Showing posts with label Flint Ridge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Flint Ridge. Show all posts

Friday, December 23, 2011

She's Finally Here

Everyone, let us introduce our newest addition to the family. Miss Dinah Marie Bird made her entrance into this world and stole all our hearts in an instant, at 5:56am on the morning of December 20, 2011. She weighed in at a very healthy 8lbs. 14.2oz. (I don't know what those ultra-light folks would say? :P) and measured 21 1/4in.

We promise to get better quality pictures of her posted once we get into a groove but right now we are all taking our time absorbing every little moment with her at this time as it will only last so long. So if you don't hear from us for a while I'm sure you can all understand.

Happy Trails,
Tim and Robin

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Drum Roll Please...

So we've been teasing you for quite some time now about our upcoming little hiker's nursery. In yesterday's trail report, we even offered a photo that was a small spoiler of what the nursery looks like. As you know the nursery was at one time a full fledged bathroom complete with commode, bathtub, and his/her sinks. It also had a nasty carpet on the floor and beige walls. It is now a nursery fit for a little hiker girl and now we are patiently awaiting Little Ms. Dinah's arrival. If she's anything like Robin and I, she will be late, and stuck in the procrastinators workflow, where she's usually found somewhere between Find Food and Randomly Browse the Internet (with mom of course).

So the moment you've all been waiting for (other than the announcement of her birth) Robin and I proudly give you: Dinah's Nursery.

Happy Trails,
Tim and Robin

Sunday, August 7, 2011

New Knives Winner

In case you've been wondering where we've been, it has been crazy busy around here.We haven't abandoned y'all and we are sorry we haven't been posting lately. We're especially sorry that we missed Friday's Giveaway Round Up post. We know how much everyone looks forward to those. If you keep up with us on Facebook, then you know we've been neck deep in converting a bathroom into a nursery and have started the house buying process.

We've got so much stuff to get done before the appraiser comes out so we may still be hit or miss on the blog for the next couple of weeks. This week though we will have the outdoor blog carnival post up so y'all will have plenty of blogs (both new and old) to read. Also, we will make it up to you on Friday for the gear giveaway roundup.

Anyway... Remember the knives and GoGirl giveaway? Well the winner of the knives has never contacted us with an address or anything. You know what that means right? It's time to pick a new winner. We removed the initial winner from the list and let the RNG do it's thing. This time it has picked D.Nash (of My Leaky Waders fame) as the lucky winner of the Winchester Knife set. Congrats D. Nash. Send us an email to appalachiaandbeyond (at) gmail (dot) com with your address and we will get the knife set out to you as soon as possible.

Happy Trails,
Tim and Robin

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July

It's been a long weekend, and if you're anything like us, you've been busy hiking, attending parties, and cleaning out basements. o_O Well okay, you've only been doing the first two, and maybe enjoying some fireworks. We were able to get out for a hike on Saturday of just over 2 miles at Norris Dam State Park and then attended a big family/friend get together later that day where Robin and I won the "Cornhole" Tournament (don't laugh, it's a real game and not what the name implies). If you don't believe me look it up on Google but do so at your own risk. Oh and we will have a hike report up in a couple of days too.

So today we celebrate our country's independence. We feel very fortunate to live in this great country, that we are free to play silly named games if we want to, or have parties with our friends and family when we want to, and many other things that we take for granted (like running water) and that if we lived in some other country, we could be arrested for doing. For that we are truly thankful that we live in the USA, even if we have some major problems with the economy and plumbing. Anyway for today we will be swimming in the basement - having been overly and prematurely motivated to clean due to the mess that we were blessed with after our party attending festivities on Saturday. I guess that's what we get for playing cornhole, we get cornholed.

We hope you are all having a safe and enjoyable holiday. God Bless the USA and God Bless all of you.

Happy Fourth of July.
Tim and Robin

"Hey! Thiz iz a candlez! I askeded for a bottlez rocketz! 
Oh wellz. Happy Birfday America!" ~ Ms. Coo

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Red Raspberry Weekend

We have been up to our chins in raspberries since Saturday. As you may have read, the raspberries were ready for picking, and they won't wait on you! So, we spent all weekend finding and picking ripe red raspberries on Flint Ridge.

Saturday didn't go so well for the picking. We had done work around the house, and by the time we made it to the patch, the mosquitoes had woke up. They were snacking on us big time, and we decided to give Sunday morning a try instead.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Surprise Bubble Bursting

Tim had plans for a hike this weekend. I hate to burst his bubble, but:

I think the raspberries have other plans.

