Zach and I live in a wonderful neighborhood that has a park in which this year some neighbors decided to start a garden. We had 9 neighbors interested and so we tilled some land and marked out 9 plots. Zach and I spent hours in our mud hole trying to make hills for our plants to grow on. It took us several days over several weeks to finally get things planted. Some plants, but mostly seeds. I am happy to say that we are actually growing things. I am not saying that they will last, but they have popped up and that is pretty exciting. No surprise to me, I have already forgotten what seeds I put where, so I am not sure what I am growing, but I am growing.
This is a picture of all the plots...ours is the one of the far left.
I do happen to know that these are the green bean plants!!!
Zach and I decided to take a canoe trip down the Big South Fork River this past weekend. We took off on Friday after work and after loading the car and canoe. We arrived at the river access around midnight. We decided to sleep in the back of the car because it was so late. Maybe I should say attempt to sleep because I didn't do much sleeping, but that was beneficial in that I was already awake at 6am to unpack and get ready for our trip.
We unloaded everything into the canoe right by the river. Zach then drove the car to the take out point to be picked up by a canoe rental company to be brought back to me. I waited for 5 hours before Zach finally returned to me and we immediately put in the water to get going down the river.
We are guessing that we paddled about 10-11 miles the first day before finding our campground. I think I improved in choosing the right path down rapids, but that quick of a decision was difficulty for me. We set up camp, made a fire, and made dinner. After dinner, we hung all our food in a bag between two trees to keep the bears from finding us:D Because of the lack of sleep, we both slept late the next morning which is impressive to do in a tent.
The next day, we went through a lot more rapids. We had been told that the last rapid before the take out point was a class IV rapid, Devil's Jump, and that we needed to portage around. We knew we were getting close when we came upon a rapid that looked very large to us. We stopped to scope it out and see if it was Devil's Jump. There were some other canoers around and they let us know that it was not Devil's Jump and helped us make a plan how to get through the large (guessing class III) rapids. It was very exhilarating. Then it was time to portage around Devil's Jump and then take out. It was a great trip!!!
Unfortunately, Zach's digital camera is broken and so I only have a few photos to share right now. Hopefully I will be able to share more later.
I have had quite a great week and it has only been two days.
On Monday I went to the zoo with one of my special education classes. I love the zoo and I especially love going with children. This was a unique opportunity because I have so many children in that class I see, I was able to go and work on PT related activities while I was there. I am pretty sure they were glad to have me as a extra set of hands as well. I had a great time, but there was one little incident. When we were ready to leave, we went out to find out that our bus was broken down and that we had to wait for another bus to come pick us up. So there we were with many special education preschoolers worn out from a day at the zoo, stuck on the curb waiting on a bus for quite a while. What a (half) day! I would love to share photos, but due to HIPAA, that would not be a good idea. Sorry.
And then today, one of my coworkers invited us to go out on her boat to go eat at a restaurant on Old Hickory Lake as a celebration of the end of the school year. It was so much fun to take a mini vacation tonight to go cruising on the lake eating right on the water.
Today I went to a meeting for the mission trip I am going on to Guatemala in July. We had a short Spanish class after the meeting. I knew that I was not good at Spanish especially considering the years of Spanish classes and being surrounded by Hispanic families in my daily life. Today I realized not only am I horrible at speaking and understanding Spanish, but I have also lost my vocabulary. I need a refresher on vocab so that at least I have some single words to use even if I don't have any sentences. Wish me luck.
Our neighborhood planned on having a yard sale a couple of weeks ago, but it rained (or rather poured) that morning, so we called it off and rescheduled it for this weekend. I woke up this morning at 5 am to a thunderstorm. By 5:30 the weather had calmed to a drizzle and I tried to prepare myself for a rainy and hot (if the sun came out) day. I decided to wear a knee length dress with rian boots and a rain jacket. I probably looked a little silly, but the rain boots were a very good idea. The sun did peak through for about 1 hour of the 9 hours we were out there. The rest of the time it was either raining or threatening to rain. Despite the weather, we sold a decent amount of stuff. Probably about half of the sales were internal (bought by people within the neighborhood). I was able to walk away only buying one piece of furniture, an old wooden bar stool with arms, and was able to sell several large pieces. Overall, not a bad deal.
Hanging out with neighbors under the gazebo waiting for the rain to pass over.
Over the past few days, I have experienced a few new things.
The first was cooking my own pancakes at a restaurant. Due to the current economic situation, many places are having some real deals. Pfunky Griddle is one of the places offering a great deal...unlimited pancakes for $3. As I mentioned, we were in charge of cooking our own. It was a very fun experience.
My other new experience was today. I was asked to be in a photo shoot for a Bible Study and today was the shoot. It was very interesting and hard. It is hard to take directions when you don't know what you look like through the lens. I hope that they got what they needed. I don't think you will actually see my full face in any photos, but my smile might be on the cover. Pretty crazy stuff.
On Saturday morning, I helped a friend learn how to make cookies. This friend had never (I really mean never) baked anything. I made sure that he did everything himself including deciding on how fine to chop nuts, nut and chip ration, etc. He did an amazing job!
