Monday, June 29, 2009

Escape to *itch Mountain

My dear, sweet husband decided Thursday morning that a) he was going to quit smoking once and for all...b) we should go on a road trip because we needed a break and it would distract him...
oh brother, my preparations began by rescheduling a Saturday morning hair appointment, asking my daughter to please, not only take care of the puppy and the cat but teach a Sunday School lesson as well...

We left our office about 10:00 Friday morning with no particular destination and no reservations (well, I had a few...ba bump) Beautiful day for cruising the Blue Ridge Parkway in a convertible!

We live in such a beautiful world. The air was scented with wildflowers, mountain laurel and honeysuckle. Birdsong filled the air. Lalalalalala

Flat "cave" hair after visiting Linville Caverns...very wet, cold and dark and closed in (gasp)
After visiting caverns in Virginia, I assumed all caverns were spacious...

Mix one non smoking husband and one hormonal wife equals the smallest decisions became rife with bickering...after a time we would just look at each other hysterical with laughter! I wanted the A/C on my face and he wanted it on our feet...radio on versus radio off, stop here go there...were you supposed to turn? And so it went.


We drove the dragon's back...133 plus turns, then ascended many more turns to Grandfather Mountain. Needless to say this girl was feeling a might squeamish before even attempting the swinging/suspension bridge! Note to Dishy: not for the vertigo challenged individual!!!!!!!!!!!!
Darling husband is calling me to stop and turn around and I am thinking...are you completely crazy??? I*AM*NOT*STOPPING*UNTIL* I* REACH THE OTHER SIDE!!!!!!!!!! The trip back across the bridge was no less horrifying for yours truly...I clutched the rails and kept my eyes straight ahead. Dear readers...you know I am claustrophobic and deathly afraid of heights...not too fond of pitch black darkness either. Just sayin!

Once darling husband's inner Mario Andretti was quenched we were able to slow things down a bit and enjoy a sculpture garden and the Highlands Craft Guild. I scored some gorgeous hand beaded and turquoise earrings by Amolia Willowsong and an iron vase.



We found a lovely motel by the river at the base of Chimney Rock near Lake Lure. "Last of the Mohicans" was filmed at this location. I believe parts of "Dirty Dancing" was filmed at Lake Lure.

A view from the swing outside our room...it was very "hazy"




Atop the "chimney" at Chimney Rock Park

Our trip was a delight despite a rocky patch here and there. We looked at some real estate possibilities...a cabin in Western North Carolina...maybe someday! So tell me, are you the consummate trip planner or do you "wing it"?
P.S. A very nice lady took the picture of us on Chimney Rock.









Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Light on Mostly Wordless Wednesday

"I have been here before, But when or how I cannot tell: I know the grass beyond the door, The sweet keen smell, The sighing sound, the lights around the shore."
-Rossetti, Dante Gabriel


Light hearted...


Where there is a crack in the darkness...light shines through...



A hole in the wall...


up way too early...


blinded by the light!


"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it"
- Edith Wharton
"It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)Sun-Shiny day."
Johnny Nash " I Can See Clearly Now"
There is so much light to be found. Wishing each of you a bright, sun-shiny Wednesday!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Flashback

Back by popular demand, you asked for it...you got it!!! A shimmery glimpse into the past



Not so happy school days...this is the school year that I still remember with shock and horror!
MISS D, evil tormentor of children's souls...may she roast in wherever it is really mean people get to congregate. Miss D was not particularly fond of any of us except for the matchy matchy girls on the front row and P standing directly behind her...the rest of us...well, we suffered.
I have racked my brain to determine what it was that I did or said to irritate her so much. I always talked too much doesn't seem like that was a cause for extreme loathing...Miss D would put your name on the board and each check that you received meant you stayed after school for 5 minutes...I never received just one check mark...with great flourish and bluster she would yell my name C*******(my honest to goodness given name to which I am not overly fond) and I would get the minimum of 4 checks...yep that equals 20 minutes and that was on a good day. The best part of this was the friendship that developed with B. She usually received a requisite four check marks as well. We walked home together. A united solidarity against the evil troll that was Miss D. B and Me. On the front row. Her Dad was Air Force, mine was Army. She was Jewish and I was Catholic. She, a graceful ballet dancer, me...rather clumsy. She, the brunette...Me, the blonde! We celebrated Christmas and Hanukkah. My dad was transferred to Fort Carson, Colorado...her hometown was Colorado Springs...we missed each other by a hair. By the time they arrived in Colorado we were en route to South Carolina. We wrote letters and exchanged pictures...she danced for a ballet troupe, I got married. We lost touch and I think of her with great fondness...Miss D, well I still think she was an ogre...what did she teach me that year...fear, dislike and distrust.

As aside, this was a time when teachers were never questioned...your parents trusted them implicitly.







Wednesday, June 17, 2009

(mostly) Wordless on Wednesday

Pssst...yeah you...can you please tell the powers that be...somebody needs a vacation!!!

I love the lush "greeniness" of summertime...evergreens abound in the South year round...something about the Spring and Summer that intensifies all colors.

Just looking at the water falling and the dappled sunlight and green slows my breathing and relaxes me.

So tell me...what do you see...an ordinary pile of rocks or something more??? look closely...
do you see a face, an animal, anything...
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." --A. Einstein




Thursday, June 11, 2009

Life's Simple Pleasures

Some days a body wants to focus on the simple, sweet things that make life so good...the things that get you through the day when stuff happens that makes you less than happy...Yolanda at Perfectly Imperfect is participating in a simple things project...I thought I would add my own two cents worth...

a hand holding lunch with my sweet husband, a beautiful basket of flowers on my desk upon our return...a sweet love note...

Our kitty Moe, may he always be playful and youthful..."see if you can reach me now, darn doggy thing"

Duncan Lucky Chance...bounce, play, play, jump, jump, lick your toes, chase the children, eat, fall over and sleep! Duncan is loving life at the Loose Lemon household...he prefers the porch and outdoors to being in the house. House training is coming along.


Standing on the front porch inhaling the fragrance of gardenias, lavender and honeysuckle.
Brushing past the Rosemary, Oregano and Basil in the herb garden...smelling those fragrances on your hands...cooking with herbs.
Watching one of my ferns whither away due to the family that has hatched nestled in the fern leaves...tiny bird beaks gaping open, little downy feathers...

CHERRIES!!!! Eating cherries at the kitchen sink...memories of cherry blossoms on the walk from Oma's house to Tante Gretl's house...later picking cherries from the lowest branches...
Beautiful childhood in Germany...the color red...fields of poppies...market day
Sitting on the swing in the backyard with my daughter watching the grand darlings play with the puppy...eating pizza...watching the lightening until the rain and storm sends us into the house.
Wearing my fuzzy, extremely soft and comfortable robe while reading a wonderful book or two...
currently reading "Pretty in Plaid" by Jen Lancaster (laugh out loud funny) thanks CWG
People who are genuinely happy to see you!
Coaxing all takers to buy the World's Finest Chocolate Bars to benefit the Children's Hospital in Greenville...being corny and saying that they are $1.00 each or 5 for $5.00 (hey, this is working)
Eating World's Finest Chocolate Bars (caramel ones) for breakfast or lunch. Please come by and buy the rest!!! (I am performing this service for my 83 year old father in law) it is his fault and that is my story.
capturing photos of anything that strikes my fancy...love my teeny Canon ELPH (fits in my pocket)
Everything that is so green, lush and bright
Wind in my hair and the sun on my face
Beaches, shells, waves, children's laughter, music, art
What are the simple things in life that give you the greatest pleasure? Thanks Yolanda, I had a great time playing along unofficially!!!





Monday, June 8, 2009

Every Picture Tells A Story Don't It

Saturday morning trip to Columbia Museum of Art...


Rod Stewart lyrics are playing in my head this morning..."every picture tells a story don't it"



This was the last weekend for "Turner to C├ęzanne: Masterpieces from the Davies Collection, National Museum Wales" exhibit at the Columbia Museum of Art. Kristi and I met downtown to view the collection together. We toured the exhibit twice and then ventured across the street to have lunch at "Gotham Bagel Cafe" (yummy). We discussed which paintings "spoke" to us. It was a rare and wonderful privilege to see the original works of the masters such as Monet, Van Gogh, Cezanne and Whistler. Most of the works were from the Impressionist/Post Impressionist movement. We each had our favorites...most of my favorites being of Italy...I am making plans to visit in the not too distant future. Note to Jayne: We missed you...the exhibit was lovely. Upon entering one gallery to view "The Parisienne" (Renoir) we spotted a very young girl sitting on her feet drawing and coloring a very detailed copy of Renoir's masterpiece...this was such a delight to behold! I wanted to take a picture of her, however was not inclined to be tossed out of the museum. Security was beefed up...I cannot even imagine the price of the paintings on exhibit.

Borrowing a favorite word from Jayne, the old was juxtaposed with the new at every turn. We were looking at 200 - 300 year old paintings in a very modern space...the very old buildings of downtown Columbia side by side with the newer, modern architecture...masterpieces in the same city with "industrial art" Columbia was/is very enamored with the artist known as Blue Sky. His art is a little too industrial for my taste, however I guess I am just a philistine when it comes to what I like. I remember when the huge unveiling for the fire hydrant occurred...I was in a hospital room with my mother in law and giving her a blow by blow description...my thoughts were like what the heck??? The chain connects a series of older buildings and I just don't get "it". Give me "The Palazzo Dario" by Monet any day of the week!!! This painting is absolutely breathtaking from every angle! (this print does not do the original justice)


Blue Sky, fire plug



Tunnel vision by Blue Sky...I worked in this building about 25 years ago!






Museums are a must see for me when travelling...how about you? Do you ever tour your own town? I have lived in South Carolina most of my adult life and there are so many places locally that I have not taken the time to visit. That my friends is being remedied one little adventure at a time...this time!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Snips and snails and puppy-dogs' tails

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails, and puppy-dogs' tails,
That's what little boys are made of.
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice, and everything nice,
That's what little girls are made of.
or the modern version:
What are little boys made of?
Frogs and snails And puppy-dogs' tails,
That's what little boys are made of.
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice, and everything nice,
That's what little girls are made of.
The grand darlings spent most of the weekend with me and we had quite a series of adventures.

On Saturday we visited Alan's Market. They have a huge greenhouse filled with tomatoes. The children enjoyed visiting the greenhouse, watching koi in the pond and choosing flowers for Mimi and I. Most of Saturday was spent playing with the water table and boats...filling and refilling the "canals" Getting as much of everything wet as possible. We discovered a soon to be family living in my ferns.


Hunter, the ever early riser played in the yard with the puppy, watched birds and collected little slimy things. Anna slept in.

video

and because you can never have enough cute...Duncan (of the feet and head in the water bowl pup)


video


His name should probably be Lucky Chance.