7.2 Miles

The day begins

My response to my own Frustration from listening to news and political rhetoric about the opposition to even the mention of gun control, was to put on dramatic makeup (my war paint)

and go for s bike ride.

This time I road the south side of the trail

Then cooled down with a collagen mask and a rose petal, peony, & bergamot oil mani/pedi massage.

Just another day in Lakeland

So I set off this morning after the fog lifted and went out to get my haircut. After the haircut I took a little stroll over to the farmers curbside market and found it buzzing with activity.

The street was crowded with people and the weather was awesome. It felt like spring was in the air even though it’s not quite there yet, but the energy was great and the kiosks were busy filled with people and wonderful produce. Street musicians were playing their guitars. The smell of coffee brewing filled the air, lemonade stands and fresh juices,it was quite festive.

I guess everybody is happy to be back in warmer temperate weather. The organic local farmers had their crops out it was spectacular. I loved it. I had so much fun and I really enjoyed the tasters! I located an organic farmer that’s not even a mile away from my house right here in Polk city and they do aqua organics.

I purchased Several large heads of curly greens, and fresh sprouts, and butter lettuce, mushrooms, and avocados. Yum! I couldn’t wait to get home and whip them up for lunch!

I Have become interested in exploring eating more raw foods and curbing my meat consumption, and yes, starch, bread and sugar, are being shoved back too.

Nothing drastic I’m just gradually increasing fresh raw greens in my diet and shrinking portions of everything else. I’ll see how it goes.

As I left the curbside market I walked y one of my favorite alleys and passed the Lakelander Magazine publishing house then I stopped off at a little tiny hole in the wall vintage shop I like and found a special little treat to add to my collection of dolls. I made all the dolls In my collection, but this one just, I don’t know, called out to me.

I couldn’t wait to whip up my greens into a great big salad for lunch. It was delicious with avocados, fresh organic onions, garlic, a little tiny sprinkle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a little tiny bit of Salt and Italian herbs oh jeez it was good!

I wasn’t perfect I did have a little cream sickle 50 cal ice cream from d’lites.

But I felt guilty enough that I motivated myself to get my beautiful little bike out on the trail. The weather was so perfect that I went for a really nice long ride 2 miles folks! I’m so proud of myself.

Those mushrooms and greens made a scrumptious early dinner.

A little Pinot Grigio to end a perfect day!

Enjoy & Soar!

A Senior Citizen Returns to Bicycling

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

I woke up early feeling great and noticed a soft mauve and pinkish hue displayed in the clouds. I t would only be a few minutes before the light changed, so I grabbed my iPhone and headed out to the lakeshore to snap a few shots.

It’s Wednesday! This is my early day!

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EASTING! in that Golden Hour light. Good morning sunshine!

Last week I decided I needed to start moving my body. I am not big on going to a gym nor using exercise equipment at home. There are a few types of movements I enjoy, and walking and cycling are among them. So I set out to buy a bicycle. My frazzled nerves could not believe the prices. Wait, what happened here? When did bicycles become so expensive? $600 to over $1000 for a new bike! Ouch.

I took an alternate route to obtain a bike, I researched used ones. Ahhhh more like it. I set a $100 dollar budget and went searching. This is where I discovered FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE. A day later I found my bike and located a car rack for it and came in under my $100 budget for both. Yay!

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I got it home and rode down the block and I thought, no problem. It was Sunday and getting into the evening, and it was rainy so that was that.

Today it’s Wednesday though and I’m home early enough to take my bike on its first ride. I am not going to lie to you. I have never been more happy to live in such a remote location as I do. There was no one around to witness my first novice ride as a senior citizen.IMG_9210-9

As I rode my bike down the first block, I thought, whoa! This is a lot harder than I remember. My new, to me, 7-speed Schwinn bike is a cutey.  It’s black frame, and one turquoise tire made me fall in love with it. It’s banana bike-style handlebars closed the deal for me. I thought to myself, this will be a breeze. Everyone knows that old saying “it’s like riding a bike, as soon as you get on it all comes back”. That is true. It comes back, just not as pulled together as when you were twenty. Sure you get on and you regain your balance alright, but not without a wobble. Okay, several wobbles!

