To each his own. To me my own.

Posts tagged “weekend

Time Change

clock

This weekend, most of us will get back that hour we lost in the Spring for Daylight Savings time. If you happen to still be in denial of the fall season (like me) – the time change could very well serve as an alarm clock to fall’s arrival.

The subject got me thinking this morning about time, and change, and how we change as we get older. My thinking time during the drive in to work will sometimes get me in trouble.

In the past I never really considered how much a person changes over time. Guess I figured you just travel through life keeping whatever preferences you always had. Now that my 46-going-on-26 year-old self is finding out that’s not the case, it’s got my attention. Here are a few things that come to mind when I consider these changes.

My taste in music. As far back as my adolescent years, I’d never listen to anything but rock. The heavier, the better. Now, country music has my heart. It actually soothes my soul and brings me peace.

My driving. I admit I used to be an aggressive driver, where even simple things set me off. Because of this I would experience cases of road rage at the drop of a hat. Now, my motto is ‘just get there safely’. I now look at operating an automobile through an entirely different set of eyes.

My taste in food. When I was young, there weren’t many things I would eat. I hated mac & cheese (any cheese, actually), pizza, seafood, cole slaw, and many others. The only fruit I would eat was a banana. From my 20’s to my 40’s, my ex was a picky eater. In this era, everything I cooked had to be bland – there was no ‘slipping in’ of an onion, tomato, cheese, mustard, etc. – lest he refuse to eat it. Fast forward to now – I love so many different foods and enjoy cooking new recipes with no restrictions as to the ingredients. I actually welcome opportunities to try foods from different ethnicities.

Life in general. I have found simplicity is the better way. This was not always the case for me. The older I get though, the more I search for an easier way to do things. This can range anywhere from household chores down to how I style my hair or what I wear. I’m constantly looking for better ways to save time. Maybe this is because with each new day we have less time left. We live in a world now where everything is complicated – government issues, terrorism, religious wars and a short-staffed workplace just to name a few. I yearn deeply for a world where everything is simple.

I never thought I’d see the day where my sweet Mom watches football games, y’all. If none of the above convinces you of people changing with time, maybe this one will. She inspires ME to watch more.

Time changes, all right. It’s become clear to me this will likely be an ongoing venture with many more changes to come. And, I’m okay with that.

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Clean White Slate

My beloved South got it’s snow yesterday. It came in swift and accumulated very rapidly. It was a blessing for it to occur on a Saturday afternoon/night of the weekend! The residents here seemed perfectly content to have a warm night tucked safe in their homes, and enjoy the scenery of the beautiful white snow outside.

It brought along with it thunder and lightning, which has been endearingly termed Thundersnow. The conditions that lead up to this type of event are extremely rare, and usually only occur in the states along the East Coast.

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This morning, I couldn’t resist the urge to walk down the pathway adjacent to my building to the lake. Although the overnight ice was treacherous, I went slow to reach my intended target.

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The Prize:

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A true photographer at heart, whether professional or amateur (I’m most certainly the amateur), will do almost anything to get their intended shot.

Going back up…
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This is my second weekend here. Along came the cleansing white snow which, to me, signifies a clean white slate. That’s how I see it, anyway.

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Can you tell I have this little thing for trees?


Neither here nor there

It took me a month to pack and less than a week to unpack. For some reason, I’ve always struggled with packing. Not just with moving, but with packing for a trip or vacation as well. It’s always easy for me to unpack and stick the stuff back in it’s respectful places – but gathering items and organizing them in boxes is hard for me. I think it’s largely due to my ocd about categorizing things. I also tend to want to clean out when I’m packing… I’ll abandon a box and go in search of other ‘like’ items to combine with it. Before I know it, an hour has passed and I’m still on the same box.

This got me thinking about life in general. I don’t necessarily have issues with making a change – I am a Pisces, after all. If a Pisces isn’t comfortable with the direction their life is headed, it’s a well-known fact that they will simply disappear or swim away in the other direction. That’s not to say that finding the courage to actually make that change is easy. Once the change is made however, my organizational skills are unmatched. If I can say one positive thing about myself, it’s my ability to organize – once the deed is done, so to speak.

It’s slowly beginning to dawn on me how much of myself I put into a relationship. It would also seem that I’m easily replaceable. Over the past several years I’ve lost a huge chunk of me that I’m now struggling to find again, and it’s frustrating. I must give myself time and patience in this endeavor, in as much as time passed through which I allowed that loss.

