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Currently – March 2017

Currently – March 2017

HOORAY for the monthly Currently link up!  Currently I am…

 

Photo from Face Off website.

WATCHING:  Face Off on the SyFy channel.  I’ve watched several seasons of this show and really enjoy it!  Each week the artists have different movie makeup challenges; they create everything from aliens to monsters to snow queens!

 

EATING:  Strawberries!  They’re in season, and I’m a happy girl.  I buy them year ’round, but I like the prices this time of year!

 

SAYING:  “Where’s the sunscreen?” and “When are we going camping?”  We’re pushing 90 degrees today, y’all!  We have to get out there and have some fun before the REAL heat arrives!

 

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WEARING:  The awesome happy camper cap my husband gave me for Valentine’s Day!  YAY!!!

 

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POSTING:  This photo from our recent paddle at George L. Smith State Park near Metter, Georgia.  I asked my sweet man to pretty please snag a few pictures of me while we were on the water.  He did well!!!  I rushed this baby straight to Instagram where my outdoor peeps showed it a little love!  (I’m @outandback.live if you’d like to follow me!)   HERE are more photos from this paddle!

Now it’s time for a big shout out to the hosts of this here link up, Anne and Carrie!  Be sure to pop over to their blogs to see what they’re CURRENTLY up to!  And Leslie’s blog!  She’s a great story teller, so you don’t want to miss hers!

What are YOU currently watching, eating, saying, wearing, and posting?!?  Link up on Anne’s blog or leave me a comment!  I LOVE hearing from folks!  #extrovert #talktome

Top Ten Posts of 2016 – My Favorites

Top Ten Posts of 2016 – My Favorites

Yesterday I shared the top ten most viewed posts on OutAndBack in 2016.  Today I took a few minutes to look back through all my posts and picked 10 personal favorites.  I’ve listed them in the order they were published.  ( The Letter R & the Elephant and Currently – December 2016 are favorites, but since they made yesterday’s list, I won’t include them here.)

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READ::WATCH::LISTEN::FOLLOW – December 2016

READ::WATCH::LISTEN::FOLLOW – December 2016

With all the visual and written media flying around these days, it can be hard to decide what to choose, what might be worth a little of our precious time.  Behold!  The Read::Watch::Listen::Follow link up!  My friend Sheila hosts this every month, and the linked posts are chock full of great recommendations.  Here are mine for this month.

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READ:  I’ve read some GREAT books over the last few weeks!  I plan to post my “Books Read in November” list tomorrow, but today I want to give a shout out to Corner Booth by  Chautona Havig.  This is a fun story of a professor and the woman who invades his corner booth of a restaurant in order to skip the line at the door.  He’s recently been convicted that he talks way too much, so he determines to LISTEN to the woman; no talking (on his part), just listening.  And thus begins a sweet yet powerful story that I thoroughly enjoyed.  I finished it last night, and I was a little sad when I woke up this morning because I wasn’t going to get to hang out with all my new friends from this book today.  (Y’all know that feeling, right?!?)

WATCH:  My pastor shared this video with our church leadership team earlier this week, and I watched it this morning.  Wow.  Just WOW!  Francis Chan delivers a powerful challenge to all believers to  “climb the mountain” ourselves to spend time with God and not be satisfied with “hanging out with Moses” and hearing from God second hand.  Let’s just say I might have needed a tissue or two by the end of the message, and I’ve determined to lace up my spiritual hiking boots and start climbing.

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LISTEN:  Last week I listened to the audiobook Still Alice, written and narrated by Lisa Genova.  This book is inspiring, heart breaking, and very well written.  It’s a novel that reads like a memoir and tells the story of a 50-year-old, wife/mother, Harvard professor who is diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease.  I don’t want to say much more than that, but the construction of the book–how she tells the story–is amazing.  If someone close to you is dealing with this disease, this may not be the book for you right now.  And then again, maybe it is.  Note:  This isn’t the most dynamic audiobook I’ve ever listened to, but I don’t think it’s meant to be.  Since the author is also the narrator, she can read it just the way she wrote it.  It’s a straightforward book with a straightforward narration.  The genius is that a story written without excess, hyped-up drama is so very dramatic and powerful.

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FOLLOW:  I started following Kampgrounds of America (KOA) on Instagram, and now I want to go camping every single day!  I’m a KOA girl.  I grew up camping at KOAs, and Gene and I have been known to plan trips around KOA locations!  The photos are fun, and they definitely inspire me to plan another trip SOON!  (I’m on Instagram as outandback.live if you’d like to follow my adventures there as well as here.)

What are YOU reading, watching, listening to, and following?  Link up at Making the Most of Every Day and/or leave some comments for me!  This is always a fun discussion.  I enjoy your recommendations.

Currently…

Currently…

It’s time for Currently!  Here we go!  I am currently…

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Discovering:  Well, REdiscovering just how clever the movie Alice Through the Looking Glass is!  I posted a review of the movie when it was in theaters, and now it’s out on Blu-Ray.  This is an excellent movie on every level.  It’s a feast for your eyes, your ears, and your heart!

