Hello kittens & dawgs! June through August are slow months in Blogosphere, so I decided to halt my Featured Photographer spotlight. Also, I am scaling back on my blogging production this summer. I am not taking a complete break yet. That may come later in the summer, but for now I’m casually visiting other blog sites ~ reading posts & leaving comments and putting together short posts. This is my time to relax. I can see clearly now!
A view from Mt. Mitchell observation tower.
I’m debating on whether or not to keep the linky going this summer. What do you think, should I keep it or let it go?
Thank you for stopping by, I’ll be seeing you soon!
In case you missed the news, I’m taking a wee break this month. I scheduled my photo posts ahead with the anticipation that you would stop by. Today’s Skywatch Friday contribution is snapped from the parking lot at Mt. Mitchell State Park off the Blue Ridge Parkway.
~All images captured with my big girl camera ~ Nikon D7000 & preferred lens Nikkor 18-105mm zoom, unless otherwise noted.~
Clouds hung over head most of the day. By the time we got here the sun was peaking through. What made this moment special is the low lying clouds rolling in and the light cloud mist caressing my skin. Do you like walking through the clouds? This was truly a tricky photo to get. My camera meter over-exposed the image and I just couldn’t seem to get what I was after, but later at home while viewing this picture on the computer I decided that I like the washed out appearance. What do you think?
Let me say, Thank you for making me apart of your day and although, I’m unplugged I will return visits to anyone who leaves a comment. Until we meet on the other side of the lens next, have a fototastic day!
Memorial weekend, we drove to Asheville, North Carolina to take in a scenic drive. Our destination, Mt. Mitchell State Park.
Linking Mt Mitchell featured photo with Skywatch Friday. (Nikon D7000 with attached 18-105mm Nikkor lens)
a yellow daylily linking with i heart macro (Nikon D7000 with Nikkor micro 105mm lens)
We leisurely took in the view, snapping pictures. After a few hours on the parkway, we drove to Asheville to knock around. The sweltering temperatures put us in the mood for us ice cream. Thanks to Google Maps on our iPhone, we found this sweet little spot….
Nikon D7000 with attached Nikkor 18-105mm zoom lens
All I can say is, the reviews on this independent ice cream shop didn’t lie, read here. After one strawberry milkshake and 3-scoops of ice cream (strawberry, black raspberry, & coconut) sold us! We returned to the counter to buy more. This time getting a slice of key lime pie ice cream and 3-scoops (chocolate, butter pecan, cappuccino crunch). Don’t say I haven’t told you we are ice cream hounds. We love the stuff! A word of caution… this is a place where it’s best to leaving counting calories at the door. The high quality, dense creamy goodness of Cintoms frozen custards hands down blows away popular mix-in ice cream shops. In my opinion, there simply is no contest. Cintoms takes the gold!
I’ll leave you with this lovely scene I found while we enjoyed our ice cream…
Nikon D7000 with attached Nikkor 18-105mm zoom lens
Unofficially, it’s summertime. That being said, do you like making frequent visits to your favorite ice cream shop? Is it locally owned or franchised
Sending a round of applauds and cheers to this week’s featured photographer…
Congratulations! Please, show some blog love by visiting today’s featured photographer and leave a sweet comment. Now, it’s your turn to link up your photographic wonder URL below!
Each week, I use random.org to find a new featured photographer. To win a chance in the limelight, be sure to sure to join the linky party.
Thank you for making me apart of your day. Please leave your comments footprints so that I know you came and I will hop over to your place soon. Have a wonderful day!
A sweet little spot is featured on several Wordless Wednesday communities listed under Daily Blog Hop tab at the top of my Home page. Have a fototastic week!
It’s been hot, hot, hot! Last Thursday evening a severe thunderstorm warning was issued.. The sky grew dark, the wind tossed back and forth, a spatter of rain, then pop our electricity went out just like that. It didn’t come back on until the next morning shortly after 4am. It didn’t seem to do all that much here at our house, but unfortunately we must have been in the cross fire of a blown transformer or something else which required nearly 12 hours to get back up.
