Saturday, May 28, 2016

Just Having Some Fun

There is something about being up here in the mountains where it is beautiful, with so much to see and experience that one can loose all sense of time. Roy and I just had a conversation where Roy has lost all concept of time and of time passed in just the normal, everyday things that needs to be done. It is frustrating and at the same time it is kind of funny. I think the altitude must have gotten to him.

We actually left eleven minutes early this morning which is a miracle because I am not a morning person. Sometimes it takes me a while to get the motor running. But, I got ready faster than usual so we were out the door heading toward The Farmer's Daughter. Our original plan had been to try out the huge donuts that are made on the weekends but we opted for breakfast at TFD. It was delicious and our server looked so much like our niece Erin. The food is served family style so there is a lot set before you. I stuck with the tried and true breakfast items I liked and that included biscuits. Oh my goodness it was delicious. We then went over to shop at Mountain View with lots of our new best friends. Since Roy does not mind standing in lines, he stood in the meat counter lines and I brought things over to him to put in our basket. My friend Brenda had told me several weeks ago that the Amish bologna was really good. So Roy bought three different kinds. We had ordered a strawberry pie and just for good measure we added bread, cheese, a soft cheese, honey and other things that I can't remember. We also stopped at the produce stand we love on the way to TFD and got a watermelon and some tomatoes. We stopped here and there along our way over to Micaville where an art gallery has been calling my name for several months. The here and there involved photography and Roy was having a great time. We both loved the Ooak Gallery. Oh my, so many wonderful creations made by local artists. There was so much to see and yes, I made a purchase of some very fun things. I bought a mountain man for the house, oh he of bearded wonder.

We returned home tired but after a bit we made our delicious supper of bologna sandwiches and strawberry pie for dessert. We've also snacked on a few peaches. This is the most wonderful time of year, produce stand season.

I took a nap and so hope I will be able to fall asleep tonight.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday That Feels Like A Saturday

What a lovely Friday here in the mountains, in a valley on a hill. We had a nice rain shower and the sun has broken through once again. Roy is cutting up strawberries and watching The A Team. Our day began early with a termite inspection that ended up costing us nothing. Seems like termites here are not what we are used to in the Houston area. They mainly treat the ground here and if we wait till the winter to do this preventitive measure, it will not cost as much if they did it right now. Mike the Mower Man stopped by to talk about the railings for the stone stairs and we discovered he does do the work like we need done on the slope near the road that has weeds, trees and whatever else growing again. Roy was estatic not to have to weed eat today. Thus, freeing him up to cut strawberries or something. We moved the swing stand to the back deck, finished up tearing cardboard to recycle and then headed out for errands. We stopped for lunch in the midst of errand running. On our way home we decided to stop at this little ice cream shop that looks like the 1950's on the outside. I got a cone and Roy a milkshake. Very nice reward for a day's work.

I keep thinking of the hundreds of reasons why we love this area. This week I have had delightful conversations with complete strangers. On Wednesday, Vivian and I went to Valle Crucis and the surrounding area. We stopped for lunch at The Italian Restaurant in Newland. Oh my, delicios food and we encountered an older couple with a special needs adult child. We chatted away like old friends. Earlier in the week while choosing a cantelope, a lady who was doing the same thing handed me a cantelope and told me it was a good one. I insisted she keep it for purchase but she had retired from the grocery business and owning produce stands, she knew her fruit. I always smell them but she showed me a few other tricks of the trade when it comes to cantelope purchasing.

Roy and I had a quick lunch at The Moose Cafe yesterday. Always a good thing to stop for some veggies for me and a burger for him. We stopped at the peach orchard on our way and got some of the first South Carolina peaches of the season. Roy has already had some but I think they need another day to soften up. We stopped by to see our friends Inez and Cumin and made a peach delivery. We brought peaches to Bill and Vivian when we went to their house for dinner last night. I do believe produce stand season has begun.

