Sunday, August 31, 2008

Visiting North Georgia (part 2)

We did so much, I had to break it up into several blog entries....

Mom & I went down to Dahlonega and visited Consolidated Mines which is the site of one of the largest gold deposits in the US. Dahlonega was the first gold rush town in the US as well.

We panned for gold and then took a tour of the mine. There's mom with her hard hat on!

We also took a day trip to Vogel State Park and hiked to a waterfall. There's lots of iron in the water and it leaves this reddish smelly deposit where the water flows down.

Mom & I also took a day trip to Amicalola falls. It's a great place to hike - there are 604 steps up to the top of the falls. And I walked them all! Mom drove it up to meet me.

Here's my self portrait in front of part of the falls. You can't tell, but I'm pretty hot & sweaty by this point. It was a fun day trip, though.

On a side note, when we were kids, my sister and a friend made up a song to the tune of Copacabana by Barry Manilow about Amicalola falls. I wish I remembered all the words so I could sing it to you now... Maybe my sis can remember them for me...

Georgia Critters II

More critters I saw on my vacation down south...

A cool Red Velvet Ant (actually, they're a type of flightless wasp!)

Another Georgia Mountain Kitty

Moo cows on the Rankin's farm. They loved watching dad work with the bees.

A tiger swallowtail butterfly.
We saw lots of these.

And a female ruby-throated hummingbird.
Look to the left of the feeder. They
fought with the wasps & hornets for
the feeder openings.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Georgia Critters I

So it seems, looking at all my photos from my Georgia vacation,
that I like to take pictures of critters. And lots of them.

So here are some pictures from my Georgia trip...

A fruit stand kitty

A skink on a rock.

A teensy garter snake

A crawdad/crayfish in the stream

a butterfly

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Eating our Way Across Georgia

It always seems that when I head back down south for a vacation, I seek out my favorite southern foods. And since there are a LOT of favorite southern foods for me, I tend to eat eat eat all vacation long. And this one was no different....

Mom & I had some fabulous smoked pork sandwiches in Hiawassee at a place called Smoke Rings.

I also found my mostest favoritest drink of all time..... the elusive PEACH NEHI! Hooray! I got some extra to bring back home with me but realized that since they were glass bottles, they wouldn't fly well.

So mom agreed to bring them up to me in October when she'll be driving up.

We also cooked quite a bit.. There's dad eating freshly picked sweet corn.

And on the last night I was there, we had a weenie roast around the fire
with marshmellows, of course.

Who doesn't like a good roasted marshmellow??

And not pictured, but definitely enjoyed, was some good fried catfish, homemade peach preserves and some fresh cut peaches, and mom's "ozark pudding" with local tart apples. So good!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Visiting North Georgia (part 1)

Just got back from a vacation to the North Georgia Mountains to visit with my folks. We stayed up near Ellijay at the cabin of a family friend. It's a georgous location on several acres of land right near where a stream meets a river.

During the time I was there, I spent a lot of quality time outside communing with nature, I guess. It's just so peaceful there & it's so good to get away from the "big city".

I also got to spend some quality time with my parents. Dad was working on various projects - but never the ones he planned to work on.

I dragged my mom to several quilt shops in the area. Some I had found online, and others we found by mistake. Either way, I found some fabulous fabrics. I also became a fan of the super inexpensive fabric section of the many local Walmart stores we visited. We don't really have Walmarts in my area and I have mixed feelings about that chain of stores, but down in Georgia, that was frequently the only option. And when you have to drive 30 minutes for the only shopping option, you take what you can get.

I took lots of pictures and have lots to share, but not all at once, so expect more from me about my trip! I've been distracted lately 'cause I'm getting geared up to get back into the classroom again. I've been putting my classroom back in order and tomorrow have to attend the beginning of the schoolyear "pep rally" for the school district. Not really looking forward to all that just because it seems like the official END to my summer.

Oh well. It had to end sometime, right?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sarah Made me a Quilt!

I got a fun package from my friend Sarah (via my mom) and in it was the Doll Quilt she had made me. I was her partner for the latest Doll Quilt Swap.

She made a beautiful liberated churn dash in bright oranges and green. She also sent me a copy of the book "Collaborative Quilting" by Gwen Marston & Freddy Moran. They use this "liberated" style of quilting in all their designs. It just means they take a regular ole' pattern and make it a bit wonky. Look how Sarah made the corners of the orange bits all different sizes and angles? Isn't it great??! She's so talented!

She also sent me some goodies - some rubber stamping supplies, a vintage poppy postcard, and of course, some tissue and ribbon in orange and green. The tissue and ribbon were just the wrapping supplies, but as Sarah knows, I'll keep that and reuse it later - probably for her! Hee! Thanks for a great little quilty Sarah!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Gettin' back into the swing of things...

I've been away!

And now I'm back. So I can get back to all those projects I left unfinished. Hooray!

I was in N. Georgia visiting with my folks and also got to spend some time with my college roomie and her family, too. I dragged my mom to lots of quilt/fabric shops down there. I found lots of good stuff, too! I'll be downloading pics and posting stuff all this week, so come back by! I have so much to share!

Friday, August 15, 2008


I finally finished my Doll Quilt!

I had lots of trouble with my machine and this quilt. I've realized that I can't lower the feed dogs on my sewing machine, which in laymans terms means the machine will only allow the fabric to move in one direction. So doing fun twisty sewing patterns is VERY difficult. I had to stop and turn the fabric every few stitches. Grrrr.....

But it is done and sent off to another country... I'm not allowed to tell where it's going or to whom until it arrives, but lets just say it's heading towards where my sister lives.... hint hint!

More projects that were on the back burners are now getting worked on... we'll see what I can finish before school starts back up next month!

Monday, August 4, 2008


Chester the Kelley Family Cat has passed away

My mom called me yesterday to tell me that Chester, our family cat, had passed away. He was getting up there in age and I believe that it was just his time.

He had a full and adventurous life with our family. It all started on the roof of the art building at my old high school. I was there taking a night class, and during a break, we heard noises coming from the roof. Someone had obviously thrown a kitten up there. It was raining and cold, so we climbed up to get him and I ended up taking him home.

At first he didn't get along with our other two cats, but he scratched and bit his way into the family and finally they accepted him. And he scratched and bit often. That was one thing about him that everyone knew - you can only pet him for about a minute before he will turn and bite the crap out of your hand.

He was even wanted by the police once! My mom answered the door to a police officer looking for a black and white cat that had attacked a woman on the next block. Chester had been all nicey-nicey to this 80 year old woman in her garden and then clawed her hand open! Mom had to prove that he had all his shots so he wouldn't have to be taken in and quarantined!

What a rebel!

Most of the time he was very independent and stand-offish, but in his last few weeks with my folks, he had become a secret lap kitty. My mom would go up to bed before my dad who stayed up to watch TV. Chester would wait until mom was gone and then jump up onto my dad's lap to snooze. How sneaky.

He was getting older and more frail, though. He had trouble getting up the steps and was very lethargic. It was his time. I know my folks are very sad, but there are many good memories of him, and he is in a better place.