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

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Great Memorial Day Weekend with Jessi and Liam

I know I said I'd post at least every Sunday, but I don't have internet at the river house any more, and since this is a holiday weekend, I figure today counts:)  It was a beautifully relaxing weekend with Jessi and Liam...the first time we've been alone together for quite some time. There's something special about 1:1 time (or 1:2 time in this case).

We fished together...
...and caught fish...
 ...and de-hooked fish...
 ...and released...
Sleeping handsome...
 Liam fished...
 ...and pondered...

And then there was the awesome desert we decided to splurge on...
 ...and the full, satisfied belly that followed.

It was a fabulously relaxing weekend, and nice to meet at our river place (a happy midpoint from where I'm at now and Jessi's place).

I'm back at the Villa, and there's a thunderstorm rumbling nearby. A great ending to a great weekend. I hope your weekend was filled with family fun. In honor of Memorial Day, my heartfelt thanks go out to all those who sacrificed their lives to keep us living free.

Thanks for reading my blog, see you next week,

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Life Is Good

How shall I begin...
Everything is unfolding in the most perfect of ways, confirming for me that this is exactly where I should be.

My first week at work included lots of orientation and training, filling my brain with more information than I can effectively articulate, but it established a good foundation. Having previously worked with my boss (and friend) Eileen removed the usual nervousness one feels when starting a new job, and allowed me to walk in the door with a confidence that helped me let the periodic sense of feeling a little overwhelmed roll right off my shoulders. The orientation and training isn't complete yet, but I'm thrilled to be working for Allegany Franciscan Ministries and honored to be among a group of incredible colleagues.

The Villa I'm staying in is comfortable and will work for the next six weeks. I'm really excited about the place I'll be calling home beginning in July. The photo above is Crystal Beach at sunset, a small spot on the gulf that seems to be a well kept secret, because the only people I see around there appear to live in the area. The place I'll be living is three blocks east of the beach. There's a nice park with gnarly live oaks right across the street from the beach and the Pinellas Trail (a lovely path for walking and biking) is between the house and the beach.

This small pond is behind the house I'll be staying in (my temporary permanent home).
This bird was at the edge of the pond. It sort of looks like a heron but it's beak is short...anyone know what it is?
This is the beach in the morning, I'm facing directly west...
...now facing northwest...
...and southwest.
This heron was enjoying a snack along a walking path that parallels the gulf.

I'm excited to be here, and continue to be filled with gratitude for all that is unfolding. Thanks for all the good thoughts and positive energy you've been sharing, it makes everything that much better! I do believe I'll be publishing a post once a week, most likely on Sunday's. And I'll get back to visiting your blogs too.

FYI, all is well at the cabin. Johny's busy entertaining our friends visiting from Luxembourg, and loving every minute...it's his longest friend Guy (they've known each other since they were young boys) and Guy's wife Mariette. It's been rainy and cold enough for a fire the past few days, a big contrast to the 70's and low humidity here

Thanks for reading my blog, see you next week,

Monday, May 12, 2014

Tomorrow's The Big Day

I begin my new position tomorrow. I hope I can sleep.

Today's been filled with identifying an awesome beachy sort of place that will be my permanent temporary home, soaking in the last hours of my "sabbatical" and spending time with most of my family to celebrate my niece's birthday.

I've also been thinking about you, and how I will miss writing my blog every day. Of course I'll post about this new chapter in my life, and updates about the cabin, I'm just not sure how often. I suppose we'll be discovering that together.

The flower is an orchid my dad has in his yard; it is the only orange stem of blooms, all the rest are fuchsia. It captured my attention, somehow representing this new journey I am on...the why of that I can't say.   

Thanks for reading my blog, see you soon,

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

Celebrating motherhood!

Thanks for reading my blog, see you tomorrow, 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

My New Journey Begins

I'm at my temporary home (a nice little villa), where I'll be living for the next two months. The car is unloaded and I have stuff stacked everywhere. I've driven to my new office to get the driving route established, and I'm happy to say it will likely take me 15 minutes max to get there, only because I'm driving through a school zone, today it took me 4 minutes. I took a mini tour of the area, and then went to Publix to stock up on some basic supplies. I've sent Johny pictures of the villa, and he's happy it's nice; it is odd not to have him here with me, but he'll be here in a few weeks. I asked him to send me a photo of the beautiful pinkshell azalea that bloomed only after I left the cabin...
It's a beauty!

