Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sunshine on My Shoulders

So today was just so pretty I couldn't resist. I packed up and moved outside for my writing work.


Don't hate.

I even got some sun! Which is good, because people? I am WHITE. I am so white, I'm almost translucent. See these veins? I look like a vampire. But not in the seductive, stylish Anne Rice way.

Also, I burned myself the other day while putting a pizza in the oven. It wasn't my fault though! The stupid pizza broke in half while I putting it on the baking stone!

Cocoa butter stick seems to be helping quite a bit. It looks ugly, but it doesn't hurt.

Today, Davy Crockpot cooked a corned beef brisket in Guinness, and we had homemade reuben sandwiches for dinner. YUM. So easy to do! Pumpernickel bread, sauerkraut, corned beef cut in thin slices, and thousand island dressing. Put it together, grill it, and eat! Very tasty!

Also, on a side note, I submitted a sewing book idea to a publishing company today. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mission Accomplished: Quilt!

This morning, after taking Noel to work at the chipper hour of 6 am, I came back and, turning on a book on tape (Agatha Christie's Tragedy in Three Acts), finished the binding on the quilt. It took several hours, but I managed to finish it 3 minutes before the audio book finished. Good timing! :)

I'm very proud of it - this was my first quilt, and it had been languishing for a very long time in my UFO pile (that's Un-Finished Objects, for those non-crafters out there). It required a lot of hand sewing, since I decided to do all of the quilting and binding by hand, but it was worth it. Sometimes hand sewing is really relaxing - simple, repetitive movements do that for you.

The kitties gave it their little fuzzy stamps of approval:

And it passes the ever critical nap test!

This was my Crafty Learning Activity for February, so it's finished a little late, but that's ok. My March project is also done, but I haven't taken pictures yet. I've also got April's project lined up: retro embroidery! Should be fun!

Alright, it's time to go pick up Noel from work. Bye!

Monday, March 29, 2010

La La Laaaa! Spring is Springing!

First, please bear with me for a minute.

You know what irks me? When you move into a campground and try to pay by going by the office, but no one's there, so you end up going back again later but still no one is there. And then the next day there's a snotty note on your door saying you need to come and pay NOW. So you go back to the office and yet again no one's there? And you go yet again a little while later, but still they're not there? And finally, on the FIFTH visit to the office, the manager is there and is rude, and when you say "I came by four times to try to pay but you weren't here," said manager then ARGUES with you about what exact times you came by to pay, to defend herself?

This did not bode well for my loving the last campground we were in. It had its advantages: super-close to a great HEB. Ok, so it had 1 advantage. Disadvantages? The spaces were EXTREMELY close to each other on all sides, so we had to leave the blinds shut all the time. Because the spaces were so small, we had to park the utility trailer (with all of Noel's tools and McBertha the Celtic Motorcycle) in a parking lot up front, which we don't like to do. The road to get to the campground was so riddled with potholes that it felt like you were driving over uneven speedbumps for a mile.

Also the manager was a JERK.

The good news? We found out that Noel's job (that started today) is not in Texas City (southeast of Houston) after all, but further north. We went back up to Baytown (northeast of Houston) and scored a nice BIG spot at the Casa RV Park, where we've stayed before, and it makes me soooo happy. Why?

Big spaces! We can spread out and have enough room that we can put out our lawn chairs and grill out and breathe! And also keep the blinds open!

See? A huge driveway (it's twice as long as in this pic) and our own little yard!

(It's the little things you appreciate when you live in an RV - like water pressure! It's always a crapshoot from one park to another, but good water pressure is something you don't miss until you don't have it!)

The manager is super-nice. He wasn't here yesterday when we arrived, but we had called and he reserved the best open spot he had for us, and he came by a little while ago to collect the rent and make sure we had everything we needed.

It's cheaper than the other RV park.

It's so much prettier too. We have trees here! Lovely lovely trees, giving us some shade and lots of pretty green grass. I'm SO much happier here. Even without the fancy HEB. I'll survive.

