Wednesday, January 31, 2007

If anyone wants a moment of peacefulness in the midst of a busy day, go here and browse one of Fred First's photo galleries or slideshows. I've been reading his blog and enjoying his photos of the Blue Ridge for the past year or so and have mentioned his book "Slow Road Home" before on my blog. His photos evoke lots of emotions for me as a Blue Ridge Lover, and good things are meant to share! So go check it out....and Enjoy!!!

Monday, January 29, 2007

A Little Local History.....

The Old Judy Church

This church is still standing in a nearby county...
the county where my grandfather grew up.

It is called "the Old Judy Church". I'm not sure where the name originates, but the church is the oldest log church in the county. It was built in 1848 and made from hand-hewn white pine logs cut nearby.

The Judy Church served as a Methodist-Episcopal church until 1910, when it was abandoned. It now stands on private property and is well looked after. They even host community events there on occasion.

A great historical landmark to have....
If you listen closely, you might even hear the faint sound
of old shape-note hymns and harmonies floating
on the Sunday afternoon breeze..........

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Mountaintop Removal...

Dear Readers.....Please take the time to watch this video. It is a very important issue that affects us all, but especially those of us who live in the Appalachian region.

I cried when I watched this.... to see our beautiful mountains being destroyed. It makes me unspeakably sad. Mountaintop removal is literally changing the landscape of the Appalachians. It is a crime against nature and Creation in it's most literal and deep sense. So far, over 450 mountains have been destroyed and communities have been ravaged by the side-effects. Please go here to find out more and to see what you can do to help.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Family time........ the best part of the holidays was getting to see all of my family. We are spread out all over the East being the farthest north- my oldest sister being the farthest south, and another sister and my parents spread out in between. My younger sister lives across the ocean in London. We are a very close family and it's hard being so far apart and not getting to see each other often. We try to all go to my parent's home every other Christmas, which ensures that we'll all get to be together at least every two years.

My dad was an only child and only one of my mom's brothers had a child, so we didn't have lots of cousins and extended family growing up. But now, between my sisters and I, there are 7 grandkids.... so Sirlaughsalot has lots of cousins and enjoys his time with them tremendously. This Christmas was extra special because he's now of the age where he's making memories...... and I'm sure he will cherish the 3 weeks he had with all his extended family.

1. Auntie and niece....who was about to throw up in my car....unbeknownst to me
when I took the photo. She was the first to get the plague.......

2. Sir Laughsalot and cousins enjoying treats from the candy shop.

3. Cousin Superboy chowing down during our day out at a local village

4. Girls day out..... my mom, my younger sister, and me

5. The littlest cuz' on the block... BabySkylark

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Winter In The Cove..........

Some of these sights may look familiar as it seems almost everyone
has been getting some wintry weather lately. These are the rest of the photos taken in my walk around my parent's cove over the holidays. It is a quiet cove on normal days..... but the blanket of snow made an even deeper hush fall over the mountain. All I could hear was the crunching of the snow under my feet. Most of the people, and animals, stayed tucked away in their respective homes, burroughs, and nests, to warm their hands, fur, and feathers...........

Monday, January 22, 2007

"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die, so that you may live as you wish" - Mother Theresa

I was reminded about an anniversary that falls today after reading another blog....... not an anniversary worth celebrating, but one that makes me mourn. It's an anniversary involving over one million babies being ripped out of the safe haven of their mother's womb because they are an inconvenience....... It's the 34th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.

I mourn the loss of the millions of little souls who never got a chance to leave their footprints in this world...... all the scientists, doctors, teachers, mommies, thinkers, artists, poets, PEOPLE...........

And I salute all you mothers out there who recognize the sacredness and honor of motherhood.... and are able to differentiate between unplanned and unwanted. AND all the mothers who have made the loving choice of adoption. AND all the mothers that celebrate the life of their children and find joy and blessing in them.

And I thank my mother for choosing life....... for not silencing my voice before I could ever use it....

