Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Great Smoky Mountains

Andrew and I just got back from a weekend away with his parents. We went down to the Smoky Mountains and we had a really good time.
This is the view we woke up to on Sunday morning. I'll post more pictures of the beautiful cabin we rented in another post. There will also be more pretty sunrise pictures. Sunday morning, Andrew and I also made whole wheat waffles and eggs for breakfast, yummy!

There were several things we wanted to do. First up was hiking up to Grotto Falls, so Andrew's parents could see this wonderful place. We got there early and there was no one on the 1.4 mile trail.
A few seconds after this picture was taken, as I went over to join Andrew for a picture, I fell. Hard. I managed to get my foot stuck under a rock and fell onto another rock with my knee. It hurt so bad! I've got a nice scrape, huge bruise across my knee and a lot of pain when I walk up or down stairs. Remember the last time I fell in GSMNP? Well, I managed to fall on the same trail and injure the same leg. I'm a clutz, and apparently wearing my hiking boots doesn't make a difference for me.

After maybe five, ten...ok probably fifteen minutes of clutching my leg and rocking back and forth from the nauseating pain I got up and we walked the 1.4 miles back down to the car. Walking down slopes on my knee hurt a lot.
We also drove around Cades Cove again, this time I took a picture of this cute Baptist Church.
I also got some cool shots with my wide angle. I'm really loving that thing for landscapes! I managed to hobble around the rest of the day and we saw other cool things too, but I don't want to crowd it all in one post.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ancient Aliens in Ohio

So, when you're watching Friday night television, speficially Ancient Aliens and they're talking about a site they think was built by aliens in Ohio and you realize you live in Ohio and this thing is only 40 miles down the road, what do you do?
Well, if you're us. You go straight there the next day.
I give you Serpent Mound in Adams County Ohio. And ancient mound built by unknown people. The magazine they gave us at the welcome center says Serpent Mound is the "largest surviving example of prehistoric effigy mound in the world." I'm taking their word for it.

Serpent Mound isn't a burial mound, but this Adena mound just off the parking lot is one of the Native American burial mounds.
Andrew squinting in the sun.

This site also lines up with some cool astrological things. Including, according to the show, ancient alignment to the constallation Draconis.

It's hard to see but Serpent Mound is a huge mound shaped like a snake, it's tail coils on one end and it's mouth opens around an egg-shaped thing on the other.

Here is it's tail.

I doubt very much this site was built my aliens, and I think it's kind of an insult that the show implied that humans weren't capable of building this. There is no evidence of who or what culture built this site, but the conical burial mounds(first picture) are dated back to 800 BC. Which I think is pretty awesome. It's a completely different kind of history at this site and we have no idea who made it. I'm really glad we went to see it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Miracle of Plants

We had a storm blow in last week. It really blew in, there were ten minutes of very intense wind. We even went outside to watch the trees and take our flag off the pole. As we were out there, there was a huge crack and down came our ten foot sunflower. It hadn't even blossomed yet. I was so sad.
Cut to a week later, we haven't moved it and we notice some blossoms starting to form and one bud opening!
Our sunflower is grasping life by this one section still in the ground.

The super sunflower also has a lot of buds on it. I've never seen a sunflower like this, it wasn't even supposed to be a giant sunflower. It just sort of turned into one.

Speaking of plant miracles. There is nothing like breakfast topped with fresh cherry tomatoes from your garden. yum.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

No Heat Curls

No heat curls are spreading around the internet like a virus. Since I hate using heat on my hair during the summer, who doesn't? I thought I'd give these a try. I did some research and found this video tutorial of No Heat Curls.

The first night I tried it, uh, it didn't work out. I have a very sensitive head and the headband was killing me. After only about an hour I took it out, but already noticed really pretty curls.

Day 2, I washed and dried my hair and followed the directions in the tutorial. Ignoring the "leave it in overnight" part.
Goofy look #1

Goofy look #2. I know there's a line on my head. I'm trying to be realistic here.

After some fluffing, puffing and a whole lot of weird pictures, my hair looked really pretty. And by gosh, there were actually curls.

I left the band in for 2 hours in the afternoon and the line in my forehead took about an hour to get rid of... So, plan accordingly. I am going to try these again soon in the morning and leave them in all day.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Look

Things are changing 'round here. I'm sitting by the computer with my hair full of dye waiting for 25 minutes to pass.

My hair will still be blond after the process. My hair has just been feeling sad and crackly this summer so I decided to just dye it the same blond. It always feels more conditioned after I dye it. Probably making hair professionals around the world cringe right now. It is way to early to dye my hair darker. I have to wait until the end of September for that. Keep and eye out for Hattie's hair color changes, coming this fall! I'm thinking of trying red again, since the red I did last fall sucked. I want to get the red I had maybe 4 years ago. Perfect red with hints of brown.

Enough about my hair.

I also changed the blog a bit. I was getting tired of the old, blogger standard. So, I sought help from those wonderful people over at Shabby Blogs and found a pretty background. Then made a header out of one my pictures.

It's really green, but I'm feeling it. Green is my favorite color after all.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Simple Things

This post is for simple things. Like waking up to a house that's 73 degrees without AC instead of 80 degrees with AC.
Simple things, like today is Friday and I have two uninterrupted days to hang out with my husband. Even if we're only being lazy.

Flowers are simple things too, especially when picked fresh from your yard and stuck into a 10 cent vase. Feeling the need to wear a sweater, and go buy more sweaters. To stock up on more Cafe Vienna.

Simple things like spending too much time on Pinterest, instead of doing dishes. Finding a good book and reading it too fast.

Craving anything that looks, feels and smells like cooler weather.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

New York Tips

I'm not a New Yorker, not even close. I was born on the west coast and I'm living in the midwest. I'm also not a seasoned New York traveler, the ones that vacation in NY every year or maybe several times a year. Since Andrew loved it so much, I might become one of those people.
But for now, here are some New York City travel tips from a non-expert traveler.

1. Prepare
There are those people out there that do things on a whim, travel to an unknown location and just "wing-it". I'm not one of them. While I am known for diverging from the plan or the plan falling into a million teeny tiny pieces, at least I have a plan.
I research what I want to see. How much it will cost. How I get there. Plan B. If I get there and don't like what I see, what else is there?

That way, when my Type A personality arrives, I'm at least somewhat prepared for everything.

2. Get a Map
And for the love of all things holy, learn how to read it. Amazingly enough people managed to get to point A to point B without the use of Google Maps or a GPS on your phone.

We picked up a highly detailed map from Barnes and Noble before leaving and I spent some time finding our hotel location and points of interest. This map even had cool touristy spots included on the map.

3. Don't be Afraid of Public Transportation
I'm not talking about taxis. I mean the Subway and buses. They are so cheap! Your hotel might have a subway map available(ours did) or you can find them at touristy stores. It's really easy to figure out where you're going. Or just ask the ticket sales person.

4. A Smile Goes a Long Way
You might find people aren't very nice in the big city. But I find if your general demeaner is happy people are nicer. I had several people come up to me and ask for directions. Because I am so friendly(and I studied my map) I was able to give those people directions.

5. People Watch
This might only be for Andrew and me. Some of the most fun we had in NY was watching people. It was so much fun seeing so many people, some of them dressed funny, some were hardly dressed at all. There was lots of interacting going on, try and slow down long enough to watch it.

I'm not sure if anyone will find this helpful. Anyone without a personality like mine, but oh well. I think that's all I have, most importantly would just be to have fun. I find that these things help me do that.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Harry Potter Souvenirs

Finally getting around to posting pictures of the things we bought at the Harry Potter Exhibition. Because, you know we bought stuff. It was hard to limit ourselves and only buy a few things rather than leave the store with a bunch of Noble Collection wands. But, I figured I already have Harry's wand that I could wait to order more.

Of course, I wanted a mug. I didn't just buy a mug, I bought a magic mug!

That's right folks! The Maruader's Map shows up as I fill it with hot water! That's right folks! I'm a dork!

Since we couldn't take pictures inside we decided to buy an official program so we can look back in the years to come and remember all the cool things we saw in person.

Oh, and we also bought a tiny Hedwig. It has a hoop on top, so I think I'll make it into a Christmas ornament.

Sorry all the pictures kind of suck today. It's early morning and the light in the house is not optimal and I didn't want to wait : )

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


We decided on the way back from New York to drive down to Gettysburg. It was about 30 minutes from the interstate. Once we got there we located the visitor's center(huge!) and located some lunch. We shared chicken fingers and some fries, then got a map and went on our merry way.
There is an option to buy an audio tour, each stop on the tour has a number and corresponds to an informational speal, I'm sure. We just decided to read the small paragraphs on the map and just do the auto tour.
This is up at Little Round Top looking over Devils Den.

Yes, that is a picture of the fallen soldiers in the field pictured below.

A cannon ball hole.

This is where President Lincoln gave his famous speech.

I took a lot of picures of different battlefields, I thought I'd just show some of the features. I think it's something you really have to be there for to see the size of everything and so you can read the signs and stare over a huge field where the fighting was done.

The whole thing took about 2 hours to drive around. I'm glad we did it and I can say I've been to Gettysburg now and actually picture where it all happened.