Friday, March 31, 2017


I'm not sure how we've made it to the end of March, but here we are. Considering the tricks Mother Nature has played all 'winter,' no telling what spring will bring. Or summer, for that matter. No one around here complained about the unusually mild past few months and will hopefully remember them if/when the rest of the year seems unusual as well....

The biggest change around here since the last update is that our fine Sami opted in February not to hang around three more weeks for her 19th birthday on St. Patrick's Day. She was rarely pleasant (I have plenty of scars to prove that's an understatement), but still... 19 years is a long time, and bidding farewell resulted in the usual puddly mess. Honey moped for several days. She and Sami had come to an agreement shortly after we brought Honey home - Sami bared her fangs and claws while executing her ferocious hiss, and Honey wisely paid attention. Honey and the granddogs did covet any leftover cat food crumbs, though, and those have been sorely missed. It is reassuring to picture Sami romping with all the other family furballs, some of whom she may have even liked a little. Just don't tell anyone.

Sami's happy face :)

The eyes have it...

Sunnin' buddies

Not complaining too loudly about a snugglin' session..

Honey waiting patiently for Sami to wake up and play :)

Reminding Kali (also an angel) who's the boss of her, tho she would have likely claimed she was just putting a few of Kali's hairs back into place. Yeah, right.

A favorite! We inherited Maggie as a spunky 12-year old when she insisted she be freed from her nuisance puppy sister. She and Sami, a fellow senior, bonded immediately and enjoyed walking with us up the mountain :)

In other news, our grandbaby, Clara, has already morphed into a toddler! She's zipping all over, keeping Grandmama toddling right behind her. Maybe Grandmama will toddle some pounds off.

We've managed to replace the slats in two park benches around here (on top of the mountain and at the small pond) and break another bench, so I guess that means we've taken care of three so far! Only a bunch left to go.

Hope everyone has a terrific spring! And summer, if I don't get back here before then. Better add winter, too, just in case....

See you sometime!

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!