Friday, September 18, 2015

Feels Like Fall

This past Sunday we hiked the Boone Fork Loop Hike, up at the Julian Price Park, on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We had a bit of a late start for us but it was such a nice crisp day it was beautiful!  Perfect hiking weather.  This is a 5 mile loop, with some scrambles over rocks and across creeks but I loved this hike.  Not real strenuous, and just wonderfully interesting as you hike along the creeks and through the woods. We hiked along the water most of the hike so that was always beautiful with small cascades here and there.  At one point the forest hike opened up onto a beautiful meadow of wildflowers.  So there was goldenrod all around.  Just beautiful.  Coming out of the hike the park had FILLED UP.  I guess everyone decided it was a perfect day for a picnic, and it was.  The parking lot was FULL, the picnic tables were full, there were kids playing and walking dogs.  It was nice.  At that point we all decided to go to Coyote Kitchen for lunch, and it was delicious as usual.  Another wonderful day with my favorite people.

 The only picture of my boys.  They generally jump up ahead of Jackson and I. So I caught them at the end, chilling in the car, waiting for us to finish.  

I just loved this spot, you can see all the roots knotted up and leading up to this rock wall.  LOVE IT.

This picture does not do the meadow justice.  You can't see the wildflowers well, and the grass and flowers were about waist high.  But you can see how the trail comes out of the woods and opens up so beautifully.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Shortoff Mountain Hike

We actually hiked the Shortoff Mountain trail on September 7, but I am just now taking the photos off my camera.  This was a great hike, such awesome views from the top.  It is around 5 miles round trip, strenuous for the first mile or so as you climb up the mountain.  This part of the hike made me nervous coming down as the trail is mostly loose rocks and steep.  I guess after breaking my ankle a few years ago, while hiking, I am just so cautious now.  Areas where, before I broke my ankle, I would have normally just hiked without even thinking about it, now I look at it differently, and hesitantly.  But this was a beautiful day, beautiful views and with my favorite people.  I am so excited that the boys are coming hiking with Jackson and me more and more lately.  I really enjoy this family time.  Here are a few pics from our hike.

This little guy was growing right in the middle of the trail.  

This picture is for my friend, Nancy, her colors, her favorite time of year.

 OK the picture above was my view as I was climbing the mountain.  YES, those are my boys sitting on the edge of a cliff.  I don't  think you can appreciate my feeling at that moment until you see the picture below and can see some of the DROP. Although the descent doesn't transfer perfectly in a photo, you get the idea! YIKES

Nice place to take a little break.

Me and my honey. I think he is enjoying all these hikes, as much as I am.

Here you can see some of the forest fire damage. Ugly and beautiful all at the same time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Few Finished Projects

Here are a few things I have been working on and FINALLY finished.  I know you know that feeling, you work on a project and then just need to put it down and pick up something new....well I had a few too many of those projects hanging around so I have decided to finish up a few things.

 The picture above and below are pics of a mermaid tail I just finished.  Funny part is that I have "turned" the photo in my files, but it uploads to blogger sideways, and I am too tired to figure out what is going on.  But I am hoping you can see in the bottom picture how I made it.  I used the crocodile stitch, and started at the bottom end working in a circle.  Then when it was about up to my knees I just started going back and forth adding a "scale" here and there until it was the desired width and a comfortable length to snuggle up under.  Finishing it off I crocheted the end closed and created a tail fin with single crochet in the back loop only.  I was going to make a scalloped edge but instead decided to single crochet around the edge of the tail fin, just to give it a finished look.  

This picture is another sweater I made, using the "create your own pattern...pattern".  Using this pattern you take your measurements and make your own pattern as you go. For this sweater I wanted a longer, ruffled edge.  There are buttons at the top, which was the part that has been left to finish for so long, adding the buttons.  But they are now on and the sweater is finished.  If you want the pattern you can contact Susan at O Suzannah's yarn shop.  It looks a little funky on the shoulders but that would be the shadow from the tree. It really is beautiful and I love it.

