Sunday, March 02, 2014
Hi Everyone: Can't believe it's March already! For those of you suffering through the LONG, snowy cold winter or even HOT Summer on the other side of the world-hang in there! There are ways to create magic in your goals! Look for ways to keep going, despite the weather! Myself- I have been trying to get used to the Cold winter days here in Florida. For those of you who think, HA, cold in Florida! Let me tell you once you live here a couple years- 65 degrees it is cold to us! If it is windy on top of that, we have gloves, hats and coats on! Never thought I would see the day I would feel that when I moved here. I have hiked now in 52 degrees, with triple layers on, hat and gloves! That would have been me in Ohio 12 years ago, at 32 degrees or below! So, I have been forcing myself to get out there and brave the cold, just so I can enjoy nature and have fun times! Below 50 degrees my asthma starts acting up, and couple that with live oak allergies, they are shedding leaves and pollen right now...I have to be careful. But, you won't stop me! I mean to stay active and after 3 ˝ years of keeping at it, I love our walks and bike rides!
We also like going to Historical Areas and there are a lot of those down here in the state of Florida. One we visited on our vacation, was the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park in Cross Creek.
She acquired it in 1928, and is the Pulitzer Prize winning authoress of many books. They included The Yearling-1946 and Cross Creek-1942, for which movies were made, too.
The gate is open, come on in.....
A quote from her book Cross Creek:
“I do not understand how any one can live without some small place of enchantment to turn to”.
Goes along with my Make Magic March-right?! Her place was enchanting, indeed! The home is Florida Cracker Style of board and batten of hearty pine, with raised floor, high ceilings and many windows & doors for cross ventilation. It really was like stepping back in time:
A peek inside:
She even wrote a cookbook – Cross Creek Cookery, since she loved to cook. From all the foods she grew in her big garden and orchards. We even ate some of the citrus right off the trees, still being grown:
She kept chickens and ducks and there were some there too:
Even laid an egg:
They have guided tours of her house too, which we didn't do...we were wanting to stay outside and walk around. All things are kept as they were back in the 20's-40's, even the ones who work there wear period outfits of those times.
There are hiking trails in the woods around the 72 acres farm and home, which we went on.
You can see the orange tree on the right, in amongst the forest that grew around them in the grove:
A restored tenant house moved from a nearby family home, evokes memories of the original Rawlings tenant structure. It stands in the original area the other house was back in the 20's, where many who worked for her called home.
The barn and inside:
The porch was where Rawlings did most of her writing. She would be seated at her cypress table with its Palmetto palm post and deer hide chairs, enjoying the Florida breezes and watch what was happening on her farm and on the road. See her typewriter on the table:
That same porch was used as a place to sleep if it got too hot inside the house. (see the bed on the left)
All Major restoration was completed in 1996 and ongoing preservation work is ongoing.
There is a restaurant down the road that they said has to die for food and the locals named it The Yearling when it opened in 1952. It is considered one of the best restaurants in the state by Florida Trend Magazine. Some of the foods it has is something you don't see in most restaurants that I know of:
Venison, Cooter (Turtle), Froglegs, Alligator and Quail. We plan to visit that next time we are in the area...it has limited hours.
We are always going to our favorite enchanting places to go walk or bike, but also finding new magical places to have fun with our exercise!! I think Florida in itself is Magical...hey, we have Walt Disney World, don't we?!
Thanks for stopping by! Keep moving & making healthy choices! My plan is to get off this plateau I have been on for awhile! Need to work some magic!!….Connie
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Hi Everyone: Hope you are doing good for Fight the Fat February! I am! Sticking with my goal plan and proud of myself. I saw an awesome quote on a recent blog and thought I would share it:
"Every time you misstep on your healthy journey, you have two choices: to keep walking backwards, which will surely take you even further away from your goals; or to accept your lack of perfection as normal and forgivable, and take not one, but two positive steps down the path that brings your closer to the future you want."
Because, no matter what happens in our daily lives, we cannot let it affect our journey to a better you! Take responsibility for your life and the actions you commit to. Figure out what you want from life, realize you deserve it and go for it! It may take you awhile-look at me...through ups and downs I am still going strong-3 and ˝ years later! Only half way there, but I realize that this is a lifetime commitment and I am not going to beat myself up for things I do that make me backslide a bit. I am working my way back from 3 injuries last year and it will take awhile to get back to doing more on hikes like we used to. But we need to be strong! It will take lots of willpower to not only get through each day, but to keep going if something happens to throw you off track.
