Sunday, September 10, 2017

A little trip to the mountains

Larry and I spent a few days this week in the Georgia leg of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Cleveland and Helen.  We could not have picked a better time to go and the weather was absolutely perfect.  Crisp, cool mornings and highs in the afternoons in the 70's.  Oh, how welcomed that weather was!

We stopped on the way at Rucksack Military Surplus in Gainesville where Larry was able to find a bunch of patches he didn't already have and I got a pair of gray Army training shorts that I LOVE.  I sleep in 'em.  Then we were off to Babyland General Hospital in Cleveland to see the babies in the cabbage patch!  I've wanted to go there since I was a teenager and got my first CBK, a preemie boy that I named Jory, after a V.C. Andrews character.  I was really, really into V.C. Andrews books back then.  We could see the hospital from the road and it was sooooo pretty!  There were pots and pots of flowers and rocking chairs all the way around the porch.



A sweet nurse offered to take our picture in the famous cabbage leaf chair.  I was more than a little giddy to be there!  Ha!


We walked around the hospital and the gift shop.  I'd already made up my mind that I was taking one home with us and when I saw this little red-haired, green-eyed girl, I knew she was the one.


We took her out of the box (OMG, whoever packages these dolls does NOT want you to be able to get them out.  She was strapped and tied down everywhere.) and Larry took this picture of us.  Awwwww.

Her name is Grace Hannah, named after Larry's grandma, Grace, and my grand-grandma, Hannah.  We paid a little extra for her birth certificate and off we went to Mountain Laurel Antique Mall and walked around in there for a little while.  I found a couple of things I couldn't live without.  :)

I loved this plate!  It's the Helsinki design by One World.  I'd love to have the whole set or at least find more of it.  I've never seen it before.


And this funky little vintage trivet.  I couldn't leave it.  :)

We had rented a cabin at the top of Little Andy Mountain several months ago and it was the most beautiful little cabin in the most beautiful little spot.  We didn't want to leave!  Gorgeous mountain views, sunrises, sunsets from the deck, and the moon and the stars through the huge window across from the bed.  It was just amazing and sooooo romantic.

If anybody would like to stay here, leave me a message and I'll give you the info.  It's got a living room, kitchen, bedroom and bath, Jacuzzi tub, hot tub, gas grill, pool table, TV room downstairs with a leather sectional sofa, washer and dryer so you can do your laundry, a full bath downstairs and a beautiful wraparound deck.  We loved it and will definitely go back!  It's so funny because when I posted the pics of the cabin on Facebook, a friend of mine recognized it as the cabin she and her husband and baby son stayed at years ago! 

We got to Helen around 6:00, starving slap to death and couldn't wait to get our hands on some authentic weiner schnitzel!  We found it at Hofbrauhaus Restaurant and G.I. Germany Pub.  We went all out with schnitzel, German potato salad, sauerkraut, cheese beer dip with a baked pretzel, German black forest cake, German chocolate cake and we even tried escargot for the first time.  They tasted just like stuffed mushrooms.  I still don't understand the big deal with escargot.  Probably won't ever have 'em again but at least I can say I tried 'em!

We made a quick walk through Helen after supper (well, we kinda rolled through Helen after supper), stopped at Hansel and Gretel for some fudge and got a few groceries at Betty's Country Store and called it a night.  Friday morning, we went back to Helen and Larry dropped me off while he went back to Mountain Laurel to get something for me that I couldn't see.  I walked around by myself, had an apple strudel at Hofer's Bakery (if you're in Helen, you HAVE to go to Hofer's!  We went three times!) and waited for him to get back.  It took him a little longer so I went shopping!  I got a Helen t-shirt, a pretty tie-dyed top and some Christmas presents.  So, yes, I have officially started Christmas shopping!  

Once Larry joined me, we had lunch at Hofer's. Reubens with sauerkraut and melted Swiss cheese!  Hofer's need to stop.  Really.  Their sweet tea was as good as mine, too.  I heart them so much.


We walked the town again, visiting the toy store, the model train exhibit, the Christmas store, Nacoochee Village Antique Mall (where I got a 1961 promotional Empire Golden Scroll Pyrex casserole dish with the lid AND the cradle!  I also hid a rock that I painted there and a lady visiting from Pennsylvania found it and posted it on Facebook.  Made my day AND hers!), the grist mill and country store and then went back to Betty's for some German beer and coffee and went back to our cabin and crashed.
Saturday morning, early, we had breakfast and then went to Cool River Tubing to tube down the Chattahoochee River.  We signed up, got a push stick (and later on discovered that we needed TWO push sticks) and took a bus ride up the mountain so we could start upriver.  The bus driver was a really sweet elderly man and it was a pleasant ride.  Just him and me and Larry.  Nobody else had signed up yet so we had the river to ourselves.  We got our tubes and off we went.  I probably don't have to tell y'all how awkward it is for a pudgy girl to get into an inner tube in the river.  But I got in there, finally, and got situated.  Kinda.  Larry had the stick and he also held onto to my tube, bless his heart.  His arms would pay for that later on.  We set off down the river and it was really so, so nice.  It was about 55 degrees and there was a little breeze blowing and we just floated.  Most of the way was smooth but there were some areas where the water was rushing (I called it "rapids"...ha!) and there were some areas where the water was so deep the stick wouldn't touch the bottom but for the most part, the water was low and we got stuck on rocks.  A lot.  I was pretty hysterical after a while.  It was just so, so funny. 

