Friday, June 25, 2010

OOops! Sorry for the delay!

We've been sooooo busy here! Saturday we drove to pick up Noel's 3 kids from Virginia - they'll be staying with us for a while this summer.

So this week has been busy with the following:

- Driving to visit Grandpa in Tennessee

- Tournaments on the wii (I am not doing so well)

- Learning more than I ever needed to know about Twilight

- Teaching the older daughter how to sew (she's doing very well!)

- Buying groceries. Repeatedly.

So many hot dogs.

We've been busy doing things with the kids, for example, going up onto scenic overlooks at the interstate between NC and TN:

It really is pretty up there.

Which is good, because it was a HIKE getting up there. I almost thought I wasn't going to make it. Just leave me *gasp* where I drop.

We've also been doing important things like wearing wigs and pretending to be glamourous superstars, etc.

My mom gave us some porch furniture as a housewarming present (and also part barter for some sewing she wants done - I am not averse to pimping out my sewing skills for a rocking chair!). It makes the house look so homey, and also it's great for the evening when it cools down here. Because HELLO, it has been hot. Ugh.

It's been so hot, the poor garden has been suffering. However, there are some things growing, including okra!

And weeds!

Sassmouth cucumbers.

(It was embarrassing though to walk up to the garden and see how bad it looked, pre-weeding. Oy.)
Now we're in the midst of a major heat wave. It's been almost in the 90s here, which ok fine. I hear all of you living in the Savannah/Houston/Mobile ecosystem, saying "WHATEVER - 90 would feel COLD right now."
I would just like to point out that our cute house up there, the little gray one with tomato plant and rocking chairs on porch? Has no air conditioning. So 90 is hot. Sersely.
I have more pictures to post but they're not uploaded right now, and frankly it's hot in my sewing room/office and I'd love to get some fresh, non-sweat-filled air. So this'll have to tide y'all over for now.
Happy cooler weather! (Thankfully we're on the downslope to autumn now - my favorite time of year!)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Weekend Review Continued!

Last Saturday night, we went to Spruce Pine to have The Best Burrito On The Planet. When we drove up in front of the restaurant, what a pleasant surprise awaited!

An antique car show, literally outside the door of the restaurant! We ate first (might as well gorge and then walk, right?) and then waddled out to enjoy the automotive sights.

Noel was partial to the trucks. He also really liked the hood ornaments - some looked like planes, some like rockets. Very fun.

This one is an old Studebaker!

And this one was fab - love the color!

Speaking of hood ornaments, that woman up there is not the hood ornament for this truck. Though if you just glance at the picture, it kinda looks like it has a Maltese Falcon on the hood. Which would also be cool. Except everyone would be trying to steal your truck.

Also, this one has a one of a kind gas tank!

Gives new meaning to "getting tanked." HA.

I liked this awesome turquoise and white Bel Air (of course - it's turquoise. Surprise surprise).

And the front of this Edsel is pretty cool too.

I really liked this car too. It' I have no idea what it is. But it's gorgeous!

And check out the fins on it too! I would totally drive this car. While wearing a feather boa and huge rhinestone sunglasses.

And holding one of those long cigarette holders. Not smoking, mind you, just wildly waving the cigarette holder around like Tallulah Bankhead or something.

They just don't make cars like this anymore. I know, I hear some of you out there. "OBVIOUSLY they don't make them anymore. That's why they're 'vintage,' sweetheart." Yes well. That's not what I mean. You just don't see cars that are this Stylish (yes, with a capital S!) coming out of modern car manufacturers. Just look at this dashboard!


Overall though, my favorite of the show was the Metropolitan. Never heard of one? Me either. But just look. LOOK.


Is this not absolutely adorable? It's the car that the Mario Brothers would drive if they only could. Sigh. So now you guys know what to get me for Christmas!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My knitting gets press!

My knitted shrug and photo were featured on a blog today called One Size Knits All:

How exciting! :-D

Monday, June 14, 2010

Oh Play Me Some Country Music!

As you may have guessed, we've been extremely busy here at the house, working, working on the house, and...working.

This weekend though, we thought we'd take some time to kick back and relax and even go out and enjoy some local events! We ended up seeing so much (and yours truly took so many pictures), that our weekend in review will actually take up a couple of posts.

(Also, forgive me if I have to take breaks occasionally, as my lap is currently occupied by a rather demanding, but cute, cat in desperate need of petting.)

First things first though. House updates!

My sewing room was a DISASTER AREA, so I had to purge some fabric (and will donate a big ol' box to a local group/theater/school or something). I also organized stuff, which took a while. Noel put some shelves in the closet so I could store things in there too, which was very helpful. I don't have the room totally finished yet, but major progress has been made. I can actually use the room for (gasp!) sewing now.

Here's a picture of my sewing room closet, most of the way full. Please note the "Organizing Professional" doing a thorough examination of one of the higher shelves. He is so helpful.

