Enjoying life's adventures in a secluded mountain cabin

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The Snow Queen

Please allow me to properly introduce myself.  I am known around these parts as The Snow Queen.  Some love me, most hate me, but everyone knows who I am and they know who to blame, or thank, when the fluffy white stuff starts flying up here in the mountains.  I love snow and all things related to Winter.

To me, there are very few things in life quite as lovely as watching tiny little ice sculptures fall gracefully from the sky and land peacefully on the earth to form a bright, white blanket over everything as far as the eye can see.  Day or night, this spectacle never ceases to arouse great joy and happiness somewhere deep in my soul that somehow manifests itself into a giddy little giggle, followed closely by some sort of jumping for joy and clapping my hands together, while smiling the widest of smiles that my mouth can create.

I’m told this is quite a sight to see.  A grown woman exuding the happiness of a child.  What can I say?  I’m just a big kid at heart.  Especially when it comes to snow!  Allow me to share what my eyes saw today here at the cabin.

Snow covered woods

The ridge up behind the cabin

The red, white and blue

The pièce de résistance

And I just happened to see this a few minutes ago.  Talk about purple mountain’s majesty!

Nature at its finest!


Our Respective Corners

Everyone has stuff in their life that means something special to them.  An object in your home.  A picture hanging on your wall.  A favorite pillow.  A warm, cozy throw.  A coffee cup that always brings a smile to your face whenever you reach for it in the morning.   Your favorite writing pen.  A familiar scent that permeates your home.  Your favorite pair of slippers.  Things in life that make us feel comfortable.  Certain little rituals that make our days feel rich and welcoming and our nights feel safe and comfortable.

Some of my most favorite things in this world either didn’t cost me a single penny or were very cheap.  One such thing is the comfort level that exists between Mountain Man and myself.  In our cabin, we each have our “spots”.  He has his big comfy chair and I have my corner of the couch.  Each of us has our little spot well equipped with things we might need while relaxing.  Writing utensils and paper for jotting down ideas, thoughts, recipes, or “to do” lists, the weather station, chap stick, our guns, a small flashlight, ammo, a tiny turtle carved from soap stone and a tiny plastic dinosaur, reading materials, tissue, and the trusty old computer is always beside one of us.  Occasionally, other items will find their way into our little corners of the cabin, but for the most part, the items listed above are staples that are always nearby.

We have been known to share each other’s space from time to time and we will completely swap sides on occasion, too.  But we always end up back in our respective spots in the house.  And I’m not real sure I’d have it any other way.  Well, there is this set of matching his and hers recliners that I’ve envisioned in my head, strategically placed in front of a big screen tv, with a common table between us and a smaller one on either side of us for all of our individual things.  Talk about the ultimate Sunday football experience!!!



Before Dark

We did it!  We finally did it!  Mountain Man and I finally made it home from work before dark today!  That may not sound like much to celebrate to a lot of y’all out there, but I actually got to walk around out in the yard for a few minutes this evening.  I got to see my mountains all around me and breathe in the fresh air.  I got to feel the grass and mud beneath my feet and hear the sounds of nature all around me.

Oh, how I’ve missed doing this.  I don’t get to see the light of day where I work and it’s dark when we leave in the mornings and usually dark when we get home in the afternoons.  It rained here at the cabin all last weekend so I couldn’t get my nature fix then, either.  Getting to walk around the cabin for just a few minutes this evening has been one of the highlights of the last two weeks for me.

What can I say?  It’s the little things in life.

Sunday Morning Routines

Sunday mornings around the cabin are, for the most part, pretty laid back.  They’re usually planned around a football game or a NASCAR race, depending on what time of year it is.  We don’t really follow any sort of strict guidelines for getting things done on this most sacred of days.  We just kinda roll with it and go with the flow and somehow, miraculously in the end, we get everything done that needs to get done.

