New Hobbies, Old Friends

December is cold in northern Indiana, so outdoor hobbies are limited. In the warmer months, I love to be outside. Bikes, parks, rivers, and (sometimes) even my own garden.  Christmas brought us some warm weather hobby gear, and that gives us something to look forward to. In my Oprah voice, ‘YOU get a kayak and YOU get a kayak!’ YAY!! We have lots of river to explore, and now we’ll be able to. The downside of kayaks for Christmas is that we probably won’t break them out until spring.

I’ve never really though of myself as a creative person. I’m a problem solver, a thinker, a researcher, a connector, a relationship builder. But creative? nope. A blank sketch pad makes me nervous, I feel like it should be full of to-do lists…

But then, I stumbled on some brush pens at Target (wouldn’t you know it….), and another new hobby was born. Hand lettering and modern calligraphy are not things I would have guessed would be part of my days, but they are- and I’m just happy making loopy letters and playing with shapes. Practice makes progress, and I’m really just having fun. Scan insta and you’ll find a whole community of artists and creators. Pretty Cool.

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I think this will be a fun adventure. I’ve already started a couple of daily challenge groups to help me and keep me practicing.

In the midst of starting this new hobby, we also said goodbye to our sweet black cat. He was 15 years young, and we loved him very much.

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He was the cuddliest, sweetest, neediest kitty we’ve ever had. He was a terrible jumper, and loved shiny things. No one napped better than a black cat. Goodnight my babe, we’ll keep you in our hearts.

Fallidays and a November Reflection

November and December are crazy busy for most of us. My family is no different, and were grateful to be able to gather together during this time. My parents live several states away, a bit south. We often celebrate holidays the weekend before or after, we are pretty flexible like that. It just so happened that our early celebration made it possible for us to give a butterfly a lift.

Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. Jennifer found an injured butterfly, Amy took him in to help him heal, and he then joined Jade and Meg on a 600+ road trip to get him more south. Kent and Melita agreed to a new house guest.

Morty the Monarch’s adventures were made possible by my mother’s gardening expertise. She had the perfect experience and knowledge to accept an injured butterfly house guest. Add to that, my dad’s woodworking skills and they had the means to care for and protect this little bug until spring.

Little Morty was the topic of our Thanksgiving festivities, but there were plenty of family memories as well. Wide open spaces, pots and pots and pots of coffee, mom’s home cooking, puppy energy, crazy weather, new friends, bike rides, so much highway, ‘Kelsey Quotes’ that are late night talk show level hilarious, that no one remembers five minutes later. Laughter for days and a new driver – and that’s a Kelsey weekend.

I also started bullet journaling this month. It’s been an interesting experiment, I’m enjoying it more than I expected. I had a really hard time conceptualizing how it would work until I hand a journal in my hand and was adding pages and updating the index. Then, I couldn’t stop adding things! Goals, Gratitude, stencils, handwriting – all of it!

More positive change in November – back to Weight Watchers! I love me, and my face and my circumference and all of it! I’d just like to be me, only a bit lighter in step. 20171108_183816-COLLAGE

 

Coffeeneuring 2017, Part One

Drink coffee, ride bikes. Pretty simple, and pretty perfect.

Like any other -neuring, there are rules, but they are easy to follow. By telling the story of each visit, the rules are covered. The story, the spirit of coffeeneuring is pure. Spend some time for yourself, ride your bike, drink something tasty and warm – and be happy. There are days when a cold wind makes you rethink a zip around the block, but then you get some sun on your face, some rosy on your cheeks and you know it was worth it.

Ride #1 was a double shot of early morning meetings at one of my favorite places, Fortezza. I often laugh that it’s ‘my office’ with as many meetings as I seem to have there. The first meeting was to help plan upcoming bike education classes (!!!) with a mentor, fellow advocate and friend. 20171014_184644-COLLAGE

The second meeting was about volunteering, and life, and our city, and making things cool and talking about everything that pops. This was about as perfect a morning as I could create.

 

Date: Opening Day, Friday October 13th.

What I Drank: meeting #1 – latte, meeting #2 – black coffee

Mileage: 8.7

Plenty of bike parking, bike lanes on both side streets

 

Ride #2 was a quick stop at another favorite cafe, Old Crown. The coffee shop is named for a brewery that was popular in our city from 1862 – 1973,  they do the old name proud. I was meeting Mona for a sip before we headed out for a morning of exploring. We wanted to see a couple of things. One stretch of trail had some repairs that had been recently completed, a brand new stretch of trail was just finished,  connecting a park with the rest of our greenway trail system – and a brand new trail in progress.

But first, coffee. Ah.

We rode all over, chatting about this and that, enjoying the expansion of our  trail system. We found the new Pufferbelly Trail in progress. It’s been cleared, and some gravel has been laid out. We found some ‘adventure’ too….

20171105_092522So, that sign is a warning that an ‘aggressive coyote’ had been reported in the area. This is part of the brand new trail in progress, it should be complete soon and will connect downtown to northern suburbs.

Date: Saturday, October 14

What I Drank: a breve with four shots – hey, I had to keep up with Mona!

19 miles

2/10 bike parking at Old Crown. I tried locking up to a fence rail, but it was quite challenging. The parking lot is small, but a bike rack would be much appreciated by the neighborhood.

Ride #3 I didn’t really have a destination in mind, I just headed out in a direction, hoping to find something and enjoy the warm fall morning. Rolling downtown, I saw groups of people heading toward the baseball stadium. I followed, and found a party! It was a fundraiser for cancer research, so the parking lot was full of food trucks, music, vendors and supporters. I took the opportunity to try a new coffee truck, Amanda Lee Coffee  and an old favorite for pastries, Hetty Arts.

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Date: Saturday, October 21

What I Drank: Americano, with a perfect almond croissant.

Mileage: 5

no real bike parking – but this was a walk/run event. I could have found bike parking closer to the stadium,

 

Ride #4 was by far the coldest. The wind was very sharp, but this pumpkin pie chai was exactly what I needed. It’s pretty famous in these parts, and for good reason. ahhh, I need another……Firefly Coffee is right in the neighborhood.20171105_131031

Date: Saturday, October 29th

What I Drank: pumpkin pie chai, hands down my favorite drink of the fall season

2.7 Miles

6/10 bike parking – they normally have a rack up, but the tubing has a really wide circumference and my ulock doesn’t fit. In the winter, they take the rack down for more car spaces.

 

Halfway through the challenge, keep a lookout for part two!

 

 

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