Once Zach got home from work, we had to go on a shopping spree for some pants to wear to a wedding Saturday night. Our shopping spree ended at Josh's house and Zach borrowed some of his pants for the wedding. Next up was getting some plants so that we will be ready to plant in the next few days. Then it was off to the wedding.
Today, I helped in children's ministry at church and then went shopping. I got home and was ready for a nap. While taking a nap, Zach installed a ceiling fan. Way to go Zach!!!
Here is a picture of the peony plant we have in our front "garden".
This plant is amazing to me. We had no idea what was in our garden. Zach cut back some stems, but we had no idea was to expect. Then out comes these leaves. The plant starts to grow and grow and GROW. It is huge! and it started as nothing. What a crazy plant. Just in the past week, the flowers began blooming. Once again, HUGE! The picture below is of a bloom that is the size of my face.
I have not decided if I like this plant yet or not. Mainly due to the fact that it attracts ants. Who wants a flower that has ants ALL over it? I definitely don't want that plant welcoming my guests into my home. I do like the flowers and I am planning on moving it in the fall to a place much further away from the front door. If I do this, maybe the irises will grow since they won't be devoured by ants.
Saturday was anything but predictable. I woke up at 5:15 to get ready to be at the neighborhood garage sale by 6. I was putting last minute things in the car at 5:55 when I got a phone call informing me that the yard sale was cancelled due to rain. (In case you don't live in Nashville, it down poured on Friday and was stilling lightly raining on Saturday morning. Rain is actually predicted everyday but Tuesday this week.) This is the point at which I realized that Saturday was May 2nd which meant that I completely forgot to wish my mom a happy birthday. What a crummy start to the day. I decided to try starting the day again by going back to sleep:)
I woke up again and didn't really know how to make use of the day since I had planned on being at the yard sale pretty much all day. I worked on cleaning up things around the house and just took it slow. Then there was a phone call and a knock on the door. Oops, I had invited a friend to come hang out at the yard sale and forgot to let her know that it was cancelled. It was really great seeing her and hanging out since we had not seen each other in a while. This led me right into the other planned activity of the day...Moograss.
Moograss is an outdoor festival here in Nashville to raise money for Radnor Lake. All day I was waiting to get a call that is was cancelled, but that call never came, so we headed out. The show went well and the rain held off for the most part. There was some misting, but not very many true raindrops. On the way home, the carpool decided to watch a movie.
8 of us watched Seven Pounds in our living room. The movie evoked a lot of conversation. In the midst of this conversation, we heard the cat door open. Zach and I looked at each other to confirm that it was the cat door. Zach and 3 other boys snuck to the door to see what was joining our party. Whatever it was did not let us see it. Not long after this occurrence, the lights went out. (Oh yea, it was raining again.) This began some kinda scary talk about ghosts, etc. This was not purposeful, but fitting. Eventually the lights came back on and by that time it was about 2:30am and time to go to bed. And that was our Saturday.
Sorry for taking so long to finally let everyone know about Merlefest. For those of you who didn't know, this past weekend I (and the rest of the wives) went with The Farewell Drifters to Merlefest in Wilkesboro, NC. It was an amazing weekend packed full of activities. It was wonderful to spend time with family and friends who came (Deb, Lyn, Bob, Adam, Scottie P, Kasey and Melissa). I am going to try to hit the highlights or else this might be a novel.
Because all of the girls were planning on going, there was some transportation issues that needed to be ironed out. Two couples wanted to drive themselves, which left 6 of us to fit into the 6 seats that are in the van (one seat is taken out for the bass). We weren't sure if we could do it, but it seemed ridiculous to take another car. I am proud to say that we made it there and back without any problems arising. It helped that I am the largest person that was in the van.
Once we got to Merlefest, it was go, go, go. It seemed like the boys were either playing, eating, or getting ready to play again. And it was extremely hot!!! It was all sun and around 89 every day. There was a lot of sweating and me trying to avoid the sun which is not easy when there is a limited amount of shade for everyone (estimated around 80,000) there.
There was one rain storm on Friday afternoon which everyone said had to happen at some point during Merlefest. It just happens that the rain came when we were trying to leave one day. Because of the equipment, there were golf carts that would pick us up and take us to our car, etc. We happened to need to leave at a very busy time and so 9 of us had to get on a golf cart in the rain with instruments. As you can imagine, the golf cart had a little bit of trouble getting up the hill to the parking lot (there were really big hills on the college campus). I jumped off in hopes of it helping the golf cart to get up the hill. I was able to run and keep up the golf cart as it went up the hill.
The reason we had to head out was to get to a hotel where they were doing live feeds to a radio show in TN. This was fun to watch, but hard for me to be silent while we listened to the boys talk and sing and were only able to hear one side of the radio conversation.
Saturday was a packed day which resulted in us being at Merlefest for about 18 hours. The boys played several shows and we had a break around dinner where we were able to catch some other bands. The night ended at the midnight jam which was so much fun. The boys opened for other bands and then were able to jam with some of those bands as well. They really rocked (or bluegrassed) it. We finally headed to the hotel around 3 am.
And, very importantly, I picked up an amazing piece of artwork.