Marie Curie: Physicist and Chemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize twice for her work in radioactivity: “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” […]
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That’s right, I’m itchy….and scratchy. No, silly, not the cartoon characters from The Simpsons….SERIOUSLY! I have discovered what happens when you wear far too many layers in the hot Florida sun.
Prickly heat – heat rash – or whatever you wanna call it! I was trying to be smarter than the average nerd working out in the Florida sun (104 degrees). I wore layers so that I could shed them as I needed. Only problem, you know me, I got caught up in my work and forgot to shed layers.
So, instead, I have this amazingly sexy rash ALL OVER! I hate to admit it – but now is the perfect time – I was wrong! Yep, make your calendars folks and watch the icebergs grow – cause Hell just froze over. I was totally wrong to even think for one moment that I was going to remember my clothes.
“Why, Jacque? Why would you forget something so important to most gals?” Well, I am definitely NOT most gals. SO, while I was busy looking at my survey gear and constructing a designed creek plan, I just wandered around in way too many clothes.
So, lesson for the day, wear the minimum and bring the maximum. Pack it and keep it handy. Remember, weather changes all over the world at any time! Even MyRadar can be wrong….so make sure you have what you need to stay cool, warm, dry, bug free, sun free, and safe! If you aren’t sure, pack more! If you don’t need it, so be it – but if you don too much or pack too little, you might get caught in a storm, or you just might get heat rash!
For those who are unfamiliar, heat rash is simply sweat trapped under your skin. Sounds harmless…
Now, someone give me some tips for how to treat it!! PLEASE…
The cracks, even the cracks of her feet were black with earth.
Her hair matted with black and hanging limp and wildly at her ears.
Her hands were stained black and there were small scars where the work showed through.
And just when it seemed she couldn’t get any blacker,
her heart stood still with the black mud.
Her eyes shed black tears that smudged her filthy cheeks.
Her mouth oozed.
She had stayed too long in the dark wet. She was one of them.
Yet there she crouched. Sobbing and shaken.
Her precious work torn asunder by those who spoke sharp words of machines.
All she knew lay raped and stranded in the bright sun.
It would be theirs tomorrow. Neat and shiny.
It would be organized and proper and clean.
It was always so sad to see them like this. Naked and lost.
No words would come to stay them from her treasure.
She would silently suffer.
It might kill her….
Yes, she would die if not for the others. They always come.
They take back their own into the dank woods.
Who knows what horrors lie there.
God it must be dreary and strange.
Oh, look, it must be time to go. The sun is sinking.
That’s right, bring on the new year. I have just about had it with the last one. In fact, if this one isn’t better, I am quitting years.
The problem with last year is tenfold…didn’t go outdoors enough, didn’t camp enough, didn’t surf enough, didn’t tromp enough, didn’t climb enough trees, didn’t fish enough…..so….plan is to change that.
“But Jacque, last year wasn’t all bad!” Duh…of course it wasn’t. I have an amazing family, great kids, a job I love, and the world is my oyster. Problem was that I forgot that the world was my oyster…and let it be my crab trap.
So, if, like me, you let 2015 make you it’s bitch, here’s some ideas for how we are gonna show 2016 who wears the pants in this year…
- Write a bunch of adventures on paper, fold and put in jar, take turns picking one out – and YOU HAVE TO DO IT
- Pick up a copy of One Tank Trips
- Get a map of your area that includes parks and such – make it a challenge to cross them all off with a visit
- Let the family vote on a new activity to learn together
- Call me to book a fun Guided Tromp in the woods or kayak trip
- Go camping – or glamping if you don’t like tents
- Try to go to different beaches or forests or both and collect a souvenir from each spot and make a brag shelf
Whatever you do – DO IT! And…
DO IT OUTSIDE! And…DO IT NOW! And…DO IT TOGETHER.
There’s no time like the present…and no excuses!
Kick 2016’s ass!
Bah Humbug… IT’S TOO HOT FOR CHRISTMAS. It’s 85 degrees outside and yesterday we even had an afternoon shower. It’s so hard to get in the spirit when the only thing you want to get into is the pool. I asked my family if I could even boycott Christmas….celebrate UN-Christmas.
“But Jacque, isn’t it nice to have pleasant weather in December?” A resounding NO. It would be nice to have one or the other – I want Summer Vacation in December or Chilly Christmas Mornings in December. I’m so darned confused I’m not sure if I am living in some strange festive hell with tinsel and gifts or some twisted happy land filled with elves in board shorts and those weirdos who pretend it’s cold and wear boots and scarves.
This weather begs me to recall another similar year. I remember that nature did this El Nino thing and…then nature took a huge dump on us all here in Florida.
It wreaked all sorts of havoc on us and the creatures and plants we love so much. Birds got confused, trees and leaves sprouted out of turn, fish and frogs flip flipped along with the tourists and the rain just kept raining. I suspect we are all in for a real treat – in March.
Oh, it will get chilly. A balmy 60 something next week at 2am one morning. I may have to put on more than a bathing suit. I hope those of you who are enjoying a real Christmas feel sorry for us down here – I fear I will get a tan this week!
I know, I know – you’re thinking, “Jacque, why has it been so very long since your last post?” Well, I am here to tell you….because SO MUCH HAS BEEN GOING ON!!
