Ahhh, finally, at last, we are both home. I can’t think of a scheduled activity we have planned until October. And that is perfectly fine with me! I am so looking forward to just enjoying our mountains for a little while and slowing down life considerably.
We are both ready to get back to our normal routine, well actually, figure out what our normal routine is going to be! We have spent so little time together here that we really do not have a routine just yet! We are ready for some hiking that is definitely on the agenda. Also, establishing residency in the state and transferring over our cars and licenses. But hopefully our longest trip for awhile will be just to the nearest trailhead!
Another summer of drum corps has came to an end. I had very little time to be involved in the activity this summer, but the last week I spent with the corps was amazing. It never fails, anytime I am around the activity I come away with so many wonderful observations. Lots of questions as well, but mainly observations of just what awesome people these are. I watch quietly from the sidelines and see so very much. I watch kids putting everything they have into their playing. Their strive for excellence leaves me in awe. They acknowledge the impact that the activity has on their lives and appreciate the opportunity they have. I also see the staff giving their hearts and souls to their students. During the shows I found myself switching from watching the show to watching the staff’s reactions. Their reactions were just as good as the kids faces while they were playing. I watched as they jumped from their seats, cheered and even cried while watching their many hours of hard work come to life on the field.
And this year, I was able to watch as alumni traveled from across the country to cheer their home team to victory. The bond that was made between these people many, many summers ago is still just as strong today. Most of them will tell you that their involvement in drum corps changed their lives for the better and made them the successful people they are today. It’s not something they take very lightly, and I see most of them continuing to give back to the organizations in any way they can.
Drum corps people are a special breed I have learned over the last 5 years. You don’t meet groups of people such as these on a regular basis. The world is a better place with these types of people here and I’m glad I’ve been able to be just a tiny part of such a special overall group. I wish I had some type of musical talent to contribute, but instead I will just keep making sure everyone is hydrated properly! #BlooBrassHydrationCrew
Short blog this week! We are tired and my guy has requested an early bedtime tonight and I will graciously comply! Have a great week! XOXO
Oh wow! It is so hard to believe that summer is over. This crazy, roller coaster ride, whirlwind of a summer is over. I was thinking to myself the other day that when this summer is over I was going to need a vacation and my guy was going to have to take me away for a week or so. Then the more I thought about it, the more I realized I don’t want to go anywhere! My vacation can just be staying home, home, home. Wow! I honestly do not think we have both spent more than 1 full week here together since we moved. I’m ready to lay back and chill and just breathe.
This week has included 2 day trips to VA for me. Trying to help get my son settled in his adult life. It’s hard growing up. It’s hard being 18 and having to be responsible for your own self and actions. It’s even harder being a Mom to an 18 year old and allowing them that space and opportunity to do that growing up. When your Mom instinct is just to pick them up and brush them off and kiss away their boo-boos like you did when they were 2 years old, but instead you have to back off and give them space and allow them to figure out how to make the sting of a scraped knee go away all by themselves. We’ve had several of those life lesson Mom talks lately. I hope something I’ve said sinks in at some point. We shall see. The second trip was completely my fault. I forgot the one thing I was supposed to get out of storage during the first trip! I got plenty of other things just not what was needed!
I’ve finally gotten myself back into a work routine. We will see how it holds up when my guy returns. He’s not a fan of how I have to “check out” while I’m working and give my jobs my complete attention. And I get it, I feel the same way when he’s working on computer programming jobs. We’re needy that way! The transcription jobs I’ve done lately have been very interesting. Makes the time fly by so much quicker when it’s an interesting topic rather than a boring lecture.
I have kept up with my walking routine this week and walked everyday except for one on the Goose Creek Trail that goes through town. Lots of rain and flooding this week! It’s been interesting watching the creek rise and fall. One day parts of the trail were completely flooded and I had to go an alternate route. I’ve done okay with my dieting, and did manage to lose 5 pounds, not the desired goal weight I had wanted to be before finals, but I’ll take it.
I’ve left some of my green peppers on the vine. I’ve read that the peppers will change to yellow/orange/red as they ripen. Red peppers are our favorites. I was beginning to wonder if it had to be a certain variety of pepper to do this as mine were still green as could be. But today when I checked them, I am beginning to see a little color change happening!
I also picked 3 tomatoes to take with me on my trip. I will be preparing a sandwich picnic for our lunches each day and plan on using the tomatoes for this. I can’t wait!
It is finally time for me to join the Bluecoats this summer! I have missed seeing them this summer. How crazy is it that I have had less time this summer to be with them than the summers I was working!?! I have my blue M&M cookies all baked and ready to share with this amazing staff!
My Mom warned me today that I better get with my guy soon because everytime she sees him on Facebook he’s in a picture with some other girl! LOL! My jealousy level is at a 0! I love the girls in his pictures just as much as he does and my only jealousy comes from not being able to be there to see them as well!
I am so excited to see my guy again! It has been too long! (So much has happened since he left, I’m not really even sure when that was?!?!) I will be leaving for Massillon, OH very, very early in the morning. From Massillon we will travel to Indiana and prepare for finals! I do have to make another quick trip to Danville in the middle of the week, but will only have to miss a day of activities! This is always such an exciting week!
