Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hood Huggers

A friend organized a tour yesterday, it was in Asheville, but not your typical city tour.  This tour was through Hood Huggers and it was an informative tour.  I am mentioning it here on my blog because I have friends in Asheville and the surrounding area and this is well worth the money spent.  The tour guide, DeWayne, talks about the African American history of Asheville, from Slavery on through the civil rights movement and into today, what is going on the African American community today, community developement and the grass roots effort to revitalize this area and see continued growth.  All the while driving you around the area.

It is a history of Asheville I had not heard before and seeing the people and places made it that much more interesting.  So if you have a few hours I would highly recommend taking this unique tour of a city you have probably already fallen in love with.

Here is DeWayne and his poetry:

If you are interested in one of these Hood Huggers tours just sign up and go!  You will not be disappointed.  "Driving tours run most Thursdays at 1 pm and Saturdays at 3 pm, or by appointment for groups of 5 – 9 people. Unless otherwise noted, tours begin at the Stephens-Lee Recreation Center, 30 George Washington Carver Avenue. "

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Can't Turn Off My Brain

Ugh!  Sunday night was one of those nights, which made it harder to get up out of bed Monday morning.  I just couldn't turn off my brain.  Well that isn't quite right, I did fall asleep as usual.  BUT around 2:00 AM I was wide awake and thinking about everything under the sun.  Really....EVERYTHING.

I started out thinking about life and death, and why those things are important on a Monday morning at 2 AM.  Why things happen the way they do, what am I to learn from all of it.  Which of course led to thinking about my life, am I happy, am I following my interests and passions, are there things I am missing out on that I should be thinking about?  From there I started thinking about parenting, OK so we have all had these thoughts, although probably not in the wee hours of the morning.  I just HAD to think about every parenting decision I have every made, analyze each choice and once again ponder it all.  I then started thinking about where we are living.  Do I like it here?  Is there any other place I would love to live?  When thinking about this I had to mull over my garden, which is..after all...located on the property where we currently reside.  Is there anything I want to add to my garden this year, and remember, at a more reasonable time, to make a list of changes for next year?  And thinking about my garden and where we live, is this area progressive enough, can we live here with the friends we have now, is it enough, do we need a change, do I need a change?

So you get the picture, it was one of those nights.  I think I fell back asleep somewhere around 5:00 just in time for Jackson's alarm to go off at 5:30 and my busy Monday to start....AGAIN.

And in case you were wondering...I am following my interests and passions, I am happy and always working toward more of what makes me happy.  I love the friends we have here and we are living in exactly the right spot for us in this moment in time.  My boys are happy and loving life (all three of them), and they are always a reminder that my life is just awesome and we work so well together as a team, all of us.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Journaling: A Look Back

Many of you know that I journal daily.  This hasn't been something I have continued throughout my life, but only for the past four years or so.  I hear, so often, people asking if they should keep their journals.  And while I always respond that it is an individual decision, I am so glad that I keep mine.  I really don't go through them, look at the past, but a week or so ago while I was cleaning in my craft space, I ran into my old journals. Coincidentally I picked up the one from two years ago and opened it up randomly to a page that just made me smile...

This entry was dated 22 April 2014 two years prior to my hike down The Grand Canyon (12 April 2016). In this entry I am visualizing my hike down The Grand Canyon.  I don't really remember what I write in my journal from day to day, and I don't remember writing this.  But it is such an affirmation to me that anything I can imagine, can become reality.  I could see it clearly in my mind, the day that I would hike, with my family, down and up the Grand Canyon.  A perfect day with my family. With a photo from a magazine, taped in for good measure. And it was, just perfect.  Me accomplishing a dream, and my family there cheering me on and accomplishing a great feat themselves.  We all had a perfect vacation, one that we will never forget. Something that started out as a goal I set for myself, and ending with all of us just so proud of ourselves and each other. 

So I encourage you all to write down your dreams, visualize what it will be like to accomplish that goal. What it will look like, what it will feel like.  And keep that in your mind as you work toward that moment in time.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Friday Photo-First

First one of the season!!  YUM!

This is a cooperative blogging project.  To see Nancy's Friday Photo visit her blog, A Present Moment.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Amazing Birthday Hike: Mount Mitchell

If you read my last blog post, you know I had an amazing birthday planned for myself, and it lived up to my expectations and was just a beautiful birthday.  And yes, I do have lots of photos to share.  I do want to say that this hike was indeed a strenuous hike.  One sign gave details of the climb, including the expected time to complete, and the sign said that this 5.6 mile hike would take about 5 1/2 hours and it did, I think I finished in about 5 hour or 5 hours 15 minutes, somewhere around there.  Dallen and Phillip were an hour ahead of us so it took them about 4 hours to 4 hours 15 minutes to complete.  It was rocks and roots the whole way, you had to be careful where you stepped. There were only two points during the hike that you could see a partial view, and that was where the power lines made their way up the mountain, and the hiking trail crossed underneath the lines.  Then, and only then, could you see even a peek at the scenery around you.

