Tag Archives: north carolina

Whitewater Falls SWF+CTST Vol. 7

Puritan's Pride Vitamins

Hello, Kittens and Dawgs! I’m delighted you stopped in for another peek through the lens.  This winter I’ve been cooped indoors mostly due to bad weather but our hectic schedule plays a bit into it, too.  I’m left to dip into my photo archives. About the middle of February 2014, we were out exploring. I’m sure it was a Saturday and our travels took us to western North Carolina near the George state line. There we revisited Whitewater Falls. It seemed like ages ago before this last time that we’d been and it was a gorgeous day for being outdoors to visit this spot again.

 

iPhone capture

Where I stood to take all of these photographs is accessible by foot on a paved path a short hike (less than half a mile, easily) from the parking area. It’s very easy. We met an elderly couple on the trail. They were using walking poles but they looked great.

 

The original image in color wasn’t bold enough to suit the mood of the photo, so with Pixelmator, a photo-editing software, I applied the B&W effect allowing the contrasts to bring the picture to life. Big Girl Camera: Nikon D7000 18-105mm Nikkor lens

 

The original just didn’t say “Winter”. I created a piece of photo-art by adding an ice crystal image layer and bumping the blue hues a bit in Pixelmator. Big Girl Camera: Nikon D7000 18-105mm Nikkor lens

You’re welcome to check out a slightly different angle of the falls, here, that I shared in 2014 and I invite you to visit Skywatch Friday for a global sky view experience!

 

Every day is a celebration and today, I Celebrate The Small Things with you. I’m celebrating my Sweetie-pie, aka DH! I wasn’t expecting him to come home with a single red rose, a cute teddy bear, and a box chocolates for Valentine’s Day but that’s what he did.  I shared a pix on Wednesday of everything together. We got small boxes of chocolates before Valentine’s Day, so I didn’t think any more about it. What a darling husband I have!  And, no I won’t loan him out! Ah, well it depends on how much you want to rent him for. lol He treats me far better than I deserve and yet he says I deserve more. He’s just purrfect for me. I think I’ll keep him. I mean, why stop after 40 years. I think we might have something good going on, don’t you?

 

I’m celebrating fun Valentine’s Day recipes like my Mini Heart-shaped Raspberry Pies and my faux petit fours, see recipe below.

Faux Heart-shaped Petit Fours

Faux Heart-shaped Petit Fours

Ingredients

  • Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate cake mix
  • Left-over butter cream frosting (for center)
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1-tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1-teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Follow cake recipe directions, then pour into a greased, wax paper lined cookie sheet. Bake about 15-minutes.
  2. Remove from oven, set aside to cook completely. While cake cools prepare left over butter cream frosting. What I had on hand about half a cup of vanilla butter cream which I added a teaspoon of Wilton strawberry extract and Wilton Red-Red icing color. I mixed it thoroughly.
  3. Once the cake cooled, I used my Ann Clark heart-shaped cookie cutters (2-sizes). The thicker pieces of cake (one end was taller than the other), I split the hearts in half. On one half I layered about 1 tablespoon of the strawberry butter cream frosting then topped with other half. I did this until I ran out.
  4. I placed all the sandwiched chocolate strawberry cakes on the a cooling rack over a cookie sheet, then spooned generously over each cake. I repeated this process a few times covering the tops completely.
  5. The rest of the icing, which was less than half of what I started with, I used Wilton Red-Red icing color and added about ⅛ teaspoon Watkins Strawberry extract. I realize this isn’t precise but I’m tossing the idea to you to spur your creativity. 😉 I spooned over the tops of the rest of the heart-shaped cakes that were not sandwiched. The end result turned out not purrfect but it was festive & tasty for the occasion.
http://curiousasacathy.com/2017/02/whitewater-falls-swfctst-vol-7/

Just thought you’d like to know that it turned out DH and I preferred the little cakes without the petit fours icing and of the sandwich cakes, two of them I used leftover raspberry pie filling on and these we liked better than the strawberry buttercream filled ones, which sorta surprised me. 🙂

What are you celebrating?

See what others are celebrating this week and if you want to join the linky, visit Lexa!

 

 

I invite you to stick around for a weekly dose of laughter (goes live at 5amEST) with Friday Sillies & Friendly Fill-ins.

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Gorgeous Sky & Choo-Choos SWF + CTST Vol. 2

Puritan's Pride Vitamins

Hello, Kittens and Dawgs!  Last week, I started sharing two of my regular Friday segments, Skywatch Friday and Celebrate the Small Things on Thursday as a way to make the content more enjoyable for all who stop by.

In my Skywatch Friday section today, I’m taking a look back to our December day trip to Bryson City and Dillsboro, North Carolina.  These two towns are about 30-minutes apart.  We had a lovely time strolling around Bryson City and shared some of those photos here and here.

