Tag Archives: outdoors

Thanksgiving and our wine arrived!!!

Today, was thanksgiving here in the US. We are very thankful for our family. Sean and I are camping in a tent, in the backyard tonight, to have some quality time together. It is a little cold out here but not too bad under the sleeping bag and duvet. We will see how it is early in the morning.

Talking about family, I am very proud of my brother who is the assistant winemaker at Moana Park Vineyards, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. He has been kind enough to send over a case of wine which arrived yesterday. I am so excited, the last lot we got was amazing, and I am sure this will be too.

Here are the reserves that we got; Merlot Cabernet, Syrah, Chardonney, Viognier (and yes those stickers are awards and medals on the bottles 🙂 ):

Here are an assortment of wine for the rest of the case (Viognier, Merlot Malbec, Syrah and Chardonney):

Now to enjoy it!!!

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Backyard Garden Design 3: Weekend Progress

As mentioned in the previous post, this weekend’s goal was to start and hopefully get the backyard garden done based on the design shown here.

Thank you to our weekend worker bee helpers – Dieter, Justin, Rob, Brian, and Chris…we wouldn’t be as far along as this without your help. Here is the progress so far.

  1. Draw, measure and line up the design
  2. Dig the lines out to put the sand.
  3. Move the sand and level out to put the wood blanks
  4. End of Day 1 – corners built
  5. Building up the walls (End of Day 2 of the weekend)
      
  6. All brackets hammered in to hold the wall, french drains in (weed fabric, pipes and gravel).
  7. Dirt being leveled out to full in the level/first tier.
      

Not too far away now, next steps:

  • Need more dirt to fill in the levels – probably another truck load
  • Need to find the concrete slab steps
  • Need to order and lay sod

Quick Update: Weekend Projects

We arrived back from vacation with an action packed weekend planned.

Firstly, I am ecstatic about my first sale on Etsy. I finished making a custom order for chair bags (for 11 in. wide kids chairs).
  

The first picture is the actual color swatch which shows the true color, the second picture is the finished bag but the photo was taken in the evening light.

The other big project this weekend is the backyard – we are having a “working bee”, where friends come over and help us out with manual labor in exchange for food and drinks. The two walled levels are being put into the backyard as designed in the previous post. This weekend we should have the following update done to that post (cross fingers 🙂 ):

Additional steps over the next few weekends:

  • Order and get the wood (DONE)
  • Order and get the sand, gravel and dirt (DONE – except for the gravel)
  • Lay out the step walls  (DONE)
  • Put in french drains behind each step  (DONE)
  • Fill in with soil  (DONE)
  • Order and install concrete step tops
  • Order and get sod
  • Add the additional vegetable garden  (DONE)
  • Place the boarders for the vegetable garden path
  • Fill with stones

I will post photo’s on Monday on the progress of our back yard :-).

My projects, over the weekend is to try to make progress on the:

  1. Four Season’s Quilt
  2. Place mats
  3. New Monster Designs

Goal Achieved – Relaxed

The mountains put on a scene that was amazing today. This was our best and last day in the mountains. The autumn/fall colors really came in, these are a couple of trees surrounding our cabin.

We spent the morning in Boone, strolling down the main street enjoying the park benches and the flower gardens along the pavement (footpath).

  

Next stop, was lunch in Blowing Rock. We tried Bistro Roca, while the food landed up tasting good, it was a little disappointing. Our lunches of Salmon with fries and a Veggie Burger, were cold the first time out. The second round the food was great; the veggie burger was Eggplant and Quinoa with tzatziki, and would recommend giving it a try.

For the trip along the way, we grabbed a coffee at the acclaimed “Bald Guy Brew of Blowing Rock”. They made the best Latte I have ever tasted….I will be stopping by there again tomorrow – one for the road, so to speak.

The afternoon of sight seeing started with the overlook at Linn Cove. It was totally worth the stop.

    

  

We got back in the car to spend the afternoon at Linville Falls region, a little further south on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We had decide to go to the Linville Cavern and do the Linville Falls walk. I would definitely recommend both – Sean’s favorite is the cave. Some facts we learnt about the cavern:

  • There were fresh water trout that go blind in the dark after approx. two years of living in the spring cavern creek.
  • The stalagmites grow up (grow with all their might), stalactites grow down (they hold on tight). They are made mostly of Calcium Carbonate, Iron oxide give them a rust color. Algae (green) grow over the growths.
  • The bats return to the cave in winter when it is cold enough for them to hibernate.

We throughly enjoyed the 0.8 mile walk (each way) to the Linville Falls. Sean went a little crazy and pretty much ran there and back, jumping off every rock, tree stump or step he could find – exhausting just to watch let alone keep up 🙂 (I am getting old).

We started the walk around 5 pm, and got great sun-light in the late afternoon.

            

As sun was setting as we made our way home, stopping quickly to catch the sunset at the Grandfather mountain overlook.

  

It is always a little daunting at night on a windy road….I kept myself entertained by experimental with some night shots :-). The last of our photo tour.

  

Well, I hope everyone enjoyed our vacation photographs. We had a successful vacation and, yes it was relatively STRESS FREE=RELAXING!!!!  Goal achieved.

Day 1 Photos

Day 2 Photos

Sean’s Photographs (age 5)

Vacation through my 5 year old son’s eyes

So, what would a 5 year old take photos of, on his vacation in the mountains? This is the experiment we are trying out :-).

This vacation, we decided to let Sean have his own camera to take his own photos. He has been so excited about it. I think he has done a great job!! Here are some of his photos.

Day1:
The Streets of Blowing Rock

    

Bass Lake Walk

    

Day 2: 

Lunch at The Village Cafe
(Daddy was a camera “hogger” today and this was Sean’s only chance for photos)
    Day 3:

Boone

  

Linn Cove Viaduct

  

Linville Falls

Grandfather Mountain Overlook

Day 2: Amazing Fall Day

Today, was the most amazing day here in the North Carolina mountains. Perfectly clear, I do not think we saw a cloud at all today.

We spent most of the day along the Blue Ridge Parkway, visiting Grandfather Mountain and the Moses Cone Mansion – Arts and Craft Center. It was for sure cold up at Grandfather mountains but wonderfully warm in the sun along the rest of the parkway. Boy, are we now exhausted.

Lunch was great!!! We had tried to go The Village Cafe in Blowing Rock twice now, but always seem to land up there when they were closed. Today, we had success – and so worth the wait. It was a small Victorian cottage converted into the cafe, surrounded by a wild garden….and the food was amazing.

Photographs of the day are below.

Grandfather Mountain memories:

            

(now Dad…..that is a big tongue 😉 )

The Village Cafe in Blowing Rock:

  

Moses Cone Mansion:
  

Day 1 photographs can be found here.

Today’s photographs: Fall was here

It started of wet in the North Carolina Mountains this morning, but by lunchtime it had cleared. It was a little windy, but if you were in the sun, out of the wind, it warmed up. We all enjoyed the first day of the very relaxing, no stress vacation.

We spent our afternoon in and around Blowing Rock, which is a very quaint town. We ate lunch there, but not at the restaurant we wanted as it was closed just for today 😦 (unusual for a Monday as they are usually closed Tuesday). The boys followed lunch up with dessert – ice cream from Kilwins.

We walked all the food off with some fun in the playground. Sean and I had a competition on the swing – I have not been on a swing in years….I was giggling like a school girl. We finished off the dat with a walk around Bass Lake. Beautiful day!!!

Here are today’s photographs.

The fall colors of the parkway:

  

Town of ,Blowing Rock:
  

Bass Lake:
  

The boys having fun: