Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Pause For Celebration Of A Different Sort!

Cades Cove Loop Road - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
July 30, 2013

You could look at it in one of two different ways.   You could say that Bill bought me a condo for my birthday or you could say that we stopped in the middle of an extremely stressful week to celebrate my birthday which almost went unnoticed in all the hoopla!  In either case, we did decide on the morning of my birthday that we would do NOTHING related to moving to the condo and simply celebrate in one of the places I love most.  

We were up and out the door very early because we wanted to be at the entrance to the 11 mile Cades Cove Loop road when they opened the gates at sunrise.  Early morning or dusk is known as the best time for viewing wildlife and we were not disappointed.   Literally hundreds of deer were grazing in the morning sun.

The mist was stunning as it slowly lifted revealing those mountain ridges along which I have spent many a day hiking.

We were very fortunate because I can assure you that it is quite rare to ever drive this road and see this far ahead of you with no other vehicle in sight.....................

We made it to the backside of the loop before coming upon what we were REALLY looking for.  She was a mama with an absolutely adorable little cub.  And we were so lucky in that we were the second vehicle to spot her, so we enjoyed about 3-4 minutes of watching them play before other cars started coming up from behind.

Before we knew it, the tourists had arrived in droves and my car was being hemmed in with idiots tourists literally pushing their children forward so they could get in the picture with the bears.  It blows my mind and the best thing for me to do is get out of dodge.  Even that was a challenge as people refused to move to let me out.  Being the extreme claustrophobic that I am, I was headed towards a full blown panic attack, but was finally able to maneuver away from the crowd.  So sad - simply a mom playing with her cub.  Why, oh why, can't we just watch and appreciate rather than antagonize. End of rant!  (And I realize you've heard this rant before.  Sorry!)

After completing the loop, we drove back to our favorite breakfast spot in Townsend, the Firefly Cafe where we enjoyed a quiet, peaceful breakfast as we were the only patrons in the place. This is rare as it is a VERY popular spot.

And then we drove home the long way across the mountain stopping to enjoy the beautiful streams and rivers I love so much. 

As I mentioned, we took the day off from any physical labor related to moving, but that didn't stop us from talking about it.  It was the perfect day and a most wonderful time of birthday celebration. Hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Coming Up For Air!

My Sun Porch - August 11, 2013

It was Bill's idea to put our "mamaw" and "papaw" recliners on the sun porch and it was brilliant.  The recliner facing towards this way is mine and as I write this, I am listening to the rain and trying real hard to keep my eyes open.  I couldn't be more content!  

We are moved and considering the fact that our furniture came only five days ago, we are amazingly settled.  As we come up for air, it's incredible to realize how much we've done in just over a week.  This was all part of the plan and for once, the plan has worked itself out perfectly.  Bill returns to school for fall semester on Wednesday and we hoped to have the condo comfortable and cozy by then.  We've accomplished that even down to having pictures hung with a couple of days to spare!  And the thing is, yes, we've worked like dogs, but have managed to pace ourselves enough that we aren't exhausted.  Mostly we are just grateful and 100% certain that we've done the right thing.  This already feels very much like "home" and returning to our old house yesterday for a few minutes didn't trigger the strong emotions for either of us that we thought it might.  That might change somewhat when we leave it for the last time once it sells, but for now, we just look forward to handing over the keys to someone who will love it for a season like we did!  

The closing on August 1 went off flawlessly.  We arrived at the closing looking like the Clampett's because we were in both cars and they looked somewhat like this......

My RAV4 has sure come in handy.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we elected to move dishes, hanging clothing, pictures, lamps and technology ourselves.  It saved us a bundle of money plus allowed us to have all those things moved and either in place or at least in the room it belonged BEFORE the furniture came.  That decision proved even more brilliant than we knew and was the key to our being this far along in the process.  I have some work left to do in my office once Bill returns to school and there is still some shuffling to do in the garage, but the condo itself is ready for entertaining.  Come on over....................

Thought you might enjoy a few before and after pictures.   Remember I make no claim to being a good photographer.  Some of these don't accurately reflect color or light, but you'll get the gist of it.

 Dining Room

Great Room (the Sun Porch is through the two windows)

Don't have any before pictures of the master bedroom, so here are a couple of "afters."  

My office...................

And what we are calling our "little den."
 The "little den" is the one room in the condo that is less than HALF the size of our den in the old house.  This furniture is HUGE and fairly new.  We love it and didn't want to part with either the sofa or the love seat unless it looked simply horrid in the "little den."  We admit it is a tad crowded, but actually looks better than we thought possible and is simply a cozy little room where we will watch TV, movies, and where I will likely do a lot of reading.  It works and we are very happy with it.

And last, but not least, our kitchen................

I've mentioned several times how excited I am about our kitchen.  It is bigger, brighter and has more counter space than I have ever had.  We love the little breakfast area and then the sun porch is out the door to the right of the breakfast set. That sun porch has already become our sanctuary and our haven.  It is private, it is quiet, it is peaceful.  

Please forgive my lack of support to each of you over the past couple of weeks.  Significant things have happened in many of your lives and I've failed to acknowledge them.  I spent a good deal of time today trying to catch up with some of you and hopefully, I can get back on a better schedule of posting this week.  My birthday passed with little fanfare on July 30, but we did take the day off from anything related to moving and celebrated the day in my beloved Smoky Mountains.  I'll tell you all about that in my next post.  And after that, we'll have some very frank discussion about moving, stress and weight maintenance!

Thanks for YOUR support over the past few weeks!
I appreciate it more than you know.