We have made our plans for tomorrow and they are feeling fun. Oh yes, and getting all our chores done. Roy cleaned the water filter for the well today so just a few more have to dos like changing the batteries in smoke alarms and changing out the air filters.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Broad Brushstrokes of Thought

The evaporation rate of water here is phenomenally quick. We have a week with continuous light rain and today after a day or so the flowers out back and on the front porch are dry, dry...parched. One of the first chores of the morning after putting feed in the feeders and water in the birdbaths is to get these plants watered. I also watered the patch where I put all that seed and sparkles dictate when to water...which I don't know if I have seen a sparkle or not and I think there might be a few little sprouts. I will have to wait and see if the sprouts develops into beautiful flowers or if it is just another weed. Some of the weeds around here are downright beautiful but the goal is to keep things maintained where vermin and snakes either can't find sanctuary or dinner. While outside working I put out another round of Round Up on the weeds I can reach.

I love the publicity the Chewbacca Mom is getting. She has been on GMA and Kohl's gave her gift cards and points. There aren't any Chewbacca masks to be found on any online retailer. Just because she posted a video of her joy over finding the mask. Her infectious laughter is just that, infectious. After months and months of reading umpteen million blogs, Tweets, Instagram and Facebook posts by people doing all the "right things" to have a platform or a tribe or publicity and those who push the "how to" side of being discovered...in all simplicity, with no fore-thought of fame...boom, the mom with the infectious laugh is blowing up the Internet and probably the hopes and designs of millions hoofing it for fame and attention. Several months ago I signed up for what I thought would be one email on being a better devo writer. I do not have aspirations of writing devotionals, it was merely a selfish thing for better writing and composition for journaling.  I need to unsubscribe because the emails are filling up the inbox by this author who wants to help me to achieve it all and if I will just pay a one time fee I have access to all the knowledge, podcasts and videos in the collection...no, thank you, it was just a whim of being a better journal-er.

When I was young I could have gone the way of self promotion because I inherited the gift of salesmanship from my father. It is a gift that I returned because that isn't who I wanted to be. Oh my goodness, the constant push to use whatever to get the brand out there. I know it needs to be done to be successful but it would wear me out I think. I don't see it energizing me or those who I am trying to meet, greet, encourage or whatever. In college I started as a communications major only because I didn't know what else to do. In high school I had some success with drama and speech tournaments...so there ya go. Now if I had known this was also in the business school in college, it might have been a whole other story.

You might say, well you write a blog...yep I do and I write because it is difficult for me to journal fun and happy and funny things.I'm thinking if it made me laugh maybe writing it on a blog is making others laugh. Who knows why?  So on the blog, it is like a journal of sorts and I am glad when people enjoy the writing, but I am mainly writing for me to remember stuff that can be lost in the minutia of ordinary days. At the end of the year I have that year's posts printed so it is in book form. I don't think I ever want to view people as a vehicle to drive my product and I am not thinking of friends who represent jewelry or makeup and stuff like that. I am mainly thinking in ministry terms... It would be no better than Campus Crusaders or whatever the name is now who view each new person they meet as a potential donor to the cause or come back to those they have already approached and re-dun them again. I seem to choose Campus Crusade because of experiences with the organization since I was in high school. Whether you are pushing a ministry or a blog or a book or whatever, if we become self absorbed in those pursuits, we don't always know what is going on with the people that we see as a conduit to help us achieve our goals and desires.

These are broad brushstrokes of thought. I just think it is ironic that sometimes a little surprise comes from just being and not being so intentional to get our name out there.

I better get back to my chores. Now I need to get the wasp traps ready and maybe, just maybe sitting on the front porch can be stinger free.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Cows, Crows, Chickens, Carpenter Bee and Ruth...I'm Not That Good of a Baptist...Alliteration Thing

Yesterday, I saw the most uncanny happening with the cows across the road. The herd was gathered in a tight grouping. With the exception of one or two they were all together in close proximity. The other two were not too distant from the group. Their tails swished back in forth in perfect timing, together and they began grazing at a rapid pace coming from the top of the hill over to the fence line and along the fence line till they were out of view. I put on my socks and tennis shoes and looked out the window and those cows had moved on down the pasture.    I have never seen anything like it. It had an eerie feeling to it, like they knew something...we had rain in the area but nothing in the way of big storms. I gazed at the sky thinking, this could be it...the moment we have all been waiting for, the return of Christ.   I think it was the rhythmic movement of their tails and the rapid pace that  gave me that feeling of eerie and then awe. Of course I went to Google and I didn't really find a definitive answer. It could have been something that scared them or it could be the owner had removed older calfs away from their mothers since babies are now being born. I watched this phenomenon from an upstairs window. Later in the day I looked to see if the cows were still in formation. No, they were scattered across the pasture, like usual. You can lose a lot of time by watching nature around here, so I have kept my cow observing to a minimum today but at last look they are gathered around the hay feeder lying on the ground...which usually means rain, but there is very little in the forecast.

