Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Gator wilderness

The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness - John Muir -

June 16, 2012
10 miles
Starting elevation 72ft
Ending elevation 61ft

We launched our boats into the Altamaha River this morning. Just 19 miles upstream, the Ocmulgee and the Oconee Rivers merged to form the Altamaha. We have paddled both Ocgmulgee and Oconee on previous years, so it's kind of neat that we will continue our journey on towards the Atlantic Ocean. They call this river the "little amazon". I call it a very long lake. :). It is wide and big with many sandbars. Those sandbars showed proof of the alligators by the dozens of tracks into the water. It's safe to say that we ended our paddle today without seeing one. They were apparently in the water hiding from us as we floated by. Maybe they were even watching the flotilla of paddlers in puzzlement. Or better yet, thinking they were planning their next meal! With it being our first day, we will have many more opportunities to see them. Not that I need to though. :). I almost think it would be better seeing them on the bank as opposed to being under us!

About six miles downstream we decided to hike the Moody Forest nature trail. Why not get out and stretch, right? It was only a two mile trail full of cypress trees and spanish moss. And maybe some prize winning mosquitos and poison ivy!

What a great day. I will say we finished the day with sun kissed skin and a good appetite. :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Travel day

June 15, 2012

Here I sit in my tent which will be called home for the next week. I'm organized and ready to start bright and early in the morning on the Altamaha River. A little after 6am today , Dan and I started what will be our 8th year paddling a different Georgia river. For 7 straight days we will paddle from Reidsville to Darien consisting of 105 miles. But first we had to get here.
Driving 4 hours to the launch site, we dropped our boats off and proceeded to travel 2 more hours to Darien to leave our vehicle for the trips end. Taking a charter bus, we went 2 hours back to the launching area and campsite. A lot of traveling and much easier than the average 8000 strokes a day we will endure. I'm ready, excited and filled with anticipation of what we will find along our journey. So far, it's mostly the gnats that have greeted us upon our arrival. But I'm sure bigger and better things await us. :)


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pop?

I saw my grandfather the other day and couldn't take my eyes off of him.  It might seem a little silly to anyone that knows me, because they would know that he passed away in 1991.  But I saw him.  He sat there in the passenger seat of the vehicle while I was in the backseat of the car behind the driver.  Up in Pittsburgh last week vising my parents, I was being carted around in the backseat of their car like old times.  Looking at the side view of my Dad, with his hair now gray and aged skin like any man at 76, I saw my grandfather.  At that moment time stood still.  I didn't want to move and sure didn't want my dad to move. 


I remember being with my grandfather like it was yesterday.  Seeing him show up for church with a mix matched shirt and tie, and always with the same hat that he wore day in and day out.  He would work in our garden and talk of having the first red tomato in our town before July 4th every year.  He would laugh when we told him he sounded like a time bomb because his pocket watch ticked so loud, though he couldn't hear it himself.  He would take my dog fishing and come back with stories of Duke running around grabbing the hot dogs and cheese that people were using as fish bait.  He would always say "that dog ate like a king today".  lol 

So I saw my grandfather the other day.  It was so very nice to see him, but it was my dad that made me smile that day.  For when he turned around I noticed that he too had mixed matched clothes on.    I miss you Pop!


Monday, July 11, 2011

The perfect space....


Sharp Top Mountain - Elevation 3875
July 6, 2011

It's been ten years since I climbed this mountain.   Ten years since we've moved from Virginia after living there a short two and a half years.  We left behind these beautiful mountains which fit in perfectly to the views I liked seeing on a daily basis.  I remember as a teen driving through the Shenandoah Mountains, Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Mountains and thinking that some day I would live there.  At the time, my siblings complained of boredom and being dragged through the mountains by my parents.  But I couldn't get enough of the views or the hiking trails.  I would be the first on the trail pushing away the spider webs that spanned across the path and loving every minute of it. I was fitting into that perfect space that exhilarated the senses and left me wanting more.


