A Few Good Things from this Past Week

Nothing amazing or earth shattering has happened, but this past week or so has been filled with so much goodness. My life is quite ordinary and I find such joy living in it. So here are a few of the high points.img_0584On their way from moving from Pittsburgh to Atlanta this sweet family asked if they could make a pit stop at our house for the night. They had been driving for I know, seemed like forever and around 8:45 that evening, I heard a little knock knock at my front door. I looked up and saw the happiest little boy waving at me! Hudson, Easton,  Bella and their mommy and daddy, Sara and Aaron blessed our home with so much joy. Unfortunately, it was a too quick of a visit. Early the next morning they piled back into the car and continued on their way. I’m so happy they decided to move closer to family.img_0585Two days later, I drove to Seabrook Island to refresh my weary soul. I am so blessed with such loving friends, like Angie and her husband Jack, who invited me to the beach. We rode bikes, snuggled with horses, walked the beach and found so many sand dollars! Luckily Charleston is on the way to Seabrook, so I made a quick stop to see my girl and her husband. Sometimes a momma just needs to hug her kid. My momma always said that ocean water is the perfect treatment for what ails you. I believe it…sunshine, salty air, waves lapping, toes in the sand and precious friends make the perfect medicine.img_5999On the way home from the beach, I decided to make a stop in Columbia overnight. Here I am with sisters Laura, Annie and Jane at my sister Jane’s house for lunch. That evening our brother David came by my mom’s for dinner, joining us girls. We were only missing sister, Susan. She was enjoying her grandsons Hudson and Easton! img_0586I could only stay in Columbia overnight because Superman, Adam, Elizabeth and I were going to our first hockey game! Watching the minor league, Swamp Rabbits, was so much fun! We have no idea how the players know when to hop on and off the ice, what the numbers mean that the announcer calls out when someone gets put in time out or what is this power play thing? It reminded us a lot like soccer in many ways. The adorable 4 year old little boys, who sat behind us, knew more than we will ever know. I guess we’ll just have to go to more games!

Hmmm….do you think they’d let me drive the zamboni?img_0587Guess what? Two days later Superman and I are driving to the Tennessee/North Carolina border to drop him off for his 6 day 75 mile solo backpacking trip. He packed and repacked his backpack for days. Measuring and counting each bag of Fig Newtons, freeze dried dinners and tea bags. It was forecasted to be cold and raining or snowing the entire time. Sounds fun right? This is the text he sent to the fam the first day: “8.5 miles today…almost all uphill with rain most of the day. Got to the shelter at 2:00 and chilled. It’s getting cold and it starting to snow–temp drops to 17 tonight. For dinner–2 cups hot tea + honey; Mexican rice with beans; cookies; almond joy bar; sipping on some merlot wine right now! Wine in first night only–have to rough it from now on. The shelter is full of young folks–an odd collection of weirdos who are out to do the 2000 mile AT in 4 to 6 months. It’s below freezing–one dude has no long pants so he is wearing a down parka with shorts. One gal is playing some sort of Indian flute–I’m waiting to bust out the “someone’s a crying me lord” song. All in all, we h she young folks don’t have a care in that the world–no job, no mortgage, no long term plan–I’m thinking about pontificating about Donald Trump is the greatest of all time and Obama’s a communist–I’m pretty sure I would be booted from the shelter so I’ll keep my mouth shut. All in all I’m as happy as a pig in mud right now. Everyone is talking about all the bears they have seen–I’m 👀 ING forward to seeing my share. I love all of you–a few of you should be here with me…” He is loves this stuff! Like Superman says “This ain’t no big deal”. img_0588This was his view the next morning. Beautiful.img_0589After dropping Superman off at the trailhead, I decided to stop off at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway. As soon as I stepped through the doors, this lady was demonstrating weaving. Not only does she weave her own cloth, she sews it into gorgeous jackets and tops. I can’t imagine putting scissors into the cloth that just took me hours to weave! There were many artisans demonstrating their craft while answering questions and explaining the tools and process. I was mesmerized. As I walked up the ramp to the exhibition hall, I was taking pictures of everything. When I reached the top, I almost ran into a semi frantic woman looking for the person who was taking pictures! Who me?!? Not me, but some other unsuspecting soul. I get it. The artists don’t want their artwork copied. I respect that. So I put my camera down. Just remember No Pictures Allowed! img_0594I guess I’m so drawn to this type of artwork because it represents the common folk. According to Wikipedia: Folk art encompasses art produced from an indigenous culture or by peasants or other laboring tradespeople. In contrast to fine art, folk art is primarily utilitarian and decorative rather than purely aesthetic. Take for example Grandma Donaldson in the photo above. She didn’t go to a fancy art school or travel the world to be inspired. She used the materials she had around her and made something beautiful. Whether it was the farmer who used his knife and a piece of wood or a stick to whittle a toy or the mother who took the outgrown clothes and repurposed them into a beautiful warm quilt. I LOVE IT! img_0596When I finally got home that day it was raining, so it was the perfect time to finish up some stuffed animals that people have ordered. Luckily for me, Joann’s had a big clearance sale on yarn among other things, so I stocked up for other orders of rabbits, elephants, monkeys and unicorns. I’ve got lots of work to do!img_0595This weekend, I have two more boxes of bees arriving! I need to get their supers and frames ready. Here are 40 frames that need the wax panel put in each. This requires I chisel carefully out a thin piece of wood, slide in the wax sheet then hammer the wood piece back on to hold everything tightly in.img_6043I went to the local hardware store to buy some very small nails and a small hammer. When I found this beauty, the young man assisting me kinda sorta rolled his eyes when I squealed with delight. He just doesn’t understand how things like this can really make me happy. I got 20 of the 40 frames done. Tomorrow is a new day. I was feeling a bit pooped.img_6049Are you feeling as tired as I felt? I had the house alone. It was quiet, just me, Sam and Lilly. I poured myself a cup of hot tea, snuggled down in my favorite chair and started reading my favorite book/magazine. Quiltfolk is a bi-monthly, beautiful magazine of 180 soft pages of no advertising, wonderful stories about the people behind the quilts and what inspires them to stitch. Each issue takes you to a different state or area and tells you their stories in the quilt world. The issue above takes us to Arizona. It quiets my soul and feeds my heart with inspiration.

