Four Hikes in Four Days

A Look At Our Week

We had a visitor this week! We love having company and showing off this gorgeous place we live in. One of my guy’s friends came to visit with us from Monday until Thursday. We enjoyed catching up with her and showing her around, and of course introducing her to Stella.

She is a big hiker and had planned a six day solo hike on the A.T. after our visit. We parked her car at her ending destination and drove her to the trailhead. We hiked in with her for about two miles before sending her on her way. She’s been keeping us updated on her journey.

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Hiking Adventures

A-hiking we definitely did go! To help to prepare ourselves for our visitor we did a couple of hikes before her arrival. We hiked on Elk Knob (one of our go-to trails)  and then tackled the Taylor’s Valley Trail again. This was the 8-miler that we attempted last week.

We did Elk Knob At our own paces, my guy wanted to push himself and I wasn’t into pushing. My original plan was to do a half a mile on the trail and then do another easier trail in the park. When I reached the 1/4 mile marker I was still feeling good so I kept on going. I ended up meeting my guy at the 1.25 mike marker on his way back down.

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I was set and ready for my second 8-miler attempt. There might have even been a little jump in my step as we started out on the trail (after driving up the 1/2 mile straight up driveway this time). On our last attempt I had lost my glasses and was happy to find them right where I left them.  There was some discrepancy on the actual mileage, but we completed the trail (marked as 4 miles)  and ended at the Virginia Creeper Trail. We crossed two creeks while sharing one pair of water shoes.

We decided to go back on the Virginia Creeper Trail. My guy then had to climb back up the half mile driveway to get the car. I chose to bypass the driveway and met him at a local cafe, that had unfortunately closed. He calculated our mileage as me with 7.3 and him with 7.2. Close enough to 8 for me!

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We felt ready for the challenge of hiking with our friend now. The evening she arrived her and my guy settled at the kitchen table with maps everywhere reviewing her hike and deciding what hikes they would do. They decided on an 8.5 mile hike in Grayson Highlands as their first hike. They would need me to drop them off at one trailhead and pick them up at their ending point. I happily agreed.

I packed my book and lots of yarn and was ready for a chill day while they hiked. After I sent them on their way I visited the visitor center at the park and decided to do my own hikes. I hiked two of the smaller trails in the park for a total of about 3 miles. I then headed over to the trailhead to wait for my hikers to return. Solo hiking is a different experience and I was quite proud of myself for taking it on.

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The next day we decided on taking her to one of our favorite trails, Gentry Creek Trail. This was the trail that I had a dehydration spell on the last time we did it so I was anxious to face it again. I did great. It seemed much easier than last time. The falls were beautiful.

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Thursday was our last day together. We enjoyed an early morning ice cream stop before heading out on our final hike together. We had done this hike before as well. I remembered it as hard. We have to walk across a rock wall at one point and I remembered lots of elevation. I wasn’t too excited and may have hoped for rain just a little bit.

When we made it to the trailhead the rain had stopped so I agreed to go. We hiked about 2 miles to the falls. I scaled that rock wall in the pouring rain like a boss! We did go the less elevated path this time which helped, but again it seemed much easier. I was glad that I had went and felt accomplished. I even survived walking over a hornet’s nest and getting stung 4 times!

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Today we decided on a last minute trip to my family reunion. On our way to the family we stopped in Hampton, TN to continue our hiking spree. Time constraints kept us from making it all the way to the Watauga Lake Shelter, but we will be back. It was a nice trail around the lake.

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Local Fun

Last Saturday we set our alarms and were determined to make it to the Farmer’s Market in time to get some fresh veggies for our guest. Success! We made it! I finally got to try out my crocheted market bag, it was almost dragging the ground when we left.

After the market we headed downtown to the Sunflower Festival. I was quite impressed at all the vendors this little town put out. BBQ, pretzels and homemade ice cream were among our faves. We also enjoyed the woodworking booths and the local photographer’s booth. Oh, and of course the Republican Party booth!

A quick trip to the local yarn store ended our day out in our charming little town!

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Sappy Selfies 

Tired hiker selfies! Have a great week!! XOXO

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Home Sweet Home

A Look At Our Week 

It’s  been a great week at home! We love our days spent glancing out windows to check on cow or horse locations, and seeing the beautiful scenery. We’ve had beautiful days this week and decided we just couldn’t spend them cooped up inside working.

We’re up bright and early today to head to the Farmer’s Market to prepare for our visitor coming this week. After the Market we will attend the Sunflower Festival downtown. Sounds like a perfect Saturday to me!

Busy Hands & Busy Mind 

I finished my stuffed giraffe this week. It was quite the challenge but the second prototype will do just fine.

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I am still working on dish cloths in between each larger project. I think my  next project will be a scarf and maybe a hat to match.

Gardening Fun & Animal Antics

The one cucumber is growing good! It will be time to pick it very soon!

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While checking on my cucumber the other day I noticed some tomatoes growing as well. These are from the newer plants I planted after returning home from drum corps. The original tomato plant is still looking good but no fruit yet.

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The horses and cows are out and about and manage to keep us entertained, or me a worried wreck! One of the horses has cut his eye and it seems to be healing well and doesn’t seem to bother him. The wild horse in the pasture hung right with us while we were berry picking. The cows come down about every evening. The babies are growing and another new baby should be here soon.

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What’s Cookin’? 

Blackberries have been cooking all week! We headed out into our pasture with buckets in hand ready to forage for some blackberries. We had plans to do this last year but missed the ripe season. We made sure not to miss it this year. We found enough blackberries for a blackberry cobbler and a blackberry buckle. Pretty much the same thing, but we wanted to experiment with the two. I’m planning on trying some blackberry jam with the next batch.

 

I came home from my sister’s party with a half a bag of huge potatoes. I have been working all week to try to use all of them. One night we had baked potatoes with our sloppy joes and one night it was dijon mustard baked fish and fried taters n’ onions for dinner. 

I also tried out making a potato salad to go with our hamburger steaks. Mom is our potato salad maker so this was my first time trying it. It passed the test! My guy went back for seconds and thirds (and maybe even fourths, but I quit counting!)

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One of our all-time favorite (and easiest) meals is meat and veggies. This time it was shrimp and sausages with peppers, onions, broccoli, cauliflower and corn. So yummy and colorful!

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Hiking Adventures 

We were back on the trails again this week. We rode past one of our favorite trails the other day, Laurel Creek and noticed all the rhododendrons blooming. The next day we set out on the trail and the blossoms did not disappoint. It’s a fairly short and easy trail with two good inclines to get your juices going. One of the pics shows my guy investigating the water source. He ended up climbing up the rocks to get a clear picture.

 

The next day my guy announced he was going on a hike. It was a slow work day for me so he asked if I would like to join him. He was attempting a trail he had never done before. It makes him a bit nervous to take me on these hikes when he can’t answer my questions as we hike such as, “How much longer?” “Are we almost at the end?” “Can you show me how much farther on your phone?” “Is this the last hill???” It was an 8 mile hike. If completed it would be my highest hike yet. I was feeling adventurous and decided to join him. Our first error was not driving up the mile long up hill road to the trailhead. Instead we parked at the bottom at walked up hill after hill not realizing we could have driven up this part. 

Once we reached the top we came to a large circle with several path options but no signs. We chose what we felt was the most likely option and headed down the path. We were supposed to come to a gate and a trail sign. The trail directions we had found on the internet were 9 years old though so we weren’t sure how reliable they may be. We found a pole that may have held a gate at one time and ventured onward. Once again we came to an opening with just a couple of options. We chose one and started down. The trail was quite overgrown, but that should be expected since it is not traveled very often. We finally came to a place where we could not go any further. Well, we could have went a little further, but we would have been outside of our adventure comfort zone for sure. We turned around and headed back up again. My guy said he would come back another time and see if he could find the right trail.

Once we arrived back at the first clearing, I pointed to the road that seemed to follow our original trail and suggested we go this way for just a little bit. Well, we went around the corner and there was our gate and trail sign. We debated on just going back to the car and calling it a day or doing some of the real trail. After climbing up the driveway I was just about done for the day. We went down the trail a little way, it was gradual ups and downs as described and beautiful green scenery. The rhododendrons were everywhere. I found a seat in a little meadow clearing for a snack while my guy went ahead of me for a bit. We hadn’t really communicated when he left me if I would wait for him, catch up to him or head back to the car on my own. I decided I would head back to the car. I knew he would think that is what I was doing but I also knew he would worry the whole way down the trail too. I decided I would leave him a note on the ground. I couldn’t find enough rocks for my letters so I decided to use sticks instead. I was quite disappointed at how the sticks just kind of camouflaged into the grass. Luckily, I was just beginning my note when my guy came down the path. We ended up doing about 3 miles total. Not quite the 8 we were hoping for, but I’ll be back!

 

Sappy Selfies

Hot faced hiking selfies! Have a great week! XOXO

 

Another Celebration!

A Look At Our Week

We’ve been out and about this week! White water rafting, 4th of  July fireworks, hiking, birthday celebrations; so much activity in one week. Looking forward to spending this next week at home, home, home!

We spent our 4th of July holiday hiking and then took in all the local festivities that evening. For such a small mountain town, the show was quite impressive. Standing in the park surrounded my mountains with many amateur fireworks shows happening as well as the city fireworks show, it was a 360 firework extravaganza. It’s times like these that I know we are living in the right place.

Hiking Adventures 

I try to walk on our property everyday. I figure it’s at least a little exercise and gets my heart pumping a little. We have big hills on either side of our pasture. I will walk up one side to the cemetery then  come down and go up the other side and back down. My goal is to be able to make it without any rest breaks. This week I was able to do it with no sitting down breaks, a big win for me!

On my walks I see lots of wildflowers and checked out the blackberry bushes. Shouldn’t be long now and we will be having some blackberry cobbler!