Here is part of what they say on the web site about this hike.  " Starting at the Black Mountain Campground, on the Toe River, this hike gains 3600' in elevation over 5 1/2 miles to reach the summit of the East's highest peak, making it one of the toughest continuous climbs in the region..."  to read more visit the Mount Mitchell web site.

The web site does say that if you take Higgins Bald the trail will open into a meadow, well it doesn't, just so you know.  There is really no open area with any type of view.  But the view from the top is worth the climb.

Jackson and I taking a break along the trail.  Jackson is texting the boys to see how they are doing.

 View from the top

I loved how the clouds were rolling off the mountains at different points.

Help me Nancy, my hair is in one BIG knot!!

Phillip made this cake, and it was just as delicious as it looked!

Turning 50 was awesome!!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Fifty and Fabulous

Today is my birthday, but I wrote this post yesterday, Wednesday, as right now the boys, Jackson, and I are hiking Mount Mitchell, which, according to their web site, is the highest point east of the Mississippi.  I turn 50 today, and I am really feeling the strongest I have felt since my Army days.  And one thing I have now that I didn't have back then, is this much confidence in myself and my abilities.  I am pushing that line further and further each and every day, challenging myself and the boundaries I *thought* were inevitable, but have found out were only the boundaries inside my own head.

My husband is not the best at gift giving, even when I actually point out exactly what I want.  I think it was last year, maybe the year before he bought me a couple of discs for disc golf, which he loves, me...not so much, although I went out with him once.  I am just not that great at throwing a Frisbee and it isn't my idea of fun.  So he has adopted my discs (hmmm maybe that was his plan from the beginning).  He also bought me bike shorts.  Yes the skin tight shorts with the padding in the butt.  And while it was thoughtful of him, as riding isn't the most comfortable of sports, I certainly do not need (or want) any extra padding back there.

This year I have decided to plan my own birthday, as really I don't want any gifts from Jackson, I have everything I want or need (OK so maybe I do want a new riding lawn mower).  I have planned this hike today, planned a picnic, which is waiting for us at the top.  I have asked Jackson to make dinner, his meatless meatball subs.  And my youngest, Phillip, wants to make me a cake, chocolate with chocolate frosting to be exact, yumm!  So today is going to be a wonderful day, filled with the things I love, my family. Doing something, that a few years ago, I never thought I would be able to do, never dreamt of doing really. So in a couple of days I will have pictures from my birthday to share with all of you.  And a story of how the day has gone for me.

Great things are in my future, and amazing things are happening in the here and now.  I am living the life of my dreams, with people I love, that love and inspire me daily.  I hope you are having a wonderful day as well!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Sun Hat and Baby Blanket: Patterns

I made these two items recently and decided to post them together in one post.  The first is a raffia yarn, sun hat pattern I created. I used just two balls of the Yashi raffia yarn, which you can purchase at my favorite yarn shop, O'Suzannah's Yarn on Union.  She has a variety of solid and variegated colors.  Once I finished I used some cording I had in my craft stash for the strap and a $1 plastic pull that I picked up at a chain craft store.

Sun Hat

2 balls raffia yarn, 124 yards per ball
Size F crochet hook 13 sc and 16 rows = 4 inches

Ch – chain
sc – single crochet

Top of hat:

-Ch 3, slip stitch into first chain made to form a circle.
-6 sc in center of loop, making a circle
-2 sc in each sc around. Place a marker on your first stitch so you know where the beginning of the round is, move the marker up the rounds as you crochet.  (12 sts)
-*2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in next sc, repeat from * around (18 sc)
-*2 sc in first sc, sc in next 2 sc, repeat from * around (24 sc)
-*2 sc in first sc, sc in next 3 sc, repeat from * around (30 sc)
-*2 sc in first sc, sc in next 4 sc, repeat from * around (36 sc)
-*2 sc in first sc, sc in next 5 sc, repeat from * around (42 sc)
-*2 sc in first sc, sc in next 6 sc, repeat from * around (48 sc)
-*2 sc in first sc, sc in next 7 sc, repeat from * around (54 sc)
-*2 sc in first sc, sc in next 8 sc, repeat from * around (60 sc)
-*2 sc in first sc, sc in next 9 sc, repeat from * around (66 sc)

Body of hat:

-sc in each sc around, until body/side of hat measures 4 ½ inches. Move stitch marker as you work.

Brim of hat:
-*2 sc in first sc, sc in next sc, repeat from * around
-sc in each sc
-sc in each sc
-*2 sc in first sc, sc in next 4 sc, repeat from * around
-sc in each sc
-sc in each sc
-*2 sc in first sc, sc in next 3 sc, repeat from * around
-sc in each sc
Repeat last round 4 more times

Weave in loose ends

This second pattern is not my pattern but I love the look.  I used it to make a baby blanket for a friend but this would make anyone a lovely afghan.  

You can find this pattern on Ravelry, it is called the Bubble Baby Blanket, it is a free Ravelry download.  Easy knit pattern, you will enjoy making this afghan.