Its been a long week or so. Thanks for stopping by!

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Lady! We Ain’t No Ordinary Tourists

Superman and I are on our next adventure in Banff, Canada.IMG_6454-0.JPGGORGEOUS!

After a lonnnng travel day of cancelled flights and hours upon hours of waiting in airports, we made it here late in the night. Because there’s no rest for the weary, Superman had us up bright and early the next morning for an “easy” hike.

Me: So how long is this easy hike?
Superman: Its a 6 mile hike. Shouldn’t take us long to do.”
(I even made him show me the trail on the map.)

IMG_6443-0.JPGWe had a wonderful breakfast, then headed out to the trailhead. About 20 yards onto the trail, we see this sign. Must have 4 people in your group! Punishable by fine of $5000! Jail time…blah, blah, blah. Huh. There’s only two of us. Do we wait for more to come? Now, if you know Superman, he looked at this sign for about 2.1 seconds and moved on. And if you know me, I saw it and started shaking in my boots and ever so quietly asked him if maybe we should rethink this idea. He just kinda looked at me like I had three heads. I guess we were moving on. (Who are we going to call for bail money?)

IMG_6466.JPGGlad we did. Look how pretty!

IMG_6462-3.JPGThank You Superman! Is there any other husband out there who would do this to his sweet loving wife?!?! He thinks he’s hilarious! So there you go…when a girl has to go, a girl has to go.

IMG_6464.JPGWe come to this beautiful lake. This is where the trail is suppose to end for us today. We meet up with four older ladies and their leader asks where we are from.
Us: South Carolina.
Lady: Wow! So where are you guys hiking to?
Superman: We’re going through Sentinel Pass.
Me: (?????)
Lady:Wow! Most visitors don’t hike this route. Have you done much hiking?

Lady, we ain’t your ordinary visitors! Have we hiked before? Oh brother, now it was time to show her how a couple of rednecks from South Cackalacky do it. (Needless to say, I had no idea what I was getting into, but there was no way I was going to let four grey haired ladies show me up!)

IMG_6465.JPGTrust me. Superman was not going to let them get ahead of us.

IMG_6451.JPGWe’d take quick breaks to fuel up on delicious nutritious snacks.

IMG_6453.JPGThe larch trees just blazed.

IMG_6450.JPGWe made it above the tree line to see this! See that spot wayyyy up there? That is where we were going. And Yes, it is as far as it looks.

IMG_6512.JPGDo you see the larch trees in the background? Yup, that’s how far we had climbed so far. Can I just be honest with you? It was steep. It was rocky. It was long. It was sometimes scary for me. In some areas there were large rocks and boulders that needed to be scrambled over and other areas where there was hard scrabble. The hard scrabble could sometimes be slippery with the small rocks giving way.

IMG_6511.JPGThis is me climbing up. Oh wait! You don’t see me?

IMG_6513.JPGThere I am! Superman-aka Mr. Mountain Goat, of course, shimmied right up the mountain, while I struggled for footing, strength and breath.

IMG_6457.JPGWe made it. I wasn’t happy. I didn’t like Superman too much. I was in pain. When I looked bak on what I had just accomplished I felt pretty proud of myself. But I knew I was not going back the same way I got here. This is what it looks like on the other side of the mountain. Do you see all the people? There was even a dog who made it up to the top. Surely this was an easier way to go. I knew what I was going to do! I was going to hike down this way and wait for Superman to pick me up if I had to.

IMG_6468.JPGLuckily, he agreed.

IMG_6459.JPGCan you say flat?

IMG_6458.JPGYup, I can do this.

IMG_6441.JPGBut the adventure hasn’t ended. Since we came down the other side of the mountain, we are going to have to hitchhike back to our car or walk 6 miles away. We stick our thumbs out. I feel like we’re Bonnie and Clyde breaking so many rules!

IMG_6448.JPGMike graciously gave us a ride.

IMG_6447.JPGWe drove to Lake Louise for a celebratory refreshment.

IMG_6446.JPGJust gorgeous.

Thanks for dropping by!

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P.S. The “easy” 6 mile hike turned into a 13 mile epic adventure. I like to think that I can add a few points due to the steep elevation and crazy terrain we had to traverse.

P.S.S. Superman is a Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!!!