Ok, now to the title of this post. For those of you still in the frozen north....sorry. It's warm, sunny, and beautiful here. I went out yesterday evening to get some pictures of the trees around our space.

This gorgeous shade of green and all this new budding life can't help but make you feel a bit happier, really. Even with the pollen.

Speaking of, Dr. Rachel? I don't seem to be allergic to anything thus far down here. (My sister and I both have allergy problems, but to different places - I'm allergic to NC, she's allergic to GA).

The cats are loving it too - they enjoy when we can open the blinds up, because it's so much easier to find a sunny spot to lay in. I've got the windows and vents opened up too (no need for A/C yet) so they can hear and see the birds outside, and are enjoying that as well.

Speaking of nice weather, I think I'm going to go out for a stroll in it. Ta ta!

Friday, March 26, 2010


I have been bowled over by a type of Victorian-Era type Consumption (not the conspicuous purchasing kind, but the Moulin Rouge kind, except with fewer sequins). There has been much coughing and wheezing and sounding like some kind of emphysematic old man who smoked cigars for the last 92 years. It's nice.

Anyway, that's finally going away. FINALLY.

And Noel's been working hard and calling on breaks to make sure I haven't swooned overly dramatically and hit my head on anything.

The cats have also offered their miraculous healing powers, which consist of sleeping on my feet to keep them warm (the feet or the cats? Good question) and reviving me with their own natural type of smelling salts, ie. frequent visits to the litter box. It works.

So hopefully now that I'm on the mend, more posting can occur, accompanied by the kind of high quality Things In Sky photography that you yearn for (humor me, I'm sick).

Have a lovely weekend.

Also, a big shout out to my siswad:


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Eagle Has Landed...Finally.

We're here - back in the Houston area! We got in today around 2 pm, which means we made really good time after yesterday's looooooong drive. The cats are thrilled to be on solid ground. They're sleeping in their windshield perches right now, bellies full of canned salmon, completely content with life.

We've settled into a campground where we'll most likely stay for a few weeks, in League City (just southeast of Houston). It's convenient for Noel's next job, and also is inexpensive and has trees! Can't beat it.

And yes, we've already been to the HEB. Ah, how I missed you, HEB!

OH! And we're only 1 exit from the Hobby Lobby. I am perhaps overly excited about this. :)

So, I'm going to go do dishes and then lay down for a while. One souvenir I brought back from Tennessee? A cold with a really brutal cough. Hopefully it'll go away soon. It better - I'm running out of cough syrup. Guess we might have to go back to the HEB again! Ha!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hello, Miss Lou!

It took me a few minutes to figure out who Miss Lou was. Businesses on the Mississippi Louisiana border refer to themselves that way. We know this because we're in Louisiana tonight!

We're just outside of Alexandria, LA for tonight. We made a whopping 400 miles today.

The kitties were champs, and we're all happy to have stopped for the night. Tomorrow: Houston!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

No Meowing But Also No Battery Power

Meet our little friend, Mr. Alternator!

We got the chance to become closely aquainted with Old Man Alternator this morning, when we left the campground. We got a whopping 13 miles down the road before we started having trouble. Sigh.

To sum up, 2 hours later, we had traded in Old Man Alternator for New Youngster Alternator and were back on the road again.

Thankfully, that was the only major issue we ran into (other than some heavy rain!). We're spending the night just outside of Birmingham, AL and boy are we glad for the good night's rest!

On a good note, the cats were absolute champs today - even Loki! I hardly heard a peep out of him! Amazing.

Tomorrow's Goal: Louisiana!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring is in the Air! (And on the Ground!)

Well, the sun finally came out, just in time to celebrate the first day of Spring! Happy Spring! And with it, comes photos aplenty!!

I decided that I had invented a new style of photography (after the photos were already taken), in the same vein of my normal style: Things In Sky. This time, the majority of photos I took were: Things On Ground.

