Archive for the ‘The Great Outdoors’ Category

Quiet time

January 15, 2012

Decided to share a couple of photos from my walk today. I started slightly downhill from Covenant College and followed the trail to Jackson Spring. It was about 30 min each way and the weather today was perfect: sunny and crisp. I hope to explore a few more trails in the near future and will share any photos or fun anecdotes that may arise. The spring was a little robust thanks to all the recent rain. Hope this comes out ok, doing it all on my phone…


Picnic Photos

September 12, 2010

We went to Centennial Park tonight with our small group. It has been a beautiful evening and I wanted to share a couple of photos of Parker that were taken. Hope you all had a restful Sunday!


September 9, 2010

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We had a large tree removed from our property this morning. It occupied the kids’ entire agenda for the day – which was great for me!  They came at 8:30 and stayed until after 3:30!  The tree, which was not dead in the least, had a large crack down the center of the trunk, which, apparently, was extremely dangerous.  Who knew??  It killed me to have it taken down, but it had to be done. I had indigestion all morning.  They fixed the fence, as you can see, which I was glad of. 

In other news, Maryellen is doing great – eating, sleeping, pooping…what more can I ask for? 🙂  We’re still up 2 times a night and once reeeeally early in the morning, but I’m a little more used to it. You should never have to get used to no sleep…it’s just wrong.  I took a 2 hr nap this afternoon from 4-6 and I’ll still be fine to go to bed tonight. Love it. However, she’s a great baby and does not confuse her days and nights. Goes right back to sleep after she’s eaten – no complaints!

The boys are doing great as well – the picture of the two of them on the rocking chair reading just warms my heart – they can coexist without killing each other!  Alone, on the other hand, they’re darn near lethal – Av ran headlong into the doorframe of his bedroom this afternoon and gave himself one heluva good goose-egg on his forehead.  I’ll try to post a picture of it later – it’ll be with us for several days. Black eye to follow for sure. He’s why we took the better of the options for our insurance.

I’m as short on words as I am on sleep, but wanted to post a few happenings for ya.  Enjoy – more to follow later. – Jen

Ski Trip (Part two)

January 29, 2010

We had a restless night on Wednesday due to howling wind outside and noisy neighbors overhead. We were concerned that the wind would ruin our day. Avery’s ski school is located at the absolute most windy spot on the top of the mountain. Our fear is that he would become a human kite and blow off the mountain. Thankfully, there was another affiliated ski school a little further down the mountain and thus somewhat protected from the high winds at the top. We never knew the cause, but the power went out on top of the mountain that morning as well causing the ski lifts to be useless elevated chairs. One ski patrol chap speculated that some of the locals might have been shooting at the power line insulators proving that rednecks exist in every corner of the world.

The only open lifts (and thus the only open slopes) were “down the hill” at the Silver Creek ski area. This area is much smaller and became more crowded quickly, but at least we were able to ski. Avery had a positive ski school report on his ability to make turns and was much more steady on his feet, however he tired quickly. He himself admitted that he refused to make his “Pizza Wedge” (the ubiquitous snowplow) at the end of the lesson because he was tired. The morning cleared nicely and during nap time, Jen was able to ski solo. Thankfully, power was restored and the rest of the mountain was open. Hopefully she’ll comment on her alone ski time.

After an excellent nap time, we had our third and final trip to the indoor pool and dinner out at “The Junction.” Apparently, potato prices are at an all-time low as we were served around 4 pounds of french fries as the side dishes.

This morning, we left out at about 10:30 and had a nice trip. I really wanted to drive all the way home today, but by the time we made it to Bristol, there was already 2 inches of snow in Nashville with more on the way. We’re camped out again in Johnson City, TN with no real idea of when we’ll make it home. We stopped at Hardee’s on the way home as we were getting tired of Arby’s. It had been at least 10 years since I had stepped foot in a Hardees. Growing up in Oxford, we had possibly the world’s nastiest, dirtiest, grossest, funkiest Hardees ever. In the 10+ years since then, Hardees has really improved. Their burgers and fries were really pretty good and I’d recommend a visit to those who have had similar experiences as I had in the past. (Again, can I get paid for some advertising?? Maybe if >3 people ever visited this site…)

Ski Trip (Part one)

January 27, 2010

The Mixons have temporarily relocated to West Virginia for a vacation. We wanted to go skiing and wanted to go out west. Alas, due to the recent economy… Wait, the economy has nothing to do with the fact that I’m still making beans and we’re heavily in debt. Oh well, going out west was not an option so we chose West Virginia. Jen had read a write-up on Snowshoe Mountain in Southern Living and we found that 1) we could drive there and 2) it was a little cheaper. Long story short, here we are.