View from Sharp Top Mountain

The summit of Sharp Top has a spectacular 360-degree view of the Peaks of Otter area, with the Piedmont to the East, the Shenandoah Valley and the Allegheny Valley Mountains to the west.  Looking out I couldn't help but miss this beautiful state and was glad I was able to be back for a glimpse of the beauty.  This year we left visiting our hometown of Pittsburgh and hiked, camped and drove the Blue Ridge Parkway through Virginia.  Last year we tackled the mountain trails of the Blue Ridge in North Carolina.  But it was at this mountain peak that had me breathing in, quenching that thirst.



As I took one last look before descending down the trail, I noticed that my smile was still intact and felt lucky once again to be here experiencing what I love to do.  Heading back down and eventually toward the mountains of Georgia, that young girl inside of me kept thinking that maybe someday I'll live there.... again.  :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Bunny track

Being back in Pittsburgh feels great with the 65 degree morning weather and no humidity to be found.  What a difference from last week when we were smoldering in the sun at 100 degrees and spf lotion that was applied hourly still gave us burning skin.  The breeze seems to be consistent and I almost feel as if moving back could be an option.  :)
As I get up each morning to walk/run on the nearby track, I see each day little bunny rabbits. I have forgotten just how many there are up here! They stand there on the side of the track with their white tail just watching as I buzz by. Again and again around the track I go. Again and again they stare. Their cuteness reminded me of why, long ago as a teen, I wanted a rabbit as a pet. All these years later I still have pet rabbits. :)
With the alarm set for 7:15, I'm up and raring to go. With a little breakfast, a little music, I'm off to walk in the cool weather to check out the bunny track. :)
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Monday, June 27, 2011

106 miles, 7 days, 1 great time :)

"Men may dam it and say that they have made a lake, but it will still be a river. It will keep its nature and bide its time, like a caged animal alert for the slightest opening. In time, it will have its way; the dam, like the ancient cliffs, will be carried away piecemeal in the currents." — (Wendell Berry)

Another Paddle Georgia has come and gone.  Clothes are cleaned, tent dried out and mud scrubbed from the boats.  This year was no exception to the fun that we have had over past paddle years.  There are many stories from this trip and many friends made.  It is a time when all you have is a tent, boat, backpack and a comb. When worrying about appearances seems a lifetime away with makeup and hairdriers left at home. But, all seem to be magically pleased when smiles form on our faces as they take a peek in a mirror.

Athens to Dublin Georgia.  We paddled 12 miles on Middle Oconee River, 6 miles on Lake Oconee and 88 miles on Oconee River.  We passed many sites and many creatures.  With all the rain that had occurred the previous week, the river cooperated and less scooting was required.  Along the way I pulled over, climbed the hill, and visited the State Botanical Garden for about an hour.  The gardens were beautiful and the air condintioned conservatory was a brief relief from the 100 degree temperatures.


  We swam the hot temperatures away and It's no wonder that we were always on the last shuttle at the end of the day.  The same people would be on that shuttle every night.  They were the ones that knew how to make paddling a good time with all the side fun along the way.  With 300+ people on this trip, we had all kinds of paddlers.  There were the racers, whose mission was to get down the river as soon as possible.  What exactly did they do the rest of the day in the scorching heat?  There were the families with little kids whose tempers rose with the temperatures.  The teens who sang along the river and annoyed the elders with their rhyming songs.  The pirates, whose mission was to make sure everyone was wet from their soaking guns.  I'm sure all had a great time along the way, but that last bus of people each night still had the most energy.  :)


We swam with gar, gators, snakes and turtles.  I only screamed once when a water moccasin was sitting next to me in the water. I didn't wait to introduce myself and sped away.  The alligator was cool and saw him eat a fish before I left.  Made me realize that with the abundant of fish in the water, they sure wouldn't want to munch on a Woodstock girl.  Would they?   :)

 We paddled past the Avant Mine & kaolin mine.  Kaolin is considered one of Georgia's largest natural resource.  Eight million tons are mined each year and it's all found at the edge of the fall line in the Coastal Plain. It is a white clay that is used to coat paper, make toilets, paint and even drugs. It was all along the hillside near our take-out one day. 


