Forest Bathing

For the last couple of days I’ve renewed my interest in our trails. The Japanese call it forest bathing or Shinrin Yoku. It’s healing to be out in nature, to walk along forest trails, to observe and become one with the earth.

I do believe what they say, “Location, location, location is true.”  My location is nature. It’s what truly inspires me and activates all of my senses.

On my walk I was greeted by this turtle. He or she peeked out for a picture. I always think of longevity when I see a turtle. A good sign for my first day back on the trail. The turtle also symbolizes determination and is slow and steady–all good things to consider if I’m to make a habit of daily walks and overcome my laziness.

One of the last things before ending my 1.7 mile walk was this redbud. At least I think this is Redbud. Please correct me if I’m wrong. It grows all over our hills.


Fall Trails

Out walking on our trail yesterday. Afterward saw The Girl on the Train. I read the book some time ago and only remembered bits and pieces, but the movie brought it back to me. My husband and I were the only ones in the theater. I guess Sunday night is the time to go to a movie.l1030709 l1030741


Spring is the Elixir

Yesterday, I got a much-needed dose of spring tonic. I awoke with clogged sinuses. I didn’t feel well the preceding day. It had rained all day. The good thing is that the rain melted off the snow.

My husband encouraged me to use the neti pot. That along with several vitamin C tablets did the trick, or started to do the trick. I started to come out of my lethargy. I prepared split pea soup in the crock-pot. I went out into the woods. The woods were the final cure. The streams swelled. There are waterfalls where there were none before.


The only snow that was left was in a cave like area. I say cave like because we have never ventured in there to see if it is an actual cave. The opening gets smaller and smaller. Once we asked my father if there were any caves on the property. He said, “No.” We told him about the two openings we saw. He said, “Don’t go in there.” Well, that leads me to believe….

I started listening to an audio book, “A World Lost,” by Wendell Berry. I’m sorry to say this is the first time I’ve read his works, a shame, since he is a Kentucky author. His phrases are brilliant. I plan on devouring all of his works.

The weather was great. We got out the umbrella for our table and ate dinner on the deck – split pea soup, Caesar salad, and wine. We love eating on the deck. We could hear the roar of the stream from the deck.

We rolled back the netting on the fish pond and fed the fish. The netting had been place on it during the late fall to catch the falling leaves. I’m happy to say both the gold fish and koi came out of hibernation in good shape.

My husband also put the hammock back up. Yes!

I still had loads of energy. I made some banana bread, knitted, and worked on some art. A snow picture, of all things. Later I prepared some juice for next morning’s breakfast. I’m not used to having so much energy. My husband, on the other hand, seems to never stop.


All of this was a joy after the hard winter and the previous couple of weeks when we had experienced the dreaded three. I won’t go into them. They say things happen in threes. One, a leaky roof, did get fixed. The other two will be much easier to deal with in the spring weather.

Still, having energy, I stayed up late, painting on my iPad. I was going for a watercolor style.


Art · Hiking


2015/02/img_1073.jpgThis morning I finished reading “Wild,” by Cheryl Strayed. Maybe it’s because I love hiking, that I thought this book was so marvelous. I checked out the e-book version from the library, but now I want a hard copy, or at least to have it on my Ipad for further reference.

Maybe this is the year that my husband and I might hike just a small section of the Appalachian Trail. I have backpacked only once, with him, at the Red River Gorge, and only then for a couple of nights. Perhaps we might just do that again.

I was inspired to do this picture this morning. This is a section of our small six mile trail that we have forged out on our farm. Our small farm is sixty percent woods. We like it that way.

I have done easy hikes where I walked fifteen miles in one day. I know that I have walked that much per day while visiting New York City (mostly Central Park) and Paris, France. My husband and I once walked a small section of the Lewis and Clark Trail in Oregon. I will never forget that trail. It was astounding.

At this point, I am so out of shape. We have been snowed in for over a week with freezing and below freezing temperatures. But Spring is coming (I hope?), and time to start walking again.

Hiking Boot 1This is a pencil drawing I did in 2006. I can’t remember the brand, but these were probably the best hiking boots I ever had. They eventually fell apart.




Trail Time

20130530-091320.jpgWe have been spending time working on the trails around our house.  We hope to get most of it to the point where we can take the tractor in for easier maintenance.  There will be some rerouting to follow in order to get the tractor though, as we don’t wish to cut any trees.  Possibly we could get 70% of the trail tractor worthy.

Yesterday I walked the entire length of what we have in trails thus far, tracking it with GPS, and20130530-091401.jpg20130530-091433.jpg20130530-091345.jpg20130530-091418.jpg taking pictures only a short distance of the way.  There are some very steep hills, and as you can see it took me a while.  I was so exhausted.  Eventually, and hopefully soon, we want to make a time lapse movie of the trail.

Our dogs, Barney and Binka walk with me, but even they got wore out before completion yesterday.  I found them waiting for me back at the house.


The Challenge

photoMost people say I have a competitive nature. It’s not necessarily competing against other people, because in that category I really don’t stand a chance.  It’s more like competing with myself.  It’s about doing something when people say I can’t do something.

We had limited time in Asheville.  Upon arrival we enjoyed this great early dinner at Laughing Seed.  It is a vegetarian restaurant almost across from our hotel.  It is one of our favorite places to eat.  We also love the hotel we stayed at, The Haywood Park Hotel.  It is located in the heart of downtown Asheville and has some significant history.  It was Asheville’s first department store in the 1930’s, and still carries much of that flavor.  In 1985 it was converted to a hotel with only 33 rooms – large rooms.  I love large rooms because I always take my yoga mat.  At least 3 people could have done yoga easily in that room, and we got the smallest room.  We had stayed there a year ago, and had a great room with a great view.  Coincidentally, we were given the same room, without requesting it.  We were on second floor – men’s ware.  The voice in the elevator still says that.  We took some great pictures both years, so I will compile and post more about the hotel later.

We had contemplated The Grove Park Inn, but it would require some driving into and out of town, plus the fact it was much more expensive, and the room would have been much smaller.  Still yet we wanted the Grove Park Inn experience, at least a little part of it.  So, my idea was to walk from town, supposedly a 5 mile trek round trip, mostly steep uphill getting there.  We asked the waitress at Laughing Seed about walking it.  She strongly recommended driving.  Basically she said you can’t walk it.  I asked if there were sidewalks the whole way, to which she said yes, but still don’t attempt walking it.  We went back to the hotel and asked at the desk.  We got the same advice.  We left for Grove Park Inn, my husband following my determined lead.  We are notorious for getting lost.  I asked someone not too far into the trek if we were headed in the right direction.  This was a young guy who hiked.  Maybe it was our age.  He said, that way, but you can’t walk it.  At this point it was really a challenge.  Not too far out of town it began raining.  No umbrella.  It was a light rain, and we were supposedly closer to the hotel at this point than to town, and I wasn’t about to turn back.  But, we took a wrong turn, going through a long tunnel.  So, we had to back track.  The total trip instead of being a little over 5 miles registered  8.22 miles on my phone GPS.

Grove Park Inn Waterfall View
Grove Park Inn Waterfall View

A Blurry Us at Grove Park Inn
A Blurry Us at Grove Park Inn