But I grabbed those banana-bike handlebars, and put that baby in 3rd-gear (the lower the gear the easier to pedal, but the slower the speed) and took off down the road. About halfway to the first corner, I felt my heart beating hard and my chest felt tight. Oh oh?, Then my legs started burning and I said “oh shit” I can’t let my neighbors see me. So I put the bike into 1st-gear and pedaled on to the next block, where fewer people know me. When I was in safe distance from familiar eyes, I pulled over to get a drink of water. Oh my god! I was already sweating. Holy Crap I am so out of shape! But I proceeded one block to the trail.

Once on the trail, the ride was smoother and I almost made it all the way to the overpass which is less than a quarter mile. I will double check the distance on my way to work tomorrow. Two other cyclers passed me on the trail. The first one came up behind me as I was wobbling all over the trail trying to keep my ride under control. He made noise, thank god, so I pulled to one side and let him pass. I am sure he didn’t want me to lose control and crash into him. He was damn nice not to laugh out loud at me. He politely said howdy ma’am and I gallantly said hi there and cycled on as if I owned that trail.

I began to slow down and pull on to the shoulder so I could get a drink of water before heading in the other direction. As I came to a stop and was getting off the bike I did not control my hand brakes well and I lost my balance as I scooted off the seat to stop the bike with my feet. I took my first tumble. My head went down, my body rolled to the right and I hit my knee. Thankfully I was on grass and no injury resulted. I quickly jumped up and looked to see who might have seen me. Whee! no one around. My dignity remained intact.

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The trail behind me. Not a bad ride.

I drank my water, snapped a picture of the portion of the trail I had just completed. Then I got back on the bike and headed in the other direction. On the south side of the trail, there are no trees, just a lot of pasture land.

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Mesmerizing, no one around, perfect weather, good bike. Good first ride!

On the north side of the access pass gate, the trail is tree-lined on both sides.

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Wheeee! Harder than I remember!

I was surprised that as I headed north the ride was easier. I stopped at the first bench for more water and more pictures and decided it was time to head back. There were some ominous clouds closing in. To my surprise, I made it all the way home with no more stops! Go Mo! Go Mo! I can’t wait to do it again.

2017 Thanksgiving – Believe in magic!

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The day started out lovely, cloudy but beautiful and we looked forward to a scrumptious feast at Susie and Joe’s with the grandkids, family, and friends. Everyone was instructed by our hostess to bring a dish and I was asked to bring something Jewish and Spanish.

So I brought Latkes and Guava Pastries, yum! Don’t laugh! I drove many miles between Ybor City and Lakeland to purchase these goodies. TooJay’s in downtown Tampa was closed on Wednesday! I had a tight timeline between locations and of course I hit a major traffic jam on the fabulous I-4! I just can’t figure out where all those cars traveling eastbound are headed to.

Just as Tom and I are headed out the door, I receive a text from Des telling me she was not going to make it because she was home, sick. We have all been battling some viral thing that has us all sneezing, coughing, achy, sore throat, clogged ears, and bad sinuses. I promised I would take her a nice batch of chicken soup tomorrow. Tom and I headed out. On the way, we hit another traffic jam due to an unfortunate accident. It looked pretty serious and everyone had to be rerouted. So this was my lesson in gratitude. To be honest, I felt aggravated at drivers I assumed had been speeding and thought this was probably what caused the accident. How dare they delay everyone’s Thanksgiving plans. Then I saw the cars and felt horrible that I thought those thoughts. I immediately went into internal acts of contrition. Father forgive me for I have sinned. No joke! I felt terrible and was left with the impression of how those poor folks and their families day were truly ruined. I, on the other hand, was fine and my loved ones were fine. Lesson learned! Thank-you-G-d! I offered a little prayer for their well being and moved on. We arrived just in time to unpack our contribution to the meal, share a blessing, and break bread with friends and family. Here’s a glimpse of our feast!

