Hi, friends. I interrupt this period of “hermiting” to share a little bit of what I’ve learned about myself and how I handle stress and anxiety now as opposed to how I used to. I’m hoping it might help someone else to at least realize they aren’t the only ones with these confounding symptoms.
I’m lucky that a combination of a low dose of an anti-depressant, meditation, yoga, and a good therapist mean that I don’t have the generalized, daily, anxiety symptoms I used to. It’s just when things pile up or there’s some big new stress source (just family stuff; it’s okay) that my old symptom friends make a rare appearance.
For one thing, when that happens, I think to myself, “Oh, there are my symptoms again…I’d better pay attention to what is going on and see if I can ameliorate something and nip this in the bud.” In the past, I’d just wallow, think about how I must be at fault and must have caused this myself, and feel helpless.
So, today I went to visit my dear horse and donkey, who I hadn’t seen in a whole week! They’d already been fed, and Sara had ridden Apache in the morning. But I just had to say hi.
I brought Apache and Fiona out for some loving, and it became clear she had to be groomed, big time. She was almost all bur.
To remedy the situation, Sara and I chatted and groomed. Fiona was in heaven. She leaned on us and practically sighed with joy at the attention. After 15 minutes or so, she had a lot less hair and burs.
She happily showed us her feet, so we could check her progress. Eek! All sorts of cracking and ugliness. However, she seems happy and able to run and trot. We will see what the farrier says.
The intrepid travelers are heading back to Texas, so most of yesterday involved driving and looking out the window. And making sure to talk frequently so Lee wouldn’t sigh loudly and turn music on, because we were too silent. There’s not a lot to say about trees and more trees. I guess he thought we were choosing Facebook over him, but we were reading (Anita) or playing Wordscapes (me), something easy to interrupt. Other than that, not too much grumpiness occurred.
Speaking of grumpiness, we decided to head off the beaten path and go into the small town of Madison, Florida for lunch. There we found Grumpy’s Restaurant. It was a hit with all of us.
Every menu item was interesting and had a twist. My grilled cheese had a jalapeño sauce and homemade jelly on it. Sound bad? Well, nope, it was fantastic. In fact, Lee ordered one after his own meal!
Here’s more on our adventures in Gainesville, Florida. My hometown!
One more stop
We had plenty of time, so we visited a small museum that highlighted Gainesville history, the Matheson Museum. There was an exhibit on modern buildings of Gainesville, which featured many places familiar to me from the 1960s.
We also found postcards of old Gainesville and some books, one on the plants and animals of Alachua County. That book will take me back to my college days when my boyfriend and I would drive all over the back roads looking for armadillo, turtles, and deer on the side of the road.
It’s hard to write when most of your mental processing is taken up by bird song ID. Makes for a nice morning! But, let’s get back to our topic.
Today was our day in Gainesville. I wanted to see some natural areas, so after much debate and many suggestions from our friends, we decided to stay close to town and visit Payne’s Prairie and the small town of Micanopy.
My whole life I’ve been fascinated by this place. It’s a very large flat area (a sink) that floods and holds water occasionally. What’s weird is that there was a period of around twenty years (1871-1891) that it became Lake Alachua. My grandmother would tell us about steamboats taking people and goods across it. Then, one day the drain unplugged, and poof, it was a Prairie again. Continue reading “Geological Wonders and Small Towns”
After the shrine and a vitally important coffee stop for Lee, we headed off to, um, somewhere in the middle of Florida, because I’d decided I wanted to go on an airboat ride to see some nature.
Where we went was actually in Kenansville, Wild Florida Airboats and Gator Park. I think Lee was a bit dubious, but Anita and I were up for it. The drive there was beautiful, and the facility was pretty cool. Touristy but clean and organized.
The one-hour ride itself was everything I’d hoped it would be. What fun! We were on a large lake, and could see a prescribed burn off in the distance.
Hello from Gainesville, Florida, known throughout the world as the center of the Suna-verse. We’re happy to be here to spend a day or two! But first, what did we do yesterday? We were tourists!
We left our resort place near Orlando, but noticed on the map that there was a Catholic shrine very nearby. Anita is not a Catholic, but has a strong attraction to Mary, so when we saw “Mary Queen of the Universe,” we just had to go check her out. (Also, the website is really cool, so check it out, too).
I guess we were expecting a statue in a grotto. That is not what we found. Instead, there was a true testimony to the devotion (and money) of people who visited the Disney World area and wanted a place to attend mass. The whole complex was incredibly beautiful and peaceful.
We were greeted by the Archangel Michael, who protects the place. Swampy liked him a lot.
We’re still in Florida after spending three days in greater Orlando. Monday we endured sales presentations, then stayed at the resort the rest of the day in a stupor. We got out and did a few things yesterday, though (Lee stayed at the condo and worked).
Anita and I did our traditional vacation pedicure at a random local place that seemed to have been there a long time. They had great new massage chairs and nice staff/clientele. A great start to a day!
Then, to continue with girly stuff, we visited the nearby outlet mall, and was struck again at how similar suburban institutions are around the US. We could have been anywhere, except for palm trees and signs in Chinese (that was new!).
It’s nice to have a friend like Anita who will do random relaxation things with you! Glad she’s my travel buddy!
We had to get in more time at the “quiet pool” having tropical drinks, which we’d also done Monday. We had shade, pool, hot tub, and a nice server. Ahh. Even Lee had fun and swam!
They always used to say “sunny Florida,” even though it rained most days. It rained just a little yesterday as we finished driving through Mississippi, zipped through Alabama without buying anything, and then spent a very long time on I-10 looking at trees.
We’d had a nice night in a cheery hotel in Pascagoula, MS the previous night. We knew we were no longer in Austin, because everyone commented on all of our hair.
Further down the road, we got ourselves this little gator, Swampy the Interstator Gator, at an extra-racist Stuckeys we stopped at to get the candy bars of our youth (Chunky Bars and Slo-Poke!). He’s our travel companion.