Welcome To The Dog Days of May

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I know what you are thinking…Dog Days are associated with July and August– not May!    I will explain.

May is one of my favorite months when it comes to spending time outside.

  • The days are warm but not stinking hot
  • There are flowers blooming everywhere
  • We get to enjoy the sunshine longer each day because it sets later every night
  • The evenings are cool and refreshing
  • The birds are singing—- (Okay, I am getting a little carried away.)

During these glorious 31 days I am spending as much time outside as possible, and not wanting to think about the upcoming hot, humid, thick and sweltering days of July and August, aka the ‘dog days of summer.’  During the ‘dog days of summer’, it is tough getting me to go outside– let alone my dogs. So I decided I would take my 2 dogs outside at least 30 minutes every day in the month of May for exercise and fresh air because I know when July comes I will not want to venture out too much.

So, welcome to my dog days in May!

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On one of our May day adventures we headed to the largest dog park in Nashville. It has only been open since last June, so it is still a secret to many. Two Rivers Dog Park is located next door to the Two Rivers Mansion at 3150 McGavock Pike in Donelson. It is a 20 minute drive from my neighborhood in Nippers Corner. It is close to Briley Parkway, I-24 and I-40, so it is convenient for many in the Nashville area. Heading toward Opry Mills on Briley Parkway from I-40, I exited the Two Rivers Exit (by the Wave Pool) and turned left on McGavock Pike. It is a few yards past Two Rivers Mansion on the same side of the road.

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My first impression was that it is clean and a well kept area. Brody and Baxter knew the moment we turned in the parking lot that they were about to explore a new spot. How do dogs know?

This beautiful and spacious park sits on 7 acres and offers our furry friends ;

Shaded areas with large mature trees for resting and cooling offIMG_8927

Wide open spaces for frisbee play or running like the windIMG_8899

A watering area for quenching one’s thirst

A walking path all the way around the premises for humans (and dogs in our case)IMG_8905

A pavilion for the humans and pets to congregate and mingle

Benches scattered everywhere for humans to rest while watching their dogs at playIMG_8869

Mutt Mitt stations everywhere ( you have no excuse not to clean up after your furry child)IMG_8892

Large boulders for sitting in designated areas (or playing hide and seek)IMG_8904

Small wooded area in a remote corner to ‘get away’ and chillIMG_8894

and Plenty of Parking

We visited Two Rivers Dog Park during the week and it was not very crowded. I am sure it is a different story on weekends because it is one of the nicest and largest dog parks I have ever been to and I am sure others will agree.

Your dog has the space to run and play without literally running into other dogs. As a dog, there are adventures to be had, remote areas to scout out, numerous corners to sniff and wide open spaces to chase whatever happens to be in front of you. Fun will be had by all 4-legged guests and two-legged guests as well! IMG_8896

My only concern is that little dogs and big dogs are not separated in two different areas like at some other dog parks. We encountered several large dogs but they were friendly. I stayed close to my two when I saw other dogs heading our way to visit, but we had no trouble whatsoever. Their owners were close as well, so I never felt my two were threatened. I give Two Rivers Dog Park 4 out of 5 dog bones and would highly recommend it! I will definitely take the boys back soon.IMG_8882

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So, since I have declared these days are the Dog Days of May, I double dog dare you to head out for 30 minutes each day while the mornings are cool, the evenings are warm and Spring is still in the air. Oh, and don’t forget to take your dog! I have a feeling you will enjoy the dog days of May much more than the dogs days of summer.

“A dog is still one of the remaining reasons why some people can be persuaded to go for a walk.” O.A. Battista

Until next time-
I hope you spend every day, living, learning, laughing and loving life…
while focused on Nashville!
My best to you,
Terri

http://www.yelp.com/biz/two-rivers-dog-park-nashville

I Get A Peaceful, Easy Feeling

A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature. ~Henry David Thoreau

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I love water in nature! I like looking at it, listening to it, and observing wildlife in and around it. I think many of us do. What is it about water that draws us in and almost places us in a hypnotic state? I know for me, hearing the sounds of the ocean waves crashing on the shore, or the gentle lapping of the water on a lake shore, or the occasional ripples in a still, almost glass-like pond, or even the babbling of a brook is soothing, relaxing and just makes me calm and happy. It doesn’t get much better.

