Showing posts with label Nature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nature. Show all posts

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Best Way + #MyPostMonday Link-Up

I love going out into nature and experiencing the beauty of it all. I've got to be outside at least once a day. If I'm not, I become very despondent.  But it isn't the most important thing that I need to be doing. If I really want to feel happy and content, I need to be out with other people and trying to make their lives a little bit better. I think that is why I love my job in Special Education. Each day I get to see kids that have been removed from their homes, plus have disabilities that qualify them for Special Services. All in all, they are good people. They have been dealt some heavy things though. Some of them don't even realize what bad luck they've had. They try the best they can to make sense of their existence and for the most part, make the best of what they've got. 

Sometimes just giving them an extra piece of candy or gum can really make their day brighter. Today, a kid in my class was in my general area, while I was doing something else. He had been rather glum when he first got to school and who could blame him? It was the first day of Daylight Savings Time and so it was actually 6:00 AM regular time, a very ungodly hour! But as we continued our parallel interaction, he mentioned that he was feeling happy, for some reason. I said I was glad for him, because he hadn't looked so cheery earlier. I wondered what the change was, and how it had happened. Could it be that he was feeling safe and non-threatened in this environment? Whatever it was, I was happy too!

Don't get me wrong, a great bargain at the mall can get me more giddy than I want to admit, but if that was all I had to look forward to, it would become very boring. All I'm saying is that I need to have a variety of things in my life, and it shouldn't all have to do with me, myself and I! 

Image - Bill Eastburn
 Today is "My Post Monday!" It's all about original content from bloggers who care to share what is on their minds--from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I, for one, love to explore other sites for original, non-sponsored posts, tips, pictures and videos! Sponsored posts are great and I appreciate the information from well-written and authentic sponsored posts, I write them myself! But this linky is for non-sponsored posts because they are all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows. It's not about a specific brand and what it compensates the blogger to promote! If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  It's like being featured!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! Remember, any link to your posts helps your blog numbers increase! (Affiliate links OK)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Mixture Of Nature And Suburbia In Sandy #Utah

I'm a native California girl but that was a long time ago...when you could walk on the San Joaquin River levees and trails alone and not be afraid of being accosted by exhibitionists, transients, pick-pockets and more.  (The last time I visited, it was a exhibitionist, yikes!)  It's still beautiful, don't get me wrong, but those days are gone for me.

It seems like I've always lived in beautiful places, like the 10 years I spent in Floyd, VA, so green, so humid, so close to the Blue Ridge Parkway...I loved it so much!

Now it's Utah that I call home, and I love it here too!  I lived for several years in Provo, UT.  It's a college town, home to BYU and UVU.  Then we moved north to the Sandy/Draper area.  At first I wasn't sure I'd like it.  I'm sort of an introvert, who loves to get away to nature.  I crave places that aren't crawling with people.  I need places to be able to walk and be by myself, to meditate and reflect and let my dog roam while I'm doing so. 

Sandy is in Salt Lake County and close to many fun events and shopping areas.  But I was so happy to find that it also has a slice of the most beautiful nature around and the solitude I love is right in my back yard!  As a matter of fact I really consider Dimple Dell equestrian, hiking jogging and recreation area my backyard.  Dimple Dell is an expansive park offering hiking, biking & horseback riding along with ponds, streams & picnic areas.  It is like a huge nature park in the middle of the suburbs  It goes for miles and has many trails.  There are many entrances to the park.  One trailhead entrance is right by 24-Hour Fitness in Sandy at 10365 S 1300 E.

I frequent just a small part of Dimple Dell, just enough to fit in a 50-minute walk with my border collie, Evee,  several times a week.  I have carved out my own route, one that I know isn't too well-traveled. 

I even have my own private bench to take in the gorgeous mountain view! 

Another great thing about living in Sandy/Draper area are the many places to bike.  I like to bike on Wasatch Blvd, where you can get gorgeous views of the city below or bike towards Little Cottonwood Canyon.  The Pepperwood Area towards Draper is also gorgeous to bike through and there are several parks and mountain biking trailheads you can take.  I like going earlier in the morning because the traffic is a little heavier during the day and unfortunately there aren't designated biking lanes for some of the way. Most drivers, however, are very considerate, if you don't hog the road.  I also recommend using lights both on front and on back of your bike, or a reflective vest or a light on your helmet.

If you are in a crowd-loving mood we have plenty of places and events here for that as well!  As a matter of fact, Sandy specializes in events and venues of all kinds!  The shopping is amazing.  Just get off I-15 at 123rd South and you have restaurants galore and the South Town Mall is right there, with Dillard's, Macy's, and R.E.I. to name just a few.  Both Trax and Frontrunner Trains are accessible in both Sandy and Draper, heading as far north as Layton and south to Provo (Frontrunner only). 

