I wish I could describe the clouds

I wish I could describe to you in detail the clouds that were hanging in the sky on Tuesday…  I was driving home from work and could not stop staring up at the crazy eclectic clouds.  It was one of those afternoons where the sky was a bright radiant blue and the sunshine was floating between clouds casting highlights and shadows.  There were clouds of all shapes, sizes, colors and fluffiness…(that’s right..fluffiness!)  There were massive walls of clouds next to wispy ones, storybook clouds intermingling with gray one’s saturated with precipitation.  All the while the sky was a radiant beautiful blue.  I am not a very good flier but when I am up above the clouds I become very calm.  I really love flying through them… how cool is that?!    All the Gods were doing there finest work that afternoon and put on the most beautiful display.  People love posting pictures of rainbows, and yes they are very pretty, but I absolutely love clouds.

clouds

This is a picture of some very interesting clouds that I took while traveling by train through Utah.  I forget what kind they are.

 

(a quick shout out to my friend Howdy…)  I always used to call up my friend Kevin a.k.a. “Howdy” and ask him about the clouds I have seen because he went to school and became a meteorologist.  He would always have the correct answer and an explanation of why they looked the way they did!  Smile  Now my old friend is among them up in heaven…

This is a short and sweet post tonight..

Peace, love and lots of warm sunshine,

~Lori

“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Everyday Outdoor Adventurer


Hello!  I just had the most amazing weekend!  I hope you all did as well 🙂  My weekend was full of dancing, the beach and working out times 2!  I want to start a new segment on this blog titled The Everyday Outdoor Adventurer.  I love meeting new and inspiring people in and around my area!  But first let’s talk about Friday night!

Friday night…lol!  Some girls from work and myself headed out Friday night to go see That 80’s Band at Vosh in Lakewood.  This band tours locally around Ohio and will be back in the area soon so you can better believe we will be seeing them again! We walked into a semi-swanky night club to all of our favorite 80’s music blaring from the stage.  This band is GREAT!  They do the most amazing covers from Michael Jackson to The Bangles and they even did a great Journey cover (and that is hard to do!)  It didn’t take us long to order our drinks and head out onto the dance floor!  Now, I am NO great dancer but how did you really dance in the 80’s anyways?!  We danced ALL NIGHT LONG!  They even ended the night with one of my favorite songs, Cheap Trick’s I Want You To Want Me (which was actually released in the 70’s.).  I love dancing around my place when that song comes on!  It is so upbeat and catchy!  I do not have pictures from that night (probably better that way..lol!)  Sadly the last song of the night played and we had to head home.  😦  But I did have a little keepsake from our all night dance session… I woke up Saturday morning and my neck was soooo stiff!  I was dancing and whipping my head around way too much.  Really glad there aren’t any pics or videos 😉

After I was positive that I didn’t throw out my neck, I ventured down to the shore with a hot delicious cup of coffee from Erie Island Coffee Company.  I cannot express to you in words how blissfully happy I am to be living 1 minute from this amazing coffee joint!

Mmmm....
Mmmm….

So after picking up my favorite local brew Saturday morning I headed down to the beach.  I don’t know of anything I love more than sitting on the warm sand, digging my toes in and gazing out at the water with a cup of coffee in hand.  The beach I went to is also my favorite beach to scope out driftwood.  I love the way the sun and water strip away layers and produces a soft weathered beautiful piece of wood.  I always wonder about the journey of the pieces I bring home.  Where did it come from, how long had it been in the water?  Here is one that I would have loved to bring home but it was WAY heavy!

gnarly
gnarly

So I am sitting there sipping my coffee with the warm sun shining down on me just loving life at that moment when this guy comes trotting down the sand with his kayak.  Let me explain the water conditions that morning.  It seemed almost as if the earth had stopped rotating.  The water was as smooth as glass as far as my eyes could see.  I didn’t really see any movement and would have been unaware of any if not for the ever so gentle lapping of the water coming to say hi to the shore.  In other words it was perfect for kayaking.

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The guy who was nice enough to chat with me and let me take his picture is Marty.  We had a nice chat about kayaking and our love for being out on the water.  Him and his wife just launch their boats and go.  How fantastic?!  He also invited me to a drum circle 🙂

“In 1991, during testimony before the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging, Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart stated:

Typically, people gather to drum in drum “circles” with others from the surrounding community. The drum circle offers equality because there is no head or tail. It includes people of all ages. The main objective is to share rhythm and get in tune with each other and themselves. To form a group consciousness. To entrain and resonate. By entrainment, I mean that a new voice, a collective voice, emerges from the group as they drum together.”