We were in these mountain communities in the middle of the week and there were no worries of crowds or traffic.  When we got to Dillsboro, we decided to swing by to see the left-behind movie scene props from Harrison Ford’s hit flick, The Fugitive.

I photographed this last in late fall 2013.  The angle and exposure were not the best in those shots, so I was glad to have another chance for a do-over.

This time I zoomed in more for a better view and in the below picture if you click to enlarge you should be able to read Illinois Dept. of Correction on the side of the bus.

It was a splendid day for early December to be outdoors soaking up the sunshine even with the occasional wind gusts.

After we got done in Dillsboro, we stopped off to see the Balsam Mountain Inn and as the veil of night fell, we venture to Pigeon Forge on our way home to enjoy the lights.

Today, I’m Celebrating the Small Things include…

I know I’ve said it before but I’m celebrating living in a place I love and can have many do-overs on photo-ops or moments to just soak up the beautiful mountain atmosphere.  I know there are some who visit may only have that once in a lifetime experience or perhaps an annual trip to this part of the country that we call home. I count us truly blessed to live here and do not take a moment of it for granted.

What are you celebrating?

See what others are celebrating this week and if you want to join the linky, then visit Lexa for details!

Tomorrow, I invite you to join me for some social media fun and your weekly dose of laughter with Friday Sillies.

 

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Redneck Christmas #humor + SWF, Fill-ins, & CTST

Puritan's Pride Vitamins

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Hello, Kittens & Dawgs!  For the first time in a loooong time I can say, Thank God it’s Friday!   Whoo-hoo! Yes, this is the first full week for DH to be at his new job.  Now the weekends have a new meaning for me once again.  Let’s get the show on the road with a few giggles.  Let’s kick the weekend off with a bit of Redneck Christmas humor.

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After DD#2 moved out, she told me about her best friend’s tradition of burning his Christmas tree. Up until that time I’d never heard of such a custom.  I reckon some consider it to a reckneck thing, as it came up in my search. Enjoy!

 

Believe it or not, burning your Christmas tree isn’t a redneck thingy but actually has a spiritual origin, which you can read about it here.   Also, you might wanna read The Night Before a Redneck Christmas just for laughs.

Next, I’m sharing with my weekly SWF contribution!

SWF

Last week, I shared a phenomenal Christmasy night shot of The Wheel at The Island in Pigeon Forge,  Tennessee.  On the same day, I took that photo we were in Bryson City, North Carolina earlier and I captured a beautiful blue sky over the Swain County Heritage Museum.

 

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1FFBadgeLet’s continue the fun with Friendly Fill-Ins with Annie and Ellen.   How does it work?  Every Thursday four fun and easy blank statements are posted for us to borrow, complete, and share on our site.  The point is to simply have fun linking, reading, and meeting others who enjoy this sort of thing.

 

Here’s my response to this week’s fill-ins:

1. My favorite Christmas Song(s) is/are just about everyone, so how can I name a single one, but I could do without hearing anything remotely by Miley Cyrus ever again.

2.My most meaningful Christmas ornament/decoration is naturally my Fontanini Nativity scene because it reminds us during the holiday season of our Savior’s lowly birth and the reason He came to this world.

3. My favourite holiday treat is nearly everything because I enjoy baking cookies and cakes or making homemade candies at Christmas.  It’s hard to say one’s my favorite but if you force me to pick then I’d say my Chocolate Covered Cherries. 

4. A holiday tradition in my house is to go see the lights around town and/or in the Smoky Mountain communities like Dillsboro, North Carolina.   There’s something magical about seeing festive colorful lights.

 

Beginning next week,  I am off from blogging until after January 1st.  I’ve scheduled my regular posts but anything requiring special attention such as the Friendly Fill-ins segment I plan to not include.  I’ll be back and may you have a joyful Christmas celebration! 😉

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I’m joining Lexa in Celebrate The Small Things. Here’s my list of celebrations!

I’m celebratingDH’s first week on his new job.  Yay!  It’s wonderful to resume a normal routine again and I see the delight on DH’s face each morning as he headed off to work.  We’re not just celebrating but count our blessings every single day for God’s goodness.  Another thing I’m celebrating is I finished that DIY project I mentioned in one of blog posts.  I can’t say what it is at the moment because it’s actually a surprise for someone and I never know when that said person, may read my blog.  However, I will share more after the new year.

What are you celebrating?

See what others are celebrating this week below and if you want to join the linky, then visit Lexa!

 

Let’s begin celebrating with Friendship Friday and Friday Features linky parties where you’re sure to make new friends and get lots of inspiration!

That’s a wrap for now, but if you like music then I invite you to come back for Saturday Songsuasion. Until next time, have a fototastic weekend!

