26 October 2008

Charleston flowers in the fall

We went to Charleston again this weekend. It was wonderful as usual. Apparently they had major rains and flooding downtown on Friday. By the time we got there Saturday afternoon, it was business as usual. The sky was rather dramatic and the lighting was great.
The first picture shows the old with the new. There are plenty of lovely old neighborhoods that have not been changed for the last two hundred years and I love to walk through them. This is one of my favorite pictures today because it shows, the new is right behind the old.

The rest of today's photos show just how nice the weather still is down there. It was a little chilly in the morning, but look at the lovely flowers. These photos were all yesterday and today.
I couldn't resist the little black kitty. It is almost Halloween. Enjoy,

20 October 2008

Monday Morning, my favorite things

A scrap booking friend recently posted the challenge to make a scrapbook page about our ten favorite things. That really got me thinking. What are my ten favorite things? It is easy to find ten things I love. It is harder to limit the list to ten things. I ruled out people and cats, they are not things. That simplified the process a little bit, but not much. I keep mentally adding to and rearranging the list.
Lets see, there is my wonderful old house. That certainly ranks high on the list. Does the list have to be only things I have now? Our garden in New Mexico was quite amazing. How about the forest around us. That isn't mine, but I love it.
Maybe I should do a separate page for
favorite places?
My little pickup ranks quite high on the list. I have a Toyota Tacoma, aka "The Silver Dragon". It is just the right size for me and has always kept me safe. It is also quite cute.

Anyone who has looked at very many of my blog postings can probably guess that my camera is a favorite thing, as well as the computer. I spend a lot of time with both. My camera goes everywhere except work.
I am a music lover so my Ipod has a place of honor on the list. Should I include favorite CD's? Nope, that quickly adds to more than 10. One of

my current favorites is "Songs from the Labyrinth" by Sting. I love it!
My teapot is another favorite. We have, as a family, more than one teapot, we drink a bit of tea. We have the large "Brown Betty" Tea pot that we brought back from Britain, as well as a few others. My favorite is a green teapot with Japanese designs. My Hubby bought it for me as a birthday gift before we were married. The original covering on the handles wore off years ago so I crocheted over the metal bases. Works like a charm. I have a lot of warm memories which include that tea pot. It is pictured with
strawberry pancakes in an earlier post.
Another love of mine is reading. I have the
same problem with books as I do with music. How can I limit my favorite books to just ten? I will add the bookcase my Father built to the list. I was four years old and I "helped". When I run my hands across the top, I can see him sanding and I remember him allowing me to sand a bit too. He showed me just how to hold the wood and the paper. Even though I was only four, my memories of this are crystal clear. Maybe that is why every edge is rounded, I like to think he enjoyed my company. To this day I love the smell of saw dust.
Another favorite thing is actually a set. It is a
Brambly Hedge cup and saucer. I know, it is a silly kid thing, but I love it. The list grows on. The lovely old clay flowerpot in the last photo that hold Aloe Vera plants is another favorite. The mushrooms are volunteers. (Of course I will be adding a fairy to the picture soon.) I guess I will have to do some more thinking. What are your ten favorite things?

17 October 2008

Short note

I am working this weekend so my post will be late. I really enjoy putting my posts together and I do not want to put something up in a hurry, just for the sake of posting.

See you Monday.