The Kaolin felt good in our hands when we wet it with water.  Sort of like sticky but hard play dough.  We had fun painting it on us which the kids called war paint.


At one point the cool crisp water was full of mussels.  These filter feeders were found around the shallow rock places in the water. They are seen as essential indicators of water quality.   It was neat seeing live ones and picking up the beautiful shells from dead ones to bring home. 


What is it that draws me to water time and time again? Is it the challenge, the beauty that I see, or just the thrill of the adventure?  Is it the demanding desire to know what lay around each bend of the river?  From as far back as I remember as a child, I felt great being in and on the water.  I had one paddler ask me if I had gills because I was in the water so much. The attraction is definitely there with a respect for the water and all it entails, combined with a love of it that can't be explained.  So far, just with Paddle Georgia trips, I racked up over 700 miles.  Enough miles one way to my hometown of Pittsburgh.  :) 


Next year is set for the Altamaha River in South Georgia that flows eastward for 137 miles.  The upper tributaries are the Ocmulgee and Oconee Rivers.  Both of which we paddled.  This trip will be located what I like to call below the gnat line and wonder just how many people will attempt it.  lol
For now, I will continue to paddle the rivers and lakes close to me and maybe get another safety class under my belt.  Let the adventures continue.  :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Alligators, storms and meltdown

"Choosing to save a river is more an act of passion than a careful calculation. You make the choice because the river has touched your life in an intimate and irreversible way. " - Davis Boling

We have 85 miles behind us as of today. Miles that have given me the pleasure of seeing this great river. With the cypress trees and spanish moss, and reptiles, this river comes alive. Today I came upon a small alligator. Probably 4 foot or so. It was in this strainer in the picture. I was surprised that I could get close enough to take a picture without him ducking under. After about five minutes I was ready to leave but not before he guzzled down a fish that popped out of no where. It was very cool. I swam in this river today as we continue to go south to gator country. With the heat as it is, we take our chances. After the gator sighting, I waited till I went a mile or two before I slipped back in the water. No problem there :)
Next came the storms. We had 20 miles to paddle today. At mile 11 a storm was brewing. The sky went black and lighting had started. We got off the water, got prepared, and waited. It ended up breaking apart and moving away from us. We then continued on. At mile 17 another storm showed its face. No lighting this time, but sheets of rain. With paddle skirt and raincoat on, I raced down the river the last 3 miles. Pulled in at the takeout and it stopped. No problem there. :)
After staying to help and wait for the last 100 people to get off the water, I finally rode the last shuttle back to camp. Wanting to stay and help usually is good, right? Wrong. Problem here.
My backpack and everything I have got soaked. My clothes, pillow blankets etc. It sat outside while the storm was here and I was on the water. It was soaked terribly. We re out in the middle of no where and I don't even have a dry bed. After trying to get to a dryer with no success, I borrowed 2 blankets from a friend for Dan and I. That didn't stop the meltdown when I got in my tent. Unusual in this setting that I love, but it happened. I can dodge shoals, dams, storms and gators, but it seems that water wanted to show me whose boss.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

65 and counting...


"A river is more than an amenity---it is a treasure that offers a necessity of life that must be rationed among those that have the power over it. "

So far I have paddled 65 miles of my journey down the Oconee river. Two more days and 41 miles.
Today we had a lot of strainers and snags to get around. These trees cause chaos on the river and can be dangerous. Dodging the strainers takes effort and time. Another long day and exhaustion is setting in for the night. Alarm set for 6 to pack up camp and be on our way.
Today we saw a landowner cutting down trees on his property. He did not leave a buffer zone of 25 ft. We checked it out, took pictures, and had someone look to see if a permit was made. It was not. The owner will most likely be fined and will need to restore. Without a buffer zone, the land will continue to erode to our water. These trips are for awareness of our rivers and how they need to be protected. We need our water resources to be here for a long time!