I took these today around the campground (Riverpark Campground: The sun made such interesting shadows on the ground:

Ooh, pretty moss!

These looked like stained glass windows to me:

Isn't this an interesting tree root?

Spring has definitely started to show itself around here!

I got a better picture of the campground office/owners' home today, which shows how very pretty it is:

(Also, can you imagine the view from that other house on top of the ridge there?)

There were a lot more people in the campground today, most likely because of the Nascar race in Bristol. One of the new residents had this up near their RV. We thought it was cute.

So yes, it was rainy much of the past 2 weeks, but we made the best of it. I took advantage of Noel's dad's kitchen floor to finally get the edges of my quilt ready to sew (this is the last step before the quilt is finished!):

And a closeup:

Noel busied himself with reading some Stephen King. Loki read over his shoulder. No wait, ON his shoulder.

It just got even cuter when Loki relaxed a bit. :)


Well, our time in Tennessee has come to an end. Tomorrow (Sunday) morning we head back west, toward Texas again! We've really enjoyed our time here and the scenery has been gorgeous. I loved the lakes and creeks everywhere. We had hoped to see spring fully bloomed out here, but it just didn't quite work out that way. But we do like Texas quite a bit, so that's fine.

So until next blog post, Bon Voyage!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Wearin' (& Walkin') O' the Green

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!

I hope you're all wearing green so the leprechauns won't pinch you. Or any overactive 2nd grader, for that matter.

On this holiday, I wanted to examine a cultural phenomenon, all anthropology-like. Some people take St. Patrick's Day very seriously, for better or worse. I think most people fall into one of the following categories:

1. Devout Irish Catholics (which Savannah, GA is full of - I've worked for several of them). These folks go to church on St. Patrick's Day, and they actually know who St. Patrick was (as well as you can know who anyone is, from only a Dark Age legend).

2. Drunk idiots who pretend they're Irish (or perhaps have a bit of Irish blood in them) - (Savannah is MORE full of these folks than Catholics). These people do not actually know anything about St. Patrick, and the knowing is probably mutual, which is good, because if St. Patrick knew what these people were doing to celebrate his death day, he'd...not be happy. Did I mention he was a Catholic priest and missionary? "Missionary" generally does not equal "Flashes Strangers For Cheap Beads" and "Drink Til You Throw Up."

3. People who disagree with celebrating the life of a person who (according to legend) brought about the end of the native culture and religion of Ireland, and thus do not celebrate the holiday at all.

4. People who like Ireland, enjoy Enya's or U2's music, think corned beef & cabbage is AWESOME, and enjoy a jaunt down to the local Irish pub on occasion for some live music. Also they like Guinness. And celtic jewelry.

5. People too focused on the NCAA championship (GO DUKE) to focus on anything else.

Personally, I can understand the rationale of People #3. However, I think the religious meaning of the holiday has been watered down so much over the years, that it has become more of a day to celebrate Irish culture as a whole (as mixed up and "impure" as that culture's gotten over the years). Which I can't disagree with. Because anything that makes people interested in their ancestry, in ancient languages and handicrafts and music and dance, can't be all bad.

Besides, Guinness is REALLY GOOD.

So that puts me pretty strongly in category #4.

Also (just for irony's sake), St. Patrick wasn't even Irish. Heh. There are those who would argue he wasn't the first to bring Christianity to Ireland either. And on top of that, there were never snakes in Ireland, so he doesn't get credit for being human snake repellent. Sorry, Patrick!

Davy Crockpot is busily cooking a huge pot of corned beef & cabbage right now. Noel and I went out for a walk and when we came back and opened the door, the smell was SO GOOD in the RV. Yum!

We went for a jaunt at the Limestone Cove Recreation Area, part of the Cherokee National Forest. It wasn't a huge trail site, but a tent camping area. However, it was just beautiful. So follow us on our trip down the Mossy Green Road!:

(OOOOH - moss on everything. I was in heaven!)
There was a small creek running at the edge of the property. I think it's called Indian Creek, and is most likely a feeder creek for the Nolichuckey.