Facetime screenshots will have to work for our selfies this week! You work with what you have!
Oh, I could share the pic I received of my guy when he was picked up by a friend. Apparently his matching clothes were at the bottom of the suitcase and he just couldn’t be bothered to dig in there, so a mixture of patterns is what you get! I love him, mis-matched and all! ❤
I’ve put off doing this week’s blog for the last couple days. I just didn’t feel like blogging in my blah mood. But if I only blog about the positive aspects of my life that just doesn’t seem like the picture I want to paint for the world. That just seems a little fake to me and goodness knows there are enough fake people in this world! It’s not all peachy and rosey over here in the mountains everyday! Now granted, if the world outside of those mountains didn’t exist and never showed itself it just may be. But that’s not an option unfortunately! I have problems and stresses that can take quite a toll on me at times. Mommin’ doesn’t seem to get any easier after 18.
My hope is always that the good days outweigh the bad ones and I strive each and everyday to not let the bad days dampen the good ones. To quote one of my new favorite songs “Rain doesn’t change the sun.” I work hard to keep the rain away from my sun. I try not to focus on the negatives and the issues but instead work on finding the solutions and getting through whatever it may be. I try hard to keep the “Waaa-Waaa’s” away and not wallow too much in my own self-pity. Life is a roller coaster, bumps happen, learn from them, fix them and move on!
It’s going to be a stressful week around here. It’s a solo week as well, my guy is working. We will meet up again on Monday and hopefully all will be sunny and bright by then.
We hiked up Hebron Falls in Julian Price Memorial Park in Blowing Rock, N.C. The hike was relatively easy, the hardest part being the climb back up from the falls. I sat on a rock and ate my apple with my feet soaking in the water while my guy jumped from rock to rock to see more of the falls. We ate blackberries fresh from the bush and watched a snake basking in the sun. Well, he watched, I ran. Then we visited the Moses Cone House and are planning to return soon to do the trails there.
House Hunting News
What?! Actually something to post in this section?? Well, not really. My sister, mother and niece came to town this weekend. We traveled together to Johnson City, TN to watch my oldest niece dance with her college dance team. While they were in town I gave them the grand tour and showed them several of the houses and land we have looked at. They picked out several houses that they loved (that’s the easy part, of course these were not for sale!) We also drove by a new listing that me and my guy had been interested in, but were not pleased with the location and close proximity to people! There is also an older listing that the price keeps dropping on, we may have to revisit that one again soon. When the price goes down low enough we may be able to get past why we marked is as a no originally.
So, a couple of months ago my guy asked if I would take him to Nashville to save the corps flight money and save him the hassle of having to fly. Of course, I said yes! Anything to help out! (And to check Nashville off my list of must see cities to visit!) We spent an amazing day and a half in Nashville. I was checking boxes left and right!
Now, my guy, he could care less about Nashville. He’d been there many times and had never visited any of my must see places! Old school country music he gets pretty much. He loves Johnny Cash and when I played old school country on the 5 hour drive to Nashville, he recognized several songs and artists. (Thanks for that Mama Mary!) This is just one of those times that one of us does something that they would have never done on their own but they don’t hesitate to do it with the other. I asked him several times if he was having fun or had enjoyed X. His reply was always, “I’ve enjoyed watching you and seeing your excitement and passion.” ❤ He’s the best.
And oh man, I was all up in my feelings on this trip! I grew up with the country legends. I can remember roller skating around the living room pretending I was Daisy Duke working at the Boar’s Nest while playing 8 tracks of Kenny, Dolly, Loretta & Crystal Gayle. It was amazing to think I was standing and walking on those same streets that they had been on at one time. Now granted 1,000,0000,000 others have walked there since then, but I could still feel their presence. Especially my Loretta Lynn. I have loved Loretta for as long as I can remember. I even rewrote “Coal Miner’s Daughter” for my Daddy’s birthday one year. I may or may not have had a tear in my eye going through her Hall of Fame exhibit.
We did most of the Nashville must do’s. Now, I say “most” because you can never just do them all, and if I say “all” then the chances of ever going back there decrease. We did an Opry show, walked around the Ryman, did a Nashville bus tour, went honky-tonkin’ (yee-haw), went to Ernest Tubb’s record shop, saw music row, toured the hall of fame, and walked through the country music walk of fame. And of course being in Nashville, I discovered new, awesome music acts!
What’s for Dinner?
Tuna melts! Perfect meal on a hot summer day after hiking! Served on a thick tomato slice (unfortunately not from my plants just yet.) And cherry tomatoes from the local farmer’s market. We visited during their special Tuesday afternoon sale and were schooled on all the different types of beans!
And cookies! Perk of living 20 minute from a college town is that you can get cookies and ice cream at 2 a.m. !
Well, we are plugged back in! Our internet is now working and all is right with the world once again. It really wasn’t that difficult not having internet after we solved the no phone communication issue. I’m not ready to walk away from the internet all together like my guy is, but it was nice to learn I could survive without it for a few days. Google had to have been the thing I missed the most. It’s amazing how dependent I’ve become on my searches to answer my questions throughout the day.
