Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Monday, December 31, 2012

It's a Bald Eagle!

One of my readers had commented that in my post I Must Be Doing Something Right, I identified the majestic bird as an Osprey.  EZE suggested it might be a Bald Eagle.  I was so intrigued that I walked the river road again today to see if I could find this majestic bird again.  What I did find was Osprey.
Definitely not the same bird that I saw the other day...for this is indeed a Bald Eagle. 
Thank you EZE, for making me aware of this.  It has made my day.  Better yet, it is an awesome realization for the end of the year!  A Bald Eagle sighting...too cool!

The following photos may not be as awesome as the Bald Eagle and Osprey, but I spent some time on the dock throwing bread to the Seagulls...it was a good way to get rid of some old bread, feed the birds, and watch the action...

Fascinating (and aggressive) creatures!

I want to wish each of you a safe evening as we close out 2012.  I will be greeting the new year with a drive back to the cabin...

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Sounds of Silence

Usually, I'm comforted by silence...it is calming & pleasurable.  But this afternoon the silence is tough to take.

Erin, Jessi & Liam left not too long ago.  I cried, as usual.  Liam asked me if I was crying and I answered yes.  I told him I was going to miss him.  He said "I'm going to miss you too Mémère, I could just stay here!".  Such a sweet soul, with so much compassion and love.  Erin saw me crying too and gave me a big long hug.  Jessi knew that one more hug would send me over the edge, so she just gave me the look we exchange sometimes that says "I know what you are feeling".

Once they drove away, I cried out loud.  I was OK with that; sometimes that's just what needs to be done.  I cried while I cleaned up the house...took down the little Christmas tree I had put up, ran the dishwasher and did more laundry.  And then...I was done crying.

I looked at my pictures and remembered all the fun we had.  So here are just a few more photographic memories I'll share about our weekend together...

The moon shot above is last nights full moon.  Usually, the girls and I do a moon dance on the dock, but it was too darn cold last night, so we decided it was better to stay warm and inside.  The moon dance occurred in our thoughts.

This is nap time that I mentioned in yesterday's post...looks like ice skating really zonked them out!

Painting; Liam's self portrait is on the right and that would be me on the left...
 Playing together with his Ninjago toys...

Fishing again, today with frozen shrimp rather than the tackle box accoutrements , but I think all the fish were too cold to bite...can you tell Liam is a little bit cold?...

It was a great visit.  Memories forever.  I did have a few tears stream while looking at the pictures, but I'm not crying any more.  And the sounds of silence are now comforting. 

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Great Day with Liam, Jessi & Erin

It's been a great day, and it isn't over yet!  But everyone is pooped from all our excitement so far and taking little naps, so I thought I'd write today's post while things are momentarily quiet.

Here are a few snippets of our day...


playing the piano...
 ...fishing (you know, the part where you wait patiently for a fish to bite?)...
...Jessi took this picture, I love it...

...drawing (this is a picture of Liam, Jessi, Erin and me)...

...ice skating...
 ...his first time (they rent walkers to help first timers)...of course we are all taking pictures!...
...he got a little frustrated after a while, but Jessi built up his confidence and he really caught on!...
 ...a real pro...

Liam skating...(go to my website Lise's Log Cabin Life to click on the video if you don't see it here).

Everyone is starting to stir, my signal to get back to playing!

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,

Friday, December 28, 2012

Good Day Sunshine

One of the things I love about waking up on the river is watching the sunrise.  It is a peaceful time when the world is awakening.  I am a morning person, so maybe that is the underlying reason why I am so eager to get up early and watch it all happen.

This morning was exceptional...  

...I love that moment when the sun peaks over the horizon!

I am glad I had such a tranquil beginning to my day, because I have found that time has seemed to stand still since then.  I've been digging deep to tap into a particular virtue that would help make today so much easier...patience, but it eludes me.  Liam and the girls will be arriving this evening, but I tell you it feels like sunset will never get here!  Believe me, I have filled my time with as many distractions and activities that I could, and yet it seems that the day just keeps getting longer (which is in fact the case, being that the winter solstice has passed and now the days are getting longer again)!

You can be sure you will be hearing all about our visit together.  In the meantime, I believe I will go see if the river can offer some support...I saw flocks of ducks leisurely floating on the river when I drove by after taking care of some errands earlier...perhaps I can learn a bit by watching them!

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,

Thursday, December 27, 2012

I Must Be Doing Something Right!

It's been a lovely day here on the river.  I took a long walk this morning and came across many birds enjoying the riverside.  This one is my favorite, an Osprey protecting it's nest...so majestic!

Of course there was my 'to do' list to accomplish today, which I can say with great satisfaction that I was able to check everything off as complete! There is something incredibly satisfying about being able to be productive and at the same time enjoying the moment.  I can not complain a single bit about today, except for the fact that I am finding myself terribly impatient for the girls and Liam to arrive tomorrow!

