Monday Musings

Happy Monday beautiful people. Before I launch into todays ramblings, I want to pause and recognize that today here in the states, it’s Memorial Day.

If you don’t know, it is a day set aside to remember the brave men and women who died fighting for the freedom of our country.

memorial day

Amidst the BBQ’s, and store sales, there is a far deeper meaning and acknowledgement of this last day in May.  No words could ever express how we as a Nation feel for those who fought, and gave their lives for the freedoms we enjoy each day.

My dad served several years in the Vietnam war. He had Alzheimers and died from it a little over a year ago. To the end of his fading memory, he remembered he had served, he was proud of his service, and he still had pain in his heart for those he had served with in the war who didn’t make it back home.

As an American, I am grateful for those who have served, and continue to serve our great nation today.

Weekend adventures

I took off on a little road trip to see hubby this weekend.  I always have fun exploring or doing things with him in different environments.

Saturday morning started off eating breakfast at this healthy little breakfast place we found before. They use like, real food to make your breakfast. As you can tell my eggs in my omelet are that creamy yellow. It also held all kinds of tasty veggies inside of it. Add to it hearty whole grain artisan toast and leafy greens with plenty of coffee, it was delicious

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A wholesome veggie omelet. Hubby isn’t ever impressed with the greenery though 😉

After food and some exploring we found ourselves at the pool later on. I was hanging off the side, lost in thought, watching the kids bounce around everywhere.

It should be mentioned, as a writer, my mind is constantly whirling, thinking, pondering. I observe the world around me and pay attention to people… the ways they interact, their conversations, body language etc.  I can have a topic start forming in my head with just a casual observation of something.

For instance…..

I watched this little girl go skipping by in her little red bikini, blonde braids bouncing on her shoulders, goggles clutched in one hand completely enjoying the afternoon at the pool.

She was unconcerned over her body. She most likely wasn’t wondering what her stomach looked like or if she looked “fat”. She wasn’t wishing she had a bigger butt or wondering if people were looking at her judging her.

Nope. She was blissfully free. Sadly, in a few years, she may not be like that.

I began to share my thoughts with hubby who admittedly said he wasn’t sure he wanted in my head when I told him I had stuff whirling in there all the time…. haha

But he listened to my observations stating the obvious… well she hasn’t grown up yet and developed all those body insecurities.  And this is true.

Family, society, friends, social media, even strangers are all big influencers of how we can lose our care free abandonment over time… meaning when we grow up.

When we grow up and determine we aren’t adequate or our bodies aren’t “good enough” or they could “be better” or worse yet, compare ourselves to others.

Sure, with good nutrition and exercise anyone could “be better”.  But what happens that people can’t simply go enjoy life without being hung up on their imperfections, real or perceived?

We  continued to talked about how beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And really, what IS a perfect body? That will vary person to person in what they believe to be attractive or desirable or whatever you wanna call it.

Yet the pursuit of these very things ( what someone believes to be desirable)  will hinder people from going out and just enjoying life.

Really, no one cares if your thighs are super thin. No one is thinking you don’t fill out your swimsuit enough.  No one is worried about the little extra pudge around your middle. Chances are, they have their own anyway.

Guys, no one is wondering where your washboard ab’s are or why your arms aren’t bulging in your t shirt.

Yet the times I hear women young and old lamenting over their “flaws” or imperfections ( how they view it) is staggering and they are held back by these beliefs.

Those ideas hinder you from just enjoying and savoring life.

What happens along the way that we can’t just go out and enjoy things with a child abandon instead of sitting on the sidelines, watching.

I’m in decent shape for a woman close to collecting her senior citizen discounts on morning breakfasts.

I wear a bikini because I can. Because I want to.

Because I hate having a white belly. hahaha

I don’t consider my body “perfect” in that unattainable sense. I’ve had babies. I have marks to prove it. However I also have some decent muscles now in my belly that I think, trump that. I have strong powerful legs, largely a side effect to my athletic endeavors. I don’t have “skinny” legs, but then I don’t want to have them either.

Oh. And I really don’t care if some random stranger may make a judgment on me or not.