My kayak in this photo was sitting on a sandbar while I ate lunch and swam.
Side note - an alligator was spotted. :)

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mad river

"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step on to the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept of to. " (Bilbo to Frodo) - J R R Tolkien

The river today was absolutely gorgeous. It was clear, cool and glistening. I set off in the morning with the lead boat to get to Buzzard Island Dam early at 7:30 so as to get ready for another portage. It all went very smoothly as the boats were lined done the shoot while the people walked down. My boat actually went down twice and pulled up once. I was set at the bottom and then needed at the top. It worked out well and all 300 boats passed thru by 1:30. This picture is from the bottom of the Dam structure. The boat is a solo wish list boat for myself :)
I swam for a long while once again in the cool water. I saw two otters on the bank in the early morning, fish, herons and many other birds. It was a great day. :)
We have 3 days left to complete the 106 mile trip. Tomorrow we will paddle another 15. Four down and three to go. Its going too fast. :)

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Lake Oconee

"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. " - St Augustine

It was 100 degrees today here in GA. We paddled 6 miles on the river and spilled into Lake Oconee for another 6 miles. I spent a lot of the time in the water cooling off while holding onto the painters line so I wouldn't lose the kayak.
We found a 4ft gar that was floating in the water with a hook in his mouth. Some guy pulled it out of the water to look at its teeth! Yikes! I took pictures with my camera before he tossed it back in. Unbelievable that we were swimming in the water with those fish! They were literally jumping all around us. In a couple of days we could see the alligators that hang out below the fault line.

We moved camp today to Milledgeville. Getting up early to pack, we finished by 8 and was on the water. We got on the last shuttle again at night and just made the dinner being served at 6:30. Long days but fun days :)
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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Friend for the day :)

"The river is a promise of things to come, a ribbon of hope shining in the sun. The river is life for the great and small" -Walkin' Jim Stoltz

Day 2 on the Oconee and what a nice day it was as I had a new friend that paddled with me. :). Sitting at the dam and waiting for all the people to portage around, I was getting a little bored. That is until someone handed me this little turtle. What fun I had watching it crawl all around my boat. At one point I had it in my pfd pocket when I had to pull my boat out. It was a tiny little thing with a great pattern on the shell and great color. All the young kids were excited to see one that small. After paddling down the river the 15 miles, I gave it to a young girl who put it back in the water. :)
Dan and I had a great day paddling together and swimming outside our boat. We were on the water at 7:30 and off at 5:30. It was a long, but fun day. :)
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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Noooooo!

"The past does not repeat itself, but it rhymes. " - Mark Twain-

Getting on the water at 7am and directing the safety boaters was easy. Getting myself ready and positioned on the last big shoal was just the same. What happened next still makes me want to yell nooooo from the top of my lungs. My paddle decided to crunch between two rocks as I perched myself on a rock waiting for the 300+ paddlers. Anyone that has a lightweight carbon\carbon paddle knows what a great friend it can be. As I looked at my paddle, day 1 of 7, mile 1 1\2 of 106, I closed my eyes in disbelief and opened to an onslaught of paddlers heading our way. With no time to dwell, the work began. There were deer in headlights people, boats flipping and gear floating as some newbies tried their best to make their way through. As I stood there directing with my paddle and holding the broken blade in sorrow, low and behold, floating by me was half of a kayak paddle! I scooped it up waiting for the owner to claim it. No one did. They must have decided half of a paddle was better than none. Four hours later when all 300 people went through, I set out to paddle the next 10 miles with one borrowed paddle, one broken paddle, and one half of a lost paddle.
I absorbed the lush green scenery, chirping birds and beautiful flowers at the botanical garden that was along the river. Took pictures and talked with friends floating by.
But getting off the water at 5pm, shuttling back to camp, buying a paddle from an outfitter parked at camp that only had one choice of a paddle, I made my way to the lost and found and dumped the lost paddle into the box. I wonder what story the owner of that paddle had to tell about their day.


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Friday, June 17, 2011

In the beginning

"There is no moment of delight in any pilgrimage like the beginning of it". -Charles Dudley Warner-

The moment has arrived and Paddle Georgia is here to show itself for the next 7 days. How exciting it is to finally be here. Reuniting with friends one time out of the year to experience yet another beautiful river in Georgia puts smiles on everyone's faces. Arriving in this state 10 years ago, I never thought I would be seeing Georgia quite this way. This week will have us traveling from the Piedmont Plains to the Coastal Plains. The river, its scenery and wildlife will change before our eyes. The beauty of spanish moss draping the cypress trees will come alive later in the week along with alligators peering at the 300 paddlers while wondering who is evading their territory... and why. Birds will sing their river song as the paddle georgia navy swims, play and paddle their way down the river. Not to forget the rope swings and jumping rocks that seem to call everyone's name, beckoning for the joys of youth to sprout from their adult bodies.
I lay here in my tent in anticipation of tomorrow. Dan and I will be ready to hit the water at 7am. We will paddle 12 miles on the Middle Oconee and go through a thicket of rocks and shoals called Ben Burton Shoals during the first few miles. I can't wait. I plan on having a great time. :)


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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Paddling into the wild...

 


Here we are, the day before we leave to make the 106 mile journey on the Oconee River from Athens to Dublin GA, and I sit here feeling to be quite the lucky one. This will be our 7th year going into the wild enjoying yet another river on one of the 14 different water basins I plan on paddling in Georgia. After next week, I will be halfway there with 7 rivers left to paddle the next 7 years. :)

Setting forth, my kayak, backpack and tent will be my best friend for the next 8 days. I can't think of a better way to see the outdoors. The excitement is mounting on just what lays in store for us. Dan was 11 when we both started this journey and now at almost 18, he is just as excited as that first day 7 years ago.

We will encounter nature at it's best in seeing new sites with new experiences. We start in the Piedmont Plain of Athens and end up in the Coastal Plains down south in Dublin. Passing the fault line (what I like to call the gnat line :), we will see the river change many times. We will be hot, tired and sore by the time we hit the pillow each night, but there will be a smile on my face that will stay there all night. :)

I hope to blog my trip this year instead of writing in a journal book. I just need the cooperation of my blackberry to do that. :)

Leaving it all behind, I start my journey.....

Monday, May 16, 2011

Nurturing my financial future the easy way. :)
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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Shining brightly

Thousands of words swirling in my head
Volumes more jotted down in books tucked away
Intense in their meaning, barely heard, barely understood
Paralyzed in their state, but on an avenue full of promise
 
Thousands of words imprinted...
shining brightly in it's own light...in that perfect sphere
 swirling...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Watchful eye


This squirrel seems to be always have an eye on me.  I took these photos while gazing out my window instead of working at my desk. :)  But sometimes during the day, he's the only one that hangs out with me.  On this day he was chewing all the new leaf buds from the tree!  I assume those buds are a delicacy this time of year.  Now when I see him eating my rose buds like I caught him doing last year, that will be a different story.   :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What's in a snowman?

 
How fun does this snowman look? :)   With red potatoes eyes, walnut nose and a pretzel smile, I'm pretty sure this snowman has loved standing there waiting for the chance to make everyone that passes by smile back.  He has adorned my front yard and definitely had me smiling!  I see his friends along my daily walks, scattered here and there in front of homes that took the time to make them come alive.  Some had hats, while some kept warm with scarves. Most had "buttons", but never any boots. Some even had arms that seemed to call out for hugs.  Each one was different in stature, but each one had a smile from ear to ear.  A simple smile. 
What is it about a smile that automatically has us smiling back?  :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Magical things

 The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.  ~Eden Phillpotts~

The month of December now seems like a blur with highs and lows that flew by as time refused to slow to a leisurely pace.  I had a much needed visit to Pittsburgh the middle of the month that proved successful.  Seeing family and friends was definitely a welcomed site. Hence, it put me way behind with the Christmas shopping,  but it also had me moving even faster getting those gifts upon my return!  I enjoyed the decorating, wreath making and baking till my home looked and smelled of holiday.  Then, I had the lose of my friend the week of Christmas that stopped me in my tracks and forced me to change course.  Christmas arrived a few days later with everyone home for the holidays. Though somber in thought, my support foundation of family kept me going with smiles and laughter.   

As I sit here looking toward the coming new year, I can't help thinking of the anticipation of what it will bring. The possibilities of change sits on the ledge of any year, but time itself is always up to us to take advantage of.  :)




Monday, November 29, 2010

Inception






     I knew in an instant when I looked up at this artwork that it would work. In the little town of Sitka, this totem spoke my name. It was one that I knew would be needed to emerge from my dreams. Big dreams. :)
 

     I started at a young age awaking from those illusive dreams that seem to conquer my nights. Grasping at tidbits during daylight, I knew that in my dreams, life was intact. Feeling the strength of will, knowing the substance of purpose, I embraced it. Although, awakening exhibited reality had also shown completeness.
    
     Nonetheless, reality or dream? Sometimes it's hard to decipher, but I like to think my dreams are always part of my future. Why not?  
Needless to say, the totem stayed put.  :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Eclectic

While walking the busy street of Galway in Ireland, I walked toward a man riding his bike with his dogs tagging along.  What stood out to me at first was the man's different look in nature.  He was older and very unique in his appearance.  He carried a look of knowledge but teetering on bizarre.  He had long hair that was matted and tied up in a bun on top of his head.  Clothes that resembled mismatched rags with a worn flair that screamed stylish. He had on his shoulder an expensive leather bag that seemed to be dated but stuffed with treasures I suppose. Not quite sure where he fit in, I knew that he caught my eye with his incomparable look.  He stopped outside a cafe and propped his old bike against the wall.  Out from the leather bag came a black rope that he attached to one on his dogs.  And then turning to the other dog, he proceeded to attach the other end.  Casually he walked in the cafe, sat down, pulled out a book and waited to order.  Huh?  Am I missing something?? His dogs stood there and looked at me.  What was holding them back from leaving?  Did they think they were actually tied to something solid?  My thoughts went from "that man IS crazy" to "maybe he really does have something quite right".  They seemed content, but alert.  Protective of each other or the man?  Free to leave...but then, why not just stay? I apparently had the wrong piece missing.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

In pursuit of happiness...


In between the much needed rain yesterday, I went outside to check on the turtles to make sure they weren't in a flooding area.  Having found out this past spring that my turtles of 6-8 years were not both females, it has in fact made for an interesting time.  I will say they seemed happy of just doing their own thing before maturity set in .   But, the days when they each ignored the other have disappeared.  Separate food spots, swimming holes or sleeping quarters are now a thing of the past.  They play, chase and anything else you can think of to occupy their time.  :)  As their pursuit of happiness comes to play, I can't help but take pictures while smiling at their journey. :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Good and Sticky :)

As everything in life, there are those certain things that just makes me smile.  One being, caramel apples!  Gone are the days when giving apples at Halloween were the thing to do.  Now, it's only those certain few that can enjoy this luxury. So with sticky faces, these apples were devoured while more were requested.  Oh, to feel needed because of my caramel apples.  lol   :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Void

And then there was an afterthought.  Vividly.  As though it mattered in only that split second.  Pouring out to compensate the void.  Only coming to light when shaken.  Vividly.  Clearness that shows self.   Sharing to save face.  Engaging to keep peace.  Vividly.  Lost in the wake.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Did someone say strawberries? :)



















  



How I love the sweet smell of strawberries!  In fact my first job at 14 was picking strawberries at a farm called Portmans.  I think it went 1 for them 2 for me!  :) 




 
What is it about this fruit with the zillion seeds attached to it that makes me smile when I see them amongst other fruit?  Could it be the green top hat setting upon it that makes the red stand out as appetizing pleasure?  lol  I will say that I still love eating them.  And for that matter, canning them!  Last week I put up18 jars of jam. Yum and yum again.  :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Heidelberg



Tucked in the northern mountains of Georgia off the Appalachian Trail, there is a little German town called Helen.  I arrived at this town a couple weeks ago by foot after hiking four miles down the mountain from camp.  To my surprise there was a pub called Old Heidelberg.
Having been raised in a little borough called Heidelberg, I found myself heading towards this place. That very sign brought back thoughts of how I made hard choices long ago to get myself out of that little old Heidelberg town.  I wanted change and challenges and I had definitely found both, sometimes willingly sometimes not.
But as I walked through the door with a smile on my face, I knew some things don't change when a mere name takes you back to the good ole days.  Days and people that I could never forget that left an imprint on my life.
After ordering some red wine and raising my glass to the place, I found my way back to the path and up the mountain.  Of course that smile was still there.  :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Transmute






lend me your eyes
I will change what you see








Monday, April 5, 2010

What we notice

The perfect egg. Or not?  It looks nice in color, shape, and is photogenic.  It acquired it's color outside amongst the birds chirping in the trees while surrounded by the warmth of spring air.  But looking at the egg at that moment as I grabbed my camera, a chuckle went through my head.  What I saw was the caption on the mug.  It was dug out of the cupboard to be used for this project and hasn't held liquid in quite awhile.  Little does the picture show that those eggs were forgotten on the stove and boiled beyond done.  The egg white showed itself as brown instead of bright white.  Yes, they burned.  Who does that?  Didn't even know you COULD do that! Sure we can still dye them, who would know?!  As the wire rack sat on the table with eggs, spoons and willing participants, I heard the tea pot whistle.  "Waters ready" I exclaimed.  Gingerly going inside, I rummaged through my pantry for vinegar.  No vinegar?!  Ugh  Then I spotted the white wine cooking vinegar.  Could it work I thought?  Who would know!  
It was at that moment the chuckle began rising inside of me as I heard "what's that smell?".  :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Morning sunshine :)

Popping out yesterday from hibernation, one of my turtles blinked as the sunlight danced on her face. How excited I was to see them, knowing they were submerged under ice this winter longer than expected.  I smiled at the simplicity of this event but wondered how life looked at that moment through the eyes of a turtle after 4 1/2 months of sleeping.  I didn't see any excitement there nor smile, but I assume they were ready to start anew and look for that first taste of spring bugs.  Good morning sunshine, welcome back.   :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dolphin surprise

Is it just me or my boat logo that seem to attract dolphins, and alligators if your asking. :) Last year I almost capsized as a dolphin caught me by surprise and jumped in the water two inches from the bow of my boat. On this particular day, those mighty creatures once again showed up in all their glory. At first, I saw out of the corner of my eye something large jumping into the water. My thought was, is there someone else out here traipsing through the mango trees on the Great Calusa Blueway in the Gulf like us? But then we saw it. That dark fin sticking out of the water. Shark? For a second,I thought just that. Then to our surprise 2 dolphins circled around us. Now my boat's name is pronounced Flipper, but spelled "Flip-Her" on the decal. Always seemed funny, but not so much at that moment. Hesitant at first, my reluctance vanished as I heard the echo of my voice saying to Dan, "Let's follow them"! Say What?? lol But follow we did until Dan said he had enough. Those dolphins took us out of the mango trees and way out into the gulf. Needless to say, riding the waves while following those dolphins was a highlight of that particular day. :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Reality

Love cannot be an elusive dream.  We touch it, embrace it, savor it.  It is an obtainable reality when one lets it be.  Love sits there waiting to be caught.  It embraces the soul while lifting the heart to a lightness of freedom.  It shows no boundaries.  Love exemplifies kindness... illuminates strength.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fresh and Bright

  Sometimes we wait for the best possible time for decisive moments to arrive, and sometimes we just wait for the snow. :)  How I loved this day when all seemed fresh and bright.
I had sat here in the south a couple weeks ago as excitement and pictures flew my way from those back home of more snow than one could ask for.  Thoughts of cross country skiing dangled in a bubble above my head while reality and pure jealousy brought it crashing down. But, as the pictures continued, I sensed a change in the air.  Could it be...snow...here in Georgia?  At the first sight of snow I was out the door catching them on my tongue.  By evening and 4 inches later, I was fully garbed in my snow gear feeling exhilarated and throwing snowballs.   While sled riding down the back hill and loving the cool blast on my cheeks, I screamed....like a girl.   :)  Over and over I went down that hill and convinced myself that with patience, some things which seem impossible, actually do happen.  It might not be the record snow fall of the north, but snow in Georgia?  Of Course! 