~courtesy of Wikipedia

I have not been to a drum circle since Venice Beach.  I do enjoy them but I am not a devotee like most of the people who attend.  But still I will definitely have to check it out and see how ones in Ohio compare to ones in Venice Beach…lol.

I also met Eric!  I was gazing out at the water when this figure came slowly into focus.  I knew right away that I had to talk to this person.

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Eric is a stand up paddle boarder and a Lake Erie surfer.  Two things that I definitely want to try!  We talked for a little while about both sports and how he got involved in them.  I don’t know how much backpacking I will be doing this summer with SO many other cool things to get into!!!!!  Turns out Eric made his own board and paddle.  He doesn’t sell them but did give me a number to a person who does and it turns out the place is right down the street from me!

I love meeting The Everyday Outdoor Adventurer when I am out and about.  I love their stories of how they got involved with whatever it is they are doing at the moment.  That is also how I find out about other cool and different things to do in the Cleveland area.  I love people and find most to be very interesting when you get to chatting.  🙂  With that being said I could probably make friends and hold a conversation with an inanimate object too, that’s how much I love talking!  I find that 10 times out of 10 when I approach someone, they are totally cool with me snapping their pick.  It is all in how you ask 😉

After leaving that beach I went and picked up one nephew and two nieces and headed back down to the beach!  Seriously though, it was the perfect day to be there!

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We had such a good time!  We packed a lunch and some sand toys and were on our way 🙂  It was such a perfect day to be out at the shore.  Not too hot, not too cold.  Juuuust perfect!  I loved that they kept talking about how they love being out in nature and exploring.  They had so much fun out on the rocks and climbing in and out of the ones with little tide pools.  They buried each other.  And they dug holes in the sand so deep that when they went in they were up to their knees!  Of course we covered them in and packed them down so no one would be strolling along and fall into one.  After we packed up the toys and lunch we headed out to a local ice cream shop and topped off our afternoon with dessert.  Dairy Grove in North Ridgeville has some of the best custard I have ever had!

After two days of non stop fun it was time to get in a good sweaty workout on Sunday morning!  I led a small group of people on a cardio session out in Rocky River Reservation.  I have talked about this set of stairs before in a previous post.  Although this time instead of going up and down with 3 different types of stepping, we also included a 1/3 of a mile loop run in between each set of stairs climbing.  It was fun and hard and exhausting but it felt sooo good!  What felt really good was the brief slightly chilly rain that surprised us during our workout!  It was a nice happenstance 🙂

But the workout for me didn’t stop there!  I am starting to run with my niece Molly.  She is in track and asked me to run with her and I so totally gladly said I would!  So after a mile run and 5 sets of 134 stairs I went to pick up my niece and go run another couple of miles!  Hahaha..I am going to feel it over the next few days.  We ran and then did a bunch of running exercises and then concluded our workout with a good 20 minutes of stretching.  Ahhhhh….   Then we headed home to shower and go to my other niece and nephew’s track meet to watch them run and jump!

It was a jam packed friend and family filled weekend and I could not have asked for a better one!

I hope you all had a great weekend too!  Let me know what fun things you did this weekend in the comments section below!

Peace, love and lots of warm sunshine,

~Lori

“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Free to wander and wonder…


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I just finished a good solid 15 minutes of stretching and meditation.  I was driving home from my niece’s track meet this evening and was feeling incredibly tense from another heavy work week.  Once I arrived home I immediately changed out of my day clothes and into my comfy men’s button down shirt and pink and yellow pajama bottoms…aaaahhhh.  I love sleeping in men’s dress shirts!  Quirky???  They are just incredibly comfortable!   Next, I put the kettle on and cut myself a thick slice of juicy lemon to put in my hot mug of water.  So simple and pure and so good for an after yoga/meditation session.  

Refreshing hot lemon water :)
Refreshing hot lemon water 🙂

It never ceases to amaze me how only 15 minutes of stretching and meditating can rejuvenate your mind and body and erase all the tension.   

Yesterday evening I was suppose to attend night two of the  Banff Mountain Film Festival.  

