Uncategorized

On (Hilton Head) Island Time

We made it!

inCollage_20180525_181026777
The views I enjoy on my morning walks on Hilton Head Island, SC.

For the last couple of years, I’ve been preparing to move 1,000 miles away from the only home I’ve ever known. And eight days ago, I finally made it.

Well, WE made it. Couldn’t have done it without the support of my ride-or-die, Tiny.

IMG_20180525_181443743_LL
Tiny is my ride-or-die

I’ve been unpacking, trying to re-start my regular workout schedule, getting feelers out for my future entrepreneurial venture, planning out the renovations I’ll be doing for my parents, and getting to know the area.

Busy, busy!

But I’ll have plenty of experiences to write about in the coming days, so consider this your warning. 😉

 

Uncategorized

Overscheduled

Don’t you just hate sitting around in waiting rooms? Whether it’s a doctor’s office, an auto repair shop, or the DMV, you are at their mercy. Are they ever on time?

And who doesn’t feel resentful about it? You have to take time out of work, which infuriates your employer, or you’re losing money or precious free time if you’re taking vacation or are self-employed.

We are constantly running around and sometimes that’s the only thing keeping us from falling apart – inertia.

But while I was on my walk through the woods yesterday, I spotted a snow-covered bench and thought, “Let me clear this off today so that if I want to take a rest on my walk tomorrow, I can.”

IMG_20180316_100416724-01
A clear spot for contemplation and reflection. Or just to sit my fat ass when I get tired. 😂

 

So I did. And today, I was grateful. The point is that we’re all going Mach 5, and we never have the time to breathe, nevermind to plan. My work environment was like that. It was unhealthy and counterproductive.

Humans need many things to thrive – not just survive. A tree may get plenty of water, but without the soil in which to plant its roots, one heavy wind can knock it over.

IMG_20180315_144536618-01
Everything looks fine on the outside… until, WHAM!

 

We’re all very fragile these days. Can we at least agree to try not to be someone else’s heavy wind?

Listen, I’m not trying to pretend I’m the Dalai Lama or Confucius or any philosopher capable of deep, brilliant thoughts…but something about being out in nature enables me to think differently about a myriad of things.

Go outside. Take a walk. Change your perspective. You’ll thank yourself.

IMG_20180316_095118675-01
Nature has answers to questions you didn’t know you had.
Uncategorized

Time to make the donuts…

… I MADE the donuts!

Screenshot_20180310-062221
If you’re in the Hilton Head Island area, you need to visit Old Town Bluffton and get an Alljoy donut. Need.

Maybe you have to be a certain age and from a certain region to remember that advertising campaign from Dunkin Donuts featuring Fred the Baker.

In the New England area, the Dunkin Donuts chain is pretty important. Less for their donuts than for their coffee these days. You’ll know you’re in New England when you spot a Dunks every 200 feet.

True donut connoisseurs prefer the specialists. In Rhode Island, that’s Allie’s in North Kingstown or PVDonuts in Providence.

As a self-proclaimed connoisseur (not really, I just love donuts!) I was overjoyed to discover that there’s a gourmet donut shop in Bluffton, SC. I’ve been following Alljoy Donut Co. on Facebook for months. Of course I had to check them out while I was in Hilton Head on vacation.

Here’s my messy, one-take, unedited video review:

What’s your favorite donut shop, and where is it? Hit me up in the comments.

 

Uncategorized

T-Rexy looking sexy

I have driven past this place hundreds of times and have wanted to stop in for a closer look.

So I finally did, because my new motto, as you may remember, is “why not?

If you’ve driven by The Secret Garden on Rte 7 near D’Agostino Auto, you’ve probably done a double-take.

IMG_20180216_134428909_HDR-01
This T-Rex is a showstopper.

It’s almost impossible to miss this 8-foot metal, colorful sculpture of a tyrannosaurus rex in their front yard.

So… what’s the deal?

Husband and wife team Paul and Melanie have had their business there for 3 years. They call themselves a “family-run statuary” and mostly pour stone molds like these:

IMG_20180216_135556661-01
All kinds and breeds of dogs!
IMG_20180216_135300280-01
Gargoyles and goblins…cool.
IMG_20180216_135023500-01
Obligatory “Mary-of-the-Half-Shell” religious yard sculptures.

But the metal sculptures are imported from Mexican artisans.

I love the whimsy and color.

IMG_20180216_140139991_HDR-01
It’s a dalmatian lifting his leg. 😂
IMG_20180216_134518414_HDR-01
There’s a grill in there. Puts a new spin on pig roast.
IMG_20180216_134332032_HDR-01
This colorful turtle family  would look amazing in a yard by a pool.
IMG_20180216_135107038_LL-01
Big red ants on bicycles. How fun!
IMG_20180216_140301063_HDR-01
Yeah, there’s NO WAY I was leaving this sign behind. SOLD!
IMG_20180219_151945702-01
Baby T-Rex was only 4 or 5 feet tall but fierce as heck.

If you’re looking for a yard decoration, I’d highly recommend stopping in to The Secret Garden on Rte 7. They’ve got something for everyone and are as friendly as can be. Check out their inventory on their website.

