Friday, October 31, 2008


I love Halloween. I love to read scary stories and watch them on TV. (Not gory...scary. There is a difference.) As I write this, I am watching a marathon of Ghost Hunters on SciFi. Love that show. My ultimate dream is to one day go on an actual ghost hunt myself. There's a house down the road from me I'd like to spend the night in, with digital voice recorder and video camera handy. (If I ever manage to arrange this, I'll definitely post about it here.)

And not everything Halloween is scary. Take Jack-O-Lanterns for instance. People come up with the craziest designs.

You can go to any search engine and run a search for jack-o-lanterns, and you'd be surprised what you find. There are some people out there with a lot of talent...and a lot of time on their hands obviously.

And all time favorite ghost photo. I saw this one in a book when I was a kid and have been hooked on ghost stories and such ever since.

This is the 'Brown Lady' who haunts Raynham Hall in England, taken in 1936.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

First Snow

It's not much, but it's snow all the same. I was talking to a man at the post office this morning, and he said this is the earliest he's seen snow up here. I'm hoping that's a sign of things to come. I love snow.

For some reason, waking up to the white stuff makes me happy as heck. Actually, it started coming down as we were leaving our writers' group meeting last night, and it made me happy as heck then. I get giddy at the sight of the stuff.

Ah, dreams of sleigh bells and white Christmases abound.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Election Yard Signs

OK, no photos today for two reasons. 1) I am sick and don't plan on being on this computer for long. My husband has had a virus or something for the past several days, and I guess it is now my turn. It was inevitable after all. 2) I have an election rant that really needs no photos.

I'm sure you've seen the yard signs that invariably dot our landscape this time of year. They are every where. Signs for candidates running for congress, governor, president. You can't get away from them it seems. Well, maybe you can....

Our county, along with others around the country from what I've seen on the internet, is suffering from a rash of silly and juvenile thefts. Lawn signs are disappearing from yards every where. (Mine walked off yesterday, within 6 hours of my putting it up.) The only reason I can think of for someone to do this, is they are afraid their candidate just isn't going to make it, so they feel a need to keep the other candidate's name out of it as much as possible.

I live in an area that is probably near the buckle of the Bible belt. So many people here are very devout in their beliefs, and to me that makes this bit of thievery all the more appalling. "Thou shalt not steal," right? Not "Thou shall not steal unless it's a lawn sign for the candidate you are voting against."

Well, whoever stole my lawn sign isn't going to stop me from wearing my buttons or putting up my stickers. (Put one on my mailbox as soon as I saw the sign missing as a matter of fact.) They aren't going to stop me from voting for the person I feel is best for the job. And obviously they aren't going to stop me from running my mouth. (Besides this blog entry, I've written a letter to the editor of our local paper and am searching for other places to "hit" as well.) Seems to me their energy could be spent in much more productive ways. And as I said in my letter to the paper, I hope that if their candidate wins, he respects my right to freedom of speech more than they seem to.

It doesn't matter who you're voting for, I just hope you vote. This is already a history making election, and our next president will be making history again just by being elected. (No matter who it is.) And even if it's my candidate, I'm sure I'll complain about him at some time. We all do. That's also a part of our FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Get that phone off your ear and DRIVE!"

OK, I have seen the ultimate stupid driver. About 15 minutes ago, someone pulled into my neighbor's driveway trying to turn around. Now, there is plenty of room at the top of his driveway to turn around, seeing as how he parks rigs up there, but this person decided they needed to pull right up to his house basically. Kind of rude if you ask me. Of course, she had one hand on the wheel, and the other holding the phone to her ear.

So, this person, pulled up and put it in reverse. I watched as she started to back up, using one hand still, and did not estimate it quite right and ended up at the top of the hill where our line meets the neighbor's. Now, this person was driving a four-wheel-drive, and she still couldn't get the car back up on the driveway. (I'm betting the phone on the ear had something to do with that.) She backed up, went forward, backed up, went forward. Never could quite get it.

I went into the house and told my husband he would probably have to go outside to help this wayward traveler, and as I glanced out the window, I was surprised to see that she had somehow gotten the car turned around so that it down faced downhill toward our house, and she was a mere inches from our deck. As I watched, and she talked, she backed up, spun the tires some on my grass, and pulled forward into our back yard.

Then, she proceeded to drive through our back yard and up our driveway, spinning a bit in the gravel as she headed out onto the road. (And I'm betting that phone was still on her ear.)

I do use a cell phone, but if someone calls me while I'm driving, I either let the voicemail pick up, or pull over to talk, depending on who it is. I'm betting that if this woman had put both hands on the steering wheel, she would have had better luck. That's point one of this tirade.

Point two, besides the rudeness of pulling right up into a stranger's driveway to turn around, she drove THROUGH our yard, leaving ruts (which weren't too big at least), and did not even think to maybe...oh, I don't know...stop and APOLOGIZE. (I often hear people refer to the Florida drivers, and I've never been one to fall into that trap, but after seeing her license plate, I know why they talk about them the way they do. It's people like this woman who give others a bad name. She's lucky my garden wasn't still there as she would have run right over it, and I would have been out in the yard after her like a shot. Don't know what I would have done, but I would have been out there.) :}

Well, I have to say we did kind of laugh about the whole thing. Yeah, it was rude, but the stupidness (Is that a word?) was worse by far. She was driving a four-wheel-drive for goodness sake. There shouldn't have been a problem. I'm betting she never even put it in four-wheel-drive. I'm betting she was too busy telling whomever was on the other end of that phone how her vehicle just wasn't doing what it was supposed to.

