Blanket #2!

A Look At Our Week

Just a normal week around here, not anything special happening. We are preparing for a visit from my guy’s sister and brother-in-law for one night next week when they stop by on their way home from Florida. We are excited, we love company!

On our “stay home” days we entertain ourselves by watching the animals in the yard. I hope neither of us ever loses the feeling of excitement we get when we see them. We have bunnies and groundhogs that live under a building that will come out into the backyard. Deer and turkey will graze in the pasture. Many beautiful birds have been enjoying my bird feeder. I think I may have finally figured out how to keep the other animals off of the feeder! We love to stand at the sliding glass door and announce what we see.

We received a special package this week. A thank you gift from my guy’s niece! It is a framed map from the Grayson Highlands hike we did while she was visiting. She decorated the map with an awesome quote. We love it and found a place on the wall to showcase our new treasure!

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Hiking Adventures

Sunday was a beautiful day! We decided it was much too pretty to stay inside all day. We set out to hike Elk Knob Trail. I completed this 4 mile hike when we first moved here and have been unable to complete it since then. I would make it halfway and then wait as my guy finisigsd it. Well, I made it all the way to the top this time! My guy went ahead as I stopped and rested way too much for him, but I still made it!

Thursday we went on a solo hike/walk. I did 3 miles on Goose Creek Trail that goes through the city and my guy did a 10 mile hike on the Virginia Creeper Trail. Friday we hiked the Laurel Creek Trail. It was amazing to see the damage from the recent flooding. It was another beautiful day!

House Hunting News

Wednesday was house touring day with our new realtor. We had three houses in Mountain City that we were interested in viewing. We also wanted to ask our realtor about seeing a house we had toured on our last touring day again, but this time perhaps bring a contractor with us to discuss possible renovations and get an estimate. This was the property that my guy really liked and the house that I felt was “meh”, but I’m open to making changes!

Two of the houses we saw had perfect layouts but both had major water/leaking issues. One with a flooded finished basement and the other with water stains down the hallway wall, and neither with any deduction in price for these issues! Next! The third house was the least favorite of the day and the lot was not impressive. Next!

We are now waiting for our realtor to set up for us to return to the house I mentioned earlier with a contractor.

What’s for Dinner?

Beef tenderloin, baked potato and tossed salad was on the menu for Monday evening! Yummy!

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I also experimented with a “healthy cookie” recipe I had found. It falls under the “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” category!

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I have been curious to try a spaghetti squash meal and when my guy’s niece was here she mentioned how good they were. So spaghetti squash chicken parmesan was on the menu for Friday night! Delicious! I can’t wait to try some other spaghetti squash recipes!

I also cooked a turkey breast to use for sandwiches. We have a hike planned today and will pack a picnic lunch to enjoy after our hike.

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Busy Hands & Busy Minds

Finished up another dish cloth and started and finished another baby blanket this week! I am so in love with this blanket and yarn! Beautiful and so very soft! 

Gardening Fun!

I keep check on my living room garden, making sure that my seeds and seedlings are well watered. You have no idea my level of excitement when I saw the first sprout reaching up through the soil.

Sappy Selfies

How could one possibly make selfies even sappier? With matching hiking outfits of course!

 

 

Have a great week! XOXO

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A Hiking We Did Go

A Look at Our Week 

The first week of Spring was busy around here! Lots of working, hiking, eating, house searching and crafting. I have felt that uneasy, overwhelmed feeling this week that I sometimes get when I feel there is too much that needs to be done. I have realized it’s not really too many things that need to be done as much as it is things I want to do. I took a few minutes and made my Creative To-Do List. I feel much better now having everything recorded.

I have been working on uploading and editing pictures for my scrapbooks. I have tried convincing my guy that he needs to write some code for the Sam’s Club Photo web page. It is ridiculously slow and difficult, but I am getting there. I started scrapbooking when we brought Cutler home from Russia. It didn’t take long until I was way behind on documenting his life. I made lots of notes over the years and took a bazillion pictures of each milestone and memory. When we moved to Tennessee, I think I was about 7 years behind on his scrapbooks. I can now proudly say I have just finished doing his 2017 book and I am ready to start on 2018, which will be his final book. I hope his future spouse is delighted with the 20+ scrapbooks they will inherit! I will then begin working on documenting the travels and adventures of me and my guy.

