Monday, December 19, 2011
On The Sixth Day Before Christmas..............................
Laurel Falls - GSMNP
December 17, 2011
My True Love Gave to Me...................
Six hours of an absolutely gorgeous hike. Actually, my true love wasn't technically with me, but he didn't mind my going on a Saturday. Our trek to Laurel Falls, one of the most popular trails in the Smokies, was spectacular following two days of rain and the fact that we were there early enough to NOT share it with anyone else was a gift. Few people venture beyond the falls, but the trail continues another 1.9 miles and promises complete solitude, beautiful views and a serenity beyond compare.
Laurel Falls Trail above the falls
Five more days of hiking between now and midnight on December 31st. Because that will easily allow me to reach my secondary goal of 350 hiking miles in 2011! When I reached the original 300 mile goal by the end of November, I knew that 350 was doable, but adopted an "if it happens, great - if not, that's o.k. too. Barring some unforeseen circumstance, it'll be a done deal! Am I proud?? You better believe it!
Midway point of a recent solo hike on Lumber Ridge Trail
Four days in Nashville. We traditionally plan a trip to celebrate Mr. B's completion of another semester and this year, that celebration will take place in Nashville in order for us to attend a concert in which my sister is singing in a locally secured back-up group for a contemporary Christian group. She is so excited and I'm quite proud of her. We'll also be having dinner with some friends and doing some shopping. We're staying in our favorite cabin, Uncle Pete's at Rockhaven Cabins and I CAN'T WAIT!!
Three weeks of 24/7 "me" time with Mr. B. This could be a gift or a curse depending on how you look at it. Seriously, he turned in his grades Friday at 3:42 and drove away at 5:50 not to return until the end of the first week in January! He finished his last concert performance (he had 15 concerts between October 27th and yesterday) at 5 p.m. Sunday afternoon, I picked him up and we headed to Nashville. For the first time in 9 years, we are NOT going to Florida this year. No particular reason - we just both felt o.k. staying close to home. I see some serious "nesting" in the upcoming days! But then who wouldn't enjoy "nesting" when you've got this to look at?
Our Den - this is the "informal" tree. All decorations were either given to us as gifts or were acquired during our travels.
Two nights of entertaining guests in our home which we LOVE to do especially during the holidays. But the gift my true love gave to me was allowing me to supervise and even make changes to the menu so that I could easily stick to my commitment to Cycle 2 of the 17-day Diet! As you may recall, HE is the gourmet cook who loves to cook for company, but by working together, he selected foods to prepare all of which I could enjoy on that particular evening. And then (bless his heart!) of his own choosing, he made a dessert that he KNOWS I don't like. There was no temptation there and I was able to fully enjoy BOTH evenings without dread or fear of messing up and I can assure you that our guests never knew the difference because the meal was superb!!
And ONE very large trunk of a Kia Spectra where Mr. B has stored every single morsel of the unbelievable amounts of "goodies" he receives from his students and other faculty members at Christmas. He is well-loved by all (including the parents of his students) and you simply would not BELIEVE what he comes home with. It usually begins the night of the Holiday Spectacular which was on December 8th, so a couple of days ago, I finally asked him if students were bringing him stuff and he got this silly grin on his face. And then he said, "well, I cannot tell a lie. Seems there's twice as much this year as usual and it's all either in my office or in the trunk of my car."
And that is precisely why MY TRUE LOVE is a keeper!
Me and Mr. B the day I reached 300 miles! As the song said, "we've got a thing goin' on!"
This will probably be my new "fat" picture and I'm happy to say I've lost 10 pounds since it was taken on November 26. Thank You, 17-Day Diet!!