Nature + water = a peaceful, easy feeling for me

We don’t have a beach, but Tennesseans are fortunate to have an abundance of streams, lakes and rivers to enjoy all year. I discovered a lakeside oasis last week on my drive to Murfreesboro from Nashville and I wanted to share it with you.

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This little retreat is right off of Sam Ridley Blvd. on Jefferson Pike in Smyrna, TN.

As I drove into the entrance and headed down the winding lane, I saw my first glimpse of the lake! Happy happy, joy joy!! As we pulled into the parking lot, I couldn’t wait to leash up the boys and start exploring this cool area.

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Some of the features to point out about the park—

  • Plenty of Parking (large slips for boat trailers)
  • A large picnic pavilion
  • Numerous picnic tables and grills
  • Beautiful, abounding shade trees
  • Nice, clean restrooms
  • and a delightful view of Percy Priest Lake

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Although it wasn’t very crowded that day, activities were bountiful all around me. I saw

a fisherman casting from the shore

a young man leaned up against a tree strumming a guitar

a couple enjoying a picnic

a boater fishing off in the distance

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a mom and her two children lounging on a blanket

and a man snoozing in a hammock he had tied to two trees

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and at that moment I felt content and happy from head to toe, AKA ‘that peaceful, easy feeling”!

On our exploration we discovered a family of geese (or I believe a ‘gaggle’ is the correct term) puttering around the lake, several ducks waddling around the grounds close to the shore, and a blue heron perched on a buoy eyeing his lunch. We were continuously serenaded by numerous birds perched high in the trees. To Brody and Baxter’s delight, (or should I say dislike) there were squirrels scampering everywhere.IMG_6886

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I took the opportunity during our walk to inhale as deeply as I could to take in this perfect moment when all seemed right with the world. I pulled out my camera to capture the serene scene so I could share it with you.IMG_6970

Anne Frank wrote in ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’,

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”

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So grab your family, a friend, a book, a fishing pole, a canoe, a picnic, a blanket, a dog or two, or whatever means a lot to you, and head out to Jefferson Springs Recreation Area. If you start humming the Eagles song, “Peaceful, Easy Feeling” once you arrive, you can blame it on me.

Until next time-
I hope you spend every day, living, learning, laughing and loving life…
while focused on Nashville!
My best to you,
Terri

Simple Pleasures Are the Best!

IMG_6633Nashville, Tennessee is such a cool place to live or visit. I am fortunate to be a native Nashvillian and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It has grown so much since I was born, but most of it is positive! Some of the many great qualities about Nashville are

  • Many unique and fabulous restaurants around town to choose from
  • Our diverse culture and population
  • Great Shopping
  • Beautiful Scenery
  • Rich Heritage
  • Historic Sites
  • Museums and Galleries
  • Friendly people
  • All types of Music Venues (not just country music everywhere)

I could go on and on… (I will highlight many of these listed above in later blogs in Focused on Nashville!)

but one of the things I adore about Music City (especially this time of the year) is the abundance of green, right in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of a big city.

Only a few minutes from our home, office, workplace or school are little gems that provide:

  • an escape
  • a refuge
  • a place to get away
  • a learning experience
  • an adventure
  • quiet time
  • exercise
  • quality time together
  • peace

and just an experience to enjoy nature all around us and to be able to breathe in and breathe out -FREE OF CHARGE!

If you are not familiar with these parks I will be blogging about, and even if you are, allow me to take you on a journey with pictures and my interpretation of my experiences at these parks. Hopefully my words and photos will inspire you to take your own journey soon!

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I have always liked the song,

“Simple pleasures are the best! All the little things that make you smile and glow. All the things you know. Life’s simple pleasures are the best, are the best, in all the world.”

I agree. Simple pleasures are the best!

Be watching for my next blog in the next day or two talking about the first of a few of my favorite parks in Nashville.

Until next time-

I hope you spend every day living, learning, laughing and loving life…
while focused on Nashville!
My best to you,
Terri