These two pictures are of an asymmetric poncho I made using the recycled silk.  This pattern is also from O Suzannah's yarn shop as well as the yarn.  But you can read more about this yarn from the Darn Good Yarn web site.  

Here is just one video on how to do the crocodile crochet stitch, although there are several more out there on youtube.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Summer Beach Vacation

I am a little behind posting pics of our summer beach vacation.  We vacation at the coast every summer, and sometimes more often.  I have to get back to the ocean at least once.  This year was beautiful as always.  I particularly enjoy vacations as it is my time to really unplug.  NO COMPUTER for me.  I rarely get online during vacation time, and it feels good.  This year Jackson and I made a point of walking some distance on the beach almost daily, that was nice.  And I spent so much time enjoying the sun and the surf.  Sitting and chatting with my friend, Nancy, every day. Swimming, talking, having lunch on the beach.  It was so relaxing and rejuvenating.  I loved it.  This year we added evening yoga to our routine.  I really can appreciate how relaxed I feel after yoga, and how much better I sleep.  Anyway, enough talking about it, here are just a few pics:

On one of our morning walks.  Such an awesome backdrop for a walk!

Phillip took some wonderful moon shots on Friday night of our vacation.

On Saturday morning I decided to take some sunrise shots.  Something wonderful about the sunrise. The beginning of a new day.  I am generally the only one up, and it is so quiet and peaceful.  I can have a cuppa tea and just watch everything unfold.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Fair Trade Clothing

OK so I was up REALLY early this morning, and after checking  e mail and writing down a recipe for Honey Wheat Bread, I made yesterday, I decided to sit and knit and watch a movie.  Netflix picked The True Cost as one I would like.  Sure let's watch a documentary on clothing, I mean I am a conscious shopper and know about sweat shops etc.  This should be OK.  Can I say OH MY GOSH!  There was just so much in this movie I did not know, and so many dots connected.  I will certainly be so much more aware now.  I mean seriously if you BUY and/or you WEAR clothing you should really watch The True Cost.  You can rent it and watch it on the movie web site or it is also on Netflix, where you can "watch it now".  I had no idea there was a term "fast clothing", who knew.

Anyway I highly encourage you all to watch, to the end.  So much in there.  And when it is finished you will do just what I did and go to your computer and search "fair trade clothing".  I came up with a good site (The Good Trade) that lists 30 fair trade clothing brands, so please check them out as well.

And here is the trailer for the movie:

Friday, September 4, 2015

"What Scares You the Most"

This is a cooperative blogging post and really it is an easy one for me.  Death has always been what scares me the most, and still is.  I have very few fears, one is the dentist, I not rational.  But Death is and always has been at the top.

I remember as a small child being afraid that my parents would die, and leave me.  I can recall my mom sitting with me while I tried to sleep, talking to me about how it would be such a long time before they died, and just rubbing my back to help me get to sleep.  I think this stems from the time I came home from school in Kindergarten and no one was home.  I was so scared, and just felt immediately abandoned.   Nothing like that had ever happened to me before.  After that I was always afraid they were going to leave me, and so my fear started.

Now rationally I know about death, I know there is no guarantee.  I have felt that horrible feeling when someone close to you passes.  I know how hard all of that is.  I know how hard it will be for my own children some day.  And I do live in the moment.  Enjoying everything I can, taking care of me, taking care of those I love.  Living my best life.  But I know life can be so short, and gone too soon.  So Death remains a fear, although I do challenge those feelings.  I have done "the Work".  Nothing eradicates it completely from my mind.  Maybe that is a good thing.  Maybe that fear is what keeps me living in the moment, grateful for everything and everyone I have in my life.  Keeps me taking good care of myself. Maybe that fear is beneficial in my life, and worthy of being fully embraced as a part of the whole.

If you want to read what scares my friend, Nancy, the most pop over to her blog, A Present Moment , and see.