Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Tire Tracks Through Autumn Leaves

The weather was in rare form this past weekend. High temperatures and sunny skies felt like a gentle nudge from mother nature, telling me to get outside before winter arrives. After spending such little time on my bike this year I had been itching for some extra motivation. Over the past couple weeks I kept telling myself to get out, even marking good riding days in my planner, but never followed through. I knew I was running out of time for outdoor rides and by November 1st I figured it was too late. So when I saw the weather forecast for this past weekend, I knew it would be my last real chance.

My dad and I managed to carve out time on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's ride was a short fifteen miles, but both of us were happy to be done by that point. I had waited too long since my last ride and my muscles felt sluggish. The views were beautiful and there were several times when I wished I could capture the scenery around me without having to stop. When I'm riding I just want to keep going and the idea of stopping to take a picture seems counterproductive. Still, riding along a path covered in yellow leaves or through a section lined with colorful trees makes me want to bottle those moments to share with everyone.

After the ride, and helping to clean up leaves at my grandpa's house, we made one last trip to The Dairy Lodge for the season. A cookie dough flurry made the perfect reward for the day's hard work!

On Sunday I felt terrible in the beginning. My whole body was sore and I had bruises from the ungraceful moment on Saturday when I fell over at one of the intersections. Thankfully after a mile or so my butt stopped hurting and my muscles warmed up. Not only did we keep a faster pace on the second day, we rode farther (twenty miles instead of fifteen), and we managed to climb a few hills on our way home.

Most of my thoughts lately have been consumed by the idea that I'm not enough. I have been overwhelmed with this feeling of failure, and I'm afraid I have been making all the wrong choices. A feeling of dissatisfaction makes me wish I were anywhere else but here. When I'm on my bike though, there's no where else I'd rather be. It's difficult to feel unsatisfied while surrounded by this beautiful place I get to call home. Deep down I know riding my bike doesn't solve any of my problems, but in those moments I no longer worry about where I am or how much money is in my bank account. All I want is to keep pushing myself forward. I climb those hills to prove to myself that I am strong enough, and when I make it to the top I have one less reason to say I am not a failure.

- S

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Going Shorter

I went to the salon last Thursday and told my stylist I wanted to go shorter, much shorter. When I cut my hair short the last time it was the most drastic change I had ever experienced with my hair. I loved that cut and I loved the ease of short hair. I have been blessed with lots of hair, but what is a blessing can also be a curse. When my hair is long it takes hours to dry and style, something that I just don't have the energy or time to do on a daily basis. So instead of enjoying long flowing locks I'm left with mostly buns and pony tails. As much as having long hair makes me feel pretty and feminine, shorter hair just works better (and it can still be feminine).

It looks a little windswept after my walk home, whoops.

I was a bad blogger on the day of my cut and forgot to take a before shot. I had about 10 inches taken off in order to donate it. Since I didn't want to go as short as my last haircut I was worried my hair wouldn't be long enough to donate, but it worked out in the end. Having shorter hair again has made me feel lighter. I know hair doesn't really change anything, but sometimes it's the biggest, most immediate change you can control (one that can always grow back). The fact that I like controlled change probably says something about me, psychologically speaking, but at least now I can wash and dry my hair in under an hour!


Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone had a fun filled weekend! I didn't dress up this year, but I'll make sure to celebrate the holiday with some candy.


Friday, October 21, 2016


"'You have a morbid aversion to dying. You probably resent the fact that you're at war and might get your head blown off any second.'
'I more than resent it, sir. I'm absolutely incensed.'
'You have deep-seated survival anxieties. And you don't like bigots, bullies, snobs or hypocrites. Subconsciously there are many people you hate.'
'Consciously, sir, consciously.' Yossarian corrected in an effort to help. 'I hate them consciously.' 'You're antagonistic to the idea of being robbed, exploited, degraded, humiliated or deceived. Misery depresses you. Ignorance depresses you. Persecution depresses you. Violence depresses you. Slums depresses you. Greed depresses you. Crime depresses you. Corruption depresses you. You know, it wouldn't surprise me if you're a manic-depressive!'
'Yes, sir. Perhaps I am.'
'Don't try to deny it.'
'I'm not denying it, sir,' said Yossarian, pleased with the miraculous rapport that finally existed between them. 'I agree with all you've said.'"