There was this one big rock that I got hung up on and I had been trying to help Larry get us unstuck by rocking the tube and I rocked myself up over the rock (this is where two sticks would have been lovely) and the water splashed and filled Larry's tube with water.  With his phone in the bottom of the tube.  He let go of me and I floated away from him while he went to the bank to dump the water out of his tube and he slipped on the slippery rocks and fell into the water, soaking his phone for the second time.  He wrapped it up in his sweatshirt in the only part of it that was dry, the hood, and started out to get me.  I was hung up on a rock by that time, of course I was.  When I drifted away from him, I was a little scared but the dang water was three feet deep right there so I knew I wouldn't drown.  I just liked having him close to me.  So when I got hung up on that rock with no way to get loose since I had no stick, I yelled back up the river, "I'll just wait for you right here!"  I can't even write into words how hilarious this whole thing was.  I guess I could have gotten out and gotten loose but that thought never occurred to me at the time.  I just waited for him.  He got to me and got me loose and off we went, on down the river.  If so much of the river hadn't been shallow, we wouldn't have kept getting stuck on rocks and poor Larry's arm wouldn't have gotten such a workout. 

Larry took this picture of me, with his soaking wet iPhone, as I floated away from him.  He said I look so forlorn in this picture.  Bwah!! 


We got to the end of our hour-long tour and there were the two little Mexican boys who were going to help us get out.  This little skinny kid says, "Be careful, ma'am" and I'm like, "No, honey, YOU be careful!"  I was actually worried for his safety.  A chunky, middle-aged woman desperate to have her feet on solid ground again.  Yeah, honey, YOU be careful.  You might get pulled in here with me.  I got out with his help and my foot completely out of the tube and in the river and then Larry got out of his tube and it slipped out from under him and down he and his phone went again.  We were SOAKED to the bone by then and we just knew Larry's phone was toast.  We'd already talked about going to Verizon and just getting a new one today.  We walked up the walkway and deck to the Cool River store where there were towels and bathrooms and dry clothes.  We got us some dry t-shirts and tried out the phone.  It still worked!  I posted on Facebook that those Otter Box cases are NO joke and that we had one more miraculous story to tell about them.  I had my phone run over at the beach by a Ford F-150 pickup truck and my phone was fine, not even a scratch on it.  Larry's iPhone was in an Otter Box, dunked THREE times in the Chattahoochee River and it still worked.  We took the case off and dried it best we could and got on the bus that would take us back to our truck.  

Oktoberfest kicked off this weekend so the Oktoberfest parade was going on so we got to see that on the bus on our way back.  That was an unexpected treat!

We started home around noon and noticed that Larry's phone was not charging. I've never used it but I've sure heard about the rice trick so we stopped and I went in and got a bag of Mahatma and we tried it.  Worked like a charm!  The phone's working great now.  

We probably had the best weekend trip we've ever had.  The weather could not have been better, the little town and mountains were beautiful and we laughed so much our faces hurt.  

We can't wait to go back.  But next time, there'll be TWO push sticks.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Weekend ramblings

We went in opposite directions yesterday, Larry down to south Georgia to take care of some business and I went to Macon to a couple of estate sales with my friend, Debbie.  Larry checked out a sale in Albany that was all furniture (borrrrrring!) and then an antique store on the way home.

Deb and I had the best time!!  We even ran into a local celebrity at one sale and I got a gorgeous rug for our bedroom.  And at the other sale (a beautiful old home on Appleton Avenue, built in 1858, with the heart pine floors and ten-foot ceilings, sigh), I got a pretty red and cream tablecloth for fall, a red and white striped vase that looked like peppermint to me, a smaller throw rug and an aqua paisley throw blanket.

Larry brought home some pretties, too!  I'm slowly decorating the kitchen with chickens and roosters, since this stupid poopoo head county won't let me have chickens (yet) but when they dooooo, my girls are gonna be living in style!  This is what I have in mind.

The Chicken Ranch.  For Omelet, Poppy and Sunny Side Up.