But guess what? I’ve already started.


The Legend of the Blowing Rock

Last weekend we took a day-trip back up to the town of Blowing Rock, NC. With the majestic Blue Ridge Mountain scenic views, the town shops and our favorite barbecue restaurant, it tops our list of favorites. We had never actually been on the Blowing Rock, so we paid admission to see what it was all about.

I admired this little bird who chose to sit atop the Blowing Rock.

This little girl beside me looked lonely. 🙂

I’ve always loved a good legend. Something about them always connects me back to my childhood, where things could instantly turn magical and mystical. This, to me, is one of those tales that takes me back to that time.

It is said that a Chickasaw chieftan, fearful of a white man’s admiration for his lovely daughter, journeyed far from the plains to bring her to The Blowing Rock and the care of a squaw mother. One day the maiden, daydreaming on the craggy cliff, spied a Cherokee brave wandering in the wilderness far below and playfully shot an arrow in his direction. The flirtation worked because soon he appeared before her wigwam, courted her with songs of his land and they became lovers, wandering the pathless woodlands and along the crystal streams.

One day a strange reddening of the sky brought the brave and the maiden to The Blowing Rock. To him it was a sign of trouble commanding his return to his tribe in the plains. With the maiden’s entreaties not to leave her, the brave, torn by conflict of duty and heart, leaped from The Rock into the wilderness far below. The grief-stricken maiden prayed daily to the Great Spirit until one evening with a reddening sky, a gust of wind blew her lover back onto The Rock and into her arms. From that day a perpetual wind has blown up onto The Rock from the valley below. For people of other days, at least, this was explanation enough for The Blowing Rock’s mysterious winds causing even the snow to fall upside down.

I’ve got my own handsome Cherokee brave. 🙂

The Blowing Rock website


Chime a little Chime

I love wind chimes.

Maybe it’s because they’re one of the few things left in life that are non technology-related. Maybe it’s because it’s the first thing I bought myself a couple of months prior to moving and starting a new life in 2008. Or maybe it’s because they provided such good company during the times I felt alone.

I paid only ten dollars for this set of windchimes, which is a steal for chimes (I know mine isn’t such a vintage set, but I’ve grown accustomed to their harmonial sounds). I’m sure at times my neighbors could’ve shot me for the relentless chime songs coming from my third floor condo, but I never got any complaints.

My chimes are still with me, though now weathered and worn. Much like an old flag proudly waving, both require that common denominator of wind in order to perform their duties. I’ve always thought weathered and worn adds character to pretty much anything. Weathered and worn tells stories.

This morning I ran across the Mother of all Windchimes -they’re called Corinthian Bells. I can’t afford them, but if I ever can you can bet I’ll have a set. Aside from the beautiful music of a harp – I’ve never heard anything quite as lovely. Thought I’d share one more video (not mine) showcasing this beautiful set – it’s so sweet. The end of this video made it an instant favorite of mine… and who couldn’t use a little more sweetness in their day?

🙂


Sights of Spring

I’ve missed all you guys and my little steam release of a blog here. For a over a week now I’ve been sick with the crud, which literally made it’s debut one full day after bragging about how well I’ve been for over a year. If you’d like for the crud to come pay you a visit, all you have to do is brag about your long tenure of being without. This little rule also applies to speeding tickets. You’re welcome.

In lieu of jotting down anything and everything boring in my life at the moment, thought I’d share a few sights of Spring as seen through my own eyes. Hope you all are having a beautiful start to the Spring season and staying healthy and happy!

I've never seen tulips like these before, with the tattered-looking petals. I thought they were gorgeous.

Meet our favorite young hibachi chef... Tai. He's a good kid and very talented, I know he's going to do well in life. We were with him on the first night he cooked over a year ago. Tai, Keith and I have our alma mater in common - K and I are class of '86, and Tai is class of '07. Rams rule! 🙂

One of our many gladiolus sprouts peeking up to say hi. The gladiolus are quickly on their way to becoming my favorite flower.

Our garden, all tilled and ready to plant! I'm really excited about this, it's definitely going to be a summer hobby. 🙂

The oh-so-green daylilies in the front flower bed. I put some fresh mulch in there yesterday, too.

Our St. Patty's day cocktails. I just HAD to have a green one.

This is my favorite Saturday find - a cactus garden. I just couldn't leave this one sitting at the store! My Mammaw was the cactus geru - she was so good at growing them and arranging terrarium gardens. I spent half my childhood picking their pricks out of my skin.

