Archive for March, 2011

A Different Kind of Lent

My family never observed Lent as I was growing up and I’m not sure why I started to observe it as an adult, but I certainly have grown to cherish this time of year. I love the challenge and discipline that comes with each year. Usually I give up something. In past years I have targetted Pepsi, desserts, red meat, cheese, text messaging while driving, credit card usage. One year I also gave up, “Reading my ex-husband’s blog.” : ) This year I’m taking a different approach. Instead of giving up something, I’m doing something. For Lent 2011, I’m spending 20 minutes each day breathing and stretching.

With our move, home renonvations and a crazy-hectic work schedule, I think that dedicated relaxation time will pay divendends. Plus I think it will be a particularly good habit to get into as I get inch closer to labor. : )

It’s only been 14 days and so far so good. Originally I had wanted to do 10 minutes of stretching and breathing a day. Ryan encouraged me to up it to 20 minutes, which sounded like a pretty large commitment at the time. However, I have found most days, once I start, I end up well beyond, often double, that 20 minutes! I did miss one day– a day where I did an hour on the spin cycle which I also find to be very effective in the stress-releasing department.

So we’ll see how the rest of Lent season goes. I do suspect, Easter Supper will be a little less anticipated without being able to indulge in whatever it was I was abstaining from. Desserts taste oh-so-good after a Lent.  : )

March 23, 2011 at 1:00 am 2 comments

Fenwick Hollowell Wetlands Trail

One of my last outings before I left Elizabeth City was the Fenwick Holloway Wetlands Trail. One Sunday afternoon in January, the dogs and I snuck out there for a quick “hike”. The trail was built in memory of G. Bradford Fenwick, a Naturalist, and Elizabeth V. Hollowell, a Lover of Nature. It’s a series of wooden walkways and gazebos that runs along the Pasquotank River behind the College of the Albemarle and Albemarle Hospital. It’s short and flat and full of wonderful views.

Fenwick Hollowell Wetlands - Jimmie, Henry, Vicky Shadows
Jimmie, Henry and Vicky Shadows on Walkway

Fenwick Hollowell Wetlands - Baldcypress, Gazebos and Walkways
Baldcypress Trees, Walkway and Gazebo

Fenwick Hollowell Wetlands - Walkway and Sunset
Walkway and Sun

Fauna
That afternoon, we spied the usual Canadian Geese. We also got to see several Nutria swimming around the walkways.

Fenwick Hollowell Wetlands - Nutrias
Nutria

Flora
Perhaps knowing my time in the area was limited, it was the indigenous baldcypress trees that caught my eye that evening.

Fenwick Hollowell Wetlands - Baldcypress and Sunday
Baldcypress Tree in the Pasquotank River

Fenwick Hollowell Wetlands - Baldcypress Branches at Dusk
Baldcypress Tree at Dusk

The dogs and I weren’t out long that afternoon, but we still had ample time to absorb the beauty of the Pasquotank and make mental notes of our happy times in Elizabeth City.

More pictures of the Fenwick Hollowell Wetlands Trail can be found on my Flickr site.

March 22, 2011 at 1:00 am 3 comments

Home Sweet Home…for Now

Today Ryan and I have been in Occoquan, Virginia for three weeks now. Until all the renovations are complete, all our stuff (and us) are occupying the fourth floor of my parents’ home. It’s been tight quarters.

Home Sweet Home - Qubit and Boxes
Our floor with Qubit

Home Sweet Home - Bed
Our bed with Ryan

We unloaded our Uhaul on a Monday. The following Friday I left on a business trip to Wichita, Kansas. Just two days after I returned, Ryan left on a business trip of his own. So it’s been a hectic time, but now we are starting to get settled in. The boxes are all rearranged now, so we have more room…and significantly less avalanches. Today we just got wireless working, so we won’t have to rely on the Verizon Fivespot anymore!

We have joined a new gym (It has a pool and spin cycles!!! w00t!) and found the best public library to program in EVER! They have a dedicated “Quiet Room” and they allow you to drink in it. Their internet is fast and they allow food in their foyer, which is good because I’m snacking pretty regularly these days. The best part– they don’t close until 9 PM!

The Dogs
The dogs have always loved it here, so they are happy. 14 year Jimmie seems to appreciate having the dog door at his disposal. Unfortunately four flights of stairs is a long way to go for an old dog with unpredictable bowels, so he still has the occasional accident on his way down to the dog door. Poor guy. He tries.

It didn’t take Henry long to alter his allegiances. My mother is a school bus driver. Each morning, she wakes up insanely early and feeds her dogs. Henry, of course, is quite a fan of food. Now each morning, as soon as he hears my mother’s alarm clock go off, Henry ditches us and rushes downstairs to greet my Mom. On the upside, my mother isn’t as generous with food as Ryan and I are. Henry has lost a lot of weight!

The Cats
Mollie the three-legged cat has also taken to the house quite well. She isn’t at all intimidated by my parents’ dogs and she freely goes anywhere she wishes. The gurgling and wheezing from her chronic sinus infection has caused some confusion. One night my brother, unaccustomed to her sounds, thought she was dying. Frantic, he tried to wake up Ryan and when that didn’t work…. my brother actually considered giving the snotty cat mouth to mouth!

The two male cats, Stench and Qubit, have become surprisingly reclusive. In Elizabeth City, they were perpetually outside hunting in the swamp. Here, they stay on the fourth floor all day long. It doesn’t look like a fulfilling life to me, but they seem absolutely content.

The Neighborhood Kids
Facebook has been indispensable for keeping in touch with the neighborhood kids. Every few days, I’ll hear from one of them. The baby’s sex is a common inquiry, though I won’t have an answer on that until (hopefully) April 4th. It was my birthday recently, so my Facebook wall was more animated than usual. The Facebook Birthday Onslaught is always nice, but this year, it was especially nice to hear from the kids. I’d read their messages on my phone and pause. Only when the lump in my throat subsided, would I move on to the next message. And then sometimes there are random, unexpected messages that just melt your heart. One morning I logged on and found this on my wall:

how’s its going vicky , ryan miss yall guys real bad please come see us sum time…

We miss them real bad too. Luckily, we’ll get to see them in a couple of months! Till then, I had a mnemonic device. The kids got me fancy skin products for Christmas. I still have a small supply left. Each morning when I use the fancy scented lotions, I get to think of all my friends on Hunter Street. : )

March 21, 2011 at 1:00 am Leave a comment


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