whether you go is up to you. You can make memories either way.

For me a staycation was just right for me. Now my family may say otherwise but this Chick enjoyed the stay. As simple as it was.

adventure, fitness and nutrition

I Hit the Road

For the first time in 2021 I hit the road for an 11 mile bike ride. Just me, the pavement, my trusty bike, a travel buddy, and some AirPods.

It was a spring day and the sun was beating strong. The breeze was just right when I went downhill. I took the scenic route on some roads that a small town noted as a great trek. I have no clue how many others take this trip but it was a fabulous ride today.

Good Hope, Georgia was the starting point. A postage stamp town of sorts. A gas station / general store and Dollar General were about the biggest storefronts I came across. That was fine by me today.

Instead of city life, I saw some chickens and lots of cows on the trek. I stumbled upon a historic landmark and breezed by what seemed liked a ton of cemeteries. Oddly enough the cemeteries were intriguing. Some had fresh flowers displayed and were well maintained while others were hidden gems in random spots where all else around them were either developed or forgotten areas. While riding my bike I very much enjoy seeing what is in plain sight. Some things we can easily miss when riding in a car rushing to our next destination.

The scents of the air were different with the passing miles. There was some fresh cut grass. There was the scent of animals lingering by the roadside. There were some nasty and foul stenches that smelled like the worst poop smell ever. Burning poop is all I could think of. I’m pretty sure some farmer was burning manure. The smell could cut straight through the best face coverings. Guess I know what to burn if I need to annoy my neighbors! ¬†Onto more pleasant aromas. The floral smells definitely were more enjoyable as many flowers and trees were blooming around.

The sounds of the ride were also fun. Listening with one ear for approaching cars or trucks. Guessing what kind of vehicle will pass you as you feel the car approaching your rear. So many drivers are courteous to bikers enjoying the day however others could be annoyed and want to cut a little close to you. Listening to engines crank for tractors and lawn mowers. Hearing kids giggle when you pass a pool.

The cows were not only chatty with their moo moo here and there but also with their interest in humans. They rose from their naps, came close to the fence lines and just stopped chewing the grass to see what was passing by. It was definitely an experience. Take the back roads. You never know what you may see!

I guess you are living on the edge when sharing the road with cars while you are on two wheels. Similar to a motorcycle yet self-propelled. It’s great to explore new places, try new things and just escape the ordinary. That’s exactly what I did today.

Opt outside. Take a ride on a bike or maybe try skates. Just opt for active and enjoy the outdoors. I am sure I will write more about my cycling adventures in 2021 as I am opting to travel to new spots to see what adventures unfold for me.

Until next time. These two chicks will leave you with some stinky reminders of the burning poop field. The fact that we stopped to take a photo indicates we have issues. Just saying! 

Thanks to @waltonwellness for the shout out on Instagram and the great trail experience. Be sure to find your local Share the Road project.

dare to be different

An Unexpected Reflection

A lot has changed in the last 6 months.

When I’m immersed in these changes, I am often only thinking about the next 6 inches in front of my face. What do I have to do next? And next? And then what next? I can’t or don’t or won’t let myself think much further down the road. This is especially true when I’m doing something so new, the path much further ahead gets murky easily.

With all the immersion in doing the next right thing, I sometimes miss the big shifts in life’s trajectory.

Then facebook of all things reminds me that I am going in a very different direction.

REI

Duluth Trading Company

Orvis

Columbia

Vermont Country Store

L. L. Bean.

Ads for layers of outdoor gear. Blankets. Durable pants. Long underwear. Boots. Bags. Lists of places to go. Seeds. Hikes. Kayaks. Rucks.

All of the sudden (it seems), my timeline is full of ads for everything outdoors. I’m a hiker, an adventurer. I am moving. It’s going to be cold, whatever I’m up to.

Do I click on these? Sure, sometimes. Facebook has me pegged. What was there before? Ads for makeup. Lists of all the great buys on amazon. Who knows. I don’t remember. But it definitely wasn’t backpacks and flannel.

This isn’t some big meaningful profound post. Just a funny observation of the ways social media reflects my life and interests and changes back to me. And it just makes me want to bundle up and go outside to move and play and work and adventure.

3Splitz Farm, working women

City Girl 2 Farm Girl

The title says it all. How do you take a city girl and drop her in the country and get her doing stuff? Farm stuff to be exact. Chores, using a knife, hauling trash and other non-city-girl things.