I also saw mockingbirds take on a crow. They were diving and attaching the crow in the air. It was better than an airshow with planes. I noticed a baby bird had dropped out of a nest yesterday and the hard landing on asphalt did the baby in. That mama and daddy mockingbird sat on the wires above the bird loudly calling and chirping. Michael the two eyed cat when to investigate and he too was dive bombed and thwarted from any investigation. He was out there with me while I sprayed Round Up on weeds and did some weed pulling. I cannot believe how quickly weeds and such grow. So far the wild flower seed I threw out onto the dirt has done nothing...I followed all the directions but I'm not too sure on the sparkle instructions of watering.
********************************************************************************
Good Monday Morning! I just finished my delicious breakfast of farm fresh eggs given to me last night. Vivian went to her Aunt Jenny's and she has chickens. So not only did I come home spiritually enriched from choir practice but I came home egg enriched...a dozen of them to be specific.

Yesterday I went to Sunday School but I had restless feet and tired eyes...so I played sabbatical from big church. I didn't have it in me to sit still that long. A little Sunday morning drive with the CD People of the Church playing in the background and then a quick stop at the grocery store. I came home, ate lunch and took a much needed nap. Last night the altos found out in choir that there was no not one alto in the loft Sunday morning. They called one up during prayer time from the congregation and several sopranos filled in for some alto notes. We were back four strong for choir practice. Well, three strong, I'm not exactly a strong alto.

The new carpenter bee trap is working. There is one in the trap this morning.

Yesterday our Sunday School lesson was on Ruth. We watched a video of the story. All good except they didn't show Ruth at the feet of Boaz on the threshing floor. We decided that might have been considered PG 13 or something. When I read my lesson on Saturday and then while watching the video I realized there were some things that Ruth and I had in common...not many, but some. OK, I didn't follow my m-i-l but I came to a land where I only knew a few and depended on the kindness of those living here. They have taken me in as one of their own, which I cannot tell you how much that means to me. No, I haven't been in the fields gleaning or bringing in the sheaves but I have gleaned so much from friends here in how do live life, have fun and be a good steward of what God has given. Already have a Boaz, celebrating 39 years in September and if I laid down on a floor, whether it be threshing or kitchen...getting back up to an upright position would be an issue. But I know that my life surely has been redeemed by coming to live in the mountains of Western North Carolina. I'm so thankful!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Another This and That Post

The view after a light rain from the upstairs front bedroom is a reward. The clouds lie low on the mountains and the trees and grass are a brighter green from the rain. Especially beautiful when looking through the window decorated rain drops. Heavier rain is expected later in the afternoon. Today the rain is coming from a more south eastern direction. Many times the rain comes from the west. I am learning the weather patterns better this year. I think we have experienced more rain this year in the spring than last year. It was a pretty dry year and almost everyday bursting with sunshine.

It is now Saturday morning and after an overcast, cold day the sun's warmth is welcomed. Although I do like me an overcast day. I almost turned on the fireplace last night because it felt more like a fall going into winter feel. It was one of those totally ensconced feelings and after getting so much done yesterday I was ready for some couch time.

Yesterday held a burst of energy and it has been a while since I have felt that good. I took care of those lingering projects that I have put off for a long time, some of them a little over a year old. Finally there are pictures hung over both of the twin beds. The carpenter bee trap is out on the front porch.

Last night I watched a few old Happy Goodman videos on You Tube. Someone had posted one on FB and that got me looking into finding a few more of my mom's favorites to watch. After watching a few, with some tears shed, I Googled to find more info about them and their resurgence with the Homecoming Tour. There was an interesting article about Mark Lowery and the time he took off from the GVB years ago. He was suffering burnout and he spent a year living on a houseboat.