So happy to have my guy back home again! Even if it is just for five days! We are much better when we are together! We celebrated our reunion with a movie night. There are two new movies that just came out that we wanted to see. Equalizer 2 and Mama Mia 2. Equalizer’s showing time worked into our schedule better so it won this time. Very good movie! Denzel is the man!
I filled my time while he was away with working on scrapbooks. I am now done with 2011! I will be caught up before you know it! One positive about being so far behind in my scrapbooking is getting to relive the memories as I do each page. Years later those moments seem a little more special than they did at the time they happened. Especially when those memories include special people who are no longer with us. I’ve shed a few tears as I’ve worked, and laughed a lot. I’ll send Cutler a pic of what I’m working on every now and then and he always has a good reaction.
I’ve also been battling with critters while my guy was away. We have had unwanted visitors! A mouse! EEK! I don’t do well with critters. We did manage to catch one before my guy left, but still saw traces of another one. I have now installed those plug in super sonic mouse repellent thingies. They play a high pitched sound that the critters do not like and it causes them to pack up and leave. Please don’t tell me that they don’t work. I need to believe that they are working! My guy has done well with hiding his skepticism about them! And … we have not caught another mouse and no longer see any signs of them. So I win! (this round)
And I have even worked a few days! I am working out my routine and getting back on track with the working. I still enjoy it and all the different topics that I get to cover. An interview with Judy Blume?! … I think so!
I use the AllTrails app to look up trails in near our area. I had found an easy, little over 2 mile trail around a lake nearby and we finally had the opportunity to go check it out.
On Sunday we slept in and when we finally were up and preparing to plan our day there was a threat of rain so we decided to just walk on a creekside trail right outside of town that we have done several times before. This time we did the trail we have done previously but extended it by finishing the trail on the other side. Here is a picture of my guy checking out the small waterfall trying to find it’s source and how everything works. I love watching as he tries to figure these kinds of things out.
On Saturday we went to Marion, VA. There was an arts and crafts festival at Hungry Mother State Park that we had planned on attending. It was a fun day, the forecast had shown rain for most of the day but had changed before we left Saturday afternoon. Lots of arts and crafts, I’ve been eyeing those soup bowl cozy’s for awhile but could not find any in a pattern that I liked. I’m going to have to convince Mom to make me some! We found some new candle tarts to try out and kettle corn and pork rinds. There was lots of “fair food” to choose from and some great bands as well. The snake guy was there doing a presentation. My guy was loving that, I watched from a distant. He did go up after the show and asked the guy to identify the snake he had seen on his last big hike. He immediately recognized it and identified it as a timber rattlesnake. He said there are only two types of snakes we need to worry about in this area and this is one of them! Of course my guy found it!
After we were finished at Hungry Mother my guy drove through downtown Marion to just check things out and we ran into another festival happening there. We love festivals! This was right in the middle of downtown Marion and had two big stages at each end of the road and tons of food trucks set up along the way. There was a chili cook off and an eating contest as part of the festival. We listened to The Church Sisters & The Hogslop String Band. Both were awesome! We also toured the Lincoln Theater and learned about it’s history and refurbishing. Marion is an awesome little town! The rain finally moved in and we headed back home. We have plans to see the Hogslop String Band again in October.
What’s for Dinner?
Green peppers grown on my back deck! That’s what’s for dinner! We had homemade pizzas and tossed salads for dinner, and I added one of the green peppers from my pot! They are not that big, but tasted very good. I’ve had to get tomato cages for the tomato plants, even the bad plant has produced a couple of small tomatoes so far. Both plants look a little puny right now, I think they may have gotten too much water. We will see how they turn out though!
Hiking selfies are the best selfies of all! Love having my guy home, home home! This is an exciting summer for drum corps, but I will be glad when he is home to stay! (And this “new look”, the beard, it’s going away right now as I am typing! xoxoxo
We returned home from our trip to discover we had no internet service. Our cell service does not have coverage out our house so no internet also means no phone service. How ironic that this had to happen on the first time Cutler was spending the night with us! He is a live streaming, surfing, snapchatting addict! But somehow he managed to survive the night. We headed into Boone, N.C. for dinner and entertainment. While in town we called our internet provider and learned that it would take 10 days for a technician to come and investigate the issue. The joys of country living I guess. Once we were back home we spent the evening looking at scrapbooks and watching a movie and then made a quick midnight dash to town to get up to date on our social media accounts.
I can live without internet (yes, I hear the shocking gasps falling over the crowd!) but no cell service was an issue especially for 10 days. So the next morning we headed to Best Buy in Bristol, TN to see what our options might be. We decided our cheapest, quickest solution was to get a Verizon prepaid phone and a monthly service card. We have heard from other people that Verizon does get service at our house so eventually we will make that change permanent. Now this prepaid phone is straight from old school early 90’s. Flip phone style with no keyboard, I’m talking tapping ghi to find your needed letters. We headed to Mellow Mushroom to have pizza and refreshments while setting up the phone. Wow! What a process! 2 hours and many slices later we were set up. I was worried that we might not be speaking to each other once we were done but the magic of pizza and beer helped us along. And I must admit, not having internet hasn’t been as awful as one might think. It’s actually been rather nice, I’m finding plenty of other things to do with my time.
