The first 4 miles of 2019

Whew,

I don’t know about you but January and February have really gotten away from me.

When I did the math a few months ago, I realized that 8(ish) miles per month would help me reach the #nc100mileschallenge goal with, almost, no issues.

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Well, here I am, a few days away from March…looking at only one trail so far…

BUT…

I am still hopeful I’ll meet the goal and so I want you to see where I started this year.

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Lake Norman State Park found me a couple of years ago, when I was first introduced to the challenge and at only about 45min away, it’s quickly become my go to for a morning outdoors.

The Lake Shore Trail provides several miles of hilly terrain, great for a cardio boosts and a multiple views of Lake Norman itself. If you catch it early enough, it’s nice and quiet out there.

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I have been blessed to have my Dad along with me for the past three times I’ve come here. We usually start early, with a big breakfast and hope to complete at least half the trail within an hour and some change.

Hiking with my Dad is great because he helps me hike at a good pace which helps me with conditioning for more intense hikes in the future.

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I’ve done the entire (almost 7 miles) of Lake Shore in the beginning of June the first time I’d set foot on the trail and totally exhausted myself (I mean calling on angels exhausted) so I am a little scared to go for it all BUT I am working toward it.

 

Mornings are my favorite time to hike this trail because I can catch it before it gets too warm AND there are these amazing spots where the trail goes, almost, right to the water.

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This creates the perfect spot to catch your breath and/or a selfie 😉

 

Lake Norman State Park is where I decided I’d start adding park pins to my collection and so it holds a near and dear place in my heart and on my trail hat (courtesy of The Trek).

 

Until the next mileage update, Happy Trails!

 

What is Done in Love is Done Well

By the title of this post you might think I am about to talk about a recent trip to my local Hallmark store.

While I don’t have a moving greeting card purchase to share, I have found a place with just as much warmth, heart, dedication and genuine care at

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Percent Tap House is brand new to the neighborhood of Harrisburg, NC and the first of it’s kind in that area (which happens to be close enough to me to make it local 😉 )

I was introduced to PTH via my brother and sister-in-law (regulars since day 1) about 6 weeks ago and the first thing to hit me, after the amazing decor, was the phrase on the back of staff’s shirts (What is done in love, is done well). I hadn’t even tasted a beer yet but I had a good feeling about the place.

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My sister-in-law and I representing Percent

I was fortunate to meet the place at a slow moment and 3 out of the 4 owners were there and ready to share the vision with me. By the time I left on my day 1, I knew that this space was going to be more than just a place to grab a tasty beer…it was going to support and grow a community.

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The message is a really easy one to get behind. When you love and care about what you do, it shows. These guys were/are looking for a way to support a growing community with a quality product and a business that can serve the area for years to come.

They want to create space where people can gather small and large to discuss everything from the current day to the next phase of life. The only screens are the ones that tell you what is on tap and that is to encourage engagement with the people around you. It’s a fantastic concept that I can appreciate.

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On more than one occasion, I have ventured there solo, just to see how one might fair in a setting like the one Percent creates.

From the moment I walk in, I am seen and greeted. Most of the time it’s by Carl, Zach or Neil (though I have met Alec a time or two) and they are ready to share their favorite brews of the week and if not super busy, a conversation or two about life.

Now, I’ve been on slow nights (which are already rare) and busy nights alike and while no two visits are the same, I can tell you that what the motto the company puts on the merchandise is in the air.

Most of my solo visits find me at the bar. I figure that I can at the very least chat with one of the guys while I have a drink.

Two weeks ago, I went in with much the same mindset. I was a few sips into a Brown Ale when I picked up on the conversation going on beside me. The Gilbert’s were tabbing out but I happened to catch that they were going to be hiking for Make-A-Wish over the summer so I decided to find out more of the story. They shared it with me and I found a new Facebook friend.

As they left, I turned back to my seat to find several other customers had come to sit at the bar also and were ready to chat. I began to ping pong, delightfully, between multiple conversations as customers ordered a beverage, chatted for a min and returned to their company. There were many couples sharing a beverage before dinner, many having a beverage after a long shift and others just connecting with friends…just connecting…

Powerful!