Hiking Adventures

As predicted hiking with the niece put us back into our hiking mode. We hit the trails this week and enjoyed the beautiful weather and amazing views this area has to offer.

Tuesday we headed to Banner Elk, NC to hike a short waterfall trail I had found, Crab Orchard Falls. The hike was short, but lots of uphill climb! The falls were beautiful! There is just something indescribable about being in the middle of nature’s beauty.

 

After we completed our hike we still had a little pep in our step so we decided to do another short waterfall trail in the area, Otter Falls Trail. This hike was very short and the falls were not as incredible. They had built a viewing platform that really took away from the beauty and charm of the falls. After viewing the falls my guy announced that he was going to take the rock path that followed the creek and that I could wait for him on the bench. What?!? Needless to say I did the rock path with him and he did a great job of not saying, “I told you so.” when I fell on the rocks.

 

We also hiked on our property this week as well. We talked about the option of buying this land (if it was the right price and if owner’s decide to sell) and building our house here. It is definitely an option on the table.

We hiked the rim of our property way back at the top of the pasture. It’s a tough hike up! Lots of breaks and sitting for me! My guy says I do much better on maintained trails than climbing through the briars and fallen trees that were on this path. It does provide some beautiful views though.

 

Busy Hands & Busy Minds

I did it! I completed my first big project! Baby blanket version 6.0 (maybe 7.0) is complete! It may not be perfect, but it is complete and  I am quite proud of myself! I was a nervous wreck when I washed the blanket. I was convinced when the cycle ended that I would only have a washer full of strands of yarn. That was not the case at all! It was all still one beautiful work of art! It’s now all boxed up and ready to be shipped off to the mom and dad-to-be.

 

Dishcloths were next on the crafting to-do list! I get to use some of my awesome yarn collection I have acquired!

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Garden Fun! 

Let the gardening season begin! Saturday morning we attended a tomato planting workshop in Jonesborough, TN. We left the workshop with 12 tomato seedlings of 11 different varieties. We are excited to taste test each variety!

 

While we were out and about we stopped by Walmart to pick up our essentials and the seeds I wanted to plant. As I’ve said in other blogs, we binge watch Green Acres on Prime. I think it might be rubbing off on me! For those that are not familiar with the show, Oliver Wendell Douglas plants a full garden in pots on the balcony of his New York City penthouse. I now have an ironing board “table” set up in front of our living room window full of seedlings and seedling trays. Hopefully, we will have plenty of cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes this summer! I am loving experimenting and learning new things. My original plan was to plant in containers as I did last year, but with the bounty of seedlings I have accumulated I am tossing around the idea of clearing out the garden spot that we have on our property.

 

What’s For Dinner? 

We’ve had a low key dinner week. Leftovers from the weekend, noodles with meatballs and gravy and canned soup. After our hiking on Tuesday we tried a burger place we had never been to before. It was delicious! On our Saturday day out we couldn’t resist visiting our favorite BBQ restaurant in Johnson City, TN, Southern Craft BBQ. As we were being seated we walked by the dessert case. Huge slices of cheesecake with the top half being an orange color caught our eyes. My guy made it a point to ask the waitress what kind of cheesecake it was. Upon hearing, “Orange Dream Cheesecake”, I knew it couldn’t be passed up. I was hoping she would say carrot or sweet potato, but orange dream just can’t be missed. We split a slice and it was heavenly.

 

Sappy Selfies

Hiking & restaurant selfies! Have a great week! XOXO

 

Family Visitor

A Look At Our Week

We arrived home from Ohio on Monday evening, just in time for my guy’s choir rehearsal. I thoroughly enjoyed my much needed hotel veg-out days, my HGTV marathons and even the hotel gym!

 

Tuesday I headed back to Mom’s for her post-surgery check up on a Wednesday. All is still going well with her ankle! The doctor put her in a hard cast for 4 weeks. I stayed with her until Thursday morning. I enjoyed our visit and was able to get some advice on my crocheting techniques.

 

My guy’s niece came to visit from Friday to Monday morning. We planned quite the action packed weekend to show her the best our area has to offer. We spent Saturday in Boone, NC. Shopping, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and back again that night for a St. Patrick’s Day bar party.