And here's the view from my sewing machine. Don't hate.

I didn't take a picture of the room itself. Huh. Well, I'll do that in the next week.

We've also been working on other things, like cleaning the window sills and other such fun stuff. Poe has found his Happy Place.

Considering that they're covered in black fur and we don't have A/C, they seem to enjoy the sun a lot.

I've been doing a lot of cooking lately too. Guess this whole Big Kitchen thing is more exciting than I thought. Dinner the other night: meatloaf, salad, and homemade bread.

Noel cut himself a path to the little creek by the house so he could have a Deep Thinkin' Spot. He put a bench down there and everything!

It is a pretty little spot. Particularly with the wild daylilies.

And the wild roses!

And also stinging nettles. I didn't get a picture of them. Which I should've, so y'all will know what they look like so you can avoid them like the plague. My mom brushed her arm up against one and it came out within seconds in big painful welts. Looked like a jellyfish sting! Noel wonders why people don't plant them in their window boxes, because they would certainly be a deterrent to people trying to sneak into your house. Brilliant.

We also swung in our tree swing the other night. It was cool out and the fireflies were dancing all around. (Again, don't hate.)

I took a picture of the tree (Thing In Sky!), just so you can vicariously swing too. Just sit back in your chair, look at this picture and move your head up and down slowly.

It's like you're right there! Except without the breeze. Or the fun.

So on Saturday we went to Hot Springs, NC to a bluegrass festival there. The bands were AMAZING. I also loved that they had old quilts hanging behind them as they played.

There was a group of cloggers who performed too. These kids were from the local school system and were the state champion clogging team! They were impressive. There was one little guy with red hair who couldn't have been a day over 8, and he was tearing the dance floor up.

We had bbq from the local volunteer firefighters tent, sat there and enjoyed the music, and had a wonderful afternoon.

We had a great evening too, but that'll have to wait for another post (too many pictures for one!)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Joust Kicking Around

Much progress has occurred on the house and its environs! We've been busily unpacking and piling up the mountains of stuff we don't need anymore on the porch. Will we have a yard sale? Or will we just take it to donate (or the dump)? Good question. Not sure yet.

First off, let's talk about wildlife today. Noel and I had to jump in and perform Turtle Rescue 2010, when we saw this little guy in the middle of the road:

That's him, resting (and probably panicking) in the floorboard of the truck. Noel safely relocated him to the creek by our house.

He is probably a very happy turtle now, thinking he had a near-death experience that somehow transported him to the reptile equivalent of Beverly Hills.
In other flora and fauna news, Mom came over on Friday and helped me clean out the old flower beds by the house's front porch. We left the mint & sage already growing there, but tore out everything else (mostly weeds) and planted some hostas and some plants that are perhaps weeds, but they're pretty flowering weeds! I also planted some basil, rosemary, and catnip seeds. They should start coming up soon.

Speaking of coming up, look!!!

Our cucumber seeds are growing!! I am SO. EXCITED.
The other stuff in the garden should be coming up soon, and might already be coming up (I haven't checked on the garden in 2 days). (I am perhaps a bit impatient to be a gardener.)

And as a last fauna update, the kitties were relocated to the house last week. They weren't sure what to think of the house at first:

They hid under the couch for oh, about 3 hours. But then started to explore, and I'm happy to report they seem to be enjoying the new house quite a bit. They have lots of windows to stare out of, lots of bugs to catch (must spray the house for bugs!), and their choice of furniture to sleep on:

King of the Castle, indeed.

I got them a crinkle cave and Loki particularly seems to really love it.

Right now they're sleeping next to me on the couch. I think it's good for them to have lots of space to run around - it was always one of my concerns in the RV that they didn't have enough room.

Speaking of the RV, I can hear all of you now asking "where is the RV?" On Saturday morning, bright and early, we went to pick up the RV from the campground and bring it over here. See, we have plenty of room here at the house to park it and keep an eye on it (and also get our residual junk out of it on our own time). We also have a steep and curvy driveway that makes bringing the RV to the house a special challenge. Our nice landlady and her mom (who lives next door to us) kindly allowed us to drive through her yard and the field between our homes.

We drove through it once with the truck just to make sure we could make it, and then went and got the RV. We cut quite a swath through the field!

We managed to get the RV into position and park it just fine.

The only issue occurred right as we pulled it off the asphalt road, when the bumper fell off. FELL OFF. Completely.

Kelli's Towing Service to the rescue. Heh.
So the RV is here, with only a small appendage lost, and now we have all our vehicles in one spot.

Yesterday, Noel and I decided to go to the Renaissance Faire in Rogersville, TN. It was, frankly, somewhat disappointing. Noel had never been to one before, and I had high hopes that this would be similar to other faires I've attended. It was MUCH smaller, with only a dozen booths, and NO steak on a stake, my absolute favorite thing to eat at these faires. SIGH.