12 October 2008

Autumn Walk

My Hubby has been looking for an Edison phonograph for almost as long as we have been together. He recently found a table top model and it arrived last week. I love it! Listening to those old albums the way they were meant to be played is like going back in time. One of the Edison records we have been listening to on it is "My Blue Ridge Mountain Home". The song and a chill in the air inspired a day trip.
Wow! We drove up to the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina yesterday to look for Autumn color. According to Weather.com, the leaves up there have not reached their peak. We decided to go anyway as this weekend was convenient with school and work schedules. I am so glad we did.
The leaves have not all turned, many of them are still green. What we got yesterday was that moment of change. Autumn is here, but summer has not left yet. The color combination is amazing. The green is so vibrant and the reds and yellows just glow.
The sky was mostly cloudy for much of the day. Perfect photography weather. We walked two separate trails. The first was "Shut in Trail". It was quite pretty with lovely displays and even a few nice mushrooms. Pretty much what we expected. We walked a good bit of that trail then went back to the car for lunch.
Lunch was a fine Pepper Jack cheese on Rye and Pumpernickel swirl bread. A great combination that was followed by home made cookies. Numms.
We drove through clouds to get to the second destination, Laurel Mountain Trail. The trail head was misty so I put a plastic bag in my pocket and my camera spent part of the time in there. It was not actually raining, but the mist was quite thick in some areas. Everything looked freshly washed. The air is so fresh up there. I could smell the cedar trees.
I am awed at the beauty of the day. I took some very atmospheric photos, maybe some of the best I have taken so far. After we turned back, the sun came out. The mountainside looked like a tapestry. The temp was just a little chilly. I had my fuzzy black hoody to snuggle into and it was just right.
On the way home we stopped in Ashville. I popped into the bead shop and among other things, I found some "micro bugle" beads in "green iris". I don't know what I will do with them but they are pretty. (Good thing they were not expensive). Last stop on the way out of town was Starbucks. It is a long drive home and their coffee is always good.
In the car we listened to "WNCW" for as long as we could get the signal. There is something so right about listening to Blue Grass music, in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

03 October 2008

Early post for 5 Oct 08,

I am posting early this time as I am working this weekend. Remember I said I wanted to start doing at least one art project per week? Well this week's art project was a quick and easy photo manipulation for a Halloween card. This is actually three photos combined. The kitty, is of course my Grand Kitty, Spontaneous. This particular photo is one my hubby took of her playing. The original background is the floor right next to the computer desk. The new background is a combination of two photos taken in an old cemetery in the woods. The cemetery is one of the most peaceful places I have ever found. It is not very big and there are no churches or houses nearby. The gravestones are old and much more interesting than anything new. I converted it all to black and white then added my lettering. I love my Photoshop Elements 4.
I also love this next photo. It is so full of mystery and promise. Almost anything could be around the curve, but you just know it will be something wonderful. It reminds me of something Bilbo Baggins once said ( I think it was in "The Hobbit"), about all roads being one road and all roads start just outside your door. All you have to do is put your feet on the road and go. Doesn't it just make you want to grab a backpack? Another nice thing about this photo is that since it was taken here in the South last week, it isn't nearly as chilly as the photo looks. There was just enough chill to be cozy.
Speaking of cozy, this is our wood pile after last weekend. We loaded up a pickup and two corollas with pre-cut wood. It is safely tucked away out of the elements just waiting for the temp to drop a few more degrees. We also cut up a good sized stack of the wood that we gathered last spring. Hard work, but well worth it.
If you are not familiar with the climate in this part of the world, you may think, based on our preparations, that winter here is harsh. It is not. We do have occasional ice storms. Sometimes they knock out power for several days. It never lasts long, but occasionally we get some snow. It gets cool enough to make the fire place nice. I love being cozy, I do not like to be cold. Besides, there is something very comforting about knowing that we can heat the house without power if we have to and that heat is based directly on our labor. Isn't the wood pile a lovely site?
We have several old bricks that were part of the original construction on this place. They were hand
made from local clay and some have partial hand or finger prints. When we bought this house, the chimneys were leaning to the side in a most alarming fashion and most of the fireplaces were blocked up. during restoration of the fireplaces and chimneys, we had the bricklayer reuse some of these lovely old bricks as a visible feature. Now, if you sit in the library in front of the fireplace, you can place your hand in a partial print made by one of the people who built this house approximately 180 years ago. We used the little red wagon to transport some of the bricks to a new storage location. When I saw the color of the bricks and the wagon with the area around it, out came the camera. What do you think?
I could probably do a post just on the little red
wagon and all the things it has been used for over
the years. Should I?
The last two pictures are more seasonal ones. I am not sure what type leaf this is, but I like it. The mushroom, yes, yet another mushroom, is actually two or three grown together, once again, found in my woods. I call it the teacup mushroom for obvious reasons.
Speaking of tea cups, mine is empty and hubby says breakfast is ready. Have a great week.


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