Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Captured moments...

Here are some captured moment's of my mom and dad's visit last month....

A fall day in Cataloochee~

Mom talking with rangers about elks.

Grovewood Galleries & Car Museum~

Jonesboro, Tenn... The oldest city in Tenn~

We had so much fun together. This is just a fraction of the pictures we took, and the places we went. Can't wait for them to come again soon!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Grandma Dills's 95th Birthday!

October was a busy month! Most of you know that my parents came to visit us for two weeks. We celebrated my grandma's 95th birthday while they were here too. Here are some snapshots of that day.....

My Dad, Uncle Charles, and Grandma (aka: Birthday Girl!!)

Grandma taking a peak at her beautiful cake. The picture on it is with her and her boys. My Uncle Bill, Uncle Charles, Uncle Jim, and my dad (of course looking in the wrong direction!).
Love this pic! Brint, Me, Grandma, Mom, Dad, and Uncle Charles.

Me and my cousin Shawna. We should have been sisters!

Shawna and I giving our cousin Howie some love!

Shawna reading some birthday cards with Grandma.

The crazy Dills clan from Georgia. In this pic is her two surviving sons, grand-children, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchild (with some spouses and family friends mixed in there). She is a very loved lady. Everyone in Blue Ridge knows and loves Ruby.

This was taken after the party. Grandma was sitting in my parents rental car. Look how tiny she is with just her little head popping up!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Me, Forks, & Twilight!

So last weekend we were in Georgia for my Grandma's 95th birthday! Woo, Hoo for her!!! Anyway, I talked with my dad's high school friend and his wife. They talked with me about how I came out to Washington when I was a little girl and visited them. They talked about the fun we had, and how much I loved it there, and cried when I had to leave.

On another story that will soon relate; ever since reading Twilight and watching the movie something has just drawn me to it. Sure you may think it's the love story between Bella and Edward, or the exciting life of vampires or werewolves, or even the hot guys in Twilight. Well, no, that was not what drew me in more then ever. When ever Bella/the author described what Forks looked like, what the weather was like, or what La Push was like I just felt it soooo familiar and comforting.

Well, who knew the two paths would meet. Me, Forks, & Twilight. Yep, that's right... I have been to Forks, Washington, and even been to all the places that take place in the book. Only it was 29 years ago. Wow! As my dad's friend and his wife told me I had been to all the places named/described in the book, it totally made sense why I felt the way I did when I read the book. She will be sending me pics of me standing in front of the "Welcome to Forks" sign, me playing on the beach of La Push, and me hiking in one of the forrest. As soon as she sends them I will post them.

So, am I a total dork for being excited about this??? Tell me what you think!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

B.R.P. Blueberry Muffins

So here is the story of the Blue Ridge Parkway blueberries. Whilst Brint and I were on the Parkway during our anniversary, I knew is was blueberry season up there and desperately wanted to pick some. At our first overlook stop, I spotted a tiny little bush just hanging on the edge with a hand full of blueberries still on it. Taking a little risk by leaning over to grab a couple for us, I popped one in my mouth, chewed, swallowed, told Brint "these are blueberries", but then had a second thought. Wait... was I totally sure that was a blueberry, and not some highly poisonous death berry?? I reexamined what was in my hand and just nodded.. yeah I was sure. Whew!
I knew it would be a zoo to pick at Graveyard Fields, boy was it ever crowded. So further we drove. Then I notice some Cherokee Indian ladies on the side of the road picking those blueish purple treats. We drove just a little further, as to not jump in on their berry turf. So Brint and I proceeded to pick.....

I think we got about a cup worth. Not much, but just enough to make blueberry muffins for the two of us! I looked up a "from scratch blueberry muffin" recipe on one of my favorite cooking blogs. Found one that I had already had the ingredients for, and went right to work. I delicately folded in those sweet little berries, as to not pop or smear them through the batter. Poured the batter into the muffin cups, set the timer, closed the oven door, and just crossed my fingers they would come out ok. After 18 long minutes, the timer finally went off, and peaked into to the oven and guess what I saw...

This next pic is my fav, because you can see that little blueberry explosion, and you know only yummy goodness can come from that!

Aren't they just gorgeous and lovely.

Now I just dare you click on any of those muffins pics, and try not to lick your computer screen! The golden treats were sooo good warm and just by themselves, with strawberry jam, with butter. The hardest part was waiting till Brint got home to eat one! It felt very rewarding to pick something from nature, bring it home, and lovingly put it into something that you and others can float off to heaven with. Next year I am going up to the Parkway early!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

12 years and counting!

September is our anniversary month. This year we are celebrating our 12th year. We met at a Halloween party, on Halloween night, thirteen years ago. Man, to say those words are almost surreal. Feels like less than five years. Wow!

Well this year we decided to spend our special day up on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Now, we did play hooky from Stake Conference... don't tell Pres. Blau or Pres. Booth, but this was the one sunday that we didn't have any responsibilities, so we took the day off. So we took our picnic lunch, our scriptures and Ensign, a camera, and ourselves up to the parkway on a somewhat sunny day. Even though we skipped conference, something kind of cool happened. Just when we were starting to feel guilty that we played hooky, we ended up bearing our testimony and telling the basics about our church and the Mormon religion to a non-practicing Jewish biker guy. He was really amazing, and was very glad he learned the "real truth" from us about the church. He's a cool cat who has his own jazz/blues band in Flat Rock, that hopefully we'll go and see soon. So here are the pics from our lovely day!

We heard about a Masonic marker along the parkway near Maggie Valley. We did find it, but the cool part is the rocks/stones that are mortared into the monument have an amazing story. There is a stone/rock from each continent (including Antarctica), all fifty states, 41 nations, from Plymouth rock and from the rock of Gibraltar, from the Alamo and from the white house. How cool is that!! Click on the pic below to see close up!

Then while there, little critters came from the woods, in the misty rain. Out came four beautiful, and big, female elk. One was waaaaay to comfortable getting close to us while she ate. We took as many pics and video as we could, before we decided she was getting to close (in case things went wrong). This is just a small fraction of the pics we took.What a great day!!

Stay tuned for a little story about the blueberries that we picked on the parkway and the amazing blueberry muffins I made out of them... Can't you just smell them now.....

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mother Nature's Freebie!

I love when mother nature throws in a freebie for you to witness, enjoy, and inspire. The story of this little beauty starts like this...

This little yellow bucket was once the home of some yummy, and quite pretty lettuce we shared with Mari Moody from the Organic Growers Festival. We harvested, and enjoyed watching these little plants grow, and provide a tasty little treat every week. After four months those perfectly formed lettuce leaves, and plants, they were starting to get tall, gangly, and puny. Well, it was time to sadly take them to the mulch heap, leaving a yellow little bucket full of dirt. A day or two later I was about to chuck the dirt in our recycle dirt pile, when I noticed somthin' a sproutin'. Both Brint and I noticed that it was quite unique looking, and fast growing too. Thanks to the free rain, that little sprout grew into a little mystery plant. So now we were really curious... was this going to be just a weed, or was there potential for something greater. Brint and I both felt this little plant had a purpose. So we nurtured it, loved it, watered it when it needed it, and watched it continue to grow. Taller, and taller, higher, and higher into the sun it grew.
One day after a long days work, I noticed that our bird feeder was in desperate need of replenishing. We feed our birds only one type of seed. Before we only fed them a millet mix, but I noticed the weeds we got from the seeds that was spilled were just out of control. So we switched to this other "type" of bird seed. I took the bird feeder to garage and filled it up with the bird food. Took the feeder back out to the hanger which was on our deck. I placed the feeder on the hanger arm, then I turned around and was face to face with this new little plant, which had gotten even higher, but I noticed something different on the top. I looked at the top of this plant and there was something green and rounded at the top. I looked at the plant, then I looked at the bird feeder, I looked at the plant , then the bird feeder, plant, bird feeder, plant, bird feeder. Gasp...Hey... guess what was growing in our little yellow bucket...

Well now aint' that a kick in the pants. You guessed it it was a sunflower seed. What an amazing gift mother nature has given us. Now, I know what your thinking... It probably was just another one of those messy birds that scatter seeds every where. Still, that seed could have ricochet off the the side of the yellow bucket landing on either the Bar-B-Q or the deck floor. But that was not what mother nature had planned. It's amazing that things can live in the most trying environment, under stressful and barren situations, in the mean time people think your not much or worth it and should just rip you out. However, this little plant persevered through it all, headed towards the sun, and endured to the end. Now look what the beautiful out come is. Mmmmm... could this be a lesson to us all?? I am grateful to learn, grow, and shine along with this beautiful Sunflower!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sunshine flowers!

Just had to show some beautiful flowers Brint had brought home for me. They lasted for a couple of weeks, that plant food works miracles! Anyway, just had to share my sunshiny flowers.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Belated Birthday Pics...

Forgot these great pics were still on my camera from my birthday in early August. My super-duper friend Katie made me cupcakes. Which I think cupcakes are sooo much better than a full on cake. I think that they are a true treat, personally yours, delectable, decedent, and beautiful. Now, they can't be from Walmart or the grocery store, where they stain your teeth an unpleasing color, eeek, or the frosting be one chemical away from being plastic, yuck! I'm talking homemade, or bakery bought, cups of delight.

So here are a few pics of the lighting of the tender morsels, the beautiful detail of the edible flowers Katie made, and a few of us enjoying the little pillow's of heaven.... makes you want to have one right now doesn't it!? Enjoy!!!