A bunny rabbit my Mom gave me. Love-love! Can you see all the red canna sprouts popping up around it?

The smaller birdbath was a gift from my Mom - combined with our big one it looks like it was meant to be!

I forwent begonias this year and opted for these African Daisies I planted yesterday. I can't wait to see their progress in a couple of weeks.


More firsts

Last night I had a monumental moment – I built my very own fire. This might sound silly to some of you, but for as long as I can remember someone else has always built them. It’s good to know I can make one on my own.

Of course, I had some help from the little match-lights. As warm as it’s been, it could very well be the last fire of the season and I was proud to have built it.

It’s the little things in life… like how my cat now thinks I am a god.

😀


Here, hold my eggplant

Today’s date with my daughter at the farmers market was to start bright and early at 8 am, per her request. The little darling overslept, leaving me there to people-watch for over an hour which is a bad move. I’ve since decided ‘opening time’ at the farmer’s market isn’t necessarily the best time for yours truly to arrive. Why? Because this is when all the skinny little vegan people are scurrying about, looking desperately hungry, frail and cold. It’s not hard for me to spot ’em – their beady little accusing eyes attempting to size me up tends to give me the creeps. The women’s ponytails are pulled so tight it could actually serve as a breast-lift. Instead of one canvas tote, they’re carrying three or four – still requiring a dump of the first load in their car before going back in for another round. With stern expressions, they complete their mission like a well-oiled machine. Truth is, I guess I’m more of the I’m hungover, slept ’til noon and decided to come out in my pajamas®  type. Sue me.

So that’s my observation on spotting a vegan. I also learned something today from babygirl – it appears I’ve mispronounced ‘vegan’ all my life (for the short time I’ve known what they were, anyway). Apparently the correct pronunciation is vee’-gan, with a long e and hard g. I like my own pronunciation better, which is ve’-jan, with a short e and soft g. This just makes more sense to me – it sounds short for vegetable, which is what they eat, right? Vee’-gan sounds too much like a monster or witch or something. So I think I’ll keep saying ve’-jan.

I’m just having a little fun here, so if you’re one of ‘them’ I’m sure I hope you don’t resemble the vast stereotype I witnessed today. Word… I just might have joined forces with you if I didn’t enjoy my meat so [very very] much. Then again, I could never give up that extra-heavy leather coat I got for Christmas that still permeates an entire room with the most pungently aromatic leather smell everrrrr. Pure Heaven, I tell you.

Off to cook my chicken. And zucchini. And squash. And corn. Did I mention I’m having chicken?


SuperFood Sunday

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve looked forward to today for a long time. Alright, for maybe a week or so. Superbowl, you may ask? Absolutely. Well, what it stands for anyway. I have to admit, I couldn’t care less about the actual game (if our Panthers ever go again, I’m sure that’ll change). To me, Superbowl Sunday is about everything that goes along ‘with it’.

Commercials. All those funny commercials that when asked about on Monday I can never remember (clears throat). Lazing around my jammies all day long with a nice hot fire blazing. The musical acts – I could take or leave Madonna, but I simply can’t wait for Blake and Miranda’s duet of ‘God Bless America’. Never to be last on the list… my chili.

Oh, chili – let me count the ways I love you. I cherish each and every ingredient that goes into making a love-filled batch. You see, I couldn’t use these ingredients in my old life because it wasn’t permitted. Now that the rules are out the window so to speak, consider it no holds barred. It’s not just meat, beans and a seasoning packet anymore, baby (meh). How ’bout starting out with some kickin’ seasoned ground beef, 2 different kinds of beans, couple cans of seasoned diced tomatoes, diced garlic, onion, habanero and bell pepper, hot Rotel, hot chili powder, and towards the end of it’s cooking life, a nice little half-bottle of cayenne pepper? Hey, if this sounds bland to you I’m always open to suggestions. Being that I’ve had chili-making policies to follow all of my adult life, you could say I’m a ‘chili rookie’ of sorts. Oh, and mustn’t forget the sour cream, grated cheese and jalapenos upon serving time. And the ‘Tostitos with a hint of jalapeno’. And the cornbread. And the Hawaiian rolls. Oh and pay no attention to the wine in the background. It’s, um… just for looks.

Prior to the main course, we’ll have Queso for an appetizer. How I do love that Velveeta and HOT Rotel. Have I mentioned I like it hot?