We didn't bother to wear costumes (I have my blue velvet Renn dress but it was hot out and also...the dress was a bit tight. Must go on diet.) Noel had his kilt to wear, but said that if I wasn't going to dress up, he wouldn't either. I don't think he believed me that lots of people wear kilts to these things. Anyway, I would've been seriously overdressed at this affair, because other than the royal party, who were wearing gorgeous costumes:

the other costumed women were dressed up can I put this politely?.....ladies of the night. Inexpensive ones. Noel asked me why they weren't dressed in normal Renaissance dresses like mine, and I was asking myself the same question. There were more women dressed as "fairies" (and I use that term loosely, which is also how they were attired) than actual historical women. Mini-skirts, bare midriffs, fake fairy wings, belly dancing costumes with bra tops, and one woman actually wearing a string bikini with a chainmail loincloth over it (!?!?!) all made me sad for the future of the Renaissance Faire. See, I always liked to go to these things in the dresses I took a lot of time in making, and enjoying the pseud0-historical chivalry of the times. Now it's a meat market, similar to Halloween, when women compete to see who can wear the skimpiest costume.
I just don't get it. What's wrong with elegance and leaving things to the imagination? I worry for girls nowadays, growing up with this kind of example.
Anyway. Enough sermonizing.
We had some food that was NOT steak on a stake (sigh) and then proceeded over to the jousting area. And this is where things turned around for our Renn Faire experience, because these guys were AWESOME. Full armor, full contact jousting. Loved it.

Before the jousting began:

Getting all suited up:

And this is the best picture I could get of the actual jousting action, very blurry because it was pretty fast.

I have much higher hopes for the Highland Games in July - they're supposed to be HUGE and very impressive. They won't have steak on a stake, but we can surely get some shortbread and meat pies!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Movin' On Up!

Busy busy busy!! We've been busy as little bees around here this week.

As soon as I got back from Virginia, we got to work on the house. So far, we've:

- painted 3 rooms
- scrubbed & waxed the floors
- scrubbed the walls
- bleached the bathroom & kitchen
- cleaned the carpets
- cleaned the windows
- swept about 8 million cobwebs
- spackled and wood puttied problem spots

And did all the other 30,000 things you do when you move into a new home.

Now we're in the midst of unpacking, and plan to spend our first night in the house on Wednesday (June 2nd). Yay!

My friend Barb (hi Barb!) has requested photos, so here we go!

First, we had SO MUCH CRAP in our storage unit, both literally and figuratively. Thankfully we had put out roach baits. They had obviously paid a visit.

We rented the biggest truck Budget had, a massive diesel with a 24 foot bed. We filled it up!

It's amazing to see the things we put in storage, after not seeing it or needing it for a year. We really need to have a yard sale soon.
So here are some pictures of the house after cleaning and before moving in:

The living room (the bathroom is at the end of the hall on the left, and the dining room is through the right-side door):

The master bedroom:

The stairs to the attic room (picture of attic room forthcoming - it's adorable!):

The kitchen (already done, thanks for helping Mom!):

So part of the issue that we're having is that our furniture is BIG. And this house is old, so the rooms aren't huge. We're having to be really creative with our furniture placement. So far, this is what we've come up with:

The living room (love the fireplace bricks, but the fireplace was replaced with an oil heater):

One of the bookshelves in the living room:

The tv room, with the fab yellow couch (only slightly mouse-eaten):

The dining room:

I love this peg wall in the kitchen (we didn't do it - it was already like this):

The master bedroom, some assembly required:

The sewing room, a LOT of assembly required:

We met one of the neighbors yesterday:

I named him Mopsy McGillicuddy.

One of our other neighbors is my darling Aunt Betty, who kindly offered some of her garden space for me to attempt to grow some vegetables. My history of growing veggies hasn't been all that great.

Years ago, when I first moved to Savannah, I decided to grow a garden by my house. I planted cucumbers, tomatoes, and beans. My aunt & uncle came to visit, and I offered him my entire bumper crop of green beans. I walked into the kitchen, and handed him a plastic baggie with 3 shriveled green beans. Yup, my entire crop.

I refuse to blame this on my actual farming skills, however, and choose to blame it on (1) the unbearable hellish heat in coastal Georgia, and (2) the "soil" in Savannah, which is really nothing more than damp sand.

So this shall be an interesting experiment!

I found it really fun today, digging rows and planting seeds, pulling weeds, etc. I had some more boxes to unpack, but we really needed to get the seeds in the ground asap!

So here is our garden!

Ok, so it's a plot of dirt, but it WILL be a garden as soon as some of the seeds sprout!!

Note, my Aunt Betty's corn is already up and growing and putting my little seeds to shame thus far:

We'll give it a few weeks and see how our little seeds are growing!