After dinner, we mauled around enjoying the afterglow of a great meal, good conversation, and the grandchildren at play.

This was a good time to engage the girls in a photo session.  Olive and Katia, show your sisters what to do!


Here they are! There are seven of them now! Girl Power!!

Piper Douglas, the newest addition!

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Finally, it’s time to try for a family group photo!

What fun shooting these. I couldn’t see, the flash refused to fire, but we didn’t give up. My group coached me along to put the camera on timer setting and run for it. I did and, hey, I got into at least one of these!

Tom and I said our goodbyes and headed home. I was curious to see what I captured. As I was about to download the images from my SD Card, guess what happened. The computer nor the camera would read the card. As I pulled it out to examine it here is what I found. As you can see there are several bent and twisted wires protruding from the card. OH NO! This is why I can’t wait to receive my iPhone X. No more lugging heavy equipment. No more worries that the flash won’t fire. No more dealing with this outdated technology. Goodbye SD cards! Goodbye speed lights!  One of the most important lessons I have ever learned about photography is that the best camera that you can find is the one you have on hand that works to capture the shot.

Obviously, I salvaged the images. I took a safety pin and a needle nose plier and performed surgery on the card. I put the memory card back into my camera and it read it! Download! Whee! Close call. The card must have been damaged already and the quality of the images was very grainy with poor resolution. But, I performed a little post-processing magic in Lightroom and here I am writing a blog about it.  I almost lost not epic pictures, but irreplaceable memories of a really nice Thanksgiving!

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Photo workshop practice with Ella and Janet @ Poor Poker

It was a beautiful day, perfect for beignets, campfire coffee, and a photo practice with the girls. Today’s focus was on understanding the impact of balance, symmetry, asymmetry, and perspective. The girls took turns in using my Nikon DF in manual mode, to work with available ambient light to capture not just a snap shot, but something more. An image that draws the viewer in and holds the attention. That was their challenge.

Perspective, symmetry, balance, with a touch of asymmetry to make you wonder. Good shots by Ella!

Below are the shots in Janet’s photography practice.  Symmetry is important to an image if you understand that it is a key visual property for humans. It is defined as balanced form, a beauty of form arising from balanced proportions and apparent in fine works of art. But, it is only partial symmetry that we see. Perhaps, artists unconsciously use it to represent order, harmony, or serenity while the asymmetrical elements depict that life and art are not perfect and therefore, cannot be perfectly symmetrical.  It was with this in mind that I provided simple suggestions for the girls to consider when framing a shot.

Another element of interest is the connection between your subjects in the way they pose themselves and interact with each other. Note their body language.

Next, we explored how to use items in the environment to enhance your shot. Below I show how to use a random accent mirror found sitting on a table for a photo effect. Ella snapped me, and I snapped her. Reflections can add an unexpected and random element in an image.

We found a large selection of differing backgrounds at the Porker. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to point out how to take advantage of backgrounds and use depth of field to make the subject pop. I snapped these images of the girls.

Here we are exploring the different effect in an image when a subject stands closer to the background, versus standing at a distance from the background. Standing away from the background and closer to the camera lens creates the effect of carving the subject away from the slightly blurred background. This separation gives an image depth and dimension. In these images, the eclectic decor adds interest to the image.

Oh, those beignets!

Having fun with the process helps everyone relax and reflects the subjects true personalities. Photos by Mo 🙂

Moments, photos of Ella and Janet by Mo Feazel.  Images of Mo and Ella, by Janet, Image of Mo and Janet by Ella. Image of Mo by Ella. Good practice girls.