The only fun thing about a power outage is you get to eat dinner by a dim glow. Actually, the light really isn’t all that dim unless you keep the switch turned down. We have these cool wind-up lanterns by Freeplay like this one.
What’s really neat about these lanterns is you can charge it off AC. That’s an extra accessory you have to buy. It takes either a mini or micro adapter to do the job, which we just so happen to have and didn’t have to make a special purchase. It’s nice to have the lantern charged ready to go, but the good thing is if drains before you use it then all you have to do is crank it up. It’s amazingly bright, too! Hint: This is an excellent present for the men you know. They’ll love it! Ours do. ^.^
Eating dinner by soft light is fun, but our entrée selections are very limited. All we had were a couple of cans of Vienna Sausage and saltine crackers. Wait, that wasn’t all we had in terms of quantity. Let me clarify, we have lots of cans of Vienna Sausage, Beanie Weenies, and Potted Meat. We just elected to only have Vienna Sausage & crackers. This isn’t bad, mind you once in a blue moon. I’m happy these forced impromptu dinner arrangements are just about as rare as a “Blue Moon”.
Friday morning, we jetted out the door for a day in the mountains and more photo opportunities for me to use my new SLR, but first and most importantly we stopped at Krispy Kreme for donuts. DH used our last good coupon toward two dozen donuts – one dozen hot glazed and the other an assorted dozen of the cake variety. Oh yeah! And, he picked up some coffee, coffee, java, java!!
The neat thing was while he was in Krispy Kreme, the store clerk gave him a stack of coupons good for their current promo for their 75th birthday. Where you can save $0.75 off a dozen. In fact, I got an email from them this morning….
Image from email
Friday, July 13 is our “official” 75th birthday. Help us celebrate by tweeting #CelebrateKrispyKreme from now until our birthday. You never know when we might surprise you for tweeting about our big day. It is our way of thanking you for being a loyal fan. Remember to check out our birthday website.
Speaking of Twitter, maybe you can help me to understand this just a little better. You have the @ and # symbols. I know when you want to address a particular person, you use the @ symbol, correct? Does the # symbol do the same thing? I know they call this a hashtag, but what does that mean? I need you Twitter geeks to educate me, okay? Hey, it’s cool to be a geek today!
Leaving town Friday morning, there was evidence of the thunderstorm from the previous night. Other than our minor inconveniences of without power our property escaped damage. That’s plenty reason to be thankful and to celebrate the beautiful day ahead.
I’ll leave you on this note, I took a few pictures (358) most of which are not stand out quality as I’m a newbie owner of a Nikon D7000. I am learning and I did get a few nice ones. Let me share a couple of my favorite sunset photos from Mt. Mitchell with you.
Captured from Mt. Mitchell Restaurant parking lot
Captured from the parking lot near the Rangers Station before restaurant parking and summit parking.
Also, in memory of Andy Griffith…Thanks for the wholesome laughs over the years!
Take a few minutes to enjoy a cup of coffee with your bloggy friends, as you enjoy some random reflections, considerations, or broodings. While you’re at it, join in on the fun – create your own post and link up! Have a terrific Tuesday!
This morning, I visited From Dominique’s Desk. Her post idea title Top 10 Flashback of September inspired me. Why not take a look for future blog post ideas. I think I may consider doing this!
Weekends are my down time to spend with my darling husband and son. We were fortunate to drive to the mountains for the day last Friday. It was a gorgeous day! Our plan was to get on the Blue Ridge Parkway(BRP) in Boone, North Carolina.
Here are a few highlights from our outing:
Got donuts at Daylight Donuts in Johnson City, Tennessee
Abandoned usual route to BRP
Took scenic back roads from Johnson City over to Boone
Snapped a few fall photos
Conditions: Crystal blue skies, cold, and windy (At Mt. Mitchell the temperature was 38 at 6:30 pm)
Saturday, we woke up and decided to do something a little different. We went out for breakfast. Our destination Krispy Kreme Donuts. Have you heard of them?
We bought a dozen hot glazed and a dozen assorted donuts. The hot glazed were out of this world delicious! With each bite of fluffy, sweetness the pastries melted in our mouth. Honestly, I believe there will be Krispy Kreme hot glazed donuts in heaven.