We had three days together before my guy had to head back to work again. I long for our crazy, busy life to slow down just a little bit! Come on August! One of our days were spent apart! My guy went on a 15 mile hike while I went on my regular three mile hike on the trail in town then headed to Panera Bread to do some online work that had to be done. Now my guy goes on these solo hikes regularly, usually I have a general idea of where he might be going. I might know the name of the trail he is going on. This time he texted me and gave me specific location of where he was going and what his plan was. It caused me to pause for a moment and think, “Wow, I need to know this info every time. Anything could happen while he’s out there and I’d have no idea where to look for him.” Then a couple of hours later I get a text from him saying, “OMG! A bear cub was just within three feet of me. It ran up a tree then jumped down and ran the other way.” He again told me his exact location and which direction he was heading. I fought the urge to text every 2.3 seconds asking if he had been eaten by the Mama bear yet. He arrives safely home and is excited to show me all the pictures from his beautiful mountain hike. The video of what appeared to be a rattlesnake on the path was more than I bargained for. My worry level while he is on these hikes will definitely be heightened now, and the hikes are only going to be getting longer. He has several 20+ hikes planned.
We did hike together on one of our days. We went back to a state park where we had recently done a summit trail. There were two smaller trails at the park that we wanted to complete. We were under the assumption that they were smaller trails. We had planned on doing them both on this day. One is listed as a Kid Trail, maybe that’s where we should have started. We had both even said after we were done with these two small trails we just might do the summit trail again.
Well, we start down this trail. Yes, down, now in hiking down only means one thing. When you go down you are eventually at some point going to have to come back up! And this trail just kept going down and down and down. We were unsure how long it was supposed to be, but I kept turning around and looking back up and up and up. We finally came to a stopping place, my guy went on ahead for a little bit and I turned around and started back up. I was really rough on myself, it was hard and I felt terrible. I had decided I must be the most out of shape and fattest person around to be having this much trouble. When my guy caught up with me, I learned he was having difficulty as well. Nowhere near the difficulty I was having, and sometimes I think he agrees to keep me from feeling bad about myself, but he was slow moving as we finished our uphill climb. I was too scared to try the Kid Trail after that, and we both laughed at the thought of going back up to the summit trail again.
Our travels would leave us solo once again. On Thursday, we drove to Seymour, TN to see the Bluecoats rehearsal, and so my guy could report to work. Every time I am around this activity I am taken aback by the commitment of the kids involved. This was a hot day. Sitting on the sidelines I found myself mumbling every 2.3 seconds, “It’s hot!” Looking out on the field, I never heard one complaint from any of the members. In fact it was the opposite, whenever they would get an instruction of what was going to happen next they would cheer. I imagine myself laying down and crying at the thought of doing something one more time in this heat.
This rehearsal was a little different. This was the first time the Bluecoats had been to this area so the rehearsal site was full of spectators watching them do their thing. Lots of young band kids. Again, I was taken aback to see these young kids watching this group working and sweating their butts off and then see those young faces light up and imagine them telling their parent that had brought them, “I want to do that some day.” It’s always a great experience to be involved in the drum corps community.
This was also a show night and my family was getting to come to the show! They enjoy watching what my guy does and are always full of questions and respect for the hard work involved. This show was my first show of the year and it was mind blowing! Go Blooo!
After the show my guy headed to his bus and I stayed with the fam. Our family reunion on my Dad’s side was on Saturday. We have the reunion at my aunt and uncles lake house every year and it is always lots of fun. My Dad absolutely loved any time the family all got together. He was always the life of the party and kept things going. It was great seeing everyone again and my sis and I showed the younger girls how it’s done while tubing. They were all quite impressed.
Our graduating seniors are always recognized during the reunion. Unfortunately, Cutler was not able to come this year because of work obligations. Always fun trying to load the car back up after one of these trips!
Now I’m home alone, just me and my cows and horse waiting to pick up my guy on Thursday! I can’t wait!
Here is one from our night out last week. We went to see a local Barter theater actor in his production named, “The Book of Mamaw”. It was a wonderful story and a great night out.
We spent most of our week in Ohio with my guys family. We had a wonderful time catching up with family and friends! Our diets and exercise routines were most definitely forgotten about during our days of visiting … and eating and eating and eating! I must stay home and get myself back on track very, very soon!
On the one day I was actually home this week I was able to check out my new peppers and tomatoes! One tomato plant is not producing at all, I have been worried about this one from the start. The other tomato plant & pepper plant are getting quite full & big!
Our 4th of July was spent with my guys family. Great food and company and an awesome fireworks display! Oh, and I can’t forget the best mojito I’ve ever tasted mixed by my guys grill master niece! My contribution to the festivities were my red, white & blue cookies!
We also visited a couple of my guys close friends while we were in town. We had lunch with a high school friend and her family at her father’s house. Her father is an incredible cook and we were presents with the most delicious, amazing apple pie I have ever tasted! We heard that there were leftover pies from the 4th in the fridge, and we also shared a slice of sour cherry pie. Amazing! All of his pies are made with fruit from his garden. And homemade wine as well! We are not big wine drinkers but it was very good! I am now on a mission to perfect my pie baking skills!
Friday’s beautiful 70 degrees forecast caused us to not be able to turn down the opportunity to go to a Cleveland Indians baseball game. This was my first professional sporting event! What a wonderful experience it was! Club seats with an unlimited buffet! (As I mentioned, we ate all week long!) I left with all the appropriate Indians attire, shirt and hat and a very full stomach! And the Indians won! Another great fireworks display followed the game.
Our week long food trip would not have been complete without a stop at Skyline Chili on our way out of Ohio this morning!
And now we are back at my Mom’s to check in on her and pick up my guys car & my son. Mom is finally starting to recover and feel better. Hopefully her improvements will continue! Tomorrow we are back to Mountain City, but only for a few days then I have to send my guy back to the Bluecoats! It’s mind blowing that it is already the second week off July!
Oh, and it was apparently International Kissing Day this week so I will have to share a Kissy pic here as well!
We had another unplanned week apart this week! 😦 My sister was on vacation with her family so I had planned on spending part of the week with Mom while she recovered from her hospital stay. My brother ended up leaving town for part of the week so I was on duty until my sister returned! Her recovery has been slow this time with ups and downs and good days and bad days.
I took my role as dietician and activities director very seriously! Lots of cooking and eating this week! I dread stepping on that scale when I get home! Mom was quite impressed with my cooking skills as I shared some of our favorite dinners with her. One evening she asked if I had ever fixed shrimp creole, I told her I had not. I knew this was one of her favorites so I hit Pinterest for a recipe and we had shrimp creole one night for dinner. She loved it and was so happy I fixed it!
As far as our activities, when Mom was having a good day I would try to get her out of the house even if just for a drive. We had to keep check on my sisters dogs so that was a daily outing.
Mom is a big movie watcher and we kept the local Redbox in business this week! My brother keeps her a recent movie collection to watch here as well. We watched several based on a true story movies and those are always good and educational. I learned about fighting forest fires, being a horse soldier and stopping a terrorist attack.
I was glad that I was able to be here this week and spend the time with Mom. For the most part we did just fine together! But I have to admit it sure was nice to see my sister today!
What’s for Dinner?
Mom was amused that I took pictures of our dinners every night lol! My guy came to visit for a couple of nights. I had made a batch of his favorite cookies, chocolate chip with peanut butter M&M’s. I think they may be Mom’s favorite now too! We had pork tenderloin with veggie medley while he was here and homemade calzones with tossed salad. He also took us to lunch at a cute little deli down the street!
My brother and brother-in-law joined us for dinner one night for sausages with peppers. When my sisters family came home from vacay I had both my nieces favorite meals ready and waiting for them. The youngest niece loves Ruben casserole. She is always asking for it. I do not like it at all and do not normally fix things I do not like but for her I made an exception! The oldest niece asked for hamburger pie. We were raised on hamburger pie and tuna noodle casserole! I also had crab cakes that were already on our menu. So we had quite the welcome home buffet!
No hiking for me this week! I did try to walk the neighborhood when I could. Getting out for a little me time each day was good therapy! And I felt a little better about all of the calories we were taking in!
Next stop: O-H-I-O! We will be spending the 4th Holiday with my guys family and I can’t wait for all of the fun, food and festivities! Then back to Moms to pick up Cutler who will be spending the week at church camp. And then it will once again be time for my guy to return to work! We have realized we have spent more time apart since our move/my retirement than we have together! This needs to change! I’m almost ready to volunteer to work the food truck to be able to go on tour with him! ALMOST!
On one of Mom’s good days we went to Hobby Lobby. While pushing Mom up & down aisles we ended up on the cross stitch aisle. Back in my pre-child life I used to cross stitch all the time. I have often doubted that I would be able to do it now with my old lady eyes. But I bought a cheap simple kit to try it out and see how it went. It was something to fill my time at least. I completed my project in the first evening! Maybe choosing a white on white project wasn’t the smartest idea, but I did it! Not perfect by any means, but Mom has it proudly displayed in her living room!
I also worked on teaching myself to crochet while I had so much down time. I purchased an instruction book, but find my YouTube tutorials easier to follow and understand. Mom gave me an assortment of needles and yarn and off I went. It’s tricky, and I do not have the hang of it yet, but I think I can get there with practice and more researching!
Here are a couple from my guys visit! Can’t wait to get life back to normal!
Just when we think we will have an ordinary, uneventful week … life happens! Tuesday evening my Mom had to be taken to the ER due to breathing problems and a high fever. I came down Wednesday morning to be with her. After 3 days in the hospital she is doing much better.
I went home Thursday afternoon and returned on Friday morning. Our family nurse and caretaker of all has left the building! My sister is on vacation with her family and I am staying with Mom until she is better. We joke in our family that we all have a job in the caretaking of Mom. As I said my sister is her nurse and in charge of all things medical, my brother is in charge of her finances and me, I am her nutritionist! I come to town and cook!
When the parent and child roles begin to reverse it is a transition for all involved. My mom is and always has been a strong and independent woman and she’s not going to give any of that up without a fight! I will spare you of my rant on hospitals and insurance issues! I will only say the only thing that should matter is what is best for the patient and what is needed for them and the doctors providing their care should be the ones to make these decisions! (Ok, stepping off soapbox!)
The bright side of this setback is I do believe we have finally convinced Mom that she has to quit smoking! I’m a firm believer that it’s never too late to quit! I know how much better I feel since I quit and hope that she has improvements too. I am grateful that I am available to be here to help Mom. With Dad it was so difficult living so far away and always being tied down at work and unable to help out. I cherish my time with my Mom even if she makes me crazy sometimes!
And my guy is coming to visit us tomorrow!! Hate being away from him!
House Hunting Scene
Still not much news here! My guy is still hiking the neighboring land and learning about every angle of it. He has also learned about another lot across the street from our rental house and has plans to start investigating it soon.
Even though I was only home for a short time we still managed to get in a good hike! I discovered this one! On Tuesday we went to Elk Knob State Park Inc todd, N.C. and hiked the Elk Knob Summit Trail. It was 1.9 miles to the summit and definitely worth all that uphill hiking! Even a little rainstorm on the way down didn’t dampen our excitement, it just gave us more to see!
OMG! I did it! I created something! I dug my hands in the dirt, I planted, I watered and I’ve worried! Oh how I’ve worried! After a few days away from home I went out to check on my plants and my guy pointed out 2 small peppers on the plant. I investigated my tomato plants that I was doubtful were going to make it and I found a small tomato hanging on the vine! I’m such a proud vegetable mama!
Our first week back together was quite short lol! My mother had minor foot surgery to remove hardware from when she broke her foot about 2 or 3 years ago. I left on Tuesday evening to be there for her surgery on Wednesday and stay through the week to help with her recovery. She is recovering well, much better and quicker than expected! Not a surprise with her, she is determined!
We had decided Mom would try to teach me how to crochet while I was staying with her. That didn’t work out too well. I quickly learned that she definitely knows how to crochet, but is not able to tell someone else how to do it! I decided to stick to my YouTube videos and ask her questions when needed. We enjoyed our time together!
House Hunting Scene
We are still investigating and researching the land that neighbors our rental house. There are a few unanswered questions as far as exact acreage and property lines. I believe after my guy has finished this investigating he could be a real surveyor! The land is not perfect. It is not everything we have ever dreamed of. It is “in a bowl” as my guy says, a valley with everything raised up around you. We prefer being on the top of that valley but we will see where this investigation leads us!
I got my feet on the A.T. this week! We finally found time to go to Grayson Highlands State Park and hike with the wild ponies. It was a cloudy and foggy day so the views were not so great, but the ponies were outstanding! We also saw wild longhorn steer along our way.
On the way back from our hike, we met 2 couples that had stopped on the trail. They warned us that there was an animal blocking the trail ahead. You could see their fear. My guy explained that we had seen the longhorn on our way up the trail in about this same location. These hikers didn’t budge. The woman stated that whatever this animal was had “honked” at them?? The man had a small child strapped to his back, so my chivalrous guy volunteered to take the lead and investigate. I followed confidently behind him. Now, had it been a bear I’m not sure what we would have done! But it was the longhorn as we suspected, actually 2 of them this time. We could hear the man hiking down the trail behind us beating himself up all the way down the trail. “I stopped our hike for a cow. I was terrified of a cow. A cow.” It was funny.
I was able to keep up my walking routine during my stay at Mom’s and even enjoyed one evening walk with my sister. Although I’m not real sure about this power walk thing she does, it was nice to have the time to walk with her. I enjoyed wandering around on my own through the neighborhood as well and figuring out how to get back to Mom’s.
We are waiting for my son’s work schedule to plan our last moving trip to Danville for this upcoming week. The weather is not cooperating with our moving! Expected record highs this week! Oh well, we will start early and hopefully get it done quickly.
I had planned on going back to my Mom’s this week to help as well, but we have decided that help is not needed. She’s a tough one! So we will stay around here this week and might actually finally have our first full week of being here together.
My son has returned from his Graduation cruise with his godparents. I haven’t gotten the full report of his trip yet, but the parts I have heard about sound like it was a huge success with lots of fun times and new friends made.
We have a fun overnight trip planned for today! We are going to Floyd, VA to listen to a band we enjoy that is playing there. Floyd is an awesome little town with live music playing on every street corner! I love it there.
What’s For Dinner?
Our diet’s have been going well recently. My guy dropped several pounds while he was alone this week. I apparently found those pounds he lost! My Mom attempted to quit smoking after her surgery, so I provided her with a bucket of hard candies & gum to help. That stuff is addictive and hard to pass on!
I had an awesome dinner of sweet and sour chicken over rice waiting for my guy when he returned home from his 2 weeks away at drum corps. And homemade pizzas and no bake chocolate peanut butter cookies (one of his faves) as well. I was able to use my new kitchen scarf my Mom had made for me and I loved it! having towels handy throughout the cooking and cleaning process was most helpful!
My niece had seen a picture I posted months ago of stuffed peppers I had made for dinner. She has requested that I make them for her ever since. I finally had the opportunity this week during Mom’s recovery. They were a big hit with the family!