Going back to work has presented new challenges for me.  I’m a planner and Mountain Man is not.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but I just don’t operate very well on a willy-nilly schedule.  He, on the other hand, thrives on it.  The funny thing about his methods that has always surprised me is that he never, ever gets in a hurry, but he always finishes whatever it is he sets out to do.  It’s just always done in his own sweet time.  He doesn’t get stressed out, he doesn’t get spastic, he doesn’t lose his cool.  He just works at his own pace and it all comes together exactly how he intends for it to.

As I already said, I’m a planner.  I like schedules.  I like routines.  They make my inner psyche less psychotic.  I like to know that I’m gonna be doing this chore on this day of the week at this time of day.  I like knowing that on this particular day of the week, I’m gonna strip the linens off our bed, get ’em in the wash, and then remake the bed with freshly laundered sheets that smell just heavenly and make me wanna sink down as deep as I can get into our bed at the end of the day and just breathe in the freshness.  Have I mentioned that one of my favorite little things in this life is a freshly made bed with clean linens?

I think I might’ve gotten off topic there.  Oops.  Sorry.  That’s gonna happen from time to time.

Sunday mornings.  Oh yeah, that’s where I was.  Anyway, we’ve recently added another thing to our Sunday routine here at the cabin.  I’m cheap and I think Mountain Man has a tendency to wanna save money, too.  I don’t wanna call him cheap because I’m not sure if he’d take that as a compliment or an insult.  But me, I’m definitely cheap.  I rarely ever buy anything unless it’s on sale and even then, it’s gotta be one heck of a sale for me to fork over the cash.  So with all my cheapness and Mountain Man’s love of saving money, we buy two Sunday papers every week and we each take one and clip coupons while we’re watching football or a race.  After all the other chores that we take care of on Sunday mornings, by the time we get around to clipping coupons, it’s actually nice to just sit together and do this little chore.

Sometimes, we don’t even speak.  We just sit there and clip together.  And for us, it works.  It’s not that we never do anything exciting or spontaneous, but I think he and I are a lot alike in that we’re both creatures of habit and we both like knowing that our significant other can handle just sitting in a room with one another, doing absolutely nothing, and be blissfully happy.

Some couples do date nights.  Some meet each other for lunch through the week.   Mountain Man and I, we spend quality time together whenever we can.  Even if it’s over two Sunday papers, two pairs of scissors, and pile of coupons.

Looking Beyond


I think I might’ve mentioned my love of snow once or twice before and I really wish I wasn’t feeling so gash darn lazy today so I could’ve trekked next door to get a better picture of the mountain range to our east.  But, I’m in my nice, comfy, cozy, pink pj’s, enjoying some post season football, and I just really didn’t feel like it.  So, I took this picture from our deck.  It may not be a clear shot to the high peaks far off in the distance, but I think the varying shades from the branches in the foreground add depth and dimension to the photo.  Plus, y’all get a better understanding of what I see when I look out the windows of the cabin everyday.  Mountain Man and I are truly are blessed to live in such a beautiful part of the world.

Cold Feet

Have you ever had cold feet?  And no, I’m not referring to that feeling of dread and impending doom one gets when one is about to either a) walk down the aisle to one’s future husband, or b) wait at the end of the aisle for one’s future wife.  I’m talking about actual cold feet.  And not just your average oh, my feet are cold, so I’ll got put some socks on cold feet.  I’m talking about the oh, my feet are cold so I’ll go put some wool socks on, along with some wool lined slippers, prop them up in front of the fireplace and pray for my toes to thaw out kind of cold feet.

Well, for whatever reason, I’ve experienced this more often than not in the past few weeks.  Maybe I’m getting old.  Maybe my circulatory system is failing me.  Maybe I have a weird brain tumor that makes me think my feet are cold, but in reality, they’re just as warm as the rest of me.  Or maybe, it’s just been really cold and my feet, along with my hands, are two of the last parts of my body to get warm.

It was bitterly, bitterly cold this past weekend and the first part of this week.  Single digit temps with cold, howling winds and snow.  Not the two or three feet of snow that we had last year, this storm only brought about three inches with it.  But, the biting cold set in for a few days and it felt like it was never gonna warm back up.  Waking up to 30 degrees a couple of mornings ago felt like a heat wave!

