Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Annual Post

The fact that I don't have time to post more than once a year is surely indicative of a full life, right? It's most definitely full, and I don't dare complain.

In a nutshell, the 'spinningest' gerbil wheels have pertained to:

BEES! Bee Daddy decided he wanted more bees this year, and his wish was fulfilled. He ('we') even inherited a few hives in another part of the county when that beekeeper discovered bee stings didn't agree with him. When/if things go well, more bees = more honey, but it also = more responsibilities. And since Bee Daddy is also president of our local bee group, he's often summoned for an SOS or two. Or three.

BABY! Our grandbaby, Clara, is already closing in on a year! We are very blessed that at least one of our multiple gerbil wheels spins to this sweet, happy, delightful little bundle on a regular basis. There's no way to adequately describe how incredible this grandparenting thing is; suffice it to say that the 'grand' in -baby and -parent is an understatement. What fun she is!

And she's pretty darn cute, too :)

FURBALLS! Honey (the 4-legged variety) turns three this month. She keeps us hopping and laughing. And hopping. We've kept one granddog, Maple (Clara's big sis), quite a bit the past year because of her demand for perpetual TLC. She and cousin Honey are BFFs, thank goodness.

Maple and Honey, who don't know why they can't have cookies ALL. DAY. LONG.

We also kept our other granddog, Mae, for several weeks this summer while her folks took a vacation and prepared their house for selling. She mostly does her own thing while she's here; she's an easy guest. 

Maple, Honey, and Mae (courtesy of Favorite Daughter/Mae's mama, Katie)

Meanwhile, Sami's 19th birthday is coming up on St. Patrick's day. Not sure who the 'lucky' one is here....

Li'l sweetheart...

MISC! Besides a few other duties (carpet-cleaning biz, mowing/mowing/mowing/mowing, and Randy's 'retirement' stint as a school bus driver), there's the cabin!

December means we're in Winter Hibernation Mode again! From now thru the end of March (2017), rates drop to $75/night. They drop even more ($50/night) after the first two nights, so take a peek at Ray's Weather and plan to take advantage of it! Not every winter day here is frigid. Usually.

In case you need a reminder of why Ashe County is such a neat place to visit - and live! - here's a video for you.

Hope to see you sometime! The chocolate will be waiting....

Cheers from Angel Mountain!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

'Tis the Season!

Well, here we are again... at the end of the year already! Time apparently flies whether you're having fun or not.

Before I forget, it's time for the annual Winter Hibernation Special, when rates drop with the temperature. Some winter days will be quite nice, though (surely), but we're in 'special' mode thru March no matter what. Check out the cabin's web site for details!

We've been almost as busy as the bees since the last report, but I don't know that they can top our big news. We're about to become grandparents for the first time! 'Our' little bundle is due on the 27th, and we're all excited to meet her! Perhaps we're not quite as excited as our daughter-in-law (Jill), but still.... We're trying hard to be patient, though, especially since our son (Matthew) is trying even harder to wrap up two graduate classes online. One final down, one big paper almost down, some more class assignments almost down... to the wire, for sure.

To make matters more exciting, Jill's sister is also due (with baby #2) on the 27th. And... my brother and sister-in-law will become first-time grandfolks three weeks later! Baby boomers, yep we are.

My 'new' hip isn't so new any more and has been put to work in anticipation of baby duties! 

Honey turned two yesterday and is still fun, sweet, and rambunctious. Sami owns her, and Honey knows it. And doesn't care.

Our latest new venture is Honey B's Bees & Honey! Randy, chief beekeeper (aka Bee Daddy), sets up his honey stand on Saturdays when the weather is relatively cooperative, but we sell it all year. We're also able to offer honey from beekeeper friends, whose bees zip to parts unfamiliar to our own. We're also dabbling in other bee-related items: candles, lip balm, healing salve, body lotion bars, and an insect repellent salve I've just discovered. I'm actually excited to see how it works when I'm attacked by another mosquito mob.

Because of the upcoming baby biz, our family celebrated 'Thanksmas' so we could keep things open when Baby B is ready to break free. It was a great idea from Favorite Daughter Katie, but because WE are pretty much finished with Christmas, we can't get a grip on what the calendar says (i.e., it's still the 16th!). We do like to stay in the spirit, tho, and it's easy to do with these comedians, captured by Katie in a rather insane photo shoot. Or two.

(Granddog Maple, Honey, Granddog Mae)

Happy Christmas and a new year filled with joy and good health! Chocolate would be nice, too....