 

Not all of our hikes are spent together. My guy wanted to climb up Elk Knob this week and I knew I was not up for it. I walked about a quarter of  mile up with him and sent him on his way. I came back down and explored one of the easier trails at the park, Beech Tree Trail. It’s a one mile loop that has art markers along the path. I enjoyed my solo hike with little to no elevation and my guy enjoyed his mountain range views.

My guy and I had plans to celebrate the 4th with a hike and then checking out the local festivities. The forecast was not looking good for our hike and we almost just gave up on our plans. Once I got up and saw what a beautiful day it was I declared that the hike would go on as planned. A threat of a little rain wouldn’t not stop us from enjoying this beautiful day outside. What better way to celebrate America’s birthday than enjoying nature’s beauty!

We headed out on the AT and hiked to Double Springs Shelter. This was the second time we have completed this 6 mile hike together. It’s truly amazing to see the differences in the scenery in each season. The last time we had done this trail was in the fall and the difference in colors and growth was incredible. So much green. This was my hardest hike in a while but I survived!

 

Road Trippin’ Philosophy 

My guy and I love our road trips. We better as many as we go on! We find many creative ways to pass the time while driving. Learning to feel/count time of music has been a recent task. Most every trip is filled with some type of deep, world problem solving conversations that usually coincide with a bit of Googling and learning.

On our recent trip to Cleveland, TN we stopped at a store that had a large statue of Daniel Boone. We began a conversation about Daniel Boone and Davey Crockett and then my guy began singing a song about Daniel Boone. He wasn’t sure how he knew this song. I immediately replied, “It was on Wonderful World of Disney!”

We both grew up watching Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights and have reminisced about the shows many times. I did a Google search and sure enough Daniel & Davey had shows on Disney. This quickly led us to a talk about Grizzly Adams.

I feel that kids today are really missing out. They have no idea what it is like to wait all week long for a show to come on  and the anticipation that would build as you gathered in the living room with your parents and siblings to watch whatever it might be. It’s such an instant gratification world we live in now. At times I’m not so sure that technology has made this world a better place.

Even while watching the fireworks the other night I watched as the children held sparklers. That’s all they did was hold them. I remember spinning those speakers round and round and writing my name in the sky with them, but these kids just held them until they went out. I observed and wondered if it was lack of imagination on the kid’s part or the over-supervision being provided by the helicopter parents. I know they can be dangerous and I know bad things can happen, but I also have a childhood full of wonderful memories where I was allowed to learn these limits myself. Okay, I’ll hop off my soap box now, just wanted to give you a glimpse of what a road trip with me & my guy is like!

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Gardening Fun

Well, it happened! I made a cucumber!! From my original planting I finally have one cucumber growing on the vine. It’s quite a proud moment for me. I planted this cucumber from a seed and now here it is. Only one though, and that’s okay. I’m planning how it will be enjoyed once it is ready to harvest!

Traveling Times 

Last Sunday we met up with my sister’s family in Cleveland, TN for a white water rafting trip. It was my first time and despite my fears, I had a great time! Our guide was awesome and made the experience even better.

At one point during the trip our guide said  we had a choice of the path we wanted to take over the falls ahead. One was called Chickens and the other Heroes. He warned us that if we chose Heroes we had a 90% chance of coming out of our raft. Fortunately, there were no rocks in this area and he assured us that we would be okay if we went out.

Of course the men in our boat all yelled, “Heroes!” While the women shared nervous glances and braced ourselves. Fortunately, there was very little time to worry about our upcoming doom, before we knew it we were all out of the raft except for our guide and my guy. As I came to the surface of the water and sputtered to get my bearings, my guy was the first thing I saw. As I looked up at him he immediately said, “I got you.” I relaxed knowing I was okay and waited for my turn to get pulled back onto the raft. It was a great experience and I can’t wait to do it again!

Friday we headed back to be with my family again. It’s been a partying year for my fam and the celebrating wasn’t over yet! This time we were celebrating my sister’s 50th birthday and my niece’s boyfriend’s 19th Birthday. We had a steak dinner cookout and lots of family fun! The games were a big hit and of course there was another video. I’m ready to break from my party planning for a little bit now, mom’s 75th coming up soon though!

Sappy Selfies

Ice cream & sandwich selfies! Have a great week! XOXO

Early Bird gets the Lettuce

A Look At Our Week

It has been another busy week around here! It is just so hard to believe it is almost July. Time passes so quickly, need to figure out how to slow things down!

Last Saturday we headed to the Farmer’s Market with my new market bag I had crocheted all ready to fill with goods. Well, the early bird gets the worm and apparently all the vegetables too! Next time we will make it there before everything sells out.

We learned on Monday that we would need to travel to Ohio to meet up with the drum corps to retrieve my guy’s trombone as a replacement for it had been found. We retrieved the trombone, had a great dinner with the corps at a local winery and then spent the evening chilling out at the hotel before returning home Tuesday.

Wednesday was spent on house hunting and hiking/shopping, so our home life week didn’t even start until Thursday! Today we are heading to Cleveland, TN to meet up with my sister’s family for a white water rafting experience tomorrow. Hopefully I will survive and be able to blog about the experience next week!

