Tag Archives: travel

Weekend Fun

I blogged early last week because I was going out of town for a long weekend in the mountains. My husband and I have a small piece of property in Western North Carolina and he wanted to visit before the trees and shrubs leafed out, so he could see the true lay of the land. Our bit of hillside is just over a ridge from my sister’s property, where she and her husband built a cottage last fall. The cottage will be their summer place and they were hoping to live in it a bit last year before wintering in Florida, but it wasn’t finished in time, so this was their first visit, as well as their first time hosting guests.

We had been keeping an eye on the weather for weeks, trying to find a time when the travel and access would be safe for Florida flatlanders in a two-wheel-drive vehicle. We chose this past weekend because there were supposed to be two days of full sun after a couple of rainy days, one of which would be our travel day. We figured we’d be okay as long as there was no frozen precipitation.

We left here early Friday morning and enjoyed a reasonably dry trip on the interstate, where we saw early spring flowers in the fields and on the fences throughout Georgia and South Carolina. In North Carolina, the only color came from daffodils, but they were everywhere. The gravel road to the cottage was a little wet, but easily passable. We had run into some brief showers on the road, but no heavy rain, and we hoped Saturday would be the same.

We slept in a bit on Saturday because we had celebrated our first evening in the new cabin with wine and Whist. I’m not very good at wine (I took a sip to toast our first night in the new cottage) but I’m great at Whist. Well…I’m great at having a good time at Whist even if I’m not getting good cards and I keep having to play forced fours. I love Whist as long as there’s a hope that I might get a good hand the next time. Whist and Chicken Foot are the only things that will keep me up past nine o’clock.

We went to town on Saturday to do a little shopping. It was gray and wet in Burnsville. That made it a good day to get in some groceries and sundries. When we started to get hungry, we decided to go to Spruce Pine. There was a pizza restaurant there with a microbrewery. We had tried to check it out on previous trips but never managed to catch it on a day that it was open. Saturday seemed like a good bet and it sure wasn’t a good day for sight-seeing.

We were just sitting down in the pizza place when my sister got a phone call from her North Carolina neighbor, alerting her to a new weather forecast which included the possibility of snow. Snow? We had chosen this weekend because there was no ice or snow in the forecast! Now they were saying we might get one to three inches during the night. We enjoyed our pizza (my husband enjoyed his flight of six tiny glasses of beer) and then headed to a grocery store to make sure we would have enough food to get us through Sunday, just in case there was enough snow to keep us from wanting to chance the gravel road. Some folks were still saying there might be no snow, or it might not stick if it fell.

Back at the cottage, we played more Whist and went to bed pretty late, with no sign of snow coming down outside. My brother-in-law was the first one up in the morning and asked us if we had looked out the window.

“Is there snow?” we said.

He didn’t answer, so we got up and looked out the window. Yes, there really was snow! There was a light dusting on all the trees and on the ground and on the front porch of the cottage. We wouldn’t have come if we’d known it was going to snow, but it sure was a nice treat to see it from the warm coziness of the cottage. Of course, my husband had to go out on the porch and build a tiny snowman.

The sun came out in the afternoon and melted all the snow, but the snowman will live forever, because I painted this itty bitty portrait.

Tiny painting of tiny snowman

Tiny painting of tiny snowman

Tie-dye Time

I’ve become rather obsessive about posting something on this blog once a week. This week, I won’t be able to manage my usual Friday post. I will be camping at a folk festival and I will not be bringing a computer with me. I will be on my feet for three days straight in the tie-dye booth and sleeping in a tent at night. It’s not an ideal blogging situation, but it will be fun. The tent will be right behind the tie-dye booth, which will be very near the main stage. Music goes on for hours after the official show ends for the night. It just moves from the stages to the campfire circles. I love falling asleep to the sound of fiddles.

I’m happy that we did manage to get caught up on our little girls’ dresses. I pre-soaked a lot of things when we started trying to gear up for this festival and not all of them made it all the way through the tie-dye process. We work outdoors, so our work is weather-dependent. We had some gorgeous days these past two weeks, but we also had some impossible days. Maybe some people work outside with wet things when temperatures are in the thirties; I am not willing to do that.

We have plenty of tie-dye – way more than we will sell at this festival. The problem, of course, is choice. A person may only buy one thing, but that person wants a lot of things from which to choose. When we do our biggest festival of the year, we rent a truck, so we can bring everything we can fit into a 10′ x 20′ booth. We do that because we know the sales at that event will be enough to justify the expense. This weekend’s festival is quite a bit smaller. We will have a 10′ x 10′ space and we have to fit everything we’re bringing (including all our camping gear) in my husband’s Honda Odyssey.

That job belongs to my daughter. She is my partner in the tie-dye business and I couldn’t do it without her. That’s partly because she does all the tying (I do the dyeing), but it’s also because she figures out how to fit everything into the van. I can fetch and carry things, but I do not decide where they go in the van. That’s her special gift. If I tried to do it myself, I would be weeping and tearing my hair out long before I could get half of the tie-dye into the vehicle. Thank goodness I don’t have to try.

I just get to drive the van, which is not my every-day vehicle, for several hours tomorrow in, if the Weather Channel is to be believed, steady rain and possible thunderstorms. On the upside, Saturday and Sunday are supposed to be sunny. Whatever gets wet on Thursday should have time to dry out before we have to pack it back up at the end of the weekend. With any luck, there will be less of it to pack up at that point.

I did not manage to paint anything this week, but I did produce some colorful things.

Rainbows, Fruities and Oceans

Rainbows, Fruities and Oceans


My Little Blue Netbook

I promised at least one blog post per week and I’m feeling rather compulsive about doing that now that I’ve made the commitment. I’m on vacation this week, but I brought my little netbook in hopes of having wifi access during our one hotel night. This is the night, but the access is giving me problems. I’m vacationing with my I.T. Guy husband, so I hope he can help me resolve these problems. I have no clue, but if I’m going to keep up with my blog, I need to learn how to cope.

I.T. Guy just tried connecting his own laptop to the hotel wifi and he said it connected right up. I don’t want to think my netbook is a lesser computer. I love my netbook. Catch me in an unguarded moment and you might hear me call it “the precious.” It’s cute and it’s blue and it’s so small I can slip it into a backpack or suitcase and take it just about anywhere. It’s not fast. Okay, it’s really slow, but that doesn’t matter because I didn’t buy it to use as a game machine. I bought it to use as a portable word processor and for that, it’s perfect.

I had to have a portable word processor. My daughter had convinced me to do NaNoWriMo last year and there was no way I was going to write fifty thousand words in a month while sitting at a desktop computer. Sitting at a desktop computer feels like work. I wanted NaNoWriMo to feel like play, so I got myself a new toy. With this adorable little toy, I could sit in a soft chair or my favorite corner of the couch and work on my novel in sweet comfort. As it turned out, I caught a nasty virus last November and ended up doing a lot of my typing in bed. If I hadn’t bought this netbook, I never would have been able to complete my novel.

The Precious

The Precious

It may be pokey, but it saved my NaNo novel and I am grateful. Now I’m preparing for my second NaNoWriMo. When I say I’m preparing, I don’t mean that I’m making outlines or planning chapters. I did NaNo by the seat of my pants last year and I imagine I will do the same this year. My preparations involve laying in a generous supply of Maxwell House International Coffee and Oregon Chai. I know what tools will get me through NaNoWriMo.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about a new toy this year. I already have the perfect little computer, so I treated myself to a new flash drive. A monkey flash drive.

The Monkey

The Monkey