Posted on Leave a comment

The Big Hike to Hawksbill Mountain

I never posted the pictures from the Big Hike last fall.

It was a one mile hike to the top of a mountain that stood tall along the Blue Ridge mountain range. Towards the end of the hike the trail was nearly straight up the side of the mountain!

The views from the top of Hawksbill Mountain were some of the best I’ve seen in the Blue Ridge. It was also exciting because we finally managed to time it right to see the perfect autumn leave colors.

It can’t really be seen in this picture, but on that rocky ledge is Wiseman’s View, which I visited years ago!  It was cool to be on the other side of it.

These mountains overlook Linville Gorge, which is a river that runs though this area deep in the valley.

We stayed on the mountain top for a while, eating the little picnic we packed and looking out at at colorful mountains.

For some reason this short weekend trip the the mountains almost  a year ago really stands out in my mind as one of my top favorite trips. The weather was perfect and everything we did was so much fun, with no stress of worries. Looking through these photos really reminded me of the time spent there and made me excited to return soon.

Posted on Leave a comment

Old Salem Evening

dsc_1729

**Part of my collection of poor pictures that have been stuck in my drafts for a year or more as a result of my uninspired period**

dsc_1718

It’s always fun to wander around Old Salem, but it just seems to become the most exciting in the fall.

As the cool days just start to turn into icy cold nights, and the leaves have turned colors and are beginning to fall from the trees.

dsc_1715

dsc_1732dsc_1731dsc_1728dsc_1726dsc_1725dsc_1723dsc_1722

I find a way to love all of the seasons, but this one is always my favorite.

Posted on Leave a comment

A New House Exterior

After living in this little house for six years, the exterior has finally been redone!

The house was lined with aluminum siding when we bought it, and everything was painted white except the sad looking shutters which were way too small for the windows. The paint on the siding was flaking off and the shutters were getting really faded.  One of the shutters had actually come partially unhinged and would bang on the side of the house during storms, like we were living in some sort of haunted house!

It took a long time to decide whether to paint the siding, restore the original wood, or buy new siding. Because the original wood was covered in lead paint, and we don’t really like the look of most vinyl sidings, we finally decided to just paint the aluminum siding. We decided on a light grey for the color after considering a variety of greens and teals.

After power washing off the old paint, the house looked like a tin can!

This picture shows how bad the old paint job was looking, and the spot where the siding was torn off to see what the original wood looked like.

The doors were painted mint green, and the flimsy old storm doors were replaced with sturdier ones in contrasting black.

The next step was to replace the windows. The windows were original to the house but not worth saving. Mold was growing on them, they were very hard to open and in the winter they let in so much cold air that sitting on the couch in front of the windows was like sitting in front of an open freezer.

However, we didn’t really like the look of generic replacement windows with the grids on the inside of the glass because they don’t show up very well and they look less authentic. We decided to go with the more pricey option of buying windows with exteriors grids, which look a lot closer to the type of windows that would have been original to the house. The windows we choose had black exterior grids to contrast with the house, and inside the house the grids are white.

The trim around the house was painted white, to make the grey color stand out.

The final step was to replace the porch that was falling apart.

I didn’t think the old porch looked that ugly until I compare it with the new one. The skinny columns were replaced with three big columns that have a little bit of decoration around the top and the railing is more robust and sturdy.

 It took most of the spring and summer to get it all done and schedule with the contractors. The most stressful part was getting the windows put in and having to move the cats around to different rooms, keeping them in crates so they wouldn’t escape.  I can hardly believe it is finally all done. We’ve been dreaming about re-doing the outside of the house ever since we decided to buy it so it’s nice to finally be proud of how our house looks. And I love having windows that actually work!

Posted on Leave a comment

Cat Photos Friday: Ghoul Kittens

My sister adopted two kittens that look like little skeleton ghouls!  This guy above is Kevin with the pants, and his sister pictured below is Maisie the party goblin.

They’re so cute and playful and friendly. It’s so much fun to go and visit them!  They are living at my Mom’s house with her three cats, so it’s a big cat party over there right now.

Posted on Leave a comment

The Beach in a Dream

Little beach towns always feel like a magical, altered reality type of place to me. A place far away from regular boring life, where time almost stands still. When thinking back, months later on that short little week spent spent at the beach, it almost feels like a dream. I think these Polaroids capture that feeling.

These Polaroids were taken with the Polaroid OneStep 2 and film.

Posted on Leave a comment

The Trail to Oatman

The last day in the desert led us to the little town of Oatman, which is nestled high up in the mountains between Arizona and California. I didn’t realize the drive to get there would be so scenic.
We left the red rocky landscape behind us and headed towards these jagged rocky ridges. We had to stop every few minutes to get out and take in the views.
I could have spent a long time wandering around and discovering strange desert things.  Like this interesting desert shrine.  Or that forgotten car.
But our flight home was that evening so we had to hurry back to Las Vegas.

This part of Arizona made me want to visit California even more than ever.  Maybe because we were so close, it was just beyond this mountain ridge!  The landscape in this part of the country is so dramatic.

The town of Oatman is home to a bunch of friendly Burros.  As we got close to the town, Burros started to appear along the hills. I couldn’t wait to get to the town to see even more!

Posted on Leave a comment

Weekly Journal: Beach, Mountains and the Hospital

We spent a week at my favorite beach.  It was a lot of fun, but for some reason not quite as fun as past trips have been.  Nothing was particularly wrong, but I guess every trip can’t be the best ever. Right after our return, we had to go spend a weekend in Asheville to help out some family members. We got to stay at an Aunt’s mountain house with a lovely back porch view and her cute cat.

The weekend in the mountains was really peaceful and relaxing, and Asheville is a fun city to explore. We decided we should go more often.

My wrist is still messed up from work. I work for a giant hospital but in a separate building a few miles away, and each week I get to wander around the maze of the main hospital to get my wrist looked at.  I really had to resist the urge to buy myself this whale balloon while waiting for my prescription one day.