Hiking Adventures

My guy has been walking the Virginia Creeper Trail in segments over the last few months. He had an eight mile segment left to complete the trail. We had talked and planned on me dropping him off at a station and picking him up at the end of his eight miles.

Wednesday was a beautiful day and my guy decided it was the day for his walk. I dropped him off and headed to nearby Bristol, TN to do some shopping for my sister’s 50th birthday dinner I am planning. (My family has been all about partying this year!)

I finished up my shopping and made it back to Abingdon, VA ahead of schedule. I decided to head down the trail and meet my guy for the last leg of his walk. I walked in a little over a mile before we met up, which is impressive in my flip flops! The trail was surrounded by beautiful scenery (and an interstate overpass) and lots of railroad history.

Of course being out we had to award ourselves with dinner out. We headed to our favorite Abingdon restaurant for burgers and derby pie for dessert.

What’s for Dinner?

While making out my meal plan last week I asked my guy for suggestions. He suggested beef and broccoli, one of his favorites. We finally found time to fit it in Thursday night. Jambalaya stuffed peppers were for dinner Friday night and were added to the fave list!

Gardening Fun

After coming up empty at the Farmer’s Market we headed to Boone, NC to see if there were any seedlings left that could revive my garden. I was able to find a couple of tomato seedlings and planted those Saturday evening. I told my guy we may not be harvesting our crops until October but I am determined to make something grow!

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The grapes are growing on the vines and I discovered some type of apple tree on the property as well. Last year we missed out on the grapes so we are excited to check them out this year and the blackberries as well.

House Hunting News

Yep, we are still house hunting. My guy had said that when we got home from Indiana that we were going to look at four houses and choose one to buy. Lol, well of course that didn’t happen.

We went out Wednesday to look at three houses that are on the upper scale in cost. Our theory was maybe if we paid more we might find what we wanted. It’s really not that complicated, we just want a nice house on a nice piece of land. Our requirements have lessened as time has gone on.

The first house we looked at was the winner of the day. It was a beautiful property with wonderful views. The house was okay but not okay enough for the price. The second house was the loser of the day. Lots of work to be done, major water issues and still priced at $350,000!

As we were following our realtor up the massive drive way of the third house he stops mid-hill. Once we were out of the cars we learned that as he topped the driveway he saw a bear standing at a tree in the woods. He called the listing agent with a question and mentioned there was a bear on the property. She informed him that the homeowner feeds the bear. When we looked in the woods sure enough there was a makeshift table built next to the tree that the bear must feast at. Pretty sure we would not continue that tradition.

This house was the highest quality we have seen. Very rich and luxurious but with only two bedrooms and one of those in an open loft. Plenty of room for guests on  the numerous outside decks, just nowhere for them to sleep.

We are stopping on our way home this weekend to see a house in Bulls Gap, TN. This one has a railroad going across the end of the driveway. We shall see!

Animal Antics

The horses are learning to come to the fence when they see me. There is still one bully horse that pushes the others out of his way to get more carrots. We are working on manners.

We have learned that Stella is our loud cow. She lets her presence be known. She is not too happy about me intruding in her space whenever I am in the garden and will stare at me and moo loudly the whole time.

The baby calves are growing and are fun to watch. When I came out the other day one calf was playing in the mud while the other calf and horses looked on.

Busy Hands & Mind

I have finished my blooo baby blanket and it is ready to be wrapped and delivered to the new parents to be! I also completed another soap holder this week and dish towel. I have started on my niece’s stuffed giraffe. After making the mistake of not reading the directions beforehand and mixing my color scheme up and having to start over, all is going good now!

I also finished up my picture Christmas ornaments I had been working on.

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Speaking of pictures, I have always said when we finally get our new house I am going to decorate it with pictures from our hikes. One of my projects while in Indiana was to digitally organize all of our hiking pics and choose some to frame. After living here for a year and having someone else’s pictures on the wall, I finally decided I should go ahead and hang a few of our own pics. I am loving how these pics came out!

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Sappy Selfies

Have a great week! XOXO

Home Again

A Look at Our Week 

A full week at home! It has been a busy week around here getting back into our routines. My guy has started working a little so he has spent part of the day focused on that. We would love to be focusing on hiking, but the rainy weather is just not cooperating! We have had several good storms this week and I believe it has rained every day. It has been good to be back home and back into the swing of things, and our backyard view just cannot be beat. Even a year later, I often find both of us just stopping at some point during the day to stare out of a window.

We received a package from one of my guy’s high school friends this week. She lives in Montana and is the person I would love to be. She is a homesteader extraordinaire; she sews, quilts, knits, gardens, raises chickens,  cans the foods she grows, makes jelly and jam, she does it all! We often talk about making the trip to visit her and hopefully it will happen soon. She made my guy a Sponge Bob pillow case several years ago and sent him a new one and one for me as well. I was thrilled to see it was puzzle pieces! Such an awesome gift!

 

Animal Antics

We found the cows! We had assumed that when the horses came that the cows had been moved. We assumed wrong. They are still here, in a separate pasture from the horses but they do come into our back pasture at least daily. The cow owner had stopped by the other day to check on them. Apparently one that was supposed to give birth a while back was still suspected to be pregnant. He was not sure if she had the calf and it was in the pasture somewhere or if she was indeed still pregnant.

