How do you spell relief ? For me it is N-A-T-U-R-E ! Simply spending time in the great outdoors, with the sun on my skin, the wind in my hair and the air filled with the sounds of birds and other critters calms and recharges me like nothing else. Perhaps it is the hit of vitamin D from the sun, perhaps it is some small degree of essential oil vapors in the air from the various plants. Perhaps it is a different quality of ions in the air. I don't know, but spending an afternoon in the woods gives me great mental clar8ity and a fresh perspective on anything.
We had made plans to go to one of our local attractions, The Chicago Botanic Garden, to walk around the gardens, catch the demonstrations and more. We love the place, and up until now it has been affordable. Technically there is no admission, but a fee to park.The fee shot up from 8 dollars to 20 dollars, you cannot picnic on the grounds, so lunch would have to be either at the restaurant on site or somewhere else. Bringing the event up to about 50 dollars to look at mainly plants. Not a wise move- there are definately cheaper alternatives.
So we grabbed a hearty breakfast of polenta, scrambled egg, cheese and tomatoes. It's sort of like oatmeal with an egg or a deconstructed breakfast burrito if you will. Once that was done I tossed dinner in the crockpot and we headed out to one of the local forests that was not in the deep woods( West Nile Virus threat is high here) and had level trails for the intention of a good long walk.
The trail is level here, semi paved and winds all around the lake. It was one of those picture perfect days with the temps in the 70's, a light breeze and lower humidity. Lots of people were out with the same idea, and many others chose to rent boats and paddle on the lake. It was nice to see that so many other families seemed to have the same idea on this holiday ! Lots of bikes with burly trailers, lots of little ones being thrilled by nature's surprizes, and an opportunity for a lot of spontaneous lessons for my son. We saw a man landing a good sized fish, three different types of boats and the way they were propelled, lots of bugs and flowers, and these cheery ladies working on their tans
Animals are not stupid. They know that if they come to a protected area like a forest preserve they will not receive a threat from man, and they do not flee when you get close. It was a good opportunity to ponder a duck up close !
We spent a couple hours walking there and then decided to grab lunch at a local place that we have not been to in many years- Chuck E Cheese.
On the surface, bad pizza with way too much noise. But below that level, a place my son still loves, and a chance to watch how he interacts with the surroundings. While we ate pizza in relative peace, I got to observe some of the more profound changes in him since we began this whole diet/health improvement journey. For one thing, he is FINALLY trying to interact with other strange to him children. That in itself is a HUGE move that gives me a lot of faith.After lunch we did some more walking and then made our way home for what I hoped would be a quiet evening. On the way home it was discovered that plans for my husband and son to take a feild trip into the city would have to be canceled ( thank you Oprah ) , and new plans for a different feild trip would have to be made. And then a family issue has come up ( at times being an only child is a very attractive prospect), and so on. In short real life came crashing in. At least dinner was going to be easy
Super simple chili ( take a pound of ground turkey, a can of black beans, a jar of salsa, toss them in a crock pot for 4 hours and you are good to go), whole wheat naam and a tossed salad. Simple , filling and healthy !
Hubby caught up on a post to his own journal, we were challenged to find the exact location of a park that he will be officiating at a wedding in a couple of weeks ( there is going to be a lot of mix ups on this one) and dealing with my own family matters made for an interesting evening. I took a break from the fun to grab my evening snack, without the ground flax because I simply forgot it
Today , at this absolute moment, the plan is to head to a local wildlife rescue center, walk on some of those trails and possibly check out a local prairie restoration. We shall see if it comes to be !