Not too bad…for a girl

You know how one thing leads to another. I know how one thing leads to another.  But sometimes I forget that one thing leads to another… like today…I decided that I would swap the door in the laundry room with the front door.  “Why?”, you ask.  Three reasons:

A.  Because the door in the laundry room has windows which would allow more light into my den.

2.  Because I could, which, sometimes is the only reason a girl needs.

D.  Because Joel was at work.

Right off the bat, as I was removing the doors from the hinges, I stripped several screws. This meant that I would have to purchase the tool that allows you to unscrew screws that have been screwed up.  Since I did not know the name of this tool, I called Joel.  He provided the information I needed.  I don’t know if he was really involved in his work, or if he was a little scared, but this is the first time he didn’t ask what I was doing.  I drove to town and purchased the IMG_7245

Grabit Pro.  This thing worked like a charm, and had I realized how much fun using it would be, I would have been stripping screws a long time ago…on purpose.  After taking the doors down, I realized that I had forgotten to buy a wood chisel, so I went BACK to town and bought this IMG_7250

so I could do this


so that the hinges would fit right.  When I got the door hung in the den, the doorway was ever so slightly too small and the door wouldn’t close.  So, I had to trim the blooming door. Because I didn’t have a plane, I decided to use a side grinder with an eighty grit wheel.  Not the smartest thing to do, especially since I didn’t take the door down.  It worked pretty well, but when I got finished, it looked like Jack Frost had made a pass through my den.  There was sawdust everywhere.  When I FINALLY got that cleaned up, I realized that I needed a new door knob.  So, back to town I went.  Along with the door knob, I bought a plane so that I could IMG_7260

finish trimming the door.  I was DONE decorating with sawdust.  This time I took the door down.  When I finished with the plane, I hung the door back up and installed the knob.


I took down the old storm door.  All I need to do is


clean the door and where the storm door was and paint. I didn’t think I did too bad…..for a girl.

Are you smarter than a five-year-old?

Yesterday Joel bought the boys a tent.

Today they decided to set it up.  The boys unpacked it

while Joel raked off a place to put it.  This was one of those tents with the poles already attached that only takes one minute to set up. The boys watched

as Joel unfolded the thing.  Of course, he got me to read him the directions.

At one point, he said, “I don’t understand what those directions are saying.”  Hudson pointed at the tent and said, “That’s because it speaks Spanish!” Are you smarter than a five- year- old?

Match made in heaven

This week, for reasons that remain a mystery, Peter (of Peter, Pauline and Mary)

slipped the surly bonds of earth and touched the face of God.  He was the rooster from the original pair of Malaysian Seramas that I had purchased several years back.

It seems that 2012 has not been the best year for ‘little’ chickens on this hill.  In the spring, Joe and Nidette gave me six Silver Laced Bantoms

in an attempt to save them from varmints that stalk their farm animals. They just might have fared better around Lake Charles because there is only one left…a rooster.  Actually, there were two until yesterday. They lived down at the barn, and until about a week ago, they lived alone.  It was then that they got four roommates.

These four Buff Orpingtons, who could probably  escape from Alcatraz, would somehow fly the coop, and they  had made it their mission to “work” Josh’s daylilies and Joel’s pansies. Needless to say, I had to do something quick before Josh and Joel put them in a pot.  I put them in lock up with the two little Silver Laced Bantams to which they probably seemed like giants. Yesterday, when I went to feed, the little Silver Laced hen had joined Peter, and when I opened the gate, the little rooster flew into my arms. I felt so sorry for him.  It was the first time he had ever given me a second look.  So I said, “Don’t you worry”, carried him up the hill, and put him in the cage with Pauline and Mary.

It was a match made in heaven.  Or maybe I should say… it was a match made because two chickens went to heaven.

A song in the err

Today was Thanksgiving dinner at Hudson and Denton’s school and Josh and Nikki were able to join them for the meal.  So…

guess who got to stay with me?  That’s right, Josie.

She sat in my lap for the first few minutes and we talked.

Then she watched me put up some fall decorations and after that,

she listened to her music and entertained herself for a while.  Recently we hung a swing on the sun porch, so

we decided to ride that for a while.  At first she sat in my lap,

but soon moved to her own spot on the swing.  We talked and listened to music on my phone, but it was my duet with Roy Clark  singing “Thank God And Greyhound You’re Gone”

that did her in.  A little later, it was my solo of the same song

that brought her back.  I really didn’t think I sounded that bad.

All is well except…

We got back from our trip Monday evening around five and the rest of the week has been fairly laid-back.  Joel’s sister, who came to keep his mother company while we were away, left yesterday.  It was good to get to visit with her.  There were daylily people here this week

digging, washing

and labeling plants

for their club’s sale table at their big meeting this weekend.  And while this was going on

I got to hang out with Josie.

I’ve gotten interested in using essential oils,

so I’ve been studying my new book.

As you know, I will be in Alaska in January.  I have been promised protection from accidental cryogenic suspension by Mom, aka The Grouchy Old Woman.  So, all I have to worry about is my camera equipment.

So, I’ve been researching how to take care of my equipment in cold weather.

Yesterday, I built a combination feeder for the goats.

It holds both hay and grain.  It will probably eventually hold a small goat,

Jasmine likes to stand in the feed trough.

All is well on the home front except for one thing.

Joel planted pansies the other day and the chickens just can’t help but dig them up. So, I’ve been patching holes and locking up chickens.  I knew I was in trouble when Josh called to me from the front porch saying ,” Mama, you best get in the front yard.”  Bless his heart, Joel didn’t say a word……..but, he didn’t have to.

Home away from home

Well, you’ve seen some of what we do and where we go when we come to the Smokies, but I’m not sure that you’ve seen where we stay.

We stay in this house on Wear Road in Wear Valley that we rent  through a place called Moose Creek Crossing. We enjoy the house, but more than that, we enjoy its location.  Not more than a half mile from it is Wear Valley Road.  Two miles in length, it takes you over Cove Mountain and into the park at Metcalf Bottoms picnic area.  That way we avoid all the tourist traps and the traffic.

If we want to just relax at the house, this is the view from the front porch. Pretty neat, huh?

Tomorrow we say goodbye to our home away from home…but not for long.  We’ll be back in March.

In case you get the notion

Saturday morning we went BACK to Cades Cove. (Yes, we do go other places.) We decided to

hike up the Rich Mountain trail at the beginning of the loop road.

until we reached the John Oliver cabin. It was about a mile and a half walk.

John Oliver, his wife and two oldest children arrived in Cades Cove in 1821.  They were the first permanent white settlers in the cove. From their place, we walked down to the loop road

and back to where we had parked. Just in case you ever get the notion to do this same hike, it was an easy three mile loop.

Snow on the mountain run, Mammy, run

Monday, about the time we arrived in Wear’s Valley, it began to snow in the mountains.  The park service closed the road from Sugarlands to Newfound Gap and did not open it until Wednesday.  Friday, after several days of sunshine, we decided to drive up to Newfound Gap to see if there was any snow left…and there was.  So, being from a place where we rarely see snow, we stopped the car several times just to walk around in the stuff.  (I know… tourists)  Anyway, here’s a record of our”‘snow day”.

The best part was that it wasn’t very cold.  As a matter of fact, it was forty degrees!

The most beautiful sight

Cades Cove is one of the most visited places in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park with about two million people a year driving the loop road. When you enter Cades Cove you immediately feel as though you have stepped back in time…that is until there’s a traffic jam caused by people stopping to take pictures of the abundant wildlife.

Even though I’ve done it, I get aggravated when other people do it. (and so does Joel, because he does the driving)  So, we decided that we would go back to the cove on Thursday and avoid the traffic jams by walking the loop…all eleven miles of it.  We figured that if push came to shove, we could catch a ride with a nice retired couple.  We didn’t take many pictures…I guess we were more concerned with finishing our journey than capturing it.

It was a perfect day!  The sky was blue, the temperature was just right and the

the colors were brilliant. We had a picnic and took a couple of rest stops. I have to admit that it’s better to experience the cove on foot than in a vehicle.  However, after four hours and forty-five minutes we came upon the most beautiful sight of all…

our little green Outback.

I just love Cades Cove

Wednesday morning Joel and I decided to drive out to Cades Cove .We drove around to the parking lot for the Elijah Oliver place which lies

a half mile beyond this gate.  So across the field and through the woods we went

until we reached Elijah’s house.  We decided to keep going, so we walked

another half mile through the woods to the Abram’s Falls trail head.

We walked up that trail about a mile and a half to Joel’s favorite spot.

After having a snack,

we headed back, doing the whole thing in reverse.

We walked  through the woods to the Oliver place,

then  to the field where our car was waiting on the other side. I just love Cades Cove.