Tag Archives: nature

365 Challenge Day 80 – Hiking

11 Aug

I am now completely convinced that sitting is the only thing aggravating my back.  It’s been fine all weekend because I’ve been active, and when I want to rest, I lay down.

Today I went for a 6 mile, two hour hike with another meet up group.  It was fun!  I’ve noticed though that since I spent the whole time talking to another hiker, as I did last time, that I’m not as aware of my surroundings.  I enjoyed the trees, and ponds, and the paths, in fact today we even saw some horses! (a rare sight in the city) but I don’t really feel like I spend two hours in nature because I was more focused on the conversation.  Just interesting.  I guess I’m more used to walking alone and really enjoying the trees and water.

I didn’t feel like I was working that hard when I hiked, but now I’m exhausted!

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365 Challenge Day 58 – Retreat

24 Jul

Day 2

Unlike the silent retreats I go on, part of the ritual of the family retreat is going to a nearby lake, and then to a farm that makes homemade ice cream.  The farm has cows, sheep, chickens, rabbits, goats, and pigs.  The first day we went we discovered that the mama pig had 10 baby piglets!! Only one day old!!!  We spent a long time watching those piglets fight for a spot to nurse.  One little runt had a hard time getting in.  We all wanted to jump right over the fence and help it!!  They were super adorable.  If a little smelly.

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I was slightly tempted to get some of that amazing, creamy, homemade ice cream.  But, I was also slightly disgusted when I thought about the dirty smelly cows I had just seen and where the milk came from…  I resisted.

I listened to a dharma talk in the evening when the kids were in their group.  I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.  I thought I had heard enough dharma talks to last me a lifetime.

365 Challenge Day 54 – Nature

15 Jul

I’m exhausted!  Not sleeping well for several nights in a row.  Driving for more than 12 hours yesterday and the day before.  To be blunt, I feel like crap.  I may also be fighting something off, I’m feeling really run down.  My whole body aches.

I had been vaguely hoping to run tonight, but opted for a walk instead, and I felt so much better afterward.  It was muggy and hot, but it was great to be outside, and it even started to sprinkle, which was delightful!!  (If it had been a full out rain causing water damage to my iPhone, I would have been much less delighted : )

Many of my nature-loving friends probably would not consider this pond in the middle of the city much of an escape, but this about as much nature as this City Girl needs : )  It was absolutely beautiful.

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And, despite feeling so tired, I managed to cook two separate meals tonight, shrimp fried rice and sauteed broccoli for my kids; and for myself: a big pot of vegan kitchari.  I’m kind of obsessed with kitchari.  I’ll do a separate post about it another time : )

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365 Challenge Day 46 – Rest

8 Jul

I had a meeting this morning at 7am, and I am not a morning person.  I had to actually be awake for it too, I was initiating a call to Afghanistan, calling in other participants, and facilitating the meeting, so I couldn’t just show up half dozing.  Anyway, this, plus the fact I’m off coffee, plus the fact I had a pretty fun weekend ;- ) has left me feeling exhausted all day.  Oh, and maybe the running I did yesterday contributed too.

I’m a little disappointed because Monday night is supposed to be our family gym night.  The kids didn’t want to go, and I gave in very quickly.

So, not much to report today!   I talked to my best friend on the phone for two and half hours, which was definitely time well spent.  Enjoyed the lightening and thunder storm and the torrential downpour that came after (and thwarted our plan to visit the outdoor pool.) Spent a little time organizing with my son in his room. Brought my daughter and her friends to the indoor pool.  Brought my son to buy some new clothes and some ingredients for homemade sushi tomorrow (actually he rejected all the clothes and bought a zombie fighting Nerf gun  with his own money instead, with glow in the dark bullets.)  Spent time looking out my window at the birds visiting the feeder, and looking at the tiger lilies which are in full bloom.  I definitely missed taking a walk today, but sometimes whether we want to or not, we take a day of rest.

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365 Challenge Day 26 – A Beautiful Day

15 Jun

I had a beautiful day.

I started early at the gym with a free fitness evaluation/training session. I wasn’t actually that impressed, but he did give me some core exercises that were really great!

Spent the morning at my son’s last soccer game of the season. He will remind me for years about the games I miss (he’s a bit of a complainer…) so I know he really appreciates it when I’m there.

I went jogging again today!! Twenty minutes without stopping. It felt great!! No pains. I was definitely ready to stop at twenty, but I kept walking afterward, it was such a perfectly gorgeous day.

And, I helped my daughter sort through her closet. Apparently she hasn’t put clothes away in months, maybe years. She had a huge pile of clothes just stacked in there, mostly clean but with some dirty, some of her brother’s clothes, and some of mine! We also went through her drawers. Jeez. We found items that looked like they hadn’t fit it 5 years! We got rid of three garbage bags of too small clothing, and we are not even done yet. My hope is once it’s organized she’ll be able to maintain it herself, but that may be wishful thinking!

So today: exercise, cardio, quality time with kids, decluttering, spring cleaning, green smoothies, and time walking/running around a pond and surrounded by trees and nature. And I saw a turtle!!


365 Challenge Day 14 – Nature

29 May

I am self-proclaimed City Girl.  I like being around lots of people.  I like being around lots of stuff.  I like knowing there is a 24 hour pharmacy walking distance from my house.  And because I live in an awesome, progressive, and diverse city, I like going out to eat and having lots of vegan, and international options.

But, even being a City Girl, I love Nature.  I am especially fond of urban nature.  This means I love to go for walks and see trees and flowers and flowing water, but still know that all my people and stuff are nearby : )

I live in a city that has a great combination of both.  I wouldn’t be able to live in a concrete jungle like NYC, even though there are so many awesome and amazing options there, it’s just not pretty enough for me.

Here there are parks, ponds, and rivers, landscaped green areas, and lots of houses with beautiful front lawns.

Nature is always in the present moment; our minds can be all over the place, and spending time in nature can bring us back to the Now, and ground us.  Nature is so beautiful!!  I love the four seasons; the amazing colors of spring, summer, fall, and winter all inspire me.  Nature is tenacious, and will find a way to thrive in harshest and most unpredictable conditions; like the blades of grass that push through cracks in the concrete.  Nature is adaptable; I always marvel at the tree trunks that grow right through a metal chain link fence.  Nature is fierce, and real; there is no sugar-coating the damage and destruction nature does with its earthquakes, tsunamis, and storms.  And nature is all-encompassing; everything in us and around us, even the most garish “man-made” objects, in their origins are derived from nature, and will someday return to it.

I feel grateful that I work in a place where I can step outside and go for a walk along the river.  Today I ate lunch at my desk and then spent my entire lunch hour out walking, enjoying the bright sunshine, and the vibrant green leaves and new flowers of spring.  I took these pictures on my walk today.

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Ten thousand flowers in spring,
The moon in autumn.
A cool breeze in summer,
Snow in winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
This is the best season of your life.