It'll happen.  :)

Anyhow, Larry found some Jadeite Rooster stuff!!  A huge measuring cup/pitcher, a lidded canister and two shakers.  I love 'em!!  They look great in the kitchen window.  And they're perfect for the little Jadeite rooster we got in Florida last summer.


He found a pretty little Napco lady head vase for me, too!  I LOVE her little flippy hairdo!


I have wanted a See Rock City birdfeeder for soooooo long.  Not the birdhouse but a feeder.  Well, yesterday at the first sale Deb and I hit in Macon, this one was hanging in a tree in the backyard and I grabbed it.  The roof is metal, they don't make them like that anymore, so it's old.  It's rusty but, to me, that just gives it character.  It's had a life!  And it's perfect.  I hung it in a tree in our backyard and filled it with bird seed.  I love it.


Larry pulled up the sunflowers today.  I was sad.  But they were dead and needed to come up.  They only bloom once or twice per stalk and they sure did their job this summer!  They were gorgeous.


I've planted some red sunflowers next to the house and I hope they'll grow tall there by Thanksgiving.

Larry added some more new fence this weekend, too.


One lone little wildflower blooming between stones in the backyard.  I scattered wildflower seeds all over the place in the spring and they are finally blooming.  


And these pretty things are two poinsettias I had as decoration on the porch last Christmas!  I just planted them out by the fence and hoped for the best.  I'd never planted poinsettia before.  They seem to love it out there.  I'm excited for them to turn red and bloom.  With our weather, though, it'll probably be January or February. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

My summer reading club

It's nice to still have a little summer left in August and September, when the kids have gone back to school and the neighborhood is quiet.  We're going up to Helen next month and we are really looking forward to it. We've rented a beautiful cabin with a gorgeous view of the Appalachian Mountains.  We are really excited about this little getaway, to visit the little Alpine town and maybe even float down the Chattahoochee!

I started a little summer reading club in June and since it's still summer, I'm still reading!  I've read seven books and I'm on the eighth, a famous children's book that somehow I missed.  I guess I had my head buried deep in my Little House books and just never heard of it.  A Wrinkle In Time.  It's great.  My friend, Allison, told me about it and that they're making it into a movie that will come out in March.  I cannot wait. What an amazing story!!

I picked these up at an estate sale this weekend. A first-edition Fried Green Tomatoes, oh my!  I was so tickled to find it.  I love the book, the movie, the cafe, the tomatoes, going to Juliette, the whole experience. 

Mama Makes Up Her Mind sounds hilarious and it's next in my stack to read. 

I've enjoyed my little reading club so much and the books I've selected that I plan to keep on through the fall and winter.  I used to love to read but I've let other things (ahem, the internet) get in my way.  It's been nice to slow down some with that and bury my head in books again.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

My first Dia box!

I signed up last week at Dia & Co. and I got my first box today!

You pay $20 a month and they send you five items. You keep and pay for what you love and send back what you don't.  Shipping is free, both ways!  And they take the $20 off whatever you owe so there's that, too.

I was a little skeptical but they did really good with my first shipment! I guess I neglected to tell them when I set up my profile that I'm a bit petite because the jeans had about a yard of extra material at the foot.  I'm going to send those back and ask for the same pair in a petite. That should work!

This is what I got!

I LOVE this jersey twist top!!  I'm keeping it.  It's a dark navy.  Not so dark in this picture but the light is really bright right there.  I LOVE IT.


These are the jeans.  Kut brand high rise bootcut and they are sooooo comfy. But, you know, there's enough for another pair at the foot.  I hope they have a petite! They look so good with that twist top.


I couldn't even stand this shirt.  Ha!  Too thin and I don't do pleats or pintucks. It's a pretty peach color, though.


I love this boho maxi dress but I'd love it better if it wasn't so "loud".  Larry suggested that I step outside my safe solid-and-small-print box sometimes but this is just too much steppin'.  I loved the fit, though, so I'm gonna ask for one a little more quiet.


This be the print.  It is absolutely screamin'.


And they sent this pretty necklace.  I haven't decided yet if I'm keeping it.


So for my first Dia box, I'm pretty excited!  They hand-picked stuff that fit me perfectly except for the length and I think that's probably my fault because I didn't tell 'em.

I'm looking forward to next month!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Tybee time!

It's all you need.
Larry and I spent a wonderful, restful weekend in Tybee to celebrate my 50th birthday.  We left on Friday and laughed our butts off to some good old Southern humor on Pandora -- Jerry Clower, Andy Griffith, Jeff Foxworthy, Lewis Grizzard and James Gregory -- on the way to Savannah.  We had planned to stop at a couple of Army surplus stores so Larry could shop for patches and there were two estate sales we wanted to check out, too.

