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Month: October 2016

Month #2 a big FAIL for me (but Jason did great!)

Month #2 a big FAIL for me (but Jason did great!)

So, my goal was to walk a different nature trail of 2-3 miles every day in October.  There were a few reasons that this month was a failure, and yes these are all excuses, but helpful to share for you and for me.

I think I walked 17 days (it seems low and there may be more, but at this point I’m not going back to count).  Why not 30?

1-Poor planning.  I really needed to map the trails out before the month started. I needed the hiking books that I didn’t get until a week into the challenge.  Some trails were far away and I needed to plan for how to make it happen.

2-There is only so much daylight. It was hard to cram in walking at the end of the day since I really didn’t want to get caught on a unfamiliar trail after it started to get dark. Sure, I could have taken a friend, but that leads back to problem #1.

3-The weather was beautiful and perfect for walking most of the month but there were a few days of all day rain that had me checking out of the challenge.

4-October just had too much stuff going on to overcome the first two problems. Two birthdays, one house party, an anniversary, bathroom reno, four rooms with wallpaper removed and painted. Wanna see our new downstairs bathroom? img_9305 Not completely done, but new walls, floor, vanity, lights… I love it.

I still think that if it had stayed light until 10 I would’ve been able to be successful 🙂  I still plan on using the book 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles-Cleveland to find some new trails, but I do have two favorites in mind.

#1 Beartown Lakes. I walked this one twice but don’t have any pics from my second trip, they’re on Jason’s phone.  The header this month is from my first trip.  It is so pretty and peaceful and I loved that there are loops, not just one trail.

#2 Edgewater Park. I loved this trail along Lake Erie with outstanding views of the city.  It’s a hike from here, but one that’s worth it.  I’m showing this pic so I have a good excuse to say Go Tribe!  One win away from winning the World Series!!


That’s my wrap up.  I am ready for November but I’m going to need your help.  Come back tomorrow to see how 🙂

Oh, and come back tomorrow to see how Jason fared this month (hint:they’ll be a piano recital!).

Walking Cleveland’s Nature Trails – Where have I been?!?

Walking Cleveland’s Nature Trails – Where have I been?!?

Oh, this challenge proved too much for me.  October is a busy month anyway and we were also working on home improvements and getting read for G’s birthday party at the house.  It was just too much for me and I allowed a break.  I took a week off, completely failing the 30 day challenge, but it was necessary for my peace of mind. I just couldn’t have one more thing on my to do list every day. But in the spirit of the challenge I plan on finishing up strong.

Acacia Reservation is less than five minutes from Gage’s school and has two perfect walking loops just the right length.  I hope to make this a daily thing for as long as the weather will let me.  At 37 degrees this morning it was a little nippy.  I was surprised that there wasn’t more color, but I was happy to come so close to my deer friend. They are converting this golf course into a woodland park so one of the three trails is closed until next year.

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Walking Cleveland’s Nature Trails – I’m tryin’!

Walking Cleveland’s Nature Trails – I’m tryin’!

Okay, so this is month two of these 30 day challenges and I’m struggling.  I will continue to walk everyday, hopefully trails and hopefully new places.  Yesterday was our 18th anniversary so  I took Jason to my favorite new place so far, Beartown. I will post the pics on my FB page and Instagram since they are on Jason’s phone.  We walked a little over two miles and it was even more spectacular than last time. There were so many people taking pictures there.  For our last two anniversaries we’ve created playlists for each other so we walked around, holding hands, listening to the songs we chose for each other. It was sweet.

Tonight.  Well, it was no trail, but it was new and there were beautiful trees.  I walked our neighborhood. By the time I served the guys dinner I wasn’t sure how much time I had until the rain came, so there’s my excuse.  We’ll start and end at my house.

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Walking Cleveland’s Nature Trails – Shaker, Downtown, Solon

Walking Cleveland’s Nature Trails – Shaker, Downtown, Solon

Even though I haven’t posted for three days doesn’t mean I haven’t been walking.  Friday evening I barely managed to catch some sun by the time I got to lower Shaker Lake. By the Nature Center and one of my favorite areas…

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On Saturday there was zero time to catch a trail but when I looked at the hiking books there was a ‘trail’ they made through downtown Cleveland and since Jason and I were headed that way, I made sure we did a mile before and after dinner.  And at least half a mile after the show.  Unfortunately, I wore leather wedges and have a few painful blisters!

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And today I went to the trail closest to our house and walked for almost two miles.  I was on a trail and along the metroparks all-purpose trail. I’m loving the trees 🙂

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Tomorrow, after I drop Gage at school I am finding a new trail!!  Still waiting for you all to share your fall pics.