 

Hiking Adventures

Having my guy’s niece here really kick started our hiking! I also learned that I can hike in 40 degrees and not die or freeze to death! We hiked in three states throughout the weekend. Our first hike was to Hebron Falls in North Carolina. We had done this hike last summer and it is always interesting to see how much things change from season to season. The falls were much higher this time with all of our recent rains.

 

Sunday we headed to Virginia to hike in Grayson Highlands again. This is the trail with the wild ponies and spectacular Mountain views. I impressed the niece with my “rock climbing” skills. This hike never gets old, the rocky path does get old, but the views and ponies are always breathtaking. It was a beautiful, clear day and my guy was able to point out several of the mountain ranges in the distance.

 

After Grayson Highlands we did a short hike on the AT at Osborne Farm in Tennessee. This was one of our first hikes when we came to this area. It’s easy and offers wonderful mountain views. We were hoping that the cows would be out in the pasture, but they have not yet returned. The niece really wanted to pet a cow, so we stopped on our drive home and made it happen!

What’s for Dinner?

I made sure everyone was prepared to celebrate PI day. I made two pies while I was at my Mom’s and brought a slice of  each home for my guy. Key Lime Pie & Derby Pie!

 

I cooked for Mom both nights I was with her. Hamburger steak & spaghetti!

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We finally tried the local Italian restaurant we have heard so many raving reviews about. It definitely lived up to all the hype!

 

While the niece was visiting we had Garlic Tuscan Chicken with new potatoes and tossed salad. For breakfast we had biscuits & gravy, bagels & cream cheese & a western omelette quiche. We also had veggies with shrimp & sausage.

 

Busy Hands & Busy Minds

Baby blanket version 4.0 is in the works! It is definitely a learning process! Hopefully I will get one completed before the baby graduates high school!

Mom & I went to Hobby Lobby during my stay and she attempted to give me some helpful hints. I also found a handy stitch counting device! Hopefully it will help! Just look at all that yarn!

 

Animal Antics

Spring is coming!!!! I have replaced my bird feeder, the birds are loving it (and so far no other critters are!) The bunnies are back hopping through the yard. We even had a large deer family running, playing and eating in the pasture one night. I love watching nature from my back porch!

During one of our drives we had to stop for a group of turkey to cross the road.

 

Sapppy Selfies 

Tired, early morning airport drop-off selfie! Have a great week!!! XOXOXO

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Memories

A Look At Our Week

This is always an emotional week for me. My Facebook feed has been full of memories from five years ago. Memories of our last week with my sweet Daddy. I remember the events of that week and the many weeks before that very vividly and really do not need Facebook to remind me of them

Last week was the five year anniversary of meeting my guy. I left from our first weekend together feeling all kinds of positive emotions only to be hit with the reality of the real world during my drive home. I made the decision at the halfway point to head to mom’s instead of home. It was definitely the right decision. I have always treasured my memories of being there that week.

So much has changed in just five short years. I think Dad would approve of our changes. I know he would be proud to see us pitching in and taking care of Mom. He hated to leave her. We are still learning just what all he did for her and how well he took care of her.

I learned a lot of life lessons from Dad’s passing, most of them were quite hard lessons to learn. One of the biggest lessons was to live my life the way he did. Live  to the fullest and live with no regrets. Life is short and nothing is guaranteed. Love big and don’t be afraid to take chances. I’ve tried sharing this knowledge with anyone who will listen!

This week also marked my one year anniversary of being retired. I would have to say the retired life is agreeing with me! I love my life and strive each day to live the best life that I can!

What’s for Dinner?

It’s Mardi Gras!! That meant spicy jambalaya for dinner! It was yummy! Had to stick to the plan and pass on the King Cake though!

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We also had French Onion Chicken Casserole for dinner on Wednesday night. It will definitely be added to our regular rotation! I may have to attempt a french onion soup after this dish.

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Not all all of our meals are a winner! I do have a few fails here and there! I had been wanting to try a cauliflower crust pizza for awhile. I found one at the grocery store last week and was excited to see how it was. Not good! It was not good!! Absolutely no taste and rubbery and chewy texture! Thank goodness we had the local pizza delivery come to the rescue!

House Hunting News

Our Thursday was spent looking at several houses. We have hooked up with a new realtor and wanted to try him out. One of the houses we have  seen before and it needed way too much work for it’s asking price. The house has now been somewhat flipped so we were anxious to see if the improvements were enough.

