SEGUEING INTO SPRING!

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I know there are a lot of people excited about spring finally starting to arrive this year.   It’s been a long winter and I know many of you have felt like this…..

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However, as excited as you might be……there are a few trying things about this transition from winter to spring.

First off, this is the time of year when you remember that a winter-coat body and a swimsuit body are NOT the same thing.  It’s time to change this sort of thinking…..

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Another thing about this time between seasons is your dog. He’s going to take longer to find that “ultimate place” to GO because the areas of snow are less and less. He has to re-learn that GOING on the grass is the norm.  Allow extra time for this.

No more hiding inside because it’s warm….you’ll now be out and be social!

Being out and being social in the warming spring sun means that instead of hiding under layers of clothes, we have to start caring about what we wear again.

But….you never know what to wear because the weather keeps sending mixed signals.  Be positive and dress for spring, but take along a light jacket, gloves, and maybe even a blanket just in case!

And of course Daylight Savings Time steals an hour of sleep just to set the stage for longer days.  Here’s another place that blanket you brought along just might come in handy in case you have a chance for a short nap somewhere along your way….

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The bikers in their Lycra will show up on the roads again. Riding bikes is good. I ride a bike myself.  But why, oh why must they all wear Lycra?  I do not wear Lycra.  I especially do not wear white Lycra.

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My personal worst thing about this time of year…….the insects return.  Bugs really bug me.     Time to restock the repellent!

And of course there’s also Spring break…stock up the food!

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Be sure and schedule a week for yourself after their spring break because then it really isn’t long till they’re out for the summer.  

Spring means the arrival of allergies for some….

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Coupled with rain, rain, and more rain for all.   Great for those newly-growing plants, but not so much fun for us.

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And unfortunately, there are harvests in the spring perhaps better not mentioned…….

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But of course, there is a whole lot to look forward to as we move into spring……I’m sure you all have your own list.  Mine includes:

Actually seeing our mailbox again! It’s no longer buried in snow!

Rediscovering the shoe collection and putting away the boots!  And for those of you into flip flops….this is your moment!

If you’re anything like my husband, you’ll be thrilled to see ice cream is back on the menu.

Breaking out the grill, it’s time to barbeque!

Farmers’ markets start to reappear slowly but surely.

And it’s time to collect the Maple syrup!

But most importantly……..Nature is in its glory during spring! Prepare to be dazzled!

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 What are you most looking forward to with the arrival of spring?   

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DREAMS = OUR REALITIES IN WAITING

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They say daydreaming leads you to greatness.  After being challenged to share her own daydreams about her ultimate occupation (which of course she did in her own inimitable style), Gluestick Mum has brought me in on the Daydreams Challenge inquiring about my ultimate holiday/vacation. Where would I go? Who would I take? What would we do? Well, thanks to GSM for asking….it’s alot of fun to think about!

Probably no one would believe my actual dream list at this point, but I’m going to share my top three with you now.

I’m not much of a fan of booking tours for vacations. I don’t mind a tour of a building or something, but generally speaking I like to do the planning for our holidays on my own. However, I’d absolutely love to go to Churchill in Manitoba, Canada, and experience one of the Polar Bear Adventures!

How cool (excuse very bad weather pun) would it be to take off in one of these tundra buggies

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and go in search of polar bears?! I think it would be incredible to see the arctic landscapes of the Canadian Shield and awesome up-close views of the bears! Can you imagine one of these views?

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Or actually being this close?

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Plus, they also say they come across other animals on their tours like: Caribou, Arctic Fox, Wolves, Arctic Hares, Lemmings, Snowy Owls, Gyrfalcons, and other arctic birds. How could anyone not want to see this if they had the chance?

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It’s the ultimate fox hunt in my opinion!

And, my guys would love the helicopter tour offered by some of the groups there as well!

Yep, definitely this would be a good one for us! It’s on my bucket list!

Barring that, the next great adventure I’d choose would be ICEBERG CAVES…..actually exploring under icebergs!

Again, I’d not be able to manage this one on my own, but definitely I’d trade off the planning for this experience! The one I’m most interested is from the tour at Breiðamerkurjökull glacier and its caves in Iceland.

Okay, there’s the whole issue of the HOLE and getting down into the iceberg…..

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But once we’re past that……how could anyone pass up the chance to see and photograph views like this!

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Sadly for everyone, they say these icebergs are getting smaller every year and that these tours won’t be available someday. I’m hoping we can make it there before they disappear!

Lastly, I guess what I’d most like to do is to see more of this world and meet more people I like.  So my last daydream holiday would be a MEETING BLOGGERS ROAD TRIP where I basically just do the whole planes, trains, and automobiles thing all around the world meeting up with all my blogosphere friends.

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This would certainly take me from one side of this world to the other! Of course, you’d all have to put me up for the night and feed me once I got to you….kind of like a blogging Father (actually Mother) Christmas on his/her trip around the world except it would probably take me the rest of my life to meet everyone!

