Enjoying life's adventures in a secluded mountain cabin

Archive for July, 2011

I’m Trying… Really, I Am

We went blackberry picking again yesterday evening after Mountain Man got off work and the heat subsided a little.  And I do mean just a little.  It was still hot this morning when we got up at 6 am!  But anyway, we picked almost a gallon of big, ripe, juicy blackberries and we’ll be making jam this weekend for sure!

However, on our way back to the cabin with our baskets full of little, fat, juicy, black beauties, we ran across this little, skinny, black beauty lying in the middle of the road, soaking up what was left of the days heat from the rocks.  Funnily enough, I wasn’t stricken with the old familiar gut wrenching fear that usually overwhelms me suddenly when I see one of these slithering little darlings.  I was actually a little excited to happen upon him during our little excursion.

Mountain Man has been absolutely wonderful in trying to help me overcome my fear of snakes.  Whereas a lot of people would thoroughly take advantage of my somewhat crippling fear of serpents and attempt to scare me every single time the opportunity presented itself, he has been very supportive and patient with me and tried to help me warm up to these cold-blooded beasts.  He’s always very slow and very cautious with them when he finds them.  He doesn’t play with the poisonous ones.  At least not around me, he doesn’t!  But, he’ll pick them up and let them wrap their little tails around his hand or arm, depending on how long they are.  He’ll bring them over toward me slowly and then let me come the rest of the way.  I certainly don’t wanna get too close to them.  God forbid if one was to ever lunge at me!  I’d die right then and there!

But, my wonderful Mountain Man stands there, patiently holding the snake and lets me look at him and check out his beautiful designs.  All the while, I’m really just trying to work up the nerve to reach my hand over and touch his scaly, reptilian skin.  And Mountain Man knows this.  So he continues to wait patiently until I’m ready.  And he never, ever makes fun of me for being so scared of these lovely creatures.  He always tries to encourage me to make nice with our little friends here on the mountain.

So, finally, I work up the nerve and reach out and touch the little fella.  And ya know what?  It wasn’t so bad after all.  I’ve touched a couple in the past, but this time, I kinda went a little farther than my just barely letting the skin on the tip of my pointer finger graze across the animals body just in case he decided to eat me kinda touching.

I actually rubbed the snake, petted him, if you will, and felt his muscles move as he wiggled around in Mountain Man’s hands.  My God, how I love his hands!  But that’s another story for another time.

It was actually pretty amazing to feel the power in this little devil’s body and to marvel at just how unique these creatures are.  Perhaps one day, with Mountain Man’s help, my fear of snakes will completely dissipate and I’ll no longer cringe every time I think of the little darlings.  One can only hope.

*Oh yeah.  Before I forget…  These pictures were taken with my son’s cell phone so they’re not very good.  Sorry about the quality, but I just had to have some proof that I’d actually touched a snake!  I’ll try to do better next time!


My Girly Indulgence

As previously stated in this blog, I’m not a real high maintenance gal.  I practically live in jeans and tee shirts, and there’s a better than average chance that you’ll find me still in my jammies on the weekends, or for that matter, on certain weekdays, well past noon!  I don’t do dresses unless I just absolutely have to, and I only occasionally don a skirt.  My shoe choices are pretty basic and simple, too.  I can usually be found in my tennis shoes, flip flops, or, when I’m just hanging around the house, my bubble gum pink Crocs.  Yes, I called ’em flip flops.  I refuse to call ’em thongs!  I just can’t get on board with that one.

And don’t even get me started on high-heels!  I’d like to go back in time and find the misogynistic bastard that invented those damnable torturous devices and do unspeakable, irreparable harm to him!  Sorry, I don’t know where that came from.  Again, I know that there is something terribly wrong with me.  I’m working on it.

My hair is naturally curly and I refuse to fight with it and try to make it do something that it wasn’t meant to do.  Besides, I really kinda dig my hair.  Unlike most chics that have naturally curly hair, I actually like mine and wouldn’t change a thing about it.

All that being said, I do have one really girly indulgence that I’ve religiously stuck with since I was about 12 years old.  I paint my toenails.  Not my fingernails.  Just my toenails.  They are never, never, never, ever bare!  And they are never, never, never, ever chipped!  If they get chipped, I have to repaint them immediately.  Even in the winter months when they’re in socks and shoes all the time.  I can’t stand to see chipped polish on the toes of other women, but I really can’t stand for my own to be in that sad, sorry state.

So, there!  It’s out now.  I feel free!  Naaahhh.  I don’t mind that people know about my girly toenail polish thing.  This just happened to be a thought that perused through my slightly mad psyche today.

As always, thank you for being patient with me.