We left Sunday evening after Jen got off work and drove to Johnson City, TN. There we stayed with the Bridgforths (long-time family friends of the Wells). After a nice time of catching-up and a scrumptious breakfast quiche, we headed up here.Monday night brought hard winds with blowing snow.  Tuesday was somewhat disappointing as the weather continued to be rough. Cold, blowing snow with wind over 15-20mph most of the day. In addition, the pool didn’t open until 2PM (really?)

Wednesday has been 100x better. We decided not to ski Tuesday and pushed our lift tickets to Wed/Thurs instead. After eating a heart-healthy breakfast of Honey Nut Cheerios (I wish I could get paid for all this free advertising), we set out. Parker was the only child in the daycare, but he didn’t mind as they had a much larger Lightning McQueen than we own. Avery went to Ski School (pictures to follow as I don’t have a cable for the camera). Jen and I refreshed our ski-muscles on the bunny slope a few times prior to attacking the green slopes. Make all the fun you want, but I know my limits. The ski-muscle refresher for me (Avery) wasn’t quite enough. Needless to say, the first long, big hill that I encountered caused a bit of panic and I ate it (moderately). This first slope that we tried also had a warning sign (un-heeded) that they were currently “making snow” on this slope. That amounted to a huge pipe spraying a fine mist in the air every 200 or so feet. So, I’m careening down this big hill with very little confidence. Every minute or so, there’s this smoke screen of artificial snow that I cannot see through (much more powder-like than the rest of the snow), and then there’s this big (probably not all that big really) drop-off. My skis dig in to this nice, soft snow and decided to stay put. I did not. Spread eagle, flying-squirrel like face plant into the snow. Thankfully, no one saw except several woodland creatures. I think I might have accidentally killed a few of them with my antics. To add insult to injury, I landed right underneath one of these snow-blowers. As I struggle to stand-up, find my skis, find my poles and reassemble both my dignity and ski costume, I’m quickly becoming covered in a fine mist of rapidly-freezing water. I felt like the liquid metal terminator (T2), just waiting for the slightest thing to cause me to shatter into a million pieces. I finally reestablished a vertical position only to fall twice more on this slope. Jennifer was laughing like Randy laughing at the deranged Easter Bunny costume (the pink nightmare–click below for reminder) as I must have looked funny. Covered in a shell of ice. Thankfully, no photos here.

The remainder of the day was much better. Had to get that one out of my system. The day was clear and milder than the previous 2 and the wind was not a bother. No more significant falls and I don’t think Jen fell once, not that I was counting. We went to meet Avery at Ski School and the instructor told us 2 things: 1) He was really sweet and respectful and 2) he needs to be in the beginner class again tomorrow. To cut him some slack, he did spend the first 60% of his life in Tampa and he’s not even 4 yet. After lunch, the boys fell asleep hard and it was my turn to go solo skiing while jen stayed with the boys during naptime. Had some great runs (no falls) with nice weather. The slopes here have been really nice and comparable to what I have seen out west (2 resorts >11years ago for what it’s worth).

After a dip in the pool this afternoon, it’s bedtime at last. Will write about the remainder of the vacation after it actually happens and include photos. Stay Tuned…

Smokies Hiking Trip 2009

November 12, 2009

While the ladies manned the fort (8 kids), we went hiking on the Appalachian Trail. We put in at Newfound Gap in the heart of Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We hiked northbound on the trail for 5days/4nights. We were weather channel savvy and hiked to the first shelter prior to the monsoon that arrived the first day. Thankfully, we stayed fairly dry. We had gusty rain through the majority of the night.

The following morning (Wednesday), was clear and cool. The hike took us by Charlie’s Bunion and over the sawteeth. Vistas were clear and beautiful. Several spots gave a 180-degree view. I’ll post some photos without many captions (too much effort involved). We hiked shelter-to-shelter backing off a little from the mileage obtained in the previous years. This made for a more relaxed experience. You will notice that there is a photo of a grouse. his name is Ricardo (don’t know how he earned that one) and he is a resident of the TriCorner Knob shelter metro area. Saw lots of bear scat but no bears. I do want to put a plug in for the new sleeping pad I bought this year. It is the REI Lite-Core 1.5. This pad was worth every penny. Light, compact, luxurious. I was not paid by REI to say that, but wouldn’t refuse it if they like the publicity.