Yep, I can daydream….it’s just too bad things like jobs, schedules, money, time, and age get in the way of such magnificent dreams, isn’t it?

Passing the challenge on, I’m just going to prompt everyone to pick up this challenge and give us your take on what your ultimate vacation would be.  It’s alot of fun to think about actually. Specifically, though, I’d like to invite in on this challenge so that I can learn more about them:

The Priorhouse Blog

Edwina Episodes

Donna Gwinnell Lambo-Weidner

MeWhoAmI

and The Write Place

THE THING ABOUT JOANNE IS…..

1 (1)Most bloggers have titles for their blogs that give you an idea of what they’re trying to do with their blog. But not many bloggers actually take it a step further and inspire others to embrace their stated ideals. Recently, I found out that there are bloggers that do just this when I met up with another WP blogger, Joanne Sisco.

The thing about Joanne is……

She’s goal-oriented, organized, and forward thinking. Joanne’s blog is called My Life Lived Full and boy does she! Joanne’s personal goal for herself this year is to try 52 new things. To this end, she created a spreadsheet of possible things to try and even broke them down by category. Many people, myself included, would read that and believe she meant to try one new thing a week for the year.  Not so.  As of February 28, 2015, basically 8 weeks into the year, she had already accomplished 24 new things.

Another thing about Joanne is….

She’s a go-getter.   On Joanne’s list of new things was a trip to Niagara Falls in the winter. One day, she grabbed a friend, jumped in the car, and headed south from Toronto and made this happen. She subsequently posted about it here and made me so jealous with her pictures and get-up-and-go-make-it-happen attitude.

One of my goals when we moved to this area this year was to do that very trek – to see the Falls in winter. We’ve made countless trips to the Falls, past the Falls, under the Falls, and over the Falls in the summers, but I’d yet to see them in the winter. As our son’s passport expired this year and we don’t want to renew it till he turns 16 this summer so he can get the 10-year adult one and not another 5-year child passport, we’re kind of locked into the American side of the Falls right now and that held zero interest for me. Canada is where it’s at….anyone with a brain knows this…or so I thought….

I commented on Joanne’s post that I was insanely jealous and I would’ve loved to have met her up there had I known she would be going. I never thought much about it after I posted it. I knew I’d never actually meet anyone from the Blogosphere….much too scary to contemplate. I’m smart enough to know what creeps troll the Net looking for unwary prey. Nope, not me. Never happen.

So of course, what happened next?

Joanne wrote me and offered to redo her trip down there just to encourage me to go and do this. I was wary; but I admit, excitement overtook me. I so wanted to see the Falls in winter. I really did. I didn’t really even hesitate. Kind of surprising actually that me, always colouring in the lines and following the rules, was now ready to ditch it all to grab this brass ring when it came flying by. 

The only thing was….my husband and son and I envisioned us all doing this together. So I mentioned to Joanne that we were kind of trapped right now with the passport situation and how would she feel about coming to the American side this time. She was all for it saying she’d never done the American side of the Falls either and it could go on her list of 52 new things.

This brings me to my next thing about Joanne……..

She’s brave. Hopping in her car and driving over an international border on her own to meet up with strangers in a foreign country with less than a week’s notice? Not a problem.

And so she did! We met up at Niagara Falls State Park. Joanne posted about it here.

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We must have walked miles that afternoon in the four hours we were together. It was very strange actually that though Joanne and I had never met in person, we talked all day as if it was the most natural thing in the world. After both of us deciding that the other had an accent, we talked while we walked across the bridge to Goat Island to take in those views. 

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 We traipsed the trails in the park still talking.

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We even went up on the overlook and kept right on talking! 

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How did I get a pic from up on this overlook when I’m petrified of heights? It must have been Joanne’s magic!

What we saw in the park though was another total surprise.

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Having very little expectation of anything good on the “lesser” American side of the Falls, we were all totally blown away at sights we encountered. Oh, Canada has the American side beat on amusements, etc. in the surrounding area, but I actually found that the American side is a feast of natural scenery that is a winter extravaganza! I, being the lover of winter and outdoor photography that I am, had hit pay dirt!

What was most interesting from my perspective was that the Falls themselves held very little interest for me once I was there. I was much more interested in the mist – the mist we felt in droplets falling on us as soon as we stepped out of our vehicle – the mist that froze on each and every branch of a tree, the street lamps, fence posts, etc. in the area of the park. You could actually tell which side the Falls were on just by looking at a street lamp or fence post and seeing which side had the thicker covering of ice.

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And, because of the mist, the scenery was incredible!! I took some of the best pix of my life up here. Joanne’s already shown you a good shot of the rainbow, but feast on the rest of this winter buffet of beauty……

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So there you go. The day I chose to live my life full thanks to these THINGS ABOUT JOANNE.  Also, as I told Joanne, I now know, …..

Winter = Niagara Falls, New York!

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