Happy Game Day to those of you who watch – I hope you enjoy it in your own special and memorable way!


A View from Mount Mitchell

Those who know me are well aware of my continuing quest to kick acrophobia out the window once and for all. Thought I’d share a few pictures of our road-trip yesterday up to Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak of the Appalachian Mountains and the highest point in the eastern United States. This is the highest up I’ve ever been. For those of you who’ve been much higher and think this is a simply a walk in the park – humor me. I’m terrified this high up (mainly during the drive up and down), but for some reason the mountains keep calling me back. It’s so beautiful and peaceful here, even if it does scare me to death.


A Rare Find

“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”

~Bob Marley

Oh, he was indeed a rare find – God broke the mold when he created Bob Marley. I wanted to share my ‘rare find’ of a gem from our New Years beach trip. I paid too much for it, but it’s a Billabong so it’ll probably still be here after I’m long gone. Do know that I will be wearing this thing all summer long and it’ll have to be pryed from my nubby little fingers to make it into the washing machine. It’s true – come next Summer, there will be one 44-going-on-24-year-old woman running around in a (very fashionable, might I add?) Marley tank. Sue me.

I. Love. This. Thing. Have I mentioned I’m going to see my Red Hot Chili Peppers in a few weeks with my daughter (her Christmas present to me)? And did I mention Lo-WER Le-VEL? So see, sometime between now and then I’ve got to get my cool back. Thanks for the head start, Mr. Marley. 🙂


Merry Christmas To You

It’s early, barely past twilight, and it’s Christmas. I’ve been awake for a couple hours now even though bedtime came late last night.

Christmas is here, the celebration of our Savior’s birth. The little baby whose bed was a manger on that cold star-filled night. Little did he know what was to lie ahead for him. Then again, maybe he did.

This has been the most amazing Christmas ever. Our girls are here and still snuggled tight under the covers fast asleep. I’d love to get a picture of them, but I don’t feel like getting killed today. 🙂 Stockings are filled, and I’m simply biding time with this little post before I start cooking breakfast and have to wake everyone.

I wish every one of you the merriest of Christmases, spent with good friends and family.

And Happy Birthday, Jesus.


A Day in the Life of Camille

This morning as I sat in front of my computer, my trusty sidekick hung out with me.
I caught her snuggling with Mr. Frog (the first stuffed animal Keith ever gave me).
For once, I happened to have the camera right beside me.

A few minutes later, she gave her customary ‘hummpphh’ from her table beside the computer desk. Knowing my little girl so well, I immediately took note it was more than a ‘hey mommy, over here!!’ grunt. It was obvious she was planning a desk-launch, and she wanted clearance to do so.
And so the stance was taken.

No, Camille.” Hunched forward again in pounce mode. (A little firmer now) “Camille – NO.”
She then backed off completely with one exception – her little left paw was left suspended
and quivering in mid-air.

And it hung.

And hung. And quivered.

“Aren’t I cuuuuute, Mommy?
Let me squint my eyes at you to let you know how much I love you Mommy and,
and, and… you are getting very sleepy, Mommy…”

“sooooo, now could be my chance – lemme slide in a little looksie at two o’clock…”

She shoots – she scores.

After digging her out from the wires on back of computer (oh how I hate that)
comes the dreaded walk of shame.

“Whatta you mean I gotta get back on the bore-table?! All that work for nuttin’??
Oh I’m pissed. No, I won’t look at you. No. I’m so…”

…pissed, I tell you. Errr, what… a close-up you say?
Well – okay, gotta look my best for dem close-ups. Cheese!!”


Makin’ Waves

At long last, we’re making a little trip down to the coast. Sure it’s no 7-day caribbean cruise like my daughter just came back from, but it totally works for me. It’ll be nice to get away, even for a few nights! Forecast is calling for cooler temps with possible showers, but it’s all good since we’re not currently in the path of a hurricane. Hoo – wahh.

Last night Keith mentioned taking a couple of rods with us so we could go pier fishing – something I’ve wanted to do for years. Being a fishie myself, I’ll of course throw back any fishies that I’m lucky enough to snag. ‘Cause that’s how I roll.

All this led me to some serious thinking.

Common Sense Beach Thoughts, by Bon:

  • It’s September, so don’t wade too far out in the ocean if you favor the concept of a complete pair of legs.
  • While enjoying a leisurely stroll on the beach, keep a sharp eye out for those huge wooden structures called piers. Avoid any and all contact between them and the top of your head.
  • Relish the memories of previous parasailing events and resist the urge, however strong, to do it again. Your luck on not having yet become just another accident statistic is bound to run out sometime.
  • Do not opt to eat at Taco Bell immediately prior to taking a dolphin watch cruise on the ocean.
  • Never wait until mid-September to decide you’d like to add ‘just one more bathing suit’ to your collection. All that’s left in that area of the store is chirping crickets.

Now… if I can just figure out where to score one of these fins and an invisible push-up bra
I’ll be set. The hair extension part is easy.

😀


Roadtrip

I love spontaneous roadtrips. With us they usually end up in the mountains, and I’ve grown to love the area a lot. Yesterday we set out early to Maggie Valley/Cherokee, NC. This is the location of mine and Keith’s very first trip together over two years ago, and I was surprised to see how much I remembered about it! Maybe my old memory isn’t as bad as I thought it was. Keith has Cherokee roots from his mother’s side of the family, and even looks the part. He could probably put on a headdress and pass very well.

We mostly walked both towns and perused the shops,, and ended up in Waynesville to eat dinner. Thought I’d share some photos of my favorite findings of the day – I hope everyone has a enjoyable and safe Labor Day Weekend!

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Pear Smiling

It usually takes a while to adjust to new living conditions, whether you’ve made the move yourself or someone else has moved in with you. After several months, it’s fair to say Keith and I have established a good little ‘routine’ with daily duties such as dinner, grocery shopping, laundry and other things.

During our grocery trip this Saturday, we lingered in the produce department – everything seemed to look extra-good. We happened upon a batch of pears, which I don’t normally buy.

Keith: ‘You like pears?’

Me: ‘I dunno. Don’t think I’ve ever tried them.’

Keith: ‘Oh, they’re good – if you get the right one.’

Me: ‘Yeah, my dad likes pears (the right ones).’

K fondles picks up the pears and puts each one back, them obviously not being up to his standard. Rounding the corner, he utters ‘aha!’ and walks over to another batch, eyeing them like an old girlfriend. Since I’m a pear newbie, I can’t remember the type – Bartlett or Bosc, I think – they had bits of green and brown. I watched as he gingerly picked a few up, felt them, smelled them.

This flashed me right back to a scene from a favorite movie, City of Angels – of Meg Ryan picking up the pears and smelling them. Of Nicolas Cage learning how to do it by intently watching her. It looked like that exact same type of pear.

Anyone remember the HBO series Dream On from the 90’s? I loved that show. It featured a neurotic New Yorker (Brian Benben) whose real life antics always drummed up scenes of old TV shows. Reminds me of someone I know…


Setting Stages

Have you ever wished for something, and over time found yourself subliminally ‘padding the way’ for it to happen? Not necessarily ‘making it happen’ or ‘helping it out’ – but perhaps making it ‘easier to occur’?

Setting the stage, so to speak.

It has recently come to my attention that I may be unintentionally doing this. Once I realized it for what it really was, I was disappointed in myself. The sheer anticipation of certain hopes and dreams somehow warped my brain into thinking that I need to provide my assistance or guidance in order for them to happen.

Go out and grab life by the horns, Bon. Seize the world – it’s yours. Make your own destiny. It’s never too late to be what you might have been. I heard it all. And I listened.

After twenty-three years of marriage I was the proud owner of a can’t-think-for-myself brain. Once I finally met and became acquainted with ME 1.0, I convinced myself I had to become a strong individual and maintain control and direction. I’m still (slowly) learning that exercising that ‘control’ does not and should not apply to every single thing in life. Some things need to occur naturally if they are to occur – and over time. Unwittingly setting the stage isn’t always appropriate.

Certain dreams and aspirations I have will either come true or they won’t. I have to come to the realization that some things in life just do not need my assistance.


FD Marathon

The movie Final Destination 5 is out and I’m dying to see it. Friday I found out that Keith not only hasn’t seen 3 or 4 (the usual average missed in a series of movies) but he has yet to see any of them. I can now report we officially have a Final Destination edumacation – that is, except for the new and improved #5. Full-screen trailer can be seen here.

For those who don’t know what the movies are about, each starts something like this. One person within a group has a vision of something catastrophic that’s about to happen. This ‘vision’ of impending doom shakes the person up, causing them to freak out and immediately abandon whatever it is they’re doing. A small group of people also follow his/her lead, thereby saving their own lives when that vision actually comes to life a few minutes later. Thing is, this whole new series of events screws up what they call ‘death’s design’ – so one by one, each person of that group meets their fate in some freak accident. And, they die in the same pecking order as they would have had they not exited their original… final destination.