Here’s one from the A.T.! Time to get ready for Floyd! Have a great week! xoxoxo
Warning!!!! I’ve been by myself for a complete week with minimal human interaction, so I’ve got lots to talk about! Long post ahead!
I’ve survived my solo week! I may have had full conversations with the animals around here, and maybe even myself, but none the less I’ve survived! I cannot wait for my guy to come home tomorrow! Two weeks is a long time! I’ve second guessed our decision about me not going with him this time more than once this week and even checked into plane tickets at one time. But I have enjoyed my time and been very productive and he has been so busy and so beat by the end of the day that we would have had very little time together if I was there. I have filled my time by working on Cutler’s scrapbooks. I have completed 2010. (Don’t judge me, yes, I am a little behind but I will get it all done!) One benefit to being behind on scrapbooking is you realize which moments should really be treasured and spotlighted. Seeing all the pictures with my Dad and Cutler’s Granny has been an emotional trip down memory lane!
I have also been working again! I met my goal of earnings for the week and did lots of interesting jobs! And made some dollars along the way! I have focused on my diet and exercise this week and walked everyday! My diet has been good as well. I have lost a couple of pounds, not quite where I want to be but I feel like I’m back in control and heading in the right direction.
House Hunting Scene
The only news in this area is that one door is about to be closed. We have one more trip to make to Danville to finish emptying out my apartment and then we will be done there. As I left the apartment the other week and looked around at how clean and empty it is, I thought back to that first day there 5 1/2 years ago. I walked through that door with a mix of emotions. I was nervous and scared but excited, this was the first time I had ever lived by myself in my 39 years. It was very scary territory and full of changes but I was ready for it.
I am quite proud of the transformation that was made during those 5 1/2 years. Within the walls of that little 2 bedroom apartment I was able to finally find myself. Finally discover what things I enjoyed and what made me happy. See, I’m a people pleaser by nature. I live to make others happy. And that’s okay as long as you don’t lose sight of what makes you happy in the process. And I definitely had done that. I was once compared to a character in a movie who did not know how she liked her eggs cooked, she just always ordered them the same as whoever she was with. That was so me! For so long I did what others wanted me to do, or what others felt was the best for me. In the end I was incapable of making a decision for myself on my own.
Now, I won’t go into all the details of those 5 1/2 years of self discovery, but the person that is leaving that apartment is completely different from the one who moved in. I like to think those changes are for the better. I’m sure some would disagree. I’m sure there are some that would say I am still doing the same thing now and being who someone else thinks I should be or wants me to be. Only I know the truth though. I know how I feel and how I feel this is the first time I’ve ever been able to freely express my desires. I have no fear or worry of judgement. Yes, I do things that I have never done before. Some of the things I would never consider doing on my own. But to me that’s part of a relationship, sharing your desires and passions. I enjoy sharing a classical concert with my guy and seeing his passion for the music that I might not understand come out. My enjoyment comes through him. And it goes both ways! When I suggest going to a pop concert or Shakespeare in the Park, those are not things he would actively seek out, but he enjoys the time spent with me and my excitement.
I am a much stronger, more confident person now than I ever was before. I’ve learned many, many lessons along the way that I reflect back on often. I’ve learned to keep my circle small, that it’s quality that matters not so much quantity. And I’ve learned to push down all the negatives and always seek out the positives in situations. It can be hard to do at times, our world can be such a Debbie Downer at times, but focusing on those negatives only allows them to fester and grow. I choose happiness on a daily basis and love my life for it! With the encouragement and love of my guy I have finally learned to love myself. Oh, I as for my eggs, I like them in an omelet with cheese, peppers and onions. 🙂
As I said earlier, I walked everyday this week! Most of my walks were done on a riverwalk type trail here in town. It is a 2 mile trail round trip. I normally do about 3 miles in an hour, so I add a walk around the park onto this trail to take it up to 3 miles. I even increased it to 3 1/2 miles by the end of the week. The park is quaint, full of geese, and always full of some type of activity. It’s like those parks you see on T.V. or in movies where all the townspeople always gather and bring covered dishes. You know, one of those parks I’ve always wanted to live near!
One morning I did drive down to another trail that my guy and I have done before. It has more hills than the other trail does and I felt ready for the challenge. And it really wasn’t one! Yay! I’m getting back into it!
And then we come to today. This morning I woke up in a funk! Big time! I had made a weight loss goal for myself to meet by tomorrow. I had also challenged myself that if I met this goal by today I would deserve a treat. Well, of course I didn’t make it by today so I wallowed … No I wallered in my self-pity for a few minutes. Laying in bed with sore and aching legs from all of my walking this week and not the loss I was hoping for. The thought of getting back on the trail again this morning was just not there for me. Finally, I pushed all those negative feelings aside and decide that yes I would walk today. One minor setback was not worth losing my streak over. I decided to challenge myself even further by finding a real hiking trail to do today. I found one that was nearby and marked as “Easy”, just my style! I jumped out of bed and got ready with a little spring in my step. When I texted my guy to tell him I was going on a trail, I thought he might try to discourage me from going at it alone, but he was very encouraging and excited for me. I sent him the trail I had found and he said he thought we had done that one before. Well, that dampened my mood for just a second, but I was still excited to be going on my first real solo hike here.
