Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Trip to North Carolina

Over ten years ago now, Ron and I made a trip to North Carolina with our friends, Jesse and Peggy for Thanksgiving.  They were looking for a cabin in the mountains and we spent much of the weekend looking at cute log cabins in the area around Murphy.  They found a really great place on nearly an acre and actually moved there for a few years.  Now it's a getaway place for them, and we came back to enjoy it with them this weekend.  The weather forecast looked horrible, and we all wondered if we should even make the trip, but we gamely set out on Wednesday morning.  It had been raining for a whole day so our road was a muddy mess and the wind was blowing and waves crashing across our dock at Lake Eufaula when we left.
 The temperature dropped steadily as we headed north.  By Atlanta, it was down to 39 degrees, and we could see tiny flakes of snow in the air occasionally.

Our GPS took us on the scenic route, and we were helplessly just following it, not recognizing much of anything from our past trips to Murphy.  When we came to a small picturesque town, we thought we must be near the Georgia/North Carolina border.
The GPS said we were only about 30 miles from our destination, so we knew we had to be close, and finally caught the name of the town - Copper Hill. Although we had never heard that name before,
it seemed like a place we might want to visit again.  It was the terminus of the train ride through the blue mountains, and had a bunch of interesting looking shops, bars, and churches.
Copper seemed to be a big part of the town's history, and big copper colored hills surrounded the town.
When we finally passed the post office in town, we saw that we were in Copper Hill, Tennessee.  Ron asked at that point if I was sure I had the proper address programmed into the GPS.

Sure enough a few miles later, we crossed the border into North Carolina just a few miles outside Murphy, our destination.  Jesse told us that the town of Copper Hill sits halfway into Tennessee and halfway into Georgia, and one bar has a red line down the middle of it.  The Georgia side is "dry" (no alcohol) so if you need to use the rest room, you have to leave your drink on the Tennessee side to go the rest room on the Georgia side.  Definitely a cute little town that we may go back and take pictures with a real stop there.
We had a lovely evening sitting around a crackling fire and talking while we polished off a couple of bottles of wine.  This morning, we woke up to 20 degrees, but sparkling sunshine and the promise of a high of 55 degrees later.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Changing our Compost Pit into a Fire Pit

When we first built our Georgia houses, we had many visions of gardens and flower beds.  At home, a compost pile is a big part of our recycling and soil building program, so we built ourselves a nice brick sided compost pile with a heavy black plastic liner.  While we did end up with some good soil, in the months we were away it proved to be an ideal trellis for a variety of weeds and vines. We began to realize that since we weren't here during the real growing season, we needed to cut way back on our gardening.  Then we were forced to sign up for garbage collection and were given an enormous garbage can.  So, long story short, the compost pile became obsolete. We continued to weed it, however, and it became just another weeding job.

Today, we decided to make better use of that nice brick, so we began to dismantle the compost pile.  While Ron moved brick, I shoveled the nice dirt from the compost pile and recycled it into my sugar cane flower bed.
You can see the tops of the sugar cane starts in neat rows in this little flower bed.  Creeping thyme is in front, a blueberry bush in the upper corner, and garlic along the right side under a cherry tree.

Now we have a firepit overlooking the lake and a place to burn fallen branches.
The leaves are really starting to turn color now.  These Bradford Pear trees are always beautiful - usually red, this year more orange.
The oak trees are a variety of color this year - ranging from maroon to light yellow.
The Sweet Gum are always a brilliant maroon or deep brown.
It's a beautiful time of year, and nice for working outside as it is cool enough to enjoy the exercise, but warm enough for shirtsleeves.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hay Art

I'm sure you've seen the big round bales of hay decorated for Halloween, but the folks in SW Georgia and SE Alabama take this art form to a whole new level.  Here are some examples of hay art we've seen this month:
We saw this spider on our trek through the "High Cotton" yard sale last Saturday.
A church offering near Montgomery
Charlotte's web - library effort
Not sure what the witch represents
In front of a BBQ place
Definitely Halloween themed
Music lessons?
Totally mystifying
Purple people eater?
Another pig, or maybe a mouse?

and last, but not least, Home Depot

Saturday, November 9, 2013

High Cotton Yard Sale

The annual "High Cotton 65 Mile Yard Sale" is held the second Saturday of November every year.  
First stop - Fort Gaines the western terminus of the sale.
knickknacks and paddiwacks and lots of kid's toys
kayaks, carrier, and life jackets - today only $350 takes all.
coat hangers
collard greens
Fried stuff

wagon wheels and windows
What we bought:
A nearly new child's fold up crib/playpen for $20
and one Sugar cane.  The nice people told us how to cut it 
and how to plant it.
I was at my garage sale tolerance level by the time we got to Edison, about halfway.  I'm sure anyone else would have done a lot better job of shopping. It was  a fun day in spite of the traffic and crowds.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Views in the 'Hood

We got my folks' bulldog running and took it out for a spin around the neighborhood yesterday.  It's amazing how much more you see when you go slower than in the car and further than you can walking!
We took time to look at the little graveyard that is along our road.  Surprisingly, some of the graves were quite recent.
But most look like they have been there for a very long time.
The oldest one we found was from 1914 - so nearly a hundred years old, but not that old compared to other graveyards we've seen down here.
Along the road, we stopped to take some pictures of things we see every day, but that were interesting when we first observed them.
Like this abandoned farm house,
a whole area of trees with white blossoms,
the school bus passing under the Chinaberry tree,
24 bales of newly harvested cotton,
a field full of peanut hay bales,
A peekaboo view of our house and the other homes along the lakeside from across the field,
the sweet gum tree turning color for fall,
and a colorful jungle of poke berries.  Fall is definitely a pretty time of year.