But then again, as mentioned , I’m older. I’ve had time to get comfortable in my skin and be ok being me.

I won’t sit out watching from the distance while other people are having fun and doing stuff.

I will never sit on the side watching and not doing.

So as I sat, and watched these children so happily playing, still comfortable and untainted in their skin, I wondered why that has to be lost. Why so many will go through life burdened or feeling like they are inadequate or not enough and how if ever, that tide will turn.

Can I just say this? You are enough. Really. Your body is fine and no one is responsible for it but you.

If you need to lose some weight to feel better, do it for you. Do it for your health. Do it for the way it will make you feel.

I will always support good health and wellness ( mentally and physically)

Love yourself, learn to be a little more free, and enjoy the life you have to live without being hung up on if your body isn’t some particular “way” you think it should be.

Sweet heavens. I’ve been preaching. I shall now stop that…..

Weekend exercise…

let’s be real. When we aren’t on our “home turf” it is harder to get a workout in. We may feel like we are on a break and can step away from it.

I do it most days, so time off makes me feel more tight and achy than when I do workout. My muscles are used to frequent movement!

Thus started my Sunday morning pondering what I could get in to shake out legs and a body that had driven quite a bit the day before and was begging for something.

I decided to go on a quick, brisk explore walk, 30 minutes. It was already warm and humid so it was easy to start working up a sweat. After that I decided to finish it off by running three flights of stairs for 10 minutes.

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cool down time at the top of the third landing

Let’s just say, if you wanna test your cardio endurance, go ahead and get after some stairs for awhile!

Ok so all that was great and awesome. I wasn’t thinking that later in the day, I’d be driving for awhile again and that my legs would be sitting and still.

I stopped for gas and a coffee and got out trying to not initially hobble like an old woman till they stretched out haha

Speaking of that… I had been craving an iced coffee for miles. The place I stopped is like this mecca in the middle of nowhere. It has the usual gifts, and more food than you can imagine to tempt you to take back on the road. It boasts I’m sure, a hundred gas pumps. And it definitely boasts the cleanest bathrooms anywhere on the highway.

Oh… I did mention observing people. If I had time to just sit outside and watch….

It’s an adventure unto itself to stop there.

Since no Starbucks was around for miles, I was thankfully, able to improvise with what they had for sale and settle my iced coffee craving.

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I shoulda bought two…..

Anyway, it kinda fortified me for the remainder of the trip so I won’t complain.

A holiday weekend isn’t complete without food

We will be doing a Memorial meal like most of America so I thought I’d share a couple of recipes I plan to use.

Yay for new recipes!

 

I’ve kinda really been wanting to try this, so better to do so when I have other people to test it out on .

But let’s not forget dessert….

Mocha brownies with coffee cream cheese icing. How amazing does that sound??

Two new recipes on the menu for dinner so we’ll see how that goes.

Before I go…..

As we head into a new week they are promising record breaking temps topping us into the 100+ degree range.

Ah. I know we are getting into summer months I’m just not ready for that rough heat yet.  It also means I need to be up and on the road to bike or run before that sun starts getting to high in the sky. It’s a complete sweat fest with heat and humidity combined with the work of what I’m doing.

But, it’s summer and summer in the south means blistering hot days. Ready or not, here it comes.

Your turn! Tell me something from your week. Anything new, different or fun? Or was it the same ( yet sometimes comfortable) familiar grind for you?

 

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Weekend Road Adventure To Canton

Who doesn’t love a good road trip or new adventures? Ok well maybe one or two of you might not but the free spirit that I am definitely enjoys exploring new territories and going on new adventures.

Get comfy and come along on my most recent adventure….

When hubby mentioned he wanted us to escape for a few days for our anniversary and to find something for us to do, I was all over it!

Yes, I just celebrated another anniversary with my sweet husband.

The 34th to be exact. Add two years I made him wait to marry me we’ve logged 36 years.

We’ve had lots of adventures in those years, some big, some small but always enjoyable because we’re together doing them.