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We attempted to do a drive by at one of the listings we were interested in. The road leading to the house was already screaming, “No way!” My Guy was determined though. I determined about halfway up this road that we would not be able to leave our house in the winter or after dark and that no one would ever visit us more than once!! Finally, we came to the point of no return. The road was washed out, split in half. He got out to assess the possibility of continuing over the road and I was terrified he was going to attempt it. I really think he comes up with these types of adventures to keep my anxiety at it’s peak. Thankfully, he decided we should turn around! He has plans to return by himself!

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Traveling Times

We were off to Ohio Friday for band camp. These are always fun & busy weekends. I love being able to watch my guy work and see a side of him that very few people are able to see. We also get to hang with an amazing group of people! And maybe one of the best parts is I get one veg-out day! It’s usually spent catching up on work with a lot of HGTV binge watching!

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Busy Hands & Busy Minds

I am still filling my time with crocheting and trips to yarn stores! This week I made a soap holder to use in the shower with our homemade soaps and pot scrubbies with my pretty nylon yarn. I have also started my biggest project so far, a baby blanket. I am enjoying the activity very much and how it keeps my mind busy and on other things.

I have also been working on my homemade Christmas tree ornaments. Twine balls and musical stars!

Sappy Selfies

Date night this week was the new Madea movie, dinner out, Sam’s Club & Walmart! Have a great week! XOXO

Reunited!

A Look at Our Week

Mom has continued her awesome recovery this week! She is having very little pain this time and able to get around pretty well. We had an active week getting out and enjoying a little sunshine! We visited the local senior center on Thursday for Bingo. Mom even won a prize! Hopefully, once she is able to drive again, she will enjoy the activities and socializing the center offers.

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What’s for Dinner?

I asked Mom how she would like me to cook the chicken she had for dinner. She looked at me with a funny look and said, “Are you going to eat it?” I said that I would eat my “diet food” that I had brought with me. She then smiled and said, “Fried. I want it fried. And I want mashed potatoes with it and you can fix biscuits & gravy too.” What started in my mind as a simple throwing chicken in the oven to bake turned into a full course meal. But I love fixing foods that people like. I enjoy cooking and the satisfaction of a job well done. My sis & mom enjoyed their fried chicken dinner and I stayed on plan!

 

My niece loves Ruben Casserole. Anytime I ask her what she’d like me to fix that is her answer. I hooked her up while I was there! (This is another dinner I did not eat, I am not a fan of rubens at all!)

 

Busy Hands, Busy Minds

My mom made a comment during my stay about how busy I stay. I have learned it is very helpful and keeps me from mindless snacking, but also, keeps my mind busy and I’ve never really been one that can just sit and do nothing. I love the feeling of productivity I have when I can list off all the things I’ve done in a day and I am constantly planning on my mind what I will work on next.

I continued working on my crocheting during my stay. We took two trips to Hobby Lobby. I could very easily become obsessed with all the yarn that is available. I love all the colors, feeling the softness of each skein of yarn and planning my next project! My projects are by no means perfect. I am still a work in progress, but I am enjoying learning something new.

I crocheted a Christmas tree ornament and a new scarf for me this week!

 

I also started working on Christmas ornaments for my tree. My hope is to have all handmade ornaments on my tree this Christmas. I have several ideas and will continue adding to my collection throughout the year.

 

Traveling Times

My guy came to visit last weekend. It was great seeing him and I hated to see him go! He was there for Oscar Night and provided his fun commentary to the event. He reported to family members that he was trapped and had no choice but to watch. I love that he’s such a good sport and will go outside of his comfort zone with me!

My mom asked him if he had been lonely with me being gone. He said he wasn’t necessarily lonely, but he missed me and just wanted to be with me all the time. We do not manage well when we are apart. Our motto has always been, “We just need to be together.” We try to be together as much as possible! (He loves his new hat!)

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I came home on Friday afternoon, just in time to celebrate our 5 year “meet-a-versary” What an amazing 5 years it has been! We celebrated with a trip to a pizza place we had not tried before and grocery shopping!

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Our next trip is to Canton, Ohio this weekend for band camp! Just in time for a vortex snow storm! Can’t wait!

Sappy Selfies

Pics from our date night! I finally had the chance to wear my new scarf made by our amazingly talented friend, Misty!

 

And our 5 year selfie video! So happy I found this wonderful man! We do love a selfie!

Have a great week!! XOXOXO