I get to the trailhead with no problem. As soon as I step out of the car and realize I have no phone service I wonder if I will be able to find my way back home without GPS. But off I go, my pack on my back with my waters and my apple, I’m ready to see a waterfall. Now, my guy was right, we have hiked this trail before. I remember that the trail that leads to the fall is on the opposite side of the road from the parking lot so off I go! Now, most people were heading up the trail in the parking lot, but I felt super smart and informed and prepared that I knew where the falls were! The signage and instruction at this trailhead are very minimal.
I find my trailhead across the street and up I go. Up all those cement steps, ugh. I’m super confident though, I know it’s a popular trail that is bound to be clearly marked so I have no fears or hesitations as I journey my way up. Now, imagine my surprise when I end up right back where I started and I had not seen any water much less a waterfall. I begin to doubt my confidence and figure I may as well go across the street and see if all the people on that trail are seeing my waterfall. Up more stairs I go. I’m still feeling good. I’m convinced I’m going to find this waterfall if it kills me today. I climb all the way to the top of this trail and go across the big stone bridge that crosses the road. I can see the water. That’s a plus. But still no waterfall. This trail has several areas where you can go multiple directions. While deciding which ways to go, I remembered on the trail across the street that I had came to a fork in the road there as well and wonder if the falls were the other way. I had figured that all roads would lead to the same place, but maybe I was mistaken.
I make my way back down the trail and go back to my original trailhead. I look up that staircase and ask myself if I really want to do this again. But I am determined to find that waterfall. I hike it back up those stairs and end up back at the fork in the road. Last time I went left, this time I was going to try right. While standing there I thought to myself that a sign posted here sure would be nice, you know one saying Falls to the Right. Then I remember something. See, when I hike with my guy, he always navigates. I may be in front but he is telling me go left, go right etc. He talks to me along the way and tries to teach me things and answers all my questions. Apparently, I should listen more closely to him. Instead of looking for a sign, I start seeking out my blazes instead. I know my trail is a blue blaze trail. Now, in my defense, there was no blaze at the fork in the trail, but I did find one once I started down the trail to the right.
I very quickly made it to the falls and I do think it was much heavier this time than the last time we hiked this trail. We have had lots of rain recently. I relished in my moment of reaching my desired destination, finally. I took my moment and enjoyed my apple while watching and listening to the falls. I have learned that there is just something about being out in the middle of nature that calms your spirit just a bit. I needed that today.
This pasture was full of activity this week! I did not have to travel to find adventure, I kept seeming to find them in my own backyard. I am completely amazed and in awe of all the wildlife. And this is so unlike me, I’ve never been a real outdoorsy type person or anything like that, but to be able to watch these animals in their natural habitat is amazing! I love it!
We have a family of groundhogs that come out in the yard early in the morning or at dusk and play. I’ve seen 3 little babies and a big mama. There are also 2 bunnies that come out and play. I had to laugh the other night as I watched one bunny just run around and around in circles through the backyard. I am keeping my bird feeders full, and have plenty of beautiful birds to look at all day long. And a teeny tiny chipmunk who enjoys their seeds as well.
And then there’s the cows. I had major cow drama one evening and worried myself to death over these 24 cows! There is a garage/barn in their pasture that their owner keeps their grain in. The cows are not supposed to be able to go inside this barn. Well, one afternoon I was giving Smokey his daily carrot treat and I saw a cow walk out of the door to this barn. Then another walked out, then another, it was like a clown car. I counted 15 cows that walked out of the door. I wasn’t sure how they got in there, and was trying to do a head count to make sure that they were all out. Counting cows is as difficult as counting kids!
Later that evening I went back out to check on things again. I could hear the cows in the barn again. I wasn’t sure if they could get to their grain, but figured that would be what kept causing them to go in there. So I’m imagining these cows just eating grain til they explode or something. I was also worried that they’d get hurt on something in the barn or would get stuck in there and not be able to get back out. Now, I said I’m not an outdoorsy girl, I’m taking baby steps here. My mom suggested I go in the barn and pat them on the butt to get them out and then nail the door shut. I wasn’t ready for steps that big just yet. Instead I texted our landlord and asked her to let her grandson know what was going on. While I waited for a reply, I knocked on the walls of the barn attempting to scare the cows out. They didn’t budge. I would go inside and come right back out to see if they were still there.
I finally sat down to my dinner at 8:00. I couldn’t eat inside, I instead chose to eat on the back deck so that I could do a head count as the cows heading up the pasture. I was never convinced that all the cows were accounted for when I finally went inside. The cow guy came the next day to check on them and let me know they couldn’t hurt anything in the barn. He did fix the door so they couldn’t get back in again. He laughed when I told him how worried I had been about them.
I really thought moving to the country was going to take me away from drama! But I guess I’ll take my cow drama over the alternative!
Sappy Solo Selfies
Thanks for reading my ramblings! My guy comes home tomorrow!!!! We made it! Have a great week!!! XOXO