Tag Archives: nature

Weather, Work and Politics

Happy Memorial Day weekend everybody!

The weather looks a whole lot better than what they were calling for today. 

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I’m starting to think that being a meteorologist is the way to go.  You get paid to guess at the weather, and you don’t even have to be right! ;)  Thursday they were calling for it to be 73 degrees with scattered showers.  Last night they were saying it would be cloudy and raining on and off all day.  Now:

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Hopefully it will stay this way and Larry and I can go to our new pool for the first time!  ;)  We went running by it the other day and watched the swim team practice.  I can’t wait!

I want to take a minute to explain why I haven’t been posting every day the past few weeks.  At first I wanted to apologize, but then I realized that a simple explanation might do

I love to write this blog.  It has brought me so much happiness.  I have a more positive outlook in life and feel less stressed (most of the time!).  It  has been therapeutic for me.

This being said, there are some days, after a long day of work and daily to-dos, that posting would just be stretching myself too thin. On those days, I have to make a choice.  Some of those days I choose to write, and I feel myself relax, and I’m happy I did it.  However, on others, I choose to relax with Larry and take a day off.  That feels pretty good, too!

This week was SOL testing week, and work was pretty crazy.  Have you ever tried to keep a class of 22 eight  year olds silent for 3 hours, five days a week???  Talk about exhausting! 

Thank goodness testing is over now, and we can go back to a somewhat normal routine.  My goal is to get the kids outside as much as possible.  We are going to do a lot of Project Learning Tree lessons.  These kids need to be outside in nature, moving and being active.  Not stuck in a classroom, being silent, and filling in tiny little bubbles for hours on end.  I could go on and on about the demise of public education in America, but I won’t bore you with politics today 😉

Today I plan on going for a 5 mile run, followed by a thorough house cleaning, Target trip, and possibly a little Memorial Day sale perusing at the mall.  When Larry gets home we are going to the pool and then out to get some sushi :) 

Anyone know of any great sales happening this weekend? 

Happy Saturday!  Drink Responsibly and Wear Sunscreen!!! 

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Home from the Stead

The Homestead that is.

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We started yesterday with a guided tour along rushing waterfalls and a lush forest. 

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Isn’t he handsome??? 😉

The naturalist that was our guide was incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about nature. 

He taught us that very rare orchids can grow in this area of Virginia because the water is a constant 60 degrees all year round.  They only bloom every few years and keep their bloom for 3-7 days.  Look-y at what we saw!

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We learned about Stitch Plants.  See how the leaves seem stitched together?

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We also saw a snake!

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Not only was our guide knowledgeable, but he was also very entertaining!

 

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After our hike, I went to the spa. 🙂

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It was the most luxurious spa experience I have ever had.  I showered, sat in the steam room, and lounged around for almost an hour before my facial even began.  I left feeling lighter and more relaxed than I have felt in a very long time.

After the spa, Larry and I went to the indoor pool and swam briefly before we discovered the sun deck.  We decided to lounge  in the sun for about 40 minutes before heading back to our room to get ready for dinner.

Dinner, like all things Homestead, was a grand affair.

We had cocktails in the empire room.

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And at dinner, I sat down right next to this lovely lady.The boss’s wife also happens to be Leeane Morgan, the southern comedian who has appeared on Dr. Phil and Paula Dean.  She was definitely a southern belle and reminded me very much of Sandra Bullock’s character in The Blind Side.  She called everyone “dah-lin” and “sweethearrrrt.”  Doesn’t get more southern than that!  I loved her!

I’m so happy to see Larry recognized for his hard work!  He definitely deserves it and so much more 🙂

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~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Ruthie Anne and Everything Grand

Good morning!  I bet you’re wondering where  I’ve been. 

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Larry’s work gave him a trip for two to the Homestead Resort for being a top ten sales person in his region.

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The resort is massive.  It is impossible to see the entire building at one time.

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Everything is grand.

We arrived yesterday in the early afternoon and went horseback riding.  My horse, Ruthie Anne, was rather small for a horse (only 900 lbs), but she was full of personality, and it took some work to control her.  I was a nervous wreck!  Larry said I was stiff the entire time.  I wish I had pictures to show you, but somehow our memory card was erased, so most of yesterday is lost.

We then went for a 3.4 mile hike on one of the resorts many trails.  Somehow during our hike we got a bit turned around and ended up doing the loop again!!!  We finally found the horse stables and they called a shuttle for us.  We hiked close to 5 miles yesterday up steep hills and rocky terrain.  Talk about a workout!

Last night, after an informal dinner with his company (and a $9.75 glass of chardonnay!), we sat on the grand front porch of the resort in charming rocking chairs watching a storm roll in over the mountains.

