September Rose & Thorns – A monthly recap of the highs and lows experienced each month.
Rose: Olive You
This summer was rough. Many outside stresses were happening throughout July and August that left me not feeling like myself. However, September has felt like I’ve turned a corner for the better. Maybe it’s the change in the season, or perhaps it’s because some of those anxieties keeping me up at night have since been resolved.
This month I was intentional with making plans and keeping busy. There were several outings I enjoyed, but my favorite event was visiting The Olive Grove seasonal harvest with my mom for a girl’s day out. I stumbled upon this place while on the Airbnb app looking at A-frame rentals (this is a regular late-night habit of mine). The Olive Grove has two primitive A-frame rentals on the property, along with 300 olive trees. This seasonal event was way more than either of us bargained for. We sat under a large oak tree as the owners of the grove thoughtfully educated us on the olive verities, growing olive trees in Florida, and how to tell the difference in quality olive oil. I loved how knowledgeable and passionate the owners were on the topic. They were incredibly patient with ensuring each visitor’s question was answered and provided resources for those needing additional help with their groves.
The day wasn’t all about olive education. We also made infused oil with a variety of dried seasonings and clay oil lanterns. Sitting among the olive trees made me feel like I was on vacation, even if it was only for a few hours. As a person who loves plants, I was inspired to figure out how I could start growing an olive tree in my tiny condo. But for now, I will continue to enjoy my stuffed blue cheese olives from the refrigerator.
Thorn: Hurricane Season
I may have jinks us by complaining that this hurricane season has been rather dull. It’s been a few years since a significant hurricane hit Florida. In the final few days of the season, we were hit by Hurricane Ian. In a last-minute surprise, the storm’s path shifted south, leaving Tampa with mostly gusty winds and rain. At the time of writing this post, I’m watching palm tree branches roll down the street and walls of a white blanket of rain showering the surrounding buildings. The initial images of the flooded areas where the storm made landfall were devastating. However, when destructive storms wreak havoc on towns across the state, I’m always pleased to see the acts of kindness communities provide to aid those who need help. Neighbors helping one another in the clean-up efforts, sharing gas for generators, or bringing food over are all things I have heard (or seen) people doing in the last few days.
I’m grateful I had no impact on my area of town other than a few blown-over pine trees. My only real grip with this storm is its poor timing. I was supposed to run my first half marathon at the end of the month, which has since been canceled and rescheduled for next year. I’ve been running so well leading up to this race, and now I feel a bit deflated. So it’s back to the drawing board on finding my next race for the fall season.
Running Socks – As my mileage increases, I’m slowly figuring out what running gear is working and not working for me. Recently I bought a new pair of running shoes, and with that, the sales associate suggested I consider wearing thicker socks. I purchased these 6 Pack Women’s Ankle Running Socks, and I have been so pleased with the cushion and comfort my feet feel when I run. With over seven thousand reviews, I was sold with glowing reviews singing the phrases of the compression and comfort people experienced during running.
Running Water Bottle – Upgrading my water bottle to the Amphipod Hydraform Thermal-Lite Handheld Water Bottle has been one of the most considerable improvements to my running gear. I initially bought this water bottle for the handle but found it has many other helpful features I didn’t know I needed. The sleeve around the bottle provides the perfect barrier to keep the water colder longer, and it keeps my hand from feeling the cold. The shape of the bottle is slightly curved, ergonomically fitting around my hand. These features, combined with the padded strap, make the bottle feel attached to me rather than something I have to hold on to during a run.
September Blog Post Recap
In case you missed any posts this month:
FLORIDA FARM SPOTLIGHT: DAKIN DAIRY FARM – A family-owned and operated dairy farm located in Myakka City, Florida, produces milk for grocery stores around the state. On a tour of the facility, I was shown just how thousands of cows are milked to create the dairy products we love to consume.
10 HISTORICAL ATTRACTIONS IN YBOR CITY, TAMPA – Ybor City is rich with historical buildings and commemorative parks. These ten attractions in Ybor City will leave your stomach full and your brain filled with the knowledge of how this town was built on the dreams of immigrants from around the world.
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