The easiest way to get her to produce is tell her she can’t and she will do everything in her power to prove you wrong. So to those who said you can’t, you shouldn’t, you won’t, it’s not for you, it’s hard work, and so on I’m toasting you right now. I am ever so thankful for your encouragement and motivation. 

The new flavor of this girl is country. It might be country on the weekend and city on the weekday but that’s okay. It’s what works right now. In life we all make sacrifices. If you have a dream and you want to put it into action you need to sacrifice, hustle and do what needs to be done.

That’s where progress and growth comes. You grow when you test your limits. You gain confidence when you push yourself beyond what you think you can do. Some things may take more practice than others but you will never know until you try. Try as much as you can as often as you can until you find what you love.

For me I’m one month into my new farm girl role. Oddly I found out I enjoy mowing the lawn. Mowing acres upon acres. It’s a mindless task but one that is physical, especially if your tool is a push mower. I guess I just drift away when mowing. No time clocks. No requirements to report to anyone. Just me and the mower having some quality time. I may also be daydreaming about getting abs from all my farm chores. A girl can dream, right?

I also enjoy the task of making trash hauls to the dumpster or burn pile. Maybe it’s that I get to hook up different trailers or wagons to my four wheeler and zoom off. Who knows. I just enjoy being a little worker bee. 

Speaking of quality time there isn’t anything much more rewarding than enjoying the outdoors, spending time with family / friends and just experiencing the great outdoors in many different ways. I’ve been an avid boater for years. One could say I enjoyed the same quality time but it’s lounge time which is not the same as creating, working and living on your homestead.

Arts / crafts, game nights, home cooking, barbecuing, and so much more. I even have a new farm chick shirt to honor the farm girl and author in me. I have the best of both worlds right now. I get to experience farming and tell the world about right here on this blog. My kids are seeing my shift and challenge of myself. It is my hope that it will inspire them to venture out in their own ways as they adult. The serene views of wildlife and historic barn will never get old because each day brings a different view. On most days it seems we have our own little climate in the mountains.

And for those of you out there who think farming is a lost skill, think again. Meat, veggies and other things are produced by farmers. Having direct access to farm items to my table is a compliment to my fitness and health journey. Fresh, quality and affordability. 

Hope you enjoy my farm sampling one month in. I even met some new critters this weekend. A skink, a snake and a giant spider. No picture of the snake because I was screaming while kicking my feet up as it slithered by. It was a black snake not venomous so the screams were not needed but seemed applicable at the time. There were many other creatures but those are just a few that had me on my toes.

Until next time, picture me honing my farming skills in one way or another.

nature

Plop Plop Plop

Not too long ago I wrote about sounds of the night. Specifically sounds at a friends house while in the backyard on a peaceful evening.

I also said I would test the sounds of the night elsewhere. This weekend it was on the farm. Another peaceful time but also different atmosphere. A rustic paradise nestled in the mountains but hidden in a mystic valley.

First, fireflies light up the air space in the distance. Then a bat flies by from time to time. Some light off in the distance from neighboring homesteads. These may not be sounds but it’s part of the vibe or atmosphere. A different kind of peaceful evening.

It was the calm before the storm. The clouds were bringing in a cooler, crisper air. Rain was lurking. You could smell moisture on the way. Does anyone even know what rain smells like? I think I do.

Into the cabin I go. The cabin with the red roof. The metal roof. Just like that the rain swept in. First, the wind starts hissing. Not a full howl but the leaves a-shaking in the trees. A few little branches hit the roof with a faint sound.

Then a drip, drip, drip sound appears. The sound of a dripping faucet comes to mind. Quickly it shifts to drip-drip, drip-drop, drop-drop-drop. The drops come faster. They turn into plops. Plop-plop-plop.

Plops don’t last long (neither do the plops in a toilet) oh my. Not quite a monsoon but a hard rain rolls in. One that would drench you if you had to run to car from the grocery store. Fast, hard, fiercely pounding rain. The sound was amazingly satisfying on the red roof top. The metal rooftop made the rain experience special.

It wasn’t long until I dozed off to sleep. A peaceful sleep. Unfortunately I know many who don’t sleep well at night especially with all the life stresses of a pandemic front and center.

It is my hope that just one reader will listen to their nightfall sounds and enjoy them as they drift off to sleep. For some it may be a subway train, for others it may be fast cars on their Main Street. Wherever you are enjoy tonight. I know I will.