Some people should not be allowed to on the phone...breed....

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Back to the Parkway

Went back to the Blue Ridge Parkway this morning and took a few more pictures.

The horses I saw the other day were back, but closer to the fence this time. I pulled up some grass and gave it to this dark fella...was able to pet him a bit. You forget how big these animals are until you come face to face with one. Of course, right after I gave him the grass, he took a couple steps down the fence until his rear end was about even with me and proceeded to let out a big 'ol fart. Gee...I love my life.

The other horse stayed back a way, happily munching on grass. Maybe he is shy. Considering the whole passing gas incident, maybe he had good reasons for staying back.

As I was taking pictures of the horses, a couple driving by stopped for a moment to tell me how they had seen a flock of turkeys in that same area yesterday. They thought there were close to 20 birds in the group and managed to get some photos of them. (I love when people you don't even know want to share stories with you. I wonder if that's mainly a southern thing.) As I was driving back to Spruce Pine, I caught sight of a small flock of turkeys on the side of the road and managed to get a couple pictures. I wonder if these were the same birds from the day before.

I swear I had a photo of Table Rock as well, but can't seem to find it anywhere. Must have had a hiccup on the digital camera. Ah, technology....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dead and Gone?

The garden is now gone. If you look closely at the middle of the photo above, you can see the small patch of dirt that gave me several tomatoes and a couple scrawny ears of corn. (Well, it actually gave the corn to the possum who visits our porch nightly and so far has evaded my camera.)

I plan on putting in a larger garden next year, but in the same basic spot. I'll probably start almost exactly where this year's was and go up the hill from there. (The way the property line runs, this is actually partly on my neighbor's property, but he is a very nice guy and doesn't much care about us going a bit over the line.)

And this is what's left of my container tomato, all ready to go on the compost pile...once I get it started. Looks dead, don't it?

SURPRISE! I haven't gone near this plant at all. Haven't watered it, talked to it...nothing. Any yet, here are three tiny little tomatoes. (Looks like two, but there is a third behind the lower one.) Wonder how long they will last.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Stuff in My Yard

I am stuck at home for the most part right now, as the brakes went out on my car. Let me tell you, when you're coming around a sharp curve and suddenly have no brakes...well, it's a scary thing. At least I was close enough to home to get the car into the driveway.

So, I went out into the yard today with camera in hand to see what I could find.

Muffin has several "nests" around the yard. I found this one when I went to attach my squirrel feeder to the maple tree. There she was hiding out at the base of the tree. She nearly blends in with the bark.

Looked outside the window and saw all these little bugs flying around the yard. Yep, it's that time of year again. Lady Bug Season is now in full swing. My laundry room, which is pretty much a closed in porch, is crawling with them. I don't mind them too much. It's just something you have to deal with when you live up here. (I wonder, do Lady Bugs bite? I swear one bit me today.)

Look closely. How many Lady Bugs do you see?

I love living up here. Always something new to see....

Monday, October 13, 2008

Parkway Beauty

I took a drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway on Sunday, trying to get some good photos of the changing leaves. What I ended up with was some great cloud photos (I love cloudy days.) as well as some interesting pix I got while fiddling with the settings on my camera.

It really wasn't as dark as this makes it appear. This is one of those mistakes in camera settings that actually came out pretty nice. I like it anyway.

I love the way the clouds look in this one. Was even better in person of course. Photos never quite get it exactly as it appears to the naked eye.

What a great place for these guys to spend their days. Especially this time of year as the leaves are changing.

I think this is my favorite "mistake" of the day.

I guess it isn't peak leaf time yet, but these mountains are still a sight to behold.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Today in History

Well, not much going on lately, so I decided to see if I could find some interesting things that happened on this date. Here's some of what I found.

*1871 - Great Chicago Fire Starts - The story is that Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked over a lantern starting the fire that would destroy most of Chicago. But, later on a Chicago Tribune reporter admitted that he created that story to sell newspapers. The fire killed between 200 and 300 people.

*1944 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriett debuts on the radio

*1998 - U.S. House of Representatives initiates Clinton impeachment inquiry.

*1918 - WWI Heroics: U.S. soldier Alvin York kills 25 and captures 132 at Argonne.

Happy Birthday to Rona Barrett, R. L. Stine, Chevy Chase, Matt Damon and Jesse Jackson.

And that's today in history......

Friday, October 3, 2008


And here is my harvest, such as it is. The two red ones were picked earlier in the week. The others I brought in last night. I happened to check the weather about 9:45pm and saw that we were under a frost advisory. I did not want to lose what tomatoes I had, so I grabbed a flashlight and my pruning clippers and headed out into the yard. Don't know if they will ripen, but at least I won't lose them without trying my best to save them.

And these puny things are my corn harvest. Not much, huh? Well, that's OK. Maybe the squirrels will enjoy them. (Or the little possum that comes around most nights.)

I got the last tomato off my container plant a while back. Now I've just been watching birds pluck leaves and pieces of string off of it before I toss it into a compost pile.

My garden is heading the same way. The season is over for me, but it was fun while it lasted.