The second dozen consisted of:
Right away, my darling husband said, “I ordered 4 cinnamon cake, but we only got 2. I don’t know what the other 2 are.” That should have been a warning sign.
Very much to our disappointment, we found the cinnamon cake, pumpkin spice, blueberry cake, and apple spice (which we had not asked for) to ALL be stale. Also, they lacked enough flavor to suit us, especially the apple spice. If we had not gone into the shop and noticed the apple spice on display, then we wouldn’t have known what it was.
The upside is, the other donuts were superb and while we enjoyed our donuts overall, we couldn’t help but feel a bit of a letdown. Quality control was not up to Krispy Kreme’s usual standards on these cake style donuts. Note: I did send an email to corporate and I am going to call the local facility today to tell them of this terrible injustice to some of their biggest fans.
We bought an annual club ($35) membership at Sam’s Club, after using a free day pass. We went to Sam’s to get some Jarlsberg cheese which we tried at our good friends home in September. The savings at Sam’s Club is phenomenal at $5 per/pound! Just so you’ll have a clearer picture. We bought got some of the Jarlsberg at Fresh Market a few weeks ago. It averaged $12 per/pound and the most expensive place was $20 per/pound. Isn’t the savings amazing?
Speaking of Sam’s Club…Saturdays are not the time to go shopping there. Yeah, I know Saturdays are usually a mad house at most places but this was ridiculously crazy. People clamored over morsels of pizza, cheese, and other finger foods jamming the aisles. This does not appeal to me but if you taste-testing free foods, Sam’s is the happening spot to try samples!
Lately, I’ve been thinking about what I can do to contribute to our family’s finances with the empty nest syndrome looming over us. Austin will graduate next spring, if all goes well he’ll start college next fall. This chapter in my life will close, but how will the next open?
There seems to be a lot of blogs geared toward blog designs, giveaways, product reviews, and coupons. Of course, there are others who creatively showcase their talents – beautiful artwork, jewelry, cooking, knitting, crocheting, and writing.
These goals came to mind…
Continue to perfect my craft as a children’s author – time and tenacity are on my side for future success.
Create a blog to test market my story ideas to get critiquing and feedback.
Set up photography blog to showcase my personal best.
Get educated on designing web pages and creating a blog for product reviews for pay.
Goals 1-3 require little energy to work into my plans, but the last one has me a bit stumped. These unanswered questions came to mind…
How does one launch a blog for the sole purpose of promotional activity for pay? Do you need a college course or seminar to learn blog design? Can you earn substantial money doing these sorts of things?
Do you have experience with this? If so, what advice would you offer someone like myself?
Thanks Stacy for keeping the randomness alive while Keely @ UnMom is on break! Go ahead, slip into the ranting mood with the rest of us. I know you’ll feel right at home. You won’t run into any oddball looks here because anything goes. C’mon on, join the weekly fun with this cool meme and tell Stacy, “Cathy sent ya!”
Our family often enjoy get-aways, even if it’s just of the day to any one of three nearby parkways. One of our favorite parkways is the Blue Rridge Parkway.
Near Waynesboro, Virginia, highway 64E intersects with the Blue Rridge Parkway at its beginning mark and extends south to Cherokee, North Carolina almost 470 miles. We have had the good fortune to travel most of the parkway from Cherokee to Roanoke, Virginia.
There are many photo opportunities along the way and the beautiful of the parkway to enjoy inspite the conditions. It’s common on our trips to encounter fog…dense fog and the ambiance sets a mysterious, romantic kind of mood and we totally soak it up.
Water Rock Knob
One of our favorite pastimes is to sit in our car while having a picnic lunch at Water Rock Knob when the conditions are like what’s pictured here. It’s so relaxing!
I snapped this picture from a picnic area one spring. The fog was thick, a slight mist was falling, and a chilly gentle wind nipped our skin.
Mt. Mitchell State Park
Mt. Mitchell is a state park located just off the parkway. Its the highest peak east of the Mississippi at 6,578 feet above sea level. It’s situated north of Asheville, North Carolina (home to Biltmore Mansion) roughly 30 miles.
