Friday, August 31, 2012

Hendersonville, North Carolina

Well, it's Friday folks, and it seems that Friday is almost always my travel post day.  You might think, in reading my blog, that all we do is travel -- or that we travel a lot.  Not so.  We have been fortunate enough to take some big trips, which I'll be sharing on my blog in the future.  We usually go to the beach once during the summer and to the mountains for about four days during the summer.  And speaking of the mountains, that's what I'm writing about again today.  Last week I shared with you our trip to the Blue Waters Mountain Lodge, in the western North Carolina mountains.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Liebster Award

My sweet friend, Rose H. of Second Hand Rose, in the U.K., has given me the Liebster Award.  Thank you kindly, Rose.  Rose has such a cute blog; she loves to thrift shop, like most of us here in Blog land.  She finds the most wonderful bargains in Staffordshire, England, where she lives.  Please stop by and visit Rose; you'll be glad you did.

I'm supposed to tell you eleven things that you may not know about me, so here goes.

1.  I love history and attended a Renaissance Fair in North Carolina several years ago (kind of nerdy, I know).

2.  Books are one of my very favorite things in life, and I love to read and collect them.

3.  I worked four years at a bookstore during my twenties.  The pay and the hours were not so good, but it was a great experience for me.

4.  I met my husband at said bookstore.  :)

5.  Our current home was hit by a tornado during our second year of living here.  We had to move out of it for eight weeks while it was being repaired.  Before that happened, I was NEVER afraid of storms, but now they make me a tad nervous (especially when there's a tornado warning issued).

6.  Scottish Terriers are my favorite dogs.  I have had three during the course of my lifetime.

7.  I took four years of French in school, but don't remember a lot of it.

8.  I loved to play the piano for many years when I was growing up.  I still love it, but am VERY out of practice.

9.  My son hates for me to play the piano.  My stopping and starting over (hence the out-of-practice thing) drives him crazy.  :)

10.  I'm seriously afraid of spiders -- a real arachnophobe.

11.  I'm a big Lord of the Rings movie fan (not very girlie, I know).

I'm passing this Liebster Award to eleven other bloggers, who like me, have less than 200 followers.  I hope you'll take a few minutes to visit their blogs; they all have some neat things to share!

Living With Thanksgiving

A Southerners Notebook

The Writer's Reverie

Two Tumbleweeds

Southern Gnome

Minerva's Garden

Applejack Lane

Just Grand

Time Was Antiques

Helen's Decor

Blue Mountain Rise

Thanks again, Rose, and thanks to everyone for visiting House at Forest Manor.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Blue Waters Mountain Lodge

In July, I wrote a short post about our trip to the mountains of western North Carolina, but I wanted to share some more details and pictures of the trip with you.  Our destination was the small town of Robbinsville, NC -- more specifically the Blue Waters Mountain Lodge on Lake Santeetlah.  I wrote about the Blue Waters last year, and you can read that post Here.  I took lots of pictures of the interior of the lodge last year; I'll try not to repeat those this year, because I have some new things to show you.

The Blue Waters Lodge is aptly named because this is the view directly across the street from the lodge.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Mom and Dad's Porch

I want to share some pictures of my parents' screened porch with you.  Every time I visit them, I find my eyes straying in that direction, because the porch just beckons you to come out and sit...for a few minutes or a few hours.  Of course, during the very hottest part of summer, it doesn't get used as often.  Most of us gravitate towards the air-conditioned house when it's so hot and humid outside.  But in the spring, fall, and early summer, there's no better place to be.

My parents had their home built about eight years ago, with a screened porch opening off the great room.  But after living there for five or six years, my mom and dad realized they just weren't thrilled with the look and feel of their porch.  It felt too dark, and didn't really flow with the warm whites and cream colors in the adjacent great room.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August Note Card Party

Hi Dear Readers!  It's time once again for the monthly note card party hosted by Vee at A Haven For Vee.  You're all invited to join in the party by sharing just four of your images that you think would make pretty or interesting note cards.  Your images must have already appeared in one of your previous posts.

Here are my note cards titled "Birds, Blossoms, and Butterflies."

 Chickadee on Backyard Bird feeder

Queen Anne's Lace

Roadside Daisies

Tiger Swallowtail and Turk's Cap Lily

The first image doesn't have a lot of color because the photo was taken in winter.  You can see that post Here.  The last three images were taken along the roadside on the Cherohala Skyway a few weeks ago.  The images actually appear in mosaic form in this post.

Thank you for your visit and your interest in my blog.  It helps me stay inspired.  The butterflies will soon be gone for the season, so I hope you'll enjoy them while they're here.  Until next time...


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Let's Go To London!

In the spirit of the 2012 Olympic Games, I'm introducing a new Olympic event.  It's called the Touring/Sightseeing/Eating/Shopping-in-London event.  I'm not very athletic, but I think this is one "sporting event" that I could medal in!  I've been training for quite a while now, and I'm ready to compete.  :)

Okay, actually, I'm ready in spirit, but the economy and the value of the dollar just aren't cooperating.  So, in addition to watching the games on the telly, I've pulled out my pictures from our trip to England in 1999 and I'm re-living the experience (as best I can remember it, that is).  It's amazing how much you forget after 13 years.  This is Part One of my travel series on England.  You can click on the links to see Part Two and Part Three.

A lot of things have changed since 1999, to be sure.  A new princess, the Chunnel, and a new skyscraper in London (the tallest in Europe standing 1,016 feet high).  But it's still fun to look back at our time there.  We were in England for a week, but we only spent one day in London.  My husband was there on a project for work, so we stayed in a small village near his company facility.  I still feel so fortunate that I was able to tag along with him and see the sights.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Mountain Treasures

Last week we traveled to the mountains of western North Carolina.  This was our destination...

a very special destination, to be sure -- a lovely and restful place.