The more you get into that habit, the more energy you will have day to day! It may be hard at first to get going and stay motivated to do that exercise. But, once you do, I guarantee you will be hooked and feel alive each time you do something! So what are you waiting for?! Get out your music, put on those walking shoes and go for a walk! Or turn on that music and do some dancing! Put on a SP video right here on this site and do it! 10 minutes or more out of your day is going to save your life! Make healthy choices with the food and eat less and the rest is history, you are on your way to a healthier, happier person! Let's do this!
One thing I love about Florida is their commitment to encourage people to get out and be active! We have more trails than most states. In fact in 2008, Florida received American Trail's inaugural award as "Best Trails State in America," recognized the efforts of DEP's Office of Greenways and Trails and its many partners for their coordinated efforts to establish Florida's statewide system of trails. We are committed to discovering as many of them as we can.
This is a new trail that was just completed last year and we went to it on our vacation recently. You park here (there was a prescribed burn in the forest the first time we went-could only access a part of the trail) and went a few days later to finish it:
The trail starts at the dam on Lake Rousseau.
Walk across the dam to 1200 acre Inglis Island. 3.9 miles of trails, most are wilderness walking trails, that you can use a mountain bike on too. You pass by the lake:
Down this hill (and back up it when you return--quite the workout)
and into the new paved 1.2 miles part of the trail
it connects to the other existing trails that go all over the island-which are birding trails too. At least 132 bird species have been spotted here over the years.
Through the woods and some side views on the way to the canal end:
The end and the view of the canal at the north end of the island. We did 2.5 miles round trip the second time we went here.
Me heading back to conquer that hill at the other end!
Keep going everyone!! We can do it!! Next month will be what I call my Make Magic March! Need to get off this plateau-need to work my magic!!! Whoohoo!!
I will close with one of my Florida sunsets from the past couple weeks:
Thanks for stopping by my blog....Connie
Sunday, February 09, 2014
NOTE: I hope the video doesn't give you any problems. It may buffer at first, but give it time. I cannot zoom with my camera smart phone, once I am filming.
Hi everyone...when we moved to Florida almost 10 years ago, we decided we wanted to see it all! But, it wasn't until I joined SP in 2010, did I really take an interest in hiking many parts of it. My husband along with me, of course.
Funny how since moving here, we haven't missed cross country travel. Sure, I want to still do that one day, but in good time we will. We don't like to stay in hotels if we don't have to. So, we like our day trips.
One of the new trails we discovered a newer preserves 413 acres in the wild woods of Yankeetown, complete with salt marshes:
For all you Elvis fans (like me), this is in the area where he filmed the movie Follow That Dream and in fact the entrance is on the road named after the movie. It was developed once the county received a 2.3 million dollar grant to buy lands in the area to preserve it. I love those raised wood walkways!
My kind of hiking! See me in the distance:
Some other pics there:
We got out of the Preserve just as a huge storm hit and we had to drive home in it! So glad we had the chance to get in there before it hit. We will go back, since it has a 30 foot high viewing tower and other trails in the woods.
I have to add some photos of flowers, birds, ocean and sunsets that we saw also during vacation. I know a lot of you have been suffering through some bad, snowy, icy winters up north, so this will make you think spring! It will be here before you know it!
Lots of seagulls at The Villages this day and get out the food, here the come!
Taking a rest after a meal:
A blue heron taking a rest by the ocean:
I love the skies as the sun set on the ocean that day in these photos!!
The walkways by the lake at the Villages and look how the water looks, reflecting the sky!
Thanks for stopping by --it means a lot to me! Keep moving and making healthy choices everyone!! We can do it!
Thursday, February 06, 2014
Hi Everyone...wanted to get this blog done a few days ago, but time just got away from me. I wanted to do this type of motivational blog first, before my next vacation photo blog, because I needed too.
For one thing, I just want you to know, I really appreciate all of you. You spend your time on SP, supporting me and your other friends and teams. And that is just awesome! I can't thank you enough! If it weren't for you sparkfriends, I wouldn't have stuck around this long! I always want to be there as much as I can for you all, just like you are for me.
I have been struggling, with eating too much sweets and overeating on the weekends. Why do I keep doing this? I was doing so good when I first joined SP! Every day, week or month I have a new resolve to do better and I will never give up! I have sat at basically the same ten pound range for a little over a year it does get frustrating! With the injuries on top of that-- 2013 was an awful year for me!
I am motivated everyday by all of you, that are doing so well and who keep going! And for those who are struggling too or just starting out, I want you to know I struggle too, so you can see that it isn't easy and that we all have bad times. We just need to focus and stick with it!