As I looked at my blog today, I discovered I've had over 20,150 page views...I let out a huge woo hoo!  I am not sure what this means to everyone in "Blog World", but it fills me with pride and a feeling of success.  After 9 months of writing Lise's Log Cabin Life, it seems I have generated a good amount of interest.  And I have met so many interesting people, bloggers themselves, who have enriched my life through knowing them...even though I haven't met them face-to-face!  Life is good, no doubt about it.  I must be doing something right, because the Universe is blessing me each and every day!  You truly are the best family/friends/readers/subscribers/follower's! 

If I can offer a piece of advice/encouragement...follow your dreams, live the life you have imagined...there is no doubt that you will find success/satisfaction.  If I can do it, you can too!

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Road Trip!

I've been excited about seeing the girls and Liam and celebrating Christmas together!  And here I am...it's been a long day of travel, weather keeping me from my intended schedule (the rain and wind at the cabin were fierce early today, I actually had to move a huge branch out of the middle of the road in order to pass).  But here I am, on the river and excited to see the girls and Liam this weekend!

The moon and Jupiter welcomed me back to the river...
...and my travels gave me lots of stormy weather but with a lovely Florida sunset.

When I spoke to Johny, he said it snowed at the cabin this afternoon...I asked him to take pictures, so I don't miss it!

I am here listening to Christmas music, putting things in order, preparing the house for the girls and Liam to arrive on Friday, wrapping gifts, putting up a cute little tree, (an advantage to having a delayed celebration), and I am finding myself realizing how fortunate I am and filled with such gratitude for the opportunity to live this life.  I love my life in the mountains, I love my children and grandson too.  I'm so happy I can come back to a place I can call my (second) home and celebrate Christmas with them in a space that is full of love and comfort...one of these days, they will have to come to the cabin (again, the girls have been there once, and you can include Liam too, considering Jessi was pregnant at the time)! There is nothing like Christmas in the mountains!

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

May your day be filled with peace, love & laughter!
Liam is ready for Santa!
While I am not with the girls and Liam today, my heart is with them...
and I'll be seeing them in 3 days, I can't wait!

Today, I am enjoying the tranquility of a foggy Christmas with Mountain Man, Pogo & Fluffy.   

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Breakfast Pie

Mountain Man began this Christmas Eve morning eating his chocolate pie...he said it was delicious and that the crust tasted like crispy caramel (would that be toffee?).

Many of us are hesitant to start the day with a sugar...but I've got some exciting news to share. According to the Huffington Post, eating dessert for breakfast is helps you loose weight! So eat your cake for breakfast! I didn't eat my slice of pie yet, can't get myself to do that first thing, and I'm having mine naked, just like the one pictured below...can't wait to try it.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas Eve...I'm getting ready to begin preparing my traditional Christmas turkey dinner with all the fixins...it's going to be good!

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Easy Chocolate Pie

Mountain Man loves chocolate pie so I am making it for our Christmas desert (which is going to be eaten on Christmas Eve).  Lucky for me, he isn't picky about how his chocolate pie is made, as long as it has chocolate shavings on it.  I usually use the a prepared flaky pie crust you buy, but because this is a special pie for Christmas, I decided to make my own graham cracker crust (I am not a fan of prepared graham cracker crusts you can buy).

Lise's Easy Chocolate Pie 

Crust Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup room temperature butter
1/4 cup sugar (I used 1/2 white sugar and 1/2 raw sugar)

I doubled the above recipe because I wanted a thicker crust...not a great idea, I'll tell you about that shortly.

Pie Ingredients:
2 boxes of chocolate pudding mix (yes, you can make your own pudding, but this is easy chocolate pie)
Milk per the pudding recipe
1 chocolate candy bar (you can use any type of chocolate, I used milk)
I forgot to take a picture of these ingredients...

Begin by making the pie crust.  As you can see in the picture of the crust ingredients, my butter was beyond room temperature (I used the microwave and it melted it some, so I began by mixing the butter to reconstitute it).  So I blended it together to reincorporate it.
Blend the sugar and butter together.
Now blend in the graham cracker crumbs.

Press the crust into the pie pan (I find using my fingers is the easiest, though a spoon can be used as well...if you use a spoon, make sure to put it in the fridge to get it cold so the butter doesn't stick to it).  As you can see, I had too much crust.  I decided to scrape some out and put it into another pie pan, though it wasn't enough to make a second pie.  

Bake the crust in a 350 degree oven 8 - 10 minutes when not doubling the recipe.  I ended up cooking mine for 18 minutes because it was so thick.  I also used a paper towel to remove some of the butter as it was pooling on top of the crust mixture while it cooked...I definitely do not suggest doubling a graham cracker crust recipe!  This is my cooked crust, not bad when all is said and done. 
 Please note you do not have to cook the crust.  But I thought it would make it tastier. 

