In the News….

You would have to have your head buried in the sand not to know that Gadhafi is dead.  The world is cheering, and it makes me sad.  I don’t really follow politics.  Other than the problems we had with him back in the 80’s (my memory is fuzzy, i was young and even less interested in politics) I can’t see that there has been much to draw attention to him or what he’s been doing.  I can’t see how whether he lives or dies effects me directly, so that limits my interest.  I know that he was a dictator.  Dictators tend to be cruel.  However, in the Middle East dictators are about the only way you are going to keep what passes for peace in that area.  It’s a completely different mindset.  What makes me sad is that people who opposed him, supposedly because he was such a bad person, hunted him down and shot him like a dog and paraded his naked body in the street.  I’m sorry, but I can’t see how those people are any better than he was.  I don’t see that they have improved their situation if these are the kinds of people who are going to take over and form a new government.  I think we are going to be in for more of the same.  American needs to get out of the Middle East and mind her own business.  Support Israel, but stay home.  Israel has proven that she can take care of herself and she understands the enemy she is fighting, while we refuse to acknowledge that kind of warped thinking exists.  We are merely a liability in the Middle East because our western mindset cripples us.  Yankee, go home!  We have enough stuff going on here to keep us busy.  Get our house in order before we go over and try to tell others how to live their lives.

So, I take no joy in what is going on in Libya right now.  I don’t think the country was in good shape with Gadhafi, but I don’t think they are better off with what they will end up with.  But I can’t help thinking they weren’t following our example in how we handled bin Laden.  Two wrongs don’t make a right.  Are we prepared to pay for our “success”?

The Art of Journaling

In the past few weeks I have run across a lot of people online and in blog entries about the need to establish or re-engage a journaling habit.  I admit I have been feeling it too.  I’ve been blogging some, but I haven’t really kept a journal in years.  I admit I’ve been missing it lately.  So I want to start my habit again, and post tips and prompts here to help others.  I have several more journaling methods I can share as well as tips to establishing the habit.

One thing I hear often is, What do I write about?  This one is a little hard to answer because I’ve never had a problem sitting down to a blank page and just writing about anything or even nothing.  I think these people would benefit from prompts.  You can surf the net for hours to glean writing prompts, there are plenty out there, or you can come up with your own rather easily.  Let’s start out small.  Take out a sheet of paper and along the left edge write out numbers one to seven.  Now, jot down seven topics or ideas you would like to explore or work through.  For example:

1.  Life

2.  Job

3.  Hobbies

4.  Love

5.  Books

6.  Dreams

7.  Movies

Now, you want to assign each topic to a day of the week.  When it is Monday, you would write on topic one or two, whichever day you consider Monday to be.  You can even set a goal of a minute of writing time or one sentence.  If you don’t have a habit established, or find it hard to write, start out small until you get that habit established.  Once things seem to come easier, then try expanding the challenge a little — such as moving up to two minutes or two sentences.

Timing your writing can help if you tend to write excessively.  Some people give up journaling because they get so caught up in it they can spend two hours or more and end up neglecting other things.  A good thing to do is to set a timer for thirty minutes and when time is up, quit.  You can schedule two or three sessions a day so you can pick up where you left off.  By limiting yourself it helps you prioritize and do more meaningful writing — get to the point, in other words.  Those who write for hours tend to babble and don’t accomplish much.

So, for a writer, timing is your friend, though it is often a love-hate relationship 😉

Sunburn in October??!

Saturday my Mom and I rented a space at a craft bazaar.  Mom makes jewelry and I crochet.  I hadn’t gotten as many items made as I had wanted to, but I had enough.  The bazaar was outside.  Fortunately it was warm and not rainy, however, the sun was out and we were sitting in it all day.  I got a mild burn.  Mom got more sun than I did.  I guess she’s getting fairer skin in her old age…. I didn’t notice until the next day that my nose rivaled Rudolph’s.  The burn didn’t really hurt, until I went out in the sun the next two days, and then it was uncomfortable.  My nose has peeled, so we’re all good again.

I did manage to sell two baby blankets and one pink cupcake purse, so it was a very profitable day for me.  Unfortunately Mom didn’t sell anything.  Mom was making jewelry in the 70’s and once she got into it again she’s pretty much making the same stuff she used to.  Times and fads have changed and that kind of thing just isn’t popular any more.  I mean, it will appeal to some people, but you have to diversify and learn to do new things in order to appeal to a larger group.  She did have some cute halloween themed bracelets geared for girls, and I don’t know why those didn’t sell.  She even uses glow in the dark beads, but that hasn’t had much effect either.  I don’t want her to get discouraged because she has a talent for it, she just needs to expand her repertoire a little. 

Back in Huntersville at Traditions Day the beginning of the month, I saw a lady doing bobbin lace.  I had never heard of it.  She had a pillow that she stuck pins in to make a design framework and then worked strands of thread into weaves around the pins.  Each thread was wrapped around a thin round stick of wood that was weighted at the other end.  That was called a bobbin.  It looked really interesting.  i bought a book mark she made.  Well, I found out you could get a starter kit online.  I actually found it on ebay and bought it.  I’m eagerly awaiting it’s arrival so I can try my hand at bobbin lace bookmarks to add to my craft bazaar offerings.  Hubby had to order a book from amazon for his next college class, and so to get free shipping I also ordered a beginner’s bobbin lace book.  Now I just need to get some pins.  I’m so excited I could just bust!

In case you are wondering, I consider there something to be seriously wrong when you can get a sunburn in October!

Stop the world….

I want to get off!  It has been insane since we got back from the cabin.  It almost doesn’t pay to go away for a week because of all the stuff you get bombarded with.  I haven’t had a break since getting back.  We got home Monday afternoon, had a board meeting at the community center to attend, I had room rentals my mom had handled while i was gone to finalize, Tuesday we had to vote and had a festival committee meeting.  We are doing a haunted house with concessions as a fund raiser, so we are out shopping for ghoulish decor and trying to come up with twisted entertainment (but if you knew my family well you would know that comes naturally for us.  Addams Family anyone?)  At least this gives me an excuse to shop.  I got a lovely purple blouse and purple boots for my witch costume.  Ah.  Now for my broom….  But I still have stuff to crochet for the craft show my mom and i are attending on Saturday.  Not to mention my son’s birthday is Friday, and Mom wants us to get together Friday evening so start finalizing plans for the haunted house.  I already have the cemetary picked out in the back yard, it’s just cutting up the large room into sections and halways that will be the tricky part.  We also have to come up with a storyline….  I’m ready to go back to the woods and stay for the rest of my life.

Anyway, I thought I’d share pictures of the house we looked at.

front view

 This is the front view.  It’s up a bit, which is good because there is a little creek across the road.  Hopefully that means it’s out of the flood plain.  Since the river is a good bit away I would think it’s okay.  This house is the same style as the other OLD farmhouses in the area, all circa 1850s.

All the farmhouses started with a basic two downstairs rooms and two upstairs rooms.  They added on as they had money and materials, and need.  Often they added a wing that started at the middle of the building and stretching out, ultimately forming a “T”  I have even seen some that added another addition to the back of that that ultimately formed an “I”

side view

 This particular farmhouse had one room added to the back, flush with the side of the building.  This is where the kitchen and bathroom are.  You walk from the kitchen into another room, and from that room into a wide hallway that has the stairs and the bathroom is at the end of the hallway.  On the other side of the hallway, straight across from the other room, is another room.  I would suppose that was used as the livingroom.  The people who had this house put a pair of sliding glass doors on the backside of the livingroom looking out into the back yard.

part of the yard and outbuilding

 As with the other farmhouses I’ve seen in the area there is a little outbuilding behind it.  This one also has what looks like a root cellar at the bottom of it.  The top is dividing into two sections.  One could be a shed for tools and the other a lockshop for hubby.  What you can’t see from these pictures is there is another building that has been aded recently behind this outbuilding and it might make a good fiber studio for me.

I do admit that if we got this house I would want to build on to it.  We HAVE to have a library.  We have too many books not to have a room completely dedicated to them.  I’d also like a dining room, or at least a slightly larger kitchen.  This one had the stove kitty-cornered and i didn’t see that as being very space efficent.  I’d also like a slightly larger bedroom for us, because I want a whirlpool tub!  I wouldn’t mind having a water bed again either.  Hubby liked the waterbed really well too.

Across the road from this house there is a little meadow, and then the creek.  I think that meadow would be perfect for alpacas 😉  I do like the color of the house, think it fits in well with beekeeping.  So that’s my dream.  The couple that own this house have had it on the market before.  The day the realtor took us out to look at it he said a family was moving in to rent it and they have a stipulation for 60 days notice.  So, it has evidently been on the market again for awhile.  I’m hoping this means we would have time to potentially get it if there is any chance we might have of buying a house.  It would probably be a couple years, though.  *Sigh.*

Autumn Comes to the Mountains

Well, hubby got his wish. I guess that cold front finally got here. The coldest is has been since we got here was in the fifties — mid to low fifties. Last night by the time the sun went down it was in the fifties. We woke up this morning and it was forty degrees. Hubby had to light the stove last night at dusk. He was very happy. The warmest it has gotten today is 46 degrees.

 

We went down the road to Huntersville to check out their Traditions Day. Huntersville was formed around the trading post that sprung up from hunters and trappers congregating here to trade their wares. From 1822 until 1891 it was the county seat. The whole town sets aside this day to reflect on their heritage and they have various demonstrations going on of old-time activities. There were three blacksmiths. There were two cider presses. There was one apple butter maker. General Robert E. Lee was roaming around, and I got a picture of him trying his hand at apple butter making. There was a lady spinning wool, and she brought some of her sheep. She had two shetland sheep (the smaller ones) and two Icelandic sheep. There was another lady making bobbin lace. She had a series of thin wood dowel-looking things with knobs on top that she tied a piece of thread to. She had a series of pins and using the bobbins to as weight she would weave around the pins. I got a bookmark she made.

Robert E. Lee stirring apple butter

 

Huntersville was commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War. There is a Civil War cemetary out behind the old one room schoolhouse. The Daughters of the Revolution have placed new headstones on most of the graves. They had a dedication ceremony at the cemetary today.

 

There are lots of old buildings still standing: the jail, which was built in 1883 and used for about ten years before the county seat moved to Marlinton; the Presbyterian Church was built in 1854 and it was used as a hospital and headquarters by soldiers during the Civil War; the one room schoolhouse, which had two floors, was built in 1880 and didn’t close until about 1970.

 

Hubby got four pints of apple butter. You have not had apple butter until you have had this. The guy has spent years perfecting his art — the kind of apple used, the wood used in the paddle, and the mixture of spices. We made sure we were there when the guy put the spices in. Oh, the aroma. Hubby was in heaven, again. I also allowed him to buy a half gallon of apple cider that was fresh pressed right in front of us by the local 4-H Club. Hubby took a sip of that and had another, ahem, fulfilling experience right then. Poor hubby. He sure does love apples, but apples do not love him. This could be an ugly evening.

 

Many people were disappointed with the weather today. They said last year it was eighty degrees. I know that the people manning the coffee stations were cold and miserable, but summer weather is wrong this time of year, in the mountains. It was a little cool, but if you are walking around and talking and experiencing everything, you stay warm enough. I rather enjoyed being in the brisk weather. This is fall in the mountains. I love it. Now if I can get hubby to clean out the crock pot I’ll finish the perfect autumn in the mountains experience by making chili….