My guy did a walk of the pasture, or holler, the next day and was going to see what he could see of the cows. The holler is 30 acres and goes over into a neighboring holler so it would be impossible to walk it all to find the calf or cow. He saw three of the four cows during his walk. Later that evening they were all in our back pasture. We were confusing ourselves as to how many cows we were seeing. Finally the binoculars had to be taken out and we discovered that the new calf had been born. Apparently my guy had not seen mama cow during his walk because she was a little busy birthing her baby! Now Junior has a new friend. The cow owner came by that evening to check on the calf and confirmed that it is another bull. No names yet though as the real cow wrangler (the owner’s son) is out of town. Junior is growing up quite quickly.

 

The horses seem to be doing well. We have learned that two of the horses belong to the cow owner’s son and girlfriend and the third horse is being broken by the son. Should be interesting to watch! The horses will come up to the fence when I approach it, but if I attempt to touch them they back away. I picked up some carrots at the store this week in hopes of convincing them I am a friend. One horse wanted no part of the carrot. The other took both carrots I offered. The third horse (the one needing broken) was on the other side of the field and missed out on snack time. Hopefully I will have them trained to come get their carrots when I come out soon.

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What’s for  Dinner? 

With being home and being back on our routine means I can once again cook. I’ve missed it! I planned some adventurous meals to get me back in the swing of things this week.

Tuesday night we had Barbecue Chicken with Roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower. It was delicious! I added both recipes to my nieces’ recipe books.

 

On the menu for Wednesday night was Broiled Parmesan Tilapia and Vegetable Risotto. The fish was delicious and made it to the recipe book as well. So easy and quick to fix. The Vegetable Risotto was good. It wasn’t earth shattering though. And with the amount of time and pans that it took to prepare it, I was expecting my earth shattered.

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Our Friday night meal is Thai Peanut Chicken & Noodles. I was a little wary of this meal but it sounded intriguing. It was a little different at first but was really yummy!

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Busy Hands & Busy Mind

My gift has finally been delivered so I can post a picture of my latest project now. A former co-worker recently had her first granddaughter. Of course her Facebook feed has been filled with pictures of this beautiful baby girl. One picture she posted caught my eye. It was a picture of the baby photoshopped into an elephant’s trunk as if the elephant was holding her. Well, I have a soft spot for elephants. My son loved Dumbo and elephants when he was little (and still does). I can remember every trip to the zoo and Animal Kingdom with him and the excitement when he saw the elephants. So, I decided I just had to make some kind of elephant something for this baby.

I did some searching on Pinterest and found a pattern for a stuffed elephant. I wasn’t sure that I could make this. It seemed complicated with all of its body parts, stuffing etc. but I decided I would at least try and see what I came out with. The first attempt was quite humorous but I learned a lot during the process. I quickly began working on number two equipped with all the knowledge I had gained. My niece, who also loves elephants, saw my project and requested one as well. Number two went to her. It was a good finished project, much better than number one but I still felt I could improve with number three. I completed number three in record time and it was ready to send to it’s new home. I now have to make a giraffe for the other niece. I have been studying patterns for that and will begin it soon.

 

I am still working on my baby blanket, making good progress and on dishcloths as well. I get tired of working on the same project night after night so I mix it up a little and will work on a small project along with a larger project.

 

Date Night 

Thursday night was the drum corps premiere show of the season. Fortunately, they air the live feed of the show in certain  movie theaters. Our closest theater showing the feed was an hour away. This called for a date night! We headed out to Bristol TN/VA Thursday afternoon. We had plans to stop at a craft beer store to stock up my guy’s supply, go to dinner at Cootie Brown’s and then head to the theater for showtime at 8:30. We split an order of tamales as they seemed to be one of the menu items they were most known for. They weren’t outstanding, but good. We had time to kill after dinner so we headed to State Street and found a bakery. I had been back on my program all week and was doing great. I knew I wasn’t going to come out of that bakery with nothing though. They offered homemade doughnuts, strawberry iced and chocolate caramel ended up on my plate. My guy couldn’t decide between a doughnut and ice cream so he just had both. It is a charming downtown area, but showtime was coming and we had to go.

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The show was outstanding! Now, my guy would tell you all the technical ins and outs of the show and anything that didn’t sound completely perfect, but to my untrained ears, it was wonderful! To watch these groups of young adults is really quite astounding and has to give us hope for our future. They work hard and give their all every single day of their summers. The talent that they have and the drive they have for excellence is mind-blowing. And to sit on the sidelines as these shows are put together, I mean they start off with 15 to 30 second chunks of this music and they play it over and over and over again and slowly start adding more to it. Then they play it some more and add a little more. As I would sit on the sideline and they would add more in, I would begin to recognize the music. It is quite an awesome experience to watch. The pride and dedication of the whole organization from the volunteers, to staff, to the design team, to the members is incredible. It’s going to be a great summer. Go band!

