Thursday, July 31, 2008

(Cue Song) Back to life... back to reality

Well, summer is passing (cue audience sigh). (I am going to brag on myself now.)

This is my second year as the Program Director for the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra's Summer Strings Camp. I am really excited about camp this year. I have 49 students registered, and we are expecting at least 5 more to walk in Monday morning! If everyone shows, we will have 4 over our goal! Last year, there were only 39 students.

Next week will be great! I have a staff of 8 who are all professionals from the area. The students have orchestra rehearsals, chamber ensembles, theory class, and a "special event" at the end of everyday.

So, back to life... I received a phone call telling me to check my school email. It had my schedule for the workdays which begin Aug. 18. :P

Back to reality... I have to set the alarm next week, so I can be at camp by 8:30am. At least we will have fun!

Now, here you go for your viewing pleasure...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thanks, girls!

The girls are Jen, Jan, and Barbara. They have inspired me to get into a reading phase. This time, I want the phase to stick!

I have read a couple of other books this summer, but the was the launching point (no pun intended).

I loved it! My dad read this 736 page book in 2 or 3 days! The next 2 books, I actually went to the public library to find.

"Life of Pi" is a great story. It is written in two parts, and the second part is wild and a little gruesome at times. It was a good read.

The current book is great! I am only to Chapter 10, but I can see why Barbara (see above and Babsy's 101 blog) went in search of A - R.

When I finish this one, I am going to try "Twilight." Meanwhile, I am still waiting for "Brisingr" which is Cycle 3 of the Inheritance series. "Eragon" was great, and "Eldest" was excelllent! "Brisingr" will be released in September (20th, I think).

Anyhoo... We have some windows in the house! I will be posting soon!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Great week!

I spent last week in Florida with the "Sutherland" clan. This is my father's side of the family. My cousin, Mary, was able to come all the way from Montana! We had a great time. I can't describe how much fun we had together.

Monday, I went to the beach with some of the family. My Aunt Sandra teaches Biology, so she loves finding any living creature. Mary was searching in the tidal pools and came across a squid. Poor little guy was going to die in the "hot tub", so she put him in a bag. (Aunt Sandra is ALWAYS prepared) :) Mary released him/her into the ocean. He had chewed through the bag so much, that it broke when she released him.

Needless to say, he (or she) did not like the plastic bag. Here is the video.

This was the most amazing thing I have ever seen! I had "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" in mind when I decided to switch to video.

Meanwhile, this little crab's home was just in front of our "post". He would creep out towards the water, squat down, and find some little tidbits.

The clouds were in and out, and while I was reading, I happen to glance up at this beautiful sight.

The rest of the week was spent shopping and hanging out. Friday, a few of us went to Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. The first, I would recommend only two roller coasters, The Hulk and Twin Dragons. Twin Dragons was great, because I was not expecting the other coaster to "run" into the other.

Universal Studios is great! First we saw "Shrek 4-D". It was VERY funny! We waited for the "Simpson's Ride" but we left the line when we figured out is was NOT a roller coaster.

The Mummy was the BEST! It is an indoor roller coaster with lots of surprises.

I was sad to leave my Mary, but I am glad to be home. :)

Side note: Aaron just won "Next Foodnetwork Star"! Woo hoo!

Friday, July 18, 2008

House of Gables, Soffit, Fascia, & More...

The house is beginning to look like a... HOUSE! This is the gable before...

and here is the gable, after. The fascia is really what helps.

This is the guest bedroom you would stay in, should you ever visit us. :)

The beadboard soffit looks great! I have spent a couple of days this week priming these bad boys.

This is the back of the house, and the tall scaffolding used to put up the fascia, soffit, and rafters. It's only about, um, 20 feet up.

This is the front of the house. The dormer is going to provide TONS of light through the vaulted ceiling in the living room.

This is Sam. He's our framer. He's been looking out for me this week while I've been priming the beadboard.

He's awesome. He'll be back next week to finish up the other gable, and I will probably have windows and a roof!!!!

I am going out of town for the week, so I'm pretty stoked about how different the house will look when I get back.

Oh... I will be in Florida next week with the family. Matthew can't come along, but I am going to see my cousin, Mary, whom I have seen only once since my wedding (5 years ago).

See you in a week!!!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ruby Throat

Finally, I was able to capture our Ruby Throated Hummingbird. Hummingbirds are so funny to watch, because they are extremely territorial. Our male will chase off any others trying to drink from the feeder. We have seen him wait in the bush next to the porch and dare another hummer to get a drink.

His "flirting" ritual is quite amusing, as well. He makes a wide arc while making noises at each peak and a different noise traveling in between.

I am most amazed by the memory of these little birds. I did not have a feeder up for awhile, yet they have been coming to the porch to the exact spot where the feeder goes. Needless to say, I finally rememberd to buy one on a Lowe's trip.