One of my favorite connections of the night was with my new pals Stefan and Andy. They moved to the bar beside me well into the night and didn’t hesitate to engage in conversation. I’ll not share their stories (I gotta keep some secrets) BUT I will say that Stefan has one of the coolest tattoo sleeves I have ever seen and my gushing about it led to talking about Ireland, so that was EPIC!!

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Stefan and Andy who were really nice to listen to me talk about my blog

That night was SO much fun and pretty much the embodiment of what I think the owners are trying to cultivate within Percent Tap House. Community exists where people feel welcome, are encouraged to communicate and feel cared about…a tasty brew (or several) is just a great accompaniment.

 

What is done in love, IS done well and it is done 7 days a week at Percent.

 

Go by and check it out if you get the chance and tell them Candice sent you (at least I think I’ve earned regular status by now 😉 )

 

Cheers!

This Winter Hurts

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The above photo was taken almost a week ago. It was the end of a great work day, a rare day when I got to mix my day job world with my geek girl world. I was tired but blissed out. The state of my face is the result of trying to mimic the “I don’t know” emoji and respond to the question “It’s Saturday, what are you getting into?”

I didn’t know it at the time but that blissed out state would begin to go down in flames starting the next morning.

Sunday greeted me with what I thought was over tired, over clenching related jaw pain that escalated in intensity until it ended with my dentist numbing my mouth while saying “that tooth is toast”. I’ve never known such pain and though I’m no stranger to emotion, I’ve never ran the entire gamut in the span of an evening.

BUT it taught me a lot, as discomfort often does…and that is what I want to share.

 

Stubborn~ dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something

 

On a trip over the summer, one of my oldest friends called me stubborn. It bothered me, a lot, because it made me think of the other people in my life that I had heard associated with that word and I knew I wasn’t acting the way that they did when labeled in the same way. This was about my unwillingness to let anyone help me with my bags…how could not wanting my things to burden someone else be a bad thing.

I was reminded of this moment when my jaw pain was at it’s worst and I saw very clearly the picture of me being a dozen feet behind the rest of the traveling party hustling to make a train, dropping my bag almost every other step…STUBBORN!

I shed a lot of tears in a very short amount of time as I realized all the ways my stubbornness was showing up in my life…the constant dirty state of my car, the pile of clean clothes on my bed that never makes it to the closet, the pile of books in the floor instead of the shelf and the searing pain shooting through my jaw.

What normally plays out like the shoulder shrug pictured above started to annoy me and I wanted to tidy up everything…my car, my room, my books…my LIFE!!!

It couldn’t be fixed that night but I knew I could start the next morning. So, I got what sleep I could and called my dentist.

There was a treatment plan in place for my dental care and I had an appointment for a repair two weeks later but my tooth had other ideas and abscessed. OUCH!!!!

I could blame the tooth all day long but it’s really all on me…my stubbornness had to take physical form for me to notice it. I wanted to keep the tooth so I wouldn’t be down a tooth not for the sake of my health and wellness. So, for the sake of my health and wellness it had to be removed.

It’s been a hell of a few days but if you think I can’t look at it all and still be grateful, you’d be wrong.

 

The pain broke me…I was scared, lonely and pissed…at myself. I couldn’t rest so I took a metaphorical light saber and began to hack away at my life….

 

If you don’t want this pain ~ make a phone call and deal with it

Tired of looking at clothes you’ll never wear ~ donate them and be done with it

Embarrassed for anyone to ride in your car ~ clean it!!

Miss someone ~ reach out!

Tired of watching Netflix on your iPad when you have a perfectly good TV ~ order what you need fix the problem

Tired? ~ Get some sleep

If you want to be debt free ~ pay attention to what you spend you $$ on

Want to be the author answering questions about your book instead of the one asking an author questions? ~ FINISH YOUR BOOK

 

Countless other thoughts and actions met the chopping block. I’m more guilty than I can convey of falling prey to the bright and shiny, the new, the old, the anything other than what I am doing right now and before I know it, I am doing a WHOLE LOT OF NOTHING…

STUBBORN!!!

So, as the pain from the past few days eases (or is at least hiding behind ibuprofen) I have begun trying to erase stubbornness from my life. It’s a slow start, as I am still healing from the procedure but I am working toward letting go, creating space and executing a plan.