 

Celebrating:  Meeting a big goal!  I signed up for the Write 31 Days blogging challenge, and I did it!  I wrote my series, Michael Ann’s Kitchen, and posted every single day of October!  As is typical when we push ourselves to do something hard, I learned a LOT!  I learned tons about blogging in general, WordPress, and the powerful tools available to me via remarkable apps like Canva and Pic Monkey.  I’m exhausted, and I’m exhilarated!

 

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From my birthdaypalooza last week!  More about the cake here.

Starting:  Well, REstarting a concerted effort to make wise food choices and to exercise.  I’ve been off my game for a while, and then Hurricane Matthew threw me for a loop emotionally (even though we made it through just fine).  That emotional exhaustion plus two birthdaypaloozas (mine and my daughter’s) plus the Write 31 Days challenge totally upset my apple cart!  It’s time to right the cart and get back on the wagon.  (Oh dear!  My tired is showing!  Moving on…)

 

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My daughter and me on Sunday, October 30.

Wearing:  Let’s talk about what I’m NOT wearing.  The temperatures here in Coastal Georgia are STILL pushing 90 degrees.  In November.  Ugh.  So I’m NOT wearing my beloved hoodies, boots, or jackets.  It’s sad really.

(Well, there WAS that weekend camping trip last month near Chattanooga, Tennessee when the temps dipped to just shy of freezing!  Bliss, I tell you!  And, yes, we tent camp.  Stay tuned for more about that trip!)

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Googling:  More electric pressure cooker recipes and charts.  I wrote about how much I’m enjoying my pressure cooker several weeks ago, and I’m still loving it.  I’m considering buying an Instant Pot because (1) I’d like to see how it compares to my Farberware pressure cooker, and (2) some days I’d like to have TWO of them to use!

That’s what *I* am up to these days!  How about you?  Let me know in the comment section!

I’m linking up today with Anne of In Residence and Catherine of A Short Blonde.  Be sure to see what THEY are currently up to as well!

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Michael Ann’s…Raccoons?!?

Michael Ann’s…Raccoons?!?

This is Day 26 of Michael Ann’s Kitchen, a special Write 31 Days series here on OutAndBack.  Today I just MUST go rogue. Just this once.  Because…raccoons.

Yep.  Raccoons.

Our house backs onto protected wetlands, and I’m fully aware that the woods back there are full of critters.  My daughter wrangled our second red-bellied watersnake–non-venomous, protected here in Georgia–out of the yard and back into the swampy area just a couple of weeks ago.  (Mom fail on that one.  I did not get any pictures.  Because I was busy being freaked out and “helpful.”  I use that term loosely.)

But last night raccoons showed up for the first time! 

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A New Kayaking Adventure!

A New Kayaking Adventure!

You know how you hear about a place, and you scope it out online, and you wonder if the real thing looks anywhere near as gorgeous as it does online?  Yeah?  Well, THIS place delivered!imageWe recently heard about George L. Smith State Park and decided to check it out this weekend.  On Sunday we loaded up the kayaks and a picnic, went to the early service at church, and then headed out on our adventure.

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Sesqui: Come Out & Play!

Sesqui: Come Out & Play!

I love the tagline for South Carolina’s State Parks:  “Come Out & Play!”  How perfect is that!  My husband and I decided to do just that by camping at Sesquicentennial State Park last weekend.  Sesqui (as the locals call it) is near Columbia, South Carolina, and it’s lovely.  I’ll keep words to a minimum on this post.  Enjoy the photos of this beautiful park!

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This is the beginning of the 2-mile trail around the lake.
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The trees on this part of the trail are just stunning.
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I like the reflections in this picture of the pond.  It’s hard to tell where the trees end the the reflection begins!
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The trail around the pond is paved, so it’s stroller-friendly.
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There are benches along the trail…
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…and the trails are well marked.  (If you’re on the white trail, you follow the white arrows.)  There are hiking trails as well as a mountain bike trail.
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biking Sooooo pretty!  And peaceful!
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Campsite sweet campsite!  (Watch for a future post about how to get started camping.)
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The park offers very affordable rentals for canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, and stand up paddle boards.
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This was my first time canoeing!  When we kayak, Gene and I each have our own kayaks, so I wasn’t sure how sharing one boat would go.  We had a great time and were still speaking to each other when we got back to shore!
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We enjoyed our weekend at Sesqui!  It’s perfect for a day trip or a weekend camping trip.  Check it out!

Do you have a favorite state park?  Share in the comments below so we can all get some good recommendations!

 

Come Out & Play in your South Carolina State Parks!
Come Out & Play in your South Carolina State Parks!

Sunny Saturday: Kayaking

Sunny Saturday: Kayaking

Today was a GORGEOUS 76-degree morning, so Gene and I loaded up the kayaks and headed to King’s Ferry Landing on the Ogeechee River.

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Getting ready to put in.
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See how I strategically put Gene between the bank (and potential alligators) and me?   I am a smart woman!

 

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Approaching Interstate 95.
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Paddling under I-95. Not my favorite part of the morning!  It’s spooky under there…and loud!
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Taking a quick snack break before heading back to the landing.  The forest is beautiful in this area!
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Row, row, row your boat!
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Here’s what my Fitbit had to say about the morning!

We love being out on the water!  It’s both relaxing AND a great workout.  Multi-tasking at its best, I say!

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