The above is just one example of the brilliant writing in Catch-22. I knew going into this book that Heller's writing style was a dividing factor for fans and critics of his famous first novel. Thankfully I never read this book in high school since I would have hated Heller's non-lineal narrative back then. The novel's satirical elements would have probably gone over my head when I was sixteen but it's what solidifies this book as a new favorite now. War can be a tricky subject to approach, but Heller maneuvers it with such non-glorified honesty that he makes you understand just how frustratingly powerless and horrifying it is to be caught in the middle.


Monday, October 10, 2016

One Saturday In October

My mom and I had the house all to ourselves this weekend while my dad was in Detroit. We spent most of our time binge watching the first season of Arrow, but we did managed to leave the house Saturday morning for cream cheese pastries. Our typical Saturday morning routines consist of coffee and a trip to the farmers market; my parents usually get coffee at 7/11 during their morning walk and I walk downtown for coffee. This week however, also involved breakfast at Brew and window shopping through downtown TC.

Saturday was the first chilly day of the season and I spent most of the morning wishing I had worn gloves. Luckily I did find this hat from Haystacks to help keep me warm. I purchased my denim jacket after seeing it in Estée Lalonde's recent fashion haul. I had been eyeing the jacket ever since she featured it in an OOTD on Instagram and I finally bought it two weeks ago. The sweatshirt is one that I bought this summer out in Glen Arbor. I don't typically buy tourist sweatshirts but I love the look of this one.

It was so cold Saturday morning that I had to break out my hiking boots. These boots are one of the best investments I've ever made. They're beyond comfortable and keep my feet warm and dry in all types of weather.

After our morning jaunt through town, we road out to Gallagher's Farm Market for pizza bread. I'm pretty sure my mom is addicted to that bread, at least as addicted as I am to cream cheese pastries. Then it was on home for a full afternoon of being couch potatoes. I hope your weekend was as good as mine!

- S

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Kloosterman's Take Mackinac Island

Saturday was my family's annual trip to Mackinac Island. We've been going to Mackinac since I was little, but the annual visits only started four years ago now. It's funny how my relationship with the island has changed so drastically over these past few years. My parents used to have to drag me Mackinac while I spent most of the time sulking and whining about the crowds. If you've only ever been in the island in the summer I'd highly recommend taking your next trip during the autumn months. I love seeing the fall colors and walking through the woods for hours exploring different parts of the island. There's so much life and beauty on Mackinac, but when the weather starts to cool a sense of calm begins to settle. As the tourist season winds to a close horses are shipped to the main land, fewer carriages run, and many of the stores offer sales on their left over inventory. Even used bikes sell for cheap. Whether you like hiking through nature, exploring pieces of America's history, or shopping to your heart's content, there's something for everyone on Mackinac Island.

Since the weather called for rain in the afternoon, we started the day with a hike around the island. The long hill is always first and the most painful. First up was the "Somewhere In Time" gazebo. In the last couple years we started a tradition of taking a family photo at this gazebo (see the first photo of the post). It's a fun way to document our trip each year.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I... I took the one with the rest of the weirdos.

Near the end of our trip it started raining, so we took refuge in the shops along Main Street. We stopped for a late lunch at Island Slice Pizzeria followed by a quick jaunt through The Island Bookstore. Of course I couldn't leave Mackinac without my yearly allotment of fudge. Despite the fact that Traverse City has several fudge shops, including Murdick's and Kilwins, it's never the same as getting it on the island. Overall Mackinac Island 2016 was a success, even with the rain. I'm blessed to have a family that gets along so well, and I can't wait to do it all again next year.

 - S