While I don’t want a repeat of the pain, I am grateful for the clarity it brought to my corner of the world this week. I will not be the same from now on 🙂

 

*****

 

Dear Readers,

We deserve and owe it to ourselves to take as good care of ourselves as we can. This lesson (and others) I have had to learn the hard way and while I don’t mind sharing them with you here, I really hope we all do a little better at it so that we can keep loving, living and dreaming, in health and happiness 🙂

Take GOOD care,

~Candice

 

 

 

Your Heart Is Welcome Here

Before I say anything else, I want to say that if you don’t think there is a place in the world where the title of this post is true, please keep reading, because there is a place/space, I promise.

 

The running joke of Heart Camp is that it is this incredible thing that no one can really explain…but after my Mom asked me about it today, I didn’t find it that hard at all…and I think she understood. So, I am going to attempt to share it with you as I did her.

The following photos are from the recent Heart Camp Reunion but I will be sharing about the collective experience.

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It could be really easy to look at the words of the post title, sigh a little, and maybe even roll eyes at the concept of “your” or “any” heart being collectively and truly welcome. It seems pretty impossible to create a space where all of the uniqueness a heart can bring is greeted warmly and offered a seat at the table. Even more impossible for that space to be full of almost a dozen tables ready to be sat at.

This is Heart Camp.

Still in disbelief, you may find yourself grabbing your things and making your way to your chair only to be stopped on the way there by at least 2-3 bright, smiling faces, mindful enough of your space to greet you according to the way you prefer (be it a hug, handshake or continued smile). You are seen.

This is Heart Camp

Chair after chair begins to fill and though the social interactions very with each new face, the vibration of the room begins to change…it intensifies. You begin to feel a lot of things…the urge to cry, your skin begin to prickle, to laugh and possibly vomit BUT  something inside you tells you to hold on for the ride.

This is Heart Camp

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Jamie and The Reunion Crew~ photo by @ebrown_photo

I stepped into this Heart Camp thing a year ago (and then again a few weeks ago) and it is one of the best things I could have ever done for myself.

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That’s me and my friend Kim ❤ ~photo by @ebrown_photo

Authentic ~ genuine, real, veritable share the sense of actuality and lack of falsehood or misrepresentation

Vulnerability ~ the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally

I don’t think authenticity and vulnerability are things you can know are missing in your life until you are met with 40+ examples of it. In life, it is so easy to go through the motions and get lost in them…so easy to try and be someone/something you don’t recognize. And let’s face it, vulnerability, by it’s very definition, is scary. I believe there can be so much beauty it it though, because I found it.

Imagine sitting at a table, in a room full of no preconception, no motive…just people wanting to open themselves up to a deeper understanding of collective community and perhaps be inspired by what they find. Meeting people as they as they are, as you are is like a breath of the freshest air you can breathe.

I want people to know ME, really know me AND I want to really know myself.

 

This is Heart Camp

 

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Matt Willingham ~Photo by @ebrown_photo
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Jamie Tworkowski and Stephan Monteserin ~photo by @ebrown_photo

 

In addition to Jamie Tworkowski ~ (founder of TWLOHA and creator of Heart Camp, author, public speaker, and all together incredible human (also my hero and friend)) Heart Camp gives you access to some pretty incredible people (Sierra DeMulder, Tonya Ingram, Denny Kolsch, Matt Wertz, Matt Willingham, Stephan Monteserin to name a few,  all of them on a mission to live life, heart first.

I has been incredible to see what has happened in the lives of Heart Camp attendees this past year. This kind of connection and community can and will change the world.

It all starts and continues with the decision to attend.

Come join the framily and let’s keep lighting those beacons and making the world a little brighter.

For more information…

http://jamietworkowski.com/

 

❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February

Hello Readers!

It’s the 10th day of the second month of the year and all I can say is that I am grateful I was enthusiastic enough to do 11 posts last month as that will, hopefully, give me some wiggle room for my 2019 posting goal 🙂

There has been SO much going on, plenty to talk about actually, I have just not been “feeling” my writing the past few weeks. One thing I won’t let myself do is force myself into writing (the only exception should probably the book I am working on). I have sat down to write two posts and they have been sitting in the draft pile for a week. One I feel is way too wordy and one isn’t wordy enough. I am overly self critical and it’s hindered me more than a few times.