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

And We Are STILL Here... 2015 Edition

Goodness - here we are almost a YEAR since the last post. I promise we are not sitting idly by and watching the wind blow. Well, most of the time, anyway.

Before I forget, the cabin site became sorta haunted and will have to be rebuilt. Since no one HERE has a clue, my (Helen's) poor brother will be stuck with the job by default; however, he has zero time to battle web site woes right now, so we have a temporary one up! You can find it at 

I won't begin to try to catch up on the past 10 months, other than to say WHEW. Randy's 'retirement' is anything but; if it doesn't kill us, I suppose it'll keep us young. Or something.

The bees are buzzing, which is a really good thing after some frigid temps this winter. We aren't complaining! At least we don't live in Boston. Yikes. Bee Daddy is working on the hive stands, and soon I'll be able to join him... with my new hip! Yep, I'm almost bionic now, sure to set off an alarm or two. I don't care! One more week, and I should be free to get back to work in the flower beds and bee jungle. And unload some lard in the process!

A few of the hives that made it thru the winter!

The crawdads/crayfish/whatever have messed with the pond levels and Randy's sanity, but the recently discovered hole seems to have miraculously sealed itself up. The fish kids have stopped working on Plan B....

Honey has been with us almost 10 months and continues to be fun, sweet, and a bit rambunctious in the puppy sense (she turned one in mid December). She loves to run, run, run, and took full advantage of the snow!

She may be a little spoiled.

She loves snuggle time with her SC cousins, Emmy and Mae :) 

And speaking of spoiled, Honey's VA cousin, Maple, qualifies, too....

Meanwhile, Sami has somehow managed to flip over another year on the calendar and is 17.

She's becoming brave in her old age, daring Honey to come after her and threatening to claw her puppy eyeballs out if she tries. Poor Honey just wants to P-L-A-Y, although she's learning to be a little more patient around her big sis.

Maybe Sami just needs a nap...

We hope all is well with all of you, and we hope to see you sometime this year!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Still here... 2014 Edition

Why I'm amazed that so much time has lapsed since my last post is beyond me. The time has been zooming right on by for so long, I've given up trying to stay on top of things.

The Mountainbilly gerbil wheels have continued to spin! In a nutshell:

1. My mother released her CD, The Story of Noah's Ark, thru CD Baby! You can learn more about the CD (and Mom's remarkable story!) here.

2. Favorite Firstborn, Matthew, and Favorite Daughter-in-law, Jill, haven't been resting since getting married in November. They moved to VA, then bought a house that needed a fence for their baby, Maple. Randy - being 'retired' and all - built the fence mostly by himself, as the happy homeowners were busy working. Their yard is better than a dog park now!

3. While Randy was busy on the fence, I was busy on our nephew's wedding desserts! I wasn't sure it was safe to leave me alone in the kitchen with almost 20 new recipes (enough of each for over 200 guests!), but I survived, and despite ditching a couple of the choices, the 18 that made the final cut were purty tasty. When Randy was finished with the fence, he shifted effortlessly into wedding cake mode, making a 3-tiered Oreo cheesecake. Oink. The wedding was held in a small airplane hangar (our pilot nephew met his fiancee when she worked at the airport) almost 6 hours away, so we couldn't completely relax until the goods were delivered and the cake was cut. It was all beautiful, and as Favorite Daughter/Photographer Katie ended up taking pictures from beginning to end, there are some stunning memories.

The hangar:

A small section of the dessert table:

 The wedding cake (even more delicious than it looked!):

4. Bees, bees, and more bees! Randy has now retrieved bees from a felled tree and from the wall of a second-story shed accessible only by ladder. We're up to 11 hives now, all bustling along well and rewarding us with treasured honey! And... Randy's been teaching an introductory beekeeping class at the local community college this month. He's had a great time teaching, and I imagine the new beekeepers have had fun learning.

5. We celebrated Jeffrey's 17th birthday! Hard. To. Believe.

6. We have a new furbaby in the family! Long story, Katie and Favorite Son-in-Law, Paul, happened upon a sweet dog at the Charleston Animal Society (where one of their own furbabies came from) and asked what we thought. We apparently thought we were ready for another pooch, so they returned to the shelter with their own furbabies, Mae and Emmy, to see how they'd all get along. They acted like old pals, so that was that. We met Katie and Paul in Fort Mill, SC, to get 'Honey' on Father's Day... which was more fitting than we could have imagined :)


We can't wait to get Honey together with the granddogs, Emmy, Mae, and Maple:

Meanwhile, we're all enjoying our new baby! Well, okay... maybe not Sami.

And that's a sampling of what's been happening around here. Whew.

Until I come up for air again, happy summer!