First Weekend in November

You know, I never saw myself as a camper… but I have been converted. I had a good mentor. As you can see I have successfully put up the tent and that took A LOT  of hard work! Just kidding. He always does all of the hard work and heavy lifting. But I’m really good at watching! This is our spot where we always camp-out at the farm. And it’s a really good spot. Complete with fire pit and newly cut logs for seats. Yep, we’re roughin’ it all right.

Someone found a good tree and a good spot. Coming down is not nearly as easy as getting up there.

This is Buddy. He is my favorite farm dog. He has a girlfriend named Lilly. She lives close by. They often wander off to find the other and get into trouble. It’s really cute. What’s great about the area is that everyone knows who Buddy is–he’s Uncles David’s dog. He has been spotted with the hunt dogs chasing after the foxes close to the interstate. He can always find his way back home.

A little brotherly competition spurred on a hay bail race. You know, just for funsies… that looks like a work out to me!

My view in the morning. I love this place. It truly is my happy place. I’m still so tired from the weekend and I really didn’t do ANYTHING strenuous. Oh well, such is life. In other news… I’m trying to get back in shape. And I mean it this time.

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Today I am thankful for: talking to Basement Sara — even if it was only for five whole minutes. And my spurts of conversation with my bestie overseas. Call up your friends. It’s time we talk to each other–no matter how busy life gets!

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Happy Feet

That’s right… It was the first weekend in November and you know what that means… FARM WEEKEND. My feet were nice and happy. And of course, we went as the leaves were changing. We had absolutely perfect weather with friends and family. It was nice to actually see what Fall looks like up “North”. We are still in the 75 degree weather here on the gulf. It was nice to sleep in a cold tent with a crackling fire. More pictures to come. I think I may actually have internet at my house! Yippee!

Pulaski, TN: The Woods End Farm

That’s right friends, I was at my happy place this past weekend. After unloading the moving truck, we decided we get a few hours of sleep — enjoy Mother’s Day with our mothers — and then head up to Tennessee. It was my first time to be up there while things are growing. Woods End Farm is a cattle farm so we just go up there and see the cows and family, but all of the neighboring farms are growing things like wheat… and other stuff. It was all so pretty.

We camped out while we were there. The weather has gotten warmer, but it’s still nice and cool at night — cool enough that we could have a fire. What I didn’t know about camping in May — is that there are SO MANY BUGS. Yep, some how that just didn’t compute for me. Needless to say… we were finding ticks everywhere. We may have pulled 15 each from our bodies -GROSS. So now, we have a new rule: No Camping out After March 15th

Unbeknownst to me, there is actually a good sized Amish community about 30-45 minutes away from Woods End Farm. This is one of the Amish homes and barn that we saw. There is something really beautiful about them. They have rules about not being photographed so I tried to only take pictures of their structures. While they attempt to blend in and lead simplified lives — I think they really stand out. I loved their blue shirts that they wore. It is such a foreign way of living that I am completely enamored by how they do it on a day to day basis. We  even saw them working their fields with their horses and plows. Children looking as young as 5 were out with a team of 3 horses –I don’t think I knew how to tie my shoes at 5 much less work the fields with a team of horses.

I know what you are thinking… what a beautiful house — No-no, No-no — this is their stables. Wowza’s. This is one of the Woods End Farm neighbors. What I love about this property, is that everything is pushed away from the roadway. You can’t see any of this from the roadway and everything is tucked away. You have to be an insider like myself to find these finds. We saw them as we were doing some trail riding on horses through their property. Everyone there was so nice! And you would expect an air of pretension but everyone was completely down to earth. I love this neighborhood. Must. Move. There. Soon.

Another little gem on their property is the Folly. It overlooks the surrounding hills and it is so beautiful. At the center of the structure there is a place to have a fire or maybe even a BBQ. This has definitely been added to my wishlist. Love, Love, Love.

