Free 48/Weekend Adventures

I had a stellar weekend. Really, it was all I wanted and came right on the heels of a great week. Was work perfect? Hardly. But I realize the things that mean the most to me are those little gold flecks that show up while I am sifting through life’s dirt and rock to make a living, with or without striking it rich. Things like friends that pass through town and spend an evening relaxing and laughing over some great food. Things like meals I neither have to cook nor clean up after. Things like preparing a simple, tasty lunch with my hubby and enjoying it outdoors.

I‘ve made my mind up about one thing since returning to full time work after our brief ‘retirement’ in Costa Rica.

 

I cannot go back to living for the weekend.

 

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My time in paradise taught me that each day is meant to be lived entirely-whether brilliant, beautiful, boring or back breaking. When we power through our days with blinders on working toward those precious moments we feel belong to us alone, shining like a trophy on a folding table at the finish line, several things happen.

Number one, we rush through our moments, trying to ignore the difficult ones while our eyes are glued to the checkered flag waiting to mark the end of another gruelling race.

Secondly, we build ourseleves up for something stupendous to serve as our reward for a job well done, for putting up with so much nonsense for yet another week and for perservering through life’s muck and mire to get to that place in the sun we call our weekend. And then it rains. 🙄

Thirdly, we age while we live our lives in chunks of time. Week to weekend, holiday to holiday. Vacation to vacation. Another year closer to retirement. Talk about a hamster wheel!

 

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While I can’t always (though I try like hell) improve the quality of a nightmarish work day, I can at least step outside of myself to be objective.

 

This too shall pass

 

I can’t change the attitudes of anyone around me, so I must be content to do what I feel is healthy for me and hope that someone else might find value in my outlook, might learn to laugh instead of complain about the small stuff, and so a ripple effect is begun.

Sooooo. I have made the decision to no longer live for the weekend; and the first step in this new mental directive is to change the way I view the mini repreive I get every 120 hours.

Henceforth the afore mentioned ‘weekend’ will be now be referred to as the Free 48. The Glorious 48 hours that are blank pages in my book of days. What do you think?

I am celebrating this new outlook by sharing my very first Free 48 with you here. It was relaxing, exhilarating, creative, fun, rewarding, loving….did I mention it was really good? Here are a few of the simple, fantastic details.

It started Friday afternoon by grilling shrimp with the hubby and enjoying our meal on the deck under some welcome sunshine.

 

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Magenta blooms
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A nice Reisling to go with our shri p
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My humble little paradise in the making, check out the SUNshine……..

 

Then, my ‘book-that-never-came’ from Amazon finally arrived! Yaaaay!! (Yeah, it was sent again with actual shipping info too!) Miracles do happen.  This little book is a real treasure. If you haven’t read it I recommend it highly. The simple truth of the Tao spoken through the heart of a lovable bear.

 

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The Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet. 💕
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Which explains my completely Zen feeling all weekend.

 

Then, Saturday we got out for an early morning hike. Well, early is relative since my one rule of the Free 48 is no alarm clocks. But we did make it out of the house by ten am. Hubby is in charge of adventure time, finding us new trails, parks and places of interest. This time we hit the Silver Comet Trail, a very scenic and easy to walk paved hiking trail that goes on for miles. We did about three. It was beautiful but had a bit too many bikers for my comfort. (More on this subject on One Liner Wednesday. I’m working to keep my ohhhhmmmmm on here.)LOL.

After our hike we rewarded ourselves with a great Mexican meal and margaritas at our new favorite Mexican place in town. (More on that for Thursday Doors)

 

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Silver Comet Trail
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I wanted so much to get a shot of this tunnel sans people-no easy task.
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Someone else was feeling Zen!
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My new best friend in a glass.

 

Now on to my favorite moment….

Sunday brunch with my youngest at the place we tried to go before. You know….where the awesome bar Eleanor  is? 

Yes! We finally ate at Muss and Turner’s. And it waaaas good. From the Tropicalia on draft to the pulled smoked pork andwich on an H &F bun, it was all I hoped it would be.

 

 

But the real gift was the company. Food, no food, we all had a great time catching up!

