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.