My Brush With Death

Ya know, I really like living up here in the woods, on the side of a mountain, in the middle of nowhere.  Really, I do.  Some people think I’m nuts for living this far away from civilization, but they just don’t understand.  And it’s really not for everybody.  That being said, there is one thing that I must admit that I do not care for and this one thing is something that I’ve written about before but I feel compelled to write about it again.  So, I’m going to.

With all this gardening we’ve been doing up here at the cabin, I decided that I want to make some blackberry jelly.  So, Mountain Man, my son, and I went blackberry picking one afternoon last week.  It has been unusually hot for our neck of the woods here lately, so we decided to wait ’till the late afternoon to head out on the 4-wheelers in search of the deliciously sweet berries that grow wild in various parts of the mountain.

I was prepared for most anything.  Even though it was sweltering hot, I had on jeans and my pink, multicolored striped boots.  We had a basket for the berries.  We were off to a fairly slow start at first.  Most of the berries weren’t quite ripe enough for picking.  They were still kinda small and for the most part, they were that beautiful pinkish-red hue.  Some of them were still just tiny green balls beginning their journey toward the plump juicy blackberries they will later become.

We found a few good ripe ones here and there, but nothing really of considerable significance to help fill our basket.  Then, Mountain Man turned up a road that I’ve never been on in all my time here on the mountain.  Jackpot!  We hit the mother load of blackberry bushes!  These thorny branches were hanging full of plump, juicy blackberries!  Some of them were ripe for the picking, and some of them were bright red, just on the verge of turning.  But there were plenty to help fill our basket.

I had to take a phone call while we were picking, so I stepped away from Mountain Man and my son and was trying to listen intently to the person on the other end of the line when it happened.

I was innocently walking through the grass close to the edge of the bank where the guys were picking and he came outta nowhere!  He slithered right by my foot and off into the bushes growing right in front of me!  And he was a fast little devil, too!!!  All I saw was a little 13 or 14 inch grey serpent slithering swiftly to and fro in the grass, away from me, I might add!  And I almost peed my pants, screamed like a little school girl, and cussed a blue streak all in the same breath!  But I didn’t!  I was on the phone with someone who may or may not understand my slew of profanities at the thought of being eaten alive by a snake!

I did, however, let out a little shriek and let my caller know that she’d have to hold on for a minute while I composed myself after nearly meeting an untimely death at the hands of a creepy, slithery, snake.  She totally understood, having shared my deep-seeded fear of serpents.  After I took a few deep breaths, I was able to get a hold of myself and return to the conversation, but for the rest of the evening, I couldn’t help but shudder, somewhat violently, I might add, every single time I thought about how close I was to that snake.

I’ve said it before.  I don’t wish these little darlings any harm.  I don’t want to kill them.  I just want them to leave me alone.  Perhaps they could just give me a little warning of sorts before they pop outta nowhere.  That’d definitely be nice.

But, alas, I’ve moved into their territory so I’m just gonna have to get used to the slithering little devils popping out every once in a while.  Surely, I’ll eventually become desensitized to the dang things at some point!  One can only hope…

A Tale of Two Boys and Two Girls

Mountain Man and I, along with my sister, her boyfriend, and another friend and her boyfriend, took all of our kids and a couple of strays on an outing to a water park over the weekend.  All in all there were six adults, 4 teenagers, and 3 little kids and we had a blast.  But the best part was watching these 2 teenage boys from my camp oogling after these 2 teenage girls from my friends crew and vice versa.

They all found out they were going together a few days before the actual event and the never-ending texting ensued.   This was wildly amusing to watch for all of us adults in the group.

Those boys, one of which is my son, had to make sure they smelled good and fixed every single hair on their heads before we left that morning.  Then, when we met up with the vehicle carrying the girls, I found out they’d been doing the same thing that morning before venturing out to be seen by these two young men.  Primping, fixing their hair, putting on make-up, making sure their clothes were just right.  And all of this just to go down a water slide and jump in a pool!

I found this to be so amusing and it brought back memories of myself doing the exact same thing when I was their age.  It didn’t matter that the water would wash away any trace of make-up or flatten the highest bangs and best “wings” I could tease and spray up.  I’m sure all you ladies remember this classic hairstyle from the 90’s.

No, it didn’t matter that well over an hour spent in the bathroom in front of the mirror would be gone with the very first dive into the pool.  This grooming was an absolute necessity at 13!  It had to be done!  My very existence depended upon it!

It’s fun getting to be a parent and watching your own kids do some of the same things you used to do.  Even though it’s a little different ’cause I have a 13 year old boy and he’s obviously not gonna to be coming to me for make-up tips or other feminine issues.  But, none-the-less, it’s in those little moments, devoid of crankiness, attitude, mouthiness, and all other run of the mill nasty teenage conflict and drama, that I actually enjoy being the Mother of a teenager.