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Thunderstorms in the mountains are the best!  The thunder echoes off the mountain tops and the lightening seems especially bright against a clear black sky.

Today we are going for a guided hike called the Cascades Gorge Walk.  A naturalist will be our guide to explain the formation of the gorge.  I hope to get some exquisite pictures!

After that, Larry is going to play a round of golf, and I am heading to the spa for  Luxury Facial.  Then tonight we are headed to a formal dinner with cocktails, prizes, and more! 

It should be an exciting day!

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Camping Extravaganza

Hello!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! 🙂

I survived my first camping trip since 1996, and I.had.a.BLAST!  The drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains in itself was spectacular. 

I mean just look at this!

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Once we arrived at the campground, we were pleasantly surprised to see that this was the view from our cabin.  The soothing sound of rushing water immediately gave you a sense of calm. 

We unpacked the truck and began preparations for our night out in the wild. 

**HINT**  It is always a very good idea to bring an Eagle Scout with you when you go camping in the woods!   

For dinner, we ate Hobo Packs.  A hobo pack is simply marinated meat and/or veggies wrapped in foil and cooked over an open flame.  I had hobo-ed asparagus, squash, and broccoli.  I also had a grilled Lightlife Italian SausageAll of you experienced vegetarians and vegans out there, what do you eat when you go camping???

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The highlight of dinner came after the dinner plates were scrubbed clean and the last logs were added to the fire. 

Yep!  S’more time! 

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Here is my perfectly burnt to a crisp vegetarian marshmallow s’more!  Just the way I like it! 

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After eating three of these delectable babies, it was time to hit they hay! 

Remember Glo Worms from the 80s???

 

😉

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Nice and cozy!

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Today we woke up and went for a 3.4 mile hike through the George Washington National Forest.

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3.4 miles may not sound like a whole lot, but when you are hiking those miles UP a rather large mountain, you definitely get out of breath!  It gives a new meaning to “buns of steel.”

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The scenery was amazing.  It really doesn’t feel like a workout when you are surrounded by such beauty.

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Larry and I are already making plans for our next trip!  It is such an easy, cheap, and exciting way to get away for the weekend!

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The dogs have been zonked out ever since they got in the car for the trip home.

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I am about to join them.  I know I will sleep like a baby tonight! 🙂

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Hiking for a Happy Heart and Mind

I just had the most glorious day with a great friend, beautiful weather, and the most perfect scenery.

Gen and I headed out to Belle Isle and James River Park for a hike through nature.  We couldn’t have picked a better day.  The sky was clear blue, there was a light breeze, and the temperature was just right for a little tramping through the woods.   

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We started off at Tredegar Iron Works where they were celebrating Civil War and Emancipation Day.  We were only scared entirely out of our wits when they shot off a canon about 200 yards away from my car! 

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We then walked across the suspension bridge to Belle Isle and walked almost completely around the island until we found a ladder that took us to a dry pass on rocks across the river.  This time we actually found a path across!  Our feet got only slightly damp as we got a great core workout jumping and balancing our way across the James.

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The trails were beautiful!  They were luscious and green and filled with newly awakened spring wildlife. 

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We walked for a couple of hours as we talked about work, weddings, and just about everything!!!  Walking in such beautiful weather with such good company makes you forget that you are actually getting in a great workout!

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It is also good for the soul. 😉

After almost 3 hours of hiking, we decided to honor the rumbly in our tumblies and get a little lunch.  We decided to eat at the Boathouse at Rocketts Landing.  If you live in the Richmond area and you have not tried this restaurant yet, you must! 

Not only was our view phenomenal, (Yes!  This was our actual view.  Check out the glass ledge that was our table!) 

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but the food was fantastic!!!

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I got the Vegan Pizza and it was absolutely face rocking! 

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I almost ate an entire half of this baby by myself!!! 

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I can not wait to do this again!!!  Hiking and being with a friend is truly great for the heart and soul.  It was wonderful to take a timeout from our hectic daily schedule to spend the day with Mother Nature.  My mind was calm, my heart was happy, and I couldn’t stop smiling! 

The good news is that anyone can hike!  Just strap on some sneakers and hit the trails!  Here is a great site to find hiking trails in your area!  Click here

Now, Larry is on his way home from work and we are planning on relaxing together for the rest of the evening.  We are going to grill some chicken and veggies for dinner, eat on the back patio, and watch movies on our newly discovered Netflix Instant Streaming through Wii for the rest of the night!!!  Tomorrow we are signing up at a community pool for the summer, and then going to a local winery to do a tasting and listen to live music.

Life is Good, my friends, life is good! 

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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