Monthly Archives: January 2014

alban hills

(that is the name of the farm incase you didn’t know – or if you actually cared).

i mentioned will getting attached by the horses while he was in town.  well the proof is in this post.  it was really muddy when we went out there so we stayed in the kabota and fed them treats from there.  abbey distracted will and penny grabbed the treat bucket and tipped it over.  it was a feast for everyone!  jack was sad so he blocked our path so that he could get some special loving!  he always looks so sad.

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with it getting dark so early it is a little hard to get good pictures of the animals.  but i still love taking my camera trying to get a great shot.

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i know the animals love the treats but it makes me happy that they come running when we get there.  a while ago we went to feed and saw a blue cow.  he was so slate gray he was blue.  by the time we could get a picture of him (his mama was really protective) he has already turned more gray/cream and less blue.  all of the baby cows are getting so big.

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i can’t wait for days to be longer so we can spend more time wandering around and playing with the animals.


I made two more quilts in the month of dec (that might have added to the feelings of being rushed).

one for a coworkers niece:

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and another for one of the mom of one of the doctors.  (the first quilt I got paid for)!

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I am still working on a lot of open projects and hope that this spring and summer I will be able to complete a lot of them….

Dec. 2013

if November was long and exhausting December was just as crazy.

that tree that we brought home from charlotte got put up (not really in a timely manner but it got put up and decorated (finally).  each year at Christmas we have a real tree.  i grew up in a home with a fake tree (we always traveled at Christmas so it didn’t make sense to have a real one) and andy grew up in a family that had a real tree.  we compromised and now we have a real tree (the compromise is that andy will water the devil out of the tree because i am so scared it will catch on fire – too much rescue 911 as a child).  back to my point…each year when andy brings the real tree in the house Otis gets so excited his entire butt wags.  this year he seemed overly excited so we sat him down and explained that the tree wasn’t his and he wrinkled his forehead and dropped his ears and looked at me like i ruined his life.


dec 5th would have been leslie’s 30 birthday.  i can’t believe it.  i miss her so much.  on top of being a little sad anyways it was a day from hell at work.  there were cancelled clinics, emergency case to go to surgery, bumped surgeries because of the emergencies, rude people and nothing went right.  tension was high among all and at the end of the day we all just looked at each other and shook our heads.  it was a train wreck of the day and i was glad to get home and be off that train for a night.  i will say with as bad of a day as it was my coworkers are rock stars and make even the worst day manageable.

the next day i was freaking out because i couldn’t find my camera cord.  i looked everywhere and called all of the places i had been to make sure it didn’t magically jump out of my camera bag.  this panic went on for a few weeks.  (no worries i found it after a few weeks – in my bag that i never unpacked from thanksgiving – that will teach me to not unpack).

dec 7th dr. scott (nat) took the girls to Asheville for our Christmas gift.  we did some shopping and went to grove park inn for dinner.  it was so much fun to hang out with all of the ladies outside of work.  we shopped until we almost dropped and thankfully we ran out of time because we ran out of room in the van.  on the way home we ran into some thick fog and thought we were going to die…but we didn’t.  we laughed and laughed.  i love these ladies!

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i bought a lawn ornament (ok yes i did but i love it and i have no shame).  it is a tobacco stick with two old records melted and painted to look like a flower.  i will post pictures this spring when andy lets me put it in the yard.  he wasn’t all that excited about it.

we put out Christmas decorations.  each year a little more gets added to our yard and i LOVE it.  this year we added a little snowman and some deer to the doghouse and the word noel.  it looked so great.  the wind was really bad so we had some issues with our big snowman and the deer but it all worked out.  one night when i was doing laundry i heard the wind blowing really hard and looked out the window and saw that a deer fell over and the snowman had his head blown back and arms out so it looked like he was praying for the deer.  it was really funny (or maybe you had to be there).

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i will share other Christmas decoration photos of the inside of the house soon (in another post).

Otis had a seizure on thee 21st.  he seems to be doing ok with it and had no lingering effects.  just slows him down for a little bit.  i had this long to do list and in the middle of being productive he had the seizure.

other big news in dec is that we updated our phones.  we both now have iPhones.  i no longer have a flip phone.  it has been a little weird.  i still don’t really use it other than to call, text, and take some pictures.  i don’t really use the internet or anything that will use up data.  just don’t feel right about that for some reason.

we went to a surprise graduation party for david (nat’s husband).

we had Christmas here.  Otis got boots and hated them.  once we get his nails trimmed we will post a video of him wearing them.  he played with Bryson.  they ran in the house and chased each other.  they howled and screamed together.  it was really funny.  my grandmother got a headlight and it was so funny to watch her and my great-aunt open gifts.  Otis also had a blast playing and wouldn’t share with dad even when he got in the floor to play with him.  we were also very thankful that Andrew got back to the states.  he was deployed overseas and it was great to see him and to know that he is “home.”