A weekend spent on Flint Ridge picking buckets of scrumptious, ripe, wild, red raspberries to begin in less than 24 hours!

Well, the least he can donate is a day of his time... right?!?

Friday, May 20, 2011


Have I mentioned our rhododendron?? Oh, quite a few times already. But have I told you that it's the single most beautiful rhododendron in the world?? At least... I think so.

With light-pink blossom clusters larger than my face, here are some more photos I couldn't help posting of our backyard rhodo that towers over me when I visit and reminds me each time that it is much older than I.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rainy Days by AnB Zeppelin

Yup... Robin is officially bored of the rain.
** To the tune of Dancin' Days by Led Zeppelin **

Rainy days are here again and the springtime evenings are cool.
The rhodo’s flowers are lovin’ the showers, the toads are on the stools.

Temperate rainforest, Temperate rainforest – that’s what we get, I guess.
Rains for days and days, that’s right: days and days – shouldn’t expect any less.

Crazy weather is evident – There is snow on Mt. Mitchell in May
We’ve turned our heat on inside to keep the chillies at bay.

Temperate rainforest, Temperate rainforest – that’s what we get, I guess.
Rains for days and days, that’s right: days and days – shouldn’t expect any less.

I told my Timmy I’d take some pics, but my camera hasn’t been waterproofed.
All this drizzle has made me sizzle with cabin fever under this roof.

Temperate rainforest, Temperate rainforest – that’s what we get, I guess.
Rains for days and days, that’s right: days and days – shouldn’t expect any less.

Rainy days are here again and the springtime evenings are cool.
I want the sunshine back, the pretty sunshine back, I want to swim in a pool.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Evening Post

Tonight we're spending time on the deck in the cool night air while the exhaust fan we have set up in the largest window pulls most of the hot air from the day out of the house. Our a/c is shot for the moment, and today's high temps reached nearly 85 degrees. It was 82 in the house around 9:30 this evening; an unbearable temperature in my opinion. But as the temps begin to dip outside, our fan pulls the cool night air into the house making it comfortable for sleepy time.

We spend a lot of evenings on the deck, fighting off the creepy crawlies and avoiding stepping on the caterpillars that seem to have an on/off switch. At some point in the evening, they just stop where they are at, never moving, flinching, or seeming to care that you nearly spilled their guts with the heel of your shoe. Sometimes we even find them hanging in place, as if they were in a half-reach stage when someone flipped their switch.

It smells like honeysuckle this time of year. The backyard is in full bloom; although it's hard to see any of that in the darkness. I turned on the halogens to keep the bugs off us, and they lit the rhododendron up quite nicely. And the evening forest is full of chatter - raccoons, crickets, frogs, and the occasional cat fight. There's also the beating of wings and the slamming of velvety bodies - kamikaze moths literally dying for one small moment at that halogen heaven.

Tim is reading Clover a bit out of our Advance Reader copy of Following Atticus that we are so thankful to have received. I don't know what it is, but that book has already made me cry more times than Bridges of Madison County. We'll just blame it on the pregnancy hormones. It is so beautifully written, and so heartwarming. I can't wait to finish it and write a review for all of you in hopes that you'll want a copy when it's released in September.

Until next time, happy evenings!
Robin & Tim

Sunday, May 1, 2011

After Hours

Being outdoors is always relaxing for us. Even when we are out working up a sweat and pouring all our energy into climbing a mountain, at the end of the day we always breathe easier and find our spirits relaxed and renewed. And "outdoors" doesn't always mean "in the mountains," "in the park," "on the trail," or "climbing that mountain." Outdoors, for us, is just that simple. It means being outside the confines of walls. So, after a small hike today, we wanted to spend some relaxing time in our backyard by our flint-ringed fire pit soaking in the breeze, the smell of wood burning, and the tree frogs that sing non-stop this time of the year.

We don't really live too far from the city, but we're definitely rural. And when I say rural I mean, we can look up and see a million stars, we can close our eyes and try to count crickets chirping, we can listen to the fire crackle, and if we're really lucky, we can even hear the bloodcurdling calls of a barn owl or red fox.

But not tonight.

Because tonight, as we sit by our fire trying to relax for the week ahead (and burn up all the dead fall from last week's storms) we are being serenaded (once again) by our lovely neighbors who illegally operate a business in a subdivision in which they apparently must rev engines for hours, run diesel trucks that sound like high-powered generators, and mow their lawn at 10pm on a Sunday.

