Monday, May 26, 2008

Shake Rattle and Roll

Memorial Weekend..This has been the first weekend of good weather - Warm (but not too) and Sunny - slight breeze... Just what the holiday Gods ordered..(my sympathies to thos e who experienced Mother Nature's fury in the midwest). One of our extended family, Christiane (I consider her and her sister, Rebecca, to be family)made it up for a a couple of days of R&R away from the hustle and bustle of her life in the city. Unfortunately Ms. Rebecca had to go to Romania on business, but I expect to see her return to the cabin in the near future. These ladies have been absent way too long...So I had a playmate for a couple of days. It was sooooo good.. C and I decided to take the raft out and sip beer(s) and float for a couple of hours, soaking up the sun,the solitude and catching up on all things C & R and NorthGaGal... When we got to the put in, we encountered a Private Property sign and had to figure another approach.. so we decided to do a launch from the bridge - well, a modified launch..but the raft performed admirably...and off we went.. our little river is perfect for a float,

unlike the Ocoee and Nantahala where we need our skills to get us through...

But the big event was our hike on Sunday.. a wonderful jaunt in the Cohuttas that gave us a close encounter of the nature kind... We were walking on the narrow trail and I was in front and I glanced down and saw this bad boy all stretched out, skipped a step, pointed down, told C to lookout and we both skipped right by Mr. Big Bad Snake...I went back for his picture and we had evidently startled him as much as he had us, he started coiling, and I was trying to get the P&S out of the pack.. and I knelt down to take a shot and man he started to rattle that tail.. YEP No mistaking who he was - a rattler... whoa nelly..

Remember you can click on the picture to see it a bit larger..
C is yelling at me to get away and I am trying to get my knees to move, damn this getting old... where was my lightning speed, (did I ever have lighting speed, must have been dreaming that capability) Anyway - I thanked Mr. Rattler for his cooperation and we high tailed it (no pun intended) on down the trail well outside of striking distance and we both looked at each other and went OH WOW.. It was ironic as we had just been talking about the debate of carrying cell phones and guns when hiking on the AT - and we talked about how you get hurt hiking, ankles, knees and SNAKE BITES... whoaaaa almost too coincidental.. but Mr. Rattler definitely was the talk of a wonderful hike.. C, I enjoyed the weekend so much, looking forward to the next one and I will keep sipping on those mango margaritas (hey it worked they were perfect!).

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Long Overdue Guest Quarters

I know I have said to all, "I will put some pics up of the garage" and I haven't done it.. I don't know why I haven't done this. I can seem to get pics up of everything else but this ongoing project... For those who aren't familiar (is there anyone in my circle of family and friends who isn't familiar with this saga?) we built a 3 bay garage in 2003 with a 2/1 living area above. Here's the basic layout..
This has been Cap'n Steve's project since the beginning, per his wishes.. When I married him, I had no idea he was more than handy. He may have kept that to himself as he knew I had a rather difficult situation with home building BS (BS is Before Steve - but you could insert the other more common vernacular here also). So finally , the end is in sight. Of course he said that last year.. but his timetable does not exist to match my desires. plus I am worried when he finishes...what will he do??? Where will he go? I just hope it's not in my hair...
Anyway - thought I would give you a little peek of what is to come...

The Kitchen - in all of it's beginning glory..

This is how we left it last Winter..

And Cap'n Steve is putting on the finishing touches.. Here are a couple - wooden handles/knobs he bent and carved himself, taken from trees here on the property. He really does a nice job on these..

Next post will be the bathroom...stay tuned - hopefully the grand unveiling will be within a month or so.. just in time for a visit from Chris and a special someone... I can't wait..

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Love Affair From the Beginning

Many of you know Mattie, one of the two remaining dogs that seems to tether Cap'n Steve and myself to home. Now she doesn't do that by any conscious effort on her part, we seem to make that decision on our own. But she is THE dog... She is MY dog.. She is THE Mattie.. an 11 yo Australian Shepherd that is huge, at least as female Aussies go. She is the apple of my eye, the "chosen child", the bossiest dog, the loyal companion, my love. She is fodder for the camera and my eternal practice of depth of field..since I have no small children to practice with, she suffices and is willing to do so, thanks in no small part to several obedience classes! She is smart, and unfortunate for her, and me, she was the first dog I ever really trained. We did obedience and agility and she was a quick study at both. She loved the frisbee and tennis ball and still does, but a torn ACL 2 years ago has put an end to those days. When I first laid eyes on the cabin, my first thought was not of our desires for a home out of the city, but how great this would be for the dogs (4 at the time, 2 corgis, Lass the BC, and Mattie). She spent the first several years in the river. She could not be outside playing without taking a dip or two. She was 2 when we purchased the cabin, and they seemed meant for each other. She chased rabbits, geese and turkeys, made peace with ducks and squirrels..She barks at passers by on HER river, letting them know that she sees them and they are on "her turf". Her days now are pretty content to hang around the groomed areas (4.5 acres), even staying loyally by my side as I do my chores. She loves summer as it brings the wild blackberries that she pulls from the thorny vines with ease. She relishes fall because it brings wild cherries which she gorges on until we make her come in, as we try to avoid the inevitable regurgitation of 10 too many cherries. She is showing the signs of aging. Her stiffness in the cool damp mornings has me feeling sorry for her. As I reach for Ibuprofen for myself, I check to see if she is in need of Ascriptin or Rimadyl. Rimadyl, now there is the drug of choice in our home.. When Tucker (numero Uno Corgi) began using it 6 or so years ago for his arthritis, and I got my dog back, so to speak.. I have been buying in bulk ever since.. Bogey (numero dos Corgi) was on it for 3 years, and Lass has been on a daily regime for the last year. I pop Mattie a Rimadyl on the really cold evenings/mornings, but as summer approaches and the weather warms, she will be fine without - at least for this season.. I fully expect within a year or so for her to be on the daily regime of this miracle drug. She will be the last to go of the dogs, and probably in the not too distant future. I can't imagine this place without her, but hopefully for me I won't have to for awhile.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A Breathe of Fresh Air

This really should be titled Coming Up For Air.. That's what it feels like. Arrived back at the cabin a month ago and have been working the contract big time, finally over the hump this week and should be back to my normal part time work for the foreseeable future.. knock on wood. The first month or so that I am back at the cabin is usually spent getting the weeds under control, mulching the flower beds and recovering from the pollen bombardment. Things settle down by mid May. I have on the agenda to work on the photography. Cap'n Steve should be finished with the garage apartment in the next month or so and I am looking at photographs to print and use as art work. Mainly ones of the area, specifically of the cabin, but some others as well. I have these two that I think will make nice framed prints. The Apple Blossom shown here was taken last week when our apple trees were in bloom. Post processed to give a softer look.

And this picture, to the right, I came across last night - post processed it again and fell in love all over. It looks better when you click on it and open it larger. This is from my dear friends Allen and Linda's lovely home in Athens. I photographed their place on a visit last fall. My favorite people in the world, Linda (and Allen), Debra and Rebecca all have such wonderful decorating taste. I love to go visit them as their homes are a haven. I, on the other hand, seemed to be decoratingly challenged. I see it like gambling for myself, you have to be able to afford to lose. And I just don't have the money to make decorating mistakes. I can buy software, photography accessories and overall geek stuff with confidence, but ask me to buy something for the house and I go into major panic attack and can't decide on anything. Too many choices...but I guess that's kind of what life is about.. the yin yang if you will. Oh well - we certainly don't live in a dump, but I could use a little - make that a lot of help to spruce the houses up...