Of course we had to be present for my guy’s bass trombone’s big debut in the theater! Looking good!

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Sappy Selfies

Movie Night Selfies! Have a great week! XOXO

 

21st Celebration

A Look At Our Week

We finished up our time in college and came home for half a day! It’s hard to believe our three and a half weeks are over and at the same time it feels like it’s been forever since we’ve been home. It is truly amazing to have the opportunity to watch as a drum corps show is put together. I can’t wait to see the premiere in theaters Thursday! It’s just amazing to me that it all starts from little 30 second chunks. Here’s my guy helping out one of the awesome  drum majors.

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My reason for going with my guy was 1. We just need to be together. Yes, it’s that simple. We have learned that our lives just work better when we are together so it only makes sense that we would make it so that we are together as much as possible. 2. To take care of my guy. Not to say that he wouldn’t have been taken care of if I wasn’t there. The drum corps would have taken care of him and made sure he was fed. But taking care of my guy is one of my most favorite things to do and I like to think that no one else can do it quite as well. I learned his schedule each day and made sure his lunch & dinner were ready for him when it was time. We had a lot of turkey sandwiches and went out way too much and had way too many treats! Time to get back on the program now!

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My guy had the chance to play a pretty special instrument during our college time. Of course I didn’t get all the hype, but his excitement was contagious. I love his passion for music and what he does. Here he is playing a York tuba.

Gardening Fun

I checked in on my garden as soon as we arrived home. I was quite disappointed to see that some type of critter has enjoyed my tomato plants. I was holding out a little hope that they were going to make it. It looks like one or two may make it.

It looked like I have maybe one or two pepper plants and then either a lot of cucumber plants or weeds. I haven’t determined which yet. I will definitely hit the garden hard next week and start weeding out and see what is left standing.

Busy Hands & Busy Mind

I finished the project I have been working on and then made another. My niece had seen me working on it and asked for one. I will post pics next week after my gift is delivered.

I have started on another baby blanket and blue was the only appropriate color for this blanket, boy or girl!

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Traveling Times 

We left Indiana Wednesday morning. We visited my guy’s beloved Skyline on our way south. Once arriving home I immediately went into unpack mode and settling in to home.

I had a girls trip planned for Friday to Nashville, TN to celebrate my niece’a 21st birthday. Early Thursday afternoon my guy received confirmation that he needed to make a trip back to Indiana to deliver an instrument he had agreed to loan to the corps. We both went into prep mode getting him ready to leave yet again. There was a little back and forth on if I would be going with him or not. Finally we settled on leaving my schedule the same and he would go back to Indiana in his own.

After getting all pumped up preparing my guy to leave I decided I would go ahead and go to my sister’s a day early. We had a good evening hanging at the ballfield and eating pizza.

Friday afternoon we were finally packed and loaded and ready to head to Nashville. My oldest niece was meeting us there and my youngest niece was coming with us.

Our weekend in Nashville was wonderful! The weather was perfect and our AirBnB served it’s purpose well. A good time was had by all. We hit downtown Nashville Saturday and visited the Hall of Fame. Our girls were a little disappointed that more of the new artists were not showcased. They seem to think they have paid their dues. I’m always in awe of the history that Nashville has to offer. I attempted to share some of this with the girls, not sure if they held on to much of the information.

It is quite amazing how quickly these girls have grown up. I’m so proud of them and so happy to be their aunt.

Sappy Selfies

Road trip selfies & our last ensnble! Have a great week! XOXO

 

Back to Work

A Look At Our Week

The weather finally cleared up for us this week. We have had lots of beautiful, sunny days and have not had to shelter in place even one time! We came back from our visit with my family and went straight back to work and into our normal routine. We did manage to fit in a Skyline Chili visit on our way back though! My guy tries to never miss an opportunity for Skyline. I could take it or leave it and avoid the three-way at all cost. I much prefer a good ol’ southern Krystal burger!

There’s not much to share this week as our days are pretty much repetitive. Do band, eat, sleep, repeat.

Hard at Work

My guy has been in an unexpected role this week. He’d be quick to tell you it was an unwanted role as well, but he has handled it all wonderfully. I love sitting on the sidelines watching as he works. Especially when I am able to hear him as he talks to the members. He has quite a way with words and it isn’t lost on these young people.

Again, no show secrets coming from me, but I did manage a few rehearsal non-give away shots. You have no idea how unfortunate you are that there is no audio to go with these pictures! It’s going to be a great drum corps summer.

Busy Hands & Busy Mind 

My hands and mind have indeed stayed quite busy during my time on the sidelines. I have beat my amount earned records with my work and I am beginning to finish up all of the jobs I brought to keep myself busy.

Among those jobs has been dealing with pictures. I have brought all of my pictures for my scrapbooks detailing my travels and hikes with my guy. I have worked to organize and label all of these  five years worth of pictures as well as organize my pictures folder on my computer. Everything is now in it’s place and properly labeled. I am currently working on putting our hiking pictures into a movie/slideshow. I am envisioning this playing during the background during gatherings in our home. No worries, I have no plans to make anyone sit down and actually watch it picture by picture. Looking at all of the pictures really does make me stop and realize the beauty that we surround ourselves in each day. I miss our mountain home!