On FB I have discovered Traveler On the Backroads, Mike Traveler. He is an author and poet. He usually puts his poems with some beautiful pictures on the road less traveled. I have fallen in love with this poem

Listen
and you will hear

the sound of the rain on the leaves
a bird calling to its mate
the wind brushing its fingers through the trees
a bee buzzing from flower to flower

your heart beating in your chest
your soul running through the woods
a million miracles all around you

and a still quiet voice
whispering ever so softly,
I made this for you

Enjoy this beautiful Saturday!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Location...It's A Theme

Cleaning out the junk file in email I saw a listing for a house in our area. I pass by it several times a week if it is a week of going into or toward Asheville. It is a typical type of home like you find around here, located on over an acre of land, withe beautiful long range mountain views, big front porch, and a nice deck on the back of the house. The inside of the house is nicely done. Oh it would need a few aesthetic upgrades yet it could be considered move in ready. The price of the house has been lowered. Sounds great doesn't it? It is reasonably priced and bonus, finished out basement with kitchenette.... The only thing...this house is on a road that has a quarry and asphalt plant...all day long the dump trucks are coming and going, roaring diesel motors breaking the mountain quiet. When we were on our house quest I had fallen in love with a particular home...I watched Zillow daily to see if there were any changes of its status. Two times the price was lowered and I was so anxious to get here and see the home. Disappointment raged when I finally was able to do a drive by of the home, with a great floor plan and long range mountain views...because this home was located on the road that the Buncombe County land fill is found. The house is about nine miles away, up hill but all day long, the rumbling garbage trucks would rattle and break the mountain quiet. Truly when it comes to real estate it is location, location, location.

It has been a few days since I last blogged but that doesn't mean I haven't been writing. I love my new iPad Pro for being able to easily take it with me and write just about anywhere or location but not location, location, location. On Wednesday I found myself in the Biltmore Village area because I had a hair appointment at noon. I went a little early to have a late breakfast at the Corner Kitchen and then walked around the village, stopping in a few places. I purposely kept myself away from the Origami Ink store because I could spend a lot of money in there. The same could be said for Mountain Merch, but I have more control over t-shirt and sweatshirt purchasing. After my appointment I made a Target run...Yes, Target. First thing though, I took care of bathroom needs before entering the store. I had $100 in gift cards, so it is money already spent prior to all the ruckus. Also, I haven't vowed or signed a petition. And if you do any investigating on policies, there are a lot of places you can't shop or use services if you are going to be true to the boycott. It was rather nice shopping in less than crowded conditions. I also stopped at Whole Foods to pick up a few things. I arrived home good and tired from a full day. So what better thing to do than move a bookcase upstairs to the bonus room complete with several trips of book relocating. The bookcase was a snap, it was moving all the books....  My little corner of the bonus room looks so cute with new picture and the added bookcase. This freed up space in the dining room to rearrange the room.

I am so thankful that the People of the Church concert was on the webcast Wednesday night. I loved being involved with the worship experience, right there in our home via the internet. My soul refreshed and renewed.

Yesterday, I met a friend from Houston, Bonnie, who is traveling with her husband while he is on business here. We had a wonderful time. We met in Waynesville and had lunch and did a little shopping. She decided she wanted to explore more of downtown Waynesville, so we said our goodbyes and we are looking forward to her next visit here. I began the beautiful drive home with a little rain mix happening in spots. There is an antique/craft/furniture store nearby our home and it had been a while since I had stopped in to see Penny. She has an end table there that I would love to bring home but there is no room or place to use it. That usually doesn't stop me from purchasing but I hope someone else buys it and enjoys it. She has a new artist bringing in photographs done on canvas of houses, things and landscapes of our area. Now three of those pictures came home with me. I love the work this artist does. I hadn't planned on this stop because I was tired but it was one of those things I felt compelled to do....not to buy anything but just to spend some time and visit with a friend. Penny in our conversation wondered why anyone would want to move here especially from her viewpoint of growing up and living here all of her life. I responded location! Picture perfect scenery, friendly people, spring time...fall! Produce stands! That's why...simpler life, slower pace. Location, location, location!