So, yes, consider this post a rant, at best. But it's very odd that we also live beside a legally-operated vehicle repair garage that never bothers us with this constant noise. Matter of fact, I rarely hear them even during business hours.

We just want our peace and quiet back. Is that too much to ask for? At least after dark? Please?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Another Snowy Day

It's been another snowy day in East Tennessee. Overnight, most of Tennessee seen snow. We knew the system was coming, and I hardly slept out of sheer excitement. I kept getting up and creeping to the kitchen to check our back deck for signs of accumulation. It doesn't see much sun in the winter due to the ridgeline, so we still had a dusting on it from a day or so ago. By 5am, though, I was noticing more and by 6am we had at least an inch.

I finally got some sleep after that, but still woke up early to a fresh coating of snow. A couple inches covered everything. I absolutely love fresh snow, especially waking to it in the morning.

Most places were closed today, as most people a little south of us got more. I saw on Facebook that some of our friends near Chattanooga were reporting 7 inches or more. We didn't get near that much, but it was enough to prevent us from trying to make it off this ridge and up the next one - the two ridges that stand between us and the urban world.  This all meant one thing - no school, no work (although, he did check in multiple times during the day) = PLAY TIME!

I sat around waiting for most of the morning. Teens sleep in way too long! It was a good thing really, even though my patience had worn thin, and I thought long and hard plotting the multiple ways to wake teenagers (and my husband!) abruptly.  None of these would have been nice.  It was right in the middle of my strategy planning when, as luck would have it (for them!), they all roused from dreamland. I gave them a few minutes to shake the cobwebs then Clover and I began insisting that we go out and play.  It didn't take much to convince them, and we were all out in the snow in no time.


We spent an hour out there. Clover played frisbee, we sledded and "skied", threw lots of snowballs, and the girls made a snow lady to graphic to post here (silly girls!).  It really was too cold to be out any longer. But we had fun nonetheless, and have spent the remainder of our "snowed-in" time cuddled up cozy in the house.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Snow Kissed Morning

We didn't get the half of foot that we wished for, but nearly 2 inches will do.

During the snow yesterday and while I was taking this photo, Ashby said, "Momma! Put your face up to the sky. It's like a million snowflake kisses."

"A Million Snowflake Kisses"

"Snowy View from atop Flint Ridge"

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"Rain Likely"

 Here was today's forecast:

It was supposed to rain.

Here's what 30 minutes worth of "rain" looks like in East Tennessee:

It's still coming down. And it's gorgeous. I hope it "rains" half a foot!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

White Christmas

We hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas filled with many blessings. Did everyone get what they wanted? We sure hope so. If you are in the Southern Appalachians then you got an extra special treat on Christmas morning much like we did here. We awoke on Christmas morning with about one and a half inches of snow on the ground. If I'm not mistaken, this was the first White Christmas for this area in several years. For me, it was the first that I can distinctly remember. Considering that I was originally a city boy from New Orleans, snow was not a regular occurrence.

We got another one to two inches Christmas night and it continued snowing off and on throughout the next day. Matter of fact, we tried our luck in the early afternoon hours of the 26th and decided we would head towards Townsend, TN. It would have been nice to have made it into Cades Cove in the Smokies to capture a bit of this winter wonderland through Wifey's camera.

Unfortunately, by the time we hit the first part of the foothills the snow was coming down really heavy and we decided driving conditions were unlikely to improve. Good thing we did. Some areas in the Smokies received over a foot of snow! Tourists have been "trapped" for days - but conditions are improving now. Temps have warmed and there is rain in the forecast.

In any case, we stopped at I.C. King park on the way back through. Robin was able to get out and snap a couple shots at the pier before she determined that any significant time outside on the river would likely cause important appendages to freeze and fall off. So we called in food and headed home.

Our uneventful trip became very eventful though once we got our food. We'd received a call from home. Weather conditions were worsening. The roads were "turning white." Kiddo asked if her cuz (Kiddo 2) could spend the night, and since it was on the way home (typically), we agreed to pick her up. By the time we started towards her house, the snow was coming down around us and every mile closer the roads were getting whiter and whiter. I'm not sure how we got up the hill to her house and back down but Wifey did it. She is used to this stuff, or at least, she's got more experience in it than I do.

The drive home was a very slow one. The roads were getting pretty slick with snow and ice, and we ended up having to take the long way around just to avoid the backroads. Luckily though we made it home, safe and sound, and indulged in some "After Christmas Laziness." No shopping for us! Santa brought us more than we could have ever needed.

Happy Trails,
Tim and Robin