 

Night one left me so inspired to do even more than I already do and have done over the last several years.  The above video is definitely worth watching so…CHECK. IT. OUT!  But yesterday I left work with a second wind and called my mom to see if she wanted to go mosey around Marshall’s for a bit.  I needed a few things for the apartment and I still have gift cards to use.  So I picked her up and we went for a bit and she kept saying to me (because I couldn’t stop yawning and closing my eyes intermittently), “Why don’t you just skip the film festival tonight and get a good nights rest?”  I said no, and that I really wanted to go.  So we left the store and she suggested we grab a bite to eat.  We grabbed a small pizza from Zeppe’s in Avon along with two Diet Cokes and headed down to the lake.  

Lake with my momma :)
Lake with my momma 🙂

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As my mom and I were sitting there listening to the waves wash up on shore and watching them splash upon the rocks, I couldn’t resist taking a few pictures because I get so inspired by Lake Erie and really just water in general.  On the last backpacking trip that I went on and the one before that actually, I sat on a dry rock in the middle of the creek and silently meditated.  I am a water gal and I am soooo happy to be living within walking distance to the lake.  It was such a beautiful evening… the sun was bright as it was setting in the far distance and it cast a glow on the lake that my iPhone couldn’t quite capture.   I kept looking at the boats still docked on land and kept thinking about the stillness of winter.  I can’t wait to see the Lake Erie alive with boats of all shapes and sizes!   And I really can’t wait to get out on the lake and kayak again this summer!  The grass was so vibrant and green and it provided a beautiful contrast to the rest of the landscape.  I was so thankful to spend a very peaceful, soothing and beautiful evening with my mom.  And I would have rather been right there soaking her and the lake in than be at the festival.  So my quest for awe and inspiration came not from night two of the festival but rather from my mother and our sweet, delicious and beautiful nature filled evening watching the sunset over Lake Erie.  Thanks Momma 😉

A zany zesty friend of mine who is always in a fine frenzy sent me a link the other day to a website that has just completely resonated with me.  So much so that I feel that I want to be a part of it.  If I have ever felt “connected” (hahaha…get it?  connected!?) to this crazy world wide web it is definitely to the the site She Explores .  I feel connected to the people who have written and shared these stories and I don’t even know them.  They just speak my language!  The site is about traveling, artistry, and exploring.  What I loved most about this website are the stories of women, some single and some traveling with the husbands, boyfriends or partners, in vans of sorts across the country and world and making it a lifestyle.  I have road tripped several times across this vast nation but I have always come home.  But what if the road were my home?  The vehicle that I was traveling converted to a portable home?!  Can you say DREAM?!  I was lucky enough in this life to fulfill one of my dreams.  Now it is on to new ones.  Of course living a traveling life on the road would take monetary planning but it is not impossible to do.  People do great things everyday.  I set off to California with $500 and a yearning for the outdoor life.  Mission accomplished.  How, you ask?  Because I wanted it THAT bad!  You HAVE to make life happen for you.  You can’t force things but you can put hard work and dedication towards your dreams and accomplish them if you want it bad enough.  The Zac Brown Band has a song titled Free.  It’s about living in an old van and traveling all cross the land.  Just being together traveling through life.  

With that I say goodnight friends and may you have blissful vibrant dreams,

~Lori

“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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A perfect day to be sick and ramble…?


Sick bay...
Sick bay…

Good morning everyone 🙂  Today is the perfect day to be sick…if there is such a thing?!  It is foggy, rainy and gray outside and I am trying to get over a nasty cold that I have had for the past week!  I am never this sick for this long but this sucker is lingering and interfering with my plans for my day off.  Those plans included a shopping trip to T.J. Max Home Goods because I have some gift cards to use that I received for my birthday!  I love shopping there for bits and bobs for my apartment.  I nabbed a great canvas print a few weeks ago for dirt cheap and I love it 🙂  I love shopping there because 1.  It is totally affordable and 2. they are always getting in new and different items!  I need a few bathroom and bedroom pieces.

I did muster up enough energy to get semi-dressed and walk to the corner of my street (about 20 steps I say) to The Breadsmith and snap up a blueberry lemon muffin and a ginger cookie!  Do you feed a cold and starve a fever or starve a cold and feed a fever?  Oh well,  I’ll try feeding a cold with pastries 😉

So with all this time on my hands and being confined to my apartment I have endless thoughts going through my head this cozy and drizzly morning.

