Thursday, December 29, 2011
Garden of the One Thousand
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
I Was Met...
my husband convinced me to take some time and
go on up to the Blue Ridge (it is about 3.5 miles or so
away to this spot.) I am always vastly amazed by the
changing conditions I am privileged to be a part of
here. I think that is why I find it so compelling to be
here (in the Appalachians.) You be the judge.
Bottom One: I call this "Where Are the Mountains?"
It is a 'long view' of just where mountain ranges taper off...
but, wait...where are they? If you look very closely,
in this shot, you can see the very faintest trace of the road
lit up by (sun) light. Here is the journey. :-) Middle One:
The Journey (Up) Top Two: My view of the clouds
(as they have now totally obscured the Parkway.) It seems, from
the shots, as if I am flying (in a plane) but I am actually standing
just on the rise of the road, above. Please do enjoy
these images. :-)
At this juncture in time,
however, I can't help myself but to wonder and to
link these photographs of obscured images to what
the up and coming new year (2012!!)
now holds for us.
God bless you (too.)
Monday, December 26, 2011
Jingle, jingle, jingle
Friday, December 23, 2011
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
(music and words by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane)
Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Let your heart be light.
Next year all our troubles
Will be out of sight.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Make the Yule-tide gay.
From now on our troubles
Will be miles away.
Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Will be near to us once more.
Someday soon we all will be together
If the Fates allow.
Until then we'll have to muddle through somehow.
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Thursday, December 22, 2011
beautiful yet it would not compel me out of a warm,
radiating bed! About 10 minutes later, I turned over to a glowing
orange sky with streaky cloud cover. O.K, O.K, I thought;
I'm UP. So out I went to find these. Top: A dreamy, early
dark orange sky. Middle: My personal favorite; an 'oriental'
painting is framed between the Appalachian trees
shrouded in mist and cloud clover! (Click to enlarge :-))
And Bottom: The first view I had rounding the
bend from my house of what lay ahead. The only word
that came to my head was Phantasmagoric:
an exhibition of optical effects
and illusions; a constantly shifting
complex succession of things
scene that constantly changes.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Globe Road Expedition
Ripples on a Long View
Wooded Darkness to Light on Next Ridge
We 'had to' get out of town and into the forest (Sunday.)
These are photos from another of our 'Globe Road'
expeditions! Here is a little ditty about Globe Road,
itself, taken from an online review of dirt biking roads.
Globe Road (gravel and dirt) is " a 12 mile long,
exceptionally fast dirt road that drops 2600 feet from
Blowing Rock and ends up in the town of Mortimer.
In fact, it is the longest and steepest stretch
of downhill, dirt road in the state of NC."
switchbacks! It is one of my all time favorite gravel
road adventures, with deep gorges along side of the
road and a multitude of intersections with Appalachian
sweet streams that form between mountain ridges,
resulting in many big and small waterfalls on the
downward journey. The waterfalls we found
this time would have been great for swimming,
but it was too cold! The Appalachians are
a terrific place to picnic and to watch for wildlife.
More importantly, they are a refuge to
'get away from it all.'
We encountered a home-made sign on some one's
property that helped us know just where we were
(...the "You are Here" type of sign!) and thus our
journey up and out was a bit more predictable than
past trips! One can wander for miles down in and
on the gravel roads in the Appalachians and not
know just where (or when) you will intersect a
main (!?) highway. There are no phone poles nor is
there cell phone coverage deep in these ol' woods
to help. One should make sure that your gas tank
is full, also, or you might end up hiking up and out.
Rarely do you encounter another car.
Our December here has been so mild weather-wise.
The temperature hovered around 38 to 40 degrees
for the trip and the forest was filled mostly with
deep shadow and patches of bright, wintry light.
For me, rye bread sandwiches (mine with
Swiss cheese, carrots and raw onion...)
fit the bill on the journey.
And a good time was had...