Such wonderful news in my inbox this morning! The Deep South summer reading list is out. I began reading through the thirty four choices recommended and there looks to be a number of books that I want to read. Many times on their reading lists, and they do a fall/winter list as well, only a few books garner my attention. I am such a nerd, I get so excited when I have a stack of books near a chair or the bed that need to be read. And they are southern....it looks to be a good reading summer ahead. I mean really, I already have a great stack of TBR books and it is only going to get better. I see myself reading in my little corner surrounded by books...what a location! Wait a minute? What am I doing downstairs, I must go to my location, location, location.








Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Day Trip Report

Karma. I rarely if ever used this word before, it is not even on a regular rotation of words that sometimes need to be used in a sentence but since we live near Asheville I'm sure the word is used there often, I decided to use it today to describe what I saw yesterday. So when we last left the bunny rabbit in residence in Josh's yard, it was not dead, it is moving about but only in this designated area of the yard. When I left to be gone most of the day yesterday, I stopped on our road to do a visual of bunny. Upon returning in the late afternoon, yes there was bunny in Josh's yard but in our yard, near one of the plumb trees lies a dead crow and Michael, the one eyed cat, nearby under one of the huge fir trees. Boom, the term karma hit my brain. How unlikely for Michael to catch and kill anything, especially a crow because they are smart and they are fast. Unlike the little gold finch I buried last year when it had the unfortunate run in with the bay window, I am letting the ants take care of this for me. Mainly, because I cannot get to it safely and I really don't want to get that close to a crow whether dead or alive.

It is a morning of light rain and it is also a major easing into the day kind of day. I finally made my long planned and anticipated trip into Waynesville yesterday. The day beautiful so I hit the road. The trip to Waynesville is one of my favorite drives. All along the road,fields and smaller personal gardens are being cleared and tilled. I saw many an older woman out there in the garden planting seed, the way I would do...cause our knees don't bend. Low clouds clung to some of the mountains making that iconic Blue Ridge view of mountains in silhouette. My start was about thirty minutes later than planned and with the addition of stopping to fill up the truck, I decided to go to West Waynesville and begin there. That way I worked my way into the town and there is likely a better chance of finding close parking later in the day. It was a good plan.

First stop Belk's. Now this is going to sound funny coming from a Houston gal, who at one time spent many a day in the Galleria's biggest stores, but the Belk's at the Asheville Mall is just too big for me. I like the smaller one in Waynesville. Roy is in need of some new broad cloth dress shirts, so that was my mission except I did make an extended foray into the women's department. Hey, why not? I found exactly what I had been looking for and then I made my way to the back of the store where the men's department is located. Well really, I did all an all around perusal and then grabbed a cart to make selections for purchase. Next door to Belk's is Michael's. Now if the world felt slightly off kilter...it was due to the fact that I went into a craft store. I was looking for something in particular and found it. So it was time to leave West Waynesville behind and move over to the Hazelwood area where my first stop was for lunch. After being fortified with a fried green tomato BLT, I went to Robin Blu. It has been probably six months since I have been there. The Blu did not disappoint. Since I had stocked up on coffee at The Fresh Market I did not stop at Smokey Mountain Roasters...tempting yes.

I made my way into downtown Waynesville with the first stop being at Blue Ridge Books. They have opened a used book section and I had some books to contribute to them. I also picked up a few local author's books that I had read about from the bookstore's newsletter. The parking plan worked, I found a close place near Mast General Store. That is such a fun store but I came out of there not buying a thing. Massie's next door has carpenter bee catchers, so I picked up one and then went to the artist gallery a little further down, T Pennington. When I was there several months ago I found a collage of her pictures that would look good in the bonus room. I was unsure about the measurements and decided not to buy that day. Well, it wasn't there but she did have another one, of the same collage of pics in a smaller, read less expensive, framing that works even better than the first one. So, it came home with me too.

It takes about forty minutes to get back home from Waynesville, so I got back home with little time to spare before I needed to get back out and over to church for an Embrace Women's Ministry meeting. We got out a little early but got so much accomplished. I totally misunderstood our assignment from last time...I R not that smart but forgiveness was given and totally accepted by me. Thankful for grace.

So now I must be about my work of cleaning the house, then I need to go check on a friend's cat while they are out of town.

Nancy's Monablog