The trees were just gorgeous, so I got several pictures of them:

I can't think of much more Irish than moss and corned beef & cabbage. So Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! Watch out for Category #2 people if you're on the roads tonight!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Riverfront Campground!

Today was very overcast (again), but I went ahead and tried to get some pictures anyway. If it clears up in the next few days, I'll try to take some sunny pictures too. But these should get you started, anyway!

This campground is built right behind an old farmhouse that was built at the turn of the 1900s. The owners of the campground live in the upper floors, but the bottom floor is a very nice camp store, book swap, etc.

Also, did I mention it's gorgeous?

This is a view of the campground from the store/house, looking toward the river. See it? Kinda hard to see from this angle, but that's the Nolichuckey River back there. (Don't worry - I got better pictures further down).

This campground is sooooo pretty. It has a little stage, a pavilion, horseshoe pit (too bad we didn't buy an horseshoes in Texas!), a nice fire pit, and a bathroom/laundry house that is IMMACULATE. Seriously, it's nicer than most hotels I've been in. And NO SPIDERS. I am thrilled.

Here's the campground from the river.

Wanna see the river now? Ok! Here you go!

Noel decided to go rock climbing, because he's nothing if not a daredevil.

While he was off scrambling around on big rocks, I was busy taking pictures of moss. Heh.

Don't worry - I was keeping an eye on him, just in case he fell in and I had to play Mighty Mouse.

Here I come to save the DAAAAAY!

Thankfully he didn't require rescuing, which is good because that water would be COLD.

Our RV site is on the higher part of the campground. We have nobody right next to us, and a huge field behind us, which is nice - gives the feeling of being out by ourselves! We *heart* privacy!

Poe and Loki are enjoying all the birds around here too. Lots to look and growl at. :)

There are other sites here - they're day-use sites (they have water & electricity, but no sewer, which is why we're not in them). These are RIGHT NEXT TO THE RIVER. How's THIS for a view!?:

We went for a scenic drive the other day and saw this gorgeous piece of property, down in a valley between several mountains. It has a creek on the property and isn't it just incredible?

Oh, and Rachel? I forgot to tell you - your yarn arrived! And it's SO PRETTY:

I really think the colors are SO me. Dontcha think? ;)

Rachel won this yarn on another person's blog (, and I find this amazing. This is the second knitting-related thing my sister has won from other people's blogs. My sister does not knit. I never win anything (except a Kool & the Gang record when I was about 10), even though I enter contests all the time. But! The great thing? Her luck becomes my luck, because she sends me the knitting-related stuff! Granted, this yarn is to make a pair of socks for her, but I get the joy of knitting with some gorgeous stuff. (The other thing she won once was a knitting book from one of our favorite blogs,, which is now in my knitting library).

So Rachel? Keep up the contest entering! :-D (Oh, and never learn to knit, ok?)

Speaking of crafty stuff, Noel and I have been seeing these gorgeous paintings on the sides of old barns all over this area. I got really excited about them, because they're paintings of traditional quilt patterns. So cool, to see a place embracing the traditional arts & crafts of their local culture, no? Well, today I found the website for the project. It's called The Quilt Trail. Check out these links to see some gorgeous old barns with beautiful paintings on them:

I just LOVE that idea and will try to get some pictures of these paintings as we see them.

Ok, guess that's enough for today. Have a lovely Tuesday, everyone!

Proof of Craftiness

So we've been staying in the Greeneville, TN area, where Noel's dad lives. He had some older curtains in his kitchen and one had a small tear in it, so he asked if I could fix it. Unfortunately the fabric was too brittle, so I did the next best thing:

I made him some new curtains instead! He loves westerns, so this fabric seemed appropriate:

Heh. John Wayne, eat your heart out.

I also finally sewed the buttons on my sister's sweater, so it's ready to be shipped off (and will go out this week!) Hopefully these pictures won't spoil the surprise, Rachel. If you don't want to see it, don't look!