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SWF: Sunset view from Water Rock Knob

Good-morning, kittens and dawgs! A week ago this past Monday, we took a spontaneous trip to the mountains with the hopes of seeing Mars at its closer than usual position above the earth. Not nearly as close as it was a few years ago, but apparently it was worthy enough for the news to run a piece on it. Unfortunately, my night photos did not turn out well, but I did a fantastic sunset shot.

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North of Cherokee, North Carolina about 45-minutes along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Sunset from Water Rock Knob overlook.

I’m not going to lie to you folks, I tweaked this picture a bit. Here, I’ll let you see the original.

DSC_6552originalThis isn’t a bad photo. The exposure is off just a bit. Thankfully, photo-editing makes it easy peasy to fix your image to your liking. In the first image, I used Pixelmator to apply the healing brush to remove the hot white spot in the sunset and increased the color saturation.

It surprised us to see a gathering of folks at Water Rock Knob on a week night, but with a few small nearby towns then no doubt this an excellent afternoon R&R destination spot.

Just before getting on the parkway in Cherokee, we got dinner to-go from Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and it was great fun to sit in the car enjoying our meal with such a magnificent view stretched before our eyes. You just can’t get this kind of atmosphere in a restaurant.  After we ate, we began snapping pictures. Me with my big girl camera and DH with his iPhone. I love that we like photographing together! This has been a shared hobby of ours for 20+ years.

About 10pm, we decided to head across the Smoky’s. The peak for Mars closeness to earth was shortly after midnight, so we figured we could get another glimpse of the Red Planet one more time from there before going home.

At first I thought I didn’t want to share any of my Mars pictures with you and then I thought why not? So, I found one that is passable. In the below picture, you’ll see that I labeled Mars, as well as Saturn in the night sky. I only know this because I used my iPhone app Sky Safari to see what else I might want to know what I’m looking at.

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Captured at Newfound Gap in the Smoky Mountains with my 55mm-300mm lens.

The evening was well spent in our favorite, most beautiful place! What more could a gal ask for? Ah, a million dollars? Nah, not that I’d turn it down or anything, but I’d settle for a nice job for DH in town. 😀

I’m sharing my photos with the International Shutterbug Association (Yep, I just came up with that one. I wonder, if anyone else has thought of this before?) and if you want to see what the sky view is like elsewhere, then I  hop over to Skywatch Friday!

~All images captured with my big girl camera ~ Nikon D7000 & preferred lens Nikkor 18-105mm zoom, unless otherwise noted.~

Now, I’m joining Lexa in Celebrate the small things.

I’m celebrating…

  • the adventures behind my photo shots.
  • sharing the same hobby with my best friend and husband.
  • cool mountain temperatures and a beautiful evening.
  • the amazing mysterious universe. Are we alone? Probably. But, it’s fun to think we aren’t.

What are you celebrating?

Join the party below!

Let’s begin celebrating with Friendship Friday and Friday Features linky parties where you’re sure to make new friends and get lots of inspiration!

That’s a wrap for now, but if you like music then I invite you to come back on Monday for Mewsic Moves Me. Until next time, have a fototastic weekend!

Little Switzerland, North Carolina

Hello, kittens & dawgs! I’m so glad you included in your day. On Wednesday, I shared another look at Wiseman’s View. Well, that same we got on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Linville Falls; our destination Mount Mitchell, but that’s for another time. Today, I want to take you to community of Little Switzerland.

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You can find lodging along the Blue Ridge Parkway at the beautiful, old-world charm of Little Switzerland Inn. Be sure to check out the link of this place. There are more pictures of the inn that you’ll like seeing.

We have visited the Little Switzerland Inn many times over the years, but never stayed there. I have this place on my Dream List for a wonderful relaxing weekend getaway someday. I can imagine sitting quietly in one of the Adirondack style rockers with a cup of coffee soaking up a gorgeous sunrise or sunset.

This is the view I would see…

SWF 5-19-2016 View from Little Switzerland Apr 2016 DSC_6241

I’m sharing these views with the global community Skywatch Friday and I invite you to see what other photo enthusiasts are sharing today.

The clouds look a bit ominous with a gentle nippy wind caressing our skin. Soon after I snapped this picture the rain began falling softly on us scattering us to the car.

What view is in your camera’s eye? Do you like exploring new places?

~All images captured with my big girl camera ~ Nikon D7000 & preferred lens Nikkor 18-105mm zoom, unless otherwise noted.~

Now, I’m joining Lexa in Celebrate the small things.

I’m celebrating… life in general. The blessings of another day is a gift. I’m in good health except for allergies and we’re still living in a place we love that we truly enjoy. All these things are worth celebrating!

What are you celebrating?

Join the party below!

Let’s begin celebrating with Friendship Friday and Friday Features linky parties where you’re sure to make new friends and get lots of inspiration!

That’s a wrap for now, but come back Monday for Mewsic Moves Me and to see if your artist choice for my May 15th Battle of the Bands won. That means you still have time to vote! 😉 Have a fototastic weekend!