I have also worked on writing down some family recipes for yet another scrapbook project I am working on. I want to make my nieces a recipe scrapbook. They both have an interest in learning how to cook and well, their mother will be no help in that area. 🙂 I am trying to include family recipes that have been passed down, but I am finding it hard to get my hands on some of these. Also, I would love to have handwritten recipes from family members to frame and hang in my kitchen (when I get one.) I’m all for not being a hoarder, but there are some things that are priceless and do have value. So, if you are reading this and have some handwritten recipes from my family, I’d love to have a copy.

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And of course, I have been crocheting as well. I am still working on the same project and have had a few bumps in the road. Like sewing a leg onto the head and arms two different sizes, but I am pleased with the progress. We will see when I complete the project in the next day or two if it is “gift-worthy” or not.

Gardening Fun 

I am happy to learn (thank you weather app!) that at least my garden has had some rainy days while I’ve been away. I’m anxious to get home and see if there is anything left. If not, then I will just have to keep the farmer’s market in business this summer and try again next year. Seeing pictures of other people’s gardens is making me quite jealous.

Sappy Selfies

Have a great week! XOXOXO

Ensemble Selfies!

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Halfway Point

A Look At Our Week 

Our first half of our move-in tour is done! Heading back to Indiana today to finish the second 11 day leg of our tour. Our first two weeks have been full of wind and rain. Lots of severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings. Hopefully clear skies will stay with us for the next two weeks.

My guy normally works from after lunch until 9:00 or 10:00 with a break for dinner. I usually go with him and find me a nice shady spot to sit and work and watch. I have to be creative in finding  my spot so that I can work. I have to be behind the band so that I can hear my transcription work and out of the direct sun so that I can see my screen.

We have lunch in our room together each day (yay for turkey sandwiches) and for dinner we either go out and eat big or stay in our room for soup or another sandwich.

I’ve offered to help out with the corps but no takers yet. I manage to keep myself quite busy with working, picture organizing, and crocheting. I also spend a lot of time just watching and listening and have learned a lot. I usually have a list of questions for my guy when his work day is done.

College Walks

Not too much hiking going on these days but I do walk through campus everyday. My guy drives to the rehearsal spot and I meet him there after my walk. The campus is beautiful and I don’t think I’ve done the same walk twice yet. The surrounding neighborhood seems a little sketchy so I tend to stay on campus.

Here are some of my favorite sights from my walks. The lilac bushes blooming smell amazing. I can always smell them before I see them. I love all the statues, clock towers and fountains throughout the campus.

Dorm Life

We have settled into our dorm life and our setup is actually working. My guy’s half of the room is right next to the air unit and stays freezing cold. I’m nice and toasty on the other side of the room! Here’s a peek at our new normal.

Music Madness

Details of this year’s show are top secret! I work really hard to not break any rules so you won’t be seeing or hearing any breaking news from me. I will say it’s a cool show and I love watching from the sidelines as it is all figured out and put together.

Busy Hands & Busy Mind

I have spent a lot of time organizing pictures from the last five years to get me ready to start scrapbooking all of our adventures.

I haven’t crocheted too much but I am working on a project. It’s nothing like I’ve done before and has been a good challenge. Thank goodness I found a good pattern with a tutorial video. It’s a gift so not too many details just yet, I wil include a picture of all of its parts though.

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I also hit up the local Hobby Lobby and was thrilled to discover this sign! That yarn room needs to happen!

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Traveling Times

We left Indiana Thursday and headed to my mom’s house. I have been helping my sister and nieces plan a surprise 50th birthday party for my brother-in-law. My family has been all about partying this year!

This was my first attempt at catering completely by myself. Mexican Fiesta was the party theme so Taco Bar it was! The party was Friday evening and everything  turned out great!

Sappy Selfies

Selfies & Sunsets! Have a great week!! XOXO

Off to College I Go!

A Look At Our Week

I never went away to college and I have often wondered what that experience would have been like. Well, I am finally getting my taste of the college life. My guy and I are staying in a college dorm until June 11th while he is teaching drum corps. He is the perfect college roommate (even if his side of the dorm is a little messy.) I spend my days transcribing while I watch as he works. I have brought many tasks with me to keep me busy but have had very little time to work on any of them yet. I have not even crocheted this week and my crochet to do list is very long. I am sure I will find time for it all before we go back home.

You would have thought we really were going off to college with everything we had packed in the car!

 

Animal Antics

I did manage to grab a picture of the horses on our land just before we left. I was thrilled to learn it is actually three horses instead of two. Still no signs of the cows so we have assumed they were moved when the horses came in.

 

During one of my college walks I saw a squirrel. He was not phased by me at all. I was impressed with his dark color. His fur was almost black. Must be an Indiana squirrel thing. 

 

We had to stop for a line of ducks as we were entering Indiana. Our animal antics seem to follow us everywhere!