I have to say, I am so very fortunate to have this opportunity, but even more so, that my life keeps unfolding in such an incredible way. I am blessed, truly blessed, and grateful for it all.

It's a strange and exciting experience all at the same time!!!

Thanks for reading my blog, see you tomorrow,

Friday, May 9, 2014

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Remember The Mute Swan Nest?

The last time I was here, I wrote about the nesting Mute Swans. I was extremely disappointed when I returned to the lake and found the nest abandoned.

Because the nest was a popular "attraction", I searched the internet to see if I could find anything. Sure enough, the swan nest made the news, reporting six cygnets!

Photo By Kerry Palermo, SpaceCoastDaily.com.
I've not seen them on any of the lakes, but I'm happy to know the family survived:)

Thanks for reading my blog, see you tomorrow,

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Not A Cloud In The Sky

Gorgeous morning along the river...


Thanks for reading my blog, see you tomorrow,

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Little River Time

I have three full days to get ready to relocate. I say relocate because I'm not really moving; I'm just relocating my stuff (clothes, accessories, personal care items, favorite photos and stuff...like chimes, crystals, homey things) and living in another space (I really love this fact for some reason; yet another place to call home. I'll tell yo something funny about that shortly). I have to switch my winter clothing to professional (thank goodness the office is a casual environment), and collect all my accessories that I haven't had a use for in the cabin. That's to be done in between "taking care of business" and of course, visiting with friends (sorry to say not with Liam, the scheduling just didn't work out). But here I am, and I daresay, life is good.

Did I mention it's hot here? And yes, I'm already sweating. Thank goodness for air conditioning.

Thanks for reading my blog, see you tomorrow,

Monday, May 5, 2014

Turning The Page

Wow, my last day here at the cabin before turning the page and beginning a new chapter. I've packed all my belongings, filled the car, shed a few tears of sadness and clapped and given a woo hoo for the journey I'm about to begin. I'm attempting to soak in my surroundings to put the very essence of my mountains, woods and log cabin into my cells. I'm spending every possible minute together with my love Johny, (& Pogo and Fluffy) appreciating our last day together for a while. And I'm sharing some of what I've seen today with you, my loyal friends, family, and followers.

Last nights sunset...
Strike bean progress (see the new sprout pushing up on the right?)...
One of the many white trillium dotting the floor of our woods...
A Rare Pinkshell Azalea bloom that, unfortunately, won't open before I leave. It's my favorite bloom around our cabin, as there are no leaves to distract from the blooms (they come after the blooms). Click on this link to see them in their finest.
My favorite rhododendron, just beginning to unfold...
My Onearm. Looks like she's just had another litter...
Wild strawberry blooms...
A Pipevine Swallowtail...

I'll miss this place, no doubt about that. But I'm excited about this new journey and everything it holds for me and us. I'll be in Florida tomorrow, probably sweating. But that's okay, I'll get used to it.

Thanks for reading my blog, see you tomorrow,

Sunday, May 4, 2014

My First Bear Sighting!

This is what we saw as we walked down the path from Clingmans Dome after watching the sun rise...
We saw it from a distance at the same time we heard someone walking up the path shout, "Shoo bear!". I quickly took a picture, and then not thinking fully, Johny and I immediately ran toward it. We couldn't help ourselves. We slowed down as we got closer, and watched the bear glance at the onlookers as if to think, "What, you've never seen a bear in the woods before?" No Little Bear, I haven't, I thought as I kept snapping pictures and watching him graze in the grass.
We moved a little closer, and he lost himself in the tall grass that led toward the edge of the trees. First an awesome sunrise, then a friendly encounter with a bear. What a day!

Oh, there's more fun. We came across several plump wild turkeys...

We drove through Roaring Fork, a one-way winding motor nature trail and found this beautiful rocky creek that meandered along the road...
...and these old log cabins that were homes to the pioneers of the area.
The sun shining on this stone bridge caught my attention,
as did this old grist mill,
with it's ancient yet functioning wheel.

It was a perfect way to spend my last Saturday in the mountains, and a day I will always remember. If you are ever in the Smoky Mountains, a visit to Clingmans Dome is a must.

Thanks for reading my blog, see you tomorrow,