Walking Cleveland’s Nature Trails – Sorta

Walking Cleveland’s Nature Trails – Sorta

Okay, confession time.  The past two days have proven that this challenge may not be feasible for everyone, ie. me.  Last month, if I got behind I could read as late as I wanted to reach my goal of finishing a book.  The problem with finding a new nature trail every day is that I only have so many daylight hours and often, like this week, they are taken up by someone working at the house. Yes, now we have some beautiful walls but I didn’t have time between when Jose left and I picked up Gage.  Yesterday, Gage and I walked for a mile on the trail between the library and community center…

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So, I will pick myself up and dust my failure away and plan for a better tomorrow.  I’m not really sure how that’s going to work. My painter is done, but Gage has a day off school.  We’ll see if I can get him on a trail.  All he really wants to do is ride the train downtown to the Science Center.  Wish me luck 🙂

Piano Challenge Days 1 – 10

Piano Challenge Days 1 – 10

Okay I’ve survived  the first 10 days of learning to play the piano, maybe with a little less sleep than I’d like, but hey what’s new.  I’ve been primarily using YouTube lessons.  I tried a few different teachers and the one that has worked best for me so far is:

And no, she does not wear that dress during the lessons.  It kind of felt like false advertising, but it’s okay since she’s a great teacher.  Unlike other courses I tried first, this one goes forward at a slow enough pace and builds gradually, which is working well for me.  As I stated in my original post, I have no musical ability, so very basic is perfect.  

I thought things were going pretty well and then I progressed to playing with both hands at the same time and everything fell apart.  Something short-circuits in my brain when that second hand comes into play.   Apparently, my brain is going to need some rewiring to pull this challenge off.   

Side note:  I am very thankful that my 5-year old son is an amazing sleeper.  If there was a competitive sport for sleeping through anything, the scholarship offers would already be rolling in – he’s a natural. Playing the piano while he’s sleeping, no problem.  That’s not even a challenge for him though.  Thunderstorms are a breeze.  I think I could vacuum his room with the lights on and it wouldn’t matter.

Walking Cleveland’s Nature Trails- the Birthday Edition

Walking Cleveland’s Nature Trails- the Birthday Edition

For my birthday walk I drove the 30 minutes to Edgewater Beach and walked the 2.5 miles trail.  Something about the water is always soothing and life-affirming so it was a good choice for the day.  The trail had some steep parts. but the views were so worth it.  the Lake Erie shoreline is underutilized so it was nice to spend time there and appreciate Cleveland’s Great Lake. The trees really hadn’t started to change yet, but the water, views and brisk morning more than made up for that.

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Walking Cleveland’s Nature Trails – Cleveland Metroparks

Walking Cleveland’s Nature Trails – Cleveland Metroparks

Cleveland Metroparks has over 300 miles of trails over six counties in northeast Ohio. The park is known as the Emerald necklace because that’s what it looks like on a map (if you use your imagination a bit)…

Miles of it run through our city so when I have a time crunch it’s east to pick a different part of the path to walk.  I need to plan better or I’ll be out of real estate!

Last night I walked two miles close to my house because it was getting dark.  This road was closed for years because they were fixing the bridge so it was my first time over since it reopened.  The picture of the bridge overlooking the freeway shows you how you can make it to downtown Cleveland in 25 minutes.

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Today I tried to find a trail listed in the book and had some problems. I couldn’t figure out the trails and it was getting late and I didn’t want to get stuck on the 7 mile trail with no idea where I was.  Anyway, this was the Bedford Reservation of Cleveland Metroparks. I was looking for Tinker’s Creek but I might have to go back another day and try again.  The bridle trail I chose had me walking in people’s backyards and it made me feel a little weird so I bailed on it as soon as I could.   I walked a mile and a half and then went back to Sunny Lake and walked around it for the last half mile.  I really need to learn how to read these park maps!  Don’t you love the cutie turtles I found?

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Walking Cleveland’s Nature Trails- Beartown Lakes

Walking Cleveland’s Nature Trails- Beartown Lakes

Finally!  It’s starting to look like fall…


After dropping off Gage at school this morning I looked through 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles by Diane Stresing and saw #14 was Beartown Lakes Reservation, one that my friend Amy recommended.  It. was. beautiful.  A great place to take your camera.

If I had walked all three trails the book listed it would have been three miles, but I skipped one so ended up with just over 2.5.  The Whitetail Trail through the woods was so peaceful and still that I wanted to stay all morning.  I’m totally going back 🙂

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I’m still waiting for some of you to share your nature pics!