Presence, Uncategorized

Be present

IMG_20180208_163413249_HDR-01
Can you see the forest for the trees?

I know what you’re thinking.

Oh boy *eye roll* another meditating, yogi-wannabe, vegan, soy-slurping, “peace-is-love” advice columnist.

I don’t blame you for thinking that, based on the title.

In all honesty, though, I’m way too ADHD to meditate, I HATED yoga, I love a good burger, and soy gives me gas.

I tried meditation and yoga because, like most Americans, stress was my natural state. There’s so much to worry about: Deadlines, increasing workloads, increasing costs of everything without increasing pay, physical health, mental health, family, pets…and the list goes on.

That’s when I decided to follow the inspirational poster:

motivational-quotes-If-you-are-unhappy-change-something.-Quit-your-job.-Move.-Let-go-of-a-miserable-relationship.-Stop-making-excuses.-You-are-in-control.-1-min

It’s not original by any stretch of the imagination. Yet we can’t quite pull the trigger most of the time.

I pulled the trigger. But I still have times that I’m plagued with doubt. I still find myself distracted at times because I haven’t met all my goals yet.

But then I have moments like this one below (and the one above) that I’m able to capture with my camera because I was paying attention.

IMG_20180210_080923545_HDR-01
Photo taken by me Saturday, February 10, 2018, on my morning walk in Rhode Island.

And it reminds me to be present so I don’t miss these moments in the future.

 

Uncategorized

My hardest goodbye

jimihendrix1
Ahhh, Jimi…how we miss your poetry

Saying goodbye to my favorite fella felt like my heart was being ripped out.

Smitty! Don’t forget me – I’ll see you soon!

img_20180113_124755794.jpg
Smitty leaving the house in RI.

What? You didn’t think I was talking about a human, did you?

I bought Smitty (my 2003 Harley Davidson 1200 Custom Sportster) in August 2003. That’s how long we’ve been together.

I experienced my first motorcycle ride when I was 6 or 7. My best friend’s father took me around the block, and I was hooked.

When I was a teenager, I sought motorcyclists to befriend.

IMG_20170316_181900
In 1990-ish with then-boyfriend at the Canadian border. We were detained on our way back into the States!

It took an embarrassingly long time for me to realize that I could get my own motorcycle and stop relying on others to go for a ride.

The biggest obstacle to buying my own motorcycle was my mother. I can’t say I blame her… I’d been in 10 car accidents – one severe enough to land me in the hospital for two weeks.

My brilliant idea: Take Mom motorcycle shopping and have her pick it out.

You may think that was crazy, but my mother had a knack for choosing good vehicles. Plus, she was the best negotiator I’d ever seen firsthand.

So here I was, 32 years old – a homeowner – taking Mom and Dad with me to pick out my motorcycle.

She chose Smitty. I chose his name. She negotiated an unheard-of $4,000 off the asking price.

And, you know what? It worked. Mom doesn’t worry as much about me riding.

IMG953359
My friend Bonnie in Bluffton, SC, letting me know Smitty arrived safely!

When I’m sad, stressed, or generally feeling unsettled, Smitty and I hit the road. No one has ever made me feel as good. His magical healing power is the reason I decided to move South – so we could spend more quality time together.

If you ride, you get that.

So remember when you hit the road in the warmer weather: Please pay attention to the road. My fellow riders and I are out there trying to shake off the blues, or de-stress.

IMG953201
Smitty, safely bundled up while being stored in my friend’s auto body shop in Bluffton. He added the “pigtails” to the mirrors to personify me! The employees are intrigued, I hear…😂

 

Uncategorized

“How old would you be…”

2c570838276732cc0e543442eb286c85--mind-over-matter--years-01
Mark Twain knew his shit.

“...if you didn’t know how old you was?” ~Satchel Paige, American Baseball Player

Age is another concept that we like to think of as malleable … especially as we get older.

You’re only as old as you feel,” and “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing,” are two of the more common sayings we trot out to justify behavior that may be seen as immature.

But I’d argue that it is really just our normal, playful nature peeking out that our age and confidence allow us to act upon.

For some, that new behavior is encouraged. Others find themselves having to justify their “immature” behavior to family and friends who haven’t yet developed the self-confidence to buck the system, so to speak.

I think about these things when I go visit my Pepere in the nursing home. Ten years ago, he was adamant that he didn’t “want to live in a place with all old people because all they do is complain about their health.”

On March 24, he turns 98. In the last year, he has begun to show his age.

PicsArt_03-16-05.49.02
My grandfather circa 1970 on my father’s motorcycle. Born to be weird.

But always, his brain is sharp, and he knows exactly what’s going on around him. “I thought you’d be long gone to South Carolina,” he said when I stopped in Sunday afternoon.

IMG_20180204_121929579_LL-01
Pepere admitted that he’d probably fall asleep during the big game. “Me too,” I replied (I did, BTW).

“I’m in no rush to go live with Mom and Dad,” I replied with a huge grin. He grinned back. “I understand,” he winked.

Sometimes it’s hard for us to go visit our elderly relatives because we don’t know what to talk about with them.

The truth is, they don’t care. Just be there to break up the monotony – it’s all any of us really wants.

IMG_20180204_122953899
We did a lap!