Monday, October 27, 2014

Virginia Forest (unfiltered)

Last week we went to my favorite forest, you know the one I used to run through and feel like Jo March. The one that centered me when I missed my mom and made me jump for joy when I first saw the leaves change to magnificent reds and oranges last fall.

We walked through, my heart racing as the sun set and the leaves glowed in the most shocking ways. It was halfway through it occurred to me, "I have to go to the bathroom."

"I have to go to the bathroom!" I exclaimed. We then rushed through the rest of the forest, the need slowly killing me.

"Hurry," I said as I looked around nervously for thick enough bushes for a last resort discretion. Of course I wouldn't do it. Would I?

We passed through arches of my favorite yellow trees, me snapping my camera in the quickest fashion. Finally, we crossed the last bridge (literally) and headed toward the car when the most magnificent sight occurred:

Deer. Lots of deer. Time stopped. We stopped. I crept closer, bladder explosions suddenly forgotten. I was afraid they'd run if we got too close, so I knelt on the ground and half-crawled so I could get close enough to photograph them.

The light was nearly gone by that point, so I upped my ISO to 36000 and tried my best to steady my shooting finger. One even walked toward me. I tried to keep my giddiness under control. We were there for a good five minutes until the one in charge whistled and they were gone in a flash, causing a smooth rustle in the forest.

We then drove to the closest grocery store before I peed my pants.

The end.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fall with Friends on Cox Friends

It's clear Cox Farms is for children. With playful cutouts of nursery rhyme characters and slides resembling a dinosaur, I'm sure it's a perfect kid's playground. Turns out, it's also a fabulous place for four young, vibrant women to spend a Monday afternoon laughing and having the times of their lives.

The Animals
There are tons of animals to pet and act like you own them. They're quite friendly, although warning sings are posted all around that animals might bite. We were only scared of one biter, and it was obvious he had mental issues. The others were quite nice and docile.

There's an actual goat petting zoo where you can feed goats and put sunglasses on them.

You guys.... I almost took one home.
The one with mental issues. He looks crazy, right?
Sarah and her new friends.

Rides, etc.
When in your life can you ever go through a life-sized house of cards? Or go down a giant slide with four of your friends while taking selfies? Or go through a corn maze with aliens, pirates, and random Egyptian sculptures? I call it "Disneyland but not as good."

I was told there was free cider, and it was the most delicious cider I've ever had. They also sold some hot in a cup and cold in gallon containers. But the four of us basically hung out at the cider barn like it was a beer keg, pushing young children aside who obviously didn't appreciate it enough.

Other food highlights include boardwalk fries, hot apple cider donuts, and milk and cookies. Don't laugh, but I bought a grilled cheese sandwich and it was just as I remembered as a child.

THE Hayride
And then there's the best part of Cox Farms: The Hayride and the trip through The Red Barn. I can't talk about The Red Barn, for I want it to be a surprise for you, but the hayride is perfect and the most ridiculous thing I've ever done. I compared it to Disneyland's Jungle Cruise but ten times more cheesy and fifty times more fun. 

I am half-ashamed and half in love with this photo of Sarah and me.
Beautiful Leah and Cydney.
A  cutout of Strawberry Shortcake, which was by far the least random thing on that hayride.
We also saw Sponge Bob. And Patrick.

The Free Pumpkin
Okay, this part is just beautiful. At the end, you get to choose a free mini pumpkin to take home. How sweet is that? The best day ever and a party favor to take home.

Sometimes it's a beautiful thing to embrace Fall with friends in a child's playground. 

I really hope that doesn't come off as creepy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


If you're in a cornfield, you have to put your hand over your chest like Scarlet O'Hara IT IS A LAW.

I'm trying to get healthy. I'm trying.

I have no major health issues, and for that I am grateful, but there are things about my body I've been neglecting for the last few years. Last Friday I finally went to the doctor to discuss some chronic issues and four hours later I left with so many prescriptions and appointments for specialists, I now know what it feels like to be geriatric (you know, when your life after 70 tends to revolve around those kind of things.)

Oh, and don't get me started how at the dinner table on Sunday, I went on and on to my friends about these tests and treatments and blah blah blah and bless their hearts they acted interested.

But let's talk about Vitamin D. The orthopedic was like, "Um, your vitamin d levels were 17 last year, let's test you again and see if it's any better. Normal range is 50-100."

Lo and behold, my Vitamin D levels are currently 13. It's surprising because I spent the Summer swimming almost every day for an hour and trying to get something that resembled a tan for another hour. But I also sometimes wore sunblock and that blocks everything good and bad.

A Vitamin D deficiency causes a number of issues, mainly low energy and mood. At dinner, my friend said, "It's remarkable how much energy you have for someone that deficient." And then that got me thinking, "Actually, I have been pretty tired a lot lately. And overwhelmed."

Guys, I am so overwhelmed by the weirdest things. I have collaborations with some big companies and I barely have the mindset to email them and say, "I need more time to get my ish together." And forget about returning phone calls or those 5,000 unread messages in my inbox. I know some of it is my vapid personality, but I'm hoping getting my vitamin d levels up will help me focus and give me the mental and physical energy I need to get on top of my life. 

And maybe (maybe) it'll make my not want to cry when I have to get up before 8 am.

Have you gotten your vitamin d level tested recently?
I think you should. A deficiency is quite common.

photos by Sarah Bella