Sunday, September 19, 2010

This Time, the Great Smokies!

It has been another beautiful weekend in WNC! Mom and dad came to visit, and we tried to take them to Cataloochee. Off we go to Maggie Valley, follow the signs, and BOOM! We get cannot continue because an 18-wheel moving truck got stuck in a switchback. Someone had some very bad directions... Dad and Matthew checked it out, and we were not going to wait around because... well... it was going to be awhile.

Matthew decided that we should go see the Mingus Mill. It is a working, turbine gris mill.

After the wheat has been ground, it goes back upstairs to be turned into to 4 different grades of flour, and it is sent back downstairs in these shoots.

The turbine is hydro powered. Unfortunately, the mill was out-of-order. Matthew and I have been when it was working, and it is very loud. You can buy corn meal or whole wheat flour ground at the mill.

This the water flue which turns the water wheel, which turns the turbine. (That's a whole lotta turnin'!)

We had a great day hanging with mom and dad!

Craggy Gardens

The past few weekends have been perfect weather! Matthew and I decided to take advantage of our beautiful mountains. He had been talking about going to Craggy Gardens for the past month, and we had the perfect opportunity last weekend.

So we set off down our back roads through Gerton, Fairview, and Asheville where we got on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Following the brown park signs, we found the Craggy Gardens picnic area and a trail.
We began walking up, and up, and up... We found a shelter at the top. From there you have three choices: 1) Go back; 2) Continue through the meadow; 3) Continue past the shelter. We chose #2 and found a beautiful view at the end. Matthew is a geography buff and can usually name one or two of the mountains we see. From the end of the meadows, you come back to the shelter where we were back to choices #1 and #3, so we chose #3 this time. We weren't sure where this trail would take us, but it was a pleasant little hike through the woods with various signs describing the high elevation environment (a little over 5,000 ft).

We hiked for several minutes and debated about turning back. We could hear road noise (which I thought was taking us back to the parking lot, Matthew knew that it was the parkway), so we found the end of the trail... at the Visitor's Center!

The view from the Visitor's Center.

This is the view from the top of the first trail near the shelter (taken with my panoramic option).

It was the perfect hike. The weather was a little overcast and cool, but I didn't mind a bit!

It was time for lunch, and thanks to my nifty, little Blackberry we found a restaurant on the way home. Folks in the Asheville area, or folks visiting the area, I HIGHLY recommend Pomodoro's. Matthew had a delicious frittata with sausage and red peppers. I had shrimp and polenta with sausage and goat cheese (per suggestion from our server). It was a great way to end our Blue Ridge excursion!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

No Need for Fancy Toys

Matthew has a 9̊0̊ degree PVC elbow that has been left by the front door. (Probably with hopes of returning it to Lowe's). It has since become a source of play for the kittens.

6 Week Check-Up

So it's just another day in the King house... It started to rain, and Moldy came inside. Much to her dismay, the kittens were playing. Here she is trying to pretend she isn't looking at Miles.

Here is how she REALLY looked...

Every morning is filled with the sounds of the kittens wrestling. Dizzy just loves to play on and around the dining room chairs.

Dizzy throws a paw through the slats...

"I'm going to get you!!!!", says Dizzy.

"Ha ha! You missed me!", says Miles.

Then they roll around play fighting on the floor.
Sing it with me now, "Everybody was kungfu fighting... "

It is so much fun watching them and hearing them play! I took them for their first vaccination on Thursday. Miles cried out when the vet stuck the needle in him. :( Dizzy didn't get the chance because I put my hand over his face. I gave them their first pill last night for worms, and I am working on picking the fleas off of them. They are too little for flea medicine, so I may try to bathe them. I consulted the vet about it, and he said I could.

So it's just been fun and games here! I ordered something called "Feliway" which is a plug-in diffuser which will hopefully help Moldy adjust to the kitten smell. I'll let you know if it works!