(Note: I am the pygmy of the family, so this'll be shorter on Rachel).

I've been doing a lot of writing lately too - I got hired by an online company that pays me for articles to be published on sites like Pretty cool! It's nice to realize that I can make money directly by how much I work. (Also, I get to choose my own topics, so I've been writing a lot of crafty articles about sewing, knitting, etc.)

The campground we're in is absolutely GORGEOUS. I'll have to take some pictures today if the rain stops. Let me see if I can find a website address for this we go!

The other day I made bbq in the crockpot, and completely forgot to take pictures. Sorry! My recipe is SO HARD.

Crockpot BBQ Pork


1 pork shoulder (we got it from Noel's friends who hunt)
1/4 onion
1 bottle bbq sauce (Sweet Baby Ray's is awesome)

Put pork shoulder in crockpot. Cut up onion into bite-sized pieces, put on top of pork. Pour half the bottle of bbq sauce over the pork and rub it in on both sides. Make sure it's covered throughly. Cook for 6 hours on High. Stuff yourself.

We made toast to go with it. You can also eat it on buns, with some extra bbq sauce on top if you want.

The pork shoulder has some fat on it, and has the bones still in. By the time it's cooked, it slides right off the bones (sorry for the visual, any vegetarians out there!). You could probably use a less fatty cut of meat and not have to pick through it (I don't like fat).

Anyway, it's a SUPER easy recipe - it takes literally 3 minutes to put together and tastes fantastic.

St. Patrick's Day is coming up quickly, and we're planning on having an Irish feast to celebrate. I subscribe to a daily recipe from and they sent me one the other day for Crockpot Corned Beef & Cabbage, which sounds absolutely divine on a drizzly, cold day like today.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

King of the Wild Frontieeeeeeeeeeeerrrrr!!!!!!!!!!

Noel's hometown is very close to the birthplace of that Great American, Davy Crockett - he of coon-skin hat fame, questionably violent relations with Native Americans, known as an excellent rifleman, who served in the U.S. Congress despite having only 6 months of formal education, and who died valiantly at the Alamo. Don't forget that part. Never forget that part.

(Also, does everything suddenly have some tie to Texas? Weird)

(On a mostly-unrelated note, my crockpot is named after said hero of early America: Davy Crockpot. Yes, I am a dork. But so's my sister - her's is Betty Crocker. Moving on.)

So the other day we decided to pay ol' Davy's birthplace a visit. It's a very small little cabin on the banks of the Nolichuckey River and is really quite darling:

Cozy! The inside has a lovely dining room:

And Davy's bed (with requisite bear skin on the wall - nice homey touch):

There was a monster fireplace in there too:

Also? All of this was one room. We talked about how tiny it was, until we realized live in 230 sq ft ourselves. So. This teensy cabin would actually be a step UP in size for us. heh. (Gives you some perspective on the size of our little house on wheels, doesn't it?)


(The sepia seems to make it seem old-timey-er, doesn't it?)

There was a nice campground and park at the birthplace too, including a pool where Noel, as a fresh-faced youth, showed off for the ladies by performing acrobatic feats of daring-do off of the diving boards. Ah...those were the days. Hee hee. (He's going to kill me when he reads this).

Off to the side, they had a lovely walking trail that we traipsed up, despite the fact that I was wearing a floor-length dress. Pioneer-style, that's the only way to hike! We got some nice pictures of the Nolichuckey River from there:

There was a pretty (although shaky) bridge:

The bridge spanned a pretty pile of rocks:

And LOOK: definite signs of spring!

And moss! (We all know how much I love moss):

Spring in the mountains is so lovely - you really get a sense of Winter being gone and Spring arriving, because everything is gray and dead-looking all winter. The little green buds on the trees show up so brightly against the dark gray bark. So pretty!

So thanks, Davy, for the tour of your ol' stompin' grounds. It sure was a nice day!