First up, a VACATION!  I need a great vacation.  I am suppose to be planning a backpacking trip to Colorado in late September early October.  I so really want to do that but in the back of my head I have been dreaming about white sand, clear water, tiki huts and drinks with umbrellas in them.  I only get a limited amount of PTO so I have to use it wisely.  I have spent quite a bit of it in the past on backpacking trips and as much as I love backpacking I feel the need to go relax somewhere warm.  BUT WAIT!  What if I could combine a trip with both white sand, clear waters, tiki huts and drinks with umbrellas in them with a few days of backpacking as well in the same locale?  Another thing to research while being cooped up on the couch today 🙂  If anyone has any suggestions please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

backpackingwithchad.wordpress.com
photo from: backpackingwithchad.wordpress.com

Second up, 1/2 marathon training.  I talked about keeping a promise to myself to start training for the Towpath 1/2 marathon in a previous post.  A few years ago I trained with my friend Anna for the same 1/2 marathon but when I went to register for it about a week before I came to find out that the darn thing was sold out!  I couldn’t believe it.  I was soooo bummed out.  After all that hard work and dedication I would not be able to run.  So I went and cheered on my friend and stood proudly at the finish line with her boyfriend and congratulated her on a job well done.  This year however, I am determined to run it.  I will not be in competition with anyone but myself and I am doing solely for the purpose of self improvement.  To those of you that know me I have always been a runner.  However, over the years my running has not been consistent due to injuries, personal circumstances or whatever else.  I don’t feel the need to have a 13.1 nor a 26.2 sticker on my car.  I just want to run.  But more importantly I want to train properly for it.  Yoga, strength training and conditioning along with the running.  The right side of my body tenses up like no other and I really struggle with my  tensor fascia latae.  I really need to work on that as it can really compromise my range of motion.  Ugh…I have until Sunday October 11th!

The third thing on my mind this morning is blog development.  I have to say that devoting time to blogging and working an insane amount of hours don’t really coincide.  Since my body is forcing me to stay at home and recuperate and I don’t sit still well, I will devote this time to learning and developing my blogging skills and my blog site.  I would love to join a group to meet other bloggers.  Pick their brains and get some ideas.

photo from: www.linkedin.com
photo from: http://www.linkedin.com

I love reading other people’s journeys and life experiences.  You can share and discover inspiration!

I hope you all have an amazing warm spring day today!  It is time for me to take a nap… sick = sleepy.

Peace, love and lots of warm sunshine,

~Lori

“Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I have the world to myself….


Sunrise on Lake Erie
Sunrise on Lake Erie

I am an early bird!  Ever since I was a young girl I would always be the first of my friends up and about and calling their houses endlessly because I wanted to start hanging out and playing stat!  Now that I am a “little older” I LOVE waking up early and having the world to myself before the rest of the town wakes up.  When I lived in Venice Beach I would wake up and throw on some flip flops, put my hair up and walk down to the ocean with a cup of coffee in hand.  If I woke up early enough I could get down to the shore in time to watch the dolphins surf the waves.  Looking out at the vast Pacific and knowing there is a whole other world beneath those waves is just humbling to me.  Gosh those were some magical times! 

There is something about being with the earth in the morning sunlight with just the sounds of nature that just makes me overflow with happiness.  I have dated men that didn’t like that I was an early riser.  They would complain and say, “Can’t you just sleep in?”  But I love to be up in the morning, pitter pattering around the house making coffee, sweeping the floor or going out to get the paper.  I then would make coffee for the both of us, take it to our room and read the paper in bed while they slept in a little longer.  Now what guy would have a problem with that?!  Apparently I have not met “my guy” yet as I am sure he would appreciate having the house cleaned and coffee brought to him before he even got out of bed to pee!!!  😉  The right guy will be beside me at the lake in the early morning light..

Now I realize I have this luxury because I do not yet have children but when I do one day, I will wake their little sleepy heads and carry them all nestled and warm to the lake to watch the morning sunshine wash across their beautiful faces.

As my thoughts flow from me this morning I am sitting atop the little gem I found yesterday in RRR.  There is a definite chill in the air but I made a hot cup of coffee and brought a warm blanket to keep the chill away.  What I wouldn’t give for a hammock right now tied between 2 pines I saw earlier all warm and cozy in a sleeping bag!  I am listening to the water flow down the river below, watching the big fat robins hunt for worms and feeling the wind rush past me.  I am so in love 🙂

My morning office :)
My morning office 🙂

I hope this day finds you all at peace and happy.  May spring bring new beginnings and lots of love for you!

Peace, love and lots of warm sunshine,

~Lori

“Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

What do you love most about mornings?

Finding inspiration in everyone, everything and everywhere :D


A new discovery!
A new discovery!

So I pride my on really knowing my beloved Rocky River Reservation but today I discovered a place I NEVER knew existed!  So I grew up on the south west side of the park and recently I moved to the north east portion.  So this weekend I have basically spent in bed because I overworked myself these past six weeks to the point of getting sick…I would make the WORST patient!  So, after spending all day indoors and drinking copious amount of water I decided to go for a drive though RRR.  (I am convinced you can flush anything out of your system by drinking TONS of good H2O!)

As I was meandering my way through the park I decided to drive up a road I have never been on.  Hogsback Lane.   I always just figured that it just spit you out onto to some road.  So for poops and giggles today I took a left turn up Hogsback Lane.  To my awesome surprise I discovered a whole new part of the park I have NEVER been to!  First I went up this lane and on my slow drive up the hill I stopped and spotted 12 deer on the hillside!  I have never seen that many deer at one time!  I don’t care what people say… I think they are amazing beautiful creatures 🙂

So I drove up the hill and discovered Stinchcomb-Groth Memorial Scenic Overlook!  I drove up and saw that there is the huge piece of land I never experienced.  I can’t wait to go explore it in the days ahead!  I didn’t today because I have felt like poop.  I only had it in me to drive… no hiking.  😦   I can’t wait to enjoy a sunrise one of these mornings or a sunset one evening up there….aaaahhhhh, nature!

Discovering this little gem inspired me to take a few pictures in park today.

Rocky River Reservation
Rocky River Reservation

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These were taken on my much outdated iPhone so I apologize for the quality as they do not capture the beauty of RRR like I would like it to.

Anyways I have found inspiration today and this past week.  A week ago a high school friend passed away and our little town was really taken by his passing.  I went to high school with him and his wife and to say that they were an example of faith, love and family would not do them justice.  He left a legacy that has already inspired everyone I know that knew him to live life with open arms.  Open arms to life, family, faith (whatever yours may or may not be) and to always be there when someone is in need.   I’d like to think that I live this way already but it is nice to see that T.J.’s life was complete in every way.  God took him home because he no longer had work to do here on earth.  His work will continue long after his passing.  Here is a little excerpt from his blog dadfirst.net.  It is titled 39 Things I have Learned to Keep on Keeping On…  They are some pretty great words to live by.

Another inspirational person I came across was Alex Sheen of because i said i would.   I first saw Alex speak at a work fundraiser I attended with my brother.  Alex is a man of such integrity and promise.  He started this social movement because of his late father.  His father was a man of his word.  He kept his promise.  The premise of this site are the promise cards.  They are the size of a business card and you write a promise on them.  For example here is one I wrote to myself the other day.

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This card can be made out to yourself or to someone else.  The stories on the website because i said i would are so raw and amazing and inspirational.  Here is one that moved me to tears.  It is about Colonel Parker Schenecker and how he is dealing with the loss of his two beautiful children.  Totally worth viewing.  Alex inspired me so much that I have started volunteering at their headquarters.  I really encourage everyone to check out the website and see the amazing things Alex Sheen has done for others.

My niece Molly is also an inspiration to me!  The other morning I drove over to my sister’s house thinking they would all be getting ready for school.  (I am an early bird!)  To my surprise the house was quiet… I didn’t realize they were on spring break!  Oops!  Anyways I woke my almost 14 year old niece Molly (wow!  I still can’t believe she is going to be 14 in two months!) by dancing to an awesome song that popped into my head on the way over to their house.  The song was, I’m Walking On Sunshine.  It is just a fun, upbeat and catchy song and I freakin’ love it!  So Molly and I drove down to the beach to catch the sunrise and every time I talk with her, her spirit just amazes me!  She is in many ways your typical teenager but what I love and find so inspiring about her is that she is her own person.  She is not really a conformist.  She loves what she loves (horses) and she is who she is.  She is intelligent, funny and beautiful.  She inspires me every time we talk and hang out.  I love you Mowgli!!!

Molly!
Molly!

My niece Molly :)

Inspiration can be found anywhere at anytime.  You just have to open your eyes to the beauty around you.  Let the light shine upon you so it can shine through you.

Peace, love and lots of warm sunshine,

~Lori

“Give what you have.  To someone it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow