Sunday, January 31, 2010

Happy Weekend

In celebration of surviving another cold snap, Matt and I headed out to hike a bit today.  We went geocaching, but that did not really work out.  We could not find the first one and my ass literally started to freeze right off, first it was numb, then it started itching along the backs of my legs-which Matt assured me were all the parasites thinking I was dead and they were escaping, which gave me the creeping willies because-EW.  I don't eat pork because I am convinced the worms will burrow into your leg and butt muscles and that episode of House just confirmed it.  But, I LOVE bacon and will occasionally eat non-turkey if I am sure it is cooked perfectly.  I am pretty sure the itching was from my muscles going 'HUH?' and NOT pork worms making good their escape.  Pretty sure.

The point was, my rear-end, then the left side of my face then my hands all went numb, so I bailed on further exposure once we were in the van again.  Weenie!

So Matt bought me a grilled cheese and some fried pickles and we drove around to look at old houses, which I will post another time.

Ice in the treetops

Frost heave along the trail.


Icicles, underneath

Giant Shadow Esther!

On the way home, just before sunset, we stopped at a small cemetery in Crawford Bottoms.
I hope to go back, it had some interesting stones!

It was a great day.  I can hardly wait for warmer weather!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Trace Part One

Cathy and I went with our kiddos to the northern end of the Natchez Trace yesterday and drove south until we ran out of day.

Our first stop at Birdsong Hollow, at the Double Bridge over Hwy 96 outside of Franklin, TN

The bridge is HUGE!
It was freezing, we walked over to the base and went right back to the van, it was too chilly for the way we were dressed.  We expected it to be about 15 degrees warmer.  Darn weather forecast, wrong AGAIN.

This is the Gordon House, which was built to house the couple that ran the ferry across the Duck River.

One of several tobacco barns along the drive.

The girls at the overlook behind the barn, it started warming up a little...

At the parking area for Jackson Falls, the kids found a dust devil making the leave whirl and went to jump in!

Jackson Falls

Behind the falls at Fall Hollow

The site of the Meriwether Lewis grave.
He was younger than me!

This is one happy kid.

This was BEFORE he got the text from his Dad that he was cast in Oz, as a kalidah!  He got even happier after that!

The kids in the one shot I made them line up and smile for the camera for.  hahahaha!
No, really, they are there on the porch area.

We took a short walk on the old Trace, the actual path used by travelers.  

This is my favorite spot on the Trace, Metal Ford

After leaving the Trace just south of Metal Ford, we made our way back home via Lewisburg, TN and stopped at Pulaski to grab some food.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Another Friday

Can you believe I have not read or seen anything new this week?  Ack

Monday, we...I have no idea, it was too far back.
Tuesday, Jake and I headed out EARLY to get his braces.  We stopped at McDonald's because he loves the McGriddle combo, so I bought him one as a last meal kind of thing.  

That afternoon, everyone came over for pizza and our planning party/reading and writing group kick-off.
We planned out the whole year as far as group camping trips and such.
The girls got their new journals and started writing immediately.  Next meeting, they will share a favorite book to drum up interest in it being the group read for the month.

That night, we went to Heather's for MNO and watched Hairspray.
I guess watching it with other people helped, I actually laughed quite a bit-of course it could have been sugar rush-induced.

Wednesday, we laid low at home because the pain of the braces finally kicked in.  Jake's mouth was swollen and he could barely talk with that bite plate in his mouth.  Poor kid, I will be GLAD when that comes out.
We watched all three Matrix movies and Animatrix. 

Thursday, he felt some better.  We watched an episode of Angel and one of Buffy and did some minor school stuff, got the house all back in order.  Matt and I watched 3 more episodes of Lie to Me, I am loving that show!  

Today, we did some school, watched the rest of the disc of Angel, did our recycling and checked out the update on Animal Crossing-Tom Nook's store is now Nookway's!  5 furniture items, 2 types of carpet and wall paper, 4 flowers, 2 trees and 3 kinds of writing paper each day now.  All that along with the assorted tools and medicine for colds and bee stings.  Quite up-town.  I had my hair done in the city and now it's orange.  *sigh*  I guess 'safe' really is the only way to go in that game as far as hair color.

This weekend is shaping up to be fairly dull, Matt is riding his bike now and tomorrow he has a gig.  I don't like being a band widow, though I also don't mind that he plays.  It's one of those things that just does not have to make sense.

Sunday is the play try-outs.  Jake has such an impediment from the bite plate, he has had dreams that he is cast as a mushroom and told to stand silently in the background. : (

Keep your fingers crossed, Jake, Matt and Chan are all trying out for roles in Wizard of Oz!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Winter Reprieve

I did more than play on the Wii this week.

Monday, we went to Huntsville with our friends.
Tuesday, Suzette came over for lunch and the afternoon.
Wednesday, Cathy came over after we got back from haircuts and stayed the afternoon. was just Ben and me, Jake and Chan went home with Cathy.  Matt picked them up after work.
Friday, we went hiking with Heather and her boys!  Now I remember why I started setting aside one day a week to hang out with all of our available friends at once!
But, it was a nice reprieve from the recent rash of being home and freezing.  We could spare the week to goof off.

Here are some pics from Friday.

Ft. Bluff in Eva, overlooking the Florette valley

Heather and G, not near the edge!
Sweet Griffin wanted to clean up the trash on the trail.
We had to promise him a trail cleaning day.  : )

People have been enjoying the view for years!
I find it amusing about myself that names and dates carved into the rock is fascinating, but only if it's from earlier than the year I was born and other graffiti annoys the crap out of me.

Heather is pointing out where Daddy works.

Carson and Chandler spitting over the edge of the cliff.

I have no idea why my pics are so tiny, I am telling it to display in extra large.  Grrrr

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Matt and Jake felled a...large sapling for firewood over the weekend.

They were successful in subduing the small tree, bashing and otherwise managing to get it into stove-sized chunks.

The 2 hours of chopping, hauling and stacking allowed us nearly 30 minutes of pure heated bliss from the wood stove before the fuel ran out.

Jake has been cutting more wood each day since and we have been able to partially heat with the wood stove, which has been nice, especially in the evening when we can get a good hot fire going and heat up the main part of the house. It's lovely to FINALLY be rid of the chill without gaining the worry that we will have to sell a kid to pay the electric bill!

Back Online

My Gateway died a few days back, it was very frustrating and I was pretty unsure when we would get around to replacing it. Well...Matt's dad gave us his old laptop, which was having some issues with Norton Antivirus and needed to be wiped clean, repartitioned and set back up with a new operating system. We had not done anything with it because it still played dvd's without any trouble and it really is a PITA to set up a new system, plus we were unsure if that would really fix it, or if it was really done for.

Well, faced with the cost of replacing the laptop-even though we knew for MONTHS it was on the way out-suddenly the time investment was minimal annoyance! Matt installed Windows XP and repartitioned the hard drives on Monday night, I installed drivers for the modem Tuesday and pulled the hard drive out of the Gateway and set it up as a slave drive.

I spent most all of today downloading and installing drivers for the digital media reader, the antivirus-AVG this time-video drivers, wireless connection and so on. It seems to be working just fine! I hate to say anything for sure yet, but I have been happy with it so far. Here's hoping for another 15 months (until Jake's braces are paid for) before I have to try to budget in its replacement!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Matt and I drove and froze our way around Cullman last Sunday, stopping for lunch at Arby's and enjoying our time together. We stopped at the Grotto and walked the long and frozen path to the chapel at the cemetery and took pictures of the stained glass.

This one was especially confusing-eyeballs around tombstones? And a daisy with petals missing? I admit, I am not educated in Catholic symbolism.

Catoma Falls.
This was a creek we stopped to take pictures of the icicles. I liked the watercolor effect of the bare trees reflected in the water.
We drove around near the railroad tracks, getting some sunset shots of a few 'industrial' grubby areas.