But, one thing that has been constant when I can, has been my love of exercise & getting out there or at home and doing it! If it weren't for that, I would have more than likely gained a lot more weight back
But, since I was a younger, I have always had a stopping point and still to this day have it. I know when to quit, when I am out of control and usually can stop the bad habits. But, even then the pounds kept creeping up. It can happen without you realizing it! Maybe it is a release, comfort to go back to old ways, I don't know. But, it has to STOP and that is why I call this Fight the Fat February. This fat is coming off and I am tired of the bad behavior and giving in to temptation! Time to get it together, turn off the love of food, weekend overeating, eating too much sweets and get on with it!
I am challenging myself for the rest of February-can I do it? I sure will...I am determined!
But, there is also hidden sugars:
Just read an article on SP, that with all the hidden sugars we eat, let alone the added sweets, like candy, etc., we have almost a 20% chance more of having a heart attack-men or women. That is disturbing! And lets not forget all the rest of the bad foods out there! The scientists did a test with mice giving them the choice of heroin or sugar and guess which one they picked every time? Sugar!!! That is how addictive it is!! And do I know that addiction!!
So lets Fight the fat! Kick those pounds to the curb! Are you with me?!
Thanks for stopping by...my next blog will be Part 2 of our vacation photos & video. Have a sparkling great day!!!
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Hope you are all well and your new year is going good so far! I am glad to see 2013 be gone-not one of my better years! I had a good break, got lots done of my special projects I wanted to do around the house, prior to our 10 day vacation which started on the 9th. We managed a good balance of in state travel, home projects, being active and resting, sleeping in and it made it a success! I gained a couple of pounds, due to a few bad days with my eating. But, probably some of the gain was from sodium water retention. Walked a total of 28 ˝ miles (75, 323 steps) during our vacation for the 10 days! I am amazed at that! Especially when my Achilles heel injury started acting up again! Our weather prevented us from doing some things we planned, but that is ok, we will get to them later on, when it is warmer or not raining. Went to some new places we have never been before and even saw the movie Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit movie, which is excellent by the way. So, all in all had lots of fun! I will post a blog of each area, but want to start with a couple places we visited prior to our actual vacation, while I get all the photos together from the vacation.
We went to Sugarloaf Mountain (weird they call it a mountain-I guess for FL is is). The highest point in peninsular Florida at 312 feet (95 meters) above sea level: Going up:
Going down through the car window:
It is in Lake County, near the town of Clermont. This compares to 345 feet (105 meters) above sea level for the highest point in the entire state, Britton Hill, located in the Florida Panhandle. Also, according to Wikipedia it's geology is tied to the formation of Florida’s sand ridges, specifically the Lake Wales Ridge (which also has another highest point at Bok Tower near Lakeland area). The big hill consists of relict sand ridges and dunes formed in a marine shoreline environment approximately 2 million years ago during the Pleistocene epoch.
The countryside is so pretty on top overlooking the area:
It was nice to look over at Lake Apopka in the distance there:
It is really popular for Cyclists and motorcyclist. Saw quite a few while we were there!
Close by, up the road a few miles is Citrus Tower, per Wikipedia is a 226-foot-tall (69 m) structure built in 1956. Once the most famous landmark of the Orlando area, it was built to allow visitors to observe the miles of orange groves surrounding it. Developments in the citrus industry since its construction have left it providing a view of suburban neighborhoods today. At more than 500 feet above sea level, it is the highest observation point in Florida. We wanted to stop by just to see it and take photos. You can pay $6.00 each to go up in it, go to the top floor and look out windows. We decided to save our money on this trip.
They had some nice flowers planted around it:
Another day was walking a couple miles around the island of Cedar Key. I have blogged about C.K. before, but some of you are new sparkfriends and may not have seen it. Plus, this was the first time
we walked in this particular area.
Old fishing shack crumbling away, but the birds love it!
Always see plenty of sea birds there of course:
Some of the homes here are so pretty and very ornate: From mansions to small cottages:
Plenty of condo or cottage rentals everywhere-some of my favorites:
We finished off our two miles by coming back to the historic district, built in the late 1800's and still standing:
Even the old hotel is still open for business-they say it's haunted
Link to Cedar Key:
This past year hasn't resulted in not much weight loss, but I am proud of how active I am! Even through 3 injuries last year, I still managed 843 miles of walking! That is like walking from here to Cincinnati Ohio! 2014 will be a year of changes for me and higher goals and this weight is coming off!! So keep going! You never know what kind of views you can see when you are out there walking or biking. Pretty view from the Withlacoochee trail which we are always on:
We are in this together!! We can make 2014 the best year yet!!! Thanks for stopping by! Glad to be back!
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