The hikers this year were Andy Wells, Micah Lewis, Chad Bailey, and myself. We also had some rain on our hike out of the park, but a steak dinner made it tolerable.

All in all a great trip. Fun Facts about Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN:

1. These two towns have a pancake restaurant/resident ratio of 3:1. I was amused and counted twelve dedicated pancake establishments as we drove the main drag of Pigeon Forge. This is not counting the Shoney’s and TWO Cracker Barrel stores. What gives? Who decided that pancakes are the official food of Appalachia? Did I miss this in my schooling?

2. You can buy a Funnel Cake 365 days a year in Gatlinburg.

3. There were at least 5 stores that I’m confident sold a Braveheart-like sword.

4. Halloween is creepy in Gatlinburg. Hard to tell who is wearing a costume or just out for a night on the town.

Happy Labor Day (and Halloween too)!

November 12, 2009

Yeah, I know, it’s a little late. The Baileys and the Wells came in town and we had a picnic. Also included is a few shots from the mountain house vacation and Halloween. I didn’t take the time to arrange them in the proper chronologic order. Things to note:

1. Avery (jr) is a slip-and-slide maniac.

2. Ghost costumes are cheap.

3. Watermelon is tasty.

4. No birthday party is complete without an inflatable monkey.

My Garden

July 15, 2009

Here are some shots of my garden as of late. A few are obviously earlier in the season.  I love my garden. I love the flowers and the veggies.  I’m not sure I love the ‘pumpkin vine’ that’s taken over the back half of my yard!!  Actually, I have no idea if it is a pumpkin plant or a watermelon plant.  The one fruit that’s on it makes me think it’s a watermelon, but when I google pictures of the pumpkin plant, this thing looks a whole lot like that. Who knows. I’ll post a pic of it later and let you decide…

Enjoy!  Oh, be on the look out for the carrot pair that looked for all the world like a pair of lady’s legs!! Hilarious.  Visions of ‘A Christmas Story’ lamp come to mind.  And, yes, we did eat them!!

Bonfire and Snow

January 20, 2009

So, thought I’d tell you about this past weekend and the events we haven’t been able to do for 3 years in Florida.  Saturday, it was a balmy 28 degrees with frozen ground and iced-up water hoses. We decided that instead of making a huge eyesore of a brush heap in our front yard for the Nashville Department of Metro Works to come by and pick up in another 3 months (seriously) we opted for a bonfire in our backyard. It was quite fun. The boys enjoyed it, and to keep it legal, we roasted hot dogs over it for lunch!! 

    Yeah, one of our neighbors said that as long as we could justify the fire for eating purposes or the like, we were fine to have a fire.  Not that anyone would notice or care in our dead end of a dead end street in our subdivision. So, Avery pulled out the now useless bottle of lighter fluid (we have a gas grill now) and Jen watched a bit nervously as he poured it on the logs.  I think I remember telling him, “Not to much, babe, please” and he said, “Sure thing”.  After I said that, I watched for another 30 seconds or so as he emptied the bottle of lighter fluid completely onto the pile.  Great. Now we’ll have a scorched lawn for the spring!  I decided I’d go and get the garden hose just in case. Well, the garden hose was frozen solid and even the spigot it was attached to was frozen solid. I just said a quick prayer that we just wouldn’t need water and went back to watch.  Thankfully everything was fine. The dogs were good, and the logs are all taken care of!   bonfire1

Sunday was lazy and wonderful. No events. lots of naps and good books.

Monday morning we awoke to snow! It was the first snow that actually accumulated at all since we’ve been here, so that means this was the first snow Av, jr and Parker have ever seen.  It wasn’t more than 1/4 inch, but it was something and we got out and experienced it!  Av wanted to eat the snow…had to be careful where he got it!  He also had learned all about snow in playschool the week before, so he felt educated in the ways of snow. He asked for a snowman, which I was able to make…all 3 inches of it!  He asked for a snowball, which we made  about 6 – he picked up the first one and said, “I’m gonna throw it at you mommy?”  So a small snowball fight happened.  Parker was chatting with the snowflakes, which he thought were pretty cool. It was the first time outside he didn’t try to take off his mittens and hat, and he was enjoying the snow, I believe.  We came back inside for a change into dry clothes, had some hot cocoa and took good naps. It was a great day. The worst part was that Avery was not home to enjoy it. Stupid work!

Bloody Weather

December 16, 2008

This is a fair reenactment of me every time there is any precipitation when it’s within 5 degrees of freezing. Alas, I didn’t even have to scrape off my car this morning.