 

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Oh yeahhhhh…I actually spent an evening working on my latest creative exploration. I have wanted to try my hand at paper bead making for quite awhile. It was such fun! I am only just getting started. 👏🏻🙈

 

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Sooooo…..there you have it. My first Free 48. Can’t wait to gear up again in about….well…..who’s counting anyway? 😉Have a great week friends!

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In Unexpexcted Places/#ThursdayDoors

Since I rarely find myself walking among buildings in interesting big cities like our friend Dan , or remember to snap photos when I do, I am often left without new doors to share on Thursday. Still, even when out exploring in nature I come across amazing entrances and natural doorways that I consider worthy submissions. What do you think?

 

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On our most recent adventure in the Chatahoochie River  National Recreation Park area, we enjoyed a beautiful hike along the river and into the surrounding hills. This little Eastern Bluebird was in the entrance field to greet us as we began our hike. It was a total surprise and treasure for me since I thought it was a little robin when I took the photo. Hubby said he saw blue and sure enough….

 

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The trail was amazing. I even got some photos of a hawk that was hunting in the woods but have not edited them completely yet. I consider this part of Winter to be our doorway to Spring and it is pretty magnificent!

 

But, since we need a legitimate ‘door’ for this post I will give you the closest thing I found.

 

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Like something out of Roman mythology support columns under the bridge caught my eye!
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Who knows what lurks within the shadows of this doorway?

I loved the effect the perspective gave to the bridge supports, like a pathway to the unknown. Beyond the opening one can imagine anything from Gorgon to hidden city of gold. Or just underground city waterworks operations…

 

I will leave that to your imagination. Mine is already working overtime. 😉 It was a beautiful walk, a wonderful park and someplace we will visit again!

 

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Nature creates such magnificent edifices of stone.
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It struck me how much we imitate nature as we build our world.

 

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We kept pace just ahead of a brilliantly setting sun
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And watched it slip slowly into the hillside..

 

It was the perfect way to end my working weekend, allowing me to slip into another mindset, to let go of critical thinking and drift on the wind that whistled quietly through the trees….

I can’t wait until next time!

 

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This post was brought to you by Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors event.. Stop by his blog for more great doors and follow the little blue amphibian for a link to more doors posts and talented bloggers.

I hope you all have a great Friday and weekend!

Enchanted Woodland Trail/#ThursdayDoors

One of the best parts about moving to a new city is exploring the parks and wildlife areas nearby.  We had a chance to do this recently at the Chatahoochie Nature Center.  It was frigid cold but we warmed up quickly as the sun rose high in the sky and filtered down through the beautiful woodland trees and we hiked our morning away.  The first place we chose to walk took us toward the Butterfly Garden which is pretty still this time of year; but I look forward to Spring and revisiting when it is teeming with new color and life.

 

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The entryway (kind of a door) to the butterfly garden area
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Then we saw this! A must see for me. Just what made it so enchanted anyway?
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It looked like a beautiful trail from the start

 

Then hubby pointed out the first little miracle of enchantment.

 

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A friendly and welcoming place

 

We thought it was a random thing, like the Tiny Doors project in Atlanta.  

That is a favorite of mine that I have blogged about before here on my old blog.

 

But no, it was only the beginning. Around each curve, behind most bushes, rocks and hidden in trees were more and more tiny houses-and with them, tiny doors!  I’m sure you could hear me squealing down the hillside.  Which explains why I didn’t get many bird shots for awhile.  haha.

 

I hope you enjoy the walk as much as we did.

 

 

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The park also has animal recovery habitats where we saw owls, hawks and bald eagles that had been injured and unable to function in the wild.  And the beaver habitat was so cool.  This fellow was working on his door while the missus rooted for ‘grub’.

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So glad you are back Norm.  Norm hosts this Thursday Doors event and always has some terrific doors of his own.  Do visit there and follow the hoppy little blue frog to visit other great doors and also add a link to your own post.  You know you see doors every day! Maybe it’s time for a closer look.  And for a look at some reverently beautiful DC doors visit my friend Dan at No Facilities.

 

Meanwhile, have a gorgeous day whether you are treading water, snow or just plain trudging along.  It is always good to remember one thing…..

 

 

 

Happiness is like a butterfly-lovely, often fleeting and always free.  Just like my new tree friend, it is also steadfast if you carry it within your soul.  Happy Thursday! This is the best part of reality dreaming for me-when we all share something beautiful.