My feet have finally thawed out and I’ve ruled out problems with my circulatory system, or any strange brain tumors that might be impeding my ability to accurately gauge body temperatures, or that pesky idea that I might be getting old.  After a high of 22 on Monday, it’s supposed to get up to almost 60 today!  You gotta love living in the North Carolina mountains.


The Mountain and The Rest Of The World

Not a lot of people like winter around here.  Most of them actually hate this time of year.  Even if they think the snow is pretty to look at, they hate having to navigate the winding mountain roads when the weather’s bad.  I am not one of these people.  I actually don’t mind driving in the snow.  And driving in a snow storm at night ranks right up there on my list of little things that I love so much.  I love Winter and everything about it.  However, that being said, living up here on the side of one of these mountains has given me a whole new appreciation for driving in the snow, or up here, driving anywhere from a few days to a week after the snow.

We can pretty much count on getting the fluffy, white stuff if there’s even the slightest indication of it in our local forecast.  It’ll snow up here when it’s not snowing anywhere else.  It’s really amazing.  At the bottom of the mountain, or civilization, as some like to refer to it, it’ll be dry as a bone and nothing going on.  About half way up the mountain, the flakes begin to fly and by the time I get to our house, it looks like someone’s shook up a snow globe!  For this snow lover, it’s really a wonderful life up here.

Looking at a mountain range far off in the distance after a snow storm and seeing that part of the mountain has melted and is back to its regular brown Winter color and the other part is still snowy white, blanketed in the glorious fluffy, white stuff has always been stunning and gorgeous to me.  Especially when the setting sun casts the last colors of daylight on one of these mountains.  Vivid, deep purples, bright magentas, and shades of auburn that appear to change with each curve of the mountain and the various shades of white and brown.  But after living up here, near the top of one of these majestic mountain ranges, I’ve found that I have a new appreciation for this phenomenon.

There are distinct lines between winter and fall after the warm, Winter sun has melted part of the mountain.  Driving along the windy road, one side of the forest floor will be snowy white, while the other side will be filled with all the rich brown, earthy colors of Fall.  And it changes with each twist and turn in the road.  At certain points, it’s Winter on the left and Fall on the right.  Then, as you wind your way higher, just beyond the next bend in the road, Fall’s on the left and Winter’s now on the right.  It’s really quite amazing.

The drawback to all this beauty is that parts of the mountain melt completely away, leaving no trace of the slick snow, ice, and slush, while other parts melt just enough to form what should be considered an Olympic sport arena where instead of wearing skates, people drive 4×4 vehicles, sometimes equipped with chains, to compete for gold medals.  I’m pretty sure Mountain Man would take the gold each and every year in this event.

I had never been afraid of driving on slick roads in my life until I started trying to drive on these roads up here.  Even on a good day, these roads aren’t for the faint of heart.  I’ve been told that there are grown men who won’t drive down our driveway in the snow!  But I have.  I’ve done it a few times.  It’s not that bad as long as you’ve got all the right equipment.  You know, a four-wheel drive vehicle, a really good set of tires, the ability to actually drive in the snow, and for me, the ability to pray and drive at the same time.  I get real close to God this time of year.   However, just because I’ve done it, does not mean I wanna do it again.

I’m supposed to go out this morning and I just really don’t know if I’m gonna try it or not.  I’m missing some of the necessary equipment required to get me safely to the bottom.  My tires are not the best in the world and the thoughts of going down the parts of the mountain that didn’t melt at all yesterday make me wanna go crawl back in bed and hide under the covers.

So here I sit, debating back and forth, the pros and cons of going out this morning.  The sun’s just coming up over the mountains to the East and the Carolina blue sky is dotted with a few high puffy clouds.  It’s another one of those beautiful NC mornings.  Snow or no snow, slick road or dry, I know just how lucky I am to live here in this little cabin, on the side of this mountain, with my Mountain Man.




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