A Foggy Morning October Run

October 008Dressed in my orange ‘Happy Halloween’ t-shirt and a pair of black running shorts, I laced up my sneakers and headed to the park for my morning run. October settled over the area in the form of dense fog which certainly added to the pre-Halloween atmosphere.

Although I love summer and the carefree days hanging out with my boys, I have to admit October has always topped my list of favorite months. There is just something so invigorating about the cooler days and the colorful leaves. I love apples and pumpkins and looking at Halloween decoration. I love wrapping myself in a blanket on the couch and getting caught up in a great ghost story. But most of all, this is a great time of year to be an outdoor runner and I’m making the most of it by getting out to enjoy it while it lasts!

Cooler air overnight brought powerful thunderstorms. I’m not usually one to wake up to the crash of thunder but this time, it was hard to miss. Those sunny warm days we were enjoying are suddenly replaced by a fall morning chill. This is the first morning I have felt compelled to grab a light sweatshirt before heading to the park.

The fog is lingering and the ground is wet from last night’s rain, making the leaves that have already fallen a little slick along the trail. It is also quiet. I suppose many people looked out their window this morning and decided today is not a good day to go outside.

Me, I’m still running. As a matter of fact, I am pushing myself a little harder in preparation for my second 5K race coming up on the 11th of October. I was so exhilarated after the first 5K (The Graffiti Run in early August) that I rushed to find another one I could participate in before the cold weather sets in. Now, I’m starting to think maybe I was a little crazy.October 016 Am I ready to do that again? I don’t feel ready. Then again, I said the same thing the first time. All I can do is keep running and on race day, hope to be a little less anxious, and definitely ready to run.

I’ve started getting off the main trail to explore paths through the woods, not just to run farther, but because I like to explore. My current favorite path is barely wide enough to walk but it’s a peaceful meander amongst trees with lots of twists and ups and downs. And okay, the occasional spider web that I’m forced to walk through – but I’m less impressed with those.

During my time in the woods, my mind is free to start thinking about my day ahead, especially what I will write. I like to imagine my characters walking with me. What would they do?

Where will they lead me?

It’s a new month and a new day to explore. I’m ready to sit back with a cup of tea, stretch out tired muscles, and put words to paper to weave new worlds…

October 020

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I Plead Insanity

I plead insanity.

After a sleepless night, I’m trying to remember why it was such a great idea to get a puppy and I can’t come up with anything other than I must have been insane. Our little bundle of fur is thirteen weeks old today. He’s spent four weeks of his life with us and we’ve been pretty good about setting up a consistent routine, as much as we can manage being summer and all. So why, oh why, did he suddenly decide that instead of going into his crate and sleeping, like he’s always done every other night, that he would stay awake crying, whining, and barking? All. Night. Long.

By 5:30 this morning, I got up and shooed him outside, a little too late to get sleep, but if I didn’t get a break from the barking then I was going to start screaming and/or do something I’d later regret. I’m not exactly brimming with patience, you see, and it’s taking everything I’ve got to manage him during the day as it is. I need those precious nighttime hours to recuperate and if I don’t get them, gosh darn it, I am not going to be a girl you want to face in the morning.

So then, what are we doing wrong? Is it just a one-off bad night with quieter nights ahead?

Oh, darling doggie, curled up and sleeping peacefully as I type, don’t you get it into your head that I’m going to let you sleep all day. Ooooooooooooooooooh no…. I have very different plans for you today. If we’re going to make this thing work then things will need to change. Don’t think those cute puppy dog eyes are going to change a thing either.

I can’t complain too much. As far as puppies are concerned, he’s been pretty good so far. As long as he doesn’t potty in the house (so far, so good) and he doesn’t eat the children (still working on that one) then I consider it a good day. The icing on the cake would be no barking but well, he is a dog, and I understand sometimes it’s going to happen. I like to think I’m pretty easy-going for the most part. I didn’t even freak out when muddy paws raced across my kitchen…

But this nighttime thing is a different story. I need my sleep. No other way around it.

If you don’t see me around, it’s because I’m taking the dog for a walk or chasing him back and forth in the backyard. (That would be a sight to see, I’m sure.) The writing will get done, eventually, but first things first… I must secure a good night sleep ahead or Mr. Doggie’s days are numbered…

Gosh darn it, why does he have to be so cute though??

Tuesday Photos – Camping Fun

Camping has always been one of my favorite summer activities. There are so many beautiful state parks in Pennsylvania to choose from that it’s impossible to pinpoint a favorite. This year we haven’t made our way out on a family adventure just yet but in light of the upcoming holiday, I have been reminiscing about the fun we had last year in July. I decided to share a few photos from that camping trip with you today.

We didn’t escape the heat and humidity but we found that taking walks during the evening was ideal. I love the way the sunshine filters through the trees as we walk along the path in a fairly empty campground. Most others had packed up to go back to work and life during the week.

The following morning we hiked along a more secluded trail through the woods. Along the stream, we found these pretty red flowers.

A little bridge takes us over the stream where we continue to explore.

Beautiful sunset on the drive home.

Hope everyone has a happy, fun, safe Fourth of July holiday!

 

Tuesday Photos – Living Treasures

Hello! I’m happy to see you. Can’t you tell by my big, cheesy grin?

No matter how many times we visit Living Treasures Animal Park, I always bring the camera and I always take a lot of photos of the animals. The same goes for the zoo. I guess I like taking photos of animals, even when I’ve seen it all before. You never know when you’re going to get a particularly close view or capture something unusual. Our visit in May was no exception and so I’m sharing a couple of my favorites from that visit with you today.

This guy displayed his feathers just for my camera, I think! How beautiful … and impressive.

I like the way the light filters down on this guy. He’s beautiful in his own right, of course, but more so because of the time of day and the light through the trees.

This is simply too cute for words. Can I get an “Awwwwwwwwwwwwww….”

Peek-a-boo, I see you!

That’s it for today but I hope you stop by next time. You never know what I’ll share next from our weird and wonderful world…

 

 

Tuesday Photos – Kennywood Park

If this isn’t your first time visiting my blog, then you may already know that last week we spent the day at our local amusement park and if you aren’t familiar with Pittsburgh, then I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if you’ve never even heard of Kennywood Park. Looking through my recent photos of Southwestern Pennsylvania in the summer, I decided that it would be fun to share a couple of the area via our local amusement park.

First stop: The train. This is a one-size fits all ride. If you are a native to the area, then you grew up riding the train and even if you think it’s a little silly as you get older, you still ride it for nostalgia. As a matter of fact, Kennywood has cashed in on the nostalgia factor, using it now to take riders on a tour of Kennywood over the years. I like it. I took this photo of the view over the river with one of the old mills. I love the trees and rolling hills that surround it.

Late afternoon as the sun sinks lower on the horizon. You are still surrounded by the sounds of roller coasters, rides, and people enjoying them, but there is also a new feeling of calmness. Maybe it’s simply because PA is so pretty? I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the roller coaster beyond the trees with the backdrop of late sun.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and share the fun.