#2 of 95 – Purtis Creek State Park


You may remember that a few months ago I wrote about the quest to visit all the Texas State Parks.  At this time there are 95 State Parks, but there will be a new one in 2018 in the Palo Pinto Mountains, a short drive west of Fort Worth.

A few weeks ago, Rosie and I visited Purtis Creek State Park and checked that one off our list.  Purtis Creek is near and dear to my heart for a couple of reasons.  My uncle worked there for a number of years and retired from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department while working there.  (Oh yes, he has stories.)  Also, when the famous Canton Trade Days are going on, Purtis Creek is a great spot for camping and shopping at the town that turns into a flea market once a month.  Walking outside and browsing through all the booths and stalls are a favorite for me and Rosie.

So we camped out at Purtis Creek the first weekend of September, Labor Day weekend.  We got to celebrate Uncle Jack’s birthday with him and enjoyed some of his homemade “night time” wine, did some good shopping and walking at the flea market, and even got in a few short hikes at the park.  It was a great camping weekend.

One of my goals is to take a photo of me and Rosie at the State Park signs at the front of each park.  Although I consider myself a photographer with somewhat advanced skills, I am greatly challenged by selfies as you can see in this post’s photograph.  This photo session began with my standing in a fire ant pile while setting up the phone’s camera to operate by remote.  While trying to use the selfie stick, the phone fell out and the screen protector (not the screen, thank goodness) cracked.  After taking a few clumsy shots and deciding surely one of them would work, we got back to the car and I discovered I had lost the battery cover to my remote rendering it useless.  And even though this photo turned out quite wonky, I still love it.  It captures the madness that ensues when I try to take selfies with Rosie.



books and libraries

Books have been on my mind the past few weeks. I have a small bookcase loaded with books.  Too many books.  Which ones do I keep?  Which ones do I donate?

And then a few weeks back I looked at what I was spending on Kindle books, and I was surprised to add it up and see that I was spending a minimum of $50 on books each month.   (I do read a lot of books.)   It was so easy – press “buy” and the book magically appeared on my Kindle.  There was no visual of seeing the money actually leave my checking account.  It’s as if the transaction truly happened up in a cloud when it was all actually happening in my checking account.

So I did a little research and found out that because I live in a suburb of Dallas, I can borrow books for FREE from the Dallas Public Library. And not just books, but also eBooks and audiobooks.  How did I forget about my love of the library?  Library Day in elementary school was my favorite day, right next to Scholastic Book Club order day.  Right now I have three eBooks loaded on my tablet, six more on hold.  And I have several books with waiting lists requested at the library, and I get a nice email when each one becomes available.  FREE.

I was telling my dad about my new re-discovery, and he told me when he was 12 years old and living in Oak Cliff, he would ride the bus to the downtown Dallas library and spend all day there. Yeah, I got that gene.  And I’m so glad.

Here’s another post about books and libraries I found this week that I really enjoyed.  And yes, I put her book on my library request list too.

favorite post of the week


From one of my favorite bloggers, Leo Babauta.  For me, contentment comes from  a true feeling of “All you need, you already have.”  This is easy to believe when life is sailing along smoothly, but it gets harder to remember and trust in this when life gets difficult.  I am always looking for ways to keep this feeling in my heart and mind all the time.  Thanks, Leo!

keeping it simple

I think sometimes we make things more difficult. Here’s an example:  I was in the mood for a new planner – midyear no less.  This frequently happens to me.  This time, it was my wanting to start off my mornings with some intentions and maybe a little side dish of gratitude.  Not a 30-minute process … but just a couple of minutes to be grateful for waking up and having another day to enjoy life, and also to set 2-3 intentions for the day ahead (because I’m addicted to the feeling of accomplishment, and I’m not ashamed to admit it).  So I began doing my online surfing for such a planner and found all sorts of fun and functional daily/weekly/monthly choices.  Each daily page was filled with a box for gratitude, a box for intentions, a box for goals, a box for tasks that need to be done, a box for this, and a box for that.  And I felt myself get caught up in a planner fever that has happened so many times to me over and over for many years.  In the past I would buy a very expensive planner and think, This is what I need to round out my life.  But this time was different because I caught myself, and I went back to my original plan.  Just want a little space to jot a few notes each morning.  For example, today’s would look like this:

Take car in for oil change
Check with resale shop
Do some walking tonight

Car repair shop
Beautiful sunshiny day
My job

So I stepped back from the online cart, took a deep breath, and reminded myself not to fall into the usual marketing vortex and buy more than I need or want and pay much more than I needed to. Being mindful felt good, and I felt strong.