happy halloween!

update: we had about 50 trick-or-treaters within about an hour and a half!

(he is thrilled, obviously, with his costume. best picture i could get. he is a cat, after all!)


apple hat

this is the cutest thing i think i have ever created. :)


taking time to smell the roses

update!!! here is the picture of my rose from my mammogram. (after it recovered from being wilted.)

today i had my first mammogram. it had a few unpleasant moments, but was not that bad. my physician felt that with my family history it would be a good idea to have a baseline. october is national breast cancer awareness month, and as a result, the imaging group handed out long stem roses to every woman who got a mammogram this month. (mine is hot pink! and, currently, a bit wilted.)

after leaving my appointment, i headed over to the biltmore (which was almost just across the street) to view the gardens at the conservatory (and get my money's worth out of my season pass). i had no idea the roses would still be blooming, so i was able to enjoy the fall flowers and summers last hoorah in the rose garden. it is too bad that you can't scratch and sniff these roses. the air was warm and fragrant with a blend of all the roses. the bees were happy today, too, buzzing from flower to flower. after touring the gardens, i walked back in through the conservatory and enjoyed what was in the cool house. i am about to share a lot of pictures. i would have tried to write down the names of the roses, but there were just too many. so just enjoy the pictures (and know there are many more where these came from).

fall flowers

can you imagine planting all of these mums?

summer's remnants
there was a happy bee in this rose

no, it isn't a rose... this summer the pergolas were used for growing cucumbers and zucchini.

the conservatory


shift work

there are many new studies that suggest that working the night shift can adversely affect the health of nurses and other individuals who work in the dark hours of the night. while working nights obviously interrupts normal sleep patterns (which genious figured that one out, right?), the lack of sleep and interruption in circadian rhythms can make us dislike our jobs, at increased risk for depression, and is a "probable carcinogen," which places it in the same category as asbestos and cigarettes. one article i viewed stated that the effects of night shift on a body were the same as smoking a pack of cigarettes per day. now, i am not sure i believe that, but they do relate the increased risk of cancer to the disruption of melatonin secretion. anyway, all of this is to say that night shift can take a toll on the body.

do you know what i realized the other day? because i work night shift, i have seen more sunrises than most. it is so difficult to get up early enough to watch a sunrise, but i am able to see them while at work or driving home. here in the mountians, they are quite beautiful. the other morning, while the moon was just past full, it was still up as the sun was rising. i could not see the sun from my back porch, but you can see it shining on the mountain, as well as the moon in the sky on its way down. i realized that if i did not work night shift, i would miss many of God's gifts and visual displays of His Creation.

3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? -Psalm 8: 3-4


here's a sneak "peak"

it is that time of year again! i love fall and all of the changing colors and temperatures that accompany this season. after our camping excursion, jay and i suspected that the mountain leaves would be changing soon. so sunday evening (after i finally woke up from my long nap), we grabbed some dinner and drove up on the blue ridge parkway towards mt. pisgah. we were able to capture some beautiful pictures just before the sun went down. jay took most of these and is slowly beginning to master how to use our camera to the best of its ability. (whereas i am an "auto" sort of picture taker.) here are some of the views from sunday's trip.

today, while jay was working, the dogs and i took another drive up the parkway and got a few more pictures while the sun was still shining. the girls enjoyed the ride, with the wind in their faces, and i enjoyed the drive up and back. mostly. word has definitely gotten around that it is "leaf season" and people were out in droves... my favorites were the ones who thought the overlooks were too crowded, so they just drove slowly past the "pretty views" and the guy who went 20 mph through the tunnels. thankfully, he pulled over so others could pass. anyway... the drive was pleasant and the day was perfect for pictures.







a camping we will go!

we took a little camping trip last night up on mt. pisgah. steven, kelly, and harley came with us, too. even cotton and barley came. we all had a good time except for cotton. and probably kelly and steven while they were trying to sleep (it was cold and they only had 2 sleeping bags and no padding between themselves and the ground.) but cotton did not enjoy herself. she really doesn't like real fires because they make those (nice, lovely) crackling noises. she is still gun-shy so she shakes every time she hears a really loud noise. and barley made sure to growl or bark everytime she heard people walking near us. but we had fun sitting around the fire... including roasting marshmallows. they were yummy. harley even told us a "ghost story." he held his flashlight below his chin and it went something like this... "once upon a time there was a really mean girl. she slumped down a tree and ate everyone's food. and then no one saw her again. muah-ah-ah-ah." it was cute. i, unfortunately, did not get any pictures of him telling his story. kelly did and she got some of the girls so i will have to borrow her memory card and post some of her pictures later this week. jay took a few pictures so you can see them.

and i finished knitting my very first adult-sized hat. i made it to match my scarf that i made last year. i think it turned out pretty well for my first attempt. we tried to get my picture with the mountains in the background, but i was either too dark and you could see the mountains or i was too light and you couldn't see the mountains. so we took one of me next to the fj60 instead. (if you look closely, you can see barley in the back window and cotton in the window behind me!)

(and the leaves are just beginning to change. we are hoping to go up next weekend for some leaf pictures and to maybe catch a sunset.)

the non-thank-you flower

so in the south apparently you are not allowed to say thanks for any flower that comes from someone else's yard. if someone gives you a flower or plant or bulb that they have transplanted for you, you never say thank you. it is said to be bad luck and that said flower/plant will die or do poorly. my grandmother gave me these trumpet vines back in july when we were back in tennessee visiting. i have yet to transplant them into my own yard because i don't know exactly where i want them. one of them bloomed in late summer. two of them budded and did nothing. and this one opened this much and then never opened any further. but they are pretty and i wanted to share a couple of pictures.