Time to get on the road…

of course the dilemma was, where to? to do what? Obviously we had a certain amount of days we were working with so I had to keep that in mind as I began exploring options.

I had brought a few things to the table and I got a message back that said….

“Why not search up something like quaint towns with antiques or something?”

Well that got me. If you’ve followed  me you know I’ve got a thing for old antique/vintage furniture and making it look pretty and usable again. The uglier, crustier and awful looking, the better.

You can see a few of my flips on my Monday Musings posts here ( btw Monday Musings will return next week )

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/04/30/monday-musings-11/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/04/09/monday-musings-9/

It didn’t take long to find what I was looking for.  I had to laugh as it was something I saw years ago and actually forgotten about.

In the East Texas town of Canton they boast the biggest, most long running flea market in the country. With well over 6.000 vendors and acres of ground to cover there is something there for everyone.

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Hubby was somewhat bothered by my “driving and snapping” this pic as we drove by skills 😛

 

 

I messaged him that I had a potential destination in mind and he was agreeable so I set the wheels in motion to make it happen.

One thing about this event is that hotels book up and sell out months in advance in Canton which will bump many people to neighboring nearby towns, as if did us. ( Now I know. I know if we go again I need to book our room a long way out)

This wasn’t really bad though as we got to explore another small town we otherwise might not have ever seen. Our hotel was strangely big, modern and well kept in this otherwise sleepy town called Mineola.

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Our hotel had Texas shaped make your own waffles. How could I resist?

 

Soon the date approached for our trip. I’ll tell you this. As the one who runs the home and organizes everything, gets things ready for the trip and leaves things ready to leave etc

It requires the skill and organization of a military commander.

By the time everything was loaded, last minute notes left for kids, dogs fed, bags packed,  I was ready to just settle in and start unwinding … ready to enjoy our time away.

I guess hubby thought I was gonna find a lot of cool stuff to drag home ’cause he thought renting a truck might be a good idea.

He was right. And it was a good idea 😉

He always has good ideas.

Adventures into Canton..

Have you ever been to Disneyworld? You know how you’re never quite sure where to start, what to see or where to go first? How it’s complete sensory overload?

Seriously, this is what it was like.

The sounds. The smells. The sights.

Given I was out looking for good deals on old furniture or other items I could creatively flip and give new life to I knew there were certain areas I wanted to hit hard and fast first.

It had rained on us all the way there Friday and when we arrived many of the vendors were closed, but we found quite a few still open. It definitely gave us a chance to explore the grounds and plot our strategy for the next day which would be a full day out there.

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An old sled! One of my favorite finds

 

I was like a kid in a candy store with some booths. Other stuff, I didn’t really care about so it was easy to by pass certain areas… when you know you only have a certain amount of time you get really focused on what you want to see.

As mentioned earlier, the grounds are vast, with many huge warehouses full of vendors as well as hundreds of outside vendors.

Scooters are available to rent.

I’m just not sure what to say about that. Like… if you need a scooter, by all means.

But the totally able bodied people on them munching foot long corndogs as they sped by? … well..  ha I’m thinking… just walk it’s good for you! In some places it was like a scooter parade, you had to dodge them and people pulling wagons and dragging things behind them.

Some areas were crazy and required a level of skill to not get highly annoyed.

Hubby and I? Were tough old birds, I guess. We’d get enough stuff till we couldn’t carry anymore and make a run back to unload at truck. Which finding it in the beginning was like a rat being in a maze.

I’m telling you. If there was ever a time I was glad of my physical fitness, this event made me more so.  On one trip I was carrying this solid wood side table, my purse, drink and a few other items as we attempted to navigate our way back through all the many buildings, finally out to the parking area, and then all the way out to where we parked.

Seriously, I logged about 17,000 steps that day.

I wouldn’t have gotten that on a scooter 😉

Not only were there items that ranged from pets, to plants, to antiques, to old collectibles and everything in between that, the food was plentiful and abundant.

Just think carnival food. Grease. Sweets. You name it.

I didn’t see a whole lot of anything for the health conscious out there. In fact, we decided we had to try these potato things after the zillionth person roamed by with them. One huge potato turned into something like a French fry/ potato chip…  just look at it’s lovely greasy, crispiness 🙂

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What goodies did I find?

Well, I didn’t find as much furniture as I was hoping, Most were offering pieces at retail prices and more than I wanted to spend on pieces I flip. Lots of furniture had been “re-done” …. turquoise… why??

I did however find a lot of cute things that fit my budget and will transform pretty well I think…

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Some of my crusty treasures…
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I couldn’t resist this little chair. It will make over so cute!

 

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I really wanted to show this off by itself. I can’t stand how cute it is. I really got it for 8.00.

 

 

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This is mine. I adore old wood rocking horses.  It’s bigger than photo appears.
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I have a lot of old crocheted doilies my grandmother made but I couldn’t resist scooping up a few more to add to the collection. It’s such a beautiful lost art.

 

 

I found lots of cool things that will keep me busy for quite awhile. I think it’s definitely a place I’d enjoy doing again and much like Disney, once you go you then learn a few tips and tricks for the next time to make it easier and you know where you want to go first.

Now about the town we stayed in….

Mineola is a small quiet town about 30 minutes from Canton. After dinner on Saturday evening we walked around and just looked at some of its old history…

But dinner first… we ate at the local hamburger place and they served a variety of home style food. It’s the kind of place you’re fairly sure the carpet and fixtures are original from …forever ago… when they opened. Old.  We ate there both nights we liked it so much…and they had fried pies… huge fried pies…

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Murals like this decorated the walls. They offered premium coffee, but alas, there seemed none to be had there

 

 

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One wall was covered in messages written on their napkins…
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I met this guy out in front of the restaurant

 

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The town can obviously boast this little tidbit of history…

 

I should say here… my husband deserves an award at times. When I’m whipping open my camera to snap a pic of something apparently random,  I get the blank look to which I reply…

“I’m a blogger remember? Photos go hand in hand with what I do” to which he patiently waits while I take pics of weird things or pose with plastic looking men in front of our restaurant haha or make him take pictures with huge metal chickens ( which to humor him I won’t post) I just constantly see things around me to use so you all don’t get bored with nothing but words and more words 😉

My mind is always looking to capture cool things to add to my writing…like this….

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To me this is a classic American looking church. Add to it I happened to have the rainbow overhead was awesome, and the massive magnolia tree dipping in, made it a lovely visual.

 

 

 

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No filter. The light had changed and the sun was hitting it a certain way and I “knew” it would make a stunning photo. I love how it turned out.

 

Oh speaking of magnolias… I’ve never seen a tree as massive as the one by this church.

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that lovely bloom was probably 7-8 inches across
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Another cool shot… I love how the clouds came out. No filter or adjustments. This was an old railroad museum.

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In ways of things that make me laugh…..

this sign was on the door of a store. I guess given it’s an area where people are on the prowl for antique stuff, they must’ve had enough of people trampling in on the hunt for some and decided a nice sign on the door would ward off potential antique hunters haha

A little known thing about me….

Of all jewelry, I have a thing for bracelets. Big, strong, bold ones usually. We stopped in a little coffee shop Saturday night and they had a display with all kinds of cool ones, this one though, I immediately loved. The girl was unsure of prices and started off saying the lady who “hand made them only used antique fabrics…” made me feel like it was going to be more than I wanted to pay… she made a call and then informed me it was 10.00.

Wow.

Guess what I have now ? 😉

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It also works well with tattoos 😉

 

 

 

 

Time flies when you’re having fun….

 

All to soon our adventures were over and it was time to make our way home with all the treasures. Not only was it fun finding things and knowing they have new potential. the time with the one I love can’t be measured. Stepping away from “real” life allows us to just hang out, without agendas, without anyone needing us for something, without dealing with all the things that tend to go on when you’re on your home turf.

We made a commitment to plan more frequent weekend road trips, for no special occasion other than escaping and really getting to hang out together.

I can hardly wait to plan our next one.

Tell me… have you been on any new or fun adventures recently? Do you like road trips or exploring off the beaten path places?