Compliment or Insult?

I don’t consider myself to be a high maintenance gal.  Not even close.  But I will admit that there have only been a handful of days in my life that I’ve not worn any makeup at all.  Well, at least since I turned 13, anyway.  I don’t wear a lot and I don’t follow trends or change my color palette with the seasons or match my eye color to my clothes or anything drastic like that.  But, I do usually try to take care of my skin and appear presentable.

I’ve never felt like I’ve had to put a face on in my life!  But, I’ve always wanted to.  For me.  Everybody thought I was crazy when, soon after giving birth to both of my children, I got up out of the hospital bed, washed my face, and put my very minimal amount of cover, color, and mascara on, just so I’d feel better.  And you know what, I did.  I always feel better when my freckles are slightly covered and my eyelashes are actually visible after a few coats of mascara.  All you gals with extremely light colored eyelashes can empathize with my plight.  Besides chapstick, mascara would be my must have item on a desert island.

So, anyway, Mountain Man and I were talking the other day, and I didn’t have any makeup on.  I think we were swimming or I was laying in the sun, or some other activity that required my face to be naked.  I made a comment about not being able to see my eyelashes and he either gave me the best compliment or the worst insult, ever.

Mountain Man told me that he really couldn’t tell I wasn’t wearing any makeup.  I wasn’t quite sure how to take this statement at first.  But then, I referred back to a conversation we’d had a long time ago.  Somewhere in the history of us, Mountain Man had made a comment about my makeup being natural looking and accentuating my natural beauty.  One of the sweetest, most sincere things anyone has ever said to me.

Where I see every single freckle I’ve ever acquired in my entire life, invisible eyelashes, and the evidence of Father Time marching ever so diligently across my face, Mountain Man sees me.  The real me.  The me that I try to highlight with a hint of color and a lot of black mascara.  And he loves me no matter what.

So whenever he says that he can’t tell whether or not I’m wearing any makeup, I no longer wonder if he’s in serious need of an optometrist visit and some new contacts.  No, on those days when my face is naked and I can’t seem to see a trace of an eyelash anywhere, and my freckles are contumaciously staring back at me in the mirror, I’ll just remember that my Mountain Man sees something in me beyond those things.  And I’ll remember that it’s not an insult when he says that he can’t tell when I’m bare-faced.

I’m Back…

Ok.  So, it’s been fifteen days since I last blogged and I must say, I’ve truly missed writing and sharing some of my crazy life experiences.  Even though some of them are completely zany and somewhat ridiculous, I love knowing that some of you out there can relate my unhinged thoughts that just kinda come outta nowhere.  And even if you can’t relate, perhaps they tickle your funny bone and bring about a giggle.  Either way, it’s nice to be missed.

My son has a friend coming over today and we’re heading out to a water park tomorrow with a few other families.  Lots to do today to gear up for this little adventure.

So, while I’d like to delve into all those wonderfully delicious maniacal thoughts bouncing around in my prodigious head, I’ve gotta get busy.  But, I promise not to leave y’all waiting 15 more days for my next installment.

Last Night’s Show

Last night, just before 9 o’clock, my little family and I were outside, gathered around a fire, just finishing up with supper, and I happened to notice the sky.  What little bit of sky I could see from our little neck of the woods was a majestic blue with these bright, peachy pink clouds over beyond the trees.  So, being the lover of sunsets and sunrises that I am, I ventured over to the top of the driveway, where the trees start to separate and give way to the heavens.  There are no words that could have prepared me for what I saw next.

Sadly, I don’t think my camera quite captured the beauty that spread out before me and as for my photography skills, well let’s just put it this way.  After I took a few pictures, I just happened upon this groovy little setting on the camera entitled, get this, sunset.  Go figure!  We’ll just say that I don’t have an immediate future in photography.

I love this picture.  I actually shot all of the pictures from our neighbors yard, sitting just below their deck in the grass.  At this point, I had the whole gang over there with me watching this glorious sight unfold.  I sure do hope the neighbors don’t mind that we were in their yard enjoying their awesome view.

This little dog just happened to appear at one point while we were sitting there watching all the colors and the ever-changing clouds.  I thought he was awful cute.

This was one of the last shots I got before we wandered back over to our fire pit to roast some marshmallows and have some S’More’s.  I had just found the sunset setting on the camera at this point.  Made me wanna kick myself for not knowing I had this setting from start to finish in my little impromptu photography session.

Seeing this absolutely marvelous sight unfold before my eyes last night reminded me of just how truly blessed I am.

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