Tuesday, September 09, 2014


Just some shots from my latest hike

My internal alarm clock is hilarious these days. Set the alarm for 10 so I wouldn't sleep too late, but wanted to allow myself a bit of a lie-in, given it was my birthday. I woke up at 9:57.

I woke up slowly, meandered out to grab coffee, check my email. Woke the Hubs up 2 hours later for bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches. The bacon's from Hickory Nut Gap, the eggs from Imladris (their 13-year-old son runs the egg business), the bread is homemade. I need to make more tomorrow. This recipe is proving our favorite, for a crumb that allows us to slice thin or thick and a soft crust.

I clicked on Google's doodle this morning, curious about the fact that I share a birthday with Tolstoy. Instead it takes me to their main page, where the Google is made up of birthday cakes and the alt tag says "Happy Birthday Melanie!" Have to admit, that's nifty. Creepy stalkery too, but nifty.

We left the house around 2 PM. I wanted to haunt the River Arts District a bit. I've been jonesing to try my hand at some mixed media. It seeped into my birthday wishes: I asked for and got some new acrylic paints, new brush markers, and canvas panels. People are going to be subjected to my idea of art in their Christmas stockings this year. Gods help them.

The inspiration was there. We both came away with an appreciation for Nancy Joyce's work, and wandered through a handful of galleries, admiring several different types of media. The artists were usually working, but welcoming and very willing to answer questions and explain their processes. Even as dilapidated as that area can seem, right on the train tracks, surrounded by buildings in various stages of exterior disrepair, all I could think was what a prime location it is for an artist's studio. Really good vibes down there.

I drove us up to downtown, snagged a meter spot in front of the Grove Arcade, and we walked to Urban Dharma, to watch the monks working on a sand medicine mandala, which will be completed at the end of the week and blessed in several ceremonies to commemorate the 2-year anniversary of the storefront temple and its continued good works. They're selling zafus and zabutons there now at good prices; I'll be visiting again soon. Next door is the Captain's Bookshelf, where we briefly wandered and came away with a tome a piece, because the Hubs and I are rather incapable of not spending money in a bookstore.

We hopped home to grab our pizza coupons and bring in the Amazon windfall from my Mom and Sis, and headed to Blue Mountain Pizza & Brew Pub here in Weaverville. I indulged in a microbrew created from local hops courtesy of Echoview Fiber Mill. Hubs hopped across the street to grab dessert before they closed or ran out, at Well Bred Bakery. Their chocolate fudge cake is a nice treat, and their Mountain Eclairs are rather legendary. Imagine a New York-style eclair the size of....I can't think of a decent size comparison. People call 'em cathead eclairs; the dang things are HUGE.

It's 9:35 EST here. I turn 45 at 9:56. I'm really relaxed now; the beer buzz has dissipated and was replaced with an impressive sugar high. I have 3 new books to tuck into, I'm itching to draw, and I need to get into work mode for tomorrow. I'm thinking of tearing into the 2nd bedroom and rearranging a bit again, getting it back in working order. It's gone to seed since the kitten arrived on the scene, and I've been working in front of the TV again more often than not...and then wondering why it takes me twice as long to get shit done. I'm ready to reorganize again.

The kitten's a purr machine in my lap, against my folded leg. Hubs feels bad because he doesn't think he got me enough for my birthday. I remind him that I have a shiatsu massage scheduled next week, and that the furry creature in my lap is the best present I've had this year. I'm having trouble keeping the wolf at the door these days, but I'm incredibly happy and know I have the strength to keep us here. What more do I need? I'm a very lucky lady.

Happy birthday to me!