But hubby and I aren't just about the destination; we like to enjoy the journey, as well.  So we try to discover some interesting towns on our way there and on our way home again.

A few years ago, we discovered the town of Hendersonville, about a half-hour south of Asheville.

We usually get to Hendersonville in time to eat an early dinner, and then walk along the main street for a bit before we resume our journey.

During the three days or so that we stay at the Blue Waters Lodge, we can make little day trips to see the nearby countryside.  This year, we drove the length of the Cherohala Skyway into Tennessee.  We saw lots of mountain views...

 ...and some beautiful wildflowers.

Then when it was time to head home again, we stopped for lunch in the charming town of Black Mountain.  They have a really neat German restaurant, family-owned with a deli and a gift shop inside, and all the charm of an old-world restaurant.

Do you like to explore the highways and by-ways in your part of the world?  My husband's grandfather used to say "You're never lost if you've got a full tank of gas."  That's my kind of philosophy, too. :)

I'll be doing another post about these places with more info and pics soon.  You can read about our last year's trip to the Blue Waters Mountain Lodge Here.

I hope you're having a great weekend and a great summer.  I'm joining the folks at Seasonal Sundays, hosted by our very talented blogger, The Tablescaper, and linking to Sunny Simple Sundays, hosted by Elaine, at Sunny Simple Life.  I so appreciate your visits and your comments.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

MacDuff Is Feeling Better!

Hi everyone!  I hope you've found a cool spot to hang out for the next few days.  We had a reprieve from the heat for about three days, but it's cranking up again.  I do love autumn, but I'm determined not to wish my life away.  However...some cooler temps would be nice.

Almost three weeks ago, I published a post called Dog Love; you can read it Here.  In that post, I talked about an article I'd read in National Geographic which told about the evolution of dogs from their ancestors, the wolves, and about how dogs had become companions and helpers to humans over the centuries.

At the time I wrote the post, I was worried sick about our dog, MacDuff.  He had begun behaving strangely the evening before, right after my husband brought him in from his evening walk.  He seemed to be in some distress, yet, it didn't seem to be an emergency.  Mr. Forest Manor and I stayed up until 1:00 a.m. that Thursday, trying to determine if he was okay before we went off to bed.  He settled down and went to sleep, and so we thought he was okay.

But Friday morning, he definitely was not okay.  He came out of his porter to go outside, and he was moving so slowly.  He showed no interest in water or his treat after going out, which is very unusual for him.  I opened the front door because he loves to sit and look out the storm door, but he showed no interest.  In fact, he almost acted like he didn't notice I had opened the door.  He just sat in the middle of the room and stared into space.  Then he went to the kitchen, and laid under the table.  A little later, the mailman rang our doorbell with a package, and MacDuff didn't stir; he didn't acknowledge the doorbell at all.  That's when I got really frightened.  He always reacts to the doorbell.  He considers it his duty in life to guard us from "invaders" as my husband says, and anytime the doorbell rings, he barks and runs to the door -- and he barks until we go to the door and he can determine whether the visitor is a threat, or just friends or family.

I was able to get him in to see the vet that Friday afternoon, and she discovered that he was bleeding from one side of his nose.  We had seen some blood the night before, but we couldn't determine where it was coming from.  Long story short, her theory was that he might have an upper respiratory infection, polyps in his nasal passage, or a tumor.

In a couple of months, MacDuff will be 12 and 1/2 years old, and none of this sounded good to me.  The vet was doubtful that he had an upper respiratory infection because he was only bleeding from one side of his nose.  All the tests they could do to determine if he had polyps or a tumor would require him to be put under anesthesia, and at his age, that's a risky business, as is surgery.  It's also very expensive, and the chances of a "cure" are not very good, either.

The very kindly vet saw that I was upset, so she suggested we try a round of antibiotics just to see if that would help, and then we'd follow up at the end of the treatment.  I left the office feeling pretty down.  The funny thing was that MacDuff actually perked up a bit when we went to the vet.  He likes to go (believe it or not).  He loves to see the people and the other dogs.  And the vet technicians and the doctors like him because he really is a very good-natured little chap.  :)

On Saturday morning, MacDuff was still pretty lethargic.  Then about midday, he started snorting and having this violent sneezing fit.  He was spraying some blood out of his nose, so we had to put him in his porter, and he shook his head so hard he hit the sides of the porter.  I was almost in tears.  This went on for about 10 or 20 minutes, and then he finally settled down and rested.  Hubby and I could barely sleep that night.  And then miraculously, Sunday morning we got up and let him out, and it was like we had our same old MacDuff back.  It was amazing.  He was perky and alert and even played with his toys some.  We could hardly believe it, but we were so relieved and thankful.

My husband and I have discussed it at length, and we've finally decided that he must have gotten something up his nose on his walk that evening.  You see, he roots around in the grass and sniffs and snorts like a small bull or a pig :) every time we walk him on his leash.  He has been known to gobble up globs of freshly mown grass, leaves, sticks, etc., even though we scold him constantly.  He is, to quote Elmer Fudd, "...a wascally wabbit."  :)  We think he must have been rooting around in someone's yard, snorted really hard, and got something sharp in his nasal passage.  He might have even gotten a bee or bug that stung or bit him.  At any rate, I think all that violent snorting and sneezing Saturday must have finally dislodged whatever was in there, because now it's like the whole episode never happened.  We did give him his whole round of antibiotics to prevent a possible infection.

So that's my news on MacDuff.  He made such a startling recovery, we were almost afraid to celebrate for several days.  He is an older dog, and we know we won't have him forever, but we are glad to have him for right now.

 Thank you for you visits and your comments.  They are very much appreciated!!

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