Mountain Life

North Carolina MountainsI’m visiting my aunt Sarah, this weekend. I’m excited because she lives in the hills of western North Carolina. She has a beautiful log cabin with the nearest neighbor miles away. How nice that would be?!  That’s what I want when I’m old. I can’t imagine living in the city for the rest of my life. That would be one of my biggest regrets.

Sarah has a pond behind her cabin with a nice little dock. She also has a garden with vegetables and fruits.  The last time I spoke to her, she was excitedly anticipating blueberries. I’m sure they’re plumb by now. Blueberry picking is fun. Her dalmatian, Dally, even helps.

Ah, the fresh smell of pine. It gets kind of cool in her house. I like visiting in the dead of winter.  She has a nice fireplace, but ironically her home is heated by propane gas. I guess as she has gotten older, she’s too tired to split her own wood. Gas is convenient because it’s delivered the same day she orders it, but it doesn’t give off that wonderful smell.  What’s more ironic is Sarah used to be a naturalist. She interviewed at Balsam Mountain Preserve when they first opened some ten years ago, but she didn’t want to move.

So, we’re going to the Saturday Umbrella Market located in Pritchard Park in Asheville. I love markets, and yard sales. I’m looking for vintage chairs. I sand them down, stain them and add new upholstery.  I have renovated two since last year. I’m working on  a  dining room table set of mix-matched chairs. Cool, right?  If I don’t have luck there, I’ll just shop for sterling silver jewelry! Either way, Sarah and I are going to have a blast.

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The Joys of Renting :(

Okay, I was being a bReal Estate in Asheville NCit dramatic on Friday.  We actually didn’t go dress shopping because the Bel Chere Festival was being held. Awesome. So, we went on Monday, and we had a Great time.  I found a dress that fit perfectly. . . I may not have to have it altered!

I spent the weekend helping my good friend Jane pack up her belongings. Jane is about to move into her first home. I’m so jealous and excited for her. She’s waiting on the loan to process and then it will be hers.  The house is brick and wood. It was built in the 40’s but was recently renovated. She’s getting it for such a good deal. It has five bedrooms and over 2,800 square feet. I guess its hard to not get a deal right now, especially on Asheville NC real estate.  Oh, dear. Maybe she’ll let me live in one of her enormous rooms.

Career WomanI’m so tired of renting. It feels like I’m throwing money away every month.The only positive thing is when something goes wrong, the landlord has to fix it. . . like the air conditioner or the water heater!

But what can I do besides rent? Saving is incredibly difficult right now. I wish I had a talent like quilting blankets. I could design and craft personalized quilts. That sounds like a great job.  I don’t know that many people interested in                                            quilts. I think a quilt would make a nice wedding gift.

I’ll figure something out one day. I wish I could live with my identical twin.

A bird in the hand is worth two. . .

Balsam Mountain Eagle-The PreserveRecently, I read an article about preserving the life at Balsam Mountain Preserve, in the form of birds.  I didn’t know Bald Eagles had been on the Endangered Species list for such a long time. I realize I should know that, seeing how they had been on it for 40 years (12 of which I was happily skipping through).

 

The Eastern Screech Owl is also protected by this mountain community. I think this is wonderful because it is just such a peaceful and beautiful creature. I went online and visited the Balsam Mountain Preserve web site and they protect over 3 thousand acres and another thousand goes to Asheville and Waynesville NC real estate.

Anyways, Balsam has a program called The Birds of Prey, which is operated by the Trust, who are a group of  full-time naturalists. These naturalists educate the local schools and civic groups about the birds of prey. When these scientists have a bird that is unable to return to the wild (due to permanent injuries or disease), they take it to these locations and teach the different groups about it.

Eastern Screech OwlProtect our forests!

Myths

Bass Fishing in North Carolina

Feed Me Squirrel

Hey all.  Have any of you heard any bass fishing myths? I was looking online at one of my dad’s fishing heroes (don’t ask why!) and I came across this fishing forum and saw a discussion about bass fishing in NC myths.

I read one comment about a guy saying he knew bass fish could eat squirrels and other large animals. If that’s the case, why don’t we round up some squirrel catchers and go feed these aquatic vertebrate?

I know this isn’t a bass, he’s just cute.
Tell me your fishing myths! Please! I’ll be forced to make up some on my own, if you don’t.

You probably won’t catch anything if the cows are on lying in the grass. 😛

Vacation!

Hi all!

My family and I just got back from the OBX. It was our first time there, and we had a blast. It took us about 11 hours to get there if you include the stops. I think the thing I noticed the most was there was an actual beach there. We’re used to Edisto Island and Charleston, where there just isn’t so much beach. It was great. My nephew and niece were able to run up and down the beach, but they definitely didn’t swim. I’ve never seen the waves like that.  If you don’t mind fighting with the ocean, then it’s great for you, but I don’t think it’s okay for little kids!

We saw the lighthouse at Hatteras but I have forgotten its name. I wanted to climb it but there were a lot of people there and we were all pretty hungry.  We got to listen to a boy scout or man scout? talk about the lighthouses of the OBX. He was very passionate about these structures. Park Ranger!  He certainly didn’t like snakes! We spotted a black snake under a trashcan out front and told him and he said, “Hmm. . . snakes aren’t my thing.” We all thought that was amusing, since he was a boy scout! Ha!   So, he called out a brother scout and I suppose he took care of the little snake.

The house we rented was great. It was about a quarter of a mile from the beach. There was an awesome pool table, swimming pool, and a hot tub. I wish we owned a house out there. You never know, one day I may own one!

The restaurants were great.  My favorite was the little Cafe in front of the Avon Pier.  I ordered their hamburger and it was seriously one of the best burgers I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lot!  Froggy Dog’s was pretty good too. They had a little play area for children that was really nice.  All the residents were very friendly and helpful.  We learned a lot about the history and local news through these people.

I got a surprise while I was there. My sister sent me a vacation present, which is a family tradition (i know, it’s weird).  She sent me this very lucky piece of amber silver jewelry.  Ellie wasn’t able to go with us for the first time this year, so it was really special that she sent me this amber piece which is symbolic of our first trip to the market in Charleston. We had a great time going through the jewelry and haggling with the sellers.  That was one of my first purchases at the market.  Here’s a picture of my new sterling silver jewelry gift!

Overall, it was a wonderful experience and vacation. Hopefully, next year my sister will join us, and I’ll finish two books, instead of one.  If you haven’t been to the OBX, it’s definitely worth the drive or flight. That would have been nice! Hmm. maybe next year.

Bass Fishing on a Warm Spring Day

Bass Fishing Tournaments North CarolinaToday after work I plan on going out to Lake Cherokee and doing a little fishing with my dad.  It’s a great de-stresser after such a long work week, even though it’s not over just yet.  I like to take off and clear my mind of worries.

So, luckily my dad’s a Dave Matthews Band fan.  We crank up our little boom box, that’s about 15 years old, and relax.  It’s the best feeling-                 to be with great company and in a Beautiful location!

It’s taken 23 years or so for my dad and I to become friends. I worried I’d never see the day since he’s almost 65 this year. That thought may be a little melodramatic, but life and death happens.
One day when I was 23, I watched him as he got ready to go fishing, and I asked if I could go with him.  It was the best question I’ve ever asked.  My dad’s a baby boomer, so it’s difficult for him to be emotional, and for me as well.  After the first few times of going out with him, he looked at me and began to ask personal questions.  Nothing too extreme, just father-daughter stuff.

Life is short, as clique as that is.  You have to overcome it, overpower it!  I know a lot of people are afraid of intimacy but it’s not scary at all. It just takes one question.