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Today I am thankful for: a productive day at home and some awesome BBQ

CHINA Countdown: 3 days, 17 hours, and 27 minutes

Listening to: Matt Nathanson- Detroit Waves

House on the Hill

On my most recent trip to the Farm in Tennessee, I noticed for the second time that there is a beautiful cabin on a hill. And it’s for SALE. It must be mine. For that reason, I will not tell you where it is 🙂

This is part of the beautiful landscape that you see as you make your way up the drive. This is so perfect.

This is the view looking back towards the drive once you’ve arrived on top of the hill. On the right, is the storage shed.

And this is the beautiful Cabin that sits atop the wonderful hill. There is a man made lake at the bottom where the first picture was taken and my boyfriend has already decided where a bike course could run where we can do flips off of ramps into the lake and then build a ski lift to take us back to the top of the hill. I’m sure our neighbors would love us. Oh yes, we live live’s of adventure and ingenuity 🙂 And then on the other side of the cabin there is a fire pit made out of rocks and seats made out of rocks. Ohhhh, I love this house.

Here is the view as you leave the cabin down the drive. Isn’t it perfect? It would be the most perfect graduation present ever! Wishful thinking, right?

Here is a pic of me and my favorite person at the Christmas Tea after the hunt. We were there with all of the riders. Remember this post? It was really cool and they were all so nice. AND there was mistletoe everywhere-thankfully, I had my special someone! I’m sure our wonderful host had something to do with that! I love it up there, hence the reason why I must have that beautiful cabin.

 

The Hunt: Tennessee

So while at the farm we were able to witness something that I never even knew existed anymore. We saw the opening day of Hunting Season as well as the Blessing of the Hounds. Now, if you’re like me… when I hear “Opening Day of Hunting Season” I think of Bubba with a shotgun up in a tree-stand waitin’ on Bambi to come ’round the corner and have her pretty little head blown off —  this is not the case. It was quite sophisticated as you will soon see.

I came into this not knowing a single thing about any of this — I can’t really claim that I know much more… so I will attempt to explain to you what I saw. Basically, if my understanding is correct, this is what happens — Everyone meets at this very old cottage where a lunch is served and everyone is looking down-right fancy. Riders and non-riders get good and shnockered-up on liquor, beer, and wine and then start getting ready to set out on the hunt. A preacher blesses the hounds and then First, Second, and Third Flight is determined and announced (announcing who will ride in what order). Then men and women gather on their beautiful 17 hand thoroughbred horses (worth more than my college tuition, I imagine) and follow the hounds out on their search for coyotes or foxes. Now I didn’t know this, but the hounds actually kill the fox and/or coyote… but the goal is to follow the scent. And we found that the scent was not so strong this first hunt.

Once the riders are off chasing after the hounds, everyone else goes “Hilltoppin'” — meaning that you have to hunt the hunt. You go and sit on top of hills in search of the riders chasing after the hounds. A horn is blown by one of the riders indicating their location. There are also riders called Whips who sit atop the mountains and search for the hounds to tell the other riders which direction they should continue on. Here are some of our pictures below.

Hilltoppin'

Waiting to see if we could to hear the hounds or horn and see the riders.

Found them.

So after we found the riders we went and discovered another landmark close by…

I hope that you’re thinking exactly what I’m thinking… Oh,that’s right, it’s a Teepee. Oh it wasn’t originally put there by the Native Americans. It was absolutely bizarre… but I guess that’s what make people so interesting. We’re all into something a little… different. I have to say, they were quite beautiful on the hill over looking the “holler”.

Interior Shot

How many men does it take to close a teepee?

We were even lucky enough to find the Whip. Looking and listening for the hounds. Doesn’t it look like something straight out of a movie? It was wonderful.

The Farm: Tennessee

Have you ever fallen in love with a place as soon as you stepped foot on it’s warm, inviting earth. I have and did this weekend. Meet my new happy place. Happy Place… meet my Blog (my other happy place).