I pause today to remember and pray for a world where every child is anticipated and welcome....... a culture of life......

( Websites that promote life and offer resources for pregnant women and women recovering from abortions: Feminists for Life , Operation Outcry, Culture Jam for Life , Silent No More Awareness)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

You lookin' at me???

My parent's neighbors keep llamas, mountain goats, and donkeys on their mountain land. The animals thoroughly enjoyed the snowfall, too, choosing to stand out in it instead of seeking shelter. This particular guy was very curious about me and my camera......either that or he thought I was bringing food.

I'm not an expert on llama personalities, but they seem a little like cats to me.....somewhat aloof and come to you on their terms. This one didn't want much to do with me.

This is my favorite shot...... hanging out and enjoying the view........maybe even having some deep, contemplative llama thoughts. Ahh... a llama after my own heart.......

Thursday, January 18, 2007

"In the bleak midwinter Frosty wind made moan, Earth stood hard as iron,Water like a stone; Snow had fallen, snow on snow, Snow on snow on snow.
In the bleak midwinter, Long, Long ago.... "

We had one snow during my stay in the Carolinas.....a beautiful one. There's something about a heavy snowfall that makes the world seem at peace......the heavy blanket silencing the chaos. These photos are of the same view that I posted a couple of days ago....

The deck was lonely that day....

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

How do you get a little peace and quiet with 7 kids all staying in a small one bedroom cabin? Put in the movie "Cars"....... I'm not usually one to pacify kids with TV, but sometimes circumstances dictate a little leniancy and flexibility.
My parents recently sold their 5 bedroom house and are renting a small cabin in the same cove. And, it just so happens that this Christmas the whole family was able to make it to the Carolinas for the holidays, which is a rare event in itself. Luckily, the owners of the cabin next door were out of town and offered to let us use it.
To exacerbate the situation, Christmas Eve brought the onset of a nasty stomach bug that ended up raging through almost the whole family. From Christmas Eve until New Years, there was at least one family member praying to the porcelain god. As you can imagine, close quarters, seven young kids, and a stomach flu mixed in makes for some tension and chaos. During that time I was very grateful that we were as close and loving of a family as we are....... whoever didn't have the bug at the time served the ones who did, rode herd on the kids, cooked, etc. And the favor was repaid when the roles were reversed. We all had our less than pleasant moments, but it was a good reminder of what a great family I have- and really it reflected what Christmas is all about....Sacrifice.
So this Christmas will go down in the annals of our family holidays. And, of course, everyone knew it would get blogged about! :)

Monday, January 15, 2007

Room With A View.........

I am back from the Carolinas and adjusting to
being back home after an extended stay with family. It was great to see my sisters, parents, nephews, and nieces. We are scattered across the country, and even across the ocean, and don't get to see each other often. It was also great to wake up to these views each morning.....they are from the deck of my parents' Blue Ridge mountain home. With unusually warm temperatures over the holidays, we could sit outside, bundled in blankets while sipping coffee, and watch the sunrise...or the fog roll up the mountain.

I still live in the Appalachians, what is considered the Alleghenies. It is beautiful here, too... but there is something about the Blue Ridge mountains that connects with my soul. Maybe because I spent most of my formative years among them, or because of the ancient feel to them...I don't know. But I'm always sad to leave them when I come home.

I know there are a lot of you readers who love the Blue Ridge mountains and long for them, too. So I'll be sure and post lots of pictures from my trip and we can pine for them together! :) In the meantime, I must motivate myself to unpack the 3 weeks worth of clothes and Christmas gifts waiting upstairs......more to come.....

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Just a quick note to explain the abscence from blogging. I am in the Carolinas visiting family for the holidays and won't be back home until mid-January. My mom has a laptop that is very slow and I have not had access to a good computer for blogging.

My sister and her family are here in the states on a two month sabbatical from their missionary work in London, so Sir Laughsalot and I are extending our trip to spend time with them. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!