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we went to charlotte for Christmas.  we had fun with the family.  andy, erik, and Katie got hornets gear and had fun reminiscing with that!  we got the girls a bug this year (ellen is too young to use it but it should last until she is older so that they will get a lot of years out of it.  cj isn’t so good at driving (at least she wasn’t when she got it) hopefully she will get better before she turns 16!

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andy also decided to do no shave november and i didn’t notice until the middle of dec that he still didn’t shave – so he looked pretty shaggy.

a little cousin was born in december:  logan ross made his appearance and him and his mama are healthy and his daddy is proud.

church was crazy.  we had a ton of events that seemed to be unending.  we had the progressive dinners for the youth as well as a ton of special services.

as much as i enjoyed seeing family and friends this wasn’t the best December.  it just went by too quickly and i felt like i wasn’t able to enjoy it like years past.  we didn’t get any Christmas cards out this year and i hate that.  i felt like we rushed and scrambled to “do” Christmas and all we accomplished was barely surviving it.

to celebrate enduring the end of a crazy year, 2013, we went to the cabin for new years eve to relax.  we did nothing but relax.  we went shopping one day for a little bit but the other time we spent playing a new great game – crack the code on the dvd player.  it was bought at an auction and has a parental lock on the dvd player and we couldn’t watch any of our new movies.  we still have a great time.  Otis woke me up one morning and i got to see the sunrise.

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happy end of 2013 and beginning of 2014

nov. 2013

 November was a long month in many ways.

my mom and dad both have birthdays in November.  dad the 5th and mom the 18th.

mom and dad awards

(my mom was awarded nurse of the year!  ok maybe not but she should be!  she was awarded for being at the hospital for so long)

i cried my first time (maybe second time) at work (i mean really cried) because i was so angry at a mean person who wouldn’t stop yelling at me it just frustrated me to tears.  it was also a time i was reminded at how awesome it is to work with wonderful people.

one morning we got a call that my aunt ann passed away.  November 19th.  (i am going to get on a soap box for a few minutes…sorry in advance – listen to your doctors and communicate with your family).  ann was my only “real” aunt.  my mom was an only child and my dad only had the one sister.  sure i had several great aunts but she was my only real aunt.  i have so many memories of her – good and not great.  i can remember when we stayed in tn for part of the summer that sometimes we got lucky and would go to her house to eat dinner and spend the night (if my grandparents had meetings).  we would make personal pizzas from scratch and would set up our tables (ironing board with a sheet over it) and would watch movies with her.  it was something that we didn’t get to do often, but will and i enjoyed it when we got to.  i remember baking with her growing up.  i remember helping at the green house when i was little (planting and helping deliver).  i remember many conversations with her and her support.

there are some iffy memories in there too that aren’t as positive…i remember the time that i offered to help her at the green house after we moved and she snickered and laughed at me because it “wasn’t my thing” and the unending comments about city people and country people.  but in a time of mourning and death i think it is customary to try to push those out of ones mind.  looking back those things don’t change the fact that she was my aunt and i loved her and i will miss her.

the other day we were standing in the green house and it was very surreal (as death is to me) knowing that she isn’t coming back.  i looked around and part of me was mad that she didn’t take care of herself better and that she wouldn’t listen to what the doctors told her and she was so guarded with her personal life that nothing we could say would change her mind about that.  that was who she was and at her funeral that was the message that we got.  even in her stubbornness she was who she was.  in those moments of anger it made me think of her funeral and at her funeral we laughed.  we told Jamie to keep it light and real and he did.  it was the most beautiful memorial service and the perfect send off.  in the good and not great, and the anger and laughter, and expectations met and not met there was love and at the end of the day that is what i choose to cling to.


my aunt was an organ donor at the time she passed away and i was the one that talked to the screening people at the donation organization.  i am an organ donor because i like the idea and thoughts behind it.  i will be honest i never really knew what that meant.  i never really thought about what that means for the people that are left behind.  while i understand completely the need for the questions i was asked, somewhere in the middle of the million and a half questions i thought i have no idea on some of these answers.  on my soap box i would like to tell everyone and anyone who will listen – talk to your family…make sure they know your history and wishes as detailed as possible.  after i got off the phone (an hour conversation) i was exhausted.

will came for the memorial service (actually the service was delayed 10 minutes waiting on him since his plane was delayed.  we took him to the farm and it was so funny.  the ganged up on him and tried to take the treats.  i will post pics of the farm in another post.  but here are a few with the family.

