Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Natural Wonders

While Son did his job shadowing (see previous post), Daughter and I headed down to the Cumberland Falls area. It was an especially beautiful day. To understand the scale of those big rocks lying around the falls, just take a peek at the fence on the cliff that keeps hikers from taking an unplanned swim! (in the photo below)

Just below the falls, there is beach. It used to be a popular swimming and sunbathing spot in the 1960's. Now it is used only by fishermen and hikers. It is peppered with coal pieces. This photo (above) is taken on the beach. Notice how clear the water was!
Ah....the rainbow. Each time the sun shone a bow would appear in the mist of the falls. In fact, Cumberland Falls is one of only 3 places in the world where a Moonbow appears regularly on clear, full-mooned nights.

The old walkway to the beach has been ruined by years of floods and lack of funding. It was easy to pretend that we were walking among the ruins of an ancient castle. (and fun too.)
A view downstream from the falls. (In the distance, the cave/overhang on the left is directly across from the beach.)

Now THIS was an unexpected treat. We were reading the local park brochures and saw that there are several rock arches in the area. We asked a park ranger and he suggested we go to see the Natural Arch.
A 10 minute drive to a nice little park. Then a small hike on a paved trail brought us to this overlook. Again, scale is hard to show in this photo. I was just a bit reluctant to take the trail across to the arch itself, but Daughter in her enthusastic youth convinced me that I'm not "that old."
The trail down to the arch was....well....downhill for the most part. It was paved and had nice steps with handrails. And we were the ONLY ONES there. It was so peaceful and fun to try catching the wildlife unaware that we were approaching. There was a warning sign in the arch about not stealing any Native American artifacts from the area.
Here is a close-up of the arch from the overlook again. Look how tiny the Pine trees look on top of it!

Then we arrived. It was so cool! There just isn't any way to properly describe it.

This is a video I took to try to capture the scale of the landscape and the wonder one feels while there. I suppose it never looks as good on t.v. as it is in real life. Notice the wild columbine growing!


We left with promises to come back with the rest of the family. I hope to be able to take some friends and their families with us too! It makes a wonderful day or weekend trip. You must visit this area if you are ever down (or up) this way!

Oh, a note: leave yourself about twice the time to get back up the trail. Remember I said it was mostly downhill on the way to the arch? Guess what that means! LOL! We made it though.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Job-Shadowing part 1

Our son is a senior in public school. The schools have come up with an inventive way to get rid of them during testing for the sake of the lower grades. (Y'know, because they are such a distraction and the scores are SOOOooo important for funding. That's a soapbox for another time.)

Job-shadowing is a program that requires the senior students to observe or participate in the real-life world by spending 6 hours a day with a person in their "related field of interest." Son's interest is clay.

It was a chore at first, to find full-time artisans and business owners who have dedicated their lives to the love of pottery and sculpture, but we compromised by hopping from one to another for a whole week. And what a wonderful experience it has turned out to be after all!

Here, son is standing in the showroom of Junkyard Pottery on his first day. You simply must check out their gallery and the unique flower ponds/vases. They are so pretty and functional for holding small bouquets.

Here is son with shop co-owner, David Howe. He makes most of their glazes and has done some incredible inventive things in his field. David is a very interesting person and I'm grateful that he gave up a whole day to mentor this budding artisan! Thank you, David and Carol!

Next post, I will show you what Daughter and I did with our time during that day.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Grass is Greener....Here

At the entrance to our farm is a 4-grave cemetery. In Spring, it speaks life in daffodils. When the blooms are gone, it's time to mow around the flowers so that they will return next year.

No time for building raised beds this year. The garden needs to be planted. We will try the traditional way. I was pleased to find that good soil was lying under the clay and sandy surface. All the top soil had been striped away. But then, this had been a forest floor for thousands of years. I am a little ashamed of being the human to "tame" it. But we do need food. And we are keeping as much of the land as possible in woodland.

Redbud winter has past and the pink trees are showing their beauty.

What an unusal find! This pretty sculpture is growing at the edge of the driveway.

Some very beautiful photos are coming next of one of our state's best natural wonders. I hope you will return and enjoy them.

I hope you are stopping to enjoy the beauty around you right where you are. Isn't it extraordinary?!

Friday, April 18, 2008


One of the reasons I admire my daughter:

As she was brushing the cats this morning, I reminded to her to throw the fur out for the birds to use for nesting material. (Because we don't do it in the winter, she had forgotten and was headed for the trashcan.)

She came back into the house and said, "Y'know, we should find a place to donate their fur so people can make fur coats and not skin animals instead."

Yes, we should.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Kitchen cabinets 2

To see the beginning of the kitchen go here:

Here is your peek at our kitchen progress:

A messy kitchen happens when all work is concentrated on building instead of cleaning. But this photo is to show what the poly does to redwood and cedar. The facings have been polyed but the doors have not. See how shiny but dark the cedar on the cabinet ends got?
Brace yourselves. These last two photos are of the finished cabinets!

Not bad for around $1,500.00 eh? That includes $650 labor for our 71 year old neighbor. Hubby did such a good job on the whole kitchen. (Applause for Hubby!)
(if you click on the photos, they should come up bigger)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Exhale

Just a short note to say:

the appraisal was done yesterday (tues.)

and I cried with relief 5 minutes afterwards.

I'm going to take a few days to recoup from the stress (I didn't realize just how much we were under until I had that little fit of relief). I'll take some photos of the house and put together some posts.

The bank papers should be final by the 14th. Hopefully.

The appraiser liked the house.

I'm obviously unable to think in proper order... therefore, since it is spring break for the kids and this weight is off our shoulders...

I'm going to have a guilt-free nap.

Daughter was happy this morning to be able to "do whatever we want instead of working on the house."

By noon, she walked out of her room and said, "now that we don't have to work on the house, it's kinda boring around here."

Oh, yeah!