Thursday, February 25, 2010

Our In-town Activities

This Winter/Spring, Mark and Steven are both getting back to their artistic roots.  Mark is directing a play for the Brevard Little Theatre.  It is Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie". In his earlier life, Mark lived in Manhattan and worked--mostly designing sets and costumes, but some directing, too--for off-Broadway theatre.  He actually got to work with Mr. Williams on one of his last plays, "Something Cloudy, Something Clear", so Mark will definitely bring something special to his direction of "Menagerie".  Weekend performances are scheduled 2-11 April at the Brevard Little Theatre.
Steven, a former architect and graphic designer (among MANY other things) is taking a 6-week sculpture class at the Carlwile-Dodson Studio for Pottery Instruction.  The class's first project is a bas-relief piece.  In addition to the 6 week classes, they offer 3-week classes, Try-Pottery-for-One-Night, Pottery Camp (in Summer) and more.  They are a part of Mud Dabbers Pottery, a great place for pottery lovers to shop.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Dogs' Great Adventure

This happened in the Spring a few years ago.  We didn't have the blog then, but it is such a good story, I am sharing it now.  We owned Ash Grove, but weren't living on the property yet; we were house-sitting for Mark's sister and bro-in-law, closer to town...

I arrived at the house around 8pm, opened the garage door, and went into the house.  Ozzie (60lb Basset hound) and Ernie (12lb Dachshund) were out front marking their territories.  Ozzie came in, but Ernie stayed out.  I was just getting ready to go get him, when he started barking like crazy.  Ozzie followed suit, and tore out of the house.  I went outside, just in time to see them disappear around the corner of the house in the direction of the woodpile.  They were both barking furiously.  Just as I started to go after them, Ozzie came flying back around the corner of the house, still barking furiously.  Right on his tail was Ernie, still barking, and right on Ernie's tail was a bear!  I yelled and waved my arms and the bear stopped in its tracks.  The boys got behind me, each one peeking out from behind my legs, still barking furiously. The bear turned around and disappeared back around the corner.  I got both dogs in the house, then phoned Mark to tell him the story (he was still at Ash Grove).  I decided to see if the bear was still around, so I went out on the back patio and crept around to the gate to the side yard.  There, by the woodpile, was the bear--and 3 cubs.  Thinking they would leave, I yelled at them and the 3 cubs teleported up 3 trees, while Mom glared at me very menacingly.  I went back in the house rather quickly.  I went to a window overlooking the side yard just in time to see the cubs shinnying down the trees.  I couldn't resist, so I yelled again, and back up the trees went the cubs.  A few minutes later they came back down, and all 4 of them sauntered off thru the woods.
That was my only bear sighting since we have been here (we have never seen one--or sign of one--at Ash Grove).  I would have enjoyed the sighting much more if Mama Bear hadn't been so close on my boys' tails.  I definitely needed a cocktail (or 2) afterwards.
The Ferocious Bear-Chasing Dogs, Relaxing

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Time for a Change

This winter has been unusual, to say the least.  Since Dec 1st, our high temperature has been well below average for 55 of the 76 days--bummer!  We have had more snow this winter than in our previous 7 winters here, combined.  Some of the natives say that it is the worst one in over 40 years.  I know that we are not alone here--most of the rest of the country is the same way.  The snow that we had on Valentine's Day was one of those very pretty, stuck-to-everything kind of snows, but fortunately, it melted off the roads and other surfaces yesterday.  Maybe if we all meditate on this spring photo from years past, we can hurry spring along.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ice Storm!

We had the first ice storm in a couple of years this weekend.  Three inches of new snow (on top of the couple of inches that were left from last weekend's snow storm), topped with a good 1/2 inch of ice, made for a harrowing afternoon and night on Friday.  Every 20-30 seconds, what sounded like a rifle shot would echo through the mountains when a tree branch would snap and fall to the ground (or worse, get hung up in the tree, so that we will have to get the treeman here).  Less frequently, would be the cannon-shot BOOM! of an entire tree giving up its struggle against the weight of the ice, crashing to earth.  In surveying the damage, we found ourselves lucky.  No trees or massive branches fell on any of the cabins, bathhouse, office or our vehicles, just lots of small stuff.  The good news is that our campers will have mass quantities of free kindling this camping season, and there will be less leaves for us to blow and rake this October.

P.S. Our winter cabin special is on--mention this post and receive $20/night off the regular rate of any cabin (2-night stay or longer) until 4 March 2010!