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it snowed.

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church harvest auction with guests jed and lisa.


thanksgiving happened. it was later this year and to be honest it was bad.  it made me lose a week before Christmas and that was so bad.  we went to charlotte for thanksgiving and it was great to see family and friends.  andy was glad to see tall buildings.  we got to see cj and ellen which is always fun and an adventure.  i had another allergic reaction to thanksgiving dinner but i was prepared and had medicine on hand to stop the itching.  i think i have it narrowed down to what dish i am allergic too, but still researching that.  who knows?!  cj wanted to take pictures with my camera.  i only had a mild heart attack when she almost dropped it so from now on if she has my camera the strap has to stay around her neck (she is ok with this).  she took mostly blurry photos and picks of people’s knees but with a little help she can center people and take a good photo.

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we also went black Friday shopping.  it was great to be so close to stores…

we also got our tree from the church and brought it back to tn with us.  it was really funny watching all of the cars go back towards charlotte with trees from the mountains and we left charlotte and took our tree to the mountains.  it was very scary for me.  i had a slight freak out when we left charlotte and could envision our tree rolling off the top and taking out all the cars around us.  so i kept an eye on it.

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we made it home with no trouble.

the only other thing i can think of is that andy trashed ace of base (i love ace of base and am still slightly upset over that) but, that pretty much wraps up an exhausting November.

oct. 2013

in an attempt to catch things up to start the new year out right i am going to sum up month by month (i think).

oct 15th 2013:  Otis turned 10.  we had a birthday cake (which translate to wet food) and he got a new toy that he loved.

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we did a lot with the church:

Greeneville homecoming game, regular youth group, youth at one of the families homes, went to the pumpkin patch (and froze).

went to the charlotte races.

andy made our first chili for the cooler weather.  i told him what to get at the store but told him to use common sense and don’t make a ton.  i got home and he made like 10 pounds of chili.  we ate it for weeks.  i am over chili for a while.

several people celebrated oct. birthdays and unfortunately we couldn’t celebrate in person with all of them…but we love them all.

well i guess that pretty much wraps up Oct.  (I will be honest – i am sure that things happened that i am forgetting about…but i think i did good for remembering that much).

road kill blues

growing up we had cats.  with the exception of a few months we weren’t without a pet.  until 1998 our cats were outdoor/indoor cats.  when we got Oscar and leo in 1998 our kitties became indoor cats only.

I never had a pet get hit by a car.  we had to put a few to sleep because of illness and I lost count of all the fish that we had to flush because they were found floating upside down.  we also had a hamster pass (in his food bowl).  all that to say that I have had several pets pass away or die…but none from being road kill.

I know several of my friends that had pets get hit by cars (and it was just heartbreaking to go through that with them).  the saddest of all was gracie (Otis’ beagle aunt).  so now each time I see a pet on the side of the room it just makes me sad.  it makes me think about the owner that is at home without their furry child/friend/sibling/family member.  it makes me wonder why was the animal close to the road?  did the person who hit the animal stop?  did they cry?  it breaks my heart a little bit each time.

my ramble is to say that in charlotte and in Greeneville we see animals on the side of the road all the time.  it might be a bird, raccoon, opossum, deer, dog, cat, bunny, snakes (when we see those it kind of makes me want to back up to make sure they are dead).  it is a part of life and something that it still makes me a little sad, but it is something that I see all the time so I tend to not get upset as much.  when we first moved we hit a bunny (I think) and I sobbed all the way home and thought andy was going to have to pull over so that I could puke on the side of the road.  it broke my heart.

several months ago there was a boom of baby ground hogs.  I would see 4 little ones on the way to lunch and 1 huge one on the way to and from work.  he was so fat and would sit on the side of the road in the midst of kudzu and just watch the cars go by.  he was so big and dark brown that he stood out in the green long before i got to him.  the way he sat and the way he observed the world humanized him to me and made me laugh.  I looked forward to going home and would look for him in the lush green.  one day as I approached his usual sitting place I saw that he wasn’t in his normal spot but something caught my eye and I realized he was in the road.  he was gone.  I was alone in the car and I cried all the way home.  I don’t know why he meant so much to me (and while I write and ponder this…I don’t know that he was actually a “he”).  I don’t know why i was so delusional to think of the little critter as my friend.  I loved seeing him play and watch the world in his own world that was shared with mine.  I don’t know why he wondered into the road that day after years of watching cars go by and surly understanding how dangerous it was on that pavement, but he did.  he was gone and i was left mourning with the road kill blues.