My boyfriend’s aunt and uncle are fortunate enough to own this little piece of heaven. We went camping on their land this past weekend during my fall break. And a break it was. Getting away from it all reminded me of how very important it is to keep life in perspective. To live for the moment. Life won’t be over if the floor plans aren’t finished, even if the completed mechanical systems are due Friday, and then an entire project finished in about 20 something days… I just need to be reminded sometimes that life is bigger than all those small things. And one day… I might even be fortunate enough to have my own piece of heaven like the picture above. My heart is there.

The Night Sky

You know that scene in the new Pride and Prejudice when Elisabeth meets Mr. Darcy in the field? My Mr. Darcy met me in the field. It was wonderful.

yes, please...

[via]

I was on my early morning walk, enjoying my surroundings when I stumbled upon these 2 lovely cows. They looked like 2 old women gossiping early in the morning getting their exercise. They were very curious about me. I named them. The one on the left is Ester and the one on the right is Ruth. I think that they are lovely.

Have an adventure and find your happy place.

 

GOOD DOG : Chattanooga, TN

GOOD DOG

I love Chattanooga! And this restaurant has to be at least one reason why. Read what GOOD DOG has to say about their own awesome place:

GOOD DOG is a quick-service restaurant that serves great food in the form of all-beef, natural casing hot dogs, the very best veggie dogs, homemade chili, hand-cut twice-fried fries, fresh salads with hand-crafted dressings and freshly baked cupcakes.  We are committed to making fresh, fast food accessible to all while keeping it affordable, fun and socially responsible.

GOOD DOG believes in GOOD things, GOOD food, GOOD folks, GOOD times and a GOOD earth.  Our restaurant was built using re-claimed and re-purposed materials.  We strive in daily operation to minimize waste, promote recycling and create the smallest environmental footprint possible.  Our french fry oil is collected and used as bio-diesel fuel.  We believe that one fry at a time, we can help to make a difference.

AWESOME, right? We were off in the North Shore District in Chattanooga (checking out 1 of the 6 gear shops we looked at during our awesome road trip) and I pass by a door way that looks something like this…

ummm… yes please.

So, I see a Cupcake with a halo and then a Hot Dog with a halo and I’m as good as done. This is where we were meant to be. Check out the menu.

I got the BBQ Dog and my boyfriend got the Chicago dog. They were EPIC. So epic that I forgot to take pics of them (sad day, I know). I was just way too excited.  But check out my other pics.

Crown Molding and Door Frames

Their counter tops are accented with old crown molding and old door frames. I love this.

Yes Ma’am – GOOD CUPCAKE

I LOVE CAKE.

These guys rock! Check out the main website here and check out their blog here and make sure you show your support and go there.

Chattanooga, TN

Chattanooga, TN

For our first stop along our Road Trip we stopped by Chattanooga to check out a really cool gear shop, Rock Creek (blog), and to my great surprise we found this great and wonderful city. I don’t think I’ve spent anytime in Chattanooga since the early 90s and thats when we did the typical Ruby Falls, Lookout Mountain, and Rock City. That’s all great and wonderful but the city is booming.

Downtown Chattanooga Map (compliments of Wikipedia)

The weekend that we came to look around, they had just opened their pedestrian bridge, The Walnut Street Bridge, to our four legged furry friends. What’s so great about this bridge is that it connects the North Shore to areas like greater downtown, an awesome art museum (The Hunter Museum of American Art), and the Tennessee Aquarium. It also connects the green-way system on both sides of the Tennessee River.

Beneath the Pedestrian Bridge

I love that Blue color that they use. It was on both their pedestian bridge as well as their automobile bridge.

Up Top on the Pedestrian Bridge

Hunter Museum of American Art

Sculpture in front of the Museum (I unfortunately didn't write down the artist's name)

Detail Shot

Go to Chattanooga. It was so awesome. More Chattanooga fun to come 🙂

pltw