I blinked and September was gone.
The hubs and I left at the end of August to go do our big, annual migration south.
Not wanting us to forget home, this was on our front stoop while we were packing:
The frog was still coherent and walking around, dragging the snake with him. The snake was refusing to let go. The frog had sustained some pretty gnarly injuries by that point so I figure he lost in the end and hope the snake was able to enjoy his meal. Our plumber calls our home a house of horrors because of the wildlife (and random cats jumping from the ceiling while he’s working). I really like having the critters around. Yes, especially the snakes because they are masters of pest control. I didn’t like it when one of the cats brought a live snake into the house though. I could’ve gone without that adventure.
For the first leg of our trip, we stayed in a hand-built cabin with some friends in the mountains of North Carolina. It’s gorgeous there.
There were seven of us in total. …and the first night, the well pump died.
Seven of us for a week without any running water. Using the toilet was interesting and showering was unheard of. There is a hot tub and it rapidly became our nightly ritual: bathing with friends in highly chlorinated water. We’re pretty sure that by the end of our stay, it was more of a people broth.
We did try to keep our gross levels down. We didn’t go fishing like we normally do or get overly sweaty. The one hike we took ended at a waterfall, so you can be sure everybody was in the water and trying to scrub clean.
Our friends eventually had to go back to their real lives but hubs and I chose to stay at the cabin for a few extra days rather than adventure onward. Still no water, but it’s hard to argue with a real chance to relax.
…except when a herd of deer walked up to me and scared the hell out of me. I was sure I was about to get kicked but thankfully I startled them just as much and they ran off.
Before leaving NC, we spent the last day gem mining. That area is really replete with all kinds of neat things.
That’s my personal jackpot: a 298.5 carat emerald! It’s obviously not gem quality so not worth much but I was over the moon. How cool is that?!
When we did finally decide to leave the mountains, we went to visit hub’s grandmother in Alabama. She has dementia now (and she’s about to turn 93, so it’s well deserved) but we always enjoy getting to see her. She’s a little firecracker and even though she doesn’t remember we visited, she knows we’re there when we’re there…and maybe she remembers more than we think because she’s never forgotten who we are, including me, even though she doesn’t recognize some of her own family.
This visit, she taught us how she and her husband used to dance back in the 1940s. She still loves dancing!
After our day in Alabama, we ventured over to Atlanta to kick off our real agenda: ProgPower USA! It’s nice having a music festival that allows us to see everybody.
Some of the highlights from the festival this year:
Pictured are Gloryhammer, Cellar Darling, Vuur, Sons of Apollo, Manimal, Bloodbound, Oceans of Slumber, and the queen of metal herself, Doro. There were twenty bands total but those were my favorites.
Gloryhammer is one of hub’s favorite bands and he got right up front for their show — you can see him in a photo, hoisting a hammer. The band later took that hammer, hit him with it a few times, hit each other with it even more, then signed it for him. He was thrilled.
If you know what he looks like, hubs can be spotted in every photo with a crowd. He really spent a lot of time on the floor this year and I camped our favorite seats for when he was too exhausted to carry on.
We also ran into Manimal in the lobby and they (for some reason) agreed to let hubs pretend he was one of them.
…but the best show in my opinion was Alestorm. They didn’t put on a show, they put on a party. People were dressed like pirates and waving around plastic swords. A few people had bubble machines in the audience. They hoisted the huge rubber ducky out into the crowd for us to bounce around then destroy like zombies. There was even rapping shark.
…and they were, of course, super hilarious and friendly.
They also signed my pirate ducky! The drummer, of course, insisted that he was going to sign its butt. I’ve had this ducky for over a decade and now it’s even more precious to me.
After four days of festival, we went further down in Georgia and spent a few days with a friend. Then we headed back to North Carolina and caught the Judas Priest and Deep Purple concert with some of my family. We saw 23 bands that week! Crazy!
…and then hubs and I parted ways. He had to recruit at his alma mater for work and I had to go to where I grew up and spend time with my family.
A few cool things happened while there. Mom and I went to a local museum and I FINALLY found out what the heavy old rock was that my dad and I dug up out of our garden when I was little.
I kept it because it’s insanely heavy for its size and was oddly shaped with some neat striation. Even little me knew it would be interesting. I’d always wondered what it was — especially since we regularly dug up arrow heads and all sorts of other fun things. Turns out, it’s a kettle ball.
I also visited my hair dresser. Is it weird that I’ve only ever been to the same person? She’s awesome, my hair is crazy, and it’s worth the wait between visits.
I also saw some family. I, of course, hung out with my Grandmother as much as I could. She’s still a spry 84 and we had fun going out shopping and for Chinese. I went to a party with a lot of my mom’s family that I haven’t seen in forever. Hubs was able to join us for that party and he found it hilarious how aggressive a bunch of old, toothless hillbillies got over croquet. >_>; I was also asked to be the matron of honor in a wedding next year. Guess I’m going to stay busy for the next few months.
…and on my greedy side, I got a sewing machine!
My aunt had been storing them in an old sea crate so they were in absolutely horrible condition. I was able to check on my Granny Boo’s (mom’s mother) machine and I already have an identical model but mine was made in 1900 and the serial number on hers was from 1910. Singer 66 machines are great but I only need so many and since I already had the one with Sphinx decals (and in much better shape, sadly), I chose to take home my Granny Sally’s (Granny Boo’s mother) machine.
I didn’t even know what it was, just that I didn’t have anything that looked like the outside. The cabinet was solid oak and a chain lift. The chain lift was rusted shut, as were the hinges. Add in the warped wood from being in wet conditions for several years and it took me over a week to ease the new baby open.
I brought the head home with me and mom is bringing me the treadle cabinet up at the end of this month when she and her husband are coming here for a concert.
I’ve never used a Davis VF before but I’m pretty excited. The finish is crackled but I’ll see what I can do about getting her shined up again. I did get all of the mechanisms to move so she’ll sew. These models are really interesting, as there aren’t any feed dogs — the presser foot is what moves to advance the fabric.
…and then we got to come home.
Just in time for my favorite fall activity: apple picking!
The trees were absolutely laden with apples this year. I had already picked a bushel from this tree and you can’t even tell it.
All of those apples were quickly processed down in what hubs calls my “factory”. Most of them were turned into applesauce then apple butter. I love me some apple butter and I was on my last jar!
…and of course it wouldn’t be fall without some apple cider donuts. I made my own this year and hubs claims to like them even better than the ones he gets at the orchard. I’ll call that a win!