I would love to catch you guys up, but as this is the week of Thanksgiving, I though I will, instead, give you guys some very helpful tips on how an outdoor adventurer survives the FAMILY THANKSGIVING!! So, here we go…
- Wear comfy pants – and by comfy I don’t mean a little roomy – I mean a LOT. This is for your comfort and to protect anyone else from flying buttons.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to ask “What can I bring?” because you are going to get hit with the UGH list…mashed potatoes are yummy – but making 50 pounds takes muscles, sweat, and quite frankly a mixer you don’t have….so, opt for something simple.
- Do NOT – under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES say to an elderly family member “Wow, I didn’t know you were still with us.” Won’t go over well.
- Sit quickly. You worked really hard not to sit at that kid table. You know, the one where everyone thinks it’s funny to show chewed up food. Grab that seat!
- No matter what, offer to help clean up. Even if you don’t mean it. Then, when the hostess inevitably says, “Oh, that’s okay.” Go relax with some pie. I mean – you gave the chance right?
- If there is turkey and ham – eat both. Just in case one is awful. Turkey is like wine – it takes years to perfect. Young cooks often dry out the turkey. Ham, well, it’s technically already cooked so all you have to do is really heat it up. Good choice!
- DO NOT GET DRUNK. This will end badly. Maybe not on this day, but I promise your family will never stop talking about the Thanksgiving So-and-so got smashed. And, you will forever be labelled the sot. Not something you want brought up when they are REALLY mad at you.
- Football is – well, football. Engage your family, but if you are a fan, find a sneaky way to be excused out of conversations so you can catch the game without making them feel offended. Like…start a conversation of interest with a gabber and then walk quietly away.
- Eat, eat, rest, eat, rest, dessert. Firsts, seconds, rest, nibbles, rest, then BIG dessert.
- Lastly, and most importantly, give thanks. Go around and thank each person for who and what they are in your life. Life is often too short. I am reminded of that each day now. Hugs and sincere sharing of fond memories and truly connecting will go a long way.
So, if you think you just CAN’T make it through the whole thing, pawn off that you have to share with your partner, spouse, or significant other…that works too!
Happy Thanksgiving! I am truly thankful that you read this blog, share with your friends, and support everyone Getting Outside and doing
I know you are wondering what is going on in the world. You are asking why the Chicks with Ticks haven’t been around.
Well, IT’S SUMMER SILLY. That’s right – kids are out of school and adventures abound. So, in honor of summer I thought we would begin to tell you what AMAZING places we have been adventuring so far.
We are going to start with Caladesi State Park https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Caladesi-Island. It is only the most beautiful island ever…well at least one we can paddle to.
So, we load up paddle boards, coolers, kayaks and 4 kids….me with 4 kids isn’t that unusual. In fact, I almost always travel with 4 kids. Just so happens that this trip included my two biologic kids and each of their best friends. IT also included loads of silliness at Wal Mart to get food and stuff, bouncy balls that flew out of the window (another story for another time) and an amazing parking spot.
We loaded up and paddled out to the tip of the island from the causeway. I recommend this for above average paddlers as there is a boat traffic pattern, channel, sand bar, and sometimes a strong current and winds. This paddling is very east most times – but occasionally it is a little tiresome for beginners – none the less – it’s a blast.
There are mangrove trails to paddles, crystal clear shallows to explore, lots of sea creatures to selfie with, clean sandy shores, bird watching, shelling, relaxing, and – our favorite – ADVENTURING. SO – don’t miss out. You can rent kayaks and paddle boards on the causeway. Also, if paddling is not for you – take the ferry – it’s affordable and fun. Bring your lunch – camera and RELAX and enjoy the amazing natural habitats of Florida beaches.
For advanced paddlers (and drinkers) there is a marina and beach well into the islands that has amazing lunch and sangria. The beaches host tortoises and beautiful rare plants. You can paddle with porpoises sometimes and see some great mangroves.
As I text Kristen between tears, I realize how long it has been since I have gone deep into the woods….and Now i understand my tears….
As you might expect, we see a lot of wild things. I mean wild in every sense! We see wild flowers, wild animals, wild people, wild encounters, wild weather, wild places, and just wild things in general. It’s hard to imagine, but I much prefer wild things to anything else.
Somewhere along the path we lost our fears of most wild things. We forgot about the scratches and the thorns. The dangers were just dangers. We became more in tune with what we were doing. We became in tune with each other. We became in tune with nature. We became wild things.
It wasn’t apparent just how wild we had become until I got laid off recently and was removed from the wild places for a while. Don’t go sniveling now about that – it’s a story for another day. I look back, even right now, and it’s hard to…
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That’s right, I know you are all pouting and say, “Jacque, where have you been?” Well, I
have no really great story where I get chased by some wild animal or get lost deep in the forest (we wish right?). All I have is the fact that I have been running around crazy.
I thought you all would absolutely love the fact that I am working in a confidential area making guess what….? Ditches! I know you guys understand I believe in a lot of crazy stuff….but…NOT DITCHES.
So, I have taken it upon myself to team with my buddy and boss, Matt to stop the madness. We have begun designing what a dear friend Michelle Sims calls “conveyances”. I call them unditches.
So the basic idea is that we disguise a nasty and boring ditch or gully as a small stream segment. We give it character, habitat, shape, form, and a better function in the landscape. The bugs and fish already love it. I love it. Guess what? I got a sweet surprise birthday visit from 10-20 DEP reps.
Now, most folks hate it when they see a pack of DEP nerds coming but I get all excited. I LOVE THEM! There’s nothing like watching them tromp around in the woods downstream in the preservation
and all over the site. The smiles, questions, suggestions, and interest were fun! I love sharing what we do and why….especially with people who care just as much as I do.