A few weeks ago, we hiked the short trail to the summit. At the base of summit tower, I captured this from the backside.
I love how the dark evergreens allow the purple clover to stand out and your eyes lead to the mountain view to the right – really pretty!
Sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains
We hung around that same evening to watch a lovely sunset. As we were heading back to the parkway, we turned off the road into the lodge restaurant parking area to take a picture.
The sky was gorgeous! I like particularly how the road leads your eyes to the vivid shades of the sunset cascading across the image.
For more information on the Blue Ridge Parkway, you may want to consider visiting their website. You can download a BRPWY map from their main menu under Tools & Quicklinks, if you’re interested.
Another parkway not too far from our home is the Cherohala Parkway. Technically, it’s called Cherohala Skyway but for years it was called Nantahala Parkway. In the past decade its name became a portmanteau of Cherokee and Nantahala.
This beautiful scenic byway connects Tellico Plains, Tennessee to Robbinsville, North Carolina. You may have heard of the infamous ‘Dragon’ a motorcyclist’s thrill ride which is a 44 miles of curvy, dangerous road, if so then you can find it here along highway 666. This is a stretch of road you do not want to travel, if you’re prone to motion sickness – it’s very twisty!
Indian Boundary Lake
The first time we visited this little lake, our daughters were very small and it was before the birth of our son. I was awestruck with by the tranquillity. The lake seemed so still with no sounds except woodland creatures. Wouldn’t you love to have a house right here? I would!
Bald River Falls
A couple of years ago, we got off the beaten path of Cherohala to see this little gem of a waterfall. There was no hiking needed, you can drive right pass it. It was getting lot of traffic that day, and we made several passes before I caught the right picture. It was worth the effort. My husband is so patient!
The Cherohala Parkway Skyway is home to the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. Kilmer was a poet (another ‘P’ word) who lived from 1886 – 1918. Below is perhaps his most famous piece.
Finally, this brings me to the 18-mile scenic Foothills Parkway, which skirts the north side of the Smoky’s. It may not be consider spectacular to most compared to its great rival, but it has its own hidden beauty. This is a spot we enjoy visiting when we don’t have time for an all-day affair, but wanna break away from the humdrum routine.
One point of interest along the parkway is the Look Rock Observation Tower, where you can get an amazing view on a clear day. The half-mile hike got an easy rank but I’m certain the trail is over grown and that doesn’t suit me. How can you see snakes? We made the trek years ago when the vegetation was quite tame. Check out, Look Rock.
The Letter ‘P’ is brought to you by my blog PAL, Miss Jenny where you’ll find a plethor of polished pages to plunder filled with pleasure.
If you’d like for me to prowl over to your blog, leave your web address in comments and be over as pretty as you please! 😉
I’m participating in Amanda’s Thursday Two Questions meme. I figured I spin-off questions about my Alphabe-Thursday post by asking these…
1) Do you like taking day trips, if so where are your hot spots for some down time?Well, if you read everything above then you see where we like to go. I’d have say these are the top hot spots for us. However, there are other things to see and do which are just as fun. Perhaps another day, another post I can highlight more things to do.
2) A lot of you take photographs, like me, but only you’re better. Anyway, what defined your initial interest to pick up this hobby? I absolutely remember what caused my budding interest in photography. My husband got involved in shooting 35mm in the early 80s. I was in college at the time and began feeling a little resentful of his hobby. It made me feel (unknowingly to him) that I was taking the back seat. This wasn’t true, of course, but the sense hung over me like a cloud. That’s when I decided I wanted to learn photography, too. I mean before that time the only camera I ever used was one of those old 110 film type cameras. Do you remember those? I would cut people’s heads off or couldn’t figure out my composition. I was disaster behind a camera, but determine to learn. Once I started working, Robin bought got a Nikon FG-series camera for me. I wasn’t fantastic at it, but I sure had a lot of fun and I was doing something with my best friend. The exclusion feeling melted and I’ve enjoyed my amateur photo shoots ever since that time!