Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dakota Mischief

After our beautiful hike down in Clifton Gorge, what's better to come home to than an escaped husky? Well, that would be a not-escaped husky. Our fluffy Dakota decided to jail break while we were away and terrorize the cat and I'm sure there was a whole lot of couch-laying as well.

Dakota is kenneled while we're out of the house. Not really wanting to come home to chewed up paper towels, or destroyed cat toys.

Speaking of destroyed cat toys. When we walked in the door we were greeted by an overly excited Dakota and a very poofy Arson. After our initial shock, Andrew realized Dakota decided to try wearing Arson's cat cube...

How'd that work out for ya bud? After a minute or so of laughing hysterically and me taking a few(very blurry) pictures. I helped him escape.

It was all very exciting and funny. Dakota promptly fell asleep after I rescued him from the evil cat cube. And Arson, well...he hasn't played around with his cat toy since. Typical older brother. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Clifton Gorge

On Saturday we decided to head down to Clifton Gorge Nature Preserve to do a little hiking. The day was foggy and cool, a perfect day to wander in the woods. We'd been here before in very early summer and I didn't bring my camera. I had to go back so I could take pictures.

Steamboat Rock was formed at the bottom of an ocean...pretty cool.

The sign coming back leaving Clifton Gorge, we didn't hike John Bryan, we decided to save it for another day.

Andrew covering his head with a huge leaf.

Me doing my best chipmunk impression while Andrew holds the giant leaf behind my head.

Clifton Gorge is a great place to hike, the trails can be a little slippery from all the damp by the gorge, but it's so pretty. I have no idea how far the trail from one end to another is, but we hiked for about 2 hours, probably because I stopped every two feet to take a picture of a pretty leaf or mushroom or stick or the get the picture.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Baked Oatmeal

I had to share this delicious food right away. I've been lusting after baked oatmeal recipes for a while now, but only this morning did I actually fullfil my craving. I found an easy recipe on Annie's Eats and I had every ingredient but the berries.
I couldn't justify the price of blueberries or raspberries right now and just went with strawberries. Delicious.
I also added about half the maple syrup and twice as much cinnamon. I don't care for chokingly sweet oatmeal. The fruit makes it sweet enough.
As you can see, this will give me several days breakfast and I like that.

It turned out perfect. It's a great recipe, and it looks like any fruit can be subbed to your preference. I think next time I'll omit the syrup and use greek yogurt rather than butter to make the recipe a little healthier.

I can't wait for breakfast tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Spidey Senses

Last night as I lay in bed reading, a spider decided to climb up on the curtain rod on the window. My spidey senses were tingling and I got a chair and the fly swatter and made ready.


I actually made that sound. I wish I was joking. I was on the phone with mom at the time, since my spider savior Andrew is TDY right now and couldn't sweep in with his white fly I had to take care of it myself. The battle cry that ensued, for courage, of course set my mom to laughing.

At least the spider was dead. I left it's curled up dead body on the floor under the window. I'd get it in the morning, when it'd had time to think about what it'd done. From bed I could see it's body, exactly where it fell. All was good.

It was a pretty good size, about the size of a honey bee. I feel the comparison is necessary because my mom often claims I'm over exaggerating when it comes to spider sizes. Honestly, there is no basis for her distrust. : /

Fast forward to six hours later and it's time for me to get up. My eyes dart to the spot under the window where the carcass of an evil spider lay the night before. dead spider.

After discussing this, rationally, with my mom. We've come to two conclusions:

1) It wasn't dead. This particular spider has excellent ninja skills and faked it. Presumably, he is now on the hunt for my flesh in order to seek revenge.

2) Something else came to finish him off. Not a good prospect either considering a spider bigger than a honey bee is wandering through the house and being all cannibalistic.

So, as you see, neither of these outcomes are good. Until Andrew is back, I fear I might be some sort of target for spider revenge. Ohgoshpleasehelpme.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Last of the Smokies and Maker's Mark

The last morning I figured I'd better take a few pictures of where we stayed and I'm glad I did. It will continue to remind me how much I can't wait to go back. Going to the Smokies is quickly becoming my favorite weekend getaway because it can be done really inexpensively.
The name of our cabin was Cades' Cabin.

 This was the view from mine and Andrew's room on the basement level. Yes, that's a jacuzzi.

 The living room, and cute moose details. It has a huge porch off the main floor.

On the road we went and stopped at Maker's Mark in Kentucky. They give free tours, and free is always better in my opinion. 

There was also a tasting at the end that I wasn't expecting. Who gives out expensive Bourbon on a free tour? Apparently Maker's Mark does, they get you in the gift shop though. We all tried the original Maker's Mark and the new 46 recipe. I've never had bourbon and am no expert but could not take the stronger 46 version. My eyes, nose and throat started watering in a not so pleasant way. The original wasn't too bad, it reminded me of cookies because of the strong vanilla smell/flavor. Definitely not something I'll start drinking on any sort of regular basis.
But a good time was had by all, I'd love to go back some day and take more pictures of the property because it was in a beautiful place.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Birthdays and Baking

It was my birthday on Sunday. We didn't do anything fancy and I loved it! Besides opening my present sent from my mom we sat around and watched movies all day. I love lazy, relaxing weekends.

From my momma I got lots of baking supplies. A Paula Deen pie pan(I hate her cooking, love her cookware). Two muffin pans! Two cake pans! and a meatloaf/bread loaf pan. The top layer has holes so the grease can drain out of the meatloaf while cooking, or I can take it off for making banana bread.
 How awesome is that?
 She also got me this cute little gourd and the placemats seen in the picture. It's so nice to start decorating for fall and my fall decor is woefully small.
The weather here has taken a turn for the wonderful, it's chilly and cloudy and perfect baking weather. After about four hours of baking yesterday I have fresh blueberry muffins for breakfast, two dozen chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
The mug is my birthday gift from Andrew's parents. It's very large and has several of the places we saw last weekend in the Smokies.

See the yumminess?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Smoky Bears

Apparently my fall was pretty funny looking on from any vantage point but mine. Andrew said I kinda laid there for a second. I'm pretty sure at that moment I was wondering, "Is this really happening to me...Again?" Even though I took a nice hard spill early on, I didn't want to ruin a good trip(no pun intended). So, I hobbled my way along for the rest of the day. I'm glad I'm a trooper.

After driving around Cade's Cove we headed to the south side of the park and actually drove up mountains. We stopped at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and Andrew's mom and me got "Not so Junior Ranger" patches and a certificate for some of the activities with did in the park. We exited the park on the North Carolina side and Andrew's parents bought me a NC mug for my birthday.
On the way back into the park we saw two male Elk battling it out. Ok. It was pretty calm and they seemed to be testing eachother more than a violent shake-down.
Then we drove up to Clingmans Dome and started the 1/2 mile hike to the observation tower. It's a steep trail with a 330ft gain. But, the views were spectacular.
Andrew and me on the AT! Maybe one day for real.
The views going down were amazing, the sun broke through the clouds a bit. Did I mention it was freezing up there? Because of the elevation it's regularly cold up there. I was not prepared, but the breeze felt good once you worked up a sweat.

Back in the car, we headed on down the mountain to get back to our cabin. On the way down we saw a mama bear and her three cubs. As we pulled by she actually growled at the car.
Up high you straddle the NC/TN line and they had a sign. I love signs. It makes it easier to remember what you're taking a picture of.
Pictures of the cabin coming soon and on the way home we stopped at Maker's Mark in Kentucky and I have a few pictures of that.