This is the excess crust I cooked in the second pie pan.  I am going to save it to use as a crumble topping on fruit or something like that.  It is absolutely delicious!  Tastes caramelly/butterscotchy and is a little crispy/crunchy.  Would be good on ice cream too!  I think it will be the perfect crust for my chocolate pie!

Make the pudding and let it cool to room temperature along with the pie crust.  Once cool, pour it into the crust.  Now take your candy bar and drop little shavings onto the top of the pie (I used a knife and cut small slivers off the candy bar).  Cover the completed pie with saran wrap and put into the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

Johny's favorite way to eat this is topped with real whipped cream.  Pour some heavy whipping cream into a cold glass bowl, add a little powdered sugar and whip it up until it peaks.  You can also add vanilla flavoring, or a splash of your favorite liquor!

This will make a delicious ending to my traditional turkey dinner!

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Joys of Snow

I love when it snows...here are a few of the reasons why...mostly, it brings out the child in me :)

This morning, when I stepped outside for the first time, I was greeted by the incredibly crisp, clean smell of fresh fallen snow.  So refreshing, lol!  And then I spotted this interesting needle ice sprouting through the dirt...really neat looking...they are formed when the temperature of the soil is above freezing (32 degrees F) and the surface temperature of the soil is below freezing...as the unfrozen water in the soil freezes as it hits the surface, and the resulting pressure keeps pushing the water up through the surface, creating the tentacle like crystals.  Fascinating and beautiful, each and every crystal is unique and individual, just like us! Couldn't stop myself from saying that, it's true after all!

Another thing I love about fresh snow is the sound of crunching beneath my feet as walk across a new bed of snow (the sound does depend on the moisture in the air and snow, but there is always 'snow walking music').  Click on the video to watch and listen (if you have received this blog post by email, click on the title to go to the web site posting to see the video).

Footprints in the snow are another pleasantry of newly fallen snow...I came across these prints on the bridge over our creek, not sure what they are, they had already begun to melt a bit, but it's fun to see the evidence of wildlife passing by!  Any guesses on what they might be?

Having nothing to do with the snow, I (Johny was in town today) had an impromptu visit with our friends Ursula & Dick, who after calling because they were in Franklin (much closer to us than their house in the GA mountains is),  and stopped by with their dog Gretchen to say hello (truth be told, Dick really wanted to check out our deck, he hadn't seen it yet). It was a nice to see them.  Relaxed.  Comfortable.  Good conversation.  And they liked my Spritz cookies!

One thing that didn't happen today was sledding...Mountain Man and I are waiting for "the big snow" that will give us enough ground cover to sled...it brings us back to our younger days and fills us with giggles, hoots and hollers (in addition to a few bumps and bruises we inevitably gain during our sled runs!).  I can't wait to share videos of that with you...so let it snow!

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,

Friday, December 21, 2012

Snow on the First Day of Winter...Perfect!

Today is the Winter Equinox (the longest night of the year) and the first day of winter, how perfect to have snow today!

We knew there was a storm headed toward the mountains, but we weren't sure whether or not we would be the recipients of anything but wind.  To our great surprise and delight, when we woke up this morning, snow surrounded us.  Not a lot, but enough to make the ground white...just beautiful!  And it snowed all morning, sometimes flurries, sometimes more, and it stayed 22 degrees.  The wind blew hard, blustering the snow on the trees and roof about.  Made for one of those cozy mornings with the wood burning stove blazing (I did venture outside to take this photo, you can see the snow falling), coffee in hand.

Each morning, I put birdseed into all the feeders distributed in the front yard and around the cabin porch and deck.  This morning, my efforts were limited to the two feeders we have hanging from the porch roof.  I couldn't make it any farther than that, too darn cold and windy!  Of course, the benefit was that now all the birds would be coming to this particular spot, and I/we could watch them from inside the house:)  I am so glad I did!  The birds were swarming the feeders, in fact, I refilled them 5 times during the day!  They brought us a great deal of enjoyment, watching them as it snowed. 

We were able to identify one of the birds I've been seeing frequently as a Vireo, though we still can't figure out the specific type. My pictures were taken through the living room window, I did try to stand outside, but the birds were shy and the wind was too cold for my patience to outlive their shyness, so they are not as sharp as I would like.
One of the most exciting discoveries was 2 pairs of what we believe to be Purple Finch's, though they could be House Finch's.  We had never seen them before!
 This is the Finch in the tree...
 ...on the feeder...
 ...and on the porch (like the Christmas tree lights reflecting in the window?)...
...do you have an opinion of which it is?  Purple or House?  Please let me know what you think!

After the snow stopped, and it warmed up (got up to 26!) we took a walk to the garden...looks so pretty covered in snow!

It's been a great snowy day, we've enjoyed it tremendously.  You know my motto, Let It Snow!
Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,