All that being said, there is SO much on the way to Wanderwood Lane…

-A BIG tea post on how David’s Tea monopolized my Dec/Jan cuppas’

-How an audiobook saved me from completing only one of Jan TBRs

-Heart Camp and it’s ever present ripple affect

-My Ireland post

-How I am doing on my #nc100mileschallenge

-Meeting another hero

-What’s going to be happening in the other tabs On Wanderwood Lane

 

AND SO MUCH MORE!!!

 

Thank you for continuing to stop by and I’ll see you again SOON!

 

The Time of My Life

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When I was creating a loose reading guideline for myself, I added the genre of non-fiction, largely, because of the one that was in front of me at the time. I thought to myself “I really enjoy getting swept away into the great beyond…wouldn’t it be cool if I gave non-fiction a chance to do the same!?”

Now, I may have cheated a little bit, being I was a fan of the subject matter but my non-fiction read for January was The Time of My Life by Patrick Swayze.

Just in case you need a reminder of where you may have seen Patrick, here you go…

 

My first memory of Patrick Swayze was actually from a shirt my mom use to wear when I was a little girl. One of her jobs while my brothers and I were growing up was at the local video store and I guess she use to get free merchandise with the movie shipments and this one was a favorite of hers, and mine too.

The combination of her working at the video store and growing up in the 80’s meant I got to watch a lot of cool movies. I can’t recall exactly when I watched them but I have seen, almost, all of the above movies and have ALWAYS been huge Patrick Swayze fan (and not just because of Johnny Castle).

As it was probably destined, my sweet Momma read this book first and had so much fun telling me about it, until she decided I should read it myself. I am glad that happened because it added to the enjoyment of the book to know she read it too 🙂

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In The Time of My life Patrick takes the reader from his formative years, until the year he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (the book was published before he passed away).

Within the pages you are taken behind the scenes of his career and personal life, as he navigates his passion for dancing, singing, acting, nature and Lisa. Over 30 years are covered in the book and it’s a wild, wild ride for sure.

I wasn’t expecting the book to fit so perfectly with where I am in life. As I get older, my desire to be authentic, vulnerable and totally transparent was met in kind by Patrick as he laid everything out in words written, much as he did in all of his auditions.

Patrick Swayze wanted to bring his best into whatever he endeavored, often suffering physically and personally to achieve it but he didn’t sugar coat it in the re-telling. With every punch thrown, every part not gotten, every breakthrough, every accolade, and every heartbreak, he lets you in to what it meant to be him.

I appreciate every page of this book for the part of his self he left on the pages and I think that it finding me almost a decade after his passing makes the resilience found within in it speak even louder.

 

Over the years, friends/family have often gotten a chuckle out of how deeply connected I feel to people I have never met. I had no idea why I felt Patrick was one of those people until I read it in his words. He was a strong man but also, felt too much, like me and some of the hardships he faced, he barely made it through. His life story resonates with me.

There was a really beautiful reflection on the passing of a beloved animal, Cody (who also passed away from cancer).

Although I knew his spirit was free, I felt an incredibly deep sadness that he wouldn’t be here with us anymore…

When those you love die, the best you can do is honor their spirit for as long as you live. You make a commitment that you’re going to take whatever lesson that person (or animal) was trying to teach you and make it true in your own life.

It’s a positive way to keep their spirit alive in the world, by keeping it alive in yourself.

 

If I believe anything in life, it’s that last line. Somewhere out there Patrick’s spirit knows that he made an impact in the life of little ole me and that brings huge smile to my face and small stream of tears to my eyes.

His story still matters and I am grateful I have the opportunity to share what I can from it with you all ❤

 

****

One of my favorite artist, Matthew Lineham, has something fantastic coming up next in a few weeks…check out his Instagram.

 

Tookish Travels

Welcome to the spot On Wanderwood Lane where I will share the photographic journey of my travels.

While I’ll be starting with the BIG ones, like Ireland and Italy, I want Tookish Travels to become a place that eventually houses all my adventures great and small, as I continue to cultivate my artistic expression through my words and photography.

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“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.” – from The Hobbit

 

Until the next adventure 🙂