Here is a snipet of a typical trip to the Super Sugar Water. It's only about a half cup of sugar diluted in a cup of warm water. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Just another day~

I seemed to have been a bit confusing in the last post. I had gone to the Biltmore House (see pic below) in the middle of the week. After a tour of the ginormous house, my family and I ventured to the winery for a tasting.

The following weekend, I finally opened one of the fine wines purchased (actually, Dad paid) at the Biltmore. If you ever come to the Asheville, NC area, I highly recommend seeing the House and the grounds. It is quite fascinating.

Later, while venturing to the "new" house, I came across these busy bees. I titled this one "Never Drink Alone." :)

Continuing my venture back to the "old" house, I needed to go check on the chickens. We have 4 hens who are going to live to be old hens. I go to open the yard door, and....

scary cicada shell startles me! It was pretty interesting how the empty shell of this bug continued to cling to the side of the door. It stayed for several days!

The sun was getting low in the sky, and the butterfly bush was doing its job of attracting butterflies. The bees were hard at work gathering pollen from the surrounding flowers.

So it was just another beautiful day.

Work on the house is slow, but it is beginning to look like a house! There has finally been enough work done to take some pictures. Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Playing together

No, this is not a Sesame Street lesson. :)

Last night, Matthew and I were able to play in a quartet together. We rarely have this opportunity, but our good friend was getting married last night.

I love making music, and it is really special when you can do it with someone you love. You know the cliche, "Making beautiful music together"?

It was even more special watching our good friend getting married. She gets to honeymoon in Southern France! So jealous...

Meanwhile, progress on the house is slow, BUT I will have some pictures coming soon. We are supposed to get our windows and doors in, then our roof should be on in a week or two!

Until then...

Same Tiff time...

Same Tiff channel...

(Enjoying some Biltmore wine...)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Yeller Squash

It's that wonderful time of year when the garden starts to give us yellow squash. My mother-in-law is out of town, so I am collecting her squash and ours too! Monday, I had LOTS of squash.

The first batch I cut, blanched, drip dried, and put into freezer bags. This was the first time I've tried this, and it was quite easy! Now, you can only use this frozen squash for casseroles because it breaks down the fibers.

The last three squash were saved for a very special purpose... Grab your Zetia, we're frying squash! It's our favorite summertime treat, next to fried okra.

So I take my awesome knife, purchase at Marshall's for $6... notice it has a non-stick surface for slicing.

See how I slice the squash, yet the slices STILL stick to the blade...

Damn... I forgot I'm left-handed. Of course, I've had this knife for a couple of years, so I'm accustomed to the quirks.

So I continue to slice the squash and cover it with Self-Rising Cornmeal. This was a first, but as you can see it worked wonderfully.

All parts of the squash not used are returned to the Earth through composting. This is a great way to reduce waste and "give" back. :)

My next project is...

which I will turn into...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Bye Bye, Birdies!

We have two underhangs on our front porch and for the last 3 years an Eastern Phoebe has built her nest. Last year we tried to thwart her efforts by placing items in the corners, but she managed to build "around" it.

After the nest is built the eggs are laid. About a month later, we watch both parents feed the young. Meanwhile, if we try to enjoy the porch, she/he sits in the bush next to the porch and fusses. A month after the birds hatch, they begin to test their wings. Just watching this event makes up for the two months of bird crap on the porch.

After they leave the nest... Phoebe lays another round of eggs! So we do it again for 2 more months.

Round 2 stayed in the nest a little longer than usual, so for the past 3 days I've been telling them that they were too old to stay in the nest and needed to fly away.

Here is the video from today when the last bird left the nest. I missed the actual flight, but it's still kind of cute, plus Moldy (my cat) is hilarious. (Sorry, Jen, I forgot to say "Bye" at the end :)

Friday, July 4, 2008

I Want To Believe...

Framing... Finally

The framing begins...

The roof trusses are set...

This is the crane that has to help set the trusses... appropriatly, he has a Spiderman decal on the side of the truck.

The skeletal view.. The sun was setting and cast some really cool shadows.

And as Matthew said, the house is finally getting "dried in", meaning when it rains the interior does not get wet anymore. :)

Next we get shingles and windows and doors~ YAY!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I have watched the X-Files since the 2nd year they were on FOX (I just know I missed the first season originally) . I went to college, and I remember taping it (from a VCR to a VHS tape) during college. Matt and I would watch it together.

Then, "X-Files:The Movie" came out. I acutally saw that here in Hendersonville with Matthew and his friends. It was pretty much, AWESOME!

I have heard a rumor that "they" are making another movie. I did/could not watch the show after David Duchovney left. It just wasn't the same, BUT he is supposed to be in the movie.

Thanks for setting me off onto the X-Files tangent, Jen!

House/roof pics coming soon~

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Zippitty Doo Dah...

My internet just got faster! Woo hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Man, what a difference a little box with lights makes. Anyhoo... I was going to work on updating my house pics, because I have some good ones coming, BUT I live in WNC and the weather here is a beautiful 72 degrees F. So, sorry to say that I must go sit outside and read my book and drink my beer. :) I've been cooped up in an office all day.
Be back soon...............