I haven’t watched this much tube in like five years or more – my eyes hurt. FD1 Friday night, FD2 Saturday morning, FD3 Saturday night and the FD4 Sunday afternoon. Any Final Destination trivia can be thrown this way, please.

In an endeavor to keep my very own final destination at least an arm’s length distance or better, I’ve learned a few things not to do…

    • Never, under any circumstance, should you stand anywhere near a barbed wire fence.
    • When boarding your local roller coaster, think twice about actually belting yourself in.
    • Always look both ways before crossing the street. Twice. Three times, even better.
    • When entering a tanning bed, never pull it all the way closed.
    • If you ever go visit Paris, make sure you’re not on Flight 180. In fact, if you see those three numbers listed anywhere near you in that particular order – run, don’t walk.
    • When swimming in a public pool, it may actually benefit you to wear your swimmies.
    • Avoid nail guns at all costs. Hammers still do the job well, with a little more effort involved.
    • A fire escape may not serve as an actual escape.
    • If your car has had electrical problems in the past – you may want to avoid car washes.
    • Never ever enter an elevator with someone who is holding a box of prosthetic hooks.
    • Duct tape has an endless variety of uses – including safeguarding your house.
    • If a pigeon continually crashes into your dentist’s office window – leave immediately and find another dentist.
    • It’s not a bad thing to pay attention to to your visions and inner voices. Just don’t let it drive you crazy…


Chillin’ on a Dirt Road, Pt. 2

A while back I posted a vid of one of my current song faves – Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem”. I just noticed today they removed the embedding ability for musical copyright issues. While searching for a replacement, I ran across a GEM of a piece that I just had to share…

It’s not the entire song, but enough for you to form an opinion whether or not you like it. My props go out to them for the entire arrangement – that’s really a truck they’re in, too. Wish it was longer, but I still think these guys deserve a viral on youtube. Check out 1 minute 14 seconds of AWESOME.


My Cure for Acrophobia… NOT

As much as I’ve been up and around the area, I’ve never been to the very top of Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. Positioned 5,946 feet up in the clouds, it’s height is impressive even when compared to that of Mt. Mitchell which stands at 6,684 feet – the highest peak in the eastern United States. Grandfather Mountain is definitely the highest point I’ve ever been in my life, and likely ever will be again. It’s surely high enough for me.

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As we drove on past our favorite little town of Blowing Rock, NC we decided to visit the top of this infamous mountain. I learned a good bit about it, including the fact that Grandfather has more plant diversity contained in it’s area than in all of Europe. It’s landscaping and inhabitants are largely protected, which is always great to see. The admission fee included entrance to everything except the highland games. Nature museum, gift shop and restaurant, animal habitats, many impressive cliff points, walking trails, and never to be last –  the mile-high swinging bridge.

Ohhhh, Mama.

I’ve worked feverishly for years to try and rid myself of this dreaded fear of heights, also known as Acrophobia. Countless trips to mountains, numerous rides on the Intimidator coaster (tallest and fastest in the Southeast), a couple of paragliding adventures over the Atlantic… but nothing could have prepared me for the entirely helpless panicked feeling of being out on that bridge.

I wanted to be able to snap a pic or two out on there, but I had to keep walking moving. My legs felt like jelly, I was shaking uncontrollably, and my chest felt as though I had entered into cardiac arrest. I couldn’t disappoint Keith, I knew how badly he wanted to walk it – but I simply cannot explain how terrified I was.

To say the drive up to the highest point/swinging bridge was treacherous was an understatement. Several complete u-turn points paved the way up the last several hundred feet, with nothing but sheer drop-off below. Each car literally had to stop and think first about what they were doing. Except for the pavement quality, it seriously reminded me of that tv show ‘Most Dangerous Roads’ usually found in third-world countries. And I thought the trip up was bad until I realized we had to come back down.

Another tidbit of info I learned: Remember when Forrest Gump ran across America? A portion of his trek was filmed while running up Grandfather Mountain (a curve now appropriately named “Forrest Gump Curve”. Ironically, I came home and the movie was on tv last night… one of these snapshots is of Forrest running around that particular curve on my tv. 🙂

I guess the height thing is one phobia I’m just going to have to live with. As far as ever conquering it, I can’t say I haven’t tried!

http://www.grandfather.com/