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
I took a right quick hop up onto Grandview Overlook
(elevation 3240 feet) on the Blue Ridge Parkway
this morning. It was a balmy 47 degrees up on
the Parkway (last year on this same date it was
somewhere near 12.8 degrees for a day's HIGH and
a mere 5.8 degrees at the exact same time.
Wow. What a difference! Will someone slap me?)
It honestly feels just like spring! We will apparently
be putting our Christmas tree up in 50++ degree
weather! I have some wild white small daisies out
front that are coming back up in a sizable patch!
(That should tell you something...)
For some strange reason my camera fogged up
today, so the photos I wanted to share, of a patch of
sunlight streaming through the ribbons of dense
smoky blue cloud cover and 'kissing' the top of a
small hill, did not turn out.
We piled up our chopped wood close to the
fire box out back but we will not need
it for at least a week or two!
And our 'finest walking sticks' stand waiting
at the front door for more inclement weather!
Friday, December 9, 2011
This is how I see it. Life presents itself with
unforeseen events, hardships and the like.
Why fret and worry yourself about whether
(or not) you will be ready? Are you prepared (enough?)
Corrie Ten Boom said it like this, using a quote from
her father to exemplify...She was frightened and
nervous about losing her father, not knowing if
she could bear his loss, and that particular
morning she was begging him to always stay
(and care for her, be there for her.)
But her (wise) father answered her:
"Corrie," he began gently.
“When you and I go to Amsterdam,
when do I give you your ticket?”
“Why, just before we get on the train.”
In other words (as we have come to understand, that 'life
is like a box of chocolates...') what we need to know, also, is...
it is as if a clothesline is stretched out before us.
Wherever we will go (or can go) the clothesline will be.
And on this clothesline is a ticket (waiting for us)
at each and every juncture in life.
When we encounter a trial, the ticket is there.
Even when we lose a loved one
(about which I was thinking)
the ticket is there.
(Even) when we 'screw up...'
or fall short--
the ticket hangs waiting.
And so on.
So much of our time is spent fretting.
But why fret? Why be anxious? Trust and rest in
knowing that all your tickets (strength, peace, patience,
provision, even comfort in and for your loss;)
all these things...are waiting.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Snug and Cozy
We are expecting 2-4 inches of snow tonight
(our first real snowfall.) According to Ray's Weather,
our source of local 'mountain weather,' the temperature
is supposed to drop about 20 degrees in 2 hours this evening.
It has been r-r-raining for two days straight
with temperatures at times, in the low 50's.
But, a fire in the hearth helps keeps the home cozy.
I have been 'wanting to' photograph the inside
of a rather big firebox that is in the dining room
of this house off of the kitchen. Two winters ago
we had a 'once every 30 year ice storm' and this fire box
prevented us from almost freezing ourselves up
(there was a power outage that lasted for for several days.)
We cooked on the big, flat deeply black top of this box
(seafood chowder; red!) That was the year we had
an icy path to the wood pile itself that was
Not to worry, though (I seldom do!)
These are nice warm shots of the fire
and they might even have the capacity
to warm you right up where you are!!
Monday, December 5, 2011
Christmas Tree (farm) in the winter!
Not to worry...(for anyone who might) North Carolina
'exports' Christmas trees and therefore they replenish
them year round just for this purpose...
Smithsonian Christmas Tree, Washington, D.C.
I am 'thinking' trees. We will be getting our tree
(which will produce a photo or maybe two) by or
near December 15th, which is our typical custom.
North Carolina is right now wildly shipping out
Christmas trees...You see them on truck after truck,
both big loads and smaller loads. On almost every corner,
there is a tree lot... Another (somewhat) unusual
event is that, if you watch the cars coming out of our
(wee) town, about every third car has a tree on its roof.
Sometimes, one can see a string of maybe...
4 or 5 cars in a row with netted trees strapped to the
car roof (and often they have more than one tree
on the roof.) I think it is a custom for families from
other parts of North Carolina, to come up into
the High Country and procure a tree.
What a wonderful thing!
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( works of art from the Art Institute of Chicago .) Top : "Two Sisters (On the Terrace)" by French artist...
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