11 March, 2019

Scared Tickless

Way back in 1954 when The Creature from the Black Lagoon was released, my entire family piled into Kelvin, the 1951 Studebaker, our only car, and away we went to the movie theater.

The dripping reptilian-looking being that climbed onto the land to terrorize the countryside put my mother to sleep. Thinking back, the movie house was dark and cool (we had no air conditioning at home), and it was the first time she'd been able to sit for more than 20 minutes all day. My father, just a tall boy that shaved, loved watching the wet peril. My sister ate Raisinettes and planned her wardrobe for the upcoming week - always the Princess.

Filmed in black and white, and as fake looking as Tammy Faye's eyelashes, that Lagoon Dude is laughable today. On that evening long ago he traumatized me. Later at home in our twin beds my sister dreamed of spotlessly polished Saddle Oxfords and I waited, wide awake, for that death-is-coming-for-me night to be over.

Fast forward several decades to my having seen and lived to tell about it -  movies in which bats were dapper dressers speaking proper grammar in fancy British accents and all sorts of dead things returning with ravenous appetites. I hardly flinched.

The tick, tick, ticking of a clock in a dark and otherwise silent house doesn't bother me at all. Did I just say that ticks don't bother me? What a whopper. With warmer and hotter weather finally due for Spring and Summer, blood-sucking, disease spreading, disgusting arachnid relatives (ticks) will be making their appearances in all the contiguous United States of America and Hawaii. These terrorists are bearers of maladies known, and still being discovered.

I'm not ashamed to say that ticks scare me. Staying inside is not an option (for me). Insect repellents are strongly recommended by the CDC. Head coverings are too.

In trying to keep this from sounding like a sermon, it may seem I'm making light of a serious issue. Not so. People who have contracted Lyme's Disese from tick bites suffer long term - some for a lifetime. Protect yourself, your kids, and your pets. 

We'll see you in the mountains.



11 February, 2019

Appalachian Roots

My maternal grandmother, a bright, beautiful Cherokee/English woman, was born in Dahlonega, Georgia in the mid-eighteen hundreds. In a region isolated by a wild and glorious terrain, natives and tenacious immigrants coaxed sustenance from rock. Deer, wild turkeys, and other critters supplied protein needed in diets necessary for hard work. Streams and rivers provided cold, clean water and additional protein of fish, frogs and turtles.

Hot and cool weather crops were eaten fresh in season and "put away" for tough winters. Initiatives to bring electricity to Southern Appalachia did not begin until the 1930's. Life sustaining meats and produce had to be canned, cured, or dried. No easy tasks. The multi-cultural settlers quickly adapted the beloved recipes from their motherland to their new homeland. Where different flora and fauna flourished and familiar ones did not exist, resourcefulness became an important commodity.

John and I consider our Southern Appalachian Cuisine breakfasts, served the third Wednesday of the month, an honoring of the past and an embracing of the future. Although all or part of the meals will be borrowed from Appalachian recipes, like Frank Sinatra, we'll do it our way.


26 March, 2015

The Rite of Spring

In this Rite of Spring time of year when Mother Nature seems to have little control over her thermostat, I can hear my flesh and blood mother reciting, "Spring has sprung. The grass has riz. I wonder where the warm weather is." She did this every year she lived. Of course when my own daughter/best friend was born she got the poem in duet from her grandmother and her mother. One of the greatest gifts I've ever been bestowed was to know my mother and my daughter when we were all adults. We were, naturally, at varying stages of adulthood, but we were women at the same time.
The theory about certain qualities and traits skipping generations proved true for us. While I'm not mean or vindictive, my mother and my daughter were born with the capacities of kindness, patience and generosity in which I'm somewhat lacking. I am the mayo in a Great Women's Sandwich. By the time you read this, I'll have called my daughter and our Rite of Spring will once again be completed.


09 December, 2014

News Flash - This Just In

News Flash - This Just In

A raucous turf war, with unseen provocation, erupted in Hiawassee, GA on December 7. No weapons were brandished, but tail feathers in full-fan were in full view. There was much bobbing and waddling and non-verbal, but audible accusations were hurled like spears.

Rabble 'rousing hecklers (and Jecklers) seized the diverted attention of usual adversaries to get in a few fowl kicks of their own, with no fear of retaliation. (Crows are smart that way.)

After the requisite amount of gesturing and posturing, conflict ended abruptly like a rogue summer cloudburst and harmony returned to the 'hood.

An on-line search explained the turkey-trot rumble as a preseason mating ritual that toms are compelled to do.

Men. Go figure.


11 November, 2014

Halloween Ain't for Sissies

Murder at the Old Cadbury Mansion

A chicken, a pig, and three cast-iron mice walked into a bathroom. This is not the start of a joke. It was the start of turning the guest lounge and dining room of Chancey Hill Inn into the Old Cadbury Mansion for our Murder Mystery Weekend. We put the unneeded items in the half-bath of the innkeepers' quarters. A few changes of pictures on the wall and props in place, the dinner to honor the Golden Grove Historical Society was launched.

Four of our mayhem-seeking guests had stayed with us before. Six were unmet friends. Oh boy. We all had a bang-up good time.

As the murder was unscripted, our cast used their intelligence and their eerily good senses of timing and humor to keep us laughing in fun and amazed at the talent of all. From the lovely Victorian dress of Mrs. Cadbury to the almost Quaker-like attire of the nanny, each and every outfit was smartly constructed to add realism and fun.

We're already scheming our next caper.

27 October, 2014

Selected Sister

Selected Sister

Business blogs probably shouldn't be too personal. Please indulge me this one. We're sort of a mixture of Lucy and Ethel, but we don't do no "splainin" to Ricky and Fred, aka Jody and John. We're a little like Thelma and Louise. Up for a good road trip with shopping and festival sprees, but without the blowing up of trucks, murder, and driving off a cliff. She comes through with kids' umbrellas, and powerful purse-sized flashlights, when we're caught by rain in the dark*. 

She gives and takes comfort to and from me, and I to and from her. We don't really know each others religious or political leanings. We don't care, and our pasts are just that. World Peace is a lofty wish. Attainable? I'm not sure. But I also wish for all people a dear friend like mine. To borrow the message from a greeting card, "She always has my back without once mentioning the size of my butt."

"Happy Birthday, Cheri, my selected sister. I love you"


* Always hang with a former elementary school teacher. They can do anything and keep their cool while doing it.

11 September, 2014

New Year's Eve Celebration 2014

New Year's Eve, 2014

One of the most enjoyable times we had last year (both our guests and us) was attending the First New Year's Eve Wine Dinner at Crane Creek Vineyards. And we're headed that way again this year. The great people at Crane Creek exceeded everyone's expectation.

Last year we experienced a winederful five course dinner, wines with each course, live entertainment (we didn't go "dancing in the streets," just inside the event center), transportation to ease everyone's concerns about driving on such a busy night, and wine.

Because everyone had such a great time, we've put together an Events package for the evening. You'll enjoy the dinner, including the wine, music and entertainment, transportation, gratuities, lodging with us, and of course breakfast New Year's morning. See our Events page for details. The dinner sold out quickly last year, so book this event soon.

I wouldn't be surprised if the crew at Crane Creek doesn't have a unique way to ring in the New Year.