Expect the Unexpected

A Look At Our Week

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.

Hiking Adventures

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!

Gardening Update

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!

Sappy Selfies

Have a great week!! XOXOXO

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Home Again

A Look At Our Week 

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!

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Hiking Adventures

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.

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Traveling Times

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.

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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!

Sappy Selfies

Here’s one from the A.T.! Time to get ready for Floyd! Have a great week! xoxoxo

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Hiking 101

A Look at Our Week 

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. 🙂

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Hiking Adventures

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.

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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.

 

Animal Fun

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

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

A Look at Our Week

My first week without my guy went by rather quickly. Lots of activity to keep my mind busy and to keep my emotions in check. It’s always hard when he leaves every summer. It’s a huge culture shock for me. I go from being his main priority to dropping way down on the list rather quickly as 100 other people jump ahead of me. He’s busy and he’s focused on his work, so I plan projects to keep myself busy as well. He left on Sunday after all of our graduation festivities had ended and I came back to Mountain City. It’s been a great trial run seeing how I handle myself here all alone. So far so good.

I have been filling my time by reading some of my new books and working on my scrapbooks again! I will admit I am 8 years behind on Cutler’s books and I am okay with that! I will catch up! Once I complete his books I will start on my traveling books!

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House Hunting Scene

Not too much news to report here! I have just learned today that the neighboring land to the house we are renting is now for sale. It is a portion of this families farm that was willed to the brother’s wife. The price is a little out of range, but we are in love with this area. And I wouldn’t have to say good-bye to my cows and horse! 

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Hiking Adventures

I am getting back on track with my diet and exercise. I am always able to focus a little better whenever my guy is away. Tempting nights out are not quite as tempting when you are solo! While I was in Danville I visited the Riverwalk Trail for one last walk before I leave for good. Always so much pretty scenery to look at on the trail.

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I have found a new trail I like in Mountain City. The Goose Creek Trail. It is only 2 miles long, and I usually do about 3 miles. So, I take a lap or two around the park after completing the trail to add to my time and distance. I have walked everyday this week! My groove is coming back!

Traveling Times

I went back to Danville on Tuesday to run errands with Cutler and help prepare for his cruise he is taking with his godparents. We had “big boy” errands to run. Opening a savings account, titling his car in his name, changing his address, writing thank you notes and car maintenance. He also had to take a trip to Greensboro, N.C. for a trip to the  Apple store for a phone issue he was having. I attempted to convince him to let me take him but he was set on going on his own. Just another sign that he is indeed growing up on me.

While he was away I worked on taking more items from the apartment to storage and cleaning our apartment. We have one more trip to take to get the last few loads that are going to storage or to my son’s house and then we will be done with our Danville dwelling. We have until July 1st to be out of the apartment, so we have another Danville trip on the calendar once my guy gets home. I came back to Mountain City on Wednesday and prepared for my sister and nieces who were coming to visit for the weekend.

I do not have daughters, but my nieces are close enough to it for me. I love these two as if they were my own. I am so proud of the young women they are becoming! My sister and I had planned a trip to an event in a nearby town, Land of Oz. Now, Wizard of Oz is my absolute, all time favorite movie and I passed that on to my oldest niece. When she was younger she believed she actually was Dorothy Gale and would tell everyone that. The trip was a surprise for her 20th birthday and the girls had no idea they were coming to my house. Just a surprise girl’s trip is all they were told. And they were funny! They didn’t know what to pack, and were too excited to sleep on the 3 hour trip. I got a message from the youngest niece when they were about 30 min away with a video of the scenery. She said, “Where in the world am I?” I was thrilled that they were still excited when they realized they were coming here! There only disappointment was that there was no pool at this hotel.

These city girls loved the cows and horse and loved feeding the horse, Smokey carrots. He is finally getting used to me and will now come up to the fence anytime I go outside! I’m going to have to start growing carrots soon!

On Friday we were off on another surprise trip.  They kept reading signs trying to figure out where they may be going. It was too cute to hear my soon to be 20 year old niece squeal with delight when she saw the first Land of Oz sign! Our day at the park was wonderful and everything we expected! My oldest niece was chosen to be Glinda the Good Witch in the show and did an awesome job! It was a fun day in OZ! I am already planning my next trip!

What’s For Dinner? 

Ummm … frozen dinners for one?!? I miss cooking! But cooking for one is never fun! I am using this time to focus on my diet and get myself back on track. I did stop on the way home on Wednesday at one of my favorite restaurants, Jason’s Deli. They have a fabulous salad bar!

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Sappy Selfies

Here are a few selfies from our Girl’s Weekend! Had such a great time with my girls! Y’all come back soon! ❤

 

Have a great week! XOXO