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Moments

The moments that change us are the moments that define our love. Love that stays deeply rooted and unreachable by others . It is weightless time in a confined space.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Red Top State Park

I wasn't sure what I would be getting myself into at Red Top State Park the day after Monday's flooding. To my surprise I was still able to hike the one trail that I like. There were two other hikers checking things out just like I was, but other than that it was desolate. The water glistened as it submerged the green grass. Trees had fallen and mud was everywhere on the trail. It wasn't until after I got off the trail did the sun begin to peek out. It felt good. :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sun please :)


I'm sitting here with the urge to run. After being in the house for 3 days because of the torrential rain, I've had enough. With flooding all around and the sun being bashful, it's taken all of my strength to not scream and say "enough already"! Can it be that my vitamin D is so depleted that I've resorted to screaming? Me?
.......Well, after looking at the text I've just written, I think it's about time to venture out. I will take my camera, change out of my fun pink boots and head out to the state park and see what I find. :)



Monday, June 29, 2009

Loving Georgia Rivers ---Paddle Georgia 2009




Another year of Paddle Georgia has come and gone since that first little blurb of an add in the Sunday paper 5 years ago. It was Dave who found the article, pushed me to go and sent me on my way. I had paddled since the young age of 17 when I bought my canoe and tent with those first summer paychecks, but it was a trip like Paddle Georgia that I wanted to explore. With canoe in tow, this mother/son team set off. Five years later we are still enjoying these excursions. Exploring different rivers in a state that is new to me, I have come to love the rivers of Georgia. Needless to say, we embarked on a journey that has left us thirsting for more.

We have paddled over 500 miles on the Chattahoochee, Etowah, Ocmulgee, Flint, Coosawattee and Oostanaula Rivers with this group. We have witnessed many challenges that the Riverkeepers face and that the public should be aware of. Along the way, friends kept coming back every year with their same gusto, same sense of humor, and that same lack of sunblock. But, they all left more aware of the issues that are put in front of them on the Georgia rivers.
Now, if I can only find a way to do this full time. :)

Georgia Network Blog on Paddle Georgia 09

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Grand Canyon




Here are a some pictures from the past few days at the Grand Canyon. :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Take it all in

Looking through the lens of life and past the obvious, I see the beauty. How peculiar that we each visualize differently while looking out. We close our eyes and imagine everything in it's place, but open to a different focus. Searching, for what we feel is needed, can take from what is to be. I looked through the lens on this particular day and saw beyond what is expected.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spiraling newness



I was asked today "what's new?" as someone was racing past me. Did they really want to know what's new in my life, in the world or was it just a rhetorical question? My reply? "Nothing." My thoughts were screaming "are you serious? Nothing??"
Why is it that I hold back responding while my brain is thinking that the zillion new things going on in my life has me scrounging for something familiar? "Nothing"? On the contrary. My thoughts went directly to my daughter who is graduating this weekend and moving to Phoenix. With that, should I worry about her living close to Mexico and the swine flu threat or is the former Mexico President that is speaking at the Emory Commencement enough of a concern for me? Or does the proximity really matter with this virus? I then blinked and thought of my Dad who just this past weekend was hospitalized because he passed out while driving. Heart condition? Stroke? Tests proved negative, but getting back in that driver seat is something new to really think about. And yet another blink had me thinking of my best friend who is trying to move to California to pursue work. But "nothing"?? Really??? What I should have answered was "did you know that today the art world is stirring up controversy that Van Gogh didn't really cut off his own ear, but his jealous live-in did it?" I think the race would have stopped at that note.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mixing it up and Feeling Good



Once again, and old song resurrected the other day on American Idol.
This particular one goes back to the 60's, was written for a musical
and has been sung by many artists. I like this version from Muse and
thought I'd post it here. If anything, you know how I feel. :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Canoe race


First and second place this year at the CRBI Waterfest Canoe-a-thon last Saturday. Our son and his girlfriend tried hard to beat these old timers, but something about the tortoise and the hare came to mind all through the race! :)
The 13 miles brought us in at 2 hours 43 minutes!