Sunday Night Check-In: Mid-City, Hiking and Reindeer Games

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I was so happy when Friday came and I had absolutely no plans for the weekend. I was going to do absolutely nothing except maybe clean my house. Well, I wanted to take some Epsom Salt baths, workout and cook, but that was the extent of what I wanted to do. Friday afternoon my friend Jo Ann texted me about the White Lights event in Mid-City Baton Rouge. I had forgotten that we talked about doing that. I begged off, but I was conflicted because I really did want to go. She finally pushed me to go, and I’m so glad I did.

White Lights Event in Mid-City (Click or hover over pics for captions.)

I’ve been trying to figure out creative ways to make some extra cash, and I’ve been thinking about learning a skill or a craft like pottery or soap-making or something like that. The White Lights event was jam-packed with local artisans and small business owners selling their own handmade products. I had a chance to talk with Ashley, the owner of Grinning Jupiter Jammery, about her business and how she got started. Her wonderful jams were showcased on top of cream cheese, and I devoured the blueberry and strawberry jams while we chatted. I could see myself doing something like that and spending Saturdays and Sundays talking to people at local markets just like I was doing with her. It made me hunger not only for her jam but for a different way of life. It lifted my spirits to think that a different way of existing was possible.

Dozens of vendors just like these were at the White Lights event, and the parking lots around my neighborhood were so crowded that you could hardly get around. I wondered to myself where all of these interesting people have been the last 16 months since I’ve been here. I talked to several vendors about how they got started and how successful their cottage businesses were, and I came away with a curiosity percolating about what I could offer up for sale from my little bungalow. Maybe I could make soy candles laced with essential oils or even soaps with exotic names and artistic designs.

I spent a good part of Saturday with my friend Beth at Highland Coffees. Great news! They are keeping their location open. A huge uproar from their customers forced the evil landlord to reconsider his evil price increase, so they will remain in their location. It is definitely my new favorite coffee shop. It’s right by the LSU campus, so the crowd is diverse, and their coffees and teas are wonderful. I had the best biscotti I’ve ever tasted Saturday. It was hearty and crunchy and dipped in dark chocolate. It was a perfect accompaniment to their decaf Colombian coffee heavily dosed with half and half – from a pitcher not a plastic container! Score!

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This morning I got up still sleepy but couldn’t fall back to sleep. I had 6 reindeer game points to gather today, so I started the day off trying a pumpkin pancake recipe from Jessica’s blog. For me it turned out like a pumpkin mush instead of a pancake, but it inspired what I call Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal. After eating that, I got sleepy, and I turned in for a mid-morning nap. I woke up around 11, and the first thing on my mind was getting into the woods. I packed up Ashok and headed to Tickfaw State Park. We hiked for about 2 hours. It was a spectacularly beautiful day and warm enough for shorts. It had been so long since we went hiking. We were both in hog heaven. Ashok spent most of her time running away from me really fast and then running back to me at the same pace. I swear she was grinning from ear to ear. She took several swims, and, luckily, I didn’t see any hungry gators that would have liked a nice little black furry winter snack.

Tickfaw State Park

For an active weekend, I feel really rested. I have some sweet potatoes baking, and I’ll steam some broccoli and heat up my leftover chicken for dinner. I downloaded a new book for my Kindle that promises some tips to help quiet my mind. I have been working to stop over-thinking this weekend. When I first woke up this morning, my mind was racing, and I decided that I should at least think something positive. The first thought that passed through my mind was ‘bananas are so nutritious’. It made me laugh which is better than making me worry. When I got tired of thinking about how nutritious bananas were, I thought about how nutritious apples are. It put me in a better mood to start the day.

Pecan Pie Oatmeal: Steel Cut Oats, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Pecans and Soy Milk. Oh, yeah, and a drop or two of Trader Joe's Organic Sweetened Condensed Milk.

Pecan Pie Oatmeal: Steel Cut Oats, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Pecans and Soy Milk. Oh, yeah, and a drop or two of Trader Joe’s Organic Sweetened Condensed Milk.

Y’all have a good week now. I met my Reindeer Games goal, so I’m stoked for next week and have planned to be more consistent so I don’t have all of this last-minute hoopla going on. It’s going to be a slow week at work, and I’ve already heard that my absolute favorite drink has already launched at Starbucks. My annual 3-5 pound weight gain due to the Eggnog Lattes at Starbucks is going to kickoff this week. I think I’ll save it for a Friday after Thanksgiving treat. I had no idea they had planned to discontinue it. It was my very first drink at a Starbucks ever! I walked into the Starbucks in Times Square in New York and ordered one during Christmas season. I can’t imagine the holidays without it. Enjoy the holidays in whatever way makes you happy. They only come around once a year and none of us is promised one next year. Pretend it will be your last and make it your best. Happy Thanksgiving! Gobble gobble.

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4 thoughts on “Sunday Night Check-In: Mid-City, Hiking and Reindeer Games

  1. We had baked sweet potato tonight also. If you are looking to make extra money in your spare time check out wwa.bostoncashback.com. people save money buying things they buy anyway and save money. Great for the holidays and every day shopping.

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