Monday, June 24, 2013

Fairchild Oak & Bulow Plantation

What is it about really old trees? I mean I'm fascinated by old wood. Who isn't? Admit it you are too!
We've been in Flagler this week & decided to take a break from the beach today, checking out a local state park.
This is Fairchild Oak at Bulow Creek State Park in Ormond Beach, FL. A 300 year old oak. Man the things this tree has seen!  Hurricanes, fire, wars, reality shows.  I'm amazed at anything that can survive Real Housewives!
With any vacation comes more sitting than The Hubs likes, so we hiked the local trail for a 4+ mile loop.  It was an adventure in biting flies, mosquitoes, & constant monitoring for ticks (we only found about 5 or 6 total during our hike).
Man do we know how to relax or what!  But really, it was neat!  Next time I'd bring bug spray & maybe a bike because the trail was some 6+ miles one way & I really would have like to do the whole thing.  Next trip. 
Had we been able to do the full 6+ miles one way, we would have hiked to Bulow Plantation - instead we drove up the road "a fer piece".  There's nothing left of the actual plantation house except for some posts marking the area, but the remains of the sugar mill were pretty cool.  

Oddly enough, I think I liked this short visit better than our walk around St Augustine the other day.  I tend to gravitate to the little parks that get less attention.  It's probably cuz I hate the crowds so, but there is just something about the road less traveled or the park less visited.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Let them eat...

The beginning of an awesome meal

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Going Away

A little going away gift from one of my co-workers on my last day

Monday, June 17, 2013


well it's been a VERY eventful few weeks here.  never mind our flooding.  that was easy.  we know when the water is coming up or going down & we know how to prepare.  but my latest?  hmmmm
for the past 2+ years i have been very honest (and vocal) about how burned out i am in my current job.  i absolutely loathe working in IT.  and i am not alone i'm finding out.  i reached my peak about a year and a half ago when something happened at work that really sent me over the edge - i posted about it & retracted it because there was nothing constructive in least i didn't think so then.
i realized much later that it was the push i needed to start finding my way out of my current job.  a year later, i was still struggling, but i was trying.  it took a while, but i realized i was asking myself the wrong question for the longest time:  what is it you really want to do?  that just added another layer of frustration because now i was not only unhappy in my job, but i couldn't not answer this question that i thought would make it all better.  somewhere along the way, i realized the question really was "what do you like?"  never mind the "to do", just what do you like.  that changed everything.
2 things happened:  i changed my approach to searching for the next job and Cookie was diagnosed with brain cancer.  i won't rehash the brain cancer stuff because it's all out there already, but it did really make me sit down & think about how much i like animals, dogs in particular.  i started googling "careers working with dogs".  aside from joining the circus (which i'm pretty sure i already live in), certain options kept presenting themselves:  vet, vet tech, groomer, trainer, dog sitter.  so i started researching those.
meanwhile, back at the farm, i began what i like to call my "man on the street career research project".  i would ask anyone & everyone about their jobs.  the Culligan guy?  yep!  the girls at my vet?  check!  the ladies at the nursing home?  check!  random people in check out lines!  really, i did!  and if i heard about a job someone did & couldn't ask them?  i googled it!  my philosophy was that old standby:  throw enough darts, you're bound to hit something.  i had some weird epiphany last March.  sitting in my cube at work, i broke.  i said out loud to all my co-workers "i'm done!  i will not spend the rest of my life staring at the corner of a cubicle!" and i meant it.
i believe in signs too!  always have.  weird things happen for a weird reasons.  i remember my graduate adviser was soooo disappointed in me when i mentioned this in front of her years ago.  "How can you study what you study & believe in signs, fate, etc."  my answer:  i just do!  and this year has been just that.  my favorite, our trip to Jackson Hole, WY and my dog sledding tour.  our guide Courtney and i had a conversation about how she made the leap, leaving her job in healthcare to be a guide.  i was captivated.  i so admire people that can take a leap of faith to get out of the normal routine & make their own path.  i told her at the end of our tour that this was the year i was going to take that leap of faith.  i was going to jump.
and jump i did!  i gave notice almost 2 weeks ago.  Wed will be my last day working in a corp environment.  and what am i leaving for?  dog groomer!  that's right!  i'm gonna go work for the 4-legged variety.  and i could not be happier right now.  i've worked in a local shop the last 2 Fri & Sat's & have enjoyed it.  it will be challenging, but i'm not scared at all.  and that people is a very big deal for me.  but i get it now. every person i have ever talked to that has done something like this said the same thing: you just reach critical mass. a point where you know if you don't jump off that cliff, you never will.  and i could literally feel each of those moments when i took that one step closer & the final one when i jumped.  and it felt great!
will i make a lot of money?  probably not! will i make any money? i sure hope so!  but am i scared?  not a bit!  i don't know when i've been so excited to embark on something.  i have certainly had better, more lucrative offers in the last year+, but none of them felt right in my gut.  this did the entire time.  so, like a marriage, for better or worse, here goes!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

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