I get so excited when I see signs like this!

This was at the second house, an afternoon sale that started at 1:00.  The first one ended at noon, was out near the beach and we got there at 11:30.  Whew!  The same company was having both sales so we went back to Savannah, hit the Army stores and then came back out to the beach for this one.

I am so glad, too!  I found the most beautiful Fenton vase there!  I have never seen anything like it.  I paid $15 for it, which is pretty much my limit for Fenton, but it's listed on eBay and Etsy right now for $65!  Jack In The Pulpit, they call it.  I literally gasped when I saw it. 

Just gawjus!

At the first house, an adorable little beach cottage, we found this in in the laundry room and Larry borrowed a screwdriver and took it right off the wall.  It's PERFECT for Banjo!  Larry put it up in our mudroom yesterday to hold Banjo's leashes and harness and things. 
 

I found this wall thingy hanging in a bedroom there, too, and I loved it.  The swirly things looked like S's to me and I had to have it.  And for three bucks??  Come here to me.


I think it looks nice on our bedroom wall.

We got out to the beach and found our condo.  If you go to Tybee a lot and are tired of hotels (like we were), I highly recommend the Savannah Beach and Racquet Club on Bay Street!  I bet we never stay in a hotel ever again.  We got SO spoiled!

It was such an adorable little condo!


Super clean, had private beach access to a very secluded beach, fully-equipped kitchen and balcony with a beautiful view of the pool and ocean.  And kitties!  It even came with two sweet kitties.  They showed up Saturday evening and although they looked like they were very well fed, we fed 'em anyway.  Turkey.  Tossed it down from the balcony to them.  They loved us.  

The beach was perfect, the weather was perfect.  Blue skies, lots of sunshine and that cool breeze that can only come from the ocean.  You can't get that from a fan!  Speaking of a fan, I have to have fan noise to go to sleep.  It's a childhood thing done carried over to my old age.  Gotta have my box fan!  Well, we didn't have no box fan.  We had AC and a ceiling fan, a very quiet ceiling fan.  So what did Larry do?  He found a box fan sleep sounds MP3 online and played it for me.  How sweet was that??

We played in the ocean for hours, got nibbled on a bunch of times by fish and crabs, we collected some really pretty sea shells and even found some abalone!  I read a little bit and played with sand toys a little bit and got sunburned a little bit.  It was a wonderful day!  I was at the beach ON my birthday and Larry made the whole day so special.  Sniff.

 

The prettiest shell we found had a critter still living inside.  So back into the ocean it went!


We went to the famous T.S. Chu's Department Store late Saturday afternoon and then to Bernie's Oyster House for supper.  I love love love Chu's!  It opened in the 30's and still has that old department store feel.  You can find anything there, too, from beach towels to PVC pieces for plumbing.  It's awesome.  

I went there looking for another shell wind chime to replace the one we got at Jekyll that the weather has just beat to death but when Larry found this, I changed my mind!!  Who wants another wind chime that'll just get beat to death??

And it's staying in the house, in our beachy master bathroom.

We picked up some saltwater taffy, a puzzle, two shell necklaces, a pair of fishy earrings for me and two shell plant hangers, that hopefully will hold up to the weather on the porch and not get beat to death.  :)

We saw a beautiful sunset and a gorgeous sunrise on the beach.  We left early yesterday morning and went exploring further up the beach to the lighthouse and Fort Screven.

Larry walked all 178 steps to the top of the lighthouse!  I sure wanted to go with him but with two torn ligaments in my ankle and a torn Achilles tendon in that same blankety-blank foot, I passed this time.  We'll be back!

He waved at me at every window on the way up.  It only took him about fifteen minutes to get up there and back down again.  He's fast!

 

 Somebody took his picture at the very top.


 And he took mine.


We walked around and toured the lightkeepers' house and all the buildings around the lighthouse, including the little cottage they moved over from the other side of the island and restored several years ago.

Baby toys in the house that the lightkeepers have lived in over the years.


One of the lightkeepers and his wife on the steps.  I just loved this picture.  They look so happy.

 

This is the cottage.  Sooooo lovely.  


That gorgeous wraparound porch!


And these amazing heart pine floors almost stopped my heart.


The museum at Fort Screven is so interesting!  That's the first time we've actually gone in and walked around.  And it was such a good idea, too!  It was air conditioned!  We walked around and looked at everything.  Ha!

Such wonderful Tybee Island history.  If you haven't been, you need to GO!

 
 

It had been a while since Larry'd been in a tank!

 

I was looking at the ocean through one of those coin-operated viewfinders and I put my phone up there and took a pic through the lens.


Here we are in the truck! We had such a great time.  I'm ready to make reservations for the next time we go.