Loveland Living Planet Aquarium - This 9th largest aquarium in the United States is located here in Draper at 12033 South Lone Peak Parkway.  It is a childhood dream come true for founder and CEO, Brent Anderson.  As a child, he was given a book about the sea from his grandma,  It awed and inspired him so much that as an adult, when asked what he would do if he knew he couldn't fail, he knew he had to bring his youthful dream to reality.  The Aquarium has 4 main galleries - North American River Otter Exhibit, Ocean Explorer, South American Explorer, and a 300,000 gallon shark tank! 

Sandy Amphitheatre - Located on the corner of 9400 South and 1300 East, this Amphitheatre is open during the summer and has amazing concerts!  It has a capacity of 2,750 and allows people to bring in their own chairs.  It is a truly unique concert experience!  I live so close to it that I can hear the music in the evenings when I'm sitting outside on the porch or have the doors and windows open.

Rio Tinto Stadium - Soccor has become a big deal in Utah, ever since REAL Salt Lake made Rio Tinto Stadium their home.  This is located on 9256 S. State Street in Sandy.  I've been to a game and it's packed! 
As you can see, the area where I call home has a lot to offer!  You really ought to come and explore!  And let me know when you come...we'll do lunch!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Not So Well-Kept Secret, Living In Utah

      I've lived in some great states.  I can't say I have experience with the whole U.S., but I know I've lived in some of the best.  I was born and lived in Craig, Colorado for my early childhood years.  I remember the beautiful, peaceful summers, the cold winters and my Grandmother's beautiful garden with the hollyhocks, rhubarb, and corn. Follow Me on Pinterest

I've since been back and spent time in Winter Park and love it for vacationing.  
      I called the California San Joaquin Valley home during my pre-adolescent years all the way through early adulthood and absolutely loved it.  The smell of California Sycamore Trees in Fall burns a memory in my mind forever.  
    Small town Virginia was the lush, green state that I lived in for 10 years.  The people were lovely and I got my college degree there.  I have some wonderful memories.  I've been to the Smoky Mountains several times and I drove the Blue Ridge Parkway on a regular basis because it was right around the corner from where I lived.  So very beautiful!  
       Now I live in Utah and I think I've found the place where I'll probably spend the rest of my life.  Why?  Here are a few reasons. 
      Utah also has beautiful country.  The mountains here are so spectacular!  In some places they are barren and brown, but in other places, like where I live, they are full of color because of all the trees.  I think the mountains in Little Cottonwood Canyon and Big Cottonwood Canyon are gorgeous and remind me of the Alps!

There are many places to hike, bike, fish, and sight see, including 5 National Parks and who knows how many state parks--a lot!  Just because there is no ocean doesn't mean there is no water.  The lakes here are clean, clear and ready to be fished or boated on.  I take full advantage of all this nature and take my Border Collie named Evee on amazing hikes in the nearby mountains and I also go on beautiful bike rides on my local river trail that meanders for 15 miles along the river and into the canyons.  But I'm also really near to the conveniences of civilization, since I live in a metropolitan area of over 300,000 people.  It's amazing how I can feel like I'm in the middle of nowhere with all of that hustle and bustle so nearby.  And did you know that there are now fireflies here?  Yep, they were just discovered here in Utah this June!  The magical lightning bugs that I loved in Virginia are now here in Spanish Fork, UT.
      The people here are generally very good.  How do I really know that personally?  Well, let me tell you and confess at the same time.  I have a terrible habit of leaving things behind.  I don't know how many times I have left wallets, credit cards, cameras, sunglasses or any number of things at public places.  Almost every single time I do this, people will return them.  Just last week I left my debit card at the local Cold Stone Creamery, one of my favorite places.  I knew that I had probably left it on the counter when I was being handed my ice cream. I guess I got a bit too interested in the ice cream rather than take care that my card was safely back in my wallet.  I walked out of the store, oblivious that I left it and didn't miss it until a day later.  I figured I left it there.  But my vast experience with this type of thing let me go about my business without much worry.  In fact, I didn't get around to calling the establishment until a couple days after I missed it.  When I did call, sure enough, they had found the card and saved it for me.  I had my husband pick it up while he was out doing errands.  I'm just grateful that people here are so decent. 
       Along those same lines is the fact that Utah has the highest volunteer rate in the nation.  This was found by the Census Bureau, now for 6 years running.  And with all that volunteerism are the programs that are kept running for the elderly and for school age children.
'Meals on Wheels' is one program that uses a lot of volunteers, as does 'Parks & Recreation' and one really important one, The Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City.  Every year it allows visits for approximately 60,000 elementary students free of charge and gives out 500 Astronomy Teaching Kits to their teachers.  Last year Salt Lake County had 20,000 residents that volunteered, which is the equivalent to 457 full-time employees!
      And have you ever had fry sauce on your french fries?  I'm pretty sure this is a Utah thing.  Basically it's a combination of mayo, ketchup, and maybe some liquid smoke.  It's in all the restaurants and it's pretty good, if not very healthy.  A good brand of fry sauce to try out is Some Dude's Fry Sauce!  Careful, though.  It's addictive!
     There you have it, just a few reasons why I love living in Utah.  But could you keep it a secret?  I want it to stay this way!

Disclaimer: This is my own post, my own opinion.  Yours may vary!