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Road Trip 

One of our favorite activities to do together is road tripping! We have had some of our best conversations while on the road. No way for either person to escape, it’s the perfect talking place! Unfortunately, the talks on this trip mainly were about how we hoped my car, Rosie was going to make it to Indiana and back home. Rosie’s had a lot of issues since we bought her just five years ago. We will have to start looking for her replacement very soon.

Our favorite snack while road tripping is McDonald’s chicken nuggets. You don’t have to tell us just how bad they are, we know! But we just love to split a 20 piece (or two) and experiment with all the different dipping sauces as we go down the road. Barbecue and Hot Mustard are his favorites while Sweet & Sour and Honey Mustard are mine.

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Gardening Fun 

I spent a little time in my garden before we left. I weeded the tomato rows since they seem to be the only thing still standing. I’m not quite sure what I will find once I return but I am anxious to find out. It has been a fun learning experience for sure.

The roses were blooming as we were packing up the car. The bush is right next to our front porch. I love roses and they always make me think about my sweet Daddy. When I was younger I told my Daddy that I wanted peach roses at my wedding. He planted every shade of peach rose he could find in his flower bed. He always took such pride in his flower beds and landscaping. I always think about him during this time of year when flowers are in full bloom.

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What’s for Dinner?

We have done it again. We have found an amazing five star restaurant in the middle of nowhere. The most delicious steak I have ever ate!

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Sappy Selfies

Road trip selfies and cold weather ensemble watching selfies! Have a great week! XOXO

 

All Ready to Go!

A Look At Our Week

It has been a week of prepping for our trip to move-ins with drum corps. We leave today for Indiana and will return home the second week in June. I feel like we are packing everything we own but we are ready to start #movinginBLUE.

This weekend was one of our favorite times of the year. Appalachian Trail Days Festival in Damascus, VA. We spent all day there Saturday and took advantage of the events they had scheduled. We separated for the morning to attend different classes. My guy learned how to forage for food on the trail and all about map reading and compasses. I listened to others tell stories of their time on the Trail and how the Trail has changed over the years. I also went to a reenactment of the Trail journey of Grandma Gatewood. What an amazing story! First woman to complete the trail and she was 67 years old!! Man, those Ohio women ARE tough!

We met back up in the afternoon just in time for the hiker parade. It is always cool to see just how many have hiked the trail and to get to meet those that are currently in their through hiking journeys. Of course there was plenty of fair food to be had  as well!

Gardening Fun

I’ve stated several times that this year’s garden attempt is purely a learning experience and experimentation. I’ve known since I first decided to plant the garden that I would have to leave it unattended for three and a a half weeks and what a risk that would be.

Apparently, the critters of some sort have enjoyed my garden already! During my daily visits I noticed it was hard to find the cucumber and pepper plants. I’ve now accepted the fact that it was hard to find them because they are gone. I have a couple of each still planted but the majority are completely gone. Not sure if it’s bunnies, groundhog or crows or something else I don’t even know about. All of the tomato plants are standing and seem to be doing well.

I spent some time weeding my tomato rows the other day in preparation for my trip. It’s so peaceful and relaxing sitting in the middle of my garden (even if most of the plants are MIA!).

Traveling Times

My baby boy turned 19 Friday! This called for a trip to Danville and a long overdue visit with my boy. I do believe he has missed his mama! We were able to meet the new girlfriend over a birthday lunch at Olive Garden complete with birthday cookie cake. I do believe I may have found away to get the boy to come visit more often. When I mentioned baby cows the girlfriend’s face lit up and she said it was her favorite animal. I promised to cook their favorite foods and provide lots of cow viewing opportunities if they would come visit.

After lunch we headed to the mall for some birthday shopping and more catching up. We met friends for dinner at our favorite local restaurant. It was great to walk into the restaurant and be greeted with waves and hugs! After dinner we headed to our storage units to have a visit with our prized possessions stored in two storage units. I promised them that we would all be together some day soon.

Hiking Adventures

We actually did a hike this week! Every time we get back out on a trail I can’t help but wonder why we don’t do this every single day. We went to Linville Falls on a beautiful sunny day. The hike was very touristy and much more populated than we would prefer, but the views and falls were awesome. After we were done with our joint hike my guy took one of the harder trails while I napped in the car. What a life we are living!

Animal Antics

Still no new baby calves, but I noticed the other morning how quickly Junior is growing!

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We came home from Danville late Friday evening after it was dark. As we were driving past our pasture I noticed two large white things standing in the pasture. After getting out and investigating we learned we now have two white horses on our property. We haven’t been able to grab a pic yet because we have gotten home late each evening and in the mornings they are further out in the holler. We’re not sure if the cows are still here or if they were moved out when the horses came. Never a dull moment!

Busy Hands & Busy Mind

I did it! I completed my first big project. I wanted to make an orange and white (think UT Vols) afghan for my boy for his Christmas present. I looked for a pattern and could not find one that I liked. I decided it would be easy enough to create my own checkerboard pattern. I worked on it for about a month with smaller projects being worked on at the same time. So happy with my end result.

Sappy Selfies

Time to start packing the car! Have a great week!! XOXO